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Philosophy

Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex"

Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex"

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In Bodies That Matter, renowned theorist and philosopher Judith Butler argues that theories of gender need to return to the most material dimension of sex and sexuality: the body. Butler offers a brilliant reworking of the body, examining how the power of heterosexual hegemony forms the matter of bodies, sex, and gender. Butler argues that power operates to constrain sex from the start, delimiting what counts as a viable sex. She clarifies the notion of performativity introduced in Gender Trouble and via bold readings of Plato, Irigaray, Lacan, and Freud explores the meaning of a citational politics. She also draws on documentary and literature with compelling interpretations of the film Paris is Burning, Nella Larsen's Passing, and short stories by Willa Cather.

Book Forged in Hell : Spinoza's Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age

Book Forged in Hell : Spinoza's Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age

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The story of one of the most important--and incendiary--books in Western history

When it appeared in 1670, Baruch Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise was denounced as the most dangerous book ever published--godless, full of abominations, a book forged in hell . . . by the devil himself. Religious and secular authorities saw it as a threat to faith, social and political harmony, and everyday morality, and its author was almost universally regarded as a religious subversive and political radical who sought to spread atheism throughout Europe. Yet Spinoza's book has contributed as much as the Declaration of Independence or Thomas Paine's Common Sense to modern liberal, secular, and democratic thinking. In A Book Forged in Hell, Steven Nadler tells the fascinating story of this extraordinary book: its radical claims and their background in the philosophical, religious, and political tensions of the Dutch Golden Age, as well as the vitriolic reaction these ideas inspired.

It is not hard to see why Spinoza's Treatise was so important or so controversial, or why the uproar it caused is one of the most significant events in European intellectual history. In the book, Spinoza became the first to argue that the Bible is not literally the word of God but rather a work of human literature; that true religion has nothing to do with theology, liturgical ceremonies, or sectarian dogma; and that religious authorities should have no role in governing a modern state. He also denied the reality of miracles and divine providence, reinterpreted the nature of prophecy, and made an eloquent plea for toleration and democracy.

A vivid story of incendiary ideas and vicious backlash, A Book Forged in Hell will interest anyone who is curious about the origin of some of our most cherished modern beliefs.

Book of Calamities: Five Questions About Suffering and its Meaning

Book of Calamities: Five Questions About Suffering and its Meaning

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What does it mean to suffer? What enables some people to emerge from tragedy while others are spiritually crushed by it? Why do so many Americans think of suffering as something that happens to other people-who usually deserve it? These are some of the questions at the heart of this powerful book.
Combining reportage, personal narrative, and moral philosophy, Peter Trachtenberg tells the stories of grass-roots genocide tribunals in Rwanda and tsunami survivors in Sri Lanka, an innocent man on death row, and a family bereaved on 9/11. He examines texts from the Book of Job to the Bodhicharyavatara and the writings of Simone Weil. THE BOOK OF CALAMITIES is a provocative and sweeping look at one of the biggest paradoxes of the human condition--and the surprising strength and resilience of those who are forced to confront it.

Book of Dead Philosophers

Book of Dead Philosophers

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In this collection of brief lives (and deaths) of nearly two hundred of the world's greatest thinkers, noted philosopher Simon Critchley creates a register of mortality that is tragic, amusing, absurd, and exemplary. From the self-mocking haikus of Zen masters on their deathbeds to the last words of Christian saints and modern-day sages, this irresistible book contains much to inspire both amusement and reflection.

Informed by Critchley's acute insight, scholarly intelligence, and sprightly wit, each entry tells its own tale, but collected together they add up to a profound and moving investigation of meaning and the possibility of happiness for us all.

Book of Five Rings

Book of Five Rings

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One of the most insightful texts on the subtle arts of confrontation and victory to emerge from Asian culture, The Book of Five Rings analyzes the process of struggle and mastery over conflict that underlies every level of human interaction. Written by the renowned Japanese warrior Miyamoto Musashi in 1643, its principles for achieving success in combat have long been lauded not only for their applicability to the martial arts but to all aspects of life. This acclaimed translation from Thomas Cleary is immediately accessible, with an introduction that presents the spiritual background of the warrior tradition. Along with Musashi's text, Cleary also translates another revered Japanese classic on leadership and strategy, The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War by Yagyu Munenori, which highlights the ethical and spiritual insights of Taoism and Zen as they apply to the way of the warrior.

This book is part of the Shambhala Pocket Library series.

