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Philosophy

  • Auteur:
    Santayana, George
    Sommaire:

    George Santayana's renowned work of moral philosophy outlines his vision of the ideal life.Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana's The Life of Reason stands as one of the most influential and beautifully written works of philosophical naturalism. In it, Santayana articulates his vision of human progression from chaos to reason and the pursuit of the ideal life. Focusing his thought on the lived experiences of people, these phases are traced through humanity's many endeavors, including art, science, politics, religion, friendship, and reason. Drawing on a range of influences, from Democritus and Aristotle to Spinoza and Schopenhauer, Santayana develops a materialist system of thought that stresses the importance of imagination and spiritual experience. Originally published in five volumes, from 1905 to 1906, The Life of Reason is Santayana's most complete statement of moral philosophy and an inspiring account of human dignity. This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.

  • Auteur:
    Durant, Will, Durant, Ariel
    Sommaire:

    The authors devoted five decades to the study of world history and philosophy, culminating in the masterful eleven-volume Story of Civilization. In this compact summation of their work, Will and Ariel Durant share the vital and profound lessons of our collective past.

  • Auteur:
    Lilburn, Tim
    Sommaire:

    This volume, the final in Tim Lilburn’s decades-long meditation on philosophy and environmental consequences, traces a relationship between mystic traditions and the political world. Struck by the realization that he did not know how to be where he found himself, Lilburn embarked on a personal attempt at decolonization, seeking to uncover what is wrong within Canadian culture and to locate a possible path to recovery. He proposes a new epistemology leading to an ecologically responsible and spiritually acute relationship between settler Canadians, Indigenous peoples, and the land we inhabit. The Larger Conversation is a bold statement: a vital text for readers of environmental philosophy and for anyone interested in building toward conversation between Indigenous peoples and settlers.

  • Auteur:
    Plato
    Sommaire:

    Presents the most tragic episodes in the history of Athens' decline: the trial and condemnation of Socrates.

  • Auteur:
    Zwicky, Jan
    Sommaire:

    The aim of this book is a recovery of interest in the experience of meaning. Jan Zwicky defends the claim that we experience meaning in the apprehension of wholes and their internal structural relations, providing examples of such insight in mathematics and physics, literature, music, and Plato's ancient theory of forms. Taken together, these essays constitute a powerful indictment of the aggressive reductionism and the reliance on calculative modes of thought that dominate our present conception of understanding. The Experience of Meaning proposes a more just epistemology, arguing for a new grammar of thought, a new way of understanding the relationship of human intelligence to the world. Engaging with philosophy, psychology, literature, fine arts, music, and environmental studies in a profound way, The Experience of Meaning will interest any reader who ponders the question of meaning and its relation to true human expression.

  • Auteur:
    Somerville, Margaret
    Sommaire:

    Science and technology force us to ask some of the most challenging and unprecedented ethical questions in the world today. These issues encompass what it means to be human, how we relate to others and our world, and how we find meaning in life. How we can find a shared ethics for an interdependent world? In her 2006 CBC Massey Lectures, ethicist and McGill University professor Margaret Somerville tackles some of the most contentious issues of our times, and proposes a brilliant new kind of ethical language and thought to help us navigate them.

  • Auteur:
    Danowski, Deborah
    Sommaire:

    The end of the world is a seemingly interminable topic at least, of course, until it happens. Environmental catastrophe and planetary apocalypse are subjects of enduring fascination and, as ethnographic studies show, human cultures have approached them in very different ways. Indeed, in the face of the growing perception of the dire effects of global warming, some of these visions have been given a new lease on life. Information and analyses concerning the human causes and the catastrophic consequences of the planetary 'crisis' have been accumulating at an ever-increasing rate, mobilising popular opinion as well as academic reflection. In this book, philosopher DEborah Danowski and anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro offer a bold overview and interpretation of these current discourses on 'the end of the world', reading them as thought experiments on the decline of the West's anthropological adventure that is, as attempts, though not necessarily intentional ones, at inventing a mythology that is adequate to the present. This work has important implications for the future development of ecological practices and it will appeal to a broad audience interested in contemporary anthropology, philosophy, and environmentalism.

  • Auteur:
    Gottlieb, Anthony
    Sommaire:

    In this landmark study of Western thought, Anthony Gottlieb looks afresh at the writings of our great thinkers, from the pre-Socratic age to the Renaissance, providing a fresh and vivid portrait of the human drive for understanding.

  • Auteur:
    K., Nora
    Sommaire:

    Eleven-year-old Nora K. received Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World as a birthday present, and in it she read about Plato’s theory of ideas. One problem especially intrigued her: What about the platonic idea of the dinosaur? Ideas are timeless and cannot die. The dinosaurs, however, became extinct ages ago. Does the idea of the dinosaur still exist all the same? Could it even be that the material world is a dream and time an illusion? Moreover, is there such a thing as free will, or is everything predetermined? Is the soul eternal? Do animals have a consciousness? Is the universe infinite? Is there such a thing as objective truth? Does God exist, and why is there evil in the world?

