How many times have you heard arguments like these for why God exists? Why There Is No God: Simple Responses to 20 Common Arguments for the Existence of God provides simple, easy-to-understand counterpoints to the most popular arguments made for the existence of God. Each chapter presents a concise explanation of the argument, followed by a response illustrating the problems and fallacies inherent in it. Whether you're an atheist, a believer or undecided, this book offers a solid foundation for building your own inquiry about the concept of God.
Translated and with an introduction and notes by Robin Buss. Includes explanatory footnotes, as well as suggestions for further reading of acclaimed literary criticisms and references.
First published in 1975, Animal Liberation created a sensation upon its release, shaking the world’s philosophical and animal-protection circles to their cores. Now, forty years later, Peter Singer’s landmark work still looms large as a foundational and canonical text of animal advocacy. Arguing that all beings capable of suffering deserve equal consideration, Singer contends that the only justifiable treatment of animals is that which maximizes good and minimizes suffering. In examining the cruelty of factory farming and the exploitation, both commercial and scientific, of laboratory animals, he identifies a kind of “ethical blindness” and calls for political action.
A moral wake-up call from one of the most influential and controversial ethicists of our time, Animal Liberation tackles an emotionally charged social issue with a compelling rational argument in a rousing and riveting read.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Peter Singer, including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.
After he finished school, René Descartes was left with more doubts than certainties. His Jesuit education included some of the best teaching available in mathematics, physics, and letters, and yet Descartes found the foundations of his schooling hollow. Determined to discover for himself what was real, he spent the next nine years traveling through Europe, interacting with locals of all walks of life, including nobles, soldiers, and laborers, in search of the breadth of experience that would later inspire his greatest work: Discourse on Method. When it was first published, the book offered a remarkable new approach to gaining knowledge based on reason and skepticism, the steps for which Descartes lays out sequentially, from the deconstruction of all previously held beliefs to the slow and methodical rebuilding of fact anchored in the first and most innate truth: I think, therefore I am.
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The world is increasingly unthinkable, a world of planetary disasters, emerging pandemics, and the looming threat of extinction. In this book Eugene Thacker suggests that we look to the genre of horror as offering a way of thinking about the unthinkable world. To confront this idea is to confront the limit of our ability to understand the world in which we live – a central motif of the horror genre.
In the Dust of This Planet explores these relationships between philosophy and horror. In Thacker's hands, philosophy is not academic logic-chopping; instead, it is the thought of the limit of all thought, especially as it dovetails into occultism, demonology, and mysticism. Likewise, Thacker takes horror to mean something beyond the focus on gore and scare tactics, but as the under-appreciated genre of supernatural horror in fiction, film, comics, and music. This relationship between philosophy and horror does not mean the philosophy of horror, if anything, it means the reverse, the horror of philosophy: those moments when philosophical thinking enigmatically confronts the horizon of its own existence. For Thacker, the genre of supernatural horror is the key site in which this paradoxical thought of the unthinkable takes place.
The cover of In the Dust of this Planet can be seen in a New York gallery, on a banner at the 2014 Climate Change march in New York and on Jay-Z's back promoting Run. The book influenced the writers of the US TV series True Detective and has been lambasted by ex-Fox News broadcaster, Glenn Beck in this podcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IW8OK4_1gQ
Led Zeppelin, who bestrode the world of rock like a colossus, have continually grown in popularity and influence since their official winding up in 1980. They exasperated critics and eluded classification, synthesizing blues, rock, folk, rockabilly, funk, classical, country, Indian, and Arabic techniques. They performed the alchemical trick of transmuting base led into gold—and platinum—and diamond. They did what they would, finding wisdom through personal excess and artistic self-discipline.
“Not a coda to Zeppelin’s legacy, but a blast of metaphysical graffiti as relevant today as the first time we heard the opening chords of ‘Stairway to Heaven’. From Kant to ‘Kashmir’, from Freud to ‘Fool in the Rain’, Calef and company explore Zeppelin’s music in an introspective, suggestive manner worthy of both a blistering Page solo and a bawdy Bonham stomp.”
