The breadth and scope of your immersion into philosophy is not only staggering but intimidating to say the least since it plainly demonstrates that the interested reader will be attempting to scale Mount Everest in their pursuit of philosophical mastery. There is just not that much time left in a lifetime to be able to read and comprehend the magnitude and depth portrayed in some of these masterpieces. Therefore, my inclination rests on finding philosophers and writers that evoke the process of Ataraxia and Eudaimonia in the reader, rather than trying to get a full comprehension from such epic works. Though I am quite grateful to hear about these book’s recommended by you, a sense of overwhelm permeates my realization of what lies ahead as I dive into the heart of what is offered by Peter Adamson’s contribution.

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Feb 25Liked by Massimo Pigliucci

Damn you, Sir!

Not one, not two, but SIX books to add to my ever-expanding lists of books that I must (I tell you, must!) get to sooner or later (alas, given that there are six of them, some will necessarily be later).

Shall I add them to the stacks on the table next to my desk at home? This is the table of unread books, the books that I buy because they look fascinating, or come highly recommended, or were written by a guest on one of my favorite podcasts and I just found the interview so damn interesting. (I recently decided to gather all such books in one place, rather than having them scattered about the house. The theory was that the sight of this magnificent and enticing pile would inhibit me from acquiring more). The table also encompasses books that I picked up at whim from the local library, often while retrieving something else, but which, when I saw, thought, “Ooh, THAT looks good.” (Those necessarily tend to get read ahead of the ones I buy—one can only exercise renewal privileges so many times. Not that I am complaining. I just finished a science fiction novel from the 1970s by an author I loved during my science fiction phase. I don’t know how I missed it back then, but I am delighted that I found it now.) The books encompass poetry, novels, philosophy, psychology, natural history, human history, art, architecture, language, politics, sex, anthropology, sociology . . . the list goes on. I recently read something in which the writer made a proposition that gave me great comfort: It is a good thing to hold books that you have not yet read, that you have no specific plan to read; but that you hope to read, that you want to read. It is a sign that you are open to something new (and that is a hopeful sign at any age).

Or shall I add Adamson’s books to the “someday-maybe” list that I maintain in a very useful app? [A list that, like the collection on my table, seems to have things added to it at a greater rate than they come off]. The same conceit applies: these are things that I believe I will gain something from reading (insight, knowledge, pleasure—something), so I maintain the list as a resource, a repository of ideas about where to look next.

[. . . one reason to hope for an afterlife—this mortal one is simply too short to uncover all the joys to be found . . . ]

So, I suspect that Classical Philosophy will end up on my table pretty soon (to be read within a couple of months from its arrival), and the others will be on the list, with physical copies to be acquired as time and attention afford.

What joy.

Thank you, Sir.

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