Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Journey Through The Canon

I once told a friend about how I was reading Isaiah Berlin. Berlin said something to the effect of 'At one point in my reading I naturally came to Machiavelli'. What happened to me when I read that was I became very aware of all the things that had been written so long before me, and how I would have to spend quite a long time catching up on the conversation, reading all these things that had already been read.

He said to me, 'So you are thinking about Riley's journey through the canon'. And I said yes. Yes I am.

Sometimes I go to the philosophy section of my store and I get so worked up. I look at all these books, all these names, all these things that I will have to read. How will I give them all adequate treatment?

The movement won't stop. I won't stop moving. I'll keep moving through the canon and through the non-canon. I'll keep reading famous books and I'll keep reading other books.

This reflection was prompted because I'm still working on AZI. I've been working on it on and off for most of the day. And it has felt good. I'm making quite a lot of progress. I am currently working on writing about simulation theory and the idea of synthetic experience. So I picked up Alvin Goldman's Simulating Minds. I started skimming it and I was flooded with excitement.

I read this book in April of 2010. It contains a strong argument and lots of strong thoughts.

Also I'm listening to The-Dream right now and its awesome. Good job everyone.

Back to work.

I just had to stop and reflect about how I get freaked out about how many canonical books I have left to read.

Authors and books that pop out at me: Heidegger's Being And Time, Hegel's Phenomenology Of Spirit, some kind of Freud, some Lacan, Rousseau's Emile, Foucault's Madness and Civilization, Nietzsche's The Will To Power, Marx's Capital, Zizek's In Defense Of Last Causes, Sumida's In Defence Of Naval Supremacy.

Some of them are not canonical. But whatever. Reading and learning sure is an endless project.

It reminds me of that story a friend told me about. Chipping away at a wall for an entire life just to see a golden feather that may or may not symbolize truth.

What is the point of such an endless quest when death constantly looms? Is it personal? Is it for something like justice? Or is that just an illusion? Most things remain unclear.

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