I'm not going to stop until I have zero readers. Wouldn't it be awesome if there was some blogger who said "I do have a readership, my goal is to drive that readership down to nothing." Not to like, stop posting, but rather to consciously make posts that he/she knows his/her readers aren't interested in, but which interest the writer.
I'm reading a book called the Sociology of Philosophy by Randall Collins. It's v. interesting- but you do a background in the area of philosophy to understand what's happening. Not like, you need to be a graduate student in philosophy, but you need to know your general way around Greek, Chinese and Indian thinkers.
Before I write another sentence about Philosophy, I wanted to recommend a book which I view as the single best summation of Western Philosophy in the 20th century (German, French and Anglo-American), The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity by Jurgen Habermas (my fav philosopher as of the last time I read any philosophy- law school almost a decade ago.
My feeling about western philosophy is that it's basically a failed project. No anyone who prefers philosophy to religion? Me neither.
Anyway, in the Sociology of Philosophy Collins focuses on intellectual networks as they existed across generations and geographical space. He draws lots of charts to basically explicate his thesis: That intellectual ideas are spread by small groups of individuals, and that success of those ideas are only judged several generations after they have been created, which means that ultimate success goes down to how well your disciples "spread the gospel."
In turn, individuals are motivated to become carriers of ideas because of conflicts that are generated by the originators of those ideas. It's the conflict of ideas which draws attention. Once the conflict is established, successive generations stake out their own positions over time. That's the "sociology of philosophy" in a nut shell mass or menos.
Many call this field "social epistemology" which wiki defines as:
a broad set of approaches to the study of knowledge, all of which construe human knowledge as a collective achievement. Social epistemologists may be found working in many of the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, most commonly in philosophy and sociology.I'M IN!!!!!