View your shopping cart.

Banner Message

Please note that online availability does not reflect stock in store!

Please check your SPAM folder for communications from us- for some reason our messages are being sent there more than usual :(

Thank you for your patience and grace during the busy holiday season!

Philosophy

Stone Reader

Stone Reader

$39.95
More Info

Once solely the province of ivory-tower professors and college classrooms, contemporary philosophy was finally emancipated from its academic closet in 2010, when The Stone was launched in The New York Times. First appearing as an online series, the column quickly attracted millions of readers through its accessible examination of universal topics like the nature of science, consciousness and morality, while also probing more contemporary issues such as the morality of drones, gun control and the gender divide.

Now collected for the first time in this handsomely designed volume, The Stone Reader presents 133 meaningful and influential essays from the series, placing nearly the entirety of modern philosophical discourse at a reader's grasp. The book, divided into four broad sections--Philosophy, Science, Religion and Morals, and Society--opens with a series of questions about the scope, history and identity of philosophy: What are the practical uses of philosophy? Does the discipline, begun in the West in ancient Greece with Socrates, favor men and exclude women? Does the history and study of philosophy betray a racial bias against non-white thinkers, or geographical bias toward the West?

These questions and others form a foundation for readers as the book moves to the second section, Science, where some of our most urgent contemporary philosophical debates are taking place. Will artificial intelligence compromise our morality? Does neuroscience undermine our free will? Is there is a legitimate place for the humanities in a world where science and technology appear to rule? Should the evidence for global warming change the way we live, or die?

In the book's third section, Religion and Morals, we find philosophy where it is often at its best, sharpest and most disturbing--working through the arguments provoked by competing moral theories in the face of real-life issues and rigorously addressing familiar ethical dilemmas in a new light. Can we have a true moral life without belief in God? What are the dangers of moral relativism?

In its final part, Society, The Stone Reader returns to its origins as a forum to encourage philosophers who are willing to engage closely, critically and analytically with the affairs of the day, including economic inequality, technology and racial discrimination. In directly confronting events like the September 11 attacks, the killing of Trayvon Martin, the Sandy Hook School massacre, the essays here reveal the power of philosophy to help shape our viewpoints on nearly every issue we face today.

With an introduction by Peter Catapano that details the column's founding and distinct editorial process at The New York Times, and prefatory notes to each section by Simon Critchley, The Stone Reader promises to become not only an intellectual landmark but also a confirmation that philosophy is, indeed, for everyone.

Stop Me If Youve Heard This

Stop Me If Youve Heard This

$9.95
More Info
From the best-selling author of Why Does the World Exist? comes this outrageous, uproarious compendium of absurdity, filth, racy paradox, and gratuitous offensiveness--just the kind of mature philosophical reflection readers have come to expect from the ever-entertaining Jim Holt. Indeed, Stop Me If You've
Heard This
is the first book to trace the evolution of the joke all the way from the standup comics of ancient Athens to the comedy-club Seinfelds of today. After exploring humor's history in Part One, Holt delves into philosophy in Part Two: Wall Street jokes; jokes about rednecks and atheists, bulimics and politicians; jokes you missed if you didn't go to a Catholic girls' school; jokes about logic and existence itself . . . all became fodder for the grand theories of Aristotle, Kant, Freud, and Wittgenstein in this heady mix of the high and low, of the ribald and profound, from America's most beloved philosophical pundit.
Strange Tools

Strange Tools

$20.00
More Info

A philosopher makes the case for thinking of works of art as tools for investigating ourselves

In Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature, the philosopher and cognitive scientist Alva Noë argues that our obsession with works of art has gotten in the way of understanding how art works on us. For Noë, art isn't a phenomenon in need of an explanation but a mode of research, a method of investigating what makes us human--a strange tool. Art isn't just something to look at or listen to--it is a challenge, a dare to try to make sense of what it is all about. Art aims not for satisfaction but for confrontation, intervention, and subversion. Through diverse and provocative examples from the history of art-making, Noë reveals the transformative power of artistic production. By staging a dance, choreographers cast light on the way bodily movement organizes us. Painting goes beyond depiction and representation to call into question the role of pictures in our lives. Accordingly, we cannot reduce art to some natural aesthetic sense or trigger; recent efforts to frame questions of art in terms of neurobiology and evolutionary theory alone are doomed to fail.

