The Entrepreneurial Engineer

Monday, July 03, 2006

Submerged in philosophy

I've been submerged in philosophical reading and viewing during my non-work moments this summer. I've documented the other courses I've finished this year, but I just picked up with Practical Philosophy: The Greco-Roman Moralists. I've got Loeb Classical Library editions of Lucian, Cicero, Seneca, and Epictetus on the way as a result, but I'm still trying to catch up with my reading generated by past classes and my other interests.

Moore's Principia Ethica and Ross's The Right and the Good are two classics of modern ethics. They together with Nagels Mortal Questions followed up on Teaching Company course Questions of Value.

Robert Solomon's, The Passions: Emotions and the Meaning of Life was very enjoyable. It laid out his thesis (as did his course Passions: Philosophy and the Intelligence of Emotions) that emotions are judgments that give our lives their meaning. He arrives at this conclusion from careful readings of the existentialists, but is able to cast off the emptiness of the absurd world of the existentialists and find meaning in our passions.

Robert Solomon's edited collections of papers, Existentialism, was a terrific companion to his course (No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life), and also went along with his suggestion to read Camus's, The Fall, The Stranger, and The Myth of Sisyphus.

Alain de Botton's Status Anxiety was a nice summer read with a philosophical/historical edge on it. Botton tracks the causes and possible solutions to widespread anxiety over status elegantly and well. If you like Status Anxiety, try reading Bobos in Paradise and The Paradox of Choice for interesting parallels and connections.

I've got a few other interesting things teed up, but let's talk about those when I get to them.


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