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Martin Buber's I and Thou argues that humans engage with the world in two ways. One is with the attitude of an `I' towards an `It', where the self stands apart from objects as items of experience or use. The other is with the attitude of an `I' towards a `Thou', where the self enters into real relation with other people, or nature, or God. Addressing modern technological society, Buber claims that while the `I-It' attitude is necessary for existence, human life finds its meaning in personal relationships of the `I-Thou' sort. I and Thou is Buber's masterpiece, the basis of his religious philosophy of dialogue, and among the most influential studies of the human condition in the 20th century.
In On Aristotle: Saving Politics from Philosophy, Alan Ryan examines Plato's most famous student and sharpest critic, whose writing has helped shape over two millennia of Western philosophy, science, and religion. The first thinker to posit that a society should be ruled by laws and not men, Aristotle was born in Stagira, Macedon, in 384 BCE. He would go on to join Plato's Academy and eventually become tutor to Alexander the Great. During his lifetime he would see the revival of Athens following its destruction in the Peloponnesian War, before the ultimate extinction of its radical form of democracy after the Macedonian conquest. Aristotle s strongly empirical cast of mind was brought to bear on a stunning range of subjects, from rhetoric to physics, from the history of political institutions and mathematics to zoology and botany. The resulting system dominated European thought from the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries.
In Nicomachean Ethics and Politics both excerpted here Aristotle attempted to delineate the ideal virtues of a both public and private life as well as critique the utopian antipolitics of his former teacher, Plato. For Aristotle, life in a polis was the natural state of man and provided the greatest opportunity for human beings to fulfill their potential. Unlike his scientific theories, which would eventually be displaced by Galileo, Newton, and Darwin, Aristotle s meticulous thinking on the nature of human affairs, ethics, politics, citizenship, and virtue in a civil society remains as vital today as it was in his own time."
The Consolation of Philosophy occupies a central place in the history of Western thought. Its author, Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (ca. 476-526 c.e.), was a Roman philosopher, scholar, and statesman who wrote The Consolation of Philosophy while in a remote prison awaiting his execution on dubious political charges. The text of this Norton Critical Edition is based on the translation by Richard H. Green. It is accompanied by the editor's preface and full-scale introduction to the work, the translator's preface, and explanatory annotations. "Contexts" reprints selections from the texts that Boethius drew upon for his own work. These include excerpts from two of Plato's Dialogues (Gorgias and Timaeus), from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, and from Augustine's On Free Choice of the Will. "Criticism" collects five wide-ranging essays by major scholars of Boethius. Henry Chadwick presents a general introduction to Boethius's life and works. Nelson Pike presents a clear and insightful interpretation of what Boethius means by writing that God is eternal (timeless). The final three essays-by William Bark, Edmund Reiss, and John Marenbon-all depart from traditional readings of The Consolation of Philosophy in significant ways and are sure to stimulate classroom discussion. A Chronology of Boethius's life and work and a Selected Bibliography are also included.
Among the most influential philosophers of modern times, Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) declared in this classic study that Greek tragedy achieved greatness through a fusion of elements of Apollonian restraint and control with Dionysian components of passion and the irrational. In Nietzsche's eyes, however, Greek tragedy had been destroyed by the rationalism and optimism of thinkers like Socrates. Nevertheless, he found in these ancient works the life-affirming concept that existence is still beautiful, however grim and depressing it may sometimes be. These and many other ideas are argued with passionate conviction in this challenging book, called by British classicist F. M. Cornford "a work of profound imaginative insight, which left the scholarship of a generation toiling in the rear."
