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Books > Humanities > Philosophy > Topics in philosophy

Modality and Explanatory Reasoning (Paperback): Boris Kment Modality and Explanatory Reasoning (Paperback)
Boris Kment
R628 Discovery Miles 6 280 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Since the ground-breaking work of Saul Kripke, David Lewis, and others in the 1960s and 70s, one dominant interest of analytic philosophers has been in modal truths, which concerns the questions of what is possible and what is necessary. However, there is considerable controversy over the source and nature of necessity. In Modality and Explanatory Reasoning, Boris Kment takes a novel approach to the study of modality that places special emphasis on understanding the origin of modal notions in everyday thought. Kment argues that the concepts of necessity and possibility originate in a common type of thought experiment-counterfactual reasoning-that allows us to investigate explanatory connections. This procedure is closely related to the controlled experiments of empirical science. Necessity is defined in terms of causation and other forms of explanation such as grounding, the relation that connects metaphysically fundamental facts to non-fundamental ones. Therefore, contrary to a widespread view, explanation is more fundamental than modality. The study of modal facts is important for philosophy, not because these facts are of much metaphysical interest in their own right, but because they provide evidence about explanatory relationships. In the course of developing this position, the book offers new accounts of possible worlds, counterfactual conditionals, essential truths and their role in grounding, and a novel theory of how counterfactuals relate to causation and explanation.

Logic: A Very Short Introduction (Paperback, 2nd Revised edition): Graham Priest Logic: A Very Short Introduction (Paperback, 2nd Revised edition)
Graham Priest
R233 R156 Discovery Miles 1 560 Save R77 (33%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Logic is often perceived as having little to do with the rest of philosophy, and even less to do with real life. In this lively and accessible introduction, Graham Priest shows how wrong this conception is. He explores the philosophical roots of the subject, explaining how modern formal logic deals with issues ranging from the existence of God and the reality of time to paradoxes of probability and decision theory. Along the way, the basics of formal logic are explained in simple, non-technical terms, showing that logic is a powerful and exciting part of modern philosophy. In this new edition Graham Priest expands his discussion to cover the subjects of algorithms and axioms, and proofs in mathematics. 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 Monarchy of Fear - A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis (Hardcover): Martha C. Nussbaum The Monarchy of Fear - A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis (Hardcover)
Martha C. Nussbaum
R494 R330 Discovery Miles 3 300 Save R164 (33%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

From one of the world's most celebrated moral philosophers comes a thorough examination of the current political crisis and recommendations for how to mend a divided country. For decades Martha C. Nussbaum has been an acclaimed scholar and humanist, earning dozens of honours for her books and essays. In The Monarchy of Fear she turns her attention to the current political crisis that has polarized America since the 2016 election. Although today's atmosphere is marked by partisanship, divisive rhetoric, and the inability of two halves of the country to communicate with one another, Nussbaum focuses on what so many pollsters and pundits have overlooked. She sees a simple truth at the heart of the problem: the political is always emotional. Globalization has produced feelings of powerlessness in millions of people in the West. That sense of powerlessness bubbles into resentment and blame. Blame of immigrants. Blame of Muslims. Blame of other races. Blame of cultural elites. While this politics of blame is exemplified by the election of Donald Trump and the vote for Brexit, Nussbaum argues it can be found on all sides of the political spectrum, left or right. Drawing on a mix of historical and contemporary examples, from classical Athens to the musical Hamilton, The Monarchy of Fear untangles this web of feelings and provides a roadmap of where to go next.

What Philosophy Can Do (Hardcover): Gary Gutting What Philosophy Can Do (Hardcover)
Gary Gutting
R525 R424 Discovery Miles 4 240 Save R101 (19%) Shipped within 7 - 13 working days

In What Philosophy Can Do, Gary Gutting leaves the ivory tower to tackle difficult questions in everyday life and shows how philosophy can be used as a method for interrogating our world-and one another. He looks at why today's political debates are so polarised, why scientific research on happiness does not make us happier and whether there are convincing reasons to believe-or not believe-in God. Gutting takes the most powerful-and divisive-forces in our society: politics, science, religion, art and capitalism-and applies a philosopher's scalpel to reveal thoughtful ways to look at vexing issues. He introduces readers to analytical tools, from inductive and deductive logic to the principle of charity, that they can apply to news events and policy debates. Gutting underlines philosophy's great promise for enriching public discussions about the most important issues in human life.

