Review: The Talos Principle (Penguin Books)


The Talos Principle

So I found this dodgy old Penguin Books version of The Talos Principle in a bookshop the other day and thought I’d puke up some thoughts. (Sorry, I just saw David Cameron on the telly and I feel sick. It’s not Penguin’s fault.)

It’s not a bad collection, I’ll give them that. It has all the texts except the most recent still-not-entirely-confirmed ones from Oxyrhynchus (which is fine), an excellent translation, good annotations, and a couple of fairly decent essays on Straton.

I would have preferred a better introduction, one that really gave readers a clear idea of Straton’s place in the history of philosophy, especially his influence on modern materialist thinkers both of the Left and the Right. He may be mostly forgotten, but his influence does linger in unexpected corners.

(I also think it would’ve made more sense to call this The Complete Works or something like that, but I guess going with the best-known title is reasonable enough.)

All in all, I was much happier with this edition than the last one I found, which contained an introduction by the notorious imbecile Prof. J. Schofield, whose work on Straton is the philosophical equivalent of Robert Service’s attempts to re-assassinate Trotsky. Quibbles aside, this version should allow a regular reader to get a good idea of why Straton is such a fascinating writer. Recommended.