Sunday, July 15, 2007

Materialists Anonymous

Hello, everyone. My name is Larry, and I'm a recovering materialist.

If you are also a materialist and want help, "A Beginner's Guide to Reality" by Jim Baggott (ISBN 1-933648-04-X) is a good place to start. The book covers three questions: 1) Is Money Real? 2) Are Colors Real? 3) Are Photons Real? The answers may surpise you.

The author of this book is also a materialist, but that may just be because he thinks the only choices are materialism and dualism. For that reason, if you are a materialist when you start the book, you will still be one when you finish, but you at least will have a better understanding of the issues involved. You can then move on to the other books I've discussed, or you can read books by some of the philosophers referenced in Baggott's book: Plato, Aristotle, Berkeley, Hume and Kant. An interesting exercise would be to read those philosophers under the theory that they know something that they are either unable or unwilling to express explicitly, and therefore use metaphor extensively in their works. (By the way, you should also try this exercise with Dante's "Divine Inferno.")

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