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Book Club Potluck - "The Extended Mind"

  • Dec 6, 2013 · 7:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Richard will host the discussion of "The Extended Mind" by Richard Menary. Richard suggested this book. Here's a link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Extended-Mind-Life-Philosophical/dp/0262518015/ref=tmm_pap_title_0.

The other option for next month is Sally's pick, "A History of the Mind: Evolution and the Birth of Consciousness" by Nicholas Humphrey. See the December 13 Meetup.

The January poll results are in, and the winners are: Tiffany's pick, "The Ethics of Ambiguity" by Simone de Bouvoir, and Russell's pick, "The Road to Serfdom" by FA Hayek. Karl and Mark Hopkins have agreed to host these two events. Let me know if you'd be willing to host  in the future. I need two volunteers per month.

Since we are always planning ahead, I've started the poll for our Meetups two months out. You'll find that under the "More" menu at the top of this page. Anyone who is a member of this Meetup can submit a title for the poll. Just send me an email, and I'll add your selection. However, I will only include one title from each member. If you submitted a title last month, I've rolled it over into the new poll. If you want to change your recommendation, just let me know.

As always, it's essential that everyone who comes to the meeting reads the book in its entirety. Please also bring a food or drink item for the potluck.

Happy reading!

 

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  • Caroline

    yes--a very nice night; and Richard, thank you for hosting.

    December 8, 2013

  • Sally A L.

    I enjoyed the discussion and seeing you all.

    December 7, 2013

  • Sally A L.

    At least the book we have tonight would be pretty tough to politicize....I hope.....

    December 6, 2013

  • Michael R

    I just realized this month's topic is a strong interest for me. I am knowledgeable about various issues in 'Situated Cognition' as a set of philosophies. I have Read some on the following: Martin Heidegger, Edmund Husserl, David Chalmers, Mark Rowlands, Robert Rupert, and Jaegwon Kim, Also, I am very interested on Emergentism, Supervenience, and Reductionist views.

    December 6, 2013

  • Terry O.

    ...and the wisdom to know the difference.

    December 5, 2013

  • Terry O.

    Here goes.
    As a small example.
    Derrida questions the media's exploitation of the word terrorism and suggests that by not deconstructing it we help the terrorists cause. He also attempts to draw us into conversation about the relationship between the overt statement of an act like we experienced in 9/11 and the possible silent acts of biological, chemical and digital aggression. I think these questions are worth considering. Other issues that I thought might be interesting for the group to discuss include.

    Do the authors shed any light on why many of the "have nots" in Latin America have exchanged their Che shirts for Osama shirts.
    Does Habermas believe that his political and ethical communicative reason still works in conversations with Salafist.
    And more.
    Sorry but I don't see these questions and issues reversing cause and effect.

    December 5, 2013

    • Terry O.

      I lost two first cousins that worked for Cantor Fitzgerald and stood on the top of the world trade center talking to their wives when the tower collapsed. I personally worked on the 78th floor of WTC. STOP trying to make me out to be some sympathizer for the terrorist or a sympathizer for sympathizers for the terrorist. I have read why the Jihadists explain what they do. I have re-read the Quran to see if I could find any justification for the acts. I have children and grandchildren and my interest in understanding how to possibly prevent "silent acts of biological, chemical and digital aggression" is more than some childish concern that capitalism might be called to task. However, I am not going to put my head in the sand if modern day capitalism or American exceptionalism (itself an ideology) needs to be called to task. What I find comical is that Libertarianism also strongly believes that contemporary American capitalism is wrong and a contributor to war efforts.

      December 5, 2013

    • Russell B.

      Terry, I'm not sure what you are mean when you wrote "Libertarianism also strongly believes that contemporary American capitalism is wrong and a contributor to war efforts." If my "contemporary American capitalism" you mean the crony capitalism of today and or what they often call our mix economy, then you are right. I'm lost by what you mean "contributor to war efforts". Now, Libertarianist are generally much more than Democrats against the military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan and the American military being all over the world and trying to police the world. And they think this contributes to our enemies motivation to take action against us.

      December 5, 2013

  • Terry O.

    Russell, You way over shot the mark here. "all the blame" is significantly different than the idea of deconstructing terrorism to uncover the different motivations for terrorists acts, primarily to prevent their reoccurrence and especially to determine some of the different motivations between the overt acts and the potential future silent acts. This is a future looking perspective not a blame perspective. Are you not the least bit interested in why they select us to target and what we might be able to do to prevent future acts? In a democracy might it not help if we have a plan for preventing terrorism and we elect the candidate that best represents our plan?

    December 5, 2013

    • Russell B.

      Terry, I think the deconstructing thing is total BS and will not lead to any information on the terrorist motivation etc.

      December 5, 2013

  • Terry O.

    Hi Russell,
    Did it ever dawn on you that reading what a philosopher has to say about a specific idea that you may already be familiar with often gives you a chance to see how these philosophers apply their position to a tangible idea? Why don't you join or start a libertarianism only club if you believe that the only valid vote is a libertarianism vote which in many ways is very ironic. As for Hegel, Marx and Freud I would find it very enlightening to see what they might say about modern day acts defined as terrorism. I do find Habermas' basic philosophical works rather stilted and I thought this small introduction and dialogue would be a easier introduction to his thoughts. I actually find the idea that all non-libertarians are to be considered your enemies a rather close minded and empty concept. It is interesting that some people think liberals are elitist while they call everyone who disagrees with them stupid and uninteresting.

