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Jophelerx
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:38 pm 
 

I recently read C.J. Cherryh's duet of Rider at the Gate and Cloud's Rider, and for a series I just picked up randomly at the library, it was quite good. Cherryh is quite good at characterization and imagery, and the concept of the ambient is both refreshing and very effective. Fantasy/sci-fi hybrid that's highly recommended.

Now I'm working on an obscure fantasy novel I picked up very cheaply from a used bookstore called FrostFlower and Thorn, by Phyllis Ann Karr. Despite the fact that it was a random pick, it has also proved interesting so far, the characters are very realistic and the plot is pretty unpredictable while still believable.

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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:04 am 
 

I need to look for more fantasy authors. I keep scanning over them looking for SF and I know there's got to be something there I'm missing, but blind stabbing is difficult when cover art is so bad. :(

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Jophelerx
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:08 am 
 

What have you read already, Grave_Wyrm? I might be able to point you in the right direction.

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PhantomGreen
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:23 am 
 

Ancient_Sorrow wrote:
I'm going to read the whole Bible in the near future too, just to see what all the fuss is about, and to get a better understanding of it.

I think that is a very good idea, and more people nowadays should follow suit. As big a part of all societies the Christian Bible is, its amazing how many people haven't actually read it for themselves and simply go on gross misinterpretations by the fools over at places like cracked or Fucking comedy central or whatever, I'm not saying anyone is wrong or right on either side of things, but I do think it would do everyone a bit of good to experience it for themselves and interpret it how they will. You just have to go in with the right mindset of course, if you go in with your mind made up that its a big book of lies written by some drunk jews a couple thousand years ago, then well you may not get past the first few books after laughing at all the begats and pisseth's and God telling you to pluck out your own eyes and whatnot.

To me the Bible is like abstract art, any given person could look at it and see something drastically different. And that makes it beautiful. (Though I can't think of any painting that has caused wars & hatred through the whole of man's existence) And this is not me hoping you are a sudden convert after the fact either, just commending you on doing your own personal investigation.

Edit: just realized I contradicted myself in there, fuck it, too hard to edit on this phone.
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FlaPack
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:59 am 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
I need to look for more fantasy authors. I keep scanning over them looking for SF and I know there's got to be something there I'm missing, but blind stabbing is difficult when cover art is so bad. :(


I'm not much of a fantasy reader but if you are looking for something other than a Tolkien knock off or a rehashed D&D campaign you should give John Crowley a try. Try Little, Big or Aegypt for a less derivative, less adolescent take on the genre.

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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:49 am 
 

Jophelerx wrote:
What have you read already, Grave_Wyrm? I might be able to point you in the right direction.

Not much really. Tolkien (obvi), some DragonLance back in the day. The first half of Wolfe's The Wizard Knight, and I just started Game of Thrones, which I'm liking quite a bit more than I expected to, though I'm pretty sure that's mainly because the show did such a good job with atmosphere. That's about all I can think of at the moment. Pretty fantasy-noob. Thanks!

Also, thanks, FlaPack.

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Nochielo
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:02 pm 
 

Got around to reading House of Leaves. It was very good, but jeez what the hell happened there? Any thoughts? Also read John Dies At the End which was funny, but it goes absolutely nowhere in the last few chapters, which is a bummer, considering how much I enjoyed the rest of it.

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Jophelerx
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:53 pm 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
Jophelerx wrote:
What have you read already, Grave_Wyrm? I might be able to point you in the right direction.

Not much really. Tolkien (obvi), some DragonLance back in the day. The first half of Wolfe's The Wizard Knight, and I just started Game of Thrones, which I'm liking quite a bit more than I expected to, though I'm pretty sure that's mainly because the show did such a good job with atmosphere. That's about all I can think of at the moment. Pretty fantasy-noob. Thanks!

Also, thanks, FlaPack.


