Jan Dejnožka Home Page
Domovská Stránka Jana Dejnožky
Jan Dejnožka, Ph.D., J.D.
Welcome to the Jan Dejnožka Home Page! It has links to free downloads of all my philosophy and law books and papers. It also has reviews of classical music performances, a reminiscence of my teacher, the international virtuoso violinist Louis Krasner (I was just lucky he taught at my school), and more. Permission is granted to quote from unpublished papers, provided that the papers are cited by author, title, date, and Web address (URL). Please feel free to download anything you like, even a complete set of my works. Books and papers are expensive, and most people, especially students, are poor. Please feel free to write me at email@example.com. Enjoy!
With best wishes,
P.S. I hope you like the “retro” look. It wasn’t retro when I started the page in 1998!
Philosophia est amor sapientiae.
Philosophy is the love of wisdom.
Sapientis est altissimas causas considerare.
Wisdom is the consideration of the highest causes.
Philosophia est ars artium, scientia scientiarum, regina scientiarum, magistra omnium artium et scientiarum.
Philosophy is the art of arts, the science of sciences, the queen of sciences, the mistress of every art and science.
Inventum philosophicum semper perfectibile.
Doing philosophy is always perfectible.
Cogitatione fugitis. Carpe cogitationem.
Thought is a fugitive. Seize the thought.
Die metaphysische Blume ist die seltenste Blume.
The metaphysical flower is the rarest of flowers.
I wrote the last two epigrams. The first rewrites two famous old Latin aphorisms, and the second is my mismemory of Hegel.
Philosophy / Filosofie
Abstracts of Philosophy Papers
About the Author
My books and papers have been published in the United States, Canada, England, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Slovakia, Norway, Israel, and South Africa.
For Ann Arbor, Michigan readers, five of my books are here in the downtown Ann Arbor District Library. Some of them are slightly outdated. For free downloads of the updated books, see my ResearchGate page.
My Amazon Author Central page is here.
My ResearchGate page is here. All my books and papers are free downloads there, and the present site links to them. The downloads should be fine even if the previews are not.
My Facebook author page is here. It basically just links you to my ResearchGate page.
My LinkedIn page is here, but you might have to be in LinkedIn to see it.
Philosophy 101: papers for beginners / Filosofie 101: práce pro začátečníky
The first three papers in this section were inspired by members of Living Grace Ministry (LGM), Korean United Methodist Church (KUMC), Ann Arbor MI, including Pastor Steve Khang. LGM is primarily a youth ministry from middle school up to graduate school, though anyone can attend. My views do not reflect those of Pastor Steve, LGM or KUMC. In fact, since I’m agnostic, my views are very different in some ways. The fourth paper started from three emails I wrote to a Christian who was very kindly trying to help me believe, and grew from there. In all the works in this section, or in any other, you can just skip over anything that is too technical.
"Philosophies of." For beginners. A note for students in other fields who would like to study the philosophy of their field.
"Good-bye to Postmodernism and All That." For beginners. Refuting relativisms. The first chapter of my ontology book has a more technical discussion.
"Personal Relationships: Emotions and Responsibilities." For the general reader. This is the only work I have done in what Aristotle would call the practical science of ethics. All the other philosophy I have done is in what Aristotle would call theoretical science. Theoretical science is the study of what is the case, or how things are in the world. Practical science is the study of how we ought to live in the world. The paper was inspired by two of Pastor Steve Khang’s sermons, one on right and wrong relationships, and the other on kinds of love, at Living Grace Ministry in Ann Arbor MI in 2015. Thanks to Pastor Steve for inspiring this paper.
“Why I Am an Agnostic: A Skeptical Introduction to Philosophy of Religion.” This is my most popular paper for the general reader. It covers the main arguments for the existence of God, the nature of belief, and more. See near the bottom of this page for a few brief quotes from various religions.
Book / Kniha 1: The Ontology of the Analytic Tradition and Its Origins: Realism and Identity in Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, and Quine
Here is the free download of the book on ResearchGate. This is the 2003 reprint with all corrections. Rowman & Littlefield, the publisher, very kindly returned all rights to me on January 9, 2019, so that I could make the book free for everyone. The book upends the almost universally held view that analytic philosophy was anti-metaphysical, and interprets the four great analysts as modified realists.
Basic Information: book summary, praise, and ordering information. It is here on Amazon.com. Be sure to get the 2003 paperback reprint, since it has all corrections.
