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Thomas Chatterton Williams on Reading, Practical Philosophy, and Embracing Contradiction



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Ryan reads today’s meditation and talks to author Thomas Chatterton Williams about how his father helped him cultivate his love for reading, why the point of philosophy should be practical application rather than theorizing, the importance of embracing contradicting ideas, and more.

Thomas Chatterton Williams is an American culture critic and is the author of two memoirs: “Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race” and “Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture.” In 2020, Thomas helped write and organize “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate.” This open letter, published in Harper’s Magazine and reprinted in newspapers around the world, defended free speech at a time of growing censorship and was signed by 153 leading public figures. Thomas is also a dedicated father, and much of his work is inspired by the relationship he shares with his father, and the relationship he has with his own children.

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