Ideas of E.M. Cioran, by Theme

[Roumanian, 1911 - 1995, Freelance writer.]

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1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 3. Wisdom Deflated
Wisdom is just the last gasp of a dying civilization
1. Philosophy / B. History of Ideas / 1. History of Ideas
Intelligence only fully flourishes at the end of a historical period
The history of ideas (and deeds) occurs in a meaningless environment
Ideas are neutral, but people fill them with passion and weakness
A nation gives expression to its sum of values, and is then exhausted
Some thinkers would have been just as dynamic, no matter when they had lived
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 7. Despair over Philosophy
I abandoned philosophy because it didn't acknowledge melancholy and human weakness
Originality in philosophy is just the invention of terms
The mind is superficial, only concerned with the arrangement of events, not their significance
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 1. Nature of Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a universalisation of physical anguish
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 3. Metaphysical Systems
Great systems of philosophy are just brilliant tautologies
2. Reason / C. Styles of Reason / 1. Dialectic
No great idea ever emerged from a dialogue
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 9. Rejecting Truth
Truth is just an error insufficiently experienced
Eventually every 'truth' is guaranteed by the police
5. Theory of Logic / K. Features of Logics / 1. Axiomatisation
An axiom has no more authority than a frenzy
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / a. Consciousness
Our instincts had to be blunted and diminished, to make way for consciousness!
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 2. Origin of Concepts / a. Origin of concepts
We use concepts to master our fears; saying 'death' releases us from confronting it
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / c. Reasons as causes
I want to suppress in myself the normal reasons people have for action
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / a. Nature of value
Values don't accumulate; they are ruthlessly replaced
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 2. Values / e. Love
Lovers are hateful, apart from their hovering awareness of death
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / c. Purpose of ethics
At a civilisation's peak values are all that matters, and people unconsciously live by them
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 1. Existentialism
Man is never himself; he always aims at less than life, or more than life
To live authentically, we must see that philosophy is totally useless
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 2. Nihilism
Evidence suggests that humans do not have a purpose
The pointlessness of our motives and irrelevance of our gestures reveals our vacuity
The universe is dirty and fragile, as if a scandal in nothingness had produced its matter
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 3. Angst
We can only live because our imagination and memory are poor
Life is now more dreaded than death
Unlike other creatures, mankind seems lost in nature
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 4. Boredom
If you lack beliefs, boredom is your martyrdom
History is the bloody rejection of boredom
No one is brave enough to say they don't want to do anything; we despise such a view
You are stuck in the past if you don't know boredom
24. Applied Ethics / B. Moral Rights / 2. Sexual Morality
We all need sexual secrets!
24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 4. Suicide
No one has ever found a good argument against suicide
Religions see suicide as insubordination
If you have not contemplated suicide, you are a miserable worm
25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / c. Natural authority
It is pointless to refuse or accept the social order; we must endure it like the weather
25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / a. Autocracy
Opportunists can save a nation, and heroes can ruin it
25. Society / B. The State / 8. Religion in Society
The ideal is to impose a religion by force, and then live in doubt about its beliefs
25. Society / E. State Functions / 4. Education / d. History study
Despite endless suggestions, no one has found a goal for history
History is wonderfully devoid of meaning
28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 4. God Reflects Humanity
Why is God so boring, and why does God resemble humanity so little?
29. Religion / C. Spiritual Disciplines / 2. Taoism
As the perfect wisdom of detachment, philosophy offers no rivals to Taoism
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 1. Religious Commitment / a. Religious Belief
When man abandons religion, he then follows new fake gods and mythologies
A religion needs to motivate killings, and cannot tolerate rivals
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 2. Immortality / e. Hell
Circles of hell are ridiculous; all that matters is to be there