The Best Things in Life
A Guide to What Really Matters
Paperback ISBN: 0190228318
For centuries, philosophers, theologians, moralists, and ordinary people have asked: How should we live? What makes for a good life? In The Best Things in Life, distinguished philosopher Thomas Hurka takes a fresh look at these perennial questions as they arise for us now in the 21st century. Should we value family over career? How do we balance self-interest and serving others? What activities bring us the most joy? While religion, literature, popular psychology, and everyday wisdom all grapple with these questions, philosophy more than anything else uses the tools of reason to make important distinctions, cut away irrelevancies, and distill these issues down to their essentials. Hurka argues that if we are to live a good life, one thing we need to know is which activities and experiences will most likely lead us to happiness and which will keep us from it, while also reminding us that happiness isn't the only thing that makes life good. Hurka explores many topics: four types of good feeling (and the limits of good feeling); how we can improve our baseline level of happiness (making more money, it turns out, isn't the answer); which kinds of knowledge are most worth having; the importance of achieving worthwhile goals; the value of love and friendship; and much more. Unlike many philosophers, he stresses that there isn't just one good in life but many: pleasure, as Epicurus argued, is indeed one, but knowledge, as Socrates contended, is another, as is achievement. And while the great philosophers can help us understand what matters most in life, Hurka shows that we must ultimately decide for ourselves. This delightfully accessible book offers timely guidance on answering the most important question any of us will ever ask: How do we live a good life?
Beyond Good and Evil
Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future
Paperback ISBN: 0199537070
This superb new translation of Nietzsche's mature masterpiece, Beyond Good and Evil, offers the most comprehensively annotated text, complemented by a lucid introduction by one of the most eminent of Nietzsche scholars, Robert C. Holub.
An Enlightened Approach to the Dismal Science
Hardcover ISBN: 1632863669
A renowned economist and practicing Buddhist explains the holistic model he developed for measuring the economy that embraces values and ethics, sustainability and inequality and replaces the repetitive cycle of desire with more positive priorities that collectively help others.
Character, Duties, Consequences, and Relationships
2nd Edition Hardcover ISBN: 1138223654
Communicating Ethically provides a broad introduction to the ethical nature of communication. Now in its second edition, the text has been revised to further address current issues, such as: evolving social media and digital platforms, growing cultural communication and discussion of diversity, and the ethics of public discourse. This book combines coverage of the major systems of ethical reasoning with applications, including case studies in each chapter, to investigate ethics within many fields in the communication discipline. Incorporating a simple framework for ethical reasoning allows the reader to develop their own understanding of the various criteria for making ethical judgments.
The Concept of Anxiety
A Simple Psychologically Oriented Deliberation in View of the Dogmatic Problem of Hereditary Sin
Paperback ISBN: 1631490044
Brilliantly synthesizing human insights with Christian dogma, Soren Kierkegaard presented, in 1844, The Concept of Anxiety as a landmark "psychological deliberation," suggesting that our only hope in overcoming anxiety was not through "powder and pills" but by embracing it with open arms. While Kierkegaard's Danish prose is surprisingly rich, previous translations—the most recent in 1980—have marginalized the work with alternately florid or slavishly wooden language. With a vibrancy never seen before in English, Alastair Hannay, the world's foremost Kierkegaard scholar, has finally re-created its natural rhythm, eager that this overlooked classic will be revivified as the seminal work of existentialism and moral psychology that it is.From The Concept of Anxiety:"And no Grand Inquisitor has such frightful torments in readiness as has anxiety, and no secret agent knows as cunningly how to attack the suspect in his weakest moment, or to make so seductive the trap in which he will be snared; and no discerning judge understands how to examine, yes, exanimate the accused as does anxiety, which never lets him go, not in diversion, not in noise, not at work, not by day, not by night."
Does Altruism Exist?
Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others
Paperback ISBN: 0300219881
A powerful treatise that demonstrates the existence of altruism in nature, with surprising implications for human society Does altruism exist? Or is human nature entirely selfish? In this eloquent and accessible book, famed biologist David Sloan Wilson provides new answers to this age-old question based on the latest developments in evolutionary science. From an evolutionary viewpoint, Wilson argues, altruism is inextricably linked to the functional organization of groups. “Groups that work” undeniably exist in nature and human society, although special conditions are required for their evolution. Humans are one of the most groupish species on earth, in some ways comparable to social insect colonies and multi-cellular organisms. The case that altruism evolves in all social species is surprisingly simple to make. Yet the implications for human society are far from obvious. Some of the most venerable criteria for defining altruism aren’t worth caring much about, any more than we care much whether we are paid by cash or check. Altruism defined in terms of thoughts and feelings is notably absent from religion, even though altruism defined in terms of action is notably present. The economic case for selfishness can be decisively rejected. The quality of everyday life depends critically on people who overtly care about the welfare of others. Yet, like any other adaptation, altruism can have pathological manifestations. Wilson concludes by showing how a social theory that goes beyond altruism by focusing on group function can help to improve the human condition.
Dr. Seuss and Philosophy
Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!
Paperback ISBN: 1442203110
Dr. Seuss' stories are more than just catchy poems; they often wrestle with serious philosophical and moral dilemmas, whether it is Horton discovering the very essence of life or the Lorax teaching us about morality. Dr. Seuss and Philosophy explores philosophical concepts such as the nature of the good life in Oh the Places You'll Go, the method and value of thinking critically in Oh the Thinks You Can Think, and morality and ethics in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, among many others. Anyone who loves Dr. Seuss or is interested in philosophy will find this book to be intriguing and enlightening.
The Edge of Reason
A Rational Skeptic in an Irrational World
Hardcover ISBN: 0300208235
"Reason, long held as the highest human achievement, is under siege. According to Aristotle, the capacity for reason sets us apart from other animals, yet today it has ceased to be a universally admired faculty. Rationality and reason have become political, disputed concepts, subject to easy dismissal. Julian Baggini argues eloquently that we must recover our reason and reassess its proper place, neither too highly exalted nor completely maligned. Rationality does not require a sterile, scientistic worldview, it simply involves the application of critical thinking wherever thinking is needed. Addressing such major areas of debate as religion, science, politics, psychology, and economics, the author calls for commitment to the notion of a "community of reason," where disagreements are settled by debate and discussion, not brute force or political power. His insightful book celebrates the power of reason, our best hope--indeed our only hope--for dealing with the intractable quagmires of our time"--
The Edge of Reason
A Rational Skeptic in an Irrational World
Paperback ISBN: 0300228724
An urgent defense of reason, the essential method for resolving—or even discussing—divisive issues Reason, long held as the highest human achievement, is under siege. According to Aristotle, the capacity for reason sets us apart from other animals, yet today it has ceased to be a universally admired faculty. Rationality and reason have become political, disputed concepts, subject to easy dismissal. Julian Baggini argues eloquently that we must recover our reason and reassess its proper place, neither too highly exalted nor completely maligned. Rationality does not require a sterile, scientistic worldview, it simply involves the application of critical thinking wherever thinking is needed. Addressing such major areas of debate as religion, science, politics, psychology, and economics, the author calls for commitment to the notion of a “community of reason,” where disagreements are settled by debate and discussion, not brute force or political power. Baggini's insightful book celebrates the power of reason, our best hope—indeed our only hope—for dealing with the intractable quagmires of our time.
The Encyclopedia of Jewish Values
Hardcover ISBN: 9655241637
A follow-up to his widely acclaimed The Jewish Encyclopedia of Moral and Ethical Issues, this is a comprehensive reference book on Jewish ethics for contemporary times. The topics addressed in this work include Jewish attitudes toward homosexuality, stem cell medical procedures, the environment, Internet piracy, and more. Gleaning from the Bible and classic Jewish texts, as well as later authorities such as Maimonides, Nachmanides, Rashi, and the Code of Jewish Law, this work is accessible to readers of all backgrounds.