Drawing on the discourses of psychoanalysis, evolutionary biology, and other emerging fields of study that informed Wagner’s thinking, Adrian Daub traces the dual influence of Gesamtkunstwerk and eroticism from their classic expressions in Tristan und Isolde into the work of the generation of composers that followed, including Zemlinsky, d’Albert, Schreker, and Strauss. For decades after Wagner’s death, Daub writes, these composers continued to grapple with his ideas and with his overwhelming legacy, trying in vain to write their way out from Tristan’s shadow.
Written in the form of a Socratic dialogue, The Republic is an investigation into the nature of an ideal society. In this far-reaching and profoundly influential treatise, Plato explores the concept of justice, the connection between politics and psychology, the difference between words and what they represent, and the roles of art and education, among many other topics. A towering achievement of philosophical insight, The Republic is as relevant to readers today as it was to the citizens of ancient Athens.
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William James’s Varieties of Religious Experience brings together twenty lectures on the nature of religion, delivered at the University of Edinburgh between 1901 and 1902. Renowned at the time for their practical and even-handed approach to the human experience of religion, the lectures form a sympathetic and analytical portrait not of the church, but of the personalized experiences of religious life. James examines the words of writers and philosophers from Immanuel Kant to Plato to Ralph Waldo Emerson to Marcus Aurelius in his investigations of faith, the soul, and systems of belief. Praised by philosopher Charles Pierce for its “penetration into the hearts of people” and by the New York Times for its ability to stir the sympathies of readers, The Varieties of Religious Experience is a lucid and thought-provoking examination of man’s encounters with God.
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Life in the modern age began when people no longer lived at the mercy of nature and instead took control of it. We planted crops so we didn’t have to forage, and produced planes, trains, and cars for transport. With televisions and computers, we don’t have to leave home to see the world. Somewhere in that process, the natural tendency of humankind went from one of being and of practicing our own human abilities and powers, to one of having by possessing objects and using tools that replace our own powers to think, feel, and act independently. Fromm argues that positive change—both social and economic—will come from being, loving, and sharing. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Erich Fromm including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s estate.
A transformative book about the lives we wish we had and what they can teach us about who we are
All of us lead two parallel lives: the one we are actively living, and the one we feel we should have had or might yet have. As hard as we try to exist in the moment, the unlived life is an inescapable presence, a shadow at our heels. And this itself can become the story of our lives: an elegy to unmet needs and sacrificed desires. We become haunted by the myth of our own potential, of what we have in ourselves to be or to do. And this can make of our lives a perpetual falling-short.
But what happens if we remove the idea of failure from the equation? With his flair for graceful paradox, the acclaimed psychoanalyst Adam Phillips suggests that if we accept frustration as a way of outlining what we really want, satisfaction suddenly becomes possible. To crave a life without frustration is to crave a life without the potential to identify and accomplish our desires.
In this elegant, compassionate, and absorbing book, Phillips draws deeply on his own clinical experience as well as on the works of Shakespeare and Freud, of D. W. Winnicott and William James, to suggest that frustration, not getting it, and and getting away with it are all chapters in our unlived lives—and may be essential to the one fully lived.
The lectures comprising Abnormal begin by examining the role of psychiatry in modern criminal justice, and its method of categorizing individuals who "resemble their crime before they commit it." Building on the themes of societal self-defense in "Society Must Be Defended," Foucault shows how and why defining "abnormality" and "normality" were preorogatives of power in the nineteenth century.
The College de France lectures add immeasurably to our appreciation of Foucault's work and offer a unique window into his thinking.
Throughout The Uses of Pleasure Foucault analyzes an irresistible array of ancient Greek texts on eroticism as he tries to answer basic questions: How in the West did sexual experience become a moral issue? And why were other appetites of the body, such as hunger, and collective concerns, such as civic duty, not subjected to the numberless rules and regulations and judgments that have defined, if not confined, sexual behavior?
