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  1. 26.5 hrs • 12/1/2015 • Unabridged

    A timeless volume to be treasured, The Stone Reader provides an unparalleled overview of contemporary philosophy. Once solely the province of ivory tower professors and college classrooms, contemporary philosophy was finally emancipated from its academic closet in 2010, when the Stone was launched in the New York Times. First appearing as an online series, the column quickly attracted millions of readers through its accessible examination of universal topics like the nature of science, consciousness, and morality, while also probing more contemporary issues such as the morality of drones, gun control, and the gender divide. The Stone Reader presents 133 meaningful and influential essays from the series, placing nearly the entirety of modern philosophical discourse in the listener’s reach. The audiobook, divided into four broad sections: Philosophy, Science, Religion and Morals, and Society, opens with a series of questions about the scope, history, and identity of philosophy. What are the practical uses of philosophy? Does the discipline, begun in the West in ancient Greece with Socrates, favor men and exclude women? Does the history and study of philosophy betray a racial bias against nonwhite thinkers, or geographical bias toward the West? These questions and others form a foundation for listeners as the audiobook moves to the second section, Science, where some of our most urgent contemporary philosophical debates are taking place. Will artificial intelligence compromise our morality? Does neuroscience undermine our free will? Is there a legitimate place for the humanities in a world where science and technology appear to rule? Should the evidence for global warming change the way we live or die? In the book’s third section, Religion and Morals, we find philosophy where it is often at its best, working through the arguments provoked by competing moral theories in the face of real-life issues and rigorously addressing familiar ethical dilemmas in a new light. Can we have a true moral life without belief in God? What are the dangers of moral relativism? In its final part, Society, The Stone Reader returns to its origins as a forum to encourage philosophers who are willing to engage closely, critically, and analytically with the affairs of the day, including economic inequality, technology, and racial discrimination. In directly confronting events like the September 11 attacks, the killing of Trayvon Martin, and the Sandy Hook School massacre, the essays here reveal the power of philosophy to help shape our viewpoints on nearly every issue we face today.

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    The Stone Reader by Peter Catapano, Simon Critchley

    The Stone Reader

    Edited and introduced by Peter Catapano and Simon Critchley
    26.5 hrs • 12/1/15 • Unabridged
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  2. 0.6 hrs • 11/24/2015 • Unabridged

    “My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” —Oliver Sacks No writer has succeeded in capturing the medical and human drama of illness as honestly and as eloquently as Oliver Sacks. During the last few months of his life, he wrote a set of essays in which he movingly explored his feelings about completing a life and coming to terms with his own death. “It is the fate of every human being,” Sacks writes, “to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.” Together, these four essays form an ode to the uniqueness of each human being and to gratitude for the gift of life. “Oliver Sacks was like no other clinician, or writer. He was drawn to the homes of the sick, the institutions of the most frail and disabled, the company of the unusual and the ‘abnormal.’ He wanted to see humanity in its many variants and to do so in his own, almost anachronistic way—face to face, over time, away from our burgeoning apparatus of computers and algorithms. And, through his writing, he showed us what he saw.” —Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal

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    Gratitude

    0.6 hrs • 11/24/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 9.2 hrs • 5/12/2015 • Unabridged

    After his daughter was born prematurely in 2010, Matt Burriesci set out to write a book about thirty-two great books, from Plato to Karl Marx, and how their lessons have applied to his life. As someone who has spent a long and successful career advocating for great literature, Burriesci defends the great books in this series of tender and candid letters, rich in personal experience and full of humor. Dead White Guys is a timely defense of the great books, arriving in the middle of a national debate about the fate of these books in high schools and universities around the country. Burriesci shows how the great books can enrich our lives as individuals, as citizens, and in our careers. Extending the argument first made by Anna Quindlen on the act of reading itself, How Reading Changed My Life —“It is like the rubbing of two sticks together to make a fire, the act of reading, an improbable pedestrian task that leads to heat and light”—Burriesci reminds us all of the enormous impact reading has on our lives.

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    Dead White Guys by Matt Burriesci

    Dead White Guys

    9.2 hrs • 5/12/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 5.3 hrs • 12/9/2014 • Unabridged

    The final and most personal work from Pulitzer Prize–winning author and historian Will Durant—discovered thirty-two years after his death—is a message of insight for everyone who has sought meaning in life or the council of a wise friend in navigating life’s journey. From 1968 to 1978, Will Durant made four public allusions to the existence of Fallen Leaves. One, in 1975, hinted at its contents: “a not very serious book that answers the questions of what I think about government, life, death, and God.” And in 1975: “I propose…to answer all the important questions, simply, fairly, and imperfectly.” Even into his nineties, he worked on the book daily, writing it out on legal notepads. Upon his death in 1981, no one, not even the Durant heirs, knew if he had completed it, or even if it still existed. Thirty-two years later, in a granddaughter’s attic trunk, the manuscript was discovered. Fallen Leaves is Will Durant’s most personal book. It is precisely as he described: twenty-two short chapters on everything from youth and old age, religion and morals, to sex, war, politics, and art. The culmination of Durant’s sixty-plus years spent researching the philosophies, religions, arts, sciences, and civilizations from across the world, Fallen Leaves is the distilled wisdom of a gifted scholar with a renowned talent for rendering the insights of the past accessible. In its preface Durant mentions that over the course of his career he received letters from “curious readers who have challenged me to speak my mind on the timeless questions of human life and fate.” With Fallen Leaves he accepted their challenge. It contains strong opinions, elegant prose, and deep insights into the human condition as only Will Durant could provide, as well as his revealing conclusions about the perennial problems and greatest joys we face as a species.

