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Jean-Jacques Rousseau is one of the most controversial philosophers of the eighteenth century, and his groundbreaking work still provokes heated debate in contemporary political theory. In this book, Celine Spector, one of the world's foremost experts on Rousseau's thought, provides an accessible introduction to his moral, social and political theory. She explores the themes and central concepts of his thought, ranging from the state of nature, the social contract and the general will to natural and political freedom, religion and education. She combines a skilful exposition of Rousseau as a 'man of paradoxes' with a discussion of his often-overlooked ideas on knowledge, political economy and international relations. The book traces both the overall unity and the significant changes in Rousseau's philosophy, accounting for its complexity and for the importance of its legacy. It will be essential reading for scholars, students and general readers interested in the Enlightenment and more broadly in the history of modern political thought and philosophy.
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 In this Very Short Introduction Duncan Pritchard explores both the advantages of scepticism, in challenging outdated notions, and also how it can have unhelpful social consequences, in generating distrust.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.
The life and work of Sigmund Freud continue to fascinate general and professional readers alike. Joel Whitebook here presents the first major biography of Freud since the last century, taking into account recent developments in psychoanalytic theory and practice, gender studies, philosophy, cultural theory, and more. Offering a radically new portrait of the creator of psychoanalysis, this book explores the man in all his complexity alongside an interpretation of his theories that cuts through the stereotypes that surround him. The development of Freud's thinking is addressed not only in the context of his personal life, but also in that of society and culture at large, while the impact of his thinking on subsequent issues of psychoanalysis, philosophy, and social theory is fully examined. Whitebook demonstrates that declarations of Freud's obsolescence are premature, and, with his clear and engaging style, brings this vivid figure to life in compelling and readable fashion.
This new textbook from best-selling politics author Andrew Heywood investigates the ideas that have dominated political thinking across the globe, and examines the different ways in which they have been interpreted and reinterpreted. Written in an accessible and engaging style, it covers the key ideological traditions, offering an exposition of their history and development, their core themes and internal divisions and their impact on contemporary political behaviour, movements, parties and governments. This new introduction is written specifically for the new A Level syllabus in Political Ideas and covers all the issues and topics in the Edexcel and AQA specifications. It includes a range of useful features to help students develop and apply their understanding of ideas, ideologies and thinkers.
In times of crisis, we all ask, "What's the point?". It turns out the answer to the question is hidden in plain sight and is connected to the fundamental purpose and very essence of our existence. There is only one point in living but it may not be what you think. "Paul Koberg doesn't shy away from the tough questions. His answers to 'what is ego?', what is evil?' and 'is life simply the absence of death?' will fascinate and engage you. In today's times of crisis, Paul Koberg's book is a gift. Recommended for readers who appreciate a deep look into the deep questions of life." Reviewed by Stacie Haas for Readers' Favorite - 5 Stars *****
Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work/Biography. In Across That Bridge, Congressman John Lewis draws from his experience as a prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement to offer timeless wisdom, poignant recollections, and powerful principles for anyone interested in challenging injustices and inspiring real change toward a freer, more peaceful society. The Civil Rights Movement gave rise to the protest culture we know today, and the experiences of leaders like Congressman Lewis, a close confidant to Martin Luther King, Jr., have never been more relevant. Despite more than forty arrests, physical attacks, and serious injuries, John Lewis has remained a devoted advocate of the discipline and philosophy of nonviolence. Now, in an era in which the protest culture he helped forge has resurfaced as a force for change, Lewis' insights have never been more relevant. In this heartfelt book, Lewis explores the contributions that each generation must make to achieve change.
This expanded edition of James Ellington's preeminent translation includes Ellington's new translation of Kant's essay Of a Supposed Right to Lie Because of Philanthropic Concerns in which Kant replies to one of the standard objections to his moral theory as presented in the main text: that it requires us to tell the truth even in the face of disastrous consequences.
As an ardent feminist Simone de Beauvoir was in the vanguard of French intellectual life for more than forty years. Raised in a strict and highly traditional Catholic family, De Beauvoir rejected the religious and social values of her family early on and advanced a radical political and philosophical debate that was in direct opposition to the Catholic Church. This provocative, carefully argued book reveals that the woman whose most important and famous work - "The Second Sex" - was banned by the Catholic Church, had a tenacious grasp of the rudiments and refinements of Catholicism. Indeed, this was one of the foundations on which she built her philosophy. Joseph Mahon documents the formative influences of home, school, and Church on the mind of France's most famous female philosopher, novelist, and essayist. Examining her memoirs, philosophical monographs, and short stories, Mahon reveals a vocabulary that remains richly Catholic. This book offers a major contribution to feminist philosophy, ethical theory, philosophy of religion, and cultural studies.
William Whewell is considered one of the most important nineteenth-century British philosophers of science and a contributor to modern philosophical thought, particularly regarding the problem of induction and the logic of discovery. In this volume, Robert E. Butts offers selections from Whewell's most important writings, and analysis of counter-claims to his philosophy.
