An instructive and entertaining book that addresses basic life questions. Relating numerous personal anecdotes, incorporating, intriguing material from the films of Woody Allen and the journals of Leo Tolstoy, and using the writings of the seventeenth-century genius Blaise Pascal as a central guide, Morris explores the nature of faith, reason, and the meaning of life. His lucid reflections provide fresh, fertile insights and perspectives for any thoughtful person journeying through life.
Taboo and sacrifice, transgression and language, death and sensuality--Georges Bataille pursues these themes with an original, often startling perspective. He challenges any single discourse on the erotic. The scope of his inquiry ranges from Emily Bronte to Sade, from St. Therese to Claude Levi-Strauss and Dr. Kinsey; and the subjects he covers include prostitution, mythical ecstasy, cruelty, and organized war. Investigating desire prior to and extending beyond the realm of sexuality, he argues that eroticism is "a psychological quest not alien to death."
" . . . one of the most original and unsettling of those thinkers who, in the wake of Sade and Nietzsche, have confronted the possibility of thought in a world that has lost its myth of transcendence."--Peter Brooks, New York Times Book Review
"Bataille is one of the most important writers of the century."--Michel Foucault
" An] urgent, thrusting book about love, sex, death and spirituality by Georges Bataille."--Mark Price, Philosophy Now
Georges Bataille (1897-1962) was a French intellectual and literary icon who wrote essays, novels, and poems exploring philosophical and sociological subjects such as eroticism and surrealism. City Lights published more of Bataille's works including The Impossible, The Tears of Eros, and Story of the Eye.
As a young Florentine envoy to the courts of France and the Italian principalities, Niccol Machiavelli (1469-1527) was able to observe firsthand the lives of people strongly united under one powerful ruler. His fascination with that political rarity and his intense desire to see the Medici family assume a similar role in Italy provided the foundation for his "primer for princes." In this classic guide to acquiring and maintaining political power, Machiavelli used a rational approach to advise prospective rulers, developing logical arguments and alternatives for a number of potential problems, among them governing hereditary monarchies, dealing with colonies and the treatment of conquered peoples. Refreshing in its directness, yet often disturbing in its cold practicality, The Prince sets down a frighteningly pragmatic formula for political fortune. Starkly relevant to the political upheavals of the 20th century, this calculating prescription for power remains today, nearly 500 years after it was written, a timely and startling lesson in the practice of autocratic rule that continues to be much read and studied by students, scholars and general readers as well.
Responsibility. Courage. Compassion. Honesty. Friendship. Persistence. Faith. Everyone recognizes these traits as essentials of good character. In order for our children to develop such traits, we have to offer them examples of good and bad, right and wrong. And the best places to find them are in great works of literature and exemplary stories from history.
William J. Bennett has collected hundreds of stories in "The Book of Virtues, " an instructive and inspiring anthology that will help children understand and develop character -- and help adults teach them. From the Bible to American history, from Greek mythology to English poetry, from fairy tales to modern fiction, these stories are a rich mine of moral literacy, a reliable moral reference point that will help anchor our children and ourselves in our culture, our history, and our traditions -- the sources of the ideals by which we wish to live our lives. Complete with instructive introductions and notes, "The Book of Virtues" is a book the whole family can read and enjoy -- and learn from -- together.
Pierre Teilhard De Chardin was one of the most distinguished thinkers and scientists of our time. He fits into no familiar category for he was at once a biologist and a paleontologist of world renown, and also a Jesuit priest. He applied his whole life, his tremendous intellect and his great spiritual faith to building a philosophy that would reconcile Christian theology with the scientific theory of evolution, to relate the facts of religious experience to those of natural science.
The Phenomenon of Man, the first of his writings to appear in America, Pierre Teilhard's most important book and contains the quintessence of his thought. When published in France it was the best-selling nonfiction book of the year.
This volume brings together the vital contributions of distinguished past and contemporary philosophers to the important topic of personal identity. The first part sets forth the attempts by John Locke, Anthony Quinton, and H. P. Grice to analyze personal identity in terms of memory. The eleven other selections are largely critical of this approach and provide alternative perspectives.Part II contains classic contributions by Joseph Butler, Thomas Reid, and Sydney S. Shoemaker, and a new paper by John Perry--"Personal Identity, Memory, and the Problem of Circularity"--in which he defends some of the central features of the Locke-Grice-Quinton approach. Part III contains three sections from David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature "Our idea of Identity," "Of Personal Identity," and an appendix which the editor has entitled "Second Thoughts." In the fourth part of the volume, Bernard Williams discusses "The Self and the Future," and Derek Parfit contributes his view of "Personal Identity." A recurring theme throughout the work is the possibility of "body transfer"--of a single person having, at different times, different bodies. In the final section of the volume ("Brian Bisection and the Unity of Consciousness"), Thomas Nagel examines the philosophical implications of recent scientific research on split-brain patients' he discusses the possibility, entertained by some researchers, that such cases involve two persons simultaneously inhabiting a single body. In his long introduction to this unique anthology on a topic of prime interest to the philosophical community, Mr. Perry scrutinizes the differing approaches and vocabularies of the various authors. The editor also includes "Suggestions for Further Reading."