Archive for the ‘Readings’ Category

We’re slowing down a little bit, but I’m not terribly concerned about that. Better to cover a topic thoroughly, and relate it to contemporary concerns, than simply to breeze through it in order to conform to some arbitrary schedule. This additional assigned reading is brief and relatively easy, though interesting and highly relevant. Please take a moment to include it with the assigned readings by Descartes and Peter Dear. Thanks!


Rembrandt van Rijn
The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, 1632
67″ x 85″


• Dr. Drew Leder MD PhD
Loyola College, Maryland
“A Tale of Two Bodies: The Cartesian Corpse
and The Lived Body”

Alberto Giacometti - The Invisible Object (Hands Holding the Void), 1935

Alberto Giacometti
Hands Holding the Void (Invisible Object), 1934
Bronze, 59 7/8 x 12 7/8 x 10″


Bodily pain and distress come in many forms. They can well up from within at times of serious illness, but the body can also be subjected to harsh treatment from outside. The medical system is often cold and depersonalized, and much worse are conditions experienced by prisoners in our age of mass incarceration, and by animals trapped in our factory farms. In this pioneering book, Drew Leder offers bold new ways to rethink how we create and treat distress, clearing the way for more humane social practices. Leder draws on literary examples, clinical and philosophical sources, his medical training, and his own struggle with chronic pain. He levies a challenge to the capitalist and Cartesian models that rule modern medicine.

–University of Chicago Press, 2016


Readings For Week of August 28th

Posted: August 24, 2017 in Readings

Marcel Mauss
(1872 – 1950)
A General Theory of Magic (1902)

Henry Petroski
To Engineer Is Human (1992)
Success Through Failure (2006)

First Reading of The Semester

Posted: August 20, 2017 in Readings

Italo Calvino
(1923 – 1985)
“The Distance of The Moon”