On Gifts: Subscriber Newsletter #14

Will Buckingham
Will Buckingham
On Gifts: Subscriber Newsletter #14
Norwegian Christmas Card. 1909. Public domain, library of Norway, via Wikimedia Commons.

The latest news from Looking for Wisdom: gifts, collaborations and more.

Hello, Philosophers,

Welcome to our final newsletter this side of Christmas. And as usual, welcome on board to all new subscribers. We've just pushed the 500 subscriber mark, which is absolutely brilliant! So thank you to all of you who have helped make Looking for Wisdom a success. If you've just signed up, or if you've been a subscriber for a while, we'd love to hear from you about why you signed up, what you like about Looking for Wisdom, what you don't like, and what you would like us to do into the future. Just hit “reply” to this email.

In this month's newsletter, we've got a round-up of recent news, an update on our next Sunday Salon, and some news about some spin-off projects we're working on, delivering philosophy courses in collaboration with some organisations in Myanmar.

The Philosophy of Gift-Giving

But let's just do a quick recap of what's been happening this month. We've been getting in the Christmas spirit with a couple of pieces about gifts. You can read the first piece here, which plunges into the work of Jacques Derrida:

The Philosophy of Giving
Christmas is on the way, and you are facing your biggest philosophical challenge of the year: what gift do you get for a man like Uncle Pedro?

And when you've had a read of that, you can follow up with these perspectives from philosophical traditions from as far afield as Jain India, and the Tanimbar islands of Southeast Maluku, Indonesia.

The Tastiness of the Gift
An alternative theory of gift-giving, drawing on philosophy from the Tanimbar islands of Indonesia, and from the philosophical traditions of India.

Our last Sunday Salon of the year is taking place this December 5th at 5 pm UK time. So if you want to spend a congenial hour in the company of your fellow philosophers, talking about the philosophy of gift-giving, then make sure you are signed up as a member at Looking for Wisdom. You'll get an invitation sent straight to your inbox a couple of days before the event.

There are 10 Sunday Salons a year (every month except January and July), and members also get access to our Agora community forum!

Also this month, we've been diving into ancient Stoicism, and the fascinating Chrysippus, who argued that emotion is a kind of judgement.

Chrysippus on How to Manage Our Emotions
The philosopher Chrysippus believed that emotions are not things that happen to us, but things that we do. This means that we can bring emotion under the control of reason.

Speaking of gifts…

If you have a philosopher in your life who you don't know what to get for Christmas, how about a subscription to Looking for Wisdom?

Just email us at contact@lookingforwisdom.com, and we can sort it out!

Philosophy Projects in Myanmar

Reject the Military coup
Photo by Pyae Sone Htun / Unsplash

Looking for Wisdom's Will Buckingham has been working on some new philosophy projects with institutions in Myanmar. Since the military coup in early 2021, the Myanmar education system has all but ground to a halt. But there are some brilliant projects working to provide high-quality learning in what are exceptionally difficult circumstances.

Will has been working with Parami University to offer courses in the philosophy of human nature. We're currently mid-course, and we've been exploring everything from the philosophers of Ancient Greece to the traditions of Buddhism, and from Confucius to Darwin.

Will is also working on an exciting project with the Chinbridge Institute in Chin State. This community education provider has ambitious plans to offer a one-year diploma, and this will be (Chinbridge tell us!) the first comprehensive course in philosophy ever to be offered in this part of Myanmar. This is an immensely exciting project to be involved in.

Membership, Community and Financial Hardship

Finally, a note on membership, community and financial hardship. Looking for Wisdom aims to make high-quality content available to all. The membership community helps contribute to funding the running costs of Looking for Wisdom, so the project can keep thriving and growing.

We recognise not everyone can afford to pay. So if you would like to be a part of the community, then please don't let financial hardship stand in the way. Just drop us an email (or hit reply to this email), and we can sort you out with a membership.

But also, if you want to help support Looking for Wisdom, remember that this helps us not only run the site but to offer free memberships to those in need.

That's all for this month!  Thanks for your ongoing support and enthusiasm. We'll see you in December.

All the best,

Will & Hannah || Looking for Wisdom

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