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18 November 2010

An Updated Reading List

van Eyck Sometimes I use this blog to make a note of things I’ll otherwise forget. This is one of those times. After listening to John Searle I intended to follow his advice and “avoid all German philosophers beginning with H”, but now I’m very drawn to Heidegger and Husserl (I might come to Hegel and Habermas once I’ve made some progress with my planned study of Marx and Marxism, but I’m quite happy to avoid them in the short to mid-term). Heidegger’s stuff looks deep and wonderful, but I’ll have to put some work in before I can tackle Being and Time.

Here’s the plan:

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by my fellow Edinburger David Hume
On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason by Schopenhauer
The World as Will and Representation by Schopenhauer
Critique of Pure Reason by Kant
Cartesian Meditations by Edmund Husserl
The Basic Problems of Phenomenology by Heidegger
Being and Time by Heidegger

Notice that Kant’s CPR has become a stepping-stone instead of the ultimate goal that I’d originally intended. Such is philosophy, such is life. Schopenhauer advises readers in the introduction to The World as Will to read CPR first, but I gather that reading them the other way around makes more sense.

I also want to get into Wittgenstein soon, so I have another list. On Certainty and PI appear first in the list because I’m dipping into them right now for my study of scepticism, idealism and the private language argument, but I’ll be returning to them after the Tractatus.

On Certainty by Wittgenstein
Philosophical Investigations by Wittgenstein
Scepticism and Naturalism by Strawson
On Sense and Reference by Frege
The Thought by Frege
On Denoting by Russell
On Referring by Strawson
Naming and Necessity by Saul Kripke
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Wittgenstein

And I hope to get in some Plato as I go. I’ve just read the Theaetetus, at the end of which we still don’t know what knowledge is, though we’re pretty sure of at least some of the things it’s not.

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