Topic: Philosophy/Philosophical literature
A Mathematician's Apology is a 1940 essay by British mathematician G. H. Hardy. It concerns the aesthetics of mathematics with some personal content, and gives the layman an insight into the mind of a working mathematician.
- "A Mathematician’s Apology" | 2020-02-02 | 130 Upvotes 52 Comments
Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge is a 1975 book about the philosophy of science by Paul Feyerabend, in which the author argues that science is an anarchic enterprise, not a nomic (customary) one. In the context of this work, the term anarchy refers to epistemological anarchy.
- "Against Method" | 2015-09-27 | 133 Upvotes 59 Comments
Cat's Cradle is a satirical postmodern novel, with science fiction elements, by American writer Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut's fourth novel, it was first published in 1963, exploring and satirizing issues of science, technology, the purpose of religion, and the arms race, often through the use of black humor. After turning down his original thesis in 1947, the University of Chicago awarded Vonnegut his master's degree in anthropology in 1971 for Cat's Cradle.
- "Bokononism: a fictional religion based on harmless untruths" | 2010-07-10 | 24 Upvotes 4 Comments
The "Dokkōdō" (Japanese: 獨行道) ("The Path of Aloneness", "The Way to Go Forth Alone", or "The Way of Walking Alone"), is a short work written by Miyamoto Musashi a week before he died in 1645. It consists of 21 precepts. "Dokkodo" was largely composed on the occasion of Musashi giving away his possessions in preparation for death, and was dedicated to his favorite disciple, Terao Magonojō (to whom the earlier Go rin no sho [The Book of Five Rings] had also been dedicated), who took them to heart. "Dokkōdō" expresses a stringent, honest, and ascetic view of life.
The 21 precepts of Dokkodo:
1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself or others.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11. In all things have no preferences.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
21. Never stray from the Way.
- "Miyamoto Musashi's Final Work" | 2009-01-08 | 26 Upvotes 25 Comments
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, also known as GEB, is a 1979 book by Douglas Hofstadter. By exploring common themes in the lives and works of logician Kurt Gödel, artist M. C. Escher, and composer Johann Sebastian Bach, the book expounds concepts fundamental to mathematics, symmetry, and intelligence. Through illustration and analysis, the book discusses how, through self-reference and formal rules, systems can acquire meaning despite being made of "meaningless" elements. It also discusses what it means to communicate, how knowledge can be represented and stored, the methods and limitations of symbolic representation, and even the fundamental notion of "meaning" itself.
In response to confusion over the book's theme, Hofstadter emphasized that Gödel, Escher, Bach is not about the relationships of mathematics, art, and music—but rather about how cognition emerges from hidden neurological mechanisms. One point in the book presents an analogy about how individual neurons in the brain coordinate to create a unified sense of a coherent mind by comparing it to the social organization displayed in a colony of ants.
The tagline "a metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll" was used by the publisher to describe the book.
This is a list of important publications in philosophy, organized by field. The publications on this list are regarded as important because they have served or are serving as one or more of the following roles:
- Foundation – A publication whose ideas would go on to be the foundation of a topic or field within philosophy.
- Breakthrough – A publication that changed or added to philosophical knowledge significantly.
- Influence – A publication that has had a significant impact on the academic study of philosophy or the world.
- "List of important publications in philosophy" | 2013-11-29 | 46 Upvotes 23 Comments
Simulacra and Simulation (French: Simulacres et Simulation) is a 1981 philosophical treatise by Jean Baudrillard, in which the author seeks to examine the relationships between reality, symbols, and society, in particular the significations and symbolism of culture and media involved in constructing an understanding of shared existence.
Simulacra are copies that depict things that either had no original, or that no longer have an original. Simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time.
Systems of Survival: A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics is a book written by American urban activist Jane Jacobs in 1992.
It describes two fundamental and distinct ethical systems, or syndromes as she calls them: that of the Guardian and that of Commerce. She argues that these supply direction for the conduct of human life within societies, and understanding the tension between them can help us with public policy and personal choices.
- "Systems of Survival" | 2016-08-13 | 30 Upvotes 3 Comments
The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (also The Art of Controversy, or Eristic Dialectic: The Art of Winning an Argument; German: Eristische Dialektik: Die Kunst, Recht zu behalten; 1831) is an acidulous, sarcastic treatise written by the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. In it, Schopenhauer examines a total of thirty-eight methods of showing up one's opponent in a debate. He introduces his essay with the idea that philosophers have concentrated in ample measure on the rules of logic, but have not (especially since the time of Immanuel Kant) engaged with the darker art of the dialectic, of controversy. Whereas the purpose of logic is classically said to be a method of arriving at the truth, dialectic, says Schopenhauer, "...on the other hand, would treat of the intercourse between two rational beings who, because they are rational, ought to think in common, but who, as soon as they cease to agree like two clocks keeping exactly the same time, create a disputation, or intellectual contest."
- "The Art of Being Right" | 2012-08-10 | 13 Upvotes 6 Comments
The Plague (French: La Peste) is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny and the human condition. The characters in the book, ranging from doctors to vacationers to fugitives, all help to show the effects the plague has on a populace.
The novel is believed to be based on the cholera epidemic that killed a large percentage of Oran's population in 1849 following French colonization, but the novel is placed in the 1940s. Oran and its surroundings were struck by disease multiple times before Camus published this novel. According to a research report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oran was decimated by the plague in 1556 and 1678, but all later outbreaks, in 1921 (185 cases), 1931 (76 cases), and 1944 (95 cases), were very far from the scale of the epidemic described in the novel.
The Plague is considered an existentialist classic despite Camus' objection to the label. The narrative tone is similar to Kafka's, especially in The Trial whose individual sentences potentially have multiple meanings, the material often pointedly resonating as stark allegory of phenomenal consciousness and the human condition.
Camus included a dim-witted character misreading The Trial as a mystery novel as an oblique homage. The novel has been read as an allegorical treatment of the French resistance to Nazi occupation during World War II. Additionally, he further illustrates the human reaction towards the "absurd". The Plague represents how the world deals with the philosophical notion of the Absurd, a theory that Camus himself helped to define.
- "The Plague" | 2020-03-02 | 21 Upvotes 1 Comments