From the provocative author of Straw Dogs comes an incisive, surprising intervention in the political and scientific debate over religion and atheism
When you explore older atheisms, you will find that some of your firmest convictions--secular or religious--are highly questionable. If this prospect disturbs you, what you are looking for may be freedom from thought.
For a generation now, public debate has been corroded by a shrill, narrow derision of religion in the name of an often vaguely understood "science." John Gray's stimulating and enjoyable new book, Seven Types of Atheism, describes the complex, dynamic world of older atheisms, a tradition that is, he writes, in many ways intertwined with and as rich as religion itself.
Along a spectrum that ranges from the convictions of "God-haters" like the Marquis de Sade to the mysticism of Arthur Schopenhauer, from Bertrand Russell's search for truth in mathematics to secular political religions like Jacobinism and Nazism, Gray explores the various ways great minds have attempted to understand the questions of salvation, purpose, progress, and evil. The result is a book that sheds an extraordinary light on what it is to be human.
A critique of both classical humanism and dominant trends in posthumanism that formulates the ultimate form of intelligence as a theoretical and practical thought unfettered by the temporal order of things.
In Intelligence and Spirit Reza Negarestani formulates the ultimate form of intelligence as a theoretical and practical thought unfettered by the temporal order of things, a real movement capable of overcoming any state of affairs that, from the perspective of the present, may appear to be the complete totality of history. Intelligence pierces through what seems to be the totality or the inevitable outcome of its history, be it the manifest portrait of the human or technocapitalism as the alleged pilot of history.
Building on Hegel's account of Geist as a multiagent conception of mind and on Kant's transcendental psychology as a functional analysis of the conditions of possibility of mind, Negarestani provides a critique of both classical humanism and dominant trends in posthumanism. The assumptions of the former are exposed by way of a critique of the transcendental structure of experience as a tissue of subjective or psychological dogmas; the claims of the latter regarding the ubiquity of mind or the inevitable advent of an unconstrained superintelligence are challenged as no more than ideological fixations which do not stand the test of systematic scrutiny.
This remarkable fusion of continental philosophy in the form of a renewal of the speculative ambitions of German Idealism and analytic philosophy in the form of extended thought-experiments and a philosophy of artificial languages opens up new perspectives on the meaning of human intelligence and explores the real potential of posthuman intelligence and what it means for us to live in its prehistory.
William Sloane Coffin challenged the nation with his passionate calls for social justice. In this best-seller, Coffin gives a powerful record of his remarkable public life, offering his inspiring words on issues ranging from charity and justice to politics and the meaning of faith.
The Flight of the Eagle: An Authentic Report of Talks and Discussions in London, Amsterdam, Paris, and Saanen, Switzerland
Public and Private in Thought and Practice: Perspectives on a Grand Dichotomy (Morality and Society Series)
In contexts ranging from friendship, the family, and personal life to nationalism, democratic citizenship, the role of women in social and political life, and the contrasts between western and (post-)Communist societies, this book brings out the ways the various uses of the public/private distinction are simultaneously distinct and interconnected. "Public and Private in Thought and Practice" will be of interest to students and scholars in disciplines including politics, law, philosophy, history, sociology, and women's studies.
Contributors include Jeff Weintraub, Allan Silver, Craig Calhoun, Daniela Gobetti, Jean L. Cohen, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Alan Wolfe, Krishan Kumar, David Brain, Karen Hansen, Marc Garcelon, Oleg Kharkhordin
Jeff Weintraub teaches political and social theory at Williams College. Krishan Kumhan is professor of social and political thought in Eliot College at the University of Kent at Canterbury.
Rather than end the debate over artificial means of contraception once and for all, the encyclical letter Humane Vitae only energized the debate when it appeared in 1968, and that debate continues to this day. Janet E. Smith presents a comprehensive review of this issue from a philosophical and theological perspective. Tracing the emergence of the debate from the mid-1960s and reviewing the documents from the Special Papl Commission established to advise Pope Paul VI, Smith also examines the Catholic Church's position on marriage, which provides context for its condemnation of contraception.
Janet E. Smith is assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Dallas. She has published articles in such journals as The Thomist, International Philosophical Quarterly, and The New Scholasticism.