What is culture? Why should we preserve it, and how? This book defends Western culture against its internal critics and external enemies, and argues that rumours of its death are seriously exaggerated. It shows our culture to be a continuing source of moral knowledge.
Throughout history, philosophers have devised ingenious thought experiments to find solutions to the most fiendish of problems. The world's greatest thinkers have grappled with puzzles such as Free Will, Personal Identity and the Problem of Other Minds. Step into this intriguing world and try your own hand at such conundrums. Weigh up the possible outcomes to decide What Will the Crocodile Do?; ask yourself Can You Be Responsible for What is Unavoidable?; shake up your logical thinking and ponder Is It Rational to Believe in Monsters under the Bed? and figure out an honorable solution to Should You Run Over the Fat Man? This book will hone your mental skills, blow your preconceptions out of the water, and make you think twice about your daily decisions.
Practically ignored for over 200 years, Mary Astell's writing returned to prominence in the latter part of the 20th century in a celebrated biography by Ruth Perry. Self-educated, Astell was an avid political thinker, philosopher, educationalist & early feminist. Until recently, little attention has been paid to her importance.
This book examines Gilles Deleuze's ideas about creativity in the context of lifelong learning, offering an original take on this important contemporary topic using cinematic parallels. Discussing Deleuze's difficult notion of 'counter-actualization' as a form of creative practice, it draws practical consequences for those across a diverse sector.
It is widely agreed that Plato laid the foundations for the whole history of western thought and, well over 2000 years later, his work is still studied by every student of philosophy. This title provides an account of Plato's philosophy, his major works and ideas, providing a guide to the important thought of this key philosopher.
Suitable for those facing the study of Logic for the first time, this book covers key thinkers, terms and texts. Part of "The Key Terms in Philosophy" series, it provides detailed summaries of the important concepts in the study of logic and the application of logic to the rest of philosophy.
Thomas Hobbes was one of the important and influential philosophers of the seventeenth century. Covering various key concepts of his work, this book provides an introduction to the ideas of this significant thinker. It leads the reader through the full range of Hobbes' ideas and, uniquely, not just his political philosophy.
George Berkeley (1685-1753) was one of the most important and influential philosophers in the history of Western thought. This book provides a detailed overview of Berkeley's philosophy, an interpretation of his arguments, and the opportunity for the reader to critically engage with Berkeley's philosophical moves.
Jean Jacques Rousseau is one of the most important and influential thinkers of the Enlightenment period and, indeed, of the whole history of philosophy. His political theory heavily influenced the French Revolution, development of socialist theory and the growth of nationalism. This book presents an overview of Rousseau's thought.
Gottfried Leibniz was one of the most important and influential philosophers of the seventeenth century and, alongside Descartes and Spinoza, one of the three great Rationalist thinkers. Covering the key concepts of his work, this book provides an accessible introduction to the ideas of this hugely significant thinker.
For most of our history religion provided a clear explanation for life and the afterlife. But in the early twentieth century this framework came under relentless pressure as new ideas - from psychiatry to evolution to Communism - seemed to suggest that our fate was now in our own hands. This book raises questions about what it means to be human.
The Black Mirror is a deeply moving and startlingly original celebration of everyday life, by one of our leading thinkers and writers, who has been described as 'One of Britain's greatest intellectual all-rounders... Someone who comes closer than most ever will to knowing everything' (Independent)
Through a sweeping historical overview of suicide, a moving literary survey of famous suicide notes, and a psychological analysis of himself, Simon Critchley offers us an insight into what it means to possess the all too human gift and curse of being of being able to choose life or death.
Offers an introduction to Socrates, suitable for undergraduate students taking courses in Ancient and Greek Philosophy. This book suggests that it is in fact the Socratic insistence on self-knowledge that makes Socrates at once so pivotal and so elusive for the student of philosophy.
Drawing upon the work of Karl Popper and W.W. Bartley III, this text argues for an approach to rationality freed from authoritarian dependence on reasons and justification. It proposes an objectivist interpretation to make sense of single-case probabilities, even in a deterministic universe.
Offers an introduction to a central topic in philosophy. This book offers an overview of the key terms, concepts, thinkers and major works in the history of this key area of philosophical thought. It is useful to undergraduate students of moral philosophy and to the general reader curious about how philosophy tackles issues relating to morality.
Explores the power of fashion and its strange irrationality. The author - poet and philosopher - also imagines conversations between Hercules and Atlas, Nature and an Icelander, and the Earth and the Moon, as well as producing a simple essay praising the humble bird.
A comprehensive guide to the main positions, debates, key figures and problems as well as important terms in the philosophy of mind, this volume contains entries on historical and contemporary key figures, explaining the importance of the longstanding debates and how the contemporary field has been shaped.
The theme that links the essays in this book, written over 30 years, is the phenomenon of the Russian intelligentsia, which Isaiah Berlin describes as "the largest single Russian contribution to social change in the world".
An introduction to the ideas and writings of the British Idealists. It offers a thorough account of this key philosophical movement. It explores the contribution of British Idealism to contemporary philosophical, political and social debates, emphasising the continuing relevance of the central themes.
Offers a comprehensive introduction to relativism and how it applies to the different parts of the basic, foundational areas of philosophy and, indeed, to every area of human enquiry. This guide provides a summary of the role of relativism in three key academic disciplines: science, politics, and religion.
Introduces Jacques Derrida's major works and ideas by tracing Derrida's reading (and re-reading) of Plato, Aristotle and Hegel throughout his writings. This book encourages the reader to enter Derrida's varied and complex legacy through the moments in Derrida's work that are concerned with the question of origins and beginnings.
This is the book that introduced deconstruction as a tool for literary and cultural theorists throughout the English-speaking world, and set the ball rolling for the subsequent controversies over the use of theory to study liuterature.
Explains and explores key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards an understanding of demanding material. This guide begins with the question of 'What is Existentialism?' and then moves on to provide an analysis of the key thinkers, writers and texts - both philosophical and literary - central to existentialism.