Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Philosophy of Life at the End of Week 99

Two stories in the same newspaper and a whole world between them.

On the Op-Ed page of today's New York Times, David Brooks describes two very different, but complementary attitydes to life. His column is called The Summond Selfand when you have read it you might want to flip back to page one and read about Alexandra Jarrin, who two years ago had a decent job as director of client services, but was laid off, and now finds her self sliding into the abyss, having nothing besides her food stamps and car to sleep in once she has to leave her cheap hotel room.

Let's imagine that she picked up David Brook's well-meaning column where he offers the following piece of advice:

"I’m living in a specific year in a specific place facing specific problems and needs. At this moment in my life, I am confronted with specific job opportunities and specific options. The important questions are: What are these circumstances summoning me to do? What is needed in this place? What is the most useful social role before me?"
This is where the philosophical rubber meets the road.

Hans Sandberg

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