Socrates, accepting the poison.

Is the history of philosophy different from the history of the press? Journalists mourn the loss of their credibility — yet a similar and much older complaint also haunts philosophers. Both are concerned with truth — and so, there is room to read our modern media distrust as an extension of a longer rejection of philosophy. How have philosophers led to their own banishment from the famed Agora… and how can we bring back trust in the word / world?

Ancient Greece, or the Infancy of Distrust

‘Plato as the first journalist’ — a bold hypothesis, yet the philosopher did…


It may be that philosophers of the past were not pansexual enough (if one loves everything, how can one think something?) to ask themselves whether lying about one’s own sexuality to others counts at all, or as much, as the other lies we entertain to each other. Kant: we must not lie — sure, but what would the German philosopher, for whom we credit a few homophobic remarks, know about the need to lie about one’s own secret truth? “Does lying in the closet count?” …


Mulberry street

Curating chaos, a contradiction in terms. Curation aims to create an order to things. How does chaos result from curation, and why would anyone embark on this counter-intuitive endeavor? These questions follow me in my investigation of Mulberry Street Public Library (MSPL); a location as chaotic in design as in peoples — its colors and chairs, sounds and stairs, matching the diversity of its inter-class, inter-race, inter-age patrons. Is it the overall chaos itself responsible for its diversity; if so, how does this come about? I propose three hypotheses with regards to theorizing the chaos in MSPL and its hypothetical…


Policing Parks, almost a contradiction in terms. If parks are the escape from the real world, with its attending rules and restrictions, is it even desirable to police them too? Central Park’s 85th street intersection, for onlookers, would at first sight deserve some attention. The clash between citibikers and cyclists, the likelihood of a skateboard rolling underneath a car, or the regularity of small children on smaller bikes being chased by Boathouse pickup vans — these are but few problems observed on the crossing. The game of thrones on the lane must stop, but how does one start policing parks?


Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

When Harry Potter was named the boy who lived, the only wizard whom Voldemort’s spell could not break, few were then wondering whether there would be life at all for the whole cast of the franchise once the blood-splattered rivalry with death-eaters is over.

Today, the cast member that has grossed the biggest fortune outside the franchise is not the boy who lived but the girl, Emma Watson. UN speaker. Co-star with Tom Hanks. Even Belle from Disney. How can we explain Emma Watson’s transformation after Harry Potter? …


“Hi Rayyan,

Sorry for the mammoth delay in getting back to you about this one. I’ve had a proper read through now and started to edit it… but — and this might sound a bit silly — I think it’s a bit too clever for us.

What I mean by that is that you’d need a proper understanding of Antigone for starters to be able to truly understand what you’re getting at here, let alone a deeper knowledge of Greek tragedies, Judith Butler, James Baldwin, Sophocles, Socrates and Hannah Arendt.

Do you see what I mean?

My main concern is…


Around the globe, sexual minorities participate in a tragi-romantic-comedy. It has been 40 years since Judith Butler first conceived gender as a performance… and yet the struggle for gay rights, its political theatres in Moscow or Washington, its costumed rivals in Warsaw or Mecca, has followed a dangerous script about love.

Surrounded with hashtags such as #LoveWins or #LoveIsLove, LGBT rights may be as doomed as Greek tragedies. Antigone, for example, could be read as a cautionary tale about the lethal combination between love and rights. No one believes the tragic heroine’s appeal for the right of her brother to…


Rainbow-striped caps. Football v. Homophobia sweatshirts. A team made up exclusively of queer men. Despite efforts to foster a friendlier environment for closeted soccer players, today’s inclusive discourse has yet to tackle the elephant in the (locker) room: commercial viability.

In a time when Cristiano Ronaldo amasses a whopping 47 million dollars in product endorsements yearly, soccer stars now sweat over finals and followers, goals and galas. …


It is 2020, and our school systems are picking up on the signs of the times. We are teaching our children to embrace our hyper-connected world: by adopting a second language, or learning how to code. Under the rug of modernity lies, surely, older traditions, older disciplines such as philosophy, which is taught at a distance from the world, not in its absorption. To better understand the condition of teaching philosophy in high schools today, I interviewed Sana El-Khalil, a veteran humanities teacher who today celebrates her 36th year of teaching. …


Much has been discussed about Hannah Arendt’s political theories. Her views on political affairs, however, are relatively more obscure and usually buried within her correspondences with friends and family or in her writings prior to her acclaimed Origins of Totalitarianism. I propose to briefly look into this literature and assess Hannah Arendt’s knowledge of postwar German politics. As a German-Jewish exile from Nazi Germany and a naturalized American by 1951, how has her knowledge of her homeland been produced by her forced transatlantic viewpoint? Was she able to predict Germany’s political future?

What is fascinating about Hannah Arendt’s views is…

Rayyan Dabbous

Rayyan Dabbous is a Lebanese author. His recent books include DIY Creative Activism: A Handbook (2019) and Psychoanalysis of a Teenage Novelist (2020).

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