At a time when opinion trumps facts and truth is treated as nothing more than another perspective, free speech has become a battleground. While authoritarians and algorithms threaten democracy, we argue over who has the right to speak.
To protect ourselves from encroaching tyranny, we must look beyond this one-dimensional notion of what it means to be free and, by reconnecting liberty to equality and accountability, restore the individual agency engendered by the three dimensions of freedom.
In this clear and evocative account, John Gaskin unfolds the thinking about nature, life, death and other worlds that informed the culture and society of the Classical world, drawing out its interest for modern readers. Witty sketches and diagrams enliven the story, which runs from Homeric Greece to the banning of pagan religions in ad 391. The book concludes with a gazetteer describing notable sites and the people and ideas connected with them, making it an ideal companion for visitors to Class..
WINNER OF THE 2019 MADAME DE STAËL PRIZE AND THE 2018 LEONTIEF PRIZE FOR ADVANCING THE FRONTIERS OF ECONOMIC THOUGHTSHORTLISTED FOR THE FT & MCKINSEY BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018Who really creates wealth in our world? And how do we decide the value of what they do? At the heart of today's financial and economic crisis is a problem hiding in plain sight.In modern capitalism, value-extraction is rewarded more highly than value-creation: the productive process that drives a healthy economy an..
'A truly transformative read' Sunday Times STYLE
'More than ever, we need books like this' Jessica Seaton, Co-Founder of Toast and author of Gather, Cook, Feast
A whole new way of looking at the world - and your life - inspired by centuries-old Japanese wisdom.
Wabi sabi ("wah-bi sah-bi") is a captivating concept from Japanese aesthetics, which helps us to see beauty in imperfection, appreciate simplicity and accept the transient nature of all things. With roots in zen and the way of tea, th..
A renowned philosopher challenges long-held views on just wars, ethical conduct during war, why wars occur, how they alter people and societies, and more For residents of the twenty-first century, a vision of a future without warfare is almost inconceivable. Though wars are terrible and destructive, they also seem unavoidable. In this original and deeply considered book, A. C. Grayling examines, tests, and challenges the concept of war. He proposes that a deeper, more accurate understanding of w..
A provocative, highly engaging essay on the art of pretending on the stage, on screen, and in daily life Does acting matter? David Thomson, one of our most respected and insightful writers on movies and theater, answers this question with intelligence and wit. In this fresh and thought-provoking essay, Thomson tackles this most elusive of subjects, examining the allure of the performing arts for both the artist and the audience member while addressing the paradoxes inherent in acting itself. He ..
Can nature make us happy? How can we know anything? What is justice? Why is there evil in the world? What is the source of truth? Is it possible for God not to exist? Can we really believe what we see? There are questions that have intrigued the world's great thinkers over the ages, which still touch a cord in all of us today. They are questions that can teach us about the way we live, work, relate to each other and see the world. Here, one of the world's greatest living philosophers, Leszek Kol..
"One of the most important political books of 2018."-Rod Dreher, American Conservative Of the three dominant ideologies of the twentieth century-fascism, communism, and liberalism-only the last remains. This has created a peculiar situation in which liberalism's proponents tend to forget that it is an ideology and not the natural end-state of human political evolution. As Patrick Deneen argues in this provocative book, liberalism is built on a foundation of contradictions: it trumpets equal righ..
John Berger broke new ground with his penetrating writings on life, art and how we see the world around us. Here he explores how the ancient relationship between man and nature has been broken in the modern consumer age, with the animals that used to be at the centre of our existence now marginalized and reduced to spectacle.
Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolut..
One of the most important works of cultural theory ever written, Walter Benjamin's groundbreaking essay explores how the age of mass media means audiences can listen to or see a work of art repeatedly – and what the troubling social and political implications of this are.
Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves – and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comf..
These are unique stories of timeless wisdom and understanding from the Zen Masters. With rich and fascinating tales of swords, tigers, tea, flowers and dogs, the writings of the Masters challenge every perception - and seek to bring all readers closer to enlightenment.
Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforte..
Charles Handy is one of the giants of contemporary thought. His books on management – including Understanding Organizations and Gods of Management – have changed the way we view business. His work on broader issues and trends – such as Beyond Certainty and The Second Curve – has changed the way we view society.
In his new book, Handy builds on a life's work to glimpse into the future and see what challenges and opportunities the next generation faces. How will people cope with change in a world..
From bestselling author Robert Greene comes a new guide to the strategies of war that can help us gain mastery in the modern world. Spanning world civilisations, and synthesising dozens of political, philosophical, and religious texts, The Concise 33 Strategies of War is a guide to the subtle social game of everyday life. Based on profound and timeless lessons, it is abundantly illustrated with examples of the genius and folly of everyone from Napoleon to Margaret Thatcher and Hannibal to Ulysse..
