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Philosophy

Age of the Crisis of Man

Age of the Crisis of Man

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A compelling intellectual and literary history of midcentury America

In a midcentury American cultural episode forgotten today, intellectuals of all schools shared a belief that human nature was under threat. The immediate result was a glut of dense, abstract books on the nature of man. But the dawning age of the crisis of man, as Mark Greif calls it, was far more than a historical curiosity. In this ambitious intellectual and literary history, Greif recovers this lost line of thought to show how it influenced society, politics, and culture before, during, and long after World War II.

During the 1930s and 1940s, fears of the barbarization of humanity energized New York intellectuals, Chicago protoconservatives, European Jewish émigrés, and native-born bohemians to seek re-enlightenment, a new philosophical account of human nature and history. After the war this effort diffused, leading to a rebirth of modern human rights and a new power for the literary arts.

Critics' predictions of a death of the novel challenged writers to invest bloodless questions of human nature with flesh and detail. Hemingway, Faulkner, and Richard Wright wrote flawed novels of abstract man. Succeeding them, Ralph Ellison, Saul Bellow, Flannery O'Connor, and Thomas Pynchon constituted a new guard who tested philosophical questions against social realities--race, religious faith, and the rise of technology--that kept difference and diversity alive.

By the 1960s, the idea of universal man gave way to moral antihumanism, as new sensibilities and social movements transformed what had come before. Greif's reframing of a foundational debate takes us beyond old antagonisms into a new future, and gives a prehistory to the fractures of our own era.

Aging Thoughtfully

Aging Thoughtfully

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We all age differently, but we can learn from shared experiences and insights. The conversations, or paired essays, in Aging Thoughtfully combine a philosopher's approach with a lawyer-economist's.

Here are ideas about when to retire, how to refashion social security to help the elderly poor, how to learn from King Lear -- who did not retire successfully -- and whether to enjoy or criticize anti-aging cosmetic procedures. Some of the concerns are practical: philanthropic decisions, relations with one's children and grandchildren, the purchase of annuities, and how to provide for care in old age. Other topics are cultural, ranging from the treatment of aging women in a Strauss opera and various popular films, to a consideration of Donald Trump's (and other men's) marriages to much younger women.

These engaging, thoughtful, and often humorous exchanges show how stimulating discussions about our inevitable aging can be, and offer valuable insight into how we all might age more thoughtfully, and with zest and friendship.

Agony of Power Semiotext(e)

Agony of Power Semiotext(e)

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Baudrillard's unsettling coda: previously unpublished texts written just before the visionary theorist's death in 2007.

History that repeats itself turns to farce. But a farce that repeats itself ends up making a history.--from The Agony of Power

In these previously unpublished manuscripts written just before his death in 2007, Jean Baudrillard takes a last crack at the bewildering situation currently facing us as we exit the system of "domination" (based on alienation, revolt, revolution) and enter a world of generalized "hegemony" in which everyone becomes both hostage and accomplice of the global market. But in the free-form market of political and sexual liberation, as the possibility of revolution (and our understanding of it) dissipates, Baudrillard sees the hegemonic process as only beginning. Once expelled, negativity returns from within ourselves as an antagonistic force--most vividly in the phenomenon of terrorism, but also as irony, mockery, and the symbolic liquidation of all human values. This is the dimension of hegemony marked by an unbridled circulation--of capital, goods, information, or manufactured history--that is bringing the very concept of exchange to an end and pushing capital beyond its limits: to the point at which it destroys the conditions of its own existence. In the system of hegemony, the alienated, the oppressed, and the colonized find themselves on the side of the system that holds them hostage. In this paradoxical moment in which history has turned to farce, domination itself may appear to have been a lesser evil.This book gathers together three essays--"From Domination to Hegemony," The White Terror of World Order, and Where Good Grows--and a 2005 interview with Baudrillard by Sylvère Lotringer. Semiotext(e) launched Baudrillard into English back in the early 1980s; now, as our media and information infested "ultra-reality" finally catches up with his theory, Semiotext(e) offers The Agony of Power, Baudrillard's unsettling coda.