This brilliantly conceived and organized book is Dr. Leonard Peikoff’s classic text on the abstract principles and practical applications of Objectivism, based on his lecture series “The Philosophy of Objectivism.” Ayn Rand said of these lectures: “Until or unless I write a comprehensive treatise on my philosophy, Dr. Peikoff’s course is the only authorized presentation of the entire theoretical structure of Objectivism—that is, the only one that I know of my knowledge to be fully accurate.”
In Objectivism, Peikoff covers every philosophic topic that Rand regarded as important—from certainty to money, from logic to art, from measurement to sex. Drawn from Rand’s published works as well as in-depth conversations between her and Peikoff, these chapters illuminate Objectivism—and its creator—with startling clarity. With Objectivism, the millions of readers who have been transformed by Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead will discover the full philosophical system underlying Ayn Rand’s work.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Every week, the award-winning journalist Brooke Gladstone, along with her co-host Bob Garfield, reaches 1.2 million listeners through more than 420 NPR affiliate stations with WNYC Studios' On the Media, a shrewd and witty newsmagazine that analyzes media and how it shapes our perceptions of the world. With her front-row perch on the day’s events and genius for making insightful, rapid-fire connections, Gladstone is ideally suited to explain The Trouble with Reality.
Reality, as she shows us, was never what we thought it was—there is always a bubble, people are always subjective and prey to stereotypes. And that makes reality more vulnerable than we ever thought. Enter Donald J. Trump and his team of advisors. For them, as she writes, lying is the point. The more blatant the lie, the easier it is to hijack reality and assert power over the truth. Drawing on writers as diverse as Hannah Arendt, Walter Lippmann, and Jonathan Swift, she dissects this strategy straight out of the authoritarian playbook and shows how the Trump team mastered it. She analyzes Trump’s preferred method of communication—Twitter— and the various types of Trump’s tweets including the “diversion tweet,” the “trial balloon tweet," the “deflection tweet.”
And she offers hope—the inevitable reckoning history tells us we can count on—and a way to recover both our belief in reality and our sanity.
In our interconnected world, self-interest and social-interest are rapidly becoming indistinguishable. If current negative trajectories remain, including growing climate destabilization, biodiversity loss, and economic inequality, an impending future of ecological collapse and societal destabilization will make “personal success” virtually meaningless. Yet our broken social system incentivizes behavior that will only make our problems worse. If true human rights progress is to be achieved today, it is time we dig deeper—rethinking the very foundation of our social system.
In this engaging, important work, Peter Joseph, founder of the world’s largest grassroots social movement—The Zeitgeist Movement—draws from economics, history, philosophy, and modern public-health research to present a bold case for rethinking activism in the 21st century.
Arguing against the long-standing narrative of universal scarcity and other pervasive myths that defend the current state of affairs, The New Human Rights Movement illuminates the structural causes of poverty, social oppression, and the ongoing degradation of public health, and ultimately presents the case for an updated economic approach. Joseph explores the potential of this grand shift and how we can design our way to a world where the human family has become truly sustainable.
The New Human Rights Movement reveals the critical importance of a unified activism working to overcome the inherent injustice of our system. This book warns against what is in store if we continue to ignore the flaws of our socioeconomic approach, while also revealing the bright and expansive future possible if we succeed.
Will you join the movement?
The greatest prudence, Smith suggests, may lie in following economic self-interest in order to secure the basic necessities. This is only the first step, however, toward the much higher goal of achieving a morally virtuous life. Smith elaborates upon a theory of the imagination inspired by the philosophy of David Hume. His reasoning takes Hume's logic a step further by proposing a more sophisticated notion of sympathy, leading to a series of highly original theories involving conscience, moral judgment, and virtue.
Smith's legacy consists of his reconstruction of the Enlightenment idea of a moral, or social, science that embraces both political economy and the theory of law and government. His articulate expression of his philosophy continues to inspire and challenge modern readers.
Everyone blames his memory, no one his judgment.
Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors.
It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are
We rarely think people have good sense unless they agree with us.
The more than 500 brief musings included here make for entertaining and thought-provoking reading. This invaluable collection will also serve as a sourcebook for writers, speakers, or anyone who needs a quick quip.
By the author of the modern classic The Black Swan, this collection of aphorisms and meditations expresses his major ideas in ways you least expect.
