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'It is impossible to live the pleasant life without also living sensibly, nobly and justly' The ancient Greek philosopher and teacher Epicurus argued that pleasure - not sensual hedonism, but the absence of pain or fear - is the highest goal of life. His hugely influential lessons on happiness are a call to appreciate the joy of being alive. One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers who have helped shape our world today, from anarchists to stoics, feminists to prophets, satirists to Zen Buddhists.
Target success in AQA A-level Philosophy with this proven formula for effective, structured revision; key content coverage is combined with exam-style tasks and practical tips to create a revision guide that you can rely on to review, strengthen and test students' knowledge. With My Revision Notes, every student can: - Plan and manage a successful revision programme using the topic-by-topic planner - Consolidate subject knowledge by working through clear and focused content coverage - Test understanding and identify areas for improvement with regular 'Now Test Yourself' tasks and answers - Improve exam technique through practice questions, expert tips and examples of typical mistakes to avoid
An original and provocative exploration of our capacity to ignore what is inconvenient or traumatic Ignorance, whether passive or active, conscious or unconscious, has always been a part of the human condition, Renata Salecl argues. What has changed in our post-truth, postindustrial world is that we often feel overwhelmed by the constant flood of information and misinformation. It sometimes seems impossible to differentiate between truth and falsehood and, as a result, there has been a backlash against the idea of expertise, and a rise in the number of people actively choosing not to know. The dangers of this are obvious, but Salecl challenges our assumptions, arguing that there may also be a positive side to ignorance, and that by addressing the role of ignorance in society, we may also be able to reclaim the role of knowledge. Drawing on philosophy, social and psychoanalytic theory, popular culture, and her own experience, Salecl explores how the passion for ignorance plays out in many different aspects of life today, from love, illness, trauma, and the fear of failure to genetics, forensic science, big data, and the incel movement-and she concludes that ignorance is a complex phenomenon that can, on occasion, benefit individuals and society as a whole. The result is a fascinating investigation of how the knowledge economy became an ignorance economy, what it means for us, and what it tells us about the world today.
The question of what defines the human, and of what is human about the humanities, have been shaken up by the radical critiques of humanism and the displacement of anthropomorphism that have gained currency in recent years, propelled in part by rapid advances in our knowledge of living systems and of their genetic and algorithmic codes coupled with the global expansion of a knowledge-intensive capitalism. In Posthuman Knowledge, Rosi Braidotti takes a closer look at the impact of these developments on three major areas: the constitution of our subjectivity, the general production of knowledge and the practice of the academic humanities. Drawing on feminist, postcolonial and anti-racist theory, she argues that the human was never a neutral category but one always linked to power and privilege. Hence we must move beyond the old dualities in which Man defined himself, beyond the sexualized and racialized others that were excluded from humanity. Posthuman knowledge, as Braidotti understands it, is not so much an alternative form of knowledge as a critical call: a call to build a multi-layered and multi-directional project that displaces anthropocentrism while pursuing the analysis of the discriminatory and violent aspects of human activity and interaction wherever they occur. Situated between the exhilaration of scientific and technological advances on the one hand and the threat of climate change devastation on the other, the posthuman convergence encourages us to think hard and creatively about what we are in the process of becoming.
Epistemic logic is the branch of philosophical thought that
seeks to formalize the discourse about knowledge. Its object is to
articulate and clarify the general principles of reasoning about
claims to and attributions of knowledge. This comprehensive survey
of the topic offers the first systematic account of the subject as
it has developed in the journal literature over recent
How did the fact become modernity's most favored unit of knowledge?
How did description come to seem separable from theory in the
precursors of economics and the social sciences?
