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The Age of Selfishness: Ayn Rand, Morality, and the Financial Crisis
Tracing the emergence of Ayn Rand's philosophy of objectivism in the 1940s to her present-day influence, Darryl Cunningham's latest work of graphic-nonfiction investigation leads readers to the heart of the global financial crisis of 2008. Cunningham uses Rand's biography to illuminate the policies that led to the economic crash in the U.S. and in Europe, and how her philosophy continues to affect today's politics and policies, starting with her most noted disciple, economist Alan Greenspan (former chairman of the Federal Reserve). Cunningham also shows how right-wing conservatives, libertarians, and the Tea Party movement have co-opted Rand's teachings (and inherent contradictions) to promote personal gain and profit at the expense of the middle class. Tackling the complexities of economics by distilling them down to a series of concepts accessible to all age groups, Cunningham ultimately delivers a devastating analysis of our current economic world.
America the Philosophical
This bold, insightful book argues that America today towers as the most philosophical culture in the history of the world, an unprecedented marketplace for truth and debate.With verve and keen intelligence, Carlin Romano - Pulitzer Prize finalist, award-winning book critic, and professor of philosophy - takes on the widely held belief that the United States is an anti-intellectual country. Instead he provides a richly reported overview of American thought, arguing that ordinary Americans see through phony philosophical justifications faster than anyone else, and that the best of our thinkers ditch artificial academic debates for fresh intellectual enterprises. Along the way, Romano seeks to topple philosophy’s most fiercely admired hero, Socrates, asserting that it is Isocrates, the nearly forgotten Greek philosopher who rejected certainty, whom Americans should honor as their intellectual ancestor. America the Philosophical is a rebellious tour de force that both celebrates our country’s unparalleled intellectual energy and promises to bury some of our most hidebound cultural clichés.
An Appeal to the World: The Way to Peace in a Time of Division
In this brief yet profound address to global humanity, His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet reveals that we all hold the seeds of world peace within us: “I see with ever greater clarity that our spiritual well-being depends,” the Nobel Peace Prize winner writes, “on our innate human nature, our natural affinity for goodness, compassion, and caring for others.”Already a major international bestseller, An Appeal to the World, the new book by one of the most revered spiritual leaders of our time, outlines both the inward and outward paths to peace, addressing a wide range of contemporary topics - from the rise of nationalism, Trump presidency, refugee crisis, climate catastrophes, and materialism to meditation, universal ethics, and even neuroscience. Here is a small book that can truly change the world.
Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement (P.S.)
Since its original publication in 1975, this groundbreaking work has awakened millions of people to the existence of "speciesism" - our systematic disregard of nonhuman animals - inspiring a worldwide movement to transform our attitudes to animals and eliminate the cruelty we inflict on them. In Animal Liberation, author Peter Singer exposes the chilling realities of today's "factory farms" and product-testing procedures - destroying the spurious justifications behind them, and offering alternatives to what has become a profound environmental and social as well as moral issue. An important and persuasive appeal to conscience, fairness, decency, and justice, it is essential reading for the supporter and the skeptic alike.
Aristotle and an Aardvark Go to Washington
America's favorite philosopher-comedians are at it again, and just in time to save us from the doublespeak and flimflam of politics in America with invaluable insight on common tactics.
Aristotle for Everybody
Adler, Mortimer J.
Aristotle (384 - 322 B.C.) taught logic to Alexander the Great and, by virtue of his philosophical works, to every philosopher since, from Marcus Aurelius, to Thomas Aquinas, to Mortimer J. Adler. Now Adler instructs the world in the "uncommon common sense" of Aristotelian logic, presenting Aristotle's understandings in a current, delightfully lucid way. He brings Aristotle's work to an everyday level. By encouraging readers to think philosophically, Adler offers us a unique path to personal insights and understanding of intangibles, such as the difference between wants and needs, the proper way to pursue happiness, and the right plan for a good life.
The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness
Epictetus was born into slavery about 55 AD in the eastern outreaches of the Roman Empire. Once freed, he established an influential school of Stoic philosophy, stressing that human beings cannot control life, only their responses to it. By putting into practice the ninety-three witty, wise, and razor-sharp instructions that make up The Art of Living, readers learn to meet the challenges of everyday life successfully and to face life's inevitable losses and disappointments with grace.
The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do
Jeff Goins, a brilliant new voice counting Seth Godin and Jon Acuff among his fans, explains how to abandon the status quo and live a life that matters with true passion and purpose. The path to your life's work is difficult and risky, even scary, which is why few finish the journey. This is a book about discovering your life's work, that treasure of immeasurable worth we all long for. It's about the task you were born to do. As Jeff Goins explains, the search begins with passion but does not end there. Only when our interests connect with the needs of the world do we begin living for a larger purpose. Those who experience this intersection experience something exceptional and enviable. Though it is rare, such a life is attainable by anyone brave enough to try. Through personal experience, compelling case studies, and current research on the mysteries of motivation and talent, Jeff shows readers how to find their vocation and what to expect along the way.
