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    $17.50 $14.18
    1. Natural Philosophy: Written to
    $6.29 $4.24 list($6.99)
    2. Man's Search For Meaning
    $74.65 $48.99 list($96.95)
    3. A Concise Introduction to Logic
    $27.00 $24.35
    4. The Idea of the Self : Thought
    $16.76 $13.95 list($23.95)
    5. The Art of Happiness: A Handbook
    $10.36 $6.95 list($12.95)
    6. Being Perfect
    $4.95 $3.38
    7. The Art of War
    $9.71 $7.47 list($12.95)
    8. Crimes Against Logic
    $108.95 $90.00 list($113.95)
    9. Gardner's Art Through the Ages
    $17.16 list($26.00)
    10. Radical Evolution : The Promise
    $12.56 $11.97 list($17.95)
    11. Sex and the Perfect Lover: Tao,
    $11.56 $8.56 list($17.00)
    12. The 48 Laws of Power
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    13. As the Future Catches You: How
    $19.95 $19.94
    14. The Reasons of Love
    $17.61 list($27.95)
    15. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden
    $10.85 $9.25 list($15.95)
    16. A Short History of Nearly Everything
    $73.95 $41.38
    17. Great Traditions in Ethics (with
    $84.95 $69.37 list($87.95)
    18. Gardner's Art Through the Ages,
    $86.67 $52.99 list($88.00)
    19. Introduction to Logic
    $12.56 $8.00 list($17.95)
    20. The Tibetan Book of Living and

    1. Natural Philosophy: Written to Evolve the Human Consciousness
    by Ben Harris
    list price: $17.50
    our price: $17.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1410728498
    Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
    Publisher: Authorhouse
    Sales Rank: 114488
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspriation is the kwy with this.
    Ben Harris is a master with words. This book is so unique and extraordinary. Everyone has to experience this sometime in their life. Its like watching a broadway play, or tasting a fine wine. This book is timeless, with words that will stick within your head forever. It truly does evolve your frame of mind, and will evovle your thinking about everything. The poetry is universal to us all, and is sexy in its own way. Inspirational, erotic, fiendish sometimes. But filled with dazzling truth, and perfectly written words. Astonishing piece of work, must enjoy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great look at our thin modern world.
    Hey, I really love this book. I read it once, read it twice. And I must say, and I think I am very fond of it now. This book is like one them beautiful old paintings you would see, that you would just get lost in. This is a perfect painting of words, melodies, thoughts, philosophies. I think will put a tender place in your heart. Great read, once again...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Such outstanding beauty...
    This book has the deep love of words intertwined into its beautiful lace of truth and philosophy. If you want a religious awakening, read this amazing book. The author takes you on so many twists and turns, it will literally leave you craving more. It ponders many of the scary truths and secrets that threaten our life and soul, and provides insight and wisdom on how to live a peaceful truthfilled life. This book has not only opened my eyes, its made me think a lot as well. You must read this book, before its too late!!! ... Read more

    2. Man's Search For Meaning
    by Viktor E. Frankl
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0671023373
    Catlog: Book (1997-12-01)
    Publisher: Pocket
    Sales Rank: 518
    Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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    Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is among the most influential works of psychiatric literature since Freud. The book begins with a lengthy, austere, and deeply moving personal essay about Frankl's imprisonment in Auschwitz and other concentration camps for five years, and his struggle during this time to find reasons to live. The second part of the book, called "Logotherapy in a Nutshell," describes the psychotherapeutic method that Frankl pioneered as a result of his experiences in the concentration camps. Freud believed that sexual instincts and urges were the driving force of humanity's life; Frankl, by contrast, believes that man's deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. Frankl's logotherapy, therefore, is much more compatible with Western religions than Freudian psychotherapy. This is a fascinating, sophisticated, and very human book. At times, Frankl's personal and professional discourses merge into a style of tremendous power. "Our generation is realistic, for we have come to know man as he really is," Frankl writes. "After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord's Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips." ... Read more

    Reviews (174)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Book to Provoke, What is Your Life's Meaning?
    I wish I read this 20 years ago, it would have created a whole new perspective on my life. I won't repeat what many of the other fine reviewers have mentioned, but will add the following:

    According to Frankl, man's search for meaning is his primary motivation for life, not a secondary rationalization.

    Existential Vacuum, in today's Modern Society, we all have basic food, and shelter, we all can survive (thank goodness we don't have to endure what Frankl had to), we are all comfortable in our existence, and yet this comfort creates boredom, and therefore, our search for meaning is even more compounded. Thus is what Frankl refers to as existential vacuum, we exist today day to day, but do so in a vacuum of existence, until we know our meaning.

    Man should not ask what is the meaning of life, but rather BE asked. In response, man must answer in his responsible, to whom is he responsible to, to what, to whom?

    True meaning is discovered in the world, not within man himself. Seek out your experiences, the meaning is out there in the world, not within yourself.

    You cannot avoid untentional suffering, but you can change your attitude towards it, to give suffering a meaning to you.

    Live your life as though you were living it the second time. View life as a series of movie frames, the ending and meaning may not be apparent until the very end of the movie, and yet, each of the hundreds of individual frames has meaning within the context of the whole movie.

    View your life from your funeral, looking back at your life experiences, what have you accomplished? what would you have wanted to accomplish but didn't? what were the happy moments? what were the sad? what would you do again, and what you wouldn't?

    A must read for anyone searching for a deeper meaning in life. The book won't give you the meaning, only you can, but it will certainly help you get started.

    5-0 out of 5 stars POWERFUL AND COMPELLING!
    I look with awe and reverence at those who have survived Auschwitz and similar death camps and am amazed beyond belief at how they managed to survive not only physically, but emotionally. I do not believe any amount of psychology could fully prepare one for the horrors inflicted on the survivors of such attrocities. Both my parents fought for their country overseas during the World War II and I heard, first hand, of stories that touch, horrify and will remain with me for a lifetime.

    Dr. Frankl developed an approach to psychotherapy known as, logotherapy. At the core of his theory is the belief that man's motivational force is reaching for meaning. While this book is not one that could be described as enjoyable reading, there is something about the author's experiences that will remain with us long after the book has concluded. Frankl gives meaning to life, despite life's suffering, and in a thought-provoking manner leaves a lasting impact on the reader that could well change the path of direction you choose to follow and how you continue to live your life.

    4-0 out of 5 stars All have a unique meaning to life to personally discover!
    After years of hearing others praise this book, I finally read it for myself, and found it is worth reading! Dr. Victor Frankl, an author-psychiatrist, experienced first-hand the horrible atrocities that were forced upon the Jews in Nazi Concentration Camps, and lived to tell about it. He shares the truths he learned as a prisoner, including man's search for meaning in life, and his ability to survive extreme physical and emotional hardships, despite the odds. In the process he developed a new approach to psychotherapy, known as "logotherapy." At the root of the theory is the value of helping others find their unique purpose or mission in life.

    What was the key to the survival in the Nazi death camps? It wasn't survival of the fittest in the traditional sense of those who were the most physically robust of the human species. Rather it tended to be those individuals, described below, who found inner survival strength as follows:

    (1.) Those who had a meaning in life, a sense of purpose, or intent to accomplish a goal. It was Dr. Frankl's desire to survive the death camps so that he could write and publish his experiences and truths learned through his suffering.

    (2.) Those who had a spiritual belief in God and a faith that there was a divine plan for them. They believed God would help them through their difficulties. Dr. Frankl said: "In spite of all the enforced physical and mental primitiveness of the life in a concentration camp, it was possible for spiritual life to deepen."

    (3.) Those who had an intellectual life to fall back on (in their thoughts) during the monotonous, strenuous, and most painful times of endurance. He states: "Sensitive people who were used to a rich intellectual life may have suffered much pain... but the damage to their inner selves was less. They were able to retreat from their terrible surroundings to a life of inner riches and spiritual freedom." This was something their oppressors were not able to take away from them.

    (4.) Those who held on to the cherished bonds of loved ones. Dr. Frankl often found strength by carrying on imagined conversations with his beloved wife who had been taken to another death camp. His ability to communicate his love for her in his thoughts, and receive back her love, gave him the incentive to hold on to life during the toughtest of times. Unfortunately his wife was not able to survive, but he didn't know this at the time. (Perhaps it was her Spirit he was communicating with afterall.)

    I was impressed with the description Dr. Frankl gave of a few of the prisoners, who despite being in a starving and sickly state, managed to go around offering aid and moral encouragement to others. Such individuals often gave of their meager piece of daily bread to keep another fellow prisoner alive. Such selfless service in the face of death, was truly admirable.

    In the second half of Dr. Frankl's book he distinguishes the difference between his theory of logotherapy and that of traditional approaches to physcho-analysis. At the core of his theory is the challenge to help individuals discover for themselves their reason for being, even a worthwhile goal. He quotes Nietzche who said: "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." Dr. Frankl says: "The meaning of life always changes, but it never ceases to be." This book can be a great resource for readers to evaluate their own purpose in life, and perhaps in the process choose a path that is worthwhile not only to them but that will benefit others as well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Both touching and helpful!
    This book was touching to the point that it was painful to read at times. Yet, the overall message of this book is wonderfully exhilarating. Whatever meaning you find in your life is your life. If that meaning gives you hope, you will have hope. If that meaning gives you despair, you will find despair. This is a fantastic piece of existential work! The whole idea in this book reminds me a bit of the concept of the self-system in Toru Sato's genius book "The Ever-Transcending Spirit". Now "The Ever-Transcending Spirit" is a much newer book but it is another truly excellent book that takes these things one step further by integrating these ideas with the psychology of relationships as well as transpersonal experiences. I recommend this Frankl and Sato's book very very much! They are both outstanding!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A monumental work of human courage
    This book would be instrumental to those who wish to understand the greater purpose behind their suffering. The author describes his enduring many horrific experiences of the Holocaust while discovering a greater meaning in these experiences.

