The philosopher Wilfrid Sellars characterized the aim of philosophy as the effort “to understand how things in the broadest possible sense of the term hang together in the broadest possible sense of the term.” Animated by a similar purpose, the philosophy list publishes widely across the field topically and historically, in order to provide the broadest possible understanding of the world and how to live wisely within it.
With strengths in the history of philosophy and moral and political philosophy, we publish books that reach into adjacent fields and we seek to engage general readers in search of the wisdom philosophy has to offer.
Listen in: Why We Are Restless
We live in an age of unprecedented prosperity, yet everywhere we see signs that our pursuit of happiness has proven fruitless. Dissatisfied, we seek change for the sake of change—even if it means undermining the foundations of our common life.
Minds wide open
How to Keep an Open Mind is a selection of writings from the ancient Greek skeptic Sextus Empiricus. The title is mine, not his. Sextus’ skepticism is all about suspension of judgment concerning the true nature of things.
Sylvana Tomaselli on Wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, first published in 1792, is a work of enduring relevance in women’s rights advocacy. However, as Sylvana Tomaselli shows, a full understanding of Wollstonecraft’s thought is possible only through a more comprehensive appreciation of Wollstonecraft herself.
Timeless wisdom on generosity and gratitude
The approach of the winter holidays invites us to wrestle once again with the complexities of giving. On surface it seems simple enough: Buy something nice, wrap it in colorful paper, present it to your giftee.
The irrationality of 2020
Irrationality was published in 2019, but the real subject of the book, it turns out, is the year 2020. The book now seems to me to be describing a world that had been gestating for some years, but that only came out kicking and screaming, loud enough for all to hear and for none to deny, in the pandemic era, which coincides, significantly, with the final year of Donald Trump’s ignominious presidency.
Conspiracy theories are more dangerous than ever
Conspiracy theories are as old as politics. But conspiracists today have introduced something new—conspiracy without theory. In the era of Donald Trump’s presidency, this new conspiracism has moved from the fringes to the heart of government.