Listing books in essay
|Full title||A Devil's Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love [permalink]|
|Author||Richard Dawkins (author)|
|Categories||Anthology, biology, essay and science|
|Original publication year||2003|
|ISBN||978-0-618-48539-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]|
|Full title||Lying [permalink]|
|Authors||Annaka Harris (editor) and Sam Harris (author)|
|Categories||Essay, philosophy and psychology|
|Original publication year||2011|
Lying is a very short book about the implications and morality of lying. In short, Harris argues (successfully, in my opinion) that one should never lie, even about the smallest things, if what you're trying to do is build good relationships with people. He even goes into border cases, such as a wife asking her husband if she looks good in a dress (one can answer the sub-text of a question, not necessarily the literal meaning of it) and someone hiding a Jew when a Nazi comes a-knockin' on the door (in that case, you're not really trying to build a lasting relationship with the person).
Sam Harris is a really talented writer, and reading his material is never boring. This book is no exception, and the fact that it's as short as it is, is a point in its favor. It's the perfect length when all you're doing is making an argument, not laying out in detail a theory. (I wish more writers would be similarly inspired to brevity.)
|Full title||Mortality [permalink]|
|Authors||Christopher Hitchens (author), Graydon Carter (foreword) and Carol Blue (afterword)|
|Categories||Anthology, autobiography, essay and memoir|
|ISBN||978-1-4555-2347-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]|
Mortality is a very short collection of essays that Hitchens wrote for Vanity Fair about his diagnosis of and living with oesophageal cancer. There are forays into other topics, but the essays mainly concern his living with cancer and all that that implies.
It's a very short book, but the essays are interesting. If you're familiar with Hitchens' output, then you know what to expect.
|Full title||What We Believe But Cannot Prove: Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty [permalink]|
|Authors||John Brockman (editor) and Ian McEwan (foreword)|
|Categories||Anthology and essay|
|ISBN||978-1-4165-2261-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]|
This book is a collection of very small essays by a bunch of leading scientists, philosophers, writers, and intellectuals on the title question. The topics range from artificial intelligence to consciousness to epistemology (and a lot in between).
This was an immensely satisfying read. You get a lot of perspective just reading the speculations of these people. I highly recommend this book!