Sciences humaines & sociales

  • Immortal Last Words is a fascinating, diverse collection of history's most uplifting, entertaining and thought-provoking dying remarks and final farewells. bThe 370 entries in this book have been drawn from some of history's greatest statesmen, poets, scientists, novelists and warriors - the eminent men and women who have shaped events over the last four and a half millennia and whose final recorded words have often inspired great deeds or shed light on the nature of the human condition. There are also entries are from less well- known individuals who did not make such an impact on history but whose dying words are equally noteworthy as they encapsulate the spirit of the times or simply reflect the character of the speaker. And finally, the pages of this book contain the last words of some of most ignoble personalities in history - the monsters and maniacs whose final defiant utterances prompt us to reflect on the nature of evil and man's inhumanity to man. Arranged chronologically from antiquity to the present day, each entry is accompanied by contextual information giving a brief biography of the author and an explanation of the circumstances that gave rise to the quotation. Some of the sentiments expressed are unbelievably sad while others are optimistic; some final words have become famous while others have remained obscure, but all reflect the follies and greatness of mankind - its heroes and villains, war and peace and the absolute power of language to change our feelings and challenge our minds. Sample entries include:bBuddha 'Strive for your own liberation with diligence'; bVespasian 'Dear me, I believe I am becoming a god'; bThomas Hobbes, 'I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark'; bRobespierre 'Death is the commencement of immortality!'; bGeorge Washington'Tis well'; bJohn Keats 'Here lies one whose name was writ in water'; bJohn Maynard Keynes'I should have drunk more champagne'; bSalvador Dalí 'I do not believe in my death'; bKeith Floyd 'I've not felt this well for ages.'

  • Have you ever lain awake at night fretting over how we can be sure of the reality of the external world? Perhaps we are in fact disembodied brains, floating in vats at the whim of some deranged puppet-master? If so, you are not alone - and what's more, you are in exalted company. For this question and others like it have been the stuff of philosophical rumination for centuries, from Plato to Popper. In a series of accessible and engaging essays, 50 Philosophy Ideas You Really Need to Know introduces and explains the problems of knowledge, consciousness, identity, ethics, belief, justice and aesthetics that have troubled the minds of great thinkers for centuries, from the ancient Greeks to the present day. Contents include: The brain in a vat, Plato's cave, Cogito ergo sum, The mind-body problem, The boo/hurrah theory, Ends and means, The categorical imperative, Acts and omissions, The rights of animals, The gambler's fallacy, Paradigm shifts, Occam's razor, Positive and negative freedom, Theories of punishment and Just war.

  • Simon Sebag Montefiore, one of our pre-eminent historians, presents the lives of the giants who have made our world. The cast varies from conquerors, poets, kings, empresses and whores to psychopaths, composers and explorers.Informative, entertaining, inspiring and sometimes horrifying, this is a history of the world that contains the stories and characters that everyone should know and no one should forget.

  • Philosophy might make you think of dusty statues in togas or Zen masters meditating, but the philosophical world has far more to offer than ancient men in beards: it can also tell you everything there is to know about life, love andbdeath. In a series of highly original, entertaining and often extraordinary scenarios, How to Think Like a Bat brings to life 35 key philosophy concepts in a way that anyone can understand.b bFrom the realm of the unconscious to the principles of logic, the 35 bite-sized chapters in this book will not only help you understand our world, how we find meaning in life, and how we think of right and wrong, they'll help you win arguments, learn the art of seduction, and even get one up on Aristotle.b bEasy to follow and impossible to put down, this book will not only help you to think like a bat - it will have you thinking like a philosopher.b b

  • At a time of widespread popular cynicism and profound international unease, the need for clarity over the basic concepts of politics has never been greater. The forces of Fundamentalism endanger our Liberty and Security, while government responses to it may pose a basic threat to Justice, Democracy and Human rights. Corruption, War and Tyranny arouse public indignation which is often inflamed by Propaganda, the blandishments of Political parties and the far-from-disinterested attentions of the Media. The proper limits of the State; the legitimacy of Revolution and Political violence; the ideological tensions between Socialism, Liberalism and Capitalism; the challenges posed by Poverty, Crime and Racism: these and other ideas are essential in interpreting the current political debate and modes of government.In 50 Political Ideas You Really Need to Know, Ben Dupré provides a clear, concise account of key concepts that we ignore at our peril.

