René Descartes passed away on this day in 1650. Celebrate his legacy with his Mechanical Philosophy (1644), which posited that the universe operated as a continuously running machine which God had set in motion. Since he rejected Newton’s theory of gravity and idea of a vacuum in space, Descartes argued that instead the universe was composed of a ‘subtle matter’ he named ‘plenum,’ which swirled in vortices like whirlpools and actually moved the planets by contact. Here, these vortices carry the planets around the Sun.
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And, if not now, when?
- Hillel the Elder (Babylonian philosopher, 1st century B.C.)
Monty Python Philosophy Football, for the philosophy professor I met in the library today who noticed the Incubus sticker on my laptop and told me that Incubus is his favorite band, and he used to live in Santa Monica just down the street from where Make Yourself was recorded, and he thinks Brandon Boyd would hate Art Basel Miami, and he’d give anything to talk philosophy with Harvard student Mike Einziger. So should I sell him my extra meet & greet ticket? It’s a philosophical dilemma of my own, since there are a few different interested parties. I want to make sure it goes to the most deserving, but I haven’t yet determined my criteria. Meanwhile, I’m posting this video for myself, too, and for anyone who could use a laugh right now.