• Amity
    803

    You're welcome :sparkle:
    Hope to hear more thoughts...
  • Shelley Robinson
    4
    "The Art of Loving" Erich Fromm
  • jamalrob
    2.1k
    Not much philosophy over the past few months, mainly research before and after my move to Moscow. These are the highlights:

    Mikhail Bulgakov, The Heart of a Dog & The Master and Margarita
    Yevgeny Zamyatin, We
    Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate
    Simon Sebag Montefiore, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar
    John Medhurst, No Less than Mystic (that rare thing, a Leftist anti-Bolshevik history of the revolution)
    Abraham Ascher, Russia: a Short History
    Peter Pomerantsev, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: Adventures in Modern Russia
    Orlando Figes, Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991
    China Mieville, October: The Story of the Russian Revolution

    And a little light economics:

    Yanis Varoufakis, Talking to my Daughter
    Joseph Choonara, Reader's Guide to Marx's Capital
    Karl Marx, Capital (decades since I read it)
  • lecrop
    3
    I love to know what others read. It is a very affordable voyeurism not exempt from exciting moments.
  • jamalrob
    2.1k
    Apparently Fukuyama studied under Derrida at Yale. The guy who engineered modern neoconservatism, helped get us embroiled in Iraq - he was gonna be a cont-lit guy. Later, Derrida strikes him down in Spectres of Marx. this is weird. Kissinger era realism went though a continental bottleneck and got us post 911 us policycsalisbury

    Possible plot for a new Adam Curtis documentary?
  • 180 Proof
    105
    All evening I'll be listening to Abbey Road - Super Deluxe 4 CD Edition, while reading the gorgeous 100pp book of photos & song-by-song session notes that comes with it. And sipping ... Fab Gear, man! :cool:

    :victory: & :heart:
  • StreetlightX
    4.2k
    How many takes does it take to get the most out of a book. And is it better if you have someone else reading along with you - or at the end of a reading ?Amity

    I churn through books at a fairly high rate, and rarely return to books in their entirity. What I tend to find myself returning to are parts of books, relavent to whatever I'm interested in at the time. In this sense I treat books more like resources that I can go back to when there's something in one that I'm after.

    I also tend to read clusters of books with similar themes or authors, so I can cross-relate readings as I go. Helps to build a more robust picture of whatever it is that you're reading on. Like, I plan to do a bunch of Spinoza study soon, and have a whole series of Spinoza related books lined up.

    Occasionally I'll start a thread here in order to pursue a theme that I want to articulate better. I think the absolute best way to demonstrate understanding to yourself is to put arguments or points of view in your own words. Trying to respond to criticisms also helps to really show yourself that you grasp a point of view. The most fun is in connecting different topics that you wouldn't have considered 'connectible' had you not discussed it.

    Anyways, a rag tag collection of thoughts to respond to your query.
  • Maw
    1.6k
    Thanks, btw, for mentioning the Charles Mills' book - looks like my jam; I'll wait, though, for your 4-1-1 if & when you'd be so kind.180 Proof

    For sure :victory:
  • Maw
    1.6k
    I usually digest the book fairly well on a first read, but will sometimes return to it for a re-read within a few years if I find it still relevant to my interests or simply highly worth returning to if I originally found it influential (e.g. Marx's Capital, Amartya Sen's Development As Freedom, Cioran's works).

    Somewhat similar to StreetlightX, I will gravitate towards a topic (e.g. ethics, politics, economics, pessimism), but usually not for too long because of my terrible ADHD, so I typically bounce around topics.
  • 180 Proof
    105


    I churn through books at a fairly high rate, and rarely return to books in their entirity. What I tend to find myself returning to are parts of books, relavent to whatever I'm interested in at the time. In this sense I treat books more like resources that I can go back to when there's something in one that I'm after. — StreetlightX

    Ditto.
  • Amity
    803
    I also tend to read clusters of books with similar themes or authors, so I can cross-relate readings as I go. Helps to build a more robust picture of whatever it is that you're reading on. Like, I plan to do a bunch of Spinoza study soon, and have a whole series of Spinoza related books lined up.

    Occasionally I'll start a thread here in order to pursue a theme that I want to articulate better. I think the absolute best way to demonstrate understanding to yourself is to put arguments or points of view in your own words. Trying to respond to criticisms also helps to really show yourself that you grasp a point of view. The most fun is in connecting different topics that you wouldn't have considered 'connectible' had you not discussed it.
    StreetlightX

    Thanks for this. I look forward to any new thread you start.

    I like the 'most fun' bit - showing the value of discussion in helping to grasp difficult topics or a philosopher. And making connections. Unfortunately, not everyone can hold a library of related books as reference. Or even get them from a library. I rely so much on the internet and 'freebies' to get that bigger picture.

    [ Also, if a group discussion is to take place e.g. on Spinoza, it would be good to have advance notice of useful texts or resources. Perhaps there is already such a list in the ' Resources' section of the forum ?]
  • Amity
    803
    Somewhat similar to StreetlightX, I will gravitate towards a topic (e.g. ethics, politics, economics, pessimism), but usually not for too long because of my terrible ADHD, so I typically bounce around topics.Maw

    I'm a bit bouncy too and that's without ADHD. Perhaps I just get impatient and bored :wink:
  • Amity
    803

    Ditto. Well, that was easy !
    You are both well read and have widely read. Adler had something to say about the differences in levels of understanding. In the discussion I linked to I disagreed with him...but perhaps I was wrong.
  • csalisbury
    2k
    Possible plot for a new Adam Curtis documentary?jamalrob

    We live in extraordinary times. We find our universities awash in strange and mysterious theories, theories that threaten our very sense of reality. This film will tell the story of how, in the 1980s, a mystical jewish philosopher and a japanese-american pragmatist created two diverging paths of political thought, paths which we are still travelling to this day.

