Philosophy

Ask a Philosopher: Answers to Your Most Important and Most Unexpected Questions

Ask a Philosopher: Answers to Your Most Important and Most Unexpected Questions

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A collection of answers to the philosophical questions on people's minds--from the big to the personal to the ones you didn't know you needed answered.

Based on real-life questions from his Ask a Philosopher series, Ian Olasov offers his answers to questions such as:

- Are people innately good or bad?
- Is it okay to have a pet fish?
- Is it okay to have kids?
- Is color subjective?
- If humans colonize Mars, who will own the land?
- Is ketchup a smoothie?
- Is there life after death?
- Should I give money to homeless people?

Ask a Philosopher shows that there's a way of making philosophy work for each of us, and that philosophy can be both perfectly continuous with everyday life, and also utterly transporting. From questions that we all wrestle with in private to questions that you never thought to ask, Ask a Philosopher will get you thinking.

Diogenes  Defictions
Diogenes  Defictions
Diogenes  Defictions
Diogenes  Defictions
Diogenes  Defictions

Diogenes Defictions

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Berkeley: Peter Koch, Printer, 1994. Designed and printed letterpress from photo-polymer plates by Peter Koch, with the assistance of Richard Seibert, in an edition of 500 copies. The typefaces are Adobe Caslon, designed by Carol Twombly for the text with Monotype Gill Sans, designed by Eric Gill, and Deberny & Peignot Bifur, designed by A.M. Cassandre for display. Photograph of the box and plates by Richard Blair. Color lithography courtesy of George Lithograph. Binding by Arnold Martinez. Printed paper boards with inset cloth spine; no dust jacket; top spine-edge corner bumped; text clean. G+

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Dominion : The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy

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"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."--Genesis 1:24-26

In this crucial passage from the Old Testament, God grants mankind power over animals. But with this privilege comes the grave responsibility to respect life, to treat animals with simple dignity and compassion.

Somewhere along the way, something has gone wrong.

In Dominion, we witness the annual convention of Safari Club International, an organization whose wealthier members will pay up to $20,000 to hunt an elephant, a lion or another animal, either abroad or in American "safari ranches," where the animals are fenced in pens. We attend the annual International Whaling Commission conference, where the skewed politics of the whaling industry come to light, and the focus is on developing more lethal, but not more merciful, methods of harvesting "living marine resources." And we visit a gargantuan American "factory farm," where animals are treated as mere product and raised in conditions of mass confinement, bred for passivity and bulk, inseminated and fed with machines, kept in tightly confined stalls for the entirety of their lives, and slaughtered in a way that maximizes profits and minimizes decency.

Throughout Dominion, Scully counters the hypocritical arguments that attempt to excuse animal abuse: from those who argue that the Bible's message permits mankind to use animals as it pleases, to the hunter's argument that through hunting animal populations are controlled, to the popular and "scientifically proven" notions that animals cannot feel pain, experience no emotions, and are not conscious of their own lives.

The result is eye opening, painful and infuriating, insightful and rewarding. Dominion is a plea for human benevolence and mercy, a scathing attack on those who would dismiss animal activists as mere sentimentalists, and a demand for reform from the government down to the individual. Matthew Scully has created a groundbreaking work, a book of lasting power and importance for all of us.

Master Richard's "Bestiary of Love" and "Response" (1st edition, illustrated by Barry Moser)
Master Richard's "Bestiary of Love" and "Response" (1st edition, illustrated by Barry Moser)
Master Richard's "Bestiary of Love" and "Response" (1st edition, illustrated by Barry Moser)

Master Richard's "Bestiary of Love" and "Response" (1st edition, illustrated by Barry Moser)

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University of California Press, 1986. First edition. New edition of the Pennyroyal Press Master Richard's Bestiary of Love, translated by Jeanette Beer and illustrated by Barry Moser; first published English translation; dust jacket in protective cover; price clipped; small closed tear on front cover; beige cloth with gilt lettering on spine; former owner's signature in ink on ffep; text clean and bright; binding tight. VG/G+

The Divine Milieu

The Divine Milieu

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The essential companion to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's The Phenomenom of Man, The Divine Milieu expands on the spiritual message so basic to his thought. He shows how man's spiritual life can become a participation in the destiny of the universe.

Teilhard de Chardin -- geologist, priest, and major voice in twentieth-century Christianity -- probes the ultimate meaning of all physical exploration and the fruit of his own inner life. The Divine Milieu is a spiritual treasure for every religion bookshelf.

This I Do Believe

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Tough Choices: Structured Paternalism and the Landscape of Choice

Tough Choices: Structured Paternalism and the Landscape of Choice

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To what extent should government be permitted to intervene in personal choices? In grappling with this question, liberal theory seeks to balance individual liberty with the advancement of collective goals such as equality. Too often, however, society's obligation to provide meaningful opportunities is overshadowed by its commitment to personal freedom. Tough Choices charts a middle course between freedom-oriented anti-interventionism and equality-oriented social welfare, presenting a way to structure choices that equalize opportunities while protecting the freedom of individuals to choose among them.


Drawing on insights from behavioral economics, psychology, and educational theory, Sigal Ben-Porath makes the case for structured paternalism, which is based on the understanding that state intervention is often inevitable, and that therefore theorists and policymakers must focus on the extent to which it can productively be applied, as well as on the forms it should take in different social domains. Ben-Porath explores how structured paternalism can play a role in providing equal opportunities for individual choice in an array of personal and social contexts, including the intimate lives of adults, parent-child relationships, school choice, and intercultural relations.

Tough Choices demonstrates how structured paternalism can inform more egalitarian social policies, ones that acknowledge personal, social, and cultural differences as well as the challenges all individuals may face when they make a choice.