Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to fathom, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material. Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the best known and most widely read of philosophers, whose work and ideas have proved influential to leading figures in all areas of cultural life. Yet his ideas are also among the most challenging regularly encountered by students. His method and language can seem obscure and oblique, forcing the reader to struggle on his or her own and reflecting Nietzsche's desire that his readers form their own answers for themselves. Nietzsche: A Guide for the Perplexed is a clear and thorough account of Nietzsche's philosophy, his major works and ideas, providing an ideal guide to the important and complex thought of this key philosopher. The book covers the whole range of Nietzsche's work, offering a detailed review of his landmark text, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, together with examination of his early and later work. Geared towards the specific requirements of students who need to reach a sound understanding of Nietzsche's thought, the book also provides a cogent and reliable survey of the various, often profoundly different, interpretations of his work and ideas. This is the ideal companion to the study of this most influential and challenging of philosophers.
The incomparable Dara Horn returns with a spellbinding novel of how technology changes memory and how memory shapes the soul. Software prodigy Josie Ashkenazi has invented an application that records everything its users do. When an Egyptian library invites her to visit as a consultant, her jealous sister Judith persuades her to go. But in Egypt’s postrevolutionary chaos, Josie is abducted—leaving Judith free to take over Josie’s life at home, including her husband and daughter, while Josie’s talent for preserving memories becomes a surprising test of her empathy and her only means of escape. A century earlier, another traveler arrives in Egypt: Solomon Schechter, a Cambridge professor hunting for a medieval archive hidden in a Cairo synagogue. Both he and Josie are haunted by the work of the medieval philosopher Moses Maimonides, a doctor and rationalist who sought to reconcile faith and science, destiny and free will. But what Schechter finds, as he tracks down the remnants of a thousand-year-old community’s once-vibrant life, will reveal the power and perils of what Josie’s ingenious work brings into being: a world where nothing is ever forgotten. An engrossing adventure that intertwines stories from Genesis, medieval philosophy, and the digital frontier, A Guide for the Perplexed is a novel of profound inner meaning and astonishing imagination.
Sikhism's short but relatively eventful history provides a fascinating insight into the working of misunderstood and seemingly contradictory themes such as politics and religion, violence and mysticism, culture and spirituality, orality and textuality, public sphere versus private sphere, tradition and modernity. This book presents students with a careful analysis of these complex themes as they have manifested themselves in the historical evolution of the Sikh traditions and the encounter of Sikhs with modernity and the West, in the philosophical teachings of its founders and their interpretation by Sikh exegetes, and in Sikh ethical and intellectual responses to contemporary issues in an increasingly secular and pluralistic world. Sikhism: A Guide for the Perplexed serves as an ideal guide to Sikhism, and also for students of Asian studies, Sociology of Religion and World Religions.
One of the most widely-read thinkers writing today, Slavoj Žižek's work can be both thrilling and perplexing in equal measure. Žižek: A Guide for the Perplexed is the most up-to-date guide available for readers struggling to master the ideas of this hugely influential thinker. Unpacking the philosophical references that fill Žižek's writings, the book explores his influences, including Lacan, Kant, Hegel and Marx. From there, a chapter on 'Reading Žižek' guides the reader through the ways that he applies these core theoretical concepts in key texts like Tarrying With the Negative, The Ticklish Subject and The Parrallax View and in his books about popular culture like Looking Awry and Enjoy Your Symptom! Major secondary writings and films featuring Žižek are also covered.
Virginia Woolf is one of the best-known and most influential modernist writers; an iconic figure, her image and reference to her work and life appear in the most varied of cultural sites. Her writing is, however, in many ways kaleidoscopic and has given rise to a diverse and, sometimes, conflicting body of critical work. Whilst Woolf envisaged that her readers could be 'fellow-worker[s]' in the creative process, there is much to perplex any reader approaching her writing, especially for the first time. Drawing on some of the main critical debates and on Woolf's non-fictional writings, this guide untangles some of the difficulties and perplexities that can prove a barrier to understanding of Woolf's writing. These include aspects of the process of writing (such as narrative techniques, formal structures, characterisation), as well as the thematic concerns so central to Woolf's writing, the cultural context in which it emerged and to recent criticism, including representations of gender and sexuality, class and race.
Noam Chomsky is one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth-century. His work in linguistics, philosophy and political theory has spanned six decades, and has been met with critical acclaim and controversy in equal measure. This book is an introduction to Chomsky's theoretical writings, but also a critical engagement with his work. Chomsky: A Guide for the Perplexed covers every aspect of Chomsky's thought, from transformational grammar to political dissent. John Collins shows how Chomsky's linguistic theory, philosophy and politics are all connected, and by so doing helps the reader to understand this key thinker's massive contribution to twentieth-century thought. The book examines: the different faces of NoamChomsky; transformational grammar; Chomsky's opposition to behaviorism; government and binding theory; the minimalist program; and libertarian socialism.
This book is a clear and concise introduction to the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. His one major surviving work, often titled 'meditations' but literally translated simply as 'to himself', is a series of short, sometimes enigmatic reflections divided seemingly arbitrarily into twelve books and apparently written only to be read by him. For these reasons Marcus is a particularly difficult thinker to understand. His musings, framed as 'notes to self' or 'memoranda', are the exhortations of an earnest, conscientious Stoic burdened with the onerous responsibilities of ruling an entire, enormousÃ?Â empire. William O. Stephens lucidly sketches Marcus Aurelius' upbringing, family relations, rise to the throne, military campaigns, and legacy, situating his philosophy amidst his life and times, explicating the factors shaping Marcus' philosophy, and clarifying key themes in the Memoranda. Specifically designed to meet the needs of students seeking a thorough understanding of this key figure and his major work, Marcus Aurelius: A Guide for the Perplexed is the ideal guide for understanding this Stoic author - the only philosopher who was also an emperor.
E F Schumacher asserts that it is the task of philosophy to provide a map of life and knowledge which exhibits the most important features of life in their proper prominence. The questions: How am I to conduct my life? What is the nature of art and nature? What is the meaning of religion? are restored to daylight on Schumacher's map of life by his maxim 'if in doubt show it prominently'. Science is therefore restored to its home territory and its growing imperialism over the fields is reserved.
This text examines the ideas, perspectives and methodologies developed in critical theory and poststructural analysis. This interpretation of Maimonides A Guide to the Perplexed reveals views on prophecy, philosophy, the importance of fulfilling the commandments, esoterism and mysticism.