Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Book Fund

Blog Posts by Subject: Philosophy

The Jefferson Market University: Fall 2014

Come to Jefferson Market this fall to attend one of our courses.Read More ›

August Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

Philosophical inquiry at the movies… a looming retirement crisis… familiar New York landmarks seen from unexpected angles… the birth of NYC’s power system… the language hoax… the hidden history of the mob in NYC… Tomorrow-Land, the 1964-1965 World’s Fair… the great Boston - New York subway race… the Kitty Genovese murder… the inventor of electric traction… the hospice movement… the makers of modern Manhattan…Read More ›

July Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

Gangsters and true crime, New York City history, financial literacy, MacArthur, FDR, Khrushchev, Lindsay, Main Street, U.S.A., travel, learning and self-discovery, climate change, foreign policy, the collective afterlife, and great pizza are among the wide-ranging topics coming up at our Author @ the Library talks in July 2014! We hope you’ll join us for insightful discussions with the authors of these 

... Read More ›

The Jefferson Market University: Spring 2014

The Jefferson Market Library is pleased to offer the following free courses for the spring semester, 2014.Read More ›

My Library: Philosophy Class

The Jefferson Market Library continues to offer multi-session courses in subjects taught by college professors — just like you'd take in an adult continuing education program at a university. Recently we offered a free six-session Introduction to Western Philosophy course. Here's what two participants in that course, Carlos and Shaan, had to say:

Carlos

What did you think of the philosophy course?

It was great to get an overview, to look at all these different philosophers — it 

... Read More ›

Terence McKenna and the Logos

Terence Kemp McKenna, by Entropath, Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes naked Sometimes mad Now the scholar Now the fool Thus they appear on earth: The free men. — Hindu verse from Avadhoota Gita

Terence McKenna (November 16, 1946 – April 3, 2000), America's most beloved psychonaut, bard, ethnobotanist, folk hero, and freewheeling philosopher, rose to fame in the 

... Read More ›

Thomas Paine and "Common Sense"

Thomas Paine was born 275 years ago on January 29. He died in 1809 at 59 Grove Street in New York City, where a plaque marks his passing.

Paine’s writings, especially Common Sense, helped the American cause in the Revolution, and John Adams credited him with a crucial role in the winning of that war.

Paine was not shy in 

... Read More ›

Far Memory: Ancient Egypt Through Western Eyes

Ancient Egypt has long held a fascination for the West. The idea of Egypt was transmitted to Roman culture through Greek accounts, and after Late Antiquity, existed in the European imagination as an exotic and ancient location in the Bible's Old Testament account of the 6th century BCE Israelite diaspora.

The Western Mystery Tradition had its earliest beginnings in the cult of Isis, which reached Rome in the 

... Read More ›

The Face of Intellectual Beauty: The New York Review of Books at 48

First published on February 1st, 1963, The New York Review of Books has been hailed to be one of the world's leading intellectual literary magazines. Known for its sharp and critical insights, commentaries and book reviews on culture, literature and current affairs, The NYRB has had much success in gaining attention from and written contributions by eminent scholars, intellectuals and writers such as Margaret Atwood,

... Read More ›

Octavia Boone's Big Questions about Life, the Universe and Everything: A Review

Do you remember the first time in your life when you started to question things adults had taught you? Do you remember the first time you thought about why you were here or what your purpose was? Do you ever find yourself still grappling with questions like these? If so, you will identify with the protagonist of Rebecca Rupp’s most recent middle-grade novel, Octavia Boone’s Big Questions about Life, the Universe and Everything.

This story is just about as close to a Philosophy 101 ... Read More ›

The Tree of Life & the Poem of Being

The Tree of Life opens May 27th in theaters; of course, having not yet seen the film there is little I can say about it (the studio released only a few plot details), but a discussion of his previous films may inform a deeper viewing more than simply assuming a passive stance. All too often, we are encouraged to receive films or books this way, in some vague popular idea that our minds are storage receptacles and that we simply experience a movie more or less in the fashion the filmmakers intended. I would like to counter this idea and 

... Read More ›

Finding time, and my bromance with the irrepressible reformer

I haven't been in the library profession very long, but I have been a librarian all my life. 

