Category: Philosophy

Nov 13 2017

Kill 6 Billion Demons, Book 1 by Tom Parkinson-Morgan

My husband got me this last Christmas and I’ve just now gotten round to reading it and, er, what? The best thing about it was Allison deciding she needed to suck it up and go save her idiot boyfriend, even if he’s kind of a crap boyfriend, because she’s a badass and that’s what badasses …

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Dec 21 2016

Wrapping Up

Both reading and writing have slowed significantly since November 8, and not only because of the election, though that has certainly played a major part in my slowdown. Time for some short takes, to clear the desk for the coming year. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. I read this in the summer, and I’ve been searching …

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Aug 30 2016

The Just City by Jo Walton

I love so much how my experiences with Jo Walton’s books just get better and better. I spent the climactic scene of The Just City with one hand clutched to my breast, knowing something terrible was coming and feeling a kind of horror and relief when it finally did — horror because it truly was …

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Jun 03 2016

The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton

Jo Walton, writing at the height of her powers, has solved the second-book problem, or at least this one instance of the problem. The Philosopher Kings is in fact the middle book of a trilogy, but it is so much its own thing that although it has the advantages of a sequel—less time setting up …

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Apr 27 2016

The Just City by Jo Walton

What if people took Plato’s Republic seriously enough to attempt putting it into practice? What if two of those people were the Greek deities Apollo and Athena, who have the power to make Plato’s implausible starting conditions real? Those are the premises underlying The Just City by Jo Walton. The Olympians, as Walton describes them, …

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Jan 12 2016

The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton

  I purchased The Art of Travel on the way out of town during a spring break beach trip. The options at the Baylor Bookstore (the prep school, not the university), were limited to the sorts of things high schoolers either should read (such as Night by Elie Wiesel) or must read (insert Shakespeare title …

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May 09 2015

History is Weird

The second offspring of [Jewish] messianic hopes [in eighteenth century Poland] was Frankism—from the name of its founder, Jacob Frank (?–1791). Frank’s father had fled Poland to escape persecution as a follower of Sabbatai Zevi, and Jacob Frank himself traveled widely in Romania and Greece, where (in Salonika) he met those believers in Sabbatai who …

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Dec 28 2014

The Republic by Plato

Plato covers a range of subjects in this rambling work, but the chief one is the problem of what constitutes the best society. Naturally, Plato thinks that in any ideal society, the philosophers will be in charge. His Republic resembles Thomas More’s Utopia in that it would be a place where the citizens were incomparably …

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Oct 25 2014

Early Socratic Dialogues by Plato

It seems to me there is something flawed in the Socratic question and answer approach to discerning truth. A person may know what something is and even be an expert on it even if he does not know how to precisely define it. An ophthalmologist, for instance, knows what sight is and is competent to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2014/10/25/early-socratic-dialogues-by-plato/

Oct 03 2014

The Curse Of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold

An almost perfect fantasy novel, with one major exception. Cazaril is a compelling hero but there are parts where his heroism seems less a function of himself than of the story. I loved that he had personality and flaws, but the author sometimes seems to forget those flaws and forego realism for the epic, when …

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