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What Is Man?

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  337 ratings  ·  44 reviews
The Shelf2Life Literature and Fiction Collection is a unique set of short stories, poems and novels from the late 19th to early 20th centuries. From tales of love, life and heartbreaking loss to humorous stories of ghost encounters, these volumes captivate the imaginations of readers young and old. Included in this collection are a variety of dramatic and spirited poems th ...more
Paperback, Large Print, 308 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by BCR (Bibliographical Center for Research) (first published 1906)
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(showing 1-30 of 866)
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hanan al-herbish al-herbish
كتاب بمثابة صفعات متوالية
تعيد ترتيب الأشياء في ذهنك ..

رغم قل عدد الصفحات .. إلا أن الكتاب أستغرق صاحبه
زمناً طويلاً .. درساً ، بحثا ، و مراجعة .!

أحببت أسلوب مارك توين كثيراً ..
أسلوب سلس مميز و فريد ..

تدور فكرة الكتاب حول الإجابة عن سؤال :

" ما الإنسان ؟ "

الإجابات رغم معرفتنا بها .. إلا أنها اتخذت
شكلاً صادماً ..

هذه الكتب ... بالفعل تستحق القراءة و التأمل ..!

Shari
Twain gives a powerful argument in this work about the nature of man. Through a dialogue between an old man and a young man, Twain argues through the voice of the former that everything about a man is the product of his 'conditioning', that (get this) "From his cradle to his grave a man never does a single thing which has any first and foremost object but one - to secure peace of mind, spiritual comfort, for himself." (And all that is written in big letters.)

Hmmm...

The Old Man further argues tha
...more
Emy Jabran
تجربتي الاولى مع مؤلفات توين... كانت خارج المجال الذي اشتهر فيه (الكوميديا),

الكتاب حوار فلسفي هميق صاغ فيه توين افكاره حول الانسان ومفاهيم مثل التضحية,
الانسان من وجهة نظره "عبد" للأنا وغايته ارضاء الأنا حتى يتمكن من العيش, ما نظن اننا نفعله للآخر ليس في الواقع الا فعل لارضاء انفسنا اولا وللتجنب احساس الذنب او اسعاد الانا بموقف شهم

خلاصة الكتاب ان هدف الانسان في كل ما يقوم به "ارضاء الذات".ت
Jonathon
What Is Man?

Apparently man is a selfish prick that can't think for himself and relies on "outside influences". He is a chameleon. He is nothing but a mere machine. Well, at least according to Twain. Man is a fraud and only lives for himself. He is really driving home this point that everyone is selfish and acts out of selfish needs (big surprise?), even if viewed (publicly and personally) as a self-sacrificing person. My question is; who cares? If the end result is the same, what does the action
...more
Maarten
'What is Man?' is een filosofisch dialoog in de traditie van Plato. De gesprekspartners zijn een oude en een jonge man; de een Socrates, de ander eerder een Thrasymachus dan een Glaukon, of te wel, iemand die de filosofie van de hoofdspreker probeert te weerleggen en zich hand en tand er tegen verzet.

Het hoofdprincipe die de Oude Man uiteenzet is heerlijk eenvoudig: wij doen altijd datgene wat onze geest of ons geweten tevreden stelt; Twain toont zich hier een ware hedonist van de simpelste snit
...more
Christiane
All those who think of Mark Twain as „only“ a humorist might be surprised at this collection of essays. Not only did he have a huge store of general knowledge, he also concerned himself with the larger questions of life.

In the title essay „What is Man“ the author knocks man off his self-constructed pedestal and puts him where he belongs : among the other animals (and not on the top rung of the ladder, either !).

Unfortunately, a hundred years after Mark Twain’s death the majority of people – agai
...more
Jonathon
Twain makes a great argument that Shakespeare was really Francis Bacon. He states "Did Shakespeare practice law?" I guess a lot of Shakespeare references law, which Shakespeare had little exposure to, but Bacon was very fluent in. Anyways, the case is strong that Bacon is Shakespeare. Towards the end he goes on an arrogant rant stating he is more well known than Shakespeare. Whatever. I have not read Shakespeare nor Bacon (Shakespearebacon?), though I feel I need to now....

The only philosophical
...more
Muhammad Emadeldin
This is the third work of Twain that I've read so far, it was recommended to me for about 3 years ago, and I can say it's far different from the regular sarcastic style of Mark Twain.
This is serious. The matter discussed on these pages has been around my head for quite sometime. The truth about will and determination. The truth about weather our lives are bound to decisions and fate, or it's just a parade made by design. I would not be lying by saying that I had in my mind every thought put the
...more
Dang Ole' Dan Can Dangle
A non-satirical work by Twain in the form of Socratic-like dialogue between an Old Man arguing that man is merely a machine with no free will or self-sacrifice (a determinist) and a Young Man who is hesitant to believe him without requiring much elaboration first.

