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In his philosophical reflections on the art of lingering, acclaimed cultural theorist Byung-Chul Han argues that the value we attach today to the vita activa is producing a crisis in our sense of time. Our attachment to the vita activa creates an imperative to work which degrades the human being into a labouring animal, an animal laborans. At the same time, the hyperactivity which characterizes our daily routines robs human beings of the capacity to linger and the faculty of contemplation. It therefore becomes impossible to experience time as fulfilling. Drawing on a range of thinkers including Heidegger, Nietzsche and Arendt, Han argues that we can overcome this temporal crisis only by revitalizing the vita contemplativa and relearning the art of lingering. For what distinguishes humans from other animals is the capacity for reflection and contemplation, and when life regains this capacity, this art of lingering, it gains in time and space, in duration and vastness. With his hallmark ability to bring the resources of philosophy and cultural theory to bear on the conditions of modern life, Byung-Chul Han's meditation on time will interest a wide readership in cultural theory, philosophy and beyond.
Target success in AQA A-level Philosophy with this proven formula for effective, structured revision; key content coverage is combined with exam-style tasks and practical tips to create a revision guide that you can rely on to review, strengthen and test students' knowledge. With My Revision Notes, every student can: - Plan and manage a successful revision programme using the topic-by-topic planner - Consolidate subject knowledge by working through clear and focused content coverage - Test understanding and identify areas for improvement with regular 'Now Test Yourself' tasks and answers - Improve exam technique through practice questions, expert tips and examples of typical mistakes to avoid
There is no alternative to postmetaphysical thinking : this statement, made by Jurgen Habermas in 1988, has lost none of its relevance. Postmetaphysical thinking is, in the first place, the historical answer to the crisis of metaphysics following Hegel, when the central metaphysical figures of thought began to totter under the pressure exerted by social developments and by developments within science. As a result, philosophy s epistemological privilege was shaken to its core, its basic concepts were de-transcendentalized, and the primacy of theory over practice was opened to question. For good reasons, philosophy lost its extraordinary status , but as a result it also courted new problems. In Postmetaphysical Thinking II, the sequel to the 1988 volume that bears the same title (English translation, Polity 1992), Habermas addresses some of these problems. The first section of the book deals with the shift in perspective from metaphysical worldviews to the lifeworld, the unarticulated meanings and assumptions that accompany everyday thought and action in the mode of background knowledge . Habermas analyses the lifeworld as a space of reasons even where language is not (yet) involved, such as, for example, in gestural communication and rituals. In the second section, the uneasy relationship between religion and postmetaphysical thinking takes centre stage. Habermas picks up where he left off in 1988, when he made the far-sighted observation that philosophy, even in its postmetaphysical form, will be able neither to replace nor to repress religion , and explores philosophy s new-found interest in religion, among other topics. The final section includes essays on the role of religion in the political context of a post-secular, liberal society. This volume will be of great interest to students and scholars in philosophy, religion and the social sciences and humanities generally.
From the world-renowned physicist and bestselling author of The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos, a captivating exploration of deep time and humanity's search for purpose In both time and space, the cosmos is astoundingly vast, and yet is governed by simple, elegant, universal mathematical laws. On this cosmic timeline, our human era is spectacular but fleeting. Someday, we know, we will all die. And, we know, so too will the universe itself. Until the End of Time is Brian Greene's breathtaking new exploration of the cosmos and our quest to understand it. Greene takes us on a journey across time, from our most refined understanding of the universe's beginning, to the closest science can take us to the very end. He explores how life and mind emerged from the initial chaos, and how our minds, in coming to understand their own impermanence, seek in different ways to give meaning to experience: in story, myth, religion, creative expression, science, the quest for truth, and our longing for the timeless, or eternal. Through a series of nested stories that explain distinct but interwoven layers of reality-from the quantum mechanics to consciousness to black holes-Greene provides us with a clearer sense of how we came to be, a finer picture of where we are now, and a firmer understanding of where we are headed. Yet all this understanding, which arose with the emergence of life, will dissolve with its conclusion. Which leaves us with one realization: during our brief moment in the sun, we are tasked with the charge of finding our own meaning. Let us embark.
