If you walk around every day on eggshells, nervous about making a mistake or looking stupid, then you should read this.
If you have a “next big thing” in mind you want to do because you know it will be awesome (starting the business, making the big move, launching the nonprofit, writing the book) but are afraid of doing what it would take to make that thing happen, then you should read this.
The universe is very big. You are very small. In fact, you’re so small and so insignificant in the big picture that you don’t even register to the eye of the cosmos. The universe was here before you were born and will be here long after you’re gone, and your life is but a blip on its vast, vast radar. If your life is to matter, it’s not going to matter to the universe. It’s up to you make your life matter in the only way you can: by doing things that make a difference to you, to those around you, and to those whose lives you touch. Time is short. You have exactly NOW to do whatever it is you’re here to do, or to let the inexorable passage of hours and days and years kill your potential like fruit left to die on a vine.
The universe doesn’t hate you, but it doesn’t love you, either. You’re just an atom in its infinite workings. The universe doesn’t care if you live, die, suffer, or thrive. Whatever your life here will mean is up to you.
Stop worrying so much about what others think and start being who you’re supposed to be. It’s time to do some epic shit.
John Stuart Mill - On politics and society
Although he wrote extensively for fifty years, Mill's reputation as the philosopher of liberalism is largely based on three books published within a short space of five years: On liberty (1859); Considerations on representative government (1861); Utilitarianism (1863). Such a selective record offers a very partial view of Mill's scope as a political theorist, and one that largely ignores the restless and questioning approach which was central to his work. In John Stuart Mill on politics and society Geraint L. Williams provides a new selection from the whole range of Mill's political writings to present a comprehensive view both of the structure of Mill's thought and of the development of his political thinking from the 1820s to the 1870s.
John Locke - Two treatises of government
John Locke laid the groundwork of modern liberalism. He argued that political societies exist to defend the lives, liberties, and properties of their citizens, and that no government has any authority except by the consent of the people. When rulers become tyrants and act against the common good, then the people have a right of revolution against them. Writing against the backdrop of Charles II's savage purge of the Whig movement, Locke set out to attack monarchical absolutism and demolished the intellectual fabric of the divine right of rulers.
Iris Murdoch - The Unicorn
When Marian Taylor takes a post as governess at Gaze Castle, a remote house upon a beautiful but desolate coast, she finds herself confronted with a number of weird mysteries and involved in a drama she only partly understands. Some crime or catastrophe in the past still keeps the house, like the castle of the Sleeping Beauty, under a spell, whose magic also touches the neighbouring house of Riders, inhabited by a scholarly recluse. Marian's employer, Hannah, and her retainers, seem to be acting out some tragic pattern: but it is not clear whether Hannah herself, the central figure, the Unicorn, is innocent victim or violent author, saint or witch... In a novel that has all the beauty of a fairy story and the melodrama of a Gothic tale, Murdoch explores the fantasies and ambiguities which beset those who are condemned to be passionately abandoned and yet hopelessly imperfect in their search for God.
Ismeretlen szerző - The Bhagavad Gita
_The_ _Bhagavad_ _Gita,_ a scintillating jewel embedded in the great Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, is a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna set against the background of war. At the beginning of the poem, we learn that there is going to be a great war for the rule of a kingdom. On the battlefield, with armies of the Kuru clan ranged against each other, Arjuna and Krishna explore the necessity of war and the nature of the human soul. The eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita encompass the whole spiritual struggle of a human soul, and the central themes of this immortal poem arise from the symphonic vision of God in all things and of all things in God.
Plato - The Last Days of Socrates
The trial and condemnation of Socrates on charges of heresy and corrupting young minds is a defining moment in the history of Classical Athens. In tracing these events through four dialogues, Plato also developed his own philosophy, based on Socrates' manifesto for a life guided by self-responsibility. Euthyphro finds Socrates outside the court-house, debating the nature of piety, while The Apology is his robust rebuttal of the charges of impiety and a defence of the philosopher's life. In the Crito, while awaiting execution in prison, Socrates counters the arguments of friends urging him to escape. Finally, in the Phaedo, he is shown calmly confident in the face of death, skilfully arguing the case for the immortality of the soul.
William Irwin - Downton Abbey and Philosophy
Who can resist the lure of Downton Abbey and the triumphs and travails of the Crawley family and its servants? We admire Bates's sense of honor, envy Carson's steadfastness, and thrill to Violet's caustic wit. Downton Abbey and Philosophy draws on some of history's most profound philosophical minds to delve deeply into the dilemmas that confront our favorite characters. Was Matthew right to push Mary away after his injury in the war? Would Lord Grantham have been justified in blocking Lady Sybil's marriage to Tom Branson? And is Thomas really such a bad person?
