Human Parts
A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.


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Philosophy is the love of wisdom. But sometimes, wisdom requires that we embrace our foolishness.

Philosophy is literally “the love of wisdom.” And because of this, you might think that philosophy has no time for wisdom’s opposite: foolishness. But the relationship between wisdom and foolishness is, in fact, complicated and vexed.

Throughout the history of philosophy, wisdom and foolishness have gotten tangled up in all…


Play is a serious business. But seriousness does not exclude fun.

I sit down to write something about play, and its importance for human life. And as I write, I ask myself: Am I working? Or am I playing? Sometimes, it is hard to tell.

In a previous piece, I wrote about how to think more deeply about work. In that…


If we want to work better, first we need to think better

We spend much of our lives working. And much of the time we are not working, we spend talking about work, recovering from work, fretting about work, or wondering if we should work more or work less.

But less often do we stop to think more deeply about work. What…

A series in which I answer the inane questions your children ask, but with a side of existential dread

Q: Why are trees different?
A: Trees are different because of the evolution of plants, dating back to the dinosaurs. Trees were actually sporous plants, much like giant ferns, and they were purple as they had not yet developed chlorophyll. Eventually the taller plants began crowding out the big fern plants…

Humans 101

A lesson from children about etiology, phenomenology, epistemology, and learning ethics from nature

Autumn leaves.

Asking questions about autumn

The sun’s path appears to be bending south, adding a dull hue to summer’s bright skies. The last efforts at growth showcase the skills of plants not yet ready to die. Humidity vacates the air, replaced by a crisp breeze. …

Planet Soul

It’s not about religion. It’s about being honest with yourself.

It was Christmas Eve, but it sure didn’t feel like it.

The previous Christmas Eve, I’d watched a midnight Mass outside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. I suppose it couldn’t get any more “Christmas” than that. But there had been snipers on the rooftops protecting the gathering from…

Past Is Prologue

When you have nothing to live for, you’ll let anyone tell you what to believe

An archival photo of Hitler in the midst of a crowd in Nuremberg.

Carl Jung once made the tragically accurate statement that Hitler was akin to the mouthpiece of the German people’s collective unconscious.

It is more common to think — as well as nicer to think — that Hitler was simply a madman run amok on Germany and that his influence alone…

Human Parts

A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.

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