Pondering the palimpsest and panoply of the planet.


My name is David James. I am from South Carolina, though I have travelled and lived abroad for many years and now reside in Italy, where I am an English teacher. I enjoy rock climbing, hiking, and (obviously) reading and writing.

This website is my creative outlet for short essays I like to write about things that I think about, especially my main interests of philosophy, history, and literature. If you have any questions, comments, or would like to contact me, use the comment section freely.

I also write and co-edit a leftist intellectual veteran’s literary magazine at www.wrath-bearingtree.com with four other friends of mine. We mainly discuss issues dealing with war and violence as they relate to the larger society and culture. We also publish fiction and poetry. Go take a look there also.

Thanks for reading!


15 thoughts on “About

  1. ciao, Dave. it was fast! bravissimo!


  2. charles on said:

    Hail, Tarrier of Truth and Tortellini. May rationalist spears be ever whetted by the sharpness of their wit! 😀


  3. Hello David, judging from yr historical/philosophical bent you may be interested to read a recent book called BEFORE THE DELUSION by Wm Gleeson – published in UK but listed on Amazon etc. It looks a little Dan Brownish – but isn’t – but contains impressive research of pre-Christian literary and archaeological records of ‘technology’ and the origins of religion.
    Sounds odd I know but trust me – it’s worth a look
    cheers, Ross


  4. Dominic Hyde on said:

    Hello David, I just wanted to write and say how much I’ve enjoyed your site (or the little bit that I’ve seen on it so far). It’s good to see such thoughtful observations on a huge range topics in one place. I thought I’d recommend George Santayana’s criticism of Nietzsche as an interesting companion to Russell’s (you’ll find it online, if it takes your fancy). Keep up the good work, it’s been a pleasure reading thus far!


  5. Hello David! Thanks for your blog, its sincerity and breadth is very inspiring.
    You seem to have a very humane and honest way of presenting and discussing material that is otherwise alienating because of its surface difficulty and opaqueness. Your blog provides a great service to the curious mind.
    I have only read a few articles (so far concerning Russell, Kant and Nietzsche) but am excited to continue reading.
    Do you like poetry? I published a cycle recently and would be honoured if I could send you a copy with the hopes that you may enjoy it and find it thought provoking. The cycle project site is http://misbeliever.net
    I intend to publish in philosophy soon building on some of the reflections stated more concretely in the poetry…any comments you may have would therefore be appreciated as they may help shape my future approach. thanks!


  6. David, this is a great blog. I’m glad I found it. So much to check out here.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great blog. I especially liked the post about Berlin’s conception of positive and negative liberty.


  8. Kate Whitfield on said:

    I found your site as I was looking for info about getting an Italian drivers’ license. My dream is to move there after retirement. After reading your piece, I am not looking forward to that process.

    Then I started reading some of your pieces on philosophy and philosophers. I took probably 3 or 4 philosophy electives as an undergraduate but that was long, long ago. My question; do you have a reading list of the books you most enjoy or think are the most important?


    • Kate, don’t let a little bureaucracy stand in the way of your dream. I certainly have my own reading list. Are you asking only about philosophy or anything in general. If the former you could start with great overall surveys such as Russell’s History of Western Philosophy or Durant’s Story of Philosophy. You could try to read any of the classic texts from Plato to today, depending on which topics suit your interest. Hume and Spinoza are good, as are Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, as are Rawls and Rorty. Thanks for reading.


    • Kate Whitfield on said:

      I was asking about philosophy books but am always looking for other things to read. I just got your 2016 reading list via email; you are indeed a prodigious reader.

      I am not giving up on Italy. I have an appointment to get an Italian passport at the end of this month at a consulate in the US. I had asked them if I could get a driver license in Italy via reciprocity but that would be too easy, wouldn’t it? (You can do that in Germany with a license from select US states.) I also was in Germany and Italy with the US Army, had a NATO license and wish the EU one was so easy.

      Thanks for your reply. Buon Anno!

      Liked by 1 person

      • As far as I know you cannot convert your US license in Italy. Germany is a different story. If you really want to avoid going through the process in Italy, you could look into other EU countries doing some sort of conversion, and then that license would be valid also in Italy. Good luck, and thanks for reading!


  9. Hey David…Greetings from Charleston. Sorry you live in Italy and not here as the intellectual life of this fabulous city could use an upgrade. Will look forward to your continued posts.


  10. Hey David, we haven’t heard from you in a while. Just FYI, I have nominated you for the 3-day-3-quote challenge: https://weneedtotalkaboutbooks.com/2018/04/25/3-day-3-quotes-challenge-day-two/


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