This has been on my mental to-read list for quite some time; nearly a year now. I read snippets of it when I had first began learning about Determinism here and there. Reading it now I can't say it really told me anything I didn't know
...more
Andrew
I really enjoyed this, but certainly not because of the bleak reality of the human condition! This is certainly a book to get your head working, and you may find yourself going into various bouts of self-analysis just to find out how much of Old Mark's theories are true, and how much they apply to your own life.
It is frighteningly obvious sometimes, that we are indeed blinded by what we go through on a daily basis. I have trouble accepting ( as did Young Mark! ) that we are selfish by nature, an
...more
Ibrahem Alhilal
A short book the continuously keeps reminding you of what a human being is, essentially. A great read, better listen to as an audio book to capture the two men having the conversation perfectly.
محمود فؤاد
كما تصل المنزل جائعا فتجد طعامك المفضل بانتظارك..تصطدم أحيانا بكتاب ما بالصدفة يعبر بدقة وتفصيل عما تفكر به في هذه الفترة بالذات !
Amani Nour
“From his cradel to his grave a man never does a single thing which has any first and foremost object but one–to secure peace of mind, spiritual comfort, for himself.”
Ally Wheeler
this is Twain's philosophy of man, his anthropology. Man is a machine--Twain I think was relatively disappointed in man...
Josh Hanagarne
Great little Socratic dialogue occurring between an Old Man and a Young Man.

The OM's premise is that man is a machine, we each perform according to our make and model, and that everything we do is according to the Gospel of Self Approval.

Twain admitted that many of the thoughts expressed in What Is Man? made him very uncomfortable, but that he did think he had it right. It's easy to see why. Letting go of the idea of free will is certainly unnerving, and prompts many discomfiting questions. A
...more
Judith
e-book from Project Gutenberg, 229 pages, released 11 May 2009

I'd never much enjoyed Huckleyberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, so I didn't think I'd like this so much.

However, the essays in this collection are interesting, thought-provoking and engaging. I liked the Shakespeare essay and I found that the essence of Twain's beliefs as presented in "What is Man?" really were apparent throughout his writing career.

Chad
This is Twain at his best. His prescient ability to understand what motivates morality in humans was probably 80 years ahead of modern psychology. Here's a great quote: "Diligently train your ideals upward and still upward toward a summit where you will find your chiefest pleasure in conduct which, while contenting you, will be sure to confer benefits upon your neighbor and the community."
Moejito
Mark Twain made a great effort in his essay "What is Man". Although it had so many anecdotes, Twain was able to insert some 19th-20th century scientific facts(not necessary valid for today's discoveries). Other than that, I wished Twain lived up to this day by which could have included some discoveries in Neuropsychology, which would have been added more to a complicated subject like this one.
Blair
Recommended to me by my roommate in our various philosophical discussions. I still need to ponder this some more. Still having trouble with his explanation of the mind being separate from a moral self, etc. also, I'd like to think more about what the results of this might be as regards moral responsibility.
K
The essay "what is man?" is OK, but it is the other essays in the book on religion, the church, and god that I really enjoyed. Mark Twain became increasing cynical with age and was heavily influenced by Darwin and evolutionary theory.
J.ruzhyo
A couple odds and ends essays from Twain that are a delight to fans of his writing. His wit shows through most of them and his expose on Shakespeare is enough to put probable doubt into the question of his literary prowess.
Maggie
as only mark twain can deliver: turning cynicism into instruction and humor. most worth the time to read this collection. be sure to keep your critical reading skills near-to-hand; good satire requires that caveat
Rav
The first impressive piece of philosophy I've had the pleasure to read. It left quite an impression on me. As far as I can remember, it was a well written work as one might expect of Mark Twain. Worth reading.

-Rav
Scott
A great piece of philosophy and an entertaining read. It is a discussion between an older learned gentleman and a young scholar in which the elder asserts that man is nothing but a machine and has no original thought.
Robert White
Feb 04, 2008 Robert White rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Robert by: Jon Demiglio
this is honestly the most intriguing book i have ever read. i highly recommend this book to everyone. it will completely alter the way you look and mankind and human personality.
Enoch
Contains a fascinating discussion on how we humans defend our cherished truths despite any evidence that may contradict it and how very difficult it is to keep an open mind.
Jack Dinkel
Very, VERY thought provoking. Some holes in his argument of course, and I in no way agree with him, but this challenges you to think about your life in a new way.
Michael Venzke
closest book I remember reading that describes the way I think about most things (as the old man in the book) - except for the bits about god.
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Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).

Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also work
...more
More about Mark Twain...
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The Adventures of Tom Sawyer The Prince and the Pauper A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court The Adventures of Tom Sawyer & Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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“The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creatures that cannot.” 163 likes
“It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions. ” 22 likes
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