Combining ideas from philosophy, artificial intelligence, and neurobiology, Daniel Dennett leads the reader on a fascinating journey of inquiry, exploring such intriguing possibilities as: Can any of us really know what is going on in someone else's mind? What distinguishes the human mind from the minds of animals, especially those capable of complex behaviour? If such animals, for instance, were magically given the power of language, would their communities evolve an intelligence as subtly discriminating as ours? Will robots, once they have been endowed with sensory systems like those that provide us with experience, ever exhibit the particular traits long thought to distinguish the human mind, including the ability to think about thinking? Dennett addresses these questions from an evolutionary perspective. Beginning with the macromolecules of DNA and RNA, the author shows how, step-by-step, animal life moved from the simple ability to respond to frequently recurring environmental conditions to much more powerful ways of beating the odds, ways of using patterns of past experience to predict the future in never-before-encountered situations. Whether talking about robots whose video-camera "eyes" give us the powerful illusion that "there is somebody in there" or asking us to consider whether spiders are just tiny robots mindlessly spinning their webs of elegant design, Dennett is a master at finding and posing questions sure to stimulate and even disturb.
Investigation of the Percept is a short (eight verses and a three page autocommentary) work that focuses on issues of perception and epistemology. Its author, Dignaga, was one of the most influential figures in the Indian Buddhist epistemological tradition, and his ideas had a profound and wide-ranging impact in India, Tibet, and China. The work inspired more than twenty commentaries throughout East Asia and three in Tibet, the most recent in 2014. This book is the first of its kind in Buddhist studies: a comprehensive history of a text and its commentarial tradition. The volume editors translate the root text and commentary, along with Indian and Tibetan commentaries, providing detailed analyses of the commentarial innovations of each author, as well as critically edited versions of all texts and extant Sanskrit fragments of passages. The team-based approach made it possible to study and translate a corpus of treatises in Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese and to employ the methods of critical philology and cross-cultural philosophy to provide readers with a rich collection of studies and translations, along with detailed philosophical analyses that open up the intriguing implications of Dignaga's thought and demonstrate the diversity of commentarial approaches to his text. This rich text has inspired some of the greatest minds in India and Tibet. It explores some of the key issues of Buddhist epistemology: the relationship between minds and their percepts, the problems of idealism and realism, and error and misperception.
Science is the study of our world, as it is in its messy reality. Nonetheless, science requires idealization to function--if we are to attempt to understand the world, we have to find ways to reduce its complexity. Idealization and the Aims of Science shows just how crucial idealization is to science and why it matters. Beginning with the acknowledgment of our status as limited human agents trying to make sense of an exceedingly complex world, Angela Potochnik moves on to explain how science aims to depict and make use of causal patterns--a project that makes essential use of idealization. She offers case studies from a number of branches of science to demonstrate the ubiquity of idealization, shows how causal patterns are used to develop scientific explanations, and describes how the necessarily imperfect connection between science and truth leads to researchers' values influencing their findings. The resulting book is a tour de force, a synthesis of the study of idealization that also offers countless new insights and avenues for future exploration.
The word apory stems from the Greek aporia, meaning impasse or perplexing difficulty. In ""Aporetics"", Nicholas Rescher defines an apory as a group of individually plausible but collectively incompatible theses. Rescher examines historic, formulaic, and systematic apories and couples these with aporetic theory from other authors to form this original and comprehensive survey. Citing thinkers from the pre-Socratics through Spinoza, Hegel, and Nicolai Hartmann, he builds a framework for coping with the complexities of divergent theses, and shows in detail how aporetic analysis can be applied to a variety of fields, including philosophy, mathematics, linguistics, logic, and intellectual history. Rescher's in-depth examination reveals how aporetic inconsistency can be managed through a plausibility analysis that breaks the chain of inconsistency at its weakest link by deploying right-of-way precedence based on considerations of cognitive centrality. While involvement with cognitive conflicts and inconsistencies are pervasive in human thought, aporetic analysis can provide an effective means of damage control. Through its clear and accessible style, ""Aporetics"" provides an instructive perspective on the many diverse issues that can arise from imperfect information and cognitive dissonance.