  • Behind every good man is a good woman. But what lies behind every bad man? Gangsters' Wives tells the side of the story you didn't know - what it's like to live with Britain's most lawless men, from the women who married them. bDevoted mum-of-three Judy Marks was imprisoned alongside her husband, notorious drug smuggler Howard Marks; while Flanagan, the first ever Page Three girl, found herself splashed across the papers as the fiancée of legendary East End villain Reggie Kray. Jenny Pinto, wife of gangster Dave Courtney, has given the police keys to their house to stop them breaking down the front door. bIn ten funny, moving, searingly honest first-person accounts, Gangsters' Wives tells you all you ever wanted to know about the lives and loves of the women who are, quite literally, married to the mob.

  • Jonathan Black examines the end of the world and the coming of the Antichrist - or is he already here? How will he make himself known and what will become of the world when he does? - and the end of Time. Having studied theology and learnt from initiates of all the great secret societies of the world, Jonathan Black has learned that it is possible to reach an altered state of consciousness in which we can see things about the way the world works that hidden from our everyday commonsensical consciousness. This history shows that by using secret techniques, people such as Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton and George Washington have worked themselves into this altered state - and been able to access supernatural levels of intelligence. This book will leave you questioning every aspect of your life and spotting hidden messages in the very fabric of society and life itself. It will open your mind to a new way of living and leave you questioning everything you have been taught - and everything you've taught your children.b

  • Since the beginning of time mankind has struggled with the big questions surrounding our existence. Whilst most people have heard of Socrates, Machiavelli and Nietzsche, many are less clear on their theories and key concepts. In The Great Philosophers, bestselling author Stephen Law condenses and deciphers their fundamental ideas. Avoiding the technical jargon and complex logic associated with most books on philosophy, Law brings the thoughts of these great thinkers, from Confucius and Buddha to Wittgenstein and Sartre, to life.

  • Science first began as a branch of philosophy, but it has since grown up and moved out of the family home, and its successes have put its parent in the shade. Thanks to scientific knowledge we have walked on the Moon, cured once-fatal illnesses, and even identified the very building blocks of life and the universe. But it is these very successes that underline the need for philosophy. How much should we trust the pronouncements of scientists that we read in the media? What are the ethical implications of our delving into the foundations of our DNA, reproductive treatments, or artificially prolonging life? And are there limits to what science can tell us about the world we think we know? In straightforward and accessible terms, 50 Philosophy of Science Ideas You Really Need to Know explains the key philosophical questions that continue to lie at the heart of the nature and practice of science today. The ideas explored include: Appearance and reality; Knowledge; Anti-realism; Metaphysics; Science and gender; Phenomenology and science.

  • Questions of ethics - about how we should act, our responsibilities to one another, the difference between right and wrong - have long been debated by philosophers the world over and form the foundations of government, culture and religion. Here, in concise, easy-to-read chapters, Ben Dupré explains the fundamentals of this discipline and how it is relevant to our lives today. Covering essential ethical concepts, including relativism, the golden rule and utilitarianism, as well as high-profile issues such as terrorism, censorship and the death penalty, 50 Ethics Ideas You Really Need to Know will lead you through the moral maze - and rattle your conscience in the process.

  • The Sacred History is an account of the workings of the supernatural in history. It tells the epic story of angels, from Creation, to Evolution through to the operations of the supernatural in the modern world. This tale of how people and peoples have been helped by angels and other angelic beings is woven into a spellbinding narrative that brings together Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Elijah, Mary and Jesus, Mohammed, Joan of Arc, the angels who helped Hungarian Jews persecuted by the Nazis, and stories from African, Native American and Celtic traditions. Told from the spiritual point of view, The Sacred History relates every betrayal, every change of heart, every twist and turn, everything that looks like a coincidence, every portent, every clue, every defeat, every rescue moments before the prison door clangs shut. This is the angelic version of events.

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