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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A Little History of the World
E. H. Gombrich
In 1935, with a doctorate in art history and no prospect of a job, the 26-year-old Ernst Gombrich was invited by a publishing acquaintance to attempt a history of the world for younger readers. Amazingly, he completed the task in an intense six weeks...
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The Perfect Crime
Jean Baudrillard
In his new book, perhaps the most cogent expression of his mature thought, Jean Baudrillard turns detective in order to investigate a crime which he hopes may yet be solved: the "murder" of reality. To solve the crime would be to unravel the social and technological processes by which reality has quite simply vanished under the deadly glare of...
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A Guide to Philosophy in Six Hours and Fifteen Minutes
Witold Gombrowicz
Recommended by Paul, City Lights Books In this inspired book, the eminent Polish author Witold Gombrowicz reflects on seven great philosophers. He discusses Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Sartre, and Heidegger in six "one-hour" essays...
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Existentialism Is a Humanism
Jean Paul Sartre
It was to correct common misconceptions about his thought that Sartre accepted an invitation to speak on October 29, 1945, at the Club Maintenant in Paris. The unstated objective of his lecture (“Existentialism Is a Humanism”) was to...
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The Ethics of Identity
Kwame Anthony Appiah
Race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, sexuality: in the past couple of decades, a great deal of attention has been paid to such collective identities. They clamor for recognition and respect, sometimes at the expense of other things we...
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The Chomsky-Foucault Debate
On Human Nature
Noam Chomsky, Michel Foucault
Two of the twentieth century's most influential thinkers debate a perennial question.In 1971, at the height of the Vietnam War and at a time of great political and social instability, two of the world's leading intellectuals, Noam Chomsky and Michel...
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On Hashish
Walter Benjamin, Howard Eiland
Walter Benjamin's posthumously published collection of writings on hashish is a detailed blueprint for a book that was never written--a "truly exceptional book about hashish," as Benjamin describes it in a letter to his friend Gershom Scholem. A...
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Fear and Trembling
Soren Kierkegaard
The perfect books for the true book lover, Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve more groundbreaking works by some of history’s most prodigious thinkers. Each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-driven design that highlights...
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Berlin Childhood around 1900
Walter Benjamin
Begun in Poveromo, Italy, in 1932, and extensively revised in 1938, Berlin Childhood around 1900 remained unpublished during Walter Benjamin's lifetime, one of his "large-scale defeats." Now translated into English for the first time in book form...
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On Bullshit
Harry G. Frankfurt
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.
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Unfinished System Of Nonknowledge
Georges Bataille
A deft reconstruction of what Georges Bataille envisioned as a continuation of his work La Somme Athéologique, this volume brings together the writings of one of the foremost French thinkers of the twentieth century on the central topic of his oeuvre...
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Walter Benjamin
The Story of a Friendship
Gershom Scholem
Gershom Scholem is celebrated as the twentieth century's most profound student of the Jewish mystical tradition; Walter Benjamin, as a master thinker whose extraordinary essays mix the revolutionary, the revelatory, and the esoteric. Scholem was a precocious teenager when he met Benjamin, who became his close friend and intellectual mentor.
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Against Interpretation
And Other Essays
Susan Sontag
As well as the title essay and the famous Notes on Camp, Against Interpretation includes original, provocative, and impassioned discussions on Sartre, Simone Weil, Godard, Beckett, science-fiction movies, psychoanalysis, and contemporary religious...
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Close to the Machine
Technophilia and Its Discontents
Ellen Ullman
If there is such a thing as a typical computer programmer, Ellen Ullman is not it. She's female, a former communist, bisexual, old enough to be a twentysomething's mom, and not a nerd. She runs her own computer-consulting business in San Francisco...

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