I found a review from audible by a fellow named Joseph that captured exactly my reaction to this book. Joseph wrote
"No doubt Jeff Hawkins is a brilliI found a review from audible by a fellow named Joseph that captured exactly my reaction to this book. Joseph wrote
"No doubt Jeff Hawkins is a brilliant cortex, given that each one of us and the world we live in is nothing more than the experience of an active cortex. But he is not a wise human, which, in my mind, is the greatest achievement of homo sapiens, not the ability to recreate intelligence in a machine.
It is telling that he admits to never studying the nature of consciousness, but in one pithy statement of "fact", reduces it to one thing - the neo-cortex experience. When the cortex ceases to function, so does consciousness. It's not that he holds this "belief" that is troublesome, but rather the arrogance with which he holds his cortex-created model of the world to be "the truth."
This book is an excellent example of the scientist telling us how the trunk of an elephant works and the value of putting that information to work for us humans, but the consistent conclusion that the elephant IS the trunk is tiresome, offensive, and indicative of an immature soul.
Not being schooled in AI or neuroscience, I have no judgment on his theory - other than it is too reductionistic in general - and as one who has a passion for understanding as much as I can about being human, the discussion of how the brain works and what a model of this might be was enjoyable." ...more
This books was absolutely fascinating. It was written by a liberal Jewish atheist who labors to pull out the wisdom and truths he finds in religious wThis books was absolutely fascinating. It was written by a liberal Jewish atheist who labors to pull out the wisdom and truths he finds in religious writings, ethics and even the political right. One thing that made the book especially unique was his including personal opinions and some of his journeys towards understanding, so one almost feels like your getting to know him as a person through his book. Though happiness is in the title, its no self-help book, but rather he beautifully combines philosophy, science, psychology and sociology together. ...more
This book was really interesting, he makes the case that the mind is not merely an illusion, but it can have a causative force on the brain, which isThis book was really interesting, he makes the case that the mind is not merely an illusion, but it can have a causative force on the brain, which is quite a controversial stance to take in the scientific community. Personally it was quite a pleasure to hear Schwartz opposing the materialistic, deterministic and behaviorist view point which are still orthodoxy in the cult of scientific naturalism. But yeah, a lot of the book is the history of brain science and how a couple of folks accidentally stumbled upon how neuroplasticity still happens in the adult brain. Now what is amazing is how these findings utterly enraged the scientific community, for assumptions didn't allow for any changes in the brain. it seems way to much of the scientific community takes the "To hell with truth! Don't confuse me with the facts, I have my mind made up!" stance, for they fought against it, like scientist today oppose intelligent design. This just confirmed to me all the more that the common talk about the scientific community being so open minded and always pursuing truth no matter where it leads, is a bunch of B.S. the the discovery of Neuroplasticity and the power of mental force has brought so much good to the world, but those who proposed it to begin with were practically crucified. Whats more it is interesting that the ones who stumbled upon it were not educated by the current paradigm, so they were actually open to the scientific findings from their experiments. But yeah, I ought to shut up now. ...more
Me and Pinker share many of the same values, moral sense and political and governmental ideas, yet he is an atheist and I am a Christian. As a ChristiMe and Pinker share many of the same values, moral sense and political and governmental ideas, yet he is an atheist and I am a Christian. As a Christian I have foundational reasons for what I believe (ones he of course that he thinks are foolish and false), but in this diatribe (as many have called it) Pinker set forth a foundation for his values and good sense, which is human nature that was formed by millions of years of evolution. This saves him from the subjective anything goes trap, that atheistic existentialist, relativist and nihilist get entangled in. Pinker desires objective truth as much as Christians do, and science has given it to him, so he thinks. In this way he is a bit at odds with some liberal intellectuals, who want to create reality how ever they want, pretending there are no laws, norms, human nature, or consequences to stupidity, so they can be intoxicated in their Utopian idealism, that has no basis in human nature or social realities.
