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Book People's philosophy books will introduce you to some of the world's greatest thinkers and philosophers. Our great range of philosophical books is perfect if you're looking to explore the fundamental problems of concepts such as knowledge, existence and reason.

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Philosophy Books

  • Demarcation and Demystification

    J. Moufawad-Paul

    Product Code: CBYCC
    Paperback
    Marx once declared that philosophers have only interpreted the world, but the point is to change it. Demarcation and Demystification examines the ways in which a radical practice of philosophy is possible under the aegis of Marx's 11th thesis, arguing that philosophy's radicality is discovered by understanding that it can only ever interpret the world; that social transformation lies beyond the sphere of its operations. 'Demarcation and Demystification is a major statement on the gulf between what philosophers actually do, and what they think they do.' Matthew R. McLennan, author of Philosophy and Vulnerability
    • £11.99
    • RRP £14.99
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  • Can the Left Learn to Meme?

    Mike Watson

    Product Code: CBYBT
    Paperback
    Taking in an array of cultural references from the contemporary art world, to cat memes, Stranger Things, the Kardashian-Jenners, Mad Men, Run the Jewels, and video gaming, Can the Left Learn to Meme? argues that there is positivity in millennial-era cultural production. Utilising Adorno's unswerving yet understated hope in spite of the odds, Mike Watson embraces the abstraction of the new media landscape as millennials refuse to surrender to cynicism, by out-weirding even the world at large. They pose a radical alternative to the right wing approach of Steve Bannon and the conservative psychology of Jordan Peterson. Here, the cultural elitism of the art world is contrasted with the anything-goes approach of millennial culture. The left avant-garde dream of an art-for-all is with us, though you won't find it in museums. It is time the left learned to meme, challenging conventions along the way.
    • £7.99
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  • Vox Populi

    Peter Jones (Author)

    Product Code: CBRFQ
    Hardback
    In this compelling tour of the classical world, Peter Jones reveals how it is the power, scope and fascination of their ideas that makes the Ancient Greeks and Romans so important and influential today. For over 2,000 years these ideas have gripped Western imagination and been instrumental in the way we think about the world. Covering everything from philosophy, history and architecture to language and grammar, Jones uncovers their astonishing intellectual, political and literary achievements. First published twenty years ago, this fully updated and revised edition is a must-read for anyone who wishes to know more about the classics - and where they came from.
    • £10.39
    • RRP £12.99
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  • Hundred: What You Learn in a Lifetime

    Heike Faller

    Product Code: CBRCY
    Hardback
    5: You learn that boys and girls fall in love. Incredible! 13: When will your parents learn? Not in front of your friends. 36: A dream came true, but it feels different than you thought. 45: Do you like yourself as you are? 75: You learn to unlearn things. Can you still do a somersault? 86: Everything can be different in every moment. How does our perception of the world change in the course of a lifetime? When Heike Faller's niece was born she began to wonder what we learn in life, and how we can talk about what we have learnt with those we love. And so she began to ask everyone she met, what did you learn in life? Out of the answers of children's writers and refugees, teenagers and artists, mothers and friends, came 99 lessons: that those who have had a difficult time appreciate the good moments more. That those who have had it easy find it harder getting old. That a lot of getting old is about accepting boundaries. And of course, as one 94 year old said to her, 'sometimes I feel like that little girl I once was, and I wonder if I have learned anything at all.' A bestseller in Germany, HUNDRED is a book given by children to grandparents and the other way around, for christenings and Mother's days, significant birthdays and times of celebration. With every age beautifully illustrated by Valerio Vidali, Hundred cannot simply be read because, like life itself, it must be experienced.
    • £14.39
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  • Consolations

    David Whyte

    Product Code: CBRBQ
    Hardback
    In Consolations David Whyte unpacks aspects of being human that many of us spend our lives trying vainly to avoid - loss, heartbreak, vulnerability, fear - boldly reinterpreting them, fully embracing their complexity, never shying away from paradox in his relentless search for truth. Beginning with 'Alone' and closing with 'Withdrawal', each chapter in this life-affirming book is a meditation on meaning and context, an invitation to shift and broaden our perspectives on life: pain and joy, honesty and anger, confession and vulnerability, the experience of feeling overwhelmed and the desire to run away from it all. Through this lens, procrastination may be a necessary ripening; hiding an act of freedom; and shyness something that accompanies the first stage of revelation. Consolations invites readers into a poetic and thoughtful consideration of words whose meaning and interpretation influence the paths we choose and the way we traverse them throughout our lives.
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  • Almost Everything

