Book List

This list, focused on books somewhat frequently or recently discussed at this site, or highly relevant to the site’s content in other ways, is a work in progress. Feel free to recommend additions! You can also browse the “aStore” directly here: CK MacLeod’s: Influential and Recommended…

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  1. I’ve long been interested in your suggestions for further reading, so I’m glad you’ve added this book list to the website. A few of them I’ve already read, a few others I’ve long intended to read, and I’ll give careful consideration to reading the rest in time to come.

    I’m naturally intrigued by the classics or “great books” which you include. I’m especially curious as to your inclusion of Hume’s Treatise. I don’t have any particular take on it–just curious.

    A couple of technical considerations–and forgive me if I’m telling you anything you already know:

    1) Are you aware that the version of Hegel’s Philosophy of History which you’ve included would appear to be the introduction only? I can’t help but think that you would like prospective readers to read the entire survey of world-history which Hegel renders in that work. (Btw, I recently had occasion myself to read the Sibree translation of the Philosophy of History–I enjoyed it very much and plan on re-reading it soon.)

    2) If you scroll down to the comments beneath your selection of the Philosophy of Right, there’s a comment by a fellow named Alan White. He lauds the Cambridge translation but points out that the editors do not take Hegel’s dialectical logic seriously. He asks prospective readers to consider giving his own translation of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right a look. I only mention this because, to fail to situate the Philosophy of Right within Hegel’s “logic” does strike me as a defective interpretation.

    In closing, I found the following extract from a reader comment below the Kahn book on liberalism to be interesting; and I realize that it is, in some sense anyway, consonant with your own perspective–as well as mine:

    What becomes evident is that a purely rational life is simply not possible. This is partly due to the fact that reason cannot demand the ultimate sacrifice from people. Family, religion and the state can all demand sacrifice and do so on continuous basis, but reason stops just short of this demand of ultimate sacrifice.

    • Setting the Kahn citations aside for the moment, then in reverse order, I recall that comment from my own buying decision on Philosophy of Right, and, after reviewing its basis, felt I could correct adequately. I have since found that text immensely useful, first of course for its main content, but also for the notes pointing to and sampling other works. If I had the time, meaning a secure living or anything resembling same, I’d go to the original, and same for the rest of H’s lectures, the Philosophy at Jena, and the Encyclopedia – which last I do have on my Kindle and should make a point at least of glancing at from time to time. Alas, time is short, and one can’t read everything.

      Hume – many reasons – not least for the sake of his famous fickle finger, in accord with Kahn:

      Where a passion is neither founded on false suppositions, nor chuses means insufficient for the end, the understanding can neither justify nor condemn it. ‘Tis not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger. ‘Tis not contrary to reason for me to chuse my total ruin, to prevent the least uneasiness of an Indian or person wholly unknown to me. ‘Tis as little contrary to reason to prefer even my own acknowledge’d lesser good to my greater, and have a more ardent affection for the former than the latter. A trivial good may, from certain circumstances, produce a desire superior to what arises from the greatest and most valuable enjoyment; nor is there any thing more extraordinary in this, than in mechanics to see one pound weight raise up a hundred by the advantage of its situation. In short, a passion must be accompany’d with some false judgment, in order to its being unreasonable; and even then ’tis not the passion, properly speaking, which is unreasonable, but the judgment.

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President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics.

The allegations, if true, would appear to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests.

Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics, even as US-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse.

Manafort pitched the plans to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally with whom Manafort eventually signed a $10 million (£8 million) annual contract beginning in 2006, according to interviews with several people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP.

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The texts, posted on a darknet website run by a hacktivist collective, appear to show Manafort’s family fretting about the ethics, safety and consequences of his work for Yanukovych. And they reveal that Manafort’s two daughters regarded their father’s emergence as a key player on Trump’s presidential campaign with a mixture of pride and embarrassment.

In one exchange, daughter Jessica Manafort writes “Im not a trump supporter but i am still proud of dad tho. He is the best at what he does.” Her sister Andrea Manafort responded by referring to their father’s relationship with Trump as “The most dangerous friendship in America,” while in another exchange she called them “a perfect pair” of “power-hungry egomaniacs,” and asserted “the only reason my dad is doing this campaign is for sport. He likes the challenge. It's like an egomaniac's chess game. There's no money motivation.”

By contrast, the Manafort daughters and their mother seemed much more unsettled about Paul Manafort’s work as a political consultant for Yanukovych’s Russia-backed Party of Regions, which is a subject of renewed interest among investigators probing possible links between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

In one March 2015 exchange that appears to be between the two sisters, Andrea Manafort seems to suggest that their father bore some responsibility for the deaths of protesters at the hands of police loyal to Yanukovych during a monthslong uprising that started in late 2013.

“Don't fool yourself,” Andrea Manafort wrote. “That money we have is blood money.”

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If there's anything mitigating the bad news for the White House here, it is that Comey may have also sent subtle signals that the matters under investigation are not principally about the personal conduct of Trump himself. While this is speculation, I do not believe that if Comey had, say, validated large swaths of the Steele dossier or found significant Trump-Russia financial entanglements of a compromising variety, he would have said even as much as he said today. I also don't think he would have announced the scope of the investigation as about the relationship "between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government" or "coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts"; these words suggest one step of removal from investigating the President himself. If the latter were the case, I suspect Comey wouldn't have used words suggestive of the Flynn-Manafort-Page cabal.

But that's reading a lot into a relatively small number of tea leaves. What is clear is that this was a very bad day for the President. In it, we learned that there is an open-ended Russia investigation with no timetable for completion, one that's going hang over Trump's head for a long time, and one to which the FBI director is entirely committed.

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State of the Discussion

Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ Yeah, I read C's comments as trying to do a variety of things at the same time, having the effect of making interpretation more difficult. Any [. . .]
Benjamin Wittes: How to Read What Comey Said Today – Lawfare
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ Sure, so why do they have "work Phones" they take home? Even if they don't have fate of the world responsibilities, who they work [. . .]
Isenstadt and Vogel: Paranoia seizes Trump’s White House – POLITICO

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