Big ideas sometimes come from the strangest places.
In this wide ranging introduction, James M Russell takes the fear out of philosophy and selects seventy-six works – from Plato, Descartes and Wittgenstein to Philip K Dick and the Moomins as well as contemporary thinkers such as Peter Singer and John Rawls.
Dividing into accessible sections – history, contemplation, happiness, and -isms, Russell gives us the lives as well as the lessons of the great thinkers, including a digest of their key ideas.
A perfect antidote to the complex life.
The topics and books covered include:
Traditional Philosophy: The Republic, Plato; The Confessions, St Augustine; The Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes; On Liberty, John Stuart Mill; Philisophical Investigations, Ludwig Wittgenstein; Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant.
Outsiders: Fear and Trembling, Soren Kierkegaard; Beyond Good and Evil, Frederick Nietzsche; The Outsider, Albert Camus; Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley.
Contemplation as Philosophy: The Prophet, Kahil Gibran; Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach; Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig; The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff.
The Continental Tradition: The Prison Notebooks, Antonio Gramsci; The History of Sexuality, Michel Foucault; Symbolic Exchange and Death, Jean Baudrillard.
How to Live Your Life: The Art of War, Sun Tzu; Maxims, La Rouchefoucauld; Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Carl Jung; On Sexuality, Sigmund Freud; On Becoming a Person, Carl Rogers.
Political and Personal Issues: Das Kapital, Karl Marx; Being and Nothingness, Jean Paul Sartre; Gaia, James Lovelock.
Modern Philosophy: A Theory of Justice, John Rawls; Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, Daniel Dennett; After the Terror, Ted Honderich.