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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The Life of the Mind
Combined Two Volumes in One
Hannah Arendt
The author's final work, presented in a one-volume edition, is a rich, challenging analysis of man's mental activity, considered in terms of thinking, willing, and judging.
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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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The Neutral
Lecture Course at the College de France (1977-1978)
Roland Barthes
"I define the Neutral as that which outplays the paradigm, or rather I call Neutral everything that baffles paradigm." With these words, Roland Barthes describes a concept that profoundly shaped his work and was the subject of a landmark series of...
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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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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 Myth of Sisyphus
And Other Essays
Albert Camus
"There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest– whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether..
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The Rebel
An Essay on Man in Revolt
Albert Camus
By one of the most profoundly influential thinkers of our century, The Rebel is a classic essay on revolution. For Albert Camus, the urge to revolt is one of the "essential dimensions" of human nature, manifested in man's timeless Promethean struggle...
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We Gon' Be Alright
Notes on Race and Resegregation
Jeff Chang
In these provocative, powerful essays acclaimed writer/journalist Jeff Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country.He argues that resegregation is the unexamined condition of our time, the undoing of which is key to moving the nation forward to racial justice and equity.
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The Responsibility of Intellectuals
Noam Chomsky
Originally published in the New York Review of Books, Chomsky's essay eviscerated the "hypocritical moralism of the past" (such as when Woodrow Wilson set out to teach Latin Americans "the art of good government") and exposed the shameful policies in Vietnam and the role of intellectuals in justifying it.
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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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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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Against the Anthropocene
Visual Culture and Environment Today
T.J. Demos
Against the Anthropocene scrutinizes the proposal that we are in a human-driven epoch regarding climate change. In this slender but dense volume, cultural theorist T.J. Demos analyzes the biases within contemporary visual culture popular science websites, remote sensing and SatNav imagery, eco-activist mobilizations, and experimental art...
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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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