Reviewed in Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophia, International Journal of Philosophical Studies, International Studies in Philosophy, Filosofický Časopis, B Philosophica, Russell, and The Bertrand Russell Society Quarterly.
Book / Kniha 2: Essays on the Ontological Distinctions: Suárez, Descartes, and Russell
Here is the free download of the book on ResearchGate. The book was published on September 10, 2020. The book brings the ontological distinctions out of the museum of antiquities and gives them new life in philosophy today, changing them greatly in the process. Mental distinctions are abolished, and all ontological distinctions are assayed as formal distinctions in the sense of having a foundation in reality. The book then shows how the ontological distinctions apply in Russell’s philosophy, summarizing and going beyond the discussion of Russell in my first book. The book consists of three previously unpublished essays.
Book / Kniha 3: Bertrand Russell on Modality and Logical Relevance: Second Edition
Here is the free download of the second edition on ResearchGate. The book is updated to August 31, 2019; see the preface for this date. Ashgate, the publisher of the first edition, very kindly returned all rights except existing third party rights to me in a letter dated January 21, 2010, making this second edition possible. It is also available on Amazon (paperback) and Kindle (ebook). The book upends the all but universally received view that Russell was anti-modal and anti-relevantist.
Second Edition (2015). CreateSpace. “Looks like a seminal work”. —Paul Nascimbene. "It shows originality and great care." —Jon Michael Dunn. Reviewed in Organon F.
Basic Information on the second edition: book summary, praise for the book, and ordering information and publishing history.
First Edition (1999). Ashgate. The Avebury Series in Philosophy. Sold out. Reviewed in History and Philosophy of Logic, Studia Logica, The Bulletin of Symbolic Logic, Russell, and The Bertrand Russell Society Quarterly. I advise against reading it now, since the second edition is completely re-edited and has over twice the material.
Routledge Edition (2018). This Routledge Revivals Series republication of the first edition unfortunately appeared three years after the second edition. I advise against reading it, since the second edition is completely re-edited and has over twice the material.
Book / Kniha 4: The Concept of Relevance and the Logic Diagram Tradition
Here is the free download of the book on ResearchGate. The book is updated to October 8, 2019; see the preface for this date. Logica Universalis very kindly gave permission to make my article of the same name into this book..
Basic Information: book summary and praise. Supersedes the paper of the same name. It is here on Amazon.com.
Reviewed in Studia Logica, Logic and Logical Philosophy, and Organon F. Review expected in Studia Philosophica.
Book / Kniha 5: Logical Relevance in English Evidence law: Its History and Impact on Keynes and Russell
Here is the free download of the book on ResearchGate. The book is updated to August 6, 2019; see the preface for this date. Interdisciplinary philosophy and law. The book upends the widely held view that Keynes single-handedly invented the theory that probability is degree of logical relevance. I show that logical relevance was an essential feature of evidence in English law over 500 years before Keynes. Most of the relevantists belonged to the Inner Temple law bar, and Keynes did too.
Basic information: book summary and praise. It is here on Amazon.com.
Book / Kniha 6: The Growth of a Thinker: A Chapbook of Poems
Here is the free download of the book on ResearchGate. The book is updated to 2016. There are some love poems, but the main topics are religion, philosophy, and mythology. In the main philosophy poem, “Karma,” I give the concept of karma a 23 page workout.
Basic Information: book summary and praise. It is here on Amazon.com.
Book / Kniha 7: Two Sermons
Here is the free download of the book on ResearchGate. The book might be casually called “two essays in philosophy of the Bible,” but it is not academic philosophy.
Basic Information: book summary and praise. It is here on Amazon.com.
Book / Kniha 8: Corporate Entity: A Legal and Ontological Study
Unpublished draft manuscript on ResearchGate. October 8, 2007. Subsumes the corporate entity papers listed below and adds new material on real identity and real distinction, emergentism, supervenience, mereology, and the quantification / mathematization of business phenomena in economics. I argue that corporations have sufficient unity and durability (power to endure) to count as real (I would say more real than a morning mist or a sudden flash of light), but are not real persons, since they have no individual consciousness of their own.
Philosophy papers / Filosofické práce (links are to free downloads on ResearchGate)
“The Limited Validity of Ockham's Razor: A Constructive Critique of Quine.” Unpublished. August 12, 2021. Philosophy of science.
