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The British bestseller "Straw Dogs "is an exciting, radical work of philosophy, which sets out to challenge our most cherished assumptions about what it means to be human. From Plato to Christianity, from the Enlightenment to Nietzsche and Marx, the Western tradition has been based on arrogant and erroneous beliefs about human beings and their place in the world. Philosophies such as liberalism and Marxism think of humankind as a species whose destiny is to transcend natural limits and conquer the Earth. John Gray argues that this belief in human difference is a dangerous illusion and explores how the world and human life look once humanism has been finally abandoned. The result is an exhilarating, sometimes disturbing book that leads the reader to question our deepest-held beliefs. Will Self, in the "New Statesman," called "Straw Dogs "his book of the year: "I read it once, I read it twice and took notes . . . I thought it that good." "Nothing will get you thinking as much as this brilliant book" ("Sunday Telegraph").
This volume begins with excerpts from Aquinas' commentary on De Anima, excerpts that proceed from a general consideration of soul as common to all living things to a consideration of the animal soul and, finally, to what is peculiar to the human soul. These are followed by the Treatise on Man, Aquinas' most famous discussion of human nature, but one whose organization is dictated by theological concerns and whose philosophical importance is thus best appreciated when seen as presented here: within the historical philosophical framework of which it constitutes a development. Aquinas' discussions of the will and the passions follow, providing fruitful points of comparison with other philosophers.
Here are The Prince and the most important of the Discourses newly translated into spare, vivid English. Why a new translation? Machiavelli was never the dull, worthy, pedantic author who appears in the pages of other translations, says David Wootton in his Introduction. In the pages that follow I have done my best to let him speak in his own voice. (And indeed, Wootton's Machiavelli does just that when the occasion demands: renderings of that most problematic of words, virtu, are in each instance followed by the Italian). Notes, a map, and an altogether remarkable Introduction no less authoritative for being grippingly readable, help make this edition an ideal first encounter with Machiavelli for any student of history and political theory.
In the twenty-first century, political correctness, cynicism, prag-matism, and the commodification of sex have reduced romantic love to a discredited myth or a recreational sport--"a cause for embarrassment," says Cristina Nehring. In "A Vindication of Love," Nehring wrests romantic love from the clutches of retrograde feminists and cutting-edge capitalists, thrill-seeking convenience shoppers and safe-sex moralists. With help from lovers ranging from Heloise and Abelard to Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Nehring celebrates the wild, irreverent, and uncompromising models of love we have inherited--as she rediscovers romantic love's fearless and heroic provenance, and challenges readers to demand partnerships that fully engage body, heart, and mind.
The Secret of Secrets. The title alone promises the revelation of
the most treasured arcana and piques our interest. Add the names of
Aristotle and Alexander the Great, and our curiosity is securely
engaged. Readers reacted similarly during the Latin Middle Ages.
The work alleges to be an extended letter of advice sent by
Aristotle to his former pupil Alexander the Great while the latter
was on a campaign in Persia. It stood at the top of the
"best-seller" list for hundreds of years and was read by two
different audiences: scholars and laypersons. Steven J. Williams
focuses his study on its reception by European scholars, starting
with its translation into Latin during the High Middle Ages and
carrying the story through to the time when scholarly attention
waned around 1550.
In his day, al-Kindi (ca. 805-870) was the only philosopher of pure Arab descent, and became known as "the philosopher of the Arabs." He was one of the first Arab scholars interested in a scientific rather than theological viewpoint, and played a key role in bringing Greek learning into the orbit of Islam. al-Kindi wrote over three hundred fifty treatises, for the most part short studies on special topics in science and philosophy. Nicholas Rescher assembles this annotated bibliography, listing of over three hundred items, to assist students and scholars through the maze of publications related to al-Kindi.
