Cynical Theories

Cynical Theories
Author: Helen Pluckrose,James A. Lindsay
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781634312035
Available:
Release: 2020-08-25
Editor: Pitchstone Publishing (US&CA)
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Have you heard that language is violence and that science is sexist? Have you read that certain people shouldn’t practice yoga or cook Chinese food? Or been told that being obese is healthy, that there is no such thing as biological sex, or that only white people can be racist? Are you confused by these ideas, and do you wonder how they have managed so quickly to challenge the very logic of Western society? In this probing and intrepid volume, Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay document the evolution of the dogma behind these ideas, from its coarse origins in French postmodernism to its refinement within activist academic fields. Today this dogma is recognizable as much by its effects, such as cancel culture and social-media dogpiles, as by its tenets, which are all too often embraced as axiomatic in mainstream media: knowledge is a social construct; science and reason are tools of oppression; all human interactions are sites of oppressive power play; and language is dangerous. As Pluckrose and Lindsay warn, the unchecked proliferation of these anti-Enlightenment beliefs present a threat not only to liberal democracy but also to modernity itself. While acknowledging the need to challenge the complacency of those who think a just society has been fully achieved, Pluckrose and Lindsay break down how this often-radical activist scholarship does far more harm than good, not least to those marginalized communities it claims to champion. They also detail its alarmingly inconsistent and illiberal ethics. Only through a proper understanding of the evolution of these ideas, they conclude, can those who value science, reason, and consistently liberal ethics successfully challenge this harmful and authoritarian orthodoxy—in the academy, in culture, and beyond.

Cynical Theories

Cynical Theories
Author: Helen Pluckrose,James Lindsay
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781800750050
Available:
Release: 2020-09-10
Editor: Swift Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

BOOK OF THE YEAR in The Times, the Sunday Times and the Financial Times Have you heard that language is violence and that science is sexist? Or been told that being obese is healthy, that there is no such thing as biological sex, or that only white people can be racist? Are you confused by these ideas, and do you wonder how they have managed so quickly to challenge the very logic of Western society? Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay document the evolution of the dogma behind these ideas, from its origins in French postmodernism to its refinement within activist academic fields. Today this dogma is recognisable as much by its effects, such as cancel culture and social-media pile-ons, as by its assertions, which are all too often taken as read: knowledge is a social construct; science and reason are tools of oppression; all human interactions are sites of oppressive power play; and language is dangerous. As they warn, the unchecked proliferation of these beliefs present a threat to liberal democracy. While acknowledging the need to challenge the complacency of those who think a just society has been fully achieved, Pluckrose and Lindsay break down how often-radical activist scholarship does far more harm than good, not least to those marginalised communities it claims to champion.

Cynical Theories

Cynical Theories
Author: Helen Pluckrose,James Lindsay
Pages: 352
ISBN: 1800750323
Available:
Release: 2021-06-03
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity―and Why This Harms Everybody

Cynical Theories

Cynical Theories
Author: Helen Pluckrose,James A. Lindsay
Pages: 296
ISBN: 1634312023
Available:
Release: 2020
Editor: Unknown
Language: un

Explanation of the Book:

"Outlines the origin and evolution of postmodern thought over the last half century and argues that the unchecked spread and application of postmodern ideas -- from academia, to activist circles, to the public at large - presents an authoritarian ideological threat not only to liberal democracy but also to modernity itself"--

How to Have Impossible Conversations

How to Have Impossible Conversations
Author: Peter Boghossian,James Lindsay
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780738285344
Available:
Release: 2019-09-17
Editor: Da Capo Lifelong Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"This is a self-help book on how to argue effectively, conciliate, and gently persuade. The authors admit to getting it wrong in their own past conversations. One by one, I recognize the same mistakes in me. The world would be a better place if everyone read this book." -- Richard Dawkins, author of Science in the Soul and Outgrowing God In our current political climate, it seems impossible to have a reasonable conversation with anyone who has a different opinion. Whether you're online, in a classroom, an office, a town hall -- or just hoping to get through a family dinner with a stubborn relative -- dialogue shuts down when perspectives clash. Heated debates often lead to insults and shaming, blocking any possibility of productive discourse. Everyone seems to be on a hair trigger. In How to Have Impossible Conversations, Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay guide you through the straightforward, practical, conversational techniques necessary for every successful conversation -- whether the issue is climate change, religious faith, gender identity, race, poverty, immigration, or gun control. Boghossian and Lindsay teach the subtle art of instilling doubts and opening minds. They cover everything from learning the fundamentals for good conversations to achieving expert-level techniques to deal with hardliners and extremists. This book is the manual everyone needs to foster a climate of civility, connection, and empathy.