A superb autobiography by one of the great literary figures of the twentieth century, Simone de Beauvoir's Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter offers an intimate picture of growing up in a bourgeois French family, rebelling as an adolescent against the conventional expectations of her class, and striking out on her own with an intellectual and existential ambition exceedingly rare in a young woman in the 1920s.She vividly evokes her friendships, love interests, mentors, and the early days of the most important relationship of her life, with fellow student Jean-Paul Sartre, against the backdrop of a turbulent political time.
Plato's Republic is one of the most well-known and widely discussed texts in the history of philosophy, but how might we get to the heart of this work today, 2500 years after it was originally composed? Alain Badiou invents a new genre in order to breathe fresh life into Plato's text and restore its universality. Rather than producing yet another critical commentary, he has retranslated the work from the original Greek and, by making various changes, adapted it for our times. In this innovative reimagining of a classic text, Badiou has removed all references specific to ancient Greek society, from the endless exchanges about the moral courage of poets to those political considerations that were only of interest to the aristocratic elite. On the other hand, Badiou has expanded the range of cultural references: here philosophy is firing on all cylinders, and Socrates and his companions are joined by Beckett, Pessoa, Freud and Hegel. They demonstrate the enduring nature of true philosophy, always ready to move with the times. Moreover, Badiou the dramatist has made the Socratic dialogue a true oratorial contest: in his version of the Republic, the interlocutors have more in mind than merely agreeing with the Master. They stand up to him, put him on the spot and thereby show thought in motion. Through this work of writing, scholarship and philosophy, we are able, for the first time, to read a version of Plato's text which is alive, stimulating and directly relevant to our world today.
The four main essays in this volume investigate new sectors of the theory of decision, preference, act-characteristics, and action analysis. Herbert A. Simon applies tools developed in the theory of decision-making to the logic of action, and thereby develops a novel concept of heuristic power. Adapting ideas from utility and decision theory, Nicholas Rescher proposes a logic of preference by which conflicting theories proposed by G. H. von Wright, R. M. Chisholm, and others can be systematized. Donald Davidson discusses difficulties in specifying the structure of action sentences to elucidate how their meaning depends on that structure. G. H. von Wright devises a method for describing each \u201cstate of the world\u201d that results from an action, in a revision of his own earlier work. Additionally, a study of the logic of norms by Alan Ross Anderson is presented as an appendix, along with an appendix by Rescher outlining the aspects of action.
This edition contains Donald Cress's completely revised translation of the Meditations (from the corrected Latin edition) and recent corrections to Discourse on Method , bringing this version even closer to Descartes's original, while maintaining the clear and accessible style of a classic teaching edition.
The Muqaddimah, often translated as "Introduction" or "Prolegomenon," is the most important Islamic history of the premodern world. Written by the great fourteenth-century Arab scholar Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406), this monumental work established the foundations of several fields of knowledge, including the philosophy of history, sociology, ethnography, and economics. The first complete English translation, by the eminent Islamicist and interpreter of Arabic literature Franz Rosenthal, was published in three volumes in 1958 as part of the Bollingen Series and received immediate acclaim in the United States and abroad. A one-volume abridged version of Rosenthal's masterful translation first appeared in 1969. This Princeton Classics edition of the abridged version includes Rosenthal's original introduction as well as a contemporary introduction by Bruce B. Lawrence. This volume makes available a seminal work of Islam and medieval and ancient history to twenty-first century audiences.
This is Political Philosophy is an accessible and well-balanced introduction to the main issues in political philosophy written by an author team from the fields of both philosophy and politics. This text connects issues at the core of political philosophy with current, live debates in policy, politics, and law and addresses different ideals of political organization, such as democracy, liberty, equality, justice, and happiness. Written with great clarity, This is Political Philosophy is accessible and engaging to those who have little or no prior knowledge of political philosophy and is supported with supplemental pedagogical and instructor material on the This Is Philosophy series site.
Hailed by the Washington Post as "a sure-footed and witty guide to slippery ethical terrain," a philosophical exploration of AI and the future of the mind that Astronomer Royal Martin Rees calls "profound and entertaining" Humans may not be Earth's most intelligent beings for much longer: the world champions of chess, Go, and Jeopardy! are now all AIs. Given the rapid pace of progress in AI, many predict that it could advance to human-level intelligence within the next several decades. From there, it could quickly outpace human intelligence. What do these developments mean for the future of the mind? In Artificial You, Susan Schneider says that it is inevitable that AI will take intelligence in new directions, but urges that it is up to us to carve out a sensible path forward. As AI technology turns inward, reshaping the brain, as well as outward, potentially creating machine minds, it is crucial to beware. Homo sapiens, as mind designers, will be playing with "tools" they do not understand how to use: the self, the mind, and consciousness. Schneider argues that an insufficient grasp of the nature of these entities could undermine the use of AI and brain enhancement technology, bringing about the demise or suffering of conscious beings. To flourish, we must grasp the philosophical issues lying beneath the algorithms. At the heart of her exploration is a sober-minded discussion of what AI can truly achieve: Can robots really be conscious? Can we merge with AI, as tech leaders like Elon Musk and Ray Kurzweil suggest? Is the mind just a program? Examining these thorny issues, Schneider proposes ways we can test for machine consciousness, questions whether consciousness is an unavoidable byproduct of sophisticated intelligence, and considers the overall dangers of creating machine minds.
