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Books > Humanities > Philosophy > Topics in philosophy

The Government of Self and Others - Lectures at the College de France, 1982-1983 (Paperback): Michel Foucault The Government of Self and Others - Lectures at the College de France, 1982-1983 (Paperback)
Michel Foucault; Translated by Graham Burchell; Edited by Arnold I. Davidson, Fr ed eric Gros, Alessandro Fontana; Foreword by …
R600 R476 Discovery Miles 4 760 Save R124 (21%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

This lecture, given by Michel Foucault at the College de France, launches an inquiry into the notion of parresia and continues his rereading of ancient philosophy. Through the study of this notion of truth-telling, of speaking out freely, Foucault re-examines Greek citizenship, showing how the courage of the truth forms the forgotten ethical basis of Athenian democracy. The figure of the philosopher king, the condemnation of writing, and Socrates' rejection of political involvement are some of the many topics of ancient philosophy revisited here.

Until the End of Time - Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe (Hardcover): Brian Greene Until the End of Time - Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe (Hardcover)
Brian Greene 1
R580 R456 Discovery Miles 4 560 Save R124 (21%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

From the world-renowned physicist and bestselling author of The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos, a captivating exploration of deep time and humanity's search for purpose In both time and space, the cosmos is astoundingly vast, and yet is governed by simple, elegant, universal mathematical laws. On this cosmic timeline, our human era is spectacular but fleeting. Someday, we know, we will all die. And, we know, so too will the universe itself. Until the End of Time is Brian Greene's breathtaking new exploration of the cosmos and our quest to understand it. Greene takes us on a journey across time, from our most refined understanding of the universe's beginning, to the closest science can take us to the very end. He explores how life and mind emerged from the initial chaos, and how our minds, in coming to understand their own impermanence, seek in different ways to give meaning to experience: in story, myth, religion, creative expression, science, the quest for truth, and our longing for the timeless, or eternal. Through a series of nested stories that explain distinct but interwoven layers of reality-from the quantum mechanics to consciousness to black holes-Greene provides us with a clearer sense of how we came to be, a finer picture of where we are now, and a firmer understanding of where we are headed. Yet all this understanding, which arose with the emergence of life, will dissolve with its conclusion. Which leaves us with one realization: during our brief moment in the sun, we are tasked with the charge of finding our own meaning. Let us embark.

Against Democracy - New Preface (Paperback): Jason Brennan Against Democracy - New Preface (Paperback)
Jason Brennan; Preface by Jason Brennan
R476 R364 Discovery Miles 3 640 Save R112 (24%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Most people believe democracy is a uniquely just form of government. They believe people have the right to an equal share of political power. And they believe that political participation is good for us--it empowers us, helps us get what we want, and tends to make us smarter, more virtuous, and more caring for one another. These are some of our most cherished ideas about democracy. But Jason Brennan says they are all wrong. In this trenchant book, Brennan argues that democracy should be judged by its results--and the results are not good enough. Just as defendants have a right to a fair trial, citizens have a right to competent government. But democracy is the rule of the ignorant and the irrational, and it all too often falls short. Furthermore, no one has a fundamental right to any share of political power, and exercising political power does most of us little good. On the contrary, a wide range of social science research shows that political participation and democratic deliberation actually tend to make people worse--more irrational, biased, and mean. Given this grim picture, Brennan argues that a new system of government--epistocracy, the rule of the knowledgeable--may be better than democracy, and that it's time to experiment and find out. A challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable, Against Democracy is essential reading for scholars and students of politics across the disciplines. Featuring a new preface that situates the book within the current political climate and discusses other alternatives beyond epistocracy, Against Democracy is a challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable.