This book covers a lot (its over 500 pages). But yeah, I want to say a word on a subject toward the end of the book on how parents play no role at all in shaping their children, but rather (as the studies show) its peers that have the greatest shaping power over children. But yeah, just because modern science shows us right now that parents are inconsequential, does not mean this is true,this might have more to do with whom the scientist studied and how they went about it and what they looked for. I do realize that peers have much more influence then parents (this is obvious from mere observation and reflection). But I do think parents at a earlier age, do have the ability to help develop self-control (this is just overwhelmingly obvious!), they also can home-school their children and have a say in who their peers are and what media they take in and they can teach them to reason and think for themselves. I've seen to many examples of his, that I find it folly to fully believe the current scientific conclusions. Also, Pinker totally discounts with a brief sweeping remark, that children are significantly shaped during those first three years after being born. But yeah, I've read to many books about the new science concerning the unconscious, to believe him here.
I sometime have a problem with how intellectuals jump to the latest conclusions of scientist, so early in the game. Just because science cannot account for free will does not mean it does not exist. The fact that so many scientist can't figure out how to put together a controlled study that clearly accounts for it, only shows they've yet to think of the right way to study it, not that it is an illusion. So it is with consciousness and the self, they can't explain it scientifically, but yeah, here is a gap, but why must scientist claim there is nothing to fill it? Most likely, they've not done their work. We can't prove there really is a world out there, maybe we're just a brain in a vat, but just because we can't scientifically prove this, does not mean I should now claim everything I see and experience is an illusion, our existence is TO OBVIOUS. Scientist must find it too tempting to be counter-intuitive and against common sense in the name of science, to resist its pull. ...more
I LOVE this book, Donald Miller's writing resonate within me, while reading I get that feeling of being understood, embrace and refreshed. Uh actuallyI LOVE this book, Donald Miller's writing resonate within me, while reading I get that feeling of being understood, embrace and refreshed. Uh actually I don't know how to describe it, I suppose one could say its like medicine, or really relating to someone on a deep level. I am just digging a hole. But yeah, His writing is genuine and honest and real, and each spiritual lesson he comes to just really hits the spot, like someone scratching that spot on the back you can't reach. sure ministry to my soul :) ...more
I really enjoyed hearing Mark Smiths reflections on various virtues throughout the book. He has done what hope to do sometime off in the future, thatI really enjoyed hearing Mark Smiths reflections on various virtues throughout the book. He has done what hope to do sometime off in the future, that is to read the LOTR books more contemplatively and draw from them the richness that is there. What I like is the LOTR story was fresh in my mind, so it was almost like having a conversation with a friend who is sharing with me what they liked from the book, and since they have a different perspective from mine, when they share there reflection from a part of the story that I too have read, it excites me. For they put words to what I knew was there but I some reason could not verbalize it. They mention something and at once it seems obvious. And yet if I am honest with myself, it was not obvious to me a moment before they said it, though right in front of me. ...more
I listened to Notes from Underground audiobook, and I must say, hearing the rants and ravings of a mad man for 5 hours got old, 30 minutes of listeninI listened to Notes from Underground audiobook, and I must say, hearing the rants and ravings of a mad man for 5 hours got old, 30 minutes of listening to such nonsense would be sufficient. I know the book had a purpose and it is a good character study, but I still did not like it. As I listened, a few came to mind who are as self-centered, irrational, contradictory and confusing as the man in this novel; making mountains out of mull hills and taking everything personally, twisting everything and painting the world as if was purposely trying to insult them and then feeling justified in their rage and longing for revenge. The character in this book is the kind of person I want to avoid! I suppose if nothing else, these 5 hours reminded me of that...more
Schopenhauer is so easy to read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, one definitely sees his personality, wisdom, humor, opinions and his arrogance, biaseSchopenhauer is so easy to read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, one definitely sees his personality, wisdom, humor, opinions and his arrogance, biases and prejudices ringing forth in these pages. There is a sense in which Schopenhauer can be quite repetitive, but I think this is because he had ten different ways to say the same thing, and I found myself underlining everyone :) For my own future reference, I posted here some of my favorite quotes from the the book. You may enjoy reading them if you got the time.