The Basic Writings of John Stuart Mill
Mill, John Stuart
A brilliant exploration of the balance between individual rights and the power of the state, John Stuart Mill's On Liberty is essential reading for anyone interested in political thought and theory. This edition includes two other seminal works by Mill, The Subjection of Women and Utilitarianism, as well as an index and newly commissioned endnotes.
Before You Wake
In late 2016, prompted by the news that his wife was battling cancer and his own pulmonary medical scare, Erick Erickson posted a piece to his website, The Resurgent. Styled as a letter to his young children, the piece, titled "If I Should Die Before You Wake," was a stirring message--and challenge--about how to live a life of purpose and joy. The essay went viral, shared by figures like New York Times columnist and author of The Road to Character, David Brooks. Now, in a time when our country needs healing and a reminder of our values more than ever, Erickson has expanded the project, composing a total of ten letters, featuring a wonderful mix of the practical, inspirational, and spiritual.
Behaving Badly: The New Morality in Politics, Sex, and Business
To call these unsettling times is an understatement: our political leaders are less and less respectable; in business, cheating, lying, and stealing are hazily defined; and in daily life, technology permits us to act in ways inconceivable without it. Yet somehow, people still draw lines between what is acceptable and what is not. In Behaving Badly, Eden Collinsworth speaks with a wide range of figures - from experts to everyday people - to parse out the parameters of modern morality.In her quest, she squares off with, among others, a neuroscientist who explains why we’re not necessarily designed to be good; a CEO fired for blowing the whistle on his multinational corporation; and the cheerfully unrepentant founder of a website facilitating affairs for married people. Fearless, timely, and always thought-provoking, Behaving Badly takes us on an unforgettable journey through the treacherous territory of right and wrong.
Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth
Scott, A. O.
Few could explain, let alone seek out, a career in criticism. Yet what A.O. Scott shows in Better Living Through Criticism is that we are, in fact, all critics: because critical thinking informs almost every aspect of artistic creation, of civil action, of interpersonal life. With penetrating insight and warm humor, Scott shows that while individual critics--himself included--can make mistakes and find flaws where they shouldn't, criticism as a discipline is one of the noblest, most creative, and urgent activities of modern existence.Using his own film criticism as a starting point--everything from his infamous dismissal of the international blockbuster The Avengers to his intense affection for Pixar's animated Ratatouille--Scott expands outward, easily guiding readers through the complexities of Rilke and Shelley, the origins of Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones, the power of Marina Abramovich and 'Ode on a Grecian Urn.' Drawing on the long tradition of criticism from Aristotle to Susan Sontag, Scott shows that real criticism was and always will be the breath of fresh air that allows true creativity to thrive. "The time for criticism is always now," Scott explains, "because the imperative to think clearly, to insist on the necessary balance of reason and passion, never goes away."
Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson
Historian Gary Lachman delivers a fascinating, rollicking biography of literary and cultural rebel Colin Wilson, one of the most adventurous, hopeful, and least understood intellects of the past century.You will embark on the intellectual ride of a lifetime in this rediscovery of the life and work of writer, rebel, and social experimenter Colin Wilson (1931-2013).Author of the classic The Outsider, Wilson, across his 118 books, purveyed a philosophy of mind power and human potential that made him one of the least understood and most important voices of the twentieth century. Wilson helped usher in the cultural revolution of the 1960s with his landmark work, The Outsider, published in 1956. The Outsider was an intelligent, meticulous, and unprecedented study of nonconformity in all facets of life. Wilson, finally, became a prolific and unparalleled historian of the occult, providing a generation of readers with a responsible and scholarly entry point to a world of mysteries. Now, acclaimed historian Gary Lachman, a friend of Wilson and a scholar of his work, provides an extraordinary and delightful biography that delves into the life, thought, and evolution of one of the greatest intellectual rebels and underrated visionaries of the twentieth century.
