“In the world of ideas,” writes Kierkegaard in the introduction to Fear and Trembling, “everything can be had at absurdly low prices.”
Philosophy is exceedingly cheap. So, incidentally, is beer. Like beer, philosophy comes in a number of flavors and qualities: some is more heady; some is sweet; some is bitter. Some, I have found, is capable of making one physically ill if taken in large doses or on an empty stomach. So similar are beer and philosophy in their effects, that I cannot but categorize them as a natural pair.
In this blog, I serve up beer reviews with very short philosophical readings. Each reading is about one beer long. Also included are questions or thoughts about the readings and links to the complete texts in case you want to go from one beer to a full-blown drinking (and philosophizing) session.
The philosophy will give perspective to the beer and the beer will elevate the mind to philosophy. As Montaigne wrote: “our soul cannot from her own seat reach so high.” This is why we drink beer.
Especial credit is due to Wikisource and Bartleby for having so many texts available and to Men et Manus for providing an online copy of the Harvard Classics 15 Minutes a Day Reading List with live links to the aforementioned Bartleby texts. Lapham’s Quarterly also provides lots of great readings and inspiration.