This Empty Cave of Half-Insane Nobodies

General Category => Why Bother? => Topic started by: Holden on August 22, 2017, 10:26:07 am

Title: A Question About Philosophy Books
Post by: Holden on August 22, 2017, 10:26:07 am
I remember that in one of the first emails which I wrote to you in the summer of 2014,I requested to tell the names of the fictions books which you'd recommend to me & you were kind enough to do so.

Now,I'd like to request you to kindly tell the the name of the philosophical books (like WWR,CPR) which you have read & have found to be fruitful.
Also,could you please add/remove from the list I have prepared of the philosophers who were well regarded by Schopenhauer:
1.Kant.
2.Plato.
3.Aristotle.
4.Spinoza.
5. Berkeley.
6.Hume.
7.Descartes.
8.The authors of Upanishads and Puranas.

Thanks in advance.





Title: Re: A Question About Philosophy Books
Post by: Creepy Sleepy on August 22, 2017, 11:04:18 am
After Schopenhauer, I got into Cioran. 

I also became interested in Husserl and Merleu-Ponty and even some of the French philosophers like Deleuze and Guattari (their writings on skizoanalysis - that's where I read about Artaud)

As for Schopenhauer's influences, Berkeley, Hume, and possibly Descartes.  The Upanishads may be especially helpful as I think The World as Will and Representation may attempt to relay to the West the kernel of what The Upanishads attempts to pass down through the ages.

I have yet to fully explore Kant and Plato, although I have read Kant in my twenties.  As I said, I am now rereading Prolegomena by Kant since I found his writing very clear in that work.

My readings of Korzybski's Science and Sanity (http://www.rodsmith.org.uk/alfred-korzybski/) have long since prejudiced me against Aristotle, as well as an interest in Fuzzy Logic which is non-aristotlean logic, and can even be described as buddhistic logic where something can be both A and Not-A ... 0.5A ...

I do not want to distract you with General Semantics (http://www.generalsemantics.org/the-general-semantics-learning-center/videos/), but I did a great deal of reading of such material ... You have to follow your own bliss.

I remember reading parts of the Puranas, but with only a shallow grasp.  I wanted to study this in the University, but I had decided to take Multivariable Calculus (as an elective!) instead.

Have you ever heard of anyone else in the history of formal education choosing "Multivariable Calculus" as an elective?

It was not required for "Computer Science" degree.

How could I resist?

One day I may get back to the authors of this Puranas.

Maybe there will be some kind of balance, where, in exchange for a little guidance in mathematics, you can share with me your discoveries of just what appealed to Schopenhauer in those texts.

As always, I do not take our correspondence for granted.

You should be less concerned with the philosophers I have read, and focus on what you are drawn to.

Remember, my life contains huge gaps of oblivion.

For kicks I find myself reading Candide by Voltaire.


Title: Re: A Question About Philosophy Books
Post by: Creepy Sleepy on October 20, 2017, 11:29:01 am
The art of not reading is a very important one. [. . .] You should remember that he who writes for fools always find a large public. – A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones: For life is short.   ~ Schopenhauer
Title: Re: A Question About Philosophy Books
Post by: Holden on October 21, 2017, 12:34:50 am
He did heartily recommend Kant,Plato,Upanishads and Puranas.
Title: Re: A Question About Philosophy Books
Post by: Creepy Sleepy on October 22, 2017, 11:54:21 am
Quote from: Holden
He did heartily recommend Kant,Plato,Upanishads and Puranas.

This is true.  I do not take those recommendations lightly.  One thing leads to another and we really do only have so much "time" or even "attention".  It certainly requires some discipline and a bit of stubborness to focus in on anything in particular. 

Like you, I would eventually wish to revisit Kant with the intention of better undertanding just why Schopenhauer was so impressed.  When I had been reading Kant, I noticed every now and then I would notice a separate "life of the mind" developing.

Maybe we will live long enough to give the Upanishads and Puranas the attention they deserve and most likely require.