The Shambhala Pocket Library is a collection of short, portable teachings from notable figures across religious traditions and classic texts. The covers in this series are rendered by Colorado artist Robert Spellman. The books in this collection distill the wisdom and heart of the work Shambhala Publications has published over 50 years into a compact format that is collectible, reader-friendly, and applicable to everyday life.

Book of Silence

Book of Silence

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A personal and cultural exploration of silence and its value in our lives--"[an] artful book, mixing autobiography, travel writing, meditation, and essay" (Independent, UK).

In her late forties, after a noisy upbringing as one of six children and adulthood as a vocal feminist and mother, Sara Maitland found herself living alone in the country and, to her surprise, falling in love with silence. In this fascinating, intelligent, and beautifully written book, Maitland describes how she began to explore this new love, spending periods of silence in the Sinai desert, the Scottish hills, and a remote cottage on the Isle of Skye.

Maitland also delves deep into the rich cultural history of silence, exploring its significance in fairy tale and myth, its importance to the Western and Eastern religious traditions, and its use in psychoanalysis and artistic expression.

Her story culminates in her building a hermitage on an isolated moor in Galloway. "Her book is probably unique in its subject, and timely, because good, healing silence is becoming hard to find, and we may not know we need it" (Guardian, UK).

Book of Tea

Book of Tea

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Zen and the art of tea--the classic book about the Japanese tea ceremony that is as much a guide to life

For a generation adjusting painfully to the demands of a modern industrial and commercial society, Asia came to represent an alternative vision of the good life: aesthetically austere, socially aristocratic, and imbued with spirituality. The Book of Tea was originally written in English and sought to address the inchoate yearnings of disaffected Westerners. In a flash of inspiration, Okakura saw that the formal tea party as practiced in New England was a distant cousin of the Japanese tea ceremony, and that East and West had thus "met in the tea-cup."

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.

Book of Tea

Book of Tea

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This enchanting 1906 work introduced the West to the art of the Japanese national drink through the philosophy of "teaism" as an aesthetic that permeates Japanese thinking and ritual. From "tea ideals" to the serenity of the tearoom, from the beverage's influence on Zen and Taoist concepts to its infusion in the ceremony of flower arranging, this is an essential introduction not merely to a drink but to an entire way of life. It will delight tea lovers and students of Japanese culture alike. Japanese scholar and writer KAKUZO OKAKURA (1863-1913) helped spread interest in Asian art and culture to the Western world. He is also the author of Ideals of the East (1883).
Breakfast with Seneca

Breakfast with Seneca

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Stoicism, the most influential philosophy of the Roman Empire, offers refreshingly modern ways to strengthen our inner character in the face of an unpredictable world. Widely recognized as the most talented and humane writer of the Stoic tradition, Seneca teaches us to live with freedom and purpose. His most enduring work, over a hundred "Letters from a Stoic" written to a close friend, explains how to handle adversity; overcome grief, anxiety, and anger; transform setbacks into opportunities for growth; and recognize the true nature of friendship.

In Breakfast with Seneca, philosopher David Fideler mines Seneca's classic works in a series of focused chapters, clearly explaining Seneca's ideas without oversimplifying them. Best enjoyed as a daily ritual, like an energizing cup of coffee, Seneca's wisdom provides us with a steady stream of time-tested advice about the human condition--which, as it turns out, hasn't changed much over the past two thousand years.

Breakfast with Seneca

Breakfast with Seneca

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Stoicism, the most influential philosophy of the Roman Empire, offers refreshingly modern ways to strengthen our inner character in the face of an unpredictable world. Widely recognized as the most talented and humane writer of the Stoic tradition, Seneca teaches us to live with freedom and purpose. His most enduring work, over a hundred "Letters from a Stoic" written to a close friend, explains how to handle adversity; overcome grief, anxiety, and anger; transform setbacks into opportunities for growth; and recognize the true nature of friendship.

In Breakfast with Seneca, philosopher David Fideler mines Seneca's classic works in a series of focused chapters, clearly explaining Seneca's ideas without oversimplifying them. Best enjoyed as a daily ritual, like an energizing cup of coffee, Seneca's wisdom provides us with a steady stream of time-tested advice about the human condition--which, as it turns out, hasn't changed much over the past two thousand years.

Brief History of Everything

Brief History of Everything

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In a breathtaking trip from the Big Bang to the Postmodern world we inhabit, Ken Wilber examines the universe and our place in it, and comes up with an accessible and entertaining account of how it all fits together. Along the way he sheds light not only on the great cosmic questions but on various contentious issues of our day, such as changing gender roles, environmentalism, diversity and multiculturalism, even the meaning of the Internet. A Brief History of Everything is the perfect introduction to the great Integral thinker at his wise and witty best.
Brief History of Everything

Brief History of Everything

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A Brief History of Everything is an altogether friendly and accessible account of men and women's place in a universe of sex, soul, and spirit, written by an author of whom New York Times reporter Tony Schwartz says: "No one has described the path to wisdom better than Ken Wilber."

