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Nonfiction > Philosophy

Philosophy

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Douglas

Douglas Auburn, WA, United States Member Since 2008

College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

HELPFUL VOTES
1180
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274
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32
  • "What Some Of Us Have Always Known..."

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    My work in greyhound and horse rescue has shown me over the years something very clearly: animals understand a moral act done toward them (rescuing them from rugged and abusive situations), appreciate it, and return the favor in acts of protection, devotion and love. This book covers such aspects of four-legged morality as well as how animals care for, protect and sacrifice for each other. Several now famous studies have shown how voles are monogamous, vampire bats (yes!) practice reciprocal altruism (one bat has a bad night, a bat that had a good night will spit up some of his collected blood into the hungry bat's mouth--and later, the favor is returned when the tables are turned--yummy!), and I can tell you that horses instantly recognize a good person or a cruel one and remember a friend forever...and remember as well those who have done them a wrong turn at some point. From an evolutionary standpoint, it only makes sense. Neo-Darwinian sociologists stand in line these days to write books about how humans developed a sense of morality in order for the greater number of the group to survive due to group protection and caring and justice--why in the world would we think that other mammals had not developed the same tendencies in order to keep their species going as well?!

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    Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Marc Bekoff, Jessica Pierce
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Scientists have long counseled against interpreting animal behavior in terms of human emotions, warning that such anthropomorphizing limits our ability to understand animals as they really are. Yet what are we to make of a female gorilla in a German zoo who spent days mourning the death of her baby? Or a wild female elephant who cared for a younger one after she was injured by a rambunctious teenage male?

    Douglas says: "What Some Of Us Have Always Known..."
  • "Stellar Course!"

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    Patrick Grim lays out the groundwork for the major theories of mind and what it means to "be a being" with consciousness, thought and self-awareness. The course is in depth and very intelligent, but presented in such a way as the layman will readily understand if proper attention is paid to the lectures. Another Great Courses lecture series on this same topic by John Searle will also be quite helpful. Once these courses are completed, I recommend moving on to books like Brian Christian's The Most Human Human (artificial intelligence) V. Ramachandran's The Tell-Tale Brain (neurology and pathology) and Sebastian Seung's Connectome (neurology, consciousness and self-awareness). Grim and Searle's lectures are a wonderful place to start on the pathway to learning about the philosophy, physiology and psychology of who you are and why there is a "who you are."

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    Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Consciousness, and Thinking Machines

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Patrick Grim
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (43)

    The quest to understand the mind has motivated some of history's most profound thinkers. But only in our own time are we beginning to see the true complexity of this quest, as today's philosophers draw on the latest evidence from neuroscience, psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and other fields to probe deeply into the inner workings of the mind.

    Douglas says: "Stellar Course!"
  • ""Telling The Truth..."

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    is being aware of what the truth is in any given moment..." This is perhaps the most pivotal line in Sam Harris' challenging essay on lying and truth telling. We must first be perfectly honest with ourselves before we can be honest with others. (Consider Emily Dickinson's "...we hide ourselves behind ourselves..." or a line from the sitcom "Community:" the biggest lies are told six inches from the bathroom mirror...") Then it all boils down to "do unto others." Harris very poignantly asked us how we would want people to deal with us on a daily basis. All, right, in way, we want politicians to "tell us what we want to hear," but if we go by rule one, being aware of the truth in any given moment, wouldn't we want the truth always given to us straight? Of course, where we are going to cringe is not with extramarital affairs, financial cheats and calculated harm, but rather with the everyday, work-a-day social lying. "Do I look good in this dress?..." "Does my son's behavior bother you?..." "Are you free to come to my party on Friday night?..." Harris makes a compelling argument--if one not all of us are probably going to run out and implement immediately--that the truth can be told in ALL situations, that these little social situations can be handled TACTFULLY, but that tactfully doesn't have to skirt the truth. In a writing class I teach based in Theories Of Morality, I tell this true story: One evening, I was teaching a five-hour block of college English classes, and it was 6:50, and I had not had any dinner and only a fairly sparse lunch. My only chance was to get to the student union and the commissary for a quick slice of dried out pizza before it closed at 7:00 and my next class started. I had ten minutes to cram some bad food in my mouth before pressing on to my next class, and a female student was leisurely strolling beside me, speaking to me about a personal manner of no earth-shattering import. I was trying to be polite and listen and respond appropriately, barely able to make out the words being spoken for the screams of hunger my body was giving forth. The student would not pick up the pace or pick up the silent visual cues that usually say "all right, got to get going! [we are done here]." And so, automatically, with no due calculation, I said, smiling gently and touching her on the arm, "you know, I have to hurry by the office to get some papers real quick before my next classes, can I catch you later?" With that, I darted toward Salish Hall, and then, when out of sight of the student, I made a mad dash for the union and got my pizza. At the time, I rationalized that this was simply sparing the student hearing, "getting a slice of crusty, sun-lamp desiccated veggie is more important right now than listening to you babble on!" But Harris says I was not being polite, but rather lazy. And it's true. I could have carefully and tactfully explained my situation to the student in the time it took to reroute to Salish and then back to the union. The small becomes the big after all, and we should not get too used to misrepresenting things, or, before long, we ]might take to George Costanza's immortal [immoral] advice to Jerry: "it's not a lie, if you believe it."