Actuality and potentiality, substantial form and prime matter, efficient causality and teleology are among the fundamental concepts of Aristotelian philosophy of nature. Aristotles Revenge argues that these concepts are not only compatible with modern science, but are implicitly presupposed by modern science. Among the many topics covered are the metaphysical presuppositions of scientific method; the status of scientific realism; the metaphysics of space and time; the metaphysics of quantum mechanics; reductionism in chemistry and biology; the metaphysics of evolution; and neuroscientific reductionism. The book interacts heavily with the literature on these issues in contemporary analytic metaphysics and philosophy of science, so as to bring contemporary philosophy and science into dialogue with the Aristotelian tradition.
The Kierkegaardian account of becoming a Christian has come to be perceived in radically egocentric terms. Torrance challenges this perception by demonstrating that Kierkegaard was devoted to the idea of Christian conversion as a transformative process of becoming. This process is grounded in an active relationship initiated by the eternal God who has established kinship with us in time. Torrance focuses on 'becoming a Christian' as a particular theological theme that deserves further attention - how 'becoming a Christian' or Christian transformation should be construed in relation to God's initiating and active relationship to the person. Torrance's account of Kierkegaard on human transformation demonstrates in striking ways Kierkegaard's relevance to current issues in systematic theology and philosophical theology around the nature of Christian conversion, particularly how conversion might be re-conceptualized in strong divinely-relational and transformative rather than in progressive self-developmental terms. This study also considers how Kierkegaard was able to negotiate his emphasis on the God-relationship with his emphasis on the importance of individual reflection, decision and action in the Christian life.
'Do not act as if you had ten thousand years to live ... while you have life in you, while you still can, make yourself good.' The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) is a private notebook of philosophical reflections, written by a Roman emperor probably on military campaign in Germany. In short, highly charged comments, Marcus draws on Stoic philosophy to confront challenges that he felt acutely, but which are also shared by all human beings - the looming presence of death, making sense of one's social role and projects, the moral significance of the universe. They bring us closer to the personality of the emperor, who is often disillusioned with his own status and with human activities in general; they are both an historical document and a remarkable spiritual diary. This translation by Robin Hard brings out the eloquence and universality of Marcus' thoughts. The introduction and notes by Christopher Gill place the Meditations firmly in the ancient philosophical context. A selection of Marcus' correspondence with his tutor Fronto broadens the picture of the emperor as a person and thinker. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
This is the first English-language introduction to Peter Sloterdijk, the distinguished German philosopher and controversial public intellectual. Sloterdijk, in the tradition of Nietzsche and Heine, is an iconoclast who uses humour and biting critique to challenge many of modernity's sacred thinkers, from Kant to Heidegger, in the process radically reinterpreting the canon of Western philosophy. In this unique textbook, leading Sloterdijk expert Jean-Pierre Couture explains in accessible language Sloterdijk's exceptional contribution, breaking his thought down into five key approaches: psychopolitics, anthropotechnics, spherology, controversy, and therapeutics. Sloterdijk's frequent public controversies, with supporters of Habermas and the Frankfurt school in particular, are assessed and their significance for current philosophical debates explained. This fascinating book will be an essential companion for those interested in the hybrid aesthetics of thought situated at the crossroads of art and philosophy. Its up-to-date analyses of Sloterdijk's recently translated corpus will make it essential reading for all students and scholars of modern European thought.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) remains one of the most challenging, influential and controversial figures in the history of philosophy. The New Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche provides a comprehensive and up-to-date guide to his most difficult ideas, including the will to power and the affirmation of life, as well as his treatment of truth, science, art and history. An accessible introduction sets out the nineteenth-century background of Nietzsche's life and work. Individual chapters are devoted to significant texts such as The Birth of Tragedy, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil and On the Genealogy of Morality. Other chapters explore major influences such as Wagner and Schopenhauer, as well as examining Nietzsche's reception and investigating his enduring and often divisive legacy. The volume will be valuable for readers seeking to enhance their understanding of Nietzsche's philosophy and of his role in the development of Western thought.
