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ABEL'S PROOF

ABEL'S PROOF

By: Pesic, Peter
$24.95
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The intellectual and human story of a mathematical proof that transformed our ideas about mathematics.

In 1824 a young Norwegian named Niels Henrik Abel proved conclusively that algebraic equations of the fifth order are not solvable in radicals. In this book Peter Pesic shows what an important event this was in the history of thought. He also presents it as a remarkable human story. Abel was twenty-one when he self-published his proof, and he died five years later, poor and depressed, just before the proof started to receive wide acclaim. Abel's attempts to reach out to the mathematical elite of the day had been spurned, and he was unable to find a position that would allow him to work in peace and marry his fiancé.

But Pesic's story begins long before Abel and continues to the present day, for Abel's proof changed how we think about mathematics and its relation to the real world. Starting with the Greeks, who invented the idea of mathematical proof, Pesic shows how mathematics found its sources in the real world (the shapes of things, the accounting needs of merchants) and then reached beyond those sources toward something more universal. The Pythagoreans' attempts to deal with irrational numbers foreshadowed the slow emergence of abstract mathematics. Pesic focuses on the contested development of algebra--which even Newton resisted--and the gradual acceptance of the usefulness and perhaps even beauty of abstractions that seem to invoke realities with dimensions outside human experience. Pesic tells this story as a history of ideas, with mathematical details incorporated in boxes. The book also includes a new annotated translation of Abel's original proof.

APPROACH TO ARISTOTLES PHYSICS WIT

APPROACH TO ARISTOTLES PHYSICS WITH PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO THE ROLE OF HIS MANNER OF WRITING

By: Bolotin, David
$31.95
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Maintaining that Aristotle's writings about the natural world contain a rhetorical surface as well as a philosophic core, David Bolotin argues in this book that Aristotle never seriously intended many of his doctrines that have been demolished by modern science. To that end, he presents a number of case studies to show that Aristotle deliberately misrepresented his views about nature--a thought that was commonly shared by commentators on his work in late antiquity and the middle ages. Bolotin demonstrates that Aristotle's real views have not been refuted by modern science and still deserve our most serious attention.
BOOKS WITHOUT BORDERS: Homer, Aeschylus, Galileo, Melville and Madison Go to China

BOOKS WITHOUT BORDERS: Homer, Aeschylus, Galileo, Melville and Madison Go to China

$18.00
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CLOSE TO THE TEETH TR. SARAH STICKNEY

CLOSE TO THE TEETH TR. SARAH STICKNEY

By: Biagini, Elisa
$17.00
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An iconoclastic portrayal of Italian domestic spaces, especially the kitchen and the body, Close to the Teeth is an exploration of the intimate space that belongs to women, and of the ways in which that space alternately oppresses and gives power. The domestic interior and the female body often become one another in these poems in ways that are frightening, illuminating, and deeply familiar. In them the dangers and the powers of the domestic emerge alongside those of the body. This collection is also a deeply personal account, fragmentary, increasingly tense, yet flexible and fierce.
DOUBLETHINK / DOUBLETALK: NATURALIZING SECOND THOUGHT AND TWOFOLD SPEECH

DOUBLETHINK / DOUBLETALK: NATURALIZING SECOND THOUGHT AND TWOFOLD SPEECH

By: Brann, Eva
$19.95
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Philosopher Eva Brann describes the concept of doublethink/doubletalk as a flanking approach toward comprehending a pervasively duplex world, a world that sometimes flashes fleeting signs of covert wholeness. In this, her second collection of aphorisms and observations, Brann shines a light on our world--on the way things are--and she does it with characteristic wit and insight.

Eva Brann is a member of the senior faculty at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, where she has taught for fifty-seven years. She is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal. This is her ninth book with Paul Dry Books.

EARTHBOUND

EARTHBOUND

By: Baumann, Ken
$14.95
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An RPG for the Super NES that flopped when it first arrived in the U.S., EarthBound grew in fan support and critical acclaim over the years, eventually becoming the All-Time Favorite Game of thousands, among them author Ken Baumann.

Featuring a heartfelt foreword from the game's North American localization director, Marcus Lindblom, Baumann's EarthBound is a joyful tornado of history, criticism, and memoir.

Baumann explores the game's unlikely origins, its brilliant creator, its madcap plot, its marketing failure, its cult rise from the ashes, and its intersections with Japanese and American culture, all the while reflecting back on the author's own journey into the terrifying and hilarious world of adults.
ESTATE SALE

ESTATE SALE

$12.00
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FURTHER ADVENTURES IN THE UNSUBCONSCIOUS: A TRILOGY

FURTHER ADVENTURES IN THE UNSUBCONSCIOUS: A TRILOGY

$19.95
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HOW TO CONSTITUTE A WORLD

HOW TO CONSTITUTE A WORLD

By: Brann, Eva
$19.95
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Eva Brann, who has taught at St. John's College, Annapolis, for sixty years, wrote these essays largely as clarifying incitements to students who were reading, or ought to have been reading, the works discussed. In her words:

The first essay looks at the 'Pre-Socratics' Heraclitus and Parmenides. They appear to be in radical opposition, but they are really doing the same, new thing: seeing the world as an intelligible whole. Both observe external nature, construing it in their minds--so, from the outside in. The final essay again describes two ways of world-construing from the outside in--one by penetrating the surface of reality, the other by spinning a web of complexity over it.

The five essays in between focus on works by Kant and display the world as constituted from the human inside out. An appreciative review of the Critique of Pure Reason shows how Kant brilliantly justifies a science of nature by making nature itself the construct of our understanding. But he leads us to the abyss of more idealism; externality and realism escape him. The explication of his one absolute moral commandment similarly defines his morality entirely in terms divorced from objective good and concentrated on internal integrity. Finally, his huge unpublished legacy agonizes about bringing a god, first conceived as an inner need, into external existence.

Eva Brann is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal. Her other books include Doublethink / Doubletalk, Then & Now, Un-Willing, The Logos of Heraclitus, Feeling Our Feelings, Homage to Americans, Open Secrets / Inward Prospects, The Music of the Republic, and Homeric Moments (all published by Paul Dry Books).

HUMANITY IS TRYING: EXPERIMENTS IN LIVING WITH GRIEF

HUMANITY IS TRYING: EXPERIMENTS IN LIVING WITH GRIEF

By: Gots, Jason
$27.99
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"A truly beautiful, wise, raw, subtle book." --Robert MacFarlane, author of Underland

My sister and I are driving south toward Graceland in her beat-up red Saturn, both in need of refuge, both running from different things. Her bumper sticker reads "Humanity Is Trying." It's a triple entendre, she explains: Humanity is exhausting. Humanity is struggle. Humanity is doing the best it knows how.

Humanity Is Trying is several books in one. It's a memoir about the love and the loss of a sister and a best friend. It's the story of a series of escape attempts--cowardly, courageous, harmful, and hopeful--experiments in freedom from the stories that limit us. And it's a record of spiritual, intellectual, and emotional growth with the help of friends, psychedelics, art, and spiritual practice.

From Jason Gots, creator of the podcasts Think Again and Clever Creature, comes a philosophical love letter to the slow, messy work of building a life and living with your dreams in the face of reality.
IRON FILINGS OR SCRIBBLINGS: THINKING THINGS OUT

IRON FILINGS OR SCRIBBLINGS: THINKING THINGS OUT

By: Brann, Eva
$22.95
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To introduce her book, Eva Brann calls up the image of Iron Filings as they "settle themselves along the lines of force that form a field of influence around a bar magnet that has itself been allowed to settle itself in its natural direction. The whole configuration makes, by nature's wit, a suggestive figure for the thinking mind--at least of a cross-section in its life." These essays range from Ms. Brann's thoughts "Of God," "Of Novels, "Of Booklessness," to, well, a surprising diversity of topics, the final one, fittingly "Of Endings." Eva Brann thinks a thought and then thinks a thought at the other end of the pole of the first thought--hence the display of thought like iron filings around two ends of a magnet.
LEAVING US TO WONDER: An Essay on the Questions that Science Can't Ask

LEAVING US TO WONDER: An Essay on the Questions that Science Can't Ask

By: Ramsey, Ramsey Eric
$31.95
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This exciting collaboration between a biologist and a philosopher explores the meaning of the scientific worldview and how it plays out in our everyday lives. The authors investigate alternatives to scientism, the view that science is the proper and exclusive foundation for thinking about and answering every question. They ask: Does the current technoscientific worldview threaten the pursuit of living well? Do the facts procured by technoscientific systems render inconsequential our lived experiences, the wisdom of ancient and contemporary philosophical insight, and the promise offered by time-honored religious beliefs? Drawing on important Western thinkers, including Kant, Nietzsche, Darwin, Heidegger, and others, Linda Wiener and Ramsey Eric Ramsey demonstrate how many of the claims and conclusions of technoscience can and should be challenged. They offer ways of thinking about science in a larger context that respect scientific practice, while taking seriously alternative philosophical modes of thought whose aims are freedom, the good life, and living well.
LECTURES and ESSAYS

LECTURES and ESSAYS

By: Klein, Jacob
$39.95
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LOGOS OF HERACLITUS

LOGOS OF HERACLITUS

By: Brann, Eva
$16.95
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"In this extraordinary meditation, Eva Brann takes us to the fierce core of Heraclitus's vision and shows us the music of his language. The thought and beautiful prose in The Logos of Heraclitus are a delight."--Barry Mazur, Harvard University

"An engaged solitary, an inward-turned observer of the world, inventor of the first of philosophical genres, the thought-compacted aphorism," "teasingly obscure in reputation, but hard-hittingly clear in fact," "now tersely mordant, now generously humane."

Thus Eva Brann introduces Heraclitus--in her view, the West's first philosopher.

The collected work of Heraclitus comprises 131 passages. Eva Brann sets out to understand Heraclitus as he is found in these passages and particularly in his key word, Logos, the order that is the cosmos.

"Whoever is captivated by the revelatory riddlings and brilliant obscurities of what remains of Heraclitus has to begin anew--accepting help, to be sure, from previous readings--in a spirit of receptivity and reserve. But essentially everyone must pester the supposed obscurantist until he opens up. Heraclitus is no less and no more pregnantly dark than an oracle...The upshot is that no interpretation has prevailed; every question is wide open."

Eva Brann is a member of the senior faculty at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, where she has taught for fifty-seven years. She is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal. Her other books include Then and Now, Un-Willing, Feeling Our Feelings, Homage to Americans, Open Secrets / Inward Prospects, The Music of the Republic, and Homeric Moments (all published by Paul Dry Books).


MILLENNIAL HARVEST

MILLENNIAL HARVEST

By: Bell, Charles Greenleaf
$25.00
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Millennial Harvest is a unique and most wonderful project. Neither a book of scholarly essays nor solely a collection of poetry, Millennial Harvest interweaves poetry and prose into a continuous personal narrative in the manner of Dante's La Vita Nuova. It does so with a tremendous intellectual scope, a very wide range of references, and an original vision of the evolution of a writer's consciousness, as well as with sharp and memorable portraits of some of the people involved--Simone Weil, Albert Einstein, Erika Mann, and William Carlos Williams, for example. Above all, Millennial Harvest is the autobiography of a beloved, highly gifted, and most unusual man.


For seventy or so years, Charles Bell has been a great thinker and a great teacher and has brought enlightenment and joy to countless others. Like that of many of the great thinker-teachers, a number of Charles' own writings have gone unpublished or are out of print.


Now, for the first time, all his poetic work is brought together, thoroughly revised and in a way that allows each part to be read in relationship to the rest--a boon to all Bell's admirers and to the many admirers who will doubtless spring up, of whom there will be many. Charles' writing makes highly entertaining, indeed gripping, reading and is full of startling insights; and it is often very, very funny.

MUSIC AND THE MAKING OF MODERN SCIENCE

MUSIC AND THE MAKING OF MODERN SCIENCE

By: Pesic, Peter
$42.00
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A wide-ranging exploration of how music has influenced science through the ages, from fifteenth-century cosmology to twentieth-century string theory.

In the natural science of ancient Greece, music formed the meeting place between numbers and perception; for the next two millennia, Pesic tells us in Music and the Making of Modern Science, "liberal education" connected music with arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy within a fourfold study, the quadrivium. Peter Pesic argues provocatively that music has had a formative effect on the development of modern science--that music has been not just a charming accompaniment to thought but a conceptual force in its own right.

Pesic explores a series of episodes in which music influenced science, moments in which prior developments in music arguably affected subsequent aspects of natural science. He describes encounters between harmony and fifteenth-century cosmological controversies, between musical initiatives and irrational numbers, between vibrating bodies and the emergent electromagnetism. He offers lively accounts of how Newton applied the musical scale to define the colors in the spectrum; how Euler and others applied musical ideas to develop the wave theory of light; and how a harmonium prepared Max Planck to find a quantum theory that reengaged the mathematics of vibration. Taken together, these cases document the peculiar power of music--its autonomous force as a stream of experience, capable of stimulating insights different from those mediated by the verbal and the visual. An innovative e-book edition available for iOS devices will allow sound examples to be played by a touch and shows the score in a moving line.

NATURAL REASON AND NATURAL LAW: An Assessment of the Straussian Criticisms of Thomas Aquinas

NATURAL REASON AND NATURAL LAW: An Assessment of the Straussian Criticisms of Thomas Aquinas

By: Carey, James
$39.00
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Natural law, according to Thomas Aquinas, has its foundation in the evidence and operation of natural, human reason. Its primary precepts are self-evident. Awareness of these precepts does not presuppose knowledge of, or even belief in, the existence of God. The most interesting criticisms of Thomas Aquinas's natural-law teaching in modern times have been advanced by the political philosopher Leo Strauss and his followers. The purpose of this book is to show that these criticisms are based on misunderstandings and that they are inconclusive at best. Thomas Aquinas's natural-law teaching is fully rational. It is accessible to man as man.

ON THE SOUL DE ANIMA TR. BOLOTIN

ON THE SOUL DE ANIMA TR. BOLOTIN

By: Bolotin, David
$18.00
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David Bolotin's translation of Aristotle's DE ANIMA, aims above all at fidelity to the Greek and tries to convey the meaning--to the extent possible in English--of his every word. The translation itself is supplemented with footnotes, some of which, when taken together, sketch the outline of an overall interpretation of the work. Since Bolotin considers Aristotle to be a teacher, he has made a scrupulous effort to examine the manuscript tradition. And he has relied only on readings that are well-attested in the oldest manuscripts, rather than accepting conjectural emendations of modern editors, who all too often substitute a Greek text that is easy to understand for any of those that have come down to us from the ancient copyists. Bolotin's translation subordinates felicity of English expression to the demand for fidelity to the Greek. For readers who wish to study DE ANIMA, it offers access that has hitherto been unavailable in English to the precise meaning of Aristotle's text.
PARADOXES OF EDUCATION IN A REPUBLIC

PARADOXES OF EDUCATION IN A REPUBLIC

By: Brann, Eva T H
$20.00
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PARVA NATURALIA WITH ON THE MOTION OF ANIMALS TR. DAVID BOLOTIN

PARVA NATURALIA WITH ON THE MOTION OF ANIMALS TR. DAVID BOLOTIN

By: Aristotle
$20.00
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David Bolotin's translation of Aristotle's PARVA NATURALIA aims above all at fidelity to the Greek. It treats Aristotle as a teacher regarding the topics that he discusses, and hence it tries to convey the meaning, to the extent possible in English, of his every word. Aristotle clearly intended these treatises as a sequel to his DE ANIMA, and Bolotin's translation is a sequel to his translation of that work. The title PARVA NATURALIA goes back to the Latin Middle Ages, and though the traditional grouping doesn't include the treatise ON THE MOTION OF ANIMALS, it is included here, since there is strong manuscript evidence that it ought to be included. Bolotin has made a scrupulous effort to examine the manuscript tradition, and he has relied only on readings that are well attested in the oldest manuscripts, rather than accepting conjectural emendations of modern editors, who too often substitute a Greek text that is easy to understand for any of those from the ancient copyists.

David Bolotin's translation of Aristotle's PARVA NATURALIA aims above all at fidelity to the Greek. It treats Aristotle as a teacher regarding the topics that he discusses, and hence it tries to convey the meaning, to the extent possible in English, of his every word. Aristotle clearly intended these treatises as a sequel to his DE ANIMA, and Bolotin's translation is a sequel to his translation of that work. The title PARVA NATURALIA goes back to the Latin Middle Ages, and though the traditional grouping doesn't include the treatise ON THE MOTION OF ANIMALS, it is included here, since there is strong manuscript evidence, as well as solid substantive reasons, that it ought to be included. Bolotin has made a scrupulous effort to examine the manuscript tradition, and he has relied only on readings that are well attested in the oldest manuscripts, rather than accepting conjectural emendations of modern editors, who too often substitute a Greek text that is easy to understand for any of those that have come down to us from the ancient copyists. Since Bolotin's translation, though it aims at the greatest possible clarity in English, subordinates felicity of English expression to the demand for fidelity to the Greek, it may not be suitable for all readers. But for those who wish to study the PARVA NATURALIA with care, it offers access that has hitherto been unavailable in English to the precise meaning of Aristotle's text.

PLATO'S DIALOGUE ON FRIENDSHIP

PLATO'S DIALOGUE ON FRIENDSHIP

By: Plato
$29.95
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Originally published in 1979, Plato's Dialogue on Friendship is the first book-length interpretation of the Lysis in English, offering both a full analysis and a literal translation of this frequently neglected Platonic dialogue.

David Bolotin interprets the Lysis as an important work in its own right and places it in the context of Plato's other writings. He attempts to show that despite Socrates' apparent failure to discover what a friend is, a coherent understanding of friendship emerges in the Lysis. His commentary follows the dialogue closely, and his interpretation unfolds gradually, as he is providing a detailed summary of the Lysis itself.

Mr. Bolotin's translation captures the playfulness and rich ambiguities of the Lysis and its effectiveness as conversational drama. His book, written with precision and clarity, should be useful to students of political philosophy and ancient philosophy.

POLYPHONIC MINDS: MUSIC OF THE HEMISPHERES

POLYPHONIC MINDS: MUSIC OF THE HEMISPHERES

By: Pesic, Peter
$38.00
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An exploration of polyphony and the perspective it offers on our own polyphonic brains.

Polyphony--the interweaving of simultaneous sounds--is a crucial aspect of music that has deep implications for how we understand the mind. In Polyphonic Minds, Peter Pesic examines the history and significance of "polyphonicity"--of "many-voicedness"--in human experience. Pesic presents the emergence of Western polyphony, its flowering, its horizons, and the perspective it offers on our own polyphonic brains.

When we listen to polyphonic music, how is it that we can hear several different things at once? How does a single mind experience those things as a unity (a motet, a fugue) rather than an incoherent jumble? Pesic argues that polyphony raises fundamental issues for philosophy, theology, literature, psychology, and neuroscience--all searching for the apparent unity of consciousness in the midst of multiple simultaneous experiences.

After tracing the development of polyphony in Western music from ninth-century church music through the experimental compositions of Glenn Gould and John Cage, Pesic considers the analogous activity within the brain, the polyphonic "music of the hemispheres" that shapes brain states from sleep to awakening. He discusses how neuroscientists draw on concepts from polyphony to describe the "neural orchestra" of the brain. Pesic's story begins with ancient conceptions of God's mind and ends with the polyphonic personhood of the human brain and body. An enhanced e-book edition allows the sound examples to be played by a touch.

SEEING DOUBLE

SEEING DOUBLE

By: Pesic, Peter
$19.95
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The unknown history of surveillance in relation to changing systems of representation and visual arts practice.

The separateness and connection of individuals is perhaps the central question of human life: What, exactly, is my individuality? To what degree is it unique? To what degree can it be shared, and how? To the many philosophical and literary speculations about these topics over time, modern science has added the curious twist of quantum theory, which requires that the elementary particles of which everything consists have no individuality at all. All aspects of chemistry depend on this lack of individuality, as do many branches of physics. From where, then, does our individuality come? In Seeing Double, Peter Pesic invites readers to explore this intriguing set of questions. He draws on literary and historical examples that open the mind (from Homer to Martin Guerre to Kafka), philosophical analyses that have helped to make our thinking and speech more precise, and scientific work that has enabled us to characterize the phenomena of nature. Though he does not try to be all-inclusive, Pesic presents a broad range of ideas, building toward a specific point of view: that the crux of modern quantum theory is its clash with our ordinary concept of individuality. This represents a departure from the usual understanding of quantum theory. Pesic argues that what is bizarre about quantum theory becomes more intelligible as we reconsider what we mean by individuality and identity in ordinary experience. In turn, quantum identity opens a new perspective on us.

SKY IN A BOTTLE

SKY IN A BOTTLE

By: Pesic, Peter
$12.95
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The age-old question Why is the sky blue? begins a quest through science, history, and art, from Aristotle and Newton through Goethe and Einstein.

Children ask, Why is the sky blue? but the question also puzzled Plato, Leonardo, and even Newton, who unlocked so many other secrets. The search for an answer continued for centuries; in 1862 Sir John Herschel listed the color and polarization of sky light as the two great standing enigmas of meteorology. In Sky in a Bottle, Peter Pesic takes us on a quest to the heart of this mystery, tracing the various attempts of science, history, and art to solve it. He begins with the scholars of the ancient world and continues through the natural philosophers of the Enlightenment, the empiricists of the scientific revolution, and beyond. The cast of characters includes Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci, Kepler, Descartes, Euler, Saussure, Goethe, Rayleigh, and Einstein; but the protagonist is the question itself, and the story tells how we have tried to answer it.

Pesic's odyssey introduces us to central ideas of chemistry, optics, and atomic physics. He describes the polarization of light, Rayleigh scattering, and connections between the appearance of the sky and Avogadro's number. He discusses changing representations of the sky in art, from new styles of painting to new pigments that created new colors for paint. He considers what the sky's nighttime brightness might tell us about the size and density of the universe. And Pesic asks another, daring, question: Can we put the sky in a bottle? Can we recreate and understand its blueness here on earth? This puzzle, he says, opens larger perspectives; questions of the color and brightness of the sky touch on secrets of matter and light, the scope of the universe in space and time, the destiny of the earth, and deep human feelings.

THEN & NOW

THEN & NOW

By: Brann, Eva
$14.00
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These two long essays make up a short book, one full of depth and knowledge, in which Eva Brann gets at the roots of our thinking--without tearing things apart.

Then

In the first essay, Brann parses out the schema and meaning of Herodotus's The History (The Persian Wars). She writes that Herodotus worked by indirection. Giving a full account of the Persians and the peoples who constituted their empire--and whose empire encircled the Greeks (thus the Greek center)--Herodotus delineates the essential difference between the Barbarians and the Greeks. This difference Brann calls Athens' elusive essence, its freedom contrasting with the slavery upon which the Persian empire depended.

Now

In the second essay, the author delves into what it means for a person to unite a disposition toward conservatism with a capacity to reiterate and rehearse events, scenes, and dramas in the conservatory of the imagination. To uncover the meanings and consequences of this union--this imaginative conservatism--and the type of soul to which it applies, Brann offers twelve perspectives, starting with Temperamental Disposition and ending with Eccentric Centrality (without ever explicitly focusing on politics). Join her and you'll find both delight and education.

Eva Brann is a member of the senior faculty at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, where she has taught for fifty-seven years. She is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal. Her other books include Un-Willing, The Logos of Heraclitus, Feeling Our Feelings, Homage to Americans, Open Secrets / Inward Prospects, The Music of the Republic, and Homeric Moments (all published by Paul Dry Books).


TIME FOR THINGS: LABOR, LEISURE, AND THE RISE OF MASS CONSUMPTION

TIME FOR THINGS: LABOR, LEISURE, AND THE RISE OF MASS CONSUMPTION

By: Rosenberg, Stephen D
$49.95
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Modern life is full of stuff yet bereft of time. An economic sociologist offers an ingenious explanation for why, over the past seventy-five years, Americans have come to prefer consumption to leisure.

Productivity has increased steadily since the mid-twentieth century, yet Americans today work roughly as much as they did then: forty hours per week. We have witnessed, during this same period, relentless growth in consumption. This pattern represents a striking departure from the preceding century, when working hours fell precipitously. It also contradicts standard economic theory, which tells us that increasing consumption yields diminishing marginal utility, and empirical research, which shows that work is a significant source of discontent. So why do we continue to trade our time for more stuff?

Time for Things offers a novel explanation for this puzzle. Stephen Rosenberg argues that, during the twentieth century, workers began to construe consumer goods as stores of potential free time to rationalize the exchange of their labor for a wage. For example, when a worker exchanges his labor for an automobile, he acquires a duration of free activity that can be held in reserve, counterbalancing the unfree activity represented by work. This understanding of commodities as repositories of hypothetical utility was made possible, Rosenberg suggests, by the standardization of durable consumer goods, as well as warranties, brands, and product-testing, which assured wage earners that the goods they purchased would be of consistent, measurable quality.

This theory clarifies perplexing aspects of behavior under industrial capitalism--the urgency to spend earnings on things, the preference to own rather than rent consumer goods--as well as a variety of historical developments, including the coincident rise of mass consumption and the legitimation of wage labor.

UNWILLING: AN INQUIRY INTO THE RISE OF WILL'S POWER AND AN ATTEMPT TO UNDO IT

UNWILLING: AN INQUIRY INTO THE RISE OF WILL'S POWER AND AN ATTEMPT TO UNDO IT

By: Brann, Eva
$35.00
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Since ancient times, philosophers have written about the will. But the will is more than a philosophic and scholarly topic. In our everyday speech, what do we mean when we speak of the will? Will-words turn up everywhere in the English language. We make wills. We exert our willpower. We are willful at times but merely willing at others. Above all, will is there a hundred times a day, when we use the auxiliary verb will to express our intentions or expectations for the future, or simply to indicate the future tense.

Yet it takes only a moment's reflection to see that there's a tremendous range of meaning here, and so something to think about. Moreover, all of us have wondered now and then, probably both as children and as adults, whether we are really free, and whether being free means being able to do what we want or being free of wants and desires or something else entirely. That is, we've all wrestled with the issue of free will in our informal, non-scholarly ways. Finally, we've probably all asked ourselves whether people who talk about will and willpower are all talking about the same thing or even talking sense.

These are all among the issues that Eva Brann puts at the center of Un-Willing. She takes the whole range of questions about the will that are implicit in our everyday lives and everyday thinking, articulates them, shows us how they have been dealt with within the philosophic tradition and contemporary scientific thought--and then wrestles with them herself.

Eva Brann has a true aptitude for felicitous expression, and one can feel through her prose the presence of a great and patient teacher.--Dennis L. Sepper, University of Dallas, author of Understanding Imagination

Eva Brann is a member of the senior faculty at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, where she has taught for fifty-seven years. She is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal. Her other books include The Logos of Heraclitus, Feeling Our Feelings, Homage to Americans, Open Secrets / Inward Prospects, The Music of the Republic, and Homeric Moments (all published by Paul Dry Books).