Some of Schopenhauer's Wit And Wisdom From “The Wisdom of Life”:
“many a man, as industrious as an ant, ceaselessly occupied from morning to night in the endeavor to increase his heap of gold. Beyond the narrow horizon of means to this end, he knows nothing; his mind is a blank, and consequently unsusceptible to any other influence. The highest pleasures, those of the intellect, are to him inaccessible, and he tries in vain to replace them by the fleeting pleasures of sense in which he indulges, lasting but a brief hour and at tremendous cost. And if he is lucky, his struggles result in his having a really great pile of gold, which he leaves to his heir, either to make it still larger, or to squander it in extravagance. A life like this, though pursued with a sense of earnestness and an air of importance, is just as silly as many another which has a fool's cap for its symbol.”
“all that the possession of wealth can achieve has a very small influence upon our happiness, in the proper sense of the word; indeed, wealth rather disturbs it, because the preservation of property entails a great many unavoidable anxieties. And still men are a thousand times more intent on becoming rich than on acquiring culture”
“Because people have no thoughts to deal in, they deal cards, and try and win one another's money. Idiots!”
“To him oysters and champagne are the height of existence; the aim of his life is to procure what will contribute to his bodily welfare, and he is indeed in a happy way if this causes him some trouble. If the luxuries of life are heaped upon him, he will inevitably be bored, and against boredom he has a great many fancied remedies, balls, theatres, parties, cards, gambling, horses, women, drinking, traveling and so on; all of which can not protect a man from being bored, for where there are no intellectual needs, no intellectual pleasures are possible.”
“For, as Voltaire has very rightly said, there are no real pleasures without real needs”
“The ordinary man places his life's happiness in things external to him, in property, rank, wife and children, friends, society, and the like, so that when he loses them or finds them disappointing, the foundation of his happiness is destroyed. In other words, his center of gravity is not in himself; it is constantly changing its place, with every wish and whim.”
“Look on these two pictures—the life of the masses, one long, dull record of struggle and effort entirely devoted to the petty interests of personal welfare, to misery in all its forms, a life beset by intolerable boredom as soon as ever those aims are satisfied and the man is thrown back upon himself, whence he can be roused again to some sort of movement only by the wild fire of passion. On the other side you have a man endowed with a high degree of mental power, leading an existence rich in thought and full of life and meaning, occupied by worthy and interesting objects as soon as ever he is free to give himself to them, bearing in himself a source of the noblest pleasure.”
“it is manifestly a wiser course to aim at the maintenance of our health and the cultivation of our faculties, than at the amassing of wealth; but this must not be mistaken as meaning that we should neglect to acquire an adequate supply of the necessaries of life. Wealth, in the strict sense of the word, that is, great superfluity, can do little for our happiness; and many rich people feel unhappy just because they are without any true mental culture or knowledge, and consequently have no objective interests which would qualify them for intellectual occupations.”
“Health outweighs all other blessings so much that one may really say that a healthy beggar is happier than an ailing king.”
“It follows from all this that the greatest of follies is to sacrifice health for any other kind of happiness, whatever it may be, for gain, advancement, learning or fame, let alone, then, for fleeting sensual pleasures. Everything else should rather be postponed to it”
“How much our happiness depends upon our spirits, and these again upon our state of health, may be seen by comparing the influence which the same external circumstances or events have upon us when we are well and strong with the effects which they have when we are depressed and troubled with ill-health. It is not what things are objectively and in themselves, but what they are for us, in our way of looking at them, that makes us happy or the reverse. As Epictetus says, Men are not influenced by things, but by their thoughts about things. And, in general, nine-tenths of our happiness depends upon health alone. With health, everything is a source of pleasure; without it, nothing else, whatever it may be, is enjoyable; even the other personal blessings,—a great mind, a happy temperament—are degraded and dwarfed for want of it. So it is really with good reason that, when two people meet, the first thing they do is to inquire after each other's health, and to express the hope that it is good; for good health is by far the most important element in human happiness.”
