An informative and accessible guide to all of the great philosophers' best-known theories, explained through their most famous quotes. We may have heard of Socrates, Plato, Descartes and Nietzsche, but what did they believe? What were their famous aphorisms? And what did these actually mean? This Book Will Make You Think: Philosophical Quotes and What They Mean explains as simply as possible the ideas behind the world's most highly regarded philosophers, examining their beliefs and presenting choice quotes that succinctly distil their most famous theories, such as: 'No man's knowledge here can go beyond his experience.' Locke 'If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.' Voltaire 'Whereof one cannot speak thereof one must be silent.' Wittgenstein Written in an accessible and informative style, this book will help readers get to grips with the complex concepts of philosophy through the ages, and help match the theories to the names.
Today, hundreds of thousands of people, desperate to escape war, violence and poverty, are crossing the Mediterranean to seek refuge in Europe. Our response from our protected European standpoint, argues Slavoj Zizek, offers two versions of ideological blackmail: either we open our doors as widely as possible; or we try to pull up the drawbridge. Both solutions are bad, states Zizek. They merely prolong the problem, rather than tackling it. The refugee crisis also presents an opportunity, a unique chance for Europe to redefine itself: but, if we are to do so, we have to start raising unpleasant and difficult questions. We must also acknowledge that large migrations are our future: only then can we commit to a carefully prepared process of change, one founded not on a community that see the excluded as a threat, but one that takes as its basis the shared substance of our social being. The only way, in other words, to get to the heart of one of the greatest issues confronting Europe today is to insist on the global solidarity of the exploited and oppressed. Maybe such solidarity is a utopia. But, warns Zizek, if we don't engage in it, then we are really lost. And we will deserve to be lost.
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.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was a man of extraordinary intellectual creativity who lived an exceptionally rich and varied intellectual life in troubled times. More than anything else, he was a man who wanted to improve the life of his fellow human beings through the advancement of all the sciences and the establishment of a stable and just political order. In this Very Short Introduction Maria Rosa Antognazza outlines the central features of Leibniz's philosophy in the context of his overarching intellectual vision and aspirations. Against the backdrop of Leibniz's encompassing scientific ambitions, she introduces the fundamental principles of Leibniz's thought, as well as his theory of truth and theory of knowledge. Exploring Leibniz's contributions to logic, mathematics, physics, and metaphysics, she considers how his theories sat alongside his concerns with politics, diplomacy, and a broad range of practical reforms: juridical, economic, administrative, technological, medical, and ecclesiastical. Discussing Leinbniz's theories of possible worlds, she concludes by looking at what is ultimately real in this actual world that we experience, the good and evil there is in it, and Leibniz's response to the problem of evil through his theodicy.
Already a classic, this landmark account of early Western thought now appears in a new edition with expanded coverage of the Middle Ages. The Dream of Reason takes a fresh look at the writings of the great thinkers of classic philosophy and questions many pieces of conventional wisdom. The book invites comparison with Bertrand Russell's monumental History of Western Philosophy, but Gottlieb's book is less idiosyncratic and based on more recent scholarship (Colin McGinn, Los Angeles Times). A New York Times Notable Book, a Los Angeles Times Best Book, and a Times Literary Supplement Best Book of 2001.
German Aesthetics provides English-speaking audiences with accessible explanations of fundamental concepts from the German tradition of philosophical aesthetics. Organized with the understanding that aesthetic concepts are often highly contested intellectual territory, and that the usage and meanings of terms often shift within historical, cultural, and political debates, this volume brings together scholars of German literature, philosophy, film studies, musicology, and history to provide informative and creative interpretations of German aesthetics that will be useful to students and scholars alike.
The latest in the series based on the popular History of Philosophy podcast, this volume presents the first full history of philosophy in the Islamic world for a broad readership. It takes an approach unprecedented among introductions to this subject, by providing full coverage of Jewish and Christian thinkers as well as Muslims, and by taking the story of philosophy from its beginnings in the world of early Islam all the way through to the twentieth century.
Major figures like Avicenna, Averroes, and Maimonides are covered in great detail, but the book also looks at less familiar thinkers, including women philosophers. Attention is also given to the philosophical relevance of Islamic theology (kalam) and mysticism-the Sufi tradition within Islam, and Kabbalah among Jews-and to science, with chapters on disciplines like optics and astronomy.
The book is divided into three sections, with the first looking at the first blossoming of Islamic theology and responses to the Greek philosophical tradition in the world of Arabic learning. This 'formative period' culminates with the work of Avicenna, the pivotal figure to whom most later thinkers feel they must respond.
The second part of the book discusses philosophy in Muslim Spain (Andalusia), where Jewish philosophers come to the fore, though this is also the setting for such thinkers as Averroes and Ibn Arabi.
