I wrote my senior thesis on Baruch Spinoza’s Ethics, and in the course of the project I radically changed my view on philosophy. The force of the idea from which my thesis was born weighs heavier on me every day – it is the idea that to be a philosopher, one must unite a life of beautiful thoughts and blessed actions. It is not enough that one would craft an elegant treatise on freedom, for one’s own elegantly free life and the elegantly free lives of others are equally important and urgent.
The passion I have developed for this idea inspired the work that went into my senior thesis; but, of course, writing a paper alone could not satisfy me. I have been honored with a Watson Fellowship, and this blog will follow me as I travel the world, reading philosophy and challenging myself by trying my best to live a truly philosophical life. I am focusing specifically on orphans and the web they find themselves in – their communities, cultures, and political institutions – because of the unique dilemma they face, and the wide variety of social responses to the questions they raise for philosophies of individual, family, village and state. I have an itinerary of countries and regions that will thoroughly challenge me as both a philosopher and as a person. Throughout the year I will be living with children, learning about their lives and experiences, and trying to figure out how philosophy, in all its abstract beauty, can lead us by the hand to a better, more blessed world.
My first stop is Kazakhstan, but for my own peace of mind and safety, I will be blogging offline and putting up everything at once after I have left the country.
I will be in Belgium until leaving for Kaz, so I’ll be writing (maybe) from there, too.