Animal Economics, Islamic Philosophy, Generals, Stanley Kubrick , Philosophers

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The Economic Lives Of Animals

Ben Crair | Bloomberg | 1st August 2017

“Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog”, claimed Adam Smith. But if he had posed the question in broader terms, and looked around a bit more, he would have seen all manner of utility-maximising exchange and co-operation among animals, even among plants. “If Adam Smith had strapped on a bee suit — or a safari jacket, or a scuba mask — he could have discovered that the animal kingdom is, in fact, a chamber of commerce” (2,300 words)

Deprovincialising Philosophy

Carlos Fraenkel | LARB | 29th July 2017

Demanding but rewarding review of Peter Adamson’s Philosophy in the Islamic World, which “compels us to reconceptualize the history of philosophy”. Hegel and his 19C contemporaries invented the conventional notion of “Western philosophy” as a way of laying sole claim to the legacy of the Greeks and Romans, with a nod to medieval Christianity along the way. In fact, after Antiquity, “the second great period in the history of philosophy unfolded in the Islamic world” (2,400 words)

The General And The President

Andrew Bacevich | London Review Of Books | 27th July 2017

Civilian and military powers have always been rivalrous in America. The showdown between Truman and MacArthur was not an exception but an extreme case. Colin Powell and David Petraeus also became over-reaching generals in their moments of triumph. Donald Rumsfeld was an over-reaching civilian in both his terms as Defense Secretary. “At no time during the sixty-plus years since MacArthur’s downfall have existing civil-military arrangements worked as advertised” (2,765 words)

How We Made Full Metal Jacket

Damon Wise | Guardian | 1st August 2017

Mathew Modine and Leon Vitali recall making Full Metal Jacket with Stanley Kubrick in the East End of London. “If Stanley could have shot Full Metal Jacket in his back garden, he would have. It wasn’t so much that he didn’t like to travel, he just didn’t see the necessity of it. Instead, we found Beckton gas works, which was constructed by the same company of architects that built in the city of Hué, Vietnam. All we had to do was dress it up, put signs on it and blow it up” (920 words)

Thank You For Calling The Philosophy Helpline

Sahaj Sankaran | McSweeney's | 1st August 2017

“For Camus, press 2. Or maybe 3. I’m not sure. Press both. I don’t know why’d you try, though, very likely neither will work … There is a procedure to reach Kafka. We know it; we’re just not telling you. There is a long queue, but don’t let that worry you, because people are randomly bumped to the front according to a set of rules we’re also not telling you. Even when you get to the front, it does you no good, because the man on the other end knows as little as you do, but won’t admit it for a while” (740 words)

Video of the day: For I Only Needed Awakening

What to expect:

Images of China, with words from Alan Watts (5’21”)

Thought for the day

We learn from history that we do not learn from history
G.W.F. Hegel

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