Ramon Llull was a highly original medieval writer and thinker. Direct contact with Moslem culture during his early years in Majorca, soon after the Christian reconquest, furnished him with a vision of the "Other" quite unique among medieval European intellectuals. It was not, however, until his thirties that he abandoned the courtly life, immersed himself in theological and philosophical studies and began his sustained campaign of conversion. He travelled on many occasions throughout Europe in search of royal and papal support and undertook several missions to north Africa, in the course of one of which he was stoned and imprisoned. Despite his many travels he found time to compose more than 260 works, in Catalan and Latin, many of which related to his famous "Art," a method for religious discussion with scientific and logical applications that subsequently influenced Giordano Bruno and Liebniz. When he was almost eighty years old, Llull dictated the story of his life to a group of Carthusians in Paris, leaving us this fascinating autobiography. This edition includes both an English translation and the original Latin version. Published in association with Editorial Barcino. ANTHONY BONNER is a translator and scholar who has published extensively on Ramon Llull.
The definitive life of John Stuart Mill, one of the heroic giants of Victorian England Richard Reeves' sparkling new biography can be read as an attempt to do justice to this eminent thinker, and it succeeds triumphantly. He reveals Mill as a man of action--a philosopher and radical MP who profoundly shaped Victorian society and whose thinking continues to illuminate our own. The product of an extraordinary and unique education, Mill would become in time the most significant English thinker of the nineteenth century, the author of the landmark essay "On Liberty," and one of the most passionate reformers and advocates of his revolutionary, opinionated age. As a journalist he fired off weekly articles demanding Irish land reform as the people of that nation starved, as an MP he introduced the first vote on women's suffrage, fought to preserve free-speech, and opposed slavery--and, in his private life, for two decades pursued a love affair with another man's wife. To understand Mill and his contribution to his time and ours, Richard Reeves explores his life and work in tandem. The result is both a riveting and authoritative biography of a man raised by his father to promote happiness, whose life was spent in the pursuit of truth and liberty for all.
When it first appeared in 1979, "Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature" hit the philosophical world like a bombshell. In it, Richard Rorty argued that, beginning in the seventeenth century, philosophers developed an unhealthy obsession with the notion of representation: comparing the mind to a mirror that reflects reality. Rorty's book is a powerful critique of this imagery and the tradition of thought that it spawned.
Thirty years later, the book remains a must-read and stands as a classic of twentieth-century philosophy. Its influence on the academy, both within philosophy and across a wide array of disciplines, continues unabated. This edition includes new essays by philosopher Michael Williams and literary scholar David Bromwich, as well as Rorty's previously unpublished essay "The Philosopher as Expert."
This volume is the first in English to provide a full, systematic investigation into Aristotle's criticisms of earlier Greek theories of the soul from the perspective of his theory of scientific explanation. Some interpreters of the De Anima have seen Aristotle's criticisms of Presocratic, Platonic, and other views about the soul as unfair or dialectical, but Jason W. Carter argues that Aristotle's criticisms are in fact a justified attempt to test the adequacy of earlier theories in terms of the theory of scientific knowledge he advances in the Posterior Analytics. Carter proposes a new interpretation of Aristotle's confrontations with earlier psychology, showing how his reception of other Greek philosophers shaped his own hylomorphic psychology and led him to adopt a novel dualist theory of the soul-body relation. His book will be important for students and scholars of Aristotle, ancient Greek psychology, and the history of the mind-body problem.
The first philosophers paved the way for the work of Plato and Aristotle - and hence for the whole of Western thought. Aristotle said that philosophy begins with wonder, and the first Western philosophers developed theories of the world which express simultaneously their sense of wonder and their intuition that the world should be comprehensible. But their enterprise was by no means limited to this proto-scientific task. Through, for instance, Heraclitus' enigmatic sayings, the poetry of Parmenides and Empedocles, and Zeno's paradoxes, the Western world was introduced to metaphysics, rationalist theology, ethics, and logic, by thinkers who often seem to be mystics or shamans as much as philosophers or scientists in the modern mould. And out of the Sophists' reflections on human beings and their place in the world arose and interest in language, and in political, moral, and social philosophy. This volume contains a translation of all the most important fragments of the Presocratics and Sophists, and of the most informative testimonia from ancient sources, supplemented by lucid commentary. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Philosophy: Key Themes is a beginner's guide to understanding and critiquing philosophical arguments. Each chapter introduces one of the major themes in philosophy. Baggini's approach combines explanation with summary while encouraging the reader to question the arguments and positions presented.
