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This is a close and meditative consideration of a deeply intellectual friendship shared between two extraordinary thinkers, Jewish philosopher Martin Buber and scholar Maurice Friedman.
Here at last is a coherent, unintimidating introduction to the
challenging and fascinating landscape of Western philosophy.
Written expressly for "anyone who believes there are big questions
out there, but does not know how to
What sort of things happen when space crystallises? Why were primordial sages fascinated with five simple forms? Does the three-dimensional jigsaw fit simply together? If so how? Find out about one of the languages spoken throughout the universe! An understanding of the Platonic Solids, and their close cousins, the Archimedean Solids has long been required of students seeking entry into ancient wizdom schools. This book, illustrated by the author, is a beautiful introduction to three-dimensional mathemagical space. WOODEN BOOKS are small but packed with information. "Fascinating" FINANCIAL TIMES. "Beautiful" LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS. "Rich and Artful" THE LANCET. "Genuinely mind-expanding" FORTEAN TIMES. "Excellent" NEW SCIENTIST. "Stunning" NEW YORK TIMES. Small books, big ideas.
Stoicism is two things: a long past philosophical school of ancient Greece and Rome, and an enduring philosophical movement that still inspires people in the twenty-first century to re-think and re-organize their lives in order to achieve personal satisfaction. What is the connection between them? This Very Short Introduction provides an introductory account of Stoic philosophy, and tells the story of how ancient Stoicism survived and evolved into the movement we see today. Exploring the roots of the school in the philosophy of fourth century BCE Greece, Brad Inwood examines its basic history and doctrines and its relationship to the thought of Plato, Aristotle and his successors, and the Epicureans. Sketching the history of the school's reception in the western tradition, he argues that, despite the differences between ancient and contemporary Stoics, there is a common core of philosophical insight that unites the modern version not just to Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius but also to the school's original founders, Zeno, Cleanthes, and Chrysippus. Inwood concludes by considering the place of Stoicism in modern life. 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.
This unique text is designed as a guide to the most important and influential works of ancient Greek philosophy. The book begins with mythology and the pre-Socratics, then proceeds to examine a number of the most important works from Plato and Aristotle, including Euthyphro, Meno, Republic the Categories, the Physics and the Nicomachean Ethics. Student readers who might otherwise struggle with the primary texts will find an exceedingly helpful guide in Stumpf's clear explanations and analyses. Maps, diagrams and images are provided to aid comprehension.
The Hegelian-Marxist idea of alienation fell out of favor after the postmetaphysical rejection of humanism and essentialist views of human nature. In this book Rahel Jaeggi draws on the Hegelian philosophical tradition, phenomenological analyses grounded in modern conceptions of agency, and recent work in the analytical tradition to reconceive alienation as the absence of a meaningful relationship to oneself and others, which manifests in feelings of helplessness and the despondent acceptance of ossified social roles and expectations. A revived approach to alienation helps critical social theory engage with phenomena such as meaninglessness, isolation, and indifference. By severing alienation's link to a problematic conception of human essence while retaining its social-philosophical content, Jaeggi provides resources for a renewed critique of social pathologies, a much-neglected concern in contemporary liberal political philosophy. Her work revisits the arguments of Rousseau, Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger, placing them in dialogue with Thomas Nagel, Bernard Williams, and Charles Taylor.
During the long eighteenth century the moral and socio-political dimensions of family life and gender were hotly debated by intellectuals across Europe. John Millar, a Scottish law professor and philosopher, was a pioneer in making gendered and familial practice a critical parameter of cultural difference. His work was widely disseminated at home and abroad, translated into French and German and closely read by philosophers such as Denis Diderot and Johann Gottfried Herder. Taking Millar's writings as his basis, Nicholas B. Miller explores the role of the family in Scottish Enlightenment political thought and traces its wider resonances across the Enlightenment world. John Millar's organisation of cultural, gendered and social difference into a progressive narrative of authority relations provided the first extended world history of the family. Over five chapters that address the historical and comparative models developed by the thinker, Nicholas B. Miller examines contemporary responses and Enlightenment-era debates on polygamy, matriarchy, the Amazon legend, changes in national character and the possible futures of the family in commercial society. He traces how Enlightenment thinkers developed new standards of evidence and crafted new understandings of historical time in order to tackle the global diversity of family life and gender practice. By reconstituting these theories and discussions, Nicholas B. Miller uncovers hitherto unexplored aspects of the Scottish contribution to European debates on the role of the family in history, society and politics.