As for Plato,  I am currently following his intstructions as far as,  "Let none ignorant of geometry enter my door.”    It is a branch of mathematics which has never really grabbed me, but for whatever reason, I am currently very strict with myself in that I seem not to be allowing myself to explore the other texts in my "personal library" (a personal temple of sorts) until I work through the exercises of two giant geometry texts which I had very carefully chosen.

You see, my ignorance of geometry had become unacceptable to me.

Rather than going for the current "geometry software," I have enjoyed learning to use the straightedge and compass, doing the work in a kind of sketchpad reserved for "artists".  I am no artist, so drawing red lines and blue circles is a kind of "arts and crafts" experience for me.

Books on computational physics beckon me, but I remain determined to cover even things like "construction" which do not seem to have any "purpose" in our world other than as a mental exercise.

I did a little search to find out some opinions about why Construction is taught.  you see, one textbook from 1993/2000 had a section on "Construction and Loci" whereas the more current one from 2011 did not.

In this thread (https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/22686/what-is-the-mathematical-point-of-straightedge-and-compass-constructions), I found there was much disagreement, but I was impressed with the following short response:

The beauty of straightedge and compass constructions, as opposed to the use of, say, a protractor, is that you don't measure anything. With ruler and compass you can bisect an angle without knowing its size, whereas with a protractor, you would have to measure the angle and then calculate the result.

In other words, the point of this form of geometry is that it can be done independently of calculations and numbers.


As you may know, I tend to favor (or be stronger in) the use of algebra, arithmetic, and numerical calculations using algorithms - so, I am not necessarily focusing on what I like, but focusing on those areas where I feel I am weak or ignorant.

I suppose the only reason I do not feel ignorant about Kant is only because I trust that, through Schopenhauer, I may have received the best of what Kant was trying to communicate in a way that I would not have understood were I had focused prinmarily on the translations of Kant (as Schopenhauer suggests we do).

I had read that even some native German speakers/readers prefer the English translations - for whatever reasons, mostly having to do with the way Kant wrote.

Schopenhauer recommends Plato, and yet Plato demands we not be ignorant of Geometry; so, in a round about way, by decreasing my ignorance of Geometry, I am following Plato, and thereby following Schopenhauer's recommendation.  (in a round about way, of course)

These subjects would be well suited for a man locked in a tower like de Sade was.

I read that he was aloowed to have his wife drop off many books for his own personal jailbird library.   De Sade would not have fared so well in "the land of the free".   :-\
Title: mathematics textbooks?
Post by: Creepy Sleepy on November 28, 2017, 06:41:27 pm
For the back burner, Holden:  I think you might find Analytic Geometry especially interesting in that algebra and geometry come together.

I keep my eyes peeled for good books at a good price for you, but I am not sure about the cost of delivery to India.

I will only suggest text where the solution manual is available at an affordable price.

Douglas Riddle's Analytic Geometry (https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0534948545/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used).

Solution Manual (a couple dollars!) (https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0534948553/ref=tmm_pap_used_olp_sr?ie=UTF8&condition=used&qid=&sr=) [It is at this price because the "author" is listed as "U"].  I ordered and verify this is the correct solutions manual.

Compare with the price of the one with Riddle's name listed:  crazy expensive (https://www.amazon.com/Solutions-Manuals-Analytic-Geometry-Douglas-Riddle/dp/0534077773/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1511912576&sr=1-2&keywords=solution+manuals+analytic+geometry+riddle)
Title: Sui generis
Post by: Holden on May 24, 2018, 06:10:11 am
Herr Hentrich,

I thank you again for letting me know about-Cioran, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Deleuze, Guattari,Karozybki (including E prime).I have developed some understanding of their thought.Though I certainly can read them quite a bit more.

Would you be so kind as to tell me if I missed out any of the thinkers or philosophers whome you have read at lenght?
The thing is(seems) reading them has helped me to understand your thought better.It is like reading Plato &Kant to understand Schopenhauer.