    Viktor Frankl believes there is a deeper meaning behind the suffering many continue to experience. He also feels that it's one's personal challenge to discover the purpose behind the pain they feel. While being non-judgmental about human suffering, the author sees our pain as a source of strength rather than as a sign of weakness.

    This book is ideal for those who are seeking the greater meaning in their suffering. While much of his story takes place during the Holocaust, the lessons are universal to anyone who has ever experienced great difficulty. ... Read more

    3. A Concise Introduction to Logic (with InfoTrac and CD-ROM) (Concise Introduction to Logic)
    by Patrick J. Hurley
    list price: $96.95
    our price: $74.65
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0534584829
    Catlog: Book (2002-07-26)
    Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
    Sales Rank: 76308
    Average Customer Review: 3.62 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Unsurpassed for its clarity, conciseness, and comprehensiveness, Hurley's market-leading A CONCISE INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC has established itself as the standard for introductory logic texts. Hailed in the first seven editions for an unwavering commitment to lucid, focused, reader-friendly presentations of logic's basic topics, the latest edition of this text raises the bar yet again as it makes unprecedented pedagogical strides with state of the art multimedia technology. As a component of HURLEY'S LOGIC CD-ROM that is bundled free with each copy of the new edition, Hurley's own Learning Logic software, now complete and fully revised for this edition of the text, offers teachers and students of logic an extraordinary tool for engaging logic's basic concepts. Designed around the idea that students learn at least as effectively from aural communication as from visual, Learning Logic contains over 11,000 audio files that, when combined with animations, present the central concepts of logic in an unprecedented fashion. These concepts are reinforced through thousands of new interactive practice problems that give audio and visual feedback for both correct and incorrect answers. Also delivered on HURLEY'S LOGIC CD-ROM is a fully revised, more easily navigable version of Logic Coach, a tool that enables students interactively to solve virtually every exercise set in the text. Rounded out with a revolutionary online course management and testing engine developed by the Wadsworth Group and a book-specific Web site that features student quizzing and interactive tutorials on Venn diagrams and truth tables, Hurley's A CONCISE INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC, Eighth Edition is not only the most logically sound choice that a professor could make for his or her logic course, but the most "technologically" sound choice as well. ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars College Student
    I found this text very helpful. It is a good book for a quick introduction to logic and the examples and questions along with the CD-Rom provide additional support in the understanding of the text. Even though this book was assigned as a required text for the class, I recommend it for anyone who wants to gain some knowledge on logic reasoning.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Poop
    If I pooped all over this book, it would be significantly better.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good book for Academic instruction
    First, I am familar with the 6th edition, so my comments concern that edition. I have both learned from (as a student) and taught from (as an instructor) this book. The book's strength is in formal or deductive logic and not informal or inductive logic. (Although it covers inductive logic and critical thinking). This book should not be used by someone who is looking just to argue better, but is much more suited to an academic setting at the level of a senior in high school or college freshman/sophmore. I am not saying that it is a hard read or too technical, as a matter of fact, it is quite basic, but it is too dry for the average reader and you would simply not pick up the information from simply reading it; you would have to work the problems and interact with others who are also reading the book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good study for the fun of it.
    Being more familiar with Hurley's FOURTH EDITION, I will relegate my comments to such. This introductory text delivers a formidable subject in an easy-to-ingest manner. His explanations are easy enough for the novice while strong enough to remain a decent reference work for he who only occasionally must call back to to a definition of some fallacy or another.

    5-0 out of 5 stars To be recommended
    A really great introduction to logic and the many complicated terms and concepts logic includes. Easy reading for people who have never been introduced to logic before. Includes plenty of exercises with selected answers for self-testing. High quality book, and high quality content. Hurley makes logic understandable and easier to study. ... Read more

    4. The Idea of the Self : Thought and Experience in Western Europe since the Seventeenth Century
    by Jerrold Seigel
    list price: $27.00
    our price: $27.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0521605547
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-28)
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Sales Rank: 34470
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    Book Description

    What is the self? The question has preoccupied people in many times and places, but nowhere more than in the modern West, where it has spawned debates that still resound today. Jerrold Seigel here provides an original and penetrating narrative of how major Western European thinkers and writers have confronted the self since the time of Descartes, Leibniz, and Locke. From an approach that is at once theoretical and contextual, he examines the way figures in Britain, France, and Germany have understood whether and how far individuals can achieve coherence and consistency in the face of the inner tensions and external pressures that threaten to divide or overwhelm them. He makes clear that recent 'postmodernist' accounts of the self belong firmly to the tradition of Western thinking they have sought to supersede, and provides an open-ended and persuasive alternative to claims that the modern self is typically egocentric or disengaged. ... Read more

    5. The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living
    by Dalai Lama
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.76
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1573221112
    Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
    Publisher: Penguin Putnam
    Sales Rank: 803
    Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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    Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit down with the Dalai Lama and really press him about life's persistent questions? Why are so many people unhappy? How can I abjure loneliness? How can we reduce conflict? Is romantic love true love? Why do we suffer?How should we deal with unfairness and anger? How do you handle the death of a loved one? These are the conundrums that psychiatrist Howard Cutler poses to the Dalai Lama during an extended period of interviews in The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living.

    At first, the Dalai Lama's answers seem simplistic, like a surface reading ofRobert Fulghum: Ask yourself if you really need something; our enemies can be our teachers; compassion brings peace of mind.Cutler pushes: But some people do seem happy with lots of possessions; but "suffering is life" is so pessimistic; but going to extremes provides the zest in life; but what if I don't believe in karma? As the Dalai Lama's responses become more involved, a coherent philosophy takes shape. Cutler then develops the Dalai Lama's answers in the context of scientific studies and cases from his own practice, substantiating and elaborating on what he finds to be a revolutionary psychology. Like any art, the art of happiness requires study and practice--and the talent for it, the Dalai Lama assures us, is in our nature. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

    Reviews (279)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Counter to the negative reviews
    I have noticed several reviews that blast Howard C. Cutler for the way he wrote this book.

    I would like to say that I think he did a good job.

    As an enthusiast of Buddhism, I am inclined to agree that I would have liked to heard more from the Dalai Lama himself, but I understand that the intent of this book was to allow non-buddhists to learn to appreciate and to implement this marvelous system of Buddhist psychology in their lives.

    In some senses, Buddhism is a science of understanding and mending the human psyche. For myself, I already understood a lot of the principles in the book, but it was very nice to hear a western psychologist's viewpoint. Sometimes I get lost in the volume of material there is to read about the practice of Buddhism. There are many different approaches to Buddhist thought.

    This book is perfect for any non-Buddhist who would like to get a taste of the basic psychology derived from the teacings of one of the most brilliant men in history, The Buddha. The Dalai Lama is a wonderful man in his own right, and is a very wise and worldly translator of this complex system of thought. His profound and well thought out answers to the questions posed by Cutler reflect the depth of his understanding of the human condition and the remedies prescribed by the Buddha to end the suffering that we all must endure.

    The Dalai Lama does not give a full exposition of the Buddhist teachings on any of the subjects presented in the book, but his answers are profound and can be put to use in the daily life of any westerner who desires to be happy. Cutler is a reassuring figure in the book who is there to raise the questions that any westerner might raise. More importantly, he is there to compare and contrast the words of the Dalai Lama to the work of western psychologists and to confirm and even exalt the approach of the Dalai Lama.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Guide To Happiness And Mental Health
    The Declaration of Independence asserts our self-evident right to pursue happiness, but doesn't teach us how to do so. The Dalai Lama says happiness is the goal of human existence and teaches us not just how to rid ourselves of the negative thoughts from which unhappiness springs, but also how to grow into an habitually positive frame of mind. This is not a selfish pursuit since compassion and altruism are understood as essential to personal happiness. In an age of road rage and air rage, depression and anxiety, such a guide to mental hygiene and growth is needed and welcome. I was initially disappointed that the book had two authors, but now consider this a strength. Dr. Culter not only adds western psychological information that complements "Buddhist" doctrine, but also provides good descriptions of the Dalai Lama, engages him in a running dialogue, and asks the questions that I would like to ask, particularly how a non-Buddhist would use the teaching just given. As it turns out there is very little in this book that is strictly "religious" or that would be unacceptable or impractical advice to a believer in another or in no faith at all. The Dalai Lama addresses himself specifically to such people. Obviously the book needs to be put into practice, not just read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to Buddhism and Dalai Lamas thoughts
    This is a good book to help you learn about the principles and ideas of Buddhism. Written for a Western audience, it takes up problems of daily life and how to be happy with the right mode of thinking. How to live a balanced, peaceful and happy life. Reading the book is easy. How to follow its teachings perhaps not that easy, but obviously worthwhile.


    5-0 out of 5 stars The Art of Happiness Explained By The Dalai Lama
    This is a thoroughly enjoyable book that is easy and interesting to read, understand, and most of all apply to your life.
    Here are a couple of quotes from this book that shed light on His Holiness The Dalai Lama's Views:

    P. 173: "The ability to look at events from different perspectives can be very helpful. Then, practicing this, one can use certain experiences, certain tragedies to develop a calmness of mind. One must realize that every phenomena, every event, has different aspects."

    "It seems that often when problems arise, our outlook becomes narrow. All of our attention may be focused on worrying about the problem, and we may have a sense that we're the only one that is going through such difficulties. This can lead to a kind of self-absorption that can make the problem seem very intense. When this happens, I think seeing things from a wider perspective can definitely help - realizing for instance, that there are many other people who have gone through similar experiences, and even worse experiences."

    When Howard Cutler questioned about dealing with anger, his question was: "...You might think about an event...even much later, and every time you think about it you become angry all over again. How would you suggest dealing with (this.")
    The Dalai Lama had this to say on P. 175: "If you look from a different angel, then surely the person who caused this anger in you will have a lot of other positive aspects, positive qualities. If you look carefully, you will also find that the act which has made you angry has also given you certain opportunities, something which otherwise would not have been possible, even from your point of view. So with effort you'll be able to see many different angles to a single event. This will help."

