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Descripción de la editorial
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 this meandering but often insightful look at the human condition, Gray (The Silence of Animals) offers a number of predictions. Among them is the extended syllogism that begins with his major premise that all matter thinks, moves through the minor premise that machines are matter, and concludes that machines (along with plants and jellyfish) are or someday will be self-aware. As the march of scientific knowledge leads to thinking machines, the upshot for us carbon-based life forms "might well be human redundancy." Gray's thesis is disturbing but hardly groundbreaking, bringing to mind Isaac Asimov's 1956 story "The Last Question." Gray's musings on politics can be equally disturbing and are at times less convincing, such as his pronouncement that "the military-industrial complex no longer has the centrality it once did." Still, with examples that include ancient Greeks, early Christians, Aztecs, Jeremy Bentham, and Philip K. Dick, to name but a few, this remains an intelligently written, thought-provoking book.