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Carlos Fraenkel's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Carlos Fraenkel recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Carlos Fraenkel's favorite book recommendations of all time.



Fresh off the boat from Europe and looking for adventure, a young German named Charlie heads west. He finds plenty of excitement on the untamed American frontier. Whether it is an encounter with a grizzly, a hostile Indian, or a dishonest white man, he always manages to emerge victorious. He gets out of one dangerous situation after another, thanks to his quick wits, his skill with a gun, and his remarkable strength (which earns him the nickname "Old Shatterhand"). Along the way, he makes friends with an equally remarkable young Indian, Winnetou. Together, they embark on adventures throughout... more
Recommended by Carlos Fraenkel, and 1 others.

Carlos FraenkelThese are Wild-West novels, even though Karl May actually never travelled to North America. This is the Wild West of his imagination. (Source)

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The Guide of the Perplexed

"The reissue of Guttmann's edition of Rabin's translation is a welcome event. There has long been a need for a readable, judicious edition, for classroom use, of this large and complex work." --Michael L. Morgan, Indiana University less
Recommended by Carlos Fraenkel, and 1 others.

Carlos FraenkelMaimonides reinterprets his religious commitments in light of his philosophical commitments. (Source)

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Deliverance from Error

Five Key Texts Including His Spiritual Autobiography, al-Munqidh min al-Dalal

This spiritual autobiography describes Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali's intellectual crisis, which led him to achieve direct knowledge of God. Among his most outstanding contributions to Muslim intellectual life were masterly defenses of Islamic orthodoxy, mysticism, and law, against the attacks of those who advocated purely legalistic, or entirely esoteric, readings of the religion. He hence articulated the Islam of the middle way, in balance between the extremes of the letter and the spirit. Also included in this volume are extensive translations from key works of al-Ghazali.
Recommended by Carlos Fraenkel, and 1 others.

Carlos FraenkelOnce he has lost trust in Islam, al-Ghazālī asks himself: what can I trust? What can I have faith in? It’s quite interestingly parallel to what Descartes does in the First Meditation. (Source)

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Five Dialogues

Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo

The second edition of Five Dialogues presents G. M. A. Grube's distinguished translations, as revised by John Cooper for Plato, Complete Works (Hacket, 1997). Cooper has also contributed a number of new or expanded footnotes and updated Suggestions for Further Reading. less

Kenan MalikUnlike earlier Greek philosophers, such as Diagoras and Democritus, Plato believed in the divine, and much of his philosophy flowed from his concept of a transcendental reality. He provided the resources for the later Christian view of goodness as a transcendental quality. But in his dialogue Euthyphro he also provides the classic argument against looking to God as the source of moral values, an... (Source)

Carlos FraenkelReading Plato can be a Socratic exercise because you’re reading a text that is part of the canon of philosophy but it advances views that are opposed to everything you believe in. (Source)

M M McCabeThe philosophical content creeps up on you when you think all this is merely a rhetorical flourish: it’s completely extraordinary. (Source)

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On Liberty

Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780140432077

Published in 1859, John Stuart Mill's On Liberty presented one of the most eloquent defenses of individual freedom in nineteenth-century social and political philosophy and is today perhaps the most widely-read liberal argument in support of the value of liberty. Mill's passionate advocacy of spontaneity, individuality, and diversity, along with his contempt for compulsory uniformity and the despotism of popular opinion, has attracted both admiration and condemnation.

Nick CleggThe tradition is that it is given to the president of the Liberal Democrats rather than the leader, which is a subtle but important distinction in Lib Dem land. But you’re quite right. The traditions of J. S. Mill are still handed down like some sort of totemic emblem of everything that we’re supposed to still believe in, even now. It’s extraordinary, given it was written in 1859……What we’re... (Source)

A C GraylingOn Liberty is a very important document, and one which, because of the clarity with which one can read it and its brevity, is slightly passed over. (Source)

Peter SingerMill points out that very often, throughout history, people have thought that they were certainly right, and then turned out to be quite wrong. (Source)

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