Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 811622 times)

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Offline SonicMan46

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #100 on: April 26, 2007, 07:06:48 AM »
If you get the Steinberg book, would you let me know how it compares with the Berger book?  I may get the Berger book if you think it is worthwhile.

Anne - will certainly do - have not ordered it yet, though -  :)

BTW - in some recent posts in this thread, the 'Teaching Company' was mentioned - I had started a Music Appreciation Thread, which is not getting much 'mileage' yet, so for those reading this, please contribute - always looking for recommendations other than CDs!  Thanks -  :D

Don Giovanni

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #101 on: April 26, 2007, 08:39:44 AM »
Don,

 The Teaching Co. has a class you might enjoy - "Classics of Russian Literature."  Today is the last day it is on sale at 70% off.  I have bought many of their music classes and enjoy them.

Here is the link:

http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/coursedesclong2.aspx?cid=2830&id=2830&pc=Literature%20and%20English%20Language

I am not associated with that company except as a customer.

Thanks a lot, Anne. I'll be sure to check it out.

Haffner

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #102 on: April 26, 2007, 09:01:15 AM »
Notes from Underground - Dostoyevsky


Very interesting. I haven't really got into it yet. I enjoyed Crime and Punishment, though.



"The Idiot" is my favorite, and a huge influence on Nietzsche.

Haffner

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #103 on: April 27, 2007, 05:36:45 AM »
"The Tristan Chord: Wagner and Philosophy"



Fascinating!

Don Giovanni

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #104 on: April 27, 2007, 10:43:56 AM »


"The Idiot" is my favorite, and a huge influence on Nietzsche.

Do you prefer it to The Brothers Karamazov? Well, as far as I am concerned, Tolstoy still rules supreme when it comes to Russian Lit. As Virginia Woolf said, "There remains the greatest of all novelists - for what else can we call the author of War and Peace?"

DavidW

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #105 on: April 27, 2007, 10:50:41 AM »
The Trouble with Physics by Lee Smolin: it was a good read, but I thought that some of what he said against string theory might be speculative and inaccurate, and some of the things that he said about other things in physics was fringe, and I disagreed with some of his views on what education should be, though I agreed with his observations.  All in all, it's refreshing to see a book critical of string theory, most popular string theory books praise it as the holy grail of physics, which it's not.

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins: hey I thought that there might be some cool, rational arguments of interest to read.  No, it's all emotionally charged rhetoric.  Even his solutions to classic "proofs" of God's existence seems to be mostly sneering at Aquinas and kin.  Dawkins' beliefs are emotionally driven, yet he claims to be different and superior to those that follow a religion.  Whatever! :D

Any comments on these books or these authors?

karlhenning

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #106 on: April 27, 2007, 10:53:33 AM »
The Trouble with Physics by Lee Smolin: it was a good read, but I thought that some of what he said against string theory might be speculative and inaccurate, and some of the things that he said about other things in physics was fringe, and I disagreed with some of his views on what education should be, though I agreed with his observations.  All in all, it's refreshing to see a book critical of string theory, most popular string theory books praise it as the holy grail of physics, which it's not.

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins: hey I thought that there might be some cool, rational arguments of interest to read.  No, it's all emotionally charged rhetoric.  Even his solutions to classic "proofs" of God's existence seems to be mostly sneering at Aquinas and kin.  Dawkins' beliefs are emotionally driven, yet he claims to be different and superior to those that follow a religion.  Whatever! :D

Thank you for the reviews, David!

karlhenning

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #107 on: April 27, 2007, 10:55:26 AM »
Do you prefer it to The Brothers Karamazov?

Hmmm, both The Brothers K and The Idiot are wonderful.  Prefer one to the other?  I dunno . . . .

Harvested Sorrow

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #108 on: April 27, 2007, 10:58:09 AM »
I'll comment on The God Delusion.  It really is sad that his book is the most popular since it's meant to be partly polemical (as a wake up call of sorts) and essentially an introduction to the philosophical arguments against religion rather than something all encompassing when it's taken as 'the best we've got' by believers and non-believers alike.  The main problem is this:  He's a scientist, not a philosopher.  Sam Harris operates in this field in a much more efficient manner, although he somehow gained that 'evil atheist' image.  As for the commentary on his response to the Aquinas proofs:  Honestly, those damn things were debunked long ago so a sort of 'sneering' is exactly what I expected.  It gets irritating hearing those regurgitated time and time again just like Pascal's Wager.  That said, I don't think his reasons per se, are emotional.  His reasons for disbelief come from logic, however, he expresses his view in an emotional manner because this is clearly (and with good reason) an emotional topic for him.  That said, yes, a bit more of a low burning approach could have worked better, however, I'm sure it wouldn't have sold as well.

If you want something that really goes in depth into the philosophical arguments for and against a God check out J.L. Mackie's The Miracle of Theism.

karlhenning

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #109 on: April 27, 2007, 11:01:03 AM »
True, he was out to sell a book.

 ::)

Harvested Sorrow

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #110 on: April 27, 2007, 11:06:03 AM »
Honestly, I think that's the reason for the rather harsh title The God Delusion.  The same thing occurred with the series The Root of All Evil?  He didn't like the title but BBC insisted that it would sell better than something less offensive so all he could talk them into was adding the '?' to the end.  I don't know if something similar occured with the title of the book or not, but in any case, that title seems to have been effective considering the consistently high sales.

DavidW

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #111 on: April 27, 2007, 11:08:45 AM »
HS, yeah you described it better-- it's the manner in which he presents his arguments, not his arguments themselves. 

Thanks for the rec, if the library carries Mackie's book I'll check it out. :)

karlhenning

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #112 on: April 27, 2007, 11:11:07 AM »
. . . but in any case, that title seems to have been effective considering the consistently high sales.

Myes; reinforcing bad behavior, I suppose . . . .

Haffner

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #113 on: April 27, 2007, 11:18:18 AM »
Do you prefer it to The Brothers Karamazov? Well, as far as I am concerned, Tolstoy still rules supreme when it comes to Russian Lit. As Virginia Woolf said, "There remains the greatest of all novelists - for what else can we call the author of War and Peace?"




I think I prefer it mostly in terms of the characterization of the protagonist. In simpler language, I really liked Prince Myshkin's character, and genuinely "lived with" him throughout the book.


Of course, those other books you mentioned are fantastic as well.

Harvested Sorrow

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #114 on: April 27, 2007, 01:26:29 PM »
HS, yeah you described it better-- it's the manner in which he presents his arguments, not his arguments themselves. 

Thanks for the rec, if the library carries Mackie's book I'll check it out. :)

I think you'll enjoy it.  A brief summary would be to say it presents all the big philosophical arguments for the existence of God (quoted in full) put forth by major theologians in essay form and then presents an essay which discusses the validity of those arguments, possible holes in them, etc.  It also covers Hume's beliefs on miracles (or the lack thereof, if you prefer) and discusses that and the problem of evil among other things.

You may wish to check Amazon for reviews on the subject.

Offline val

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #115 on: April 28, 2007, 02:58:59 AM »
UMBERTO ECO: Il Pendolo di Foucault.

Offline Bogey

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #116 on: April 28, 2007, 04:18:02 AM »
The Trouble with Physics by Lee Smolin: it was a good read, but I thought that some of what he said against string theory might be speculative and inaccurate, and some of the things that he said about other things in physics was fringe, and I disagreed with some of his views on what education should be, though I agreed with his observations.  All in all, it's refreshing to see a book critical of string theory, most popular string theory books praise it as the holy grail of physics, which it's not.

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins: hey I thought that there might be some cool, rational arguments of interest to read.  No, it's all emotionally charged rhetoric.  Even his solutions to classic "proofs" of God's existence seems to be mostly sneering at Aquinas and kin.  Dawkins' beliefs are emotionally driven, yet he claims to be different and superior to those that follow a religion.  Whatever! :D

Any comments on these books or these authors?

I'll comment on The God Delusion.  It really is sad that his book is the most popular since it's meant to be partly polemical (as a wake up call of sorts) and essentially an introduction to the philosophical arguments against religion rather than something all encompassing when it's taken as 'the best we've got' by believers and non-believers alike.  The main problem is this:  He's a scientist, not a philosopher.  Sam Harris operates in this field in a much more efficient manner, although he somehow gained that 'evil atheist' image.  As for the commentary on his response to the Aquinas proofs:  Honestly, those damn things were debunked long ago so a sort of 'sneering' is exactly what I expected.  It gets irritating hearing those regurgitated time and time again just like Pascal's Wager.  That said, I don't think his reasons per se, are emotional.  His reasons for disbelief come from logic, however, he expresses his view in an emotional manner because this is clearly (and with good reason) an emotional topic for him.  That said, yes, a bit more of a low burning approach could have worked better, however, I'm sure it wouldn't have sold as well.

If you want something that really goes in depth into the philosophical arguments for and against a God check out J.L. Mackie's The Miracle of Theism.
True, he was out to sell a book.

 ::)

Here is an interview with Dawkins that I heard back in March.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9180871

This one Francis Collins (director of the National Human Genome Research Project. He is also an evangelical Christian) was interesting as well:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9207913

David, how does the interview compare with the book?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2007, 04:23:09 AM by Bill »
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline Florestan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #117 on: April 28, 2007, 06:42:04 AM »
UMBERTO ECO: Il Pendolo di Foucault.
That's great. I've re-read it many, many times.
“I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts.”  --- Rachmaninoff

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #118 on: April 28, 2007, 07:27:18 AM »
Getting the Most Out of Mozart - The Instrumental Works by David Hurwitz (2005) - just starting this series (picked up the 3 books below - really cheap on Amazon - each comes w/ 1-2 CDs) - all have received 5* reviews by the Amazonians (CLICK on each image, if interested, for comments) -  :)

   

Harvested Sorrow

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #119 on: April 29, 2007, 05:47:23 AM »
Here is an interview with Dawkins that I heard back in March.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9180871

This one Francis Collins (director of the National Human Genome Research Project. He is also an evangelical Christian) was interesting as well:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9207913

David, how does the interview compare with the book?

I'll take a look at those, and here's an interview that I feel goes quite in depth (for a TV show): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgNIZl8ncmU