Morphing Intelligence - From IQ Measurement to Artificial Brains (Hardcover): Catherine Malabou Morphing Intelligence - From IQ Measurement to Artificial Brains (Hardcover)
Catherine Malabou; Translated by Carolyn Shread
R565 R394 Discovery Miles 3 940 Save R171 (30%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

What is intelligence? The concept crosses and blurs the boundaries between natural and artificial, bridging the human brain and the cybernetic world of AI. In this book, the acclaimed philosopher Catherine Malabou ventures a new approach that emphasizes the intertwined, networked relationships among the biological, the technological, and the symbolic. Malabou traces the modern metamorphoses of intelligence, seeking to understand how neurobiological and neurotechnological advances have transformed our view. She considers three crucial developments: the notion of intelligence as an empirical, genetically based quality measurable by standardized tests; the shift to the epigenetic paradigm, with its emphasis on neural plasticity; and the dawn of artificial intelligence, with its potential to simulate, replicate, and ultimately surpass the workings of the brain. Malabou concludes that a dialogue between human and cybernetic intelligence offers the best if not the only means to build a democratic future. A strikingly original exploration of our changing notions of intelligence and the human and their far-reaching philosophical and political implications, Morphing Intelligence is an essential analysis of the porous border between symbolic and biological life at a time when once-clear distinctions between mind and machine have become uncertain.

The True Life (Paperback): Alain Badiou The True Life (Paperback)
Alain Badiou; Translated by Susan Spitzer
R237 R197 Discovery Miles 1 970 Save R40 (17%) Shipped within 7 - 13 working days

'I'm 79 years old. So why on earth should I concern myself with speaking about youth?' This is the question with which renowned French philosopher Alain Badiou begins his passionate plea to the young. Today young people, at least in the West, are on the brink of a new world. With the decline of old traditions, they now face more choices than ever before. Yet powerful forces are pushing them in dangerous directions, into the vortex of consumerism or into reactive forms of traditionalism. This is a time when young people must be particularly attentive to the signs of the new and have the courage to venture forth and find out what they're capable of, without being constrained by the old prejudices and hierarchical ideas of the past. And if the aim of philosophy is to corrupt youth, as Socrates was accused of doing, this can mean only one thing: to help young people see that they don't have to go down the paths already mapped out for them, that they are not just condemned to obey social customs, that they can create something new and propose a different direction as regards the true life.

The Future of Immortality - Remaking Life and Death in Contemporary Russia (Paperback): Anya Bernstein The Future of Immortality - Remaking Life and Death in Contemporary Russia (Paperback)
Anya Bernstein
R424 R338 Discovery Miles 3 380 Save R86 (20%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

A gripping account of the Russian visionaries who are pursuing human immortality As long as we have known death, we have dreamed of life without end. In The Future of Immortality, Anya Bernstein explores the contemporary Russian communities of visionaries and utopians who are pressing at the very limits of the human. The Future of Immortality profiles a diverse cast of characters, from the owners of a small cryonics outfit to scientists inaugurating the field of biogerontology, from grassroots neurotech enthusiasts to believers in the Cosmist ideas of the Russian Orthodox thinker Nikolai Fedorov. Bernstein puts their debates and polemics in the context of a long history of immortalist thought in Russia, with global implications that reach to Silicon Valley and beyond. If aging is a curable disease, do we have a moral obligation to end the suffering it causes? Could immortality be the foundation of a truly liberated utopian society extending beyond the confines of the earth "something that Russians, historically, have pondered more than most? If life without end requires radical genetic modification or separating consciousness from our biological selves, how does that affect what it means to be human? As vividly written as any novel, The Future of Immortality is a fascinating account of techno-scientific and religious futurism "and the ways in which it hopes to transform our very being.

