Vote for the January Book of the Month

A forum for old votes and nomination threads
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Which book do you want to be the January book of the month?

Poll ended at December 22nd, 2009, 4:58 pm

A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby K. Payne
1
20%
Philosophy: The Great Thinkers by Philip Stokes
0
No votes
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
1
20%
Readings In Ancient Greek Philosophy: From Thales To Aristotle
0
No votes
Introduction to Greek Philosophy by John Victor Luce
0
No votes
Two Treatises of Government by John Locke
3
60%
 
Total votes: 5

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Scott
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Vote for the January Book of the Month

Post by Scott »

The following is a list of books that I own that I'd be interested in doing for the book of the month. You can click on any of the following links to get more information about any of them. I included a description of the second one because Amazon doesn't have much information about it.

A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby K. Payne

Philosophy: The Great Thinkers by Philip Stokes - "This book brings together the world's greatest philosophers in one comprehensive and easy to use volume. Designed to be dipped into again and again, this book will please people with both a casual and more serious interest in philosophy. Philip Stokes has contributed to Philosophy: The Great Thinkers as an author. Philip Stokes graduated with a BA (Hons) in Philosophy from the University of Reading, where he is now on the faculty. He also has a master's degree from Bristol University."

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Readings In Ancient Greek Philosophy: From Thales To Aristotle by Cohen, Curd and Reeve

Introduction to Greek Philosophy by John Victor Luce

Two Treatises of Government by John Locke

The poll will be open for 1 week. Whichever book has the most votes by then will be the January book of the month.
Last edited by Scott on January 16th, 2010, 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
athena
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Post by athena »

I don't know Scott. I have had a preference for studying Greek philosophy with the notion this is essential to understanding democracy. On the other hand, we are dealing with a cultural bias that distorts original meanings. Correcting this problem means turning to Native Americans and their connection with nature, as the Greeks were better connected with nature than Romans, and the Roman influence on our culture is very strong.

If we do not rebuild our connection with nature, we can not think as the ancient Greeks were thinking. As I look into this, I think Native American concepts are essential to our understanding of democracy, and perhaps a consciousness of our connection to nature is essential to understanding ourselves and morality?

Thanks, to Belinda for turning the light on, by correctly interpreting my meaning about nature and morals. I think we need to expand our thinking beyond our cultural limited consciousness. The way we perceive reality is not the only way to perceive reality, and sure is not the way to harmonizing with nature and the rest of the world.

I don't know if Locke's materialism can be harmonized with spiritual considerations such as the Native American consciousness of harmony with nature, and this materialism is a cultural block that may prevent us from realizing truth? However, relying on science is a saving grace, providing we can remove the cultural block of materialism.
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Post by Jerry »

Athena wrote;
I don't know if Locke's materialism can be harmonized with spiritual considerations such as the Native American consciousness of harmony with nature, and this materialism is a cultural block that may prevent us from realizing truth? However, relying on science is a saving grace, providing we can remove the cultural block of materialism.
The N. Philbrick book ‘Mayflower’ is a good study in the nature of man as well as an historical account. Native Americans, it seems, had very similar tendencies as the Europeans entering their habitat. There were frequent wars between tribes as various chiefs came to believe their particular harmony should be for the whole. I am coming to think the native Americans natural life styles without formalized ownership rules was more due to thinner populations respecting the natural abundance at hand than their intentional angelic harmony. Locke dealt singularly with political science, a subject we contend with in these forums heavily. Presently it is becoming fashionable to promote single world governance. That is a fascinating subject finding contentions in all sorts of direction. The Frankl ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ sounds too interesting to pass. Will read.
"That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others." J.S.Mill
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Scott
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Post by Scott »

athena, I disagree with some of the philosophies and arguments purported by several of the previous books of the month. I do not see the value in only reading books by people with whom I agree.

