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Yes. That's right. In fact, the reward principle seems to be operating at the start of the book as well, when Socrates and gang are discussing the concept of justice. Both arguments seem to agree that people's behaviour is motivated by their desire to achieve the best possible outcome for themselves.

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but who's saying that eg "having lots and lots of money" is or isn't better than "having less guilt because of the donation of lots and lots of money to feed the starving"?

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The only branch of philosophy that I am willing to express in linear terms is logic, but I think ethics is not a continuum where one decision is better or worse than an other. you have to take into account at least 3 dimensions: the situation, the individual's perception of the situation, and the state of society at the time. And these aren't independent or objective factors either, they have forces acting upon them as well. So I can't see a universal ethical principle... You'd have to go right down and start by defining "good" and "bad" which are already subjective value judgements.

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Now let's all break it down to dubstep.

that's my kid's favorite music of the moment. :grin:

[smallest]I'm not smart enough to engage in conversation of the type between you, Plato, and Farin, so I have to talk about dubstep[/smallest] *sigh*

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Yes. That's right. In fact, the reward principle seems to be operating at the start of the book as well, when Socrates and gang are discussing the concept of justice. Both arguments seem to agree that people's behaviour is motivated by their desire to achieve the best possible outcome for themselves.

You have to remember that in Plato's dialogues, Socrates often takes the side of his opponent just long enough to show the flaw in his argument. If I remember The Republic correctly (it's been two years since I last read it), this is what he does to Thrasymachus and Glaucon.

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I just read detective stories in fiction, and selected biographies, usually of sportspeople, musicians, movie stars, etc.

The last book I read was "Private London" by James Patterson. It was interesting until the last few chapters, where it just got too convoluted in attempting to produce a 'surprise' ending. I've gone off him I'm afraid.

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"Girl With the Pearl Earring" by Tracy Chevalier

10/10

What vivid storytelling! This writer is very poetic, her imagery is so spot-on, you can smell the atmosphere.

The story is about the girl in the painter Vermeer's most famous painting. It's a novel, but uses historical facts as the basis. When I got through with it, I almost wished it were the true story, since it was so good. But the real story of the actual girl in the painting is not one that is widely known, evidently.

I did find myself looking up Vermeer's other paintings online, though, since the writer described them so vividly, I had to see for myself. Good stuff.

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"The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. It's a about a man and his son who are survivors of some unknown disaster that has decimated almost all life. They are traveling to the south to escape the winter and in the process have to search for food and shelter while staying away from roaming gangs of bandits and assassins. Absolutely riveting and heartbreaking. 10/10

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"On Chesil Beach" by Ian McEwan

Two young people just got married, it's their wedding night and both of them are virgins. While the couple are fumbling through what to do, their relationship and lives up to that point are explored. What happens then is not what you expect. A short read (just over 200 pages), and a good one. Funny and ultimately sad. 7/10

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"Wishful Drinking" by Carrie Fisher

Not so much an autobiography as much as a collection of memories and anecdotes from her life. Yes, there are a few stories from Star Wars, but not many. She doesn't go into a lot of detail about her childhood, marriage, addictions, etc, but it's still a fun, hilarious read. I breezed through it in one evening (just over 150 pages, with pictures sprinkled throughout). 9/10

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The Art Of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein

A wonderful story told by a dog. Sad, funny, sad, infuriating, funny, sad and uplifting.

Here's one review by Sara Gruen:

“The Art of Racing in The Rain has everything: love, tragedy, redemption, danger, and--best of all--the canine narrator Enzo. This old soul of a dog has much to teach to us about being human. I loved this book.†-- Sara Gruen, Author of Water for Elephants

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"Bossypants" by Tina Fey

Not really an autobiography...similar to "Wishful Drinking" where chapters are structured based on memories and events in Tina's life. As much as she's accomplished, she still has the same insecurities and faults all of us do and is not afraid to share them. 8/10.

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"Full dark, no stars" - Stephen King

Admittedly, I am a fan, but he still has it so 9/10. It's a collection of short stories covering so many different threads, and this copy came with an extra short story. Recommended for fans and those who enjoy a bit of the macabre :)

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Full Dark, No Stars gets a 9/10 from me also, King does the short story/novella like nobody's business - I'm a fan as well, but especially in the short story forma,t King is definately the king. Great book.

His newer full length novel Under the Dome is fantastic as well - I give it 9/10 also, and it's very much a throwback to some of his earlier writings detailing the human condition, when faced with inhuman situations (less horror, more story).

I've just purchased his newest 11/22/63, which I can't wait to begin reading - it's a time travel story, surrounding the assasination JFK.

Like I said, I'm a fan. ;)

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Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. 10/10. Why? Vonnegut. That's why. One of the best American authors ever. That's the last book I've read that I had not read before. The last book I read that I have read before was 1984 by George Orwell, and that gets a 100/10, because it's so bloody brilliant. I've read that book probably 100 times or more since I was first introduced to it in high school.

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Cat's Cradle is an awesome book! I am a Vonnegut and a Stephen King fan. I have three King books sitting unread on my bookshelf and have no idea why I have not picked them up.

I read "Night" by Elie Wiesel. He writes about his experiences as a teenager in the Auschwitz camps. He lost his mother, youngest sister and father during the Holocaust and underwent horrible things no one should, especially a child. Brave and heartbreaking. 10/10

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Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. 10/10. Why? Vonnegut. That's why. One of the best American authors ever. That's the last book I've read that I had not read before. The last book I read that I have read before was 1984 by George Orwell, and that gets a 100/10, because it's so bloody brilliant. I've read that book probably 100 times or more since I was first introduced to it in high school.

I worship at the altar that is Kurt Vonnegut. He's probably my second favorite author behind Aldous Huxley

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Stayed up until an ungodly hour finishing "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. There's a book that just grabs you and doesn't let you go. It's set in 1960's Mississippi, at the heart of the civil rights movement. A white woman decides to write a book about being a black maid from the maids' point of view. At first, they are hesitant to help her, but eventually, at great risk to themselves, they do. Amazing 10/10

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I'm about 2/3 through "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde right now. It. Is. So. Good.

The bad thing about good books is I find it hard to put them down, then I go about reading them when there's more important things to be done.

This one talks so much trash about women! I have to wonder first if that's a sign of the times? (it was written in 1890) Or is it the fact that Wilde was gay? (in which case, I would think he'd love the company of women) That's the only thing that disturbs me about the book.

Although I suppose a book about someone selling his soul to the devil would contain much more that should be disturbing. :crazy:

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