existential philosopher, warrior, lover, and shit like that


My name is Stefani Ruper, and I study the existential crisis of our modern moment:

our crippling anxiety, our aimlessness, our wrecked and aching howls into the void.

I ended up like this because I began suffering from panic attacks about dying and the meaning of life when I was four years old. Trying to sleep at night meant beating my head into the mattress, tearing my hair out in little clumps, and springing out of bed and pacing around my room like a caged animal.

I also remember swinging on a swing set when I was around eight years old. My friends were blissfully chattering about their upcoming Catechisms and Jesus. I looked off into the distance and thought about how the sun setting over the horizon was actually just a bunch of photons flying through a thin layer of air that hovers around a rock hurtling through space orbiting a giant mass of gas that will eventually explode.

Nowadays, I’ve got my existential ducks in a row and do exactly the opposite.

I use what I’ve learned about biology, evolution,  history, philosophy, science, and religion to explore WHY our world sucks so hard on an existential level… and, of course, WHAT can be done about it.

So I write books, I podcast, I spend way too much time on Instagram.

My next book, Existential Crisis: Finding Meaning in a Meaningless World, will come out in 2021 or 2022.

I’m here to finish what Nietzsche started.

Having the courage to ask questions is the most important thing we can do for ourselves and the planet.

Part of our problem is most “public intellectuals” don’t understand much or make much room for nuance.

Not me. I’m committed, desperately, to bridging that gap.

I am a firm believer that intellectual rigour is key to our ability to come up with ideas that can actually make a difference. We desperately need more scholars in public discourse, and perhaps especially on these key questions about human nature, feeling, and belief. It is my mission in life to fill this gap.

Insofar as I am a scholar, I am only this because I believe having the courage to ask questions is the most important thing we can do for ourselves and the planet. I am not just here as a thinker but as a human who has known real darkness, who has peered over the edge of her sanity, who has struggled to make sense of things, who has failed, who has felt broken, who has learned how to put pieces back together, and who believes the thing that will ultimately save us is our indominable will—our refusal to give up or go gently into any good night.

It would be an honor if you would join me in the quest to better know ourselves and our world, so that we may become the best possible versions of ourselves. You can read some things I have written here, and can listen to or watch Naked Humanity. You can join in the discussion, ask questions, and make comments on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, or subscribe to occasional email updates.

With fire and love,