—BRANDON W. FORBES, co-editor of Radiohead and Philosophy
“Led Zeppelin’s albums, personalities, live performances, art work, myths, influences, and more, all come under the microscope. Compelling insights and observations add more depth to a subject that continues to thrill and inspire. Each chapter is driven by an unquenchable thirst for Zeppelin knowledge and pulls the reader deeper into the world of Led Zeppelin . . .”
—DAVE LEWIS, editor, Tight But Loose
At seven volumes, three thousand pages, and more than four hundred characters, as well as a towering reputation as a literary classic, Proust’s novel can seem daunting. But though begun a century ago, in 1909, it is in fact as engaging and relevant to our times as ever. Patrick Alexander is passionate about Proust’s genius and appeal—he calls the work “outrageously bawdy and extremely funny”—and in his guide he makes it more accessible to the general reader through detailed plot summaries, historical and cultural background, a guide to the fifty most important characters, maps, family trees, illustrations, and a brief biography of Proust. Essential for readers and book groups currently reading Proust and who want help keeping track of the huge cast and intricate plot, this Reader’s Guide is also a wonderful introduction for students and new readers and a memory-refresher for long-time fans.
A moving document of decline, Rimbaud’s letters begin with the enthusiastic artistic pronouncements of a fifteen-year-old genius, and end with the bitter what-ifs of a man whose life has slipped disastrously away. But whether soapboxing on the essence of art, or struggling under the yoke of self-imposed exile in the desert of his later years, Rimbaud was incapable of writing an uninteresting sentence. As translator and editor Wyatt Mason makes clear in his engaging Introduction, the letters reveal a Rimbaud very different from our expectations. Rimbaud—presented by many biographers as a bohemian wild man—is unveiled as “diligent in his pursuit of his goals . . . wildly, soberly ambitious, in poetry, in everything.”
I Promise to Be Good: The Letters of Arthur Rimbaud is the second and final volume in Mason’s authoritative presentation of Rimbaud’s writings. Called by Edward Hirsch “the definitive translation for our time,” Mason’s first volume, Rimbaud Complete (Modern Library, 2002), brought Rimbaud’s poetry and prose into vivid focus. In I Promise to Be Good, Mason adds the missing epistolary pieces to our picture of Rimbaud. “These letters,” he writes, “are proofs in all their variety—of impudence and precocity, of tenderness and rage—for the existence of Arthur Rimbaud.” I Promise to Be Good allows English-language readers to see with new eyes one of the most extraordinary poets in history.
From the Hardcover edition.
Extending the ideas presented in his book In The Dust of This Planet, Eugene Thacker explores these and other issues in Starry Speculative Corpse. But instead of using philosophy to define or to explain the horror genre, Thacker reads works of philosophy as if they were horror stories themselves, revealing a rift between human beings and the unhuman world of which they are part. Along the way we see philosophers grappling with demons, struggling with doubt, and wrestling with an indifferent cosmos. At the center of it all is the philosophical drama of the human being confronting its own limits. Not a philosophy of horror, but a horror of philosophy. Thought that stumbles over itself, as if at the edge of an abyss.
Starry Speculative Corpse is the second volume of the "Horror of Philosophy" trilogy, together with the first volume, In The Dust of This Planet, and the third volume, Tentacles Longer Than Night.
We love these commands, especially in America, because they appeal to what we want to believe: that there's an authentic self to which we can be true. But while we mock Tricky Dick and Slick Willie, we're inventing identities on Facebook, paying thousands for plastic surgeries, and tuning in to news that simply verifies our opinions. Reality bites, after all, and becoming disillusioned is a downer.
In his new book Keep It Fake: Inventing an Authentic Life, Eric G. Wilson investigates this phenomenon. Hedraws on neuroscience, psychology, sociology, philosophy, art, film, literature, and his own life to explore the possibility that there's no such thing as unwavering reality. Whether our left brains are shaping the raw data of our right into fabulous stories or we're so saturated by society's conventions that we're always acting out prefab scripts, we can't help but be phony.
