21
Jan
08

What I am reading, and how I will read it

One purpose for this blog: it is a space where I can interrogate philosophical texts in a thorough, public, and disciplined way.

There are two books that I have begun recently that I intend to give special attention to here. The first is Jürgen Habermas’ The Theory of Communicative Action. I think I have a good idea about what to expect from this book, and I suspect that the positions Habermas expresses in his opus will be very compatible with many that I already have (partially because my own current views have been informed by some other works by Habermas, as well as some secondary readings). On the other hand, after reading just a little bit of the first chapter, I have some disagreements with some of Habermas’ basic presuppositions. Some time in the near future, I’ll explain those complaints.

At this point, I admire Habermas from afar, so to speak. I haven’t read much by him, but I hear that his theory is a grand synthesis of many other intellectual traditions–including Marxism, analytic philosophy of language, American pragmatism, sociology, and so on. I appreciate this interdisciplinary approach and humbly hope to work in a similarly open way here. I also hope to justify this methodology in some future post.

The second book is Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle. Whereas I’ve taken up Habermas expecting him to resonate, Debord is a wild card for me. I have picked him up hoping he will take a position that I will find very challenging.

In both cases, I intend to post responses to my recent reading in a systematic and, initially, linear way.

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