A Field Guide to a Happy Life - 53 Brief Lessons for Living (Hardcover): Massimo Pigliucci A Field Guide to a Happy Life - 53 Brief Lessons for Living (Hardcover)
Massimo Pigliucci
R457 R368 Discovery Miles 3 680 Save R89 (19%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

A brilliant philosopher reimagines Stoicism for our modern age in this thought-provoking guide to a better life. For more than two thousand years, Stoicism has offered a message of resilience in the face of hardship. Little wonder, then, that it is having such a revival in our own troubled times. But there is no denying how weird it can be: Is it really the case that we shouldn't care about our work, our loved ones, or our own lives? According to the old Stoics, yes. In A Field Guide to a Happy Life, philosopher Massimo Pigliucci offers a renewed Stoicism that reflects modern science and sensibilities. Pigliucci embraces the joyful bonds of affection, the satisfactions of a job well done, and the grief that attends loss. In his hands, Stoicism isn't about feats of indifference, but about enduring pain without being overwhelmed, while enjoying pleasures without losing our heads. In short, he makes Stoicism into a philosophy all of us -- whether committed Stoics or simply seekers -- can use to live better.

Posthuman Knowledge (Paperback): Rosi Braidotti Posthuman Knowledge (Paperback)
Rosi Braidotti
R415 Discovery Miles 4 150 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

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.

On the World and Ourselves (Paperback): Zygmunt Bauman, Stanislaw Obirek On the World and Ourselves (Paperback)
Zygmunt Bauman, Stanislaw Obirek
R443 Discovery Miles 4 430 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Unde malum from where does evil come? That is the question that has plagued humankind ever since Eve, seduced by the serpent, tempted Adam to taste the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Throughout history the awareness of good and evil has always been linked to the awareness of choice and to the freedom and responsibility to choose this is what makes us human. But the responsibility to choose is a burden that weighs heavily on our shoulders, and the temptation to hand this over to someone else be they a demagogue or a scientist who claims to trace everything back to our genes is a tempting illusion, like the paradise in which humans have at last been relieved of the moral responsibility for their actions. In the second series of their conversations Zygmunt Bauman and Stanislaw Obirek reflect on the life challenges confronted by the denizens of the fragmented, individualized society of consumers and the form taken in such a society by the fundamental aspects of the human condition - such as human responsibility for the choice between good and evil, self-formation and self-assertion, the need for recognition or the call to empathy, mutual respect, human dignity and tolerance.

Philosopher of the Heart - The Restless Life of Soren Kierkegaard (Paperback): Clare Carlisle Philosopher of the Heart - The Restless Life of Soren Kierkegaard (Paperback)
Clare Carlisle 1
R255 R204 Discovery Miles 2 040 Save R51 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

Selected as a Book of the Year in The Times Literary Supplement 'This lucid and riveting new biography at once rescuses Kierkegaard from the scholars and shows why he is such an intriguing and useful figure' Observer Soren Kierkegaard, one of the most passionate and challenging of modern philosophers, is now celebrated as the father of existentialism - yet his contemporaries described him as a philosopher of the heart. Over about a decade in the 1840s and 1850s, writings poured from his pen analysing love and suffering, courage and anxiety, religious longing and defiance, and forging a new philosophical style rooted in the inward drama of being human. As Christianity seemed to sleepwalk through a changing world, Kierkegaard dazzlingly revealed its spiritual power while exposing the poverty of official religion. His restless creativity was spurred on by his own failures: his relationship with the young woman whom he promised to marry, then left to devote himself to writing, haunted him throughout his life. Though tormented by the pressures of celebrity, he deliberately lived amidst the crowds in Copenhagen, known by everyone but, he felt, understood by no one. When he collapsed exhausted at the age of 42, he was still pursuing the question of existence: how to be a human being in this world? Clare Carlisle's innovative and moving biography writes Kierkegaard's remarkable life as far as possible from his own perspective, conveying what it was like to be this Socrates of Christendom - as he put it, living life forwards yet only understanding it backwards.

