(a) Inspiration is something I don’t really need, which is why I don’t see philosophy as self-help but decidability.
(c) I don’t read philosophy except to understand how previous generations of thinkers have failed. (really). Instead, I read science and art history, both of which are *demonstrated*, not fantasized (as is philosophy). In fact, I still read philosophers and generally thing “OMG this is sh-t”.
(b) The only books I can recall inspiring me were those of history, particularly military history, and within that group ‘Strategy” by Liddel-Hart, and the history of the Mongols. I consider my study of the mongols my first really independent research program outside of arts and sciences.
(e) And whether you consider Sun Tsu, Alexander, Caesar, Machiavelli, Napoleon, Clausewitz, and Keegan philosophy or military strategy and history is a question of bias in categorization.
(d) I can only remember being affected heavily by Hayek’s two papers on knowledge, less so his work on law, and more so Popper and Kuhn’s work on scientific epistemology. In my understanding of history I have combined nietzsche’s aryanism, hayek’s knowledge and law, weber/mises/simmel’s calculation problem, completed popper’s epistemology, and Hoppe’s reduction of all social science to statements of property (tort).
(e) In aesthetics I was affected by rand’s romantic manifesto in no small part because my university’s art college was based upon it – and it stuck with me HARD.
(f) You might call Simmel’s “The Philosophy of Money” a book on philosophy or work of social science. I deem it the latter. And I read Weber, Durkhiem, and Pareto to understand economics for the same reason.
(g) You might call Nietzche’s Birth of Tragedy philosophy but I consider it social science. I respect nietzsche but I don’t read him for philosophy or inspiration (I find german literature ridiculous), but I did try to understand how he failed to produce a more scientific program for his insight into heroic ethics.
SO WHAT I HEAR FROM PEOPLE WHEN THEY ASK ME ABOUT PHILOSOPHY:
is there a literature in ordinary language that I can read as a shortcut to understanding? And the answer is I don’t think so. And I am pretty sure you will learn more from following me for two years than you will learn from any study of philosophy. Not because I”m particularly good, but because I’m actually a scientist, and most philosophers have been tragic.
I started with history, then science, then artificial intelligence, and then economics. And so my ‘route’ to wisdom was scientific not literary.
Apr 20, 2018 11:40am