Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quick Updates on Various Reading

Listening to Tyler Cowen's Create Your Own Economy: The Path to Prosperity in a Disordered World (2009), and after hearing about

Autism in a new light, the joys and possibilities of modern communications technologies (primarily via the Internet, but by texting, etc), he's now begun speaking about Buddhism as a counter-weight to the constant mental buzz in which we live. I'm just starting this, so I'm very interested. Updates to come.

I'm continuing to read Susan Neiman's Evil in Modern Thought. Her presentations of Rousseau and Kant have been quite enlightening (pun intended)—especially of Kant, whom as more of a pure philosopher than political thinker, I'm not as well acquainted with (although his reputation precedes him). She shows Kant to be someone who sees a radical, almost tragic disconnect between the world as nature and human reason. I might also note that she attributes to Kant the idea that purpose is the attribute of human reason and not is found in Nature standing alone. I just started into Hegel this morning, but she gives promise of making good sense of him as well (no easy task by most accounts).

I've started A.P.J. Taylor's The Origins of the Second World War (1961). Taylor is an excellent writer with some keen insights. So far, just some general observations of what the Versailles negotiations hoped to accomplish—and what it did or did not contribute to the origins of the Second World War.

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