The Notion of Authority (Paperback): Alexandre Kojeve The Notion of Authority (Paperback)
Alexandre Kojeve
R455 R367 Discovery Miles 3 670 Save R88 (19%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

"In The Notion of Authority, written in the 1940s in Nazi-occupied France, Alexandre Kojeve uncovers the conceptual premises of four primary models of authority, examining the practical application of their derivative variations from the Enlightenment to Vichy France. This foundational text, translated here into English for the first time, is the missing piece in any discussion of sovereignty and political authority, worthy of a place alongside the work of Weber, Arendt, Schmitt, Agamben or Dumezil. The Notion of Authority is a short and sophisticated introduction to Kojeve's philosophy of right. It captures its author's intellectual interests at a time when he was retiring from the career of a professional philosopher and was about to become one of the pioneers of the Common Market and the idea of the European Union."

The Prince (Hardcover): Niccolo Machiavelli The Prince (Hardcover)
Niccolo Machiavelli
R308 R251 Discovery Miles 2 510 Save R57 (19%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days
The Murder of Professor Schlick - The Rise and Fall of the Vienna Circle (Hardcover): David Edmonds The Murder of Professor Schlick - The Rise and Fall of the Vienna Circle (Hardcover)
David Edmonds
R614 R561 Discovery Miles 5 610 Save R53 (9%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

From the author of Wittgenstein's Poker and Would You Kill the Fat Man?, the story of an extraordinary group of philosophers during a dark chapter in Europe's history On June 22, 1936, the philosopher Moritz Schlick was on his way to deliver a lecture at the University of Vienna when Johann Nelboeck, a deranged former student of Schlick's, shot him dead on the university steps. Some Austrian newspapers defended the madman, while Nelboeck himself argued in court that his onetime teacher had promoted a treacherous Jewish philosophy. David Edmonds traces the rise and fall of the Vienna Circle-an influential group of brilliant thinkers led by Schlick-and of a philosophical movement that sought to do away with metaphysics and pseudoscience in a city darkened by fascism, anti-Semitism, and unreason. The Vienna Circle's members included Otto Neurath, Rudolf Carnap, and the eccentric logician Kurt Goedel. On its fringes were two other philosophical titans of the twentieth century, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Popper. The Circle championed the philosophy of logical empiricism, which held that only two types of propositions have cognitive meaning, those that can be verified through experience and those that are analytically true. For a time, it was the most fashionable movement in philosophy. Yet by the outbreak of World War II, Schlick's group had disbanded and almost all its members had fled. Edmonds reveals why the Austro-fascists and the Nazis saw their philosophy as such a threat. The Murder of Professor Schlick paints an unforgettable portrait of the Vienna Circle and its members while weaving an enthralling narrative set against the backdrop of economic catastrophe and rising extremism in Hitler's Europe.

Pioneers of Ecological Humanism (Hardcover): Brian Morris Pioneers of Ecological Humanism (Hardcover)
Brian Morris
R1,195 Discovery Miles 11 950 Ships in 7 - 11 working days
Identity and Difference (Paperback, New edition): Martin Heidegger Identity and Difference (Paperback, New edition)
Martin Heidegger; Translated by Joan Stambaugh
R735 Discovery Miles 7 350 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

"Identity and Difference" consists of English translations and the original German versions of two little-known lectures given in 1957 by Martin Heidegger: "The Principle of Identity" and "The Onto-theo-logical Constitution of Metaphysics," both discussions of the problem of identity in the history of metaphysics. A helpful introduction and a list of references are also provided by translator Joan Stambaugh.

