Our brains are far stranger than we think. We take it for granted that we can remember, feel emotions, navigate and empathise with others but what if these abilities were dramatically enhanced or weakened overnight?
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Helen Thomson is an award-winning science writer who has spent years travelling the world to track down incredibly rare brain disorders. In this book, she tells the story of nine extraordinary people - including a man who thinks he's a tiger and a doctor who feels the pain of others just by looking at them.
This book delves into the histories of these conditions and explains how they affect the people's lives in unexpected, brilliant and alarming ways. Helen also looks at the power of the human brain and how it affects our consciousness, our emotions and our creativity.
From learning how to hallucinate and make yourself happier in only a split-second to avoiding getting lost, seeing more of reality and confirming you're alive, this is a fascinating philosophy book that encourages you to think the unthinkable. It breaks down the science of the human mind into manageable New Scientist-style chunks and combines the witty observational style of Jon Ronson with the humanity and intelligence of Oliver Sacks.
Have you ever lain awake at night fretting over how we can be sure of the reality of the external world? Perhaps we are in fact disembodied brains, floating in vats at the whim of some deranged puppet-master? If so, you are not alone - and what's more, you are in exalted company. For this question and others like it have been the stuff of philosophical rumination for centuries, from Plato to Popper. In a series of accessible and engaging essays, 50 Philosophy Ideas You Really Need to Know introduces and explains the problems of knowledge, consciousness, identity, ethics, belief, justice and aesthetics that have troubled the minds of great thinkers for centuries, from the ancient Greeks to the present day. Contents include: The brain in a vat, Plato's cave, Cogito ergo sum, The mind-body problem, The boo/hurrah theory, Ends and means, The categorical imperative, Acts and omissions, The rights of animals, The gambler's fallacy, Paradigm shifts, Occam's razor, Positive and negative freedom, Theories of punishment and Just war.
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'I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it.' The most quotable writer of our time, Terry Pratchett's unique brand of wit made him both a bestseller and an enduring, endearing source of modern wisdom. This collection is filled with his funniest and most memorable words about life, the universe and snoring.
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Philosophy Bites Again is a brand new selection of interviews from the popular podcast of the same name. It offers engaging and thought-provoking conversations with leading philosophers on a selection of major philosophical issues that affect our lives. Their subjects include pleasure, pain, and humour; consciousness and the self; free will, responsibility, and punishment; the meaning of life and the afterlife. Everyone will find ideas in this book to fascinate, provoke, and inspire them. Philosophy Bites was set up in 2007 by David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton. It has, to date, over 20 million downloads, and is listened to all over the world.
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With an introduction by Sheila Heti A unique love story and a classic work of philosophy, rooted in the mysterious workings of the human heart and mind. Perhaps it is true that we do not really exist until there is someone there to see us existing, we cannot properly speak until there is someone who can understand what we are saying in essence, we are not wholly alive until we are loved. A man and a woman meet over casual conversation on a flight from Paris to London, and so begins a love story - from first kiss to first argument, elation to heartbreak, and everything in between. Each stage of the relationship is illuminated with startling clarity, as de Botton explores emotions often felt but rarely understood. With the verve of a novelist and the insight of a philosopher, Alain de Botton uncovers the mysteries of the human heart. Essays In Love is an iconic book - one that should be read by anyone who has ever fallen in love.
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'Is there any knowledge in the world which is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it?' Philosophy is the attempt to answer such ultimate questions, not carelessly and dogmatically, as we might deal with them in ordinary life, but critically, after analysing how and why the questions arise and clarifying the assumptions and concepts on which they are based. This classic work, first published in 1912, has never been supplanted as an approachable introduction to the theory of philosophical enquiry. It gives Russell's views on such subjects as the distinction between appearance and reality, the existence and nature of matter, idealism, knowledge by acquaintance and by description, induction, and the limits and value of philosophical knowledge. This edition includes an introduction by John Skorupski contextualizing Russell's work, and a guide to further reading.
