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A man's brain is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, the skillful workman will have nothing but the tools which may help him. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls, it is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.




Why Sqapo
who some people hate bad abridgememts

with good reason too

not a condensed version,

like the despicable 100-minute Bible, which is actually some bloke's opinion of what he thinks is, or in some cases ought, to be in the bible.
Or the silly Cliff Notes which are just someone's opinion of what they think is in, or ought to be in, a text.

Reader's Digest were actually re-tellings of less-than-successful novels into short stories

The world, it seems to me, is somewhat too complicated to understand in detail.



THE RULES of WORTHY ABRIDGEMENT

The reader must know this is an abridgement, that it is not the original.

It should be based on a sound original text, or a favoured translation

The original words, in their original order

Particular pasages and phrases are famous for good reason. These should be included in full. If if the abridger doen't think they're worthy, or even that they misrepresent the text, famous-ness is part of understanding the world. Being aware of what is commonly thought to be the case is just as important, if not more so, than knowing what the truth is.

7,000 words is the reasonable upper limit for an intelligent adult

MORE FROM Squashed Philosophers...
THE COMPLETE TEXTS THE ABRIDGED TEXTS Aristotle - Ethics Aristotle - Politics Augustine - Confessions Ayer - Language, Truth and Logic Bacon - Advancement of Learning Bentham - Morals and Legislation Berkeley - Principles of Human Knowledge Boethius - Consolations of Philosophy Burke - Revolution in France Cicero - Friendship and Old Age Clausewitz - On War Comte - Positive Philosophy Confucius - The Analects Copernicus - The Revolutions Darwin - The Origin of Species Descartes - Discourse on Method Descartes - Meditations Einstein's Relativity Emerson - Nature Epicurus - Sovran Maxims Erasmus - Praise of Folly Euclid - Elements Freud - Psychoanalysis Galileo - Two World Systems Hayek - The Road to Serfdom Hegel - Philosophy of History Hegel - Philosophy of Religion Hobbes - Leviathan Hume - Human Understanding James - Varieties of Religious Experience Kant - Critiques of Reason Kant - Metaphysics of Morals Kierkegaard - Either Or Leibniz - Monadology Locke - Human Understanding Machiavelli - The Prince Marcus Aurelius - Meditations Marx - The Communist Manifesto Marx and Engels - German Ideology Mill - On Liberty Mill - System of Logic More - Utopia Newton - Principia Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil Nietzsche - Genealogy of Morals Paine - Rights of Man Pascal - Thoughts Plato - The Apology Plato - The Republic Plato - The Symposium Popper - Scientific Discovery Rand - Selfishness Rousseau - Confessions Rousseau - Social Contract Sade - Philosophy in the Boudoir Sartre - Existentialism is a Humanism Schopenhauer - World as Will and Idea Smith - Wealth of Nations Spinoza - Ethics The Ancient Greeks The Aphorisms of the Philosophers Thoreau - Walden Tocqueville - America Turing - Computing Machinery Wittgenstein - Tractatus Wollstonecraft - Rights of Woman

   glyn@sqapo.com


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