Considered 'the Voltaire of his time', Bertrand Russell was a fearless iconoclast who stood unbowed before political and religious leaders; his disdain for conventional thinking and accepted beliefs set him apart from his academic peers and at odds with the authorities throughout his long and storied life. In his celebrated essay, In Praise Of Idleness, Russell champions the seemingly incongruous notion that realising our full potential - and thus enjoying the greatest possible success and happiness - is not accomplished by working harder or smarter, but through harnessing the extraordinary power of idleness. Russell's penetrating insights and exquisite turns of phrase feel as fresh and relevant today as when they were first written. Arguing that we can achieve far more by doing far less, and that traditional wealth accumulation is a form of cultural and moral poverty, Russell demands greater depth from our age of abundant creativity and heralds the next wave of enlightened entrepreneurs.
Myshkin was born on a certain day and died on a certain day - and some things happened to him in between. These things presented him with ethical questions and this book is a record of his attempt to answer those questions. Discovered by his son after Myshkin's death, A Good Life is one man's reckoning with the life he has led and the choices he made. It is at once a philosophical handbook for living and a page-turning narrative. A Good Life is one man's life (birth, death, education, religion, morality, illness and so on) told through a philosophical lens. It is a riveting examination of the ethical questions we face, and the decisions we must make, and a defence of the idea that at the beating heart of morality we find love. And it is written with the conviction that, on their own, moral rules and principles are childish things - risible and easily refuted. It is only a life in its entirety that can be morally judged. A Good Life is sometimes profoundly funny, sometimes deeply serious. It is as readable as a novel and as provocative as the best philosophy. It is the finest work to date by a charming and brilliant thinker.
Aristotle is one of the most crucial figures in the history of Western thought, and his name and ideas continue to be invoked in a wide range of contemporary philosophical discussions. The Bloomsbury Companion to Aristotle brings together leading scholars from across the world and from a variety of philosophical traditions to survey the recent research on Aristotle's thought and its contributions to the full spectrum of philosophical enquiry, from logic to the natural sciences and psychology, from metaphysics to ethics, politics, and aesthetics. Further essays address aspects of the transmission, preservation, and elaboration of Aristotle's thought in subsequent phases of the history of philosophy (from the Judeo-Arabic reception to debates in Europe and North America), and look forward to potential future directions for the study of his thought. In addition, The Bloomsbury Companion to Aristotle includes an extensive range of essential pedagogic tools offering assistance to researchers working in the field, including a chronology of recent research, a glossary of key Aristotelian terms with Latin concordances and textual references, and a guide to further reading.
Socrates, the largely enigmatic Greek thinker, has had a remarkably enduring influence on virtually every area of philosophical enterprise. The Bloomsbury Companion to Socrates introduces readers to the main issues in the philosophy of Socrates. With 13 different sections, this Companion presents an overview of current research in the various features, themes and topics apparent in Socrates' thought, including Socratic irony, metaphysics, epistemology, happiness, virtue, moral psychology, philosophy of love, political philosophy, and religious belief. With additional chapters on the historical Socrates and his prosecution by the democracy of Athens, this is a comprehensive and accessible introduction to Socrates' life and death, character and philosophical concerns. Written by a team of leading experts in the field of ancient philosophy and concluding with a thoroughly comprehensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources, The Bloomsbury Companion to Socrates is an essential introduction to this founder of Western philosophy.
The Routledge Guidebook to Aquinas' Summa Theologiae introduces readers to a work which represents the pinnacle of medieval Western scholarship and which has inspired numerous commentaries, imitators, and opposing views.
Outlining the main arguments Aquinas utilizes to support his conclusions on various philosophical and theological questions, this clear and comprehensive guide explores:
* the historical context in which Aquinas wrote
* a critical discussion of the topics outlined in the text including theology, metaphysics, epistemology, psychology, ethics, and political theory
* the ongoing influence of the Summa Theologiae in modern philosophy and theology.
Offering a close reading of the original work, this guidebook highlights the central themes of Aquinas' masterwork and is an essential read for anyone seeking an understanding of this highly influential work in the history of philosophy.
Ranging from the ancient wisdom of Confucius and Plato to today's cutting-edge thinkers, 1001 Ideas That Changed The Way We Think offers a wealth of stimulation and amusement for everyone with a curious mind...
Within the pages of this book you will find a wide variety of answers to the great, eternal questions: how was the universe created and what is the place of humans within it? How should a person live? And how can we build a just society?
1001 Ideas That Changed The Way We Think also includes a host of hypotheses that are remarkable for their sheer weirdness-from the concept of the transmigration of souls to parallel universes and the theoretical paradoxes of time travel (what happens if you travel back in time and kill your own grandfather?). Discover how the Greek philosopher Zeno 'proved' a flying arrow never moves; how modern science has shown that a butterfly's wing can stir up an Atlantic storm; and the mathematical proof of the existence of life in other galaxies.
