Book List

  • Augustine. Confessions.
    The 1992 Oxford edition, ed. and comm. by James J. O’Donnell (0-19-814378-8) at Courtesy of Language Hat.
  • Fredrick C. Beiser. The Fate of Reason: German Philosophy from Kant to Fichte.
    Harvard, 1993.
  • François René de Chateaubriand. Mémoires de l’outre-tombe.
    C. was born in 1768, was twenty-one at the time of the French Revolution, visited North America in the 1790s (where he met George Washington), served as foreign minister during the reign of Charles X, and died during the failed revolution of 1848. Among his many works are the Essai sur les révolutions, the Génie du christianisme, Atala, and the Itinéraire de Paris à Jérusalem.
    The Mémoires, written and revised over a period of thirty years, are a record of the events of C.’s several careers and a summation of his age. See the Maison-Musée Chateaubriand for a brief illustrated biography, a bibliography of his works, and a list of scholarly works about him.
  • David Corfield. Toward a philosophy of real mathematics.
    Find it at Powells, Best Book Buys,—A manifesto on behalf of making philosophy of mathematics the philosophy of “real” mathematics, that is, not of formal representations of mathematical theories, nor of elementary examples, but of mathematics as it actually is done.
    I agree. See an appreciation, with some criticisms, of Corfield’s work at John Baez’s This Week’s Finds #198. Corfield has a weblog with notes pertaining to his continuing project on “real” mathematics. There are also some brief notes from a conference on n-categories at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications organized by John Baez and J. P. May in June 2004.
  • Jean-Charles Darmon. Philosophie épicurienne et littérature au xviie siècle.
    Paris: PUF, 1998 (Perspectives littéraires). A study of Gassendi on appearance, imagination, knowledge, followed by chapters on Cyrano de Bergerac, La Fontaine, and Saint-Évremond. Like the work of Lynn Joy, Emily and Fred Michael, Margaret Osler, and (more recently) Antonia LoLordo, Darmon’s work argues the importance of Gassendi’s philosophy in its own right and as an alternative to Cartesianism. For a sample of Darmon’s work, see “L’imagination de l’espace entre argumentation philosophique et fiction de Gassendi à Cyrano” in Études littéraires 34.1–2 (numéro spécial sur les “Espaces classiques”) (Winter 2002).
  • I. Grattan-Guinness. The search for mathematical roots, 1870–1940.
    Subtitle: “Logics, set theories and the foundations of mathematics from Cantor through Russell to Gödel.” See Grattan-Guinness’s Search.
  • Frank Harris. Contemporary portraits.
    New York: Mitchell Kennerly, 1915. Harris, best known perhaps for the scandalous My life and loves, published five volumes of portraits. The present volume is the first.
    Harris Contemporary
    He seems to have been a natural Boswell, though more unsparing of his subjects. Seeking out well-known figures in literature & art and being, it would seem, well enough liked, he managed to gather some noteworthy remarks. He helped Oscar Wilde after Wilde’s downfall, witnessed exchanges between Wilde & Whistler, sought out the aging Carlyle for some choice observations on Darwin. As editor of the Fortnightly Review and the Saturday Review, he befriended a number of poets, among them Swinburne, Richard Middleton, and John Davidson. At the time of the first Portraits, Harris, having moved to the US, had gotten into difficulties for taking the German side in WWI (Germany or England?, 1915). His biography of Wilde appeared a year later. · Find it at ABEBooks or Powell’s.
  • Valery Larbaud. Sous l’invocation de saint Jérôme.
    La première partie décrit les travaux du saint patron des traducteurs. Dans la seconde, l’auteur traite de «l’art et le métier de traduire», et dans la troisième, il donne quelques notes sur la technique—la ponctuation, les coquilles, l’index… Le livre montre un esprit et une délicatesse caractéristique de l’auteur des écrits de Barnabooth.
  • Philippe Lejeune. Les Brouillons de soi..
    Paris: Seuil, 1998. —L’auteur a fait sien le genre d’autobiographie, comme aussi le journal intime or personnel (dont certain blogues fourniraient des instances marquantes).
  • Beatrice Longuenesse. Kant and the Capacity to Judge : Sensibility and Discursivity in the Transcendental Analytic of the Critique of Pure Reason.
    Princeton, 2001.
  • Herbert Mehrtens. Moderne, Sprache, Mathematik.
  • John Theodore Merz. History of thought in the nineteenth century.
    Though he tends to favor the Germans, Merz’s work is a good place to start if you want to survey the intellectual landscape as it appeared to a well-informed intellectual historian around 1900. For more see Merz’s History of thought.
  • Pierre Naudin. L’expérience et le sentiment de la solitude dans la littérature française de l’aube des Lumières à la Révolution.
    Une modèle de vie à l’épreuve de l’histoire. Paris: Klincksieck, 1995 (Bibliothèque de l’Âge classique, Séries «Morales»). —Anchorites, hermits, vagabonds, voyagers, promeneurs: the discourse of solitude in the “siècle de sociabilité” is surprisingly rich. A well-documented study of attitudes and practices of solitude from the mid-seventeenth century (Port-Royal, La Trappe) to the time of Rousseau and Senancour.“Gardiens vigilants des vertus, ils s’offraient à l’édification de leurs contemporaines, en les instruisant de leur exemple, et tandis que le temps s’acharnait à détruire les certitudes les mieux établies,
    ils affirmaient, contre vents et marées, la pérennité des traditions et des valeurs ancestrales”.
  • Raymond Queneau. Morale élémentaire.
    Gallimard, 1975.—Find it at Galaxidion or Chapitre.
  • C. A. Sainte-Beuve. Premiers lundis.
  • Jean-François Senault. De l’usage des passions.
    Paris: Fayard, 1987. (Corpus des œuvres de philosophie en langue française) Orig. publ. 1641, 6th ed. 1645.
  • Hourya Sinaceur. Corps et modèles.
    Essai sur l’histoire de l’algèbre réelle. 2nd ed. Vrin, 1999. (Mathesis) —From Sturm’s theorem on the real roots of polynomials to the model theory of real closed fields. A well-documented study, rich in detail (to the point of being a bit repetitious) of the progression of concepts and results that led to the model-theoretic concept of “elementary equivalence”.