Aisthesis

Aisthesis

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Composed in a series of scenes, Aisthesis-Rancière's definitive statement on the aesthetic-takes its reader from Dresden in 1764 to New York in 1941. Along the way, we view the Belvedere Torso with Winckelmann, accompany Hegel to the museum and Mallarmé to the Folies-Bergère, attend a lecture by Emerson, visit exhibitions in Paris and New York, factories in Berlin, and film sets in Moscow and Hollywood. Rancière uses these sites and events--some famous, others forgotten--to ask what becomes art and what comes of it. He shows how a regime of artistic perception and interpretation was constituted and transformed by erasing the specificities of the different arts, as well as the borders that separated them from ordinary experience. This incisive study provides a history of artistic modernity far removed from the conventional postures of modernism.
Also Sprach Zarathustra

Also Sprach Zarathustra

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Also sprach Zarathustra ist ein dichterisch-philosophisches Werk des deutschen Philosophen Friedrich Nietzsche. In hymnischer Prosa berichtet ein personaler Erzähler vom Wirken eines fiktiven Denkers, der den Namen des persischen Religionsstifters Zarathustra trägt. Nietzsche selbst nennt den Stil, in dem Also sprach Zarathustra geschrieben ist, halkyonisch und wünscht sich Leser, die eines "gleichen Pathos fähig und würdig sind": "Man muss vor Allem den Ton, der aus diesem Munde kommt, diesen halkyonischen Ton richtig hören, um dem Sinn seiner Weisheit nicht erbarmungswürdig Unrecht zu tun." Dass Nietzsche diese Leserschaft in seiner Gegenwart nicht gesehen hat, legt der Untertitel des Werkes nahe: "Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen."
Amateur

Amateur

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A passionate call for independent thinking

We have lost our amateur spirit and need to rediscover the radical and liberating pleasure of doing things we love.

In The Amateur, thinker Andy Merrifield shows us how the many spheres of our lives--work, knowledge, home, politics--have fallen into the hands of box tickers, bean counters and pedants. In response, he corrals a team of independent thinkers, wayward poets, dabblers and square pegs who challenge accepted wisdom. Such figures as Charles Baudelaire, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Edward Said, Guy Debord, Hannah Arendt and Jane Jacobs show us the way. As we will see, the amateur takes risks, thinks the unthinkable, seeks independence--and changes the world.

The Amateur is a passionate manifesto for the liberated life, one that questions authority and reclaims the iconoclast as a radical hero of our times.

America

America

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From the sierras of New Mexico to the streets of New York and LA by night--"a sort of luminous, geometric, incandescent immensity"--Baudrillard mixes aperçus and observations with a wicked sense of fun to provide a unique insight into the country that dominates our world. In this new edition, leading cultural critic and novelist Geoff Dyer offers a thoughtful and perceptive take on the continued resonance of Baudrillard's America.
America the Philosophical

America the Philosophical

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This bold, insightful book argues that America today towers as the most philosophical culture in the history of the world, an unprecedented marketplace for truth and debate.

With verve and keen intelligence, Carlin Romano--Pulitzer Prize finalist, award-winning book critic, and professor of philosophy--takes on the widely held belief that the United States is an anti-intellectual country. Instead he provides a richly reported overview of American thought, arguing that ordinary Americans see through phony philosophical justifications faster than anyone else, and that the best of our thinkers ditch artificial academic debates for fresh intellectual enterprises. Along the way, Romano seeks to topple philosophy's most fiercely admired hero, Socrates, asserting that it is Isocrates, the nearly forgotten Greek philosopher who rejected certainty, whom Americans should honor as their intellectual ancestor. America the Philosophical is a rebellious tour de force that both celebrates our country's unparalleled intellectual energy and promises to bury some of our most hidebound cultural clichés.

American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas

American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas

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If you were looking for a philosopher likely to appeal to Americans, Friedrich Nietzsche would be far from your first choice. After all, in his blazing career, Nietzsche took aim at nearly all the foundations of modern American life: Christian morality, the Enlightenment faith in reason, and the idea of human equality. Despite that, for more than a century Nietzsche has been a hugely popular--and surprisingly influential--figure in American thought and culture.