    Anne Lamott

    Product Code: CBRAZ
    Paperback
    Despair and uncertainty surround us: in the news, in our families, and in ourselves. But even when life is at its bleakest, Anne Lamott shows how we can rediscover the hope and wisdom that are buried within us and that can make life sweeter than we ever imagined. Divided into short chapters that explore life's essential truths, Almost Everything pinpoints these moments of insight and, with warmth and humour, offers a path forward.
    • £7.99
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  • Mary Midgley

    Gregory McElwain (The College

    Product Code: CBPRJ
    Paperback
    For over 40 years, Mary Midgley made a forceful case for the relevance and importance of philosophy. With characteristic wit and wisdom, she drew special attention to the ways in which our thought influences our everyday lives. Her wide-ranging explorations of human nature and the self; our connections with animals and the natural world; and the complexities of morality, gender, science, and religion all contributed to her reputation as one of the most expansive and compelling moral philosophers of the twentieth century. Mary Midgley: An Introduction is the first substantive introduction to Midgley's influential philosophy on the human condition. This volume, supplemented by original interviews with Midgley, outlines the concepts and perspectives for which she is best known and illuminates the philosophical problems to which she devoted her life's work.
  • Lazarus Revived

    Alexander Matthews

    Product Code: CAWAR
    Hardback
    If you have a passion for philosophy, especially if you're interested by the possibility of conscious life after death, then this book is for you. Lazarus Revived argues that what consciousness amounts to is a whole series of artificial boundaries, or what philosophers call "theory ladenness". Ironically, it's only when these boundaries or restrictions are established that we are fully conscious. Even within these restricted boundaries of our thought, what amounts to consciousness in one person is quite different for another. The author shows how two thought experiments provide the foundation for arguments for the existence of conscious life after death: strictly on the basis of these restrictions and from an atheist point of view. In the absence of these restrictions, say in outer space where there is no up or down or before or after, we have to artificialize experience in order to develop a sense of time and, ultimately, of consciousness. Lazarus Revived introduces a whole new vision of physics - one that involves pluriverses rather than what we call the universe. The theory of a Big Bang is examined, and a substitute equation for E=mc2 is presented, giving the entire relation of mathematics to physics a new twist. Lazarus Revived is written in an easy to understand layman's language, and there is no mathematics to worry about. The reader is challenged to go further than the author's own philosophical speculations, and to come up with new ideas and ways to refine what is presented in the book on conscious life after death. Many easy to understand examples are given and, hopefully, the reader will be drawn into the whole process of thinking and talking about the ideas presented here.
    • £12.00
    • RRP £15.00
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  • The Lies That Bind

    Kwame Anthony Appiah

    Product Code: BZJBH
    Paperback
    We often think identity is personal. But the identities that shape the world, our struggles, and our hopes, are social ones, shared with countless others. Our sense of self is shaped by our family, but also by affiliations that spread out from there, like our nationality, culture, class, race and religion. Taking these broad categories as a starting point, Professor Appiah challenges our assumptions about how identity works. In eloquent and lively chapters, he weaves personal anecdote with historical, cultural and literary example to explore the entanglements within the stories we tell ourselves. We all know there are conflicts among identities; but Professor Appiah explores how identities are created by conflict. Identities are then crafted from confusions - confusions this book aims to help us sort through. Religion, Appiah shows us, isn't primarily about beliefs. The idea of national self-determination is incoherent. Our everyday racial thinking is an artefact of discarded science. Class is not a matter of upper and lower. And the very idea of Western culture is a misleading myth. We will see our situation more clearly if we start to question these mistaken identities. This is radical new thinking from a master in the subject and will change forever the way we think about ourselves and our communities.
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  • Unflattening

    Nick Sousanis

    Product Code: BVSXF
    Paperback
    The primacy of words over images has deep roots in Western culture. But what if the two are inextricably linked, equal partners in meaning-making? Written and drawn entirely as comics, Unflattening is an experiment in visual thinking. Nick Sousanis defies conventional forms of scholarly discourse to offer readers both a stunning work of graphic art and a serious inquiry into the ways humans construct knowledge. Unflattening is an insurrection against the fixed viewpoint. Weaving together diverse ways of seeing drawn from science, philosophy, art, literature, and mythology, it uses the collage-like capacity of comics to show that perception is always an active process of incorporating and reevaluating different vantage points. While its vibrant, constantly morphing images occasionally serve as illustrations of text, they more often connect in nonlinear fashion to other visual references throughout the book. They become allusions, allegories, and motifs, pitting realism against abstraction and making us aware that more meets the eye than is presented on the page. In its graphic innovations and restless shape-shifting, Unflattening is meant to counteract the type of narrow, rigid thinking that Sousanis calls "flatness." Just as the two-dimensional inhabitants of Edwin A. Abbott's novella Flatland could not fathom the concept of "upwards," Sousanis says, we are often unable to see past the boundaries of our current frame of mind. Fusing words and images to produce new forms of knowledge, Unflattening teaches us how to access modes of understanding beyond what we normally apprehend.
  • Border Aesthetics

