History of Philosophy
Changing the Subject: Philosophy from Socrates to Adorno
Changing the Subject
Philosophy from Socrates to Adorno
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0674545729

Ask a question and it is reasonable to expect an answer or a confession of ignorance. But a philosopher may defy expectations. Confronted by a standard question arising from a normal way of viewing the world, a philosopher may reply that the question is misguided, that to continue asking it is, at the extreme, to get trapped in a delusive hall of mirrors. According to Raymond Geuss, this attempt to bypass or undercut conventional ways of thinking, to escape from the hall of mirrors, represents philosophy at its best and most characteristic.

To illustrate, Geuss explores the ideas of twelve philosophers who broke dramatically with prevailing wisdom, from Socrates and Plato in the ancient world to Wittgenstein and Adorno in our own. The result is a striking account of some of the most innovative and important philosophers in Western history and an indirect manifesto for how to pursue philosophy today. Geuss cautions that philosophers' attempts to break from convention do not necessarily make the world a better place. Montaigne's ideas may have been benign, but the fate of the views developed by, for instance, Augustine, Hobbes, and Nietzsche has been more varied. But in the act of provoking people to think differently, philosophers make clear that we are not fated to live within the often stifling systems of thought that we inherit. We can change the subject.

A work of exceptional range, power, and originality, Changing the Subject manifests the precise virtues of philosophy that it identifies and defends.

Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times
Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times
Paperback      ISBN: 0521578922

Shaftesbury's Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times was published in 1711. It ranges widely over ethics, aesthetics, religion, the arts (painting, literature, architecture, gardening), and ancient and modern history, and aims at nothing less than a new ideal of the gentleman. Together with Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding and Addison and Steele's Spectator, it is a text of fundamental importance for understanding the thought and culture of Enlightenment Europe. This volume presents a new edition of the text together with an introduction, explanatory notes and a guide to further reading.

Classical Philosophy: A History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, Volume 1
Classical Philosophy
A History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, Volume 1
Hardcover      ISBN: 0199674531
Classical Philosophy is the first of a series of books in which Peter Adamson aims ultimately to present a complete history of philosophy, more thoroughly but also more enjoyably than ever before. In short, lively chapters, based on the popular History of Philosophy podcast, he offers an accessible, humorous, and detailed look at the emergence of philosophy with the Presocratics, the probing questions of Socrates, and the first full flowering of philosophy with the dialogues of Plato and the treatises of Aristotle. The story is told "without any gaps," discussing not only such major figures but also less commonly discussed topics like the Hippocratic Corpus, the Platonic Academy, and the role of women in ancient philosophy. Within the thought of Plato and Aristotle, the reader will find in-depth introductions to major works, such as the Republic and the Nicomachean Ethics, which are treated in detail that is unusual in an introduction to ancient philosophy. Adamson looks at fascinating but less frequently read Platonic dialogues like the Charmides and Cratylus, and Aristotle's ideas in zoology and poetics. This full coverage allows him to tackle ancient discussions in all areas of philosophy, including epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, ethics and politics. Attention is also given to the historical and literary context of classical philosophy, with exploration of how early Greek cosmology responded to the poets Homer and Hesiod, how Socrates was presented by the comic playwright Aristophanes and the historian Xenophon, and how events in Greek history may have influenced Plato's thought. This is a new kind of history which will bring philosophy to life for all readers, including those coming to the subject for the first time.

The Columbia History of Western Philosophy
The Columbia History of Western Philosophy
Paperback      ISBN: 0231101295

Richard Popkin has assembled 63 leading scholars to forge a highly approachable chronological account of the development of Western philosophical traditions. From Plato to Wittgenstein and from Aquinas to Heidegger, this volume provides lively, in-depth, and up-to-date historical analysis of all the key figures, schools, and movements of Western philosophy.

The Columbia History significantly broadens the scope of Western philosophy to reveal the influence of Middle Eastern and Asian thought, the vital contributions of Jewish and Islamic philosophers, and the role of women within the tradition. Along with a wealth of new scholarship, recently discovered works in 17th- and 18th-century philosophy are considered, such as previously unpublished works by Locke that inspire a new assessment of the evolution of his ideas. Popkin also emphasizes schools and developments that have traditionally been overlooked. Sections on Aristotle and Plato are followed by a detailed presentation on Hellenic philosophy and its influence on the modern developments of materialism and scepticism. A chapter has been dedicated to Jewish and Moslem philosophical development during the Middle Ages, focusing on the critical role of figures such as Averro s and Moses Maimonides in introducing Christian thinkers to classical philosophy. Another chapter considers Renaissance philosophy and its seminal influence on the development of modern humanism and science.

Turning to the modern era, contributors consider the importance of the Kaballah to Spinoza, Leibniz, and Newton and the influence of popular philosophers like Moses Mendelssohn upon the work of Kant. This volume gives equal attention to both sides of the current rift in philosophy between continental and analytic schools, charting the development of each right up to the end of the 20th century.

