The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World
by David Deutsch
I read this as part of the book club I help running at work. I had never previously read anything by this author, and I did not know what to expect. It turns out is a philosophy book. Judging by the reviews here on goodreads, a lot of people liked it and found it very insightful. I did not. While I did enjoy reading a couple of section, and while I found the author's many worlds' interpretation of quantum mechanic interesting, I really had an hard time to finish the book because many other sections were dense to read, I did not find the content interesting or insightful, and I did not like the dismissive and insulting way he dismissed alternative mainstream points of view and theories.
The part I disliked the most is that I found many of the claims unsubstantiated. For example, as somebody here on goodreads said already very eloquently: "[Deutsch's Many Worlds theory] does NOT solve the measurement problem. It is equivalent to the Copenhagen Interpretation in all predictions. The only novelty is in the explanation, which is all the author claims. So, it's fun to think about! But it does not refute the Copenhagen interpretation, as the author claims. He also dismisses the Copenhagen interpretation as bad philosophy. He calls it "instrumentalism, anthropocentrism, studied ambiguity". Ouch! None of these accusations are valid, and are really quite insulting to the mainstream.".
I do not recommend it, but as I said, a lot of people seems to disagree with me, so maybe you should give it a try and judge for yourself?
Started: Oct 20 2022 Finished: Dec 18 2022
The Lessons of History
by Will Durant
The book was a mixed bag of some interesting and some hair raising ideas.
The Lessons of History is the result of a lifetime of research from Pulitzer Prize–winning historians Will and Ariel Durant. It is an accessible compendium of philosophy and social progress, a journey through history, exploring the possibilities and limitations of humanity over time. Juxtaposing the great lives, ideas, and accomplishments with cycles of war and conquest, the Durants reveal the towering themes of history and give meaning to our own.
I have many issues with the book but the biggest issue is that numerous theories and historical interpretations are put forward, but we are never given any proof or even supporting evidences. At most some historical facts are briefly mentioned as definite proof. Unfortunately stating a theory as a fact does not make it so. The reasoning behind it, the series of facts that led to that conclusion are to me more interesting that the conclusion itself.
Why does he categorize "financial independence of young people from their parents" as an immoral evil while "financial independence of a wife from her husband" as good? The two line argument that he uses to characterize the first as evil can as easily apply to the second. And why is "sexual liberation" immoral while 'birth control" good and advisable? Again I am not interested in somebody stating opinions as facts, I am interested in understanding their reasoning, but none or little is provided.
I enjoy reading books from people that I agree and from people I disagree with. I like to be exposed to new ideas and new line of reasoning, but this book presents very little (or nothing) in terms of reasoning, and a whole lot of claims. This is the main source of my disappointment with this book.
Last but not least, the book is marred by numerous xenophobic, chauvinist, and homophobic claims, again stated as self-evident facts.
Started: Feb 27 2019 Finished: Mar 08 2019
Il cammino di Santiago
by Paulo Coelho (2001)
Questo libro e' una accozzaglia enorme di superstizioni e insensataggini prive di senso. L'unico tema interessante che spicca tra deliri mistici e' quello dell'incapacita' dell'uomo di affrontare una sfida per paura di perderla e ritrovandosi cosi' costretto a non progredire.
Started: Dec 22 2006 Finished: Dec 29 2006
The Tao of Pooh
by Benjamin Hoff (2003)
Well, he said at last, it is a very nice house, and if your own house is blown down, you must go somewhere else, mustn't you, Piglet? What would you do, if your house was blown down? Before Piglet could think, Pooh answered for him. He'd come and live with me, said Pooh, wouldn't you Piglet?
Started: Nov 19 2006 Finished: Dec 01 2006
Il fato e la superstizione
Il primo dialogo tratta di libero arbitrio e fato. Il secondo analizza la superstizione contrapponendola al suo opposto, l'ateismo.
Started: Nov 27 2001 Finished: Nov 27 2001
De Otio; de Brevitate Vitae
Il dialogo insegna come la vita non sia poi corta, ma semplicemente si passi in genere il tempo a sprecarla.
Started: Oct 21 2001 Finished: Oct 22 2001
La filosofia antica
by Emanuele Severino (1984)
Stressato per via della tesi cominciai a leggere dei filosofi studiati in gioventu'. Una lettura interessante che m'ha fatto riscoprire quelle figure che, a suo tempo, avevo assai sottovalutato.
Started: May 06 2001 Finished: Jun 09 2001
La Mia Filosofia
by Bertrand Russell (1995)
Publisher review: Questa autobiografia filosofica e' un autentico capolavoro: brillante, intelligente e straordinariamente limpida, ci restituisce nella sua interezza tutto il pensiero elaborato dal filosofo inglese sui piu' diversi aspetti della conoscenza umana. Le opere di Russell son sottili, complesse, articolate; ma troppo spesso, paradossalmente, la luminosa chiarezza dello stile ha oscurato l'acutezza e l'originalita' delle argomentazioni filosofiche, constantemente motivate dalla passione per una verita' impersonale e indipendente dagli uomini, e dalla ricerca di una conoscenza certa.
My rating: ★★
Finished: Apr 07 1997
by Niccolò Machiavelli (1991)
Publisher review: Quasi ogni epoca si è riconosciuta nel Principe con argomenti sempre diversi. E anche oggi i motivi "attualizzanti" di questo breve classico non sembrano mancare: soprattutto il conflitto tra il desiderio di dominare razionalisticamente la realtà politica e la percezione del momento oscuro della storia, catena di eventi non predeterminabile, appare un legame privilegiato tra Machiavelli e i nostri tempi. Il volume contiene il testo critico del Principe messo a punto da Giorgio Inglese. Inoltre, un commento a pié di pagina assai ricco, con ausili letterali, chiarimenti storico-politici, rimandi culturali e spunti interpretativi a più livelli di lettura.