Meditations by Marcus Aurelius ripped and regrowed the roots of my being, not the pure philosophy, but the human context of it
This one is good if you want an overview of modernity for greater context without trying to piece it all together yourself from dozens of dense, translated books.
The author is a Marxist, but the books is (I would say) an apolitical account of how modernity developed. I think it would be a good precursor to The Gulag Archipelago (mentioned earlier by @SesameStreetThug) since it provides some context for the Communist Manifesto.
Interesting. Yeah, it seems to be the more work does that the more I want to put it down because I don’t have access to some of the obscure texts they reference.
I haven’t tackled political texts recently but this will be on the top of my list when I return to it.
The majority of books written by Greg Egan.
He is on the diamond end of the sci-fi hardness scale, his books feature transhumanism, mind uploading, acorporeality, generating minds from random noise, mind cloning and more.
Arguably his books are not philosophy, per se, but I would still recommend the vast majority of them, and they do prod you to think about philosophical questions.
Special recommendations for Diaspora, Schild’s Ladder, Permutation City and Distress. (not sure if they are still in print, if not you can grab an EPUB copy from Libgen (dot) io)
Also might add some novels from Peter Watts here, although I have my reservations about his works, they have been memorable.
PS: Amazon link for Diaspora
Even an anti philosophy stance is still a philosophy, it is the only true recursive discipline!
So he’s on the Hardness scale, I’ll have to check this out. I was thinking about picking up Dune the other day, do you like his scifi works?
The bible is probably worth a read.
For tech related philosophy, most of the stuff. RMS has written about free software.
His publications don’t range too widely and from what I have read from RMS as far as press is very short. That being said, he does make it a point to practically write his philosophical stance into his software!
It’s written into the license more than the software. But if you want a tech orientated philosophy you can’t get much more exactly that than Richard Stallman. There’s two entire sites gnu.org and fsf.org and an entire 300 page book ‘free software, free society’.
It’s exactly what your looking for
Well, he’s only tech in the software sense. What about electricity? Ethics in deploying advanced weaponry? Advances in applied medicine / pharmacy?
On that previous note, anyone interested in the historiography of applied science, insofar as technology and our electrical infrastructure, I offer David E. Nye;
So far, I have read his fascinating account of Electrifying America where he speaks how we converted away from oil and gas to electricity infrastructure. Probably one of the more important takeaways from this book was the technological ideology that General Electric Imbued in the World’s Fair, at that time Fairs were pseudo-cities of light beaconing at night outside the dark town, displaying the utility and wonder of what this infrastructure could do for townships. I learned that the presentations of racial distinction (progress away from tribal cultures) were heavily in use. I would recommend any of his bibliography here, the historical work alone is important and you will learn a lot about the technological progress of the last 150 years.
I don’t really read, but I like to listen to Alan Watts.
Alan Watts brings a western view to Buddhism. I think that’s the premise for most of his stuff.
Anyone interested in technoscience and thinking through different ways of various technologies needs to pick up Don Idhe.
Based on my research the most common approaches to a philosophy of technology (note the ‘a’ not a ‘the’) is through the field of phenomenology. I think it was mainly Hiedegger’s hammer example that had to do with this… Basically after enough practice with hammer and nail, the hammer disappears and becomes an extension of our own body. This is what has been highlighted as the essence of technology. We use technologies and they become embedded in our way of life – our tools are used for hermenuetical wayfinding, since we can define measurements as interpretations.
Here’s another example of a philosophical debate over cryptography from Diffie/Landau - Privacy on the Line;
“The explosion in cryptography and the US government’s attempts to control it have given rise to a debate between those who hail the new technology’s contribution to privacy, business, and security and those who fear both its interference with the work of police and its adverse effect on the collection of intelligence. Positions have often been extreme. The advocates of unfettered
cryptography maintain that a free society depends on privacy to protect freedom of association, artistic creativity, and political discussion. The advocates of control hold that there will be no freedom at all unless we can protect ourselves from criminals, terrorists, and foreign threats. Many have tried to present themselves as seeking to maintain or restore the status quo. For the police, the
status quo is the continued ability to wiretap. For civil libertarians, it is the ready availability of conversational privacy that prevailed at the time of the country’s founding. The fact that if cryptography has the potential to interfere with police investigations it also has the potential to prevent crimes and thus make society more secure has often been overlooked.”
Have to include this for the “ebin game” factor as well as philosophy. Came in expecting more about assassins. Came away more philosophical than ever.
If I had to pick what I learned from this book, it is “know that you don’t have the whole truth”.
Other favourites of mine include Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (importance of privacy and a more modern, on-point dystopia than 1984)
Sounds interesting, thanks for the suggestion
George Miller & Noam Chomsky