    By reading this book, you will gain a greater understanding of HOW to transform the difficulties in your life, by transforming your views of them. It will greatly contribute to your inner peace, as well as peaceful relations with others, along with how to deal with life's constant changes with calm and assurance.
    Highly Recommended! Barbara Rose, author 'If God Was Like Man'

    3-0 out of 5 stars FACT: Teachings in New Testament have Buddhist roots
    The book is ok .... I disagree with the retarded Christian from FL. It doesn't take a degree in rocket science to note that the Old Testament and the New Testament are of a completely different flavor. The Old Testament is full of fire and brimstone, an eye-for-an-eye kind of stuff whereas the New Testament has a distinctly Buddhist slant. Gee, I wonder if the fact that Jesus Christ spent several years in Tibet studying with the Buddhist monks had an influence on his teachings?!?!... ... Read more

    6. Being Perfect
    by Anna Quindlen
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $10.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375505490
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
    Publisher: Random House
    Sales Rank: 609
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (8)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Entire book could be written in one paragraph
    Charging $12.95 for a 64-page book that is essentially a commencement speech sprinkled with photos from the Fifties seems the ultimate in chutzpah.Although I love Anna Quindlen's columns and novels, this book warning about the displeasures of perfection is not worthy of hardcover treatment -- it should be one in a collection of essays.There is nothing here that has not not been said before, many times before by others, some even more eloquent than Quindlen.Save yor money and read the reviews -- you'll get the entire gist and more from those.

    5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
    This brief picture book contains an essay based on a commencement address by Ms. Quindlen.

    The basic concept of the essay is that a young person can get so caught up in meeting others' expectations . . . and doing so perfectly . . . so that there's no room left for the young person to be her- or himself. Instead, you become a perfect imitation of the current manias. Ms. Quindlen wisely warns that " . . . nothing important, or meaningful, or beautiful, or interesting, or great, ever came out of imitations."

    She warns that it's hard work being yourself. There's no model for you to follow. You have to face yourself and make the most of your imperfections.

    Ms. Quindlen also warns against the concept of "effortless perfection" that young people seek to portray. It's an oxymoron. Perfection is a great task and the goals are constantly being shifted for you. In addition, it's the imperfections that draw the eye and make the hand-made rug more appealing than the machine-made "perfect" one.

    To be human is to be imperfect. Revel in it!

    To me, the photographs were the best part of the book, and they would have reproduced much better if they had been on larger pages. I graded the book down one star for failing to do justice to the photographs.

    The book opens with a photograph of a young woman carrying an enormous briefcase on her back. It's a metaphor for the weight of carrying the need to be perfect in the world's eyes. The next photograph has six women in bathing suits at the beach. One is standing on her head while five similar-looking women pose in high heels with their arms around each other sitting on a rail. In the next image, two identically dressed females compare their shoes.

    There's a lot of humor in the images. You'll see bobby soxers, women walking with books balanced on their heads, a girl on stilts, a bride gaping as her veil flaps ahead of her in the breeze, three generations of women profiled, and lots of old-fashioned clothing . . . all of which were considered "new and perfect" at one point in time or another. You'll be giggling a lot over these photographs.

    There are also some romantic, idealized images to reflect the need to be yourself. Those will cause you to yearn for tranquility and satisfaction.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Is As Perfect Does.
    There is no such thing as being perfect, but try to tell that to young mothers.At one time or another, all women strive for perfection.Men are born perfect.Like the male birs who are the beautiful ones who must get the notice of the female, men don't have to fool with makeup, or worry about hairdos.If they're clean and don't overdo the after shave, most are perfectly groomed without trying.

    But with women, we get caught in "the perfection trap" not only with looking as good as we can but training little girsl that subterfuge is natural.What gets to me are all the old (really old) women who continue to dye their hair.I know one who werars two sets of eyelashes at the same time.I wonder who she plans to seduce, as more men look at me with my natural hair, no eye makeup and coverup foundation with lighter shades of lipstick.

    This is a book of pictures more than guidance.That of the old woman reading to her cat is the most perfect.The two girls dressed like we did back in the Fifties with books on their heads as they walk are almost perfect.The five swimsuit dressed girls in their high heel shoes sitting on the railing watching another do a head stand looked to be right out of the Forties.Maybe that was perfection back then.

    Anna says that "trying to be perfect may be inevitable for people who are smart amd ambitious and interested in the world and its good opinion.What is really hard and amazing if giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."Well said.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Oh, the Pressure!
    What a relief this quick and easy to read, sweet and oh, so
    insightful book is.Anna Quindlen's style of writing is inviting.
    I immediately felt like I was chatting with a fascinating old friend
    with whom I had much in common.Anna writes about the pressure ambitious
    people tend to put on themselves to be perfect.Where good is not enough
    and the never-ending pursuit of perfection is chasing a moving target --
    she offers a simple solution.Using examples from her own life as well as
    literary allusions, Anna demonstrates her theory clearly and convincingly.
    Give up the struggle.At first it seems down-right un-American.Pursuit of
    happiness is our heritage.Anna tenderly lays out the possibility that the
    issue is the "running" itself.I highly recommend this book and offer further
    that perhaps you, too could use the break.I love the way that kindness to and
    with oneself could be a way of life.This book dovetails nicely with
    another one of my favorite books called "Working on Yourself Doesn't Work"
    written by Ariel and Shya Kane. The Kanes too offer an ease to living a life
    I hadn't known was possible before. Who knew that life could be gentle
    and exciting, smooth and fulfilling.What if we could still get the things
    we want but skip the pressure we put on ourselves over how long it's
    taking or how wrong or right we're doing it all?It makes for a life worth
    living.Like I suggested above, read them both Anna Quindlen's "Being Perfect"
    and "Working on Yourself Doesn't Work" by Ariel and Shya Kane and try on a fun life
    for yourself.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Short book; potent message
    Anna Quindlen is one of those haunting writers, one who can fool you with a simple, basic cover and an ostensibly simple message. Then, she hits home with poignant views that makes one think, engage in introspection, and question why we do what we do.

    Quindlen has done it again with BEING PERFECT. This little 64 page book extolls the wisdom of avoiding perfectionism, or the perfection trap. She furthers her argument of the dangers of the perfection trap by describing the consequences and the toll it can take on life. She provides answers to the trap, answers that most likely will assuage those habitual perfectionists, as well as the novice. Satisfying oneself is a goal worthy of effort, yet difficult at times to quantify and compose as many perfectionists don't look at finite goals. Consequently, perfectionism can be a slippery slope.

    Quindlen moves ahead of the pack by asking the reader to consider what makes YOU happy, not your friends or family, YOU. This is an underlying message in the book...set goals and objectives in life that create happiness for you. We all have a tendency, at times, do what it takes to make those around us pleased or happy. The problem is simply this: these acts are not necessarily what makes us happy and thus, we are not living our own life.

    Quite honestly, Quindlen has created an essay designed for introspection and enrichment, one that is quite thought-provoking. This is a book that can be read and re-read, and quite quickly. Her message, though short, is quite potent. Recommended. ... Read more

    7. The Art of War
    by Sun Tzu
    list price: $4.95
    our price: $4.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0762415983
    Catlog: Book (2003-07-01)
    Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
    Sales Rank: 1309
    Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu is universally recognized as the greatest military strategist in history, a master of warfare interpretation. This condensed version of his influential classic imparts the knowledge and skills to overcome every adversary in war, at the office, or in everyday life. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    1-0 out of 5 stars are you kidding me
    VERY DECEPTIVE. Makes it seem like its a hardcover book, yet it fits in the palm of my hand. its 3inches by 3inches. That is just ridiculous. On top of the deception, the "book" was a TOTAL RIP OFF.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Simply shoddy
    ``Don't judge a book by its cover.'' They could have at least gotten the Chinese characters the right way round -- the text on the cover is flipped left-to-right. I would not express surprise if this were representative of the contents (translation.)

    I can't say I'm particularly impressed with this edition of an otherwise great classic. (Allegedly. I've yet to read it. :-/)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Way screwed

    1-0 out of 5 stars Screwed!
    I expected a book not a pamphlet! Thank God I didnt pay alot or I really would have been Pis$#% Off!

    1-0 out of 5 stars I've been deceived.
    This book fits into the palm of my hand. I feel the seller deceived me in not disclosing this detail in the product description. ... Read more

    8. Crimes Against Logic
    by Jamie Whyte
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0071446435
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-12)
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill
    Sales Rank: 8578
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    Book Description

    A witty assault on lame rhetoric, specious logic,  and official BS

    Here's a fast-paced, ruthlessly funny romp through the mulligan stew of illogic, unreason, and just plain drivel served up daily in the media by pundits, psychics, ad agencies, New Age gurus, statisticians, free trade ideologues, business "thinkers," and, of course, politicians. Award-winning young philosopher Jamie Whyte applies his laser-like wit to dozens of timely examples in order to deconstruct the rhetoric and cut through the haze of shibboleth and doubletalk to get at the real issues.