The Bed of Procrustes takes its title from Greek mythology: the story of a man who made his visitors fit his bed to perfection by either stretching them or cutting their limbs. It represents Taleb’s view of modern civilization’s hubristic side effects—modifying humans to satisfy technology, blaming reality for not fitting economic models, inventing diseases to sell drugs, defining intelligence as what can be tested in a classroom, and convincing people that employment is not slavery.
Playful and irreverent, these aphorisms will surprise you by exposing self-delusions you have been living with but never recognized.
With a rare combination of pointed wit and potent wisdom, Taleb plows through human illusions, contrasting the classical values of courage, elegance, and erudition against the modern diseases of nerdiness, philistinism, and phoniness.
“Taleb’s crystalline nuggets of thought stand alone like esoteric poems.”—Financial Times
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Blum argues that a growing tendency to castigate as "racism" everything that goes wrong in the racial domain reduces the term's power to evoke moral outrage. In "I'm Not a Racist, But . . .", Blum develops a historically grounded account of racism as the deeply morally-charged notion it has become. He addresses the question whether people of color can be racist, defines types of racism, and identifies debased and inappropriate usages of the term. Though racial insensitivity, racial anxiety, racial ignorance and racial injustice are, in his view, not "racism," they are racial ills that should elicit moral concern.
Blum argues that "race" itself, even when not serving distinct racial malfeasance, is a morally destructive idea, implying moral distance and unequal worth. History and genetic science reveal both the avoidability and the falsity of the idea of race. Blum argues that we can give up the idea of race, but must recognize that racial groups' historical and social experience has been shaped by having been treated as if they were races.
In Terrible Swift Sword, Bruce Catton tells the story of the Civil War as never before—of two turning points which changed the scope and meaning of the war. First, he describes how the war slowly but steadily got out of control. This would not be the neat, short, “limited” war both sides had envisioned. And then the author reveals how the sweeping force of all-out conflict changed the war’s purpose, in turning it into a war for human freedom.
It was not initially a war against slavery. Instead, this was, Mr. Lincoln kept insisting, a fight to reunite the United States. At first, it was not even much of a fight. Cautious generals; inexperienced, incompetent, or jealous administrators; shortages of good people and supplies; excess of both gloom and optimism, kept each side from swinging into decisive action. As the buildup began, there were maddening delays. The earliest engagements were halting and inconclusive. After these first tests at arms, reputations began to crumble. Buell, Halleck, Beauregard Albert Sidney Johnston. Failed to drive ahead—for reasons good and bad. General McClellan (impaled in these pages on the arrogant words of his letters) captured more imaginations than enemies, and continued to accept serious over estimates of Confederate strength while becoming more and more fatally estranged from his own government.
Each of us exists in three-dimensional, physical space. But, as a constellation of everyday digital phenomena rewires our lives, we are increasingly coaxed from the containment of our predigital selves into a wonderful and eerie fourth dimension, a world of ceaseless communication, instant information, and global connection.
Our portals to this new world have been wedged open, and the silhouette of a figure is slowly taking shape. But what does it feel like to be four-dimensional? How do digital technologies influence the rhythms of our thoughts, the style and tilt of our consciousness? What new sensitivities and sensibilities are emerging with our exposure to the delights, sorrows, and anxieties of a networked world? And how do we live in public with these recoded private lives?
Laurence Scott—hailed as a “New Generation Thinker” by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the BBC—shows how this four-dimensional life is dramatically changing us by redefining our social lives and extending the limits of our presence in the world. Blending tech-philosophy with insights on everything from Seinfeld to the fall of Gaddafi, Scott stands with a rising generation of social critics hoping to understand our new reality. His virtuosic debut is a revelatory and original exploration of life in the digital age.
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.
The modern Victor Frankenstein holds a high political office, carries diplomatic immunity, and is most likely funded by the largest corporations worldwide. His method is ancient: alchemy. His fraternities are well known and their secrets are well kept, but his goal of times past and present is the same; he dares to become as god, genetically manipulating the seeds of the earth, the beasts on the fields, and to claim legal ownership over humanity by re-creating it in his own image. This is no fairy tale, science fiction, or conspiracy theory … it simply is!