But is that really so bad? We're used to being scolded for being fake, but Wilson doesn't scold--because he doesn't think we need to be reprimanded. Our ability to remake ourselves into the people we want to be, or at least remake ourselves to look like the people we want to be, is in fact a magical process that can be liberating in its own way. Because if we're all a bunch of fakes, shouldn't we embrace that? And if everything really is fake, then doesn't the fake become real--really?
In lively prose--honest, provocative, witty, wide-ranging (as likely to riff on Bill Murray as to contemplate Plato)--Keep It Fake answers these questions, uncovering bracing truths about what it means to be human and helping us turn our necessary lying into artful living.
Raymond N. MacKenzie's new translation of Thérèse Desqueyroux, the first since 1947, captures the poetic lyricism of Mauriac's prose as well as the intensity of his stream-of-consciousness narrative. MacKenzie also provides notes and a biographical and interpretive introduction to help readers better appreciate the mastery of François Mauriac, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1952. This volume also includes a translation of "Conscience, The Divine Instinct," Mauriac's first draft of the story, never before available in English.
The writings of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle have resonated through the millennia and continue to influence the lives of people today. In A Short History of Greek Philosophy, renowned British classicist John Marshall provides a thorough yet engaging account of the seminal philosophical movements of ancient Greece, from the Sophists to the Sceptics to the Stoics. For readers looking to dip their toes into the vast ocean of Western philosophy, Marshall’s history provides the perfect springboard.
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More than a great novel, Atlas Shrugged is an abstract conceptual, and symbolic work that expounds a radical philosophy, presenting a view of man and man's relationship to existence and manifesting the essentials of an entire philosophical system – metaphysics, epistemology, politics and ethics.
Celebrating the fiftieth year of Atlas Shrugged's publication, this companion is an exploration of this monumental work of literature. Contributions have been specially commissioned from a diversity of eminent scholars who admire and have been influenced by the book, the included essays analyzing the novel's integrating elements of theme, plot and characterization from many perspectives and from various levels of meaning.
Giambattista Vico was the anachronistic and impoverished Neapolitan philosopher sometimes credited with founding the human sciences. He opposed Enlightenment methods as cold and fallacious. J. G. Hamann was a pious, cranky dilettante in a peripheral German city. But he was brilliant enough to gain the audience of Kant, Goethe, and Moses Mendelssohn. In Hamann's chaotic and long-ignored writings, Berlin finds the first strong attack on Enlightenment rationalism and a wholly original source of the coming swell of romanticism. Johann Gottfried Herder, the progenitor of populism and European nationalism, rejected universalism and rationalism but championed cultural pluralism.
Individually, these fascinating intellectual biographies reveal Berlin's own great intelligence, learning, and generosity, as well as the passionate genius of his subjects. Together, they constitute an arresting interpretation of romanticism's precursors. In Hamann's railings and the more considered writings of Vico and Herder, Berlin finds critics of the Enlightenment worthy of our careful attention. But he identifies much that is misguided in their rejection of universal values, rationalism, and science. With his customary emphasis on the frightening power of ideas, Berlin traces much of the next centuries' irrationalism and suffering to the historicism and particularism they advocated. What Berlin has to say about these long-dead thinkers--in appreciation and dissent--is remarkably timely in a day when Enlightenment beliefs are being challenged not just by academics but by politicians and by powerful nationalist and fundamentalist movements.
The study of J. G. Hamann was originally published under the title The Magus of the North: J. G. Hamann and the Origins of Modern Irrationalism. The essays on Vico and Herder were originally published as Vico and Herder: Two Studies in the History of Ideas. Both are out of print.
This new edition includes a number of previously uncollected pieces on Vico and Herder, two interesting passages excluded from the first edition of the essay on Hamann, and Berlin's thoughtful responses to two reviewers of that same edition.
RenÃ© Girard is one of the most brilliant and striking intellectuals of the 20th century. His theory on the imitative nature of desire and on the violent origin of culture has been at the centre of the philosophical and theoretical debate since the publication in 1971 of his seminal book: Violence and the Sacred. His reflection on the relationship between violence and religion is one of the most original and persuasive and, given the urgency of this issue in our contemporary world, demands a reappraisal.
