Subscriber Newsletter #03

Will Buckingham
Will Buckingham
Subscriber Newsletter #03
Image: Josef Engelhart (1864–1941), Im Gartenrestaurant (1893), Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Sufi tales, site updates, and more on forthcoming courses at

What's New?

How Plato Played Aristotle: A Medieval Tale

Image of Plato and sleeping animals.
Madhu Khanazad (attr.) Plato charming the wild animals with music, Khamsa of Nizami, Mughal, 1595 -6, f.208, British Library. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

If you haven't yet read my recent blog post with a translation of a Persian Sufi tale from the Khamsa of Nizami, published in the early 13th century, then head on over there now. It is a lovely story about how Plato played Aristotle, about how the music of the spheres charmed the beasts of the field, and about the dangers of partially-learned magic.

As the site grows, there will be more content to read and navigate through. So I've now integrated a search into the site. You can see it in action below. All you need to do is click 'search' on the menu, and a search box will pop up. You will get live results with links to the relevant articles.

Image of the Looking for Wisdom site search.

I'm still beta-testing the search, so let me know if there are any glitches.

Philosopher Files ahoy!

Over the last few weeks, I've been hard at work on writing and research for the next few months' worth of Philosopher Files. I've pretty much got something scheduled every Thursday until 2022, and there are some fascinating thinkers lined up.

My approach in the Philosopher Files is roughly chronological, so by the end of 2021, we'll still be exploring thinkers in the ancient world (with a few wild cards thrown in for fun). I want to keep the focus as broad as possible, so if you have a favourite ancient philosopher whom you think should be included, let me know by replying to this newsletter.

I'm planning to feature as many non-European and/or non-male philosophers as I can, in the interests of making the range of voices broader and more interesting. Let me know your favourite philosophers, the unacknowledged thinkers you love, the sages who have been sidelined by history, and I'll see if I can weave them in.

Courses launching in January

Medieval image of a school-room.
William of Nottingham Lecturing, c. 1350. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

I'm busy writing the very first Looking for Wisdom intensive course, which will run in January and February 2021. The topic of the first course will be philosophy and wisdom. On the menu are some of the following: ideas of wisdom from across different philosophical traditions; what it means to think wisely and to act wisely; the limits of wisdom; reason and emotion; wisdom's opposite, or foolhardiness; how we might cultivate wisdom; and finally, whether wisdom is really all it is cracked up to be.

There will be six seven-week courses in 2021. Here are the topics.

  • Wisdom (January – February 2021)
  • Love (March – April 2021)
  • Work (May – June 2021)
  • Home (July – August 2021)
  • Friendship (September – October 2021)
  • Strangers (November – December 2021)

The cost for a year of philosophy courses is $108 or £80 (that's $12 a month, and breaks down to an average of $2.57 a class). There will be weekly email classes, further readings, and a friendly study group for talking through the issues in the class. You can sign up via Stripe (or if you are allergic to online payments, send me a message on, and I can sort you out).

Stuck for Christmas?

Christmas painting.
Christmas, by József Rippl- Rónai (1910. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

If you're looking for a last-minute present for any tricky relatives, then how about signing them up for a year's subscription at Looking for Wisdom? Just send me details of the following, I'll be in touch to sort out payment, and then I'll get them signed up:

  • Name of the person signing up.
  • Their email address.
  • Any Christmas greetings you want me to send.
  • Which  course you want to start with (see the list on the about page).

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