    A troubleshooting guide to both public and private discourse, Crimes Against Logic:

    • Analyzes the 12 major logical fallacies, with examples from the media and everyday life
    • Takes no prisoners as it goes up against the scientific, religious, academic, and political establishments
    • Helps you fine-tune your critical faculties and learn to skewer debaters on their own phony logic
    ... Read more

    9. Gardner's Art Through the Ages (with ArtStudy Student CD-ROM and InfoTrac) (Gardner's Art Through the Ages)
    by Fred S. Kleiner, Christin J. Mamiya
    list price: $113.95
    our price: $108.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0155050907
    Catlog: Book (2004-03-17)
    Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
    Sales Rank: 26718
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The market-leading text for the art history survey course, GARDNER'S ART THROUGH THE AGES has served as a comprehensive and thoughtfully crafted guide to the defining phases of the world's artistic tradition. With this book in hand, thousands of students have watched the story of art unfold in its full historical, social, religious, economic, and cultural context, and thus deepened their understanding of art, architecture, painting, and sculpture. By virtue of its comprehensive coverage, strong emphasis on context, and rich, accurate art reproductions, GARDNER'S ART THROUGH THE AGES has earned and sustained a reputation of excellence and authority. So much so, that in 2001, the Text and Academic Authors Association awarded both the McGuffey and the "Texty" Book Prizes to the Eleventh Edition of the text. It is the first art history book to win either award and the only title ever to win both prizes in one year. The Twelfth Edition maintains and exceeds the richness of the Gardner legacy with updated research and scholarship and an even more beautiful art program featuring more color images than any other art history book available.The Twelfth Edition features such enhancements as more color photographs, a stunning new design, and the most current research and scholarship. What's more, the expanded ancillary package that accompanies GARDNER'S ART THROUGH THE AGES, features a wealth of tools to enhance your students' experience in the course. With each new copy of the book, students receive a copy of the ArtStudy 2.0 CD-ROM--an interactive electronic study aid that fully integrates with the Twelfth Edition and includes hundreds of high-quality digital images, plus maps, quizzes, and more. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to art history
    I first used Gardner's Art Through the Ages for my AP art history class back in high school, and I still refer to it sometimes for my college art history courses. It goes over a huge array of artists and periods (both in the Western and non-Western traditions) and is helpful if you need to find some general information or refresh your memory. The picture reproductions are very good (if not slightly dark).

    Be aware that this book will sometimes not provide in-depth explanations for all of its subjects; however, this text is a firm foundation of knowledge for beginner art history students. Highly recommended. ... Read more

    10. Radical Evolution : The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies -- and What It Means to Be Human
    list price: $26.00
    our price: $17.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385509650
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
    Publisher: Doubleday
    Sales Rank: 503746
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    11. Sex and the Perfect Lover: Tao, Tantra, and the Kama Sutra
    by Mabel Iam
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0738704083
    Catlog: Book (2003-12-01)
    Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
    Sales Rank: 928
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Sexual desire is one of the most powerful forces in our lives. When repressed or expressed inappropriately, it can create problems-but when celebrated in a loving relationship, it can take you to the heights of sexual ecstasy and emotional fulfillment.

    Sex and the Perfect Lover is a guide for those who wish to strengthen sexual relationships and discover a source of power, pleasure, and intimacy like no other. Explore the magic and power of sacred sexuality through philosophies and practices both ancient and modern:

    -Visualization and other magical techniques to increase your sex appeal -Techniques for overcoming sexual blocks and inhibitions -Instructions for how men and women can achieve multiple orgasms, and how to find and stimulate a woman's G-Spot-Illustrations and descriptions of the positions of the Kama Sutra for increased intimacy and sexual pleasure -Techniques for a perfect first time with your lover -Tips for rekindling the flames of passion in an existing relationship -How to find your twin soul and the seven golden rules for creating loving relationships ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sex,the Perfect Lover is a guide for people in love or not
    Sex and the Perfect Lover is a guide for those who wish to strengthen sexual relationships and discover a source of power, pleasure, and intimacy like no other. Explore the magic and power of sacred sexuality through philosophies and practices both ancient and modern:

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is book about sex, tantra an tao
    more clear and nice that I read

    this book give many tips very clear, about sex, love and soulmates ... Read more

    12. The 48 Laws of Power
    by Robert Greene
    list price: $17.00
    our price: $11.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0140280197
    Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
    Publisher: Penguin Putnam
    Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, this piercing work distills three thousand years of the history of power in to forty-eight well explicated laws. As attention--grabbing in its design as it is in its content, this bold volume outlines the laws of power in their unvarnished essence, synthesizing the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun-tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and other great thinkers. Some laws teach the need for prudence ("Law 1: Never Outshine the Master"), the virtue of stealth ("Law 3: Conceal Your Intentions"), and many demand the total absence of mercy ("Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally"), but like it or not, all have applications in real life. Illustrated through the tactics of Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, P. T. Barnum, and other famous figures who have wielded--or been victimized by--power, these laws will fascinate any reader interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control. ... Read more

    Reviews (308)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Empowering
    I first read this book two years ago. Since then I have obtained two large promotions and am ten years ahead of my peer group. I also make $15,000 more a year in salary -- and I am just getting started.

    By employing the concepts and ideas of this book I have quite simply out planned, out moved, and out-played those around me. Be assured this book isn't about being nice or cruel. It is a guide to the game of power and teaches the rules most are never taught. It delineates the basic rules of engagement in this world and especially within business and strategic relationships. Those who can't see the difference between information and ethics are simply naive.

    I used to work hard to 'please' the boss, be completely honest, and most of all consider the interests of all parties. That only stressed me out and gave me an ulcer. More importantly, it excluded me from promotions and other opportunities. Now, I simply use the concepts of the 48 Laws of Power to enable my success. For those who are offended by the apparent immorality or ethical conflicts that appear inherent in these concepts -- be assured that ethical conduct can be maintained within these ideals. Just as black-belt can easily kill the average person, it doesn't mean he does or should.

    If want to win in the game of life employ the concepts of the bible. If you want to win in business use the 48 Laws of Power. Knowledge is power. The 48 Laws of Power are a nuclear arsenal in the battle for power.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Only thing you cannot get in life... something for nothing.

    Yes, it is possible to achieve financial success and political power using the laws in this book, but at what cost? I have read extensively on the principles that successful, powerful people both past and present have used to access power. The greatest people of all time have realized that unlike what Mr. Greene suggests, real, sustainable power comes from within--it cannot be had be had through the manipulation of external conditions, i.e. effects not causes. The most powerful people (some who used their power for good, others for not so good), accessed the power we all have WITHIN us.

    My analysis has demonstrated to me that the only people who are able to become very powerful in business, politics and socially and yet still have excellent health, great relationships and above all PEACE OF MIND, accessed the power within.

    I believe that all those who want to rise to positions of power and authority (and enjoy the associated benefits of such) yet still maintain good friendships, good marriages, have good health and peace of mind, should spend more time accessing the power within because this is the only power than enables one to "have it all".

    This book was good because it enables those who live by certain ethical principles to identify and protect themselves against those ideas that are discussed (and very likely used) by many readers of this book.

    I would recommend reading Joseph Murphy's book Power of The Subconscious Mind for a better understanding of the true source of power.

    1-0 out of 5 stars A book on power by two fledgling authors?
    This book not only contradicts many tried-and-true methods of attaining power, but in the most inane way. If you followed the advice given, you would have no friends (as it advises stabbing them in the back when possible in order to make yourself look better--no joke). I was absolutely appalled at the unabashed odacity this book promulgates. If you subscribe to the Golden Rule, this book is not for you. It is my belief that if Jack Welch were to read this book, he'd laugh, and discredit everything the authors say. In addition to the above statement, this book advises: as long as you can get away with it--do it, reject loyalty to others, deception, etc.

    It read like two high school geeks trying to sound "tough." Avoid this book at all costs, that is, assuming you are mature. I can tell you that this book will get you no where in life (other than backwards).

    3-0 out of 5 stars Negative strategies to attain success...
    In our world of political correctness and appearances, where society is depicted as fair, democratic, at times altruistic and transparent, the reality of the situation is far different. And as Greene proposes, no one wants to be seen as power hungry, and those that do, are generally scorned. Power is a game. And to play this game successfully, duplicity is the key: to win power, we must, on the surface, at least appear to be fair, altruistic and transparent, however we must scheme, manipulate, deceive, charm and seduce, if we are to get what we achieve power, as Napoleon suggested, we should use an iron fist with a velvet glove, smiling as we stab our opponents in the back. Attaining power is war, though according to Greene, a civilized war.

    Any person with an essential good nature should find this book a little disturbing. The message from Greene is clear - living the virtuous life is the road to failure and powerlessness. Appealing to the better angels of our natures is a lost cause and will get us nowhere but the bottom of the food chain. In other words, "nice guys finish last." The only way to the top is through treachery, seduction, observing others' weaknesses to then play on those weaknesses to your advantage. Greene's advice is basically a negative strategy to power and success. And to be sure, there are other positive strategies out there to attain power and success without resorting to deception and covert manipulation. But none are presented here.

    That said, understanding the 48 laws presented here, at least will make us aware of the depths some people will go to in order to get what they desire. In this regard, this text is worth the time, energy and money.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Historically accurate & insightful view into human behavior
    This book appeals on so many levels. As the author states himself, the book "...can be used in several ways." He divides its uses into 3 categories: 1) a guide to power in general; 2) browsing for a law applicable in one's life; and 3) browsing for entertainment.

    This culling of 3,000 years of philosophy, literature and wisdom, distilled into 48 "laws", is a fascinating read all the way through. The book sites so many historical references and quotes that reading the red notes in the margins of the book is fascinating in itself.

    I neither advocate nor dismiss these "laws", but reading about them goes far to explain much that I see in today's cut-throad Corporate world - I see that nothing has changed except the literal bloodshed which has been replaced by the metaphorical bloodshed happening in thousands of boardrooms across the US on a daily basis.

    If you too are swimming with the sharks, this is a must read! ... Read more

    13. As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0609609033
    Catlog: Book (2001-10-16)
    Publisher: Crown Business
    Sales Rank: 8795
    Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan's Best of 2001

    In As the Future Catches You, Juan Enriquez of the Harvard Business School attempts to capture the trajectory of technological progress and understand the forces shaping our social and economic futures. Enriquez argues that February 2, 2001--the date that anyone with Internet access could contemplate the entire human genome--is akin to 1492 and Columbus's discovery of America. Instead of a new continent however, Enriquez sees the alphabet of DNA (A, adenine; T, thymine; C, cytosine; and G, guanine) and predicts that it will be the "dominant language and economic driver of this century." While none of the ideas presented here are entirely new, As the Future Catches You stands out because of Enriquez's ability to view and connect trends--genomics in particular--in a way that just about anyone can understand. Eye-popping typography and graphics coupled with a compact and almost poetic writing style make this thought-provoking book one to savor. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

    Reviews (26)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to Read and VERY INSIGHTFUL
    If you want to understand some of the "big picture" issues in our society I strongly encourage you to read this book. Peter Drucker's Management Challenges for the 21st Century and Daniel Pink's Free Agent Nation are two other good reads on a knowledge-based economy.