Controversies - Politics and Philosophy in our Time (Paperback): Alain Badiou, Jean-Claude Milner Controversies - Politics and Philosophy in our Time (Paperback)
Alain Badiou, Jean-Claude Milner
R369 R304 Discovery Miles 3 040 Save R65 (18%) Shipped within 7 - 13 working days

Alain Badiou was born in 1937 in Rabat and Jean-Claude Milner in 1941 in Paris. They were both involved in the "Red Years" at the end of the Sixties and both were Maoists, but while Badiou was focusing all his attention on China, Milner was already taking his distance from it. Over the years, that original dispute over the destiny of gauchisme was fueled by deep, new differences between them concerning the role of philosophy and politics. In this wide-ranging and compelling dialogue, these two great thinkers explore the role of politics in today's world and consider the need for a formal theory of communist political organization. Whether they are addressing the era of revolutions, and in particular the Paris Commune and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, or discussing the infinite, the universal, the name "Jew", violence, capitalism, the left, or Europe, Jean-Claude Milner's dyed-in-the-wool skepticism constantly runs up against Alain Badiou's doctrinal passion. This extraordinary debate ultimately leads to new areas of interrogation and shows that there is no better remedy for the crushing power of media-influenced thinking than the revival of the great disputes of the mind.

The Nature of Scientific Thinking - On Interpretation, Explanation and Understanding (Paperback, 1st ed. 2014): Jan Faye, J.... The Nature of Scientific Thinking - On Interpretation, Explanation and Understanding (Paperback, 1st ed. 2014)
Jan Faye, J. Faye
R2,157 Discovery Miles 21 570 Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

Scientific thinking must be understood as an activity. The acts of interpretation, representation, and explanation are the cognitive processes by which scientific thinking leads to understanding. The book explores the nature of these processes and describes how scientific thinking can only be grasped from a pragmatic perspective.

Philosophy and Public Administration - An Introduction (Paperback): Edoardo Ongaro Philosophy and Public Administration - An Introduction (Paperback)
Edoardo Ongaro
R573 Discovery Miles 5 730 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

This book provides a systematic and comprehensive introduction to the philosophical foundations of the study and practice of public administration. Philosophy and Public Administration provides the reader with an agile introduction to the main philosophical streams from classical metaphysics to phenomenology, empiricism to rationalism and pragmatism to personalism, ultimately revealing their significance for public governance and management. Ontological and epistemological issues are brought to the fore in discussing contemporary conceptions of the nature of public administration. The book explores connections between basic ontological stances and public governance, shedding light on the nature of public administration by revisiting fundamental philosophical issues. The quest for justification and legitimacy of public governance is examined, and 'Common Good', 'Social contract' and 'Personalism' arguments vetted. The works of major thinkers like Thomas More and Niccolo Machiavelli are revisited, drawing implications for contemporary public administration. This is the only book to provide a comprehensive examination of how philosophical thought matters for understanding public administration. It is a must-read for scholars and practitioners alike reflecting on or practising the management of public services.

Critique of Forms of Life (Hardcover): Rahel Jaeggi Critique of Forms of Life (Hardcover)
Rahel Jaeggi; Translated by Ciaran Cronin
R851 R774 Discovery Miles 7 740 Save R77 (9%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

For many liberals, the question "Do others live rightly?" feels inappropriate. Liberalism seems to demand a follow-up question: "Who am I to judge?" Peaceful coexistence, in this view, is predicated on restraint from morally evaluating our peers. But Rahel Jaeggi sees the situation differently. Criticizing is not only valid but also useful, she argues. Moral judgment is no error; the error lies in how we go about judging. One way to judge is external, based on universal standards derived from ideas about God or human nature. The other is internal, relying on standards peculiar to a given society. Both approaches have serious flaws and detractors. In Critique of Forms of Life, Jaeggi offers a third way, which she calls "immanent" critique. Inspired by Hegelian social philosophy and engaged with Anglo-American theorists such as John Dewey, Michael Walzer, and Alasdair MacIntyre, immanent critique begins with the recognition that ways of life are inherently normative because they assert their own goodness and rightness. They also have a consistent purpose: to solve basic social problems and advance social goods, most of which are common across cultures. Jaeggi argues that we can judge the validity of a society's moral claims by evaluating how well the society adapts to crisis-whether it is able to overcome contradictions that arise from within and continue to fulfill its purpose. Jaeggi enlivens her ideas through concrete, contemporary examples. Against both relativistic and absolutist accounts, she shows that rational social critique is possible.

