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  1. 2.8 hrs • 9/1/2015 • Unabridged

    A concise overview of our belief systems and the next exciting installment in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series Our beliefs constitute a large part of our knowledge of the world. We have beliefs about objects, about culture, about the past, and about the future. We have beliefs about other people, and we believe that they have beliefs as well. We use beliefs to predict, to explain, to create, to console, to entertain. Some of our beliefs we call theories, and we are extraordinarily creative at constructing them. Theories of quantum mechanics, evolution, and relativity are examples. But so are theories about astrology, alien abduction, guardian angels, and reincarnation. All are products (with varying degrees of credibility) of fertile minds trying to find explanations for observed phenomena. In this book, Nils Nilsson examines beliefs: what they do for us, how we come to hold them, and how to evaluate them. We should evaluate our beliefs carefully, Nilsson points out, because they influence so many of our actions and decisions. Some of our beliefs are more strongly held than others, but all should be considered tentative and changeable. Nilsson shows that beliefs can be quantified by probability, and he describes networks of beliefs in which the probabilities of some beliefs affect the probabilities of others. He argues that we can evaluate our beliefs by adapting some of the practices of the scientific method and by consulting expert opinion. And he warns us about “belief traps”—holding onto beliefs that wouldn’t survive critical evaluation. The best way to escape belief traps, he writes, is to expose our beliefs to the reasoned criticism of others.

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    Understanding Beliefs by Nils J. Nilsson
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  2. 10.0 hrs • 3/28/2011 • Unabridged

    Often considered the foundation of political liberalism, John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government was first published anonymously in 1689, in the wake of England’s Glorious Revolution. In The First Treatise of Government, Locke refutes the idea of divine monarchy, while The Second Treatise of Government articulates Locke’s philosophy of government, which he based upon his theories of natural rights and the social contract. In Locke’s view, governments’ legitimacy is based upon their performance of their proper functions—preservation of the life, liberty, and property rights of their citizens and protection from those who seek to violate these rights. A radical doctrine at the time of its publication, Locke’s theories provided a philosophical basis for many of the principles behind the American Revolution. More than 300 years after the publication of the Two Treatises of Government, Locke’s ideas continue to spark debate. A must-listen for anyone interested in the foundations of contemporary political ideology, Locke’s hugely influential work will retain its relevance for generations to come.

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    Two Treatises of Government

    10.0 hrs • 3/28/11 • Unabridged
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  3. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    1.8 hrs • 6/29/2009 • Unabridged

    Step into a long-tail boat on the River of Kings and become immersed in an imaginary conversation between Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha. Both talked about the ‘self’, but one denied it even existed. Both felt the pain of human suffering, but each had radically different responses to it. Both addressed our deepest hungers, but one saw them as an impediment, the other as a clue. Both have earned a worldwide following - but their answers are words apart. Jesus and Buddha agreed that Truth could withstand scrutiny. Listen in as the Soul of Truth speaks with the Heart of Compassion. It could change your life.

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    The Lotus and the Cross

    1.8 hrs • 6/29/09 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
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