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Writer & philosopher. PhD philosophy. Stories & ideas to make the world a better place. Next book Hello, Stranger (Granta 2021). Twitter @willbuckingham

PAST IS PROLOGUE

If we want to work better, first we need to think better

“The Seasons” by Pieter Brueghel the Elder from the Metropolitan Museum of Art online collection. Image: Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

What is work?


Writing fiction is like making bread. You need to know when to knead it, and when to just let it rise.

Photo by Victor Rodríguez Iglesias on Unsplash


In a world obsessed with conversation, physical books bring us solitude and freedom.

“Dig” by Sadie Wendell Mitchell (1909). Public domain via Library of Congress.


Myanmar helped me come to terms with grief. Now I am grieving for Myanmar.

Image of pagodas in Kayah State, Myanmar. Photograph by the author © Will Buckingham


We assume Indian philosophy is inherently spiritual. But India’s long tradition of materialist philosophy suggests otherwise.

Watercolour painting on paper of Bṛhaspati, the teacher of the gods who is also associated with materialist doctrines. c. 1880. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

A This-Worldly Philosophy


Aristotle argued the end or purpose of human life was flourishing. But what is flourishing? And how do we best flourish?

Photo by Bogomil Mihaylov on Unsplash

What’s the Point?


An interview about philosophy, ethics, imagination and following your deepest impulses.

Samuel Birmann, Source de l’Arveron. Early 1800s. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.


To understand knowledge, we need to understand what it is for

Aristotle at his writing desk. Miniature in the manuscript Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, 1457. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.


The Chinese philosopher Hui Shi (370–310 BCE) argued for the slipperiness of knowledge, and the love of all things.

Photo by Julia Stepper on Unsplash

Who Was Hui Shi?


PAST IS PROLOGUE

Philosophy is the love of wisdom. But sometimes, wisdom requires that we embrace our foolishness.

Poster for Gentry Bros. Circus, circa 1920–1940. Image: Library of Congress

Will Buckingham

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