Everybody Is Wrong About God

Everybody Is Wrong About God
Author: James A. Lindsay,Peter Boghossian
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781634310383
Available:
Release: 2015-12-01
Editor: Pitchstone Publishing (US&CA)
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A call to action to address people's psychological and social motives for a belief in God, rather than debate the existence of God With every argument for theism long since discredited, the result is that atheism has become little more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs. Thus, engaging in interminable debate with religious believers about the existence of God has become exactly the wrong way for nonbelievers to try to deal with misguided—and often dangerous—belief in a higher power. The key, author James Lindsay argues, is to stop that particular conversation. He demonstrates that whenever people say they believe in "God," they are really telling us that they have certain psychological and social needs that they do not know how to meet. Lindsay then provides more productive avenues of discussion and action. Once nonbelievers understand this simple point, and drop the very label of atheist, will they be able to change the way we all think about, talk about, and act upon the troublesome notion called "God."

Critique of Cynical Reason

Critique of Cynical Reason
Author: Peter Sloterdijk
Pages: 558
ISBN: 0860919331
Available:
Release: 1988
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Life in Light of Death

Life in Light of Death
Author: James Lindsay
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9781634310888
Available:
Release: 2016-11-15
Editor: Pitchstone Publishing (US&CA)
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Life is short, and it can be sweet. Contemplating death is looking into a mirror that allows us to see these simple facts clearly, as if for the first time. We have every reason to believe that we have but one life to live—and no good reasons to believe otherwise—and death marks the termination of each life. Examining this reality opens doors to understanding ourselves, each other, connection, love, and life itself in an entirely new way. Life in Light of Death offers a short exploration of the sweetness and opportunity available to those who understand and embrace this fact. By looking at life as reflected by death, we can see what really matters and how best to live.

Cynicism

Cynicism
Author: Ansgar Allen
Pages: 280
ISBN: 9780262537889
Available:
Release: 2020-04-14
Editor: MIT Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A short history of cynicism, from the fearless speech of the ancient Greeks to the jaded negativity of the present. Everyone's a cynic, yet few will admit it. Today's cynics excuse themselves half-heartedly—“I hate to be a cynic, but..."—before making their pronouncements. Narrowly opportunistic, always on the take, contemporary cynicism has nothing positive to contribute. The Cynicism of the ancient Greeks, however, was very different. This Cynicism was a marginal philosophy practiced by a small band of eccentrics. Bold and shameless, it was committed to transforming the values on which civilization depends. In this volume of the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Ansgar Allen charts the long history of cynicism, from the “fearless speech” of Greek Cynics in the fourth century BCE to the contemporary cynic's lack of social and political convictions. Allen describes ancient Cynicism as an improvised philosophy and a way of life disposed to scandalize contemporaries, subjecting their cultural commitments to derision. He chronicles the subsequent “purification” of Cynicism by the Stoics; Renaissance and Enlightenment appropriations of Cynicism, drawing on the writings of Shakespeare, Rabelais, Rousseau, de Sade, and others; and the transition from Cynicism (the philosophy) to cynicism (the modern attitude), exploring contemporary cynicism from the perspectives of its leftist, liberal, and conservative critics. Finally, he considers the possibility of a radical cynicism that admits and affirms the danger it poses to contemporary society.

Fools Frauds and Firebrands

Fools  Frauds and Firebrands
Author: Roger Scruton
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781408187357
Available:
Release: 2015-10-08
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The thinkers who have been most influential on the attitudes of the New Left are examined in this study by one of the leading critics of leftist orientations in modern Western civilization. Scruton begins with a ruthless analysis of New Leftism and concludes with a critique of the key strands in its thinking. He conducts a reappraisal of such major left-wing thinkers as: E. P. Thompson, Ronald Dworkin, R. D. Laing, Jurgen Habermas, Gyorgy Lukacs, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, Slavoj Zizek, Ralph Milliband and Eric Hobsbawm. In addition to assessments of these thinkers' philosophical and political contributions, the book contains a biographical and bibliographical section summarizing their careers and most important writings. In Thinkers of the New Left Scruton asks, what does the Left look like today and as it has evolved since 1989? He charts the transfer of grievances from the working class to women, gays and immigrants, asks what can we put in the place of radical egalitarianism, and what explains the continued dominance of antinomian attitudes in the intellectual world? Can there be any foundation for resistance to the leftist agenda without religious faith? Scruton's exploration of these important issues is written with skill, perception and at all times with pellucid clarity. The result is a devastating critique of modern left-wing thinking.

The Righteous Mind

The Righteous Mind
Author: Jonathan Haidt
Pages: 500
ISBN: 9780307455772
Available:
Release: 2013
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Presents a groundbreaking investigation into the origins of morality at the core of religion and politics, offering scholarly insight into the motivations behind cultural clashes that are polarizing America.