    While Mr. Enriquez spends most of the book talking about genomics (his area of expertise and knowledge) and the implications arising from developments in the area, he also tries to illustrate the impact such discoveries might have on the world economy in a very basic, easy-to-understand manner. Mr. Enriquez does an excellent job in talking about the importance of education and how the large differences among certain geographic regions may lead to a larger divergence of wealth in the next century.

    In talking about genomics, Mr. Enriquez is quick to talk about cloning and the moral and ethical issues that will arise from such technology and how it will be EXTREMELY TOUGH to policy this technology due to its rapid evolution and ability to move into other countries borders. In the past the evolution of public policy was adjusted with the technologies but genomics is different in that we are talking about the potential to create human life via cloning, which stirs up all kinds of moral and social issues which affects politicians and their voting constituencies.

    The one thing I know is that genomics is revolutionizing modern medicine as we breathe today. The new drugs, cures and foods that will be created and these WILL have VERY PROFOUND impacts on our standard of living in the next century and will cause tons of social implications. This book is your entrance into learning about geonomics in a very easy to read book. I highly recommend purchase of the book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
    If you read only one book about the looming genetics revolution, As the Future Catches You would be a pretty good pick. After laying a foundation with a basic introduction to DNA and the genetic sciences, Juan Enriquez takes the reader on a tour of the mystifying advances that are putting humans in greater control of their own evolutionary destiny. This book is designed as much to inspire questions as to answer them, and uses a variety of font styles and sizes and almost poetic prose to provoke the thoughtful involvement of the reader. We from getAbstract recommend this book to any reader who doesn't want to let the future catch him off guard.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Why reviews of this book vary from * to *****
    This book reads like an engaging lecture. If you're looking for an extensive and scholarly work . . . you'll give it a single *. If you're looking for a well written, extended and readable Powerpoint presentation (and I mean that in all seriousness) you'll rate this book much more highly. I was surprised by how light the book was on words/$ but was pleasantly surprised that after I'd adjusted my expectations the book was readable and engaging. And it's significantly less expensive than the thousands Enriquez probably charges to deliver this presentation in person . . .

    1-0 out of 5 stars Huh?
    I am a librarian. We have this book in our collection only because it was given to us for free. I'm not sure what all of the praise is for. It is puzzling to me.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Good, if you like PowerPoint
    The most telling phrase was in the afterword: "I apologize for simplifying so many debates and concepts." At least he knew what he was doing.

    I found this to be a turbulent stream of factoids, hero worship, and incomplete ideas. The author seems not to distinguish between opening a discussion and failing to finish a thought. The quantitative statements are sometimes incorrect - his decimal points seem to wander as much as the rest of the presentation.

    Visually, the text is a mess. Maybe he wanted it to look lively and creative, instead of putting the life into the text itself. His typographic "creativity" tops out around the Crayola level, though. It's what I'd expect of someone who just discovered all those cool controls over fonts, sizes, layout, etc., but has not yet discovered they don't all need to be used on any one page. In fact, this typography interferes with a good reader's perceptual habits. I actually like aggressive use of type, like some of David Carson's - but Carson brings visual competence to the page.

    The one graph (p.147) is uninformative even by USA Today standards. It would probably have Tufte spinning in his grave. (As far as I know, Tufte is alive as of this writing - that graph might well kill him.)

    Toffler's 'Future Shock' needs continuous replacement, because the future keeps getting here and keeps being something we didn't expect. I'm glad to see people writing about the ever-changing future. I welcome thoughtful, communicative visual presentations. This book just doesn't give me either. ... Read more

    14. The Reasons of Love
    by Harry G. Frankfurt
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $19.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0691091641
    Catlog: Book (2004-01-05)
    Publisher: Princeton University Press
    Sales Rank: 386746
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This beautifully written book by one of the world's leading moral philosophers argues that the key to a fulfilled life is to pursue wholeheartedly what one cares about, that love is the most authoritative form of caring, and that the purest form of love is, in a complicated way, self-love.

    Harry Frankfurt writes that it is through caring that we infuse the world with meaning. Caring provides us with stable ambitions and concerns; it shapes the framework of aims and interests within which we lead our lives. The most basic and essential question for a person to raise about the conduct of his or her life is not what he or she should care about but what, in fact, he or she cannot help caring about.

    The most important form of caring, Frankfurt writes, is love, a nonvoluntary, disinterested concern for the flourishing of what is loved. Love is so important because meaningful practical reasoning must be grounded in ends that we do not seek only to attain other ends, and because it is in loving that we become bound to final ends desired for their own sakes.

    Frankfurt argues that the purest form of love is self-love. This sounds perverse, but self-love--as distinct from self-indulgence--is at heart a disinterested concern for whatever it is that the person loves. The most elementary form of self-love is nothing more than the desire of a person to love. Insofar as this is true, self-love is simply a commitment to finding meaning in our lives.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Book to be Almost Unconditionally Loved
    Reasons of Love consists of three somewhat revised lectures given at University College London, in 2001. I take these lectures to be a more filled-out analysis of love and caring from his earlier articles, particularly, "Autonomy, Necessity, and Love," "The Faintest Passion," "On the Necessity of Ideals," and "The Importance of What We Care About." In a sense, Reasons of Love might be thought of as the broader applicatory story left out of these earlier essays. While I find myself disagreeing with the how parts of the story are told, it seems that he has picked out something true of the human condition that has generally been disdained, specifically self-love. This is a fascinating piece of moral philosophy and I highly recommend it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Truth in advertising.
    The decision by the author to (typically) dismiss romantic love as a defective mode of loving and to look instead to parent-young children relations and ultimately the nature of self love strikes this reader as depressing. Had the author simply written the text in ancient Greek he might have spared me the disappointment of thinking a truly tangled thicket was going to be explored by a master moral psychologist. Love that is freely chosen, freely renewed, and yet optimally persistent through nearly endless variation should I thought have engaged Prof. Frankfurt rather than incurred his suspicions as to its legitimacy. My fascination with agape, Frankfurt's major focus, extends slightly less than that with lawn darts. Since we are going to look so carefully at parent-infant relations as instances of love in its purest human form, perhaps some discussion of parent-adult child relations might have been in order. But again, the latter is a tangled thicket rather than a carefully manicured green. Nice tip at the end to always maintain one's sense of humour. ... Read more

    15. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, Second Edition
    by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $17.61
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 158799190X
    Catlog: Book (2004-04-16)
    Publisher: Texere
    Sales Rank: 1204
    Average Customer Review: 3.84 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Selected by and the Financial Times as one of the best business books of the year, Fooled by Randomness is an instant classic.It's uniqueness has drawn to it a wide following - from the New Yorker to the Pentagon.Already published in 14 languages, this new edition, expanded by over 80 pages, includes up-to-date advances from behavioral finance and cognitive science This book is about luckor more precisely how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. It is already a landmark work and its title has entered our vocabulary. In its second edition, Fooled by Randomness is now a cornerstone for anyone interested in random outcomes. Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skillthe world of tradingFooled by Randomness is a captivating insight into one of the least understood factors of all our lives. Writting in an entertaining and narrative style, the author succeeds in tackling three major intellectual issues: the problem of induction, the survivorship biases, and our genetic unfitness to the modern word. In this second edition, Taleb manages to use stories and anecdotes to illustrate our overestimation of causality and the heuristics that make us view the world as far more explainable than it actually is. But no one can replicate what is obtained by chance. Are we capable of distinguishing the fortunate charlatan from the genuine visionary? Must we always try to uncover nonexistent messages in random events? It may be impossible to guard ourselves against the vagaries of the Goddess Fortuna, but after reading Fooled by Randomness we can be a little better prepared. ... Read more

    Reviews (206)

    3-0 out of 5 stars One big texas hedge (long implied volatility)
    Read the other reviews to get the flavour of the book. I'll only add a few points that haven't been mentioned.

    1) There is good advice on avoiding some common mistakes that lead to "blowing up", which will prove useful to inexperienced market practitioners.
    2) Taleb's own (claimed) trading methodology (buying OTM options) could easily fall victim to the "black swan" problem. A regime change to persistently higher implied than actual volatility would result in extended losses for his fund (unless he is bluffing us about its methodology).
    3) Taleb only focuses on cases where volatility is underpriced - but some of the best opportunities come when it is overpriced, during market panics. Yet according to what he says in the book, one should continue buying such overpriced volatility! As someone whose bread and butter trade is fading market panics, I can confirm that premium selling can be highly profitable - the trick is to sell at the right time, and to employ risk control. Just because some practitioners are incapable of this, does not invalidate the method, any more than OTM options buying is invalidated because many naive speculators buy in a panic just before the VIX is about to collapse.
    4) Taleb lumps MBA and businessmen types into the "fool" category. This misses the point. 99% of business is not about risk-assessment, dazzling insight, or grand strategic thought, but about successful *execution* of obvious ideas, and hard work. How many eggheads have had great ideas, but never done anything to put them into action? There is no point knowing that a beach bar in the Bahamas might be destroyed every 10 years by a hurricane, if you aren't even capable of raising capital, employing people, or working 16 hour days getting it off the ground. Good MBAs and CEOs will in any case employ people like Taleb to assess risk for them.
    5) Taleb ignores the possiblity of using praxeological analysis (i.e. taking a set of demonstrable a priori truths, then using a logical train of deduction to discover what those truths necessarily imply about reality) to avoid the survivorship bias & noise problems. E.g. you can predict the effect of supply and demand on price without having to test it in the real world. This technique has been used by Murray Rothbard in economics (which has an even greater "non-falsifiability" problem than trading), and Warren Buffett in investing. As an example, you *can* judge if a good track record is "skill" or "luck", by examining the methodology of the trader/investor. If they operated solely during a period favourable to their style, it is probably luck e.g. if they made money buying emerging market bonds from 1994-1998. If they made a bucketload trading a style that was *against* the market regime, then it is almost certainly skill e.g. someone who made good returns as a shortseller of tech stocks from 1997-2000; or someone who has successfully sold premium during market panics. Since Taleb is a follower of Popper, and a hardened quant, it should come as no surprise that he is ignorant of praxeology, but it is a huge oversight all the same.
    6) Taleb's scorning of Buffett as a lucky fool is ignorant in the extreme. Buffett clearly did *not* use naive analysis of past data to make his investment decisions, or rely on luck (he did well from 1969-82, a terrible period for equities). Rather he deduced highly probably consequences from demonstrable truths about investment (i.e. firms with pricing power, high barriers to entry, and low working capital requirements are likely to perform very well), and then saw that the market was not pricing these factors efficiently. Anyone reading his writings can see this. And Buffett's approach is ironically more rigorous and less dependent on luck than Taleb's professed trading methods. To elaborate - Taleb is relying on "black swan" events happening more often than people think. Therefore EITHER a reduction in the frequency of these events, OR an increase in people's expectation of them, would be enough to invalidate Taleb's approach - clearly neither can be ruled out. Taleb thinks he is betting on black swan events occuring, whilst ignoring the possibility of the "black swan" of major regime change making his own system unprofitable. Whereas with Buffet, the laws of supply and demand, and basic investment/economics, ensure that certain business methods will *always* work better than others.

