Why Figs in Winter?

Figs in Winter is the blog – and all purpose reference site – of Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher and scientist at the City College of New York who subscribes to the radical notion that his profession ought to make us better human beings, not merely more learned ones.

The title phrase comes from this quote by the Stoic philosopher Epictetus, commenting on the impermanence of all things:

“If you long for your child or your friend, when it is not given you to have them, know that you are longing for a fig in winter time.” (Discourses III, 24.86)

The time to enjoy our loved ones and everything that makes life meaningful, therefore, is right now.