Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Review: Otherwise Than Being - Emmanuel Levinas

My review on an unnamed online bookstore of Otherwise Than Being: Or Beyond Essence by Emmanuel Levinas

Levinas' best work, but not easy to understand

Much though I am fascinated with Levinas, I do find it nearly unreadable. His text is so dense, it requires (but definitely merits) slow reading.

Although it might be helpful to have read earlier Levinas, this book takes a bit of a departure from the philosophy he espoused in his younger days. I don't believe it is such a radical departure so much as a reorientation and increased sophistication, but that's a topic for another discussion!

I highly recommend this read if you are familiar with phenomenology, particulary Husserl and Heidegger, and Kant. I believe they are essential to understanding his arguments.

If you are willing to put in the time and mental effort to unpack this, it is a very rewarding book. For some additional explanation, a good companion is Beyond by Peperzak.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Corporation - Joel Bakan

Review of: The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakan

I think this should be required reading for all citizens.

Exposes (without ideological idealism) the facts about corporations. Most people have vague misgivings about corporations, but don't have much of an idea of why. This book helps to clarify and explain what we instinctively feel.

I got a kick out of the psychological diagnosis of the corporation (a legal person without moral conscience) as a psychopath.