    To conclude - Taleb thinks he has a great idea, but it was already well known by most experienced market practitioners (see the Market Wizards books etc where multiple traders continually bang on about rare event risk and fat tailed probability distributions). He then goes on as if this idea is the only important thing, which is clearly not the case. Finally, he critiques some people, such as Buffett, who use totally rigorous methodologies, whilst himself employing a strategy that is by no means foolproof, and relies largely on past observation (data-mining!) to form its conclusions. All I can say is that he better watch out for the black swan of long-term declining volatility over the next decade!

    Finally, I would just say that I found the book enjoyable, it's just that (luckily for future my P&L) Taleb hasn't got everything worked out just yet :) Looking forward to the follow-up Nassim!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Important topic - flawed explication
    I really wanted to like this book because the it discusses an important topic. The role of randomness in our everyday lives versus our innate (lack of) capacity to deal with it without careful education is one that we need to talk about more in the popular culture. However, the problems with this book are several. Its casual and meandering exposition is supposed to make it more accessible, but it actually makes it harder to come to terms with the topic.

    Also, Mr. Taleb is a bit difficult to warm to, although there are occasional flashes of wit and humor that help. For example, he is so proud of his personal achievements that he both disparages them (he is ashamed of his Wharton MBA), and uses them as proof of his superiority of almost everyone (he read a lot at the library). He also has some strange peccadilloes such as his passionate and disproportionate dislike of George Will because he interviewed Robert Shiller (Taleb's friend and author of "Irrational Exuberance") in a rather feckless manner.

    In the second half of the book he does explain some interesting phenomena about human psychology and randomness in interesting ways, but he goes completely overboard on certain points. On page 173 he states that Khaneman and Tversky have exerted the most influence on economic thinking in the past 200 years. Come on! Name any major economics department that has become behaviorist in any major way. (Taleb might find such resistance to acceptance a proof of concept - but people weighing evidence seriously would find it a chink in Talebs case.

    I think the reality is that what Taleb points to is important and does exist, but that it is something like a second order effect in the big scheme of things. It may matter an extreme amount in the narrow world of options trading where Taleb indicates he lives, but for most of us it is a minor issue. Not one of no consequence, but not a determinative effect in the broad sweep of our lives.

    So, I continue to look for a really good book on this topic. If you know of one, please email me with information about the book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars loves and hates
    so taleb loves
    1) Sir Karl Popper
    2) The Skeptic philosopher David Hume
    3) Michel de Montaigne
    4) Charles Sanders Pierce
    5) Daniel Kahneman et al.
    6) George Soros (with a tinge of patronizing)
    7) Bob Shiller
    8) Nassim Nicholas Taleb (sometimes; depends on his mood)
    9) Constantine Cavafis

    Taleb hates
    1) George Will (he despises him)
    2) Nassim Nicholas Taleb (sometimes, especially when exhibiting superstitions)
    3) Myron Scholes Robert Merton, MErriwhether , etc. Notes that he says nothign of Fisher Black
    4) Hegel
    5) Spontaneous reviewers
    6) Lawyers


    Fun read

    5-0 out of 5 stars Someone at least is still Thinking.....
    Nassim's first edition quick became a touchstone in the markets... Rather than looking at someone's fabricated track record one could simply ask have you read Taleb, and understood him....

    The answer was and is far more important than any "random" series of returns you show someone..

    Happily, Taleb has not stopped thinking, and the new edition goes even further in exploring the basic roots of how we cope with randomness...
    The second edition should give those interested a starting point on how to integrate the new "findings" from both Behavioral Finance and the even more exotic Neuroeconomics.....

    2-0 out of 5 stars Much ado about nothing
    I found this book enjoyable. However, the salient points could have been written in two pages. The book drags on and seems intent on settling scores with, thinly veiled, former colleagues. A hodge-podge of faux intellectualism. While continually the author dismisses 'middle-brow' colleagues and to tries impress us, I am sure the author has an unread copy of 'A Brief History of Time' on his bookshelf. ... Read more

    16. A Short History of Nearly Everything
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 076790818X
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-14)
    Publisher: Broadway
    Sales Rank: 141
    Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Bill Bryson is one of the world’s most beloved and bestselling writers.In A Short History of Nearly Everything, he takes his ultimate journey–into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer.It’s a dazzling quest, the intellectual odyssey of a lifetime, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization.Or, as the author puts it, “…how we went from there being nothing at all to there being something, and then how a little of that something turned into us, and also what happened in between and since.”This is, in short, a tall order.

    To that end, Bill Bryson apprenticed himself to a host of the world’s most profound scientific minds, living and dead.His challenge is to take subjects like geology, chemisty, paleontology, astronomy, and particle physics and see if there isn’t some way to render them comprehensible to people, like himself, made bored (or scared) stiff of science by school.His interest is not simply to discover what we know but to find out how we know it.How do we know what is in the center of the earth, thousands of miles beneath the surface?How can we know the extent and the composition of the universe, or what a black hole is?How can we know where the continents were 600 million years ago?How did anyone ever figure these things out?

    On his travels through space and time, Bill Bryson encounters a splendid gallery of the most fascinating, eccentric, competitive, and foolish personalities ever to ask a hard question.In their company, he undertakes a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only this superb writer can render it.Science has never been more involving, and the world we inhabit has never been fuller of wonder and delight.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (236)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Just like on PBS
    I like Bill Bryson's writing style. This is a book one wishes they read as a teenager. It really brings science alive. One feels like they are witnessing events as they occur in the first person. I like how Bryson takes scientific topics and makes them simple too understand. Bryson puts numbers in perspective and helps the reader understand the spatial enormity or complexity of the elements, atom, planets, and stars. Its easy to retell a Bryson story because they have good imagination well connect ideas that flow into an interesting story without sounding too intellectual. Like, "What is it like to be inside of an Cell? How do cells work? Who discovered DNA and why?" Question like these.

    I think reading "A Short History of Nearly Everything" is a great introduction to science, astronomy, biology, and geology. Bryson keeps the narrative down to earth, terminology to a minimum, and brings out interesting viewpoints on the birth of the cosmos, the self-repairing DNA, life on planet earth, and the composition of the earth.

    Bryson did a job not boring the reader with the mysteries of science. Its entertaining reading and not difficult material to understand. Bryson presents thought provoking material that makes one want to read many other published books by Bryson.

    5-0 out of 5 stars He Really Does Cover Nearly Everything
    Bill Bryson is one of those rare non-fiction writers who can combine anecdote, humor and actual information, all in one book. Here he covers the history of the earth, starting with the big bang and covering all sorts of ground since then, including why you should be really afraid of meteors (by the time we spot the big one it'll be too late) and why you should think twice about that next visit to Yellowstone (the big one is about due).

    As with most of his books it's clear he's done a lot of research, and the book is larded with the kind of stories about Famous Scientists that you've probably never heard...but also full of the sort of survey scientific information that will leave you thinking you've learned something really interesting.

    Definitely worth picking up.

    Who will like it: lovers of pop science, lovers of Bill Bryson, people willing to read a thick book from start to finish.

    Who won't like it: people bored by pop science or any science at all.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Rediscover what you learned in school and forgot
    This book is aimed at people who either know very little about science, or who studied it in school and then forgot it all (my case). I read some of the reviews here and was shocked at how people criticize Bryson, especially saying he got scientific terms mixed up or had errors in his book. He is not a scientist and in my opinion that makes this book that much more impressive! Bryson devoted years of his life to learn this material, and to think we can take it all in by reading a book.. well it just doesn't seem fair! I was sad when I reached the end of the book, I wanted it to continue. I learned so much from this book, and it's interesting how many times the subject material in this book comes up in every day conversations.

    Bryson approaches history from two angles: Astronomy and what we know about the universe, and Evolution and what we know about life on Earth. I learned so many things I didn't know. Fascinating facts such as that meteorites are used to date the earth with carbon dating (they're the same age). Meteorites contain proteins needed to build life. Human like species have been on Earth for 1 million years. After finishing this book, I find myself thinking about topics like these during my free time. That's how impressive this book is. If you love science, this won't be a book you just read and forget. It's a book that will teach you things you'll be thinking about for a long time.

    Honestly I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you're interested in science, it is a must read.


