Using Plato as her yardstick, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein measures the modern tendency to reduce all issues to scientific ones, and tries to assess how our newest technologies help or hinder the ancient ways of soul-searching.
This genial look at "How Greek Mythology Can Change Your Life" from La Sorbonne philosopher Luc Ferry achieves a Herculean task: articulating what the Olympian gods teach us about the limits and virtues of mortality.
The personal notebook of the eminent Italian poet of the nineteenth century, Zibaldone is a behemoth translation - years in the making - of Leopardi’s essential reflections on culture, society and literature of his era.
Beginning his "humanist Bible" not with Eve's apple but with Isaac Newton's, philosopher (and BNR columnist) A. C. Grayling has imagined and fashioned a non-religious scripture from the secular wisdom of both the Western and Eastern traditions. The result is a harvest of history, reflection, proverbs, and philosophy drawn from souces as diverse—and as humanly allied—as Confucius, Herodotus, and Montaigne.
brave and spirited assault against the forces of cultural entropy, this
meditation upon the virtues of civilization by a down-to-earth philosopher
proves that what is most missing from our civic discourse is a long-range
perspective steeped in enduring verities.
"It is not only species of animal that die out, but whole species of feeling," says Conchis in John Fowles's The Magus. "And if you are wise you will never pity the past for what it did not know, but pity yourself for what it did." What the past knew and what it can still teach us, through the works of Homer, Dante, Melville, and others, explain philosophers Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly in this brief but bracing book, is how to respond to the world with wonder and gratitude. It's an inspiring argument, and they're right.
Our resident philosopher, A. C. Grayling, who contributes "The Thinking Read" column to this site, here teaches us how to think about questions fundamental to the pursuit of an examined life. His brief, inviting essays are lucid and illuminating.