In On Aristotle, Alan Ryan examines Plato's most famous student and sharpest critic. Aristotle was the first thinker to posit that a society should be ruled by laws and not men. His strongly empirical cast of mind was brought to bear on a stunning range of subjects and the resulting system dominated European thought from the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries. Aristotle's meticulous thinking on the nature of human affairs, ethics, politics, citizenship and virtue in a civil society remains as vital today as it was in his own time. Including key sections from Nicomachean Ethics and Politics, Aristotle's only surviving works, with a new introduction by Alan Ryan and a chronology of the philosopher's life and works, On Aristotle contextualises Aristotle's views of government and the political community within the Ancient World.
This book approaches the field of built heritage and its practices by employing the concept of heterotopia, established by the French philosopher Michel Foucault. The fundamental understandings of heritage, its evolution and practices all reveal intrinsic heterotopic features (the mirror function, its utopic drive, and its enclave-like nature). The book draws on previous interpretations of heterotopia and argues for a reading of heritage as heterotopia, considering various heritage mechanisms - heritage selection, conservation and protection practices, and heritage as mnemonic device - in this regard. Reworking the six heterotopic principles, an analysis grid is designed and applied to various built heritage spaces (vernacular, religious architecture, urban 19th century ensembles). Guided through this theoretical itinerary, the reader will rediscover the heterotopic lens as a minor, yet promising, Foucauldian device that allows for a better understanding of heritage and its everyday practices.
The Adventure of French Philosophy is essential reading for anyone interested in what Badiou calls the French moment in contemporary thought.
Badiou explores the exceptionally rich and varied world of French philosophy in a number of groundbreaking essays, published here for the first time in English or in a revised translation. Included are the often-quoted review of Louis Althusser s canonical works For Marx and Reading Capital and the scathing critique of potato fascism in Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari s A Thousand Plateaus. There are also talks on Michel Foucault and Jean-Luc Nancy, and reviews of the work of Jean-Francois Lyotard and Barbara Cassin, notable points of interest on an expansive tour of modern French thought.
Guided by a small set of fundamental questions concerning the nature of being, the event, the subject, and truth, Badiou pushes to an extreme the polemical force of his thinking. Against the formless continuum of life, he posits the need for radical discontinuity; against the false modesty of finitude, he pleads for the mathematical infinity of everyday situations; against the various returns to Kant, he argues for the persistence of the Hegelian dialectic; and against the lure of ultraleftism, his texts from the 1970s vindicate the role of Maoism as a driving force behind the communist Idea.
Trees and tree products have long been central to human life and culture, taking on intensified significance during the long eighteenth century. As basic raw material they were vital economic resources, objects of international diplomatic and commercial exchange, and key features in local economies. In an age of ongoing deforestation, both individuals and public entities grappled with the complex issues of how and why trees mattered. In this interdisciplinary volume, contributors build on recent research in environmental history, literary and material culture, and postcolonial studies to develop new readings of the ways trees were valued in the eighteenth century. They trace changes in early modern theories of resource management and ecology across European and North American landscapes, and show how different and sometimes contradictory practices were caught up in shifting conceptions of nature, social identity, physical health and moral wellbeing. In its innovative and thought-provoking exploration of man's relationship with trees, Invaluable trees: cultures of nature, 1660 -1830 argues for new ways of understanding the long eighteenth century and its values, and helps re-frame the environmental challenges of our own time.