Philosophy for AS and A Level is an accessible textbook for the new 2017 AQA Philosophy syllabus. Structured closely around the AQA specification this textbook covers the two units shared by the AS and A Level, Epistemology and Moral Philosophy, in an engaging and student-friendly way. With chapters on 'How to do philosophy', exam preparation providing students with the philosophical skills they need to succeed, and an extensive glossary to support understanding, this book is ideal for students studying philosophy. Each chapter includes: argument maps that help to develop student's analytical and critical skills comprehension questions to test understanding discussion questions to generate evaluative argument explanation and commentary on the AQA set texts `Thinking harder' sections cross-references to help students make connections bullet-point summaries of each topic. The companion website hosts a wealth of further resources, including PowerPoint slides, flashcards, further reading, weblinks and handouts, all structured to accompany the textbook. It can be found at www.routledge.com/cw/alevelphilosophy.
Written by experienced practitioners this resource for Theory of Knowledge for the IB Diploma offers comprehensive coverage of and support for the new subject guide. Decoding Theory of Knowledge (ToK) is an accessible new resource that explores Areas of Knowledge, Ways of Knowing, Personal and Shared Knowledge, the Knowledge Framework and Knowledge Questions. Written in succinct and clear language, this engaging book decodes ToK concepts and helps students develop their critical thinking skills. The book offers extensive support on the new assessment criteria for the essay and presentation. Features include explanation of key concepts to consolidate knowledge and understanding; real-life situations to engage students; practical activities to develop students' thinking, writing and presentation skills; and top tips to provide further guidance and advice.
Philosophy for AS is an accessible textbook for the new 2014 AQA Advanced Subsidiary Philosophy syllabus. Structured closely around the AQA specification this textbook covers the two units, Epistemology and Philosophy of Religion, in an engaging and student-friendly way. With chapters on 'How to do philosophy', exam preparation providing students with the philosophical skills they need to succeed, and an extensive glossary to support understanding, this book is ideal for students studying philosophy. Each chapter includes: explanation and commentary of the AQA anthology texts comprehension questions to test understanding discussion questions to generate evaluative argument 'going further' sections for advanced study cross-references to help students make connections bullet-point summaries of each topic. The companion website hosts a wealth of further resources, including PowerPoint slides, flashcards, further reading, weblinks and handouts, all structured to accompany the textbook. It can be found at www.routledge.com/cw/alevelphilosophy.
From Pulitzer Prize-finalist Steven Nadler, an engaging guide to what Spinoza can teach us about life's big questions In 1656, after being excommunicated from Amsterdam's Portuguese-Jewish community for "abominable heresies" and "monstrous deeds," the young Baruch Spinoza abandoned his family's import business to dedicate his life to philosophy. He quickly became notorious across Europe for his views on God, the Bible, and miracles, as well as for his uncompromising defense of free thought. Yet the radicalism of Spinoza's views has long obscured that his primary reason for turning to philosophy was to answer one of humanity's most urgent questions: How can we lead a good life and enjoy happiness in a world without a providential God? In Think Least of Death, Pulitzer Prize-finalist Steven Nadler connects Spinoza's ideas with his life and times to offer a compelling account of how the philosopher can provide a guide to living one's best life. In the Ethics, Spinoza presents his vision of the ideal human being, the "free person" who, motivated by reason, lives a life of joy devoted to what is most important-improving oneself and others. Untroubled by passions such as hate, greed, and envy, free people treat others with benevolence, justice, and charity. Focusing on the rewards of goodness, they enjoy the pleasures of this world, but in moderation. "The free person thinks least of all of death," Spinoza writes, "and his wisdom is a meditation not on death but on life." An unmatched introduction to Spinoza's moral philosophy, Think Least of Death shows how his ideas still provide valuable insights about how to live today.
Newcomb's problem is a controversial paradox of decision theory. It is easily explained and easily understood, and there is a strong chance that most of us have actually faced it in some form or other. And yet it has proven as thorny and intractable a puzzle as much older and better-known philosophical problems of consciousness, scepticism and fatalism. It brings into very sharp and focused disagreement several long-standing philosophical theories on practical rationality, on the nature of free will, and on the direction and analysis of causation. This volume introduces readers to the nature of Newcomb's problem, and ten chapters by leading scholars present the most recent debates around the problem and analyse its ramifications for decision theory, metaphysics, philosophical psychology and political science. Their chapters highlight the status of Newcomb's problem as a live and continuing issue in modern philosophy.
