Highlights from Natural Law: Or The Science of Justice (Lysander Spooner)

From our journey through random or quality (or random quality) books, here are some highlights from Lysander Spooner’s Natural Law: Or The Science of Justice (1882).

Emphasis as it appears in the original work may be missing, and our own edits, though marked, may be broad. Important: By sharing these highlights we neither endorse nor recommend respective authors and their views. Assume that we know little of the authors, and that we have nuanced views on the matter—as with all our book recommendations.

Natural Law: Or The Science of Justice

[…] all legislation whatsoever is an absurdity, a usurpation, and a crime. 

[The science of justice] is the science which alone can tell any man what he can, and cannot, do; what he can, and cannot, have; what he can, and cannot, say, without infringing the rights of any other person. 

[…] each man shall do, towards every other, all that justice requires him to do; as, for example, that he shall pay his debts, that he shall return borrowed or stolen property to its owner, and that he shall make reparation for any injury he may have done […].

Continue reading…

The Philosophy Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained (Will Buckingham, Douglas Burnham, et al.)

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The Philosophy Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained

“An essential introduction to the history, concepts, and thinking behind philosophy that demystifies what can often be daunting subject matter, laid out in DK’s signature visual style.

Are the ideas of René Descartes, Mary Wollstonecraft, John Locke, and Thomas Hobbes still relevant today? The Philosophy Book unpacks the writings and ideas of more than 100 of history’s biggest thinkers, taking you on a journey from Ancient Greece to modern day. Explore feminism, rationalism, idealism, existentialism, and other influential movements in the world of philosophy. Continue reading…

On Certainty (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

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On Certainty

“Written over the last 18 months of his life and inspired by his interest in G.E. Moore’s defense of common sense, this much discussed volume collects Wittgenstein’s reflections on knowledge and certainty, on what it is to know a proposition for sure.”

New Books Playground says: On Certainty is one of our favorite philosophical writings, by one of our favorite philosophers. Continue reading…

What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (Thomas Nagel)

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What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy

“In this cogent and accessible introduction to philosophy, the distinguished author of Mortal Questions and The View From Nowhere sets forth the central problems of philosophical inquiry for the beginning student. Arguing that the best way to learn about philosophy is to think about its questions directly, Thomas Nagel considers possible solutions to nine problems—knowledge of the world beyond our minds, knowledge of other minds, the mind-body problem, free will, the basis of morality, right and wrong, the nature of death, the meaning of life, and the meaning of words. Continue reading…

Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy (Jostein Gaarder)

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Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy

“One day Sophie comes home from school to find two questions in her mail: ‘Who are you?’ and ‘Where does the world come from?’ Before she knows it she is enrolled in a correspondence course with a mysterious philosopher. Thus begins Jostein Gaarder’s unique novel, which is not only a mystery, but also a complete and entertaining history of philosophy.”

New Books Playground says: Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy, one of the most beautiful philosophy books we know. Continue reading…

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

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Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

“The Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is the only book-length philosophical work published by the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein in his lifetime. It was an ambitious project: to identify the relationship between language and reality and to define the limits of science. It is recognized as a significant philosophical work of the twentieth century.

Wittgenstein wrote the notes for Tractatus while he was a soldier during World War I and completed it when a prisoner of war at Como and later Cassino in August 1918. It was first published in German in 1921 as Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung. Continue reading…

How to Completely Change Your Life in 30 Seconds (Earl Nightingale)

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How to Completely Change Your Life in 30 Seconds

“Here’s the secret in three steps:

  1. Suspend disbelief as you read the following:
  2. ‘We Become What We Think About.’
  3. Then, decide that it’s true.

Now, the rest of your life, you’ll be testing this for yourself. You may be asking questions like these:

  • Can you actually change what you think about?
  • Do positive thoughts create a positive personal environment?
  • By being critical of anything or anyone around you actually improve conditions?
  • Is your health affected by negative thinking?

You’ll find continuing instances of how this is true and how it might not be. Continue reading…

The Science of Being Great (Wallace D. Wattles)

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The Science of Being Great

“The author of The Science of Getting Rich brings you The Science of Being Great. Wallace D. Wattles introduced the world to the power of positive thinking. He was a profound influence on Michael Losier and James Arthur Ray. Without Wattles’ science of books there never would have been books such as The Laws of Attraction, The Power of Positive Thinking, and The Secret. Now you can go directly to the source! Continue reading…

The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events (Jane Roberts)

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The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events

“In his previous books dictated through Jane Roberts, Seth repeatedly stressed that ‘You create your own reality.’ But how do our different individual realities merge and combine… in Seth’s words… ‘to form mass reactions such as the overthrow of governments, the birth of a new religion, wars, epidemics, earthquakes, and new periods of art, architecture, and technology’?

Now Seth pinpoints the unconscious (and often negative) beliefs pervading science and religion, medicine and mythology. He discusses the psychological underpinnings of world leaders like Hitler and Nixon and the dynamics of ‘mass events’ like Jonestown and Three Mile Island. Continue reading…

Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (David Miller)

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Political Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

“This book introduces readers to the concepts of political philosophy. It starts by explaining why the subject is important and how it tackles basic ethical questions such as ‘how should we live together in society?’ It looks at political authority, the reasons why we need politics at all, the limitations of politics, and whether there are areas of life that shouldn’t be governed by politics. It explores the connections between political authority and justice, a constant theme in political philosophy, and the ways in which social justice can be used to regulate rather than destroy a market economy. Continue reading…