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Drawn from a wide range of writings and featuring state-of-the-art translations, Basic Works offers convenient access to Thomas Aquinas' most important discussions of nature, being and essence, divine and human nature, and ethics and human action. The translations all capture Aquinas's sharp, transparent style and display terminological consistency. Many were originally published in the acclaimed translation-cum-commentary series The Hackett Aquinas , edited by Robert Pasnau and Jeffrey Hause. Others appear here for the first time: Eleonore Stump and Stephen Chanderbahn's translation of On the Principles of Nature , Peter King's translation of On Being and Essence , and Thomas Williams' translations of the treatises On Happiness and On Human Acts from the Summa theologiae. Basic Works will enable students to immerse themselves in Aquinas's thought by offering his fundamental works without internal abridgements. It will also appeal to anyone in search of an up-to-date, one-volume collection containing Aquinas' essential philosophical contributions--from the Five Ways to the immortality of the soul, and from the nature of happiness to virtue theory, and on to natural law.
In laying the groundwork for a fresh and challenging reading of Roman satire, Kirk Freudenburg explores the literary precedents behind the situations and characters created by Horace, one of Rome's earliest and most influential satirists. Critics tend to think that his two books of Satires are but trite sermons of moral reform--which the poems superficially claim to be--and that the reformer speaking to us is the young Horace, a naive Roman imitator of the rustic, self-made Greek philosopher Bion. By examining Horace's debt to popular comedy and to the conventions of Hellenistic moral literature, however, Freudenburg reveals the sophisticated mask through which the writer distances himself from the speaker in these earthy diatribes--a mask that enables the lofty muse of poetry to walk in satire's mundane world of adulterous lovers and quarrelsome neighbors. After presenting the speaker of the diatribes as a stage character, a version of the haranguing cynic of comedy and mime, Freudenburg explains the theoretical importance of such conventions in satire at large. His analysis includes a reinterpretation of Horace's criticisms of Lucilius, and ends with a theory of satire based on the several images of the satirist presented in Book One, which reveals the true depth of Horace's ethical and philosophical concerns. Originally published in 1992. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Hearing has traditionally been regarded as the second sense -- as somehow less rational and less modern than the first sense, sight. Reason and Resonance explodes this myth by reconstructing the process through which the ear came to play a central role in modern culture and rationality. For the past four hundred years, hearing has been understood as involving the sympathetic resonance between the vibrating air and various parts of the inner ear. But the emergence of resonance as the centerpiece of modern aurality also coincides with the triumph of a new type of epistemology in which the absence of resonance is the very condition of thought. Our mind's relationship to the world is said to rest on distance or, as the very synonym for reason suggests, reflection. Reason and Resonance traces the genealogy of this "intimate animosity" between reason and resonance through a series of interrelated case studies involving a varied cast of otologists, philosophers, physiologists, pamphleteers, and music theorists. Among them are the seventeenth-century architect-zoologist Claude Perrault, who refuted Cartesianism in a book on sound and hearing; the Sturm und Drang poet Wilhelm Heinse and his friend the anatomist Samuel Sommerring, who believed the ventricular fluid to be the interface between the soul and the auditory nerve; the renowned physiologist Johannes Muller, who invented the concept of "sense energies"; and Muller's most important student, Hermann von Helmholtz, author of the magisterial Sensations of Tone. Erlman also discusses key twentieth-century thinkers of aurality, including Ernst Mach; the communications engineer and proponent of the first nonresonant wave theory of hearing, Georg von Bekesy; political activist and philosopher Gunther Anders; and Martin Heidegger.
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Many contemporary constructivists are particularly attuned to Dewey's penetrating criticism of traditional epistemology, which offers rich alternatives for understanding processes of learning and education, knowledge and truth, and experience and culture. This book, the result of cooperation between the Center for Dewey Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and the Dewey Center at the University of Cologne, provides an excellent example of the international character of pragmatist studies against the backdrop of constructivist concerns. As a part of their exploration of the many points of contact between classical pragmatism and contemporary constructivism, its contributors turn their attention to theories of interaction and transaction, communication and culture, learning and education, community and democracy, theory and practice, and inquiry and methods. Part One is a basic survey of Dewey's pragmatism and its implications for contemporary constructivism. Part Two examines the implications of the connections between Deweyan pragmatism and contemporary constructivism. Part Three presents a lively exchange among the contributors, as they challenge one another and defend their positions and perspectives. As they seek common ground, they articulate concepts such as power, truth, relativism, inquiry, and democracy from pragmatist and interactive constructivist vantage points in ways that are designed to render the preceding essays even more accessible. This concluding discussion demonstrates both the enduring relevance of classical pragmatism and the challenge of its reconstruction from the perspective of the Cologne program of interactive constructivism.
