The purpose of this post is to invite interested parties to an incidental reading group that some of us are currently discussing.
The plan, as it is, would be to meet fortnightly to discuss Heidegger’s Being and Time. Meetings would likely be held in Leicester, possibly at a pub and possibly on a Friday evening. Plans are all very sketchy at the moment but will be firmed up when a group of participants is established. Vague plans currently include either Friday 7th September at 6pm, or Saturday 8th September at lunchtime, as possible start dates for the project.
Once we have an idea on numbers and interested parties, the group will arrange a date between us for starting the project. In the absence of a group consensus, I’d suggest we go for either of the dates suggested above (7/8 Sep) and then take it from there.
As for reading targets for the first meeting, I propose we read to the end of Introduction section I (which is page 35 of the Macquarrie and Robinson translated edition). It is m hope that the group will then establish reading targets for future sessions.
If you are interested in reading Heidegger with us, and meeting fortnightly in Leicester to discuss, please register your interest with Ken Weir (firstname.lastname@example.org) or reply below to this post.
Have a good weekend,
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The reading group kicked off with two Hume texts, “Of Commerce” and “Of Refinement in the Arts”, both taken from Political Discourses, and both sketching Hume’s political and economic theories.
“Of Commerce” hinges on discussions of trade, property rights and the value of labour. For Hume, the majority of workers are involved in manufacturing or agriculture, and as a society develops more sophisticated agricultural tools the land is also able to support non-agricultural workers, subsequently more workers are able to divert their labour towards non-agricultural work such as producing luxury goods (OC 256-60). Such an increase in industry, trade and the arts leads to a stronger state and happier people; a line of enquiry which is taken further in “Of Refinment…” where Hume links industry, knowledge and humanity in his discussion of international trade.
Discussions in the reading group focused on Hume’s recognition of the value of labour, and the importance of free trade. We also discussed the role of the mercantile class who would oversee international trade; a group Hume felt held the secret of trade. We also dissected assertions made by Hume on consuming luxury and its relation to the increase in state power and general wealth. By way of conclusion we attempted to tease out the links to later writers and scholars, in addition to trying to frame Hume’s economic subject.
I won’t go into much depth in explaining or analysing the pieces because I’d like to use this report to invite you to explore them at your pleasure. References for each text can be found in the reading group list here: http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/management/research/units/cppe/Events/2012%20Spring-Hume-ReadingGroup.pdf
Next Wednesday we shall be talking about “Of Money” and “Of Interest”. If this sounds like your thing pop along to Room G82, Bennett Link Building at 12.30.
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