Since his death in 1944, Rene Daumal has come to be recognized as one of the original minds of the twentieth century French letters. Poet, essayist, philosopher and translator, Sanscrit scholar and pupil of Gurdjieff, Daumal was a founder of the Grand Jeu group. He was iconoclastic and electic, able to embrace simultaneously Alfred Jarry's Pataphysics and Hindu teachings.
Daumal's two major works in English translation, Mount Analogue and A Night of Serious Drinking, have long been classics in this country; but until now, readers have not had acess to the full range of his thought. The Powers of the Word spans a lifetime of essays and notes-many here translated for the first time-from the earliest incitements to drug use and revolt; through Daumal's unique readings of literary works; to his more mature, but no less ardent, meditations.
"There are considerable portions of Ren Daumal's thinking that leave one with the sensation of watching a man climb out of sight on a steep slope.... Climbing was his vocation and his avocation, and he simply kept on going when others turned back.... In all his writing, the world of concrete objects carries its full common sense of pleasure and hardship, of beauty and blight. At the same time his philosophical turn of mind involves him in a real struggle of ideas, one usually carried on by closed minds and obscured by fuzzy words.... (His is) a startlingly clear voice in the din." --Roger Shattuck
Rene Daumal (1908-1944) was a French spiritual writer and poet. He is well-known for his posthumously published novel Mount Analogue and for being an outspoken practitioner of pataphysics.
" This] magnificent critical survey, with its inherent respect for both the 'Westt's mainstream high culture' and the 'radically changing world' of the 1990s, offers a new breakthrough for lay and scholarly readers alike....Allows readers to grasp the big picture of Western culture for the first time."
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Here are the great minds of Western civilization and their pivotal ideas, from Plato to Hegel, from Augustine to Nietzsche, from Copernicus to Freud. Richard Tarnas performs the near-miracle of describing profound philosophical concepts simply but without simplifying them. Ten years in the making and already hailed as a classic, THE PASSION OF THE WESERN MIND is truly a complete liberal education in a single volume.
Michel Foucault was one of the most influential philosophical thinkers in the contemporary world, someone whose work has affected the teaching of half a dozen disciplines ranging from literary criticism to the history of criminology. But of his many books, not one offers a satisfactory introduction to the entire complex body of his work. The Foucault Reader was commissioned precisely to serve that purpose.The Reader contains selections from each area of Foucault's work as well as a wealth of previously unpublished writings, including important material written especially for this volume, the preface to the long-awaited second volume of The History of Sexuality, and interviews with Foucault himself, in the course of which he discussed his philosophy at first hand and with unprecedented candor. This philosophy comprises an astonishing intellectual enterprise: a minute and ongoing investigation of the nature of power in society. Foucault's analyses of this power as it manifests itself in society, schools, hospitals, factories, homes, families, and other forms of organized society are brought together in The Foucault Reader to create an overview of this theme and of the broad social and political vision that underlies it.
The first novel of Sartre's monumental Roads to Freedom series, The Age of Reason is set in 1938 and tells of Mathieu, a French professor of philosophy who is obsessed with the idea of freedom. As the shadows of the Second World War draw closer -- even as his personal life is complicated by his mistress's pregnancy -- his search for a way to remain free becomes more and more intense.
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.
In this major new work, John Searle launches a formidable attack on current orthodoxies in the philosophy of mind. More than anything else, he argues, it is the neglect of consciousness that results in so much barrenness and sterility in psychology, the philosophy of mind, and cognitive science: there can be no study of mind that leaves out consciousness. What is going on in the brain is neurophysiological processes and consciousness and nothing more--no rule following, no mental information processing or mental models, no language of thought, and no universal grammar. Mental events are themselves features of the brain, like liquidity is a feature of water.
Beginning with a spirited discussion of what's wrong with the philosophy of mind, Searle characterizes and refutes the philosophical tradition of materialism. But he does not embrace dualism. All these isms are mistaken, he insists. Once you start counting types of substance you are on the wrong track, whether you stop at one or two. In four chapters that constitute the heart of his argument, Searle elaborates a theory of consciousness and its relation to our overall scientific world view and to unconscious mental phenomena. He concludes with a criticism of cognitive science and a proposal for an approach to studying the mind that emphasizes the centrality of consciousness to any account of mental functioning.
In his characteristically direct style, punctuated with persuasive examples, Searle identifies the very terminology of the field as the main source of truth. He observes that it is a mistake to suppose that the ontology of the mental is objective and to suppose that the methodology of a science of the mind must concern itself only with objectively observable behavior; that it is also a mistake to suppose that we know of the existence of mental phenomena in others only by observing their behavior; that behavior or causal relations to behavior are not essential to the existence of mental phenomena; and that it is inconsistent with what we know about the universe and our place in it to suppose that everything is knowable by us.
Michel Foucult offers an iconoclastic exploration of why we feel compelled to continually analyze and discuss sex, and of the social and mental mechanisms of power that cause us to direct the questions of what we are to what our sexuality is.
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.
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.