Beginning with metaphysical debates in the sixteenth century over the nature of Christ’s presence in the host, the distinguished historian and scholar of religion Robert Orsi imagines an alternative to the future of religion that early moderns proclaimed was inevitable.
The question of “real presence”—the Catholic doctrine of the literal, physical, embodied presence of Christ in the host—coincided with early modern global conquest and commerce and shaped how Europeans encountered the religions ..
'A cerebrally enjoyable survey, written with great clarity and touches of wit . . . The non-western section throws up some fascinating revelations' Sunday Times
The story of philosophy is an epic tale: an exploration of the ideas, views and teachings of some of the most creative minds known to humanity. But there has been no comprehensive and entertaining, single-volume history of this great intellectual journey since 1945.
With his characteristic clarity and elegance A. C. Grayling take..
'A brilliant display of fireworks, attacking the widespread and banal notion that "in the beginning" sexual activity was guilt-free and delicious, being repressed and blighted only by the gloom of Victorianism' Spectator
We talk about sex more and more, but are we more liberated? The first part of Michel Foucault's landmark account of our evolving attitudes in the west shows how the nineteenth century, far from suppressing sexuality, led to an explosion of discussion about sex as a separate sph..
'No brief survey can do justice to the richness, complexity and detail of Foucault's discussion' New York Review of Books
The second volume of Michel Foucault's pioneering analysis of the changing nature of desire explores how sexuality was perceived in classical Greek culture.
From the stranger byways of Greek medicine (with its advice on the healthiest season for sex, as well as exercise and diet) to the role of women, The Use of Pleasure is full of extraordinary insights into the difference..
'Bristles with provocative insights into the tangled liaisons of sex and self' Times Higher Education
In the third volume of his acclaimed examination of sexuality in modern Western society, Foucault investigates the Golden Age of Rome to reveal a decisive break from the classical Greek version of sexual pleasure. Exploring the moral reflections of philosophers and physicians of the era, he identifies a growing anxiety over sexual activity and its consequences. At the core of this transformatio..
'Don't hope that events will turn out the way you want, welcome events in whichever way they happen'
How can we cope when life's events seem beyond our control? These words of consolation and inspiration from the three great Stoic philosophers - Epictetus, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius - offer ancient wisdom on how to face life's adversities and live well in the world.
One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers wh..
In recent decades, we have witnessed an explosion in the number of visual images we encounter, as our lives have become increasingly saturated with screens. From Google Images to Instagram, video games to installation art, this transformation is confusing, liberating and worrying all at once, since observing the new visuality of culture is not the same as understanding it.
Nicholas Mirzoeff is a leading figure in the field of visual culture, which aims to make sense of this extraordinary expl..
Is justice an ideal, forever beyond our grasp, or something that may actually guide our practical decisions and enhance our lives? In this wide-ranging book, Amartya Sen presents an alternative approach to mainstream theories of justice which, despite their many specific achievements have taken us, he argues, in the wrong direction in general.
At the heart of Sen's argument is his insistence on the role of public reason in establishing what can make societies less unjust. But it is in the natur..
Vladimir Lenin created this hugely significant Marxist text to explain fully the inevitable flaws and destructive power of Capitalism: that it would lead unavoidably to imperialism, monopolies and colonialism. He prophesied that those third world countries used merely as capitalist labour would have no choice but to join the Communist revolution in Russia.
GREAT IDEAS: Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They ..
Michael Sandel's Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? invites readers of all ages and political persuasions on a journey of moral reflection, and shows how reasoned debate can illuminate our lives. * Is it always wrong to lie?* Should there be limits to personal freedom?* Can killing sometimes be justified?* Is the free market fair? What is the right thing to do?* Questions like these are at the heart of our lives.
In this acclaimed book Michael Sandel - BBC Reith Lecturer and the Harvard p..
WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS BOOK AWARD 2019
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 lives depend on our relationships with people. Knowing why people do what they do is the most im..
Learn everything you need to know about the world of philosophy- from the key thinkers to modern concepts in a brand new portable size.
To the complete novice learning about philosophy can be daunting - The Little Book of Philosophy changes all that. With the use of powerful and easy-to-follow images, famous quotations, and explanations that are easily understandable, this book cuts through any misunderstandings to demystify the subject.
Each chapter is organised chronologically, and covers no..
'A lovely debut from a gifted young author. Violet Moller brings to life the ways in which knowledge reached us from antiquity to the present day in a book that is as delightful as it is readable.' Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk RoadsIn The Map of Knowledge Violet Moller traces the journey taken by the ideas of three of the greatest scientists of antiquity – Euclid, Galen and Ptolemy – through seven cities and over a thousand years. In it, we follow them from sixth-century Alexandria to nin..
