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  • Published: 13 June 2016
  • ISBN: 9780241953907
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $30.00

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.

'Brilliant ... brings home, with infectious learning, the many self-deceptions behind our reverence for freedom' Paul Binding, TLS, Books of the Year
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.
%%%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, Spectator
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.

  • Published: 13 June 2016
  • ISBN: 9780241953907
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $30.00

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.

Also by John Gray

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Praise for The Soul Of The Marionette

A generous and energising tumble of ideas . . . inventive and penetrating

Galen Strawson, Financial Times

Profound . . . highly entertaining . . . the sharp-eyed eclecticism of a magpie of genius

John Banville, Guardian

Brilliant . . . brings home, with infectious learning, the many self-deceptions behind our reverence for freedom

Paul Binding, TLS, Books of the Year

Like Isaiah Berlin with a thing for sci-fi

Tibor Fischer, Spectator

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