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Peter Adamson presents a lively introduction to six hundred years of European philosophy, from the beginning of the ninth century to the end of the fourteenth century. The medieval period is one of the richest in the history of philosophy, yet one of the least widely known. Adamson introduces us to some of the greatest thinkers of the Western intellectual tradition, including Peter Abelard, Anselm of Canterbury, Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, and Roger Bacon. And the medieval period was notable for the emergence of great women thinkers, including Hildegard of Bingen, Marguerite Porete, and Julian of Norwich. Original ideas and arguments were developed in every branch of philosophy during this period - not just philosophy of religion and theology, but metaphysics, philosophy of logic and language, moral and political theory, psychology, and the foundations of mathematics and natural science.
Scotland is famed for being a haunted nation, "whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry". Medieval Scots told stories of restless souls and walking corpses, but after the 1560 Reformation, witches and demons became the focal point for explorations of the supernatural. Ghosts re-emerged in scholarly discussion in the late seventeenth century, often in the guise of religious propagandists. As time went on, physicians increasingly reframed ghosts as the conjurations of disturbed minds, but gothic and romantic literature revelled in the emotive power of the returning dead; they were placed against a backdrop of ancient monasteries, castles and mouldering ruins, and authors such as Robert Burns, James Hogg and Walter Scott drew on the macabre to colour their depictions of Scottish life. Meanwhile, folk culture used apparitions to talk about morality and mortality. Focusing on the period from 1685 to 1830, this book provides the first academic study of the history of Scottish ghosts. Drawing on a wide range of sources, and examining beliefs across the social spectrum, it shows how ghost stories achieved a new prominence in a period that is more usually associated with the rise of rationalism. In exploring perceptions of ghosts, it also reflects on understandings of death and the afterlife; the construction of national identity; and the impact of the Enlightenment. MARTHA MCGILL completed her PhD at the University of Edinburgh.
In the 16th century, Erasmus was one of the most celebrated figures in Europe--a man of such vast learning that both royalty and universities petitioned for his services. In this very readable biography, a noted scholar traces Erasmus's youth, his years as an itinerant scholar, sojourns in England, France, Switzerland, and Italy, friendship with Sir Thomas More, and disputes with Martin Luther. The author also probes Erasmus's mind and character and discusses his writings, including In Praise of Folly and his great translation of the New Testament.
Gottlob Frege (1848-1925) is one of the founding figures of analytic philosophy, whose contributions to logic, philosophical semantics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mathematics set the agenda for future generations of theorists in these and related areas. Dale Jacquette's lively and incisive biography charts Frege's life from its beginnings in small-town north Germany, through his student days in Jena, to his development as an enduringly influential thinker. Along the way Jacquette considers Frege's ground-breaking Begriffschrift (1879), in which he formulated his 'ideal logical language', his magisterial Grundgesetze der Arithmetik (1893 and 1903), and his complex relation to thinkers including Husserl and especially Russell, whose Paradox had such drastic implications for Frege's logicism. Jacquette concludes with a thoughtful assessment of Frege's legacy. His rich and informative biography will appeal to all who are interested in Frege's philosophy.
Philosophers on Film from Bergson to Badiou is an anthology of writings on cinema and film by many of the major thinkers in continental philosophy. The book presents a selection of fundamental texts, each accompanied by an introduction and exposition by the editor, Christopher Kul-Want, that places the philosophers within a historical and intellectual framework of aesthetic and social thought. Encompassing a range of intellectual traditions--Marxism, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, poststructuralism, gender and affect theories--this critical reader features writings by Bergson, Benjamin, Adorno and Horkheimer, Merleau-Ponty, Baudrillard, Irigaray, Lyotard, Deleuze, Kristeva, Agamben, Zizek, Nancy, Cavell, Ranci re, Badiou, Stiegler, and Silverman. Many texts discuss cinema as a mass medium; others develop phenomenological analyses of film itself. They reflect upon the potential of film to challenge dominant forms of ideology. The anthology considers the ways in which cinema can disrupt the clich s of capitalist images and offer radical possibilities for creating new worlds of visceral experience outside the grasp of habitual forms of knowledge and subjectivity. Ranging from the early silent period of cinema through the classics of European and Hollywood cinema to the early twenty-first century, the films discussed offer a vivid sense of these philosophers' concepts and ideas, casting new light on the history of cinema. This reader is an essential and valuable resource for a wide range of courses in film and philosophy.
