Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life. The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful - possibly beyond our control.
"Buy the physical book"
Paris, near the turn of 1933. Three young friends meet over apricot cocktails at the Bec-de-Gaz bar on the rue Montparnasse. They are Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and their friend Raymond Aron, who opens their eyes to a radical new way of thinking. Pointing to his drink, he says, 'You can make philosophy out of this cocktail!'
In a single volume, the seminal writings of the world's leading philosopher, linguist, and critic, published to coincide with his 80th birthday. For the past 40 years Noam Chomsky's writings on politics and language have established him as a preeminent public intellectual and as one of the most original and wide-ranging political and social critics of our time. Among the seminal figures in linguistic theory over the past century, since the 1960s Chomsky has also secured a place as perhaps the leading dissident voice in the United States.
"Illuminating and exceptional"
One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives. In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life.
"Great follow up to the Antidote by Oliver Burkeman"
Philosophy begins with questions about the nature of reality and how we should live. These were the concerns of Socrates, who spent his days in the ancient Athenian marketplace asking awkward questions, disconcerting the people he met by showing them how little they genuinely understood. This engaging book introduces the great thinkers in Western philosophy and explores their most compelling ideas about the world and how best to live in it.
In his acclaimed columns in the London Times and Prospect, A. C. Grayling often responds to provocative questions posed by editors and readers. These questions serve as the basis for the essays in Thinking of Answers, among them searching examinations of the following: Are human beings especially prone to self-deception? If beauty existed only in the eye of the beholder, would that make it an unimportant quality? Are human rights political? And more.
"How to open your mind"
On Anarchism provides the reasoning behind Noam Chomsky's fearless lifelong questioning of the legitimacy of entrenched power. In these essays, Chomsky redeems one of the most maligned ideologies, anarchism, and places it at the foundation of his political thinking. Chomsky's anarchism is distinctly optimistic and egalitarian. Moreover, it is a living, evolving tradition that is situated in a historical lineage; Chomsky's anarchism emphasizes the power of collective, rather than individualist, action.
The ideal of freedom is at the heart of our political and economic system. It is foundational to our sense of justice, our way of life, our conception of what it is to be human. But are we free in the way that we think we are? In Creating Freedom, Raoul Martinez brings together a torrent of mind-expanding ideas, facts and arguments to dismantle sacred myths central to our society - myths about free will, free markets, free media and free elections.
"Deeply thought provoking..."
The good news is that the great thinkers from history have proposed the same strategies for happiness and fulfilment. The bad news is that these turn out to be the very things most discouraged by contemporary culture. This knotty dilemma is the subject of The Age of Absurdity - a wry and accessible investigation into how the desirable states of well-being and satisfaction are constantly undermined by modern life.
"In yer face modern philosophy!"
Foucault is one of those rare philosophers who has become a cult figure. Born in 1926 in France, over the course of his life he dabbled in drugs, politics, and the Paris SM scene, all whilst striving to understand the deep concepts of identity, knowledge, and power. From aesthetics to the penal system; from madness and civilization to avant-garde literature, Foucault was happy to reject old models of thinking and replace them with versions that are still widely debated today.
We are familiar with the medical opinion that a daily glass of wine is good for the health and also the rival opinion that any more than a glass or two will set us on the road to ruin. Whether or not good for the body, Scruton argues, wine, drunk in the right frame of mind, is definitely good for the soul. And there is no better accompaniment to wine than philosophy. By thinking with wine, you can learn not only to drink in thoughts but to think in draughts.
With his well-known idiosyncrasies and aphoristic style, Friedrich Nietzsche is always bracing and provocative, and temptingly easy to dip into. Michael Tanner's introduction to the philosopher's life and work examines the numerous ambiguities inherent in his writings and explodes many of the misconceptions that have grown in the hundred years since Nietzsche wrote "do not, above all, confound me with what I am not!"
Today, most people think of socialism as an outdated ideology. In this Very Short Introduction, Michael Newman seeks to place the idea of socialism in a modern context for today's listeners. He explains socialist ideas in the framework of its historical evolution, from the French Revolution to the present day, and examines practical attempts to implement socialism.
