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Does life have any meaning for you? Is it possible to create meaning? What do you think life is about? Do you think life is worth living?
These questions, taken from the text of Rethinking Our World, challenge the reader to look critically and creatively at many of society’s traditional beliefs. They encourage readers to look at their world differently by asking questions about change, identity and direction. The authors outline the major figures and basic principles of each philosophy, then analyse the type of thinking each approach encourages. They go on to challenge readers to examine ways in which the different approaches can be used to understand the world.
Rethinking Our World will be invaluable to undergraduate students in the human and social sciences, as well as to a more general readership seeking an understanding of the arguments in the major philosophies.
If you follow the news, the 21st century doesn't seem to be going so well. From 9/11 to the Great Recession, the Syrian civil war, the Ebola epidemic, growing inequality, racial unrest, and bitterly contested elections, the world seems to be sinking into chaos and hatred. Moralizing commentators tell us that the decline of religious belief and close-knit communities has left us spiritually adrift, without a grounding in moral values, so it's no wonder we're suffering through an epidemic of loneliness, unhappiness, and suicide. And then there are the futurologists who speculate on what will finish us off first: resource wars, nuclear annihilation, unstoppable climate change, or robots that steal our jobs, enslave us, and turn us into raw materials.
But, as Steven Pinker argues in this landmark new book, we do not truly inhabit a dystopia of deprivation and violence: in fact, every global measure of human flourishing is on the rise. We're living longer, healthier, safer, and more affluent lives - not just in the West, but worldwide. Why?
In Enlightenment Now, Pinker proposes that human progress is the gift of a coherent value system that many of us embrace without even knowing it. The values of the Enlightenment underlie all our modern institutions, and deserve credit for the stupendous progress we have made. The progress we have enjoyed is not, of course, an excuse for complacency: some of the challenges we face today are unprecedented in their complexity and scope.
The way to deal with these challenges, Pinker argues, is to treat them as problems to solve, as we have solved other problems in our past. Putting the case for an Enlightenment newly recharged for the 21st century, Pinker shows how, by using our faculties of reason and sympathy to understand the world and to enhance human flourishing, we can tackle problems that inevitably come with being products of evolution in an entropic universe.
'My new favourite book of all time' Bill GatesIs modernity really failing? Or have we failed to appreciate progress and the ideals that make it possible?If you follow the headlines, the world in the 21st century appears to be sinking into chaos, hatred, and irrationality. Yet Steven Pinker shows that this is an illusion - a symptom of historical amnesia and statistical fallacies. If you follow the trendlines rather than the headlines, you discover that our lives have become longer, healthier, safer, happier, more peaceful, more stimulating and more prosperous - not just in the West, but worldwide. Such progress is no accident: it's the gift of a coherent and inspiring value system that many of us embrace without even realizing it. These are the values of the Enlightenment: of reason, science, humanism and progress.The challenges we face today are formidable, including inequality, climate change, Artificial Intelligence and nuclear weapons. But the way to deal with them is not to sink into despair or try to lurch back to a mythical idyllic past; it's to treat them as problems we can solve, as we have solved other problems in the past. In making the case for an Enlightenment newly recharged for the 21st century, Pinker shows how we can use our faculties of reason and sympathy to solve the problems that inevitably come with being products of evolution in an indifferent universe. We will never have a perfect world, but - defying the chorus of fatalism and reaction - we can continue to make it a better one.
The Sunday Times Bestseller
We live in a time of unprecedented upheaval, with questions about the future, society, work, happiness, family and money, and yet no political party of the right or left is providing us with answers. Rutger Bregman, a bestselling Dutch historian, explains that it needn't be this way.
Bregman shows that we can construct a society with visionary ideas that are, in fact, wholly implementable. Every milestone of civilization - from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy - was once considered a utopian fantasy. New utopian ideas such as universal basic income and a 15-hour work week can become reality in our lifetime.
This guide to a revolutionary yet achievable utopia is supported by multiple studies, lively anecdotes and numerous success stories. From a Canadian city that once completely eradicated poverty, to Richard Nixon's near implementation of a basic income for millions of Americans, Bregman takes us on a journey through history, beyond the traditional left-right divides, as he introduces ideas whose time has come.