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    Lying

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 15 mins)
    • By Sam Harris
    • Narrated By Sam Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (731)
    Performance
    (639)
    Story
    (637)

    As it was in Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, and Othello, so it is in life. Most forms of private vice and public evil are kindled and sustained by lies. Acts of adultery and other personal betrayals, financial fraud, government corruption - even murder and genocide - generally require an additional moral defect: a willingness to lie. In Lying, bestselling author and neuroscientist Sam Harris argues that we can radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie.

    Douglas says: ""Telling The Truth..."
  1. Wild Justice: The Moral L...
  2. Philosophy of Mind: Brain...
  3. Lying
  4. .

A Peek at Sacrament's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
11
 
Denver, CO, United States 3 REVIEWS / 33 ratings 2 Followers / Following 0
 
Sacrament's greatest hits:
  • The Modern Scholar: First Principles & Natural Law: The Foundations of Political Philosophy, Part I

    "Truth and Objectivity Work for the Common Good"

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    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Modern Scholar: First Principles & Natural Law: The Foundations of Political Philosophy, Part I?

    This book correlates with the everyday decisions and perspectives we have to deal with where we need to operate in truth and for the common good. He gives a superior and scholarly understanding of what is significant in our communications and decisions rather than rigidly trying to perform under rules and regulations. We don't live in a perfect world or deal with people who will understand us if we just say what is on our mind, or how we feel so we need discernment. Above all we need to come to a place of discernment that is objective and based on truth, something that is above our natural inclinations.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is a philosophical dissertation and it is so practical and understandable as well as being something one can put into practice. I love the enlightenment he gave.


    What about the narrator’s performance did you like?

    Very lucid and teachable approach. He puts the information on the practical level.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes! I listened to part 1 and 2 throughout the day and then listened to them again.


    Any additional comments?

    I am very adept at Philosophy and Theology and well educated in both though I do not have a doctorate. I found this series very relevant to life rather than just education and theoretical. I appreaciate the matter of morals and laws coming together rather than just law ruling.

  • The Modern Scholar: Discovering the Philosopher in You: The Big Questons in Philosophy

    "Very Enlightening on Most Subjects Undertaken"

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    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. It is very enlightening on the big questions for the most part, but it does fall short on the question of God and does not address death as a component with that or any other big issue in philosophy. It does not deal wth life after death which seems to reflect on the total failure of dealing with the question of God.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The author is very adept at being objective and speaking from that point of view for the most part. He is also very knowledgeable and lucid giving information and insight that develops the theme along very logical lines.


    What does Colin McGinn bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His presentation carries a perspective that brings an insight into what the narrative delivers. One can discern from his voice and its fluctuations and tone what he means by the words where one might give a heavier interpretation to a different pursuasion if one did not hear him speak them.


    If you could give The Modern Scholar a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Developing an Understanding of the Fundamental Philosophical Questions of Life.


    Any additional comments?