Transhumanism, a Grimoire of Alchemical Agendas by Dr.'s. Joseph P. Farrell and Scott D. de Hart lifts the veil from the macabre transhumanistic monster being assembled and exposes the hidden history and agenda that has set humanity on a collision course for the Apocalypse.
Joseph P. Farrell is the author of the best-selling Genes, Giants, Monsters, and Men: The Surviving Elites of the Cosmic War and Their Hidden Agenda.
A thrilling, page-turning piece of writing that describes the forces conspiring to tear apart the United States—with the disintegrating political processes and rising tempers finally erupting at Bull Run.
" . . . a major work by a major writer, a superb recreation of the twelve crucial months that opened the Civil War." —The New York Times
Challenging readers to consider the human condition and our own choices, Galeano elevates the little-known heroes of our world and decries the destruction of the intellectual, linguistic, and emotional treasures that we have all but forgotten.
Readers will discover many inspiring narratives in this collection of vignettes: the Brazilians who held a "smooch-in" to protest against a dictatorship for banning kisses that "undermined public morals;" the astonishing day Mexico invaded the United States; and the "sacrilegious" women who had the effrontery to marry each other in a church in the Galician city of A Coruna in 1901. Galeano also highlights individuals such as Pedro Fernandes Sardinha, the first bishop of Brazil, who was eaten by Caete Indians off the coast of Alagoas, as well as Abdul Kassem Ismael, the grand vizier of Persia, who kept books safe from war by creating a walking library of 117,000 tomes aboard four hundred camels, forming a mile-long caravan.
Beautifully translated by Galeano's longtime collaborator, Mark Fried, Children of the Days is a majestic humanist treasure that shows us how to live and how to remember. It awakens the best in us.
David Swartz focuses on a central theme in Bourdieu's work—the complex relationship between culture and power—and explains that sociology for Bourdieu is a mode of political intervention. Swartz clarifies Bourdieu's difficult concepts, noting where they have been misinterpreted by critics and where they have fallen short in resolving important analytical issues. The book also shows how Bourdieu has synthesized his theory of practices and symbolic power from Durkheim, Marx, and Weber, and how his work was influenced by Sartre, Levi-Strauss, and Althusser.
Culture and Power is the first book to offer both a sympathetic and critical examination of Bourdieu's work and it will be invaluable to social scientists as well as to a broader audience in the humanities.
In this compelling account, the French Revolution stands once again as a culmination of the emancipatory and democratic ideals of the Enlightenment. That it ended in the Terror represented a betrayal of those ideas—not their fulfillment.
Starting with his polemic against Kant's ethics of duty, Schopenhauer anticipates the latter-day critics of moral philosophy. Arguing that compassion forms the basis of morality, he outlines a perspective on ethics in which passion and desire correspond to different moral characters, behaviors, and worldviews. In conclusion, Schopenhauer defines his metaphysics of morals, employing Kant's transcendental idealism to illustrate both the interconnectiveness of being and the affinity of his ethics to Eastern thought.
The study of anthropology, as presented in Anthropology of Sport and Human Movement, provides a scope that offers a critical and discerning perspective on the complex calculus involving human biological and cultural variation that produces human movement and performance. Each chapter of this compelling collection resonates with the theme of a tightly woven relationship of biology and culture, of evolutionary implications and contemporary biological and cultural expression.
When it was originally published, The Division of Labor in Society was an entirely original work on the nature of labor and production as they were being shaped by the industrial revolution. Emile Durkheim’s seminal work studies the nature of social solidarity and explores the ties that bind one person to the next in order to hold society together.
This revised and updated second edition fluently conveys Durkheim’s arguments for contemporary readers. Leading Durkheim scholar Steve Lukes’s new introduction builds upon Lewis Coser’s original—which places the work in its intellectual and historical context and pinpoints its central ideas and arguments. Lukes explains the text’s continued significance as a tool to think about and deal with problems that face us today. The original translation has been revised and reworked in order to make Durkheim’s arguments clearer and easier to read.
