Modern Dionysus Philosopher

Rule 2 is important, y’all. Not just for my unborn child, but for everyone. To that end, I recently wrote an article for Apothic Wine’s blog, Modern Dionysus, explaining three philosophers in 30 seconds. This is a wildly incomplete and simplified synopsis, and I’m certainly no well-respected scholar, but I did my best. Here’s a quick blurb:

René Descartes, among other things, was a champion of a school of thought called rationalism. Since I only have 30 seconds, think of it as the opposite of empiricism.  Still too vague? Think of it this way: your understanding of the world around is wholly mental, and sensory inputs are irrelevant. To illustrate this method of thought, Descartes’ famous “ball of wax” allegory is a popular topic in basic-level philosophy classes.

Consider a candle, or a ball of wax.  At room temperature, it’s solid, hard, and stable. Then, let’s pretend we light a fire and move the candle next to the fire. At this point, the wax heats up and becomes soft, pliable, and semi-stable. You can mold it a bit, but it’s not quite as hard as it was before. It might also become lighter in color and emit a scent. Now, lastly, we move the candle to right inside the fireplace —right up to the fire. At this point, the wax becomes almost a liquid, very soft, and unstable. These three states are all very different, but all the same ball of wax. Right — so why does that matter? …

To find out why that matters, you should go read the entire article.

Who is your favorite philosopher, and why? Tell us in the comments.