The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism is a 1964 collection of essays and papers by Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden. Most of the essays originally appeared in The Objectivist Newsletter, except for “The Objectivist Ethics”, which was a paper Rand delivered at the University of Wisconsin during a symposium on “Ethics in Our Time”. The book covers ethical issues from the perspective of Rand’s Objectivist philosophy. Some of its themes include the identification and validation of egoism as a rational code of ethics, the destructiveness of altruism, and the nature of a proper government.
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?
Stephen W. Hawking - Leonard Mlodinow - The Grand Design
The three central questions of philosophy and science: Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist? Why this particular set of laws and not some other? No one can make a discussion of such matters as compulsively readable as the celebrated University of Cambridge cosmologist Hawking (A Brief History of Time). Along with Caltech physicist Mlodinow (The Drunkard's Walk), Hawking deftly mixes cutting-edge physics to answer those key questions. For instance, why do we exist? Earth occupies a "Goldilocks Zone" in space: just the perfect distance from a not-too-hot star, with just the right elements to allow life to evolve. On a larger scale, in order to explain the universe, the authors write, "we need to know not only how the universe behaves, but why." While no single theory exists yet, scientists are approaching that goal with what is called "M-theory," a collection of overlapping theories (including string theory) that fill in many (but not all) the blank spots in quantum physics; this collection is known as the "Grand Unified Field Theories." This may all finally explain the mystery of the universe's creation without recourse to a divine creator. This is an amazingly concise, clear, and intriguing overview of where we stand when it comes to divining the secrets of the universe.
Vanamali - Shiva
The traditional understanding of Shiva told through stories and teachings from the Shiva Mahapurana • Explains Shiva’s contradictory forms, such as destroyer or benefactor, and how his form depends on the needs of the devotee • Reveals how Shiva’s teachings allow one to see through the illusions at the root of all grief and alienation in human life • Explores Shiva’s relationships with Durga, Shakti, Sati, and Parvati and with his sons Ganesha and Kartikeya Shiva, the most ancient and complex deity of the Hindu pantheon, has been portrayed in many contrasting lights: destroyer and benefactor, ascetic and householder, wild demon slayer and calm yogi atop Mount Kailash. Drawing from the Hindu sacred text the Shiva Mahapurana--said to be written by Shiva himself--Vanamali selects the essential stories of Shiva, both those from his dark wild side and those from his benevolent peaceful side. Vanamali discusses Shiva’s many avatars such as Shambunatha and Bhola, as well as Dakshinamurti who taught the shastras and tantras to the rishis. She explores Shiva’s relationships with Durga, Shakti, Sati, and Parvati and with his sons Ganesha and Kartikeya. Examining Shiva’s acceptance of outsiders, Vanamali explains why ghosts and ghouls are his attendants and why his greatest devotees are demon kings, like Ravana. She includes famous Shiva stories such as the Descent of the River Ganga and Churning the Milky Ocean as well as those that reveal the origin of the festival of lights, Diwali; his creation of the cosmic couple, or hierogamos; and how Shiva and Parvati taught the world the secrets of Kundalini Shakti. The author also draws upon Shaivite teachings to illustrate the differences between Western science and Vedic science and their explanations for the origins of consciousness. Integrating Shiva’s two sides, the fierce and the peaceful, Vanamali reveals that Shiva’s form depends on the needs of the devotee. Understanding his teachings allows one to see through the illusions at the root of all grief and alienation in human life, for Shiva is the wielder of maya who does not fall under its spell. While Ganesha is known as the remover of obstacles, Shiva is the remover of tears.
Michel de Certeau - The Practice of Everyday Life
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 in analytic philosophy, linguistics, sociology, semiology, and anthropology--to speak of an apposite use of imaginative literature.
Jan Fries - Kali Kaula
Kali Kaula is a practical and experiential journey through the land of living magical art that is Tantra, guided by the incisive, inspired and multi-talented hands of Jan Fries. By stripping away the fantasies and exploring the roots, flowers and fruits of Tantra, the author provides an outstandingly effective and coherent manual of practices. Acknowledging the huge diversity of Tantric material produced over the centuries, Jan Fries draws on several decades of research and experience and focuses on the early traditions of Kula, Kaula and Krama, and the result is this inimitable work which shines with the light of possibility. Unique in style and content, this book is more than a manual of tantric magick, it is a guide to the exploration of the inner soul. It contains the most lucid discussions of how to achieve liberation in the company of numerous Indian goddesses and gods, each of whom brings their own lessons and gifts to the dedicated seeker. It is also an eloquent introduction to the mysteries of the great goddess Kali, providing numerous views of her manifold nature, and showing the immense but hidden role played throughout history by women in the development and dissemination of tantric practices and beliefs. Jan Fries explores the spectrum of techniques from mudra to mantra, pranayama to puja, from kundalini arousal to purification to sexual rites, and makes them both accessible and relevant, translating them out of the Twilight Language of old texts and setting them in the context of both personal transformation and the historical evolution of traditions. The web of connections between Tantra and Chinese Alchemy and Taoism are explored as the author weaves together many of the previously disparate strands of philosophies and practices. This book challenges the reader to dream, delight, and develop, and provides an illustrated guidebook on how to do so. Bliss awaits those who dare.