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    Fallen Leaves by Will Durant

    Fallen Leaves

    5.3 hrs • 12/9/14 • Unabridged
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  5. 12.4 hrs • 2/25/2014 • Unabridged

    An experiment. A declaration. A spiritual awakening.  Noted transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau spent two years, two months, and two days chronicling his near-isolation in a small cabin he built in the woods near Walden Pond, on land owned by his mentor and the father of transcendentalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Immersing himself in nature and solitude, Thoreau sought to develop a greater understanding of society amidst a life of self-reliance and simplicity. Originally published in 1854, Walden remains one of the most celebrated works in American literature. Also includes Thoreau’s essay, “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience.”

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  6. 4.8 hrs • 1/1/2014 • Unabridged

    The great writings of American transcendentalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) are not some distant ponderings on life - they are works of the highest practicality, intended to supply guidance and daily help. Emerson's ideas arose from his simple observations of human existence, with all its pitfalls and possibilities. Reading and listening to Emerson brings the wisdom of the ages down to earth. This collection is drawn from his most practical and best-loved works. Each points you toward better and fuller ways of living. "Success" "Compensation" "Self-Reliance" "Spiritual Laws" "Fate"

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    Mastery of Life

    4.8 hrs • 1/1/14 • Unabridged
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  7. 5.3 hrs • 8/13/2013 • Unabridged

    Completed in April 1918, “in the last days before a period of imprisonment,” Proposed Roads to Freedom contains Bertrand Russell’s astute political commentary on anarchism, socialism, and syndicalism. Russell begins with a historical overview of socialism and anarchism, the teachings and organizations of Marx and Bakunin, and the syndicalist revolt against socialism. He then turns to more pressing problems of the future, and how these movements could contribute to reconstruction after the war. Although he has criticism for each movement, Russell respected what they attempted to achieve. “What is new in Socialism and Anarchism is that close relations of the ideal to the present sufferings of men, which has enabled powerful political movements to grow out of the hopes of solitary thinkers. It is this that makes Socialism and Anarchism important, and it is this that makes them dangerous to those who batten, consciously or unconsciously, upon the evils of our present order of society.”

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    Proposed Roads to Freedom

    5.3 hrs • 8/13/13 • Unabridged
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  8. 0.8 hrs • 4/1/2013 • Unabridged

    It was April 16, 1963. Birmingham, Alabama had experienced a spring of nonviolent protests known as the Birmingham Campaign, seeking to draw attention to the segregation against blacks by the city government and downtown retailers. The organizers longed to create a nonviolent tension so severe that the powers that be would be forced to address the rampant racism head on. One of the recently arrested was Martin Luther King Jr. It was there in that jail cell that he penned this letter, originally written on the margins of a newspaper. His message was a defense of nonviolence against segregation. His accusers, though many, were not the white racist leaders or retailers he protested against, but eight black men who saw him as “other” and as too extreme. To them and to the world he defended the notion that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” A powerful message of nonviolence, equality, and tolerance, his words are as inspirational today as in 1963.

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    Letter from Birmingham Jail

    0.8 hrs • 4/1/13 • Unabridged
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  9. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    14.9 hrs • 10/13/2011

    Following the extraordinary success of the New York Times bestseller Bonhoeffer, Eric Metaxas’ latest book offers inspirational and intellectually rigorous thoughts about the great questions surrounding us all today. The Greek philosopher Socrates famously said that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Taking this as a starting point, Eric Metaxas founded a speaking series that encouraged busy and successful professionals to attend forums and think actively about the bigger questions in life; thus Socrates in the City: Conversations on “Life, God, and Other Small Topics” was born. This book is for the seeker in all of us, the collector of wisdom, and the person who asks, “What if?” Within this collection of original essays that were first given to standing-room-only crowds in New York City are serious thinkers taking on Life, God, Evil, Redemption, and other small topics. Luminaries such as Dr. Francis Collins, Sir John Polkinghorne, Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, N. T. Wright, Os Guinness, Peter Kreeft, and George Weigel have written about extraordinary topics vital to both secular and Christian thinking, such as “Making Sense out of Suffering,” “The Concept of Evil after 9/11,” and “Can a Scientist Pray?” No question is too big—in fact, the bigger, the harder, the more complex the better. These essays are both thought-provoking and entertaining, because nowhere is it written that finding answers to life’s biggest questions shouldn’t be exciting and even, perhaps, fun.