“Everything confirms the fact that the subjective element in life is incomparably more important for our happiness and pleasure than the objective”
“Now it is certain that nothing contributes so little to cheerfulness as riches, or so much, as health. Is it not in the lower classes, the so-called working classes, more especially those of them who live in the country, that we see cheerful and contented faces? and is it not amongst the rich, the upper classes, that we find faces full of ill-humor and vexation? Consequently we should try as much as possible to maintain a high degree of health; for cheerfulness is the very flower of it. I need hardly say what one must do to be healthy—avoid every kind of excess, all violent and unpleasant emotion, all mental overstrain, take daily exercise in the open air, cold baths and such like hygienic measures. For without a proper amount of daily exercise no one can remain healthy; all the processes of life demand exercise for the due performance of their functions, exercise not only of the parts more immediately concerned, but also of the whole body. For, as Aristotle rightly says, Life is movement; it is its very essence.”
“The only thing that stands in our power to achieve, is to make the most advantageous use possible of the personal qualities we possess, and accordingly to follow such pursuits only as will call them into play, to strive after the kind of perfection of which they admit and to avoid every other; consequently, to choose the position, occupation and manner of life which are most suitable for their development.”
“So the first and most essential element in our life's happiness is what we are,—our personality, if for no other reason than that it is a constant factor coming into play under all circumstances”
“A quiet and cheerful temperament, happy in the enjoyment of a perfectly sound physique, an intellect clear, lively, penetrating and seeing things as they are, a moderate and gentle will, and therefore a good conscience—these are privileges which no rank or wealth can make up for or replace. For what a man is in himself, what accompanies him when he is alone, what no one can give or take away, is obviously more essential to him than everything he has in the way of possessions, or even what he may be in the eyes of the world. An intellectual man in complete solitude has excellent entertainment in his own thoughts and fancies, while no amount of diversity or social pleasure, theatres, excursions and amusements, can ward off boredom from a dullard.”
“What a man is, and so what he has in his own person, is always the chief thing to consider; for his individuality accompanies him always and everywhere, and gives its color to all his experiences. In every kind of enjoyment, for instance, the pleasure depends principally upon the man himself.”
“The man who is cheerful and merry has always a good reason for being so,—the fact, namely, that he is so. There is nothing which, like this quality, can so completely replace the loss of every other blessing. If you know anyone who is young, handsome, rich and esteemed, and you want to know, further, if he is happy, ask, Is he cheerful and genial?—and if he is, what does it matter whether he is young or old, straight or humpbacked, poor or rich?—he is happy.”
“It is the upper classes, people of wealth, who are the greatest victims of boredom. Lucretius long ago described their miserable state, and the truth of his description may be still recognized to-day, in the life of every great capital—where the rich man is seldom in his own halls, because it bores him to be there, and still he returns thither, because he is no better off outside;—or else he is away in post-haste to his house in the country, as if it were on fire; and he is no sooner arrived there, than he is bored again, and seeks to forget everything in sleep, or else hurries back to town once more.”
“There is not much to be got anywhere in the world. It is filled with misery and pain; and if a man escapes these, boredom lies in wait for him at every corner. Nay more; it is evil which generally has the upper hand, and folly makes the most noise. Fate is cruel, and mankind is pitiable. In such a world as this, a man who is rich in himself is like a bright, warm, happy room at Christmastide, while without are the frost and snow of a December night. Therefore, without doubt, the happiest destiny on earth is to have the rare gift of a rich individuality, and, more especially to be possessed of a good endowment of intellect; this is the happiest destiny, though it may not be, after all, a very brilliant one.”
