Ikigai Diagram and Your Life Purpose

The ikigai Venn diagram unintentionally became a global phenomenon after its creator Marc Winn combined several other people’s ideas he had heard into the visual and used it in his 2014 blog post. His primary focus was not the Japanese culture’s understanding and experience of ikigai but rather the Western thought of finding your life …

Continue reading Ikigai Diagram and Your Life Purpose

Hell Is Other People: What Did Sartre Mean?

French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre famously said, "Hell is other people". This quote appears towards the end of Sartre's play Huis Clos (No Exit), first published in 1944. A disenchanted and desperate verdict; it comes from one of the three characters trapped together in one room. Without giving too much away, let me say that the play's …

Continue reading Hell Is Other People: What Did Sartre Mean?

Revisiting Existentialism in Disney

This is an article I wrote precisely one year ago. It explores existentialist themes I discovered in Disney's Lion King story of Timon and Pumba. Today, while researching 13th-century theologian and philosopher Thomas Aquinas's thoughts on individuality and subjectivity, I felt it can be useful to revisit this post. I hope it inspires you to …

Continue reading Revisiting Existentialism in Disney

Philosophical Quote on Interpretation as Way of Being

"...the way we experience one another, the way we experience historical traditions, the way we experience the natural givenness of our existence and of our world, constitute a truly hermeneutic universe, in which we are not imprisoned, as if behind insurmountable barriers, but to which we are opened."Hans-Georg Gadamer "Truth and Method" (my emphasis) keep …

Continue reading Philosophical Quote on Interpretation as Way of Being

Disrupting and Creating Meaning

We, humans, are remarkably flexible beings. Sometimes, we surprise even ourselves if we pay attention. For example, take Jacques Derrida's idea of deconstruction. As a way of thinking, it takes a settled meaning we accept as true and dismantles it to show how inherently arbitrary any one such interpretation is. In other words, its opposite …

Continue reading Disrupting and Creating Meaning

What is More Real – Experience or Measurement?

What's the temperature outside right now? How would you check it - look out the window, perhaps open it to get a feel, or look into your prefered weather app? I'm from a generation that still remembers life without mobile phones and the internet, but that got quickly used to all the comforts these technologies …

Continue reading What is More Real – Experience or Measurement?

Are Stand-Up Comedians Street Philosophers?

This question came up in one podcast where a couple of stand-up comedians join forces with a philosopher to discuss various topics. The idea was to determine whether a comic can be considered a philosopher who draws public attention to seemingly obvious everyday experiences (hence, the street epithet) and challenges our common assumptions in an easy-to-understand sort …

Continue reading Are Stand-Up Comedians Street Philosophers?

Meaning of Our Life-Meaning Questions

What do we mean when we ask "what's the meaning of life" and "what's the purpose of life"? The way we pose these life-meaning questions indicates a silent assumption - that there is an inherent meaning and purpose to life as such. That these are hidden features of life itself waiting to be discovered by …

Continue reading Meaning of Our Life-Meaning Questions

What Is Necessary Knowledge?

In philosophy, questions about the nature of knowledge are some of the oldest. They have kept philosophers busy for well over 2,000 years and continue doing so today. The branch of philosophy that tries to answer questions about knowledge - epistemology - is considered one of the core building blocks of philosophical thinking. However, philosophy …

Continue reading What Is Necessary Knowledge?

Brief Reflections on Free Will

Free will is one of those philosophical questions that everyone feels strongly about. Before we start reflecting on it, most of us have established opinions about the existence or nonexistence and the extent of human freedom of will. It is almost intuitive. After all, if I do not have any free will, then how can …

Continue reading Brief Reflections on Free Will