The organizations and institutions that, in a traditional civilization and society, would have allowed an individual to realize himself completely, to defend the principal values he recognizes as his own, and to structure his life in a clear and unambiguous way, no longer exist in the contemporary world. Everything that has come to predominate in the modern world is the direct antithesis of the world of Tradition, in which a society is ruled by principles that transcend the merely human and transitory. Ride the Tigerpresents an implacable criticism of the idols, structures, theories, and illusions of our dissolute age examined in the light of the inner teachings of indestructible Tradition. Evola identifies the type of human capable of "riding the tiger," who may transform destructive processes into inner liberation. He offers hope for those who wish to reembrace Tradition.
"Identity and Difference" consists of English translations and the original German versions of two little-known lectures given in 1957 by Martin Heidegger: "The Principle of Identity" and "The Onto-theo-logical Constitution of Metaphysics," both discussions of the problem of identity in the history of metaphysics. A helpful introduction and a list of references are also provided by translator Joan Stambaugh.
A sophisticated and original introduction to the philosophy of quantum mechanics from one of the world's leading philosophers of physics In this book, Tim Maudlin, one of the world's leading philosophers of physics, offers a sophisticated, original introduction to the philosophy of quantum mechanics. The briefest, clearest, and most refined account of his influential approach to the subject, the book will be invaluable to all students of philosophy and physics. Quantum mechanics holds a unique place in the history of physics. It has produced the most accurate predictions of any scientific theory, but, more astonishing, there has never been any agreement about what the theory implies about physical reality. Maudlin argues that the very term "quantum theory" is a misnomer. A proper physical theory should clearly describe what is there and what it does-yet standard textbooks present quantum mechanics as a predictive recipe in search of a physical theory. In contrast, Maudlin explores three proper theories that recover the quantum predictions: the indeterministic wavefunction collapse theory of Ghirardi, Rimini, and Weber; the deterministic particle theory of deBroglie and Bohm; and the conceptually challenging Many Worlds theory of Everett. Each offers a radically different proposal for the nature of physical reality, but Maudlin shows that none of them are what they are generally taken to be.
In times of crisis, we all ask, "What's the point?". It turns out the answer to the question is hidden in plain sight and is connected to the fundamental purpose and very essence of our existence. There is only one point in living but it may not be what you think. "Paul Koberg doesn't shy away from the tough questions. His answers to 'what is ego?', what is evil?' and 'is life simply the absence of death?' will fascinate and engage you. In today's times of crisis, Paul Koberg's book is a gift. Recommended for readers who appreciate a deep look into the deep questions of life." Reviewed by Stacie Haas for Readers' Favorite - 5 Stars
Ontological arguments are one of the main classes of arguments for the existence of God, and have been influential from the Middle Ages right up until the present time. This accessible volume offers a comprehensive survey and assessment of them, starting with a sequence of chapters charting their history - from Anselm and Aquinas, via Descartes, Leibniz, Kant and Hegel, to Goedel, Plantinga, Lewis and Tichy. This is followed by chapters on the most important topics to have emerged in the discussion of ontological arguments: the relationship between conceivability and possibility, the charge that ontological arguments beg the question, and the nature of existence. The volume as a whole shows clearly how these arguments emerged and developed, how we should think about them, and why they remain important today.
The Metaphysics of Morals is Kant's final major work in moral philosophy. In it, he presents the basic concepts and principles of right and virtue and the system of duties of human beings as such. The work comprises two parts: the Doctrine of Right concerns outer freedom and the rights of human beings against one another; the Doctrine of Virtue concerns inner freedom and the ethical duties of human beings to themselves and others. Mary Gregor's translation, lightly revised for this edition, is the only complete translation of the entire text, and includes extensive annotation on Kant's difficult and sometimes unfamiliar vocabulary. This edition includes numerous new footnotes, some of which address controversial aspects of Gregor's translation or offer alternatives. Lara Denis's introduction sets the work in context, explains its structure and themes, and introduces important interpretive debates. The volume also provides thorough guidance on further reading including online resources.
Our economy is neither overwhelmingly capitalist, as Marxist political economists argue, nor overwhelmingly a market economy, as mainstream economists assume. Both approaches ignore vast swathes of the economy, including the gift, collaborative and hybrid forms that coexist with more conventional capitalism in the new digital economy. Drawing on economic sociology, anthropology of the gift and heterodox economics, this book proposes a groundbreaking framework for analysing diverse economic systems: a political economy of practices. The framework is used to analyse Apple, Wikipedia, Google, YouTube and Facebook, showing how different complexes of appropriative practices bring about radically different economic outcomes. Innovative and topical, Profit and Gift in the Digital Economy focusses on an area of rapid social change while developing a theoretically and politically radical framework that will be of continuing long-term relevance. It will appeal to students, activists and academics in the social sciences.