Richard Popkin has assembled 63 leading scholars to forge a highly approachable chronological account of the development of Western philosophical traditions. From Plato to Wittgenstein and from Aquinas to Heidegger, this volume provides lively, in-depth, and up-to-date historical analysis of all the key figures, schools, and movements of Western philosophy.
The Columbia History significantly broadens the scope of Western philosophy to reveal the influence of Middle Eastern and Asian thought, the vital contributions of Jewish and Islamic philosophers, and the role of women within the tradition. Along with a wealth of new scholarship, recently discovered works in 17th- and 18th-century philosophy are considered, such as previously unpublished works by Locke that inspire a new assessment of the evolution of his ideas. Popkin also emphasizes schools and developments that have traditionally been overlooked. Sections on Aristotle and Plato are followed by a detailed presentation on Hellenic philosophy and its influence on the modern developments of materialism and scepticism. A chapter has been dedicated to Jewish and Moslem philosophical development during the Middle Ages, focusing on the critical role of figures such as Averro's and Moses Maimonides in introducing Christian thinkers to classical philosophy. Another chapter considers Renaissance philosophy and its seminal influence on the development of modern humanism and science.
Turning to the modern era, contributors consider the importance of the Kaballah to Spinoza, Leibniz, and Newton and the influence of popular philosophers like Moses Mendelssohn upon the work of Kant. This volume gives equal attention to both sides of the current rift in philosophy between continental and analytic schools, charting the development of each right up to the end of the 20th century.
Each chapter includes an introductory essay, and Popkin provides notes that draw connections among the separate articles. The rich bibliographic information and the indexes of names and terms make the volume a valuable resource.
Combining a broad scope and penetrating analysis with a keen sense of what is relevant for the modern reader, "The Columbia History of Western Philosophy" will prove an accessible introduction for students and an informative overview for general readers.
Daniel C. Dennett's Freedom Evolves tackles the most important question of human existence - is there really such a thing as free will? How can humans make genuinely independent choices if we are just a cluster of cells and genes in a world determined by scientific laws? Here, Daniel Dennett provides an impassioned defense of free will. But rather than freedom being an eternal, unchanging condition of our existence, in reality, he reveals, it has evolved: just like life on the planet and the air we breathe. Evolution is the key to resolving this greatest of philosophical questions - and to understanding our place in the world as uniquely free agents. Dennett shows that far from there being an incompatibility between contemporary science and the traditional vision of freedom and morality, it is only recently that science has advanced to the point where we can see how we came to have our unique kind of freedom. 'A serious book with a brilliant message' Matt Ridley, author of The Red Queen 'Powerful and ingenious ... The definitive argument that the human mind is a product of evolution' John Gray, Independent 'A book of sparkling brio and seemingly effortless panache ... Dennett at his best is as good as it gets' Spectator Daniel C. Dennett is one of the most original and provocative thinkers in the world. A brilliant polemicist and philosopher, he is famous for challenging unexamined orthodoxies, and an outspoken supporter of the Brights movement. His books include Brainstorms, Brainchildren, Elbow Room, Breaking the Spell, Darwin's Dangerous Idea and Freedom Evolves.
Carnap, Quine, and Putnam held that in our pursuit of truth we can do no better than to start in the middle, relying on already-established beliefs and inferences and applying our best methods for re-evaluating particular beliefs and inferences and arriving at new ones. In this collection of essays, Gary Ebbs interprets these thinkers' methodological views in the light of their own philosophical commitments, and in the process refutes some widespread misunderstandings of their views, reveals the real strengths of their arguments, and exposes a number of problems that they face. To solve these problems, in many of the essays Ebbs also develops new philosophical approaches, including new theories of logical truth, language use, reference and truth, truth by convention, realism, trans-theoretical terms, agreement and disagreement, radical belief revision, and contextually a priori statements. His essays will be valuable for a wide range of readers in analytic philosophy.
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