This book is fascinating. It is like watching a train wreck that never ends.
Leave it to a man with an ego as large as the great outdoors to write a bThis book is fascinating. It is like watching a train wreck that never ends.
Leave it to a man with an ego as large as the great outdoors to write a book about The Will being the fundamental object in creation.
In the process of developing his view he began by telling the reader not to bother reading his book if the reader is not prepared to read both volumes twice, along with his doctoral thesis, and the works of Kant and of Plato. That was the minimum reading list. He would also like for the reader to be familiar with Berkley, Locke, Spinoza, and to have read Asian religious texts such as "The Dhamba", "The Vedas", and "The Upanishads".
This book is a dense read. Why do I keep reading it? This sort of thing fascinates me. I like to find a truly different and well developed world view like this and dive in just to see how the person could believe what they did.
(view spoiler)[In a nut-shell: The universe consists of God and the physical universe. We have no organ for experiencing God directly. Information about God comes to us through revelation. He repeatedly tells us that his philosophy does not support a theology.
The primary ontological structure of everything, both living and inanimate, of the physical universe is the Thing-in-Itself. The Thing-in-Itself is The Will which is not self-aware nor does it have a plan. It simply attempts to actualize itself in any way possible. The way it does it is via. Representation as objects making up the physical world and universe. Since everything comes from this self-actualizing and grasping "Will" all things have the quality of aggressive striving for self-interest in whatever form the things are able to assert or promote their own being, even at the expense of other things.
Schopenhauer admires Plato and Kant. However, he spends the last section of the book pistol-whipping Kant. (hide spoiler)]
I would recommend this book to a patient reader, who can endure the repeated lambasting of professional philosophers and complaints of being neglected as a literary figure, interested in a unique vision of the existence of the universe that looks like a Western European version of Asian thought. It is also worthwhile as a critique of Kant.
I enjoyed watching this ontological philosophy unfurl to uncover everything. Or, maybe I just like watching wrecks that never seem to end.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book is just short of being amazing. The plot is solid and engaging. The characters are well drawn. The skill of the writing is top notch.
This voThis book is just short of being amazing. The plot is solid and engaging. The characters are well drawn. The skill of the writing is top notch.
This volume of the Unwind dystopian quadrilogy is a juvenile book I would highly recommed to young people. I would also recommend it for the pleasure reading of adults. I think it is one of those crossover books like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games. I would say it is as good as The Hunger Games....more
This is an excellent book for long time Edgar Rice Burroughs fans. It isn't that I see an influence. I don't. What I see is that same ability to tellThis is an excellent book for long time Edgar Rice Burroughs fans. It isn't that I see an influence. I don't. What I see is that same ability to tell an adventure novel that is almost formula fiction using excellent writing craft that keeps moving.
An observation of my 16-year-old daughter, Ellen, who read the books as they came out--this winter she read Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" and she observed that the names of the villains in "Hunger Games" are all in "Julius Caesar". I am just now reading the first HG book for the first time this week. So, that was a good catch on her part. Isn't it true that Rome was divided into 12 Territories? All right, so Panem (Latin for 'bread', as in "bread and circuses" keeping the population from rebelling) is Rome. Very good, Suzanne Collins, that is good story telling craft.
I would place this on the needs to be interpreted using "Being and Nothingness" shelf. There is an excellent exploration of the difference between the nature, being--whatever of the inner person and the way that others experience the person externally and how the 'Other's' interpretation of that external person actually solidifies the being of their interpretation as part of the character's ontological structure.
Also, of interest is to bring in volume one of Sartre's "Critique of Dialectical Being" that explores the relationship of the ontological being of the individual within the structure of society, especially an oppressive society....more
Loved it. This is a wonderful and successfully done example of alternative publishing format. Wonderful understated stated story of a woman's life inLoved it. This is a wonderful and successfully done example of alternative publishing format. Wonderful understated stated story of a woman's life in Chicago....more
"His Dark Materials" is a highly imaginative trilogy. The people have animal familiars attached to them for life with an invisible metaphysical cord.
I"His Dark Materials" is a highly imaginative trilogy. The people have animal familiars attached to them for life with an invisible metaphysical cord.
It is a steam-punk world including a dirigible pilot.
There are creatures with a symbiotic relationship with a plant that they make hoops out of. The creatures travel in herds by rolling inside of the hoops. The hoops are so hard that the only way the pods can be broken out of them so they can reproduce is by being used as they are by the traveling creatures.
The heroine is a strong girl, child character that we see personal growth in throughout the series....more
This is a true wild ride. People on the colonies need something to keep them from going crazy from lack of stimulation. There was a product Chewzee. YThis is a true wild ride. People on the colonies need something to keep them from going crazy from lack of stimulation. There was a product Chewzee. You chew it and set up a little house with accoutrements and for a while you get to experience living in that house as though it were real.
