The author of the celebrated The Dream of Reason vividly explains the rise of modern thought from Descartes to RousseauIn a short period - from the early 1640s to the eve of the French Revolution - Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, and Hume all made their mark on Western thought. The Dream of Enlightenment tells their story and that of the birth of modern philosophy. What does the advance of science entail for our understanding of ourselves and for our ideas of God? How should a government deal with religious diversity - and what is government actually for? Their questions remain our questions, and it is tempting to think these philosophers speak our language and live in our world; but to understand them properly, we must step back into their shoes. Gottlieb puts readers in the minds of these frequently misinterpreted figures, elucidating the history of their times while engagingly explaining their arguments and assessing their legacy. Gottlieb creates a sweeping account of what they amounted to, and why we are still in their debt.
How did we find ourselves in a post-truth world of alternative facts ? And can we get out of it? A Short History of Truth sets out to answer these questions by looking at the complex history of truth and falsehood. It identifies ten types of supposed truth and explains how easily each can become the midwife of falsehood. There is no species of truth that we can rely on unquestioningly, but that does not mean the truth can never be established. Attaining truth is an achievement we need to work for, and each chapter will end up with a truth we can have some confidence in. This history builds into a comprehensive and clear explanation of why truth is now so disputed by exploring 10 kinds of truth: 1. Eternal truths.2. Authoritative truths.3. Esoteric truths.4. Reasoned truths.5. Evidence-based truths.6. Creative truths.7. Relative truths. 8. Powerful truths9. Moral truths.10. Holistic truths. Baggini provides us with all we need to restore faith in the value and possibility of truth as a social enterprise. Truth-seekers need to be sceptical not cynical, autonomous not atomistic, provisional not dogmatic, open not empty, demanding not unreasonable.
First published in 1962 Beyond the Chains of Illusion is Fromm's landmark book about Marx and Freud. Here he delivers original readings of these hugely influential thinkers and, in doing so, offers us new ways of understanding the individual and society. Perhaps even more revealing than these readings is the insight we get into Fromm's own thought and the political and social contexts in which he formed his ideas. Including a foreword by Fromm's Literary Executor, Rainer Funk, this is unique introduction to Marx and Freud and also to Fromm's life and thought.
Jean-Francois Lyotard is one of the most important, and complex, French thinkers of the twentieth century. Best known in the English-speaking world for his book The Postmodern Condition, the multi-faceted nature of Lyotard's work has often been obscured by its sometimes problematic association with the postmodern. His life refuses to follow the clear trajectory common to academics in France: it stalls and hesitates, with Lyotard's first 'career' consisting of fifteen years of militant Marxist political engagement. Kiff Bamford traces this circuitous journey, unravelling the thrust of Lyotard's main philosophical arguments, his struggle with thinking and his confrontation with the task of writing and thinking philosophy in a different way.
An urgent defense of reason, the essential method for resolving-or even discussing-divisive issues Reason, long held as the highest human achievement, is under siege. According to Aristotle, the capacity for reason sets us apart from other animals, yet today it has ceased to be a universally admired faculty. Rationality and reason have become political, disputed concepts, subject to easy dismissal. Julian Baggini argues eloquently that we must recover our reason and reassess its proper place, neither too highly exalted nor completely maligned. Rationality does not require a sterile, scientistic worldview, it simply involves the application of critical thinking wherever thinking is needed. Addressing such major areas of debate as religion, science, politics, psychology, and economics, the author calls for commitment to the notion of a community of reason, where disagreements are settled by debate and discussion, not brute force or political power. Baggini's insightful book celebrates the power of reason, our best hope-indeed our only hope-for dealing with the intractable quagmires of our time.