If you're looking for high fantasy a la Tolkien/DragonLance, Terry Brooks' The Sword of Shannara series does the job, although I'll admit the first book is a pretty blatant Tolkien rip-off. Also, despite being a children's series, Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain is actually quite good for this sort of thing.

I personally like fantasy with a technological edge to it, a la later Final Fantasy (most well-known example I could think of). A few posts above I mentioned C. J. Cherryh's work; Anne McCaffrey's original Dragonriders of Pern trilogy fits the bill as well - the later stuff is pretty bad though.

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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:46 pm 
 

Another young adult series I really enjoyed is the Abhorsen trilogy. It's got a mixture of some light technology and magic, mainly dark magic like necromancy.
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PhantomGreen
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:53 pm 
 

While we are in the topic of 'kid' books, one I've really been itching to read again is watership down. It's been about 15 years since I last cracked that one open.
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oogboog
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:08 pm 
 

Have you guys read the Skinjacker trilogy? It's a pretty cool series by Neal Shusterman. It's about an "afterlife" where children end up after they've died. Objects that were beloved during their time of "living" (the World Trade Center is where most of the children live in the first book) also can cross over.
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Jophelerx
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:41 am 
 

I never got around to reading Abhorsen, though I remember hearing about it several years back. Garth Nix, right? When I was about 12 or 13 I started reading the Keys to the Kingdom series he did, that was pretty fun for what it was, although I don't imagine I'd enjoy it nowadays.

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sortalikeadream
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:42 am 
 

I'm almost done with The Croning. It's a horror novel by a relatively unknown author, as far as I can tell. It's not without it's flaw, but the author has succeeded in crafting a believable world. Moments of tension arise when the protagonist rationalizes the supernatural elements of his experience, and the novel does a wonderful job of blending terror of the unknown, fear of bodily harm, and the nagging question of sanity and delusion. The plot revolves around the lives of two academics, which is a topic I personally find interesting. The premise of anthropologist-dabbles-with-occult is a bit trite, but so far that has in no way hindered my enjoyment. It's building up to what I hope will be an epic climax, and I see myself finishing it in the next sitting or two.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:53 am 
 

I'm rather enjoying Karl Edward Wagner's Kane stuff at the moment, I can imagine there are some others who enjoy this sort of stuff here. He's not exactly stunningly original in the fantasy style, but he is very good.
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Calusari
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:52 am 
 

Nahsil wrote:
Another young adult series I really enjoyed is the Abhorsen trilogy. It's got a mixture of some light technology and magic, mainly dark magic like necromancy.


Absolutely loved this when I was 13, and still cherish my copies. In my view, this is one of the great examples of YA fantasy with credible, sophisticated world-building and a fascinating magic system (I still think that whole bell thing is quite brilliant)

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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:51 pm 
 

Yeah I was about that age when I read Sabriel. Went back and read the whole trilogy at around 16 or so, burned through it, really infectious.
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PostMetalActivist
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:08 pm 
 

I'm currently reading Catch-22, and A Song of Fire And Ice series.

good stuff

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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:17 pm 
 

Finished Claw of the Conciliator and started Sword of the Lictor. Will it never end! Not that I'm actually complaining, enjoying the series a lot. I love how full of wonder it is.
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iAm
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:10 pm 
 

I've been reading Karl Marx's critique of Hegel lately. I've concluded that Marx is a fucking Vulcan; I mean even Nietzsche had glimpses of emotion let alone happiness.
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in_human_form
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:37 am 
 

I read Ken Follet's The Pillars of the Earth and I'm nearly finished the sequel, World WIthout End. I highly recommend both. In short, they detail various events centered around the fictional English village/town/city of Kingsbridge in the 1100s and 1300s.

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Scorntyrant
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:18 am 
 

iAm wrote:
I've been reading Karl Marx's critique of Hegel lately. I've concluded that Marx is a fucking Vulcan; I mean even Nietzsche had glimpses of emotion let alone happiness.