Kindly Inquisitors

Kindly Inquisitors
Author: Jonathan Rauch
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9780226130552
Available:
Release: 2013-10-01
Editor: University of Chicago Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“A liberal society stands on the proposition that we should all take seriously the idea that we might be wrong. This means we must place no one, including ourselves, beyond the reach of criticism; it means that we must allow people to err, even where the error offends and upsets, as it often will.” So writes Jonathan Rauch in Kindly Inquisitors, which has challenged readers for more than twenty years with its bracing and provocative exploration of the issues surrounding attempts to limit free speech. In it, Rauch makes a persuasive argument for the value of “liberal science” and the idea that conflicting views produce knowledge within society. In this expanded edition of Kindly Inquisitors, a new foreword by George F. Will strikingly shows the book’s continued relevance, while a substantial new afterword by Rauch elaborates upon his original argument and brings it fully up to date. Two decades after the book’s initial publication, while some progress has been made, the regulation of hate speech has grown domestically—especially in American universities—and has spread even more internationally, where there is no First Amendment to serve as a meaningful check. But the answer to bias and prejudice, Rauch argues, is pluralism—not purism. Rather than attempting to legislate bias and prejudice out of existence or to drive them underground, we must pit them against one another to foster a more vigorous and fruitful discussion. It is this process that has been responsible for the growing acceptance of the moral acceptability of homosexuality over the last twenty years. And it is this process, Rauch argues, that will enable us as a society to replace hate with knowledge, both ethical and empirical. “It is a melancholy fact that this elegant book, which is slender and sharp as a stiletto, is needed, now even more than two decades ago. Armed with it, readers can slice through the pernicious ideas that are producing the still-thickening thicket of rules, codes, and regulations restricting freedom of thought and expression.”—George F. Will, from the foreword

The Madness of Crowds

The Madness of Crowds
Author: Douglas Murray
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781635579994
Available:
Release: 2019-09-17
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER Updated with a new afterword "An excellent take on the lunacy affecting much of the world today. Douglas is one of the bright lights that could lead us out of the darkness." – Joe Rogan "Douglas Murray fights the good fight for freedom of speech ... A truthful look at today's most divisive issues" – Jordan B. Peterson Are we living through the great derangement of our times? In The Madness of Crowds Douglas Murray investigates the dangers of 'woke' culture and the rise of identity politics. In lively, razor-sharp prose he examines the most controversial issues of our moment: sexuality, gender, technology and race, with interludes on the Marxist foundations of 'wokeness', the impact of tech and how, in an increasingly online culture, we must relearn the ability to forgive. One of the few writers who dares to counter the prevailing view and question the dramatic changes in our society – from gender reassignment for children to the impact of transgender rights on women – Murray's penetrating book, now published with a new afterword taking account of the book's reception and responding to the worldwide Black Lives Matter protests, clears a path of sanity through the fog of our modern predicament.

Why We re Polarized

Why We re Polarized
Author: Ezra Klein
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781476700397
Available:
Release: 2020-01-28
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller shows us that America’s political system isn’t broken. The truth is scarier: it’s working exactly as designed. In this “superbly researched” (The Washington Post) and timely book, journalist Ezra Klein reveals how that system is polarizing us—and how we are polarizing it—with disastrous results. “The American political system—which includes everyone from voters to journalists to the president—is full of rational actors making rational decisions given the incentives they face,” writes political analyst Ezra Klein. “We are a collection of functional parts whose efforts combine into a dysfunctional whole.” “A thoughtful, clear and persuasive analysis” (The New York Times Book Review), Why We’re Polarized reveals the structural and psychological forces behind America’s descent into division and dysfunction. Neither a polemic nor a lament, this book offers a clear framework for understanding everything from Trump’s rise to the Democratic Party’s leftward shift to the politicization of everyday culture. America is polarized, first and foremost, by identity. Everyone engaged in American politics is engaged, at some level, in identity politics. Over the past fifty years in America, our partisan identities have merged with our racial, religious, geographic, ideological, and cultural identities. These merged identities have attained a weight that is breaking much in our politics and tearing at the bonds that hold this country together. Klein shows how and why American politics polarized around identity in the 20th century, and what that polarization did to the way we see the world and one another. And he traces the feedback loops between polarized political identities and polarized political institutions that are driving our system toward crisis. “Well worth reading” (New York magazine), this is an “eye-opening” (O, The Oprah Magazine) book that will change how you look at politics—and perhaps at yourself.