Anyway, if you want to suggest other books, you can do that in the thread for nominations:

http://onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums/ ... php?t=1214

I think it's a great idea to read a book of one philosophy one month and then a book with a different philosophy another month. For instance, one month we can read a book by a materialist philosophy and another month we can read one by a nature-focused non-materialist. One month we can read a book about Greek philosophy; another month we can read one about Native American philosophy.
Last edited by Scott on August 25th, 2011, 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Anon007
Posts: 33
Joined: December 12th, 2009, 11:20 pm

Post by Anon007 »

Locke would be my next choice. Anyway, I hope there are real people on this website that will read the book and offer their opinions. I'm in for anything but search for meaning, because my mind is beyond the whole attitude is everything. I live in the real world, for crying out loud. This isn't a nazi concentration camp, and I don't want to read search for meaning again.
athena
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Post by athena »

I got a copy of Locke's "Two Treaties of Government" and a copy of "Cicero on Government" for comparison of thought, from the public library.

I most certainly was not suggesting anyone restrict his/her reading to only those points of view to s/he is agreeable with. At the moment of expressing my thought, it was on my mind that we tend to be culturally limited, and our understanding of everything would be increased by gaining a different cultural perceptive. Especially our understanding of the Greeks, who were not as materialistic as the Romans. I thought this was pertinent to responding to your question.

Locke's book turns out to be an interesting study in history, when those in power were butchering those not in power and hanging the body parts on trees, doors and fences. An experience so terrify to the peasants they still avoided places where someone was hung 200 years later.

Moral, such brutality is very effective, and can kick back with the opposite of the intended effect. That is rebellion. This history of Locke's thinking makes comparing him to Cicero pointless. However, the patriarchy of non Christian Rome and that of Christian England are the same, and Rome did become brutal, so may be a comparison does have some point.

For sure having a book to study over the holidays has greatly improved everything for me. It is preventing me from getting sucked into family drama, and giving me much happiness, so my neighbors think I am great person to know. Thank you so much for hooking me into this.
Algol
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Post by Algol »

How about something by Dostoevsky (not 'Crime and Punishment') for February, or maybe Albert Camus?? I'm reading "The Brothers Karamazov" and it covers all aspects of philosophy (from religion, metaphysics, to political). Also, more people may read a novel than a treatise because it is easier to follow (for us lay(wo)man).
athena
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Post by athena »

Algol, you make a good point. I was thinking "The Time Machine" or "The Brave New World" are more relevant to us today than Locke's Two Treatises of Government." But it might be important to understand how we got to where we are today. Locke's book is more important than his words, because his argument has everything to do with his time in history, and what brought us to where we are today.

We are so secular minded today, it is hard to comprehend when our reality was defined by the bible instead of science. In Locke's day, the English feared the Catholics as we came to fear the Communist, and royal linage resulted in them having a Catholic king. The history of Locke's philosophy is much more interesting than I expected. However, the wording of "Two Treatises of Government" is awkward to us today. Fortunately, it is a short book.

It is interesting to read Locke's words and think of how Thomas Jefferson felt when he read them. Jefferson must have been very uneasy with this ideology, as it conflicted with his reality as a slave owner and his esteemed standing in his own community of slave owners.
Algol
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Joined: December 20th, 2009, 5:02 pm

Post by Algol »

Or, if not a novel, how about a philosophical investigation such as "Madness and Civilization" by Michel Foucault. He describes the microcosomic power relations within society which participate in a grander (macro) network of power within our communities. (i.e. The king in former times was the macro force, but power was sustained only by smaller power relations appointed by mandates dictated from the throne). It is but a personel observation of his, but he really made an impression on me and those who have read his works. A very modern philosophical inquiry, indeed relevent to all of man's history, especially currently. It will expand one's view of how we see our selves in relation to our own social status, here in America,
athena
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Post by athena »

I hope Scott doesn't get irritated with us for messing up this thread, which is goal oriented. He said if we want to suggest other books to do that in another thread, already created for that purpose. However, here I want to say "Madness and Civilization" by Michel Foucault, might be an excellent book to follow John Locke's "Two Treatises of Government".

When reading Locke's consideration of natural law and property rights, I thought, the first most important possession would be a person's place in relation to the leader. The people could be nomadic, and what would matter is a person's position in the tribe. This would determine where his tent was placed and where he would ride or sit and eat. This has everything to do with power, verses being in hiding for fear of one's life, as Locke was for awhile. Foucault's book seems a perfect follow up to Locke's.
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