A study of heroism in the myths of the world - an exploration of all the elements common to the great stories that have helped people make sense of their lives from the earliest times. It takes in Greek Apollo, Maori and Jewish rites, the Buddha, Wotan, and the bothers Grimm's Frog-King.
|Series:||Penguin Great Ideas|
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 comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great t... read more
|Author:||Robert Louis Stevenson|
|Series:||Penguin Great Ideas|
An irresistible invitation to reject the work ethic and enjoy life's simple pleasures (such as laughing, drinking and lying in the open air), Robert Louis Stevenson's witty and seminal essay on the joys of idleness is accompanied here by his writings on, among other things, growing old, visiting unpleasant places and the over... read more
Guides us through the history of ideas and thinking, tracing over 2,500 years of Western philosophy from the Ancient Greeks to modern thinkers. This title helps to discover what philosophy is, how philosophers have questioned the fundamental principles underlying all knowledge and existence.
Matt Ridley, acclaimed author of the classics Genome and Nature via Nurture, turns from investigating human nature to investigating human progress. In The Rational Optimist Ridley offers a counterblast to the prevailing pessimism of our age, and proves, however much we like to think to the contrary, that things are getting be... read more
Why is it so many of us lack contentment, despite all the wealth and freedoms we enjoy? The past two centuries delivered individual and political freedoms that promised unprecedented opportunities for personal fulfilment. Yet citizens of affluent countries are encouraged to pursue lives of consumerism, endless choice and the... read more
In the year 1570, at the age of thirty-seven, Michel de Montaigne gave up his job as a magistrate and retired to his chateau to brood on his own private grief - the deaths of his best friends, his father, his brother, and most recently his first-born child. But finding his mind agitated rather than settled by this idleness, M... read more
This is the perfect primer for anyone interested in the foundation of Western thought and a unique companion for visitors to Greek and Roman sites. John Gaskin unfolds the thinking about nature, life, death and other worlds that informed the culture and society of the classical world still visible in todays cityscapes and arc... read more
In late 1888, only weeks before his final collapse into madness, Nietzsche (1844-1900) set out to compose his autobiography, and 'Ecce Homo' remains one of the most intriguing yet bizarre examples of the genre ever written.
|Author:||William B. Irvine|
Why We Want What We WantA married person falls in love with someone else. A man of average income feels he cannot be happy unless he owns a luxury car. A dieter has a craving for ice cream. Desires often come to us unbidden and unwanted, and they can have a dramatic impact. In On Desire, William B. Irvine takes us on a tour... read more
Maira Kalman paints her highly personal worldview in an inimitable combination of image and text. "The Principles of Uncertainty" is an irresistible invitation to experience life through the psyche of Maira Kalman, one of this country's most beloved artists. The result is a book that is part personal narrative, part documenta... read more
Simon Baron-Cohen, expert in autism and developmental psychopathology, has always wanted to isolate and understand the factors that cause people to treat others as if they were mere objects. In this book he proposes a radical shift, turning the focus away from evil and on to the central factor, empathy. Unlike the concept of ... read more
'Everything separates us from one another, with the exception of one fundamental point: we're both utterly despicable individuals' - (Houellebecq to BHL). In 2008, two of the most celebrated of French intellectuals began a ferocious exchange of letters. "Public Enemies" is the result. In their inimitably witty, inimitably fas... read more
This is a book for anyone who thinks about what they should believe and how they should live. It's for those who, like Shaha, may need the facts and the ideas - and the courage - to break free from inherited beliefs. He shows that it is possible to live a compassionate, fulfilling, and meaningful life without God.
|Author:||Francisco Jose Ayala|
In The Big Questions: Evolution, one of the world's leading experts, Francisco Ayala, examines key facets of genetics, evolution and cloning. He uses the most up-to-date research to answer the 20 key questions of evolution, and investigate what they tell us about life on Earth. What is evolution? What is natural selection? Is... read more
|Author:||Lawrence M. Krauss|
Internationally known theoretical physicist and bestselling author Lawrence Krauss offers provocative, revelatory answers to the most basic philosophical questions: Where did our universe come from? Why is there something rather than nothing? And how is it all going to end? Why is there something rather than nothing?" is aske... read more
In a world that is full of dramatic and soul-searching events, Tim Costello reveals the stories of hope he has encounted in the most dramatic of circumstances. A book that reminds us all that there are so many that suffer yet still find hope. Hope can be found in the smallest of moments. A book to savour and to bring home the... read more
In this text, Hannah Arendt considers humankind from the perspective of the actions of which it is capable. The problems are identified as diminishing human agency and political freedom - the paradox that as human powers increase through technological and humanistic inquiry, we are less equipped to control the consequences of... read more
|Author:||Dalai Lama & Howard Cutler|
Howard Cutler and the Dalai Lama work together again to provide a practical application of Tibetan Buddhism spiritual values to the world of work. In today's stressful working climate, more and more people are becoming disenchanted with the roles that they adopt at work, and how significantly their working persona differs fro... read more