Second Paradise.

We finished college, but we’re not done reading.

For the time being, we’re not graduate students, and there’s little professional gain to be had from reading philosophy and theology. But we see value intrinsic to these pursuits, and we’re not going to stop digging anytime soon.

We’re going to start with Richard Rorty’s Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, which we’ve heard is something of a classic. None of are is exactly prepared to read this book — we won’t be able to judge whether Rorty’s right or wrong about this or that thinker — but, at least in my experience, you learn to swim in philosophical waters more quickly if you just jump right in. If that doesn’t work, then you can try wading.

Brendan, John, and I like to read through several books at a time, so there will be plenty of material we’re not reading simultaneously. We’ll be posting on that stuff. But when we manage to coordinate on something, we’ll be spending extra time on that.

During the spring I’m hoping to read one or more of the following: William James’s The Varieties of Religious Experience, Louis Menand’s The Metaphysical Club, Alasdair MacIntyre’s Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry, J.I. Packer’s Knowing God, Augustine’s Confessions. Yes, this spring’s going to be a little bit heavy on religion. 2009 was a bit more secular for me: I read Pale Fire, David Simon and Ed Burn’s The Corner, All the King’s Men, The Selfish Gene, a bunch of David Foster Wallace—

Well, this listing is starting to seem a little gauche. The point is, I go through cycles, and religion and theology are due.

As is the case with any brand new blog, the appearance of the page will suddenly and randomly change whenever we try to improve the layout. Apologies in advance.

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4 Responses to “Second Paradise.”

  1. You will enjoy ‘Knowing God’. I like JI Packer a lot. Never have read ‘Confessions’ but it is definitely on ‘the list’ when I, like you finish the required reading of my life…one day…maybe…

    Excited to hear your thoughts.

  2. A DFW read-through blog would be awesome. And I would read it. You could call it “Consider the Foster.”

  3. I’ve read Infinite Jest, all the essay collections, and one and a half story collections. I still need to read the math book and The Broom of the System and The Girl with the Curious Hair. I don’t know what the other guys would want to read.

  4. I’ve only read Infinite Jest and the essays so I’d love anything else you might do of his. I think a roundtable of “Consider the Lobster” would be great.

    But you guys seem off to a good start. Now that I’m finally done with King’s, I plan on following along with the Rorty. As soon as I finish the Stephen King I just started. The Green Mile. Saw the movie. Liked it. Neil Postman is not amused.

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