“It is a great piece of folly to sacrifice the inner for the outer man, to give the whole or the greater part of one's quiet, leisure and independence for splendor, rank, pomp, titles and honor. This is what Goethe did. My good luck drew me quite in the other direction. The truth which I am insisting upon here, the truth, namely, that the chief source of human happiness is internal”
“Further, as no land is so well off as that which requires few imports, or none at all, so the happiest man is one who has enough in his own inner wealth, and requires little or nothing from outside for his maintenance, for imports are expensive things, reveal dependence, entail danger, occasion trouble, and when all is said and done, are a poor substitute for home produce. No man ought to expect much from others, or, in general, from the external world. What one human being can be to another is not a very great deal: in the end every one stands alone, and the important thing is who it is that stands alone.”
“Aristotle says, To be happy means to be self-sufficient. For all other sources of happiness are in their nature most uncertain, precarious, fleeting, the sport of chance; and so even under the most favorable circumstances they can easily be exhausted; nay, this is unavoidable, because they are not always within reach. And in old age these sources of happiness must necessarily dry up:—love leaves us then, and wit, desire to travel, delight in horses, aptitude for social intercourse; friends and relations, too, are taken from us by death. Then more than ever, it depends upon what a man has in himself; for this will stick to him longest; and at any period of life it is the only genuine and lasting source of happiness.”
“The life of the mind is not only a protection against boredom; it also wards off the pernicious effects of boredom; it keeps us from bad company, from the many dangers, misfortunes, losses and extravagances which the man who places his happiness entirely in the objective world is sure to encounter, My philosophy, for instance, has never brought me in a six-pence; but it has spared me many an expense.”
“Countless numbers of people find themselves in want, simply because, when they had money, they spent it only to get momentary relief from the feeling of boredom which oppressed them.”
“Now will without intellect is the most vulgar and common thing in the world, possessed by every blockhead, who, in the gratification of his passions, shows the stuff of which he is made. This is the condition of mind called vulgarity, in which the only active elements are the organs of sense, and that small amount of intellect which is necessary for apprehending the data of sense.”
“It will generally be found that those who know what it is to have been in need and destitution are very much less afraid of it, and consequently more inclined to extravagance, than those who know poverty only by hearsay. People who have been born and bred in good circumstances are as a rule much more careful about the future, more economical, in fact, than those who, by a piece of good luck, have suddenly passed from poverty to wealth. This looks as if poverty were not really such a very wretched thing as it appears from a distance. The true reason, however, is rather the fact that the man who has been born into a position of wealth comes to look upon it as something without which he could no more live than he could live without air; he guards it as he does his very life; and so he is generally a lover of order, prudent and economical. But the man who has been born into a poor position looks upon it as the natural one, and if by any chance he comes in for a fortune, he regards it as a superfluity, something to be enjoyed or wasted, because, if it comes to an end, he can get on just as well as before, with one anxiety the less”
“Men distinguished in philosophy, politics, poetry or art appear to be all of a melancholy temperament.”
“for a man who paints everything black, who constantly fears the worst and takes measures accordingly, will not be disappointed so often in this world, as one who always looks upon the bright side of things.”
“These achievements may be of two kinds, either actions or works; and so to fame there are two paths open. On the path of actions, a great heart is the chief recommendation; on that of works, a great head. Each of the two paths has its own peculiar advantages and detriments; and the chief difference between them is that actions are fleeting, while works remain. The influence of an action, be it never so noble, can last but a short time; but a work of genius is a living influence, beneficial and ennobling throughout the ages. All that can remain of actions is a memory, and that becomes weak and disfigured by time—a matter of indifference to us, until at last it is extinguished altogether; unless, indeed, history takes it up, and presents it, fossilized, to posterity. Works are immortal in themselves, and once committed to writing, may live for ever. Of Alexander the Great we have but the name and the record; but Plato and Aristotle, Homer and Horace are alive, and as directly at work to-day as they were in their own lifetime.”
