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Amateur

$17.95
A radical manifesto about doing what you love

Andy Merrifield offers a passionate tribute to the revolutionary spirit of the amateur--a figure who thinks outside the box, takes risks, dreams the impossible dream, seeks independence, and carves out a new world. Merrifield celebrates such square pegs as Charles Baudelaire, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Edward Said, Guy Debord, Hannah Arendt, and Jane Jacobs, each of whom shows us a path of unconventional wisdom and freedom.

The Amateur advocates urgently for the liberated life, one that creates the space to question authority.

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9781786631077
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Aristotle's Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life

$17.00
From renowned classicist Edith Hall, ARISTOTLE'S WAY is an examination of one of history's greatest philosophers, showing us how to lead happy, fulfilled, and meaningful lives

Two thousand years ago, Aristotle wrote the most important book on happiness. The first philosopher to inquire into subjective happiness, he understood its essence better and more clearly than anyone since. Most importantly, Aristotle understood happiness as available to the vast majority of us, but only, crucially, if we decide to apply ourselves to its creation. According to Aristotle, happiness is not about well-being but instead is a lasting state of contentment, which should be the ultimate goal of human life. We become happy through finding a purpose, realizing our potential, and modifying our behavior to become the best version of ourselves. With these objectives in mind, Aristotle developed a humane program for becoming a happy person. Here, Professor Edith Hall shows how his timeless teachings are exactly what we need today to stride purposefully towards a life well lived. As Hall writes, "If you believe that the goal of human life is to maximize happiness, then you are a budding Aristotelian." In expert yet vibrant modern language, Hall lays out the crux of Aristotle's thinking, mixing affecting autobiographical anecdotes with a deep wealth of classical learning. For Hall, whose own life has been greatly improved by her understanding of Aristotle, this is an intensely personal subject. She distills his ancient wisdom into ten practical and universal lessons to help us confront life's difficult and crucial moments, summarizing a lifetime of the most rarefied and brilliant scholarship.

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9780735220829
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BE LIKE THE FOX

$17.95

Since the publication of The Prince five centuries ago, Machiavelli has been associated with political amorality. But that characterization is unfair. In Be Like the Fox, Erica Benner sets the record straight: far from the ruthless "Machiavellian" henchman that people think he was, Machiavelli emerges here as a profound ethical thinker who fought to uphold high moral standards and restore the democratic freedoms of his beloved Florence.

Shaking the dust from history, Benner masterfully interweaves Machiavelli's words with those of his friends and enemies, giving us a biography with all the energy of fiction. Through dialogues and diaries, we witness dramatic episodes, including Savonarola's fiery sermons against the elite in Florence's piazza, Machiavelli's secret negotiations with Caterina Sforza at the court of Forli, and the Florentines' frantic preparations to resist Pope Julius's plan to over-throw their Republic.

Benner relates how Machiavelli rose as an advisor in the Florentine Republic, advancing the city's interests as a diplomat and military strategist, only to become a political pariah when the Republic was defeated. His egalitarian politics made him an enemy of the Medici family, and his secular outlook put him at odds with religious zealots. But he soon learned to mask his true convictions, becoming a great artist of foxlike dissimulation. Machiavelli's masterpiece, The Prince, was in fact a critique of princely power, but the critique had to be veiled, written as it was after the Medici triumphed over the Republic.

In Be Like the Fox, the most accurate and compelling portrait of Machiavelli yet, Benner recounts the gripping story of a brilliant political thinker, showing that Machiavelli's ideas--about democratic institutions, diplomacy, and freedom--are more important than ever.

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9780393355819
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BOOK OF WOE

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$28.95
An expose of the psychiatric professions bible from a leading psychotherapist, "The Book of Woe " reveals the deeply flawed process by which mental disorders are invented and uninvented--and why increasing numbers of therapy patients are being declared mentally ill.
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9780399158537
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Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

$22.99

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER - USA TODAY BESTSELLER

"The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is not only a thought-provoking, discussion-worthy story, the book itself is an object of art."- The New York Times

From the revered British illustrator, a modern fable for all ages that explores life's universal lessons, featuring 100 color and black-and-white drawings.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" asked the mole.

"Kind," said the boy.

Charlie Mackesy offers inspiration and hope in uncertain times in this beautiful book based on his famous quartet of characters. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse explores their unlikely friendship and the poignant, universal lessons they learn together.

