BOREDOM DOESN’T have to be a drag.
Although everyone experiences boredom from time to time, defining it is hard. To complicate things, there are different kinds says Canadian Philosopher Mark Kingwell -there is the everyday boredom and philosophical boredom.
“The most important distinction, I think, is between the boredom of restless engagement—mostly with technology or with modern life—and philosophical boredom, which is this interesting tradition that runs at least from Schopenhauer and Heidegger through Kirkegaard. But you could even trace it back to Aristotle where philosophers want us to reflect on the conditions of life when we feel like our desires are stalled. Stalled desire: that’s what boredom is,” he told CBC Radio’s Spark (May 5, 2019).
“Stalled desire” maybe, but I like Adam Phillips’ definition: “the paradoxical wish for a desire.” It’s paradoxical because you think that a wish would end in a desire. Schopenhauer (1788-1870) had a similar idea: “tame longing without any particular object.”
David Charbonneau is a retired TRU electronics instructor who hosts a blog at http://www.eyeviewkamloops.wordpress.com.