Girard, who has been hailed by Michel Serres as "the Charles Darwin" of human sciences, is in fact one of the few thinkers in the humanities and social sciences that takes into full consideration an evolutionary perspective to explain the emergence of culture and institutions. The authors draw out this aspect of his thought by foregrounding ethological, anthropological and evolutionary theories.
Methodological and epistemological systematization has also been lacking in Girard's previous books, and by questioning him on the issue of evidence and truth, the authors provide a convincing framework for further inquiries. In the last chapters, Girard proposes a provocative re-reading of the Biblical texts, seen as the culmination of an enduring process of historical awareness of the presence and function of collective violence in our world. In fact, Girard's long argument is a historical spiral in which the origin of culture and archaic religion is reunited with the contemporary world by means of a reinterpretation of Christianity and its revelation of the intrinsic violent nature of the human being.
Edited by a noted Nietzsche scholar, this authoritative compendium is a vital assembly of nearly all of Nietzsche's early works. Marking the advent of his mature philosophy, these aphorisms and prose poems examine the impulses that lead human beings to seek the comforts of religion, morality, metaphysics, and art. Nietzsche proposes greater individualism and personality development, addresses issues of society and family, and discusses visions of free spirits with the courage to be rid of idealist prejudices. Written in his distinctive, often paradoxical style, The Dawn of Day presents practically every theme touched upon in Nietzsche's later philosophical essays. It is an essential guide and a fundamental basis for the understanding of the great philosopher and his work.
In this eye-opening, intellectually stimulating appreciation of a fascinating school of philosophy, Terry Eagleton makes a powerful argument that materialism is at the center of today’s important scientific and cultural as well as philosophical debates. The author reveals entirely fresh ways of considering the values and beliefs of three very different materialists—Marx, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein—drawing striking comparisons between their philosophies while reflecting on a wide array of topics, from ideology and history to language, ethics, and the aesthetic. Cogently demonstrating how it is our bodies and corporeal activity that make thought and consciousness possible, Eagleton’s book is a valuable exposition on philosophic thought that strikes to the heart of how we think about ourselves and live in the world.
First sketching a nonessentialist view of rationality, and emphasizing the role of power relations, Peg O’Connor then examines in subsequent chapters the relationship between a variety of "foreground" actions and "background" practices: burnings of African American churches, hate speech, child sexual abuse, coming out as a gay or lesbian teenager, and racial integration of public and private spaces. These examples serve to illuminate when our "language games" reinforce oppression and when they allow possibilities for resistance. Attending to the background, O’Connor argues, can give us insight into ways of transforming the nature and meaning of foreground actions.
Read a related blog post by the authors on EerdWord.
In this collection of essays, sixteen scholars expert in various branches of philosophy set the controls for the heart of the sun to critically examine the themes, concepts, and problems—usually encountered in the pages of Heidegger, Foucault, Sartre, or Orwell—that animate and inspire Pink Floyd's music. These include the meaning of existence, the individual's place in society, the interactions of knowledge and power in education, the contradictions of art and commerce, and the blurry line—the tragic line, in the case of Floyd early member Syd Barrett (died in 2006)—between genius and madness. Having dominated pop music for nearly four decades, Pink Floyd's dynamic and controversial history additionally opens the way for these authors to explore controversies about intellectual property, the nature of authorship, and whether wholes—especially in the case of rock bands—are more than the sums of their parts.
Von Herrmann’s Hermeneutics and Reflection, translated here from the original German, represents the most fundamental and critical reflection in any language of the concept of phenomenology as it was used by Heidegger and by Husserl. It provides a careful rendition of Husserl’s essential contribution to phenomenology, then draws a clear demarcation between Husserl’s reflective phenomenology and Heidegger’s hermeneutic phenomenology. While showing the fullest respect for Husserl’s phenomenology, Hermeneutics and Reflection offers a full-fledged critique of Husserl from the perspective of Heidegger’s hermeneutic phenomenology.
