Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Conversation has a Spirit of Its Own

Am working through Merold Westphal's Whose Community? Which Interpretation? Half way through he is discussing Gadamer.  I'll lift this quote from Westphal with an embedded quote from Truth and Method by G.

...when conversation takes place willingly and humbly, the partners "are far less the leaders of it than the led . . . All this shows that a conversation has a spirit of its own (TM 383/385)"

It seems to me that is how good conversation should be.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Laudato Si

This is the first encyclical I've ever read. For me it was moving and characterized by great depth. Pope Francis did not discuss climate change in detail, only used those two words a few times. He described that the larger problem is how we treat the earth. And, that how we do that affects us all. He does not prescribe solutions but asserts that a variety of possible proposals may be effective for achieving solutions. Here is a significant snippet which I think summarizes his approach and which I like. 

"Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures and which also unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river and mother earth."

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Regarding "10 Books You Pretend To Have Read"

  Nice list here titled "10 Books You Pretend To Have Read (And Why You Should Probably Read Them)."  Link here at io9.   I did indeed read Gravity’s Rainbow.  It was my crowning achievement of 1976.  It would be another thirty years before I would learn that it was something called postmodern. Read Foundation as a teenager in 1968 and the Dune series I believe in 1978.  Finally, I’ve read 1984 several times.   I stopped reading SciFi around age thirty.  Just lost interest in it.  I’m thinking perhaps the next one on the list that sounds the best for me would be Infinite Jest.  I resolve to read that by end of 2016.  Several other commitments are in line first.  I wish Isaac Asimov, the author of Foundation,  was better remembered and appreciated than he seems to be.  I would venture that many of us who chose science and engineering in the fifties and sixties were heavily influenced by him.  Not only his science fiction but other things such as commentaries on Shakespeare and the Bible were helpful to me.  I don’t know which book it was but one day in a bookstore when I was in my late teens I read a good chunk of one concerning evolution.  His account of evolution and how different animals are designed for their environments and situations helped me move away from the anti-evolution reflex of my religious heritage.  Lastly, it seems to me that the development of the internet matches to an amazing degree his short story about the future which is titled “The Last Question.”   He wrote it in 1956! 

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