Wait till you get to Kant :(
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darkeningday
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:38 am 
 

If you think Kant flat out exchanges emotion for 'duty', you're not really understanding Kant.

Kant appeals to emotion (not in a fallacious way, course) much more than Marx, unquestionably.
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Calusari
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:03 am 
 

Hmmm... By 'appeal', do you mean that he writes in a way that draws/relies on our emotions as readers, perhaps even when he doesn't want to? Or that his account addresses the place of emotions in human experience more fully than Marx does?

Re Vulcans: Surely, out of the writers mentioned above, Hegel himself would be the obvious candidate? Though I must admit I'm biased, I never did really like his work much.

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darkeningday
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:35 am 
 

No, I mean that emotions play a foundational role in his philosophies, even if, at first glance, it would appear he wishes for us to abdicate them entirely. Let me explain. Duty is comprised singularly and entirely of our respect for moral law, yes? Within that respect is a dichotomy of the "affective" and the "practical," the former of which is basically... well... an emotion. An emotion that's actuated by putting our desires in check and obliging sovereign moral law, yes. But certainly a stimulation of one or more of our "pleasure hormones" by a natural cause, which biologically is an emotion.

Alternatively, you could just drop five tabs of MDMA and read The Critique of Pure Reason. That'd elicit an emotional response. :love:
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Calusari
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:34 am 
 

Thanks for clarifying your statement! Though it's not an orthodox reading of Kant - I am not sure he would classify these things as emotions, though what else would they be? - I would have to agree with it, especially in light of Kant's descriptions of the respect for the moral law as being the sole sufficient motivating force for the agent; his later account of the process of moral conversion would speak in favour of it as well.

While I was unfortunately completely sober when I read the First Critique, I'm sure it'd be an interesting experience to encounter it under some kind of influence. Still sure that not even this could make Hegel more engaging. Not that I'm suggesting it was a serious recommendation, of course... :-P

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CrushedRevelation
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:44 am 
 

in_human_form wrote:
I read Ken Follet's The Pillars of the Earth and I'm nearly finished the sequel, World WIthout End. I highly recommend both. In short, they detail various events centered around the fictional English village/town/city of Kingsbridge in the 1100s and 1300s.


That's a really good read that one. I have never read the sequel though...
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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:31 am 
 

Also, Nietzsche was VERY emotional. He's practically anti-logic in a lot of ways. The logical people are his "last men," and he sees them as the end of the vitality of the human race, basically. I haven't read any primary works by Hegel or Kant, but from what I do know about them, I like Hume better. And Hegel's neat but Marx is cooler.

But yeah I just finished The Way of Zen by Alan Watts. I adore the man, have also read The Book, and I want to read everything he wrote. I've read books on Buddhism before, but Watts is just brilliantly eloquent and knows what the fuck he's talking about. I feel like I understand Buddhism better than ever, and like I said I've read several books about it and studied it in several different classes.

Working my way through Sword of the Lictor. Loving it so far. Wolfe has such a knack for metaphor and powerful imagery and crazy, unique word choice. I wish I had his abilities.
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Last edited by Nahsil on Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:38 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Jophelerx
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:34 am 
 

I've been reading Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings, the first book of his projected ten book series, The Stormlight Archive. So far, it's quite good, especially as far as epic fantasy goes, as it's quite a difficult genre to write. The characters are interesting and believable, and the plot is pretty fast-paced and exciting. Not surprisingly, his style reminds me a good bit of Robert Jordan, although he definitely has his own style. In my book, this definitely beats out ASoIaF for the best current high fantasy series.

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666Emperor666
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:21 pm 
 

Yesterday I finnished reading Silmarillion by J.R.R Tolkien. I liked the book very much. It was nice to know what happened a long time before the LotR trilogy.
I've also read a lot of war literature lately. Especially of a finnish writer called Esa Anttala. His books are mostly about scouting trips of finnish soldiers in times of Finnish Winter War and Continuation War. Very interesting stuff.
Today I bought myself a new book. It's a compilation book of H.P Lovecrafts short stories called "Necronomicon". I'm propably going to start reading it today. I've read most of Lovecrafts short stories and also his novel, but I'm happy to read these again as he's one of my favourite writers. This book is in english, so reading this will propably be slower than reading a book that is in finnish.

