A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION
Aristotle: A Very Short Introduction
The influence of Aristotle, the prince of philosophers, on the intellectual history of the West is second to none. In this book, Jonathan Barnes examines Aristotle’s scientific researches, his discoveries in logic and his metaphysical theories, his work in psychology and in ethics and politics, and his ideas about art and poetry, placing his teachings in their historical context.
Egyptian Myth: A Very Short Introduction
Egyptian myths articulated the core values of one of the longest lasting civilizations in history, and myths of deities such as Isis and Osiris influenced contemporary cultures and became part of the Western cultural heritage. Egyptian Mythology: A Very Short Introduction explains the cultural and historical background to the fascinating and complex world of Egyptian myth, with each chapter dealing with a particular theme.
To show the variety of source material for Egyptian myth, each chapter features a particular object–such as the obelisk known as Cleopatra’s Needle, a golden statue of Tutankhamun, and a papyrus containing a story in which the Egyptian gods behave outrageously–which is illustrated by a photograph or line-drawing. The myth “The Contendings of Horus and Seth” is looked at in detail, and the many interpretations it has provoked are examined. In addition to a list of major deities and myths, there are explanations of related topics such as how hieroglyphs work, royal names and titles, and the Egyptian cosmos. There is also a timeline of Egyptian history, a glossary of technical terms and an up-to-date bibliography.
Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction
In Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction, best-selling author Frank Close provides a compelling and lively introduction to the fundamental particles that make up the universe. The book begins with a guide to what matter is made up of and how it evolved, and goes on to describe the fascinating and cutting-edge techniques used to study it. The author discusses particles such as quarks, electrons, and the neutrino, and exotic matter and antimatter. He also investigates the forces of nature, accelerators and detectors, and the intriguing future of particle physics. This book is essential reading for general readers interested in popular science, students of physics, and scientists at all levels.
Journalism: A Very Short Introduction
In Journalism, Ian Hargreaves uses his unique position within the media to examine how we get this information and the many practical, political, and professional decisions that the journalist has to make, as part of the process of delivering that information to us.Hargreaves argues that the core principles of “Freedom of the Press” and the necessity of exposing the truth are as vital today as they ever were. He examines the ethical responsibility of the journalist to respond to the demands of civil society, as opposed to the demands of the state, and focuses on contentious issues in contemporary journalism, such as intrusion, lack of accountability, obscenity, trivialization, rumor-mongering, and libel.
Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction
What is science? Is there a real difference between science and myth? Is science objective? Can science explain everything? This Very Short Introduction provides a concise overview of the main themes of contemporary philosophy of science.
Beginning with a short history of science to set the scene, Samir Okasha goes on to investigate the nature of scientific reasoning, scientific explanation, revolutions in science, and theories such as realism and anti-realism. He also looks at philosophical issues in particular sciences, including the problem of classification in biology, and the nature of space and time in physics. The final chapter touches on the conflicts between science and religion, and explores whether science is ultimately a good thing.
Modern Art: A Very Short Introduction
Public interest in modern art continues to grow, as witnessed by the spectacular success of the Tate Modern in London and the Bilbao Guggenheim. Modern Art: A Very Short Introduction engages general readers, offering them not only information and ideas about modern art, but also explaining its contemporary relevance and history. The book focuses on interrogating the idea of “modern” art by asking such questions as: What makes a work of art qualify as modern, or fail to? How has this selection been made? What is the relationship between modern and contemporary art? Is “postmodernist” art no longer modern, or just no longer modernist? In either case, why–and what does this claim mean, both for art and the idea of “the modern?”
Cottingham examines many key aspects of this subject, including the issue of controversy in modern art, from Manet’s Dejeuner sur L’Herbe (1863) to Picasso’s Les Demoiselles, and Tracey Emin’s Bed (1999). He also looks at the role of the dealer from the main Cubist art dealer Kahnweiler, to Charles Saatchi.
Ancient Egypt: A Very Short Introduction
The ancient Egyptians are an enduring source of fascination–mummies and pyramids, curses and rituals have captured our imaginations for generations. We all have a mental picture of ancient Egypt, but is it the right one? How much do we really know about this once great civilization?
In this absorbing introduction, Ian Shaw, one of the foremost authorities on Ancient Egypt, describes how our current ideas about Egypt are based not only on the thrilling discoveries made by early Egyptologists but also on fascinating new kinds of evidence produced by modern scientific and linguistic analyses. He also explores the changing influences on our responses to these finds, by examining the impact of Egyptology on various aspects of popular culture such as literature, cinema, opera, and contemporary art. He considers all aspects of ancient Egyptian culture, from tombs and mummies to the discovery of artifacts and the decipherment of hieroglyphs, and from despotic pharaohs to animal-headed gods. From the general reader interested in Ancient Egypt, to students and teachers of ancient history and archaeology, to museum-goers, this Very Short Introduction will not disappoint.
Chaos: A Very Short Introduction
Chaos exists in systems all around us. Even the simplest system can be subject to chaos, denying us accurate predictions of its behavior, and sometimes giving rise to astonishing structures of large-scale order. Here, Leonard Smith shows that we all have an intuitive understanding of chaotic systems. He uses accessible math and physics to explain Chaos Theory, and points to numerous examples in philosophy and literature that illuminate the problems. This book provides a complete understanding of chaotic dynamics, using examples from mathematics, physics, philosophy, and the real world, with an explanation of why chaos is important and how it differs from the idea of randomness. The author’s real life applications include the weather forecast, a pendulum, a coin toss, mass transit, politics, and the role of chaos in gambling and the stock market. Chaos represents a prime opportunity for mathematical lay people to finally get a clear understanding of this fascinating concept.
Logic: A Very Short Introduction
Logic is often perceived as having little to do with the rest of philosophy, and even less to do with real life. In this lively and accessible introduction, Graham Priest shows how wrong this conception is. He explores the philosophical roots of the subject, explaining how modern formal logic deals with issues ranging from the existence of God and the reality of time to paradoxes of probability and decision theory. Along the way, the basics of formal logic are explained in simple, non-technical terms, showing that logic is a powerful and exciting part of modern philosophy.