    5-0 out of 5 stars Tabloid history of science
    The book's title is very gripping but somewhat misleading - it is in fact a book of science tabloids - in a good way. It covers basic findings and histories of almost all major areas of natural sciences in a shallow but easy to follow manner. It is not intended to be introductory to science and science history (find a textbook instead), it is a fun-fact book of science and science history.

    This book is full of interesting anecdotes of science and scientists behind scene, which makes the reading stimulating and gives the readers a joyful sense of "discovery". Here are just a few examples top of my mind:

    - Components of your daily household cleaning powders like Comet and Ajax are made from the huge ash deposit in eastern Nebraska - they are leftover volcanic ashes from the ancient monstrous eruption of Yellowstone.

    - Marie Curie, the only person to win Nobel prize in both chemistry and physics, was never elected to the French academy of sciences largely because she had an affair with a married fellow physicist after Pierre Curie died in a traffic accident. Madame Curie eventually died of leukemia and her papers and lab books (even her cookbooks) are so dangerously contaminated by radiation that those who wish to see them must wear protective clothing.

    - Clair Patterson (a University of Chicago alumnus), who in 1953 gave the definitive measurement of the age of the Earth (4,550 million years - plus or minus 70 millions) by analyzing lead/uranium ratios in old rocks and meteorites, was also the leading expert in atmospheric lead poisoning and the early advocate of cleaning lead additives from manmade product. To his credit, Clean Air Act 1970 eventually led to the ban of leaded gasoline in United States in 1986. Almost immediately the blood lead level in Americans dropped 80%.

    Informative tabloids like these are all over the book. Bryson did a perfect job of bringing dull facts in history of science into fun everyday life experience. He compiled a huge amount of anecdotes from otherwise hard to find sources and weaved them together seamlessly in fluid and humorous writing. It makes the reading of science fun.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best book you would be able to read in your lifetime!
    By reading this book you realize how lucky you are to be here right now. To be reading this in front of your computer is an acomplishment that you may not realize. It shows how much we know about ourselves and the enviroment around us. "A Short History of Nearly Everything" explains in full detail how we became who we are, how we survived, and how impossible it is to do so. If you are interested in science and are looking for something to read, this well-written story is a great page-turner. ... Read more

    17. Great Traditions in Ethics (with InfoTrac)
    by Theodore C. Denise, Nicholas White, Sheldon P. Peterfreund
    list price: $73.95
    our price: $73.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0534626548
    Catlog: Book (2004-03-10)
    Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
    Sales Rank: 118155
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Long-hailed for skilled editing that enables students new to ethical theory to explore many seminal and complex primary sources that contribute to the canon of ethical theory, GREAT TRADITIONS IN ETHICS has become the standard historical anthology for introducing ethical theory.Combining informative chapter introductions that provide biographical, historical, and theoretical contexts; well-placed comments inserted within the readings; and ample, but not overwhelming, reading selections, this anthology will constructively challenge students to critically engage the most crucial ideas, thinkers, and readings in the history of ethical theory. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good book.
    I read this book for class a few years ago. If you're looking for a compilation of philosophy, then this is the one to check out. ... Read more

    18. Gardner's Art Through the Ages, Volume I (Chapters 1-18 with ArtStudy Student CD-ROM and InfoTrac)
    by Fred S. Kleiner, Christin J. Mamiya
    list price: $87.95
    our price: $84.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0534640958
    Catlog: Book (2004-02-27)
    Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
    Sales Rank: 3650
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    Book Description

    The market-leading text for the art history survey course, GARDNER'S ART THROUGH THE AGES has served as a comprehensive and thoughtfully crafted guide to the defining phases of the world's artistic tradition. With this book in hand, thousands of students have watched the story of art unfold in its full historical, social, religious, economic, and cultural context, and thus deepened their understanding of art, architecture, painting, and sculpture. By virtue of its comprehensive coverage, strong emphasis on context, and rich, accurate art reproductions, GARDNER'S ART THROUGH THE AGES has earned and sustained a reputation of excellence and authority. So much so, that in 2001, the Text and Academic Authors Association awarded both the McGuffey and the "Texty" Book Prizes to the Eleventh Edition of the text. It is the first art history book to win either award and the only title ever to win both prizes in one year. The Twelfth Edition maintains and exceeds the richness of the Gardner legacy with updated research and scholarship and an even more beautiful art program featuring more color images than any other art history book available.The Twelfth Edition features such enhancements as more color photographs, a stunning new design, and the most current research and scholarship. What's more, the expanded ancillary package that accompanies GARDNER'S ART THROUGH THE AGES, features a wealth of tools to enhance your students' experience in the course. With each new copy of the book, students receive a copy of the ArtStudy 2.0 CD-ROM--an interactive electronic study aid that fully integrates with the Twelfth Edition and includes hundreds of high-quality digital images, plus maps, quizzes, and more. ... Read more

    19. Introduction to Logic
    by Irving M. Copi, Carl Cohen
    list price: $88.00
    our price: $86.67
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0130749214
    Catlog: Book (2001-06-01)
    Publisher: Dark Alley
    Sales Rank: 132829
    Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Easy-to-read, visually appealing, and chock full of real-world applications, this most complete and authoritative book on introductory logic fully prepares users to understand, recognize, and apply classical syllogistic logic and the more powerful techniques of modern symbolic logic—explaining all concepts and techniques clearly, accurately, and thoroughly, and bringing them to life using a wealth of real-life examples of lively arguments and explanations drawn from a wide variety of sources to help demonstrate the application of logical principles by serious writers and thinkers trying to solve real problems in a wide range of fields.Includes full chapters on basic logical concepts, the uses of language, definitions, fallacies, categorical propositions, categorical syllogisms, arguments in ordinary language, symbolic logic, methods of deduction, quantification theory, analogy and probable inference, Mill's Methods of experimental inquiry, science and hypothesis, and probability. Reformulates key logical issues, and presents a more detailed account of the concept of logical equivalence, distinguishing it more clearly from the truth-functional connectives. Includes sidebars containing additional, enriching information; many new illustrations taken from contemporary research I the physical and biological science; and a plethora of exercises.For anyone searching for a top-notch, easy-to-understand introduction to logic. ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ideal Text for Self-Study
    I bought this book (along with the study guide) and began self-studying the material to improve my logical ability. The book is relatively easy to understand even for novices with no prior training in logic and uses examples that are entertaining and interesting. The answers to select homework questions (about 1/4) are in the back so I would suggest that for self-study, either the study guide (which includes another 1/4) or the complete answer guide should also be purchased. The text itself is very fun to go through and I think Copi and Cohen do an amazing job as teachers. For those planning on taking the LSAT, this book may prove more beneficial than a test prep course if you want to understand the actual reasoning behind the test and not just regurgitate formulaic test-taking strategies.

    4-0 out of 5 stars How to win arguments and influence people!
    Used as an introduction to philosophy and logical thinking, this book better serves as a debater's handbook. It well covers Aristotilian and syllogistic logic. The book's strongest point, however, is it's list of informal fallacies. With the help of this book, almost anyone can win nearly any argument, even those about unfamiliar subjects. Copi's grad students did a good job on this one, except for their refusal to put Aristotilian syllogisms in standard form. It lost points with me because of it's old textbook writing style making it an uneasy read

    5-0 out of 5 stars Elementary, my dear reader...
    Logic is not just for Spock; deduction (which, if you read this book, you'll discover is rather different) is not just for Sherlock Holmes. Many if not most students of philosophy over the past 50 years have had their beginning logic training from an edition of this book, 'Introduction to Logic' by Irving M. Copi, now in its eleventh edition, also now with a co-author listed, Carl Cohen.

    I first learned logic in a two-semester sequence through the philosophy department at my university from the fifth edition of Copi's text, supplemented by other material from Copi and a few others on symbolic logic. Logic was required of philosophy majors; it was strongly recommended of majors in sciences and mathematics; it was preferred for students in social sciences. Indeed, the principles of logic contained in Copi's text would not be out of place in most any discipline.

    This introductory text is also recommended reading for those preparing for major placement examinations, such as the LSAT and the MCAT. Learning how to think, and recognising typical and non-so-typical flaws in argumentation and reasoning are vital in many professions; the applications for law and medicine are fairly clear.

    The text is divided into different sections, including Language, Induction, and Deduction. Language issues look at aspects such as definitions, informal fallacies in language, the question of meaning, truth and validity, and how to recognise argument forms. Deduction, what Sherlock Holmes always claims to be engaging, is a method whereby the validity of the premisses provide the truth of the conclusion. In fact, Holmes usually engages in Inductive reasoning, including arguments by analogy and establishing probabities, but not certainties.

    This book beyond the introductory chapters on language arguments engages in symbolic logic -- rather like mathematics, it uses non-linguistic tools to work out the framework. The pieces of symbolic logic (fairly standard across the discipline, like mathematics) are introduced in various stages as inductive and deductive reasoning are developed.

    Copi and Cohen look at real-life applications, particularly as logic relates to scientific reasoning and social science reasoning. While this is not a mathematics text, it introduces some elements useful in mathematics, particularly in probability and in elements used in statistical reasoning.

    This text can be used for self-study, as some of the exercises are worked out in the back. There are also study guides available that have been produced for earlier editions; they are nonetheless useful, as much of the material remains the same from one edition to another.

