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Philosopher Club Book of the Month

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by speed, Sep 21, 2006.

?

Pick a Philosophical Tome

Poll closed Oct 5, 2006.
  1. Plato's Symposium

    6 vote(s)
    31.6%
  2. Aristotle's Ethics

    3 vote(s)
    15.8%
  3. Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling

    1 vote(s)
    5.3%
  4. Nietszche's Birth of Tragedy

    5 vote(s)
    26.3%
  5. Wittegenstein's Tractatus

    1 vote(s)
    5.3%
  6. Heidegger's Being and Time

    3 vote(s)
    15.8%
  1. speed

    speed Member

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    I think its time to choose a book.

    Choose one:

    Plato: The Symposium--a smaller, lighter read about love and the soul (we've discussed the Republic)

    Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics

    Kierkegaard: Fear and Trembling

    Wittgenstein: Tractatus

    Nietszche's Birth of Tragedy

    Heidegger's Being and Time


    All except for Heidegger, are no more than a hundred and fifty pages, or quite a bit less. All are important, well-written and clear, and discuss a different time period or realm of philosophy. Im honestly all for starting with some light Plato, and working our way up to other books so desired by the board.

    Pick one. And the one most requested, we'll start discussing on this board. I think we have experts from all fields. Im very comfortable with everything up to Kierkegaard and Nietszche. I know Cythrual knows quite a bit about Wittgenstein, and Justin S. about Heidegger. Thus, this can turn into a very interactive, no pressure to read-every-page type of experience.




    Also, if one cannot find a text online, the local library (or college library if one is in college) I'm sure will have a copy for you to check out for free.
     
  2. speed

    speed Member

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    I picked the aforementioned boooks for that very reason--and their brevity (apart from Heidegger, and I have no idea why i included him).


    If you, or anyone else, has any other book suggestions, please post them, and I will change the poll.
     
  3. derek

    derek Grey Eminence

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    Russell's "Problems of Philosophy" is a relatively simple and also very, very, very compact volume of interesting philosophy.

    I understand that the work upon its topics since its release make it sort of out of date, but it's still a great little book.
     
  4. MURAI

    MURAI -

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    I read most of "The Birth of Tragedy" by Nietzsche so I'd go with the Plato one.
     
  5. The Bringer

    The Bringer Member

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    I'm actually reading a couple of pieces right now. One by Carl Jung and another that slips my mind right now (just started it), so I may not be able to participate in this one but I will vote anyways. For the one that sounds most interesting to me.
     
  6. Justin S.

    Justin S. Member

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    Nice of you to compile those URLs, however, the one to Being and Time is in German :p (Although I aspire to read it, Im years from that proficiency).

    I may be among a minority here, but I so greatly prefer tangible text and book, that I simply wont read online versions.
     
  7. speed

    speed Member

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    Im with you on that one. I cant imagine reading more than 10 pages on the web. It hurts the eyes, its uncomfortable.

    No one enjoys Kierkegaard? Hm...I really enjoy him.
     
  8. Justin S.

    Justin S. Member

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    I voted for Fear and Trembling :).
     
  9. speed

    speed Member

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    Thanks. I guess its title scared people, haha. But it would be a great book--due to its relatively straightforward nature--to discuss here.
     
  10. Justin S.

    Justin S. Member

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    By the way, Being and Time would be an awful choice for many reasons.
     
  11. speed

    speed Member

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    Maybe if this is successful, way down the road it would be an idea.
     
  12. The Bringer

    The Bringer Member

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    What are those reasons?
     
  13. Justin S.

    Justin S. Member

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    I agree it might be a possibility. But as the first book? No.
     
  14. Justin S.

    Justin S. Member

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    It requires the utmost from the reader/thinker, dense cannot begin to describe it, its essential, its prone to misunderstanding/misinterpretation, it does not carry over well to "discussion", its everything that would kill a fledgling book club.
     
  15. Nile577

    Nile577 Member

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    It's hard; even very hard, but the ideas are not too alien. I’m a great believer that we shouldn’t be put off from a book because it is difficult. Being and Time is certainly a whole order of magnitude easier than Being and Nothingness. I think it would be a great book to read, assuming we have hardy constitutions amongst our reading club. For me, Being and Time is the supreme work of all philosophy and reading Heidegger is nearly a religious experience.

    In regards to interpretations, they vary: Hubert Dreyfus is easily the most influential Heideggerian around today and I actually disagree with his reading in certain important points. There's a thirty hour lecture series he did solely on Being and Time posted online in mp3 format somewhere. Chris Zimmerman and Reiner Schurmann give very interesting readings (though the latter's is nearly impenetrable).

    I have some experience teaching/presenting Being and Time and it sounds like you are pretty familiar with the text yourself, so if we were to one day attempt it, I think it would be possible. As you say, it's likely best left for down the road. In turn, I am less knowledgeable on the Classics, so will rely on Derek or Speed perhaps to give some kind of context to the more obscure Greek works.
     
  16. Nile577

    Nile577 Member

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    I totally agree. Increasing the font-size of online text helps but I would much prefer to have a tangible copy. I was thinking of perhaps a monthly, or bi-monthly, trip to the Amazon, where we buy the same edition. The danger of this is that it excludes people through lack of funding/unwillingness to pay for books. I think, given the situation and the numbers, we should just be totally relaxed about which version (online, offline, whatever) people read.
     
  17. The Bringer

    The Bringer Member

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    Maybe not for the first choice but I think eventually it should be a topic for discussion. At least as much of a discussion as we can make of it.
     
  18. Nile577

    Nile577 Member

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    Thanks for those. From experience, the Being and Time torrent takes a torturous amount of time to download. It's a shame the files are no longer hosted on his website. When I have access to my regular computer again (which is currently on the other side of the ocean) I'll Megaupload them.
     
  19. speed

    speed Member

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    Well, since I've put the damn book off since I reached page 75 a few months ago, my selfish intention was to have you guys discuss it, so either I: a) never have to read it, but will understand its thesis; b) finish reading it, despite the piles of other gleaming books Ive been, and will continue to be, tempted by.
     

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