Radiant with Mackesy's warmth and gentle wit, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse blends hand-written narrative with dozens of drawings, including some of his best-loved illustrations (including "Help," which has been shared over one million times) and new, never-before-seen material. A modern classic in the vein of The Tao of Pooh, The Alchemist, and The Giving Tree, this charmingly designed keepsake will be treasured for generations to come.

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9780062976581
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Chronicles of a Liquid Society

$14.99
Umberto Eco was an international cultural superstar. In this, his last collection, the celebrated essayist and novelist observes the changing world around him with irrepressible curiosity and profound wisdom. He sees with fresh eyes the upheaval in ideological values, the crises in politics, and the unbridled individualism that have become the backdrop of our lives--a "liquid" society in which it's not easy to find a polestar, though stars and starlets abound.

In these pieces, written for his regular column in L'Espresso magazine, Eco brings his dazzling erudition and keen sense of the everyday to bear on topics such as popular culture and politics, being seen, conspiracies, the old and the young, new technologies, mass media, racism, and good manners. It is a final gift to his readers--astute, witty, and illuminating.

"A swan song from one of Europe's great intellectuals . . . [Eco] entertains with his intellect, humor, and insatiable curiosity." -- Kirkus Reviews

"An intelligent, intriguing, and often hilariously incisive set of observations on contemporary follies and changing mores." -- Publishers Weekly

"Chronicles of a Liquid Society is a wonderful reminder of a great writer, thinker, and human being." -- Toronto Star

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9781328505859
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Common Good

$15.00
Robert B. Reich makes a powerful case for the expansion of America's moral imagination. Rooting his argument in common sense and everyday reality, he demonstrates that a common good constitutes the very essence of any society or nation. Societies, he says, undergo virtuous cycles that reinforce the common good as well as vicious cycles that undermine it, one of which America has been experiencing for the past five decades. This process can and must be reversed. But first we need to weigh the moral obligations of citizenship and carefully consider how we relate to honor, shame, patriotism, truth, and the meaning of leadership.

Powerful, urgent, and utterly vital, this is a heartfelt missive from one of our foremost political thinkers.

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9780525436379
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Conscience

$27.95

In her brilliant work Touching a Nerve, Patricia S. Churchland, the distinguished founder of neurophilosophy, drew from scientific research on the brain to understand its philosophical and ethical implications for identity, consciousness, free will, and memory. In Conscience, she explores how moral systems arise from our physical selves in combination with environmental demands.

All social groups have ideals for behavior, even though ethics vary among different cultures and among individuals within each culture. In trying to understand why, Churchland brings together an understanding of the influences of nature and nurture. She looks to evolution to elucidate how, from birth, our brains are configured to form bonds, to cooperate, and to care. She shows how children grow up in society to learn, through repetition and rewards, the norms, values, and behavior that their parents embrace.

Conscience delves into scientific studies, particularly the fascinating work on twins, to deepen our understanding of whether people have a predisposition to embrace specific ethical stands. Research on psychopaths illuminates the knowledge about those who abide by no moral system and the explanations science gives for these disturbing individuals.

Churchland then turns to philosophy--that of Socrates, Aquinas, and contemporary thinkers like Owen Flanagan--to explore why morality is central to all societies, how it is transmitted through the generations, and why different cultures live by different morals. Her unparalleled ability to join ideas rarely put into dialogue brings light to a subject that speaks to the meaning of being human.

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9781324000891
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Ecology, Ethics, and Interdependence

$18.95
Powerful conversations between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and leading scientists on the most pressing issue of our time.

Engage with leading scientists, academics, ethicists, and activists, as well as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness the Karmapa, who gathered in Dharamsala, India, for the twenty-third Mind and Life conference to discuss arguably the most urgent questions facing humanity today:
What is happening to our planet? What can we do about it? How do we balance the concerns of people against the rights of animals and against the needs of an ecosystem? What is the most skillful way to enact change? And how do we fight on, even when our efforts seem to bear no fruit?
Inspiring, edifying, and transformative, this should be required reading for any citizen of the world.

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9781614294948
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Field Guide to a Happy Life

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$20.00
A brilliant philosopher reimagines Stoicism for our modern age in this thought-provoking guide to a better life.
For more than two thousand years, Stoicism has offered a message of resilience in the face of hardship. Little wonder, then, that it is having such a revival in our own troubled times. But there is no denying how weird it can be: Is it really the case that we shouldn't care about our work, our loved ones, or our own lives? According to the old Stoics, yes.
In A Field Guide to a Happy Life, philosopher Massimo Pigliucci offers a renewed Stoicism that reflects modern science and sensibilities. Pigliucci embraces the joyful bonds of affection, the satisfactions of a job well done, and the grief that attends loss. In his hands, Stoicism isn't about feats of indifference, but about enduring pain without being overwhelmed, while enjoying pleasures without losing our heads. In short, he makes Stoicism into a philosophy all of us -- whether committed Stoics or simply seekers -- can use to live better.
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9781541646933
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Guide for the Perplexed

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$14.99

From one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century, and the author of the international bestseller Small Is Beautiful, the reissue of a timeless treatise on the meaning of living.

