Advice with reading list

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Advice with reading list

Postby BadgerJelly on November 2nd, 2017, 5:03 am 

Will be ordering some books soon so would like advice/opinion about choices and/or some new suggestions related to these books (it needs culling! Cannot afford all of them, but hoping to order around 10 new books):

Naming and Necessity by Saul A. Kripke
The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion (Harvest Book) by Mircea Eliade
Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick
Structural Anthropology by Levi-strauss
The Interpretation of Cultures by Clifford Geertz
Brain Maps: Structure of the Rat Brain by L. W. Swanson
The Neuropsychology of Anxiety: An Enquiry into the Functions of the Septo-Hippocampal System (Oxford Psychology Series): An Enquiry into the Function of the Septo-hippocampal System by Jeffrey A. Gray
The Great Mother: An Analysis of the Archetype (Princeton Classics) by Erich Neumann
The Origins and History of Consciousness (Princeton Classics) by Erich Neumann
Logical Investigations: Vol. 1 & 2 (International Library of Philosophy) by Edmund Husserl
On the Aesthetic Education of Man (Penguin Classics) by Friedrich Schiller
A New Introduction to Modal Logic by M. J. Cresswell
Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self (Collected Works of C. G. Jung) by C. G. Jung
The Logic Book by Merrie Bergmann

Others (things I can buy here easily and/or already have backlog in that area):

The Discovery Of The Unconscious: The History And Evolution Of Dynamic Psychiatry by Henri Ellenberger
Essays and Aphorisms (Classics) by Arthur Schopenhauer
Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World: 'Death Shall Have No Dominion' by Colin Renfrew
An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding (Oxford World's Classics) by David Hume
Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind by Michael Gazzaniga
Topology and Geometry for Physicists (Dover Books on Mathematics) by Charles Nash


If any of these look like something you'd read then please suggest something related if you think I'd be interested.

Thanks
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Re: Advice with reading list

Postby Forest_Dump on November 2nd, 2017, 7:28 am 

I have only read a couple but:

I have read a ton by and about Levi-strauss and structuralism. The first text book called Structural Anthropology was certainly a classic but it is heavy going and specialized (particularly in linguistics). I would recommend instead "Myth and Meaning" as an introduction because it was the text of five hour-long lectures (the CBC Massey lectures - all of which I have read were worth the effort) and presents the gist of the ideas very well. Bottom line is Levi-strauss' structures were the fore-runner of a lot of Dennett anf Dawkins especially memes.

Geertz's book was also a classic beginning for post-moderism in anthropology and includes the important ideas on thick description and the meaning and interpretation of a wink.

Never read that one by Eliade but did read (several times) his book on shamanism and that was the original text on the subject. Mostly "data", though, and very heavy going with a style that is a bit dated now.

Never read anything by Colin Renfrew that wasn't worth it although I hadn't heard of that one. But he would be my pick for most significant archaeologist of recent times.
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Re: Advice with reading list

Postby BadgerJelly on November 2nd, 2017, 11:31 am 

Thanks Forest!

You've pretty much sold me on Structural Anthropology even though you were trying to do the opposite. I have abig pull toward linguistics and love a challenge :)

Yeah, Eliade is kind of a dry read and Shamanism is a slog to get through. That said I do like it because there is no attempt to ram a veiled theory down your throat. It's just a damn solid source of information about an intriguing cultural (seemingly global) phenomenon.
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Re: Advice with reading list

Postby Braininvat on November 2nd, 2017, 11:59 am 

A good companion piece to Eliade would be William James's, 'The Varieties of Religious Experience." It reflects his pragmatism -- and he, too, doesn't push any metaphysics or pet doctrines.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Varieties_of_Religious_Experience

And, if your library is going this direction, you probably would also want.....

Joseph Campbell

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hero_with_a_Thousand_Faces

(especially if you get into Jung and his archetypes)
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Re: Advice with reading list

Postby Serpent on November 2nd, 2017, 12:08 pm 

I would strongly second Campbell.
Maybe Arthur Koestler The Act of Creation and The Ghost in the Machine - if somewhat dated, he's still original and certainly enjoyable.
If you could wedge it in, Conrad Lorenz for an interesting perspective on our antecedents.
Also recommend Edward O. Wilson ans Lewis Thomas for 'big picture'.
You might enjoy I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter.
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Re: Advice with reading list

Postby Forest_Dump on November 2nd, 2017, 9:51 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:You've pretty much sold me on Structural Anthropology even though you were trying to do the opposite. I have abig pull toward linguistics and love a challenge :)


Don't get me wrong, I have and have read all of L-S's books including all three of the "Structural Anthropology" texts. Ironically, perhaps, it was the second I got first. But I had the same problem with L-S's structures that I later had with the meme idea. But I do think there is something to do as even if structures/memes are linguistically determined and/or spread through various forms of culture contact (like, for example, the idea of monotheism), there is something to them without having to be hard-wired into the brain or genes, etc.
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Re: Advice with reading list

Postby Forest_Dump on November 2nd, 2017, 9:52 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:You've pretty much sold me on Structural Anthropology even though you were trying to do the opposite. I have abig pull toward linguistics and love a challenge :)


Don't get me wrong, I have and have read all of L-S's books including all three of the "Structural Anthropology" texts. Ironically, perhaps, it was the second I got first. But I had the same problem with L-S's structures that I later had with the meme idea. But I do think there is something to do as even if structures/memes are linguistically determined and/or spread through various forms of culture contact (like, for example, the idea of monotheism), there is something to them without having to be hard-wired into the brain or genes, etc.
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Re: Advice with reading list

Postby someguy1 on November 2nd, 2017, 11:53 pm 

That seems very ambitious. Do you have a specific goal in mind? That might help you narrow down the list.
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Re: Advice with reading list

Postby wolfhnd on November 3rd, 2017, 1:32 am 

It would take an amazing intellect to digest that much thought in the time it takes to read.

