We’re sure you’ve seen them. Those smart-ass dudes wearing clever T-shirts. They can be seen loitering about in cafés and bars, crouched over their Macbooks with a thoughtful facial expression. Feel like creating your own meaningful slogan T-shirt? Set yourself apart from the catchword people with custom tees that mean the wor(l)d.
Mind over matter
The phrase “mind over matter” was coined by Charles Leyell in 1863. In his book The Geological Evidence of the Antiquity of Man, Lyell used it to describe the increasing status and evolutionary growth of people’s minds throughout history. Today people use it to describe somebody’s ability to control pain by strength of mind. You also hear it uttered it in a proverbial way to emphasize that material goods are needless when compared to immaterial virtues. Love over money, life over wealth. Take this concept to create your own philosophy T-shirt while highlighting what is most important to you!
I think, therefore I am
René Descartes coined the phrase Cogito, ergo sum (“I think, therefore I am”) in his “Discourse on the Method”. When he wrote it in the early 1600s, it was still customary to write in Latin – hence its original phrasing. Fast forward 400 years, and people still use it to express the idea of being aware of their existence through cognitive abilities. It can be argued, however, that Descartes had something else in mind. He said that we cannot doubt our existence if we have the ability to doubt, so the idea of actually doubting our existence preceded the notion of imagining it. Hence, we’re able to deduce our existence. NSounds confusing? You can always customize your own T-shirt with your own favorite philosophy quote. Create a tee that’s all your own!
Sisyphus rolls boulder uphill
In Greek mythology, Sisyphus is the guy who the gods condemned to roll a boulder to the top of a mountain until it rolled down again. And since the Greek gods had a wicked sense of humor, they punished him to a never-ceasing repetition of this activity. This idea of eternal condemnation was picked up on by French philosopher Albert Camus when he wrote his essay The Myth of Sisyphus in 1942. Sisyphus metaphorically personified the absurdity of human life, describing our existence as a meaningless struggle that eventually concludes with death. But Camus also wrote that “one must imagine Sisyphus happy, as the struggle itself is enough to fill a man’s heart.” On this customized T-shirt, we imagined that Sisyphus quit eventually to shoot some hoops instead.
A Kantian quest
Immanuel Kant is famous for ringing in the Age of Enlightenment. Among his great ideas, the doctrine of transcendental idealism is probably the most notable one. It asserts that things exist in themselves, but we can never be sure about their actual nature. He was basically the first dude to question people’s conventional notions of space and time, and even cause and effect. We’ve come up with a little pun with our custom T-shirt example – can you think of a different way of personalising this shirt?
Who’s your homeboy?
Modern history has been determined by many great and not-so-great men in the course of the past centuries. One can’t help but wonder if things would’ve turned out better had women been more instrumental. Do you have any historical idols worthy of embellishing your T-shirt? Maybe now is the time to print your new favorite tee.
What’s your favorite philosophical quote? We’d like to discuss!