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!'
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"
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"
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!"
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.
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.
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.
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..."
Kant is arguably the most influential modern philosopher, but also one of the most difficult. Roger Scruton tackles his exceptionally complex subject with a strong hand, exploring the background to Kant's work and showing why the Critique of Pure Reason has proved so enduring.
"To go straight to the deepest depth,"
Can there be freedom and free will in a deterministic world? Renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett emphatically answers "yes!" Using an array of provocative formulations, Dennett sets out to show how we alone among the animals have evolved minds that give us free will and morality. Weaving a richly detailed narrative, Dennett explains in a series of strikingly original arguments - drawing upon evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, economics, and philosophy - that far from being an enemy of traditional explorations of freedom, morality, and meaning, the evolutionary perspective can be an indispensable ally.
"I must get more cleverer"
Most of us realize that fashion is more than just clothes. It's not just about wearing what's in. Fashion influences our judgments of people's taste, politics, sexuality, class, religion, and even their moral character. It can be a medium for technological and social change - changes in fashion may signal economic and political shifts. Yet fashion can also trap us. We can be slaves to fashion if we feel trapped by the roles dictated by the clothes we wear, and we can be slaves to fashion, literally
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.
This lively and accessible introduction to Plato focuses on the philosophy and argument of his writings, drawing the listener into Plato's way of doing philosophy, and the general themes of his thinking. This is not an audiobook to leave the listener standing in the outer court of introduction and background information, but leads directly into Plato's argument. It looks at Plato as a thinker grappling with philosophical problems in a variety of ways, rather than a philosopher with a fully worked-out system.
Why are atheists angry? Is it because they're selfish, joyless, lacking in meaning, and alienated from God? Or is it because they have legitimate reasons to be angry - and are ready to do something about it? Armed with passionate outrage, absurdist humor, and calm intelligence, popular blogger Greta Christina makes a powerful case for outspoken atheist activism, and explains the empathy and justice that drive it. This accessible, personal, down-to-earth book speaks not only to atheists, but also to believers who want to understand the so-called new atheism.
An introduction to philosophy through film, Thinking Through Film: Doing Philosophy, Watching Movies combines the exploration of fundamental philosophical issues with the experience of viewing films, and provides an engaging reading experience for undergraduate students, philosophy enthusiasts and film buffs alike. An in-depth yet accessible introduction to the philosophical issues raised by films, film spectatorship and film-making.
What are the arguments for and against religion and religious belief - all of them - right across the range of reasons and motives that people have for being religious, and do they stand up to scrutiny? Can there be a clear, full statement of these arguments that once and for all will show what is at stake in this debate? Equally important: what is the alternative to religion as a view of the world and a foundation for morality?
"Worth listening to"
White Girls, Hilton Als' first book since The Women 14 years ago, finds one of The New Yorker's boldest cultural critics deftly weaving together his brilliant analyses of literature, art, and music with fearless insights on race, gender, and history. The result is an extraordinary, complex portrait of "white girls", as Als dubs the main expansive but precise category that encompasses figures as diverse as Truman Capote and Louise Brooks, Malcolm X and Flannery O'Connor. In pieces that hairpin between critique and meditation, fiction and nonfiction, high culture and low, the theoretical and the deeply personal, Als presents a stunning portrait of a writer by way of his subjects, and an invaluable guide to the culture of our time.
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?'
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"
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.
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..."
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"
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"
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. "
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"
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)"
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.
"Good introduction for beginners to Philosophy."
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.
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"
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"
Can literature change our real world society? At its foundation, utopian and dystopian fiction asks a few seemingly simple questions aimed at doing just that. Who are we as a society? Who do we want to be? Who are we afraid we might become? When these questions are framed in the speculative versions of Heaven and Hell on earth, you won't find easy answers, but you will find tremendously insightful and often entertaining perspectives.
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.
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 great thinkers.
"Learn to deal with, not become a tyrant"
In July 2004, Barack Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with an address that spoke to Americans across the political spectrum. Now, in The Audacity of Hope, he calls for a different brand of politics: a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship and alienated by the "endless clash of armies" we see in Congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of "our improbable experiment in democracy".
"Much better than its title."
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"