Category Archives: books

How to Be Modern

How to Be Modern I’ve never understood why people wanted to be modern in the first place.  Okay, the dentistry is an improvement.  I’ll give you that. On the other hand, Victorian people (as in the novels of Dickens) seemed … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, beauty, Biblical God, books, bureaucracy, Childhood, Chivalry, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Courtship, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Female Power, Femininity, Feminism, Films, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Hegel, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, ID, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Immortality, Institutional Power, Jews, Journalism, Judaism, Law, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Male Power, Masculinity, master, Memoir, memory, Messianic Age, Mind Control, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, motherhood, Mysticism, nineteenth-century, novels, Ontology, Oppression, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, Poetry, Political Movements, politics, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, scientism, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, Sexuality, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, Sociobiology, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, Terror, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, TV, twentieth century, twenty-first century, Utopia, victimhood, victims, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Matters

Book Matters Blaming the Jews: Politics and Delusion By Bernard Harrison It’s not common that you see someone with a high degree of philosophic training actually doing something helpful with it.  This book, by a well-regarded British philosopher, sheds a … Continue reading

Posted in book reviews, books | 5 Comments

How Hegel Helps

How Hegel Helps A British analytic philosopher friend read my “Obit” column of last week and noticed that I’d spent some of my professional time with G. W. F. Hegel, the nineteenth-century German philosopher.  He emailed to ask what on … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, books, bureaucracy, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, eighteenth century, Erotic Life, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Female Power, Femininity, Feminism, Films, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Hegel, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, life and death struggle, Literature, Male Power, Masculinity, master/slave relation, Memoir, memory, Modernism, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, nineteenth-century, novels, Oppression, Past and Future, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, Poetry, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, radicalism, Reading, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romanticism, scientism, secular, Seduction, self-deception, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, status, status of women, Suffering, Terror, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Read it Here First! My Obit!

Read it Here First!  My Obit! All this week, Jerry and I have been attending to what I call “Last Arrangements.”  Though we’re not expecting to kick off any time soon, you never know, and one of the chores I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, beauty, Bible, Biblical God, books, bureaucracy, Childhood, Chivalry, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Courtship, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Female Power, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Hegel, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, ID, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Immortality, Institutional Power, Jews, Journalism, Judaism, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Male Power, Masculinity, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, Sexuality, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, Sociobiology, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, Terror, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, Utopia, victimhood, victims, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Snobbism

Snobbism I was reminded of how much I hate snobbism by another biography of a philosopher.  Having just finished Ray Monk’s Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius, from which I learned about a man, an era and a creative philosophical method … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Anthropology, Art of Living, Autonomy, books, bureaucracy, Childhood, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Health, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, history of ideas, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, life and death struggle, Male Power, Masculinity, master, master/slave relation, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Oppression, Past and Future, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Roles, scientism, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sexuality, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, Sociobiology, spiritual journey, Spirituality, status, status of women, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, victims, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hunting Eichmann

Hunting Eichmann This is not a book review, despite the book title above.  I haven’t read the book, only watched a talk before a packed hall by Neal Bascomb, the author of Hunting Eichmann, on a C-Span history program last … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, Biblical God, books, bureaucracy, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Freedom, Gender Balance, glitterati, Guilt and Innocence, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Jews, Journalism, Judaism, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, Oppression, Past and Future, Philosophy, Political, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Race, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, secular, Seduction, self-deception, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, Suffering, Terror, terrorism, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, TV, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s with Wittgenstein?

What’s with Wittgenstein? Ludwig Wittgenstein seems still to bestride the narrow straits of world thought like a colossus, reflections of him flickering over cultural regions far afield from his own. By lamplight, I’ve been spending my recent weeks with the … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Alienation, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, books, Cities, Class, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Freedom, Friendship, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Institutional Power, Jews, Law, Legal Responsibility, Male Power, Masculinity, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mysticism, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, scientism, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sexuality, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, Suffering, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Atonement Day

Atonement Day Monday’s not only the day set aside in the Jewish calendar for Atonement, but it’s the day on which I’d committed to leading an afternoon discussion group at my Reform Temple.  The discussion leader has about ten minutes … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, beauty, Biblical God, books, bureaucracy, Childhood, Chivalry, Christianity, Cities, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Courtship, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Hegel, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, History, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Jews, Judaism, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Martyrdom, Masculinity, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Race, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, scientism, secular, self-deception, Sex Appeal, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, Sociobiology, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, Terror, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Good Book

The Good Book We’ve been away in California for the past week, to allow me another round of the neuropathy treatments available only at a clinic in Loma Linda. The friends and family we usually see there are now under … Continue reading

Posted in Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, beauty, Bible, Biblical God, books, Chivalry, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Courtship, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Heroes, hidden God, History, history of ideas, Ideality, Identity, Idolatry, Immorality, Jews, Judaism, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Masculinity, Memoir, memory, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, nineteenth-century, novels, Ontology, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, Poetry, Political, politics, politics of ideas, Power, presence, Psychology, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romance, scientism, secular, self-deception, Sexuality, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Book Matters

Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius by Ray Monk Good biographies of philosophers are a rarity.  The reason is that philosophers, more than other people, take ideas and the whole realm of thought terribly seriously.  Just as we would expect … Continue reading

Posted in book reviews, books | Tagged | Leave a comment