Exam board: AQA Level: A-level Subject: Philosophy First teaching: September 2017 First exams: Summer 2019 Enable students to critically engage with the new 2017 AQA specifications with this accessible Student Book that covers the key concepts and philosophical arguments, offers stimulating activities, provides a key text anthology and assessment guidance. - Cements understanding of complex philosophical concepts and encourages students to view ideas from different approaches through clear and detailed coverage of key topics. - Strengthens students' analytical skills to develop their own philosophical interpretations using a variety of inventive and thought-provoking practical activities and tasks. - Encourages students to engage with the anthology texts, with references throughout and relevant extracts provided at the back of the book for ease of teaching and studying. - Stretches students' conceptual analysis with extension material. - Helps AS and A-level students to approach their exams with confidence with assessment guidance and support tailored to the AQA requirements.
Adorno's lectures on ontology and dialectics from 1960-61 comprise his most sustained and systematic analysis of Heidegger's philosophy. They also represent a continuation of a project that he shared with Walter Benjamin - 'to demolish Heidegger'. Following the publication of the latter's magnum opus Being and Time, and long before his notorious endorsement of Nazism at Freiburg University, both Adorno and Benjamin had already rejected Heidegger's fundamental ontology. After his return to Germany from his exile in the United States, Adorno became Heidegger's principal intellectual adversary, engaging more intensively with his work than with that of any other contemporary philosopher. Adorno regarded Heidegger as an extremely limited thinker and for that reason all the more dangerous. In these lectures, he highlights Heidegger's increasing fixation with the concept of ontology to show that the doctrine of being can only truly be understood through a process of dialectical thinking. Rather than exploiting overt political denunciation, Adorno deftly highlights the connections between Heidegger's philosophy and his political views and, in doing so, offers an alternative plea for enlightenment and rationality. These seminal lectures, in which Adorno dissects the thought of one of the most influential twentieth-century philosophers, will appeal to students and scholars in philosophy and critical theory and throughout the humanities and social sciences.
Despite the overuse of the word in movies, political speeches, and news reports, "evil" is generally seen as either flagrant rhetoric or else an outdated concept: a medieval holdover with no bearing on our complex everyday reality. In "A Philosophy of Evil," however, acclaimed philosopher Lars Svendsen argues that evil remains a concrete moral problem: that we're all its victims, and all guilty of committing evil acts. "It's normal to be evil," he writes -- the problem is, we have lost the vocabulary to talk about it.
Taking up this problem -- how do we speak about evil? -- "A Philosophy of Evil" treats evil as an ordinary aspect of contemporary life, with implications that are moral, practical, and above all, political. Because, as Svendsen says, "Evil should neither be justified nor explained away -- evil must be fought."
What objects exist in the social world and how should we understand them? Is a specific Pizza Hut restaurant as real as the employees, tables, napkins and pizzas of which it is composed, and as real as the Pizza Hut corporation with its headquarters in Wichita, the United States, the planet Earth and the social and economic impact of the restaurant on the lives of its employees and customers? In this book the founder of object-oriented philosophy develops his approach in order to shed light on the nature and status of objects in social life. While it is often assumed that an interest in objects amounts to a form of materialism, Harman rejects this view and develops instead an immaterialist method. By examining the work of leading contemporary thinkers such as Bruno Latour and Levi Bryant, he develops a forceful critique of actor-network theory . In an extended discussion of Leibniz s famous example of the Dutch East India Company, Harman argues that this company qualifies for objecthood neither through what it is or what it does , but through its irreducibility to either of these forms. The phases of its life, argues Harman, are not demarcated primarily by dramatic incidents but by moments of symbiosis, a term he draws from the biologist Lynn Margulis. This book provides a key counterpoint to the now ubiquitous social theories of constant change, holistic networks, performative identities, and the construction of things by human practice. It will appeal to anyone interested in cutting-edge debates in philosophy and social and cultural theory.