Metaphors in the Mind - Sources of Variation in Embodied Metaphor (Paperback): Jeannette Littlemore Metaphors in the Mind - Sources of Variation in Embodied Metaphor (Paperback)
Jeannette Littlemore
R662 Discovery Miles 6 620 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Abstract concepts are often embodied through metaphor. For example, we talk about moving through time in metaphorical terms, as if we were moving through space, allowing us to 'look back' on past events. Much of the work on embodied metaphor to date has assumed a single set of universal, shared bodily experiences that motivate our understanding of abstract concepts. This book explores sources of variation in people's experiences of embodied metaphor, including, for example, the shape and size of one's body, one's age, gender, state of mind, physical or linguistic impairments, personality, ideology, political stance, religious beliefs, and linguistic background. It focuses on the ways in which people's experiences of metaphor fluctuate over time within a single communicative event or across a lifetime. Combining theoretical argument with findings from new studies, Littlemore analyses sources of variation in embodied metaphor and provides a deeper understanding of the nature of embodied metaphor itself.

H.L.A. Hart (Paperback): Matthew H Kramer H.L.A. Hart (Paperback)
Matthew H Kramer
R490 Discovery Miles 4 900 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

H.L.A. Hart is among the most important philosophers of the twentieth century, with an especially great influence on the philosophy of law. His 1961 book The Concept of Law has become an enduring classic of legal philosophy, and has also left a significant imprint on moral and political philosophy. In this volume, leading contemporary legal and political philosopher Matthew H. Kramer provides a crystal-clear analysis of Hart's contributions to our understanding of the nature of law. He elucidates and scrutinizes every major aspect of Hart's jurisprudential thinking, ranging from his general methodology to his defense of legal positivism. He shows how Hart's achievement in The Concept of Law, despite the evolution of debates in subsequent decades, remains central to contemporary legal philosophy because it lends itself to being reinterpreted in light of new concerns and interests. Kramer therefore pays particular attention to the strength of Hart's insights in the context of present-day disputes among philosophers over the reality of normative entities and properties and over the semantics of normative statements. This book is an invaluable guide to Hart's thought for students and scholars of legal philosophy and jurisprudence, as well as moral and political philosophy.

Changing the Subject - Philosophy from Socrates to Adorno (Paperback): Raymond Geuss Changing the Subject - Philosophy from Socrates to Adorno (Paperback)
Raymond Geuss
R469 Discovery Miles 4 690 Ships in 7 - 11 working days

"A history of philosophy in twelve thinkers...The whole performance combines polyglot philological rigor with supple intellectual sympathy, and it is all presented...in a spirit of fun." -Times Literary Supplement "If one of philosophy's crucial tasks is to snap us out of complacency and re-frame the parameters of debate, then there is always scope for a roll call of practitioners who have particularly enjoyed inspiring the 'moment when the gears shift.'...Geuss, who wears his expansive learning lightly, has interesting things to say about them all." -Catholic Herald "Exceptionally engaging...Geuss has a remarkable knack for putting even familiar thinkers in a new light." -Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Raymond Geuss explores the ideas of twelve philosophers who broke dramatically with prevailing wisdom, from Socrates and Plato in the ancient world to Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, and Adorno. The result is a striking account of some of the most innovative thinkers in Western history and an indirect manifesto for how to pursue philosophy today. Geuss cautions that philosophers' attempts to break from convention do not necessarily make the world a better place. Montaigne's ideas may have been benign, but the fate of those of Hobbes, Hegel, and Nietzsche has been more varied. Yet in the act of provoking people to think differently, philosophers remind us that we are not fated to live within the systems of thought we inherit.

My Revision Notes: AQA A-level Philosophy Paper 1 Epistemology and Moral Philosophy (Paperback): Dan Cardinal, Gerald Jones,... My Revision Notes: AQA A-level Philosophy Paper 1 Epistemology and Moral Philosophy (Paperback)
Dan Cardinal, Gerald Jones, Jeremy Hayward
R344 Discovery Miles 3 440 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

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

Now - The Physics of Time (Paperback): Richard A. Muller Now - The Physics of Time (Paperback)
Richard A. Muller
R397 R323 Discovery Miles 3 230 Save R74 (19%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

You are reading the word "now" right now. But what does that mean? "Now" has bedeviled philosophers, priests, and modern-day physicists from Augustine to Einstein and beyond. In Now, eminent physicist Richard A. Muller takes up the challenge. He begins with remarkably clear explanations of relativity, entropy, entanglement, the Big Bang, and more, setting the stage for his own revolutionary theory of time, one that makes testable predictions. Muller's monumental work will spark major debate about the most fundamental assumptions of our universe, and may crack one of physics' longest-standing enigmas.