“Stephen Hawking’s Big Bang Argument Against God.” Unpublished. June 7, 2021. Philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, and metaphysics of time and cause.
“A Critique of Suárez and Descartes on Formal Distinction and Mental Distinction.” August 30, 2020, updated October 26, 2020. Published in Essays on the Ontological Distinctions (2020). Ontology paper. Primarily critical and original thinking. The paper argues for formal distinctions and against mental distinctions. For Raul Corazzon.
“Properties, Forms, and Pros Hen Being: Three Aristotelian Versions of Russell’s Infinite Regress Argument for Universals.” August 27, 2020, updated October 26, 2020. Published in Essays on the Ontological Distinctions (2020). Ontology and metaphysics paper. Primarily critical and original thinking. Aristotle could have given these three versions of Russell’s argument, but did not. His properties are already universals in re, and the arguments would make his forms and his predicative pros hen beings (x has being in the primary sense, y has being in a secondary sense) into universals as well. After an initial discussion of forms, two alternative definitions of formal identity and formal distinction are discussed.
“Discussion of Bellucci’s Review.” Unpublished paper. October 2019. The review was of my book, The Concept of Relevance and the Logic Diagram Tradition.
“The Concept of Relevance and the Logic *Notation* Tradition.” Unpublished note. October 2019. Offers new thoughts on replacing “diagram” with “notation,” or even with “thought” (proposition), to make the book in question deeper and more general.
“Note on Russell and the Materialist Principle of Logically Possible Worlds.” Organon F 25/3, 429-430, 2018. Online public access is kindly provided by the journal.
“Russell and the Materialist Principle of Logically Possible Worlds.” Organon F 25/2, 265-278, 2018. Online public access is kindly provided by the journal.
“Being Qua Identity in Russell’s Ontologies.” February 10, 2018, updated October 17, 2020. Published in Essays on the Ontological Distinctions (2020). Ontology and metaphysics paper. Also online at Theory and History of Ontology, Raul Corazzon’s ontology site.
"Dummett's Forward Road to Frege and to Intuitionism." Diametros 25, 118-131, September 2010. Online public access is kindly provided by the journal.
“The Concept of Relevance and the Logic Diagram Tradition.” Logica Universalis 4/1, 67-135, 2010. Appearing by kind permission of Springer. Philosophy of logic paper.
“Critique of the Analogical Argument for Universals.” November 2008. Unpublished. Metaphysics paper. An early version was distributed at the Butchvarov symposium, SUNY at Geneseo, 2004.
“Dummett’s Backward Road to Frege and to Intuitionism.” Appearing by kind permission of Open Court Publishing Company, a division of Carus Publishing Company, from The Philosophy of Michael Dummett, ed. by Randall E. Auxier and Lewis Edwin Hahn, copyright 2007 by The Library of Living Philosophers in La Salle, Ill.
“Are the Natural Numbers Just Any Progression? Peano, Russell, and Quine.” The Review of Modern Logic vol. 10, nos. 3-4, issue 32, 91-111, March 2005-May 2007, appearing by kind permission of the editor. Philosophy of mathematics paper.
“Observational Ecumenicism, Holist Sectarianism: The Quine-Carnap Conflict on Metaphysical Realism.” Philo 9/2, 165-91, Fall-Winter 2006, appearing by kind permission of the editor. Philosophy of science paper.
“Russell on Modality: A Reply to Kervick,” The Bertrand Russell Society Quarterly 120, November 2003, 33-38. This online public access is kindly provided by the journal. Philosophy of logic paper. The review was of the first edition of my book, Bertrand Russell on Modality and Logical Relevance.
“Russell and MacColl: Reply to Grattan-Guinness, Woleński, and Read.” Nordic Journal of Philosophical Logic 6/1, 21-42, 2001. Appearing by kind permission of Elsevier. Philosophy of logic paper.
“Origin of Russell’s Early Theory of Logical Truth as Purely General Truth: Bolzano, Peirce, Frege, Venn, or MacColl?” Modern Logic vol. 8 nos. 3-4, May 2000-October 2001, 21-30, 2001. Appearing by kind permission of the editor. History of logic paper.
“Reply to Ostertag.” Russell n.s. 21/1, 63-65, Summer 2001. Online public access is kindly provided by the journal. The review was of the first edition of my book, Bertrand Russell on Modality and Logical Relevance.
