straw dogs thoughts on humans and other animals

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Straw Dogs

Author : John Gray
ISBN : 9781783782611
Genre : Nature
File Size : 29. 65 MB
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Straw Dogs is a radical work of philosophy that sets out to challenge our most cherished assumptions about what it means to be human. From Plato to Christianity, from the Enlightenment to Nietzsche and Marx, the Western tradition has been based on arrogant and erroneous beliefs about human beings and their place in the world. Philosophies such as liberalism and Marxism enthrone humankind as a species whose destiny is to transcend natural limits and conquer the Earth. Even in the present day, despite Darwin's discoveries, nearly all schools of thought take as their starting point the belief that humans are radically different from other animals. In Straw Dogs, John Gray argues that this humanist belief in human difference is an illusion and explores how the world and human life look once humanism has been finally abandoned.

The Silence Of Animals

Author : John Gray
ISBN : 9780141969022
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 61. 27 MB
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The powerful, beautiful and chilling sequel to the bestselling Straw Dogs John Gray draws on an extraordinary array of memoirs, poems, fiction and philosophy to make us re-imagine our place in the world. Writers as varied as Ballard, Borges, Freud and Conrad are mesmerised by forms of human extremity - experiences on the outer edge of the possible, or which tip into fantasy and myth. What happens to us when we starve, when we fight, when we are imprisoned? And how do our imaginations leap into worlds way beyond our real experience? The Silence of Animals is consistently fascinating, filled with unforgettable images and a delight in the conundrum of our existence - an existence which we decorate with countless myths and ideas, where we twist and turn to avoid acknowledging that we too are animals, separated from the others perhaps only by our self-conceit. In the Babel we have created for ourselves, it is the silence of animals that both reproaches and bewitches us. Reviews: 'The Silence of Animals is a new kind of book from Gray, a sort of poetic reverie on the human state, on the state, that is, of the human animal ... He blends lyricism with wisdom, humour with admonition, nay-saying with affirmation, making in the process a marvellous statement of what it is to be both an animal and a human in the strange, terrifying and exquisite world into which we straw dogs find ourselves thrown' John Banville, Guardian 'Interesting, original and memorable ... The Silence of Animals is a beautifully written book, the product of a strongly questioning mind. It is effectively an anthology with detailed commentary, setting out one rich and suggestive episode after another' Philip Hensher, Spectator About the author: John Gray has been Professor of Politics at Oxford University, Visiting Professor at Harvard and Yale and Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics. He now writes full time. His books include False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism, Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals and The Immortalization Commission: The Strange Quest to Cheat Death. His selected writings, Gray's Anatomy, was published in 2009.

Loss And The Other In The Visionary Work Of Anna Maria Ortese

Author : Vilma De Gasperin
ISBN : 9780191655111
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 53. 5 MB
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This book examines the vre of Anna Maria Ortese (1914-1998) from her first literary writings in the Thirties to her great novels in the Nineties. The analysis focusses on two interweaving core themes, loss and the Other. It begins with the shaping of personal loss of an Other following death, separation, abandonment, coupled with melancholy for life's transience as depicted in autobiographical works and in her masterpiece Il porto di Toledo. The book then addresses Ortese's literary engagement with social themes in realist stories set in post-war Naples in her collection Il mare non bagna Napoli and then explores her continuing preoccupation with socio-ethical issues, imbued with autobiographical elements, in non-realist texts, including her masterful novels L'Iguana, Il cardillo addolorato and Alonso e i visionari The book combines theme and genre analysis, highlighting Ortese's adoption and hybridization of diverse literary forms such as poetry, the novel, the short story, the essay, autobiography, realism, fairy tales, fantasy, allegory. In her work Ortese weaves an ongoing dialogue with literary and non-literary works, through direct quotations, allusions, echoes, adoption of motifs and topoi. The book thus highlights the intertextual relationship with her sources: Leopardi, Dante, Petrarch, Manzoni, Collodi, Montale, Serao; Shakespeare, Milton, Keats, Blake, Joyce, Conrad, Melville, Poe, Hawthorne, Hardy; Manrique, Gongora, de Quevedo, Villalón, Bello, Cantar del mio Cid; Heine, Valery, Puccini's Madam Butterfly, folklore, popular songs, and the Bible. Ortese thus shapes her literary themes in the background of social, political and economic upheavals over six decades of Italian history, culminating in an allegorical critique of modernity and a call for a renewed bond between humans and the Other.