The Complete Book of Five Rings is an authoritative version of Musashi's classic The Book of Five Rings, translated and annotated by a modern martial arts master, Kenji Tokitsu. Tokitsu has spent most of his life researching the legendary samurai swordsman and his works, and in this book he illuminates this seminal text, along with several other works by Musashi.
"Truely enteraining and Instructive."
Peter Singer is often described as the world's most influential philosopher. He is also one of its most controversial. The author of important books such as Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, Rethinking Life and Death, and The Life You Can Save, he helped launch the animal rights and effective altruism movements and contributed to the development of bioethics. Now, in Ethics in the Real World, Singer shows that he is also a master at dissecting important current events.
In Marx: A Very Short Introduction, Peter Singer identifies the central vision that unifies Marx's thought, enabling us to grasp Marx's views as a whole. He sees him as a philosopher primarily concerned with human freedom, rather than as an economist or a social scientist. In plain English, he explains alienation, historical materialism, the economic theory of Capital, and Marx's ideas of communism, and concludes with an assessment of Marx's legacy.
In this clear introduction to ethics, Simon Blackburn tackles the major moral questions surrounding birth, death, happiness, desire, and freedom, showing us how we should think about the meaning of life, and how we should mistrust the soundbite-sized absolutes that often dominate moral debates.
The tradition of ancient philosophy is a long, rich and varied one, in which the notes of discussion and argument constantly resound. This book introduces ancient debates, engaging us with the ancient developments of their themes. Moving away from the presentation of ancient philosophy as a succession of great thinkers, the book gives readers a sense of the freshness and liveliness of ancient philosophy, and of its wide variety of themes and styles.
This Very Short Introduction introduces listeners to the key concepts of political philosophy: Authority, democracy, freedom and its limits, justice, feminism, multiculturalism, and nationality. Accessibly written and assuming no previous knowledge of the subject, it encourages the listener to think clearly and critically about the leading political questions of our time. Miller first investigates how political philosophy tackles basic ethical questions such as 'how should we live together in society?'
G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831) was one of the most important and sophisticated modern thinkers, but only now are his substantial contributions to metaphysics, epistemology, political philosophy, aesthetics, philosophy of history, and philosophy of religion gaining the recognition they deserve. This companion is the first collection of essays to do justice to the extraordinary richness and diversity of Hegel's philosophy.
'Is it the world that's busy, or my mind?' The world moves fast, but that doesn't mean we have to. In this timely guide to mindfulness, Haemin Sunim, a Buddhist monk born in Korea and educated in the United States, offers advice on everything from handling setbacks to dealing with rest and relationships.
"Calming and enlightening"
Humanity now, perhaps more than in any previous time, has an opportunity to create a new, saner, more loving world. This will involve a radical inner leap from the current egoic consciousness to an entirely new one. In illuminating the nature of this shift in consciousness, Tolle describes in detail how our current ego-based state of consciousness operates. Then gently, and in very practical terms, he leads us into this new consciousness. We will come to experience who we truly are and learn to live and breathe freely.
Bertrand Russell's A History of Western Philosophy serves as the perfect introduction to its subject; it remains unchallenged as the greatest account of the history of Western thought. Charting philosophy's course from the pre-Socratics up to the early twentieth century, Russell relates each philosopher and school to their respective historical and cultural contexts, providing erudite commentary throughout his invaluable survey.
"Great set of lectures"
Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work distills 3,000 years of the history of power into 48 well-explicated laws. This bold volume outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence, synthesizing the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and other infamous strategists. The 48 Laws of Power will fascinate any listener interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control.
"Read it...or don't"
Internationally renowned psychiatrist, Viktor E. Frankl, endured years of unspeakable horror in Nazi death camps. During, and partly because of his suffering, Dr. Frankl developed a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy known as logotherapy. At the core of his theory is the belief that man's primary motivational force is his search for meaning.
"Potentially life changing..."
Everyone says they want to be happy. But that's much more easily said than done. What does being happy actually mean? And how do you even know when you feel it? Across the millennia, philosophers have thought long and hard about happiness. They have defined it in many different ways and come up with myriad strategies for living the good life. Drawing on this vast body of work, in Happy Derren Brown explores changing concepts of happiness - from the surprisingly modern wisdom of the Stoics and Epicureans in classical times right up until today.
