"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.
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.
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.
Considered the preeminent verse satirist in English, Alexander Pope (1688-1744) brought wide learning, devastating wit and masterly technique to his poems. Models of clarity and control, they exemplified the classical poetics of the Augustan age.
This volume contains a rich selection of Pope's work, including such well-known poems as the title selection -- a philosophical meditation on the nature of the universe and man's place in it -- and "The Rape of the Lock," a mock-epic of rare charm and skill. Also included are "Ode on Solitude," "The Dying Christian to His Soul," "Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady," "An Essay on Criticism," "Epigram Engraved on the Collar of a Dog," "Epistle IV] to Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington: Of the Use of Riches," "Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot; or, Prologue to the Satires" and more.
Taken together, these poems offer an excellent sampling of Pope's imaginative genius and the felicitous blending of word, idea and image that earned him a place among the leading lights of 18th-century literature.
Liberalism is doomed to failure, John Kekes argues in this penetrating criticism of its basic assumptions. Liberals favor individual autonomy, a wide plurality of choices, and equal rights and resources, seeing them as essential for good lives. They oppose such evils as selfishness, intolerance, cruelty, and greed. Yet the more autonomy, equality, and pluralism there is, Kekes contends, the greater is the scope for evil. According to Kekes, liberalism is inconsistent because the conditions liberals regard as essential for good lives actually foster the very evils liberals want to avoid, and avoiding those evils depends on conditions contrary to the ones liberals favor.
Kekes argues further that the liberal conceptions of equality, justice, and pluralism require treating good and evil people with equal respect, distributing resources without regard to what recipients deserve, and restricting choices to those that conform to liberal preconceptions. All these policies are detrimental to good lives. Kekes concludes that liberalism cannot cope with the prevalence of evil, that it is vitiated by inconsistent commitments, and that--contrary to its aim--liberalism is an obstacle to good lives.
This interpretive introduction provides unique insight into Plato's Republic. Stressing Plato's desire to stimulate philosophical thinking in his readers, Julia Annas here demonstrates the coherence of his main moral argument on the nature of justice, and expounds related concepts of education, human motivation, knowledge and understanding. In a clear systematic fashion, this book shows that modern moral philosophy still has much to learn from Plato's attempt to move the focus from questions of what acts the just person ought to perform to the more profound questions of what sort of person the just person ought to be.
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.