Thinking in Action

'Three of the first batch deserve high praise: On Immigration and Refugees, by the great logician (and campaigner for racial equality) Michael Dummett; On Belief, by that master of postmodern paradox, Slavoj Zizek; and On the Internet by Hubert L Dreyfus.' - Boyd Tonkin, The Independent

'This is clearly an important series. I look forward to reading future volumes.' - Frank Kermode, author of Shakespeare's Language

'Both rigorous and accessible.' - Humanist News

'The series looks superb.' - Quentin Skinner

'An excellent and beautiful series.' - Ben Rogers, author of A.J.Ayer: A Life

"Routledge's Thinking in Action series is the theory junkie's answer to the eminently pocketable Penguin 60s series.' - Mute Magazine

'Routledge's new series, Thinking in Action, brings philosophers to our aid.' - The Evening Standard

'A welcome new series by Routledge.' - Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society

Thinking in Action is a major series that takes philosophy to its public. Each book in the series is written by a major international philosopher or thinker, engages with an important contemporary topic, and is clearly and accessibly written. The series informs and sharpens debate on topics as wide ranging as the internet, religion, the problem of immigration and refugees and the way we think about science. Punchy, short, and stimulating, Thinking in Action is an indispensable series of books for anyone who wants to think seriously about major issues confronting us today.

Edited by Simon Critchley, New School University, USA and Richard Kearney, Boston College, USA

  • On Obama

    By Paul C. Taylor

    On Obama examines some of the key philosophical questions that accompany the historic emergence of the 44th US president. The purpose of the book is to take seriously the once-common thought that Mr. Obama had ushered in a post-historical age. Three questions organize the argument of the…

    Paperback – 2015-11-10 
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Habit

    By Clare Carlisle

    For Aristotle, excellence is not an act but a habit, and Hume regards habit as ‘the great guide of life’. However, for Proust habit is problematic: ‘if habit is a second nature, it prevents us from knowing our first.’ What is habit? Do habits turn us into machines or free us to do more creative…

    Paperback – 2014-02-24
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Music

    By Theodore Gracyk

    Opinionated and example-filled, this extremely concise and accessible book provides a survey of some fundamental and longstanding debates about the nature of music. The central arguments and ideas of historical and contemporary philosophers are presented with the goal of making them as accessible…

    Paperback – 2013-05-27
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Loyalty

    By Troy Jollimore

    Loyalty is a highly charged and important issue, often evoking strong feelings and actions. What is loyalty? Is loyalty compatible with impartiality? How do we respond to conflicts of loyalties? In a global era, should we be trying to transcend loyalties to particular political communities? Drawing…

    Paperback – 2012-07-11
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Humanism

    2nd Edition

    By Richard Norman

    What is humanism and why does it matter? Is there any doctrine every humanist must hold? If it rejects religion, what does it offer in its place? Have the twentieth century’s crimes against humanity spelled the end for humanism? On Humanism is a timely and powerfully argued philosophical defence…

    Paperback – 2012-01-26
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Privacy

    By Annabelle Lever

    This book explores the Janus-faced features of privacy, and looks at their implications for the control of personal information, for sexual and reproductive freedom, and for democratic politics. It asks what, if anything, is wrong with asking women to get licenses in order to have children, given…

    Paperback – 2012-01-12
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Manners

    By Karen Stohr

    Many otherwise enlightened people often dismiss etiquette as a trivial subject or—worse yet—as nothing but a disguise for moral hypocrisy or unjust social hierarchies.  Such sentiments either mistakenly assume that most manners merely frame the “real issues” of any interpersonal exchange or…

    Paperback – 2011-11-10
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Delusion

    By Jennifer Radden

    Delusions play a fundamental role in the history of psychology, philosophy and culture, dividing not only the mad from the sane but reason from unreason. Yet the very nature and extent of delusions are poorly understood. What are delusions? How do they differ from everyday errors or mistaken…

    Paperback – 2010-07-27
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Courage

    By Geoffrey Scarre

    What is courage and why is it one of the oldest and most universally admired virtues? How is it relevant in the world today, and what contemporary forms does it take? In this insightful and crisply written book, Geoffrey Scarre examines these questions and many more. He begins by defining courage,…

