Five Recently Arrived Titles from the Philosophy Section:
‘Why is there a world rather than nothing at all?’ remains the most curious and most enduring of all metaphysical mysteries. Moving away from the narrower paths of Christopher Hitchens, Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking, the celebrated essayist Jim Holt now enters this fascinating debate with his broad, lively and deeply informed narrative that traces all our efforts to grasp the origins of the universe. With sly humour and a highly original personal approach Holt takes on the role of cosmological detective. Suggesting that we might have been too narrow in limiting our suspects to God and the Big Bang, he tracks down, among others, an eccentric Oxford philosopher, a Nobel Laureate physicist, a French Buddhist monk, and John Updike just before he died, to pursue this cosmic puzzle from every angle. As he pieces together a solution – while offering useful insights into time, consciousness, and eternity – he sheds fascinating new light on the meaning of existence.
In this incisive book, Michel de Certeau considers the uses to which social representation and modes of social behavior are put by individuals and groups, describing the tactics available to the common man for reclaiming his own autonomy from the all-pervasive forces of commerce, politics, and culture. In exploring the public meaning of ingeniously defended private meanings, de Certeau draws brilliantly on an immense theoretical literature to speak of an apposite use of imaginative literature.
The Philosophy Skills Book will help you to master the core skills you need to succeed in your study of Philosophy.
Taking you through a series of exercises that will help you practise and perfect your reading and writing of Philosophy, this book covers such topics as:
- Finding arguments and drawing conclusions
- Finding and resolving inconsistencies
- Brainstorming and planning your essays
- Summarizing and defending your argument
- Using quotations Avoiding common errors
Whether you want to get your studies off to a flying start or improve your final grade, The Philosophy Skills Book will help you develop the skills you need to be a better Philosopher.
It has always been difficult to appreciate everyday life, often devalued as dreary, banal and burdensome, and never more so than in a culture besotted with fantasy, celebrity and glamour. Yet many writers, artists, film-makers and photographers have celebrated the ordinary life around them, and many philosophers, anthropologists, psychologists and neuroscientists have offered insights into the difficulties and rewards of paying attention to the here and now. With characteristic wit and earthiness, Michael Foley – author of the bestselling The Age of Absurdity – draws on the work of these artists and thinkers, and encourages us to delight in the complexities of everyday psychopathology. With astute observation, Foley brings fresh insights to such things as the banality of everyday speech, the madness and weirdness of snobbery, love and sex, and the strangeness of everyday objects and the everyday environment, such as the office. It is all more fascinating, comical and mysterious than you think.
When it first appeared in 1979, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature hit the philosophical world like a bombshell. In it, Richard Rorty argued that, beginning in the seventeenth century, philosophers developed an unhealthy obsession with the notion of representation: comparing the mind to a mirror that reflects reality. Rorty’s book is a powerful critique of this imagery and the tradition of thought that it spawned.
Thirty years later, the book remains a must-read and stands as a classic of twentieth-century philosophy. Its influence on the academy, both within philosophy and across a wide array of disciplines, continues unabated. This edition includes new essays by philosopher Michael Williams and literary scholar David Bromwich, as well as Rorty’s previously unpublished essay “The Philosopher as Expert.”