Literary Commentary, Philosophy, Psychology

Human Virtues and the Meaning of Life: Rousseau vs. Frankl

I’ve had “Discourse on the Arts and Sciences” by Jean-Jacques Rousseau on my “currently reading” shelf for the longest time, and just a few weeks ago I had a little reading inspiration so I decided to finish it. Turns out I only had several pages to go anyway. Then, I was recommended “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl to read, and I did, and I loved it. Since I happened to read both these rather philosophical and psychological books (I label them as both because it seems that they have a bit of both in them) back-to-back, I noticed that they both discuss very similar topics: human virtue, the arts and sciences, and the purpose of life. However, interestingly, Rousseau and Frankl contradict on some concepts, which I want to discuss today, while also attempting to organize some of my thoughts about each. [Click to read more]

Book Review, Philosophy, Psychology

Wow: “Nation” by Terry Pratchett

So, to get the basics out of the way: I loved this book. It was absolutely captivating (though it did fall short in some respects, which I'll describe below), and it had so many gems of comedical as well as insightful passages sprinkled throughout. The characters were incredibly dynamic, too. Overall this is a complex piece of art that I regard with the same wondrous and mystified respect one might regard, say, the Egyptian pyramids. (And as you may or may not see, Pratchett's writing style is already rubbing off on me, which is a way of confirming that yes, it was really good.) [Click to read more]

Philosophy, Psychology

The Media and our Mental Health: Solutions to our Consumption Culture

A few weekends ago, I decided to try a social media blackout. Not for any particular reason but to see how it’d feel. Like many others, I too am addicted to my phone, social media, the constant pings that reach out to me from distances away and make me feel less like the single, unconnected human that I am. So I gave this a shot. It was hard. That same weekend, our family friends threw an Easter dinner party. There were two other girls my age and after ten minutes of socializing and catching up, all it took was one single moment of uncomfortable silence and in a flash, like it was our natural human instinct, our thumbs shot to our phones in our pockets. And as I awkwardly and in a state of conscious self-restraint sat there, I was left thinking. [Click to read more]