Indulge in some serious existential questioning, or find great guides to that philosophical theory you've always intended to get a grasp on.
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The Courage of Hopelessness
In these troubled times, even the most pessimistic diagnosis of our future ends with an uplifting hint that things might not be as bad as all that, that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Yet, argues Slavoj Aixek, it is only when we have admitted to ourselves that our situation is completely hopeless - that the light at the end of the tunnel is in fact the headlight of a train approaching us from the opposite direction - that fundamental change can be brought about. Surveying the various challenges in the world today, from mass migration and geopolitical tensions to terrorism, the explosion of rightist populism and the emergence of new radical politics - all of which, in their own way, express the impasses of global capitalism - Aixek explores whether there still remains the possibility for genuine change.
The concern for the well-being of others could be the saving grace of the 21st century. Matthieu Ricard's Altruism, an erudite, brilliantly ranging synthesis of philosophy, psychology and ages old wisdom, is a radical call to kindness, which has the potential as a new global movement to answer the biggest problems of our time: the economy in the short term, life satisfaction in the mid-term, and the environment in the long term. As the faultlines of inequality and nationalism leave us ever more divided, Ricard challenges us to be better people - and in the process, make the world a better place.
Winner of the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction A New York Times bestseller Foreword by Oliver Sacks What is autism: a devastating developmental condition, a lifelong disability, or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is all of these things and more - and the future of our society depends on our understanding it. Going back to the earliest autism research and chronicling the brave and lonely journey of autistic people and their families through the decades, Silberman provides long-sought solutions to the autism puzzle while casting light on the growing movement of 'neurodiversity' and mapping out a path towards a more humane world for people with learning differences.
1001 Ideas That Changed the Way We Think
Ranging from the ancient wisdom of Confucius and Plato to today's cutting-edge thinkers, 1001 Ideas That Changed The Way We Think offers a wealth of stimulation and amusement for everyone with a curious mind. Within the pages of this book you will find a wide variety of answers to the great, eternal questions: how was the universe created and what is the place of humans within it? How should a person live? And how can we build a just society?
Far From The Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
Sometimes your child - the most familiar person of all - is radically different from you. The saying goes that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. But what happens when it does? Drawing on interviews with over three hundred families, covering subjects including deafness, dwarfs, Down's Syndrome, Autism, Schizophrenia, disability, prodigies, children born of rape, children convicted of crime and transgender people, Andrew Solomon documents ordinary people making courageous choices. Difference is potentially isolating, but Far from the Tree celebrates repeated triumphs of human love and compassion to show that the shared experience of difference is what unites us. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for General Non-fiction and eleven other national awards.
The Psychopath Test
The Sunday Times top-ten bestseller from the author of The Men Who Stare at Goats "The belly laughs come thick and fast - my God, he is funny . . . Ronson's new book is provocative and interesting, and you will, I guarantee, zip merrily through it" Observer What if society wasn't fundamentally rational, but was motivated by insanity? This thought sets Jon Ronson on an utterly compelling adventure into the world of madness. Along the way, Jon meets psychopaths, those whose lives have been touched by madness and those whose job it is to diagnose it, including the influential psychologist who developed the Psychopath Test, from whom Jon learns the art of psychopath-spotting.
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices - fast, intuitive thinking, and slow, rational thinking. This book reveals how our minds are tripped up by error and prejudice (even when we think we are being logical), and gives you practical techniques for slower, smarter thinking. It will enable to you make better decisions at work, at home, and in everything you do. 'There may be no other person on the planet who better understands how and why we make the choices we make.
What the Dog Saw
Malcolm Gladwell is the master of playful yet profound insight. His ability to see underneath the surface of the seemingly mundane taps into a fundamental human impulse- curiosity. From criminology to ketchup, job interviews to dog training, Malcolm Gladwell takes everyday subjects and shows us surprising new ways of looking at them, and the world around us. Are smart people overrated? What can pit bulls teach us about crime? Why are problems like homelessness easier to solve than to manage? How do we hire when we can't tell who's right for the job? Gladwell explores the minor geniuses, the underdogs and the overlooked, and reveals how everyone and everything contains an intriguing story. What the Dog Saw is Gladwell at his very best - asking questions and seeking answers in his inimitable style.
The Meaning of Things: Applying Philosophy to Life
This book is an accessible, lively and thought-provoking series of linked commentaries, based on A. C. Grayling's The Last Word column in the Guardian. Its aim is not to persuade readers to accept one particular philosophical point of view or theory, but to help us consider the wonderful range of insights which can be drawn from an immeasurably rich history of philosophical thought. Concepts covered include courage, love, betrayal, ambition, cruelty, wisdom, passion, beauty and death. This will be a wonderfully stimulating read and act as an invaluable guide as to what is truly important in living life, whether facing success, failure, justice, wrong, love, loss or any of the other profound experience life throws out.
Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Acclaimed as one of the most exciting books in the history of American letters, this modern epic became an instant bestseller upon publication in 1974, transforming a generation and continuing to inspire millions. A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, the book becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions of how to live. Resonant with the confusions of existence, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a touching and transcendent book of life.
In Status Anxiety, bestselling author Alain de Botton sets out to understand our universal fear of failure - and how we might change. We all worry about what others think of us. We all long to succeed and fear failure. We all suffer - to a greater or lesser degree, usually privately and with embarrassment - from status anxiety. For the first time, Alain de Botton gives a name to this universal condition and sets out to investigate both its origins and possible solutions. He looks at history, philosophy, economics, art and politics - and reveals the many ingenious ways that great minds have overcome their worries.
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