"Narration is awful and distracting"
With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which the heavens are replaced by the Hubble Telescope's awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix.
"Essential listening (open mind required)"
What is human consciousness, and how is it possible? This question fascinates thinking people from poets and painters to physicists, psychologists, and philosophers. From Bacteria to Bach and Back is Daniel C. Dennett's brilliant answer, extending perspectives from his earlier work in surprising directions, exploring the deep interactions of evolution, brains, and human culture.
"An excellent Dennett exploration"
One of the most significant books ever written by a head of State, the Meditations are a collection of philosophical thoughts by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121 - 180 ce). Covering issues such as duty, forgiveness, brotherhood, strength in adversity and the best way to approach life and death, the Meditations have inspired thinkers, poets and politicians since their first publication more than 500 years ago. Today, the book stands as one of the great guides and companions - a cornerstone of Western thought.
"Important text on self-reflection and improvement"
The secrets of creative thinking by a lecturer at the world famous St. Martin's College of Art who has spent a lifetime researching innovative thinkers. A scuba-diving company faces bankruptcy because sharks have infested the area. Solution? Open the world's first extreme diving school. The Art of Creative Thinking reveals how we can transform ourselves, our businesses, and our society through a deeper understanding of human creativity.
"Intelligent, thought provoking fun. "
Why have history's greatest minds - from George Washington to Frederick the Great to Ralph Waldo Emerson along with today's top performers, from Super Bowl-winning football coaches to CEOs and celebrities - embraced the wisdom of the ancient Stoics? Because they realize that the most valuable wisdom is timeless and that philosophy is for living a better life, not a classroom exercise. The Daily Stoic offers a daily devotional of Stoic insights and exercises, featuring all-new translations.
"Great content, TERRIBLE audio delivery"
Philosophy for busy people. Listen to this succinct account of the philosophy of Plato in just one hour. Plato is still seen by many as the greatest of all philosophers, inspiring many of the finest thinkers through the ages. Indeed, many see all later philosophy as nothing but attempts to answer the questions he raised. He founded the Academy, the world's first university, in 387 BC and taught that the physical world is not reality but rather a reproduction of the true source.
"See my comments"
From Rhonda Byrne, creator of the international bestselling movie and book, The Secret, comes HERO, her latest world-changing project and the most important to date. What is your true calling and why aren't you already living it? Imagine if there was a map that showed you step by step how to get from where you are now to your true calling and the life you were born to live - the most brilliant, rich, fulfilling, and dazzling life you could ever dream of. You are holding in your hands such a map. HERO is the map for your life.
"Turning dreams into an adventure"
Grasp the important ideas that have served as the backbone of philosophy across the ages with this extraordinary 60-lecture series. This is your opportunity to explore the enormous range of philosophical perspectives and ponder the most important and enduring of human questions-without spending your life poring over dense philosophical texts.
"Well presented introduction to philosophy"
Karl Marx's philosophical critique of capitalism and his solution of communism directly led to the formation of the communist state in the Soviet Union. Whilst this great venture has now all but completely failed, Marx's philosophy has proved to be arguably the most influential of the 20th century; the influence of Marxism can be seen in subjects as diverse as the infamous policies of Joseph Stalin to many of the progressive humanitarian reforms of the 20th century. The audiobook is an expert account of Marx's life and philosophical ideas - entertainingly written and above all easy listening.
"Marx in an hour"
The best of the Minimalists! This book by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus collects the most relevant essays - some short, some long - from their popular website, TheMinimalists.com. This collection has been edited and organized to create an experience that's considerably different from reading individual selections online. From simple living, decluttering, and finances to passion, health, and relationships, Essential is for anyone who desires a more intentional life.
As it was in Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, and Othello, so it is in life. Most forms of private vice and public evil are kindled and sustained by lies. Acts of adultery and other personal betrayals, financial fraud, government corruption - even murder and genocide - generally require an additional moral defect: a willingness to lie. In Lying, bestselling author and neuroscientist Sam Harris argues that we can radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie.
"Very good essay. Very short"