Cambridge Bioethics and Law - Trust in Medicine: Its Nature, Justification, Significance and Decline (Hardcover): Markus... Cambridge Bioethics and Law - Trust in Medicine: Its Nature, Justification, Significance and Decline (Hardcover)
Markus Wolfensberger, Anthony Wrigley
R1,888 R1,742 Discovery Miles 17 420 Save R146 (8%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Over the past decades, public trust in medical professionals has steadily declined. This decline of trust and its replacement by ever tighter regulations is increasingly frustrating physicians. However, most discussions of trust are either abstract philosophical discussions or social science investigations not easily accessible to clinicians. The authors, one a surgeon-turned-philosopher, the other an analytical philosopher working in medical ethics, joined their expertise to write a book which straddles the gap between the practical and theoretical. Using an approach grounded in the methods of conceptual analysis found in analytical philosophy which also draws from approaches to medical diagnosis, the authors have conceived an internally coherent and comprehensive definition of trust to help elucidate the concept and explain its decline in the medical context. This book should appeal to all interested in the ongoing debate about the decline of trust - be it as medical professionals, medical ethicists, medical lawyers, or philosophers.

Immaterialism - Objects and Social Theory (Paperback): Graham Harman Immaterialism - Objects and Social Theory (Paperback)
Graham Harman
R239 R199 Discovery Miles 1 990 Save R40 (17%) Shipped within 7 - 13 working days

What objects exist in the social world and how should we understand them? Is a specific Pizza Hut restaurant as real as the employees, tables, napkins and pizzas of which it is composed, and as real as the Pizza Hut corporation with its headquarters in Wichita, the United States, the planet Earth and the social and economic impact of the restaurant on the lives of its employees and customers? In this book the founder of object-oriented philosophy develops his approach in order to shed light on the nature and status of objects in social life. While it is often assumed that an interest in objects amounts to a form of materialism, Harman rejects this view and develops instead an "immaterialist" method. By examining the work of leading contemporary thinkers such as Bruno Latour and Levi Bryant, he develops a forceful critique of `actor-network theory'. In an extended discussion of Leibniz's famous example of the Dutch East India Company, Harman argues that this company qualifies for objecthood neither through `what it is' or `what it does', but through its irreducibility to either of these forms. The phases of its life, argues Harman, are not demarcated primarily by dramatic incidents but by moments of symbiosis, a term he draws from the biologist Lynn Margulis. This book provides a key counterpoint to the now ubiquitous social theories of constant change, holistic networks, performative identities, and the construction of things by human practice. It will appeal to anyone interested in cutting-edge debates in philosophy and social and cultural theory.

Knowledge Resistance - How We Avoid Insight from Others (Hardcover): Mikael Klintman Knowledge Resistance - How We Avoid Insight from Others (Hardcover)
Mikael Klintman
R464 R437 Discovery Miles 4 370 Save R27 (6%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Why do people and groups ignore, deny and resist knowledge about society's many problems? In a world of 'alternative facts', 'fake news' that some believe could be remedied by 'factfulness', the question has never been more pressing. After years of ideologically polarised debates on this topic, the book seeks to further advance our understanding of the phenomenon of knowledge resistance by integrating insights from the social, economic and evolutionary sciences. It identifies simplistic views in public and scholarly debates about what facts, knowledge and human motivations are and what 'rational' use of information actually means. The examples used include controversies about nature-nurture, climate change, gender roles, vaccination, genetically modified food and artificial intelligence. Drawing on cutting-edge scholarship as well as personal experiences of culture clashes, the book is aimed at the general, educated public as well as students and scholars interested in the interface of human motivation and the urgent social problems of today. -- .

