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What to Read -- Archives : philosophy

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    To Be Or Not to Be, reading Irvin D. Yalom's "Staring at the Sun," posted by Wallis Leslie

    Keats' poem "When I have fears that I may cease to be" poignantly expresses the way that obsessing about the end of life can lead to nihilism. Keats’ fear that he might cease to be seems more like a certainty than a possibility, but the fear proves incapacitating to many people as Dr. Irwin Yalom explains and attempts to ameliorate in his book Staring at the Sun

    Yalom uses his many years as a psychiatrist working with patients as well as his personal intimations of mortality and his lifelong contemplation of the works of Epicurus, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer and many other philosophers and psychoanalysts to elucidate the subject of human mortality. 

    As the population of the United States trends more and more to the geriatric, one would think that death and dying would be in the forefront of the public imagination, especially since the preponderance...

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    Posted by Ms. Wallis Leslie on May 27 2010 5:35PM | 0 comments

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    what does it mean to be intelligent?

    That's the central question in Blindsight, an unabashedly literary and unflinchingly dark novel of philosophy and first contact, by Peter Watts. You can read it for free, online here, perfect for downloading to your Kindle or iPad.

    It's hard to know where to start to talk about a book this complicated. A basic plot synopsis -- a group of 5 very different people are sent out to investigate an alien that appeared in the far reaches of our solar system, only to discover that the alien is extremely alien, and communication might not even be possible -- really doesn't tell you what reading this book is like.

    The narrator (Siri Keaton) has had major portions of his brain removed to cure epilepsy, and as a result doesn't experience empathy. His solution: figure out how everything works just by obs...

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    Posted by Mr. David Orr on Apr 15 2010 10:28PM | 2 comments