Each chapter includes an introductory essay, and Popkin provides notes that draw connections among the separate articles. The rich bibliographic information and the indexes of names and terms make the volume a valuable resource.

Combining a broad scope and penetrating analysis with a keen sense of what is relevant for the modern reader, The Columbia History of Western Philosophy will prove an accessible introduction for students and an informative overview for general readers.
Comedy, Seriously: A Philosophical Study
Comedy, Seriously
A Philosophical Study
Hardcover      ISBN: 1137415134

Comedy, Seriously provides a philosophical interpretation of comedy and argues that comedy displays a particular kind of rationality that reflects philosophical thinking. In particular, that comedy is defined not so much by laughter or jokes, but rather the structure of its plot, which is isomorphic with that of the philosophical argument. Comedy allows for the resolution of a conflict and the achievement of well-being and equality through action that follows the comic plot. Moreover, such action is propelled by the 'thinker on stage, ' who, as socially and politically oppressed, contributes to the liberation of all and the achievement of the good life. Comedy, therefore, establishes the universal pattern for justice and well-being and allows us to rethink the notion of subjectivity not as the modern isolated subject, but rather as integrated with others through shared action and dialogical involvement

The Concept of History: How Ideas Are Constituted, Transmitted and Interpreted
The Concept of History
How Ideas Are Constituted, Transmitted and Interpreted
Hardcover      ISBN: 1474269117

The Concept of History reflects on the presuppositions behind the contemporary understanding of history that often remain implicit and not spelled out. It is a critique of the modern understanding of history that presents it as universal and teleological, progressively moving forward to an end. Although few contemporary philosophers and historians maintain the view that there is strict universality and teleology in history, the remnants of these positions still affect our understanding of history. But if history is not universal and singular, evolving toward an objective universal end, it should be possible to admit of multiple histories, some of which we appropriate as our own.

An another important aspect of this book is that if provides an account of history that is itself both historical and rooted in attempts to narrate and explain history from its inception in antiquity. The book seeks to establish features or constituents of history that might be found in any historical account and might themselves be considered historical invariants in history.

The Concept of History
The Concept of History
Paperback      ISBN: 1350064890
The Concept of History reflects on the presuppositions behind the contemporary understanding of history that often remain implicit and not spelled out. It is a critique of the modern understanding of history that presents it as universal and teleological, progressively moving forward to an end. Although few contemporary philosophers and historians maintain the view that there is strict universality and teleology in history, the remnants of these positions still affect our understanding of history. But if history is not universal and singular, evolving toward an objective universal end, it should be possible to admit of multiple histories, some of which we appropriate as our own.

An another important aspect of this book is that if provides an account of history that is itself both historical and rooted in attempts to narrate and explain history from its inception in antiquity. The book seeks to establish features or constituents of history that might be found in any historical account and might themselves be considered historical invariants in history.
Concepts of Nature: Ancient and Modern
Concepts of Nature
Ancient and Modern
Hardcover      ISBN: 149852754x

If natural law arguments struggle to gain traction in contemporary moral and political discourse, could it be because we moderns do not share the understanding of nature on which that language was developed? Building on the work of important thinkers of the last half-century, including Leo Strauss, Eric Voegelin, John Finnis, and Bernard Lonergan, the essays in Concepts of Nature compare and contrast classical, medieval, and modern conceptions of nature in order to better understand how and why the concept of nature no longer seems to provide a limit or standard for human action. These essays also evaluate whether a rearticulation of pre-modern ideas (or perhaps a reconciliation or reconstitution on modern terms) is desirable and/or possible. Edited by R. J. Snell and Steven F. McGuire, this book will be of interest to intellectual historians, political theorists, theologians, and philosophers.

Concepts of Nature
Concepts of Nature
Paperback      ISBN: 1498527566

If natural law arguments struggle to gain traction in contemporary moral and political discourse, could it be because we moderns do not share the understanding of nature on which that language was developed? Building on the work of important thinkers of the last half-century, including Leo Strauss, Eric Voegelin, John Finnis, and Bernard Lonergan, the essays in Concepts of Nature compare and contrast classical, medieval, and modern conceptions of nature in order to better understand how and why the concept of nature no longer seems to provide a limit or standard for human action. These essays also evaluate whether a rearticulation of pre-modern ideas (or perhaps a reconciliation or reconstitution on modern terms) is desirable and/or possible. Edited by R. J. Snell and Steven F. McGuire, this book will be of interest to intellectual historians, political theorists, theologians, and philosophers.

Condillac: Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge
Condillac
Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge
Hardcover      ISBN: 0521584671

Condillac's Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge, first published in French in 1746 and offered here in a new translation, represented in its time a radical departure from the dominant conception of the mind as a reservoir of innately given ideas. Descartes had held that knowledge must rest on ideas; Condillac turned this upside down by arguing that speech and words are the origin of mental life and knowledge. His work influenced many later philosophers, and also anticipated Wittgenstein's view of language and its relation to mind and thought.