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HumanWaste5150
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:56 pm 
 

Calursi: Have you tried any Kojeve's lectures on Hegel? he takes Hegel and does a very cool filtering of Hegel through Heidegger and Marx. The master and slave relationship becomes an exercise in the human understanding of death. The lectures were heard by almost all major french thinkers during their studies. Even a liberal social scientist like Fukuyama took his influence from Hegel through Kojeve.

I know there are some fans of analytic and contitental philosophy/thought and from our previous discussion of the difference of the two in this thread:

A metaphor offlower through the lenses of both schools of thought :http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/02/17/opinion/sunday/0219Stone/0219Stone-blog480.jpg
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Calusari
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:47 am 
 

HumanWaste5150 wrote:
Calursi: Have you tried any Kojeve's lectures on Hegel? he takes Hegel and does a very cool filtering of Hegel through Heidegger and Marx. The master and slave relationship becomes an exercise in the human understanding of death. The lectures were heard by almost all major french thinkers during their studies. Even a liberal social scientist like Fukuyama took his influence from Hegel through Kojeve.

I know there are some fans of analytic and contitental philosophy/thought and from our previous discussion of the difference of the two in this thread:

A metaphor offlower through the lenses of both schools of thought :http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/02/17/opinion/sunday/0219Stone/0219Stone-blog480.jpg


Nice flower metaphor, I have to say that I quite like it!

Yep, I have read Kojeve's reading of Hegel, and I agree that it is quite awesome; honestly, I prefer it to the original by far. I first encountered Hegel through texts like that - Kojeve, Žižek and Agamben (have you read Agamben's 'Language and Death'? It focuses more on Heidegger than Hegel, but it deals with similar themes re death, and might be something you enjoy if you haven't encountered it yet) - and that was perhaps why I was so disappointed with the primary source...

On the subject of the analytic/continental 'divide' (my interest is in both; my background and current research are mainly in the latter, but, doing philosophy in an English-speaking country, I am interested in and familiar with issues in the former as well) and readings of Hegel - Robert Brandom has a very interesting take on Hegel, drawing on the latter's theories of normativity/morality/Sittlichkeit to ground/explain the normativity of concept application within his own linguistic rationalist philosophy of mind. Highly recommended also.

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HumanWaste5150
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:16 am 
 

Firstly, sorry for misspelling Calurasi :P,


i have not gotten to read any Agamben yet but I do have homo sacer lined up in my very long nonfiction list. The Brandom guy reminds me of Charles Taylor to an extent from that description. I'll take a look when I get a chance although philosophy of mind is a bit farther than what i usually delve into for philosophy.

Yeah, I guess I could have been in the same boat as you in terms of learning environment. My undergraduate school was known to be a hotbed for critical and contitental thought in a very Anglophone style environment (probably the only school in the biggest english province that regularly teaches Nietzche, Castoriadis, Heidegger, Schmitt, Foucault, among others). I consider myself moreso a "contitental" both in my research interests and orientation (although I am not a philosophy major) and I find the most important thing for the "school" is that it has to be able to actually respond to criticisms of outsiders and learn to find interlocutors that are willing to get past ad hominem attacks (apparently, most analytic apostles still haven't stopped laughing over the Sokal affair :lol:) . It basically has to learn to be less indulgent and focus moreso on gaining purchase in the opposing schools. I know dudes like Habermas and Dreyfus have done such things but its too uncommon I fear. In other words, thinkers from both sides have to learn to shake the devil's hands. hehe, Perhaps we will have to return to our common link of Frege and/or Husserl to do so.

