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Discussion format - what would be best? 
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Post Discussion format - what would be best?
Discussion format - what would be best?

The Name of The Rose is set up a bit differently than most books so our usual chapter format might not work so well. I'm open to suggestions on how you think we should structure this book discussion. We could even allow it to be completely free-flowing with no real format. People can create their own threads. The only challenge to the free-flowing format is that it seems most people are followers and won't actually initiate discussion. Without an existing discussion framework this forum might sit stagnant for an extended period of time.

What are your thoughts?



Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:53 pm
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I think that a free flowing chat would be best. Even when we do have regulated chapter discussions, sometimes the thoughts make a wide right turn and get off subject. Don't get me wrong it is relevent to the oveall book but not to the chapter persay.


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Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:45 am
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Eco seems to me to be deeply concerned with certain themes in his works (e.g. nominalism, source of meaning, what does truth mean, given the nature of reality that all this points to, how should we behave, what should we believe). These come through in things he says. For example, on his website he says:

"I think I agree with Joyce's lapsed Catholic hero in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: "What kind of liberation would that be to forsake an absurdity which is logical and coherent and to embrace one which is illogical and incoherent?" The religious celebration of Christmas is at least a clear and coherent absurdity. The commercial celebration is not even that."

http://www.umbertoeco.com/en/about-god-and-dan-brown.html

Much can be made of this by referencing what happens and what is said in The Name of the Rose.

Here's another bit from the same site.
http://www.umbertoeco.com/en/name-of-the-rose-title-and-last-line.html

"Eco states in the Postscript to the Name of the Rose that Bernard's poem is also the source of the novel's title and last line



Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:41 pm
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Sounds as though you'd be a good discussion leader for this one, Mary.


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Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:46 pm
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I read Name of the Rose when it came out twenty five years ago or so, and liked it a lot. Will have to dig out my copy. Also liked the movie. And Eco's follow up book Foucault's Pendulum.

I really like Eco's semiotic references to scholastic philosophy. The debate on realism (now known as idealism) and nominalism (now known as empiricism) between Duns Scotus and William of Ockham is at the foundation of the rise of modern science, with roots going back to Plato's Sophist. Just for fun, here are my views on Plato:
Quote:
Plato compares the effort to make sense of the world to a battle between giants and Gods, in which the difficulties of philosophy are discussed in terms of the quarrel between materialism and idealism. The giants "define reality as the same thing as body, and as soon as one of the opposite party asserts that anything without a body is real, they are utterly contemptuous and will not listen to another word", while on the other side the Gods "are very wary in defending their position somewhere in the heights of the unseen, maintaining with all their force that true reality consists in certain intelligible and bodiless Ideas" (246b). What the giants "allege to be true reality, the Gods do not call real being, but a sort of moving process of becoming" (246c). Plato believed that both these ways of thought had something important to offer, but he attacked the materialists for being violent and uncivilised (246d) and for thinking that "whatever they cannot squeeze between their hands is just nothing at all" (247c). He says, "it is quite enough for our purposes if they consent to admit that even a small part of reality is bodiless", arguing that this must be admitted in the case of qualities of the soul like "justice and wisdom or any other sort of goodness or badness" (247b).
source

Mary's post above reminds me of Shakespeare's line from Romeo and Juliet 'a rose by any other name would smell as sweet'

JULIET:
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.



Last edited by Robert Tulip on Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:43 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:12 am
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Robert Tulip wrote:
I read Name of the Rose when it came out twenty five years ago or so, and liked it a lot. Will have to dig out my copy. Also liked the movie. And Eco's follow up book Foucault's Pendulum.


I really loved Foucault's Pendulum.

Robert Tulip wrote:
I really like Eco's semiotic references to scholastic philosophy. The debate on realism (now known as idealism) and nominalism (now known as empiricism) between Duns Scotus and William of Ockham is at the foundation of the rise of modern science, with roots going back to Plato's Sophist.


I really enjoy the way Eco weaves his philosophic/semiotic understanding with the threads of the story. By doing that he makes this history you mention a thing with breath. By examining books like this much "education" is happening at the same time. In some ways this book is a bit like Sophie's World except The Name of the Rose is more difficult (meant for those willing to work harder at the acquisition of meaning.)

Robert Tulip wrote:
Just for fun, here are my views on Plato:Plato compares the effort to make sense of the world to a battle between giants and Gods, in which the difficulties of philosophy are discussed in terms of the quarrel between materialism and idealism. The giants "define reality as the same thing as body, and as soon as one of the opposite party asserts that anything without a body is real, they are utterly contemptuous and will not listen to another word", while on the other side the Gods "are very wary in defending their position somewhere in the heights of the unseen, maintaining with all their force that true reality consists in certain intelligible and bodiless Ideas" (246b)


I have to say I have never liked Plato. I have a visceral reaction to him and his views of the nature of matter and reality.

When I went over to your thesis site, I was taken by the fact that you worked on Heidegger. I love what he had to say about context and meaning. I really like what Merleau-Ponty and Gadamer did with his ideas.

Carl Raschke in his paper "Fire and Roses: Toward Authentic Post-Modem Religious Thinking" speaking of the fire at the end of The Name of the Rose says that, "We may read into the fire an eschatological event-the apocalytpic capsizing of a metaphysical era in which God's secrets have remained closeted in forbidden books. From a philosophical point of view, the "naming" of the rose is at the same time its dissolution; it is the semantic displacement of the signified by the act of signification. Signification is disruption, a violation of context, a transgression."

Raschke also says: "Heidegger is generally regarded as the first post-modem thinker because of his declarations about the "overcoming" of metaphysics and the "end" of philosophy. At the "semiotic" level-that is, in the distinctive space where language performs no longer as code or syntax, but as a skein of tracings, as the movement of complex and ephemeral modules of signification that cannot be repeated or circumscribed-so-called "post-modemity" means much more than some ill-defined time-period."

(I got Raschke's paper from JSTOR so I can't link it. Sorry.)

It is this "movement of complex and ephemeral modules of signification" that fascinates me about poetry and the ideas behind Eco's semiotics.



Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:01 am
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Post Re: Discussion format - what would be best?
Chris OConnor wrote:
The Name of The Rose is set up a bit differently than most books so our usual chapter format might not work so well. I'm open to suggestions on how you think we should structure this book discussion.


This discussion format might be helpful:

Name of the Rose: Philosophy
Name of the Rose: Day 1
Name of the Rose: Day 2
Name of the Rose: Day 3
Name of the Rose: Day 4
Name of the Rose: Day 5
Name of the Rose: Day 6
Name of the Rose: Day 7



Last edited by Thomas Hood on Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Thanks for taking the initiative with the discussion format, Thomas. I've been out of town on a weekend camping trip so haven't been able to check up on this thread the past few days.



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DWill wrote:
Sounds as though you'd be a good discussion leader for this one, Mary.


If you want you can lead Mary. I didn't realize the format of the book when I offered. Let me know if you want to do it, if not then I will try my best!
:D


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