I have always found information, collected information, and put information in order.  

Collected. Completed. Categorized.

A childhood of comic books, baseball cards, flea market bric-a-brac. 

I'm an INFJ.

I was a librarian in a past life.

It has been over a year since my days at the Jefferson Market Branch where 

... Read More ›

The Question of Science Fiction: Utopias

"All profound life is heavy with the impossible."                                                   —Georges Bataille

If you're anything like me, you'll be walking down the street thinking about science fiction and think to yourself, "Say, what is the 

... Read More ›

Finnikin of the Rock: A Review

A long time ago, before the five days of the unspeakable, Finnikin of the Rock dreamed he was to sacrifice a pound of flesh to save the royal house of Lumatere. Though only nine, Finnikin knew the dream was not to be ignored.

Frightened for his kingdom, Finnikin convinced his friends Prince Balthazar and Lucian of the Mont to make a pledge with him. They climbed to the rock of three wonders and sacrificed flesh from their bodies and a hair from the head of a weeping princess Isaboe. Balthazar swore to die defending his royal house of Lumatere. Finnikin swore to 

... Read More ›

Subversive Imagination: The Short Circuits of José Saramago, 1922-2010

Authoritarian, paralyzing, circular, occasionally elliptical, stock phrases, also jocularly referred to as nuggets of wisdom, are malignant plague, one of the very worst ever to ravage the earth. We say to the confused, Know thyself, as if knowing yourself was not the fifth and most difficult of human arithmetical operations, we say to the apathetic, Where there’s a will, there’s a way, as if the brute realities of the world did not amuse themselves each day by turning that phrase on its head, we say to the indecisive, Begin at the beginning, as if that beginning were the 

... Read More ›

The Miles Between: A Review

October 19 is not going to be a good day.

For some people this would be an educated guess. For Destiny Faraday it is a bleak statement of fact. It is also part of why she tries so hard to never get attached. To anything or anyone.

October 19 has never been a good day for Des, which is why she crumples the day’s calendar page before the day has even started.

What was supposed to be a throw away day suddenly turns into something else. Thanks to an encounter with an odd stranger and the sudden appearance of a car, Destiny and three of her 

... Read More ›

Modern War and Strategy at the Library, Part I

The foundational literature of leadership, strategy and war and where to find it in the collections of the NYPL.

Read More ›

Consciousness Studies @ NYPL!

Consciousness studies is at the forefront of science's last great investigative projects. While neglected for many years by mainstream academia as a result of dominance by behaviorist psychology, interest in the science of consciousness has exploded in the last decade, with new activity in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and other areas.

How exactly does a material brain... give rise to immaterial thoughts, or "consciousness"?

While many in the humanities still hold to the idea of philosophy being the paramount scholarly effort 

... Read More ›

Lacan @ the Library!

Many don’t know it, but New York Public Library has a substantial collection of books by influential French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, as well as his multitudinous acolytes. 

Lacan gave yearly seminars in Paris from 1953 to 1981, and was a major presence among French intellectuals for the remainder of the twentieth century. Lacan greatly influenced the 

... Read More ›

Pangloss Regained

Dr. Pangloss Surveys the World (NYPL General Research Division)Thanks to Candide, the term "pangloss" has come to mean "overly optimistic fool." The Greek roots in the name, "pan-" and "gloss-" can be read as "all tongue" – an apt characterization of the tutor's speaking-without-thinking style. But I have another sense of the word in mind when I say that Candide was published in the hangover years of a nearly century-long panglossomania binge.

In the 17th century, 

... Read More ›
Page 1 of 2 Next

Chat with a librarian now