Drawn from 3,000 years of the history of power, this is the definitive guide to help readers achieve for themselves what Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, Louis XIV and Machiavelli learnt the hard way. Law 1: Never outshine the master Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies Law 3: Conceal your intentions Law 4: Always say less than necessary. The text is bold and elegant, laid out in black and red throughout and replete with fables and unique word sculptures. The 4..
This unprecedented book, by one of Britain's leading intellectual historians, describes the intellectual impact that the study and consideration of the past has had in the western world over the past 2500 years, treating the practise of history not as an isolated pursuit but as an aspect of human society and an essential part of the cultural history of Europe and America. It magnificently brings to life the work of historians from the Greeks to the present, explaining their distinctive qualities..
How did we find ourselves in a "post-truth" world of "alternative facts"? And can we get out of it? A Short History of Truth sets out to answer these questions by looking at the complex history of truth and falsehood. It identifies ten types of supposed truth and explains how easily each can become the midwife of falsehood. There is no species of truth that we can rely on unquestioningly, but that does not mean the truth can never be established. Attaining truth is an achievement we need to work..
'Far from being the pious injunction of a Utopian dreamer, the command to love one's enemy is an absolute necessity for our survival'
Advocating love as strength and non-violence as the most powerful weapon there is, these sermons and writings from the heart of the civil rights movement show Martin Luther King's rhetorical power at its most fiery and uplifting.
One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers who hav..
'Foucault leaves no reader untouched or unchanged' Edward Said
Aesthetics, the second volume of the complete collection of Michel Foucault's courses, articles and interviews, focuses on the philosophy, literature and art which informed his engagement with ethics and power, including brilliant commentaries on the work of de Sade, Rousseau, Marx, Magritte, Nietzsche, Freud and Wagner. He also explores a number of avant-garde authors who challenge our traditional notions of humanism, extends his t..
One of our best-known living philosophers' (Guardian).
How do we respond to the refugee crisis - by opening our doors, or pulling up the drawbridge? Both solutions, argues Slavoj Zizek, offer ideological blackmail, and both are wrong. He proposes that instead we see the crisis as an opportunity: a unique chance for Europe to redefine itself and its future. 'Zizek identifies the refugee crisis as one of the major global challenges of our time ...he argues for a politics of solidarity' (The Tim..
The closing months of 2008 saw the world's nations united in financial uncertainty. Amid endless reports of collapsing stock markets, failed banks, fiscal fraud and snowballing unemployment, THE AGE OF NOTHING offers a compelling insight into the demise of capitalism and the beginning of a new era. Peter Watson's scintillating thesis argues that the unprecedented credit crunch of 2008 was the result of a fundamental change in the fabric of society - one that became truly visible only as it reach..
'I am a woman's rights. I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that? I am as strong as any man that is now'
A former slave and one of the most powerful orators of her time, Sojourner Truth fought for the equal rights of Black women throughout her life. This selection of her impassioned speeches is accompanied by the words of other inspiring African-American female campaigners from the nineteenth century.
One of twenty new books in the bestsellin..
'Everywhere you will find that the wealth of the wealthy springs from the poverty of the poor'
Fuelled by anger at injustice and optimism about humankind's ability to make a better, truly communal society, the anarchist writings of Peter Kropotkin have influenced radicals the world over, from nineteenth-century workers to today's activists.
One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers who have helped shape our wo..
Which sort of seducer could you be: *Siren? *Rake? *Cold Coquette? *Star? *Comedian? *Charismatic? or *Saint? This book will show you which. 'Charm, persuasion, the ability to create illusions: these are some of the many dazzling gifts of the Seducer, the compelling figure who is able to manipulate, mislead and give pleasure all at once.
When raised to the level of art, seduction, an indirect and subtle form of power, has toppled empires, won elections and enslaved great minds. In this beautifu..
'If you think you understand AI and all of the related issues, you don't. By the time you finish this exceptionally lucid and riveting book you will breathe more easily and wisely' - Michael Gazzaniga
A leading computer scientist brings human sense to the AI bubble
No recent scientific enterprise has been so alluring, terrifying and filled with extravagant promise and frustrating setbacks as artificial intelligence. Writing with clarity and passion, leading AI researcher Melanie Mitchell offer..
'It is impossible to live the pleasant life without also living sensibly, nobly and justly'
The ancient Greek philosopher and teacher Epicurus argued that pleasure - not sensual hedonism, but the absence of pain or fear - is the highest goal of life. His hugely influential lessons on happiness are a call to appreciate the joy of being alive.
One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers who have helped shape our w..
'A problem of space first of all, then a problem of order'
One of the most singular and extravagant imaginations of the twentieth century, the novelist and essayist Georges Perec was a true original who delighted in wordplay, puzzles, taxonomies and seeing the extraordinary in the everyday. In these virtuoso writings about books and language, he discusses different ways of reading, a list of the things he really must do before he dies and the power of words to overcome the chaos of the world.