The revolutionary and psychiatrist Frantz Fanon was a foundational figure in postcolonial and decolonial thought and practice, yet his psychiatric work still has only been studied peripherally. That is in part because most of his psychiatric writings have remained untranslated. With a focus on Fanon's key psychiatry texts, Frantz Fanon, Psychiatry and Politics considers Fanon's psychiatric writings as materials anticipating as well as accompanying Fanon's better known works, written between 1952 and 1961 (Black Skin, White Masks; A Dying Colonialism, Toward the African Revolution, The Wretched of the Earth). Both clinical and political, they draw on another notion of psychiatry that intersects history, ethnology, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. The authors argue that Fanon's work inaugurates a critical ethnopsychiatry based on a new concept of culture (anchored to historical events, particular situations, and lived experience) and on the relationship between the psychological and the cultural. Thus, Gibson and Beneduce contend that Fanon's psychiatric writings also express Fanon's wish, as he puts it in The Wretched of the Earth, to "develop a new way of thinking, not only for us but for humanity."
A Reader in Philosophy of Education attempts to deepen and widen the philosophical thinking of its readership in and about education. At the same time, it encourages an epistemologically rich understanding of education that is infused with different philosophies of education. Each of these gives readers an entry into the nature of education and maximises a many-sided understanding of educational problems encountered in society by means of rupture as well as consensus. The authors examine some of the primary genres of philosophy of education: critical realism; hermeneutics; phenomenology; critical theory; pragmatism; post-structuralism; rationality; Islamic education; Buddhism; Confucianism; African philosophy of education.
Karl Marx was one of the most influential thinkers of the late 19th century, inspiring revolutions and colossal political upheavals that have radically transformed the lives of millions of people and the geopolitical map of the entire world. But was he a ‘Marxist’ himself? And how are his ideas still in play in today’s society?
Marxism traces the story of Marx’s original philosophy, from its roots in 19th-century European thinkers like Hegel, to its influence on modern-day culture. It looks at Marxism’s Russian disciples, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin, who forged a ruthless, dogmatic Communism, and the alternative Marxist approaches of Gramsci, the Frankfurt School of critical theory and the structuralist Marxism of Althusser in the 1960s.
Rupert Woodfin and Oscar Zarate’s classic book, updated by Alex Locascio, explores the life, history, philosophy and politics of this most divisive of thinkers, and argues that Marxism remains a powerful set of ideas even today.
Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, first printed just before the French revolution of 1848, is his most accessible and famous work. In his powerful call to arms, Marx expounds his famous theory that class struggle is the real determinant of historical change.
Next in this volume comes his treatise, Wages, Price and Profit, written in 1865, which serves as an accessible introduction to the ideas which Marx went on to develop in Capital, his masterful, multi-volume analysis of how the world was irreversibly changed by the industrial revolution.
This Macmillan Collector’s Library edition contains the most salient extracts from his great work, selected and introduced by Hugh Griffith.
Whilst old-style Marxism is now dead and buried, today's conflicts within capitalism are as sharp as ever and Marx’s brilliant, painstaking writings remain incredibly relevant.
Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.
Internationally acclaimed as a novelist, Siri Hustvedt is also highly regarded as a writer of non-fiction whose insights are drawn from her broad knowledge in the arts, humanities, and sciences. In this trilogy of works collected in a single volume, Hustvedt brings a feminist, interdisciplinary perspective to a range of subjects. Louise Bourgeois, Pablo Picasso, Susan Sontag and Knut Ove Knausgaard are among those who come under her scrutiny. In the book's central essay, she explores the intractable mind-body problem and in the third section, reflects on the mysteries of hysteria, synesthesia, memory, perception, and the philosophy of Soren Kierkegaard. With clarity, wit, and passion, she exposes gender bias, upends received ideas, and challenges her reader to think again.
