Tag: Bertrand Russell


How do Amélie and Ikiru glean the meaning of life from within?

Both the films, Amelie and Ikiru, are in essence about individuals. The characters of Amélie Poulain and Kanji Watanabe negotiate and overcome their share of life’s travails. But there is great variation with respect to the nature and complexion of their challenges. Amélie’s life was not as precarious and grave as Watanabe’s was poised toward the end of his life. Hence the standards applied to evaluating their qualities will have to be adjusted accordingly. Watanabe finds himself in an imposing and impossible situation, where he feels betrayed by his family, his work as well as his failing health. Amélie’s issues are that of loneliness and longing for love. Both the protagonists eventually succeed in overcoming the hurdles and finding meaning in their lives. They do so by looking within and unearthing solutions from the depths of their souls. This essay will elaborate on this thesis.

In Amélie, we have a fresh-faced young woman who finds joys in small pleasures of . . . Read More

Continue Reading

A response to Jenni Russell’s ‘The Selfish Generation’

Jenni Russell’s article for the Guardian newspaper that appeared on 6th December 2003 raises contemporary problems in social interactions.  She laments the fact that as individual, isolated consumers of a capitalist society, people are gradually losing their humanity. In its place, they are acquiring rather unsavory social tendencies, the most blatant of which is lack of politeness in social interactions.  People are always conscious of their own image and social status that they act in an overtly aggressive manner.  Hence, there is a tendency for people to take offense where none was intended and inflict hurt where none was warranted.  Modern industrial society, as primarily represented by the United States of America and countries in Western Europe, place undue primacy to the superficial over the substantial.  This is nowhere truer than with respect to the Public Relations industry’s constant barrage of illusory imagery and ego-stroking message in the form of . . . Read More

Continue Reading

Why Thales holds a special place in the history of Western philosophy?

Thales of Miletus, usually referred simply as Thales, was an eminent pre-Socratic Greek philosopher.  Hailing from Miletus of the Asia Minor region, he is regarded as one among Seven Sages of Greece.  Though it was under Socrates, Plato and Aristotle that Greek philosophy found its highest expression, Thales’ discourse set the foundation for the subsequent flowering of Hellenistic thought.  Even Aristotle acknowledges the valuable precedence set by Thales, by seeing Thales as the first philosopher in the Greek tradition.

Among the achievements of Thales is his adeptness in separating mythology from natural philosophy, where previously no such distinction existed. His major preoccupations included an analysis and search for ultimate physical reality and the dynamics of change.  By refusing to refer to mythology in his philosophical musings, Thales can be said to have pioneered the earliest known scientific revolution in Western civilization.  Such basic building blocks . . . Read More

Continue Reading

Pablo Picasso and Cubism

The evolution of Pablo Picasso’s artistic styles and forms over the course of his long and fulfilling career provides us with interesting insights into the psyche of the man himself.  In other words, Picasso had written his autobiography, not through the medium of words, but rather manifested through his paintings’ sense of the aesthetic.  Along with his contemporary Braque, Picasso is credited with the invention of the path-breaking class of visual art that is called Cubism.  But this invention is not pre-conceived.  Picasso or Braque did not set about radically altering norms of art; rather the circumstances of life of these gentlemen have had a significant effect on the way their minds conceived their paintings.  Furthermore, Picasso is famous . . . Read More

Continue Reading