The Division of Labor in Society is an essential resource for students and scholars hoping to deepen their understanding of one of the pioneering voices in modern sociology and twentieth-century social thought.
The book is divided into two parts. In the first, Oliver C. Speck explores some of Haneke's Deleuzian traits - showing how the theoretical concepts of the virtual, of filmic space and of realism can be useful tools for unlocking the problems that Haneke formulates and solves through filmic means. In the second, Speck discusses a range of topics that appear in all of Haneke's films but that haven't, until now, been fully noticed or analyzed. These chapters demonstrate how Haneke plays the role of "diagnostician of culture," how he reads - for example - madness, suicide and childhood.
Like several other contemporary European directors, Haneke addresses topics considered difficult when measured by the standards of commercial cinema: the traumatic effects of violence, racism, and alienation. Funny Frames is an incisive and original contribution to the growing scholarship on one of the most intriguing auteurs of our time.
Offering the first analytical account of the connection between anti-Semitism and philosophy, Mack begins his exploration by showing how the fundamental thinkers in the German idealist tradition—Kant, Hegel, and, through them, Feuerbach and Wagner—argued that the human world should perform and enact the promises held out by a conception of an otherworldly heaven. But their respective philosophies all ran aground on the belief that the worldly proved incapable of transforming itself into this otherworldly ideal. To reconcile this incommensurability, Mack argues, philosophers created a construction of Jews as symbolic of the "worldliness" that hindered the development of a body politic and that served as a foil to Kantian autonomy and rationality.
In the second part, Mack examines how Moses Mendelssohn, Heinrich Heine, Franz Rosenzweig, and Freud, among others, grappled with being both German and Jewish. Each thinker accepted the philosophies of Kant and Hegel, in varying degrees, while simultaneously critiquing anti-Semitism in order to develop the modern Jewish notion of what it meant to be enlightened—a concept that differed substantially from that of Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, and Wagner. By speaking the unspoken in German philosophy, this book profoundly reshapes our understanding of it.
In Familiar Strangers, Gotham Chopra travels from China, Sri Lanka, and Kashmir to Chechnya and the Yucatán in search of answers to these age-old spiritual questions. Everywhere he goes, he encounters people who have had to dig within themselves to survive horrible realities and bear heart-wrenching losses. From his New York to Los Angeles flight on September 11, 2001 to a harrowing week spent among young boys toting guns in the contested hills of Kashmir and a sojourn in a small Yucatán village where he witnesses firsthand the collision between the romance of the past and the uncertain promise of the future, Chopra shares the wisdom, idealism, and sense of purpose he found in ordinary people living under extraordinary circumstances.
Rich in drama and insights into cultures far different from our own, the stories Chopra recounts articulate, as well, anxieties and fears we all share. While acknowledging that his travels often take him to the extreme edges of civilized society, Chopra shows that the questions that arise in times of peril or in the face of great dangers are not so different from what many of us ask in the course of our daily lives–whether after a grueling eighty-hour work week, a six-hour exam, or a fiery argument with a lover. The challenge, he argues, is to use these moments of revelation as the first step in moving beyond self-imposed fears and limits and embracing new opportunities for spiritual growth.
From the Hardcover edition.
Barber argues that the fashionable rallying cries of cultural literacy and political correctness completely miss the point of what is wrong with our society. While we fret about "the closing of the American mind" we utterly ignore the closing of American schools. While we worry about Japanese technology, we fail to tap the more fundamental ideological resources on which our country was founded. As Barber argues, the future of America lies not in competition but in education. Education in America can and must embrace both democracy and excellence.
Barber demonstrates persuasively that our national story has always comprised an intermingling of diverse, contradictory, often subversive voices. Multiculturalism has, from the very start, defined America. From his gripping portrait of America poised on the brink of unprecedented change, Barber offers a daringly original program for effecting change: for teaching democracy depends not only on the preeminence of education but on a resurgence of true community service.
A ringing challenge to the complacency, cynicism, and muddled thinking of our time that will change the way you feel about being an American citizen.