“Butchvarov: Phenomenology, Ontology, Universals, and Goodness.” Philosophia 28/1-4, 445-54, June 2001. Appearing by kind permission of Springer.
“Reply to Falk’s Review of The Ontology of the Analytic Tradition and Its Origins.” Russell n.s. 19/1, 87-95, Summer 1999. Online public access is kindly provided by the journal.
“Quine: Whither Empirical Equivalence?” South African Journal of Philosophy 14/4, 175-82, 1995. Appearing by kind permission of the editor. Philosophy of science paper.
“Origins of the Private Language Argument.” Diálogos 66, 59-78, 1995. Appearing by kind permission of the editor. This was originally a 189 page book MS which I condensed to a paper. Philosophy of language paper.
“Russell’s Seventeen Private-Language Arguments.” Russell 11/1, 11-35, 1991. Appearing by kind permission of the editor. The paper was read at the Bertrand Russell Society meeting at the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association in December 1990. Philosophy of language paper.
“The Ontological Foundation of Russell’s Theory of Modality.” Erkenntnis 32, 383-418, 1990. Appearing by kind permission of Springer. The paper was read at the Bertrand Russell Society meeting at the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association in December 1988. Logic and ontology paper.
“Zeno’s Paradoxes and the Cosmological Argument.” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 25, 65-81, 1989. Appearing by kind permission of Springer. Philosophy of mathematics is used to show a fallacy in three of St. Thomas Aquinas' five arguments for the existence of God. Using infinitesimals will not change the argument, if there is no smallest infinitesimal. Philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of religion paper
“Russell’s Robust Sense of Reality: A Reply to Butchvarov.” Grazer Philosophische Studien 32, 155-64, 1988. The paper, Butchvarov’s response and my rejoinder, and Stewart Umphrey’s response and my rejoinder, were read at the Bertrand Russell Society meeting at the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association on December 28, 1987 in New York City. All five papers appear in GPS 32. Ontology paper. A good faith effort was made to request permission from the publisher to post the paper. I hand-lined out a duplicate line near the middle of page 160.
"Reply to Butchvarov's 'Russell's Views on Reality.'" Grazer Philosophische Studien 32, 181-84, 1988. Ontology paper. A good faith effort was made to request permission from the publisher to post the paper.
"Reply to Umphrey's 'The Meinongian-Antimeinongian Dispute Reviewed.'" Grazer Philosophische Studien 32, 185-86, 1988. Ontology paper. A good faith effort was made to request permission from the publisher to post the paper.
“Dual Object Theories of Identity, Existence, and Modality.” Presented at the United States Naval Academy, 1987. Faculty paper series. Ontology paper.
“Frege: Existence Defined as Identifiability.” International Studies in Philosophy 14, 1-18, 1982, appearing by kind permission of the editor. Ontology paper.
“Frege on Identity.” International Studies in Philosophy 13, 31-41, 1981, appearing by kind permission of the editor. Philosophy of language paper.
“Prolegomenon to Theories of Necessary Truth.” Syracuse University Honors Thesis, 1973. For the B.A. in Philosophy With Honors.
Invited book reviews / Pozvané recenze knihy
Book review of Michael Beaney, ed., The Frege Reader. Appearing by kind permission of Taylor & Francis, who published it in History and Philosophy of Logic, 19/2, 119-22, 1998, and who make it available online at the Taylor & Francis Ltd web site: www.tandfonline.com.
“Essay Review” of Ray Monk and Anthony Palmer, eds., Bertrand Russell and the Origins of Analytical Philosophy. Each of the thirteen papers in the anthology receives its own mini-review. Appearing by kind permission of Taylor & Francis, who published it in History and Philosophy of Logic, 18/1, 49-54, 1997, and who make it available online at the Taylor & Francis Ltd web site: www.tandfonline.com.
Doctoral dissertation / Disertační práce: Frege: Existence and Identity
May 2, 1979. Microfilm imprint by University Microfilms International. Here is the free download on ResearchGate.
Law papers / Právní práce
1. “Must a Tax Intercept of Child Support Beyond the Statute of Limitations Be Returned to Obligor?” Michigan Family Law Journal 28/8-9, 8-10, August-September 1999. Appearing by kind permission of the editor.
2. “Note on Continuing and Exclusive Jurisdiction over Child Support Orders.” Michigan Family Law Journal 25, 10, June/July 1998. Appearing by kind permission of the editor.
