Today is World Philosophy Day.
Technically, I’m a Philosopher. No, I don’t sport a huge grey beard, wear togas, sit in front of an open fire in my dressing gown smoking a pipe, or spend endless hours in public forums telling people that I think everything we see here in this life is actually just a copy of the original Form, which is up somewhere in space (hellooo Plato).
But I do have a Philosophy Degree … which apparently doesn’t mean much more these days than asking ‘why would you like fries with that?’
However, according to Kim Campbell, chief exec at the Employers and Manufacturers Association in NZ, he would jump at the opportunity to hire someone with a philosophy degree.
“Finally I might have someone who probably has an interest in what is going on around them as a human being.
“We’re hiring a living breathing person, not a qualification. Someone who is thinking about who and what they are, why they are justifying taking up space on earth – we’re hiring people’s values and attitudes.” – Stuff, Oct 28 2012.
While I had never heard of Kim Campbell before reading this article 5 years ago, it’s nice to know that there are people out there who appreciate, nay, encourage and celebrate philosophical thought. It’s definitely something.
In celebration of World Philosophy Day, I thought I’d gather together some of my philosophy books and try to convince that I do actually try and keep up with ‘my topic’.
I picked this book up from a library sale one year, and while I haven’t actually read it, it looks like it would be super handy for future use.
Blaise Pascal was a French philosopher and mathematician from the 17th century, and one of the first people I remember learning about. This is a collection of theology and philosophy, called The Pensées, translated into English. We read parts of this book while I was in University.
I know that the Odyssey isn’t a philosophy book, but many readers of Homer’s epic read it with a philosophical lens. I think I added this in to my mix because I was also studying classics at the time, so philosophy and these early Greek writers went hand in hand for me. Perhaps not your first thought when you think of philosophy, but I’m allowing a little wriggle room.
I actually have two copies of this book, for reason unbeknown to me. This is a fascinating mix of fiction and philosophy, as it tells the tale of Sophie, a young girl who finds two questions sitting in her mailbox: “Who are you?” and “Where does the world come from?” The book takes Sophie on a journey through philosophical thought and the great thinkers of the past, as a mysterious teachers educates her through letters.
I love this book a lot. As the front cover says, it’s ‘big ideas simply explained’. I really wish I had this book while I was doing my degree. From Thales to Thoreau to Singer, the greatest thinkers’ ideas are colourful displayed and set out in way that’s incredibly easy to understand, and a joy to read. If you’re looking for an overview book on philosophy, then I highly recommend it. You can pick up a copy from the Book Depository.
I forgot to add this to the collection of books, however this is recent purchase from the incredible Powell’s Books in Portland. More on the awesome bookstore coming soon, but this is such a fun book! Like the title suggests, this is a journey through all the great philosophers of the ages in awesome cartoon form. You can read more about this book over at Blogger’s Bookshelf.
I first learnt about this magazine in the airport a few years back. The bookstore is always a must while waiting for your plane to board, and even though I never buy magazines, this one definitely caught my eye. Since then, I’ve bought the latest edition every time it is released (quarterly, I believe), and only missed one or two.
Every issue is a different topic, and looks at something that’s important to the world at that time. As you can see, the latest one I have is on Fake News and Communication. The magazine is a collection of short thoughts, long articles, cartoons and quotes, and is definitely an enjoyable read.
Have any of these books? Or do you have no interest in Philosophy? 🙂