Reading the Classics of Western Philosophy | Progressive Geographies

Stuart Elden has his reply up on Reading the Classics of Western Philosophy. One can always kvetch about the list, but this one really is circumscribed: why the Organon of all of Aristotle? The Analects don’t make the list? Not one from outside of Europe? (Unless there’s someone I’m missing who may be an American.)

And I did a whole semester leading a reading group and I can attest, as Stuart suggests, no we didn’t get all the way through. It’s like the people say they pick flight over invisibility, I don’t believe ’em. And I’ve read Hobbes’ Leviathan all the way through, more as a quirk that I find his theology fascinating, but I think I know a few people who work on him who haven’t finished it. (In fact, that’s a good parlor game: how many specialists in modern or ancient philosophy have finished the pertinent texts? The Ethics anyone?) And who knew we were to read all of the Tractatus? I thought it was enough just to quote the last line endlessly. Anyway, I’m missing six from the list, though I think a couple of those I count are cheats–was I really awake while finishing Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding? (People disagree with me, but I find Kant’s prose genuinely lively and exciting next to Locke. Real tepid tea, that stuff.) My eyes I think were technically open, so we’ll count it.