The Influence of Insomnia on the Life and Work of Emil Cioran

Emil Cioran (1911 – 1995) was a Romanian philosopher born in the Transylvanian village of Rasinari. His early work was written in Romanian, but when he moved to Paris in adulthood, he switched to writing in French. He is an essayist and aphorist, best known for his unrelenting pessimism, lyrical prose, and acerbic wit. His…View Post

The Path of the Happy Pessimist

Being a happy pessimist may sound like a contradiction in terms, but really, there is nothing inherently incompatible about being both happy and a pessimist. Here I should make a distinction between philosophical pessimism and what can be called dispositional pessimism. The former is a philosophical worldview, which proponents believe is an accurate perception of…View Post

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin: An Analogy for Antinatalism

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas is a work of short philosophical fiction by the sci-fi writer Ursula K. Le Guin, originally published in 1973 and then re-republished in The Wind’s Twelve Quarters (1975), a collection of Le Guin’s short stories. This particular short story (which you can read here) describes the utopian city…View Post

The Last Messiah by Peter Wessel Zapffe: Overview and Critical Analysis

The Norwegian philosopher Peter Wessel Zapffe is little-known to most Anglophone readers. He was greatly inspired by Arthur Schopenhauer and has been called one of the “bleakest thinkers of all times and places”. Zapffe was also an avid mountaineer and a friend of fellow Norwegian philosopher – and originator of deep ecology – Arne Næss. His…View Post

On Antinatalism and Depression

Antinatalism is the view that procreation is morally wrong. Its most well-known current defender is David Benatar, a professor of philosophy at the University of Capetown, who explicated this moral position on procreation in his 2006 book Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence. However, antinatalism long predates Benatar’s work. Antinatalism has…View Post