The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World
The Book of Eels is both a meditation on the world’s most elusive fish - the eel - and a reflection on the human conditionRemarkably little is known about the European eel, Anguilla anguilla. So little, in fact, that scientists and philosophers have, for centuries, been obsessed with what has become known as the “eel question”: Where do eels come from? What are they? Are they fish or some other kind of creature altogether? Even today, in an age of advanced science, no one has ever seen eels mating or giving birth, and we still don’t understand what drives them, after living for decades in freshwater, to swim great distances back to the ocean at the end of their lives. They remain a mystery.Drawing on a breadth of research about eels in literature, history, and modern marine biology, as well as his own experience fishing for eels with his father, Patrik Svensson crafts a mesmerizing portrait of an unusual, utterly misunderstood, and completely captivating animal. In The Book of Eels, we meet renowned historical thinkers, from Aristotle to Sigmund Freud to Rachel Carson, for whom the eel was a singular obsession. And we meet the scientists who spearheaded the search for the eel’s point of origin, including Danish marine biologist Johannes Schmidt, who led research efforts in the early twentieth century, catching thousands upon thousands of eels, in the hopes of proving their birthing grounds in the Sargasso Sea.Blending memoir and nature writing at its best, Svensson’s journey to understand the eel becomes an exploration of the human condition that delves into overarching issues about our roots and destiny, both as humans and as animals, and, ultimately, how to handle the biggest question of all: death. The result is a gripping and slippery narrative that will surprise and enchant.
The Book That Changed America: How Darwin's Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation
A compelling portrait of a unique moment in American history when the ideas of Charles Darwin reshaped American notions about nature, religion, science and raceThroughout its history America has been torn in two by debates over ideals and beliefs. Randall Fuller takes us back to one of those turning points, in 1860, with the story of the influence of Charles Darwin’s just-published On the Origin of Species on five American intellectuals, including Bronson Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, the child welfare reformer Charles Loring Brace, and the abolitionist Franklin Sanborn. Each of these figures seized on the book’s assertion of a common ancestry for all creatures as a powerful argument against slavery, one that helped provide scientific credibility to the cause of abolition. Darwin’s depiction of constant struggle and endless competition described America on the brink of civil war. But some had difficulty aligning the new theory to their religious convictions and their faith in a higher power. Thoreau, perhaps the most profoundly affected all, absorbed Darwin’s views into his mysterious final work on species migration and the interconnectedness of all living things. Creating a rich tableau of nineteenth-century American intellectual culture, as well as providing a fascinating biography of perhaps the single most important idea of that time, The Book That Changed America is also an account of issues and concerns still with us today, including racism and the enduring conflict between science and religion.
Breakfast with Socrates: An Extraordinary (Philosophical) Journey Through Your Ordinary Day
Smith, Robert Rowland
Ever want to have a bagel with Hegel? Eggs with Bacon? Or spend a day with Socrates, Mill, Herodotus, or Kant, able to pick their brains about the most mundane moments of your life? Former Oxford Philosophy Fellow Robert Rowland Smith thought he would, and so with dry wit and marvelous invention, Smith whisks you through a typical day, injecting a little philosophy into it at every turn. Wake up with Descartes, go to work with Plato and Nietzsche, visit the gym with Kant, have sex with Ovid (or Simone de Beauvoir). As the day unfolds, Smith grounds complex, abstract ideas in concrete experience, giving you an informal introduction to applying philosophy to everyday life. Not only does Breakfast with Socrates cover the basic arguments of philosophy, it brings an irresistible, insouciant charm to its big questions, waking us up to the richest possible range of ideas on how to live. Neither breakfast, lunch, nor dinner will ever be the same again.
A Brief History of Thought
From the timeless wisdom of the ancient Greeks to Christianity, the Enlightenment, existentialism, and postmodernism, Luc Ferry's instant classic brilliantly and accessibly explains the enduring teachings of philosophy - including its profound relevance to modern daily life and its essential role in achieving happiness and living a meaningful life. This lively journey through the great thinkers will enlighten every reader, young and old.
Bringing Yoga to Life
Internationally acclaimed teacher Donna Farhi restores Yoga's traditional role as a complete, practical discipline for everyday living. In this encouraging and straightforward guide, Farhi provides a blueprint for understanding the complete philosophy of Yoga. Bringing Yoga to Life offers tools to help beginners and seasoned practitioners alike navigate the ups and downs of a spiritual practice, illustrating how they can become their own teachers and obtain the deep rewards available through engagement with an authentic path. Brimming with insight gathered form over twenty years of teaching experience, this exploration of the heart of Yoga is essential reading for anyone who practices this ancient tradition.
Buddhism for Couples: A Calm Approach to Relationships
Learn Buddhist principles that can help enrich your romantic life, your life in general, and the lives of those around you.Surely a happy marriage for a normally adjusted couple is a simple matter of give-and-take - some patience, tolerance, and just trying to be cheerful as often as possible. There is no shortage of books providing relationship advice that can help us with these matters. But Buddhist teachings address more than just surface knowledge, and guide us to delve deeper into our psyches.With an emphasis on self-compassion, Buddhism for Couples explains how to apply Buddhist teachings to your relationships to patch things up, hold things together, and, even on good days, scale the heights of relationship happiness. Written for both men and women, this book tackles the loaded subjects of housework, anger, sex, conflict, and infidelity, and introduces Buddhist strategies that can enrich a relationship.Humorous and informative, Buddhism for Couples provides a fresh approach to living as a couple, persuading us to leave behind stale, habitual ways of relating that don’t work.
