Refresher Reading in basic Religion/Politics/Philosophy
June 16, 2013 7:48 PM   Subscribe

Hi Metafilter. Recommendations, please? Recently I had ended a cycle of medication that was likely to affect my memory. It has. I feel as though I've gone from a quick, engaged conversationalist, to a bit of an observant, less inclined platform of speaking. Mostly, it's because I can't seem to recall things as quickly as before. It's so, so uncomfortable. I've been told my memory will return over time, but in the meantime, I can read and participate in exercises in an attempt to jar it. Can anyone offer some comprehensive overviews of religion, history, philosophy, or politics? Really basic stuff would be just find - Any texts going over the religions of the world, introductions to politic, lists of notable philosophers or historic figures.. Thank you!
posted by thewolfandewe to Religion & Philosophy (13 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Not to threadsit, but to clarify-

Just a cursory report of "need to know" information on these subjects would be great.
posted by thewolfandewe at 7:55 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong (or really, anything by her).
posted by dawkins_7 at 8:05 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy by Simon Blackburn (really interesting, not dry)

The Dream of Reason by Anthony Gottlieb (ancient philosophy)

The History of the World by J.M. Roberts

An Incomplete Education

Also, look at books by Kenneth C. Davis and the "Very Short Introduction to ___" books.
posted by John Cohen at 8:39 PM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

The Very Short Introductions sound perfect for this. I've read a few and enjoyed both the writing and the overview of the subject.

I had this recently with a virus, btw, my sympathies as it's maddening to be stuck in second gear and know that you could be thinking faster.
posted by viggorlijah at 8:40 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you live close to a university or college, try going to the campus bookstore and looking at textbooks for intro undergrad courses. Similarly, look through course syllabi, which are usually online.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 8:41 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sophie's World gives a nice overview of Western Philosophy. It was written as Young Adult (i.e. aimed at teenagers) so is easily digestible. I read it as an adult with zero philosophy background and found it engaging and easy to follow without being too glib or boring.
posted by shelleycat at 4:11 AM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have to recommend Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.
posted by BenPens at 6:35 AM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite] (Free online encyclopedia of philosophy, written by scholars.)
posted by Susan PG at 9:27 AM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

I know you said "reading", but this was posted on the blue about a podcast called The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps.

In case you want to catch up while doing other stuff that won't let you read at the same time (like, for example, sports - also very good for you!)
posted by ipsative at 11:14 AM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Wonderful suggestions, guys! Please keep these coming..

I've been reading An Incomplete Education, and it's a very light and painless to get through.

Honestly, wikipedia is a fine suggestion, but it's really nice to have more of a compilation of sorts- or at least easier to keep track of - Wiki is wonderful, but so easy to get caught up in and follow endlessly.
posted by thewolfandewe at 4:19 PM on June 17, 2013

Anything by Huston Smith on world religions is great.
posted by woodman at 5:02 AM on June 18, 2013

« Older Dave Ramsey hates me   |   Easy Google Reader RSS replacement? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.