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Five Feet of Books

"During his days as Harvard’s influential president, Dr. Charles W. Eliot made a frequent assertion: If you were to spend just 15 minutes a day reading the right books, a quantity that could fit on a five-foot shelf, you could give yourself a proper liberal education. Publisher P. F. Collier and Son loved the idea and asked Eliot to compile and edit the right collection of works. The result: a 51-volume series of classic works from world literature published in 1909 called Dr. Eliot’s Five Foot Shelf, which would later be called The Harvard Classics." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 11, 2013 - 89 comments

What's it like to be Peter Hacker?

"The whole endeavour of the consciousness studies community is absurd – they are in pursuit of a chimera" - Peter Hacker on philosophy
posted by Gyan on Oct 25, 2010 - 145 comments

My broke brain broke the bank.

"In order for somebody to understand something, belief is a necessary precondition." On Descartes vs. Spinoza, the necessity of the suspension of disbelief to the creation of belief, the rarity of skepticism and the myths we refuse to stop telling ourselves. Finance blogger Edward Harrison of Credit Writedowns uses an essay by analyst by analyst James Montier citing the work of Daniel Gilbert to ponder whether we are doomed to be destroyed by distraction, and suggests that " financial calamity and economic collapse are really the only way" to destroy the Efficient Markets Hypothosis.
posted by Diablevert on May 14, 2010 - 17 comments

Stolen Descartes letter found at Haverford by Dutch scholar's online detective work

A letter by Rene Descartes, stolen in 1840s, recovered in 2010 by online detective work. The letter was stolen by Guglielmo Libri, inspector general of the libraries of France, who stole thousands of valuable documents and fled to England in 1848. Since 1902 it's been in the collection of Haverford College, its contents unknown to scholars, and nobody there realized that it was an unknown letter. But because they had catalogued it and recently put their catalogue on line, Dutch philosopher Erik-Jan Bos found it "during a late-night session browsing the Internet". (A Haverford undergraduate thirty years ago had translated it and written a paper on it, in which he recognized that the letter was unknown -- but nobody followed up and the letter had sat in the library since then until it was listed online.) The letter includes some last-minute edits to the Meditations, and some thoughts on God as causa sui. Haverford, whose president was a philosophy major, is returning the letter to the Institut de France.
posted by LobsterMitten on Feb 26, 2010 - 21 comments

Gimme That Old Time Derivation

The Cornell Historical Math Monographs archive has a great many famous papers, including works by De Morgan, Hamilton, Descartes (warning: French) and of course Lewis Carroll. [more inside]
posted by DU on Jun 15, 2009 - 7 comments

“Is this chat going to go on much longer? I’ve got some shopping to do.”

Philosophy (digested). Julian Baggini reads philosophy classics, so you don't have to. Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Ayer (“Sex is empirically verifiable, it’s only love that ain’t”). OK, its a rip-off of John Crace (prev) but at least these are books you should have read.
posted by criticalbill on Jun 8, 2007 - 7 comments

Lovers of Wisdom - And ACTION!

From the award-winning comic series ACTION PHILOSOPHERS! comes these biographies of the titans of thought! Thrill to the killer koans of Bam-Bam Bodhidharma! Shudder before the noble savagery of Terrible Thomas Jefferson! And enjoy (Or pick apart) tales of Crusher Carl Jung, Nasty Niccolo Machiavelli, Rowdy Rene Descartes, uh, Terribler Thomas Aquinas, The Pre-Socratics, and Gentleman John Stewart Mill!(Scroll down)
posted by Alvy Ampersand on Mar 8, 2007 - 21 comments

Mind & Body: Antonio Damasio on Descartes and Spinoza

I Feel, Therefore I Am. Consider the work of Dr. Antonio Damasio, humanist and neuroscientist, who has turned the Mind and Body debate between René Descartes and Benedictus de Spinoza upon its head--or at least the heads of Phineas Gage and one Elliott--via his research and writings such as The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness, Descartes' Error: Emotion, reason, and the human brain and Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain. He's influenced writers like Ian McEwan and David Lodge, and via his thoughts on the perception of music, inspired a composition. (More Inside)
posted by y2karl on Apr 19, 2003 - 21 comments

What on earth does this company do?

What on earth does this company do? I've been staring at this sentence for hours and still can't figure it out. "Descartes powers the next generation of collaborative logistics management on a global scale, providing customers with Internet-based capabilities to optimally manage nChain processes." More business babble inside!
posted by tweebiscuit on Sep 20, 2001 - 27 comments

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