What Philosophy to read for a former student long out of the field
December 17, 2017 10:12 PM   Subscribe

What are all the cool philosophers reading nowadays?

I have an M.A. in Philosophy earned at Indiana University in 1991. I have been - to say the least - uninvolved in Philosophy as an academic subject ever since. Going into an early semi-retirement from The Law, I am looking for suggestions of stuff I might want to read in the philosophical field as a newly reinterested amateur with maybe more time on my hands to think deeply than my legal career has allowed. The less it has to do with the various hobby horses of the IU Philosophy Department circa 1990, the better (those would be Philosophy of Science and Artificial Intelligence). Thanks!
posted by JimInLoganSquare to Religion & Philosophy (12 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Kate Manne's Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny is getting some attention.

Do you have more specific areas of interest?
posted by cat potato at 10:16 PM on December 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I have been so thoroughly disconnected from the field for over two decades now that I can honestly say that none and every specific area is of interest to me.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 10:18 PM on December 17, 2017

Take a look the philosophy sub reddit.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 10:47 PM on December 17, 2017

3am magazine has a variety of interviews with various philosophers on various topics, I have been enjoying reading them after adding them to my rss reader due to enjoying the fiction. Here is a recent summary post of the interviews by topic.
posted by apathy0o0 at 1:11 AM on December 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

Maybe philosophy podcasts will give ideas? I subscribe to 'The Philosopher's Zone' and 'Philosophy Bites'.

(But it's been a long while since I studied in the field too, so don't know if these are what the cool philosophers listen to!).
posted by yesbut at 1:25 AM on December 18, 2017

I'm still in philosophy, but as a graduate student my research became more and more specialized, which means that I - also - haven't kept up with all the trends in the different subdisciplines. And I'm still not done reading the classics ;-)

I would suggest Harry Frankfurt and Martha Nussbaum, as they did their most important work after you graduated and their books are a joy to read. If philosophy of mind would interest you, maybe take a look at some recent work in enactivist and externalist theories of mind (Evan Thompson, Alva Noƫ, Andy Clark, Shaun Gallagher...). For something completely different, you could try Peter Sloterdijk, a German philosopher with eclectic interests whose works are being translated into English. There have been some trends in 'continental' philosophy like speculative realism, but I can't say much about that.

I second the podcast suggestion! I subscribe to Philosophy Bites too, it's great.

Enjoy your reading!
posted by Desertshore at 3:03 AM on December 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

You probably didn't read Judith Butler back then. Her major book came out just around the time you graduated (Gender Trouble and Bodies That Matter.)
posted by flourpot at 3:18 AM on December 18, 2017

L.A. Paul's Transformative Experience was all the rage a couple years back. Standing room only at the conferences.

Perhaps more importantly, the linked site, the Notre Dame philosophical reviews, is a good resource to peruse if you want to learn about new book-length works.

There is a high calibre open access online journal, Philosopher's Imprint, which is generalist (i.e., all areas of philosophy). Velleman started it.
posted by Beardman at 7:18 AM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

"I dunno. Can you just give me a whole bunch of things from all over the map, but which I can kinda pick up and start from scratch?"
May - Death
Epictetus - The Enchiridion
Wittgenstein - Philosophical Investigations
Mills - The Racial Contract
Nietzsche - The Genealogy of Morals
James - Pragmatism and Other Writings

"No, no. I demand more punishing texts that will make me regret this choice."
Parfit - On What Matters
McDowell - Mind and World
Brandom - Articulating Reasons
posted by el_lupino at 12:08 PM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

See whatisitliketobeaphilosopher.com for great interviews with contemporary philosophers.
posted by madstop1 at 3:50 PM on December 18, 2017

Object-oriented ontology made a big splash several years ago, and that is what I dug into a little to get back into it (BA in philosophy 1991, SIUC). Timothy Morton, in particular is all the rave. Check these out.
posted by perhapses at 6:52 PM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is kept up-to-date.
posted by aniola at 4:40 PM on December 20, 2017

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