Partial lockdown reading

I am reading two books at the moment. Kintu by Nansubuga Makumbi and The man without qualities by Robert Musil. I plan on reading Ariana Neumann’s when time stopped.

So friends, you can also drop titles. I might just find a new book to read after lockdown ends.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

20 thoughts on “Partial lockdown reading

  1. judyt54 says:

    I’m not as fancy as you are, Im working my way through Lord of the Rings for what I suspect will be the last time. Im halfway through Book II, and it’s just not working for me any longer.
    When I finish that I plan on Sue Grafton, she has 25 books out, and I plan to read all of them in order. Should take me about a month if I pace myself. And after that, the prize of the reading spell, Terry Pratchett.


    • makagutu says:

      I have never read any of the Lord of the rings books. I enjoy the movies though. And you read fast! 25 books in a month. I think I have so many distractions, the best I can manage is a book a week but only if I pay attention.


  2. john zande says:

    You don’t like what I’d recommend (sci fi), so I won’t. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. William says:

    I recently finished *The Unity of Philosophical Experience* by the Thomist historian of philosophy Etienne Gilson. It’s not a light read and I need to go back through it more slowly to really understand it, but if Gilson is right it’s a huge achievement.

    Basically, one argument against doing metaphysics is that we’ve been trying to do it for thousands of years and made no progress, so we should give up and be pragmatists. But what Gilson argues is that a close reading of the history of philosophy shows that nearly every major systematic metaphysician was approaching metaphysics using methods appropriated from some other discipline. One example that most philosophy enthusiasts are familiar with is Descartes, who approached metaphysics using the methods of geometry.

    If Gilson is right, this objection to doing metaphysics fails, because metaphysics has in fact very rarely been done on its own terms. And he presents a lot of plausible evidence and arguments to show that he is right in this book.

    I don’t know that Gilson is right, though. It’s difficult for me to tell, because there are just so many claims in the book that I would need to check. It’s a highly erudite book – I think someone could easily spend several years just checking all of Gilson’s facts and interpretations.


    • If you believe in mind-body dualism you have already subscribed to metaphysics.


      • William says:

        Hi, Veracious Poet!

        > If you believe in mind-body dualism you have already subscribed to metaphysics.

        You’re right, and I do.

        So why am I reading Gilson? Well, my current reason for “subscribing to metaphysics” (as you put it) is that I see certain metaphysical principles as self evident and inescapable. That is a powerful justification for metaphysics, but it doesn’t engage directly with the sort of historically grounded skepticism Gilson is engaging with – it only says “this objection to metaphysics has to be wrong, for some unknown reason.” Gilson, if he’s right, gives the reason.

        I’ll give an analogy. Suppose you were living in ancient Greece prior to Aristotle, and you were confronted by Zeno’s objections to the claim that motion exists. If you’re a sensible person, coming across a convoluted philosophical argument against the existence of motion will not shake your confidence that things move. But you might wonder where the argument goes wrong. Aristotle’s refutation of Zeno provides an answer.

        Hopefully the (potential) value of Gilson’s work to me is clear now.


        • Since philosophy limits itself to reason it cannot address metaphysical questions. Philosophy elicits specific answers, metaphysics universals. It depends on what answers you want.


  4. nannus says:

    Hi Mak, I am in lockdown too, quite funny we share this global experience. However, at the moment I have little time to read since my 90 year old mother, living in the neighbouring appartment, is ill and together with my wife I am spending the little time left from working in the “home office” taking care of her. Actually, without the lockdown, I would have to go to work and now that her condition is deteriorating, that would be very problematic. I am happy that I can instead sit with my computer beside her and work from home. So I do not really have the time for reading now. However, let me try to recommend something.
    I recently enjoyed “Lost Enlightenment” by S. Frederick Starr. I hope it is available in Kenya. I guess you can order it online.


    • makagutu says:

      Hi Nannus,
      First, wishing your ma better days ahead. I hope she is not in so much pain.
      Working from home for me, has brought with a lot of flexibility. At least I can ride more whenever I feel the inclination as long as I am back before the evening curfew.
      I will check out the book. By the end of this period I will books to take me to next year


      • nannus says:

        Unfortunately, my mother is maybe not yet on the last page of her book of life, but surly in the last chapter and not far from the last page. It looks like she is not in pains, but her cancer has metastazised into her brain, plunging her very quickly into quickly increasing dementia, loss of language and paralysis. Reality is just like it is. I can’t do much, just try to help her along her last way.
        That book is a very interesting history of science and philosophy during the middle ages in the islamic world .Truly fascinating. There was some kind of enlightenment era before several factors (the black death, the Mongols plus the rise of some religious fundamentalist (to use a term from our days) ended it.


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