Responding to the powerful myths and countermyths that had sprung up around Nietzsche, Kaufmann offered a patient, evenhanded account of his life and works, and of the uses and abuses to which subsequent generations had put his ideas. Without ignoring or downplaying the ugliness of many of Nietzsche's proclamations, he set them in the context of his work as a whole and of the counterexamples yielded by a responsible reading of his books. More positively, he presented Nietzsche's ideas about power as one of the great accomplishments of modern philosophy, arguing that his conception of the "will to power" was not a crude apology for ruthless self-assertion but must be linked to Nietzsche's equally profound ideas about sublimation. He also presented Nietzsche as a pioneer of modern psychology and argued that a key to understanding his overall philosophy is to see it as a reaction against Christianity.
Many scholars in the past half century have taken issue with some of Kaufmann's interpretations, but the book ranks as one of the most influential accounts ever written of any major Western thinker. Featuring a new foreword by Alexander Nehamas, this Princeton Classics edition of Nietzsche introduces a new generation of readers to one the most influential accounts ever written of any major Western thinker.
Familiar to philosophy students through the centuries, The Critique of Pure Reason is in many ways Kant’s magnum opus. First published in 1781, it seeks to define what can be known by reason alone without evidence from experience. Kant begins by defining a posteriori knowledge, which is gained through the senses, versus a priori knowledge, or self-evident truths understood without the benefit of experience. He then examines these two types of knowledge in the context of analytic and synthetic judgments, using the relationship between them to conclude that through reason alone, humans are capable of reaching deep universal truths. Kant then demonstrates how—even as much of the world around us can never be truly known—the laws of the universe are in fact made possible by the human capacity for reason itself.
Sparking intense and lasting discussion, The Critique of Pure Reason remains essential reading for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the ideas that, since their initial publication, have gone on to shape much of Western philosophy.
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The first essay is one of the most influential papers ever written on Lonergan; it and the second one inquire into the notion of the a priori. The third essay presents a detailed analysis of Kantian intuitionism and contrasts it with the `knowledge as structure' position of Lonergan's critical realism. In this essay intuitionism is generalized, to allow Sala to address representatives of neoscholasticism as well. The argument with neoscholasticism continues in the fourth essay. The final paper discusses Kant's resolution of the question regarding the agreement of a priori concepts with things, and finds in Lonergan's work an alternative position on correspondence and truth. Each essay is a model of careful and thorough scholarship, and also - surprising in a book of such proportions - of clarity. Lonergan appeals several times in Insight to the device of `Clarification by Contrast.' Sala's essays show us in intricate detail how illuminating such comparisons can be.
Locating Lacan's work in the context of contemporary French thought and the history of psychoanalysis, Sean Homer's Jacques Lacan is the ideal introduction to this influential theorist.
This book offers a new, unifying interpretation of the theory of freedom in the Social Contract. Simpson gives a careful analysis of Rousseau's theory of the social pact, and then examines the kinds of freedom that it brings about, showing how Rousseau's individualist and collectivist aspects fit into a larger and logically coherent theory of human liberty. Simpson's book not only helps us to understand one of the pre-eminent political minds of the 18th century, but also brings us into closer conversation with those he influenced, who have done so much to shape our world. And in light of the interest in contemporary contractualist philosophers like Rawls, Scanlon, and Gauthier, readers will find it worthwhile to return to the thinker who offers one of the most radical, profound, and insightful theories of the social contract ever devised.
The book is divided into two major sections. The first part summarizes Ayn Rand’s philosophy with respect to three basic areas of inquiry: (1) knowing and the known, (2) personal value and the nature of man, and (3) the ethics of objectivism. The second part consists primarily of a critical analysis of the ideas presented in the earlier pages.
The purpose of the study is to deal with Ayn Rand’s basic premises; only secondary consideration is given to the way in which these premises apply to specific problems in such areas as politics, economics and esthetics. Throughout, O’Neill is less concerned with criticizing what Rand says than with determining whether what she says makes sense in terms of established procedures for rational and semantic analysis and with respect to generally accepted principles for the scientific verification of evidence.