When philosophers try to understand the nature of knowledge, they have to confront the Gettier problem. This problem, set out in Edmund Gettier's famous paper of 1963, has yet to be solved, and has challenged our best attempts to define what knowledge is. This volume offers an organised sequence of accessible and distinctive chapters explaining the history of debate surrounding Gettier's challenge, and where that debate should take us next. The chapters describe and evaluate a wide range of ideas about knowledge that have been sparked by philosophical engagements with the Gettier problem, including such phenomena as fallibility, reasoning, evidence, reliability, truth-tracking, context, luck, intellectual virtue, wisdom, conceptual analysis, intuition, experimental philosophy, and explication. The result is an authoritative survey of fifty-plus years of epistemological research - along with provocative ideas for future research - into the nature of knowledge.
This is a comprehensive review of the psychological literature on wisdom by leading experts in the field. It covers the philosophical and sociocultural foundations of wisdom, and showcases the measurement and teaching of wisdom. The connection of wisdom to intelligence and personality is explained alongside its relationship with morality and ethics. It also explores the neurobiology of wisdom, its significance in medical decision-making, and wise leadership. How to develop wisdom is discussed and practical information is given about how to instil it in others. The book is accessible to a wide readership and includes virtually all of the major theories of wisdom, as well as the full range of research on wisdom as it is understood today. It takes both a basic-science and applied focus, making it useful to those seeking to understand wisdom scientifically, and to those who wish to apply their understanding of wisdom to their own work.
Is rationality a well-defined human universal such that ideas and behaviour can everywhere be judged by a single set of criteria? Or are the rational and the irrational simply cultural constructs? This study provides an alternative to both options. The universalist thesis underestimates the variety found in sound human reasonings exemplified across time and space and often displays a marked Eurocentric bias. The extreme relativist faces the danger of concluding that we are all locked into mutually unintelligible universes. These problems are worse when certain concepts, often inherited from ancient Greek thought, especially binaries such as nature and culture, or the literal and the metaphorical, are not examined critically. Drawing on a variety of disciplines, from philosophy to cognitive science, this book explores what both ancient societies (Greece and China especially) and modern ones (as revealed by ethnography) can teach us concerning the heterogeneity of what can be called rational.
Throughout history scepticism and the urge to question accepted truths has been a powerful force for change and growth. Today, as we are bombarded by adverts, scientific studies praising the latest superfoods, and political rhetoric, a healthy amount of scepticism is widely encouraged. But when is such scepticism legitimate - for example, as a driver of new ideas - and when is it problematic? And what role might adopting a sceptical outlook play in leading an intellectually virtuous life? In this Very Short Introduction Duncan Pritchard explores both the advantages of scepticism, in challenging outdated notions, and also how it can have unhelpful social consequences, in generating distrust. He considers the role of scepticism at the source of contemporary social and political movements such as climate change denial, post-truth politics, and fake news. Pritchard also examines the philosophical arguments for a radical form of scepticism which maintains that knowledge is impossible, and explores some of the main responses to these arguments. Finally, he considers the part scepticism might play in applying better thinking and learning to achieve a more meaningful life. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Leviathan and the Air-Pump examines the conflicts over the value and propriety of experimental methods between two major seventeenth-century thinkers: Thomas Hobbes, author of the political treatise Leviathan and vehement critic of systematic experimentation in natural philosophy, and Robert Boyle, mechanical philosopher and owner of the newly invented air-pump. The issues at stake in their disputes ranged from the physical integrity of the air-pump to the intellectual integrity of the knowledge it might yield. Both Boyle and Hobbes were looking for ways of establishing knowledge that did not decay into ad hominem attacks and political division. Boyle proposed the experiment as cure. He argued that facts should be manufactured by machines like the air-pump so that gentlemen could witness the experiments and produce knowledge that everyone agreed on. Hobbes, by contrast, looked for natural law and viewed experiments as the artificial, unreliable products of an exclusive guild. The new approaches taken in Leviathan and the Air-Pump have been enormously influential on historical studies of science. Shapin and Schaffer found a moment of scientific revolution and showed how key scientific givens--facts, interpretations, experiment, truth--were fundamental to a new political order. Shapin and Schaffer were also innovative in their ethnographic approach. Attempting to understand the work habits, rituals, and social structures of a remote, unfamiliar group, they argued that politics were tied up in what scientists did, rather than what they said. Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer use the confrontation between Hobbes and Boyle as a way of understanding what was at stake in the early history of scientific experimentation. They describe the protagonists' divergent views of natural knowledge, and situate the Hobbes-Boyle disputes within contemporary debates over the role of intellectuals in public life and the problems of social order and assent in Restoration England. In a new introduction, the authors describe how science and its social context were understood when this book was first published, and how the study of the history of science has changed since then.