Thomas Cathcart - Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar - Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes
Outrageously funny, Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar . . . has been a breakout bestseller ever since authors—and born vaudevillians—Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein did their schtick on NPR’s Weekend Edition. Lively, original, and powerfully informative, Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar . . . is a not-so-reverent crash course through the great philosophical thinkers and traditions, from Existentialism (What do Hegel and Bette Midler have in common?) to Logic (Sherlock Holmes never deduced anything). Philosophy 101 for those who like to take the heavy stuff lightly, this is a joy to read—and finally, it all makes sense!
Simon Blackburn - Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy
This best-selling dictionary is written by one of the most famous philosophers of our time, and widely recognised as the best dictionary of its kind. Wide-ranging and authoritative, it covers every aspect of philosophy from Aristotle to Zen. Clear, concise and easy to use, it provides lively and accessible coverage of not only Western philosophical traditions, but also themes from Chinese, Indian, Islamic, and Jewish philosophy. Entries include over 500 biographies of famous and influential philosophers, in-depth analysis of philosophical terms and concepts, and a chronology of philosophical events stretching from 10,000 BC to the present day.
Ronald Dworkin - Justice for Hedgehogs
The fox knows many things, the Greeks said, but the hedgehog knows one big thing. In his most comprehensive work, Ronald Dworkin argues that value in all its forms is one big thing: that what truth is, life means, morality requires, and justice demands are different aspects of the same large question. He develops original theories on a great variety of issues very rarely considered in the same book: moral skepticism, literary, artistic, and historical interpretation, free will, ancient moral theory, being good and living well, liberty, equality, and law among many other topics. What we think about any one of these must stand up, eventually, to any argument we find compelling about the rest. Skepticism in all its forms--philosophical, cynical, or post-modern--threatens that unity. The Galilean revolution once made the theological world of value safe for science. But the new republic gradually became a new empire: the modern philosophers inflated the methods of physics into a totalitarian theory of everything. They invaded and occupied all the honorifics--reality, truth, fact, ground, meaning, knowledge, and being--and dictated the terms on which other bodies of thought might aspire to them, and skepticism has been the inevitable result. We need a new revolution. We must make the world of science safe for value.
Karen Silvia de Leon-Jones - Giordano Bruno and the Kabbalah
Giordano Bruno (1548–1600), a defrocked Dominican monk, was convicted of heresy by the Roman Catholic Inquisition and burned at the stake in Rome. He had spent fifteen years wandering throughout Europe on the run from Counter-Reformation intelligence and eight years in prison under interrogation. The author of more than sixty works on mathematics, science, ethics, philosophy, metaphysics, the art of memory and esoteric mysticism, Bruno had a profound impact on Western thought. Until now his involvement with Jewish mysticism has never been fully explored. Karen Silvia de León-Jones presents an engaging and illuminating discussion of his mystical understanding and use of Jewish and Christian Kabbalah, theology, and philosophy, including the famous Hermetica, and especially his exploration and use of magic to reveal the mysteries of the universe and the divine.
Simon Blackburn - Think
This is a book about the big questions in life: knowledge, consciousness, fate, God, truth, goodness, justice. It is for anyone who believes there are big questions out there, but does not know how to approach them. Think sets out to explain what they are and why they are important. Simon Blackburn begins by putting forward a convincing case for the study of philosophy and goes on to give the reader a sense of how the great historical figures such as Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Wittgenstein have approached its central themes. Each chapter explains a major issue, and gives the reader a self-contained guide through the problems that philosophers have studied. The large scope of topics covered range from scepticism, the self, mond and body, and freedom to ethics and the arguments surrounding the existence of God. Lively and approachable, this book is ideal for all those who want to learn how the basic techniques of thinking shape our existence.
Eckhart Tolle - A New Earth
Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" will be a cornerstone for personal spirituality and self-improvement for years to come, leading readers to a new levels of consciousness and inner peace. Taking off from the introspective work "The Power of Now", which is a number one bestseller and has sold millions of copies worldwide, Tolle provides the spiritual framework for people to move beyond themselves in order to make this world a better, more spiritually evolved place to live. Shattering modern ideas of ego and entitlement, self and society, Tolle lifts the veil of fear that has hung over humanity during this new millennium, and shines an illuminating light that leads to happiness and health that every reader can follow.