In A Guide for the Perplexed, bestselling author E. F. Schumacher explores our relation to the world: our obligations--to other people, to the earth, to progress and technology, but most importantly to ourselves. If man can fulfill these obligations, then and only then can he enjoy a truly authentic relationship with the world--and truly know the meaning of living.

Schumacher argues that we need maps: a "map of knowledge" and a "map of living." The concern of the mapmaker is to find for everything its proper place. For things out of place tend to get lost; they become invisible and their proper places are filled by other things that should not be there at all and therefore serve to mislead.

A Guide for the Perplexed teaches us to be our own map makers in following our destined path in life's journey.

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9780062414816
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Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche

$29.95
The great French Marxist philosopher weighs up the contributions of the three major critics of modernity

With the translation of Lefebvre's philosophical writings, his stature in the English-speaking world continues to grow. Though certainly within the Marxist tradition, he consistently saw Marx as an 'unavoidable, necessary, but insufficient starting point'. Unsurprisingly, Lefebvre always insisted on the importance of Hegel to understanding Marx. But the imposing Metaphilosophy also suggested the significance he ascribed to Nietzsche, in the 'realm of shadows' through which philosophy seeks to think the world. Lefebvre proposes here that the modern world is at the same time Hegelian in terms of the state; Marxist in terms of the social and society; and Nietzschean in terms of civilization and its values. As early as 1939, Lefebvre pioneered a French reading of Nietzsche that rejected the philosopher's appropriation by fascism, bringing out the tragic implications of Nietzsche's proclamation that 'God is dead' long before this approach was followed by such later writers as Foucault, Derrida and Deleuze. Forty years later, in the last of his philosophical writings, Lefebvre juxtaposes the contributions of the three great thinkers, in a text whose themes remain surprisingly relevant today.

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9781788733731
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How to Teach Philosophy to Your Dog

$25.95

Monty was just like any other dog. A scruffy and irascible Maltese terrier, he enjoyed barking at pugs and sniffing at trees. But after yet another dramatic confrontation with the local Rottweiler, Anthony McGowan realizes it's high time he and Monty had a chat about what makes him a good or a bad dog.

Taking his lead from Monty's canine antics, McGowan takes us on a hilarious and enlightening jaunt through the major debates of philosophy. Will Kant convince Monty to stop stealing cheesecake? How long will they put up with Socrates poking holes in every argument?

In this uniquely entertaining take on morality and ethics, the dutiful duo set out to uncover who--if anyone--has the right end of the ethical stick and can tell us how best to live one's life.

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9781643133119
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Hunger Mountain

$14.00
Come along with David Hinton on a series of walks through the wild beauty of Hunger Mountain, near his home in Vermont--excursions informed by the worldview he's imbibed from his many years translating the classics of Chinese poetry and philosophy. His broad-ranging discussion offers insight on everything from the mountain landscape to the origins of consciousness and the Cosmos, from geology to Chinese landscape painting, from parenting to pictographic oracle-bone script, to a family chutney recipe. It's a spiritual ecology that is profoundly ancient and at the same time resoundingly contemporary. Your view of the landscape--and of your place in it--may never be the same.
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9781611800166
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Know-It-All Society

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$17.95
Winner - National Council of Teachers of English - George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language

The "philosopher of truth" (Jill Lepore, The New Yorker) returns with a clear-eyed and timely critique of our culture's narcissistic obsession with thinking that "we" know and "they" don't.

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9781631497919
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Lack & Transcendence

$21.95
David R. Loy draws from giants of psychotherapy and existentialism, from Nietzsche to Kierkegaard to Sartre, to explore the fundamental issues of life, death, and what motivates us.

Psychotherapy, existentialism, and Buddhism are all concerned with the same fundamental issues of life and death--and death-in-life. David R. Loy's groundbreaking claim is that the unifying feature connecting these perspectives is a sense of pervasive sense of dissatisfaction--or, in a word, lack. In Lack & Transcendence, he brings all three traditions together in a way that casts new light on each, as he draws from giants of psychotherapy, particularly Freud, Ernest Becker, Rollo May, Irvin Yalom, and Otto Rank; great existentialist thinkers, like Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Sartre; and the teachings of Buddhism, especially as interpreted by Nagarjuna, Huineng, and Dogen.

