Wednesday, January 31, 2018

--- The bookshelf ---

My dyslexia wears me out. It took me three years to read Lord of the Rings. I can read 10 pages of a book and, regardless of how enthralling the story is, I have to stop and do something else. And I read sloooooowly.

So I do my best to find a digital copy and use my screen reader to listen to the book. LibriVox is a godsend.

But reference books are different. I keep them around for, well, referencing. For adventuring, I preview he topic I'm studying and books play a big part in that.

Let me tell you about some of my favorite philosophy and psychology books.

Top of the list - Will Durant's, The Story of Philosophy (1926, Simon and Schuster, Inc.). It's the most readable introduction to philosophy I know of, which is surprising since it's not a lightweight. It really gives you a good overview of psychology.

If you want depth (great depth - and don't expect it to be easy going), check out the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ( This is for advanced, serious reading and it is my vote for the best philosophy reference source.

The classic college text of logic is also a pleasant read - Irving Copi's, Introduction to logic. If you want to learn about logic, it's a clear presentation with lots of examples to show you how it's done. There's about a million editions out so just find one and read it. The 14th edition was published by Routledge in 2013.

I'll strongly recommend three books on problem solving. They are fun and informative.

Conceptual Blockbusting, by James Adams gives you tips on what to do when your brain freezes up and just refuses to work. The fourth edition was published in 2008 by Basic Books.

Wayne Wickelgren's, How to Solve Problems (1977, W. H. Freeman and Co.), goes way deep into problem solving theory and leaves the reader amazingly able to understand what they read.

The absolute classic text for problem solving and teaching problem solving is George Polya's, How to Solve It (1945, Princeton University Press - they keep coming out with new editions with various introductions and prefaces, but I sorta like the antique.). It's a tiny book that manages to encapsulate just about everything anyone really needs to know about how to solve problems and does it in a clear, engaging, and fun manner.

If you want an understandable introduction to symbolic logic, try the online text Forallx, by P. D. Magnus, which can be had here:

If you want to go so deep that you get a nose bleed, I heartily recommend Rudolf Carnap's, Introduction to Symbolic Logic and it's Applications (It's available in English as a Dover addition). Expect a challenge.

In psychology, I think a required text for every person on the globe should be Eric Berne's, The Games People Play (1996, Ballantine Books). It's a great read, but be careful, you might realize that he's talking about you.

The other must read in psychology is Desmond Morris' Peoplewatching (2002, Vintage Books). It's like a field guide to human beings.

If you want to read some classic papers in psychology, check out the website, Classics in the History of Psychology, .

But, honestly, I don't have many recommendations for psychology. Psychology texts tend to be blah, sensationalistic, or shallow.

No comments: