Philosophy & Critical Theory
Books in this online selection represent only a sliver of what we offer in the store. If you've got a particular book in mind and want to check on its availability, call us at 415-362-8193.

   
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Life in Code
A Personal History of Technology
The never-more-necessary return of one of our most vital and eloquent voices on technology and culture, the author of the seminal Close to the Machine The last twenty years have brought us the rise of the internet, the development of artificial intelligence, the ubiquity of once unimaginably powerful computers, and the thorough transformation...
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Minima Moralia
Reflections on a Damaged Life
Theodor Adorno
A reflection on everyday existence in the "sphere of consumption of late Capitalism," this work is Adorno's literary and philosophical masterpiece.
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At the Existentialist Cafe
Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others
Sarah Bakewell
Bakewell manifests the freedom and thrill of existentialism with hardly any of the dread. You are free. You decide. —Recommended by Caitlyn
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Nan Dòmi
An Initiate's Journey into Haitian Vodou
Mimerose Beaubrun
The first and only insider's account of Vodou's private, mystical, interior practice, a compelling story of initiation and transformation.
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The New Dark Age
Technology and the End of the Future
James Bridle
Bridle's demonstrations of how the physical footprint of virtual space developed along the physical lines of traditionally imperialist, elitist power and continue to reinforce ever-deepening chasms of inequality are fascinating and alarming."––Recommended by Christopher P., City Lights Booksellers
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Lyrical and Critical Essays
Albert Camus
"The literary output of Albert Camus was exceptionally concentrated and well organized, so that each part of it throws light on the other parts.... Here now, for the first time in a complete English translation, we have Camus' three little volumes of...
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The Trouble with Being Born
E. M. Cioran
Crotchety old man snarks about the pointlessness of life. Wonderful. —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books
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Pataphysical Essays
René Daumal
Pataphysical Essays collects Daumal's overtly pataphysical writings from 1929 to 1941, from his landmark exposition on pataphysics and laughter to his late essay, "The Pataphysics of Ghosts." Daumal's "Treatise on Patagrams" offers the reader...
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Spinoza
Practical Philosophy
Gilles Deleuze
Spinoza's theoretical philosophy is one of the most radical attempts to construct a pure ontology with a single infinite substance. This book, which presents Spinoza's main ideas in dictionary form, has as its subject the opposition between ethics...
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A Thousand Plateaus
Capitalism and Schizophrenia
Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Brian Massumi
A Thousand Plateaus continues the work Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari began in Anti-Oedipus and has now become established as one of the classic studies of the development of critical theory in the late twentieth century.
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I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts
Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams
Mark Dery
"I must not think bad thoughts. I must not think bad thoughts." These lyrics by the band X have been my mantra on many occasions as I trudged my way here and there. Lucky for us that Mark Dery goes deep into the territories that many of us shun, illuminating the absurdity, humor and truths found on the dark side. —Recommended by Stacey, City Lights
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Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
Bertrand Russell, Paul Edwards
Dedicated as few men have been to the life of reason, Bertrand Russell has always been concerned with the basic questions to which religion also addresses itself -- questions about man's place in the universe and the nature of the good life...
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Alienation and Freedom
Frantz Fanon
A fascinating array of uncollected (and several previously lost) essays by the great Pan-African philosopher and post-colonial theorist. This tome gives us a deeper and more personal portrait of the man himself, and his essays on racism, anti-imperialism and the psychology of fascism remain deeply relevant today.—Recommended by Michael
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The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge
Abraham Flexner
A short, provocative book about why "useless" science often leads to humanity's greatest technological breakthroughs A forty-year tightening of funding for scientific research has meant that resources are increasingly directed toward applied or practical outcomes, with the intent of creating products of immediate value.

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