What are you reading? Recommendations

I saw Dendritical’s thread, and thought that it would be nice to have a thread for recommendations of any kind. I’m just finishing up Rudy Rucker’s “Infinity and the mind”, and I highly recommend it. It covers a wide array of topics related to infinity, from theoligy, physical, and mathematical. The areas on set theory, and Godel’s theorems are particularly interesting. Anyways I’m looking for a good read at the moment, something contemparary, as I and most likely the majority of us here have already delved into most of the classic philosophy works. So I would appreciate any recommendations :smiley:

Recommending- Rudy Rucker’s “Infinity and the mind”

Hi Rounder,

I just wanted to mention that given your interest in the idea of Infinity, you might also enjoy:

Ad Infinitum-- The Ghost in Turing’s Machine: Taking God Out of Mathematics and Putting the Body Back in : An Essay in Corporeal Semiotics, by Brian Rotman

Oh yes, don’t be put off by the cover artwork. Rotman has some fascinating ideas.


Personally I am not quite done with the ‘classic philosophical works’ - perhaps neither are you except by your own judgement, which is naturally yours to make.

I am currently reading ‘Truth and Method’, by Hans-Georg Gadamer.

I don’t know though - contemporary? Tell me more of what you have read, and I will be better equiped to make recommendations. Otherwise I can only recommend whole threads of reading, which by my own admission are far from comprehensive.

Thankyou for the reccomendation Polemarchus, I’ll be sure to check it out. Sounds like it would make a good post Rucker read.

James No. 2 no I am not done reading all of the classic philosophical works. I guess what I meant was that we are all at least familiar with them, and to a certain respect understand the main arguements of the classic philosophers. Recently I have been reading a lot of the classic works, and so its refreshing to turn to contemporary veiws. Recently I’ve read some of Kant’s, Nietzsche, Jung’s, and on the back burner for me is Wittgenstein. I’ve been attempting to broaden my knowledge of Science, and mathematics. I’ve read all of Hawking’s mainstream works, Just bought a book on Riemann’s hypothesis which I am really interested in, and just printed out yesterday Bohm’s “Soma significance”. Basically I just thought it’d be nice if you’ve read any real gems lately and wanted to share. So I was mainly asking for reccomendations that are more contemporary, or that is not to the popularity of work’s by say Kant, Plato, Nietzsche etc…

What your reading at the moment I am not familiar with So also it would be nice to know the premise of the book, or works.

If you like Bohm try ‘Wholeness and the Implicate Order’. Sorry I forget to mention this before.

I can’t recommend Dennett enough. Consiousness Explained is fantastic. It’s as fun and exciting as it is thorough and thought-provoking. It certainly gave me some handy tools for understanding consciousness, and for approaching philosophy in general. If you liked that one, I also recommend The Intentional Stance. It’s a collection of essays, and so it doesn’t have the force of a cohesive argument. Still, there are some fantastic ideas in there.

The last book related to philosophy I read was a fantastic novel by Umberto Eco, called The Name of the Rose. There’s a good bit of Scholastic philosophy and theology in there, as well as a page-turning murder mystery, and a healthy dose of modern political theory and history. On top of it all, it’s written in a beautiful, yet convincingly authoritative language. (It also contains a stolen quote from Wittgenstein!)

I also recently finished a couple books on the history of mathematics: Fermat’s Enigma and The Golden Ratio, both very enjoyable.

The other day I started Saul Bellow’s Henderson the Rain King. So far it’s a real pleasure to read, if you’re in the mood for straight fiction.

yes, eco’s book is brilliant…


If you are looking for something easy, Try reading Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. I know…it is not really philosophical at all, but I feel it was a masterpiece in scientific literature. I read it over Christmas Break, and I throughly enjoyed it. It is absolutely fascinating…

Otherwise, I recommend you stick with the basic philosophers, such as Plato (the Republic), etc…

I personally, am in the process of finishing reading Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes. It did not turn out to be as great of a book as I thought it would, but it is stil worth your time. :wink:

Hey peoples, I just purchased a copy of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. I have never had so much difficulty in finding a book! I live near several large Borders and Barnes & Noble Stores, but niether store contained any of Wiggy’s works. I almost had to order it used, since the book is almost completely out-of-print — not kidding! I was fortunate enough to find just one copy of Tractatus at the 5th Barnes & Noble store I tried. I got the last copy they had, and the publisher of my specific copy was by Barnes & Noble Publishing, Inc…

…on a positive note, The copy I have contains the both translations: The original German, and the English translation… :sunglasses:

Wow thanks, my reading list is rapidly expanding. Thank’s for the great recommendations. I to would also recommend Hawking’s breif history for the layman intellectual who is interested in Science. I do feel science and Philosophy, along with mathematics are strongly linked.

If anyone else is having trouble Locating Wittgenstein’s Tractatus it is on project Gutenburg, free to download. I highly recommend this site, its where I go for any classical material. Its a great resource and its free!!!


And at the amazon site there seem to be enough books of Wittgenstein available:

amazon.com/exec/obidos/searc … 47-7967329

I find some text of Wittgenstein about language and language use fascinating. I read for the moment “Philosophische Untersuchungen” but it is difficult to enjoy this text, because I have less time. The text is subdivided, but follows each other in a very structured and develloping order (different to the aphorisms of Nietzsche) and this asks time to dive up into the world of Wittgensteins philosophy. You really need time, but you will find genial ideas and great sentences. It is surprising how clear and brilliant Wittgenstein expressed his philosophy and thoughts. He was a teacher by heart and this influenced his writing. His text reads as a continouse dialogue with the reader of his works. “Philosophische Untersuchungen” is the first book of Wittgenstein I read and I’m very courious about the others, in particular the Tractatus.


Old Europe

I’m currently reading Foucault’s Order of Things.
This book is very interesting and challenging. The archeological method presents the history of ideas in a way that is both new and difficult.

I’m also reading an anthology of Foucalt’s lectures and interviews called Ethics (from the essential works of Foucault series). This is incredible material that provides me with a new understanding of freeom and power in Foucault.

I recently finished the Metaphysics of Morals by good ol Immanuel Kant. It is a wonderful book and provides a much clearer view of Kantian morality than the Grounding.

The last philosphy book I read was The Question of God, which compares/contrasts CS Lewis’ (a born-again) religious philosophy with Sigmund Freud’s (a staunch atheist until death).

Come to think of it, I should probably finish it one of these days.

Hume on Induction: A Genuine Problem or Theology’s trojan horse?, paper in ‘Philosophy’ 77 2002 by S. Boulter.


Medieval Philosophy, R Bosley & M Tweedale.

Go very well together, and will get you alot further quicker than many other texts.

“Organs Without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences” by Slavoj Zizek - contains an amazing discussion of recent work by analytic philosophers of the mind such as Pinker and Dennett… but from a Lacanian perspective, of course!