Posts tagged Philosophy
On the Nature of Things

For anyone concerned to understand the Epicurean philosophical tradition from the inside, the republication, in an updated version, of Martin Ferguson Smith's little-known translation of Lucretius is welcome news. Meticulous, judicious and reader-friendly in equal measure, it embodies the fruits of a lifetime's study of Lucretius' poetic masterpiece. --David Sedley, Christ's College, University of Cambridge

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Letters From a Stoic

Renowned author Timothy Ferriss calls Stoicism “the ideal operating system for anyone who wants to operate in high-stress environments”. Seneca’s Letters, a masterpiece of classical literature, offer a compelling and accessible introduction to Stoic ideas. Whether you are a senior executive or an emerging artist, an athlete or a home-maker, the Letters give you the tools you need to overcome setbacks and maximize your potential. “Just like an entrepreneur, stoicism’s built for action, not endless debate.” Ryan Holiday

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The Denial of Death

Winner of the Pulitzer prize in 1974 and the culmination of a life's work, The Denial of Death is Ernest Becker's brilliant and impassioned answer to the "why" of human existence. In bold contrast to the predominant Freudian school of thought, Becker tackles the problem of the vital lie -- man's refusal to acknowledge his own mortality. In doing so, he sheds new light on the nature of humanity and issues a call to life and its living that still resonates more than twenty years after its writing.

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The Emperor's Handbook: A New Translation of the Meditations

Divided into twelve books, these meditations chronicle Aurelius’s personal quest for self-improvement. This enduring text from one of history’s greatest warriors and leaders has been compared to St. Augustine’s Confessions for its timelessness, clarity, and candor. These writings, composed between 161 and 180 CE, set forth Aurelius’s Stoic philosophy and stress the importance of acting in a way that is moral and just rather than self-indulgent.

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A Treatise of Human Nature

First published in 1739 to an unenthusiastic British public, Hume's "Treatise" has since been referred to as one of the most significant books in the history of philosophy. Hume, a Scottish philosopher, claimed that he was attempting to discuss moral issues with a methodical reasoning, and proceeded to do so in this foundational text. Through this treatise, Hume exhibits a remarkable and creative mind, disciplined and enhanced by a systematic method of reasoning, that has produced a text on moral philosophy that continues to stand the test of time over two hundred years later.

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An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding

A landmark of Enlightenment thought, Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is accompanied here by two shorter works that shed light on it: A Letter from a Gentleman to His Friend in Edinburgh, Hume's response to those accusing him of atheism, of advocating extreme skepticism, and of undermining the foundations of morality; and his Abstract of A Treatise of Human Nature, which anticipates discussions developed in the Enquiry.

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The City of God

In The City of God (begun in 413, but Books 20-22 were written in 426) Augustine answers the pagans, who attributed the fall of Rome (410) to the abolition of pagan worship. Considering this problem of Divine Providence with regard to the Roman Empire, he widens the horizon still more and in a burst of genius he creates the philosophy of history, embracing as he does with a glance the destinies of the world grouped around the Christian religion, the only one which goes back to the beginning and leads humanity to its final term. The City of God is considered as the most important work of the great bishop.

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The Nicomachean Ethic's

In the “Nicomachean Ethics”, Aristotle sets out to examine the nature of happiness. He argues that happiness consists in ‘activity of the soul in accordance with virtue’, for example with moral virtues, such as courage, generosity and justice, and intellectual virtues, such as knowledge, wisdom and insight. “The Ethics” also discusses the nature of practical reasoning, the value and the objects of pleasure, the different forms of friendship, and the relationship between individual virtue, society and the State. Aristotle’s work has had a profound and lasting influence on all subsequent Western thought about ethical matters.

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Politics

The Politics is one of the most influential texts in the history of political thought, and it raises issues which still confront anyone who wants to think seriously about the ways in which human societies are organized and governed. The work of one of the world's greatest philosophers, it draws on Aristotle's own great knowledge of the political and constitutional affairs of the Greek cities. By examining the way societies are run - from households to city states - Aristotle establishes how successful constitutions can best be initiated and upheld.

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The Republic

The Republic is a dialogue by Plato in which the famous Athenian philosopher examines the nature of an ideal society. The insights are profound and timeless. A landmark of Western literature, The Republic is essential reading for philosophy students. 

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War and Peace

War and Peace broadly focuses on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 and follows three of the most well-known characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of a count who is fighting for his inheritance and yearning for spiritual fulfillment; Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who leaves his family behind to fight in the war against Napoleon; and Natasha Rostov, the beautiful young daughter of a nobleman who intrigues both men. As Napoleon’s army invades, Tolstoy brilliantly follows characters from diverse backgrounds—peasants and nobility, civilians and soldiers—as they struggle with the problems unique to their era, their history, and their culture. And as the novel progresses, these characters transcend their specificity, becoming some of the most moving—and human—figures in world literature.

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The Trial and Death of Socrates

Among the most important and influential philosophical works in Western thought: Euthyphro, exploring the concepts and aims of piety and religion; Apology, a defense of the integrity of Socrates' teachings; Crito, exploring Socrates' refusal to flee his death sentence; and Phaedo, in which Socrates embraces death and discusses the immortality of the soul.

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