Philosophy
Featured Items
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.
Healing Into Life and Death
Healing Into Life and Death
Paperback      ISBN: 0385262191

A guide to healing meditation, from revered teacher Stephen Levine.

Drawing on years of first-hand experience working with the chronically ill, here Levine presents original techniques for working with pain and grief. Addressing the choice and application of treatment, discussing the development of a merciful awareness as a means of healing, and providing practical meditation techniques as well as personal anecdotes from his career, Levine has crafted a valuable resource for anyone dealing with pain--physical or mental.
Iamblichus' Life of Pythagoras
Iamblichus' Life of Pythagoras
Paperback      ISBN: 0892811528

Authentic memoirs of the life of Pythagoras--the father of philosophy and the inventor of geometry--hold the great interest for every lover of wisdom. Iamblichus' biography is universally acknowledged as deriving from sources of the highest antiquity. Its classic translation by Thomas Taylor was first printed in 1818 and is once again brought to light in this edition.

During Iamblichus' life, the depth and sublimity of his writing and discourse attracted a multitude of associates and disciples from all parts of the world. The Emperor Julian wrote of him, "that he was posterior indeed in time, but not in genius, to Plato," and all the Platonists who succeeded him honored him with the epithet of "divine."

Iamblichus' account of the life of Pythagoras begins with the great philosopher's birth on the island of Samos, his youth, and his wide renown in Greece. It briefly covers his early travels and his studies with the philosophers Anaximander and Thales, his twenty-two years of instruction in the temples of Egypt, and his initiation into the Egyptian and Babylonian mysteries. The later life and work of Pythagoras are richly elaborated, with humorous and profound anecdotes illustrating his philosophy and providing a unique view of community life under his tutelage in Crotona.

Included are excerpts from his teachings on harmonic science, dietetic medicine, friendship, temperance, politics, parenthood, the soul's former lives and many other topics. The book also contains substantial sections on the Fragments of the Ethical Writings (the work of very early Pythagoreans) and the Pythagoric Sentences.
Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
Homo Ludens
A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
Paperback      ISBN: 0807046817

In Homo Ludens, the classic evaluation of play that has become a "must-read" for those in game design, Dutch philosopher Johan Huizinga defines play as the central activity in flourishing societies. Like civilization, play requires structure and participants willing to create within limits. Starting with Plato, Huizinga traces the contribution of Homo Ludens, or "Man the player" through Medieval Times, the Renaissance, and into our modern civilization. Huizinga defines play against a rich theoretical background, using cross-cultural examples from the humanities, business, and politics. Homo Ludens defines play for generations to come.

"A happier age than ours once made bold to call our species by the name of Homo Sapiens. In the course of time we have come to realize that we are not so reasonable after all as the Eighteenth Century with its worship of reason and naive optimism, though us; "hence moder fashion inclines to designate our species asHomo Faber Man the Maker. But though faber may not be quite so dubious as sapiens it is, as a name specific of the human being, even less appropriate, seeing that many animals too are makers. There is a third function, howver, applicable to both human and animal life, and just as important as reasoning and making--namely, playing. it seems to me that next to Homo Faber, and perhaps on the same level as Homo Sapiens, Homo Ludens, Man the Player, deserves a place in our nomenclature. "--from the Foreward, by Johan Huizinga
Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds
Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds
Paperback      ISBN: 0520071719

Surveying the night sky, a charming philosopher and his hostess, the Marquise, are considering thep ossibility of travelers from the moon. "What if they were skillful enough to navigate on the outer surface of our air, and from there, through their curiosity to see us, they angled for us like fish? Would that please you?" asks the philosopher. "Why not?" the Marquise replies. "As for me, I'd put myself into their nets of my own volition just to have the pleasure of seeing those who caught me."

In this imaginary conversation of three hundred years ago, readers can share the excitement of a new, extremely daring view of the uinverse. Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds (Entretiens sur la pluralit des mondes), first published in 1686, is one of the best loved classics of the early French enlightenment. Through a series of informal dialogues that take place on successive evenings in the marquise's moonlit gardens, Fontenelle describes the new cosmology of the Copernican world view with matchles clarity, imagination, and wit. Moreover, he boldly makes his interlocutor a woman, inviting female participation in the almost exclusively male province of scientific discourse.

The popular Fontenelle lived through an entire century, from 1657 to 1757, and wrote prolifically. H. A. Hargreaves's fresh, appealing translation brings the author's masterpiece to new generations of readers, while the introduction by Nina Rattner Gelbart clearly demonstrates the importance of the Conversations for the history of science, of women, of literature, and of French civilization, and for the popularization of culture.

The Praise of Folly and Other Writings
The Praise of Folly and Other Writings
Paperback      ISBN: 0393957497

Critical commentary is provided in essays by H. R. Trevor-Roper, R. S. Allen, J. Huizinga, Mikhail Bakhtin, Paul Oskar Kristeller, and Robert M. Adams.

Also included are a Chronology of Erasmus's life and a Selected Bibliography.
Aristotle's Poetics
Aristotle's Poetics
Paperback      ISBN: 0809005271

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.

The Trial of Socrates
The Trial of Socrates
Paperback      ISBN: 0385260326

In unraveling the long-hidden issues of the most famous free speech case of all time, noted author I.F. Stone ranges far and wide over Roman as well as Greek history to present an engaging and rewarding introduction to classical antiquity and its relevance to society today. The New York Times called this national best-seller an "intellectual thriller."

I and Thou
I and Thou
Paperback      ISBN: 0684717255

Martin Buber's I and Thou has long been acclaimed as a classic. Many prominent writers have acknowledged its influence on their work; students of intellectual history consider it a landmark; and the generation born since World War II considers Buber as one of its prophets.
The need for a new English translation has been felt for many years. The old version was marred by many inaccuracies and misunderstandings, and its recurrent use of the archaic "thou" was seriously misleading. Now Professor Walter Kaufmann, a distinguished writer and philosopher in his own right who was close to Buber, has retranslated the work at the request of Buber's family. He has added a wealth of informative footnotes to clarify obscurities and bring the reader closer to the original, and he has written a long "Prologue" that opens up new perspectives on the book and on Buber's thought. This volume should provide a new basis for all future discussions of Buber.

Positions
Positions
Paperback      ISBN: 0226143317

Positions is a collection of three interviews with Jacques Derrida that illuminate and make more accessible the complex concepts and terms treated extensively in such works as Writing and Difference and Dissemination. Derrida takes positions on his detractors, his supporters, and the two major preoccupations of French intellectual life, Marxism and psychoanalysis.

The interviews included in this volume offer a multifaceted view of Derrida. "Implications: Interview with Henri Ronse" contains a succinct statement of principles. "Seminology and Grammatology: Interview with Julia Kristeva" provides important clarifications of the role played by linguistics in Derrida's work. "Positions: Interview with Jean-Louis Houdebine and Guy Scarpetta" is a wide-ranging discussion that touches on many of the polemics that Derrida's work has provoked.

Alan Bass, whose translation of Writing and Difference was highly praised for its clarity, accuracy, and readability, has provided extremely useful critical notes, full of vital information, including historical background.