The Post-Moderns. Book list suggestions?

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Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 11:30 pm
Good day fella's. I have read much "about" Post-Modernity/Structuralism and things of that nature. However, I've gotten to the point where I feel prepared to take on the actual philosophers and their work/discourse. I lack any good idea of where to start, and would very much appreciate perhaps a book list of sorts. Something that will ease me in, but still present that challenge I so badly desire.

So, thank you much.

Victor Eremita
Reply Tue 8 Jun, 2010 11:42 pm
Here's a reading list I'd recommend

Kant - Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics
Hegel - Phenomenology of Spirit
Kierkegaard - Two Ages: The Age of Revolution and the Present Age
Nietzsche - Genealogy of Morals
Heidegger - What is Metaphysics
Heidegger - Being and Time
Levi-Strauss - Tristes Tropiques
Saussure - Course in General Linguistics
Foucault - Discipline and Punish
Foucault - Archaeology of Knowledge
Derrida - Of Grammatology
Derrida - Writing and Differance
Lacan - Ecrits
Baudrillard - Simulacra and Simulation
Lyotard - Postmodern Condition
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2010 06:32 am
@Victor Eremita,
For me, rhetorically speaking, any investigation into what has essentially marked much twentieth European critical thought must begin with Marx (the young Marx!), Darwin, Nietzsche and Freud.

Each, in their fashion, radicalised the world we have inherited from them and today take pretty much for granted. They criticized and subjected to a radical critique the all too 'obvious' tenets, doctrines, opinions, beliefs that had carpeted and comforted the world of humans for centuries and, through them, helped evoke a new kind of wonder at what was now the irreducible enigma of ourselves, our society and the cosmos.

In a sense, all four thinkers continued the 'liberation' that began with the Enlightenment's project and once their central notions have been absorbed and lived upon, again, wearing my prejudices on my sleeve, I would turn to Heidegger's Being and Time. This is slow reading and you will need a lot of help with it. Give yourself at least 6 to 12 months.

However, the time spent will be rewarded. With the four masters of suspicion and Heidegger under your sleeve, you have now a solid foundation and grasp of what to expect from modern continental philosophy.

So, for example, if you want to go into the Marx-Freud world you've got the Frankfurt School. You want to do a Foucault world, well, you've already got Heidegger and Nietzsche under your belt, so it should be easy going. If you want to do early Baudrillard, you've got Marx and Nietzsche, if you want to do the later Baudrillard, just swot up a little on basic semiotics and you've got him nailed, and so on, and so forth.

So my recomendations would be:

Darwin: On the Origin of Species.
Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil.; On the Genealogy of Morality.
Marx:Economic & Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844.; The German Ideology.
Freud: Beyond the Pleasure Principle; Civilization and Its Discontents.
Heidegger: Being and Time.
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2010 10:42 pm
So, if I'm not mis-reading. Is it safe to say that you, and probaly most, would propose that "Post-Modernism" isn't exactly a concentrated school of thought, but a variety of discourses that have been relevent and effective, even before the term had been invented? Something that begun long ago and is essential to understanding what I might "lazily" deem the "Post-Moderns"?

Well, if this is truth, I would now desire to explore a larger variety (like I'm seeing in this list). In that case, I have a slightly different question.,

Basically, I like to read one guy's work at a time, and really really "get" it. That tends to imply reading multiple of he/she's books, of course, this is a bit of a commitment, as it requires a form of dedication. What philosopher would you suggest starting with? And what book(s) would you recommend being the first to begin with? (for the record I'm not necesarily wanting to read all of their work, but all of the things directly or indirectly connected to philosophies within the relevent framework)

Thanks guy for the posts and future posts. (Apologizes for my rookienees)
Victor Eremita
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2010 10:55 pm
If you're interested in structuralism and postmodernism, short answer is to begin with Saussure. If you're interested in the philosophical milieu preceding postmodernism; Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger are most relevant.

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