Summer Reading List 2021

Sunday, June 20, 2021

What Is It

As some parts of our lives return to a kind of normal, Josh and Ray ask authors and philosophers about what's on their summer reading lists. 

  • Cory Doctorow on "Making Hay," his short story in Make Shift: Dispatches from the Post-Pandemic Future
  • Helen de Cruz from Saint Louis University, co-editor of Philosophy Through Science Fiction Stories: Exploring the Boundaries of the Possible

Plus a post-pandemic update from Stanford English colleague Michaela Bronstein and her thoughts on Richard Wright's newly-published The Man Who Lived Underground.

Comments (3)


Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Friday, April 30, 2021 -- 2:39 PM

Is Consciousness Everywhere?

Is Consciousness Everywhere? Will that one be on your list? Out of MIT Press. Just asking, not 'axing'. You already know my take on this...

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 -- 7:31 AM

Goff and Godfrey-Smith are

Goff and Godfrey-Smith are gaining traction. The first supports something called panpsychism, the latter, not so much. I am with the latter, although not in his intuition of where consciousness lies. I don't dispute the evolution of consciousness, you see. To get HERE, as humans, there had to be a 'where', from whence all this began. Godfrey-Smith's notion of gradualism is, to my mind, another way of saying natural selection: there is a feather's weight of difference. I contend panpsychism is a hoax. And, now, dualism and materialism are archaic modes of looking at things. We need to move on. Think better. Try harder. Where is consciousness? It is where you find it.
This ,will, no doubt, ruffle feathers. good.

Tim Smith's picture

Tim Smith

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 -- 11:10 PM

The last book I read was

The last book I read was 'Project Hail Mary' by Andy Weir. An astronaut awakens to amnesia and dead crewmates to find his purpose in life. This is hard science fiction by the author of 'The Martian,' which has inspired a movie and maybe future Martians in our midst.

I am no fan of space. We would do better investing in Earth, our failing ecology, and climate than indulging space fantasy. I like Weir's style, however, and share an interest in science, if not fanaticism. The book is a nice romp through Weir's previous tropes where characters science the crap out of their out of this world problems to enact nail-biting rescues and redemption. Very timely.

The philosophical issue here is identity and meaning. Grace, the main character, finds his purpose in the most unlikely of places. He is no James T. Kirk, but his world is as endangered as our own. A great and fast read.

I'm looking forward to other picks. Happy Summer!