Derrida, Barthes, and the Origins of Asemic Writing

In my first post on asemic writing, I briefly touched on the origins of this art form, noting that the artists Tim Gaze and Jim Leftwich applied the term asemic to their quasi-calligraphic works in 1997. (See my review of Gaze’s latest book, Glyphs of Uncertain Meaning, which also includes some more information about the…

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Emptiness in Buddhism: Exploring the Concept and Its Paradoxical Nature

Emptiness is a core aspect of Buddhist philosophy. This applies to both the Theravada tradition (the oldest existing school of Buddhism) and the Mahayana tradition (the later branch of Buddhism that accepts the teachings of early Buddhism but adds new texts and doctrines, such as the Mahayana Sutras and the emphasis on the bodhisattva path:…

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Should We Walk Away From Omelas?

Ursula K. Le Guin’s short story The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas (1973) poses an interesting and thorny moral conundrum. In this story, the narrator describes the utopian city of Omelas, whose very utopianism, prosperity, and unspoiled happiness depend on the perpetual misery of a single child, hidden and locked away in a dark,…

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Does Veganism Entail Antinatalism?

Many antinatalists embrace veganism, as they find these lifestyle decisions to be ethically consonant with each other. Yet most ethical vegans are not against having children. Whether one position entails the other depends on the particular ethic at play: If the goal is to prevent and minimise suffering, then does this not entail antinatalism? This…

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Beyond Oneness: Challenging the Dominant Narrative of Mystical Experience

For many of the influential philosophers and psychologists who have studied mystical experiences, the feeling of unity or oneness is an essential feature of these states. Thinkers have described the unitive experience in different ways: as the unification of opposites or the union of oneself with the outside world, the entire universe, ultimate reality, or…

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