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40299Re: YES, 'DEDICATED TO EXPLAINING NOTHING' AND PROUD OF IT

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  • Herman B. Triplegood
    Dec 8, 2006
      Hi Louise:

      Yeah, well, when it comes down to it, those texts. whether they are
      on the reading list or not, were written by individuals. Each
      philosopher does indeed bring his own unique personality, and his
      circumstances, to what he has to say there. To me, it is a gesture of
      respect to keep firmly in my mind the fact that for most of these
      thinkers the reasons why they took the time to write down what they
      thought is because philosophy personally mattered very much to them
      and it made a profound difference in how they led their lives. That
      is the sense in which philosophy, it seems to me, is a downright
      individual thing. Why do it if it doesn't matter on the level of
      personal choices? There is a human being behind every book.

      As for the reading list, my take on that is, if it is to be a
      philosophy reading list, it needs to be comprehensive. Such a
      requirement does not make the task very easy, and it certainly cannot
      be accomplished in only a year or two. Sometimes it might seem, as we
      do our reading, and thinking, that we go through phases. I was in a
      Kant phase when I sat down and read Kant. Now, I am in a Hegel phase
      as I sit down and read Hegel. He is really blowing my mind. But the
      others are on my reading list too, right on up to good old Jean Paul
      Sartre.

      Along the way, a really interesting thing is happening to me. As I
      spend time with each thinker, in turn, my attitudes toward other
      thinkers whom I know less well is becoming more tolerant. Kant and
      Hegel have opened up a lot of understanding, for me, into others,
      like Descartes, Plato and Aristotle, and the existentialists too. I
      have been doing a lot of side reading in history too, trying to get a
      better grasp on the whole Enlightenment to Romanticism thing and how
      that whole development unfolded and how we relate to it from our
      perspective here in 2006. I am also placing more novels and poetry on
      my list. Some of the best philosophy can actually be found in a good
      novel or an amazing selection of poems.

      I am grateful for the massive amount of time that I am able to devote
      to my reading. I could not have dug this deep back in my school days
      when I had to worry about keeping up my grades, doing term papers,
      and preparing for tests. My free time affords me the luxury of going
      into a total immersion mode with each philosopher that I take on.

      Hb3g

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "louise" <hecubatoher@...> wrote:
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Herman B. Triplegood" <hb3g@>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > Well, you know, philosophy is a kind of an individual thing
      > anyway,
      >
      > What an extraordinary statement, especially from you, Herman, the
      > accomplished reader of philosophical texts and noted critic of the
      > recently proffered college reading-list, in all its truncated
      > melancholy. Philosophy is a discipline, with many branches, and
      > whilst individual readers undoubtedly vary in their personal
      tastes,
      > it would surely defeat its own object if failing to provide some
      > agreed criteria and established methodologies whereby discussion
      > might redeem itself from simple assertions of appetite. The
      naivety
      > of my own expectations continues to astound, even myself, yet these
      > too I interpret as one more evidence of the given foundation,
      > ontological and cosmic, for philosophical truth, articulate in
      > living human forms.
      >
      > Louise
      >
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