In American Nietzsche, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen delves deeply into Nietzsche's philosophy, and America's reception of it, to tell the story of his curious appeal. Beginning her account with Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom the seventeen-year-old Nietzsche read fervently, she shows how Nietzsche's ideas first burst on American shores at the turn of the twentieth century, and how they continued alternately to invigorate and to shock Americans for the century to come. She also delineates the broader intellectual and cultural contexts within which a wide array of commentators--academic and armchair philosophers, theologians and atheists, romantic poets and hard-nosed empiricists, and political ideologues and apostates from the Left and the Right--drew insight and inspiration from Nietzsche's claims for the death of God, his challenge to universal truth, and his insistence on the interpretive nature of all human thought and beliefs. At the same time, she explores how his image as an iconoclastic immoralist was put to work in American popular culture, making Nietzsche an unlikely posthumous celebrity capable of inspiring both teenagers and scholars alike.

A penetrating examination of a powerful but little-explored undercurrent of twentieth-century American thought and culture, American Nietzsche dramatically recasts our understanding of American intellectual life--and puts Nietzsche squarely at its heart.

American Transcendentalists: Essential Writings

American Transcendentalists: Essential Writings

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Transcendentalism was the first major intellectual movement in U.S. history, championing the inherent divinity of each individual, as well as the value of collective social action. In the mid-nineteenth century, the movement took off, changing how Americans thought about religion, literature, the natural world, class distinctions, the role of women, and the existence of slavery.
Edited by the eminent scholar Lawrence Buell, this comprehensive anthology contains the essential writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, and their fellow visionaries. There are also reflections on the movement by Charles Dickens, Henry James, Walt Whitman, Louisa May Alcott, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. This remarkable volume introduces the radical innovations of a brilliant group of thinkers whose impact on religious thought, social reform, philosophy, and literature continues to reverberate in the twenty-first century.
Ameritopia : The Unmaking of America

Ameritopia : The Unmaking of America

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In his acclaimed #1 New York Times bestseller, Mark R. Levin explores the psychology, motivations, and history of the utopian movement, its architects--the Founding Fathers, and its modern-day disciples--and how the individual and American society are being devoured by it.

Levin asks, what is this utopian force that both allures a free people and destroys them? Levin digs deep into the past and draws astoundingly relevant parallels to contemporary America from Plato's Republic, Thomas More's Utopia, Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan, and Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto, as well as from the critical works of John Locke, Charles Montesquieu, Alexis de Tocqueville, and other philosophical pioneers who brilliantly diagnosed the nature of man and government. As Levin meticulously pursues his subject, the reader joins him in an enlightening and compelling journey. And in the end, Levin's message is clear: the American republic is in great peril. The people must now choose between utopianism or liberty.

President Ronald Reagan warned, "freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." Levin agrees, and with Ameritopia, delivers another modern political classic, an indispensable guide for America in our time and in the future.

Amiel's Journal

Amiel's Journal

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Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames

Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames

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[Thich Nhat Hanh] shows us the connection between personal, inner peace and peace on earth. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Nominated by Martin Luther King, Jr. for a Nobel Peace Prize, Thich Nhat Hanh is one of today's leading sources of wisdom, peace, compassion and comfort.

It was under the bodhi tree in India twenty-five centuries ago that Buddha achieved the insight that three states of mind were the source of all our unhappiness: wrong knowing, obsessive desire, and anger. All are difficult, but in one instant of anger--one of the most powerful emotions--lives can be ruined, and health and spiritual development can be destroyed.

With exquisite simplicity, Buddhist monk and Vietnam refugee Thich Nhat Hanh gives tools and advice for transforming relationships, focusing energy, and rejuvenating those parts of ourselves that have been laid waste by anger. His extraordinary wisdom can transform your life and the lives of the people you love, and in the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, can give each reader the power to change everything.

