On Two Minute Treatise
Deep thought and philosophical questioning often seem locked behind insurmountable barriers that aren’t realistic for every day life. People deem themselves too busy to read any books at all, let alone dense philosophical treatises that often challenge their inner being. In day-to-day life, philosophy may be a passing interest, but it falls to the wayside. The culture of short, fast, and efficient is antithetical to rumination over theoretical ideas and ontological exercises. Anyone who studies philosophy, though, will tell you of its value in their life, and the impact it has had on their perception of the world around them. Therefore, the problem: how can more people incorporate philosophical study and reflection in their daily life while fitting into the short, fast, efficient framework necessitated by the culture-at-large? The answer: Two Minute Treatise.
Two Minute Treatise is a one page, single-spaced, two minute read about a philosophical topic. It is not meant to be an exhaustive explanation; rather, it is the briefest introduction possible while maintaining integrity of ideas and providing a unique perspective. Often, I will incorporate quotes from works I have read, larger treatises, or interesting videos and articles that I find valuable as I dive deeper in the philosophical, mindfulness, and self-help worlds. I will circle back around to topics from time to time in order to provide different perspective or additional insight in an effort to keep things concise and accessible on a daily basis.
My philosophical background is rooted primarily in the revived Hellenistic philosophy of Stoicism (I am a Stoic-in-training!) but I have also studied Nietzsche, educational philosophy and psychology (ranging from Socrates to Vygotsky and Freire), self-help, and mindfulness. The eclectic nature of my studies produces a unique blend of insights while remaining accessible. I am, by no means, an ivory-tower philosopher— rather, I am a lover of learning who wants to bring others along for the journey.
My primary influences include the authors and writers Ryan Holiday (Daily Stoic), James Clear (Atomic Habits), Dr. Christopher Willard (Growing Up Mindful), David Perell (Write of Passage), and Isaac Saul (Tangle); video essayist Natalie Wynn (ContraPoints on Youtube); Brady Hardin and Chuck Parson (The Life After Podcast); and the many philosophers who have provided accessible texts that challenge every facet of my understanding (especially Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Soren Kirkegaard, and Friedrich Nietzsche). There will be a lot of overlap between the above influences but, as David Perell says: “imitate, then innovate.”
Entrepreneur and political activist Andrew Yang’s 2020 presidential election slogan comes to mind when I consider this project: “make America think harder.” It is easy to take life for granted and live adequately, but have you ever considered how to live well? Nothing comes without study and practice. And that’s my goal here: starting a practice of intentional consideration of the aspects of living well.
It is my hope that this project resonates with people looking to incorporate philosophical thinking into their daily lives. Studying philosophy has caused a radical shift in the way that I think about my life, and I find it disheartening that it seems so inaccessible. As they say with mindfulness meditation, even five minutes a day can show drastic results; I am hoping that two minutes a day can be the spark that it takes to increase thoughtfulness and give you a starting point for the study of living well.
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