Cynical Theories

Cynical Theories
Author: Helen Pluckrose,James Lindsay
Pages: 352
ISBN: 1800750064
Available:
Release: 2020-09-15
Editor: Unknown
Language: un

Explanation of the Book:

'Exposes the surprisingly shallow intellectual roots of the movements that appear to be engulfing our culture' - Steven Pinker Have you heard that language is violence and that science is sexist? Have you read that certain people shouldn't practise yoga or cook Chinese food? Or been told that being obese is healthy, that there is no such thing as biological sex, or that only white people can be racist? In Cynical Theories, Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay document the evolution and the dogma behind these ideas. While acknowledging the need to challenge the complacency of those who think a just society has been fully achieved, Pluckrose and Lindsay break down how this often-radical activist scholarship does far more harm than good, not least to those marginalised communities it claims to champion. They also detail its alarmingly inconsistent and illiberal ethics. Only through a proper understanding of the evolution of these ideas, they conclude, can those who value science, reason and consistently liberal ethics successfully challenge this harmful and authoritarian orthodoxy - in the academy, in culture and beyond.

The Blank Slate

The Blank Slate
Author: Steven Pinker
Pages: 528
ISBN: 9781101200322
Available:
Release: 2003-08-26
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A brilliant inquiry into the origins of human nature from the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now. "Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read..also highly persuasive." --Time Now updated with a new afterword One of the world's leading experts on language and the mind explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.

The End of Gender

The End of Gender
Author: Debra Soh
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781982132538
Available:
Release: 2020-08-04
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

International sex researcher, neuroscientist, and columnist Debra Soh debunks popular gender myths in this research-based, scientific examination of the many facets of gender identity. Is our gender something we’re born with, or are we conditioned by society? In The End of Gender, neuroscientist and sexologist Dr. Debra Soh uses a research-based approach to address this hot-button topic, unmasking popular misconceptions about the nature vs. nurture debate and exploring what it means to be a woman or a man in today’s society. Both scientific and objective, and drawing on original research and carefully conducted interviews, Soh tackles a wide range of issues, such as gender-neutral parenting, gender dysphoric children, and and the neuroscience of being transgender. She debates today’s accepted notion that gender is a social construct and a spectrum, and challenges the idea that there is no difference between how male and female brains operate. The End of Gender is a conversation-starting work that will challenge what you thought you knew about gender, identity, and everything in between. Timely, informative, and provocative, it will arm you with the facts you need to come to your own conclusions about gender identity and its place in the world today.

The Making of Modern Cynicism

The Making of Modern Cynicism
Author: David Mazella
Pages: 305
ISBN: 0813926157
Available:
Release: 2007
Editor: University of Virginia Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Asks: how did ancient Cynic philosophy come to provide a name for its modern, unphilosophical counterpart, and what events caused such a dramatic reversal of cynicism's former meanings? This work traces the concept of cynicism from its origins as a philosophical way of life in Greek antiquity.

On Bullshit

On Bullshit
Author: Harry G. Frankfurt
Pages: 80
ISBN: 9781400826537
Available:
Release: 2009-01-10
Editor: Princeton University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern. We have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves. And we lack a conscientiously developed appreciation of what it means to us. In other words, as Harry Frankfurt writes, "we have no theory." Frankfurt, one of the world's most influential moral philosophers, attempts to build such a theory here. With his characteristic combination of philosophical acuity, psychological insight, and wry humor, Frankfurt proceeds by exploring how bullshit and the related concept of humbug are distinct from lying. He argues that bullshitters misrepresent themselves to their audience not as liars do, that is, by deliberately making false claims about what is true. In fact, bullshit need not be untrue at all. Rather, bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant. Frankfurt concludes that although bullshit can take many innocent forms, excessive indulgence in it can eventually undermine the practitioner's capacity to tell the truth in a way that lying does not. Liars at least acknowledge that it matters what is true. By virtue of this, Frankfurt writes, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.

The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility

The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility
Author: Abagail McWilliams,Deborah E. Rupp,Donald S. Siegel,Günter K. Stahl,David A. Waldman
Pages: 736
ISBN: 9780192523235
Available:
Release: 2019-10-29
Editor: Oxford University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) continues to grow as an area of interest in academia and business. Encompassing broad topics such as the relationship between business, society, and government, environmental issues, globalization, and the social and ethical dimensions of management and corporate operation, CSR has become an increasingly interdisciplinary subject relevant to areas of economics, sociology, and psychology, among others. New directions in CSR research include advanced 'micro' based investigations in organizational behaviour and human resource management, additional studies of environmental social responsibility and sustainability, further research on 'strategic' CSR, connections between social responsibility and entrepreneurship, and improvements in methods and data analysis as the field matures. Through authoritative contributions from international scholars across the social sciences, this Handbook provides a cohesive overview of this recent expansion. It introduces new perspectives, new methodologies, and new evidence from a range of disciplines to encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary research and global implementation of corporate social responsibility.