The book was not inventive by any means. In fact, I found it a bit superficial at times, but that may have been because of its repetitiveness. I did eThe book was not inventive by any means. In fact, I found it a bit superficial at times, but that may have been because of its repetitiveness. I did enjoy Rawls' theory of Public Reason and I think the practices he prescribes for proper reasonable political dialogue are vital in contemporary society.
Additionally, it should be read especially by those skeptics of the democratic political system as a purely Western ideology. He touches on this point and makes a short but interesting (informal) argument against the aforementioned claim that democracy is ethnocentric.
I think the political philosophical claims he makes are worth considering, and to understand his argumentation, then turn to the respective sections. He does a fine job of referring to supporting sections accordingly, and a applaud his organization. Certainly, John Rawls is a well-trained philosopher.
If you want to get the gist of his theory without reading the entire text then turn to page 124, and read on. ...more
This text was profoundly eye-opening. In the wake of such religious persecution and warfare as we have seen in the past 15 years, it is important to uThis text was profoundly eye-opening. In the wake of such religious persecution and warfare as we have seen in the past 15 years, it is important to understand what ideals impel the people our government opposes.
I think it behooves us to understand this religious offshoot of Islam. ...more
I enjoyed this book, mainly because Novak did a good job of capturing emotions and thoughts I've been grappling with for some time now. He made argumeI enjoyed this book, mainly because Novak did a good job of capturing emotions and thoughts I've been grappling with for some time now. He made arguments about democracy and capitalism, and its effects on American society, i.e., the effects it has on us morally and intellectually. This topic seems to have been in fashion during the 1970s. He evinced the importance of Aristotelian ethics in contemporary society as a palliative for his diagnosis of American culture. Diagnosis: we have fallen prey to technological abstractions, and the guise of equality, which have limited our ability to act on our beliefs and evaluate our beliefs, whole-heartedly. This, along with the innate 'drive to question' that all humans possess, plainly stated, is where 'the experience of nothingness' is born.
He contends that apathy generally follows from the powerlessness that one experiences upon realizing that the political and cultural machines that affect our lives, and erroneously concluding that our ability to shape the world around us, even our very lives, is limited to the point of immobility. What we ought do, is use the experience of nothingness in tandem with the drive to question as impetuses to foster a sense of self that is conscientious, courageous, and craves honesty when dealing with all levels of human society, e.g. individual, group, institutional, governmental. ...more
This 'book'-in reality, it is a letter written to Lord Alfred Douglas-is brimming with beautiful passages, intelligent ideas, and honest emotion. I haThis 'book'-in reality, it is a letter written to Lord Alfred Douglas-is brimming with beautiful passages, intelligent ideas, and honest emotion. I haven't read something this transfixing and powerful in quite some time. It truly reveals Wilde's mastery of language, and his profound understanding on the human psyche. I found myself wondering if he knew that this would be read in the future by people other than Lord Alfred Douglas. It wouldn't change my experience of the book, but it was just so beautiful and contemplative that I wonder if it was written for two audiences: Lord A. Douglas and us. Anyway, he speaks of love, sorrow, Christ, 'Art', and the power of imagination to enumerate a few topics.
I have found myself referring back to this book while writing my own prose. The reason being that he handles complex emotional themes in an almost philosophical way, patiently and meticulously explaining himself, making sure he is perfectly understood. I assume the nature of the letter and the conditions surrounding it (being captive in prison) influenced his pace and thoroughness, and one can only hope to pour that much of oneself into one's writing.
I highly recommend this book. Especially for anyone who has experimented with deep sorrow and contempt for another human. It masterfully straddles the lines of culpability and forgiveness: borders found in the land of sorrow, at the edge of one's soul where the feeling of infinity finds it home and happiness rests on the horizon. ...more
A complete and well organized anthology, comprised of the most prominent ethical theories of our time. It is an integral compilation of theories fromA complete and well organized anthology, comprised of the most prominent ethical theories of our time. It is an integral compilation of theories from philosophers, writers, social scientists and more. If you are expecting to pick up this book and know the answer to the question "what is an ethical life?", brace yourself. You will most likely close the pages with more questions than answers. ...more