What is thinking? What does it feel like? What is it good for? Andrea Gadberry looks for answers to these questions in the philosophy of Rene Descartes and finds them in the philosopher's implicit poetics. Gadberry argues that Descartes's thought was crucially enabled by poetry and shows how markers of poetic genres from love lyric and elegy to the puzzling forms of the riddle and the anagram betray an impassioned negotiation with the difficulties of thought and its limits. Where others have seen Cartesian philosophy as a triumph of reason, Gadberry reveals that the philosopher accused of having "slashed poetry's throat" instead enlisted poetic form to contain thought's frustrations. Gadberry's approach to seventeenth-century writings poses questions urgent for the twenty-first. Bringing literature and philosophy into rich dialogue, Gadberry centers close reading as a method uniquely equipped to manage skepticism, tolerate critical ambivalence, and detect feeling in philosophy. Helping us read classic moments of philosophical argumentation in a new light, this elegant study also expands outward to redefine thinking in light of its poetic formations.
In the 16th century, Erasmus was one of the most celebrated figures in Europe--a man of such vast learning that both royalty and universities petitioned for his services. In this very readable biography, a noted scholar traces Erasmus's youth, his years as an itinerant scholar, sojourns in England, France, Switzerland, and Italy, friendship with Sir Thomas More, and disputes with Martin Luther. The author also probes Erasmus's mind and character and discusses his writings, including In Praise of Folly and his great translation of the New Testament.
A new reading of Machiavelli's major works that demonstrates how he has been previously misread To what extent was Niccolo Machiavelli a "Machiavellian"? Was he an amoral adviser of tyranny or a stalwart partisan of liberty? A neutral technician of power politics or a devout Italian patriot? A reviver of pagan virtue or initiator of modern nihilism? Reading Machiavelli answers these questions through original interpretations of Machiavelli's three major political works-The Prince, Discourses, and Florentine Histories-and demonstrates that a radically democratic populism seeded the Florentine's scandalous writings. John McCormick challenges the misguided understandings of Machiavelli set forth by prominent thinkers, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau and representatives of the Straussian and Cambridge schools, and he emphasizes the fundamental, often unacknowledged elements of a vibrant Machiavellian politics. Advancing fresh readings of Machiavelli's work, this book presents a new outlook on how politics should be conceptualized and practiced.
This volume provides new translations of Rene Descartes's two most important philosophical works. The Discourse offers a concise presentation and defense of Descartes' method of intellectual inquiry - a method that greatly influenced both philosophical and scientific reasoning in the early modern world. Considered a foundational text in modern philosophy, the Meditations presents numerous powerful arguments that to this day influence debates in epistemology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of religion. Descartes's timeless writing strikes an uncommon balance of novelty and familiarity, offering arguments concerning knowledge, science, and metaphysics (including the famous 'I think, therefore I am') that are as compelling in the 21st century as they were in the 17th. Ian Johnston's translations are modern, clear, and thoroughly annotated, ideal for readers unfamiliar with Descartes's intellectual context. An approachable introduction engages both the historical and the philosophical aspects of the text, helping the reader to understand the concepts and arguments contained therein.
First published in 1905, this reissued edition of The Philosophical Works of Francis Bacon is an edited collection based upon the definitive seven volume edition of 1857, translated and prefaced by Robert Leslie Ellis and James Spedding.
Of great historical, philosophical and scientific interest, this collection brings together translations of Bacon 's most important works, including the Novum Organum, the De Augmentis Scientarium, the Parasceve, and the De Principiis atque Originibus, as well as works originally written in English, such as the Valerius Terminus and the Filum Labyrinthi. The reissue offers a comprehensive and provocative collection of the key writings of the man we now consider to be the father of Empiricism who popularised inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry. All works include prefaces by Robert Leslie Ellis and James Spedding, and the collection includes an introductory note from the editor John M. Robertson.
This reissue was first published in 1978. Anthony Kenny, one of the
most distinguished philosophers in England, explores the notion of
responsibility and the precise place of the mental element in
criminal actions. Bringing the insights of recent philosophy of
mind to bear on contemporary developments in criminal law, he
writes with the general reader in mind, no specialist training in
philosophy being necessary to appreciate his argument.
