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Humanism A Very Short Introduction

Humanism  A Very Short Introduction Author Stephen Law
ISBN-10 9780191614002
Release 2011-01-27
Pages 168
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Religion is currently gaining a much higher profile. The number of faith schools is increasingly, and religious points of view are being aired more frequently in the media. As religion's profile rises, those who reject religion, including humanists, often find themselves misunderstood, and occasionally misrepresented. Stephen Law explores how humanism uses science and reason to make sense of the world, looking at how it encourages individual moral responsibility and shows that life can have meaning without religion. Challenging some of the common misconceptions, he seeks to dispute the claims that atheism and humanism are 'faith positions' and that without God there can be no morality and our lives are left without purpose. Looking at the history of humanism and its development as a philosophical alternative, he examines the arguments for and against the existence of God, and explores the role humanism plays in moral and secular societies, as well as in moral and religious education. Using humanism to determine the meaning of life, he shows that there is a positive alternative to traditional religious belief. 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.



Atheism A Very Short Introduction

Atheism  A Very Short Introduction Author Julian Baggini
ISBN-10 0192804243
Release 2003-06-26
Pages 119
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Do you think of atheists as immoral pessimists who live their lives without meaning, purpose, or values? Think again! Atheism: A Very Short Introduction sets out to dispel the myths that surround atheism and show how a life without religious belief can be positive, meaningful, and moral.



Existentialism A Very Short Introduction

Existentialism  A Very Short Introduction Author Thomas Flynn
ISBN-10 9780192804280
Release 2006-10-12
Pages 144
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Sartre, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty, and Camus were some of the most important existentialist thinkers. This book provides an account of the existentialist movement, and of the themes of individuality, free will, and personal responsibility which make it a 'philosophy as a way of life'.



Kafka A Very Short Introduction

Kafka  A Very Short Introduction Author Ritchie Robertson
ISBN-10 9780192804556
Release 2004-10-28
Pages 136
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In this Very Short Introduction, Ritchie Robertson provides the newcomer with an up-to-date and accessible examination of this fascinating author. Beginning with an examination of Kafka's life, he then goes on to discuss some of the major themes that emerge in Kafka's work, using his short story Metamorphosis as a recurring example.



Secularism

Secularism Author Andrew Copson
ISBN-10 9780198809135
Release 2017-09-28
Pages 176
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Until the modern period the integration of church (or other religion) and state (or political life) had been taken for granted. The political order was always tied to an official religion in Christian Europe, pre-Christian Europe, and in the Arabic world. But from the eighteenth century onwards, some European states began to set up their political order on a different basis. Not religion, but the rule of law through non-religious values embedded in constitutions became the foundation of some states -- a movement we now call secularism. In others, a de facto secularism emerged as political values and civil and criminal law altered their professed foundation from a shared religion to a non-religious basis. Today secularism is an increasingly hot topic in public, political, and religious debate across the globe. It is embodied in the conflict between secular republics -- from the US to India -- and the challenges they face from resurgent religious identity politics; in the challenges faced by religious states like those of the Arab world from insurgent secularists; and in states like China where calls for freedom of belief are challenging a state imposed non-religious worldview. In this short introduction Andrew Copson tells the story of secularism, taking in momentous episodes in world history, such as the great transition of Europe from religious orthodoxy to pluralism, the global struggle for human rights and democracy, and the origins of modernity. He also considers the role of secularism when engaging with some of the most contentious political and legal issues of our time: "blasphemy," "apostasy," religious persecution, religious discrimination, religious schools, and freedom of belief and thought in a divided world.



The Renaissance Bazaar

The Renaissance Bazaar Author Jerry Brotton
ISBN-10 9780192802651
Release 2003
Pages 243
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More than ever before, the Renaissance stands as one of the defining moments in world history. Between 1400 and 1600 European perceptions of society, culture, politics and even humanity itself emerged in ways that continue to affect not only Europe but the entire world. This wide-ranging exploration of the Renaissance guides the reader through the key issues that defined the period, from its art, architecture, and literature, to its advancements in the fields of science, trade and travel.



Hermeneutics

Hermeneutics Author Jens Zimmermann
ISBN-10 9780199685356
Release 2015-09-23
Pages 144
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This short introduction to hermeneutics demonstrates the central role of interpretation in our daily lives. By considering the historic developments in hermeneutic theory as well as its contemporary relevance, Zimmermann explains how humans continue to draw knowledge from the world around them.



Food A Very Short Introduction

Food  A Very Short Introduction Author John Krebs
ISBN-10 9780191637001
Release 2013-09-26
Pages 144
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In this Very Short Introduction, Prof Lord John Krebs provides a brief history of human food, from our remote ancestors 3 million years ago to the present day. By looking at the four great transitions in human food - cooking, agriculture, processing, and preservation - he considers a variety of questions, including why people like some kinds of foods and not others; how your senses contribute to flavour; the role of genetics in our likes and dislikes; and the differences in learning and culture around the world. In turn he considers aspects of diet, nutrition, and health, and the disparity between malnutrition in some places and overconsumption in others. Finally, he considers some of the big issues - the obesity crisis, sustainable agriculture, the role of new technologies such as genetic modification of crops, and ends by posing the question: how will it be possible to feed a population of 9 billion in 2050, without destroying our natural environment? 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.



Dinosaurs A Very Short Introduction

Dinosaurs  A Very Short Introduction Author David Norman
ISBN-10 9780192804198
Release 2005-07-28
Pages 176
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This is the first accessible book to explain the most recent findings in dinosaur reasearch. It tells the story behind the exciting scientific discoveries that have built up a picture of how dinosaurs looked, what they ate, and how they moved and interacted with each other.



