Philosophy

American Prophets: Seven Religious Radicals and Their Struggle for Social and Political Justice

American Prophets: Seven Religious Radicals and Their Struggle for Social and Political Justice
$29.95

A powerful text (Tavis Smiley) about how religion drove the fight for social justice in modern America

American Prophets sheds critical new light on the lives and thought of seven major prophetic figures in twentieth-century America whose social activism was motivated by a deeply felt compassion for those suffering injustice.

In this compelling and provocative book, acclaimed religious scholar Albert Raboteau tells the remarkable stories of Abraham Joshua Heschel, A. J. Muste, Dorothy Day, Howard Thurman, Thomas Merton, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Fannie Lou Hamer--inspired individuals who succeeded in conveying their vision to the broader public through writing, speaking, demonstrating, and organizing. Raboteau traces how their paths crossed and their lives intertwined, creating a network of committed activists who significantly changed the attitudes of several generations of Americans about contentious political issues such as war, racism, and poverty. Raboteau examines the influences that shaped their ideas and the surprising connections that linked them together. He discusses their theological and ethical positions, and describes the rhetorical and strategic methods these exemplars of modern prophecy used to persuade their fellow citizens to share their commitment to social change.

A momentous scholarly achievement as well as a moving testimony to the human spirit, American Prophets represents a major contribution to the history of religion in American politics. This book is essential reading for anyone who is concerned about social justice, or who wants to know what prophetic thought and action can mean in today's world.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780691164304
Publication Date: 
2016-10-04
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At the Existentialist Cafe

At the Existentialist Cafe
$17.95
Named one of the Ten Best Books of 2016 by the New York Times, a spirited account of a major intellectual movement of the twentieth century and the revolutionary thinkers who came to shape it, by the best-selling author of How to Live Sarah Bakewell.

Paris, 1933: three contemporaries meet over apricot cocktails at the Bec-de-Gaz bar on the rue Montparnasse. They are the young Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and longtime friend Raymond Aron, a fellow philosopher who raves to them about a new conceptual framework from Berlin called Phenomenology. "You see," he says, "if you are a phenomenologist you can talk about this cocktail and make philosophy out of it!"
It was this simple phrase that would ignite a movement, inspiring Sartre to integrate Phenomenology into his own French, humanistic sensibility, thereby creating an entirely new philosophical approach inspired by themes of radical freedom, authentic being, and political activism. This movement would sweep through the jazz clubs and cafés of the Left Bank before making its way across the world as Existentialism.
Featuring not only philosophers, but also playwrights, anthropologists, convicts, and revolutionaries, At the Existentialist Café follows the existentialists' story, from the first rebellious spark through the Second World War, to its role in postwar liberation movements such as anti-colonialism, feminism, and gay rights. Interweaving biography and philosophy, it is the epic account of passionate encounters--fights, love affairs, mentorships, rebellions, and long partnerships--and a vital investigation into what the existentialists have to offer us today, at a moment when we are once again confronting the major questions of freedom, global responsibility, and human authenticity in a fractious and technology-driven world.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781590518892
Publication Date: 
2017-08-08
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Bed of Procrustes

Bed of Procrustes
$16.00
The Bed of Procrustes is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb's landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don't understand. The other books in the series are Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan, Antifragile, and Skin in the Game.

By the author of the modern classic The Black Swan, this collection of aphorisms and meditations expresses his major ideas in ways you least expect.

The Bed of Procrustes takes its title from Greek mythology: the story of a man who made his visitors fit his bed to perfection by either stretching them or cutting their limbs. It represents Taleb's view of modern civilization's hubristic side effects--modifying humans to satisfy technology, blaming reality for not fitting economic models, inventing diseases to sell drugs, defining intelligence as what can be tested in a classroom, and convincing people that employment is not slavery.

Playful and irreverent, these aphorisms will surprise you by exposing self-delusions you have been living with but never recognized.

With a rare combination of pointed wit and potent wisdom, Taleb plows through human illusions, contrasting the classical values of courage, elegance, and erudition against the modern diseases of nerdiness, philistinism, and phoniness.

"Taleb's crystalline nuggets of thought stand alone like esoteric poems."--Financial Times

ISBN/SKU: 
9780812982404
Publication Date: 
2016-10-25
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Publisher: 

Consciousness Explained

Consciousness Explained
$18.00
"Brilliant...as audacious as its title....Mr. Dennett's exposition is nothing short of brilliant." --George Johnson, New York Times Book Review

Consciousness Explained is a a full-scale exploration of human consciousness. In this landmark book, Daniel Dennett refutes the traditional, commonsense theory of consciousness and presents a new model, based on a wealth of information from the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and artificial intelligence. Our current theories about conscious life-of people, animal, even robots--are transformed by the new perspectives found in this book.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780316180665
Publication Date: 
1992-10-20
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DREAM OF REASON

DREAM OF REASON
$19.95
Already a classic, this landmark study of early Western thought now appears in a new edition with expanded coverage of the Middle Ages. This landmark study of Western thought takes a fresh look at the writings of the great thinkers of classic philosophy and questions many pieces of conventional wisdom. The book invites comparison with Bertrand Russell's monumentalHistory of Western Philosophy, "but Gottlieb's book is less idiosyncratic and based on more recent scholarship" (Colin McGinn, Los Angeles Times). A New York Times Notable Book, a Los Angeles Times Best Book, and a Times Literary Supplement Best Book of 2001.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780393352986
Publication Date: 
2016-08-30
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Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking

Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking
$17.95
Over a storied career, Daniel C. Dennett has engaged questions about science and the workings of the mind. His answers have combined rigorous argument with strong empirical grounding. And a lot of fun.

Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking offers seventy-seven of Dennett's most successful "imagination-extenders and focus-holders" meant to guide you through some of life's most treacherous subject matter: evolution, meaning, mind, and free will. With patience and wit, Dennett deftly deploys his thinking tools to gain traction on these thorny issues while offering readers insight into how and why each tool was built.

Alongside well-known favorites like Occam's Razor and reductio ad absurdum lie thrilling descriptions of Dennett's own creations: Trapped in the Robot Control Room, Beware of the Prime Mammal, and The Wandering Two-Bitser. Ranging across disciplines as diverse as psychology, biology, computer science, and physics, Dennett's tools embrace in equal measure light-heartedness and accessibility as they welcome uninitiated and seasoned readers alike. As always, his goal remains to teach you how to "think reliably and even gracefully about really hard questions."

A sweeping work of intellectual seriousness that's also studded with impish delights, Intuition Pumps offers intrepid thinkers--in all walks of life--delicious opportunities to explore their pet ideas with new powers.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780393348781
Publication Date: 
2014-05-05
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Meditations

Meditations
$13.00
A Penguin Great Ideas edition of Stoic philosophy in wise and practical aphorisms that have inspired Bill Clinton, Ryan Holiday, Anna Kendrick and many more.

Few ancient works have been as influential as the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and emperor of Rome (A.D. 161-180). A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus's insights and advice--on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others--have made the Meditations required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style. For anyone who struggles to reconcile the demands of leadership with a concern for personal integrity and spiritual well-being, the Meditations remains as relevant now as it was two thousand years ago.

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. Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve groundbreaking works by some of history's most prodigious thinkers, and each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-drive design that highlights the bookmaker's art. Offering great literature in great packages at great prices, this series is ideal for those readers who want to explore and savor the Great Ideas that have shaped the world.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780143036272
Publication Date: 
2005-09-06
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Organ Grinder: A Classical Education Gone Astray

Organ Grinder: A Classical Education Gone Astray
$12.00

One part Plato, one part Aristophanes, two parts Easy Rider, Organ Grinder is a cocktail of lewd wisdom gathered equally from the poetry of antiquity and from near-death experiences on the open road. In a series of short works inspired by Horatian satire, Alan Fishbone bounces from gonzo fever-dream to philosophical treatise, investigating the conflicts between idealism and cynicism, love and sex, body and soul. Here's a taste:

After my accident, I thought I was done with motorcycles. Until a few years ago-- I was lying in bed having trouble sleeping when I heard a voice say to me, "Alan, get a Harley and ride to Death Valley." I didn't even like Harleys. And I didn't believe that God had called me and told me to get one. It seemed unlikely that the monotheistic god we're stuck with would endorse a brand of motorcycle. Maybe the pagan gods of antiquity. Zeus might have ridden a Road King, or Apollo a BMW; you can imagine Aphrodite on the back of Ares's Ninja, zooming around the planets with the tip of a golden thong sticking out of her robe. Even that twerp Hermes on a Vespa delivering messages. Those gods liked to drink and screw and run around, like bikers, but not Yahweh or the Lord or Allah--strictly black limousines and security goons for those guys. Thou shalt not ride. Thou shalt not be free. Thou shalt pay off the debt of thy sins.

So writes Alan Fishbone, our motorcycle riding scholar of ancient Greek and Latin, in one of the salty, sharp-eyed pieces that fill the pages of Organ Grinder.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780865478343
Publication Date: 
2017-04-18
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Phenomenon of Man

$14.99

Visionary theologian and evolutionary theorist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin applied his whole life, his tremendous intellect, and his great spiritual faith to building a philosophy that would reconcile religion with the scientific theory of evolution. In this timeless book, which contains the quintessence of his thought, Teilhard argues that just as living organisms sprung from inorganic matter and evolved into ever more complex thinking beings, humans are evolving toward an "omega point"--defined by Teilhard as a convergence with the Divine.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780061632655
Publication Date: 
2008-11-04
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Trouble with Reality

Trouble with Reality
$8.95
Every week on the public radio show On the Media, the award-winning journalist Brooke Gladstone analyzes the media and how it shapes our perceptions of the world. Now, from her front-row perch on the day's events, Gladstone brings her genius for making insightful, unexpected connections to help us understand what she calls--and what so many of us can acknowledge having--"trouble with reality."

Reality, as she shows us, was never what we thought it was--there is always a bubble, people are always subjective and prey to stereotypes. And that makes reality actually more vulnerable than we ever thought. Enter Donald J. Trump and his team of advisors. For them, as she writes, lying is the point. The more blatant the lie, the easier it is to hijack reality and assert power over the truth. Drawing on writers as diverse as Hannah Arendt, Walter Lippmann, Philip K. Dick, and Jonathan Swift, she dissects this strategy, straight out of the authoritarian playbook, and shows how the Trump team mastered it, down to the five types of tweets that Trump uses to distort our notions of what's real and what's not.

And she offers hope. There is meaningful action, a time-tested treatment for moral panic. And there is also the inevitable reckoning. History tells us we can count on it.

Brief and bracing, The Trouble with Reality shows exactly why so many of us didn't see it coming, and how we can recover both our belief in reality--and our sanity.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781523502387
Publication Date: 
2017-05-16
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