Henry David Thoreau - Walden (angol)
Walden (first published as Walden; or, Life in the Woods) by Henry David Thoreau is one of the best-known non-fiction books written by an American. Published in 1854, it details Thoreau's sojourn in a cabin near Walden Pond, amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Concord, Massachusetts. Thoreau lived at Walden for two years, two months, and two days, but Walden was written so that the stay appears to be a year, with expressed seasonal divisions. Thoreau did not intend to live as a hermit, for he received visitors and returned their visits. Instead, he hoped to isolate himself from society in order to gain a more objective understanding of it. Simplicity and self-reliance were Thoreau's other goals, and the whole project was inspired by transcendentalist philosophy. As Thoreau made clear in the book, his cabin was not in wilderness but at the edge of town, not far from his family home.
Roger Scruton - Sexual Desire
When John desires Mary or Mary desires John, what does either of them want? What is meant by innocence, passion, love and arousal, desire, perversion and shame? These are just a few of the questions Roger Scruton addresses in this thought-provoking intellectual adventure. Beginning from purely philosophical premises, and ranging over human life, art and institutions, he surveys the entire field of sexuality; equally dissatisfied with puritanism and permissiveness, he argues for a radical break with recent theories. Upholding traditional morality - though in terms that may shock many of its practitioners - his argument gravitates to that which is candid, serene and consoling in the experience of sexual love.
George B. Dyson - Darwin Among The Machines
Introducing a cast of known and unknown characters, George B. Dyson traces the course of the information revolution, illuminating the lives and work of visionaries - from the time of Thomas Hobbes to the time of John von Neumann - who foresaw the development of artificial intelligence, artificial life, and artificial mind. This book derives both its title and its outlook from Samuel Butler's 1863 essay "Darwin Among the Machines." Observing the beginnings of miniaturization, self-reproduction, and telecommunication among machines, Butler predicted that nature's intelligence, only temporarily subservient to technology, would resurface to claim our creations as her own. Weaving a cohesive narrative among his brilliant predecessors, Dyson constructs a straightforward, convincing, and occasionally frightening view of the evolution of mind in the global network, on a level transcending our own. Dyson concludes that we are in the midst of an experiment that echoes the prehistory of human intelligence and the origins of life. Just as the exchange of coded molecular instructions brought life as we know it to the early earth's primordial soup, and as language and mind combined to form the culture in which we live, so, in the digital universe, are computer programs and worldwide networks combining to produce an evolutionary theater in which the distinctions between nature and technology are increasingly obscured. Nature, believes Dyson, is on the side of the machines.
Thomas Metzinger - The Ego Tunnel
Consciousness, mind, brain, self: the relations among these four entities are explored by German cognitive scientist and theoretical philosopher Metzinger, who argues that, in fact, there is no such thing as a self. In prose accessible mainly to those schooled in philosophy and science, Metzinger defines the ego as the phenomenal self, which knows the world experientially as it subjectively appear[s] to you. But neuroscientific experiments have demonstrated, among other things, that the unitary sense of self is a subjective representation: for instance, one can be fooled into feeling sensations in a detached artificial arm. So the author argues that the ego is a tunnel that bores into reality and limits what you can see, hear, smell and feel. Metzinger tests his theory by ranging over events of the consciousness such as out-of-body experiences, lucid dreaming and free will, and he concludes by probing ethical actions and what a good state of consciousness would look like. Most readers will have difficulty penetrating Metzinger's ideas, and those who do will find little that is genuinely new.
Richard M. Stallman - Free Software, Free Society
The intersection of ethics, law, business and computer software is the subject of these essays and speeches by MacArthur Foundation Grant winner, Richard M. Stallman. This collection includes historical writings such as The GNU Manifesto, which defined and launched the activist Free Software Movement, along with new writings on hot topics in copyright, patent law, and the controversial issue of "trusted computing." Stallman takes a critical look at common abuses of copyright law and patents when applied to computer software programs, and how these abuses damage our entire society and remove our existing freedoms. He also discusses the social aspects of software and how free software can create community and social justice. Given the current turmoil in copyright and patent laws, including the DMCA and proposed CBDTPA, these essays are more relevant than ever. Stallman tackles head-on the essential issues driving the current changes in copyright law. He argues that for creativity to flourish, software must be free of inappropriate and overly-broad legal constraints. Over the past twenty years his arguments and actions have changed the course of software history; this new book is sure to impact the future of software and legal policies in the years to come. Lawrence Lessig, the author of two well-known books on similar topics, writes the introduction. He is a noted legal expert on copyright law and a Stanford Law School professor.