Waging War - A New Philosophical Introduction (Paperback, 2nd Revised edition): Ian Clark Waging War - A New Philosophical Introduction (Paperback, 2nd Revised edition)
Ian Clark
R572 Discovery Miles 5 720 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

There is now a major new interest in ethical issues about warfare emerging from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, conflict in Syria and Libya, the war on terror, and the introduction of new weapon systems, such as unmanned drones. In this re-written version of the author's classic text, Waging War, Ian Clark asks probing questions about how we think about war, the changes it is undergoing, and what exactly it is we wage when we wage war. Waging War argues that much of what passes for ethical debate is actually a set of disagreements about what counts as war or not. This philosophical introduction provides a critical review of the various different ways in which the ethical debates are already framed, the questions that arise from these debates, and seeks to bring greater clarity and precision to the important moral arguments about political violence.

Nature, Reason, and the Good Life - Ethics for Human Beings (Paperback): Roger Teichmann Nature, Reason, and the Good Life - Ethics for Human Beings (Paperback)
Roger Teichmann
R578 Discovery Miles 5 780 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

At the centre of our ethical thought stands the human being. Facts about human nature determine the shape of ethical concepts in a variety of ways, and our pre-rational animal nature forms the basis of notions to do with rationality, virtue, and happiness, among other things. Nature, Reason, and the Good Life examines these themes while also arguing for the critical importance of language: only by attending to the social and empirical character of actual language use can we make headway with a number of problems in ethics. Thus what counts as a good or bad reason for action depends on the purposes of human enquiry, as embodied in the question "Why?"--it does not depend, for example, on some abstract and higher Rationality connected with 'the point of the cosmos'. Furthermore, considerations in philosophy of language and in philosophy of mind together show how emotions, desires, and pleasure--all crucial for ethics--turn out not to be inner states carrying a sort of subjective authority, above or below criticism or justification, and this fact helps undermine various forms of subjectivism and individualism to be found both in philosophy and in the wider culture. Starting from an examination of foundational issues, the book covers a range of topics, including animals, agency, enjoyment, the good life, contemplation, death, and the importance of philosophy. En route, there are critiques of a number of prevalent trends of thought, such as utilitarianism, anti-speciesism, relativism, scientism and even "ism"-ism.

Capitalist Realism - Is There No Alternative? (Paperback): Mark Fisher Capitalist Realism - Is There No Alternative? (Paperback)
Mark Fisher
R182 R148 Discovery Miles 1 480 Save R34 (19%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

After 1989, capitalism has successfully presented itself as the only realistic political-economic system - a situation that the bank crisis of 2008, far from ending, actually compounded. The book analyses the development and principal features of this capitalist realism as a lived ideological framework. Using examples from politics, films, fiction, work and education, it argues that capitalist realism colours all areas of contemporary experience. But it will also show that, because of a number of inconsistencies and glitches internal to the capitalist reality program capitalism in fact is anything but realistic.

The Embodied Mind - Cognitive Science and Human Experience (Paperback, revised edition): Francisco J. Varela, Evan Thompson,... The Embodied Mind - Cognitive Science and Human Experience (Paperback, revised edition)
Francisco J. Varela, Evan Thompson, Eleanor Rosch; Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn
R556 R433 Discovery Miles 4 330 Save R123 (22%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

A new edition of a classic work that originated the "embodied cognition" movement and was one of the first to link science and Buddhist practices. This classic book, first published in 1991, was one of the first to propose the "embodied cognition" approach in cognitive science. It pioneered the connections between phenomenology and science and between Buddhist practices and science-claims that have since become highly influential. Through this cross-fertilization of disparate fields of study, The Embodied Mind introduced a new form of cognitive science called "enaction," in which both the environment and first person experience are aspects of embodiment. However, enactive embodiment is not the grasping of an independent, outside world by a brain, a mind, or a self; rather it is the bringing forth of an interdependent world in and through embodied action. Although enacted cognition lacks an absolute foundation, the book shows how that does not lead to either experiential or philosophical nihilism. Above all, the book's arguments were powered by the conviction that the sciences of mind must encompass lived human experience and the possibilities for transformation inherent in human experience. This revised edition includes substantive introductions by Evan Thompson and Eleanor Rosch that clarify central arguments of the work and discuss and evaluate subsequent research that has expanded on the themes of the book, including the renewed theoretical and practical interest in Buddhism and mindfulness. A preface by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the originator of the mindfulness-based stress reduction program, contextualizes the book and describes its influence on his life and work.

