Everything fails. Oh, I know the sun will shine tomorrow, but in my life nothing is guaranteed success. I may eat mushrooms every day of my life but die of food poisoning at my last mushroom dinner. Or drop dead as I take my daily walk.

My philosophy can be no different. Certain aspects of what I believe are conditional on circumstance. It is hard to “seize the day” when alone on a lifeboat in mid-Atlantic, hard to “be enchanted” when starving or ill, hard to “keep perspective” when faced with violence.

Possibly like Maslow’s famous hierarchy, certain layers of philosophy are more useful at certain levels of existence. That does not negate the idea that others are more operable elsewhere. If I am snug and well fed I can contemplate life easily.

In a scientific age, we assume failure means wrong. A machine fails because it is broken. But in the realm of thought that is not true. A failure is more an indication that some belief is irrelevant rather than that it is incorrect.

Perhaps, then, the goal of a philosopher is to find a way to rapidly shift what is relevant to the forefront of consideration before acting. And to keep a large assemblage of alternate concepts in readiness.

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