Category Archives: Books

“I read as one who abdicates.”

Fernando Pessoa, writing (or reading) as Bernardo Soares in The Book of Disquiet: I read and am liberated. I acquire objectivity. I cease being myself and so scattered. And what I read, instead of being like a nearly invisible suit … Continue reading

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Artefactual language as the enabler of Spirit

Cultural information rains down on the landscape of our genetically endowed mental capacities, mouldering the paths along which future information must travel, eroding and shaping the patterns of our thoughts and reactions (Distin 2011, 177-8) Chasing down some of Sloterdijk’s … Continue reading

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The Hope of Concepts (or, some sorely needed arch support)

(Loosely reflecting while re-reading Peter Sloterdijk’s You Must Change Your Life…) As in Spheres, PS’s aim is to create (or at least open up a space for) a new life-support system for humans, a post-religious quasi-religion grounded in practice and … Continue reading

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Enlightenment now

(Reading Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now) I am totally down with this book. Its main thesis is that the core values of the Enlightenment – Reason, Science, and Humanism – have resulted in human life being better in every measurable way. … Continue reading

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Hadot, Sloterdijk, and the Idol of Eternity

I have recently read both Pierre Hadot’s Philosophy as a Way of Life and Sloterdijk’s The Art of Philosophy. Both books place at their centers an ideal of the philosopher as one who is able to lift themselves from their … Continue reading

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Review of The Square and the Tower

Niall Ferguson’s The Square and the Tower is a caution against seeing our new, networked world as an unalloyed blessings. Human history (and NF’s book) is filled with examples of networks and hierarchies, many worth celebrating and equally many worth … Continue reading

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Niall Ferguson’s Hegelian aspirations

I have just started reading Niall Ferguson’s new book, The Square and the Tower. This comes after reading some of his other books, and hearing him in interviews. He’s an extraordinarily well-read, well-spoken, and intelligent fellow – and, I gather, … Continue reading

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