    Johan Schimanski

    Product Code: BVBQU
    Hardback
    Few concepts are as central to understanding the modern world as borders, and the now-thriving field of border studies has already produced a substantial literature analyzing their legal, ideological, geographical, and historical aspects. Such studies have hardly exhausted the subject's conceptual fertility, however, as this pioneering collection on the aesthetics of borders demonstrates. Organized around six key ideas-ecology, imaginary, in/visibility, palimpsest, sovereignty and waiting-the interlocking essays collected here provide theoretical starting points for an aesthetic understanding of borders, developed in detail through interdisciplinary analyses of literature, audio-visual borderscapes, historical and contemporary ecologies, political culture, and migration.
  • Picnic Comma Lightning

    Laurence Scott

    Product Code: BQHYU
    Hardback
    A spellbinding examination of the nature of reality, by one of the brightest thinkers of today. Cognitive science proposes that we have evolved to build mental maps of the world not according to its actual, physical nature, but according to what allows us to thrive. In other words, our individual and collective realities are fictions - carefully constructed to enable us to maintain our particular perspectives. It used to be that our fictions were rooted to reasonably solid things: to people, places and memories. Today, in an age of online personas, alternative truths, constant surveillance and an increasingly hysterical news cycle, our realities are becoming more flimsy and more vulnerable than ever before. Ours is now a zoomed-in perspective, where the backstage is centre stage. We are both camera person and subject, with new powers and new weaknesses. Our personal and political spheres are dangerously merging. How will the form and grammar of our feelings have to change in this over-exposed environment? Should any of our stories remain secret? How are these phenomena changing the way we live? How do we maintain a sense of reality in an increasingly fantastic world? Picnic Comma Lightning is an innovative examination of the nature of reality in the twenty-first century, one that explores the key ethical, political and neurological forces contouring our inner selves, but also the old influences of grief and desire, memory and imagination. In it, award-winning author Laurence Scott provides a lively and accessible new philosophy for this epoch in Western civilisation, one that will change the way you see the world, and your place within it.
    • £15.89
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  • Phaedrus

    Plato

    Product Code: AHHJZ
    Paperback
    'Some of our greatest blessings come from madness Phaedrus is widely recognized as one of Plato's most profound and beautiful works. It takes the form of a dialogue between Socrates and Phaedrus and its ostensible subject is love, especially homoerotic love. Socrates reveals it to be a kind of divine madness that can allow our souls to grow wings and soar to their greatest heights. Then the conversation changes direction and turns to a discussion of rhetoric, which must be based on truth passionately sought, thus allying it to philosophy. The dialogue closes by denigrating the value of the written word in any context, compared to the living teaching of a Socratic philosopher. The shifts of topic and register have given rise to doubts about the unity of the dialogue, doubts which are addressed in the introduction to this volume. Full explanatory notes also elucidate issues throughout the dialogue that might puzzle a modern reader. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
    • £7.69
    • RRP £7.99
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  • Thought: A Very Short Introduction

    Tim Bayne

    Product Code: AFVOD
    Paperback
    There is no denying that thinking comes naturally to human beings. But what are thoughts? How is thought realized in the brain? Does thinking occur in public or is it a purely private affair? Do young children and non-human animals think? Is human thought the same everywhere, or are there culturally specific modes of thought? What is the relationship between thought and language? What kind of responsibility do we have for our thoughts? In this compelling Very Short Introduction, Tim Bayne looks at the nature of thought. Beginning with questions about what thought is and what distinguishes it from other kinds of mental states, he goes on to examine various interpretations of thought from philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, and anthropology. By exploring the logical structures of thought and the relationship between thought and other mental phenomena, as well as the mechanisms that make thought possible and the cultural variations that may exist in our thought processes, Bayne looks at what we know - and don't know - about our great capacity for thought.
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  • The Portable Thoreau

    Henry Thoreau

    Product Code: AFBPV
    Paperback
    Self-described as 'a mystic, a transcendentalist, and a natural philosopher to boot', Henry David Thoreau dedicated his life to preserving his freedom as a man and as an artist. Nature was the fountainhead of his inspiration and his refuge from what he considered the follies of society. Heedless of his friends' advice to live in a more orthodox manner, he determinedly pursued his own inner bent - that of a poet-philosopher - in prose and verse, in his masterpiece "Walden", from which this work is taken. Edited by noted Thoreau scholar Jeffrey S. Cramer, this edition is the new standard for those interested in discovering the great thinker's influential ideas about everything from environmentalism to limited government.
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