Thursday, October 02, 2008

The reading list for the book

This is insane

There are a thousand miles to go

here are the books i've read

Class by Paul Fussel, The Histories Herodotus, Daivd Howarth 1066, Hegel The Philosophy of History, Hourani A history of Arab Peoples, Russel Understanding History and Freedom and Organization, Cantor In the wake of the plague and Medieval History, Francis Jennings The Founders of America, McNeill Plagues and Peoples, Engels Origin of Private Property Family and The State. Ralph Waldo Emerson History, Vico The New Science

I've read a lot of Nietzsche, Sartre and Marx so that was already covered.

This is the new list after I've fully decided what to do: Charles Hugh Smith gave me the advice of sticking with Europe, I believe he is correct. So I'm sticking with Europe and America.

1.Plato The Republic
2.Aristotle Politics
3.Cicero On the Commonwealth
just Read these

have not read these, will read in order
4.Xenophon Cyropaedia
5.Livy Rise of Rome
6.Tacitus fall of Rome
7.Gibbon Decline of Rome
8.Saint Augustine City of God
9.Thomas Aquinas Utopia
10.The Renaissance and Reformation
11.Machiavelli The Prince
12.Montesquieu The Spirit of Laws
13.Hobbes Leviathan
14.John Locke Second Treatise
15.Rousseau Social Contract
16.Adam Smith Wealth of Nations
17.John Stuart Mill On Liberty
18.Thomas Paine Common Sense
19. Auguste Comte Early Political Writings and Positive Philosophy
20.Emile Durkheim The Division of Labor in Society

I'm taking Political Though 1 next semester and Political Thought 2 the next one.

I don't know if this will be enough

or if it will be too much

I don't even plan on using a lot of citations.

But I get ideas from reading them, I don't want to pass up the change to get a new thought or to put two thoughts together.

Like I do not think I will quote Cicero or Plato, but it caused connections to be made, things about Rome and our present life, Rome and the church, etc.

I think more than anything this will be an attempt to find out who I am, who are the people around, where do our thoughts come from?

Like here are some paragraphs from Cicero, "Wisdom and Prudence instruct us by all means to increase our power, riches, estates. For by what means could this same Alexander, that illustrious general, who extended his empire over all Asia, without violating the property of other men, have acquired such universal dominion, enjoyed so many pleasures, such great power, and reigned without bound or limit?
But Justice commands us to have mercy upon all men, to consult the interests of the whole human race, to give to everyone his due, and injure no sacred, public or foreign rights, and to forbear touching what does not belong to us. What is the result, then? If you obey the dictates of wisdom, then wealth, power, riches, honors, provinces, and kingdoms, from all classes, peoples, and nations, are to be aimed at."

When i look at this I think, "This is america."

A nation that somehow wants justice but at the same time thinks power should be the aim of one's life.

There is problem in the logic, everyone can be powerful. But no one can be powerful if everyone is powerful. And to be powerful is to have riches, but not everyone can be rich, 1st it will defeat the purpose of being rich, and second there is not enough resources to make everyone rich.

I could see after reading this and other things in the book why Catholic Medieval Europe neve reached great heights.

Catholic Medieval Europe did not consider POWER a goal for everyone. There were people in Medieval Europe that rose to power perhaps because of certain psychological characteristics created in childhood. But it was not an overwhelming dominating worldview that one should rise above their fellow humans. The kings of Europe were not as corrupt as the leaders today. The idea Americans have of kings today come from movies, and those kings are based of post 1500 kings that were profiting from capitalism and colonial expansion. The pre 1500 kings may have made some wars and did some stupid shit, but it was the post 1500 kings that built Buckingham Palace and Versailles.

The ones before that lived before lived in much more modest circumstances.


Anonymous said...

Looks like we have a junior academic on our hands ladies n' gents. Nice work. I can't wait to read your account of the west.

Also, what about Spengler's Decline of the West? You may have already covered this in another post.

Noah Cicero said...

I know, after I woke up today I remembered I forgot to add

Diamond's Germs, Steel etc
and McNiell's Rise of the west

Anonymous said...

don't skip gibbon or machiavelli


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