"Is there still anything worth living for? Is anything worth pursuing, apart from money, love, and caring for one's own family?"Internationally known social philosopher and ethicist Peter Singer has an answer to these and other questions in this compelling new volume. "If we can detach ourselves from our own immediate preoccupations and look at the world as a whole and our place in it, there is something absurd about the idea that people should have trouble finding something to live for." Singer suggests that people who take an ethical approach to life often avoid the trap of meaninglessness, finding a deeper satisfaction in what they are doing than those people whose goals are narrower and more self-centered. He spells out what he means by an ethical approach to life, and shows that it can bring about significant and far-reaching changes to one's life.
Drawing freely and expertly from Continental and analytic traditions, Richard Bernstein examines a number of debates and controversies exemplified in the works of Gadamer, Habermas, Rorty, and Arendt. He argues that a "new conversation" is emerging about human rationality--a new understanding that emphasizes its practical character and has important ramifications both for thought and action.
The trial of Socrates is one of the most famous of history. He was adjudged to be guilty, and sentenced to death. Though he could easily have escaped from Athens with the help of friends eager to help, he explains in The Crito that it would be opposed to everything he stood for to run away, that he would abide by the decision. This dialogue of Plato, who wrote from the position of an observer at the trial, is the most revealing of the innermost mind of one of the greatest thinkers in human history. His technique during the trial, if representative of his teaching, remains with us today as "the socratic method." On the other hand, we may have Plato to thank for that. Since Socrates himself never wrote anything, or nothing has come down in history as his own writing, we must take Plato's word for it. The Crito is another good example of the Socratic dialogue, leading from one point to another in the pursuit of truth. Teachers should be aware that a Supplement Edition is available as well, with a lot of additional material at www.createspace.com/3677227.
It has been said that all Western philosophy is a series of footnotes to Plato, but this book takes a more accommodating view in selecting the fifty figures who have made the largest contributions to the development of our reflection upon the world.
Alan Bloom's new translation of Emile, Rousseau's masterpiece on the education and training of the young, is the first in more than seventy years. In it, Bloom, whose magnificent translation of Plato's Republic has been universally hailed as a virtual rediscovery of that timeless text, again brings together the translator's gift for journeying between two languages and cultures and the philosopher's perception of the true meaning and significance of the issues being examined in the work. The result is a clear, readable, and highly engrossing text that at the same time offers a wholly new sense of the importance and relevance of Rousseau's thought to us.In addition to his translation, Bloom provides a brilliant introduction that relates the structure and themes of the book to the vital preoccupation's of our own age, particularly in the field of education, but also more generally to the current concerns about the limits and possibilities of human nature. Thus in this translation Emile, long a classic in the history of Western thought and educational theory, becomes something more: a prescription, fresh and dazzling, for the bringing up of autonomous, responsible--that is, truly democratic--human beings.
This expanded edition of James Ellington's preeminent translation includes Ellington's new translation of Kant's essay Of a Supposed Right to Lie Because of Philanthropic Concerns in which Kant replies to one of the standard objections to his moral theory as presented in the main text: that it requires us to tell the truth even in the face of disastrous consequences.
Introduced by Francis Fergusson, the Poetics, written in the fourth century B.C., is still an essential study of the art of drama, indeed the most fundamental one we have. It has been used by both playwrights and theorists of many periods, and interpreted, in the course of its two thousand years of life, in various ways. The literature which has accumulated around it is, as Mr. Fergusson points out, "full of disputes so erudite that the nonspecialist can only look on in respectful silence." But the Poetics itself is still with us, in all its suggestiveness, for the modern reader to make use of in his turn and for his own purposes.
Francis Fergusson's lucid, informative, and entertaining Introduction will prove invaluable to anyone who wishes to understand and appreciate the Poetics. Using Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, as Aristotle did, to illustrate his analysis, Mr. Fergusson pints out that Aristotle did not lay down strict rules, as is often thought: "The Poetics," he says, "is much more like a cookbook than it is like a textbook of elementary engineering." Read in this way, it is an essential guide not only to Sophoclean tragedy, but to the work of so modern a playwright as Bertolt Brecht, who considered his own "epic drama" the first non-Aristotelian form.
Two representative and important works in one volume by one of the greatest German philosophers.The Birth of Tragedy (1872) was Nietzsche's first book. Its youthful faults were exposed by Nietzsche in the brilliant Attempt at a Self-Criticism which he added to the new edition of 1886. But the book, whatever its excesses, remains one of the most relevant statements on tragedy ever penned. It exploded the conception of Greek culture that was prevalent down through the Victorian era, and it sounded themes developed in the twentieth century by classicists, existentialists, psychoanalysts, and others. The Case of Wagner (1888) was one Nietzsche's last books, and his wittiest. In attitude and style it is diametrically opposed to The Birth of Tragedy. Both works transcend their ostensible subjects and deal with art and culture, as well as the problems of the modern age generally. Each book in itself gives us an inadequate idea of its author; together, they furnish a striking image of Nietzsche's thought. The distinguished translations by Walter Kaufmann superbly reflect in English Nietzsche's idiom and the vitality of his style. Professor Kaufmann has also furnished running footnote commentaries, relevant passages from Nietzsche's correspondence, a bibliography, and, for the first time in any edition, an extensive index to each book.
Skillful, sophisticated translations of two of Nietzsche's essential works about the conflict between the moral and aesthetic approaches to life, the impact of Christianity on human values, the meaning of science, the contrast between the Apollonian and Dionysian spirits, and other themes central to his thinking.The Birth of Tragedy (1872) was Nietzsche's first book, The Geneology of Morals (1887) one of his last. Though they span the career of this controversial genius, both address the problems such as the conflict between the moral versus aesthetic approaches to life, the effect of Christianity on human values, the meaning of science, and the famous dichotomy between the Apollonian and Dionysian spirits, among many themes which Nietzsche struggled throughout his tortured life.