Beyond Good and Evil (Paperback): Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Sheba Blake Beyond Good and Evil (Paperback)
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Sheba Blake
R138 Discovery Miles 1 380 Shipped within 7 - 11 working days
Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Change - Institutional and Organizational Perspectives (Hardcover, 1st ed. 2019):... Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Change - Institutional and Organizational Perspectives (Hardcover, 1st ed. 2019)
Arnaud Sales
R2,230 R1,802 Discovery Miles 18 020 Save R428 (19%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

This wide-ranging book examines the new dynamics of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the impact they have had on the transformation of business corporations. Written by an international group of distinguished experts in management and organization studies, economics and sociology, the book leads one to theoretically and practically rethink CSR, a movement that has developed into a strong and rich institutional domain since the mid 1990s. Through 14 chapters, the book shows the complexity, diversity and progression of the institutional work performed by a large number of individual and organizational actors in specialized networks to develop this strategic field. Central to this book are: the core issues associated with the field of CSR; recent advances in the development, dissemination and implementation of public and private standards of social responsibility; the pressing challenges of developing sustainable strategies of value creation in the face of global warming and underdevelopment; and finally, examples of how CSR has been implemented and institutionalized within business organizations with special attention to the role played by a variety of social actors in organizational change. Conceived as a movement, corporate social responsibility spearheads a transformation project challenging traditional and outmoded forms of corporate governance that frequently pose troublesome ethical issues. From this standpoint, Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Change will serve as a reference point for academics, researchers, managers and practitioners.

Once Upon a Time - Essays in the Philosophy of Literature (Paperback): Peter Kivy, Aaron Meskin Once Upon a Time - Essays in the Philosophy of Literature (Paperback)
Peter Kivy, Aaron Meskin
R567 Discovery Miles 5 670 Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

Once Upon a Time is a collection of essays in the philosophy of literature with two central themes: the significance of story -telling for us and the question of whether the novel, perhaps the art form most closely associated with story-telling, is a legitimate source of human knowledge. Leading philosopher of art Peter Kivy explores why human beings are so enthralled by being told stories and whether story-telling is a significant source of knowledge. Starting with a study of Aristotle's Poetics, Kivy then undertakes a critical discussion of Noel Carroll's suggestion that our interaction with the artists of the past is a kind of "conversation." He goes on to defend the thesis that one of the legitimate artistic pleasures we take in novel-reading is the acquiring of knowledge and, furthermore, that the silent reading of a novel is a kind of performance, making the novel one of the performing arts. The volume concludes with a chapter about jokes, and, in particular, whether it is immoral to tell or be amused by an "immoral" joke. This volume of essays is a must-read for anyone seriously interested in literature and the conceptual problems it may raise for philosophers.

Supererogation (Paperback): Christopher Cowley Supererogation (Paperback)
Christopher Cowley
R523 Discovery Miles 5 230 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

According to its simplest definition, supererogation means freely and intentionally doing good beyond the requirements of duty. A more complex definition incorporates the responses of third parties: the supererogatory act is one that is praiseworthy if performed, but not blameworthy if omitted, as long as one does one's duty. This collection of essays, based on papers delivered at the Royal Institute of Philosophy's Annual Conference in Dublin in June 2014, explores a broad range of philosophical problems that stem from various definitions of supererogation. How can something be good and yet not required? How relevant is the agent's motivation to our assessment of that agent's sacrifice? What is the difference between supererogation and virtue? Is supererogation essential to friendship and love? Do all of us have the genuine capacity to be saints and heroes?