Something that has been needed for decades: a leftist foreign policy with a clear moral basis Foreign policy, for leftists, used to be relatively simple. They were for the breakdown of capitalism and its replacement with a centrally planned economy. They were for workers against moneyed interests and for colonized peoples against imperial (Western) powers. But these easy substitutes for thought are becoming increasingly difficult. Neo-liberal capitalism is triumphant, and the workers' movement is in radical decline. National liberation movements have produced new oppressions. A reflexive anti-imperialist politics can turn leftists into apologists for morally abhorrent groups. In Michael Walzer's view, the left can no longer (in fact, could never) take automatic positions but must proceed from clearly articulated moral principles. In this book, adapted from essays published in Dissent, Walzer asks how leftists should think about the international scene-about humanitarian intervention and world government, about global inequality and religious extremism-in light of a coherent set of underlying political values.
In Critique Of Black Reason, eminent critic Achille Mbembe offers a capacious genealogy of the category of Blackness - from the Atlantic slave trade to the present - to critically reevaluate history, racism, and the future of humanity. Mbembe teases out the intellectual consequences of the reality that Europe is no longer the world's center of gravity while mapping the relations between colonialism, slavery, and contemporary financial and extractive capital.
Tracing the conjunction of Blackness with the biological fiction of race, he theorizes Black reason as the collection of discourses and practices that equated Blackness with the nonhuman in order to uphold forms of oppression. Mbembe powerfully argues that this equation of Blackness with the nonhuman will serve as the template for all new forms of exclusion.
With Critique Of Black Reason, Mbembe offers nothing less than a map of the world as it has been constituted through colonialism and racial thinking while providing the first glimpses of a more just future.
In this, his most influential work, legal theorist and political philosopher Carl Schmitt argues that liberalism's basis in individual rights cannot provide a reasonable justification for sacrificing oneself for the state--a critique as cogent today as when it first appeared. George Schwab's introduction to his translation of the 1932 German edition highlights Schmitt's intellectual journey through the turbulent period of German history leading to the Hitlerian one-party state. In addition to analysis by Leo Strauss and a foreword by Tracy B. Strong placing Schmitt's work into contemporary context, this expanded edition also includes a translation of Schmitt's 1929 lecture "The Age of Neutralizations and Depoliticizations," which the author himself added to the 1932 edition of the book. An essential update on a modern classic, "The Concept of the Political, Expanded Edition" belongs on the bookshelf of anyone interested in political theory or philosophy.
Thomas Mann and Albert Camus understood something many political scientists still find difficult to fathom. Deprived of any coherent theory, fascism is characterised by its politics of resentment, stirring up of anger and fear, xenophobia, need for scapegoats, and by its hatred of the life of the mind. Combining history and philosophy, Rob Riemen eloquently explores the global return of fascism, disguised in the false promises of freedom and greatness. Riemen's response to the spiritual crisis of our age is a moving story about the universal meaning of European humanism, with its values of truth, justice, beauty and love for life as the origin of a democratic civilisation. To Fight Against This Age is for those who want to understand and change the world in which they live.
Many people regard Hegel's work as obscure and extremely difficult, yet his importance and influence are universally acknowledged. Peter Singer eliminates any excuse for remaining ignorant of the outlines of Hegel's philosophy by providing a broad discussion of his ideas and an account of his major works.
Amorous jealousy is not a monster, as Shakespeare's venomous Iago claims. It is neither prickly and bitter fancy nor a cruel and mean passion, nor yet a symptom of feeble self-esteem. All those who have experienced its wounds are well aware that it is not callous, nasty, delusional and ridiculous. It is just painful. Yet for centuries moralists have poured scorn and contempt on a feeling that, in their view, we should fight in every possible way. It is allegedly a disease to be treated, a moral vice to be eradicated, an ugly, pre-modern, illiberal, proprietary emotion to be overcome. Above all, no one should ever admit to being jealous. So should we silence this embarrassing sentiment? Or should we, like the heroines of Greek tragedy, see it as a fundamental human demand for reciprocity in love? By examining its cultural history from the ancient Greeks to La Rochefoucauld, Hobbes, Kant, Stendhal, Freud, Beauvoir, Sartre and Lacan, this book demonstrates how jealousy, far from being a 'green-eyed' fiend, reveals the intense and apprehensive nature of all erotic love, which is the desire to be desired. We should never be ashamed to love.