Alien and Philosophy: I Infest, Therefore I Am presents a philosophical exploration of the world of Alien, the simultaneously horrifying and thought-provoking sci-fi horror masterpiece, and the film franchise it spawned. * The first book dedicated to exploring the philosophy raised by one of the most successful and influential sci-fi franchises of modern times * Features contributions from an acclaimed team of scholars of philosophy and pop culture, led by highly experienced volume editors * Explores a huge range of topics that include the philosophy of fear, Just Wars, bio-weaponry, feminism and matriarchs, perfect killers, contagion, violation, employee rights and Artificial Intelligence * Includes coverage of H.R. Giger s aesthetics, the literary influences of H.P. Lovecraft, sci-fi and the legacy of Vietnam, and much more!
Can nature make us happy? How can we know anything? What is justice? Why is there evil in the world? What is the source of truth? Is it possible for God not to exist? Can we really believe what we see? There are questions that have intrigued the world's great thinkers over the ages, which still touch a cord in all of us today. They are questions that can teach us about the way we live, work, relate to each other and see the world. Here, one of the world's greatest living philosophers, Leszek Kolakowski, explores the essence of these ideas, introducing figures from Socrates to Thomas Aquinas, Descartes to Nietzsche and concentrating on one single important philosophical question from each of them. Whether reflecting on good and evil, truth and beauty, faith and the soul, or free will and consciousness, Kolakowski shows that these timeless ideas remain at the very core of our existence.
In their search for truth, contemporary religious believers and modern scientific investigators hold many values in common. But in their approaches, they express two fundamentally different conceptions of how to understand and represent the world. Michael E. Hobart looks for the origin of this difference in the work of Renaissance thinkers who invented a revolutionary mathematical system-relational numeracy. By creating meaning through numbers and abstract symbols rather than words, relational numeracy allowed inquisitive minds to vault beyond the constraints of language and explore the natural world with a fresh interpretive vision. The Great Rift is the first book to examine the religion-science divide through the history of information technology. Hobart follows numeracy as it emerged from the practical counting systems of merchants, the abstract notations of musicians, the linear perspective of artists, and the calendars and clocks of astronomers. As the technology of the alphabet and of mere counting gave way to abstract symbols, the earlier "thing-mathematics" metamorphosed into the relational mathematics of modern scientific investigation. Using these new information symbols, Galileo and his contemporaries mathematized motion and matter, separating the demonstrations of science from the linguistic logic of religious narration. Hobart locates the great rift between science and religion not in ideological disagreement but in advances in mathematics and symbolic representation that opened new windows onto nature. In so doing, he connects the cognitive breakthroughs of the past with intellectual debates ongoing in the twenty-first century.
John Locke (1632-1704) has a good claim to the title of the greatest ever English philosopher, and was a founding father of both the empiricist tradition in philosophy and the liberal tradition in politics. This new book provides an accessible introduction to Locke's thought. Although its primary focus is on the Essay Concerning Human Understanding, it also discusses the Two Treatises on Government, the Essay on Toleration, and the Reasonableness of Christianity, and draws on materials from Locke's correspondence and notebooks to shed light on the contexts of these major works. Locke's arguments for his central claims are subjected to close scrutiny, and his replies to his main critics evaluated. A.J. Pyle takes as his guiding theme Locke's own maxim, that God has given humans enough knowledge for our needs. The philosopher who emerges from these pages is a strikingly modern figure, anti-metaphysical in his attitude both to science and to theology, anti-authoritarian in his politics, and cautiously optimistic about human progress. Locke is indeed one of the founding figures of the Enlightenment, but for Pyle the Lockean Enlightenment is a modest affair of slow and hesitant groping towards the light. As well as serving as an introduction to Locke for students, the book also helps to correct a number of significant errors and misunderstandings that have marred our understanding of Locke and will spark discussion and debate amongst scholars of his work.
Christianity is commonly held to have introduced an entirely new and better morality into the ancient world, a new morality that was decidedly universal, in contrast to the ethics of the philosophical schools which were only concerned with the intellectual few. Runar M. Thorsteinsson presents a challenge to this view by comparing Christian morality in first-century Rome with contemporary Stoic ethics in the city. Thorsteinsson introduces and discusses the moral teaching of Roman Stoicism; of Seneca, Musonius Rufus, and Epictetus. He then presents the moral teaching of Roman Christianity as it is represented in Paul's Letter to the Romans, the First Letter of Peter, and the First Letter of Clement. Having established the bases for his comparison, he examines the similarities and differences between Roman Stoicism and Roman Christianity in terms of morality. Five broad themes are used for the comparison, questions of Christian and Stoic views about: a particular morality or way of life as proper worship of the deity; certain individuals (like Jesus and Socrates) as paradigms for the proper way of life; the importance of mutual love and care; non-retaliation and 'love of enemies'; and the social dimension of ethics. This approach reveals a fundamental similarity between the moral teachings of Roman Christianity and Roman Stoicism. The most basic difference is found in the ethical scope of the two: While the latter teaches unqualified universal humanity, the former seems to condition the ethical scope in terms of religious adherence.