The margins of philosophy are populated by non-human, non-animal living beings, including plants. While contemporary philosophers tend to refrain from raising ontological and ethical concerns with vegetal life, Michael Marder puts this life at the forefront of the current deconstruction of metaphysics. He identifies the existential features of plant behavior and the vegetal heritage of human thought so as to affirm the potential of vegetation to resist the logic of totalization and to exceed the narrow confines of instrumentality. Reconstructing the life of plants "after metaphysics," Marder focuses on their unique temporality, freedom, and material knowledge or wisdom. In his formulation, "plant-thinking" is the non-cognitive, non-ideational, and non-imagistic mode of thinking proper to plants, as much as the process of bringing human thought itself back to its roots and rendering it plantlike.
PURE MEANS draws fictional writing, philosophy and politics tight together. With two scraps of paper, scribbled down words, a crumpled photographic image, along with a gesture and an utterance saying 'This voice is not mine', this book unashamedly asks us to become visionaries and see what 'pure means' can be. Littered with experiments, not only with writing and words, but also with the art of citation without citation marks, glosses and glossary, PURE MEANS troubles the preponderance of government today. It brings an 'insurrection of being' into sight, and it is magical to see.
Do demons and devils have free will? Does justice exist in Menzoberranzan? What s the morality involved with player characters casting necromancy and summoning spells? Dungeons & Dragons and Philosophy probes the rich terrain of philosophically compelling concepts and ideas that underlie Dungeons & Dragons, the legendary fantasy role-playing game that grew into a world-wide cultural phenomenon. A series of accessible essays reveals what the imaginary worlds of D&D can teach us about ethics, morality, metaphysics and more. * Illustrates a wide variety of philosophical concepts and ideas that arise in Dungeons & Dragons gameplay and presents them in an accessible and entertaining manner * Reveals how the strategies, tactics, improvisations, and role-play employed by D&D enthusiasts have startling parallels in the real world of philosophy * Explores a wide range of philosophical topics, including the nature of free will, the metaphysics of personal identity, the morality of crafting fictions, sex and gender issues in tabletop gameplay, and friendship and collaborative storytelling * Provides gamers with deep philosophical insights that can lead to a richer appreciation of D&D and any gaming experience
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From the dawn of Western thought to the present day, The Love of Wisdom tells the story of philosophy as something intensely theological, both in its insights and its wrong turns. The book will be invaluable for any student of theology or intellectual history, and for anyone who wants to see the intellectual cogency of the Christian faith at its best. The intellectual tradition of the Church emerges clearly from this book as one of the glories of the Christian inheritance. Andrew Davison argues that Christian thinkers will be more faithful to Christian teaching, not less, if they pay attention to philosophy. Our thinking is always philosophical, since we cannot think without categories or assumption. Our philosophy may as well, therefore, be good philosophy. By bringing our philosophy out into the open we can bring them under theological judgement. Clear and articulate, this book provides the philosophical background to Christian theology down the ages, and examines the intellectual climate of our own times.
Eknath Easwaran taught spiritual living for nearly 40 years and drew deep, ongoing inspiration from the sacred literature of all traditions -- the great river of wisdom that is always flowing throughout the world. The 149 short extracts in this anthology come from the much-loved saints, sages, and scriptures of the Christian, Hindu, Sufi, Jewish, Native American, Buddhist, and Taoist traditions. These passages can be read for daily inspiration, for their insights into other spiritual traditions, for the light they throw on how to live, for the sustenance they offer when we feel sad or tired, and for the deep transformation they can bring in Easwaran's method of passage meditation. Rich supporting material includes stories from India, detailed background notes, suggestions for memorization and for studying the texts in practices such as lectio divina from the Christian tradition, and instruction in using these texts in passage meditation.
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The perfect companion to Lewis Carroll's classic book and director Tim Burton's March 2010 remake of Alice in Wonderland Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has fascinated children and adults alike for generations. Why does Lewis Carroll introduce us to such oddities as blue caterpillars who smoke hookahs, cats whose grins remain after their heads have faded away, and a White Queen who lives backwards and remembers forwards? Is it all just nonsense? Was Carroll under the influence? This book probes the deeper underlying meaning in the Alice books, and reveals a world rich with philosophical life lessons. Tapping into some of the greatest philosophical minds that ever lived Aristotle, Hume, Hobbes, and Nietzsche Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy explores life's ultimate questions through the eyes of perhaps the most endearing heroine in all of literature. Looks at compelling issues such as perception and reality as well as how logic fares in a world of lunacy, the Mad Hatter, clocks, and temporal passage Offers new insights into favorite Alice in Wonderland characters and scenes, including the Mad Hatter and his tea party, the violent Queen of Hearts, and the grinning Cheshire Cat Accessible and entertaining, Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy will enrich your experience of Alice's timeless adventures with new meaning and fun.
