Why I need to read some Ernest Becker

The collection of Seneca’s letters I read recently contained a passing reference to what was clearly asthma, a terrifying condition that often makes its sufferers feel like they are dying. It must have been even more terrifying before the age of inhalers. I was wondering how that condition contributed to his focus on the inevitability of death in his philosophical writing. It seems he wrote quite a bit more about his condition and its relevance to his thinking. Must read some Becker!

Review: Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking

Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking
Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking by Douglas R. Hofstadter

My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Fantastic. This is Hofstadter’s latest thinking about thinking and, as usual, he has some enormously interesting things to say and a delightful way of saying it. Highly recommended.



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Review: Letters from a Stoic

Letters from a Stoic
Letters from a Stoic by Seneca

My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Seneca certainly liked to write his letters! This is a collection of Seneca’s letters to his friend Lucilius, mostly about Stoicism and how to practice it. I enjoyed them, but I prefer the earlier letters to the ones that seemed to be written towards the end of his life. In the later writing you can see how Seneca would be adapted by Augustine. The older Seneca also seems to lose his nerve and commit himself to the immortality of the soul, rather than accepting the possibility that he might just die.



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