By engaging with art, we are able to study ourselves in profoundly novel ways. In fact, art and philosophy have much more in common than we might think. Reframing the conversation around artists and their craft, Strange Tools is a daring and stimulating intervention in contemporary thought.

Strangers Drowning

Strangers Drowning

$17.00
More Info

What does it mean to devote yourself wholly to helping others? In Strangers Drowning, Larissa MacFarquhar seeks out people living lives of extreme ethical commitment and tells their deeply intimate stories; their stubborn integrity and their compromises; their bravery and their recklessness; their joys and defeats and wrenching dilemmas.

A couple adopts two children in distress. But then they think: If they can change two lives, why not four? Or ten? They adopt twenty. But how do they weigh the needs of unknown children in distress against the needs of the children they already have?

Another couple founds a leprosy colony in the wilderness in India, living in huts with no walls, knowing that their two small children may contract leprosy or be eaten by panthers. The children survive. But what if they hadn't? How would their parents' risk have been judged?

A woman believes that if she spends money on herself, rather than donate it to buy life-saving medicine, then she's responsible for the deaths that result. She lives on a fraction of her income, but wonders: when is compromise self-indulgence and when is it essential?

We honor such generosity and high ideals; but when we call people do-gooders there is skepticism in it, even hostility. Why do moral people make us uneasy? Between her stories, MacFarquhar threads a lively history of the literature, philosophy, social science, and self-help that have contributed to a deep suspicion of do-gooders in Western culture.

Through its sympathetic and beautifully vivid storytelling, Strangers Drowning confronts us with fundamental questions about what it means to be human. In a world of strangers drowning in need, how much should we help, and how much can we help? Is it right to care for strangers even at the expense of those we are closest to? Moving and provocative, Strangers Drowning challenges us to think about what we value most, and why.

Structuralism and Poststructuralism for Beginners

Structuralism and Poststructuralism for Beginners

$14.95
More Info

What is Structuralism? How is it possible? And once the structures of Structuralism have been discovered, how is Poststructuralism possible?

Thus begins Don Palmer's Structuralism and Poststructuralism For Beginners. If Nobel or Pulitzer ever made a prize for making the most difficult philosophers and ideas accessible to the greatest number of people, one of the leading candidates would certainly be Professor Don Palmer. From his Sartre For Beginners and Kierkegaard For Beginners to his Looking at Philosophy, author/illustrator Don Palmer has the magic touch when it comes to translating the most brutally difficult ideas into language and images that non-specialists can understand.

In its less dramatic versions, writes Palme, structuralism is just a method of studying language, society, and the works of artists and novelists. But in its most exuberant form, it is a philosophy, an overall worldview that provides an account of reality and knowledge. Poststructuralism is a loosely knit intellectual movement, comprised mainly of ex-structuralists, who either became dissatisfied with the theory or felt they could improve it.

Structuralism and Poststructuralism For Beginners is an illustrated tour through the mysterious landscape of Structuralism and Poststructuralism. The book's starting point is the linguistic theory of Ferdinand de Sausser. The book moves on to the anthropologist and literary critic Claude Lévi-Strauss; the semiologost and literary critic Roland Barthes; the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser; the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan; the deconstructionist Jacques Derrida. Learn among other things, why structuralists say:

  • Reality is composed of not Things, but Relationships
  • Every object is both a presence and an absence
  • The total system is present in each of its parts
  • The parts are more real than the whole
  • The book concludes by examining the postmodern obsession with language and with the radical claim of the disappearance of the individual - obsessions that unite the work of all these theorists.

