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Philosophy

Wisdom of No Escape

Wisdom of No Escape

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This book is about saying yes to life in all its manifestations--embracing the potent mixture of joy, suffering, brilliance, and confusion that characterizes the human experience. Pema Chödrön shows us the profound value of our situation of "no escape" from the ups and downs of life.
Wisdom of the Myths

Wisdom of the Myths

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"A marvelously wise and expansive book. . . . Ferry writes with warmth, wit, and energy; one could call his prose conversational, but it's rare to have a conversation quite this wonderful." -- Boston Globe

A fascinating journey through Greek mythology that explains the myths' timeless lessons and meaning

Heroes, gods, and mortals. The Greek myths are the founding narratives of Western civilization: to understand them is to know the origins of philosophy, literature, art, science, law, and more. Indeed, as Luc Ferry shows in this masterful book, they remain a great store of wisdom, as relevant to our lives today as ever before. No mere legends or clichés (Herculean task, Pandora's box, Achilles heel, etc.), these classic stories offer profound and manifold lessons, providing the first sustained attempt to answer fundamental human questions concerning the good life, the burden of mortality, and how to find one's place in the world. Vividly retelling the great tales of mythology and illuminating fresh new ways of understanding them, The Wisdom of the Myths will enlighten readers of all ages.

Wittgenstein and Modernism

Wittgenstein and Modernism

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Ludwig Wittgenstein famously declared that philosophy "ought really to be written only as a form of poetry," and he even described the Tractatus as "philosophical and, at the same time, literary." But few books have really followed up on these claims, and fewer still have focused on their relation to the special literary and artistic period in which Wittgenstein worked. This book offers the first collection to address the rich, vexed, and often contradictory relationship between modernism--the twentieth century's predominant cultural and artistic movement--and Wittgenstein, one of its preeminent and most enduring philosophers. In doing so it offers rich new understandings of both.

Michael LeMahieu Karen Zumhagen-Yekplé bring together scholars in both twentieth-century philosophy and modern literary studies to put Wittgenstein into dialogue with some of modernism's most iconic figures, including Samuel Beckett, Saul Bellow, Walter Benjamin, Henry James, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Adolf Loos, Robert Musil, Wallace Stevens, and Virginia Woolf. The contributors touch on two important aspects of Wittgenstein's work and modernism itself: form and medium. They discuss issues ranging from Wittgenstein and poetics to his use of numbered propositions in the Tractatus as a virtuoso performance of modernist form; from Wittgenstein's persistence metaphoric use of religion, music, and photography to an exploration of how he and Henry James both negotiated the relationship between the aesthetic and the ethical.

Covering many other fascinating intersections of the philosopher and the arts, this book offers an important bridge across the disciplinary divides that have kept us from a fuller picture of both Wittgenstein and the larger intellectual and cultural movement of which he was a part.

Wittgenstein's Poker

Wittgenstein's Poker

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On October 25, 1946, in a crowded room in Cambridge, England, the great twentieth-century philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Popper came face to face for the first and only time. The meeting -- which lasted ten minutes -- did not go well. Their loud and aggressive confrontation became the stuff of instant legend, but precisely what happened during that brief confrontation remained for decades the subject of intense disagreement.

An engaging mix of philosophy, history, biography, and literary detection, Wittgenstein's Poker explores, through the Popper/Wittgenstein confrontation, the history of philosophy in the twentieth century. It evokes the tumult of fin-de-siécle Vienna, Wittgentein's and Popper's birthplace; the tragedy of the Nazi takeover of Austria; and postwar Cambridge University, with its eccentric set of philosophy dons, including Bertrand Russell. At the center of the story stand the two giants of philosophy themselves -- proud, irascible, larger than life -- and spoiling for a fight.