"It is safer to be feared than loved." These words embody the spirit of The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli's classic work of political philosophy. Machiavelli's advice for how a ruler should acquire and ruthlessly exercise power over others continues to be relevant to contemporary readers more than five centuries after it was first published. This is one of Barnes & Noble's 'Collectible Editions' classics. Each volume features authoritative texts by the world's greatest authors in an elegantly designed bonded-leather binding, with distinctive gilt edging. Durable and collectible, these volumes are an indispensable cornerstone of every home library.
What makes a war just? What makes a specific weapon, strategy, or decision in war just? The tradition of Just War Theory has provided answers to these questions since at least 400 AD, yet each shift in the weapons and strategies of war poses significant challenges to Just War Theory. This book assembles renowned scholars from around the world to reflect on the most pressing problems and questions in Just War Theory, and engages with all three stages of war: jus ad bellum, jus in bello, and jus post bellum. Providing detailed historical context as well as addressing modern controversies and topics including drones, Islamic jihad, and humanitarian intervention, the volume will be highly important for students and scholars of the philosophy of war as well as for others interested in contemporary global military and ethical issues.
In contemporary discussions of political and social thought theories of personalism remain largely absent. Personalism emerged, after World War I, onto the French cosmopolitan intellectual scene as a theory that puts the concept of the person at the center of politics. Responding, in part, to the chaos of an emergent modernity inaugurated by the First World War, personalism, with the exception of the theories of Pope John Paul II, has faded from secular discussions of politics. Its spirit and intellectual rigor, however, are recaptured with the publication of A Theory of Personalism. This distinctive and contemporary departure from hackneyed discussions of political theory introduces readers to a contemporary personalism rooted in the work of Bartolome de Las Casas and emerging again in the contributions of Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin as well as the liberation theology of Gustavo Guiterrez and Jon Sobrino. Thomas Rourke and Rosita A. Chazarreta Rourke introduce readers to new sources of personalism by investigating and revising the intellectual history of this theory and its development. Anyone interested in the relationship between religion and politics, poverty and political economy, and the cultural effects of globalization should read this book.
'In this thought-provoking book, Massimo Pigliucci shares his journey of discovering the power of Stoic practices in a philosophical dialogue with one of Stoicism's greatest teachers.' RYAN HOLIDAY, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE OBSTACLE IS THE WAY AND THE DAILY STOIC Who am I? What am I doing? How ought I to live my life? Stoicism teaches us to acknowledge our emotions, reflect on what causes them and redirect them for our own good. Whenever we worry about how to be happy, we are worrying about how to lead a good life. No goal seems more elusive. Massimo Pigliucci explores this remarkable philosophy and how its wisdom can be applied to our everyday lives in the quest for meaning. He shows how stoicism teaches us the importance of a person's character, integrity and compassion. Whoever we are, we can take something away from stoicism and, in How to be a Stoic, with its practical tips and exercises, meditations and mindfulness, he also explains how relevant it is to every part of our modern lives.
In 1962, the eminent statesman Dean Acheson enunciated a principle that has dominated global politics ever since: that no legal issue arises when the United States responds to a challenge to its 'power, position, and prestige'. In short, whatever the world may think, US actions are legitimate because they say so. Spanning the impact of Edward Snowden's whistleblowing and Palestinian-Israeli relations to deeper reflections on political philosophy and the importance of a commons to democracy, Because We Say So takes American imperialism head on.
With notes and an apparatus, a new translation of Hegel's essay "Machiavelli's "The Prince" and Italy," and the first pages of "The Prince" in the original Italian
At the end of an industrious political career in conflict-riven Italy, the Florentine diplomat Niccolo Machiavelli composed his masterpiece "The Prince," a classic study of power and politics, and a manual of ruthlessness for any ambitious ruler. Controversial in his own time, the work made Machiavelli's name a byword for manipulative scheming, and had an impact on such major figures as Napoleon and Frederick the Great. It contains principles as true today as when they were first written almost five centuries ago.
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