The inspirational ideas explored here range from Gandhi's theory of civil disobedience to Henry David Thoreau's praise of the simple life and Mary Wollstonecraft's groundbreaking advocacy of women's rights. The book also covers a wide variety of lifestyle concepts, such as 'rational dress' and naturism, and cultural movements including Neoclassicism, Surrealism and Postmodernism.
Supported by a wealth of striking illustrations and illuminating quotations, 1001 Ideas That Changed The Way We Think is both an in-depth history of ideas and a delightfully browsable source of entertainment.
Plato, mathematician, philosopher and founder of the Academy in Athens, is, together with his teacher, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, universally considered to have laid the foundations of Western philosophy. The Bloomsbury Companion to Plato provides a comprehensive and accessible study guide to Plato's thought. Written by a team of leading experts in the field of ancient philosophy, this companion covers five major areas; - Plato's life and his historical, philosophical and literary context - synopses of all the dialogues attributed to Plato - the most important features of the dialogues - the key themes and topics apparent in the dialogues - Plato's enduring influence and the various interpretative approaches applied to his thought throughout the history of philosophy Covering every aspect of Plato's thought in over 140 entries, The Bloomsbury Companion to Plato is an engaging introduction to Plato and an essential resource for anyone working in the field of ancient philosophy.
Epicureanism is commonly associated with a carefree view of life and the pursuit of pleasures, particularly the pleasures of the table. However it was a complex and distinctive system of philosophy that emphasized simplicity and moderation, and considered nature to consist of atoms and the void. Epicureanism is a school of thought whose legacy continues to reverberate today. In this Very Short Introduction, Catherine Wilson explains the key ideas of the School, comparing them with those of the rival Stoics and with Kantian ethics, and tracing their influence on the development of scientific and political thought from Locke, Newton, and Galileo to Rousseau, Marx, Bentham, and Mill. She discusses the adoption and adaptation of Epicurean motifs in science, morality, and politics from the 17th Century onwards and contextualises the significance of Epicureanism in modern life.
What makes me, me - and you, you? What is this thing called 'love'? Does life have a point? Is 'no' the right answer to this question? Philosophy transports us from the wonderful to the weird, from the funny to the very serious indeed. With the aid of tall stories, jokes, fascinating insights and common sense, Peter Cave offers a comprehensive survey of all areas of philosophy, addressing the big puzzles in ethics and politics, metaphysics and knowledge, religion and the emotions, aesthetics and logic. Replete with a smorgasbord of amusing and mind-boggling examples, The Big Think Book is perfect for anyone who delights in life's conundrums.
At the outset of the twentieth century, Lenin argued that materialism has to change its form with each new scientific discovery. Today, argues Slavoj Zizek in this major new work, we should apply this stricture to Lenin himself. Philosophical materialism has not yet risen to the challenge of relativity theory and quantum physics, or breakthroughs like Freudian psychoanalysis - and we need hardly mention the failure of actually existing Communism. In Absolute Recoil, Zizek proposes a new foundation for dialectical materialism that answers these fundamental challenges.
The presocratic philosopher Protagoras of Abdera (490-420 BC), founder of the sophistic movement, was famously agnostic towards the existence and nature of the gods, and was the proponent of the doctrine that 'man is the measure of all things'. Still relevant to contemporary society, Protagoras is in many ways a precursor of the postmodern movement. In the brief fragments that survive, he lays the foundation for relativism, agnosticism, the significance of rhetoric, a pedagogy for critical thinking and a conception of the human being as a social construction. This accessible introductory survey by Daniel Silvermintz covers Protagoras' life, ideas and lasting legacy. Each chapter interprets one of the surviving fragments and draws connections with related ideas forwarded by other sophists, showing its relevance to an area of knowledge: epistemology, ethics, education and sociology.
This new edition of Thomas Kuhn's Revolution marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Kuhn's most influential work. Drawing on the rich archival sources at MIT, and engaging fully with current scholarship, James Marcum provides the historical background to the development of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Exploring the shift Kuhn makes from a historical to an evolutionary philosophy of science and examining Kuhn's legacy in depth, Marcum answers key questions: What exactly was Kuhn's historiographic revolution and how did it come about? Why did it have the impact it did? What will its future impact be for both academia and society? Marcum's answers build a new portrait of Kuhn: his personality, his pedagogical style and the intellectual and social context in which he practiced his trade. Thomas Kuhn's Revolution shows how Kuhn transcends the boundaries of the philosophy of science, influencing sociologists, economists, theologians and even policy makers and politicians. This is a comprehensive historical and conceptual introduction to the man who changed our understanding of science.