I like to tell myself that I’m a rational person. In feedback on an upcoming publication, I was called a “neo-liberal.” I wasn’t sure how to take that, but the implication was that I was too rational for my own good. I admit I lean heavily on logic and identify in many ways with the … Continue reading Rationality is overrated.
When a person thinks of the word “Stoic,” there is often the assumption of no emotion or, at the least, indifference to feelings. Think of Spock from Star Trek fame. While there is a bit of truth that Stoics tend toward rationality instead of emotional outbursts, mainly due to training the mind and will instead … Continue reading More Human, Less Lizard: Stoicism as an Antidote
I am a sucker for biographies of Winston Churchill. I can’t explain it, but his life is an amazing story to me. I don’t know whether it’s his resolve in the face of danger or his startling wit that I’m drawn to, but Churchill ranks at the top of my list of interesting people. One … Continue reading Churchill on Change: Be Like Water
I often cite books and articles or web pages in my writing but rarely mention podcasts. I’ve recently started listening to more of them and wanted to highlight some of what I’m listening to. If you have an interesting podcast that deals with education, philosophy, martial arts, or similar veins, share it with me. If … Continue reading Hear ye, hear ye: Podcasts for Philosophers, Professors, and the Public.
Have you ever seen something and thought, “There’s got to be an easier way to do this”? A recent post from a friend and fellow Jiu-Jitsu coach, Scott Ferguson, and a rereading of Old School Jiu-Jitsu Manifesto made me want to discuss applying one of philosophy’s tools to martial arts, primarily sport Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This … Continue reading The “Simpler” Gentle Art: Applying Occam’s Razor to Jiu-Jitsu
To take a minor detour from my usual posts here at "The Philosophical Fighter," I want to tell you about some of what I've been working on academically. I recently had the chance to present my research on QAnon, a meta-conspiracy theory, and the media ecology perspective taken by Neil Postman. You may have seen … Continue reading Epistemology and the Media Environment
I took my kids deer hunting with me this weekend. The weather was wonderful. Not too hot; not too cold. The mosquitoes weren’t out. But neither were the deer. We weren’t in the stand for 30 minutes before my son whispered, “this is boring.” This is the same kid who had hounded me repeatedly to … Continue reading Peace of Mind: Modern Problems With Ancient Solutions
I recently saw a meme quoting Mac Anderson that read, “You are always one choice away from changing your life.” I don’t know much about the author or the originality of his idea, but the essence of the quote can be found millennia ago. Marcus Aurelius wrote something very similar in his diary. In book … Continue reading Can You Change Your Life by Changing Your Opinion?
One of the primary martial arts we teach at my academy is Judo. When people ask me about Judo, I get excited. I mention the physical attributes such as the emphasis on throwing your opponent to the ground and rendering him immobile with a pin. But there is also an equally beautiful quality in Judo … Continue reading Kano’s Vision: Judo as a Humanistic Endeavor
Have you ever thought about how the words you use to describe an event or a situation in your life may determine the outcome or impact your reality? Here’s an example from Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow: “Italy won; France lost.” Kahneman asked, “Do those statements have the same meaning? The answer depends entirely … Continue reading What is Framing and How Does It Affect My Life?