GOOD
New Translation of Descartes Brings Philosophy to the Bro Masses

image via kickstarter screen capture

Bros, Dudes, Brahs, and Homies, rejoice!


I know philosophy can be, like, hard, and stuff, but never fear—Tommy Maranges is here to help distill some of history’s greatest thinkers and their totally complex thoughts into a language you can all understand: Bro-Speak.

Maranges, AKA “Philosophy Bro,” has made a name for himself online by translating essays by philosophers like Aristotle and Schopenhauer, updating them from their original, obtuse text, so even the bro-iest of bros will find the works accessible. Think of what he does as Spark Notes, just after seven or eight vodka red bulls. And now, after publishing his translations online, Maranges is preparing to publish his most ambitious project to date: A full, hard-copy translation of Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy.

To publish Descartes’ Meditations, Bro as a book, Maranges has turned to Kickstarter to crowdfund the various printing, shipping and design costs. There he explains:

When Rene Descartes wrote Meditations on First Philosophy, widely considered the founding text of modern philosophy, he was trying to answer fundamental questions about how we can have knowledge about the world around us. But Descartes wasn't writing for you, he was writing for a bunch of academics three hundred years ago. His argument is dense and relies on metaphysics popular in 1641. Do you know what the fuck they believed in 1641? They were still on crazy Aristotle bullshit like "angels are realer than people!" and "nerves are just ropes!" Plus, he wrote the original in Latin, because he was a show-off who hated fun.

Anywho, those old fucks are dead now and you still have questions, which is why Descartes' Meditations, Bro emphasizes readability. It IS written for you, but it's not just wildly entertaining. DMB follows Descartes' arguments step-by-step, weaving contemporary analogies and in-depth explanations of the background assumptions into a comic narrative that parallels the original text paragraph-by-paragraph.

Here’s what he has in mind:

Maranges has also released his translation of Descartes’ first meditation, to give readers a sense of what to expect.

While his translations may not sit all that well with purists who insist students grapple with history’s greatest thinkers in the original text, Maranges’s works have, he claims, been adopted by a number of not-lame teachers who understand that great ideas are great ideas, no matter what language they’re written in, bro.

[via Paper]

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