Jean Baudrillard meets Cookie Mueller in this gathering of French theory and new American fiction. Compiled in 2001 to commemorate the passing of an era, Hatred of Capitalism brings together highlights of Semiotext(e)'s most beloved and prescient works. Semiotext(e)'s three-decade history mirrors the history of American thought. Founded by French theorist and critic Sylvere Lotringer as a scholarly journal in 1974, Semiotext(e) quickly took on the mission of melding French theory with the American art world and punk underground. Its Foreign Agents, Native Agents, Active Agents and Double Agents imprints have brought together thinkers and writers as diverse as Gilles Deleuze, Assata Shakur, Bob Flanagan, Paul Virillio, Kate Millet, Jean Baudrillard, Michelle Tea, William S. Burroughs, Eileen Myles, Ulrike Meinhof, and Fanny Howe. In Hatred of Capitalism, editors Kraus and Lotringer bring these people together in the same volume for the first time.
Ever since it was first published in 1930, William Empson (TM)s Seven Types of Ambiguity has been perceived as a milestone in literary criticism "far from being an impediment to communication, ambiguity now seemed an index of poetic richness and expressive power. Little, however, has been written on the broader trajectory of Western thought about ambiguity before Empson; as a result, the nature of his innovation has been poorly understood. A History of Ambiguity remedies this omission. Starting with classical grammar and rhetoric, and moving on to moral theology, law, biblical exegesis, German philosophy, and literary criticism, Anthony Ossa-Richardson explores the many ways in which readers and theorists posited, denied, conceptualised, and argued over the existence of multiple meanings in texts between antiquity and the twentieth century. This process took on a variety of interconnected forms, from the Renaissance delight in the ~elegance (TM) of ambiguities in Horace, through the extraordinary Catholic claim that Scripture could contain multiple literal "and not just allegorical "senses, to the theory of dramatic irony developed in the nineteenth century, a theory intertwined with discoveries of the double meanings in Greek tragedy. Such narratives are not merely of antiquarian interest: rather, they provide an insight into the foundations of modern criticism, revealing deep resonances between acts of interpretation in disparate eras and contexts. A History of Ambiguity lays bare the long tradition of efforts to liberate language, and even a poet (TM)s intention, from the strictures of a single meaning.
In Leviathan, one of the greatest works of political philosophy of all time, English philosopher Thomas Hobbes created the idea of a social contract and set out to explicate a doctrine for the foundation of states and legitimate forms of government. In On Hobbes, Alan Ryan explains how Hobbes created the secular conception of the state and politics in one of the first truly modern works of political philosophy. Inverting Aristotle s view of politics, Hobbes argued that humans organize themselves into political communities not out of any sociable impulse to pursue the good life in common, but rather out of an unsociable fear of one another and for the sake of avoiding the greatest evil of all: death. Ryan explicates how modern notions of individual rights, sovereignty, representative government, and almost all liberal political theory find their foundation in the work of Hobbes.
Excerpted here are: Leviathan, The Elements of Law."
French thinkers have revolutionized European thought about knowledge, religion, politics, and society. Delivering a comprehensive history of thought in France from the Middle Ages to the present, this book follows themes and developments of thought across the centuries. It provides readers with studies of both systematic thinkers and those who operate less systematically, through essays or fragments, and places them all in their many contexts. Informed by up-to-date research, these accessible chapters are written by prominent experts in their fields who investigate key concepts in non-technical language. Chapters feature treatments of specific thinkers as individuals including Voltaire, Rousseau, Descartes and Derrida, but also more general movements and schools of thought from humanism to liberalism, via the Enlightenment, Romanticism, Marxism, and feminism. Furthermore, the influence of gender, race, empire and slavery are investigated to offer a broad and fulfilling account of French thought throughout the ages.
Begun in 1934, this final volume of Gurdjieff's trilogy, All and Everything, is a primary source for Gurdjieff's ideas, methods, and biography. Gurdjieff offers guidance to his "community of seekers," through a selection of talks given in 1930, autobiographical material crucial to understanding his ideas, and the incomplete essay "The Outer and Inner World of Man." Available for the first time in paperback, this is the ultimate piece of Gurdjieff's work that his numerous followers have been waiting for.
