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Dallas Denery's Top Book Recommendations

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

Most people would agree that compulsive lying is a "sickness." In his provocative Lying, Paul Griffiths suggests that consistent truth telling might evoke a similar response. After all, isn't unremitting honesty often associated with stupidity, insanity, and fanatical sainthood? Drawing from Augustine's writings, and contrasting them with the work of other Christian and non-Christian thinkers, Griffiths deals with the two great questions concerning lying: What is it to lie? When, if ever, should or may a lie be told? Examining Augustine's answers to these questions, Griffiths grapples with... more
Recommended by Dallas Denery, and 1 others.

Dallas DeneryGriffiths accepts Augustine’s theories as true, which leads him to give a very sensitive account of what Augustine argues. (Source)

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Augustine famously claimed that the virtues of pagan Rome were nothing more than splendid vices. This critique reinvented itself as a suspicion of acquired virtue as such, and true Christian virtue has, ever since, been set against a false, hypocritical virtue alleged merely to conceal pride. Putting On Virtue reveals how a distrust of learned and habituated virtue shaped both early modern Christian moral reflection and secular forms of ethical thought. 
Jennifer Herdt develops her claims through an argument of broad historical sweep, which brings together the Aristotelian...
Recommended by Dallas Denery, and 1 others.

Dallas DeneryHerdt’s book lays out how a classical vision of the good life, or the acquisition of virtuous habits, gets gutted with the Reformation insistence on justification through faith alone. (Source)

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Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

If humans are benevolent by nature, how do societies become corrupt? And how do governments founded upon the defense of individual rights degenerate into tyranny? These are the questions addressed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, a strikingly original inquiry into much-explored issues of 18th-century (and subsequent) philosophy: human nature and the best form of government.

Rousseau takes an innovative approach by introducing a "hypothetical history" that presents a theoretical view of people in a pre-social condition and the ensuing effects...
Recommended by Dallas Denery, and 1 others.

Dallas DeneryRousseau is really the first argue that lying is not a religious problem, it is a natural phenomenon. (Source)

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Here is a brilliant new translation of Descartes's Meditations, one of the most influential books in the history of Western philosophy, including the full texts of the Third and Fourth Objections and Replies, and a selection from the other exchanges. Discovering his own existence as a thinking entity in the very exercise of doubt--in the famous formulation cogito, ergo sum--Descartes goes on to develop new conceptions of body and mind, capable of serving as foundations for a new science of nature. Subsequent philosophy has grappled with Descartes's ideas, but his arguments... more

Tim CraneDescartes was educated by Jesuits, and it’s important that they were called meditations because they were meant to be things that people would think through themselves. (Source)

Dallas DeneryDescartes wants a God that doesn’t speak, because speaking is tantamount to interfering with the orderly and law-like operations of the world. (Source)

Luciano FloridiToday Descartes speaks more directly to us if you understand him as the equivalent of an engineer testing a product. (Source)

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The Treasure of the City of Ladies

Written by Europe’s first professional woman writer, The Treasure of the City of Ladies offers advice and guidance to women of all ages and from all levels of medieval society, from royal courtiers to prostitutes. It paints an intricate picture of daily life in the courts and streets of fifteenth-century France and gives a fascinating glimpse into the practical considerations of running a household, dressing appropriately and maintaining a reputation in all circumstances. Christine de Pizan’s book provides a valuable counterbalance to male accounts of life in the middle ages and... more
Recommended by Dallas Denery, and 1 others.

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