TAKING STOCK – ONE YEAR OF PHILOSOPHICALGUIDANCE.COM

“To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live, according to  its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity and trust” – Henry David Thoreau.

 

Last week was the one year anniversary of the first post on this site. I thought it would be a good time to take stock of our progress. The attentive reader knows that for the most part the 156 blogs have not been meandering essays, but rather the first half of a philosophy book whose mission is to methodically examine the relevant elements of the field of philosophy for assembling a meaningful life. Perhaps a review of the path I have been on will help readers determine which parts they missed or wish to review.

After a few introductory posts on defining philosophy and the site’s mission, I jumped into the Big Picture – the reduction of practical philosophy into its two major divisions:

[1] the nature of reality (9 posts covering 11/9/18-12/3/18), and

[2] personal conduct (ethics; 13 posts from 12/5/18-1/4/19).

In that analysis we found that reality and ethics are manifest at five levels or tiers, each of which requires reflection in fashioning a flourishing life.

While those two main areas remain the chief focus of a personal philosophy, we next took on the first five of seven special subjects within those areas:

[1] Good and evil (10 posts from 1/6/19 -2/6/19),

[2] The question of God (19 posts from 2/8/19- 3/27/19),

[3] Body and soul (15 posts from 4/3/19 – 5/6/19),

[4] Death and immortality (24 posts from 5/13/9- 7/5/19), and

[5] Free will, fate, and human destiny (42 posts from 7/17/19 – 10/23/19).

Along the way, I stopped to blog on some of my current reading:

[1] Fake News (12/12 and 12/14/19),

[2] The Philosopher’s Magazine (1/11/19),

[3] Before the Big Bang (2/27 and 3/1/19),

[4] We Are Not Alone (3/29 and 4/1/19),

[5] Is Life Worth Living? (5/8 and 5/10/19),

[6] God and Physics (7/8 and 7/10/19)

[7] Revolutionary Deism (7/12 and 7/14/19)

The site has had 662 visits by 499 different users from 46 different countries on six continents since its inception. The majority (57.2%) of users came directly to the site while 34.8 % came from a search engine (86.7% Google; 9.2% Bing; and 4% Yahoo) and 8% from a social media referral (80% Facebook). The most visited page was The Summum Bonum (post on 1/23/19 and Appendix Table 2 and Diagram 1). The most visited current reading was We Are Not Alone.

The book is currently about halfway complete (although the posts are probably more accurately viewed as a second draft rather than final). The next two sections are Teleology and Suffering (Grief, Pain, and Illness).

After that I will get to the heart of our subject – the four components of the meaningful or flourishing life. If space allows, I will investigate how various traditions encapsulate these four components and try to synthesize the ideal approach, at least for myself – a virtual, public, individual search for enlightenment.

I hope this quick review is compelling enough to send you back to past sections and to draw you forward as I present targeted philosophical guidance that, to my knowledge, is absent from the treasury of  existing literature.

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