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    Socrates in the City by Eric Metaxas

    Socrates in the City

     Edited by Eric Metaxas
    14.9 hrs • 10/13/11
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  10. 1.5 hrs • 5/25/2011 • Unabridged

    Redefining the classic essay, this modern edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s most famous work, Self-Reliance, includes self-reflections from both historical and contemporary luminaries. With quotes from the likes of Henry Ford and Helen Keller to modern-day thought leaders like Jesse Dylan, Steve Pressfield, and Milton Glaser, we're reminded of the relevance of Emerson’s powerful words today. Emerson’s words are timeless. Persuasive and convincing, he challenges readers to define their own sense of accomplishment and asks them to measure themselves against their own standards, not those of society. This famous orator has utter faith in individualism and doesn’t invoke beyond what is humanly possible, he just believes deeply that each of us is capable of greatness. He asks us to define that greatness for ourselves and to be true to ourselves. At times harsh, at times comforting, Emerson’s words guide the reader to challenge their own beliefs and sense of self. This modern edition of Self-Reliance is ideal for graduates or those who are in the midst of a career or lifestyle change. Emerson's sage guidance wrapped in modern-day reflections is a great reminder about the potential within us all and that life is what you make of it.

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    Self-Reliance

    1.5 hrs • 5/25/11 • Unabridged
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  11. 5.7 hrs • 5/25/2011 • Unabridged

    Michel de Montaigne, one of the foremost writers of the French Renaissance and the originator of the genre of the essay, wrote on subjects ranging from friendship to imagination, from language to conscience. This collection includes twenty-two of Montaigne’s essays, including “Of Prognostications,” “Of the Custom of Wearing Clothes,” “Of Pedantry,” and “Of Friendship.” Throughout Montaigne’s writing, he approaches his subject matter with rationality and skepticism, constantly searching for truth and inquiring into the nature of the human character. Montaigne’s essays have been widely read since their first publication by such great writers as Shakespeare and Ralph Waldo Emerson and continue to resonate for modern audiences. This edition is the translation by Charles Cotton.

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    Select Essays

    Translated by Charles Cotton
    Read by Clive Chafer
    5.7 hrs • 5/25/11 • Unabridged
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  12. 1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
    5.0 hrs • 12/3/2008 • Unabridged

    “Ideas are the greatest and most crucially practical power on earth,” wrote Ayn Rand. In the title essay of this collection, Leonard Peikoff applies this principle to the world of business. He shows that certain philosophic ideas, such as reason, egoism, and individualism, are needed to defend and protect the freedom of businessmen, while the opposite ideas, such as mysticism, altruism, and collectivism (which dominate our universities), destroy that freedom. Other essays in this volume will help businessmen understand the crucial role of philosophy in free trade, free markets, health care, and business ethics. Why Businessmen Need Philosophy is important reading for any businessman who wants to defend his freedom—and anyone else who wants to understand and defend business.

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    Why Businessmen Need Philosophy and Other Essays by Ayn Rand, various authors, Leonard Peikoff, Harry Binswanger, Edwin A. Locke, Dr. John Ridpath, Richard M. Salsman, Dr. Jaana Woiceshyn

    Why Businessmen Need Philosophy and Other Essays

    By Ayn Rand, with additional essays by various authors
    5.0 hrs • 12/3/08 • Unabridged
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  13. 15.9 hrs • 10/1/2008 • Unabridged

    In the years between her first public lecture in 1961 and her last in 1981, Ayn Rand spoke and wrote about topics as different as education, medicine, Vietnam, and the death of Marilyn Monroe. In The Voice of Reason, these pieces are gathered together in book form for the first time. Written in the last decades of Rand’s life, they reflect a life lived on principle, a probing mind, and a passionate intensity. With them are five essays by Leonard Peikoff, Rand’s longtime associate and literary executor. The work concludes with Peikoff’s epilogue, “My Thirty Years with Ayn Rand: An Intellectual Memoir”, which answers the question “What was Ayn Rand really like?” Important reading for all thinking individuals, this collection communicates not only Rand’s singular worldview, but also the penetrating cultural and political analysis to which it gives rise.

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    The Voice of Reason by Ayn Rand

    The Voice of Reason

    Additional essays by Leonard Peikoff and Peter Schwartz
    15.9 hrs • 10/1/08 • Unabridged
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  14. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    10.8 hrs • 1/1/2005 • Unabridged

    Who needs philosophy? Ayn Rand’s answer: Everyone. This collection of essays was the last work planned by Ayn Rand before her death in 1982. In it, she summarizes her view of philosophy and deals with a broad spectrum of topics. According to Ayn Rand, the choice we make is not whether to have a philosophy but which one to have: a rational, conscious, and therefore practical one, or a contradictory, unidentified, and ultimately lethal one. Written with all the clarity and eloquence that have placed Ayn Rand’s objectivist philosophy in the mainstream of American thought, these essays range over such basic issues as education, morality, censorship, and inflation to prove that philosophy is the fundamental force in all our lives.

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    Philosophy: Who Needs It by Ayn Rand

    Philosophy: Who Needs It

    Read by Lloyd James
    10.8 hrs • 1/1/06 • Unabridged
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