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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Would You Kill the Fat Man?
The Trolley Problem and What Your Answer Tells Us about Right and Wrong
David Edmonds
A runaway train is racing toward five men who are tied to the track. Unless the train is stopped, it will inevitably kill all five men. You are standing on a footbridge looking down on the unfolding disaster. However, a fat man, a stranger, is standing next to you: if you push him off the bridge, he will topple onto the line and, although...
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Walter Benjamin
A Critical Life
Howard Eiland, Michael W. Jennings
Walter Benjamin is one of the twentieth century's most important intellectuals, and also one of its most elusive. His writings--mosaics incorporating philosophy, literary criticism, Marxist analysis, and a syncretistic theology--defy simple categorization. And his mobile, often improvised existence has proven irresistible to mythologizers.
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History and Obstinacy
Alexander Kluge, Oskar Negt, Devin Fore
If Marx's opus Capital provided the foundational account of the forces of production in all of their objective, machine formats, what happens when the concepts of political economy are applied not to dead labor, but to its living counterpart, the human subject? The result is Alexander Kluge and Oskar Negt's History and Obstinacy.
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Discipline & Punish
The Birth of the Prison
Michel Foucault
At the end of 2006, the United States had approximately 7.2 million people who were either incarcerated, on probation, or on parole. Our society's propensity for punishment and justice has manifested into the modern prison system, arguably...
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The History of Sexuality
An Introduction, Volume 1
Michel Foucault
The author turns his attention to sex and the reasons why we are driven constantly to analyze and discuss it. An iconoclastic explanation of modern sexual...
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Madness
The Invention of an Idea
Michel Foucault
Compelling and highly influential, Michel Foucault's Madness is an indispensable work for readers who wish to understand the intellectual evolution of one of the most important social theorists of the twentieth century. Written in 1954 and revised...
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Madness and Civilization
A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason
Michel Foucault
Perhaps the French philosopher's masterpiece, which is concerned with an extraordinary question: What does it mean to be...
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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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A Philosophy of Walking
Frédéric Gros
In A Philosophy of Walking, a bestseller in France, leading thinker Frédéric Gros charts the many different ways we get from A to B — the pilgrimage, the promenade, the protest march, the nature ramble — and reveals what they say about us.
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Women in Clothes
Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton
Through original interviews, conversations, surveys, projects, diagrams and drawings from over six hundred contributors—including Miranda July, Cindy Sherman, Elif Batuman, Mac McClelland, Lena Dunham, Molly Ringwald, Tavi Gevinson, Rachel Kushner, Roxane Gay and Sarah Nicole Prickett... —Recommended by Layla and Vanessa, City Lights Books
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Why Does the World Exist?
An Existential Detective Story
Jim Holt
In this astonishing and profound work, an irreverent sleuth traces the riddle of existence from the ancient world to modern times. Whether framed philosophically as "Why is there a world rather than nothing at all?" or more colloquially as...
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The Gift
Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
Lewis Hyde
By now a modern classic, The Gift is a brilliantly orchestrated defense of the value of creativity and of its importance in a culture increasingly governed by money and overrun with commodities. Widely available again after twenty-five years, this...
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Dark Age Ahead
Jane Jacobs
In this indispensable book, urban visionary Jane Jacobs--renowned author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities and The Economy of Cities--convincingly argues that as agrarianism gives way to a technology-based future, we stand on the brink of...
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The Internet Is Not the Answer
Andrew Keen
he Internet, created during the Cold War, has now ushered in one of the greatest shifts in society since the Industrial Revolution. There are many positive ways in which the Internet has contributed to the world, but as a society we are less aware of the Internet's deeply negative effects on our psychology, economy, and culture.

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