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Book
xix, 264 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm
Are human lives ultimately meaningless? Is our inevitable death bad? Would immortality be better? Should we hasten our deaths by taking our own lives in acts of suicide? Many people ask these big questions and many are plagued by them. Surprisingly few analytic philosophers have spoken to these important questions. When they have engaged the big existential questions they have tended, like more popular writers, to offer comforting, optimistic answers. The Human Predicament offers a less sanguine assessment. David Benatar invites readers to take a clear-eyed view of our situation, defending a substantial, but not unmitigated, pessimism about human life. Benatar argues that while our lives can have some meaning, cosmically speaking we are ultimately the insignificant beings that we often fear we are. A candid appraisal reveals that the quality of life, although less bad for some people than for others, leaves much to be desired in even the best cases. But death, David Benatar argues, is hardly the solution. Our mortality exacerbates rather than mitigates our cosmic meaninglessness. It can release us from suffering but even when it does it imposes another cost - annihilation. This unfortunate state of affairs has nuanced implications for how we should think about immortality, about suicide, and about the aspects of life in which we can and do find deeper meaning. Engaging profound existential questions with analytic rigor and clarity, The Human Predicament is clear eyed, unsentimental, and deeply provocative to some of our most cherished beliefs.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780190633813 20170807
Green Library
DLCL-333-01, DLCL-333-01, ENGLISH-333-01, ENGLISH-333-01, PHIL-333-01, PHIL-333-01
Book
xi, 186 p. ; 22 cm.
  • Preface and acknowledgements -- 1. Narrative thinking -- 2. Narrative thinking about one's past -- 3. Grief: A case study -- 4. Narrative thinking about one's future -- 5. Self-forgiveness: A case study -- 6. The narrative sense of self -- 7. Narrative, truth, life, and fiction -- Bibliography -- Index.
  • (source: Nielsen Book Data)9780199230730 20160608
Peter Goldie explores the ways in which we think about our lives-our past, present, and future-in narrative terms. The notion of narrative is highly topical, and highly contentious, in a wide range of fields including philosophy, psychology and psychoanalysis, historical studies, and literature. The Mess Inside engages with all of these areas of discourse, and steers a path between the sceptics who are dismissive of the idea of narrative as having any worthwhile use at all, and those who argue that our very selfhood is somehow constituted by a narrative. After introducing the notion of narrative, Goldie discusses the way we engage with the past in narrative terms. This involves an exploration of the essentially perspectival nature of narrative thinking, which gains support from much recent empirical work on memory. Drawing on literary examples and on work in psychology, Goldie considers grief as a case study of this kind of narrative thinking, extending to a discussion of the crucial notion of 'closure'. Turning to narrative thinking about our future, Goldie discusses the many structural parallels between our imaginings of the future and our memories of the past, and the role of our emotions in response to what we imagine in thinking about our future in the light of our past. This is followed by a second case study-an exploration of self-forgiveness. In this ground-breaking book, Goldie supports scepticism about the idea that there is such a thing as a narrative self, but argues that having a narrative sense of self, quite distinct from any metaphysical notion of selfhood, is at the heart of what it is to think of ourselves, and others, as having a narratable past, present, and future.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780199230730 20160608
Green Library
DLCL-333-01, DLCL-333-01, ENGLISH-333-01, ENGLISH-333-01, PHIL-333-01, PHIL-333-01
Book
187 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Shortly before he died, Plenty Coups, the last great Chief of the Crow Nation, told his story - up to a certain point. "When the buffalo went away the hearts of my people fell to the ground, " he said, "and they could not lift them up again. After this nothing happened." It is precisely this point - that of a people faced with the end of their way of life - that prompts the philosophical and ethical inquiry pursued in "Radical Hope". In Jonathan Lear's view, Plenty Coups' story raises a profound ethical question that transcends his time and challenges us all: how should one face the possibility that one's culture might collapse? This is a vulnerability that affects us all - insofar as we are all inhabitants of a civilisation, and civilisations are themselves vulnerable to historical forces. How should we live with this vulnerability? Can we make any sense of facing up to such a challenge courageously? Using the available anthropology and history of the Indian tribes during their confinement to reservations, and drawing on philosophy and psychoanalytic theory, Lear explores the story of the Crow Nation at an impasse as it bears upon these questions - and these questions as they bear upon our own place in the world. His book is a deeply revealing, and deeply moving, philosophical inquiry into a peculiar vulnerability that goes to the heart of the human condition.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780674023291 20160528
Green Library
DLCL-333-01, DLCL-333-01, ENGLISH-333-01, ENGLISH-333-01, PHIL-333-01, PHIL-333-01

4. Death in Venice [2004]

Book
xvii, 142 p. ; 19 cm.
A new translation of the Nobel laureate's famous classic follows the story of successful aging writer Gustave von Aschenbach, whose search for spiritual fulfillment in Venice leads to erotic ruin when he becomes obsessed with an alluring Polish youth, Tadzio. Reader's Guide available.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780060576059 20160527
Green Library
DLCL-333-01, DLCL-333-01, ENGLISH-333-01, ENGLISH-333-01, PHIL-333-01, PHIL-333-01

5. Disgrace [2000]

Book
219 p. ; 20 cm.
A divorced, middle-aged English professor finds himself increasingly unable to resist affairs with his female students. When discovered by the college authorities he is expected to apologize to save his job, but instead he refuses and resigns, retiring to live with his daughter on her remote farm.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780436204890 20160528
A divorced, middle-aged English professor finds himself increasingly unable to resist affairs with his female students. When discovered by the college authorities, he is expected to apologise and repent in an effort to save his job, but he refuses to become a scapegoat in what he see as as a show trial designed to reinforce a stringent political correctness. He preempts the authorities and leaves his job, and the city, to spend time with his grown-up lesbian daughter on her remote farm. Things between them are strained - there is much from the past they need to reconcile - and the situation becomes critical when they are the victims of a brutal and horrifying attack. In spectacularly powerful and lucid prose, Coetzee uses all his formidable skills to engage with a post-apartheid culture in unexpected and revealing ways. This examination into the sexual and politcal lawlines of modern South Africa as it tries desperately to start a fresh page in its history is chilling, uncompromising and unforgettable.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780099289524 20160528
Green Library
DLCL-333-01, DLCL-333-01, ENGLISH-333-01, ENGLISH-333-01, PHIL-333-01, PHIL-333-01
Book
xiv, 464 p. ; 24 cm.
This work is a study of history and morality in the 20th century. It examines the psychology which made possible Hiroshima, the Nazi genocide, Rwanda and Bosnia. It draws on accounts of participants, victims and observers and suggests that different atrocities have common patterns.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780224052405 20160528
Green Library
DLCL-333-01, DLCL-333-01, ENGLISH-333-01, ENGLISH-333-01, PHIL-333-01, PHIL-333-01

7. Walden [1854]

Book
xxiii, 312 p. ; 23 cm.
Green Library, Art & Architecture Library (Bowes)
DLCL-333-01, DLCL-333-01, ENGLISH-333-01, ENGLISH-333-01, PHIL-333-01, PHIL-333-01

8. To the lighthouse [1955]

Book
xii, 209 p. ; 22 cm.
  • The Window
  • Time Passes
  • The Lighthouse.
At their holiday home in Cornwall, a distant lighthouse holds a haunting attraction for the members of an Edwardian family as disillusionment, turmoil, and a world on the brink of war plague the family's relationships.
Green Library
DLCL-333-01, DLCL-333-01, ENGLISH-333-01, ENGLISH-333-01, PHIL-333-01, PHIL-333-01