Around the globe, people are facing the same problem - that we are born as individuals but are forced to conform to the rules of society if we want to succeed. To see our uniqueness expressed in our achievements, we must first learn the rules - and then how to change them completely. Charles Darwin began as an underachieving schoolboy, Leonardo da Vinci as an illegitimate outcast. The secret of their eventual greatness lies in a 'rigorous apprenticeship': by paying close and careful attention, t..
Originally written only for his personal consumption, Marcus Aurelius's Meditations has become a key text in the understanding of Roman Stoic philosophy. This Penguin Classics edition is translated with notes by Martin Hammond and an introduction by Diskin Clay.Written in Greek by an intellectual Roman emperor without any intention of publication, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius offer a wide range of fascinating spiritual reflections and exercises developed as the leader struggled to understa..
This is the exhilarating, life-affirming call to spiritual arms from world-renowned spiritual teacher G. I. Gurdjieff. 'Gurdjieff's voice is heard as a call. He calls because he suffers from the inner chaos in which we live. He calls to us to open our eyes. He asks us why we are here, what we wish for, what forces we obey. He asks us, above all, if we understand what we are...' Part adventure narrative, part travelogue, part spiritual guide, Meetings with Remarkable Men is suffused with Gurdjief..
Originally published anonymously, Nature was the first modern essay to recommend the appreciation of the outdoors as an all-encompassing positive force. Emerson’s writings were recognized as uniquely American in style and content, and launched the idea of going for a walk as a new way of looking at the world.
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 en..
What is reality, really?
Are humans more special or important than the non-human objects we perceive?
How does this change the way we understand the world?
We humans tend to believe that things are only real in as much as we perceive them, an idea reinforced by modern philosophy, which privileges us as special, radically different in kind from all other objects. But as Graham Harman, one of the theory's leading exponents, shows, Object-Oriented Ontology rejects the idea of human specialness..
This work shows E.M. Cioran's first grappling with themes he would return to in his mature works: despair and decay, absurdity and alienation, futility and the irrationality of existence. It also presents Cioran as a connoisseur of apocalypse, a theoretician of despair, for whom writing and philosophy both share the "lyrical virtues" that alone lead to a metaphysical revelation...
'One swallow does not make a summer; neither does one day. Similarly neither can one day, or a brief space of time, make a man blessed and happy'
What does it mean to be a good person? Ranging over eternal questions of right and wrong, pleasure and self-control, friendship and courage, Aristotle's lectures on ethics are among the most lasting and profound philosophical works of all time.
One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diver..
A virus is not human, but the reaction to it is a measure of humanity.
America has not measured up well. Tens of thousands are dead for no reason. America is supposed to be about freedom, yet illness and fear make its citizens less free. After all, freedom is meaningless if we are too ill to think about our right to happiness or too weak to pursue it. So, if a government is making its people unhealthy it is also making them unfree.
On December 29, 2019, Timothy Snyder fell gravely ill. As he c..
Should we believe in God? In this new book, written for a new generation, the brilliant science writer and author of The God Delusion, explains why we shouldn't.
Should we believe in God? Do we need God in order to explain the existence of the universe? Do we need God in order to be good? In twelve chapters that address some of the most profound questions human beings confront, Dawkins marshals science, philosophy and comparative religion to interrogate the hypocrisies of all the religious syst..
Philosophy in Minutes distils 200 of the most important philosophical ideas into easily digestible, bite-sized sections.
The core information for every topic - including debates such as the role of philosophy in science and religion, key thinkers from Aristotle to Marx, and introductions to morality and ethics - is explained in straightforward language, using illustrations to make the concepts easy to understand and remember.
Whether you are perplexed by existentialism or pondering the not..
'A compelling vision, an urgent necessity, and not beyond reach' Noam Chomsky
The past is forgotten, and the future is without hope. Dystopia has become a reality. This is the new normal in our apocalyptic politics - but if we accept it, our helplessness is guaranteed. To bring about real change, argues activist and political philosopher Srecko Horvat, we must first transform our mindset.
Ranging through time and space, from the partisan liberation movements of Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia to the ..
Democracy was born in Athens. From its founding myths to its golden age and its chaotic downfall, it’s rich with lessons for our own times.
Why did vital civil engagement and fair debate descend into paralysis and populism? Can we compare Creon to Trump, Demokratia to the American Constitution or Demosthenes’ On the Crown to the Brexit campaign? And how did a second referenda save the Athenians from a bloodthirsty decision?
With verve and acuity, the heroics and the critics of Athenian democra..