The idea of fanaticism as a deviant or extreme variant of an already irrational set of religious beliefs is today invoked by the West in order to demonize and psychologize any non-liberal politics. Alberto Toscano's compelling and erudite counter-history explodes this accepted interpretation in exploring the critical role fanaticism played in forming modern politics and the liberal state. Tracing its development from the traumatic Peasants' War of early sixteenth-century Germany to contemporary Islamism, Toscano tears apart the sterile opposition of 'reasonableness' and fanaticism. Instead, in a radical new interpretation, he places the fanatic at the very heart of politics, arguing that historical and revolutionary transformations require a new understanding of his role. Showing how fanaticism results from the failure to formulate an adequate emancipatory politics, this illuminating history sheds new light on an idea that continues to dominate debates about faith and secularism.
The Existentialist's Guide to Death, the Universe and Nothingness is an entertaining philosophical guide to life, love, hate, freedom, sex, anxiety, God and death; a guide to everything and nothing. Gary Cox, bestselling author of How to Be an Existentialist and How to Be a Philosopher, takes us on an exciting journey through the central themes of existentialism, a philosophy of the human condition. The Existentialist's Guide fascinates, informs, provokes and inspires as it explores existentialism's uncompromising view of human reality. It leaves the reader with no illusions about how hard it is to live honestly and achieve authenticity. It has, however, a redeeming humour that sets the wisdom of the great existentialist philosophers alongside the wit of great musicians and comedians. A realistic self-help book for anyone interested in personal empowerment, The Existentialist's Guide offers a wealth of profound philosophical insight into life, the universe and everything.
In this landmark text by one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century, Gilles Deleuze takes the paintings of Francis Bacon as his object of his study. The book presents a deep engagement with Bacon's work and the nature of art. Deleuze analyzes the distinctive innovations that came to mark Bacon's style: the isolation of the figure, the violation and deformations of the flesh, the complex use of color, the method of chance, and the use of the triptych form. Here Deleuze creates a number of his well-known concepts, such as the 'body without organs' and contrasts his own approach to painting with that of both the phenomenological and the art historical traditions. Deleuze links Bacon's work to Cezanne's notion of a 'logic' of sensation and, investigating this logic, explores Bacon's crucial relation to past painters such as Cezanne, Velasquez, and Soutine.
Entre Nous is a major collection of essays representing the culmination of Emmanuel Levinas's philosophy. Bringing together his most important work in a single volume the book reveals the development of his thought over nearly forty years of committed inquiry. Here he engages with issues of suffering, love, religion, culture, justice, human rights, and legal theory and each issue is discussed in relation to the ethical dimensions of otherness. Like much of his work this text bridges several major gaps in the evolution of Continental philosophy, between modernism and postmodernism, phenomenology and poststructuralism, ethics and ontology.
Henri Lefebvre is widely recognized as one of the most influential social theorists of the Twentieth Century. His writings on cities, everyday life, and the production of space have become hugely influential across Cultural Studies, Sociology, Geography and Architecture. Key Writings presents the full range of Lefebvre's thought in a single volume. The selection of essays spanning 1933 to 1990, reinforce the relevance of Lefebvre's work to current debates in social theory, politics and philosophy. The book is divided into five sections: 'Philosophy and Marxism', 'The Critique of Everyday Life', 'The Country and the City' 'History, Time and Space' and 'Politics' and includes a general introduction by the editors as well as separate introductions to each section.
Mark Johnson is one of the great thinkers of our time on how the body shapes the mind. This book brings together a selection of essays from the past two decades that build a powerful argument that any scientifically and philosophically satisfactory view of mind and thought must ultimately explain how bodily perception and action give rise to cognition, meaning, language, action, and values.
A brief account of Johnson’s own intellectual journey, through which we track some of the most important discoveries in the field over the past forty years, sets the stage. Subsequent chapters set out Johnson’s important role in embodied cognition theory, including his cofounding (with George Lakoff) of conceptual metaphor theory and, later, their theory of bodily structures and processes that underlie all meaning, conceptualization, and reasoning. A detailed account of how meaning arises from our physical engagement with our environments provides the basis for a nondualistic, nonreductive view of mind that he sees as most congruous with the latest cognitive science.
A concluding section explores the implications of our embodiment for our understanding of knowledge, reason, and truth. The resulting book will be essential for all philosophers dealing with mind, thought, and language.