Wilber examines the course of evolution as the unfolding manifestation of Spirit, from matter to life to mind, including the higher stages of spiritual development where Spirit becomes conscious of itself. In each of these domains, there are recurring patterns, and by looking closely at them, we can learn much about the predicament of our world--and the direction we must take if "global transformation" is to become a reality.

Wilber offers a series of striking and original views on many topics of current interest and controversy, including the gender wars, modern liberation movements, multiculturalism, ecology and environmental ethics, and the conflict between this-worldly and otherworldly approaches to spirituality. The result is an extraordinary and exhilarating ride through the Kosmos in the company of one of the great thinkers of our time.

Brief History of Thought

Brief History of Thought

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER

The most succinct and accessible overview of philosophy I have come across, and perfect for anyone who wants to dip their toe into the waters of philosophy without drowning in intimidating prose. Matt Haig, Washington Post

From the timeless wisdom of the ancient Greeks to Christianity, the Enlightenment, existentialism, and postmodernism, Luc Ferry's instant classic brilliantly and accessibly explains the enduring teachings of philosophy--including its profound relevance to modern daily life and its essential role in achieving happiness and living a meaningful life. This lively journey through the great thinkers will enlighten every reader, young and old.

Brighter Side of Human Nature: Altruism

Brighter Side of Human Nature: Altruism

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Drawing from hundreds of studies in half a dozen fields, The Brighter Side of Human Nature makes a powerful case that caring and generosity are just as natural as selfishness and aggression. This lively refutation of cynical assumptions about our species considers the nature of empathy and the causes of war, why we (incorrectly) explain all behavior in terms of self-interest, and how we can teach children to care.
Bring Me the Rhinoceros: And Other Zen Koans That Will Save Your Life

Bring Me the Rhinoceros: And Other Zen Koans That Will Save Your Life

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A provocative and playful exploration of the Zen koan tradition that reveals how everyday paradoxes are an integral part of our spiritual journey

Bring Me the Rhinoceros is an unusual guide to happiness and a can opener for your thinking. For fifteen hundred years, Zen koans have been passed down through generations of masters, usually in private encounters between teacher and student. This book deftly retells more than a dozen traditional koans, which are partly paradoxical questions dangerous to your beliefs and partly treasure boxes of ancient wisdom. Koans show that you don't have to impress people or change into an improved, more polished version of yourself. Instead you can find happiness by unbuilding, unmaking, throwing overboard, and generally subverting unhappiness.

Author and Zen teacher John Tarrant brings the heart of the koan tradition out into the open, reminding us that the old wisdom remains as vital as ever, a deep resource available to anyone in any place or time.

Buddha : His Life and Teachings and Impact on Humanity

Buddha : His Life and Teachings and Impact on Humanity

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An authority on the world's spiritual traditions, Osho was celebrated for his unique ability to refresh ancient wisdoms for a contemporary audience. Here he takes the reader on an exciting journey into the life and world of Prince Gautam Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. Like a great storyteller, Osho explains the Buddha's teachings through life stories and anecdotes that demonstrate how these teachings arose from Buddha's own experiences. Lively and lifelike, with unconventional wit and deep wisdom he guides the reader step by step through the secrets and subtleties of the "world religion without God," as only a true spiritual teacher can. Stunning color photographs throughout the book, along with Osho's inspiring insights, reveal the inner quality of Buddha's spirituality, leading the reader to a new understanding of his timeless message.

Buddhism Plain and Simple

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Buddhist and the Ethicist

Buddhist and the Ethicist

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Eastern spirituality and utilitarian philosophy meet in these unique dialogues between a Buddhist monastic and a moral philosopher on such issues as animal welfare, gender equality, the death penalty, and more

An unlikely duo--Professor Peter Singer, a preeminent philosopher and professor of bioethics, and Venerable Shih Chao-Hwei, a Taiwanese Buddhist monastic and social activist--join forces to talk ethics in lively conversations that cross oceans, overcome language barriers, and bridge philosophies. The eye-opening dialogues collected here share unique perspectives on contemporary issues like animal welfare, gender equality, the death penalty, and more. Together, these two deep thinkers explore the foundation of ethics and key Buddhist concepts, and ultimately reveal how we can all move toward making the world a better place.