Originally published in 1968. This volume discusses Francis Bacon 's thought and work in the context of the European cultural environment that influenced Bacon 's philosophy and was in turn influenced by it. It examines the influence of magical and alchemical traditions on Bacon and his opposition to these traditions, as well as illustrating the naturalist, materialist and ethico-political patterns in Bacon 's allegorical interpretations of fables.
Filled with information and lore, mappae mundi present an encyclopaedic panorama of the conceptual "landscape" of the middle ages. Previously objects of study for cartographers and geographers, the value of medieval maps to scholars in other fields is now recognised and this book, written from an art historical perspective, illuminates the medieval view of the world represented in a group of maps of c.1300. Naomi Kline's detailed examination of the literary, visual, oral and textual evidence of the Hereford mappa mundi and others like it, such as the Psalter Maps, the '"Sawley Map," and the Ebstorf Map, places them within the larger context of medieval art and intellectual history. The mappa mundi in Hereford cathedral is at the heart of this study: it has more than one thousand texts and images of geographical subjects, monuments, animals, plants, peoples, biblical sites and incidents, legendary material, historical information and much more; distinctions between "real" and "fantastic" are fluid; time and space are telescoped, presenting past, present, and future. Naomi Kline provides, for the first time, a full and detailed analysis of the images and texts of the Hereford map which, thus deciphered, allow comparison with related mappae mundi as well as with other texts and images. NAOMI REED KLINE is Professor of Art History at Plymouth State College.
According to Jonathon Ray Spinney, our current economy is fatally flawed. American corporations are destroying community economies as well as State and Federal tax bases. Increasingly, large corporations are cutting back employee hours to part time. They are phasing out good paying jobs, hiring at lower wages, cutting benefits and health care which effectively destroys community economies. On the other end, corporations manipulate their tax liabilities and often pay little or nothing to State and Federal governments -- governments that are now struggling to deal with the increasing social/economic needs of people. People are being forced into social welfare and large corporations are contributing little or nothing into the social welfare system putting individuals, communities and governments into ever increasing debt. Now is the time to begin creating a bridge to new economic prosperity by: creating and sustaining a new economic/philosophic model based on the actual deeds and meaningful human actions of sharing and working towards a common humanitarian vision of peace and prosperity for all; eventually removing paper (valueless) money from community economies and replace it with a form of economic compensation that is rich with human purpose, social/economic equality and humanitarian advancement. The economic compensation or credit/reward that United Credit envisions would be far more valuable than money something that would never be affected by inflation, bank failures, or economic collapse. United Credit proposes a new economic philosophy and bridge ideas to creating a blanket security system that could provide for the needs of all people who are willing to enter a new humanitarian age of helping others.
`For I do not seek to understand so that I may believe; but I believe so that I may understand. For I believe this also, that unless I believe, I shall not understand.' Does God exist? Can we know anything about God's nature? Have we any reason to think that the Christian religion is true? What is truth, anyway? Do human beings have freedom of choice? Can they have such freedom in a world created by God? These questions, and others, were ones which Anselm of Canterbury (c.1033-1109) took very seriously. He was utterly convinced of the truth of the Christian religion, but he was also determined to try to make sense of his Christian faith. Recognizing that the Christian God is incomprehensible, he also believed that Christianity is not simply something to be swallowed with mouth open and eyes shut. For Anselm, the doctrines of Christianity are an invitation to question, to think, and to learn. Anselm is studied today because his rigour of thought and clarity of writing place him among the greatest of theologians and philosophers. This translation provides readers with their first opportunity to read all of his most important works within the covers of a single volume. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Thomas Aquinas is one of the foremost thinkers in Western
philosophy and Christian scholarship, recognized as a significant
voice in both theological discussions and secular philosophical
debates. Alongside a revival of interest in Thomism in philosophy,
scholars have realized its relevance when addressing certain
contemporary issues in bioethics. This book offers a rigorous
interpretation of Aquinas's metaphysics and ethical thought, and
highlights its significance to questions in bioethics.
