Hobbes: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Richard Tuck

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 9780192802552

Category: Philosophy

Page: 168

View: 2782


Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) was the first great English political philosopher, and his book Leviathan was one of the first truly modern works of philosophy. Richard Tuck shows that while Hobbes may indeed have been an atheist, he was far from pessimistic about human nature, nor did he advocate totalitarianism. By locating him against the context of his age, we learn that Hobbes developed a theory of knowledge which rivalled that of Descartes in its importance for the formation of modern philosophy.

Free Will: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Thomas Pink

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192853589

Category: Philosophy

Page: 132

View: 3974


Every day we seem to make and act upon all kinds of free choices - but are these choices really free? Or are we compelled to act the way we do by factors beyond our control? This book looks at free will.

Hobbes: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Richard Tuck

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191604461

Category: Philosophy

Page: 168

View: 600


Thomas Hobbes, the first great English political philosopher, has long had the reputation of being a pessimistic atheist, who saw human nature as inevitably evil and proposed a totalitarian state to subdue human failings. In this illuminating study, Richard Tuck re-evaluates Hobbes's philosophy and dispels these myths, revealing him to have been passionately concerned with the refutation of scepticism, and to have developed a theory of knowledge which rivalled that of Descartes in its importance. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

Author: David Miller

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192803956

Category: Philosophy

Page: 147

View: 4829


This book introduces readers to the concepts of political philosophy. It starts by explaining why the subject is important and how it tackles basic ethical questions such as 'how should we live together in society?' It looks at political authority, the reasons why we need politics at all, the limitations of politics, and whether there are areas of life that shouldn't be governed by politics. It explores the connections between political authority and justice, a constant theme in political philosophy, and the ways in which social justice can be used to regulate rather than destroy a market economy. David Miller discusses why nations are the natural units of government and whether the rise of multiculturalism and transnational co-operation will change this: will we ever see the formation of a world government? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Rousseau: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Robert Wokler

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192801988

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 171

View: 842


'Review from previous edition Dr Wokler is... in command of a vast store of information on this author.' -The Times Literary Supplement

Machiavelli

Author: Quentin Skinner

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198837577

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 144

View: 2770


Niccolo Machiavelli taught that political leaders must be prepared to do evil so that good may come of it, and his name has been a byword ever since for duplicity and immorality. Is his sinister reputation deserved? In answering this question Quentin Skinner traces the course of Machiavelli's adult life, from his time as Second Chancellor of the Florentine republic, during which he met with kings, the pope, and the Holy Roman Emperor; to the fall of the republic in 1512; to his death in 1527. It was after the fall of the Republic that Machiavelli composed his main political works: The Prince, the Discourses, and The History of Florence. In this second edition of his Very Short Introduction Skinner includes new material on The Prince, showing how Machiavelli developed his neo-classical political theory, through engaging in continual dialogue with the ancient Roman moralists and historians, especially Cicero and Livy. The aim of political leaders, Machiavelli argues, should be to act virtuously so far as possible, but to stand ready 'to be not good' when this course of action is dictated by necessity. Exploring the pivotal concept of princely virtu to be found in classical and Renaissance humanist texts, Skinner brings new light to Machiavelli's philosophy of a willingness to do whatever may be necessary - whether moral or otherwise -to maintain a position of power. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Descartes: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Tom Sorell

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 0192854097

Category: Philosophy

Page: 116

View: 4071


Ren--eacute--; Descartes (1596-1650) had a remarkably short working life, and his output was small, yet his contributions to philosophy and science have endured to the present day. In this book Tom Sorell shows that Descartes was, above all, an advocate and practitioner of a new mathematical approach to physics, and that he developed his metaphysics to support his programme in the sciences.

Politics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Kenneth Minogue

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 0192853880

Category: Political Science

Page: 115

View: 7573


Series Copy The new Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects from politics to classics. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each book in the series provides trenchant, provocative, yet balanced discussions on the central issues of the field, gives a readable historical account of the subject, and demonstrates how each particular area of study has developed and shaped society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering readers an affordable, accessible, and complete reference library. Stimulating and lively, the Very Short Introductions are indispensable guides and essential reading for anyone interested in the development of these influential fields. Providing the general reader and the student with an introduction to the central issues of political science, A Very Short Introduction to Politics shows how political trends and maneuvers develop and how they help shape our society. Kenneth Minogue, with his lively and popular style, begins with a discussion of issues arising from a historical account of politics, and goes on to offer chapters dealing with the Ancient Greeks and the idea of citizenship; Roman law; medieval Christianity and individualism; freedom since Machiavelli and Hobbes; the challenge of ideologies; democracy, oligarchy, and bureaucracy; power and order in modern society; and politics in the West. Readable and pithy, this entertaining introduction is perfect for anyone looking for an accessible overview of the subject.

Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Edward Craig

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 0192854216

Category: Philosophy

Page: 132

View: 3280


Examines how philosophers including Plato, Descartes, Hobbes, Darwin, and de Beauvoir responded to real life situations, and how their responses continue to influence people today.

Adam Smith

Author: Christopher J. Berry

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198784457

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 152

View: 2493


In 1776 Adam Smith (1723-90) wrote The Wealth of Nations, a book so foundational that it has led to him being called the "father of economics." Today he is associated with the promotion of self-interest, a defense of greed and a criticism of any governmental 'interference' in market transactions which, if left to the 'invisible hand', will produce prosperity and liberty. Yet if Smith is actually read these associations are more a caricature than a faithful portrait. In this Very Short Introduction, Christopher Berry offers a balanced and nuanced view of this seminal thinker, embedding his fierce defense of free trade, competition, and assault on special interests in contemporary European history, politics, and philosophy. As Berry explores, Smith was more than an economist. His book The Theory of Moral Sentiment, offered a complex account of ethics in the context of human social behavior. His scope as a professor at the University of Glasgow, a major center of the Scottish Enlightenment, was extensive. Beyond courses in philosophy and jurisprudence he also gave classes covering history, literature, and language. In addition to his two major works he also wrote a pioneering study of the history of astronomy as an illustration of the motivations that drive humans to seek answers to questions. He produced, again derived from his Glasgow classroom, an analysis of the development of grammar and language. As Christopher Berry shows, Adam Smith was no narrow thinker, but rather one who produced not only one of the greatest books in the history of social science, but also a wide-ranging body of work that remains significant today. ABOUT THE SERIES The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.