'There are certain words which possess, in themselves, when properly used, a virtue which illumines and lifts up towards the good'
The philosopher and activist Simone Weil was one of the most courageous thinkers of the twentieth century. Here she writes, with honesty and moral clarity, about the manipulation of language by the powerful, the obligations of individuals to one another and the needs - for order, equality, liberty and truth - that make us human.
One of twenty new books in the bests..
'Who since Weber, or perhaps even Hobbes, has done as much to show why power is such a profound, elusive and treacherous presence throughout our experience?' The Times Higher Education
The third and final volume of the Essential Works of Foucault series, Power brings together his writings on the issues that he helped make the core agenda of Western political culture: medicine, prisons, psychiatry, government and sexuality, in particular showing his concerns with human rights, discrimination and..
In this remarkable and groundbreaking book, Kenan Malik explores the history of moral thought as it has developed over three millennia, from Homer's Greece to Mao's China, from ancient India to modern America. It tells the stories of the great philosophers, and breathes life into their ideas, while also challenging many of our most cherished moral beliefs.
Engaging and provocative, The Quest for a Moral Compass confronts some of humanity's deepest questions. Where do values come from? Is God ..
'When silence or tricks of language contribute to maintaining an abuse that must be reformed or a suffering that can be relieved, then there is no other solution but to speak out'
Written when execution by guillotine was still legal in France, Albert Camus' devastating attack on the 'obscene exhibition' of capital punishment remains one of the most powerful, persuasive arguments ever made against the death penalty.
One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new..
How popular democracy has paradoxically eroded trust in political systems worldwide, and how to restore confidence in democratic politics Democracies across the world are adopting reforms to bring politics closer to the people. Parties have turned to primaries and local caucuses to select candidates. Ballot initiatives and referenda allow citizens to enact laws directly. Many democracies now use proportional representation, encouraging smaller, more specific parties rather than two dominant ones..
Edited by Jean Ducange
Translated by John Howe
Introduction by Slavoj Žižek
Robespierre’s justification of the Terror in the French Revolution
Robespierre’s defence of the French Revolution remains one of the most powerful and unnerving justifications for political violence ever written. It has an e x traordinary resonance in a world obsessed with terrorism and appalled by the language of its proponents. Yet today the French Revolution is celebrated as the event which gave birt..
Why efforts to create a scientific basis of morality are neither scientific nor moral In this illuminating book, James Davison Hunter and Paul Nedelisky trace the origins and development of the centuries-long, passionate, but ultimately failed quest to discover a scientific foundation for morality. The "new moral science" led by such figures as E. O. Wilson, Patricia Churchland, Sam Harris, Jonathan Haidt, and Joshua Greene is only the newest manifestation of that quest. Though claims for its ac..
TRANSLATED BY CONSTANCE BORDE AND SHEILA MALOVANY-CHEVALLIER
ANNOTATED AND INTRODUCED BY MARTINE REID
'Everyone who cares about freedom and justice for women should read The Second Sex' Guardian
Simone de Beauvoir famously wrote, 'One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman'. In this groundbreaking work of feminism she examines the limits of female freedom and explodes our deeply ingrained beliefs about femininity. Liberation, she argues, entails challenging traditional perceptions of th..
Vintage Feminism: classic feminist texts in short form
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY NATALIE HAYNES
When this book was first published in 1949 it was to outrage and scandal. Never before had the case for female liberty been so forcefully and successfully argued. De Beauvoir’s belief that ‘One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman’ switched on light bulbs in the heads of a generation of women and began a fight for greater equality and economic independence. These pages contain the key passages..
Winner of the 2000 Mattei Dogan Award
2015 Wildavsky Award for Enduring Contribution to Policy Studies, from the Public Policy Section of the American Political Science Association
"One of the most profound and illuminating studies of this century to have been published in recent decades."-John Gray, New York Times Book Review Hailed as "a magisterial critique of top-down social planning" by the New York Times, this essential work analyzes disasters from Russia to Tanzania to uncover why states..
The powerful, beautiful and chilling sequel to the bestselling Straw Dogs.
'By nature volatile and discordant, the human animal looks to silence for relief from being itself while other creatures enjoy silence as their birthright'. Why do humans seek meaning to life? How do our imaginations leap into worlds so far beyond our actual reality? In this chilling and beautiful sequel to Straw Dogs, John Gray explores how we decorate our existence with countless fictions, twisting and turning to avo..
'Foucault must be reckoned with by humanists, social scientists, and political activists' The New York Times Book Review
Society Must Be Defended is Michel Foucault's devastating critique of the systems of power and control inherent in civilization. Taken from a series of lectures given by Foucault at the Collége de France in 1975-76, it reveals how war is the foundation of all power relations, and politics ultimately a continuation of battlefield violence. He offers a politically charged re-re..