    These are some of Nora’s questions which prompted her correspondence with Vittorio Hösle, a philosopher by profession, who invents a wonderful philosophical fantasy. Taking the film Dead Poets Society as his inspiration, he creates a place where the great philosophers of antiquity and their modern successors can all meet. They gather in the “Café of the Dead but Ever Young Philosophers” and discuss Nora’s letters—Parmenides and Socrates, Descartes and Hobbes (whom Nora doesn’t like at all), “Mac” (Machiavelli) and Kant, Nora’s “patron philosopher” Giambattista Vico and Hans Jonas, and many others. The sparks fly from time to time, as the great thinkers squabble quite frequently—no wonder, since conflicting arguments from the entire history of philosophy collide with each other head-on.

    Nora’s letters are intelligent, never precocious, and always imaginative. Vittorio Hösle provides answers which are entertaining but still critical, and he is clearly concerned about not setting his expectations of the child too low. In his afterword on children’s philosophy and philosophy with children, he sketches what role philosophy could play in raising children. The correspondence with Nora, an authentic exchange of letters between January 1994 and January 1996, is a lovely document of a philosophical friendship between an adult and a child.

  • Auteur:
    De Botton, Alain
    Sommaire:

    Alain de Botton draws on the work of six of the world's most uncommonly brilliant thinkers to offer this panoply of accessible, entertaining wisdom to guide us through our most common problems.

  • Auteur:
    Zhao, YuKong
    Sommaire:

    Today, many American families are facing the economic fallout of global competition, a decline in education quality, the potential reduction of Social Security and Medicare benefits, and high oil prices. The answer to these problems can be found in five inspiring Confucian values regarding career aspiration, education, money management, family, and friendship—the untold secrets behind the rise of China and the success of Asian Americans, whom the Pew Research Center calls the highest-income and best-educated racial group in the US. Based on his bicultural living experience and deep understanding of Confucianism, YuKong Zhao connects ancient Chinese wisdom to today’s real-life challenges and shares an “inside view” of how Chinese Americans apply these values to their lives and make themselves successful in their careers and as parents. Using an insightful cross-cultural perspective, he advocates a balanced approach that combines the strengths of Confucian values and American culture. He challenges many prevailing pop-culture values and offers sensible solutions that are refreshing, distinctive, and effective.

  • Auteur:
    Huard, Roger L.
    Sommaire:

    Roger Huard invites readers to explore Plato's Myth of the Cave, which is central to his magnum opus on political philosophy, The Republic. The primary goal of this exploration is to arrive at an understanding of Plato's political ideas — an understanding that is not saddled with the misconceptions that plague contemporary interpretations of his thinking, conservative and progressive alike. The author argues further that this re-examination provides a way to look at the human condition that is significantly different from most available perspectives on the matter and that, by virtue of this difference, challenges both our conceptions of the cosmos and many of our deeply held political beliefs. The author provides a reinterpretation of the cave myth that discusses specifically the structure of knowledge that is embedded in the myth as well as the concept of philosophy and the philosopher that it details especially in terms of the relationship of the philosopher to the greater social order. An examination follows of the structure of the world that Platos myth rests upon. This is important because this structure is fundamentally different from current scientific and religious conceptions of the cosmos. It is also significant because Plato's notions about the structure of the world are linked to his ideas about justice and human well being, a link that is forged (albeit implicitly) in his Myth of the Cave. The author then proceeds to a discussion of four topics that separate contemporary political thinking from Plato's: freedom, equality, truth and art. A two-part examination of these topics demonstrates, first, that Plato's thoughts on these matters are not as we conventionally think them to be; and second, turns a critical gaze on how contemporary political thought may be mistaken about its own ideas concerning freedom, equality, truth and art. A key feature in this re-examination is the differing conceptions we have from Plato's on the private and public realms and how these realms are connected to our ideas about economics and politics The book concludes with a discussion on the importance of Plato's political philosophy and how it is linked at a fundamental level to some of our cherished political beliefs about justice, human well-being and community.

  • Auteur:
    Sisti, Sebastian
    Sommaire:

    These philosophical essays draw their logic from the principle of continuity. Simply stated, the principle of continuity consists of three axioms: (a) Nothing cannot become something; (b) Something cannot become nothing; (c) Something cannot become something else. When applied to new conceptions of the universe (or everyday life), the principle of continuity will expose hokum or honest error.

    Big Bang theory is honest error, not glib sloganeering. But when put to the test of continuity Big Bang theory fails (nothing cannot become something). The universe cannot be created nor can it be destroyed. Stephen Hawking, co-father of Big Bang theory, recently recanted, stating that "the origin of the universe is a subject for disciplines other than science."

