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Philosophers you'd recommend?

xOrthodox4Christx

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As best for reading in relation to Orthodoxy and/or Christianity.

I've read Kierkegaard and I think I understand him pretty well, and I thought about Thomas Aquinas at one point.
 

beebert

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In my opinion Kierkegaard is among the best you can read. Better than Aquinas for me. Augustine was also a great philosopher, he is more than a theologian. Other than that; Simone Weil, Nietzsche (he might have been sn atheist But Reading him might still be useful), Schopenhauer, Kant, Wittgenstein... But for christian philosophers, I would read Simone Weil.
 

xOrthodox4Christx

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beebert said:
In my opinion Kierkegaard is among the best you can read. Better than Aquinas for me. Augustine was also a great philosopher, he is more than a theologian. Other than that; Simone Weil, Nietzsche (he might have been sn atheist But Reading him might still be useful), Schopenhauer, Kant, Wittgenstein... But for christian philosophers, I would read Simone Weil.
Why Schopenhauer? He seems to go in the other direction.
 

beebert

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
beebert said:
In my opinion Kierkegaard is among the best you can read. Better than Aquinas for me. Augustine was also a great philosopher, he is more than a theologian. Other than that; Simone Weil, Nietzsche (he might have been sn atheist But Reading him might still be useful), Schopenhauer, Kant, Wittgenstein... But for christian philosophers, I would read Simone Weil.
Why Schopenhauer? He seems to go in the other direction.
I was just mentioning great philosoohers haha... If you want a good Christian one I recommend Augustine or Simone Weil.
 

NicholasMyra

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
As best for reading in relation to Orthodoxy and/or Christianity.

I've read Kierkegaard and I think I understand him pretty well, and I thought about Thomas Aquinas at one point.
Charles Taylor.
 

xOrthodox4Christx

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NicholasMyra said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
As best for reading in relation to Orthodoxy and/or Christianity.

I've read Kierkegaard and I think I understand him pretty well, and I thought about Thomas Aquinas at one point.
Charles Taylor.
"Charles Taylor: Preacher, warlord, president." Seems like a good one.
 

Iconodule

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If you're looking to understand the Christian fathers better then you'll definitely want to read a fair amount of Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics.
 

NicholasMyra

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
NicholasMyra said:
xOrthodox4Christx said:
As best for reading in relation to Orthodoxy and/or Christianity.

I've read Kierkegaard and I think I understand him pretty well, and I thought about Thomas Aquinas at one point.
Charles Taylor.
"Charles Taylor: Preacher, warlord, president." Seems like a good one.
Lol. I mean the philosopher by the same name.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Taylor_(philosopher).
 

WPM

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I've encountered Nietzsche once or twice.
 

scamandrius

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Iconodule said:
If you're looking to understand the Christian fathers better then you'll definitely want to read a fair amount of Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics.
And the Neoplatonists, too.
 

Hinterlander

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I'd second Charles Taylor. You might want to pick up James K A Smith's How (Not) To Be Secular as an introduction to his work A Secular Age.
 

NicholasMyra

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Hinterlander said:
I'd second Charles Taylor. You might want to pick up James K A Smith's How (Not) To Be Secular as an introduction to his work A Secular Age.
Taylor is especially readable without an intro, and a Secular Age is no exception.

And some concerns:

One of Taylor's discussions in a Secular Age is about the rise of the Disciplinary Society (IIRC this draws from "The Disciplinary Revolution" by Gorski). This discussion sounds missed by a book titled "How (not) to be secular;" it implies that the author has turned Taylor's work into a method or self-help insight for living and thinking. Not only would that be a manipulation and distortion of A Secular Age, which is a charitable and descriptive text, but it is precisely a manifestation of modern formulaic discipline to do so. And where exactly does Taylor think we can choose not to be secular?

These are some concerns. If you have read the commentary in question perhaps you can address them.
 

Hinterlander

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NicholasMyra said:
Hinterlander said:
I'd second Charles Taylor. You might want to pick up James K A Smith's How (Not) To Be Secular as an introduction to his work A Secular Age.
Taylor is especially readable without an intro, and a Secular Age is no exception.