'What Japan was she owed to the samurai. They were not only the flower of the nation, but its root as well.'
Inazo Nitobe's book, the most influential ever written on Bushido, or the samurai Way of the Warrior, argues that the philosophy of Bushido is the true key to understanding 'the soul of Japan'.
One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers who have helped shape our world today, from anarchists to stoics, fe..
Democracy today is widely regarded as an ideal form of government. Yet in practice it sometimes seems a sham, a political puppet show in which hidden elites pull all the strings.As trust in elected representatives around the world plunges, it is no wonder that democratic revolts have erupted – from Cairo to Kiev and beyond – in an effort to ‘take back control’.In this urgent and lively history, James Miller reminds us that democracy has always generated tensions and contradictions. Through philo..
'A terrific book, rich and endlessly thought provoking. . . If you are looking for one book to understand the core ideas of Chinese civilisation, read this' - Michael WoodAn engrossing history of ancient Chinese philosophy and culture from an eminent Cambridge expertWe are often told that the twenty-first century is bound to become China's century. Never before has Chinese culture been so physically, digitally, economically or aesthetically present in everyday Western life. But how much do we re..
Featuring an extensive, provocative introduction by historian Martin Malia, this authorized English translation of The Communist Manifesto, edited and annotated by Engels, with prefaces to editions published between 1872 and 1888, provides a new opportunity to examine the document that shook the world.
In 1848, two young men published what would become one of the defining documents of modern history, The Communist Manifesto. It rapidly realigned political faultlines all over the world and its a..
The concise edition of the 2019 WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS BOOK AWARD
From the million-copy bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power
Robert Greene is a master guide for millions of readers, distilling ancient wisdom and philosophy into essential texts for seekers of power, understanding and mastery. Now he turns to the most important subject of all - understanding people's drives and motivations, even when they are unconscious of them themselves.
We are social animals. Our very li..
This translation first appeared in a privately printed edition in 1904 (the translator remains anonymous). With an Introduction by Derek Matravers.
When it was first published in 1781, The Confessions scandalised Europe with its emotional honesty and frank treatment of the author's sexual and intellectual development. Since then, it has had a more profound impact on European thought. Rousseau left posterity a model of the reflective life - the solitary, uncompromising individual, the enemy of..
In this passionate and searching book, Anthony Kronman offers a third way―beyond atheism and religion―to the God of the modern world
“An astonishing, . . . epically ambitious book. . . . An intellectual adventure story based on the notion that ideas drive history, and that to dedicate yourself to them is to live a bigger, more intense life.”―David Brooks, New York Times
We live in an age of disenchantment. The number of self-professed “atheists” continues to grow. Yet many still feel an intense..
'Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life'
The two works brought together here, 'The Decay of Lying' and 'The Critic as Artist', are Oscar Wilde's wittiest and most profound writings on aesthetics, in which he proposes that criticism is the highest form of creation and that lying, the telling of a beautiful untruth, is the ultimate aim of art.
One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers who have helped ..
Paler wrote a number of poetry collections during his lifetime. The poems, which appear as definitions , are rather like Haiku in their intensity and succinctness: condensed descriptions of a feeling or a moment, they offer us an open door into the larger world of internal reflection. Dosage: read one a day before meals or lingering over coffee..
“This absolutely splendid book is a triumph on every level. A first-rate history of the United States, it is beautifully written, deeply researched, and filled with entertaining stories. For anyone who wants to see our democracy flourish, this is the book to read.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals
To all who say our democracy is broken—riven by partisanship, undermined by extremism, corrupted by wealth—history offers hope. In nearly every generation since the nation’s founding, cr..
'Imaginative, illuminating and innovative' The New York Times Book Review
The grisly spectacle of public executions and torture of centuries ago has been replaced by the penal system in western society - but has anything really changed?
In his revolutionary work on control and power relations in our public institutions, Michel Foucault argues that the development of prisons, police organizations and legal hierarchies has merely changed the focus of domination from our bodies to our souls. Even..
Even with the current rise in awareness of sexual and intimate diversity, monogamous relationships remain the cultural norm. Most people aspire to it and the state encourages it, providing legal and financial benefits to married couples; however, statistics show adultery is commonplace, marriage rates are falling, and divorce figures are rising. Does Monogamy Work? – the twelfth book in The Big Idea series – traces the evolution and normalization of the monogamous ideal, questioning whether it i..
‘If great books encourage you to look at the world in an entirely new way, then Dominion is a very great book indeed . . . Written with terrific learning, enthusiasm and good humour, Holland’s book is not just supremely provocative, but often very funny’ Sunday Times History Book of the Year
Christianity is the most enduring and influential legacy of the ancient world, and its emergence the single most transformative development in Western history. Even the increasing number in the West today w..
