What does Valentine’s Day celebrate, exactly, besides greeting cards and the consumption of chocolate? What is love? Simon May explores the foundations of Western ideas about love—– from the Bible to the Greeks to the troubadours –in order to understand our modern assumptions about what love should be like—and why it fails to meet our ideals. Even on a subject as ineffable as love, May writes articulately and persuasively on themes of fidelity and infidelity, idealized women, and vulnerability. Though he is not sentimental (a key theme of the book is that we must give up our divinization of love), the understanding of love that he proposes is ultimately a truer, deeper, and more fascinating emotion.

Love: A History Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780300187748
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Yale University Press - January 8th, 2013

I knew embarrassingly little about the ancient philosophers before I picked up Paul Johnson’s biography Socrates: A Man for Our Times (Viking, $25.95). The title promised that this slim volume would not be an ossified tome, but the story of a man who has remained relevant from 470 B.C. to the present. I wasn’t disappointed. In 192 pages, Johnson, in vivid and lucid prose, packs in a wealth of information about Socrates’s life from his birth to his execution. Along the way we learn curious details of the legend’s life as a man, an Athenian, a participant and witness to history, and one of the greatest thinkers who ever lived—even though not a single word of his writing survives.

Socrates: A Man for Our Times Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143122210
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Published: Penguin Books - November 27th, 2012

Useful both as a guide for the curious and as a refreshing summary for the well-versed, A Little History of Philosophy (Yale Univ., $25) is a passionate and energetic recounting of  the story of Western thought. Nigel Warburton, senior lecturer at The Open University and the interviewer on the Philosophy Bites podcast, follows philosophy from the ancients to the atomic age, charting ideas as they weave through science, religion, music, and law. Especially adept at tracing influence, Warburton points out places where Eastern thought enters the Western picture. Humorous and relaxed, Warburton recounts his stories of thinkers and thoughts with the manner of a favorite teacher, feet up on the desk, conversing with students. At its heart, however, this is a book about skepticism, and it challenges readers to know where they stand, and why.

A Little History of Philosophy (Little Histories) Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780300152081
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Yale University Press - October 25th, 2011

A Little History of Philosophy (Little Histories) Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780300187793
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Yale University Press - October 30th, 2012

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