Finally, a third section looks in unusual detail at later developments, touching on philosophy in the Ottoman, Mughal, and Safavid empires and showing how thinkers in the nineteenth to the twentieth century were still concerned to respond to the ideas that had animated philosophy in the Islamic world for centuries, while also responding to political and intellectual challenges from the European colonial powers.
In Philosophy: Principles and Problems Roger Scruton shares the ideas and arguments which initially attracted him to the subject and those which have engaged his attention throughout his career. Through discussions of major philosophers, Kant and Wittgenstein in particular, he attempts to show how philosophy is relevant to life in the modern world. The topics he discusses range from the nature of truth, to Music, History, sex, morality and God. Read this book, therefore, to share a profound philosopher's thoughts about some of the major problems of our time. The Bloomsbury Revelations edition includes a new preface from the author.
The Beginning of Knowledge brings together almost all of Gadamer's essays on the Presocratics. In each of the essays Gadamer discusses the origins of knowledge in the western philosophical tradition. Beginning with a hermeneutical and philological investigation of the Heraclitus fragments he moves on to a discussion of the Greek Atomists and the Presocratic cosmologists. In the final two essays he elaborates on the profound debt that modern science owes to the Greeks and shows how their works have shaped modern day physics, mathematics and medicine. The philosophers discussed include Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Anaximander, Heraclitus and Parmenides. This is a major work from one of the 20th century's greatest thinkers.
In The Beginning of Philosophy Gadamer explores the layers of interpretation and misinterpretation that have built up over 2500 years of Presocratic scholarship. Using Plato and Aristotle as his starting point his analysis moves effortlessly from Simplicius and Diogenes Laertius to the 19th-century German historicists right through to Hegel, Nietzsche and Heidegger. Gadamer shows us how some of the earliest philosophical concepts such as truth, equality, nature, spirit and being came to be and how our understanding of them today is deeply indebted to Presocratic thinkers. The book is based on a series of lectures delivered by Gadamer in 1967 which were then translated into English and edited by Gadamer for this collection. This is a major philosophical-historical work from one of the 20th century's greatest thinkers.
Marginalized by the scientific age the lessons of the senses have been overtaken by the dominance of language and the information revolution. With The Five Senses Serres traces a topology of human perception, writing against the Cartesian tradition and in praise of empiricism, he demonstrates repeatedly, and lyrically, the sterility of systems of knowledge divorced from bodily experience. The fragile empirical world, long resistant to our attempts to contain and catalog it, is disappearing beneath the relentless accumulations of late capitalist society and information technology. Data has replaced sensory pleasure, we are less interested in the taste of a fine wine than in the description on the bottle's label. What are we, and what do we really know, when we have forgotten that our senses can describe a taste more accurately than language ever could? The book won the inaugural Prix Medicis Essai in 1985. The Revelations edition includes an introduction by Steven Connor.
In this classic work of music theory Adorno critiques two major composers, Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky, who he presents as dialectically opposed to one another in terms of their musical styles, techniques and directions. Adorno's readings, especially of Schoenberg, continue to cause controversy and disagreement among musicians, music lovers and philosophers today. As always with Adorno, a wide range of social cultural, philosophical and political questions are raised in the process of his critique making the reader see the form and function of music in startling new ways. The book also covers other renowned composers including Wagner, Bach and Mozart. This is landmark work of philosophy that has shaped the way we think about music today.
Ernst Tugendhat's major work, Vorlesungen zur Einfuhrung in die sprachanalytische Philosophie (1976), was translated into English in 1982. Although trained in Heideggerian phenomenological and hermeneutical thinking, Tugendhat increasingly came to believe that the most appropriate approach to philosophy was an analytical one. This influential work grew from that conviction and brought new perspectives to some of the central and abiding questions of metaphysics and the philosophy of language. Presented in a fresh twenty-first-century series livery, and including a specially commissioned preface written by Hans-Johann Glock, illuminating its enduring importance and relevance to philosophical enquiry, this impressive work has been revived for a new generation of readers.
The paradox confronting us today is that even as we know more and process information at a faster rate, we reason, think, and understand less. While a wealth of literature has been devoted to similar topics, the deep philosophical implications of this seismic shift have not been properly explored until now. Demonstrating that knowledge based on reason plays an essential role in society and that there is more to knowing than just acquiring information, leading philosopher Michael P. Lynch shows how the modern Internet has distorted not only the way we learn and communicate but also the very essence of what it means to be human. Charting a path from Plato's cave to Shannon's mathematical theory of information to Google Glass, Lynch builds on previous works by Nicholas Carr, James Gleick, and Jaron Lanier to give us a necessary guide for how to navigate the philosophical quagmire that is the Information Age.