From outlawing bowling in colonial America to regulating violent video games and synthetic drugs today, Mark Stein's Vice Capades examines the nation's relationship with the actions, attitudes, and antics that have defined morality. This humorous and quirky history reveals that our views of vice are formed not merely by morals but by power. While laws against nude dancing have become less restrictive, laws restricting sexual harassment have been enacted. While marijuana is no longer illegal everywhere, restrictive laws have been enacted against cigarettes. Stein examines this nation's inconsistent moral compass and how the powers-that-be in each era determine what is or is not deemed a vice. From the Puritans who founded Massachusetts with unyielding, biblically based laws to those modern purveyors of morality who currently campaign against video game violence, Vice Capades looks at the American history we all know from a fresh and exciting perspective and shows how vice has shaped our nation, sometimes without us even knowing it.
This comprehensive new book introduces the core history of phenomenology and assesses its relevance to contemporary psychology, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science. From critiques of artificial intelligence research programs to ongoing work on embodiment and enactivism, the authors trace how phenomenology has produced a valuable framework for analyzing cognition and perception, whose impact on contemporary psychological and scientific research, and philosophical debates continues to grow. The first part of An Introduction to Phenomenology is an extended overview of the history and development of phenomenology, looking at its key thinkers, focusing particularly on Husserl, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, as well as its cultural and intellectual precursors. In the second half Chemero and Kaufer turn their attention to the contemporary interpretations and uses of phenomenology in cognitive science, showing that phenomenology is a living source of inspiration in contemporary interdisciplinary studies of the mind. Kaufer and Chemero have written a clear, jargon-free account of phenomenology, providing abundant examples and anecdotes to illustrate and to entertain. This book is an ideal introduction to phenomenology and cognitive science for the uninitiated, as well as for philosophy and psychology students keen to deepen their knowledge.
For many decades, the proponents of `artificial intelligence' have maintained that computers will soon be able to do everything that a human can do. In his bestselling work of popular science, Sir Roger Penrose takes us on a fascinating tour through the basic principles of physics, cosmology, mathematics, and philosophy to show that human thinking can never be emulated by a machine. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.
Drawing on evolutionary epistemology, process ontology, and a social-cognition approach, this book suggests cognitive evolution, an evolutionary-constructivist social and normative theory of change and stability of international social orders. It argues that practices and their background knowledge survive preferentially, communities of practice serve as their vehicle, and social orders evolve. As an evolutionary theory of world ordering, which does not borrow from the natural sciences, it explains why certain configurations of practices organize and govern social orders epistemically and normatively, and why and how these configurations evolve from one social order to another. Suggesting a multiple and overlapping international social orders' approach, the book uses three running cases of contested orders - Europe's contemporary social order, the cyberspace order, and the corporate order - to illustrate the theory. Based on the concepts of common humanity and epistemological security, the author also submits a normative theory of better practices and of bounded progress.
A delightfully illustrated version of Sunzi's classic The Art of War by bestselling cartoonist C. C. Tsai C. C. Tsai is one of Asia's most popular cartoonists, and his editions of the Chinese classics have sold more than 40 million copies in over twenty languages. This volume presents Tsai's delightful graphic adaptation of Sunzi's Art of War, the most profound book on warfare and strategy ever written--a work that continues to be read as a handbook for success not just by military commanders but also by leaders in politics, business, and many other fields. Conceived by a Chinese warrior-philosopher some 2,500 years ago, The Art of War speaks to those aspiring to rise through the ranks and help build successful countries. How can that goal best be achieved, and what is the role of warfare, if any, in the process? What are the powers and limits of the general in command? How can you win without going to war? Sunzi's answers to these and other questions are brought to life as never before by Tsai's brilliant cartoons, which show Sunzi fighting on dangerous ground, launching a surprise attack, spying on his enemies, and much more. A marvelously rich introduction to a timeless classic, this book also features a foreword by Lawrence Freedman, one of the world's leading authorities on military strategy, which illuminates how The Art of War has influenced Western strategic thought. In addition, Sunzi's original Chinese text is artfully presented in narrow sidebars on each page, enriching the books for readers and students of Chinese without distracting from the self-contained English-language cartoons. The text is skillfully translated by Brian Bruya, who also provides an introduction.
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