In a direct fashion we could say that the Great Books are the books who helps us to answer the ultimate questions.

Ultimate Questions are the ones that compel you, despite your awareness about it, to act as you act.  We can identify them trough constant practice of self acknowledgement. One way to achieve it is reading. Not quite we read a English book, or a math one, or even a psychology book.

What is the problem with these scientific books? It’s not supposed to help us on achieve a greater level of knowledge about a specific subject matter? In a certain level, yes, but how could these hermetic content cyphered in an unpleasant – at least – language help us to answer any question intrinsically tied to our self?

The answer is simple: they can’t. Simply because the way the scientific method is built upon. For example, one specific theme on human psychic disturbs, as a deadly and unmeasurable obsession, can be entirely specified, developed and categorized as an object for psychology phd’s and msc’s. This object is truly  useful to… psychology phd’s an msc’s, at the same time that this reified subject becomes almost unintelligible for the non specialist.

By reading Great Books, the concrete person can have some tangible insights about a subject matter.  For example, by reading Moby Dick,  a person not only clearer identifies an obsessed Captain Ahab, but can figure out in a more tangible way how his white whale obsession affects his life, his crew,  how different members of crew draws in several nuances of his personality, how his acts may impact  on his soul and so on. This is a way richer method to digest content and use it and apply to his own life, once your forming”reified object” is continuously fed with more and more recognizable human sensations.

I don’t say that we must drop out all scientific knowledge, it would be absurd. I just like to set a scope in which we must use scientific works and cultural opus. It’s not possible to  straightforwardly use Moby Dick in new medicine research for anxiety.

How could we identify the ultimate questions throughout a vast , and impossible, reading list? I can talk about it in another post, as I have to practice a little more the method.

This is a simple essay, perhaps too simple, about the motivation that underlies such  reading enterprise.  I thinks that it is a long process, an entire life project. For the next year or two I will build my first reading list, then prioritize and so go to read! As brazilian philosopher Olavo de Carvalho said, I hope that just the list compilation effort brings me a little more wide view on several subject matters.

My (evolving) Great Books working list is here.


Well… I should be delivered something holding a little more substance, but I’ll work on that somewhere in a near future.

This is my blog for personal studies. I´m not a scholar (by far, not), but I think that something I could contribute (at least as an content aggregator) with some study notes as follows:

– Studying techniques;
– Philosophy (one uttering or another…);
– Politics;
– Languages (Human);
– Critical Thinking;
– Whatever my sick mind judge worthing (for me).

I’m a Software Architect and topics regarding my craft I’ll post somewhere here at wordpress.

It´s it.

P.S. For now you can see more activity in my blogs aggregator on tumblr: Nilseu Padilha´s Ragnarokkrr. Here is the post I wrote about “ragnarokkrr”:  What the heck about Ragnarokkrr.

Hello world!

Posted: January 25, 2011 in Announcements
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