I previously posted a thread on information overload but it didn't have legs. There is simply such and abundance of literature available that no one can digest it.

What many people fail to appreciate is that empirical literature is easier to digest than philosophical. Even if empirical literature is only partially reflective of reality it is easier to update than what is presented as abstract knowledge.

Reading should be accompanied by equal amounts of writing so a person can have their understanding tested by their peers. It isn't so much how much you know but how well vetted what you "know" becomes.

Have fun and stay optimistic.
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Re: Advice with reading list

Postby BadgerJelly on November 3rd, 2017, 2:30 am 

Wolf -

Yeah, I know what you mean. I've been messing around with my schedule lately trying to find a good rhythm. I have found that Doing some maths for an hour sets up well for reading something more free flowing. Then I usually listen to lecture for 1-2 hours.

Simply put I only work 24 hrs a week and may as well put my brain to use more constructively.

I am completely with you on the writing side of things. I have found that the best way to get something done is to write about it. I started writing about "How to make a schedule" and by doing so learnt a lot about my habits and found better ways to structure my time that I would never have put into action if I had not wrote about the subject as if I was an expert! haha!

I've started doing the same with "How to write an essay" too. And of course chatting to all you morons helps to a little ;)

I am still very much all over the place, but step-by-step I seem to be achieving a little more each week with the occasional stumble.

someguy -

Like I just said ... 24 hrs a week! I have the time. I don't have one specific goal. I have several things I would like to achieve in the future, but I just have a thirst for knowing (or not knowing.)

As for narrowing the list down I will have to cut out one or both of the neuroscience books (due to cost) and will probably replace the Neumann books with Ellenberger form the extra list. I'll probably drop the Intro to Modal Logic too.

That will put at around 200 pounds if I throw in Schopenhauer, Hume, or Schiller.

I will have to start looking at how I can start ordering some journals sometime next year. University is a consideration too, but the thought of having to choose between a wide range of interests still seems like too much of a sacrifice at the moment. If it comes to it I may have to bite the bullet to get to where ever it is I need to go.

Would be nice if I could clone myself and study several different subjects!

Anyway, still got about a week left to decide. Need to sort out new work contract and then budget for my trip before splashing out on these books. I may have to cut both neuroscience books (they are 50 odd quid each!) The Renfrew one is 67 pounds so that was more wishful thinking (maybe next time!)

I am really looking forward to Husserl and Jung the most, as well as finally getting hold of a decent textbook for logic. The anthropology stuff pretty much meshes in with my general interest in being this weird blob that I am. I like the expansive mind-set of anthropology and the time scales involved.

Christmas is coming early for me :)
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Re: Advice with reading list

Postby someguy1 on November 3rd, 2017, 2:48 am 

BadgerJ, I'm definitely impressed. On my part I'd be happy if I could just read the Wikipedia pages for all those books.
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Re: Advice with reading list

Postby BadgerJelly on November 3rd, 2017, 4:02 am 

someguy1 » November 3rd, 2017, 2:48 pm wrote:BadgerJ, I'm definitely impressed. On my part I'd be happy if I could just read the Wikipedia pages for all those books.


Don't be too impressed! I'll likely never get around to starting some of them, let alone finishing them.

I really want to get back to the point I was at after reading Kant. After I read his book everything else was incredibly easy to read. At the moment I am trying to make myself read 25 pages a day of Orwell (already missed two days!)

Will have to figure out a system to read more efficiently. Book selection is bloody important! I made a go of Derrida some time ago, but from what I could tell it was not worth the effort, and since I've heard Camille Paglia rant about how you need to understand French in order to get the main gist of his point.

Heidegger was an eye opener. It made me realise that half the crap that goes through my head makes more sense than his work does. The guy doesn't even bother to define his primary concept and instead hides behind utter nonsense half the time. Harshness aside some of his language I did find useful and it made me be more bold and less worried about sounding like a completely obtuse nutjob! haha!

No doubt I'll likely get stuck into Jung and Husserl and ignore ther other books for a year. Either that or start seven at once and finish none of them.

Anyway you'll know if I am reading a lot because in reality I should pretty much not bother with these forums so much. It would make a lot of sense to cut my time on here to every other day or just twice a week. At the moment I just keep telling myself it's useful writing practice. I think if I'm honest there is at least half a lie in there and I;m just purposely distracting myself ... speaking fo which!
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Re: Advice with reading list

Postby dandelion on November 3rd, 2017, 9:07 am 

Wrong thread
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