    I really liked the Fukuyama, btw. Only about 1/3 of it has anything to do with the caricature that has been so often criticized. The other two thirds are those criticisms. It's really not the naive, triumphal book it's made out to be. I don't ultimately agree with him, I guess, but it's the most cogent political worldpicture I've groked (though I haven't groked many.) It's refreshingly direct, and it's insane that it was written in 92 (he predicts that there will be a wave of authoritarian movements and a backslide of democracy sometime in the next generation. He sees it as likely temporary, but he predicts it will be severe and will see new, unheard of authoritarian-hybrids. He also predicts that immigration will become one of the biggest issues for 'posthistorical states') I'm planning to reread Negri & Hardt's Empire next to compare and contrast.

    (also - hoping that at some point you'll drop some man-on-the-street accounts of what modern Russia's like. )
  • csalisbury
    2k
    Breezing through

    submission - michel houellebecq

    Late to the game on this one, and I'm bummed I let my preconceptions get in the way of actually reading it. It's really good in pure literary terms & its also a pageturner & its also extremely nuanced.
  • Baden
    8.5k


    Funny. I grabbed that from the library a week or two ago. Yes, well-written and I initially liked it but then I felt the author stopped believing himself and it all became a bit forced and naively implausible for me. He's better when he's talking about micro-personal stuff than trying to deal with politics imo. Oh, and the main protagonist is a wanker. Hard to stay with him. So, I dumped it.
  • jamalrob
    2.1k
    I really liked the Fukuyama, btw. Only about 1/3 of it has anything to do with the caricature that has been so often criticized. The other two thirds are those criticisms. It's really not the naive, triumphal book it's made out to be. I don't ultimately agree with him, I guess, but it's the most cogent political worldpicture I've groked (though I haven't groked many.) It's refreshingly direct, and it's insane that it was written in 92 (he predicts that there will be a wave of authoritarian movements and a backslide of democracy sometime in the next generation. He sees it as likely temporary, but he predicts it will be severe and will see new, unheard of authoritarian-hybrids. He also predicts that immigration will become one of the biggest issues for 'posthistorical states')csalisbury

    You've persuaded me to read it now. Like many, I've been ignorantly dismissing it for years.
  • Baden
    8.5k
    Like many, I've been ignorantly dismissing it for years.jamalrob

    Me too. Probably been listening to too much Zizek.
  • StreetlightX
    4.2k
    Wendy Brown - In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West

    Probably the most acute diagnostic of politics in the West that I know. Punchy and readable too - highly reccomended.
  • Maw
    1.6k
    will def check it out
  • StreetlightX
    4.2k
    Jodi Dean - The Communist Horizon
    Jodi Dean - Crowds and Party
  • SophistiCat
    834
    Yevgeny Zamyatin, Wejamalrob

    Hah, that's an interesting choice. Nowadays the book is probably more name-checked than actually read, but I thought it was a well-written novella in the antiutopia genre (not to mention prophetic - it was written hot on the trail of the Bolshevik revolution, almost 30 years before 1984).

    Peter Pomerantsev, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: Adventures in Modern Russiajamalrob

    Apropo of nothing, I slightly know his father, a Russian poet, and I met the future author when he was still in school. Haven't read the book though.
  • jamalrob
    2.1k
    Hah, that's an interesting choice. Nowadays the book is probably more name-checked than actually read, but I thought it was a well-written novella in the antiutopia genre (not to mention prophetic - it was written hot on the trail of the Bolshevik revolution, almost 30 years before 1984).SophistiCat

    I liked it a lot. It's remarkable that he saw what was happening as early as 1920. Remarkable either because he prophesied some of the features of the regime and the society that would characterize Stalinism, or just because those features were clearly evident soon after the revolution--which is remarkable to me as someone weaned on the Trotskyist version of events in which the revolution was fine and dandy before Stalin took power.

    Apropo of nothing, I slightly know his father, a Russian poet, and I met the future author when he was still in school. Haven't read the book though.SophistiCat

    Cool. I haven't read it either to be honest. I'll get to it.
  • 180 Proof
    105
    oktoberfest readings :yum:

    Aporetics, Nicholas Rescher
    Proof!, Amir Alexander
    Conscience: The Origins of Moral Intuition, Patricia Churchland
    Hiking With Nietzsche, John Kaag
    Sex and The Failed Absolute, Slavoj Žižek
    Theories of Forgetting, Lance Olsen
    Lobe, Paul Baden

    *

    re-reading:

    A World Without Why, Raymond Geuss
  • Maw
    1.6k
    In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West by Wendy Brown

    @180 Proof I'm over halfway through Black Rights/White Wrongs and I highly recommend it. A powerful corrective course for liberalism as typically articulated and defended by white men illiterate to the complexities and inequalities of race and racism produced in society. Charles Mills believes we can keep liberalism (which he defines, by way of John Gray, as Individualist, Egalitarian and Universalist) and strengthen it by acknowledging race experience and the history of racism, and integrating the moral and political philosophies found within it into liberalism (in conjunction with Feminism and Marxism/classism). Pairs very well with the New York Times' 1619 Project, particularly Nikole Hannah-Jones gushingly fantastic essay here.
  • StreetlightX
    4.2k
    A World Without Why, Raymond Geuss180 Proof

    In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West by Wendy BrownMaw

    :cheer:
  • Hanover
    5k
    Wrestling the Angel - Terryl L. Givens
    Creation ex nihilo - Gary Anderson and Markus Bockmuehl
    Moses the Egyptian - Jan Assmann (an unfortunate last name).
  • Maw
    1.6k
    AssmannHanover

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