Current Reads: What is Everyone Reading?

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RachelAnn
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Post by RachelAnn » Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:02 pm

The question is, did Skinner mean to be taken seriously?
Yes. Skinner was humorless:http://robothink.blogspot.com/2005/09/l ... orism.html

amateurphilosophynerd
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Thomas More Utopia

Post by amateurphilosophynerd » Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:06 pm

I am in a Utopian mood at the moment and highly discouraged in Reading Plan maybe because i stupidly/sensibly elected to read those huge Companions /Anthologies which though valuable and useful in themselves may have dis-incentivised the whole reading thing.
so far lots of needs for turning back to Footnotes in back pages to provide info.

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koyaanisqatsi
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Post by koyaanisqatsi » Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:05 am

[quote="Richard Baron"]Hi Koyaa

Walden Two is certainl worth a read. The question is, did Skinner mean to be taken seriously (?/quote]
Oh dear. They takte resonable ides and spil them,

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sthilda87
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Post by sthilda87 » Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:31 pm

You all have some interesting reading underway.

I'm almost through Book I of "The Nature & Destiny of Man" by Reinhold Niebuhr. Has anyone else read this? I don't always understand his criticisms of idealism and rationalism. Or, more likely, I don't really understand idealism & rationalism.

How about Joseph Campbell's "Hero with a 1000 Faces?" Every time I think I'm going to get his point, he veers off into bodily mutilation & snake dreams. Ugh.

amateurphilosophynerd
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Blackwell Guide to Ancient Philosophy

Post by amateurphilosophynerd » Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:07 pm

a beginners undergraduate text to get me into the beginnings of the whole philosophical enterprise in the first place.

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The Wolf
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Post by The Wolf » Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:25 pm

I'm currently reading Charles Dickens 'Bleak House'

RachelAnn
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Post by RachelAnn » Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:39 pm

The Hunger and The Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun.

Diomedes71
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Post by Diomedes71 » Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:46 am

Currently reading The Odessey,

Tried Ulysses couple of weeks ago.. couldn't make head nor tale of it.. gave up after 2/3rds way through. Hence the Odessey which is supposed to be related. Doh, had to read the Illiad first though. Started my literary adventure with Mid Summer Nights dream, blimey, Mythology everywhere.

Best Books - The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist - cried at the end, the curious incident in the night.

amateurphilosophynerd
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I finished Sheilds Blackwell Guide to Ancient Philosophy

Post by amateurphilosophynerd » Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:29 pm

I actually finished Christopher Sheilds Blackwell Guide to Ancient Philosophy a book to inspire further reading into Ancient Texts but which makes one wishes a Classics education.
Book 12 of 50 book year scheme 2008

Diomedes71
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Post by Diomedes71 » Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:56 pm

Hello there....... I'm FUMMING MAD. :x

just read John Steinbecks - Wrath of Grapes

was hard work for me, but end was dark and poingant. the whole story was very apt to our times given the credit crunch and all.

BUT

Having just watch the old film, they have totally twisted the ending to put a little cheeriness into it..........MAD!
:x

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Psychonaut
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Post by Psychonaut » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:16 am

Yes, wonderful book!
Haven't seen the film..
Hollywood is still up to its old tricks; in the book version of the Golden Compass one of the main characters is murdered at the end by Lord Asriel (played by Wirral's own Daniel Craig) in order that he can create a bridge to another world...
This murder is entirely left out of the film version, which is crucial to the situation at the start of the sequel, so god knows how they're going to sort that out.
I heard that at the end of the third book they kill God (I haven't finished reading it yet), if they can't bare to kill a boy then lord knows how they'll deal with that!

dmcmullan
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Post by dmcmullan » Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:55 am

Foucaults Pendulum by Umberto Eco. Read it a couple of times before, top book.

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Duncan Butlin
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Post by Duncan Butlin » Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:08 pm

At the moment I am reading “What is Nature?”, by Kate Soper, 1995, Blackwell. It has almost defeated me. As with all the postmodernists I have read, Professor Soper is trying to tie up her reader’s mind in knots. Right in the introduction she states her determination to avoid answering her title! Every word she writes is a torture, but I am determined not to give up, because it is the only way I can correspond with her again. She has directed me to Chapter 4 (Nature and Sexual Politics) and I feel I must read it before replying to her. In fact I have undertaken to bother her no more, if I cannot prove my point using her own words. I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD.

If you must read a book, man or woman, I recommend “Female Sexual Abuse of Children”, Edited by Michele Elliott, 1993, The Guilford Press. It is a timely reminder that not all women are angels. In 1998 Dr. Elliott very kindly spoke on the phone with me about it, and introduced me to one of her ‘secret source’ authors, so I could carry on further investigations.

RachelAnn
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Post by RachelAnn » Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:54 pm

RECOMMENDED: Politics and the English Language; an essay by George Orwell.
http://www.resort.com/~prime8/Orwell/patee.html

He lays down the following rules for good writing.

1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never us a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. (A Collection of Essays, Harvest, 1981, p. 170)

On balance, this is excellent advice. Orwell's formulation of these rules, however, is excessively schoolmarmish, so much so that he himself cannot abide by them. Take (3) for example. It's a rule violated by its own formulation. Had Orwell followed his own advice, he would have deleted 'always.' Or consider this sentence near the beginning of his essay: "Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse." (p. 156) Surely, 'inevitably' is redundant. Or else 'must' is redundant. The sentence as Orwell wrote it, however, is not a bad sentence. My point is that his rules are too restrictive.
Now look at (5). This rule contradicts what he himself says on the preceding page. There (p. 169) he asks what his defence of the English language does not imply. One of the things it does not imply is "in every case preferring the Saxon word to the Latin one...." This obviously contradicts rule (5).
At the root of the problem is the tendency most of have to reach for such universal quantifiers as 'all,' 'every,' 'no' and 'never' when strict accuracy demands something less ringing. If the great Orwell can fall into the trap, then we lesser mortals need to be especially careful. Good writing cannot be reduced to the application of rules. Rules are at best guidelines.
These quibbles aside, this essay is required reading.

Morpheus
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Post by Morpheus » Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:55 pm

Duncan Butlin wrote:If you must read a book, man or woman, I recommend “Female Sexual Abuse of Children”, Edited by Michele Elliott, 1993, The Guilford Press. It is a timely reminder that not all women are angels. In 1998 Dr. Elliott very kindly spoke on the phone with me about it, and introduced me to one of her ‘secret source’ authors, so I could carry on further investigations.
I don't know anyone who denies that women are capable of appalling acts, for they too can express the darkest aspects of humanity. We need only think of Myra Hindley. The tragedy is that you are trying to blame all women for all that's evil in the world.

Do you have any uplifting book recommendations?

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