Are you still the person who lived fifteen, ten or five years ago? Fifteen, ten or five minutes ago? Can you plan for your retirement if the you of thirty years hence is in some sense a different person? What and who is the real you? Does it remain constant over time and place, or is it something much more fragmented and fluid? Is it known to you, or are you as much a mystery to yourself as others are to you?
With his usual wit, infectious curiosity and bracing scepticism, Julian Baggini sets..
'My new favourite book of all time' Bill Gates
TOP TEN SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
Is modernity really failing? Or have we failed to appreciate progress and the ideals that make it possible?
If you follow the headlines, the world in the 21st century appears to be sinking into chaos, hatred, and irrationality. Yet Steven Pinker shows that this is an illusion - a symptom of historical amnesia and statistical fallacies. If you follow the trendlines rather than the headlines, you discover that ..
'A fabulous journey through thirty years of political and intellectual ferment ... will reorient our reading of Foucault's major works' Didier Eribon
The Essential Works of Michel Foucault offers the definitive collection of his articles, interviews and seminars from across thirty years of his extraordinary career. This first volume, Ethics, contains the summaries of Foucault's renowned courses at the Collège de France, as well as key writings and candid interviews on ethical matters: from the ..
Who are we? How should we live? Professor James Miller introduces twelve great philosophers who dedicated their lives to answering these questions. From Plato, who risked his reputation to tutor a tyrant, to Seneca, the philosopher of temperance who accumulated one of the greatest fortunes in Rome, to Kant, who privately wrestled with hypochondria while publicly advocating arch-rationality, each had a unique approach to examining life. Here is a fascinating insight into the ideals that have guid..
'The most innovative and influential French thinker of the contemporary era' Guardian
This is the ideal introduction to one of the most significant and radical philosophers of the past century. It includes detailed excerpts from all of Foucault's major works, including Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality, as well as many of his most revealing interviews, covering subjects from madness to desire, art to the nature of truth. No other writer has made us think more about the structur..
An engaging and provocative look at culture, from one of our best-known historians.
Born almost a hundred years ago in Vienna - the cultural heart of a bourgeois Mitteleurope - Eric Hobsbawm, who was to become one of the most brilliant and original historians of our age, was uniquely placed to observe an era of titanic social and artistic change. As the century progressed, the forces of Communism and Dadaism, Ibiza and cyberspace, would do battle with the bourgeois high culture fin-de-siècle ..
'People can only be free in relation to one another.'
Three exhilarating and inspiring essays in which the great twentieth-century political philosopher argues that there can be no freedom without politics, and no politics without freedom.
One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers who have helped shape our world today, from anarchists to stoics, feminists to prophets, satirists to Zen Buddhists...
The God Delusion caused a sensation when it was published in 2006. Within weeks it became the most hotly debated topic, with Dawkins himself branded as either saint or sinner for presenting his hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types.
His argument could hardly be more topical. While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around the worl..
'We have left dry land and put out to sea! We have burned the bridge behind us - what is more, we have burned the land behind us!'
Nietzsche's devastating demolition of religion would have seismic consequences for future generations. With God dead, he envisages a brilliant future for humanity: one in which individuals would at last be responsible for their destinies.
One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers w..
This is a powerful and a thrilling narrative history revealing the roots of modern science in the medieval world. The adjective ‘medieval’ has become a synonym for brutality and uncivilized behavior. Yet without the work of medieval scholars there could have been no Galileo, no Newton and no Scientific Revolution. In “God’s Philosophers”, James Hannam debunks many of the myths about the Middle Ages, showing that medieval people did not think the earth is flat, nor did Columbus ‘prove’ that it is..
“Plato is philosophy, and philosophy, Plato.”—Emerson
The Republic and other great dialogues by the immortal Greek philosopher Plato are masterpieces that form part of the most important single body of writing in the history of philosophy. Beauty, love, immortality, knowledge, and justice are discussed in these dialogues, which magnificently express the glowing spirit of Platonic philosophy.
Translated by W. H. D. Rouse, one of the world’s most outstanding classical scholars and translator..
Where do our ideas about politics come from? What can we learn from the Greeks and Romans? How should we exercise power? Melissa Lane teaches politics at Princeton University, and previously taught political thought at the University of Cambridge, where she was a Fellow of King's College. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of classics, and the historian Richard Tuck called her book Eco-Republic 'a virtuoso performance by one of our best scholars of ancient philosophy.'..
Is anything ever not an interpretation?
Does interpretation go all the way down?
Is there such a thing as a pure fact that is interpretation-free? If not, how are we supposed to know what to think and do?
These tantalizing questions are tackled by renowned American thinker John D Caputo in this wide-reaching exploration of what the traditional term 'hermeneutics' can mean in a postmodern, twenty-first century world. As a contemporary of Derrida's and longstanding champ..