philosophical tomes

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shinelikeanewpin
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philosophical tomes

Post by shinelikeanewpin » Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:14 am

so, i saw martijn's nice thread on history books, and i thought, hell, why not start one up for people who, like me, enjoy sifting through the dense prose of books on philosophy. so tell me, dear, what's your favorite theoretical tome? preferred thinker? theory of choice? i'd love to know.

as for me, i've just finished walter kaufmann's fine nietzsche: philosopher, psychologist, antichrist, and i'm currently knee-deep in plato's euthyphro. it's one of his earlier dialouges, from 399 bc, i believe, and its home to one of the famous problems for monotheistic religion - "is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?" he's tricking, that socrates.
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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by mimpkin » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:32 pm

The other day a friend texted me a quote by Nietzsche. ‘Have you read any Nietzsche?’ she said.

Then today someone said to me, “You are just a Greek Materialist aren’t you?’

Mmm, now it is important for me to find out about these philosophers. Philosophy is something that sounds interesting but I get put off by thinking what if I don't understand it?
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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by aorta » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:16 am

I like anything by Wittgenstein and Baudrillard, but I'm not sure what they are on about.

The Ghost in the Machine by Arthur Koestler is an interesting mix of philosophy and psychiatry.

I've also been reading Carl Jung recently, but that is more psychology. I like to think that it's kind of like philosophy.

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu is another interesting read.
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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by shinelikeanewpin » Sat Dec 06, 2008 9:20 pm

mimpkin wrote:The other day a friend texted me a quote by Nietzsche. ‘Have you read any Nietzsche?’ she said.

Then today someone said to me, “You are just a Greek Materialist aren’t you?’

Mmm, now it is important for me to find out about these philosophers. Philosophy is something that sounds interesting but I get put off by thinking what if I don't understand it?
its not too hard, if you know how to get good introductions to the philosophers and theories. even if some of the writing is above your head (as it often is with me), there are plenty of scholars who publish guides to certain philosophers, in rather basic english. take nietzsche, for example. here's the stanford encyclopedia of philosophy intro to him...

Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher of the late 19th century who challenged the foundations of Christianity and traditional morality. He believed in life, creativity, health, and the realities of the world we live in, rather than those situated in a world beyond. Central to his philosophy is the idea of “life-affirmation,” which involves an honest questioning of all doctrines that drain life's energies, however socially prevalent those views might be. Often referred to as one of the first existentialist philosophers, Nietzsche's revitalizing philosophy has inspired leading figures in all walks of cultural life, including dancers, poets, novelists, painters, psychologists, philosophers, sociologists and social revolutionaries.

here's a good collection of his writings...
http://www.amazon.com/Writings-Nietzsch ... 965&sr=8-1

and here is a good book on his entire philosophy, written by another philosopher...
http://www.amazon.com/Nietzsche-Philoso ... 082&sr=1-1
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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by mimpkin » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:45 am

Thank you, I will look those up.

I've wikied 'materialism' and the page seems to be full of words referencing words ending in 'ism'. Mmm, I'll be a while sorting this out.
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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by Martijn » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:32 am

I keep meaning to read more philosophy. I did a (mandatory) module on philosophy at university, which was an overview of all the great philosophers. It was really interesting, albeit somewhat tough, for the professor was really old-fashioned. Then I read Sophie's World and it covered almost the same topics, yet in a more understandable way. Perhaps I should just start by reading that book again.

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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by mimpkin » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:28 pm

Oooh, thanks for that recommendation, there is a copy about the house somewhere, so I shall have a read too.
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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by gumdrops+lollipops » Wed Dec 10, 2008 2:00 am

I adore critical theory.

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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by Damian » Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:01 pm

I like Kant, 'The Critique of Pure Reason' especially. I like his ontological arguments.

I like Heidegger too, even if he was a big old Nazi. Being and Time is great.

There's all the obvious classics too, like Republic or Thus Spake Zarathustra, but my favourite philosophy book is Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle. The first time I looked at it was way back at university, but that idea of eudamonia which he explores in the book, has stayed with me more than any other.

I think I'm just a big fan of Ethics. Which leads me to one last book, 'Practical Ethics' by Peter Singer. That's well worth a read too. It's contemporary too, or more contemporary at least and as such, in my own opinion, a much more straightforward read.

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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by shinelikeanewpin » Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:18 pm

gumdrops+lollipops wrote:I adore critical theory.
like, frankfurt school of critical theory? if so, that's awesome, because i love them too! i finished erich fromm's the art of love last year, and i'm looking to start theodor adorno's aesthetic theory when i can afford it (sigh, philosophy books are expensive). the graduate school i'm looking to go to was founded by the frankfurt school after they got kicked out of germany by heidegger's chums, the nazis. its the only school in america to exclusively teach critical theory of marxism and continental philosophy.
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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by Dan » Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:03 pm

Would anybody like to read these, and then explain Lacan to me?

I'm watching a video of Alain Badiou and Cornel West at the moment. I don't know a lot about Badiou at all - I had no idea he makes so many lame jokes!

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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by Emilie » Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:05 am

Whoa-hoa! I've never heard anyone mention Walter Kaufman before. I read his "Faith of a Heratic" and thought it was really cool. Not all of it made sense to me, but some of the concepts still cross my mind, which I think speaks well of a book I read years ago.
My all-time favorite philosophy book is Seneca's "Letters from a Stoic". Even though he probably would have been really annoying to have a conversation with.

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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by this clump of trees » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:21 am

Dan wrote:I'm watching a video of Alain Badiou and Cornel West at the moment. I don't know a lot about Badiou at all - I had no idea he makes so many lame jokes!
badiou is alright. read the century, ethics: an essay on the understanding of evil, and polemics. beware his politics. he claims he's a maoist but he barely stops short of using the term "islamofascism" when he discusses 9/11.

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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by gumdrops+lollipops » Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:51 am

like, frankfurt school of critical theory? if so, that's awesome, because i love them too! i finished erich fromm's the art of love last year, and i'm looking to start theodor adorno's aesthetic theory when i can afford it (sigh, philosophy books are expensive). the graduate school i'm looking to go to was founded by the frankfurt school after they got kicked out of germany by heidegger's chums, the nazis. its the only school in america to exclusively teach critical theory of marxism and continental philosophy.
I am hoping to read more full theory books next year, when I write my honours mini-thesis. In the meantime, I'm working my way through the Norton Anthology and writing a rambling paper on canonization: how weird it is that Marxist and Marxist-influenced writings have become part of the theoretical canon in Western (capitalist) society, and what that does to the arguments of these texts. I really wish I had a copy of Vincent B. Leitch's Theory Matters, but alas, not even my library does.

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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by Dan » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:58 pm


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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by Dan » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:01 pm

^^^btw I haven't yet read The Century but I have intermittently been reading Being and Event, a lot of it's over my head.

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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by michael » Sun May 31, 2009 5:28 am

Reading Richard Rorty had a big impact on me. Just going to think a bit about what to say.

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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by michael » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:27 am

What I recall most is something like this; a view of truth where your statements are more or less true depending on how well they fit with the other things you believe, as opposed to a view where your statements are more or less true depending on how well they fit with the world.

This has implications for the type of thinking you might do, as you note Rorty says about philosophy.

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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by a layer of chips » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:58 am


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Re: philosophical tomes

Post by a layer of chips » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:55 am


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