Friday, October 06, 2006

What I'm Reading

Philosophy for Beginners is a book I may have poo-pooed in the past, having little interest in either philosophy or "Dummies" type books. However I recently resolved to learn new things every once in a while (especially things in which I wouldn't normally have interest), and it would certainly be snobbish of me, as a webcomic guy, to look down on a beginner's book made from cartoons.

I find the book to be quite fascinating, and actually inspiring. I enjoy learning about people who broke the mold of conventional thought and defied oppressive authorities, even if their philosophy seems silly to me. Did you know that the term "dunce" came from the followers of Duns Scotus (1270-1308), who were called "dunses", because they opposed classical studies? Neither did I!

In the chapter I'm reading on medieval Scholasticism, I found particularly interesting all the information on great thinkers like Roger Bacon and William of Occam, who show up as constant references in one of my favorite novels, The Name of the Rose.

Other tantalizing subjects in the "Beginners Documentary Comic Book" series: UNICEF, babies, sex, the Black Panthers, and yes, the history of clowns (!).

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