    Paperback – 2010-03-30
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Architecture

    By Fred Rush

    Architecture is a philosophical puzzle. Although we spend most of our time in buildings, we rarely reflect on what they mean or how we experience them. With some notable exceptions, they have generally struggled to be taken seriously as works of art compared to painting or music and have been…

    Paperback – 2008-11-03
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On the Internet

    2nd Edition

    By Hubert L. Dreyfus

    Can the internet solve the problem of mass education, and bring human beings to a new level of community? Drawing on a diverse array of thinkers from Plato to Kierkegaard, On the Internet argues that there is much in common between the disembodied, free floating web and Descartes' separation of…

    Paperback – 2008-10-30
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Criticism

    By Noel Carroll

    In a recent poll of practicing art critics, 75 percent reported that rendering judgments on artworks was the least significant aspect of their job. This is a troubling statistic for philosopher and critic Noel Carroll, who argues that that the proper task of the critic is not simply to…

    Paperback – 2008-10-13
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Landscapes

    By Susan Herrington

    There is no escaping landscape: it's everywhere and part of everyone's life. Landscapes have received much less attention in aesthetics than those arts we can choose to ignore, such as painting or music – but they can tell us a lot about the ethical and aesthetic values of the societies…

    Paperback – 2008-10-12
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Waiting

    By Harold Schweizer

    'This is a quite remarkable book, a pleasure to read. Not only is it clear and informative but also by turns witty, melancholic and insightful. The book is astonishingly erudite, but wears this learning so lightly and so charmingly that it is both easy and gripping to read.'  Robert Eaglestone…

    Paperback – 2008-06-02
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Shame

    By Michael Morgan

    Shame is one of a family of self-conscious emotions that includes embarrassment, guilt, disgrace, and humiliation. On Shame examines this emotion psychologically and philosophically, in order to show how it can be a galvanizing force for moral action against the violence and atrocity that…

    Paperback – 2008-01-29
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Translation

    By Paul Ricoeur

    Paul Ricoeur was one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century. In this short and accessible book, he turns to a topic at the heart of much of his work: What is translation and why is it so important? Reminding us that The Bible, the Koran, the Torah and the works of the great…

    Paperback – 2006-10-17
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Education

    By Harry Brighouse

    What is education for? Should it produce workers or educate future citizens? Is there a place for faith schools - and should patriotism be taught? In this compelling and controversial book, Harry Brighouse takes on all these urgent questions and more. He argues that children share four fundamental…

    Paperback – 2005-10-31
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On the Human Condition

    By Dominique Janicaud

    The potential to clone, augment, and repair human beings is pushing the very concept of the human to its limit. Fantasies and metaphors of a supposedly monstrous and inhuman future increasingly dominate films, art and popular culture. On the Human Condition is an invigorating and fascinating…

    Paperback – 2005-08-24
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On the Political

    By Chantal Mouffe

    Since September 11th, we frequently hear that political differences should be put aside: the real struggle is between good and evil. What does this mean for political and social life? Is there a 'Third Way' beyond left and right, and if so, should we fear or welcome it?This thought-provoking book…

    Paperback – 2005-04-14
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On the Public

    By Alastair Hannay

    The media often talk about public opinion, the 'American' or 'British' public, or the movie-going public. A public can hold an opinion and be divided. What is the public and where did it come from? Is there one public or many? Is the very idea of the public a myth?In this fascinating book, Alastair…

    Paperback – 2005-03-22
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Anxiety

    By Renata Salecl

    We frequently hear that we live in an age of anxiety, from 'therapy culture', the Atkins diet and child anti-depressants to gun culture and weapons of mass destruction. While Hollywood regularly cashes in on teenage anxiety through its Scream franchise, pharmaceutical companies churn out new drugs…

    Paperback – 2004-06-15
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Cloning

    By John Harris

    Cloning - few words have as much potential to grip our imagination or grab the headlines. No longer the stuff of science fiction or Star Wars - it is happening now. Yet human cloning is currently banned throughout the world, and therapeutic cloning banned in many countries. In this highly…

    Paperback – 2004-06-15
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Personality