    The absolute existence of the universe implies the absolute existence of every particle of matter and energy, which leads to the conclusion that we are made of immortal stuff. It also leads to the tantalizing idea that evolution in its agonizingly slow way could be said to be building an immortal organism.

    While several articles have been published on the discovery of telomeres and the role of telomerase in aging, these essays present a unique philosophical system which posits that existence is absolute and that biological immortality is the evolutionary goal of all living.

    Drawing on sources ranging from the Holy Bible to Charles Darwin and scientific studies of recombinant DNA, the essays, written in a folksy style, conclude that the universe could not have been created even as they show that the universe, or any part of it, cannot be destroyed. This absolute existence of the universe and its contents puts meaning back into theories of existence by finding that everything obeys a simple law: to be continuous. This compulsion fuels the quest for immortality which is expressed in our religions, in science, in the value we give to life and to reproduction, and to the preservation of family, tribe and nation.

    The evidence that death seems to contradict our passion for immortality is based on the delusion that there must be a beginning and an end to everything. In any event the point is moot because, thanks to a handful of cell biologists, science has discovered the secret of death and its cure.

  • Auteur:
    Ben Izzy, Joel
    Sommaire:

    When a storyteller loses his voice, he believes he's lost everything. In fact, he's been given a great gift. Once upon a time, a successful storyteller lost his voice to throat cancer. Deprived of the instrument of his art and his livelihood, he retreated into dark, sullen silence and depression. While searching for a spiritual explanation, he encountered his former mentor, a cantankerous and often drunk old man. Their meetings began a journey into the timeless wisdom of ancient tales: of beggars and kings, monks and tigers, lost horses, buried treasures, and ultimately the secret of happiness. In this altogether original book, Joel ben Izzy shares his personal account of surviving loss, gaining wisdom, and rediscovering one's true purpose. Weaving in tales he's collected over the years from Sufi, Muslim, Chinese, Jewish, Iraqi, Zen Buddhist, Italian, and Indian cultures, he passes along the lessons he has learned. As we travel with ben Izzy from tragedy back into light and sound, we are encouraged to see our own lives as stories, and to open our own hearts to happiness.

  • Auteur:
    Taleb, Nassim
    Sommaire:

    Presents the author's aphorism that touch on the ideas about the hubris of modern society presented in such earlier works as "The Black Swan" and "Fooled by Randomness."

  • Auteur:
    Gracian, Baltasar
    Sommaire:

    Life guidance from a famed Renaissance man. This influential work of philosophy by one of the great thinkers of the Renaissance era advises people of all walks of life how to approach political, professional, and personal situations in a dog-eat-dog world. Comprised of three hundred pithy aphorisms, it offers thought-provoking and accessible advice. Some subjects include "Never Compete," "The Art of Letting Things Alone," and "Anticipate Injuries and Turn Them into Favours." This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.

  • Auteur:
    De Botton, Alain
    Sommaire:

    One of the great, but often unmentioned, causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of our environment: the kinds of chairs, walls, buildings, and streets that surround us. And yet, a concern for architecture is too often described as frivolous, even self-indulgent. Alain de Botton starts from the idea that where we are heavily influences who we can be, and argues that it is architecture's task to stand as an eloquent reminder of our full potential.

  • Auteur:
    Foucault, Michel
    Sommaire:

    Madness, sexuality, power, knowledge—are these facts of life or simply parts of speech? In a series of works of astonishing brilliance, historian Michel Foucault excavated the hidden assumptions that govern the way we live and the way we think. The Archaeology of Knowledge begins at the level of “things aid” and moves quickly to illuminate the connections between knowledge, language, and action in a style at once profound and personal. A summing up of Foucault’s own methodological assumptions, this book is also a first step toward a genealogy of the way we live now. Challenging, at times infuriating, it is an absolutely indispensable guide to one of the most innovative thinkers of our time.

  • Auteur:
    Durant, Will, Durant, Ariel
    Sommaire:

    This volume presents an in-depth examination of France and England in the first half of the eighteenth century. In this masterful work, listeners will encounter the salons of Paris, the philosophes, Voltaire himself, and more.

  • Auteur:
    Paine, Thomas
    Sommaire:

    The author of Rights of Man and Common Sense argues for belief in God without religion.My own mind is my own church. In The Age of Reason, political activist and Founding Father Thomas Paine makes a powerful case for a rational approach to theology. In keeping with the intellectual tradition of British Deism, Paine rejects the notion of divine revelation, saying "it is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other." He proceeds with a detailed analysis of the Bible's inconsistencies and historical inaccuracies to conclude that it cannot be a divinely inspired text. Arguing against all forms of organized religion, he declares nature itself to be the only true testament to the existence of a divine creator. Originally published in three parts, in 1794, 1795, and 1807, The Age of Reason was a major influence on the freethinker movement in the United States. In Britain, however, it was declared seditious and led to the arrest of those who dared to print and distribute it. This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.

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