RLE: Political Science:  60 Volume-Set (Hardcover): Various RLE: Political Science: 60 Volume-Set (Hardcover)
Various
R98,936 Discovery Miles 989 360 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Routledge Library Editions: Political Science reprints a distinguished selection of important texts published in this field over the last century. This set presents a unique opportunity to gain comprehensive coverage of all aspects of the history, philosophy and theory of political science. For further information on this collection please email [email protected]

The Decay of Lying (Paperback): Oscar Wilde The Decay of Lying (Paperback)
Oscar Wilde
R166 R135 Discovery Miles 1 350 Save R31 (19%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

'Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life' The two works brought together here, 'The Decay of Lying' and 'The Critic as Artist', are Oscar Wilde's wittiest and most profound writings on aesthetics, in which he proposes that criticism is the highest form of creation and that lying, the telling of a beautiful untruth, is the ultimate aim of art. 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.

Must We Mean What We Say? - A Book of Essays (Paperback, 2nd Revised edition): Stanley Cavell Must We Mean What We Say? - A Book of Essays (Paperback, 2nd Revised edition)
Stanley Cavell
R416 Discovery Miles 4 160 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

In this classic collection of wide-ranging and interdisciplinary essays, Stanley Cavell explores a remarkably broad range of philosophical issues from politics and ethics to the arts and philosophy. The essays explore issues as diverse as the opposing approaches of 'analytic' and 'Continental' philosophy, modernism, Wittgenstein, abstract expressionism and Schoenberg, Shakespeare on human needs, the difficulties of authorship, Kierkegaard and post-Enlightenment religion. Presented in a fresh twenty-first century series livery, and including a specially commissioned preface, written by Stephen Mulhall, illuminating its continuing importance and relevance to philosophical enquiry, this influential work is now available for a new generation of readers.

Routledge Library Editions: Political Science Mini-set C: History of Western Political Thought: 23-Volume Set (Hardcover):... Routledge Library Editions: Political Science Mini-set C: History of Western Political Thought: 23-Volume Set (Hardcover)
Various
R58,894 Discovery Miles 588 940 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Mini-set C: History of Western Political Thought consists of 23 volumes, including some classic texts: J W Allen's A History of Political Thought in the 16th Century, Ernest Barker's Greek Political Theory, Andrew Maclaren Carstairs' A Short History of Electoral Systems in Western Europe, Victor Ehrenberg's The Greek State, Felix Raab's The English Face of Machiavelli and Walter Ullmann's Medieval Papalism.

Conversations with God, Book 3 - Embracing the Love of the Universe (Paperback): Neale Donald Walsch Conversations with God, Book 3 - Embracing the Love of the Universe (Paperback)
Neale Donald Walsch
R474 R387 Discovery Miles 3 870 Save R87 (18%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days
The Knowledge Machine - How Irrationality Created Modern Science (Hardcover): Michael Strevens The Knowledge Machine - How Irrationality Created Modern Science (Hardcover)
Michael Strevens
R717 R568 Discovery Miles 5 680 Save R149 (21%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