Few philosophers held greater fascination for Jacques Derrida than Martin Heidegger, and in this book we get an extended look at Derrida's first real encounters with him. Delivered over nine sessions in 1964 and 1965 at the cole Normale Sup rieure, these lectures offer a glimpse of the young Derrida first coming to terms with the German philosopher and his magnum opus, Being and Time. They provide not only crucial insight into the gestation of some of Derrida's primary conceptual concerns--indeed, it is here that he first uses, with some hesitation, the word "deconstruction"--but an analysis of Being and Time that is of extraordinary value to readers of Heidegger or anyone interested in modern philosophy. Derrida performs an almost surgical reading of the notoriously difficult text, marrying pedagogical clarity with patient rigor and acting as a lucid guide through the thickets of Heidegger's prose. At this time in intellectual history, Heidegger was still somewhat unfamiliar to French readers, and Being and Time had only been partially translated into French. Here Derrida mostly uses his own translations, giving his own reading of Heidegger that directly challenges the French existential reception initiated earlier by Sartre. He focuses especially on Heidegger's Destruktion (which Derrida would translate both into "solicitation" and "deconstruction") of the history of ontology, and indeed of ontology as such, concentrating on passages that call for a rethinking of the place of history in the question of being, and developing a radical account of the place of metaphoricity in Heidegger's thinking. This is a rare window onto Derrida's formative years, and in it we can already see the philosopher we've come to recognize--one characterized by a bravura of exegesis and an inventiveness of thought that are particularly and singularly his.
On Philosophy and Philosophers is a volume of unpublished philosophical papers by Richard Rorty, a central figure in late-twentieth-century intellectual debates and a primary force behind the resurgence of American pragmatism. The first collection of new work to appear since his death in 2007, these previously unseen papers advance novel views on metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, philosophical semantics and the social role of philosophy, critically engaging canonical and contemporary figures from Plato and Kant to Kripke and Brandom. This book's diverse offerings, which include technical essays written for specialists and popular lectures, refine our understanding of Rorty's perspective and demonstrate the ongoing relevance of the iconoclastic American philosopher's ground-breaking thought. An introduction by the editors highlights the papers' original insights and contributions to contemporary debates.
Combining physics and philosophy, this is a uniquely interdisciplinary examination of quantum information science which provides an up-to-date examination of developments in this field. The authors provide coherent definitions and theories of information, taking clearly defined approaches to considering information in connection with quantum mechanics, probability, and correlations. Concepts addressed include entanglement of quantum states, the relation of quantum correlations to quantum information, and the meaning of the informational approach for the foundations of quantum mechanics. Furthermore, the mathematical concept of information in the communicational context, and the notion of pragmatic information are considered. Suitable as both a discussion of the conceptual and philosophical problems of this field and a comprehensive stand-alone introduction, this book will benefit both experienced and new researchers in quantum information and the philosophy of physics.
The Seventeenth-Century philosopher, scientist, poet, playwright, and novelist Margaret Cavendish went to battle with the great thinkers of her time, and arguably got the better of them in many cases. She took a creative and systematic stand on the major questions of philosophy of mind, epistemology, metaphysics, and political philosophy. She argued that human beings and all other members of the created universe are purely material creatures, and she held that there are many other ways in which creatures are alike as well: for example, human beings, non-human animals, spiders, cells, and all other beings exhibit skill, wisdom, and activity, and so the universe of matter is not the largely dead and unimpressive region that most of her contemporaries thought it to be. Creatures instead are sophisticated and display a wide spectrum of intelligent activity, ranging from the highly conscious mentality that Descartes posited to be part and parcel of human thought, to embodied forms of cognition that is more common in non-human creatures but that guide a significant portion of human behavior as well. Cavendish then used her fictional work to further illustrate her views and arguments, and also to craft alternative fictional worlds in which the climate for women was very different than on Seventeenth-Century earth - a climate in which women could be taken seriously in the role of philosopher, writer, scientist, military general, and other roles. This is the first volume to provide a cross-section of Cavendish's writings, views and arguments, along with introductory material. It excerpts the key portions of all her texts including annotated notes highlighting the interconnections between them. Including a general introduction by Cunning, the book will allow students to work toward a systematic picture of Cavendish's metaphysics, epistemology, and political philosophy (and including some of her non-philosophical work as well) and to see her in dialogue with philosophers who are part of the traditional canon.