Law school student papers / Pisemné práce jako studujícího práv
“Plato and Hobbes: On the Foundations of Political Philosophy.” written for Don Regan’s and Joseph Raz’s jointly taught political philosophy course (1994). A theory of the state basing theory of value on theory of human nature, based on a general solution to Hume’s is → ought (fact → value) inference problem.
“The Freedom of Morality.” written for Joseph Raz’s and Don Regan’s jointly taught value and politics course (1994). A critical study of Joseph Raz’s book, The Morality of Freedom. Topics include authority justified by reason, perfectionist moral ideals vs. neutralism, rights-based liberty, incommensurability of values, human well-being, political autonomy, value-pluralism, and harm and toleration.
“Is an Objectively Best Tax Policy Possible? Non-normative Tax Policy and Other Tax Ideals.” written for Kyle Logue’s tax law course (1994). A discussion of objectivity and the paradoxes of relativism as they apply to tax policy. This is a reply to a 1992 paper in Tax Policy by Douglas A. Kahn and Jeffrey S. Lehman.
“Corporate Entity: A Legal and Ontological Study.” written for Joseph Vining for independent research credit (1996), after taking his enterprise organization course. There is a wide discussion of issues, but the main topic is the reality of human groups and institutions. Subsumed into my corporate entity book as parts 1 and 2.
“Corporate Entity: Vagueness, Artifice, and Reality.” a sequel to my “Corporate Entity: A Legal and Ontological Study.” July 6, 2005; updated September 26, 2005. An original discussion of vagueness, and the only sustained criticism of Russell’s definition of “vague” I know of. Subsumed into my corporate entity book as part 3, sects. 1-9.
“Logical Relevance.” written for Richard D. Friedman’s advanced evidence course (1996). This is in effect the first draft of my Russell book, chapter 10.
“Daubert vs. Frye: Logical Empiricism and Reliable Science.” written in reply to Heidi Li Feldman’s advanced torts course and a 1996 paper by Richard D. Friedman.
The law school papers were edited for the Web in 2004, except for the 2005 sequel on corporate entity.
Philosophy web sites / Filosofické webové stránky
1. Gottlob Frege
2. Bertrand Russell
3. Ludwig Wittgenstein
4. Willard Van Orman Quine
5. Panayot Butchvarov
6. Raul Corazzon, Theory and History of Ontology
7. American Philosophical Association
8. Philosophy Documentation Center
Chief philosopher and traditional founder of my wife’s family, Choi / Choe.
Mostly LP / Hlavnĕ LP
Recommendations of classical music with a reminiscence of Louis Krasner and music video clip links
Mostly violin / Hlavnĕ housle
Advice to beginners on violin with music video clip links
Favorites / Favority
Brief lists of philosophical, musical, literary, artistic, and movie favorites
Our family in photographs / Naše rodina ve fotografii
The growth of a Navy family
Official U.S. Navy photo, USS AMERICA CV-66, 1982
Greetings from the Indian Ocean, ca. April 1983
Applebee’s Restaurant, Ann Arbor MI, March 23, 2010: left to right: Jan, Julie, Chung, Marina
U.S. Naval Academy Foundation Reception, Navy-Marine Corps Stadium Dining Facility, Annapolis MD, June 30, 2014: Marina, Chung, Jan, Julie
U.S. Naval Academy. Induction Day, Annapolis MD, after Julie took the Oath of Office as Midshipman, July 1, 2014: Chung, Marina, Julie, Jan
Julie Dejnožka, MIDN USN, Official U.S. Navy Photo, United States Naval Academy, October 16, 2015
Navy Recruiting Station, Troy MI, I swear Marina in to the U.S. Navy the first time, pre-high school graduation for early enlistment benefits, February 17, 2015. As a former Navy officer, I could do that.
Navy Recruiting Station, Troy MI, I swear Marina in to the U.S. Navy the second time, post-high school graduation as an adult entering active duty, July 27, 2015. She shipped out to boot camp the same day.
Marina graduates from Boot Camp, Naval Station Great Lakes, September 18, 2015: Chung, Jan, Marina. Photo by CAPT Andrew Rosa, Ret.
Marina Dejnožka, SR USN, Official U.S. Navy Photo, Naval Station Great Lakes, September 2015
Julie graduates from the U.S. Naval Academy and is commissioned as Ensign. U.S. Navy, May 25, 2018.
