1920’s Reading and More

Having been slightly side-tracked by the TERF-wars again after reading Matthew Burgess “Smart SpaceTime”, it’s 12 days since I last posted.

Lots of email and forum traffic on discussing and promoting the works of Robert Pirsig and Iain McGilchrist (and Dante, and Spinoza, and …) but no posts or reviews, even though I have been reading even more:

I mentioned wanting to read some Moritz Schlick. So I’ve been reading his “Problems of Ethics” (1930) – the 1939 David Rynin translation. Whilst there is lots of good thinking it is clearly part of the logical positivist’s project to make morals part of science. The assertions range from the obvious to the you-cannot-be-serious so, whilst I’m curious where he’s going to end up, I’m struggling to complete.

Having been impressed with Eddington (1928) previously, I also started to read his later (1939)”The Philosophy of Physical Science”. Can’t shake the feeling he was back-tracking here to keep his scientific friends on board, using quite pejorative language about philosophers.

Picked-up off the shelf Ernst Haeckel “The Riddle of the Universe” (1899) Joseph McCabe’s 1929 translation (No.3 in “The Thinkers Library”). Fascinating on a clear monist objective (before the New Science came along). A hard determinist who sees Free Will as an illusory distraction, but I may still complete to see where he ends up.

Also on the shelf I noticed Henry Stapp’s 2011 (2nd Ed) “Mindful Universe” which it appears I only half-read first time round. What I hadn’t noticed was multiple positive references to Whitehead … so that’s my current reading.

And of course “1922” has happened on BBC R4, so lots of modernism subjects in the programming. Current pet hate meme, is that everyone discussing Ulysses seems to start with Molly’s closing “stream of consciousness”. Titillation rules as ever.

2 thoughts on “1920’s Reading and More”

  1. Thanks Finn, I think I was aware of that RSA session, it might even be the first time I came across Jonathan(?) but had never seen this output. Thanks for that.

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