The essential anthology of writings by the world's leading Marxist thinker: this book presents a sequence of landmark works in David Harvey's intellectual journey over five decades. It shows how experiencing the riots, despair and injustice of 1970s Baltimore led him to seek an explanation of capitalist inequalities via Marx and to a sustained intellectual engagement that has made him the world's leading exponent of Marx's work. The book takes the reader through the development of his unique synthesis of Marxist method and geographical understanding that has allowed him to develop a series of powerful insights into the ways of the world, from the new mechanics of imperialism, crises in financial markets and the effectiveness of car strikers in Oxford, to the links between nature and change, why Sacre Coeur was built in Paris, and the meaning of the postmodern condition. David Harvey is renowned for originality, acumen and the transformative value of his insights. This book shows why.
Michael Onfray passionately defends the potential of hedonism to resolve the dislocations and disconnections of our melancholy age. In a sweeping survey of history's engagement with and rejection of the body, he exposes the sterile conventions that prevent us from realizing a more immediate, ethical, and embodied life. He then lays the groundwork for both a radical and constructive politics of the body that adds to debates over morality, equality, sexual relations, and social engagement, demonstrating how philosophy, and not just modern scientism, can contribute to a humanistic ethics. Onfray attacks Platonic idealism and its manifestation in Judaic, Christian, and Islamic belief. He warns of the lure of attachment to the purportedly eternal, immutable truths of idealism, which detracts from the immediacy of the world and our bodily existence. Insisting that philosophy is a practice that operates in a real, material space, Onfray enlists Epicurus and Democritus to undermine idealist and theological metaphysics; Nietzsche, Bentham, and Mill to dismantle idealist ethics; and Palante and Bourdieu to collapse crypto-fascist neoliberalism. In their place, he constructs a positive, hedonistic ethics that enlarges on the work of the New Atheists to promote a joyful approach to our lives in this, our only, world.
For more than two thousand years. Aristotle's "Art of Rhetoric" has shaped thought on the theory and practice of rhetoric, the art of persuasive speech. In three sections, Aristotle discusses what rhetoric is, as well as the three kinds of rhetoric (deliberative, judicial, and epideictic), the three rhetorical modes of persuasion, and the diction, style, and necessary parts of a successful speech. Throughout, Aristotle defends rhetoric as an art and a crucial tool for deliberative politics while also recognizing its capacity to be misused by unscrupulous politicians to mislead or illegitimately persuade others. Here Robert C. Bartlett offers a literal, yet easily readable, new translation of Aristotle's "Art of Rhetoric," one that takes into account important alternatives in the manuscript and is fully annotated to explain historical, literary, and other allusions. Bartlett's translation is also accompanied by an outline of the argument of each book; copious indexes, including subjects, proper names, and literary citations; a glossary of key terms; and a substantial interpretive essay.
Widely regarded as the father of modern Western philosophy, Descartes sought to look beyond established ideas and create a thought system based on reason. In this profound work he meditates on doubt, the human soul, God, truth and the nature of existence itself. GREAT IDEAS. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
The extensive influence of Plotinus, the third-century founder of 'Neoplatonism', on intellectual thought from the Renaissance to the modern era has never been systematically explored. This collection of new essays fills the gap in the scholarship, thereby casting a spotlight on a current of intellectual history that is inherently significant. The essays take the form of a series of case-studies on major figures in the history of Neoplatonism, ranging from Marsilio Ficino to Henri-Louis Bergson and moving through Italian, French, English, and German philosophical traditions. They bring clarity to the terms 'Platonism' and 'Neoplatonism', which are frequently invoked by historians but often only partially understood, and provide fresh perspectives on well-known issues including the rise of 'mechanical philosophy' in the sixteenth century and the relation between philosophy and Romanticism in the nineteenth century. The volume will be important for readers interested in the history of thought in the early-modern and modern ages.
Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.;Voltaire's short, radical and iconoclastic essays on philosophical ideas from angels to idolatry, miracles to wickedness, make wry observations about human beliefs, and mock hypocrisy and extravagant piety - his call to his fellow men to act with reason and see through the lies they are fed by their leaders has provided inspiration to freethinkers everywhere.
If our bodies exist in space and time, subject to the laws of physics, our minds must be somehow hidden within them like strange immaterial 'Ghosts in the Machine'. Introspection may give us direct access to our own mental world, but we can never know much about other people's. Such views have been regarded as common sense since Descartes, argues Gilbert Ryle, but they are based on a disastrous 'category-mistake'. This epoch-making book cuts through confused thinking and forces us to re-examine many cherished ideas about knowledge, imagination, consciousness and the intellect. The result is a classic example of philosophy in action.
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