Taboo

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File Size : 38. 95 MB
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Taboo

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File Size : 51. 47 MB
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Gray S Anatomy

Author : John Gray
ISBN : 9780141976549
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 43. 74 MB
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From the author of Straw Dogs, John Gray's Gray's Anatomy is a pugnacious and brilliantly readable collection of essays from across his career. Why is progress a pernicious myth? Why do beliefs that humanity can be improved end in farce or horror? Is atheism a hangover from Christian faith? John Gray, one of the most iconoclastic thinkers of our time, smashes through civilization's most cherished beliefs, overturning our view of the world, and our place in it. 'The most prescient of British public intellectuals' Pankaj Mishra, Financial Times 'Gray has consistently anticipated the shape of things to come ... he teaches us that true humanism is to be found in uncertainty and doubt' Will Self 'Gray's dissection of modern delusion, cant and wishful thinking is to be welcomed in this moment of convulsion ... This is a book to learn from and argue with' Ben Wilson, Literary Review 'A thoroughly enjoyable book ... These essays cover a remarkable range of topics, from Isaiah Berlin to Damien Hirst, from torture to environmentalism. But their unifying theme is that our naïve belief in the idea of progress has turned modern life into a constant round of shadow-boxing' David Runciman, Observer 'Demolishes the theory that we have reached the "end of history", the dogmas of secular liberalism, the weaknesses of financial casino capitalism and the limits of energy-intensive economic growth' Economist John Gray is most recently the acclaimed author of Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals, Heresies: Against Progress and Other Illusions, Al Qaeda and What It Means To Be Modern and Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia. He is Emeritus Professor of European Thought at the University of London.

The Immortalization Commission

Author : John Gray
ISBN : 9780141924267
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 65. 87 MB
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SUNDAY TIMES, NEW STATESMAN and TLS BOOKS OF THE YEAR At the heart of all human experience lies our obsession with death. For many years we turned to religion for answers, but with the twentieth century came ideas from evolution and politics to suggest that our lives - and afterlives - were in our own hands. Such ideas went on to have both trivial and terrible effects: from a sweeping craze of séances to the mass-murders of the Stalinist terror. Gray raises vital questions about the 'truths' science can offer, the technology we are still exploiting for immortality - and exactly what it means to be human.

Liberalism

Author : John Gray
ISBN : 0816628017
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 57. 66 MB
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Since the publication in 1986 of the first edition of Liberalism, both the world and the author's views have changed significantly. In this new edition, John Gray argues that whereas liberalism was the political theory of modernity, it is ill equipped to cope with the dilemmas of the postmodern condition.

Aping Mankind

Author : Raymond Tallis
ISBN : 9781317491781
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 53. 78 MB
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In a devastating critique Raymond Tallis exposes the exaggerated claims made for the ability of neuroscience and evolutionary theory to explain human consciousness, behaviour, culture and society. While readily acknowledging the astounding progress neuroscience has made in helping us understand how the brain works, Tallis directs his guns at neuroscience’s dark companion – "Neuromania" as he describes it – the belief that brain activity is not merely a necessary but a sufficient condition for human consciousness and that consequently our everyday behaviour can be entirely understood in neural terms. With the formidable acuity and precision of both clinician and philosopher, Tallis dismantles the idea that "we are our brains", which has given rise to a plethora of neuro-prefixed pseudo-disciplines laying claim to explain everything from art and literature to criminality and religious belief, and shows it to be confused and fallacious, and an abuse of the prestige of science, one that sidesteps a whole range of mind–body problems. The belief that human beings can be understood essentially in biological terms is a serious obstacle, argues Tallis, to clear thinking about what human beings are and what they might become. To explain everyday behaviour in Darwinian terms and to identify human consciousness with the activity of the evolved brain denies human uniqueness, and by minimising the differences between us and our nearest animal kin, misrepresents what we are, offering a grotesquely simplified and degrading account of humanity. We are, shows Tallis, infinitely more interesting and complex than we appear in the mirror of biologism. Combative, fearless and always thought-provoking, Aping Mankind is an important book, one that scientists, cultural commentators and policy-makers cannot ignore.

The Philosophy Of The Daodejing

Author : Hans-Georg Moeller
ISBN : 9780231510103
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 86. 83 MB
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For centuries, the ancient Chinese philosophical text the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching) has fascinated and frustrated its readers. While it offers a wealth of rich philosophical insights concerning the cultivation of one's body and attaining one's proper place within nature and the cosmos, its teachings and structure can be enigmatic and obscure. Hans-Georg Moeller presents a clear and coherent description and analysis of this vaguely understood Chinese classic. He explores the recurring images and ideas that shape the work and offers a variety of useful approaches to understanding and appreciating this canonical text. Moeller expounds on the core philosophical issues addressed in the Daodejing, clarifying such crucial concepts as Yin and Yang and Dao and De. He explains its teachings on a variety of subjects, including sexuality, ethics, desire, cosmology, human nature, the emotions, time, death, and the death penalty. The Daodejing also offers a distinctive ideal of social order and political leadership and presents a philosophy of war and peace. An illuminating exploration, The Daodejing is an interesting foil to the philosophical outlook of Western humanism and contains surprising parallels between its teachings and nontraditional contemporary philosophies.

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