Literary Theory A Very Short Introduction

Literary Theory  A Very Short Introduction Author Jonathan Culler
ISBN-10 9780199691340
Release 2011-07-28
Pages 165
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Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction offers insights into theories about the nature of language and meaning, human identity, and the power of language. Fully updated for 2011 and including a new chapter on 'Ethics and aesthetics', it steers a clear and lucid path through an often impenetrable subject.



Humour A Very Short Introduction

Humour  A Very Short Introduction Author Noël Carroll
ISBN-10 9780199552221
Release 2014-01
Pages 152
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Examines the leading theories of humor, focusing on the incongruity theory.



Modern War A Very Short Introduction

Modern War  A Very Short Introduction Author Richard English
ISBN-10 9780199607891
Release 2013-07-25
Pages 132
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In this accessible and authoritative Very Short Introduction, Richard English considers what modern warfare is and what it achieves. Addressing our assumptions about war in the modern period, and drawing upon direct accounts of warfare, he considers its impact on society, culture, economics, as well its future.



Postmodernism

Postmodernism Author Christopher Butler
ISBN-10 9780192802392
Release 2002-10-10
Pages 142
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'a pre-eminently sane, lucid, and concise statement about the central issues, the key examples, and the notorious derilections of postmodernism. I feel a fresh wind blowing away the miasma coiling around the topic. ' -Ihab Hassan, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee'the most intellectually incisive, coherent and comprehensive meditation upon the history and significance of postmodernism that I have yet encountered.' -Patricia Waugh, University of Durham'easily the best introduction to postmodernism currently available' -Hans Bertens, Utrecht University



Dante

Dante Author Peter Hainsworth
ISBN-10 9780199684779
Release 2015-02-26
Pages 127
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In this Very Short Introduction, Peter Hainsworth and David Robey take a different approach to Dante, by examining the main themes and issues that run through all of his work, ranging from autobiography, to understanding God and the order of the universe. In doing so, they highlight what has made Dante a vital point of reference for modern writers and readers, both inside and outside Italy. They emphasize the distinctive and dynamic interplay in Dante's writing between argument, ideas, and analysis on the one hand, and poetic imagination on the other. Dante was highly concerned with the political and intellectual issues of his time, demonstrated most powerfully in his notorious work, The Divine Comedy. Tracing the tension between the medieval and modern aspects, Hainsworth and Robey provide a clear insight into the meaning of this masterpiece of world literature. They highlight key figures and episodes in the poem, bringing out the originality and power of Dante's writing to help readers understand the problems that Dante wanted his audience to confront but often left up to the reader to resolve. 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.



Renaissance Art A Very Short Introduction

Renaissance Art  A Very Short Introduction Author Geraldine A Johnson
ISBN-10 9780191604553
Release 2005-04-21
Pages 176
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Botticelli, Holbein, Leonardo, Dürer, Michelangelo: the names are familiar, as are the works, such as the Last Supper fresco, or the monumental marble statue of David. But who were these artists, why did they produce such memorable images, and how would their original beholders have viewed these objects? Was the Renaissance only about great masters and masterpieces, or were "mistresses" also involved, such as women artists and patrons? And what about the 'minor'-pieces that Renaissance men and women would have encountered in homes, churches and civic spaces? This exciting and stimulating volume will answer such questions by considering both famous and lesser-known artists, patrons and works of art within the cultural and historical context of Renaissance Europe. 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.



Perception a Very Short Introduction

Perception  a Very Short Introduction Author Brian J. Rogers
ISBN-10 9780198791003
Release 2017-09-15
Pages 184
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Perception is one of the oldest and most deeply investigated topics in the field of psychology, and it also raises some profound philosophical questions. It is concerned with how we use the information reaching our senses to guide and control our behavior as well as to create our particular, subjective experiences of the surrounding world. In this Very Short Introduction, Brian J. Rogers discusses the philosophical question of what it means to perceive, as well as describing how we are able to perceive the particular characteristics of objects and scenes such as their lightness, color, form, depth, and motion. What we perceive, however, does not always correspond to what exists in the world and, as Rogers shows, the study of illusions can be useful in telling us something about the nature and limitations of our perceptual processes. Rogers also explores perception from an evolutionary perspective, explaining how evolutionary pressures have shaped the perceptual systems of humans and other animals. He shows that perception is not necessarily a separate and independent process but rather part of a "perceptual system," involving both the extraction of perceptual information and the control of action. Rogers goes on to cover the significant progress made recently in the understanding of perception through the use of precise and controlled psychophysical methods, single cell recordings, and imaging techniques. There have also been many insights from attempts to model perceptual processes in artificial systems. As Rogers shows, these attempts have revealed how difficult it is to program machines to perform even the most simple of perceptual tasks that we take for granted. 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.



The Renaissance A Very Short Introduction

The Renaissance  A Very Short Introduction Author Jerry Brotton
ISBN-10 9780192801630
Release 2006-04-27
Pages 148
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This wide-ranging exploration of a defining period in world history sees the Renaissance as a time of unprecedented intellectual excitement, cultural experimentation, and interaction on a global scale, existing alongside a darker side of religion, intolerance, slavery, and massive inequality of wealth and status. It guides the reader through the issues that defi ned the period, from its art, architecture and literature, to advancements in the fields of science, trade and travel. The book offers us a timely perspective by exploring Europe's reciprocal relationship with its eastern neighbours.