An Index of my Medium Articles

I’ve indexed my posts by topic below so you can dive into my writing without endlessly scrolling on my profile page.

  • You can also read my most substantial posts on The Sophist, my Medium publication.
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A New Book Examines the Dutch Philosopher’s Religious Vision

Pieter Claesz, Vanitas (1630) A typical “vanitas” (literally: “nothing”) still life from the Dutch Golden Age. (Public domain. Source: Wikipedia)

By one estimate, more than half of adults in the UK cannot touch their toes.

Babies and children can. A young child can fold at its hips and double over as flat as a pancake. Why are adults so inflexible?

Inflexibility is not some intrinsic biological process that overcomes us…

NGC 4414, a spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices, is about 55,000 light-years in diameter and approximately 60 million light-years from Earth. (Public domain. Source: Wikipedia)

The Style and Substance of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations

There seem to be as many genres of ancient philosophy as there are works. …


Amia Srinivasan examines dilemmas and disputes in the Feminist movement. In doing so, she uncovers its ultimate benefit for everybody.

An Oxford University publicity photo of Amia Srinivasan (photo by Nina Subin. Fair use)

The word “incel” barely registered in public consciousness until 23 May 2014. That’s when Eliot Rodger, a twenty-two-year-old dropout, stabbed and shot to death six people and wounded more than a dozen others.

Halfway through his killing spree, Rodger uploaded a video on YouTube “Eliot Rodger’s Retribution” and emailed his…

All Philosophy is “Practical” Philosophy

Photo by Ilya Plakhuta on Unsplash

The enduring question about philosophy came up in a discussion between the first century Stoic philosopher Musonius Rufus and his students. What’s the most effective way to become a better person, a student asked, to learn philosophical theory or to practice a philosophical doctrine?

Musonius answered with an analogy. If…

The Philosophy That Truth and Goodness are One

Robert Delaunay, “Les Coureurs”, 1930 (Public Domain. Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Consider the number five. What’s the essence of that number? What lies behind it? What’s its substance? What does it consist of?

We can ask such questions of most things in the world — people, trees, spider webs, photographs and cardboard boxes — but numbers are pure quantity. Five is…

Is Humanitarianism Killing the Good Within Us?

Non-Violence or “The Knotted Gun” by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, outside the UN Headquarters in New York, NY, USA. (Photo by Matthew TenBruggencate on Unsplash)

You see children suffering in a war zone on television. It’s terrible. What’s your first thought? Punish the people doing it to those kids? Drop bombs on them? Or do you wonder, how can we change the world so that such a war could never happen in the first place?

Carnage is spreading in our “post-truth” world. A new book proposes a solution

The kind of carnage we’ve become used to in the last half-decade. Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

The zombies have risen. The undead are taking over our neighborhoods and nations. They are loitering in voting booths, sitting behind news desks, and moving around state buildings unchallenged. They feed on brains. Our brains.

But these are not the walking corpses of folklore and film, they are what economist…

Epictetus on Feelings

A Roman 1st century glass bowl, Cleveland Museum of Art (Public Domain. Source: Wikipedia)

Trouble seems to seek us out, doesn’t it?

You find stillness in your soul, everything is level and even. Then events conspire to rattle you. You consider how to react. Because react you must, right? Well, no. Not yet.

It’s telling that we use the word “disturbed” so much when…

Why I Wrote “The Rules of the Game”

The lion is a powerful image in Machiavelli’s The Prince. Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

Writing is the art of making meaning. It has the power to seduce people, to bewitch them to the ideas of the writer.

When I read Machiavelli’s The Prince for the first time, I was struck by how far removed the book is from its reputation.

What I thought was…

Steven Gambardella

The lessons of philosophy and history, their practical benefits for your life and work. Feel free to get in touch:

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