    The book was very engaging and easy to follow and it does cover the fundamental questions of life that are not addressed in other forums as they have a philosophical nature. It was very comforting even, to delve into these questions and become informed and enlightened in a way that spawns good logical thinking.

  • The Modern Scholar: First Principles & Natural Law: The Foundations of Political Philosophy, Part II

    "Awesome depth of Information on Moral Philosophy"

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    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Modern Scholar: First Principles & Natural Law: The Foundations of Political Philosophy, Part II in three words, what would they be?

    Engaging, Understandable, Scholarly


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Modern Scholar: First Principles & Natural Law: The Foundations of Political Philosophy, Part II?

    The concept of functioning from the perspective of the spirit of truth for the common good and communicating on the level where one is understood rather than truth as something abstract. One must communicate what the other person can understand rather than to just devulge information. It is the principle that is the focus and not how one feels about something. One must reach a place of objectivity rather than functioning on a very personal and subjective level to be contributing to the good of society and actually to one's own good.


    Which character – as performed by the narrator – was your favorite?

    This was not a history or a story narrative but a philsophical explanation of moral law and the matter of the principles of natural law.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Coming to grips with the truth objectively.


    Any additional comments?

    This was the most interesting and logical approach to the matter of ethics and morals I have ever heard. I absolutely loved it. It helped me to really uderstand the matter of communicating on the level of what others understand rather than being idealistic. I listened to it several times.

Darwin8u

Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 12-04-12 Member Since 2011

A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

HELPFUL VOTES
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15
  • "Philosopher, Soldier, Historian and..."

    18 of 18 helpful votes

    I love Xenophon. He is a rare breed: philosopher, soldier, historian and mercenary. I imagine him as a 4th century BC combination of Teddy Roosevelt and William T. Vollmann. Memorabilia is a nice piece to read along with Plato's dialogues. While Plato's remembrances of Socrates are more philosophic and cerebral, Xenophon presents a slightly different and more down to earth picture of the great ethical philosopher.

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    The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Xenophon, Edward Bysshe (translator)
    • Narrated By Nicholas Tecosky
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    Xenophon was a Greek who admired and studied with Socrates. He marched with the Spartans and later was exiled from Athens. He wrote about the history of his times, the sayings of Socrates and about life in Greece. Edward Bysshe translated Xenophone's work in 1702. This translation has continued to have an excellent reputation. In this work Xenophon discusses the views of life taught by Socrates.

    Darwin8u says: "Philosopher, Soldier, Historian and Mercenary"

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    Ann Marie says: "I will isten again and again"
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    gerald says: "The book says what many feel, but fear to say"
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    Joseph says: "Two great (but quite different) gems from CSL"
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  • Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Alan Charles Kors, Professor Darren Staloff, Professor Dennis Dalton, Professor Douglas Kellner

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    James says: "Fantastic overview"
  •  
  • The Modern Intellectual Tradition: From Descartes to Derrida  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Lawrence Cahoone

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    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Lawrence Cahoone
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    What is reality? Ask yourself whether you can actually know the answer, much less be sure that you can know it, and you've begun to grapple with the metaphysical and epistemological quandaries that have occupied, teased, and tormented modern philosophy's greatest intellects since the dawn of modern science and a century before the Enlightenment.

    Carl says: "Outstanding summary of modern philosophy"
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    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Marcus Aurelius
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    Overall
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    Performance
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    One of the most significant books ever written by a head of State, the Meditations are a collection of philosophical thoughts by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121 - 180 ce). Covering issues such as duty, forgiveness, brotherhood, strength in adversity and the best way to approach life and death, the Meditations have inspired thinkers, poets and politicians since their first publication more than 500 years ago. Today, the book stands as one of the great guides and companions - a cornerstone of Western thought.

    Sam Motes says: "Insight from man on top"
  • Lying (






UNABRIDGED) by Sam Harris Narrated by Sam Harris

    Lying

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 15 mins)
    • By Sam Harris
    • Narrated By Sam Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (731)
    Performance
    (639)
    Story
    (637)

    As it was in Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, and Othello, so it is in life. Most forms of private vice and public evil are kindled and sustained by lies. Acts of adultery and other personal betrayals, financial fraud, government corruption - even murder and genocide - generally require an additional moral defect: a willingness to lie. In Lying, bestselling author and neuroscientist Sam Harris argues that we can radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie.

