Winner of the Pulitzer prize in 1974 and the culmination of a life's work, The Denial of Death is Ernest Becker's brilliant and impassioned answer to the "why" of human existence. In bold contrast to the predominant Freudian school of thought, Becker tackles the problem of the vital lie -- man's refusal to acknowledge his own mortality. In doing so, he sheds new light on the nature of humanity and issues a call to life and its living that still resonates more than twenty years after its writing.
"More than 100 scholars contributed to this carefully researched, well-organized, informative, and multi-disciplinary source on death studies. Volume 1, "The Presence of Death," examines the cultural, historical, and societal frameworks of death, such asthe universal fear of death, spirituality and varioius religions, the legal definition of death, suicide, and capital punishment. Volume 2, "The Response to Death," covers such topics as rites and ceremonies, grief and bereavement, and legal matters after death."--"The Top 20 Reference Titles of the Year," American Libraries, May 2004.
Most biological and environmental scientists agree that the scales of many human activities now exceed the capacity of our environment to sustain them or recycle the wastes they generate. Using a passing river as a source of water, a laundry, and a toilet is OK if you live in a sparsely populated wilderness. However, when you live in an overcrowded slum, it is likely to lead to your premature death. As such, many things have become problematic simply because of the rate at which we are now doing them. This includes pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. However, this is not a book about climate science; it is an investigation into the reasons why some people dispute the reality, reliability, or reasonableness of this science. The validity of the scientific consensus is taken as given solely in order to analyze the views of climate change skeptics who dispute it. To this end, this book summarizes the philosophical roots of skepticism, its possible misappropriation for ideological reasons, and the psychological causes of denial. The book concludes by suggesting that ending this denial of science is an essential next step toward a sustainable future and the inevitability of a post-carbon era.
Movies matter – that is the message of Reel to Real, bell hooks’ classic collection of essays on film. They matter on a personal level, providing us with unforgettable moments, even life-changing experiences and they can confront us, too, with the most profound social issues of race, sex and class. Here bell hooks – one of America’s most celebrated and thrilling cultural critics – talks back to films that have moved and provoked her, from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction to the work of Spike Lee. Including also her conversations with master filmmakers such as Charles Burnett and Julie Dash, Reel to Real is a must read for anyone who believes that movies are worth arguing about.
The first scholarly book-length examination of the work of comics legend Neil Gaiman includes detailed analysis of his best-selling "Sandman" and "Death" series, a look at his work's relationship to Joseph Campbell, and such topics as "Living in a Desacralized World," "The Relationship of Dreams and Myth in Campbell, Jung, and Gaiman's Sandman," "Humanization, Change, and Rebirth: The Hero's Journey," "The Role of the Artist and the Art of Storytelling," and more. A fascinating journey behind the comics work of one of the most interesting and challenging popular writers of today, Neil Gaiman's The Sandman and Joseph Campbell: In Search of the Modern Myth is the book which Gaiman's fans have been waiting for!
A transformative, fascinating theory—based on robust and groundbreaking experimental research—reveals how our unconscious fear of death powers almost everything we do, shining a light on the hidden motives that drive human behavior More than one hundred years ago, the American philosopher William James dubbed the knowledge that we must die “the worm at the core” of the human condition. In 1974, cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker won the Pulitzer Prize for his book The Denial of Death, arguing that the terror of death has a pervasive effect on human affairs. Now authors Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski clarify with wide-ranging evidence the many ways the worm at the core guides our thoughts and actions, from the great art we create to the devastating wars we wage. The Worm at the Core is the product of twenty-five years of in-depth research. Drawing from innovative experiments conducted around the globe, Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski show conclusively that the fear of death and the desire to transcend it inspire us to buy expensive cars, crave fame, put our health at risk, and disguise our animal nature. The fear of death can also prompt judges to dole out harsher punishments, make children react negatively to people different from themselves, and inflame intolerance and violence. But the worm at the core need not consume us. Emerging from their research is a unique and compelling approach to these deeply existential issues: terror management theory. TMT proposes that human culture infuses our lives with order, stability, significance, and purpose, and these anchors enable us to function moment to moment without becoming overwhelmed by the knowledge of our ultimate fate. The authors immerse us in a new way of understanding human evolution, child development, history, religion, art, science, mental health, war, and politics in the twenty-first century. In so doing, they also reveal how we can better come to terms with death and learn to lead lives of courage, creativity, and compassion. Written in an accessible, jargon-free style, The Worm at the Core offers a compelling new paradigm for understanding the choices we make in life—and a pathway toward divesting ourselves of the cultural and personal illusions that keep us from accepting the end that awaits us all. Praise for The Worm at the Core “The idea that nearly all human individual and cultural activity is a response to death sounds far-fetched. But the evidence the authors present is compelling and does a great deal to address many otherwise intractable mysteries of human behaviour. This is an important, superbly readable and potentially life-changing book.”—The Guardian (U.K.) “A neat fusion of ideas borrowed from sociology, anthropology, existential philosophy and psychoanalysis.”—The Herald (U.K.) “Deep, important, and beautifully written, The Worm at the Core describes a brilliant and utterly original program of scientific research on a force so powerful that it drives our lives.”—Daniel Gilbert, Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Stumbling on Happiness “As psychology becomes increasingly trivial, devolving into the promotion of positive-thinking platitudes, The Worm at the Core bucks the trend. The authors present—and provide robust evidence for—a psychological thesis with disturbing personal as well as political implications.”—John Horgan, author of The End of War and director of the Center for Science Writings, Stevens Institute of Technology
Death, Desire and Loss in Western Culture is a rich testament to our ubiquitous preoccupation with the tangled web of death and desire. In these pages we find nuanced analysis that blends Plato with Shelley, Hölderlin with Foucault. Dollimore, a gifted thinker, is not content to summarize these texts from afar; instead, he weaves a thread through each to tell the magnificent story of the making of the modern individual.