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Thomas Jefferson, David Hume, and other geniuses.

  1. Thomas Swan profile image96
    Thomas Swanposted 3 years ago

    The name `Thomas Jefferson' keeps appearing on the ends of quotes that I've thought were particularly profound and important. I know who he was, of course, but I must admit I've never read any of his longer works. What book would people recommend that could introduce me to his political philosophies?

    Previously, I'd found a similarly prolific rate of profundities from another author from the same era, David Hume. Much like Jefferson, he seemed to have a knack for presciently unearthing the most important features of human nature. Rather than politics, Hume's areas were psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and religion.

    For Hume, I picked up his `Natural History of Religion' and it blew my mind. I was right! The man was a genius. Though he professes theism in his essays (I'm an atheist), his analysis of the psychology of religion was incredible. Having studied religious psychology, I found that Hume predicted perhaps 80% of the major findings in this field... but 250 years earlier.

    So, I suppose I'm looking for a similarly mind-blowing book from Jefferson if that makes any sense.

    Also, what geniuses have others found that could be seen to have shaped modern culture with the clarity and originality of their thoughts?

  2. Paraglider profile image93
    Paragliderposted 3 years ago

    I haven't read Jefferson except in quotations but I share your assessment of David Hume. There are not many in the same league, but since you are open to suggestions, I'll offer Karl Popper as one of the most insightful and precision-clear philosophers of the 20th century.

    1. Thomas Swan profile image96
      Thomas Swanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks paraglider. I've actually used a Popper quote before: “I may be wrong and you may be right, and by an effort, we may get nearer to the truth”  - Karl Popper

      ...So, I agree; a good choice to read more about!

  3. limpet profile image61
    limpetposted 3 years ago

    I'd highly recommend if you can obtain the book 'Outlook for Homo Sapiens' by H.G.Wells. Rivetting stuff!

    1. Thomas Swan profile image96
      Thomas Swanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      That sounds like my kind of book! Cheers for the suggestion.

  4. cheaptrick profile image73
    cheaptrickposted 3 years ago

    Pick up the Jeffersonian bible sometime...it's a hoot!

    1. Thomas Swan profile image96
      Thomas Swanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Ahah, yes I'd heard about that. Apparently all mentions of god are removed big_smile . Sounds like a good laugh.

  5. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
    Kathryn L Hillposted 3 years ago

    Alexis de Tocqueville
    Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville was a French political thinker and historian best known for his works Democracy in America, appearing in two volumes: 1835 and 1840) and The Old Regime and the Revolution (1856).
    - others:
    http://www.biographyonline.net/people/f … nment.html