We're a Navy family: a proud and happy Dad and both daughters! I never imagined they'd even be interested!
The Destroyer Girls
I call my daughters The Destroyer Girls because their first ships were destroyers. Julie’s second ship was a destroyer, too.
USS PORTER DDG-78 was Julie’s first ship, for a Midshipman summer cruise in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea in 2015. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2018, she reported aboard her second ship, USS GRIDLEY DDG-101, for a two year sea tour, May 2018-July 2020, qualifying as Surface Warfare Officer / Officer of the Deck Underway. She deployed in the Pacific Ocean, then went through the Panama Canal to the Atlantic Ocean and back. Julie then completed nuclear engineering school at Naval Nuclear Power Training Command (NNPTC) in South Carolina, August 2021. Julie is currently assigned to USS BUSH CVN-77, a nuclear power aircraft carrier.
USS MCFAUL DDG-74 was Marina’s first ship, three year sea tour 2016-2019. She deployed to the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. She is now serving a three year shore tour at the famous Naval Station Pearl Harbor on the Island of Oahu, 2019-2022. Marina has been promoted four times. In her spare time, Marina has taken up surfing at Waikiki Beach!
All three destroyers Julie and Marina served on are Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers.
The growth of a philosopher
Young Philosopher, 1954, photo by Ladislav Dejnožka
Young Philosopher, ca. 1955, photo by Ladislav Dejnožka
Senior yearbook photo, 1969, National Merit Finalist, Niskayuna High School, Niskayuna NY
Undergraduate student, 1973, senior year, photo by Ladislav Dejnožka
Graduate student, ca. 1974, photo by Ladislav Dejnožka
Graduate student, ca. 1975: with sister Karlinda, photo by Ladislav Dejnožka
Graduate student, ca. 1975: with father Ladislav, photo by Helen Dejnožka
The Philosopher's Stone, 1976, photo by Ladislav Dejnožka
The philosopher, 1991, studio photo
Family reunion, Old Country Buffet, Schenectady NY, 2008: with mother Helen, photo by Chung Dejnožka
Self-portrait, January 8, 2018 My last day of work after almost 21 years at Wayne County Circuit Court. My accompanying cell phone text: “It is finished. I’m now nobody! And I like it! It’s my natural state. It’s everyone’s natural state. When a Zen master attained satori, what did he do next? He had a cup of tea. Now that I’m retired, what do I plan to do next? Eat lunch and probably take a nap.”
Self-portrait, April 29, 2018 My accompanying cell phone text: “Retiring four years earlier than I had planned was one of the best decisions I ever made.”
Genealogy (family tree) book / Genealogická kniha (rodokmen)
Malcolm Dejnožka with Jan Dejnožka. 2019. Dejnožka - Vlk: Descendants and Allied Families. Deer Meadows, WA: Malcolm M. Dejnožka. 539 pages. With photographs in black and white. Privately published. Available at National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library and selected universities. If you would like a free pdf file copy of this book, please contact the primary author, Malcolm Dejnožka, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dejnožka is the family name on the Bohemian Czech side of our family, and Vlk (Wolf in English) is the family name on the Moravian Czech side.
Thoughts of spiritual peace / Myslenky duchovního míru
Tao Te Ching
“Other people are contented, enjoying the sacrificial feast of the ox.
In spring some go to the park, and climb the terrace,
But I alone am drifting, not knowing where I am.
Like a newborn babe before it learns to smile,
I am alone, without a place to go.
“Others have more than they need, but I alone have nothing.
I am a fool. Oh yes! I am confused.
Other men are clear and bright,
But I alone am dim and weak
Other men are sharp and clever,
But I alone am dull and stupid.
Oh, I drift like the waves of the sea,
Without direction, like the restless wind.
“Everyone else is busy,
But I alone am aimless and depressed.
I am different.
I am nourished by the great mother.”
Ch. 20. Trans. by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English. New York: Vintage, 1972.
The Old Testament
“As thou knowest not what is the way of the wind,...
Even so thou knowest not the work of God who doeth all.
In the morning sow thy seed,
And in the evening withhold not thine hand:
For thou knowest not which shall prosper,
Whether this or that, or whether they both alike shall be good.” Ecclesiastes 11: 4-6.
The New Testament
“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.” Matthew 8: 20.