“The fame of a great action has this advantage, that it generally starts with a loud explosion; so loud, indeed, as to be heard all over Europe: whereas the fame of a great work is slow and gradual in its beginnings; the noise it makes is at first slight, but it goes on growing greater, until at last, after a hundred years perhaps, it attains its full force; but then it remains, because the works remain, for thousands of years. But in the other case, when the first explosion is over, the noise it makes grows less and less, and is heard by fewer and fewer persons; until it ends by the action having only a shadowy existence in the pages of history.”
“though the envy of contemporaries be shown by universal silence, there will come those who will judge without enmity or favor. From this remark it is manifest that even in Seneca's age there were rascals who understood the art of suppressing merit by maliciously ignoring its existence, and of concealing good work from the public in order to favor the bad: it is an art well understood in our day, too, manifesting itself, both then and now, in an envious conspiracy of silence.”
“As a general rule, the longer a man's fame is likely to last, the later it will be in coming; for all excellent products require time for their development. The fame which lasts to posterity is like an oak, of very slow growth; and that which endures but a little while, like plants which spring up in a year and then die; whilst false fame is like a fungus, shooting up in a night and perishing as soon.”
“we should not be discouraged if people are stupid, for you can make no rings if you throw your stone into a marsh.”
“fame suffers encroachment and is rendered more unattainable in proportion as more people come by it. Further, the difficulty of winning fame by any given work stands in reverse ratio to the number of people who are likely to read it; and hence it is so much harder to become famous as the author of a learned work than as a writer who aspires only to amuse.”
“It is the possession of a great heart or a great head, and not the mere fame of it, which is worth having, and conducive to happiness. Not fame, but that which deserves to be famous, is what a man should hold in esteem. This is, as it were, the true underlying substance, and fame is only an accident, affecting its subject chiefly as a kind of external symptom, which serves to confirm his own opinion of himself. Light is not visible unless it meets with something to reflect it; and talent is sure of itself only when its fame is noised abroad. But fame is not a certain symptom of merit; because you can have the one without the other; or, as Lessing nicely puts it, Some people obtain fame, and others deserve it.”
“It would be a miserable existence which should make its value or want of value depend upon what other people think”
“what excites admiration must be of more value than the admiration itself. The truth is that a man is made happy, not by fame, but by that which brings him fame, by his merits, or to speak more correctly, by the disposition and capacity from which his merits proceed, whether they be moral or intellectual.”
“Besides, if a man has done this, he possesses something which cannot be wrested from him; and, unlike fame, it is a possession dependent entirely upon himself. If admiration were his chief aim, there would be nothing in him to admire. This is just what happens in the case of false, that is, unmerited, fame; for its recipient lives upon it without actually possessing the solid substratum of which fame is the outward and visible sign.”
“The value of posthumous fame lies in deserving it; and this is its own reward. Whether works destined to fame attain it in the lifetime of their author is a chance affair, of no very great importance. For the average man has no critical power of his own, and is absolutely incapable of appreciating the difficulty of a great work." ...more
I should write reviews as I go through a book, for each chapter has a way of snowing under the former ones. I absolutely loved the dialogs in the firsI should write reviews as I go through a book, for each chapter has a way of snowing under the former ones. I absolutely loved the dialogs in the first half of the book but the latter, were little more then long rant and his friends agreeing with every point as he logically "proved" the immortality of the soul, and i must say his reasoning was pretty absurd, I imagined he could have used "logic" to prove the mood is made out of blue cheese.
