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The Soul of the Marionette

A Short Enquiry into Human Freedom

John Gray

$24.99

Paperback

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Penguin
13 June 2016
Everyone thinks they want to be free - or do they? John Gray's thought-stirring new book on freedom draws together insights from Gnosticism, science fiction, ancient sacrifice and the occult to show that freedom is an illusion and that, like fairground puppets, humans dream of escaping the burden of choice altogether.

'Brilliant ... brings home, with infectious learning, the many self-deceptions behind our reverence for freedom' Paul Binding, TLS, Books of the Year Everyone thinks they want to be free - or do they? John Gray's thought-stirring new book on freedom draws together insights from Gnosticism, science fiction, ancient sacrifice and the occult to show that freedom is an illusion and that, like fairground puppets, humans dream of escaping the burden of choice altogether. %%%TLS BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2016 'Gray must be one of the best read of contemporary philosophers, trawling insouciantly through high-, middle- and low-brow literature with the sharp-eyed eclecticism of a magpie of genius' John Banville, Guardian 'Like Isaiah Berlin with a thing for sci-fi' Tibor Fischer, Spectator Everyone thinks they want to be free - or do they? John Gray's thought-stirring new book on freedom draws together insights from Gnosticism, science fiction, ancient sacrifice and the occult to show that freedom is an illusion and that, like fairground puppets, humans dream of escaping the burden of choice altogether. %%%In The Soul of the Marionette, John Gray draws together the religious, philosophic and fantastical traditions that question the very idea of human freedom. We flatter ourselves about the nature of free will and yet the most enormous forces - biological, physical, metaphysical - constrain our every action. Many writers and intellectuals have always understood this, but instead of embracing our condition we battle against it, with everyone from world conquerors to modern scientists dreaming of a 'human dominion' almost comically at odds with our true state.

This is a stimulating and enraging meditation on everything from cybernetics to the fairground marionettes of the title.
By:  
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 11mm
Weight:   145g
ISBN:   9780241953907
ISBN 10:   0241953901
Pages:   192
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for The Soul of the Marionette: A Short Enquiry into Human Freedom

A generous and energising tumble of ideas...he is inventive and penetrating -- Galen Strawson * Financial Times * Like Isaiah Berlin with a thing for sci-fi -- Tibor Fischer * The Spectator * We might believe that we are on a voyage towards a future of perfect freedom, but Gray is here to tell us that we are really only going round in circles, repeating ancient heresies, and retelling old myths in modern cant -- Stephen Cave * Literary Review * Gray must be one of the best read of contemporary philosophers, trawling insouciantly through high-, middle- and low-brow literature with the sharp-eyed eclecticism of a magpie of genius -- John Banville * The Guardian * A brain-twisting meditation on freedom...a brief, elliptical inquiry designed to raise more questions than anyone could answer * Kirkus Reviews *


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