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: en

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"--

Cynical Theories

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

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.

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:

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.

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

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.

The Cynic

The Cynic
Author: Alec MacGillis
Pages: 50
ISBN: 9781476761077
Available:
Release: 2014-09-16
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From a dogged political reporter, an investigation into the political education of Mitch McConnell and an argument that this powerful Senator embodies much of this country’s political dysfunction. Based on interviews with more than seventy-five people who have worked alongside Mitch McConnell or otherwise interacted with him over the course of his career, The Cynic, which will be published as an original ebook, is both a comprehensive biography of one of this country’s most powerful politicians and a damning diagnosis of this country's eroding political will. Tracing his rise from a pragmatic local official in Kentucky to the leader of the Republican opposition in Washington, the book tracks McConnell’s transformation from a moderate Republican who supported abortion rights and public employee unions to the embodiment of partisan obstructionism and conservative orthodoxy on Capitol Hill. Driven less by a shift in ideological conviction than by a desire to win elections and stay in power at all costs, McConnell’s transformation exemplifies the “permanent campaign” mindset that has come to dominate American government. From his first race for local office in 1977—when the ad crew working on it nicknamed McConnell “love-me-love-me” for his insecurity and desire to please—to his fraught accommodation of the Tea Party, McConnell’s political career is a story of ideological calcification and a vital mirror for understanding this country’s own political development and what is wrought when politicians serve not at the behest of country, but at the behest of party and personal aggrandizement.

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.

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.

Being White Being Good

Being White  Being Good
Author: Barbara Applebaum
Pages: 230
ISBN: 0739144936
Available:
Release: 2010-03-18
Editor: Lexington Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Contemporary scholars who study race and racism have emphasized that white complicity plays a role in perpetuating systemic racial injustice. Being White, Being Good seeks to explain what scholars mean by white complicity, to explore the ethical and epistemological assumptions that white complicity entails, and to offer recommendations for how white complicity can be taught. The book highlights how well-intentioned white people who might even consider themselves as paragons of antiracism might be unwittingly sustaining an unjust system that they say they want to dismantle. What could it mean for white people 'to be good' when they can reproduce and maintain racist system even when, and especially when, they believe themselves to be good? In order to answer this question, Barbara Applebaum advocates a shift in our understanding of the subject, of language, and of moral responsibility. Based on these shifts a new notion of moral responsibility is articulated that is not focused on guilt and that can help white students understand and acknowledge their white complicity. Being White, Being Good introduces an approach to social justice pedagogy called 'white complicity pedagogy.' The practical and pedagogical implications of this approach are fleshed out by emphasizing the role of uncertainty, vulnerability, and vigilance. White students who acknowledge their complicity have an increased potential to develop alliance identities and to engage in genuine cross-racial dialogue. White complicity pedagogy promises to facilitate the type of listening on the part of white students so that they come open and willing to learn, and 'not just to say no.' Applebaum also conjectures that systemically marginalized students would be more likely and willing to invest energy and time, and be more willing to engage with the systemically privileged, when the latter acknowledge rather than deny their complicity. It is a central claim of the book that acknowledging complicity encourages a willingness to listen to, rather than dismiss, the struggles and experiences of the systemically marginalized.

The Parasitic Mind

The Parasitic Mind
Author: Gad Saad
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781621579939
Available:
Release: 2020-10-06
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"Read this book, strengthen your resolve, and help us all return to reason." —JORDAN PETERSON The West’s commitment to freedom, reason, and true liberalism have become endangered by a series of viral forces in our society today. Renowned host of the popular YouTube show “The SAAD Truth”, Dr. Gad Saad exposes how an epidemic of idea pathogens are spreading like a virus and killing common sense in the West. Serving as a powerful follow-up to Jordan Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life Dr. Saad unpacks what is really happening in progressive safe zones, why we need to be paying more attention to these trends, and what we must do to stop the spread of dangerous thinking. A professor at Concordia University who has witnessed this troubling epidemic first-hand, Dr. Saad dissects a multitude of these concerning forces (corrupt thought patterns, belief systems, attitudes, etc.) that have given rise to a stifling political correctness in our society and how these have created serious consequences that must be remedied–before it’s too late.

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.

The Cynic Enlightenment

The Cynic Enlightenment
Author: Louisa Shea
Pages: 262
ISBN: 9780801893858
Available:
Release: 2010
Editor: JHU Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Reveals the importance of ancient Cynicism in defining the Enlightenment and its legacy. This book explores modernity's debt to Cynicism by examining the works of thinkers who turned to the ancient Cynics and dared to imagine an alliance between a socially engaged Enlightenment and the least respectable of early Greek philosophies.

Cynical Suspicions and Platonist Pretentions

Cynical Suspicions and Platonist Pretentions
Author: John McGuire
Pages: 248
ISBN: 9789004364929
Available:
Release: 2018-04-19
Editor: BRILL
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In Cynical Suspicions and Platonist Pretentions, John McGuire conducts a critical analysis of contemporary political theory with a view to facilitating a less reductive understanding of political disaffection.

Global Corruption

Global Corruption
Author: Gerry Ferguson
Pages: 329
ISBN: 1550585746
Available:
Release: 2018-02
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The End of Gender

The End of Gender
Author: Debra Soh
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781982132521
Available:
Release: 2021-08-31
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"International sex researcher, neuroscientist, and frequent contributor to The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Debra Soh debunks popular gender myths in this fascinating, research-based, scientific examination of the many facets of gender identity"--