The Madonna vs. Descartes

No, not the “Madonna” I am talking about is the pop icon Madonna and her book from 1992 titled “Sex.” A controversial book, it featured strong adult content and was pretty much lame, in today’s vernacular. Then you have René Descartes the (1596 –1650), an influential French philosopher, mathematician, scientist, and writer. He has even been called the “Father of Modern Philosophy.”

Now jump ahead to 2008 and me in a used bookstore. I find Madonna’s book for sale for somewhere around fifteen bucks and then I find René Descartes’ “Discourse on Method” and “Meditations on First Philosophy” for a total of seventy-five cents. Yeah, it is harder to read Descartes and there are no pictures. However, my real point here is, look at the value versus the price. The bookstore is going to sell books for what the market place is going to bear, selling what it considers more valuable for a higher price and what is considered of less value, well, for less. That is Economics 101, right?

I bought the two books by Descartes, and now in the evening I read his words, listen to his thoughts and try to grasp what he is telling me. It is slow going, requiring work on my part, and I feel like a thief who stole from a bookstore that did not know what they had. Or did they?

Talk amongst yourselves.

« »