Of Indeterminate Nature

I came across a fabulous piece of literature written by Giovanni Pico della Mirandola in 1486 (at the age of 23), just six years before Columbus sailed to the Americas. Pico della Mirandola had a wonderful capacity for syncretism, a double-edged sword that likely lead to his eventual poisoning for challenging the status quo. The …

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The Discriminating Powers of the Mind

"A multitude of causes unknown to former times are now acting with a combined force to blunt the discriminating powers of the mind, and unfitting it for all voluntary exertion to reduce it to a state of almost savage torpor." ~ William Wordsworth Reactions to challenging those within your sphere of influence to think outside …

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A True Lady or Gentleman

I am inclined to agree more with Theodore Roosevelt's assessment that courtesy is "as much a mark of a gentleman" than with Honore de Balzac's less encouraging assessment of courtesy being "only a thin veneer on the general selfishness." While the latter may be more predominantly the case, the former holds in it the promise …

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The Courage to Face Ingratitude X

"If a man receives a counterfeit dollar he does not straightway lose his faith in all money,—at least there are not such instances on record in this country. If he has a run of three or four days of dull weather he does not say 'the sun ceases to exist, there are surely no bright …

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Determinism and Free Will

"Again, if all motion is always one long chain, and new motion arises out of the old in order invariable, and if the first-beginnings do not make by swerving a beginning of motion such as to break the decrees of fate, that cause may not follow cause from infinity, whence comes this freedom ('libera') in …

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