    December 4, 2013

    • Russell B.

      One case was in the Charles Murray book. I think I am particularly qualified to discuss this book in detail. I have read several of Murray's books and so was familiar to his thinking. I find demographics very interesting and largely this is what this book is about. I come from Fishtown - that is, I come from a working class family. I have worked lots of unskilled minimum wage jobs. I listened to audiobook and read the ebook to prepare for this meetup. I got there and there were two people who came there only because it was a book by a libertarian and they know that I, a libertarian, was going to be there. So they came there just to harass and heckle me and really threw us off the conversation. Besides those two I think there were two or three others more interested in harassing me than having a discussion.

      December 5, 2013

    • Russell B.

      And another case was the "Beyond the Hoax" book. I said something about Libertarianism and that got one guy upset and he went on a long rant. Something I wanted to bring up and discuss in this particular meeting was how postmodernism is not just attractive to the political left but to the religious right as well. That got pushed aside.

      So, I'm in interested in doing one basic Libertarian book and that is the reason for my nomination of the Libertarian primer by Boaz.

      Russell

      December 5, 2013

  • Terry O.

    BTW: regarding the Osama shirts. I feel rather confident that, unlike Che shirts, they were not selected because Osama is so handsome.:)

    December 5, 2013

  • Orson

    "I would find it very enlightening to see what they might say about modern day acts defined as terrorism," as Habermas and Derrida do, writes Terry. Russell is conclusory, no doubt - but so are Habermas and Derrida.

    Terry endorses enlightened, open-mindedness - but the book "Philosophy in a Time of Terror" began in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, only a couple of weeks later, in fact. Therefore, how can these thinkers - who only blame European, Western, and American capitalism for the evils of Salafist terrorism wrought on that single day without any investigation of what those terrorists actually say motivates them - be "enlightened?"

    I dispatched their book when it came out about a decade ago as unserious, diversionary, elitist cant because they fail to deal with the facts actually motivating Islamic terrorists - what they say motivate them to do what they do and did to murder nearly 3,000 innocent people. [CONTINUED BELOW]

    December 5, 2013

  • Orson

    It is very much a case of postulating Western 'false consciousness' - yet another revival of Plato' s cave of shadows and lights. I've yet to read anything to alter that assessment of fatuous disengagement touted as "wise" - or really, wise to the foolish.

    Terry, you and others a welcome to hop on the bandwagon of diversion and self-delusion. But I'm happy not to participate in it. At all. Because reversing "cause and effect" relations in a historical is an exercise in phantasy itself. We may as well say that evil right wingers in Dallas caused the anti-communist communist Lee Harvey Oswald to kill JFK. That many still do is a sad testament to the power of people's protected dogmas to over come any reality testing.

    1 · December 5, 2013

  • Russell B.

    What's going on in the polls? No one should vote for Terry's choice, “Philosophy in a Time of Terror: Dialogues with Jurgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida". Both of these "philosophers" are enemies of liberty, enemies of the libertarianism, classical liberalism and Enlightenment philosophy. Habermas is part of the Frankfurt school which is based on Hegel, Marx and Freud - garbage in other words. As Karl Popper points out, Hegel and Marx are enemies of an open society. So why do we want to read what Habermas and Derrida have to say about terror? I think it's important to know your enemies and so we should study their philosophy. But let's study their basic philosophical works instead of these dialoques. Shakti nominated "Writing and Difference" by Jacques Derrida. Vote for that! Or vote for Marc's nomination by Heidegger, another enemy of liberty. But why read what Habermas and Derrida say about terror?!

    December 4, 2013

  • Orson

    December 4, 2013

    • Orson

      Some first read reactions. Mine are polarized. On the one hand, the authors appear to be elaborating upon the very traditional view of man as a tool using animal. The thought experiments make this clear. But is this really innovative? Thomas Sowell's riff on Hayekian knowledge and economics makes this clear in his book "Knowledge and Decisions." Sowell argues that civilization itself, with its vast divisions of labor, economize on knowledge. Thus, the dolt, the idiot as well as the infirm and aged can enjoy a lifestyle of consumption and connection unimmaginable to even the richest two cetnuries earlier.

      December 4, 2013

    • Orson

      Does extending "mind" to all of humanities tools really advance our understanding of mind? Or paper over the hard reality of mind with metaphors? What do we give up in clear explanatory value for this softer notion of 'mind?' Do we obscure the real limits of the mind? The kinds that science must confront and deal with, that the artist and writer need not?

      December 4, 2013

  • Terry O.

    Have to go to an outlaw event. See you in January.

    November 22, 2013

  • Terry O.

    The book i added to the list for February, “Philosophy in a time of Terror - dialogues with Habermas and Derrida” by Giovanna Borradori, is a short interesting book written by a woman American philosopher who interviewed the two of them soon after 9/11 when they both visited America. The author is teaching at Vassar college. She offers an interesting introduction about the two philosophers and then each talks about how democracies and countries might want to approach the challenge of terrorism. I think their insights are worth discussing.

    November 22, 2013

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