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral

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nimal, Mineral, Vegetable examines what happens when we cease to assume that only humans exert agency. Through a careful examination of medieval, early modern and contemporary lifeworlds, these essays collectively argue against ecological anthropocentricity. Sheep, wolves, camels, flowers, chairs, magnets, landscapes, refuse and gems are more than mere objects. They act; they withdraw; they make demands; they connect within lively networks that might foster a new humanism, or that might proceed with indifference towards human affairs. Through what ethics do we respond to these activities and forces? To what futures do these creatures and objects invite us, especially when they appear within the texts and cultures of the "distant" past?

Jeffrey J. Cohen: "Introduction: All Things" - Karl Steel: "With the World, or Bound to Face the Sky: The Postures of the Wolf-Child of Hesse" - Sharon Kinoshita: "Animals and the Medieval Culture of Empire" - Peggy McCracken: "The Floral and the Human" - Kellie Robertson: "Exemplary Rocks" - Valerie Allen: "Mineral Virtue" - Eileen Joy: "You Are Here: A Manifesto" - Julian Yates: "Sheep Tracks: Multi-Species Impressions" - Julia Reinhard Lupton: "The Renaissance Res Publica of Things" - Jane Bennett: "Powers of the Hoard: Further Notes on Material Agency"

Response essays: Lowell Duckert: "Speaking Stones, John Muir, and a Slower (Non)humanities" - Nedda Mehdizadeh: "'Ruinous Monument' Transporting Objects in Herbert's Persepolis" - Jonathan Gil Harris: "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: Twenty Questions"

Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

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A major work in the development of critical theory in the late 20th century, ANTI-OEDIPUS is an essential text for feminists, literary theorists, social scientists, philosophers, and other interested in the problems of contemporary Western culture. "An important text in the rethinking of sexuality and sexual politics spurred by the feminist and gay liberation movements".--Margaret Cerullo, Hampshire College.
Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

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An "introduction to the nonfascist life" (Michel Foucault, from the Preface)

When it first appeared in France, Anti-Oedipus was hailed as a masterpiece by some and "a work of heretical madness" by others. In it, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari set forth the following theory: Western society's innate herd instinct has allowed the government, the media, and even the principles of economics to take advantage of each person's unwillingness to be cut off from the group. What's more, those who suffer from mental disorders may not be insane, but could be individuals in the purest sense, because they are by nature isolated from society. More than twenty-five years after its original publication, Anti-Oedipus still stands as a controversial contribution to a much-needed dialogue on the nature of free thinking.

Antichrist

Antichrist

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Excerpt: ...I myself haven't any doubt that the greater part of this venom (and no less of esprit) got itself into the concept of the Master only as a result of the excited nature of Christian propaganda: we all know the unscrupulousness of sectarians when they set out to turn their leader into an apologia for themselves. When the early Christians had need of an adroit, contentious, pugnacious and maliciously subtle theologian to tackle other theologians, they created a
Antonio Gramsci Reader: Selected Writings 1916-1935

Antonio Gramsci Reader: Selected Writings 1916-1935

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with a new introduction by ERIC J. HOBSBAWM

"Very usefully pulls the key passages from Gramsci's writings into one volume, which allows English-language readers an overall view of his work. Particularly valuable are the connections it draws across his work and the insights which the introduction and glossary provide into the origin and development of some key Gramscian concepts."
--Stuart Hall, Professor of Sociology, Open University

The most complete one-volume collection of writings by one of the most fascinating thinkers in the history of Marxism, The Antonio Gramsci Reader fills the need for a broad and general introduction to this major figure.

Antonio Gramsci was one of the most important theorists of class, culture, and the state since Karl Marx. In the U.S., where his writings were long unavailable, his stature has lately so increased that every serious student of Marxism, political theory, or modern Italian history must now read him.

Imprisoned by the Fascists for much of his adult life, Gramsci wrote brilliantly on a broad range of subjects: from folklore to philosophy, popular culture to political strategy. Still the most comprehensive collection of Gramsci's writings available in English, it now features a new introduction by leading Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm, in addition to its biographical introduction, informative introductions to each section, and glossary of key terms.