The Lagoon - Armand Marie Leroi

Aristotle is known almost exclusively as a philosopher now, but he produced a huge body of scientific works—many the first in their fields. A great classifier, the Ancient notably practiced a wide range of sciences, including zoology, botany, chemistry, and even “cosmotheology,” in the playfully affectionate term Leroi gives to his subject’s struggle to explain the movements of planets. While Leroi, an evolutionary biologist, can be a stickler, correcting Aristotle on the finer points of cuttlefish physiology or the life cycle of eels, Leroi is in awe of how much his forebear discovered without knowing about nerves, cells, or genes. Following Aristotle in both a professional and a geographic sense, Leroi visited The Lagoon of Lesbos where the Greek pursued his passion for figuring out why things exist and take the forms they do, and how and why change occurs. Leroi’s study is engaging and insightful—a warm tribute to a great thinker and to the nature that Aristotle ardently believed did “nothing in vain.”

The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science By Armand Marie Leroi Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143127987
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Books - December 8th, 2015

Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away - Rebecca Goldstein

In her brilliant and witty Plato at the Googleplex (Pantheon, $29.95), Rebecca Newberger Goldstein puts her novelist’s imagination and her scholarly gravitas to work in carrying on the tradition of the Socratic dialogue. Blending ancient history with a contemporary book tour, Goldstein follows Plato’s dictum that “the best thinking is always playful,” as she pits the Ancient against the Tiger Mother in an energetic discussion about raising exceptional children, introduces him to Google to update his ideas about knowledge, and presents his answers on the Myers-Briggs test. Overall, Goldstein refutes the scientists who claim that philosophy has not made progress. By using the form and method of Plato’s moral reasoning, she shows that these are not archaic relicts but ever-practical tools that have helped us see, for instance, that slavery is wrong. More important, these nimble colloquies show that philosophy, unlike physics, doesn’t discover new facts but gives us the perspectives with which to understand what we know.

Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away By Rebecca Goldstein Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307456724
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Vintage - January 6th, 2015

Ronald Dworkin - Religion Without God

Religion Without God has something for everyone: for atheists and theists, artists and physicists, liberals and conservatives. Which was exactly Ronald Dworkin’s goal, to allow polarized groups to communicate. He does this (or attempts to do this – you decide) by revealing the basic, moral foundations of “the good life.” In Justice for Hedgehogs, Dworkin laid out his case for the unity of value, which he explores further in the context of religion and theism in Religion without God. At only 160 small pages, the book is digestible, despite being philosophy. Furthermore, it is engaging; it’s philosophy that you can participate in and argue with and apply to your own life.
Religion Without God By Ronald Dworkin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780674726826
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harvard University Press - October 1st, 2013