How Do We Approach Ideas?
The editorial team at Erraticus is dedicated to engaging with ideas from a practical perspective, fostering a community committed to fruitful ideas. We are passionate about our approach to ideas but hope to hold these pragmatic values gently and with intellectual humility.
"There is no certainty in philosophy, but then there is no certainty anywhere else either, and being able to choose what we want to believe should be at least a partial compensation for never being able to let our guard down by feeling sure."
Read some of the essays that embody the pragmatic values of Erraticus.
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Erraticus Recommended Readings
Dig deeper into the textual soil that informs much of the Erraticus community.
Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking by William James
First published in 1907, James presents philosophical pragmatism as a way of resolving metaphysical disputes, pushing us to evaluate the fruitfulness of ideas based on their practical consequences in our daily lives.
A History of God by Karen Armstrong
Weaving together the three major monotheistic faiths—Christianity, Judaism, and Islam—Karen Armstrong tells the epic story or intellectual history of how various peoples forged and reforged the idea of God to fit their social and political needs.
The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America by Louis Menand
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Menand details the history of several influential Americans around the turn of the twentieth century: William James, Charles Sanders Peirce, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and John Dewey. Few intellectual figures loom larger in American studies.
A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women by Siri Hustvedt
In addition to artistic criticism, Siri Hustvedt obscures the divisions between the humanities and hard sciences, and takes the computational theory of mind head on, inviting us to be more humble about how much we can really claim to know about our inner lives.
Stoic Pragmatism by John Lachs
Beloved philosopher John Lachs brings together two distinct philosophies, stoicism and pragmatism, into one cohesive perspective using the strengths of each tradition to buttress against the weaknesses of the other.
The Solace of Open Spaces by Gretel Ehrlich
In the tradition of Annie Dillard and Henry David Thoreau, Ehrlich reflects on the harshness of natural forces in Wyoming, demonstrating the powerful relationship one can develop with nature when one allows themselves to love a place in its entirety.
The Myths We Live By by Mary Midgley
Rather than place myth in opposition to scientific inquiry or truth-seeking, she argues for the symbolic force of myth. It's a welcome challenge to scientific reductivism, inviting us to lean into our imaginative abilities.
Sick Souls, Healthy Minds: How William James Can Save Your Life by John Kaag
Part memoir, part biography, the philosopher John Kaag offers an accessible look into the ideas of William James and the potential they have to help us live more flourishing lives.
Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing by Margaret Atwood
More of an exploration into the spiritual—and even mystical—nature of writing, Atwood gives a moving defense of the arts and the possibilities they open up to us. Writers and readers alike will benefit from her wisdom.
Achieving Our Country by Richard Rorty
Perhaps one of the most iconoclastic philosophers of the twentieth century, Richard Rorty provides a history of leftist thought, highlighting the differences between the Reformist Left and the Cultural Left. Many of his insights remain relevant today.
The Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram
A major work in ecology and phenomenology, philosopher and sleight-of-hand magician David Abram proposes a way of being in the world that challenges abstraction. He nudges us toward a more embodied and pre-rational interaction with nature.
Essays, 1993-2017 by Wendell Berry
A collection from the great agrarian essayist, poet, and novelist. This selection offers a glimpse into Berry's defense of localism, community, and environmental conservation.