A philosophy of boredom by Lars Svendsen, John Irons

By Lars Svendsen, John Irons

It has been defined as a "tame longing with none specific item" by means of Schopenhauer, "a bestial and indefinable ailment" by way of Dostoevsky, and "time's invasion of your international process" by means of Joseph Brodsky, yet nonetheless only a few folks this day can clarify accurately what boredom is. A Philosophy of Boredom investigates one of many critical preoccupations of our age because it probes the character of boredom, the way it originated, how and why it afflicts us, and why we won't appear to triumph over it by way of any act of will.

Lars Svendsen brings jointly observations from philosophy, literature, psychology, theology, and pop culture, interpreting boredom's pre-Romantic manifestations in medieval torpor, philosophical musings on boredom from Pascal to Nietzsche, and smooth explorations into alienation and transgression through twentieth-century artists from Beckett to Warhol. A witty and enjoyable account of our dullest moments and so much maddening days, A Philosophy of Boredom will entice somebody curious to grasp what lies underneath the overpowering inertia of inactivity.

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But the concept of meaning I am referring to has a further perspective, because we are talking about a meaning that is inextricably linked to being a meaning for someone. Peter Wessel Zapffe attempted to articulate a concept of meaning: That an action or some other fragment of life has meaning means that it gives us a quite specific feeling that is not easy to translate into thought. 65 29 This is an odd sort of definition, but it contains the vital element – that this meaning is related to a person’s goaloriented use of the world.

But man did not fulfil the role of a god all that successfully. ’ In the absence of God man assumed the role of gravitational centre for meaning – but this was a role he managed to fill only to a small extent. boredom, work and leisure Boredom is connected to reflection, and in all reflection there is a tendency towards a loss of world. Reflection decreases via diversions, but this will always be a passing phenomenon. Work is often less boring than diversions are, but the person 33 who advocates work as a cure for boredom is confusing a temporary removal of the symptoms with curing a disease.

This is also evident in 51 today’s psychological investigations. Such an approach is unsatisfactory because it overlooks the possibility that the outside world – rather than the person – is the problem, or disallows that the world plays any decisive role at all. Boredom is not just a phenomenon that afflicts individuals; it is, to just as great an extent, a social and cultural phenomenon. from pascal to nietzsche The most prominent early theoretician of boredom is Pascal. He also forms a suitable transition from acedia to boredom since he so closely links boredom to a theological complex of problems.

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