Philosophy
Featured Items
The Mystery of Consciousness
The Mystery of Consciousness
Paperback      ISBN: 0940322064

It has long been one of the most fundamental problems of philosophy, and it is now, John Searle writes, "the most important problem in the biological sciences" What is consciousness? Is my inner awareness of myself something separate from my body?

In what began as a series of essays in The New York Review of Books, John Searle evaluates the positions on consciousness of such well-known scientists and philosophers as Francis Crick, Gerald Edelman, Roger Penrose, Daniel Dennett, David Chalmers, and Israel Rosenfield. He challenges claims that the mind works like a computer, and that brain functions can be reproduced by computer programs. With a sharp eye for confusion and contradiction, he points out which avenues of current research are most likely to come up with a biological examination of how conscious states are caused by the brain.

Only when we understand how the brain works will we solve the mystery of consciousness, and only then will we begin to understand issues ranging from artificial intelligence to our very nature as human beings.
The History of Hell
The History of Hell
Paperback      ISBN: 0156001373

A "lively...generously illustrated" (Washington Post Book World) survey of how, over the past four thousand years, religious leaders, artists, writers, and ordinary people in the West have visualized Hell-its location, architecture, purpose, and inhabitants. Illustrations; full-color inserts.

The Prince
The Prince
Paperback      ISBN: 0486272745

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.

Language, Truth and Logic
Language, Truth and Logic
Paperback      ISBN: 0486200108

A delightful book ... I should like to have written it myself. -- Bertrand Russell
First published in 1936, this first full-length presentation in English of the Logical Positivism of Carnap, Neurath, and others has gone through many printings to become a classic of thought and communication. It not only surveys one of the most important areas of modern thought; it also shows the confusion that arises from imperfect understanding of the uses of language. A first-rate antidote for fuzzy thought and muddled writing, this remarkable book has helped philosophers, writers, speakers, teachers, students, and general readers alike.
Mr. Ayers sets up specific tests by which you can easily evaluate statements of ideas. You will also learn how to distinguish ideas that cannot be verified by experience -- those expressing religious, moral, or aesthetic experience, those expounding theological or metaphysical doctrine, and those dealing with a priori truth. The basic thesis of this work is that philosophy should not squander its energies upon the unknowable, but should perform its proper function in criticism and analysis.

The Confessions
The Confessions
Paperback      ISBN: 014044033x

Widely regarded as the first modern autobiography, The Confessions is an astonishing work of acute psychological insight. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) argued passionately against the inequality he believed to be intrinsic to civilized society. In his Confessions he relives the first fifty-three years of his radical life with vivid immediacy - from his earliest years, where we can see the source of his belief in the innocence of childhood, through the development of his philosophical and political ideas, his struggle against the French authorities and exile from France following the publication of Emile. Depicting a life of adventure, persecution, paranoia, and brilliant achievement, The Confessions is a landmark work by one of the greatest thinkers of the Enlightenment, which was a direct influence upon the work of Proust, Goethe and Tolstoy among others.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977
Power/Knowledge
Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977
Paperback      ISBN: 039473954x

Michel Foucault has become famous for a series of books that have permanently altered our understanding of many institutions of Western society. He analyzed mental institutions in the remarkable Madness and Civilization; hospitals in The Birth of the Clinic; prisons in Discipline and Punish; and schools and families in The History of Sexuality. But the general reader as well as the specialist is apt to miss the consistent purposes that lay behind these difficult individual studies, thus losing sight of the broad social vision and political aims that unified them.

Now, in this superb set of essays and interviews, Foucault has provided a much-needed guide to Foucault. These pieces, ranging over the entire spectrum of his concerns, enabled Foucault, in his most intimate and accessible voice, to interpret the conclusions of his research in each area and to demonstrate the contribution of each to the magnificent -- and terrifying -- portrait of society that he was patiently compiling.

For, as Foucault shows, what he was always describing was the nature of power in society; not the conventional treatment of power that concentrates on powerful individuals and repressive institutions, but the much more pervasive and insidious mechanisms by which power "reaches into the very grain of individuals, touches their bodies and inserts itself into their actions and attitudes, their discourses, learning processes and everyday lives"

Foucault's investigations of prisons, schools, barracks, hospitals, factories, cities, lodgings, families, and other organized forms of social life are each a segment of one of the most astonishing intellectual enterprises of all time -- and, as this book proves, one which possesses profound implications for understanding the social control of our bodies and our minds.
Moral Prejudices: Essays on Ethics
Moral Prejudices
Essays on Ethics
Paperback      ISBN: 0674587162

Annette Baier delivers an appeal for our fundamental moral notions to be governed not by rules and codes but by trust: a moral prejudice. Along the way, she gives us the best feminist philosophy there is. Baier's topics range from violence to love, from cruelty to justice, and are linked by a preoccupation with vulnerability and inequality of vulnerability, with trust and distrust of equals, with cooperation and isolation. Throughout, she is concerned with the theme of women's roles. In this provocative exploration of the implications of trusting to trust rather than proscription, Baier interweaves anecdote and autobiography with readings of Hume and Kant to produce an entertaining, challenging, and highly readable book.

The Politics of Prudence
The Politics of Prudence
Hardcover      ISBN: 1882926013

In this classic title, Kirk outlines ten principles of conservative thought, summarizes ten vital conservative books, and offers brief accounts of ten eminent, internationally important conservatives. Written by the founder of twentieth-century conservatism in America, Kirk's The Politics of Prudence reflects several decades of learning, travel, and practical politics.

Making Sense of It All: PASCAL and the Meaning of Life
Making Sense of It All
PASCAL and the Meaning of Life
Paperback      ISBN: 080280652x

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.

The City and Man
The City and Man
Paperback      ISBN: 0226777014
The City and Man consists of provocative essays by the late Leo Strauss on Aristotle's Politics, Plato's Republic, and Thucydides' Peloponnesian Wars. Together, the essays constitute a brilliant attempt to use classical political philosophy as a means of liberating modern political philosophy from the stranglehold of ideology. The essays are based on a long and intimate familiarity with the works, but the essay on Aristotle is especially important as one of Strauss's few writings on the philosopher who largely shaped Strauss's conception of antiquity. The essay on Plato is a full-scale discussion of Platonic political philosophy, wide in scope yet compact in execution. When discussing Thucydides, Strauss succeeds not only in presenting the historian as a moral thinker of high rank, but in drawing his thought into the orbit of philosophy, and thus indicating a relation of history and philosophy that does not presuppose the absorption of philosophy by history.