A landmark of Enlightenment thought, Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is accompanied here by two shorter works that shed light on it: A Letter from a Gentleman to His Friend in Edinburgh , Hume's response to those accusing him of atheism, of advocating extreme skepticism, and of undermining the foundations of morality; and his Abstract of A Treatise of Human Nature , which anticipates discussions developed in the Enquiry . In his concise Introduction, Eric Steinberg explores the conditions that led Hume to write the Enquiry and the work's important relationship to Book I of Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature .
Michel Foucault's The Archaeology of Knowledge was published in March 1969; Discipline and Punish in February 1975. Although only six years apart, the difference in tone is stark: the former is a methodological treatise, the latter a call to arms. What accounts for the radical shift in Foucault's approach? Foucault's time in Tunisia had been a political awakening for him, and he returned to a France much changed by the turmoil of 1968. He taught at the experimental University of Vincennes and then moved to a prestigious position at the College de France. He quickly became involved in activist work concerning prisons and health issues such as abortion rights, and in his seminars he built research teams to conduct collaborative work, often around issues related to his lectures and activism. Foucault: The Birth of Power makes use of a range of archival material, including newly available documents at the Bibliotheque nationale de France, to provide a detailed intellectual history of Foucault as writer, researcher, lecturer and activist. Through a careful reconstruction of Foucault's work and preoccupations, Elden shows that, while Discipline and Punish may be the major published output of this period, it rests on a much wider range of concerns and projects.
This study takes a fresh look at the influential French philosopher, arguing that Jaques Derrida cannot be fully understood without considering the Jewish dimension of his thought, and offering a re-appraisal of his work.
Nietzsche's The Gay Science (1882/1887) is a deeply personal book, yet also an important work of philosophy. Nietzsche conceives it as a philosophical autobiography, a record of his own self-transformation. In beautifully composed aphorisms he communicates his central experience of overcoming pessimism and recovering the capacity to affirm joyfully the tragedy of life. On the basis of his experiments in living, Nietzsche articulates his most famous philosophical concepts and images: the death of God, the exercise of eternal recurrence, and the ideal of self-fashioning. This book explains the ancient and modern philosophical contexts that shape Nietzsche's central concern with the affirmation of life. It surveys Nietzsche's philosophy as a whole, explains the pivotal place of The Gay Science as the source of his ideal of tragic joy, and shows how he revives an ancient conception of philosophy as a way of life and the philosopher as physician.
The story of the greatest of all philosophical friendships "and how it influenced modern thought David Hume is arguably the most important philosopher ever to have written in English, but during his lifetime he was attacked as oethe Great Infidel for his religious skepticism and deemed unfit to teach the young. In contrast, Adam Smith, now hailed as the founding father of capitalism, was a revered professor of moral philosophy. Remarkably, Hume and Smith were best friends, sharing what Dennis Rasmussen calls the greatest of all philosophical friendships. The Infidel and the Professor tells the fascinating story of the close relationship between these towering Enlightenment thinkers "and how it influenced their world-changing ideas. It shows that Hume contributed more to economics "and Smith contributed more to philosophy "than is generally recognized. The result is a compelling account of a great friendship that had great consequences for modern thought.
Worried that old age will inevitably mean losing your libido, your health, and possibly your marbles too? Well, Cicero has some good news for you. In How to Grow Old, the great Roman orator and statesman eloquently describes how you can make the second half of life the best part of all--and why you might discover that reading and gardening are actually far more pleasurable than sex ever was. Filled with timeless wisdom and practical guidance, Cicero's brief, charming classic--written in 44 BC and originally titled On Old Age--has delighted and inspired readers, from Saint Augustine to Thomas Jefferson, for more than two thousand years. Presented here in a lively new translation with an informative new introduction and the original Latin on facing pages, the book directly addresses the greatest fears of growing older and persuasively argues why these worries are greatly exaggerated--or altogether mistaken. Montaigne said Cicero's book "gives one an appetite for growing old." The American founding father John Adams read it repeatedly in his later years. And today its lessons are more relevant than ever in a world obsessed with the futile pursuit of youth.