By far the best collection of sources to introduce readers to Renaissance humanism in all its many guises. What distinguishes this stimulating and useful anthology is the vision behind it: King shows that Renaissance thinkers had a lot to say, not only about the ancient world--one of their habitual passions--but also about the self, how civic experience was configured, the arts, the roles and contributions of women, the new science, the 'new' world, and so much more. --Christopher S. Celenza, Johns Hopkins University
Boethius composed the De Consolatione Philosophiae in the sixth century AD whilst awaiting death under torture, condemned on a charge of treason which he protested was manifestly unjust. Though a convinced Christian, in detailing the true end of life which is the soul's knowledge of God, he consoled himself not with Christian precepts but with the tenets of Greek philosophy. This work dominated the intellectual world of the Middle Ages; writers as diverse as Thomas Aquinas, Jean de Meun, and Dante were inspired by it. In England it was rendered in to Old English by Alfred the Great, into Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer, and later Queen Elizabeth I made her own translation. The circumstances of composition, the heroic demeanour of the author, and the 'Menippean' texture of part prose, part verse have combined to exercise a fascination over students of philosophy and literature ever since. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
This is a fully revised edition of one of the most successful volumes in the Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought series. Incorporating extensive updates to the editorial apparatus, including the introduction, suggestions for further reading, and footnotes, this third edition of More's Utopia has been comprehensively re-worked to take into account scholarship published since the second edition in 2002. The vivid and engaging translation of the work itself by Robert M. Adams includes all the ancillary materials by More's fellow humanists that, added to the book at his own request, collectively constitute the first and best interpretive guide to Utopia. Unlike other teaching editions of Utopia, this edition keeps interpretive commentary - whether editorial annotations or the many pungent marginal glosses that are an especially attractive part of the humanist ancillary materials - on the page they illuminate instead of relegating them to endnotes, and provides students with a uniquely full and accessible experience of More's perennially fascinating masterpiece.
Peter Adamson presents a lively introduction to six hundred years of European philosophy, from the beginning of the ninth century to the end of the fourteenth century. The medieval period is one of the richest in the history of philosophy, yet one of the least widely known. Adamson introduces us to some of the greatest thinkers of the Western intellectual tradition, including Peter Abelard, Anselm of Canterbury, Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, and Roger Bacon. And the medieval period was notable for the emergence of great women thinkers, including Hildegard of Bingen, Marguerite Porete, and Julian of Norwich. Original ideas and arguments were developed in every branch of philosophy during this period - not just philosophy of religion and theology, but metaphysics, philosophy of logic and language, moral and political theory, psychology, and the foundations of mathematics and natural science.
An important milestone of 20th Century philosophy was the rise of personalism. After the crimes and atrocities against millions of human beings in two World Wars, especially the Second, some philosophers and other thinkers began to seek arguments showing the value of each human being, to expose and denounce the folly of political structures that violate the inalienable rights of the individual person. Karol Wojty?a appeals to the ancient concept of 'person' to emphasize the particular value of each human being. The person is unique because of their subjectivity by which they possesses an unrepeatable interior world in the history of humanity. Their rational nature grants them a special character among living beings, among which is the transcendence to the infinite. Wojty?a magisterially shows how each human being's personhood is rooted in a conscious and free subjectivity, which is marked also by personal and social responsibility. Wojty?a's original philosophical analysis takes for its starting point the human act, in which consciousness and experience consolidate voluntary choices, which are objectively efficacious. By their acts, the person determines their own personhood. This self-dominion manifests the person and enables them to live together in a community in which one's neighbor can be a companion on the voyage of life. This work provides a clear guide to Karol Wojty?a's principal philosophical work, Person and Act, rigorously analyzing the meaning that the author intended in his exposition. An important feature of the work is that the authors rely on the original Polish text, Osoba i czyn, as well as the best translations into Italian and Spanish, rather than on a flawed and sometimes misleading English edition of the work. Besides the analysis of Wojty?a's masterwork, this volume offers three chapters examining the impact of Wojty?a's anthropology on the relationship between faith and reason.
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