Power of Gentleness - Meditations on the Risk of Living (Paperback): Anne Dufourmantelle Power of Gentleness - Meditations on the Risk of Living (Paperback)
Anne Dufourmantelle; Translated by Katherine Payne, Vincent Salle; Foreword by Catherine Malabou
R408 R317 Discovery Miles 3 170 Save R91 (22%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Gentleness is an enigma. Taken up in a double movement of welcoming and giving, it appears on the threshold of passages signed off by birth and death. Because it has its degrees of intensity, because it is a symbolic force, and because it has a transformative ability over things and beings, it is a power. The simplicity of gentleness is misleading. It is an active passivity that may become an extraordinary force of symbolic resistance and, as such, become central to both ethics and politics. Gentleness is a force of secret life-giving transformation linked to what the ancients called potentiality. In our day, gentleness is sold to us under its related form of diluted mawkishness. By infantilizing it our era denies it. This is how we try to overcome the high demands of its subtlety-no longer by fighting it, but by enfeebling it. Language itself is therefore perverted: what our society intends to give the human beings that it crushes "gently," it does in the name of the highest values: happiness, truth, security. From listening to those who come to me and confide their despair, I have heard it expressed in every lived experience. I have felt its force of resistance and its intangible magic. In mediating its relation to the world, it appears that its intelligence carries life, saves and amplifies it.

Disparities (Paperback): Slavoj Zizek Disparities (Paperback)
Slavoj Zizek
R357 R249 Discovery Miles 2 490 Save R108 (30%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

The concept of disparity has long been a topic of obsession and argument for philosophers but Slavoj Zizek would argue that what disparity and negativity could mean, might mean and should mean for us and our lives has never been more hotly debated. Disparities explores contemporary 'negative' philosophies from Catherine Malabou's plasticity, Julia Kristeva's abjection and Robert Pippin's self-consciousness to the God of negative theology, new realisms and post-humanism and draws a radical line under them. Instead of establishing a dialogue with these other ideas of disparity, Slavoj Zizek wants to establish a definite departure, a totally different idea of disparity based on an imaginative dialectical materialism. This notion of rupturing what has gone before is based on a provocative reading of how philosophers can, if they're honest, engage with each other. Slavoj Zizek borrows Alain Badiou's notion that a true idea is the one that divides. Radically departing from previous formulations of negativity and disparity, Zizek employs a new kind of negativity: namely positing that when a philosopher deals with another philosopher, his or her stance is never one of dialogue, but one of division, of drawing a line that separates truth from falsity.

Power, Pleasure, and Profit - Insatiable Appetites from Machiavelli to Madison (Hardcover): David Wootton Power, Pleasure, and Profit - Insatiable Appetites from Machiavelli to Madison (Hardcover)
David Wootton
R683 R533 Discovery Miles 5 330 Save R150 (22%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

A provocative history of the changing values that have given rise to our present discontents. We pursue power, pleasure, and profit. We want as much as we can get, and we deploy instrumental reasoning-cost-benefit analysis-to get it. We judge ourselves and others by how well we succeed. It is a way of life and thought that seems natural, inevitable, and inescapable. As David Wootton shows, it is anything but. In Power, Pleasure, and Profit, he traces an intellectual and cultural revolution that replaced the older systems of Aristotelian ethics and Christian morality with the iron cage of instrumental reasoning that now gives shape and purpose to our lives. Wootton guides us through four centuries of Western thought-from Machiavelli to Madison-to show how new ideas about politics, ethics, and economics stepped into a gap opened up by religious conflict and the Scientific Revolution. As ideas about godliness and Aristotelian virtue faded, theories about the rational pursuit of power, pleasure, and profit moved to the fore in the work of writers both obscure and as famous as Hobbes, Locke, and Adam Smith. The new instrumental reasoning cut through old codes of status and rank, enabling the emergence of movements for liberty and equality. But it also helped to create a world in which virtue, honor, shame, and guilt count for almost nothing, and what matters is success. Is our world better for the rise of instrumental reasoning? To answer that question, Wootton writes, we must first recognize that we live in its grip.

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