FINN JANNING

– writer and philosopher

About this blog

“The truth is, reading is always more important than writing.” – Roberto Bolaño

This blog lives by the Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño’s statement regarding writing and reading. Reading enhances our lives because we—the readers—experience others’ lives, including their unique moral and emotional challenges. I can’t think of anything healthier than reading every day.

This blog, more specifically, deals with mostly philosophical literature. By “philosophical,” I’m referring to academic works, as well as essays and creative nonfiction. (The works mentioned under the headings “Book” and “Essays” are my own writing.) We can find philosophy everywhere, but I often find more interesting philosophical thinking in novels than in academic philosophical papers. Furthermore, the distinction between fiction and nonfiction is becoming increasingly blurry. For example, while Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle is sold as fiction, it could just as well be labeled nonfiction. More importantly, does this distinction really matter?

The idea for this blog came some years ago when I was low on money but addicted to reading books—especially nonfiction books, which tend to be ridiculously expensive. I contacted a publisher and made the following offer: send me a book, and, in return, I’ll review or write about the book. Equally importantly, I wanted to make philosophy more accessible. I believe it is crucial for everyone. Philosophy teaches us how to pay attention, nurtures critical thinking, and illustrates what it means to be thoughtful and reflective. It even tells us how self-care can lead to better knowledge about ourselves.

I studied business administration and philosophy at Copenhagen Business School. After completing my master’s degree, I continued my doctoral research in practical philosophy. During this period, I studied philosophy and literature at Duke University. For the first time at Duke, I truly experienced living the dream of just reading and writing. I finished my doctorate in 2005. I worked a few years as a human resource and management consultant before moving, in 2008, to Barcelona and beginning to write fulltime—financed solely by teaching a few courses at Toulouse Business School.

Ten years later, curiosity brought me back to school. This time, I studied for a Master in Mindfulness at the University of Zaragoza in Spain. During these studies, I thought about mixing mindfulness with the French philosopher Deleuze’s philosophy to make his ethics more operational. The result is the book: A Philosophy of Mindfulness: A Journey with Deleuze.

Writing and philosophizing is a way of hanging out with life, that is, going were life takes us. In that light, this blog is a philosophical laboratory as well as an ongoing writing experiment.

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