    Stupidity

    Stupidity

    $20.00
    More Info
    In Stupidity Avital Ronell explores the fading empire of cognition, modulating stupidity into idiocy, puerility, and the figure of the ridiculous philosopher instituted by Kant. Drawing on a range of writers including Dostoevsky, Schlegel, Musil, and Wordsworth, Stupidity investigates ignorance, dumbfounded-ness, and the limits of reason.
    Sublime Object of Ideology

    Sublime Object of Ideology

    $24.95
    More Info
    Slavoj Žižek, the maverick philosopher, author of over 30 books, acclaimed as the "Elvis of cultural theory", and today's most controversial public intellectual. His work traverses the fields of philosophy, psychoanalysis, theology, history and political theory, taking in film, popular culture, literature and jokes--all to provide acute analyses of the complexities of contemporary ideology as well as a serious and sophisticated philosophy. His recent films The Pervert's Guide to the Cinema and Žižek! reveal a theorist at the peak of his powers and a skilled communicator. Now Verso is making his classic titles, each of which stand as a core of his ever-expanding life's work, available as new editions. Each is beautifully re-packaged, including new introductions from Žižek himself. Simply put, they are the essential texts for understanding Žižek's thought and thus cornerstones of contemporary philosophy.

    The Sublime Object of Ideology Slavoj Žižek's first book is a provocative and original work looking at the question of human agency in a postmodern world. In a thrilling tour de force that made his name, he explores the ideological fantasies of wholeness and exclusion which make up human society.

    Summer with Montaigne

    Summer with Montaigne

    $15.00
    More Info

    Michel de Montaigne embodies the Humanist ideal. Curious, measured, contemplative yet not unworldly, witty, free of prejudice, and urbane. But what does Montaigne have to tell us about how to think and live today? In forty short, erudite and lively chapters written over a single summer, Antoine Compagnon seeks answers to that question.

    In A Summer with Montaigne, Compagnon invites his readers to join him as he strolls through Montaigne's key contributions to our understanding of what is good and worthwhile in life. This engaging book, then, serves as both an introduction to Montaigne for readers unfamiliar with his work and a refresher for those who are already acquainted with his unique brilliance, vitality, and timeliness. Montaigne's Essays deal with themes that remain relevant today, from the problems posed by religion, war, power and friendship to the absurdity of our fixations and peccadillos. As accompanies readers through the Essays, Compagnon never pontificates and is never austere, rather he approaches Montaigne with a sense of humor, admiration, and joy.

    Sunny Nihilist: A Declaration of the Pleasure of Pointlessness

    Sunny Nihilist: A Declaration of the Pleasure of Pointlessness

    $24.95
    More Info
    A positively rebellious take on a traditionally negative philosophy offers an antidote for our anxious times.

    Career success, a beautiful life, a beautiful Instagram account--what's the point? In a world where meaning has become twisted into a form of currency that everyone is very keen to cash in on, journalist Wendy Syfret invites you to change the way you think about the way you think.

    In her seminal work, The Sunny Nihilist, Syfret presents the optimism in Nihilism, encouraging us to dismantle our self-care and self-centered way of living and accept a life more or less ordinary. Syfret re-examines the meaning of worth, value, time, happiness, success, and connection, and guides us towards the alternative path of pointless pleasure.

    When you let go of the idea that everything must have purpose, you will find relief from stress, exhaustion, and anxiety. Most importantly, you can embrace the opportunity to enjoy the moment, the present, the chaos and luck of being alive at all. The Sunny Nihilist is an inspiring call to action and survival adaptation for modern life.

    Surfing with Sartre

    Surfing with Sartre

    $15.95
    More Info
    Jean-Paul Sartre once declared waterskiing to be "the ideal limit of aquatic sports." Aaron James, who is both an avid surfer and a professor of philosophy, vigorously disagrees. In these pages, he presents his surfer's worldview as a foil to Sartre's, along the way elucidating such philosophical categories as freedom, being, phenomenology, morality, epistemology, and even the emerging values of what he terms "leisure capitalism."

    In developing his unique surfer's philosophy, he draws from surf culture and lingo--and engages with philosophers from Aristotle to Wittgenstein. In the process, he speaks to those of us in search of personal and social meaning--particularly in our current anxious moment--by way of real, authentic philosophy. In or out of the water.

    Surfing with Sartre

    Surfing with Sartre

    $26.95
    More Info
    From the bestselling author of Assholes: A Theory, a book that--in the tradition of Shopclass as Soulcraft, Barbarian Days and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance--uses the experience and the ethos of surfing to explore key concepts in philosophy.

    The existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once declared "the ideal limit of aquatic sports . . . is waterskiing." The avid surfer and lavishly credentialed academic philosopher Aaron James vigorously disagrees, and in Surfing with Sartre he intends to expound the thinking surfer's view of the matter, in the process elucidating such philosophical categories as freedom, being, phenomenology, morality, epistemology, and even the emerging values of what he terms "leisure capitalism." In developing his unique surfer-philosophical worldview, he draws from his own experience of surfing and from surf culture and lingo, and includes many relevant details from the lives of the philosophers, from Aristotle to Wittgenstein, with whose thought he engages. In the process, he'll speak to readers in search of personal and social meaning in our current anxious moment, by way of doing real, authentic philosophy.

    Symposium

    Symposium

    $8.95
    More Info
    The perfect books for the true book lover, Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve more groundbreaking works by some of history's most prodigious thinkers. Each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-driven design that highlights the bookmaker's art. Offering great literature in great packages at great prices, this series is ideal for those readers who want to explore and savor the Great Ideas that have shaped our world.

    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.

    Symposium Penguin Classics

    Symposium Penguin Classics

    $9.00
    More Info
    A fascinating discussion on sex, gender, and human instincts, as relevant today as ever

    In the course of a lively drinking party, a group of Athenian intellectuals exchange views on eros, or desire. From their conversation emerges a series of subtle reflections on gender roles, sex in society and the sublimation of basic human instincts. The discussion culminates in a radical challenge to conventional views by Plato's mentor, Socrates, who advocates transcendence through spiritual love. The Symposium is a deft interweaving of different viewpoints and ideas about the nature of love--as a response to beauty, a cosmic force, a motive for social action and as a means of ethical education.

    For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

    Tacit Dimension

    Tacit Dimension

    $16.00
    More Info

    "I shall reconsider human knowledge by starting from the fact that we can know more than we can tell," writes Michael Polanyi, whose work paved the way for the likes of Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper. The Tacit Dimension argues that tacit knowledge--tradition, inherited practices, implied values, and prejudgments--is a crucial part of scientific knowledge. Back in print for a new generation of students and scholars, this volume challenges the assumption that skepticism, rather than established belief, lies at the heart of scientific discovery.

    "Polanyi's work deserves serious attention. . . . [This is a] compact presentation of some of the essentials of his thought."--Review of Metaphysics

    "Polanyi's work is still relevant today and a closer examination of this theory that all knowledge has personal and tacit elements . . . can be used to support and refute a variety of widely held approaches to knowledge management."--Electronic Journal of Knowledge

    The reissuing of this remarkable book give us a new opportunity to see how far-reaching--and foundational--Michael Polanyi's ideas are, on some of the age-old questions in philosophy.--Amartya Sen, from the new Foreword

    Talking God

    Talking God

    $16.95
    More Info

    As tensions simmer, and often explode, between the secular and the religious forces in modern life, the big questions about human belief press ever more urgently. Where does belief, or its lack, originate? How can we understand and appreciate religious traditions different from our own? Featuring conversations with twelve skeptics, atheists, agnostics, and believers--including Alvin Plantinga, Philip Kitcher, Michael Ruse, and John Caputo--Talking God offers new perspectives on religion, including the challenge to believers from evolution, cutting-edge physics and cosmology; arguments both for and against atheism; and meditations on the value of secular humanism and faith in the modern world. Experts offer insights on Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, as well as Judaism and Christianity. Topical and illuminating, Talking God gives readers a deeper understanding of faith today and how philosophers understand it.

    From Talking God:

    "[Some say] Buddhism is not a religion because Buddhists don't believe in a supreme being. This simply ignores the fact that many religions are not theistic in this sense. Chess is a game, despite the fact that it is not played with a ball, after all."
    --Jay Garfield, from chapter 10, "Buddhism: Religion Without Divinity"

    "Why think that the creator was all-knowing and omnipotent?-- Maybe the creator was a student god, and only got a B minus on this project?"
    --Louise Antony, from chapter 2, "A Case for Atheism"

    "There are a large number--maybe a couple of dozen--of pretty good theistic arguments. None is conclusive, but each, or at any rate the whole bunch taken together, is about as strong as philosophical arguments ordinarily get."
    --Alvin Plantinga, from chapter 1, "A Case for Theism"

    "If you cease to 'believe' in a particular religious creed, like Calvinism or Catholicism, you have changed your mind and adopted a new position-- But if you lose 'faith, '--everything is lost. You have lost your faith in life, lost hope in the future, lost heart, and you cannot go on."
    --John Caputo, from chapter 3, "Religion and Deconstruction"

    Talumd: A Selection

    Talumd: A Selection

    $16.00
    More Info
    The most important text in Judaism after the Old Testament--available for the first time in Penguin Classics

    One of the most significant religious texts in the world, The Talmud is a compilation of the teachings of major Jewish scholars from the classic period of rabbinic Judaism. In a range of styles, including commentary, parables, proverbs, and anecdotes, it provides guidance on all aspects of everyday life. This selection of its most illuminating passages makes accessible to modern readers the centuries of Jewish thought contained within. Norman Solomon's lucid translation from the Bavli (Babylonian) is accompanied by an introduction on The Talmud's arrangement, social and historical background, reception, and authors.

    For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

    Tao and the Bard

    Tao and the Bard

    $12.99
    More Info
    Shakespeare and Lao Tzu match wits and wisdom in this playful encounter--a new take on the old dialogue between East and West.

    The Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way of Virtue, is a touchstone of Eastern philosophy and mysticism. It has been called the wisest book ever written. Its author, Lao Tzu, is known as the Great Archivist, but some say he has never lived or is the synthesis of many people. Shakespeare, the Bard, was the West's greatest writer and even invented human nature, according to some. The Tao and the Bard is the delightful conversation between these two unlikely spokesmen, who join in a free exchange of views in its pages.

    Here, in his own words, Lao Tzu offers the eight-one verses that comprise the Tao, and, responding to each verse, the Bard answers with quotations from his plays and poems. In sometimes surprising ways, Shakespeare's words speak to Lao Tzu's, as the two trade observations on such topics as good and evil, love and virtue, wise fools and foolish wisdom, and being the "nothing from which all things are." As moderator, Phillip DePoy sometimes adds his own helpful comments, and the reader is invited to take part--whether to parse the meanings closely or sit back and enjoy the entertainment!

    Tao and the Bard

    Tao and the Bard

    $16.95
    More Info
    The Tao Te Ching or Book of the Way of Virtue is a touchstone of Eastern philosophy and mysticism. It has been called the wisest book ever written, and its author, Lao Tzu, is known as the Great Archivist. Shakespeare, the Bard, was the West's greatest writer and even invented human nature, according to some. The Tao and the Bard is the delightful conversation between these two unlikely spokesmen, who take part in a free exchange of views in its pages. Here, in his own words, Lao Tzu offers the eighty-one verses that comprise the Tao, and, responding to each verse, the Bard answers with quotations from his plays and poems. In sometimes surprising ways, Shakespeare's words speak to Lao Tzu's, as the two trade observations on good and evil, love and virtue, wise fools and foolish wisdom, and being and the "nothing from which all things are born." Here is a new take on an old dialogue between East and West, with the reader invited to take part--whether to parse the meanings closely or sit back and enjoy the entertainment.

    Lao Tzu: Is the world unkind?/Nature burns up life like a straw dog.
    Skakespeare: Allow not nature more than nature needs, /Man's life is as cheap as beasts . . . (Lear, King Lear)

    Lao Tzu: Tao is elusive./Looking you never see, /listening you never hear, /grasping you never hold.
    Shakespeare: The eye sees not itself/But by reflection, by some other things. (Brutus, Julius Caesar)