Ismeretlen szerző - Doctor Who and Philosophy
In Doctor Who and Philosophy, a team of mostly human philosophers (who are also fans) looks at the deeper issues raised by the Doctor's mind-blowing adventures. They discuss, among other topics, the Doctor's philosophy of science, the ethics of a universe with millions of intelligent species, what makes one life-form more important than another, whether time travelers can change history, and how the Doctor Who TV show is changing the world we live in. The chapters draw freely on both the classic series (1963–1989) and the new series. The book includes a collection of entertaining and insightful quotes from Doctor Who plus a complete list of episodes and companions.
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Dispossessed
The Principle of Simultaneity is a scientific breakthrough which will revolutionize interstellar civilization by making possible instantaneous communication. It is the life work of Shevek, a brilliant physicist from the arid anarchist world of Anarres. But Shevek's work is being stifled by jealous colleagues, so he travels to Anarres's sister-planet Urras, hoping to find more liberty and tolerance there. But he soon finds himself being used as a pawn in a deadly political game.
Rhonda Byrne - The Secret
Once known only by an elite who were unwilling to share their knowledge of the power, 'the secret' of obtaining anything you desire is now revealed by prominent physicists, authors and philosophers as being based in the universal Law of Attraction. And the good news is that anyone can access its power to bring themselves health, wealth and happiness. Fragments of The Secret have been found in oral traditions, literature, religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. A number of the exceptional people who discovered its power went on to become regarded as the greatest human beings who ever lived. Among them: Plato, Leonardo, Galileo and Einstein. Now 'the secret' is being shared with the world. Beautiful in its simplicity, and mind-dazzling in its ability to really work, The Secret reveals the mystery of the hidden potential within us all. By unifying leading-edge scientific thought with ancient wisdom and spirituality, the riveting, practical knowledge will lead readers to a greater understanding of how they can be the masters of their own lives.
Rumi - Selected Poems
Thirteenth-century Persian philosopher, mystic, scholar and founder of the order of the Whirling Dervishes, Jelaluddin Rumi was also a poet of transcendental power. His inspirational verse speaks with the universal voice of the human soul and brims with exuberant energy and passion. Rich in natural imagery from horses to fishes, flowers to birds and rivers to stars, the poems have an elemental force that has remained undiminished through the centuries. Their themes - tolerance, goodness, the experience of God, charity and awareness through love - still resonate with millions of readers around the world. Coleman Barks's vibrant translation conveys the directness and originality of Rumi's poetry. This edition is divided into thematic sections, each with an introduction, and includes a biographical essay on Rumi by John Moyne, A. J. Arberry and Reynold Nicholson.
David Bohm - On Dialogue
Never before has there been a greater need for deeper listening and more open communication to cope with the complex probelms facing our organisations, businesses and societies. Renowned scientist David Bohm "one of the most searching thinkers in modern physics" (Nature) believed there was a better way for humanity to discover meaning and to achieve harmony. He identified creative dialogue, a sharing of assumptions and understanding as a means by which the individual, the society as a whole, can learn about themselves and others, to achieve a renewed sense of purpose.
Antonio Damasio - Looking for Spinoza
Joy, sorrow, jealousy, and awe - these and other feelings are the stuff of our daily lives. In the seventeenth century, the philosopher Spinoza devoted much of his life's work examining how these emotions supported human survival, yet hundreds of years later the biological roots of what we feel remain a mystery. Leading neuroscientist Antonio Damasio - whose earlier books explore rational behavior and the notion of the self - rediscovers a man whose work ran counter to all the thinking of his day, pairing Spinoza's insights with his own innovative scientific research to help us understand what we're made of, and what we're here for.
Paul Tillich - Dynamics of Faith
One of the greatest books ever written on the subject, _Dynamics of Faith_ is a primer in the philosophy of religion. Paul Tillich, a leading theologian of the twentieth century, explores the idea of faith in all its dimensions, while defining the concept in the process.
Edward W. Said - Orientalism
In this highly acclaimed seminal work, Edward Said surveys the history and nature of Western attitudes towards the East, considering Orientalism as a powerful European ideological creation – a way for writers, philosophers and colonial administrators to deal with the ‘otherness’ of Eastern culture, customs and beliefs. He traces this view through the writings of Homer, Nerval and Flaubert, Disraeli and Kipling, whose imaginative depictions have greatly contributed to the West’s romantic and exotic picture of the Orient. In his new preface, Said examines the effect of continuing Western imperialism after recent events in Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq.