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ABEL'S PROOF

ABEL'S PROOF

Author: 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

Author: 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

Author: FRANKS, MARTHA
$18.00
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DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE? READING THE BUDDHA'S DISCOURSES

DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE? READING THE BUDDHA'S DISCOURSES

Author: VENKATESH, KRISHNAN
$18.00
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DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE? is a unique study of the earliest recorded "discourses" of the Buddha, taking an approach that is at once psychological, philosophical, and literary. In a market abundant with how-to books for spiritual practitioners and advice for achieving a happy life by Buddhist masters, this book offers original readings of some of the most powerful of the Buddha's teachings, which take the form of conversations with a wide range of people: disciples, wandering Hindu philosophers, Brahmin white supremacists, ordinary householders, and even a tyrant. It is a book for all literate, thoughtful people who want to read for themselves what the Buddha really said and to understand their own condition better. The book is a series of essays on specific passages from the Buddha's original Discourses, which blossom and buzz when read with careful thought and sensitivity. It is an introduction to the Buddha's radical empiricism for all people who like to read, think, and investigate; and in it the reader will find texts of great literary beauty and philosophical profundity. It is a book for people who might have no interest in becoming Buddhists as well as for advanced practitioners, who will find these readings fresh and invigorating. Readers will come away from this book with a deepened understanding of their own lives, an intimacy with the Buddha's penetrating mind, and a desire for further study of these wonderful texts and, above all, of themselves.

DOUBLETHINK / DOUBLETALK: NATURALIZING SECOND THOUGHT AND TWOFOLD SPEECH

DOUBLETHINK / DOUBLETALK: NATURALIZING SECOND THOUGHT AND TWOFOLD SPEECH

Author: 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.

ESTATE SALE

ESTATE SALE

Author: KNIGHT, SUSU
$12.00
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ETHICS IN TECHNOLOGY

ETHICS IN TECHNOLOGY

Author: HEIKKERO, TOPI
$39.99
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This book inquires into the question: How to think about ethics in a technological world? This question has three facets: technological advance poses new challenges for ethics, traditional ethics may become poorly applicable in a technological world, and the progress in science and technology has undermined ethical thinking itself. A thematic treatment of these three dimensions of the problematic is followed by an analysis of three central approaches to the questions framed. These are Hans Jonas' ethics of responsibility, Albert Borgmann's phenomenological analysis of everyday life in a technological civilization, and Larry Hickman's pragmatist philosophy of technology. The inquiry concludes with a sketch of future directions for ethics of technology. This includes assessing the roles of applied ethics, science and technology studies (STS), and philosophy of technology in ethics of technology. While the author agrees on the need for an interdisciplinary dialogue between these three traditions, he argues for the primacy of philosophy of technology in thinking about ethics in technology. Furthermore, the centrality of "mid-level ethics" is elaborated on in the conclusion. Here mid-level refers to ethically pregnant phenomena in the realm between instantaneous choices by an individual (micro level), and questions about fundamental principles of justice and societal goods (macro level). Mid-level thus concerns, for instance, habits, practices, and communal institutions.
FURTHER ADVENTURES IN THE UNSUBCONSCIOUS: A TRILOGY

FURTHER ADVENTURES IN THE UNSUBCONSCIOUS: A TRILOGY

Author: CARL, DAVID
$19.95
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HOMAGE TO AMERICANS: Mile High Meditations, Close Readings and Time-SpanningSpeculations

HOMAGE TO AMERICANS: Mile High Meditations, Close Readings and Time-SpanningSpeculations

Author: BRANN, EVA
$19.95
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In her latest collection of essays and lectures, Homage to Americans, Eva Brann explores the roots and essence of our American ways.

In "Mile-high Meditations," her flight's late departure from the Denver airport prompts a consideration of her manner of waiting (i.e.,"being"). As she looks around, she notes (and compares to her own) the ways her fellow travelers pass their time. These observations lead her to wonder how each of us lives with ourselves and how we live together--and put up with one another.

With these questions in mind, the next two essays carefully examine two famous political documents that have shaped American self-understanding: James Madison's "Memorial and Remonstrance," which is the essential argument for separation of church and state; and Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, which enlarged and refashioned our understanding of the American political character, first given formal expression in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

In "Paradox of Obedience," a lecture delivered at the Air Force Academy, Brann considers the puzzling character of obedience in a country dedicated to liberty.

The concluding piece, "The Empire of the Sun and the West," takes us to Aztec Mexico at the time of the Spanish conquest. What allowed Cortes and his handful of men to overcome a great empire? In pursuit of an answer, Brann describes a human type whose fulfillment she sees in the American character.

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, Un-Willing, Open Secrets / Inward Prospects, The Music of the Republic, Then and Now, and Homeric Moments (all published by Paul Dry Books).


HOW TO CONSTITUTE A WORLD

HOW TO CONSTITUTE A WORLD

Author: 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).