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  • Published: 5 March 2015
  • ISBN: 9780141969015
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

The Soul Of The Marionette




Everyone thinks they want to be free - or do they? John Gray's thought-stirring new book on freedom draws together insights from Gnosticism, science fiction, ancient sacrifice and the occult to show that freedom is an illusion and that, like fairground puppets, humans dream of escaping the burden of choice altogether.

In The Soul of the Marionette, John Gray draws together the religious, philosophic and fantastical traditions that question the very idea of human freedom. We flatter ourselves about the nature of free will and yet the most enormous forces - biological, physical, metaphysical - constrain our every action. Many writers and intellectuals have always understood this, but instead of embracing our condition we battle against it, with everyone from world conquerors to modern scientists dreaming of a 'human dominion' almost comically at odds with our true state.

This is a stimulating and enraging meditation on everything from cybernetics to the fairground marionettes of the title.%%%In The Soul of the Marionette, John Gray draws together the religious, philosophic and fantastical traditions that question the very idea of human freedom. We flatter ourselves about the nature of free will and yet the most enormous forces - biological, physical, metaphysical - constrain our every action. Many writers and intellectuals have always understood this, but instead of embracing our condition we battle against it, with everyone from world conquerors to modern scientists dreaming of a 'human dominion' almost comically at odds with our true state. This is a stimulating and enraging meditation on everything from cybernetics to the fairground marionettes of the title.%%%TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2015In The Soul of the Marionette, John Gray draws together the religious, philosophic and fantastical traditions that question the very idea of human freedom. We flatter ourselves about the nature of free will and yet the most enormous forces - biological, physical, metaphysical - constrain our every action. Many writers and intellectuals have always understood this, but instead of embracing our condition we battle against it, with everyone from world conquerors to modern scientists dreaming of a 'human dominion' almost comically at odds with our true state. This is a stimulating and enraging meditation on everything from cybernetics to the fairground marionettes of the title.%%%TLS BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2016'Gray must be one of the best read of contemporary philosophers, trawling insouciantly through high-, middle- and low-brow literature with the sharp-eyed eclecticism of a magpie of genius' John Banville, Guardian'Like Isaiah Berlin with a thing for sci-fi' Tibor Fischer, SpectatorEveryone thinks they want to be free - or do they? John Gray's thought-stirring new book on freedom draws together insights from Gnosticism, science fiction, ancient sacrifice and the occult to show that freedom is an illusion and that, like fairground puppets, humans dream of escaping the burden of choice altogether.

  • Published: 5 March 2015
  • ISBN: 9780141969015
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

About the author

John Gray

John Gray's most recent books are Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals , Al-Qaeda and What It Means To Be Modern  and Heresies: Against Progress and Other Illusions. He is Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics.

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