There is a problem which all philosophers must face—that of possibility and necessity. “What problem,” you may ask, “I see no problem. Some things are possible, like what color shoes I wore today, and some things are necessary, like 2 plus 2 is four. What more do I need to know?” Ahh, there lies one problem: what do we know about possibility and necessity, because it seems that we know a lot about them. That is the epistemological problem. Another problem is the metaphysical one: what is the nature of possibility and necessity?
When is it acceptable to be mentally ill? Throughout history people have had varying levels of acceptance and attitudes towards mental illness. During certain periods of history people were celebrated for having visions or talking with spirits. These hallucinations were interpreted as the mark of a genius or chosen one. Without their visions we may not have had great thinkers like Buddha or Shakespeare. But history has not always been so approving of hallucinations. There have been times when seeing things that were not there or talking to oneself was a sign of a witch or more recently a symptom of a mental illness, one which needs to be cured. (more…)
Consider Odysseus, Homer’s Archean hero of the Odyssey. He was brave, fearless, headstrong, and courageous. Leaving his beloved Ithaca for war and peace, and abandoning what truly made him happy: his home, wife, and son. Sailing alongside Odysseus we ask ourselves if he will ever return to Ithaca. If only Odysseus had realized happiness was more than pursing this journey. We want to yell out at him, “Don’t you realize? true happiness can only be defined within yourself.” (more…)