The Thinker's Bookshelf

Top 10 The Thinker's Bookshelf : The Woman in the Dunes, The Concept of the Political, The Human Condition, Simulacra and Simulation, The Art of Happiness, Capital, Vol. 1: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production, Tom Brown's Guide to Wilderness Survival, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, Life and Times of Michael K, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

The Woman in the Dunes
AuthorKōbō Abe
ISBN0679733787
The Woman in the Dunes, by celebrated writer and thinker Kobo Abe, combines the essence of myth, suspense and the existential novel.

After missing the last bus home following a day trip to the seashore, an amateur entomologist is offered lodging for the night at the bottom of a vast sand pit....
The Concept of the Political
AuthorCarl Schmitt
ISBN0226738868
In this, his most influential work, legal theorist and political philosopher Carl Schmitt argues that liberalism's basis in individual rights cannot provide a reasonable justification for sacrificing oneself for the state. This edition of the 1932 work includes the translator's introduction...
The Human Condition
AuthorHannah Arendt
ISBN0226025985
A work of striking originality bursting with unexpected insights, The Human Condition is a in many respects more relevant now than when it first appeared in 1958. In her study of the state of modern humanity, Hannah Arendt considers humankind from the perspective of the actions of which it is capable....
Simulacra and Simulation
AuthorJean Baudrillard
ISBN0472065211
The publication of Simulacra et Simulation in 1981 marked Jean Baudrillard's first important step toward theorizing the postmodern. Moving away from the Marxist/Freudian approaches that had concerned him earlier, Baudrillard developed in this book a theory of contemporary culture that relies...
The Art of Happiness
AuthorDalai Lama XIV
ISBN1573221112
Nearly every time you see him, he's laughing, or at least smiling. And he makes everyone else around him feel like smiling. He's the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, a Nobel Prize winner, and an increasingly popular speaker and statesman. What's more, he'll tell you that happiness...
Capital, Vol. 1: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production
AuthorKarl Marx
ISBN0140445684
Capital, one of Marx's major and most influential works, was the product of thirty years close study of the capitalist mode of production in England, the most advanced industrial society of his day. This new translation of Volume One, the only volume to be completed and edited by Marx himself, avoids...
Tom Brown's Guide to Wilderness Survival
AuthorTom Brown Jr.
ISBN0425105725
This long-awaited handbook by the director of the world-famous Tracking, Nature and Wilderness Survival School is the first of its kind. Like FOXFIRE it preserves knowledge that was in danger of being lost forever, but reaches even deeper into the past. It is about the basics. In it you will find much...
Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison
AuthorMichel Foucault
ISBN0679752552
This book begins with a bang – in fact, a series of bangs. That is the point, you see. We need to be shocked about what is, after all, our relatively recent past. We too easily forget that there was a time when ‘people like us’ actually span back in history for nearly as far as the mind could imagine. Now,...
AuthorJ.M. Coetzee
In a South Africa torn by civil war, Michael K sets out to take his mother back to her rural home. On the way there she dies, leaving him alone in an anarchic world of brutal roving armies. Imprisoned, Michael is unable to bear confinement and escapes, determined to live with dignity. Life and Times of Michael...
Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time
AuthorDava Sobel
ISBN0802714625
Anyone alive in the eighteenth century would have known that "the longitude problem" was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day—and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon...
Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason
AuthorMichel Foucault
Librarian note: an alternate cover for this edition can be found here.

Michel Foucault examines the archeology of madness in the West from 1500 to 1800 – from the late Middle Ages, when insanity was still considered part of everyday life and fools and lunatics walked the streets freely, to...
Leviathan
AuthorThomas Hobbes
ISBN0140431950
'The life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short'

Written during the chaos of the English Civil War, Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan asks how, in a world of violence and horror, can we stop ourselves from descending into anarchy? Hobbes' case for a 'common-wealth' under a powerful sovereign...
Brave New World Revisited
AuthorAldous Huxley
ISBN0060898526
When the novel Brave New World first appeared in 1932, its shocking analysis of a scientific dictatorship seemed a projection into the remote future. Here, in one of the most important and fascinating books of his career, Aldous Huxley uses his tremendous knowledge of human relations to compare the...
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
AuthorSteven Pinker
ISBN0525427570
If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress...
How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
AuthorMichael Pollan
ISBN0241294223
Could psychedelic drugs change our worldview? One of America's most admired writers takes us on a mind-altering journey to the frontiers of human consciousness

When LSD was first discovered in the 1940s, it seemed to researchers, scientists and doctors as if the world might be on the cusp...
AuthorJenni Fagan
ISBN0434021776
Pa`nop´ti`con ( noun). A circular prison with cells so constructed that the prisoners can be observed at all times. [Greek panoptos 'seen by all'] Anais Hendricks, fifteen, is in the back of a police car, headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders. She can't remember the events that...
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
AuthorDouglas R. Hofstadter
ISBN0465026567
Douglas Hofstadter's book is concerned directly with the nature of “maps” or links between formal systems. However, according to Hofstadter, the formal system that underlies all mental activity transcends the system that supports it. If life can grow out of the formal chemical substrate of...
AuthorSlavoj Žižek
ISBN1781686823
Philosophical materialism in all its forms – from scientific naturalism to Deleuzian New Materialism – has failed to meet the key theoretical and political challenges of the modern world. This is the burden of philosopher Slavoj Žižek’s argument in this pathbreaking and eclectic new work....
The Origins of Totalitarianism
AuthorHannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt's definitive work on totalitarianism and an essential component of any study of twentieth-century political history

The Origins of Totalitarianism begins with the rise of anti-Semitism in central and western Europe in the 1800s and continues with an examination of European...
Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book
AuthorWalker Percy
ISBN0312253990
I have read and reread this book half a dozen times. No doubt that number will reach a dozen or more during the course of my lifetime. It is, first of all, absolutely hilarious: a subtler, non-narrative, written precursor to "I Heart Huckabees." Who are we? Why are we here? What is the problem of the Self...
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies
AuthorNick Bostrom
ISBN0199678111
The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains.

If machine brains one day come to surpass human...
The Tracker
AuthorTom Brown Jr.
ISBN0425101339
In what promises to be the most acclaimed new voice of spirit, man and nature since Castaneda, the famous "Pine Barrens" tracker reveals how he acquired the skill that has saved dozens of lives - including his own. His story begins with the chance meeting between an ancient Apache and a New Jersey boy....
Two Treatises of Government
AuthorJohn Locke
ISBN0521357306
Those of us living in liberal democracies owe tremendous intellectual debt to John Locke. His "Second Treatise" in particular helped lay the foundation for a political system that emphasized "life, liberty, and property." The First Treatise is interesting to skim through, though it is in the second...
AuthorConnie Willis
ISBN0553270257
For Jeff Johnston, a young historical researcher for a Civil War novelist, reality is redefined on a bitter cold night near the close of a lingering winter. He meets Annie, an intense and lovely young woman suffering from vivid, intense nightmares. Haunted by the dreamer and her unrelenting dreams,...
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