The Philosophical Breakfast Club
Four Remarkable Friends Who Transformed Science and Changed the World
Paperback ISBN: 0767930495
The Philosophical Breakfast Club recounts the life and work of four men who met as students at Cambridge University: Charles Babbage, John Herschel, William Whewell, and Richard Jones. Recognizing that they shared a love of science (as well as good food and drink) they began to meet on Sunday mornings to talk about the state of science in Britain and the world at large. Inspired by the great 17th century scientific reformer and political figure Francis Bacon—another former student of Cambridge—the Philosophical Breakfast Club plotted to bring about a new scientific revolution. And to a remarkable extent, they succeeded, even in ways they never intended. Historian of science and philosopher Laura J. Snyderexposes the political passions, religious impulses, friendships, rivalries, and love of knowledge—and power—that drove these extraordinary men. Whewell (who not only invented the word “scientist,
The History of an Idea in the West
Paperback ISBN: 0801852234
In Race: The History of an Idea in the West Ivan Hannaford guides readers through a dangerous engagement with an idea that so permeates Western thinking that we expect to find it, active or dormant, as an organizing principle in all societies. But, Hannaford shows, race is not a universal idea -- not even in the West. It is an idea with a definite pedigree, and Hannaford traces that confused pedigree from Hesiod to the Holocaust and beyond. Hannaford begins by examining the ideas of race supposedly held in the ancient world, contrasting them with the complex social, philosophical, political, and scientific ideas actually held at the time. Through the medieval, Renaissance, and early modern periods he critically examines precursors in history, science, and philosophy. Hannaford distinguishes those cultures' ideas of social inclusion, rank, and role from modern ones based on race. But he also finds the first traces of the modern ideas of race in the proto-sciences of late medieval cabalism and hermeticism. Following that trail forward, he describes the establishment of the modern scientific and philosophical notions of race in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and shows how those notions became popular and pervasive, even among those who claim to be nonracist. At the same time, Hannaford sets out an alternative to a race-based notion of humanity. In his examination of ancient Greece, he finds in what was then a dazzling new idea, politics, a theory of how to bring a purposeful oneness to a society composed of diverse families, tribes, and interests. This idea of politics has a history, too, and its presence has waxed and waned through the ages. At a time when new controversies have again raised the question of whether race and social destiny are ineluctably joined as partners, Race: The History of an Idea in the West reveals that one of the partners is a phantom -- medieval astrology and physiognomy disguised by pseudoscientific thought. And Race raises a difficult practical question: What price do we place on our political traditions, institutions, and civic arrangements? This ambitious volume reexamines old questions in new ways that will stimulate a wide readership.
The Roads to Modernity
The British, French, And American Enlightenments
Paperback ISBN: 1400077222
Contrasting the Enlightenments in the three nations of France, England, and America, a distinguished intellectual historian demonstrates the primacy of the British Enlightenment, arguing that the moral and social philosophy it created still resonates strongly today. Reprint.
The Russian Intelligentsia
From Torment to Silence
Paperback ISBN: 1412865328
Vladimir C. Nahirny's brilliant study of major issues in Russian social and intellectual history synthesizes historical and sociological perspectives in an analysis of the nineteenth century Russian intelligentsia. He clarifies the concept of the intelligentsia itself, analyzes findings bearing on the social origins of different generations of intelligentsia, and enlarges understanding of conditions that facilitated the emergence of ideological groups among them. The Russian Intelligentsia develops a conceptually focused view of this distinct social group, arguing that the Russian intelligentsia can best be understood on the basis of orientation to ideas rather than on social or occupational position. Rather than simply providing an intellectual history or biographical sketches of major figures, Nahirny illuminates these concepts through data, creating an immersive context unlike other discussions of these groups. This book was, and will be, of interest to those interested in the problematic and contradictory social-political roles of intellectuals during this time.