    Douglas says: ""Telling The Truth..."
  • Exploring Metaphysics  by The Great Courses, David K. Johnson Narrated by Professor David K. Johnson

    Exploring Metaphysics

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, David K. Johnson
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    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
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    (52)

    This mind-bending tour of metaphysics applies philosophy to the forefront of today's knowledge. Over the course of 24 fascinating lectures, Professor Johnson thinks through the big questions about humans and the universe: The relationship between the mind and the brain, how consciousness emerges from neurochemical processes, the existence of God, human free will, the possibility of time travel, and whether we live in a multiverse or even a computer simulation.

    DaniDarko says: "Very dissapointing"
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UNABRIDGED) by Martine Rothblatt Narrated by Jeff Cummings, Laural Merlington

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    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Martine Rothblatt
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings, Laural Merlington
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    Virtually Human explores what the not-too-distant future will look like when cyberconsciousness - simulation of the human brain via software and computer technology - becomes part of our daily lives. Meet Bina48, the world's most sentient robot, commissioned by Martine Rothblatt and created by Hanson Robotics.

  • Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (






UNABRIDGED) by Nick Bostrom Narrated by Napoleon Ryan

    Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Nick Bostrom
    • Narrated By Napoleon Ryan
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    Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life. The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful - possibly beyond our control.

    Gary says: "Colossus: The Forbin Project is coming"
  • A Secular Age (






UNABRIDGED) by Charles Taylor Narrated by Dennis Holland

    A Secular Age

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Charles Taylor
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    What does it mean to say that we live in a secular age? Almost everyone would agree that we - in the West, at least - largely do. And clearly the place of religion in our societies has changed profoundly in the last few centuries. In what will be a defining book for our time, Charles Taylor takes up the question of what these changes mean - of what, precisely, happens when a society in which it is virtually impossible not to believe in God becomes one in which faith, even for the staunchest believer, is only one human possibility among others.

  • George MacDonald (






UNABRIDGED) by C. S. Lewis Narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt

    George MacDonald

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By C. S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Julian Rhind-Tutt
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    I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself." So wrote C. S. Lewis of George MacDonald, the Scottish pastor and novelist who had a profound impact on Lewis' own literary and spiritual career. Here Lewis gathers 365 of MacDonald's most inspirational lines, prefacing them with details of the effects MacDonald had on Lewis himself.

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  • Miracles: C. S. Lewis Signature Classic (






UNABRIDGED) by C. S. Lewis Narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt

    Miracles: C. S. Lewis Signature Classic

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By C. S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Julian Rhind-Tutt
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    The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation. They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares the way for this, or results from this.'This is the key statement of Miracles, in which C. S. Lewis shows that a Christian must not only accept but rejoice in miracles as a testimony of the unique personal involvement of God in his creation.

  • The Abolition of Man (






UNABRIDGED) by C. S. Lewis Narrated by Douglas Gresham

    The Abolition of Man

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 36 mins)
    • By C. S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Douglas Gresham
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    C S Lewis's philosophical defence of Natural Law (absolute morality) - without which human beings are reduced to less than fully human, and are, thus ‘abolished'. CS Lewis argues that objective value actually exists and that to believe otherwise is to create nonsense. Human beings appreciate values such as beauty and goodness because such things are part of reality - but if absolute morality is denied there will not be any progress for mankind as the things that matter most will be explained away.

  • The Weight of Glory: A Collection of Lewis' Most Moving Addresses (






UNABRIDGED) by C. S. Lewis Narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt

    The Weight of Glory: A Collection of Lewis' Most Moving Addresses

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By C. S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Julian Rhind-Tutt
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    Selected from sermons delivered by C. S. Lewis during World War II, these nine addresses show the beloved author and theologian bringing hope and courage in a time of great doubt. Addressing some of the most difficult issues we face in our day-to-day lives, C.S. Lewis's ardent and timeless words provide an unparalleled path to greater spiritual understanding.Considered by many to be Lewis's finest sermon of all, and his most moving address.