You mentioned that if you should die in a car accident  we should get in touch with the other pessimistic writer-but the point is Herr Hentrich that you are irreplaceable- Sui Generis-one of a kind.If you were to die I think you would leave as deep an impact on my mind as Socrates left on his disciple.
Very deep impact indeed.

Keep well & thanks in advance.

Title: Re: A Question About Philosophy Books
Post by: Creepy Sleepy on May 25, 2018, 09:41:30 pm
I had given some thought to your request, and I kept thinking "Robert Pirsig".

I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance at age 17, the summer before my last year in high school.  I then read Lila when it was released in 1991.

I am not sure this would give you any clues, but it probably did have an impact on my thinking.

What I wanted to suggest is something that both of us may have overlooked.   Much of my "reading" consisted in reading my own notebooks.  The writing of the notebooks is what I picked up from having read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance at age 17 - a very impressionable age "they" say.

What impressed me is that the author, Robert Pirsig (true story, an autobiographical philosophical novel) had gone insane and then had received electric shock "treatment" --- and years later he was able to reconstruct his "identity" and thoughts by reading his old notebooks.

I used to joke around with myself saying that I could always do the same thing if something similar were to happen to me.

Pirsig had gotten fired from his job (philosophy professor), lost his wife, and went clinically insane trying to prove that you can’t define Quality.

Maybe it is not important that you rush to read his two books; but, instead, that you commit yourself to writing your own ideas down so that you can go over them.   I know that we do some free-style writing here that might normally be placed in a private notebook, and I would like to continue reading your posts here.  The thing is, there may be restraint and self-censorship since we are, after all, writing in a public manner.

The kind of writing I am suggesting is the kind that you write for yourself, to yourself, as notes to a future self, if he should survive.

The reason I am keeping so may math notes these days is because I am actually sober.  This is no joke.  On the decade+ long binge, my hands would shake in the morning, and all I could do is listen to loud music and talk into a tape recorder.   I sent you the H-Files.  They must be incredibly annoying and boring to listen to.

Once in awhile I listened to a couple recordings, and it made think I might enjoy talking to myself in the woods while drinking down the alcohol poison until I became possessed by Pazuzu ... but, really, no matter how thrilling it might be to scream and sing and howl at the moon far from the town ... when I emerge from the woods, I would be unfit for human society and most likely would draw enough attention to myself to be subdued by the police and brought in for a modern day psychiatric exorcism.   

So, if you were a drunkard, i would suggest a recorder.  Since I can sense you are a coherent and clear headed man, I will suggest that you keep some kind of notebook.  Maybe you might learn a method from reading Lila, where he wrote on index cards and organized his thoughts into categories, rather than trying to write in one sequential series.

I've been doing that with the math notebooks these days.   I keep several notebooks going at once.   Tonight, since I want to take a break from "analytic geometry" based problems focusing on conic sections, I will begin a new notebook for "continued fractions" even if I only take notes and work on problems in it for about a week.  It will have been started, and I can return to it, or not. 

So, the bottom line is, I have spent a lot of time talking to myself or writing to myself.  Like I said, all my math notes are to myself in the hopes that I might help myself when I need the help.   Likewise, for most of my life I had kept notebooks so as to keep my head together.   Even when in a long relationship, I would write things that I might not even want to discuss with "her".   She was jealous of my relationship with my own "internal demons".

I am not afraid of these demons.   They are me.  We are legion.

These days I do not get too hung up on writing for anyone else but the consciousness in my head, just some notes to help him each time he wakes up.

Whenever I was in jail or a psychiatric hospital, I would want paper and pen. 

I would continue the story.

I like to take notes from books.

Surely we have been keeping such a notebook here, but it is an open notebook which anyone can contribute to.   I feel fortunate that we are each able to communicate here, or to work on this public kind of notebook together.

Just be sure you experiment with your own notes as well.

It doesn't matter if you take many notes from other books.   That is what it takes sometimes to give a particular notebook a kind of "magical glow," like some book written by the Mad Arab, Abdul Alhazred.