And some concerns:

One of Taylor's discussions in a Secular Age is about the rise of the Disciplinary Society (IIRC this draws from "The Disciplinary Revolution" by Gorski). This discussion sounds missed by a book titled "How (not) to be secular;" it implies that the author has turned Taylor's work into a method or self-help insight for living and thinking. Not only would that be a manipulation and distortion of A Secular Age, which is a charitable and descriptive text, but it is precisely a manifestation of modern formulaic discipline to do so. And where exactly does Taylor think we can choose not to be secular?

These are some concerns. If you have read the commentary in question perhaps you can address them.
A Secular Age is 800 pages. If the OP has time for that sort of undertaking, by all means!

Taylor had good things to say about the Smith book.

I only read the Smith book - I read portions of A Secular Age but not cover to cover so I can't comment on your Gorski reference.

The title is somewhat playful and perhaps that's not to your liking.

Smith is an accomplished philosopher himself who represents a Reformed perspective. (http://jameskasmith.com/books/)

Here is a bit from the publisher

DESCRIPTION
A smart, intelligent guide to navigating today's culture

How (Not) to Be Secular is what Jamie Smith calls "your hitchhiker's guide to the present" — it is both a reading guide to Charles Taylor's monumental work A Secular Age and philosophical guidance on how we might learn to live in our times.

Taylor's landmark book A Secular Age (2007) provides a monumental, incisive analysis of what it means to live in the post-Christian present — a pluralist world of competing beliefs and growing unbelief. Jamie Smith's book is a compact field guide to Taylor's insightful study of the secular, making that very significant but daunting work accessible to a wide array of readers.

Even more, though, Smith's How (Not) to Be Secular is a practical philosophical guidebook, a kind of how-to manual on how to live in our secular age. It ultimately offers us an adventure in self-understanding and maps out a way to get our bearings in today's secular culture, no matter who "we" are — whether believers or skeptics, devout or doubting, self-assured or puzzled and confused. This is a book for any thinking person to chew on.



 

NicholasMyra

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Yeah it sounds like an uncharitable distortion by a lesser known reformed bible school guy or someone of that camp. It sounds symptomatic of the very mechanisms we might deem problematic in modernity. And even though Taylor may have been nice about it, he's an affable and charitable man.

So I wouldn't recommend it despite the fact that those GOARCH youth ministry guys like it. If OP wants to read a shorter book to get the gist of some of A Secular Age, he can simply read Charles Taylor's other book Sources of the Self. Or better yet, read a paper or watch a YouTube lecture by Taylor. Or just read parts of a Secular Age and not all of it.
 

Hinterlander

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NicholasMyra said:
Yeah it sounds like an uncharitable distortion by a lesser known reformed bible school guy or someone of that camp. It sounds symptomatic of the very mechanisms we might deem problematic in modernity. And even though Taylor may have been nice about it, he's an affable and charitable man.

So I wouldn't recommend it despite the fact that those GOARCH youth ministry guys like it. If OP wants to read a shorter book to get the gist of some of A Secular Age, he can simply read Charles Taylor's other book Sources of the Self. Or better yet, read a paper or watch a YouTube lecture by Taylor. Or just read parts of a Secular Age and not all of it.
Calvin College has a reputable philosophy department. Your out of your depth. Get over it.
 

NicholasMyra

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Hinterlander said:
Calvin College has a reputable philosophy department.
Ehhhhhh... and in any case, he is not Calvin College incarnate.

As for my comments on content and discipline, what do you have to say about that? Even without reading it you can respond.
 

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Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy. You might also enjoy some stuff from John Scotus Eriugena. Both were Orthodox. Boethius was also a martyr. Pascal is also worth a read with his Pensees. I don't care for his predestinarianism, but there is more to him than that.
 

RaphaCam

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Rohzek said:
Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy. You might also enjoy some stuff from John Scotus Eriugena. Both were Orthodox. Boethius was also a martyr. Pascal is also worth a read with his Pensees. I don't care for his predestinarianism, but there is more to him than that.
I'm interested on the Consolation. What kind of previous knowledge would you say to be required to grasp it well enough?
 