Thinking the Twentieth Century
Paperback ISBN: 0143123041
Offers a narrative of the United States' history during the past 100 years, not by discussing the events, but by discussing ideas, and highlighting the thoughts and thinkers that helped shape the century. 75,000 first printing.
The Triumph and Tragedy of the Intellectuals
Evil, Enlightenment, and Death
1st Edition Hardcover ISBN: 1412864100
Redner presents the fourth and final volume in his tetralogy. This work is more closely concerned with ideas, ideologies, ideologues, and intellectuals in general. Collectively they portray the contemporary predicament of humanity and what historically led up to it, mostly focusing on the twentieth century. Like the other volumes, this work ranges over the whole of civilization. The book works itself out as a historical process of the rise and fall of the intellectuals, their triumph and tragedy. It runs in reverse chronology--first the tragedy and then the triumph: it begins with the horrors of the twentieth century that they instigated; then it goes back to the period of the Enlightenment that gave birth to them; finally, it reaches back still further into history to show how intellectuals learned to die without the hope of immortality that both philosophy and religion had held out since the start of western civilization. Ten chapters are divided into three parts: evil and the tragedy of the intellectuals; Enlightenment and the triumph of the intellectuals; death and afterlife. Annotation
World War II, Escape, and a House in Marseille
Paperback ISBN: 0060732512
Traces a year in the life of Europe's intellectual elite in Nazi-occupied France, discussing how the chteau Villa Air-Bel was set up by Varian Frey of the Allies' Emergency Rescue Committee to protect leading scientists, artists, and political leaders, in an account that discusses the daring escape of such figures as Max Ernest, Andr Breton, and Lotte Leonard. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
What Is Intellectual History?
Paperback ISBN: 0745644937
What is intellectual history? Those who practice intellectual history have described themselves as eavesdroppers upon the conversations of the past, explorers of alien ideological worlds, and translators between historic societies and our own, while their critics have often derided them as narrow-mindedly studying the ideas of dead white men. Some consider the discipline to be among the most important in the humanities and social sciences because it facilitates a better understanding of contemporary ideological programmes and facilitates their rational evaluation. In this engaging and refreshing introduction to the field, Richard Whatmore begins by examining the historical development of intellectual history, before dissecting its various methodological debates. He presents various alternative ways in which we should think about intellectual history, as well as presenting his own very clear definition of the field. Drawing on a wide range of historical examples, Whatmore shows how ideas - philosophical, political, religious, scientific, artistic - originated in their historical context and how they were both shaped by, and helped to shape, the societies in which they originated. He ends by casting a critical eye over the current state of intellectual history, and a brief discussion of how it might develop in the future. What is Intellectual History? will become an essential textbook for scholars and students of intellectual history, philosophy, politics, and the humanities.
The Wind from the East
French Intellectuals, the Cultural Revolution, and the Legacy of the 1960s
2nd Edition Paperback ISBN: 0691178232
Michel Foucault, Jean-Paul Sartre, Julia Kristeva, Phillipe Sollers, and Jean-Luc Godard. During the 1960s, a who’s who of French thinkers, writers, and artists, spurred by China’s Cultural Revolution, were seized with a fascination for Maoism. Combining a merciless exposé of left-wing political folly and cross-cultural misunderstanding with a spirited defense of the 1960s, The Wind from the East tells the colorful story of this legendary period in France. Richard Wolin shows how French students and intellectuals, inspired by their perceptions of the Cultural Revolution, and motivated by utopian hopes, incited grassroots social movements and reinvigorated French civic and cultural life. Wolin’s riveting narrative reveals that Maoism’s allure among France’s best and brightest actually had little to do with a real understanding of Chinese politics. Instead, it paradoxically served as a vehicle for an emancipatory transformation of French society. Recounting the cultural and political odyssey of French students and intellectuals in the 1960s, The Wind from the East illustrates how the Maoist phenomenon unexpectedly sparked a democratic political sea change in France.