There is a company that makes the houses and accoutrements. Then a new product is introduced a spray called Ubik that does the same thing only better. There is a power struggle over market, and the question of whether or not Ubik is allowing aliens to control the people who use it or not.
This novel has all of the things that Philip K. Dick is famous for. There are alternative realities, and you don't know which is reality. There is conspiracy. There are the usual flawed people looking for human connection....more
This 766 page tome is a great and important book. However, the reader feels the weight of every page. Unlike some long books such as "Against the Day"This 766 page tome is a great and important book. However, the reader feels the weight of every page. Unlike some long books such as "Against the Day" by Pynchon or "The Lord of the Rings" by Tolkien for which this reader enjoyed each so much that they seem too short. I mention the grueling ponderousness of "The Second Sex", not to steer others from the work, but to prepare them for what to expect. Also, to say, it is worth it.
De Beauvoir observes that women represent 50% of the world population, they are integrated into every social structure at every level of humanity and yet they are still short changed in many ways as though they were a small minority. De Beauvoir searches for the answer to how this inequality can happen throughout the book.
The book is divided in two volumes. The first asks the question "What is the feminine?" Meaning 'Does femininity originate in anatomy or chemistry? Is it a product of social conditioning? It it psychological?' de Beauvoir explores biology and women. Then she discusses women in literature and literature produced by women. Finally, she gets to a sociological exploration of women and femininity.
I found the first volume to be the most difficult to get through. The second volume is about "Lived Experience". Each chapter describes a different aspect of women's lives. De Beauvoir is strongest in this section when she stops describing things she has read and tells the reader what she knows about the experiences of women.
De Beauvoir does answer the question about the inequality between men and women. Her answer is the entire book that describes the many ways that society is male dominated. She says inequality continues because of the complicity of the sexes with each other.
Personally, I hope this new translation of de Beauvoir's "The Second Sex" will attract a new generation of readers. It is a book for all of us. Those of us with daughter's and sons want the best for our children. One way to contribute to the best for everyone is for people to educate themselves instead of simply accepting the way things are around us.
One of de Beauvoir's closing observations is that we should not accept the way things are for fear of losing what is good in the relationships between men and women. She believes this is to lack the imagination to see that equality would lead to something better.
The name sounds a lot cooler than it is. My teachers said the name didn't have any meaning within the novel. Hmmm? To satisfy your curiosity At-Swim-TThe name sounds a lot cooler than it is. My teachers said the name didn't have any meaning within the novel. Hmmm? To satisfy your curiosity At-Swim-Two-Birds is the name of a lake in Ireland. In Irish literature I do know that At-Swim-Two-Birds was the name of a body of water where King Sweeney landed and ate watercress when he was turned into a bird and flying across Ireland.
About this novel. It is a piece of comedic modernist literature. Ostensibly, it is the imaginings of a young man who likes to smoke in bed and who is living with his uncle while he, the young man, is studying for his examinations.
The young man is writing a novel. We get to see his creations. We see the young man subscribing to a service that provides tips on the horse races. We see, oh, so many things.
And lets not forget his relationship with his uncle who is a Guinness man, a true and proud Guinness man if ever there was one. ...more
This is a pretty good juvenile book. It has the feel of the television show "Lost". It starts out strong then sages for a while. But I did like the enThis is a pretty good juvenile book. It has the feel of the television show "Lost". It starts out strong then sages for a while. But I did like the ending. Not just because it ended the book. Over all I was happy with it....more
Rereading this book has improved my appreciation of it. It is a lot like Ubik only not quite as good. The first time I read it I got lost at some poinRereading this book has improved my appreciation of it. It is a lot like Ubik only not quite as good. The first time I read it I got lost at some point after our hero was shot with an LSD tipped dart. I began to think PKD was just making filler in order to resell it as a full length novel. But with patience the reader will find that the extended LSD trip is integrated into the rest of the story....more
I have just finished reading both titles in this hideous volume that I bought through Amazon books titled "On the Fourfold Root of he Principle of SufI have just finished reading both titles in this hideous volume that I bought through Amazon books titled "On the Fourfold Root of he Principle of Sufficient Reason" by Arthur Schopenhauer. I call it hideous because the printing standards are low. The publisher is such a nonentity that they don't have a webpage. The publisher hasn't even taken credit for their work anywhere on the book. It is just listed as Davies Press in the Amazon description. These are odd behaviors for any business wanting more business.
I am convinced that someone owns one of those print on demand machines that some libraries have. They have taken a file in which someone has scanned the book with the settings for 300 DPI and black and white and just printed it without looking at what they had. The letters of the words are often splotchy or missing so that I have had to halt my reading to figure out what many of the words were supposed to be. This happened often enough that it diminished the pleasure of reading the book.
Also, the second title in the volume is not mentioned on the cover or the title page. Nor is it mentioned in the Amazon description. I get the feeling that the publisher had no idea what their product was. Also, as I got into the second title there were places that looked like copies of hand drawn underlinings of words from a library book. I haven't contacted Amazon because I have had the book for a few months. My experience with the product just kept getting worse and worse the further in I got. Yuck.