Mor Ephrem

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NicholasMyra said:
Mor Ephrem said:
NicholasMyra said:
So I wouldn't recommend it despite the fact that those GOARCH youth ministry guys like it.
What's wrong with "those GOARCH youth ministry guys"?
Did I say there was something wrong with them?
They like something you wouldn't recommend. 
 

Rohzek

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RaphaCam said:
Rohzek said:
Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy. You might also enjoy some stuff from John Scotus Eriugena. Both were Orthodox. Boethius was also a martyr. Pascal is also worth a read with his Pensees. I don't care for his predestinarianism, but there is more to him than that.
I'm interested on the Consolation. What kind of previous knowledge would you say to be required to grasp it well enough?
Not much really. Maybe just the most basics of basics of Platonism regarding simplicity and forms. A good translation usually has some fine introductory material on this stuff too as well as info about Boethius' life.
 

scamandrius

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RaphaCam said:
Rohzek said:
Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy. You might also enjoy some stuff from John Scotus Eriugena. Both were Orthodox. Boethius was also a martyr. Pascal is also worth a read with his Pensees. I don't care for his predestinarianism, but there is more to him than that.
I'm interested on the Consolation. What kind of previous knowledge would you say to be required to grasp it well enough?
None. Just read it.  Don't read the introduction just read the work.  Too often we insist new readers read the ancillary literature rather than the work itself.
 

Iconodule

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For many medieval West Europeans, Boethius was the closest they got to reading Plato.
 

xOrthodox4Christx

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I already have Plato's complete works. It isn't that cool. Plato knows how to yammer for a few hundred pages without making a clear point.
 

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
I already have Plato's complete works. It isn't that cool. Plato knows how to yammer for a few hundred pages without making a clear point.
I see what you mean haha... But read Faidros and Faidon. Those are Good and short
 

William T

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I think there are two good approaches:

1) Learn the basics of ancient Greek philosophy

or

2) get a 101 rundown from a 101 text on "major philosophers".  This probably won't include many people that get thrown around a lot like Nietzsche or Kierkegaard - but it will include more systematic thinkers like Kant, Hegel, Hume, and Descartes.  Unfortunately, you may still end up reading Sartre for some inexplicable reason.

While it's best to read primary texts, if you are a virgin to this kind of thing I wouldn't start with that route without some kind of supplement.  Take a 101 class in school if you can.

In contrast to some posts, I would highly suggest you NOT:

A) pick up one philosopher and read just him.  As with every rule there are exceptions, and Plato and Aristotle may be exceptions to this rule.
B) avoid like the plague any modern philosopher who "interprets the spirit of the age"  especially if you are going the autodidact route.  Honestly no one under 35 should ever just pick up and read some "philosopher" who talks about the "Spirit of the age".

I think Schopenhauer made some similar comment about Hegel, and how he corrupts the youth; demonstrating that an antichrist is more virtuous, or at least more human and less dry (or is that redundant?), than a devil.
 

NicholasMyra

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Mor Ephrem said:
NicholasMyra said:
Mor Ephrem said:
NicholasMyra said:
So I wouldn't recommend it despite the fact that those GOARCH youth ministry guys like it.
What's wrong with "those GOARCH youth ministry guys"?
Did I say there was something wrong with them?
They like something you wouldn't recommend.
A common thing we run in to
 

RobS

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Is there a question or a particular area in Christianity that interests you? Becuase then you can cut across philosophical texts with that in mind, rather than taking on the entire history of philosophy. Whatever your interest is like esthetics, historiography, medievalism, ontology, etc I think it's best to focus on an issue you care about rather than on a comprehensive reading of philosophical history (and how that informs Christian theologians over the centuries). Unless you're really up for that, in which case I envy your stamina. I always study philosophy to use it for political and quasi-theological writings of mine (though I utterly enjoy it for its own sake).
 

Mor Ephrem

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NicholasMyra said:
Mor Ephrem said:
NicholasMyra said:
Mor Ephrem said:
NicholasMyra said:
So I wouldn't recommend it despite the fact that those GOARCH youth ministry guys like it.
What's wrong with "those GOARCH youth ministry guys"?
Did I say there was something wrong with them?
They like something you wouldn't recommend.
A common thing we run in to
Just seemed like it was right up your alley.
 
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