Alasdair MacIntyre explores some central philosophical, political and moral claims of modernity and argues that a proper understanding of human goods requires a rejection of these claims. In a wide-ranging discussion, he considers how normative and evaluative judgments are to be understood, how desire and practical reasoning are to be characterized, what it is to have adequate self-knowledge, and what part narrative plays in our understanding of human lives. He asks, further, what it would be to understand the modern condition from a neo-Aristotelian or Thomistic perspective, and argues that Thomistic Aristotelianism, informed by Marx's insights, provides us with resources for constructing a contemporary politics and ethics which both enable and require us to act against modernity from within modernity. This rich and important book builds on and advances MacIntyre's thinking in ethics and moral philosophy, and will be of great interest to readers in both fields.
When we look back from the vantage point of the 21st century and ask ourselves what the previous century was all about, what do we see? Our first inclination is to focus on historical events: the 20th century was the age of two devastating world wars, of totalitarian regimes and terrible atrocities like the Holocaust - "the age of extremes," to use Hobsbawm's famous phrase. But in this new book, the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk argues that we will never understand the 20th century if we focus on events and ideologies. Rather, in his view, the predominant motif of the 20th century is what Badiou called a passion for the real, which manifests itself as the will to actualize the truth directly in the here and now. Drawing on his Spheres trilogy, Sloterdijk interprets the actualization of the real in the 20th century as a passion for economic and technological "antigravitation". The rise of consumerism and the easing of the burdens of human life by the constant deployment of new technologies have killed off the kind of radicalism that was rooted in the belief that power would rise from a material base of production. If the 20th century can still inspire us today, it is because the fundamental shift that it brought about opened the way for a critique of extremist reason, a post-Marxist theory of enrichment and a general economy of energy resources based on excess and dissipation. While developing his highly original interpretation of the 20th century, Sloterdijk also addresses a series of related topics including the meaning of the Anthropocene, the domestication of humans and the significance of the sea. The volume also includes major new pieces on Derrida and on Heidegger's politics. This work, by one of the most original thinkers today will appeal to students and scholars across the humanities and social sciences, as well as anyone interested in philosophy and critical theory.
Like Werner Pluhar's distinguished translation of Critique of Judgment (Hackett Publishing Co., 1987), this new rendering of Critique of Pure Reason reflects the elegant achievement of a master translator. This richly annotated volume offers translations of the complete texts of both the First (A) and Second (B) editions, as well as Kant's own notes. Extensive editorial notes by Werner Pluhar and James Ellington supply explanatory and terminological comments, translations of Latin and other foreign expressions, variant readings, cross-references to other passages in the text and in other writings of Kant, and references to secondary works. An extensive bibliography, glossary, and detailed index are included. Patricia Kitcher's illuminating Introduction provides a roadmap to Kant's abstract and complex argumentation by firmly locating his view in the context of eighteenth-century--and current--attempts to understand the nature of the thinking mind and its ability to comprehend the physical universe.
This book, one of John Locke's (1632-1704) major works, is
primarily about moral education--its role in creating a responsible
adult and the importance of virtue as a transmitter of culture.
However, Locke's most detailed and comprehensive guide also ranges
over such practical topics as the
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