Written in accessible style that does not assume prior familiarity with any of its subjects, this book will appeal to readers of all backgrounds, including psychotherapists and psychoanalysts, religious scholars, Continental philosophers, and anyone seeking clarity on the Great Matter itself.

The reader will come away with fresh perspectives on ancient questions and deeper insights into the human predilection to be unhappy--and what the liberating alternative may be.

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9781614295235
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Learning from the Germans

$30.00

As an increasingly polarized America fights over the legacy of racism, Susan Neiman, author of the contemporary philosophical classic Evil in Modern Thought, asks what we can learn from the Germans about confronting the evils of the past

In the wake of white nationalist attacks, the ongoing debate over reparations, and the controversy surrounding Confederate monuments and the contested memories they evoke, Susan Neiman's Learning from the Germans delivers an urgently needed perspective on how a country can come to terms with its historical wrongdoings. Neiman is a white woman who came of age in the civil rights-era South and a Jewish woman who has spent much of her adult life in Berlin. Working from this unique perspective, she combines philosophical reflection, personal stories, and interviews with both Americans and Germans who are grappling with the evils of their own national histories.

Through discussions with Germans, including Jan Philipp Reemtsma, who created the breakthrough Crimes of the Wehrmacht exhibit, and Friedrich Schorlemmer, the East German dissident preacher, Neiman tells the story of the long and difficult path Germans faced in their effort to atone for the crimes of the Holocaust. In the United States, she interviews James Meredith about his battle for equality in Mississippi and Bryan Stevenson about his monument to the victims of lynching, as well as lesser-known social justice activists in the South, to provide a compelling picture of the work contemporary Americans are doing to confront our violent history. In clear and gripping prose, Neiman urges us to consider the nuanced forms that evil can assume, so that we can recognize and avoid them in the future.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780374184469
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Lies that Bind

$15.95

Who do you think you are? That's a question bound up in another: What do you think you are? Gender. Religion. Race. Nationality. Class. Culture. Such affiliations give contours to our sense of self, and shape our polarized world. Yet the collective identities they spawn are riddled with contradictions, and cratered with falsehoods.

Kwame Anthony Appiah's The Lies That Bind is an incandescent exploration of the nature and history of the identities that define us. It challenges our assumptions about how identities work. We all know there are conflicts between identities, but Appiah shows how identities are created by conflict. Religion, he demonstrates, gains power because it isn't primarily about belief. Our everyday notions of race are the detritus of discarded nineteenth-century science. Our cherished concept of the sovereign nation--of self-rule--is incoherent and unstable. Class systems can become entrenched by efforts to reform them. Even the very idea of Western culture is a shimmering mirage.

From Anton Wilhelm Amo, the eighteenth-century African child who miraculously became an eminent European philosopher before retiring back to Africa, to Italo Svevo, the literary marvel who changed citizenship without leaving home, to Appiah's own father, Joseph, an anticolonial firebrand who was ready to give his life for a nation that did not yet exist, Appiah interweaves keen-edged argument with vibrant narratives to expose the myths behind our collective identities.

These "mistaken identities," Appiah explains, can fuel some of our worst atrocities--from chattel slavery to genocide. And yet, he argues that social identities aren't something we can simply do away with. They can usher in moral progress and bring significance to our lives by connecting the small scale of our daily existence with larger movements, causes, and concerns.

Elaborating a bold and clarifying new theory of identity, The Lies That Bind is a ringing philosophical statement for the anxious, conflict-ridden twenty-first century. This book will transform the way we think about who--and what--"we" are.

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9781631495977
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Like a Thief in Broad Daylight

$16.95
The latest book from "the most despicable philosopher in the West" (New Republic) considers the new dangers and radical possibilities set in motion by advances in Big Tech.

In recent years, techno-scientific progress has started to utterly transform our world--changing it almost beyond recognition. In this extraordinary new book, renowned philosopher Slavoj Žižek turns to look at the brave new world of Big Tech, revealing how, with each new wave of innovation, we find ourselves moving closer and closer to a bizarrely literal realization of Marx's prediction that "all that is solid melts into air." With the automation of work, the virtualization of money, the dissipation of class communities, and the rise of immaterial, intellectual labor, the global capitalist edifice is beginning to crumble, more quickly than ever before--and it is now on the verge of vanishing entirely.

