Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 1145971 times)

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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11600 on: October 24, 2021, 09:30:55 AM »
Hi Brett - I was thinking of getting Russell's A History of Western Philosophy as a Kindle edition but stated to be 930 printed pages - at my age, I rarely read books over 400 or so pages (just don't have the attention span of my younger years); so looked at the Five Best Books on Western Philosophy and Anthony Kenny's name is mentioned multiple times, but his 'best book' below is 1000 pages - YIKES!  He has less daunting other books (e.g. 'brief history').  Finally, in my consideration is the Columbia History of Western Philosophy stated to be 800+ pages, a book edited by Richard Popkin w/ 63 contributors.  I may explore Kenny's shorter books?  Dave :)

   

I have the book by Kenny, as well as the book by Russell. While the both are excellent, the former is very enjoyable. You don’t have to read all the pages, just pick the sections/issues you would like. The book is a compilation of separate volumes originally issued. You could buy separate volumes of the original books as well.

P.s. Bryan Magee’s Great Philosophers is a fun, small book.

« Last Edit: October 24, 2021, 09:59:11 AM by Dry Brett Kavanaugh »

Offline Artem

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11601 on: October 24, 2021, 09:50:25 AM »
Russel's is very readable. Conveniently separated into chapters it is manageable, although my paperback is pretty heavy.

Offline Brian

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11602 on: October 24, 2021, 10:11:06 AM »
I'm also considering Russell's great big book so appreciate the comments and conversation. I have Bryan Magee's book "Ultimate Questions" summing up his personal life of learning and views and it too is very fun and small. So I'm quite tempted to read more of his work as well.

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11603 on: October 24, 2021, 01:00:01 PM »


Half way through: "Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany"

Which is a much more serious work than the cover and title might suggest.

« Last Edit: October 24, 2021, 01:01:45 PM by SimonNZ »

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11604 on: October 24, 2021, 07:17:51 PM »
I'm also considering Russell's great big book so appreciate the comments and conversation. I have Bryan Magee's book "Ultimate Questions" summing up his personal life of learning and views and it too is very fun and small. So I'm quite tempted to read more of his work as well.

All of Magee’s books are great (though I haven’t read his novels). The book below maybe relevant to this forum.

Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11605 on: October 25, 2021, 07:01:42 AM »
Hi Brett - I was thinking of getting Russell's A History of Western Philosophy as a Kindle edition but stated to be 930 printed pages - at my age, I rarely read books over 400 or so pages (just don't have the attention span of my younger years); so looked at the Five Best Books on Western Philosophy and Anthony Kenny's name is mentioned multiple times, but his 'best book' below is 1000 pages - YIKES!  He has less daunting other books (e.g. 'brief history').  Finally, in my consideration is the Columbia History of Western Philosophy stated to be 800+ pages, a book edited by Richard Popkin w/ 63 contributors.  I may explore Kenny's shorter books?  Dave :)

   

Russel's History of Western Philosophy is very readable and I recall it taking a bemused or irreverent attitude towards many of the philosophical movements it describes. It is a personal account, rather than a textbook.

Offline Jo498

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11606 on: October 25, 2021, 08:14:24 AM »
Read Russell if you want a smugly biased perspective from an early 20th century analytic philosopher that has not aged that well. If you want to read a good history of philosophy look elsewhere.

If you want to read a good accessible book by Russell read "The Problems of Philosophy". It's much shorter, too, and while it is of course also biased, it has some quite interesting bits, among other things a decent brief argument for universals and a rather odd but interesting theory of states of affairs (such as "Romeo loves Juliet")
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Artem

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11607 on: October 25, 2021, 12:51:52 PM »
Russels' biased perspective is always brought up when his big book is mentioned. What was his bias?

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11608 on: October 25, 2021, 01:39:45 PM »
Russels' biased perspective is always brought up when his big book is mentioned. What was his bias?

Lord Russell was a mathematician and what he did in philosophy was called analytical philosophy. He is good at logics, but he is not strong or particularly knowledgeable in some areas, including metaphysics and aesthetics. The idealism by Kant, Schopenhauer, Hume, and also existentialist philosophers are not discussed well in the book.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11609 on: October 25, 2021, 01:51:11 PM »


The real Miz.

I think this will keep me occupied for a few weeks.

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11610 on: October 26, 2021, 09:44:18 AM »


The real Miz.

I think this will keep me occupied for a few weeks.

Does anyone know if there's a set of notes on this book? For example, I've just spent some time investigating via internet this

Quote
Pour moi, le frère de Cartouche, enfant innocent, pendu sous les aisselles en place de Grève jusqu'à ce que mort s'ensuive, pour le seul crime d'avoir été le frère de Cartouche, n'est pas moins douloureux que le petit-fils de Louis XV, enfant innocent, martyrisé dans la tour du Temple pour le seul crime d'avoir été le petit-fils de Louis XV.



And this

 
Quote
Que pensez-vous de Bossuet chantant le Te Deum sur les dragonnades ?



Maybe people who have been to school in France know all about Cartouche and his brother, and Bossuet and the dragonnades -- but I don't. It would be nice to have a book which explained this sort of thing.

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11611 on: October 26, 2021, 09:59:14 AM »
Lord Russell was a mathematician and what he did in philosophy was called analytical philosophy. He is good at logics, but he is not strong or particularly knowledgeable in some areas, including metaphysics and aesthetics. The idealism by Kant, Schopenhauer, Hume, and also existentialist philosophers are not discussed well in the book.

A History of Western Philosophy is not an impartial overview, so you would have to look elsewhere for something along those line. I read the book many years ago and found his exposition and critique of the various schools of philosophy very interesting. Perhaps a better book for understanding Russell would be his volume "The Problems of Philosophy," which is available in a nice, free Kindle edition, for those who do ebooks.


Offline Mandryka

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11612 on: October 26, 2021, 10:24:17 AM »
Hi Brett - I was thinking of getting Russell's A History of Western Philosophy as a Kindle edition but stated to be 930 printed pages - at my age, I rarely read books over 400 or so pages (just don't have the attention span of my younger years); so looked at the Five Best Books on Western Philosophy and Anthony Kenny's name is mentioned multiple times, but his 'best book' below is 1000 pages - YIKES!  He has less daunting other books (e.g. 'brief history').  Finally, in my consideration is the Columbia History of Western Philosophy stated to be 800+ pages, a book edited by Richard Popkin w/ 63 contributors.  I may explore Kenny's shorter books?  Dave :)

   

Russell’s book is too old to be recommendable, it stops with John Dewy!

If you want the history, possibly start by picking a philosopher and reading Wikipedia. Descartes is a good author to kick off with, his Meditations are accessible, you can go to the source.

Anthony Kenny is likely to be quite a difficult read, and risks being a bit biased towards Catholicism. I haven’t read it but I have read some other things by him.

If you want an intro to Anglo American philosophical method, then maybe think about Simon Blackburn’s book called Think!

If you want an introduction to philosophy post 1968  as practised in France and Germany, so do I and hopefully someone can recommend one.

« Last Edit: October 26, 2021, 10:29:00 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Brian

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11613 on: October 26, 2021, 04:19:11 PM »
I don't think the reasons that we're interested in Russell are the same reasons we might be interested in reading Wikipedia pages about all the great philosophers.

Personally I like authorial "bias" and voice, an author with strong opinions, because it creates a much more entertaining read and my mind is still strong enough to draw its own conclusions once I've figured out what the author's bias is. Same type of pleasure as reading literature, music, and film critics whose tastes aren't identical to my own.