    A great text!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Essential for Building Analytical Skills
    This textbook is the most valuable I've ever read. It covers all the basic stuff, like fallacies, syllogisms, truth-functional logic, and second-order predicate calculus, omitting only cutting edge stuff like modal and fuzzy logic--and gives full, lucid, elegant explanations. What's more, it shows you how logic applies to the real world by using a variety of interesting examples--something MY logic professor never bothered doing. I can guarantee you that, if you read this book carefully from cover to cover and do all the exercises and PRACTICE applying them, you will become a much smarter, more effective person. (Example: after working through this book, I was able to score in the 99th percentile on the LSAT). Anyone planning on becoming a lawyer, a scientist, or even a journalist will acquire extensive and essential analytical skills by using Copi's magnificent textbook.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Superb
    All I can do is echo the many enthusiastic reviews this book has already received. Copi covers a wide array of logics, formal and informal, classical and modern, and demonstrates their applications using real-life examples drawn from science, political journalism, and the law. He is lucid, nuanced, and insightful. Reading this remarkable textbook is the equivalent of taking introductory courses in symbolic logic, rhetoric, philosophy of science, and legal reasoning. I learned more from this one book than from an entire year at UC Berkeley. It's a keeper! ... Read more

    20. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: The Spiritual Classic & International Bestseller; Revised and Updated Edition
    by Sogyal Rinpoche, Patrick D. Gaffney, Andrew Harvey
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0062508342
    Catlog: Book (1994-04-22)
    Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
    Sales Rank: 3866
    Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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    In 1927, Walter Evans-Wentz published his translation of an obscure Tibetan Nyingma text and called it the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Popular Tibetan teacher Sogyal Rinpoche has transformed that ancient text, conveying a perennial philosophy that is at once religious, scientific, and practical. Through extraordinary anecdotes and stories from religious traditions East and West, Rinpoche introduces the reader to the fundamentals of Tibetan Buddhism, moving gradually to the topics of death and dying. Death turns out to be less of a crisis and more of an opportunity. Concepts such as reincarnation, karma, and bardo and practices such as meditation, tonglen, and phowa teach us how to face death constructively. As a result, life becomes much richer. Like Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Sogyal Rinpoche opens the door to a full experience of death. It is up to the reader to walk through. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

    Reviews (58)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A necessary read for seekers...
    My bookshelves are filled with books on many topics, including death and dying and spirituality -- this book might be the only book I really need.

    For years I have thought I must read the Tibetan Book of the Dead -- but whenever I tried, it was much too complicated for me to understand.

    Sogyal Rinpoche has written this book so that it is easily understood by anyone, even us Westerners, without compromising any of the Buddhist teachings it offers.

    In essence, we begin to die the moment we are born. We spend this life preparing to die well. Nothing is permanent, but we spend much of our lives filling our time with activities and pursuits that help us elude ourselves into thinking that what we see and touch is all that matters.

    Sogyal Rinpoche says, "To follow the path of wisdom has never been more urgent or more difficult. Our society is dedicated almost entirely to the celebration of ego, with all its sad fantasies about success and power, and it celebrates those very forces of greed and ignorance that are destroying the planet. It has never been more difficult to hear the unflattering voice of the truth, and never more difficult, once having heard it, to follow it: because there is nothing in the world around us that supports our choice, and the entire society in which we live seems to negate every idea of sacredness or eternal meaning. So at the time of our most acute danger, when our very future is in doubt, we as human beings find ourselves at our most bewildered, and trapped in a nightmare of our own creation."

    He writes about the importance of realizing the interconnectedness of all living beings (including nature), of meditation (and gives instructions and advice), of finding and being devoted to a good master (something very difficult for Westerners to accept -- he acknowledges that there are fraudulent ones about), of learning to live and learning to die, of letting go of egos and becoming egolessness. Throughout the book, he tells of female masters as well as males, something female readers may greatly appreciate.

    Sogyal Rinpoche is from Tibet, and speaks of the cruelty of the Chinese to the Tibetan Buddhists (very similar to the persecution of the early christians, and later the Jews by the Nazis -- when will we ever learn, but then that's the point of this book!)

    In the last section of the book, he speaks of "The Universal Process" which is about spirituality, living and dying of all humans, regardless of race, spiritual beliefs, gender or national origin. There are in the back two mantras with explanations and he shares photographs of his beloved masters. Throughout the book are inspiring poems from such poets as Rumi and St. Francis of Assisi, as well as Buddhists. In the very back he gives suggested readings, and offers phone numbers and addresses of Rigpa National Office, where those who are interested can find referrals to cources and study groups in the US, Canada and around the world.

    This book is a very good place for the seeker to begin. For those curious about Buddhism, or seriously interested in becoming a Buddha or a Buddhist, or just looking for more thoughts and information on death and dying, this book is excellent, easy to understand, thought-provoking.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a must for a Buddhist library
    This book fully captures the essence of Tibetan Buddhism. I don't claim to be an authority on the subject, but I was born into a Buddhist household that has remained faithful and reverent to both Mahayana and Hiyana traditions of Buddhism. From the information I've had passed on to me by both family and Tibetan Buddhist clergy, this book has never been contradictory to anything lecture I've heard. In fact, everybody seems to recommend it enthusiastically!

    Essentially, according to Tibetan Buddhism, the purpose of living is to cultivate the mind and purify the body and soul to prepare for death. Westerners may, at first glance, find this philosophy morbid. However, we must remember that reincarnation is integral to Buddhist text (and most world religions, for that matter; the 'one life' theory is actually relatively new). Death is explained as a transitional period, like the end of a chapter to a book. To waste away ones life is like wasting away all your money without care for the future. Basically, this philosophy heavily emphasizes living in the present with thoughtfulness and offers a plethora of Buddhist insight into life and death. It also stresses the urgency of cultivation in a day and age when we disregard life, old age, and disease as trivial matters and nothing that science cannot combat.

    The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying is written by a Rinpoche. For those who are not familiar with Tibetan titles, a Lama is essentially a monk who has abandond wordly comforts for a spiritual pursuit, and a Rinpoche is a recognized reincarnation of an esteemed Lama.

    If you are a Buddhist, I highly recommend this book. It is enlightening, insightful, and an absolute must in any Buddhist library. Whether you follow the traditions of Chinese Buddhism, Zen or Chan, take the Amitabha or Guan Yin approach, etc., as a fellow Buddhist to another, you should not go without having this book. It's available in Chinese, as well, for the Buddhists out there who are more adept at Chinese than English.

    For seekers, this is a wonderful guide, as well. The best part with any book as wonderful as this is that everytime you read it, you'll find new insight in the words. Beginners and established Buddhists alike will take in much insight.

    I also highly recommend this to Buddhists who are unfamiliar with the Tibetan traditions. The Tibetan texts will open a whole new door for you. I know from personal experience, because my mother (who is the spiritual leader of the family) was originally a student of Chinese Buddhism, but after reading this book, our entire family discovered a whole other arena of philosophies that have done nothing but enrich our practices.

    So whether you're already a Buddhist wishing to broaden your knowledge, a Buddhist who would like new material to absorb, or a seeker who is just curious of the fundamentals of Tibetan Buddhism, this book is definitely a must.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Good book but
    This book was not really written by Sogyal Rimpoche. It was mainly written by Harvey mentioned as a secondary author (or someone else called Paul Harvey). This information comes to me via a Tibetan Buddhist who sponsored Sogyal Rimpoche's arrival and settling down in the UK. As a reviewer at and a Buddhist practitioner who has met Sogyal, I stand by the above statement. The informant was quite sure though the communication was provided under informal circumstances.

    Before I continue, in the publishing world it is probably not uncommon for books to be "authored" by one person but actually written by another. Jefferey Archer's editor or some other editors often may have written a book under the umbrella of a lucrative author.

    Sogyal Rimpoche has started Rigpa and earns a lot of money. His disciples carry cash in suitcases (I gathered from the above source and am not surprised after attending one of Sogyal's retreats). He was disowned by or he disowned Dujom Rimpoche his teacher. Sogyal is fond of quoting his familial links and relationship to Dujom or the Dalai Lama and is regarded as some sort of incarnation (aren't we all?). Sogyal Rimpoche was informed that he was not mature enough to teach in the Nyngma tradition and was asked to return to Tibet. He refused.

    Harvey kept the fee and Sogyal harvests the royalties.

    This book is a cherry picked slice of Tibet's greatest teachings with highlights on death, rebirth, compassion incorporating practices somewhat external to a principal Tibetan source text on death and rebirth which forms the basis of the book. It is recommended reading before you go on a Sogyal retreat boosting sales. The book is not especially deep and designed to appeal. Small wonder it attracts few detractors.

    It reads rather well I suppose and Rimpoche remains a charismatic teacher. As long as you don't swallow it lock, stock and smoking barrel.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Exoteric
    All of the above reviews that I have sampled, are falling into a trap many 'western' philosophers get caught in. The psychologist Jung saw only the exoteric meaning. This is not a book on the act of actually dying physically, it is all a metaphor to confuse the non-initiates. The book is about ego-loss, specifically 'non-game ectasy' ego-loss. It is the death dying and rebirth of the ego. The 3 bardo's just represent states that are commonly encountered in the journey. The goal is to die, transcend briefly, and then the ego is reborn and the choice lies in ascending to a higher state (permanent growth) or to go to a lower level (or the same/similiar). That is the esoteric meaning, the entire book is metaphorical, if you aren't aquainted with altered consciousness then you will be lost. Useful in psychadelic ego-loss as well.

    The book itself is an excellent guide, I recommend strongly to pick up a version of The book of the dead if you seek consciousness alteration, and/or ego-loss.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Humorous, Insightful...Yet Quite Ambiguous
    This is a book which is extremely difficult to review due to the vast wealth of knowledge contained within the actual text. Sogyal Rinpoche was raised by some of the most prolific Tibetan teachers of modern times, the most well known may well have been Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro. He had been an authority on all of the traditions of Tibet and a leader in the so called, "non partisan" movement. At any rate, this book does a lot of things for us. Rinpoche explores and explains the difficult and esoteric teachings of the famous Holy Text "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" to us, as well as some most interesting autobiographical looks at his own life. The most important thing to keep in mind when reading this book, is that it's as much about life as it is about death. Sogyal Rinpoche has a great sense of humor, something that is almost a necessity when explaining texts like this to the modern reader; it helps take the edge off of the weighty material at hand. The one and only reason I gave this book four stars is that indeed many of the issues explored are very cryptic; as some reviewers have pointed out. Some of it merely must be taken in with a grain of salt. But all around it is absolutely a worthwhile read that I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone. Enjoy! ... Read more

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