Wittgensteins Anti-Philosophy

Wittgensteins Anti-Philosophy

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Alain Badiou takes on the standard bearer of the "linguistic turn" in modern philosophy, and anatomizes the "anti-philosophy" of Ludwig Wittgenstein, in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Addressing the crucial moment where Wittgenstein argues that much has to be passed over in silence--showing what cannot be said, after accepting the limits of language and meaning--Badiou argues that this mystical act reduces logic to rhetoric, truth to an effect of language games, and philosophy to a series of esoteric aphorisms. in the course of his interrogation of Wittgenstein's anti-philosophy, Badiou sets out and refines his own definitions of the universal truths that condition philosophy. Bruno Bosteels' introduction shows that this encounter with Wittgenstein is central to Badiou's overall project--and that a continuing dialogue with the exemplar of anti-philosophy is crucial for contemporary philosophy.
Works of Love

Works of Love

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The various kinds and conditions of love are a common theme for Kierkegaard, beginning with his early Either/Or, through "The Diary of the Seducer" and Judge William's eulogy on married love, to his last work, on the changelessness of God's love. Works of Love, the midpoint in the series, is also the monumental high point, because of its penetrating, illuminating analysis of the forms and sources of love. Love as feeling and mood is distinguished from works of love, love of the lovable from love of the unlovely, preferential love from love as the royal law, love as mutual egotism from triangular love, and erotic love from self-giving love. This work is marked by Kierkegaard's Socratic awareness of the reader, both as the center of awakened understanding and as the initiator of action. Written to be read aloud, this book conveys a keenness of thought and an insightful, poetic imagination that make such an attentive approach richly rewarding. Works of Love not only serves as an excellent place to begin exploring the writings of Kierkegaard but also rewards many rereadings.
World Beyond Your Head

World Beyond Your Head

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A groundbreaking new book from the bestselling author of Shop Class as Soulcraft

In his bestselling book Shop Class as Soulcraft, Matthew B. Crawford explored the ethical and practical importance of manual competence, as expressed through mastery of our physical environment. In his brilliant follow-up, The World Beyond Your Head, Crawford investigates the challenge of mastering one's own mind.
We often complain about our fractured mental lives and feel beset by outside forces that destroy our focus and disrupt our peace of mind. Any defense against this, Crawford argues, requires that we reckon with the way attention sculpts the self.
Crawford investigates the intense focus of ice hockey players and short-order chefs, the quasi-autistic behavior of gambling addicts, the familiar hassles of daily life, and the deep, slow craft of building pipe organs. He shows that our current crisis of attention is only superficially the result of digital technology, and becomes more comprehensible when understood as the coming to fruition of certain assumptions at the root of Western culture that are profoundly at odds with human nature.
The World Beyond Your Head makes sense of an astonishing array of common experience, from the frustrations of airport security to the rise of the hipster. With implications for the way we raise our children, the design of public spaces, and democracy itself, this is a book of urgent relevance to contemporary life.

World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements

World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements

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In John Hunter's classroom, students fearlessly tackle global problems and discover surprising solutions by playing his groundbreaking World Peace Game. These kids--from high school all the way down to fourth grade, in schools both well funded and underresourced--take on the roles of politicians, tribal leaders, diplomats, bankers, and military commanders. Through battles and negotiations, standoffs and summits, they strive to resolve dozens of complex, seemingly intractable real-world challenges, from nuclear proliferation to tribal warfare, financial collapse to climate change.

In World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements, Hunter shares the wisdom he's gleaned from over thirty years teaching the World Peace Game. Here he reveals the principles of successful collaboration that people of any age can apply anywhere. His students show us how to break through confusion, bounce back from failure, put our knowledge to use, and fulfill our potential. Hunter offers not only a forward-thinking report from the front lines of American education, but also a generous blueprint for a world that bends toward cooperation rather than conflict. In this deeply hopeful book, a visionary educator shows us what the future can be.