This landmark book is a founding work in the literature of black protest. W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963) played a key role in developing the strategy and program that dominated early 20th-century black protest in America. In this collection of essays, first published together in 1903, he eloquently affirms that it is beneath the dignity of a human being to beg for those rights that belong inherently to all mankind. He also charges that the strategy of accommodation to white supremacy advanced by B..
'We live within a spectacle of empty clothes and unworn masks'
In this series of remarkable pieces from across his career, John Berger celebrates and dissects the close links between art and society and the individual. Few writers give a more vivid and moving sense of how we make art and how art makes us.
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..
'We women are roused. Now that we are roused, we will never be quiet again'
Bringing together the voices of women who fought for equal rights and representation - from aristocrats and actresses to mill workers and trade unionists - these speeches, pamphlets, letters and articles form an inspiring testament to the power of a movement.
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 tod..
With an Introduction by Jane O'Grady. Translated by Tom Griffith.
In Symposium, a group of Athenian aristocrats attend a party and talk about love, until the drunken Alcibiades bursts in and decides to discuss Socrates instead. Symposium gives an unsurpassed picture of the sparkling society that was Athens at the height of her empire. The setting of the other dialogues is more sombre. Socrates is put on trial for impiety, and sentenced to death. Euthyphro discusses the nature of piety, Apolog..
In its vast scope, this book presents the continuum of Western philosophy. Ranging from ancient Greece to nineteenth-century America, it traces the history of our civilization through the seminal works of its most influential thinkers. Each philosopher in this volume made intellectual history; each created a revolution in ideas; each reaffirmed man’s view of himself as a sentient being capable of creating order out of the baffling contradictions of existence. And the most powerful reflections an..
How to reclaim wonder in our lives and achieve the good life.All of us experience a sense of wonder at some point in our lives. Perhaps you felt it when you experienced your first kiss; when you grasped the perfectly balanced beauty of an equation; or when you first saw the rose windows of Chartres Cathedral? Whatever the circumstances that triggered the feeling, you were left speechless by this extraordinary world of ours. We may speak different languages, cling to different ideas about politic..
If this life is all there is, what should we do with it? Join Swedish philosopher Martin Hägglund on an original inquiry into the deepest questions of existence, beginning with a radical declaration: 'What I do and what I love can matter to me only because I understand myself as mortal.'
Through revelatory engagements with some of history's greatest philosophers, including Aristotle, St Augustine, Nietzsche, Hegel and Marx, Hägglund attacks our two great deceivers, religion and capitalism. Only..
'I have relinquished all that ties me to the world, but the one thing that still haunts me is the beauty of the sky'
These simple, inspiring writings by three medieval Buddhist monks offer peace and wisdom amid the world's uncertainties, and are an invitation to relinquish earthly desires and instead taste life in the moment.
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..
In Trouble in Paradise, Slavoj Zizek, one of our most famous, most combative philosophers, explains how by drawing on the ideas of communism, we can find a way out of the crisis of capitalism. There is obviously trouble in the global capitalist paradise. But why do we find it so difficult to imagine a way out of the crisis we're in? It is as if the trouble feeds on itself: the march of capitalism has become inexorable, the only game in town.
Setting out to diagnose the condition of global cap..
'TOM PHILLIPS IS A VERY CLEVER, VERY FUNNY MAN' Greg Jenner
This is a book about TRUTH - and all the ingenious ways, throughout history, that we've managed to avoid it.
We live in a 'post-truth' age, we're told. The US has a president who openly lies on a daily basis (or who doesn't even know what's true, and doesn't care). The internet has turned our everyday lives into a misinformation battleground. People don't trust experts any more.
But was there ever really a golden age of truth-telling..
These are dangerous times for democracy. We live in an age of winners and losers, where the odds are stacked in favour of the already fortunate. Stalled social mobility and entrenched inequality give the lie to the promise that "you can make it if you try". And the consequence is a brew of anger and frustration that has fuelled populist protest, with the triumph of Brexit and election of Donald Trump.
Michael J. Sandel argues that to overcome the polarized politics of our time, we must rethink ..
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR NONFICTION 2020
WINNER OF THE WINDHAM-CAMPBELL PRIZE FOR NONFICTION 2020
FINALIST FOR THE PEN / JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD 2020
'Profound and unforgettable' Sally Rooney
'A classic . . . I have long thought of Boyer as a genius' Patricia Lockwood
'An outraged, beautiful, and brilliant work of embodied critique' Ben Lerner
'Some of the most perceptive and beautiful writing about illness and pain that I have ever read' Hari Kunzru
Blending memoir with critique, an aw..