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The Ideas That Rule Us

by Nathan J. Murphy

Originally serialised in a Substack in 2022 (under the same name), this broad set of thinking has been developed further into a book that takes us through a broad understanding of how ideas and ideologies work at a personal, social and political level.

"Our lives are propelled by ideas we never had."

Ideas define who we are and what we become; therefore, it is useful to understand what they are, how they work, and how to change them.

This thought-provoking book uses ideas and ideology as a lens to take a multidisciplinary, science-first, approach toward making sense of our lives and the societies in which we live.

Alongside helping us to understand the fascinating origins of many ideas that (literally) rule our lives, Murphy delves into the relationship between the abstract and the emotional—a relationship that plays a dominant role in the human condition—and one, which we come to learn, increasingly impacts the quality of our lived experience.

This book is especially useful for:

  • People who want to understand how the ideas of their social environment have impacted who they are and the decisions they make (and what they can do about it).

  • Activists and campaigners who want to better grasp how to approach changing the ideas of their society.

  • Political actors who want to understand what underlies political expression and how they can leverage it.

Praise for The Ideas That Rule Us:

"A well-researched, thought-provoking reconsideration of society’s sacred cows.”

Our Verdict: GET IT
KIRKUS Reviews

Read full review >


"Human experience is fundamentally composed of two things: the incoming stimulations that hit our sensory apparatus, and the ideas that we carry around about the world and which influence how we construe our perceptions. While the first is mainly governed by biological constraints, the latter is subject also to social and cultural negotiation. In his insightful book The Ideas That Rules Us, Nathan, J. Murphy walks us through an impressive amount of research and literature to investigate how systems of ideas, for instance in the form of religion, ideology and policy, come to shape our thoughts and behaviors, often in ways we are not fully aware of."
Professor Kristian Tylén
Cognitive Science and Semiotics
Aarhus University


"I truly recommend this book.  Author Nathan Murphy has taken a complex subject and, with deft prose, great examples and visuals, and a personal touch, made it engaging reading for all.  I especially appreciated the chapter about consumerism, perhaps the dominating idea in our current world, and its unintended consequences for our lives and our environment.  This book deserves a wide audience."
John de Graaf
Co-author, Affluenza: The All Consuming Epidemic

"A broad and insightful dismantling of the constructs that influence much of our social and political environment”

Professor Andrew Barron,
School of Natural Sciences
Macquarie University

"The Ideas That Rule Us provides a bold new explanation for why politics and ideology work the way they do."
Russell Max Simon
Political Reporter, Albuquerque Journal Deputy
Press Secretary for U.S. Senate Campaign

"Nathan uses simple language to shine a light on the fallacies of the philosophies underlying societal thought."

Dr Imad Ahmed
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University College London

"Aspects of this book have changed how I think about politics."
Simon Gentry
Strategic Communications Counsel
Atticus Partners

Order now

The Ideas That Rule Us Book

Title: The Ideas That Rule Us
Author: Nathan J Murphy

ISBN (Print): 978-1-0686110-0-1
ISBN (eBook): 978-1-0686110-1-8

Pages: 306

Published by Prepolitica

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