Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What I'm Currently Reading

If it actually interests anyone, I don't know, but I like to post my current reading projects.  I figure it may help readers trackback through my posts and understand the formation of my queries, meanderings, and doctrinal re-alignments.  So without further ado, here is my current reading list (and yes, I have finished the books I've listed previously).

I've had to pick Dawkins's book up for the 3rd time.  I'm bound and determined to finish it, but I find Dawkins to be such a ponderously "crappy philosopher" (David Berlinski, from Expelled by Ben Stein) that reading Dawkins's manifesto for atheism is -- what I imagine -- melting lozenges in one's eyes must feel like.

I'm hoping for a bit more of a rigorous read from Stenger, and by all accounts I've read about, Stenger goes the distance Dawkins can't seem to articulate.

Fairly soon, I'll have a review of Daniel Dennett's Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, as promised to Ed of "Pilgrim. Not. Wanderer".

10 comments:

Edward said...

I read half of the Dennett book, a year ago.

It was pretty light on arguments and heavy on speculation about how religion might possible have arisen - in terms of evolutionary psychology and such.

I wonder If Dennett realizes that Christians will agree that religion is a natural phenomena?

This review seems right to me:

http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=5394&var_recherche=dennett

Edward said...

I've been meaning to read the Dawkins book for shits and giggles, but am embarrassed by the though of him selling yet another book. I'll pick it up at a used book store perhaps.

tag-photos said...

"but am embarrassed by the though of him selling yet another book."

Library.

Christopher said...

TP,

If Ed's anything like me, he probably marks up his academic texts with underlinings, highlights, and scattered post-it notes. and comments in the margins. That wouldn't do for a library. ;)

Tag-photos said...

it also sounds like Dawkins, in both of your opinions, is a far cry from academia :)

Christopher said...

TP,

Dawkins's main delusion is that he writes well therefore he seems to think he philosophizes well. Unfortunately, the opposite is true: he writes well but can't philosophize worth the cover of his book. He's rather like an insistent bulldog with the appearance of an afgan: elegant but clumsy and brutish.

So, yes, I would say that in at least my opinion, Dawkins is a very poor academic in the philosophical world. However, in the realm of biology (his actual teaching post) the man is outstandingly brilliant. If you've ever heard of the concept of memes, Dawkins is the man who brought that about. Very interesting.

Tag-photos said...

Oh right... Dawkins is the one that thinks Biologists are an elevated form of life :)
Interesting concept... :)

Also, so philosophically speaking, I am like Dawkins but not as well written :)

Anonymous said...

Just scanning this and adding a bit of what you will hopefully consider humour. When you use terms like well-written and well-read, it makes me think of a veterinarian examining a horse's teeth or of judges at a dog show examining breeds to see which are the best of show.
I guess I can't relate to terms like this all that well.
I read incessantly, but I probably missed out in the gene pool as I don't consider myself to be either well-written or well-read.
And the funny thing is that that doesn't bother me one bit, not being a member of the intelligentsia. I would, more appropriately, be considered a member of the literati (I was intrigued with those terms once, so I wrote a story on them).
Couldn't help myself,
J

Christopher said...

That's okay, J. I don't consider myself to be part of the intelligencia, or the literati. I'm more a part of the wannabesia, or the collectorati. ;)

If I didn't involve myself in this sort of activity, I'd probably be of the underground class of intense nerds that collect 1960's G.I. Joes and keep them in boxes so as to retain their value. I'd be a four-square geek. And I'd probably wear a cape when no-one's looking.

At least this way, we have something to discuss. :)

Anonymous said...

That's all right. Who said we can't wear capes?
J