“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” John 3: 8.
“92. Who can trace the path of those who know the right food of life and, rejecting over-abundance, soar in the sky of liberation, the infinite Void without beginning? Their course is as hard to follow as that of the birds in the air.
“384. When beyond meditation and contemplation a Brahmin has reached the other shore, then he attains the supreme vision and all his fetters are broken.
“385. He for whom there is neither this nor the further shore, nor both, who, beyond all fear, is free―him I call a Brahmin.
“416. He who wanders without a home in this world, leaving behind the feverish thirst for the world, and the fever never returns―him I call a Brahmin.”
Trans. by Juan Mascaró. New York: Penguin, 1980.
“Two birds, inseparable friends, cling to the same tree. One of them eats the sweet fruit, the other looks on without eating....He is beyond all the forms of the tree (of the world) and of time, he is the other....He is the one bird in the midst of the world; he is also (like) the fire (of the sun) that has set in the ocean.”
The Upanishads. vol. 2. Trans. by Friedrich Max Muller. New York: Dover, 1962.
“Socrates: Yes, but there may be more to this question: I really do not know as yet, but we must follow the argument wherever, like a wind, it may lead us.”
Daisetz Taitero Suzuki, An Introduction to Zen Buddhism
“Upon what do the fowl of the air meditate? Upon what do the fish in the water meditate? They fly; they swim. Is that not enough?
“Zen is a wafting cloud in the sky. No screw fastens it, no string holds it; it wafts as it lists.
Zen wants to have one’s mind free and unobstructed; even the idea of oneness or allness is a stumbling-block and a strangling snare which threatens the original freedom of the spirit.
“The only way to get saved is to throw oneself right down into a bottomless abyss. And this is, indeed, no easy task.
“Life is an art, and like perfect art it should be self-forgetting; there ought not to be any trace of effort or painful feeling. Life, according to Zen, ought to be lived as a bird flies through the air or as a fish swims in the water.
“Zen abhors media, even the intellectual medium; it is primarily and ultimately a discipline and an experience, which is dependent on no explanation; for an explanation wastes time and energy and is never to the point; all that you get out of it is a misunderstanding and a twisted view of the thing. When Zen wants you to taste the sweetness of sugar, it will put the required article right into your mouth and no further words are said. The followers of Zen would say, A finger is needed to point at the moon, but what a calamity it would be if one took the finger for the moon!
“When Joshu (Chao-chao) was asked what the Tao (or the truth of Zen) was, he answered, ‘Your everyday life, that is the Tao.’
“Zen...appeals directly to life, not even making a reference to a soul or to God, or to anything that interferes with or disturbs the ordinary course of living. The idea of Zen is to catch life as it flows. There is nothing extraordinary or mysterious about Zen. I raise my hand; I take a book from the other side of this desk; I hear the boys playing ball outside my window; I see the clouds blown away beyond the neighbouring woods:—in all these I am practising Zen, I am living Zen. No wordy discussion is necessary, nor any explanation.”
Philosophical beginnings / Filosofické počáteky
Prefaces of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Russell, and Wittgenstein
Social conscience / Sociální svědomí
Bee friendly. My home garden and yard are bee friendly, meaning no herbicides or pesticides in over five years, and it's really more like ten. I originally stopped using the poisons because it was too much time and trouble, but it turned out to be a better thing than I thought. I like bees and want to help them. We had lots of bees in 2016, also butterflies and a hummingbird. (This is about my former home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We moved to North Carolina in July 2019.)
a. Two thirds of our food must be pollinated, yet we’re killing the pollinating bees with poisons.
b. Pesticide residues have been found in 75% of honey sold worldwide.
c. Major home supply chains sell “bee friendly” plants that are pre-treated with chemicals that poison bees.
d. An example of local “grass roots” help in my old home town, Ann Arbor.
e. Ideas for homeowners. Doing even just some of these things may help. All I did was stop using poisons, and plant wildflower mix from seed.
Young scientist has new idea to remove plastic from the oceans. See his Web site.
Pace Elon Musk, “There is no Planet B.”
If you give money through a charitable institution, please be sure to do an independent check on the institution. The standard rule of thumb is that it should be giving at least 80% of your money to the intended recipients, and using no more than 20% for administrative costs such as staff wages and advertising.
This Web site was started on June 17, 1998. This page was updated on September 5, 2021.