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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Schleiermacher, Goethe, Kant, Rousseau, Hobbes

1. Love, Life, Goethe: Lessons of the Imagination from the Great German Poet, by John Armstrong. The author does not demonstrate overwhelming expertise but this is nonetheless not a bad place to start on the most neglected of all the great writers.
2. The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West, by Mark Lilla. Why Schleiermacher really matters, how Kant painted himself into a corner trying to solve the problems laid out by Rousseau, and why it all springs from Hobbes. I found this well above average for its genre, though you must have a taste for Straussian-like books where big ideas clash at the macro level and there is little attempt at any kind of empirical resolution... What I've Been Reading from Marginal Revolution by Tyler Cowen

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