John Horgan - The End of Science
As a writer for SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, John Horgan has an unsurpassed window on contemporary science, routinely interviewing the scientific geniuses of our times, scientists such as Richard Dawkins, Murray Gell-Mann, Stephen Hawking, Karl Popper and Noam Chomsky. In THE END OF SCIENCE, Horgan displays his genius for getting these larger-than-life figures to be human, whilst also encouraging them to confront the very limits of knowledge. Have the big questions all been answered? Has all the knowledge worth pursuing become known? Will there be a final 'theory of everything' that signals the end? Horgan extracts surprisingly candid answers to these and other delicate questions as he discusses God, Star Trek, superstrings, quarks, consciousness and numerous other topics. In a time where scientific rationality is under fire from every quarter, THE END OF SCIENCE is a witty, thoughtful, profound and entertaining narrative which serves as both a critique of and a homage to modern science.
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.
Danielle Föllmi - Olivier Föllmi - Awakenings
In this fifth installment in the Offerings for Humanity project, the authors invite the reader to travel to East Asia. Each photograph by Olivier is accompanied by the thoughts of great masters, including Confucius, Lao Tzu, Dogen Zenji, Shonin Shinran, D. T. Suzuki, Gao Xingjian, and the Buddha.
Ismeretlen szerző - Manga and Philosophy
Arguably the most important pop-culture import from the East to the West, manga is a phenomenon that can no longer be ignored. Yet just as much as it is a source of visual splendor and riveting storylines, manga — _the_ herald of the exotic and über-hip — stimulates intense philosophical interest. Drawing from Japanese art traditions, influenced by the impact of World War II, and a significant player in cross-cultural exchange, manga has rapidly become a literary force worldwide. Readers of all ages eagerly await the next installment of their favorite manga series and delight in discovering new titles. _Manga and Philosophy_ joins the lively discussion about manga by examining some of its major forms (_lolicon_ to _shonen_ to _shojo_), best titles (_Death Note_ to _Space Battleship Yamato_ to _Gunslinger Girl_), and the cultural factors surrounding it. Can demons be good? Is it morally wrong to sexualize schoolgirls? What do giant robots teach us about the ethics of war? All of these questions and more are dealt with professionally and accessibly, making _Manga and Philosophy_ all but indispensable for fans and scholars alike.
Ismeretlen szerző - Anime and Philosophy
_Anime and Philosophy_ focuses on some of the most-loved, most-intriguing anime films and series, as well as lesser-known works, to find what lies at their core. _Astro Boy_, _Dragon Ball Z_, _Ghost in the Shell_, and _Spirited Away_ are just a few of the films analyzed in this book. In these stories about monsters, robots, children, and spirits who grapple with the important questions in life we find insight crucial to our times: lessons on morality, justice, and heroism, as well as meditations on identity, the soul, and the meaning — or meaninglessness — of life. Anime has become a worldwide phenomenon, reaching across genres, mediums, and cultures. For those wondering why so many people love anime or for die-hard fans who want to know more, _Anime and Philosophy_ provides a deeper appreciation of the art and storytelling of this distinctive Japanese culture.
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.
Jane Roberts - The Magical Approach
The Seth books are world-renowned for comprising one of the most profound bodies of work ever written on the true nature of reality. In this brand new volume of original material, Seth invites us to look at the world through another lens #150;#150; a magical one. Seth reveals the true, magical nature of our deepest levels of being, and explains how we have allowed it to become inhibited by our own beliefs and conventional thinking. The Magical Approach teaches us how to live our lives spontaneously, creatively, and according to our own natural rhythms. It helps us to discover and tune into our natural, instinctive behavior. By applying the principles in this book, readers will learn to trust their impulses and discover the highest expression of their creativity. We are indeed dealing with two entirely different approaches to reality and to solving problems #150;#150; methods we will here call the rational method and the magical one. The rational approach works quite well in certain situations, such as mass production of goods, or in certain kinds of scientific measurements #150;#150; but all in all the rational method, as it is understood and used, does not work as an overall approach to life, or in the solving of problems that involve subjective rather than objective measurements or calculations. The magical approach has far greater weight, if you use it and allow yourselves to operate in that fashion, for it has the weight of your basic natural orientation.
Ken Wilber - A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science and Spirituality
Here is a concise, comprehensive overview of Wilber's revolutionary thought and its application in today's world. In A Theory of Everything, Wilber uses clear, nontechnical language to present complex, cutting-edge theories that integrate the realms of body, mind, soul, and spirit. He then demonstrates how these theories and models can be applied to real-world problems in areas such as politics, medicine, business, education, and the environment. Wilber also discusses daily practices that readers take up in order to apply this integrative vision to their own everyday lives.
James Gleick - Chaos
Chaos records the birth of a new science. This new science offers a way of seeing order and pattern where formerly only the random, the erratic, the unpredictable - in short, the chaotic - had been observed. In the words of Douglas Hofstadter, "It turns out that an eerie type of chaos can lurk just behind a facade of order - and yet, deep inside the chaos lurks an even eerier type of order." Although highly mathematical in origin, chaos is a science of the everyday world, addressing questions every child has wondered about: how clouds form, how smoke rises, how water eddies in a stream. Chaos is a history of discovery. It chronicles, in the words of the scientists themselves, their conflicts and frustrations, their emotions and moments of revelation. After reading Chaos, you will never look at the world in quite the same way again.