Worlds of Existentialism

Worlds of Existentialism

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Maurice Friedman's masterly anthology still stands apart decades after its original publication. It has become established as a classic - the most comprehensive collection of existentialist writing ever assembled. This edition includes a special preface by Professor Friedman surveying the developments in the field since this monumental work was first published and commenting on its relevance for present intellectual trends. The short selections from important existentialist writers and their forerunners elucidate the critical issues that exist among existentialists. The topics include phenomenology and ontology, the existential subject, intersubjectivity, religion, and psychotherapy.
Would You Eat Your Cat

Would You Eat Your Cat

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Would You Eat Your Cat? challenges you to examine these and many other philosophical questions. This unique collection of classic and modern problems and paradoxes is guaranteed to test your preconceptions. Jeremy Stangroom creates contemporary versions of famous dilemmas that explore the morality of suicide and the ethics of retribution. He then delves into the background of each conundrum in detail and helps you discover what your responses reveal about yourself with a unique morality barometer. Are you ready to have your best ideas confronted and your ethical foundations shaken? If so, then Would You Eat Your Cat? is the book for you.
Would You Kill the Fat Man

Would You Kill the Fat Man

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From the bestselling coauthor of Wittgenstein's Poker, a fascinating tour through the history of moral philosophy

A runaway train is racing toward five men who are tied to the track. Unless the train is stopped, it will inevitably kill all five men. You are standing on a footbridge looking down on the unfolding disaster. However, a fat man, a stranger, is standing next to you: if you push him off the bridge, he will topple onto the line and, although he will die, his chunky body will stop the train, saving five lives. Would you kill the fat man?

The question may seem bizarre. But it's one variation of a puzzle that has baffled moral philosophers for almost half a century and that more recently has come to preoccupy neuroscientists, psychologists, and other thinkers as well. In this book, David Edmonds, coauthor of the bestselling Wittgenstein's Poker, tells the riveting story of why and how philosophers have struggled with this ethical dilemma, sometimes called the trolley problem. In the process, he provides an entertaining and informative tour through the history of moral philosophy. Most people feel it's wrong to kill the fat man. But why? After all, in taking one life you could save five. As Edmonds shows, answering the question is far more complex--and important--than it first appears. In fact, how we answer it tells us a great deal about right and wrong.

Writings on an ethical life

Writings on an ethical life

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Love him or hate him, you certainly can't ignore him. For the past twenty years, Australian philosopher and professor of bioethics Peter Singer has pushed the hot buttons of our collective conscience. In addition to writing the book that sparked the modern animal rights movement, Singer has challenged our most closely held beliefs on the sanctity of human life, the moral obligation's of citizens of affluent nations toward those living in the poorest countries of the world, and much more, with arguments that intrigue as often and as powerfully as they incite.

Writings On An Ethical Life offers a comprehensive collection of Singer's best and most provocative writing, as chosen by Singer himself. Among the controversial subjects addressed are the moral status of animals, environmental account-ablility, abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and the ultimate choice of living an ethical life. This book provides an unsurpassed one-volume view of both the underpinnings and the applications of Singer's governing philosophy.

Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling: The Function of Avowal in Justice

Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling: The Function of Avowal in Justice

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Three years before his death, Michel Foucault delivered a series of lectures at the Catholic University of Louvain that until recently remained almost unknown. These lectures--which focus on the role of avowal, or confession, in the determination of truth and justice--provide the missing link between Foucault's early work on madness, delinquency, and sexuality and his later explorations of subjectivity in Greek and Roman antiquity.

Ranging broadly from Homer to the twentieth century, Foucault traces the early use of truth-telling in ancient Greece and follows it through to practices of self-examination in monastic times. By the nineteenth century, the avowal of wrongdoing was no longer sufficient to satisfy the call for justice; there remained the question of who the "criminal" was and what formative factors contributed to his wrong-doing. The call for psychiatric expertise marked the birth of the discipline of psychiatry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as its widespread recognition as the foundation of criminology and modern criminal justice. Published here for the first time, the 1981 lectures have been superbly translated by Stephen W. Sawyer and expertly edited and extensively annotated by Fabienne Brion and Bernard E. Harcourt. They are accompanied by two contemporaneous interviews with Foucault in which he elaborates on a number of the key themes. An essential companion to Discipline and Punish, Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling will take its place as one of the most significant works of Foucault to appear in decades, and will be necessary reading for all those interested in his thought.
Year of Dreaming Dangerously

Year of Dreaming Dangerously

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Call it the year of dreaming dangerously: 2011 caught the world off guard with a series of shattering events. While protesters in New York, Cairo, London, and Athens took to the streets in pursuit of emancipation, obscure destructive fantasies inspired the world's racist populists in places as far apart as Hungary and Arizona, achieving a horrific consummation in the actions of mass murderer Anders Breivik.

The subterranean work of dissatisfaction continues. Rage is building, and a new wave of revolts and disturbances will follow. Why? Because the events of 2011 augur a new political reality. These are limited, distorted--sometimes even perverted--fragments of a utopian future lying dormant in the present.

Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C.S. Lewis

Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C.S. Lewis

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C. S. Lewis spent a good portion of each day corresponding with people via handwritten letters. Over his lifetime he wrote thousands of letters in which he offered his friends and acquaintances advice on the Christian life, giving away a bit of himself to each of these correspondents as he signed his notes with a heartfelt and familiar, yours, Jack. Most of these letters are currently only available in their entirety--a collection consisting of three hefty tomes. Yours, Jack features the best inspirational readings and sage counsel culled from C. S. Lewis's letters, offering an accessible look at this great author's personal vision for the spiritual life.

This thematic selection from his letters offers the freshest presentation of Lewis's writings since his death in 1963. Yours, Jack will showcase Lewis's remarkable teachings and vision for a new generation.

Zen and Now: On the Trail of Robert Pirsig and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Zen and Now: On the Trail of Robert Pirsig and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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Part travelogue, part meditation on an author and his work, Zen and Now is a tribute to a beloved American book and the landscape that inspired it.

Since it was first published in 1974, Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has become a modern classic, a beautifully constructed blend of travel narrative and philosophical inquiry that has moved generations of readers. One of those readers was journalistMarkRichardson, who after rediscovering the book at middle age, decided to retrace Pirsig's journey. Fromthe back of his own motorcycle, Richardson investigates what happened to the reclusive Pirsig, his family, and the people described in the book in the years after its surprising success.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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THE CLASSIC BOOK THAT HAS INSPIRED MILLIONS

A penetrating examination of how we live and how to live better

Few books transform a generation and then establish themselves as touchstones for the generations that follow. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is one such book. This modern epic of a man's search for meaning became an instant bestseller on publication in 1974, acclaimed as one of the most exciting books in the history of American letters. It continues to inspire millions.

A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions on how to live. The narrator's relationship with his son leads to a powerful self-reckoning; the craft of motorcycle maintenance leads to an austerely beautiful process for reconciling science, religion, and humanism. Resonant with the confusions of existence, this classic is a touching and transcendent book of life.

This new edition contains an interview with Pirsig and letters and documents detailing how this extraordinary book came to be.

Zen Flesh, Zen Bones

Zen Flesh, Zen Bones

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It has stayed with me for the last 30 years, a classic portraying Zen mind to our linear thinking. --Phil Jackson, Head Coach of the Chicago Bulls and author of Sacred Hoops

Zen Flesh, Zen Bones offers a collection of accessible, primary Zen sources so that readers can contemplate the meaning of Zen for themselves. Within the pages, readers will find:

  • 101 Zen Stories, a collection of tales that recount actual experiences of Chinese and Japanese Zen teachers over a period of more than five centuries
  • The Gateless Gate, the famous thirteenth-century collection of Zen koans
  • Ten Bulls, a twelfth century commentary on the stages of awareness leading to enlightenment
  • Centering, a 4,000 year-old teaching from India that some consider to be the roots of Zen.

  • When Zen Flesh, Zen Bones was published in 1957, it became an instant sensation with an entire generation of readers who were just beginning to experiment with Zen. Over the years it has inspired leading American Zen teachers, students, and practitioners. Its popularity is as high today as ever.