    By Peter Goldie

    Warm, sensitive, creative, outgoing, cheeky, creepy. Scan any personal ads page and it's clear that to get a life you need a personality first. It is also a notion with a long and often bizarre history: in early Greece and medieval Europe, it was thought to depend on the balance of bile in the body…

    Paperback – 2004-06-15
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Being Authentic

    By Charles Guignon

    'To thine own self be true.' From Polonius's words in Hamlet right up to Oprah, we are constantly urged to look within. Why is being authentic the ultimate aim in life for so many people, and why does it mean looking inside rather than out? Is it about finding the 'real' me, or something greater…

    Paperback – 2004-06-15
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Evil

    By Adam Morton

    Evil has long fascinated psychologists, philosophers, novelists and playwrights but remains an incredibly difficult concept to talk about. On Evil is a compelling and at times disturbing tour of the many faces of evil. What is evil, and what makes people do awful things? If we can explain evil, do…

    Paperback – 2004-06-15
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Humanism

    By Richard Norman

    humanism /'hju:meniz(e)m/ n. an outlook or system of thought concerned with human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Albert Einstein, Isaac Asimov, E.M. Forster, Bertrand Russell, and Gloria Steinem all declared themselves humanists. What is humanism and why does it matter? Is there any…

    Paperback – 2004-06-15
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On the Meaning of Life

    By John Cottingham

    The question 'What is the meaning of life?' is one of the most fascinating, oldest and most difficult questions human beings have ever posed themselves. In an increasingly secularized culture, it remains a question to which we are ineluctably and powerfully drawn.Drawing skillfully on a wealth of…

    Paperback – 2002-11-13
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Literature

    By Hillis Miller

    Debates rage over what kind of literature we should read, what is good and bad literature, and whether in the global, digital age, literature even has a future. But what exactly is literature? Why should we read literature? How do we read literature? These are some of the important questions J.…

    Paperback – 2002-06-20
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Humour

    By Simon Critchley

    Does humour make us human, or do the cats and dogs laugh along with us? On Humour is a fascinating, beautifully written and funny book on what humour can tell us about being human. Simon Critchley skilfully probes some of the most perennial but least understood aspects of humour, such as our…

    Paperback – 2002-05-30
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Film

    By Stephen Mulhall

    First published in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.…

    Paperback – 2001-12-13
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Stories

    By Richard Kearney

    Stories offer us some of the richest and most enduring insights into the human condition and have preoccupied philosophy since Aristotle. On Stories presents in clear and compelling style just why narrative has this power over us and argues that the unnarrated life is not worth living. Drawing on…

    Paperback – 2001-10-17
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Religion

    By John Caputo

    John D. Caputo explores the very roots of religious thinking in this thought-provoking book. Compelling questions come up along the way: 'What do I love when I love my God?' and 'What can Star Wars tell us about the contemporary use of religion?' (are we always trying to find a way of saying 'God…

    Paperback – 2001-05-20
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Science

    By Brian Ridley

    Can science explain everything? Brian Ridley, a physicist himself, explores this question and more in this compelling exploration of both the scope and limits of science. Tracing back to the roots of scientific thinking in a world of 'magical ideas', he argues that science shares more with magic…

    Paperback – 2001-05-20
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Belief

    By Slavoj Zizek

    What is the basis of belief in an era when globalization, multiculturalism and big business are the new religion? Slavoj Zizek, renowned philosopher and irrepressible cultural critic takes on all comers in this compelling and breathless new book.From 'cyberspace reason' to the paradox that is '…

    Paperback – 2001-05-20
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Immigration and Refugees

    By Sir Michael Dummett

    Michael Dummett, philosopher and social critic, is also one of the sharpest and most prominent commentators and campaigners for the fair treatment of immigrants and refugees in Britain and Europe. This book insightfully draws together his thoughts on this major issue for the first time. Exploring…

    Paperback – 2001-05-20
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action

  • On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness

    By Jacques Derrida

    One of the world's most famous philosophers, Jacques Derrida, explores difficult questions in this important and engaging book. Is it still possible to uphold international hospitality and justice in the face of increasing nationalism and civil strife in so many countries? Drawing on examples of…

    Paperback – 2001-05-20
    Routledge
    Thinking in Action