About the first title "On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason" by Arthur Schopenhauer, which comprises the first 189 pages of this truly hideous edition. It is the 1855 revised 3rd edition of his Doctoral Thesis from the 1815. I read this book because the author tells us to in the introduction to his principle work "The World as Will and Representation". In the introduction of his principle work he tells the reader not to even bother with reading the book if we are not willing to do the following: 1) Read both volumes of "The World as Will and Representation" twice. 2) Before starting with that the reader is to have already read his "On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason". 3) The reader is required to be familiar with the works of Kant and Plato. According to him these are the minimum requisites for the reader to have any hope of understanding his philosophy at all. Of course, there are other things he recommends the reader to have read ahead of time as well, but the above are the minimum requirements. He also wrote that he did not care if any individual reader became confused or frustrated or didn't like his writing because he didn't write for individual readers, instead he wrote for the ages. He was confident his readers would find him throughout the ages.
What a cute little old poop.
I finished reading "On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason" march 8th. It is a difficult volume. I immediately reread the book because the first reading became more a matter of getting my bearings within the work than an actual reading of the first 80 pages. I completed rereading the entire thing 4 days later on March 12.
I would recommend this book to someone with an interest in New Age philosophy. (view spoiler)[ 1) Schopenhauer's big idea was that all things, both animate and inanimate have a Will. The Will is the primary aspect of existence for any thing. He calls it the 'thing in itself'. The Will of each thing competes to be sensed as a representation in the world at the expense of the Will of other things also desiring to be represented as part of the World.
2) The only difference between the Will of humans and of other animals is that other animals have a lesser experience because they are not capable of abstract thought. They live in an eternal present because they have no concept of time or causality.
3) The book describes the correct beginnings of the ancient philosophers and how subsequent thinkers have gotten some things right but have mostly taken wrong steps in their attempts to understand the world. Schopenhauer describes the four aspects of reality and of mental viewing necessary for knowing a thing in the world. (hide spoiler)]
"On The Will in Nature" begins on p. 190 and runs through to p. 380 of As of today I have read the entire volume. That means I have read "On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason" Twice in the past few weeks and "On The Will in Nature" once.
The first 15 pages are bluster from the author. (view spoiler)[Then he discusses what he means by an inanimate or animate thing having a will. He sees the human soul as a secondary entity within humans. The Will is the primary structure of our being. Then the intellect and the soul are at least two parts of a poly-existent entity.
Schopenhauer discusses the nature of the existence of plant life in a chapter of its own. Of great interest is a chapter he calls animal magnetism. In "On the Fourfold Root..." he is quite clear that there is no organ of our bodies that allow us to sense or have a relationship with God. For this reason, he says, his philosophy cannot be the foundation of a theology. Yet, his chapter on animal magnetism describes how the Will of a person can effect the Will of weaker persons, lower animals, or inanimate things, producing the effect we describe as magic.
The following chapter called 'sinology' discusses how his thoughts are described in the Buddhist and Hindu religions, though he was not aware of the beliefs of those religions when he wrote his first book. He sees this and many other scientific studies of the early to mid-1800s as confirmations of his philosophy. I had warmed to Schopenhauer as I reread "On the Fourfold Root...". However, he gave me a bad taste the more he discussed Buddhist and Hindu religions. by the end of "On the Will and Nature" I was back to thinking of him as a maniacal jackass. But he is an interesting enough jackass that I intend to finish reading "The World as Will and Representation". I am currently up to page 300 of volume 1. (hide spoiler)]
The reason I have been looking at Schopenhauer is because I listened to an audio book on "Life After Death" by Dinesh D'Souza last year and he said some intriguing things about Schopenhauer's philosophy. He (Schopenhauer) posed the possibility that our individual identities are an illusion and that in reality we are one person. If that were true then it gives a new meaning to Christ's injunction to love your neighbor as yourself. I found it to be an intriguing enough idea to look at Schopenhauer myself. After all, if D'Souza's interpretation of Schopenhauer is correct then "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" suddenly has a new force to it. It makes sense that we would be created so that our decisions to harm others is actually directly harming oneself, even if we don't realize that that is what is happening. The idea has the bizarre logic to it that I have come to expect from spiritual teachings.
In the end I wanted to see if Schopenhauer wrote what D'Souza said that he wrote. Last Summer I happened upon an inexpensive Dover set of "The World as Will and Representation" at a used bookstore. I snapped at the opportunity to satisfy my curiosity. The past few months have been slow reading as I tried to get through "On the Fourfold Root..." the first time. In Dec. my mother-in-law gave me a copy of "The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick" as a Christmas present. As it turns out PKD was a Schopenhauer fan. As I complete Schopenhauer's two titles in the hideous volume I can see the influence.
For me reading Schopehauer is worth the time and effort.