* Why is science so powerful? * Why did it take so long-two thousand years after the invention of philosophy and mathematics-for the human race to start using science to learn the secrets of the universe? In a groundbreaking work that blends science, philosophy, and history, leading philosopher of science Michael Strevens answers these challenging questions, showing how science came about only once thinkers stumbled upon the astonishing idea that scientific breakthroughs could be accomplished by breaking the rules of logical argument. Like such classic works as Karl Popper's The Logic of Scientific Discovery and Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, The Knowledge Machine grapples with the meaning and origins of science, using a plethora of vivid historical examples to demonstrate that scientists willfully ignore religion, theoretical beauty, and even philosophy to embrace a constricted code of argument whose very narrowness channels unprecedented energy into empirical observation and experimentation. Strevens calls this scientific code the iron rule of explanation, and reveals the way in which the rule, precisely because it is unreasonably close-minded, overcomes individual prejudices to lead humanity inexorably toward the secrets of nature. "With a mixture of philosophical and historical argument, and written in an engrossing style" (Alan Ryan), The Knowledge Machine provides captivating portraits of some of the greatest luminaries in science's history, including Isaac Newton, the chief architect of modern science and its foundational theories of motion and gravitation; William Whewell, perhaps the greatest philosopher-scientist of the early nineteenth century; and Murray Gell-Mann, discoverer of the quark. Today, Strevens argues, in the face of threats from a changing climate and global pandemics, the idiosyncratic but highly effective scientific knowledge machine must be protected from politicians, commercial interests, and even scientists themselves who seek to open it up, to make it less narrow and more rational-and thus to undermine its devotedly empirical search for truth. Rich with illuminating and often delightfully quirky illustrations, The Knowledge Machine, written in a winningly accessible style that belies the import of its revisionist and groundbreaking concepts, radically reframes much of what we thought we knew about the origins of the modern world.

Ride the Tiger - A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul (Hardcover, 1st U.S. ed): Julius Evola Ride the Tiger - A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul (Hardcover, 1st U.S. ed)
Julius Evola 1
R592 R381 Discovery Miles 3 810 Save R211 (36%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The organizations and institutions that, in a traditional civilization and society, would have allowed an individual to realize himself completely, to defend the principal values he recognizes as his own, and to structure his life in a clear and unambiguous way, no longer exist in the contemporary world. Everything that has come to predominate in the modern world is the direct antithesis of the world of Tradition, in which a society is ruled by principles that transcend the merely human and transitory. Ride the Tigerpresents an implacable criticism of the idols, structures, theories, and illusions of our dissolute age examined in the light of the inner teachings of indestructible Tradition. Evola identifies the type of human capable of "riding the tiger," who may transform destructive processes into inner liberation. He offers hope for those who wish to reembrace Tradition.

Idleness - A Philosophical Essay (Hardcover): Brian O'Connor Idleness - A Philosophical Essay (Hardcover)
Brian O'Connor
R626 R481 Discovery Miles 4 810 Save R145 (23%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The first book to challenge modern philosophy's case against idleness, revealing why the idle state is one of true freedom For millennia, idleness and laziness have been regarded as vices. We're all expected to work to survive and get ahead, and devoting energy to anything but labor and self-improvement can seem like a luxury or a moral failure. Far from questioning this conventional wisdom, modern philosophers have worked hard to develop new reasons to denigrate idleness. In Idleness, the first book to challenge modern philosophy's portrayal of inactivity, Brian O'Connor argues that the case against an indifference to work and effort is flawed--and that idle aimlessness may instead allow for the highest form of freedom. Idleness explores how some of the most influential modern philosophers drew a direct connection between making the most of our humanity and avoiding laziness. Idleness was dismissed as contrary to the need people have to become autonomous and make whole, integrated beings of themselves (Kant); to be useful (Kant and Hegel); to accept communal norms (Hegel); to contribute to the social good by working (Marx); and to avoid boredom (Schopenhauer and de Beauvoir). O'Connor throws doubt on all these arguments, presenting a sympathetic vision of the inactive and unserious that draws on more productive ideas about idleness, from ancient Greece through Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, Schiller and Marcuse's thoughts about the importance of play, and recent critiques of the cult of work. A thought-provoking reconsideration of productivity for the twenty-first century, Idleness shows that, from now on, no theory of what it means to have a free mind can exclude idleness from the conversation.

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