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I firmly believed there was a world outside of our own minds ...But all around me were challenges...How could we be so sure there were such things existing apart from us? Philosopher Benedict Chilwell faces a crisis of confidence and hopes to resolve it in a self-imposed exile, far away in the north of Norway. From his cabin, he begins his meditations, pondering the mysteries of philosophy in the dark Arctic winter. Pride, a whale, love and lust, the Huldra, God and a chain of causes all interrupt Benedict's solitude. Could they prove his salvation? In six days approaching the return of the light, Benedict discovers a basis for certainty and tries his best to convince his hosts. Through doubts, questions and reasoning, Chilwell inadvertently follows in Descartes' footsteps. Will he be killed by the cold too; or will the warmth of Plato's sun save him in time?
This is a book about the big questions in life: knowledge, consciousness, fate, God, truth, goodness, justice. It is for anyone who believes there are big questions out there, but does not know how to approach them. Think sets out to explain what they are and why they are important. Simon Blackburn begins by putting forward a convincing case for the study of philosophy and goes on to give the reader a sense of how the great historical figures such as Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Wittgenstein have approached its central themes. Each chapter explains a major issue, and gives the reader a self-contained guide through the problems that philosophers have studied. The large scope of topics covered range from scepticism, the self, mind and body, and freedom to ethics and the arguments surrounding the existence of God. Lively and approachable, this book is ideal for all those who want to learn how the basic techniques of thinking shape our existence.
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Bertrand Russell changed Western philosophy forever. He tackled many puzzles--how our minds work, how we experience the world, and what the true nature of meaning is. In"Introducing Bertrand Russell"we meet a passionate eccentric, active in world politics, who had outspoken views on sex, marriage, religion, and education.
"Every time I find the meaning of life, they change it." The words of Reinhold Niebuhr provide the title and set the tone for what is a wryly humorous look at some of the great philosophical pronouncements on how life ought to be lived. Fifty years ago Daniel Klein embarked on the study of philosophy at Harvard, where he began gathering wise words from the world's greatest thinkers. Now in his seventies, he revisits these pronouncements with characteristic warmth, charm and wonderfully dry sense of humour. Distilling the wonders of our greatest thinkers, from Epicurus and Nietzsche, all the way to Samuel Beckett, Klein is enlightening and never dull. This is a pithy and eminently readable meditation on one of the most profound subjects there is.
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Brilliant illustrated guide to the best-known and most controversial continental philosopher of the latter 20th century. Jacques Derrida is the most famous philosopher of the late 20th century. Yet Derrida has undermined the rules of philosophy, rejected its methods, broken its procedures and contaminated it with literary styles of writing. Derrida's philosophy is a puzzling array of oblique, deviant and yet rigorous tactics for destabilizing texts, meanings and identities. 'Deconstruction', as these strategies have been called, is reviled and celebrated in equal measure. Introducing Derrida introduces and explains his work, taking us on an intellectual adventure that disturbs some of our most comfortable habits of thought.
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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.
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Illustrated INTRODUCING guide to the pre-eminent philosopher of the Enlightenment. Immanuel Kant laid the foundations of modern Western thought. Every subsequent major philosopher owes a profound debt to Kant?s attempts to delimit human reason as an appropriate object of philosophical enquiry. And yet, Kant's relentless systematic formalism made him a controversial figure in the history of the philosophy that he helped to shape. Introducing Kant focuses on the three critiques of Pure Reason, Practical Reason and Judgement. It describes Kant's main formal concepts: the relation of mind to sensory experience, the question of freedom and the law and, above all, the revaluation of metaphysics. Kant emerges as a diehard rationalist yet also a Romantic, deeply committed to the power of the sublime to transform experience. The book explores the paradoxical nature of his ideas and explains the reasons for his undiminished importance in contemporary philosophical debates.
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Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
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