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Nervous States: How Feeling Took Over the World

William Davies



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Jonathan Cape
15 September 2018
History of ideas; Popular beliefs & controversial knowledge; Sociology; Politics & government; Impact of science & technology on society
Why do we no longer trust experts, facts and statistics?

Why has politics become so fractious and warlike?

What caused the populist political upheavals of recent years?

How can the history of ideas help us understand our present?

In this bold and far-reaching exploration of our new political landscape, William Davies reveals how feelings have come to reshape our world. Drawing deep on history, philosophy, psychology and economics, he shows how some of the fundamental assumptions that defined the modern world have dissolved. With advances in medicine and the spread of digital and military technology, the divisions between mind and body, war and peace are no longer so clear-cut. In the murky new space between mind and body, between war and peace, lie nervous states- with all of us relying increasingly on feeling rather than fact.

In a book of profound insight and astonishing breadth, William Davies reveals the origins of this new political reality. Nervous States is a compelling and essential guide to the turbulent times we are living through.
By:   William Davies
Imprint:   Jonathan Cape
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   334g
ISBN:   9781787330115
ISBN 10:   1787330117
Pages:   272
Publication Date:   15 September 2018
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

William Davies teaches political economy and sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. His work explores the history of ideas, especially the history of economics, and how this helps us understand the present. He is the author of The Happiness Industry and The Limits of Neoliberalism, and regularly writes for the Guardian and the London Review of Books.

Reviews for Nervous States: How Feeling Took Over the World

An insightful and well-written book that explores the deep roots of the current crisis of expertise. The scientific community has been founded on the basis of separating reason from feeling. But now science itself has exposed this separation as an untenable myth. So where do we go from here? -- Yuval Noah Harari Engrossing... Davies is a lively writer -- Alan Ryan * Literary Review * Brilliant -- Matthew d'Ancona * Guardian * William Davies brilliantly explains that we can no longer sensibly look for hope in ever more technological achievements, especially those that subjugate nature to our will. As our times slowdown we have to confront our fears, our pain and our resentment. We have to redefine hope. -- Danny Dorling

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