The Manhattan Project: A Theory of a City - David Kishik

What it Walter Benjamin didn’t die in 1940 but lived on in New York, writing a sequel to his Arcades Project, a study of Gotham called The Manhattan Project? David Kishik’s commentary on this lost book is a brilliantly realized thought experiment that’s as full of wit and imagination as it is of serious thoughts about Benjamin, urban development, graffiti, homelessness, public spaces (one extraordinary chapter locates New York’s Public Library “at the epicenter of the twentieth-century world”) with side trips into the history of photography and hoarding. As likely to quote Frank Sinatra as he is Jane Jacobs, Kishik draws on thinkers including Arendt and Spinoza, visual artists ranging from Weegee to Arbus to Warhol. If this sounds like Walter B. meets Woody Allen—it is: the transcript of their 1985 conversation starts on page 204.

The Manhattan Project: A Theory of a City Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780804786034
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Published: Stanford University Press - March 11th, 2015

The Manhattan Project: A Theory of a City Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781503602779
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Published: Stanford University Press - March 14th, 2017

A Significant Life - Todd May

What makes a life worth living? Which values and accomplishments should count, and how do we decide? Once, God and a cosmic order determined meaning. Now, personal happiness seems to be measure. In this conversational discussion, Todd May talks through the possibilities for A Significant Life, none of which is entirely satisfactory. What if God’s values, for instance, turn out to be so different from ours that they’re inhuman? What if someone is deeply devoted to and fulfilled by her pet goldfish? Is this a meaningful life? While starting with Camus and Aristotle, May doesn’t recite abstruse arguments but draws examples from real lives we’re familiar with. The intense life of Jimi Hendrix; meaningful? What about the similarly driven Lance Armstrong? We many not find a fixed, universal standard for meaning but May shows that meaning surely exists.

A Significant Life: Human Meaning in a Silent Universe Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780226235677
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Published: University of Chicago Press - April 2nd, 2015

A Significant Life: Human Meaning in a Silent Universe Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780226421049
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Published: University of Chicago Press - August 24th, 2016

The Lagoon - Armand Marie Leroi

Aristotle is known almost exclusively as a philosopher now, but he produced a huge body of scientific works—many the first in their fields. A great classifier, the Ancient notably practiced a wide range of sciences, including zoology, botany, chemistry, and even “cosmotheology,” in the playfully affectionate term Leroi gives to his subject’s struggle to explain the movements of planets. While Leroi, an evolutionary biologist, can be a stickler, correcting Aristotle on the finer points of cuttlefish physiology or the life cycle of eels, Leroi is in awe of how much his forebear discovered without knowing about nerves, cells, or genes. Following Aristotle in both a professional and a geographic sense, Leroi visited The Lagoon of Lesbos where the Greek pursued his passion for figuring out why things exist and take the forms they do, and how and why change occurs. Leroi’s study is engaging and insightful—a warm tribute to a great thinker and to the nature that Aristotle ardently believed did “nothing in vain.”

The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9780670026746
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Published: Viking Books - September 25th, 2014

The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780143127987
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Published: Penguin Books - December 8th, 2015

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