But what will come next? Against a backdrop of constant socio-technological upheaval, how could any kind of authentic change take place? In such a context, Žižek argues, there can be no great social triumph--because lasting revolution has already come into the scene, like a thief in broad daylight, stealing into sight right before our very eyes. What we must do now is wake up and see it.
Urgent as ever, Like a Thief in Broad Daylight illuminates the new dangers as well as the radical possibilities thrown up by today's technological and scientific advances, and their electrifying implications for us all.

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9781609809751
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Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius

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$28.00
From the bestselling authors of The Daily Stoic comes an inspiring guide to the lives of the Stoics, and what the ancients can teach us about happiness, success, resilience and virtue.

Nearly 2,300 years after a ruined merchant named Zeno first established a school on the Stoa Poikile of Athens, Stoicism has found a new audience among those who seek greatness, from athletes to politicians and everyone in between. It's no wonder; the philosophy and its embrace of self-mastery, virtue, and indifference to that which we cannot control is as urgent today as it was in the chaos of the Roman Empire. In Lives of the Stoics, Holiday and Hanselman present the fascinating lives of the men and women who strove to live by the timeless Stoic virtues of Courage. Justice. Temperance. Wisdom. Organized in digestible, mini-biographies of all the well-known--and not so well-known--Stoics, this book vividly brings home what Stoicism was like for the people who loved it and lived it, dusting off powerful lessons to be learned from their struggles and successes. More than a mere history book, every example in these pages, from Epictetus to Marcus Aurelius--slaves to emperors--is designed to help the reader apply philosophy in their own lives. Holiday and Hanselman unveil the core values and ideas that unite figures from Seneca to Cato to Cicero across the centuries. Among them are the idea that self-rule is the greatest empire, that character is fate; how Stoics benefit from preparing not only for success, but failure; and learn to love, not merely accept, the hand they are dealt in life. A treasure of valuable insights and stories, this book can be visited again and again by any reader in search of inspiration from the past.

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9780525541875
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Living in the End Times

$24.95
There should no longer be any doubt: global capitalism is fast approaching its terminal crisis. Slavoj Žižek has identified the four horsemen of this coming apocalypse: the worldwide ecological crisis; imbalances within the economic system; the biogenetic revolution; and exploding social divisions and ruptures. But, he asks, if the end of capitalism seems to many like the end of the world, how is it possible for Western society to face up to the end times? In a major new analysis of our global situation, Slavok Žižek argues that our collective responses to economic Armageddon correspond to the stages of grief: ideological denial, explosions of anger and attempts at bargaining, followed by depression and withdrawal.

After passing through this zero-point, we can begin to perceive the crisis as a chance for a new beginning. Or, as Mao Zedong put it, "There is great disorder under heaven, the situation is excellent." Slavoj Žižek shows the cultural and political forms of these stages of ideological avoidance and political protest, from New Age obscurantism to violent religious fundamentalism. Concluding with a compelling argument for the return of a Marxian critique of political economy, Žižek also divines the wellsprings of a potentially communist culture--from literary utopias like Kafka's community of mice to the collective of freak outcasts in the TV series Heroes.

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9781786630803
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Living in the Light of Death: Existential Philosophy in the Eastern Tradition, Zen, Samurai & Haiku

$16.50
By developing an Eastern existential understanding of death from the perspective of Zen Buddhism, Bushido (the Way of the Samurai), and Japanese haiku poets, this book articulates an ethics of sincerity between the contemplative-meditation practice of mindfulness and the three Buddhist characteristics of existence: impermanence, suffering, and non-substantiality. Through an examination and discussion of the six perfections of Buddhism, karma and enlightenment, the samurai virtues of Bushido, and the Japanese aesthetic masterfully expressed in the nature, travel, and death poems of haiku poets (a mixture of Zen and mono no aware), readers may gain a deeper appreciation of the death-centered character ethics, or art of living, Scalambrino calls "living in the light of death."
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9780998870403
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Minima Moralia

$17.95
"A volume of Adorno is equivalent to a whole shelf of books on literature." --Susan Sontag

A reflection on everyday existence in the 'sphere of consumption of late Capitalism', this work is Adorno's literary and philosophical masterpiece. Built from aphorisms and reflections, he shifts in register from personal experience to the most general theoretical problems.