Based on the new and much acclaimed two volume Cambridge edition of The Philosophical Writings of Descartes by Cottingham, Stoothoff, and Murdoch, this anthology of essential texts contains the most important and widely studied of those writings, including the Discourse and Meditations and substantial extracts from the Regulae, Optics, Principles, Objections and Replies, Comments on a Broadsheet, and Passions of the Soul.
Originally written only for his personal consumption, Marcus Aurelius's Meditations has become a key text in the understanding of Roman Stoic philosophy. This Penguin Classics edition is translated with notes by Martin Hammond and an introduction by Diskin Clay. Written in Greek by an intellectual Roman emperor without any intention of publication, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius offer a wide range of fascinating spiritual reflections and exercises developed as the leader struggled to understand himself and make sense of the universe. Spanning from doubt and despair to conviction and exaltation, they cover such diverse topics as the question of virtue, human rationality, the nature of the gods and Aurelius's own emotions. But while the Meditations were composed to provide personal consolation, in developing his beliefs Marcus also created one of the greatest of all works of philosophy: a series of wise and practical aphorisms that have been consulted and admired by statesmen, thinkers and ordinary readers for almost two thousand years. Martin Hammond's new translation fully expresses the intimacy and eloquence of the original work, with detailed notes elucidating the text. This edition also includes an introduction by Diskin Clay, exploring the nature and development of the Meditations, a chronology, further reading and full indexes. Marcus Aelius Aurelius Antoninus (121-80) was adopted by the emperor Antoninus Pius and succeeded him in 161, (as joint emperor with adoptive brother Lucius Verus). He ruled alone from 169, and spent much of his reign in putting down various rebellions, and was a persecutor of Christians. His fame rest, above all, on his Meditations, a series of reflections, strongly influenced by Epictetus, which represent a Stoic outlook on life. He was succeeded by his natural son, thus ending the period of the adoptive emperors. If you enjoyed Meditations, you might like Seneca's Letters from a Stoic, also available in Penguin Classics.
In this essential companion to the classic "The Inward Morning," sixteen distinguished contemporary philosophers celebrate Henry Bugbee's remarkable philosophy. The essays trace his explorations of thought, emotion, and the need for a sense of place attuned to wilderness. Representing a range of traditions, the thinkers included here touch on an equally broad spectrum of inquiry, including existential philosophy, religion, and environmental studies.
The essays progress from general introductions to considerations of more specific themes in Bugbee's philosophy to reflections on the man as teacher, mentor, and friend. Provocative in their own right, these contributions provide a commentary on "The Inward Morning." This volume thus becomes a valuable tool for the careful reader seeking to fully appreciate the vivid text that has inspired it while at the same time offering insight into contemporary issues in the philosophy of nature.
The Atlantis story remains one of the most haunting and enigmatic tales from antiquity, and one that still resonates very deeply with the modern imagination. But where did Atlantis come from, what was it like, and where did it go to? Atlantis was first introduced by the Greek philosopher Plato in two dialogues the Timaios and Kritias, written in the fourth century BC. As he philosophises about the origins of life, the Universe and humanity, the great thinker puts forward a stunning description of Atlantis, an island paradise with an ideal society. But the Atlanteans degenerate and become imperialist aggressors: they fight against antediluvian Athens, which heroically repels their mighty forces, before a cataclysmic natural disaster destroys the warring states. His tale of a great empire that sank beneath the waves has sparked thousands of years of debate over whether Atlantis really existed. But did Plato mean his tale as history, or just as a parable to help illustrate his philosophy? The book is broken down into two main sections plus a coda - firstly the translations/commentaries which will have the discussions of the specifics of the actual texts; secondly a look at the reception of the myth from then to now; thirdly a brief round-off bringing it all together.
In 399 BC Socrates was prosecuted, convicted, sentenced to death and executed. These events were the culmination of a long philosophical career, a career in which, without writing a word, he established himself as the figure whom all philosophers of the next few generations wished to follow. The Apologies (or Defence Speeches) by Plato and Xenophon are rival accounts of how, at his trial, Socrates defended himself and his philosophy. This edition brings together both Apologies within a single volume. The commentary answers literary, linguistic and philosophical questions in a way that is suitable for readers of all levels, helping teachers and students engage more closely with the Greek texts. The introduction examines Socrates himself, the literature generated by his trial, Athenian legal procedures, his guilt or innocence of the crimes for which he was executed, and the rivalry between Xenophon and Plato.