A Call for Revolution: A Vision for the Future
This eloquent, urgent manifesto is possibly the most important message the Dalai Lama can give us about the future of our world. It’s his rallying cry, full of solutions for our chaotic, aggressive, divided times: no less than A CALL FOR REVOLUTION.
Can Democracy Work?: A Short History of a Radical Idea, from Ancient Athens to Our World
A new history of the world’s most embattled ideaToday, democracy is the world’s only broadly accepted political system, and yet it has become synonymous with disappointment and crisis. How did it come to this? In Can Democracy Work? James Miller, the author of the classic history of 1960s protest Democracy Is in the Streets, offers a lively, surprising, and urgent history of the democratic idea from its first stirrings to the present. As he shows, democracy has always been rife with inner tensions. The ancient Greeks preferred to choose leaders by lottery and regarded elections as inherently corrupt and undemocratic. The French revolutionaries sought to incarnate the popular will, but many of them came to see the people as the enemy. And in the United States, the franchise would be extended to some even as it was taken from others. Amid the wars and revolutions of the twentieth century, communists, liberals, and nationalists all sought to claim the ideals of democracy for themselves - even as they manifestly failed to realize them.Ranging from the theaters of Athens to the tents of Occupy Wall Street, Can Democracy Work? is an entertaining and insightful guide to our most cherished - and vexed - ideal.
Character: The History of a Cultural Obsession
A spirited, engaging investigation into the concept of character, an enduring human obsession in literature, psychology, politics, and everyday lifeWhat is “character”? How can it be measured, improved, or built? Are character traits fixed or changeable? Is character innate, or can it be taught?Since at least the time of Aristotle, philosophers, theologians, moralists, artists, and scientists have engaged with the enigma of human character. In its oldest usage, “character” derives from a word for engraving or stamping, yet over time, it has come to mean a moral idea, a type, a literary persona, and a physical or physiological manifestation, observable in works of art and scientific experiments. It is an essential term in drama and the focus of self-help books.In Character: The History of a Cultural Obsession, Marjorie Garber points out that character seems more relevant than ever today - the term is omnipresent in discussions of politics, ethics, gender, morality, and the psyche. References to character flaws, character issues, character assassination, and allegations of “bad” and “good” character are inescapable in the media and in contemporary political debates.What connection does “character,” in this moral or ethical sense, have with the concept of a character in a novel or a play? Do our notions about fictional characters help to produce our ideas about moral character? Can character be formed, or taught, in schools, in scouting, in the home? From Plutarch to John Stuart Mill, from Shakespeare to Darwin, from Theophrastus to Freud, from nineteenth-century phrenology to twenty-first-century brain scans, the search for the sources and components of human character still preoccupies us.The question of character arises in virtually every area of modern life. And in each case, there is the same fundamental tension: is it innate or intrinsic to the individual, or something that can be learned or modeled? At a time when both the meaning and the value of this term are put in question, no issue is more important, and no topic more vital, surprising, and fascinating.With her distinctive verve, humor, and vast erudition, Marjorie Garber explores the stakes of these conflations, confusions, and heritages, from ancient Greece to the present day.
The Common Good
Reich, Robert B.
With the warmth and lucidity that have made him one of our most important public voices, Robert B. Reich makes the case for a generous, inclusive understanding of the American project, centering on the moral obligations of citizenship. Rooting his argument in everyday reality and common sense, Reich demonstrates the existence of a common good, and argues that it is this that defines a society or a nation. Societies and nations undergo virtuous cycles that reinforce and build the common good, as well as vicious cycles that undermine it. Over the course of the past five decades, Reich contends, America has been in a slowly accelerating vicious cycle - one that can and must be reversed. But first we need to weigh what really matters, and how we as a country should relate to honor, shame, patriotism, truth, and the meaning of leadership.Powerful, urgent, and utterly vital, this is a heartfelt missive from one of our foremost political thinkers: a fundamental statement about the purpose of society and a cri de coeur to save America's soul.
The Conference of the Birds
An award-winning author and illustrator offers a beautiful and uplifting adaptation of the beloved Sufi poem Celebrated children’s book creator Peter Sis presents his first book for adults with The Conference of the Birds—a lyrical and richly illustrated story of love, faith, and the beauty of the human journey. Sis’s deeply felt version of the classic twelfth-century Persian epic poem tells the story of a flock of birds in search of the true king, Simorgh, who lives on the mountain of Kaf. Drawn from all species, the flock travels through the seven valleys: quest, love, understanding, detachment, unity, amazement, and death. The birds that endure reach the mountain to learn a profound lesson: that Simorgh the king is, in fact, each of them and all of them.
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