Nov. 5 Recap

So this is a bit embarrassing, but I’ve hardly read anything outside of school this past week. Of course, there’s a news article here and there, but I really haven’t done a good job of utilizing my free time when I have it. I’m working on changing that, and hopefully will have a long(ish) post up here in the next day or so. Here’s all I’ve got concerning what I’ve learned/found interesting this week:

I really enjoy the movies, so I started watching this series of lectures on film from MIT. I’ve only made it through the first one though, but Thornburn’s enthusiasm has hooked me. Here’s to hoping I can make my way through the series in the next two months.

I got around to reading a nice article in The New Yorker on Derek Parfit. I’ve read a bit of Parfit, mainly his work on the repugnant conclusion and the non-identity problem, but I had never read much about his life or background. The article doesn’t go very deep into his work, which isn’t surprising, but it does do a nice job of presenting the man’s more eccentric views and lifestyle. I’ve been told to read Reasons and Persons by a few people, so lemme just throw that onto the massive list of books I’ve still yet to get through. But, fingers crossed, I’ll be able to read more of Parfit and start to engage with his work on a deeper level in the future (I do love Nagel and Williams so here’s to another hoping).

This doesn’t really count, but I finally read the post on Slate Star Codex, “I Can Tolerate Anything Except The Outgroup”. I won’t post my readings of other blogs often, since it’s nothing impressive and Scott reads a ridiculous amount of articles per week (I hope he’s really a collection of ten people) but this was an especially nice read this week so I thought I’d live dangerously.

Finally, I listened to the In Our Time Episode on Aristotle’s Poetics. I really enjoyed this episode since I’ve hardly read anything from Aristotle outside of his works on ethics and metaphysics (and even within those domains I haven’t read as extensively as I would like). I especially liked Aristotle’s observation that reversal and recognition express the limits of human agency. The main takeaway from the episode: “at the heart of the poetics is a theory of human agents moving through the world.”

Till next time.

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