What I loved was to see how much I relate with Socrates in what drove him and eventually got him killed. In Socrates pursuit of wisdom and understanding, he went to the self-proclaimed wise, but in asking them questions found out they knew very little and theirs was a mere pretense of wisdom. So Socrates "wisdom" was that he did not pretend to be wise, he acknowledged the limits of knowledge and his own ignorance. He was humble enough to know he might be wrong. He then went around going to the puffed up and proud and with questions and good arguments pretty much stripped them naked and shown a light upon their ignorance. Doing this made him several enemies, for most people are of the mindset "don't confuse me with the facts, I've got my mind made up", few want truth, they just want to be 'right'. Because of their pride they cannot be open to sound arguments. So yeah, there is this cartoon I saw of Socrates where he says "I KNOW NOTHING" and at the same time he is thinking "Which is a hell of a lot more then you know!" I feel that kind of sums him up! Which leads to danger of pride in ones agnosticism. Something I imagine I struggle with, for I see all this absurd over confidence and arrogance in Politics and Religion and Pretty much all aspects of life, and it bothers me, so its easy to feel oneself special because I am "humble" and ask questions and I am willing to admit that I was wrong, I am willing to change my mind in pursuit of truth. Something "Those people" won't do. So I create a superior category for myself. ~Sigh~ I find this desire to get those people to at least acknowledge they might be wrong, their assurance bothers me. ...more
I listened to the free audiobook offered by librivox and I have little doubt that I would have enjoyed it more, if I read it. There are nuggets here aI listened to the free audiobook offered by librivox and I have little doubt that I would have enjoyed it more, if I read it. There are nuggets here and there that resonated with me, such as the idea of allowing other peoples' sin to be mirrors by which we see our own evil propensities, and having a stoic attitude when inconvenient and irritating people come along out path. I thought all the many religious ramblings (which was most of the book in my opinion) were vaguely interesting (sometimes), though he worshipped many gods (with theie twisted and disturbing mythologies), he seemed quite the Calvinist way before John Calvin (so gee... why did he hate Christian so much?). It seemed to him everything that happens and everything that IS currently in our world is good, because the gods willed it and to question this is to questions the gods, which is a serious no no. There are random thoughts of his that struck me, like why, when we humans supremely love ourselves, are not content with our opinion of ourselves, but rather are dependent upon the affirmation of others?...more
Will Durant did an amazing job of putting forth these many philosopher's ideas in an easy to follow way. It primarily gives a brief overview of the thWill Durant did an amazing job of putting forth these many philosopher's ideas in an easy to follow way. It primarily gives a brief overview of the the philosophers lives and in that context he shares their opinions. I learned a lot about Plato, Francis Bacon and Schopenhauer that I never heard before. I wish he had wrote a whole book on Kant, Kants philosophy interest me most, but it takes a philosopher to be able to make sense out of Kants extremely difficult writing style, so its nice for someone who understands Kant to share his fascinating thought in a readable way.
Its something to learn these thinkers meditations and to see how their ideas really did influence the world, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worst. Darwin influenced Nietzsche's philosophy which was embraced and faithfully carried out by Hitler and eventually all of Europe (minus Switzerland) was left in ruins. That of course is an extreme example, but yeah, I see philosophies influence everywhere, they have greatly influenced our worldviews, morality, politics, education and religion, ideas really have power. Yet could it be that part of the reason these famous philosophers had such influence, is they were writing books at a time when there were not many books, so when people read their ideas they only heard one side of the story. Nowadays its hard to see how any book could change the world like the books of old did, for now they're millions upon millions of books and 20 sides to each story.
My only complaint with the book is his choice of the more recent philosophers, it primarily covered the atheistic naturalist and the author I think believes Darwinian evolution as the lens modern philosophy must look through. Now, on most of the big philosophical problems such a mind/consciousness, freewill, meaning and ethics, Christians already have answers for, but because most of the intellectuals reject Christianity, therefore, they must try to make sense of everything without including God into the picture, and this has resulted in lots of absurdities. its taken 100s of years and keeps resulting in more and more speculation and theories and the problems remain still, i think its because they reject the key ingredient. But still they notice aspects of truth and we can learn from them....more