What are humans? What makes us who we are? Many think that we are just complicated machines, or animals that are different from machines only by being conscious. In Are We Bodies or Souls? Richard Swinburne comes to the defence of the soul and presents new philosophical arguments that are supported by modern neuroscience. When scientific advances enable neuroscientists to transplant a part of brain into a new body, he reasons, no matter how much we can find out about their brain activity or conscious experiences we will never know whether the resulting person is the same as before or somebody entirely new. Swinburne thus argues that we are immaterial souls sustained in existence by our brains. Sensations, thoughts, and intentions are conscious events in our souls that cause events in our brains. While scientists might discover some of the laws of nature that determine conscious events and brain events, each person's soul is an individual thing and this is what ultimately makes us who we are.
'What is real?' has been one of the key questions of philosophy since its beginning in antiquity. It is a question that, due to such films as The Matrix, has also made its way into popular culture. But it is not just a question philosophers ask. It is also asked by scientists when they investigate whether the fundamental constituents of matter are actually 'out there' or just a mere abstraction from a successful theory. Cognitive scientists ask it when trying to find out which set of the bewildering array of data processed by our brain could constitute the basis for such supposedly fundamental entities like the free agent or the self. This Very Short Introduction discusses what reality is by looking at a variety of arguments, theories and thought-experiments from philosophy, physics, and cognitive science. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Meaning Diminished examines the complex relationship between semantic analysis and metaphysical inquiry. Kenneth A. Taylor argues that we should expect linguistic and conceptual analysis of natural language to yield far less metaphysical insight into what there is - and the nature of what there is - than many philosophers have imagined. Taking a strong stand against the so-called linguistic turn in philosophy, Taylor contends that philosophers as diverse as Kant, with his Transcendental Idealism, Frege, with his aspirational Platonism, Carnap with his distinction between internal and external questions, and Strawson, with his descriptive metaphysics, have placed too much confidence in the ability of linguistic and conceptual analysis to achieve deep insight into matters of ultimate metaphysics. He urges philosophers who seek such insight to turn away from the interrogation of language and concepts and back to the more direct interrogation of reality itself. In doing so, he maps out the way forward toward a metaphysically modest semantics, in which semantics carries less weighty metaphysical burdens, and toward a revisionary and naturalistic metaphysics, untethered to the a priori analysis of ordinary language.
Georges Dicker here provides a commentary on John Locke's masterwork, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding-the foundational work of classical Empiricism. Dicker's commentary is an accessible guide for students who are reading Locke for the first time; a useful research tool for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students; and a contribution to Locke scholarship for professional scholars. It is designed to be read alongside the Essay, but does not presuppose familiarity with it. Dicker expounds and critically discusses the main theses and arguments of each of the Essay's four books, on the innatism that Locke opposes, the origin and classification of ideas, language and meaning, and knowledge, respectively. He analyses Locke's influential explorations of related topics, including primary and secondary qualities, substance, identity, personal identity, free will, nominal and real essences, perception, and external-world skepticism, among others. Written in an analytical style that strives for clarity, the book offers careful textual analyses as well as step-by-step reconstructions of Locke's arguments, and it references and engages with relevant work of other major philosophers and Locke commentators.
First published in 1985, D. M. Armstrong's original work on what laws of nature are has continued to be influential in the areas of metaphysics and philosophy of science. Presenting a definitive attack on the sceptical Humean view, that laws are no more than a regularity of coincidence between stances of properties, Armstrong establishes his own theory and defends it concisely and systematically against objections. Presented in a fresh twenty-first-century series livery, and including a specially commissioned preface written by Marc Lange, illuminating its continuing importance and relevance to philosophical enquiry, this influential work is available for a new generation of readers.
[T]he present groundwork is nothing more than the identification and vindication of the supreme principle of morality.' In the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (1785), Immanuel Kant makes clear his two central intentions: first, to uncover the principle that underpins morality, and secondly to defend its applicability to human beings. The result is one of the most significant texts in the history of ethics, and a masterpiece of Enlightenment thinking. Kant argues that moral law tells us to act only in ways that others could also act, thereby treating them as ends in themselves and not merely as means. Kant contends that despite apparent threats to our freedom from science, and to ethics from our self-interest, we can nonetheless take ourselves to be free rational agents, who as such have a motivation to act on this moral law, and thus the ability to act as moral beings. One of the most studied works of moral philosophy, this new translation by Robert Stern, Joe Saunders, and Christopher Bennett illuminates this famous text for modern readers.
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