My “to-read list”for philosophy
(Written on August, 2016)
Obviously the Greeks, especially the Cynics. (I’m not interested in Marcus Aurelius or the Romans atm. That’s probably because I just don’t respect the Romans or their culture as much as the Greeks.)
Maybe Hegel, and definitely Hume because he’s an amazing skeptic who has turned philosophers into Atheists for centuries by explaining how probability and statistics. I like Karl Marx too, because he challenges everything, and cuts through a lot of the bullshit that people still believe about modern society under capitalism, but he does tend to ramble a lot.
I have heard that Karl has a lot of views in common with Hegel, but you really can’t understand Hegel until you’ve read a lot of the philosophy he references. Hegel is supposedly a very eye-opening read, (either because he has a lot to offer if you apply yourself, or because his elusive verbosity while saying very little can stimulate you to make new connections via ) In other words, Hegel is probably like reading the Lotus Sutra – somewhat inaccessible unless you’re a Buddhist monk.
(I’ve already superfluously glanced at passages from Descartes, Nietzsche, Max Steiner, Ayn Rand, Plato, and Aristotle. Descartes started cool, then he overstepped himself and became retarded. Nietzsche is cool, and even when you don’t agree with him you have to like him.
I can’t stand the likes of Ayn Rand. Her brand of dogmatic libertarianism and her writing are so unsound and fabricated, and her example was to lead a selfish and blindly hypocritical life. I’m sure I’d have instantly hated her if I heard her speak in the 50’s, even if I majored in business and thrived at it, and were a bigot and a conservative. Something about her would have seemed so wrong, that I’m sure she’d have still pissed me off if I had a single thinking cell in my brain. Thankfully, one of the conservative Atheists who liked her as a teenager has backed away from her after I read a little of her, admitting that she was dogmatic when we argued about her views a little. So assuming that I’m not terrible persuasive, at least one reasonable person came to agree that she said a lot of crap. (I would have been quite open to being convinced otherwise, and now I can dismiss her, and a good chunk of the libertarians, and instead focus on other philosophers.)
So far I like Plato, but I don’t like Aristotle. I think Plato was a more logical thinker, and Aristotle was quantity over quality, and I detest his tendency for teleological reasoning. He made up too many explanations for my liking.
I tried to get into Spinoza, but I can’t stand his way of writing, and if he was basically an agnostic Atheist, he should have said so instead of hiding behind a made up religion like Pantheism. I probably will end up reading more of him though, and I definitely would have liked him more 200 years ago. What turns me off is a lot of Christians like to cherry pick passages from his book and misconstrue them, or mention that Einstein read him and was a pantheist as an “Appeal to science.” (Which he wasn’t.) Of course, I’ve enjoyed reading some of his more logical passages. But if the body of his work really was religious, (rather than a philosophy masquerading as a religion in a time when Atheists could be legally murdered here), well Christian philosophers always commit obvious fallacies, and I have neither the time nor interest for reading another C.S. Lewis.
There is also a lot of untouched/untranslated eastern philosophy, but I’ve heard it’s hard to separate it from Buddhism. Supposedly India has an honored old Secular tradition (unlike the West), with old Atheist philosophers. Buddhism is much more accomodating for Atheists than the Abrahamic religions, in fact Buddha is probably more true to real life than the myths of Jesus with his miraculous birth from a virgin and so forth. (Since there are accounts of him that don’t have so many miracles.)
Zen Buddhism and the way samurai lived seems very stoic to mean. There’s a kind of pure appreciation of the moment there which I very much respect. It’s a realistic philosophy that doesn’t pay attention to unproven promises of an afterlife.
Actually, I might have already wrote this somewhere before. I have no idea, but it’s still interesting to take stock of what I know at this juncture. Let it be recorded, and if I have written it before, the repetition will only slow down the rate at which I forget what I’ve learned.