In such seminal works as "Madness and Civilization, Discipline and Punish," and "The History of Sexuality," the late philosopher Michel Foucault explored what our politics, our sexuality, our societal conventions, and our changing notions of truth told us about ourselves. In the process, Foucault garnered a reputation as one of the pre-eminent philosophers of the latter half of the twentieth century and has served as a primary influence on successive generations of philosophers and cultural critics.
With A Foucault Primer, Alec McHoul and Wendy Grace bring Foucault's work into focus for the uninitiated. Written in crisp and concise prose, A Foucault Primer explicates three central concepts of Foucauldian theory--discourse, power, and the subject--and suggests that Foucault's work has much yet to contribute to contemporary debate.
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.;Plato's retelling of the discourses between Socrates and his friends on such subjects as love and desire, truth and illusion, spiritual transcendence and the qualities of a good ruler, profoundly affected the ways in which we view human relationships, society and leadership and shaped the whole tradition of Western philosophy.
Lampooned in 406 B.C.E. in a blistering Aristophanic satire, Socrates was tried in 399 B.C.E. on a charge of corrupting the youth, convicted by a jury of about five hundred of his peers, and condemned to death. Glimpsed today through the extant writings of his contemporaries and near-contemporaries, he remains for us as compelling, enigmatic, and elusive a figure as Jesus or Buddha. Although present-day (like ancient Greek) opinion on the real Socrates diverges widely, six classic texts that any informed judgment of him must take into account appear together, for the first time, in this volume. Those of Plato and Xenophon appear in new, previously unpublished translations that combine accuracy, accessibility, and readability; that of Aristophanes' Clouds offers these same qualities in an unbowdlerized translation that captures brilliantly the bite of Aristophanes' wit. An Introduction to each text and judicious footnotes provide crucial background information and important cross-references.
The 10th anniversary edition of a witty classic about the philosophy of existentialism. It is also a genuine self-help book offering clear advice on how to live according to the principles of existentialism formulated by Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus, and the other great existentialist philosophers. An attack on contemporary excuse culture, the book urges us to face the hard existential truths of the human condition. By revealing that we are all inescapably free and responsible - 'condemned to be free,' as Sartre says - the book aims to empower the reader with a sharp sense that we are each the master of our own destiny. Cox makes fun of the reputation existentialism has for being gloomy and pessimistic, exposing it for what it really is - an honest, uplifting, and potentially life changing philosophy! This revised and updated edition includes more pointers on how to be a true existentialist, how to be an existentialist in a 'post-truth' world and reflections on the newly released diaries of Simone de Beauvoir.
Georges Canguilhem (1904-95) was an influential historian and philosopher of science, as renowned for his teaching as for his writings. He is best known for his book The Normal and the Pathological, originally his doctoral thesis in medicine, but he also wrote a thesis in philosophy on the concept of the reflex, supervised by Gaston Bachelard. He was the sponsor of Michel Foucault's doctoral thesis on madness. However, his work extends far beyond what is suggested by his association with these thinkers. Canguilhem also produced a series of important works on the natural sciences, including studies of evolution, psychology, vitalism and mechanism, experimentation, monstrosity and disease. Stuart Elden discusses the whole of this important thinker's complex work, including recently rediscovered texts and archival materials. Canguilhem always approached questions historically, examining how it was that we came to a significant moment in time, outlining tensions, detours and paths not taken. The first comprehensive study in English, this book is a crucial guide for those coming to terms with Canguilhem's important contributions, and will appeal to researchers and students from a range of fields.
Alain de Botton, best-selling author of How Proust can Change Your Life, has set six of the finest minds in the history of philosophy to work on the problems of everyday life. Here then are Socrates, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche on some of the things that bother us all; lack of money, the pain of love, inadequacy, anxiety, the fear of failure and the pressure to conform.
After kicking open the doors to twentieth-century philosophy in
"Thus Spake Zarathustra, " Friedrich Nietzsche refined his ideal of
the superman with the 1886 publication of "Beyond Good and Evil."
Conventional morality is a sign of slavery, Nietzsche maintains,
and the superman goes beyond good and evil in action, thought, and
creation. Nietzsche especially targets what he calls a "slave
morality" that fosters herdlike quiescence and stigmatizes the
"highest human types."
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