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9781788738538
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Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic

$17.95

America's founders intended to liberate us not just from one king but from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion. Drawing deeply on the study of European philosophy, Matthew Stewart brilliantly tracks the ancient, pagan, and continental ideas from which America's revolutionaries drew their inspiration. In the writings of Spinoza, Lucretius, and other great philosophers, Stewart recovers the true meanings of "Nature's God," "the pursuit of happiness," and the radical political theory with which the American experiment in self-government began.

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9780393351293
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Philosopher of the Heart: The Restless Life of S?ren Kierkegaard

$30.00

Philosopher of the Heart is the groundbreaking biography of renowned existentialist Søren Kierkegaard's life and creativity, and a searching exploration of how to be a human being in the world.

Søren Kierkegaard is one of the most passionate and challenging of all modern philosophers, and is often regarded as the founder of existentialism. Over about a decade in the 1840s and 1850s, writings poured from his pen pursuing the question of existence--how to be a human being in the world?--while exploring the possibilities of Christianity and confronting the failures of its institutional manifestation around him.

Much of his creativity sprang from his relationship with the young woman whom he promised to marry, then left to devote himself to writing, a relationship which remained decisive for the rest of his life. He deliberately lived in the swim of human life in Copenhagen, but alone, and died exhausted in 1855 at the age of 42, bequeathing his remarkable writings to his erstwhile fiancée.

Clare Carlisle's innovative and moving biography writes Kierkegaard's life as far as possible from his own perspective, to convey what it was like actually being this Socrates of Christendom--as he put it, living life forwards yet only understanding it backwards.

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9780374231187
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Socrates Express

$28.00
The New York Times bestselling author of The Geography of Bliss embarks on a rollicking intellectual journey, following in the footsteps of history's greatest thinkers and showing us how each--from Epicurus to Gandhi, Thoreau to Beauvoir--offers practical and spiritual lessons for today's unsettled times.

We turn to philosophy for the same reasons we travel: to see the world from a dif-ferent perspective, to unearth hidden beauty, and to find new ways of being. We want to learn how to embrace wonder. Face regrets. Sustain hope.

Eric Weiner combines his twin passions for philosophy and global travel in a pil-grimage that uncovers surprising life lessons from great thinkers around the world, from Rousseau to Nietzsche, Confucius to Simone Weil. Traveling by train (the most thoughtful mode of transport), he journeys thousands of miles, making stops in Athens, Delhi, Wyoming, Coney Island, Frankfurt, and points in between to recon-nect with philosophy's original purpose: teaching us how to lead wiser, more meaningful lives. From Socrates and ancient Athens to Simone de Beauvoir and twentieth-century Paris, Weiner's chosen philosophers and places provide important signposts as we navigate today's chaotic times.

In The Socrates Express, Weiner invites us to voyage alongside him on his life-changing pursuit of wisdom and discovery as he attempts to find answers to our most vital questions.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781501129018
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SOUL OF THE GREEKS

$22.50

The understanding of the soul in the West has been profoundly shaped by Christianity, and its influence can be seen in certain assumptions often made about the soul: that, for example, if it does exist, it is separable from the body, free, immortal, and potentially pure. The ancient Greeks, however, conceived of the soul quite differently. In this ambitious new work, Michael Davis analyzes works by Homer, Herodotus, Euripides, Plato, and Aristotle to reveal how the ancient Greeks portrayed and understood what he calls "the fully human soul."


Beginning with Homer's Iliad, Davis lays out the tension within the soul of Achilles between immortality and life. He then turns to Aristotle's De Anima and Nicomachean Ethics to explore the consequences of the problem of Achilles across the whole range of the soul's activity. Moving to Herodotus and Euripides, Davis considers the former's portrayal of the two extremes of culture--one rooted in stability and tradition, the other in freedom and motion--and explores how they mark the limits of character. Davis then shows how Helen and Iphigeneia among the Taurians serve to provide dramatic examples of Herodotus's extreme cultures and their consequences for the soul. The book returns to philosophy in the final part, plumbing several Platonic dialogues--the Republic, Cleitophon, Hipparchus, Phaedrus, Euthyphro, and Symposium--to understand the soul's imperfection in relation to law, justice, tyranny, eros, the gods, and philosophy itself. Davis concludes with Plato's presentation of the soul of Socrates as self-aware and nontragic, even if it is necessarily alienated and divided against itself.


The Soul of the Greeks thus begins with the imperfect soul as it is manifested in Achilles' heroic, but tragic, longing and concludes with its nontragic and fuller philosophic expression in the soul of Socrates. But, far from being a historical survey, it is instead a brilliant meditation on what lies at the heart of being human.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780226004495
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