If you don't mind me asking, are you an adjunct/grad student? if so, I'm curious to hear about what you are specifically researching (if you would rather not/ or use pm instead, i understand).
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Poisonfume
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:21 pm 
 

666Emperor666 wrote:
Today I bought myself a new book. It's a compilation book of H.P Lovecrafts short stories called "Necronomicon". I'm propably going to start reading it today. I've read most of Lovecrafts short stories and also his novel, but I'm happy to read these again as he's one of my favourite writers. This book is in english, so reading this will propably be slower than reading a book that is in finnish.


Is that the commemorative edition? The one that begins with Nightgaunts, then Dagon, etc.? If so, I own it myself and is a wonderful little compilation of his most important weird tales. Looks good on the shelf too.
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Markov
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:58 pm 
 

I'm looking for a novel that incorporates extremely graphic details on "eye-opening" parts of the story, a hooking story that has a lot of philosophy influence, and preferably historical.

Please not another "THE MIND OF [INSERT-X SERIAL KILLER HERE]" book.
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HumanWaste5150
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:10 pm 
 

extremely graphic as in gorey ?
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Markov
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:36 pm 
 

Not necessarily. It could be graphic in the sense of describing the protagonist (or whoever's) emotion or something like that.
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FlaPack
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:07 pm 
 

Markov wrote:
I'm looking for a novel that incorporates extremely graphic details on "eye-opening" parts of the story, a hooking story that has a lot of philosophy influence, and preferably historical.

Please not another "THE MIND OF [INSERT-X SERIAL KILLER HERE]" book.


Blood Meridian maybe.

ETA: Maybe not that philosophical but the Judge has some great lines. It's certainly a graphic historical novel with a horrifying story.

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megalowho
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:38 pm 
 

Not surprisingly, I failed to finish Kant's first Critique over the summer. It felt like it required at least a couple days just to comprehend a single section. Kant himself, if I remember correctly, spent over a decade developing the book's content in his mind; I just had to accept after a while that I simply wasn't going to master the outlines of his system, let alone the details, in just three months.

Someone let me know if I'm on the right track here as I try to summarize, partly in my own words, what I've read from and about Kant:

It is not the case that we perceive objects via their impinging upon the mind; it is not the case that the mind passively observes such a world as would retain all its features even if the mind were absent. Rather, the mind is like a filter through which mind-independent reality passes, and our resulting perceptions are formed in accordance with the structure of this filter. The structure imbues our perceptions with spatial extension and temporal duration, and (via what are called "categories") with the sort of features that determine what kinds of meaningful statements we can consider and express. We can be cognizant only of this mind-dependent reality; about the unfiltered, mind-independent reality, we can know nothing. Mind-independent reality has none of the features - extension, duration, etc. - that characterize mind-dependent reality, so its nature is inconceivable to us.

As a consequence (and I'm even shakier on this), we can know certain things about the mind-dependent world - e.g., we can discern certain features of space (as in geometric theorems) - without undertaking any empirical investigation; we need only reflect on the nature of our mind. Furthermore, we may be certain of the illusory nature of certain metaphysical controversies - the question, e.g., of whether time and space are infinite - because mind-independent reality cannot be characterized in spatial or temporal terms.

Hopefully I'm not too far off. :|

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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:42 pm 
 

I haven't read Kant as much as you have, but that's the gist of his views, as far as I've read about and learned in philosophy courses.

Pretty brilliant for his time. Nowadays I'd say that's all pretty obvious, but back then I'm sure it was revolutionary.
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from the same womb
and hewn from
the same stone - Primordial, "Heathen Tribes"

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MazeofTorment
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:06 pm
Posts: 2039
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:00 pm 
 

Yeah, that's pretty much it. To sound so unsure of your reading of Kant, you've done fairly well in summing up his views in the Critique, megalowho. It is a difficult read but for those who are familiar with Philosophical texts and are willing to put in the effort, it's hardly unintelligible.
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