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Martin Buber's I and Thou argues that humans engage with the world in two ways. One is with the attitude of an `I' towards an `It', where the self stands apart from objects as items of experience or use. The other is with the attitude of an `I' towards a `Thou', where the self enters into real relation with other people, or nature, or God. Addressing modern technological society, Buber claims that while the `I-It' attitude is necessary for existence, human life finds its meaning in personal relationships of the `I-Thou' sort. I and Thou is Buber's masterpiece, the basis of his religious philosophy of dialogue, and among the most influential studies of the human condition in the 20th century.
Few philosophers are as widely read or as widely misunderstood as Friedrich Nietzsche. When Danto's classic study was first published in 1965, many regarded Nietzsche as a brilliant but somewhat erratic thinker. Danto, however, presented a radically different picture, arguing that Nietzsche offered a systematic and coherent philosophy that anticipated many of the questions that define contemporary philosophy. Danto's clear and insightful commentaries helped canonize Nietzsche as a philosopher and continue to illuminate subtleties in Nietzsche's work as well as his immense contributions to the philosophies of science, language, and logic.
This new edition, which includes five additional essays, not only further enhances our understanding of Nietzsche's philosophy; it responds to the misunderstandings that continue to muddy his intellectual reputation. Even today, Nietzsche is seen as everything from a precursor of feminism and deconstruction to a prophetic writer and spokesperson for disgruntled teenage boys. As Danto points out in his preface, Nietzsche's writings have purportedly inspired recent acts of violence and school shootings. Danto counters these misreadings by elaborating an anti-Nietzschian philosophy from within Nietzsche's own philosophy "in the hope of disarming the rabid Nietzsche and neutralizing the vivid frightening images that have inspired sociopaths for over a century."
The essays also consider specific works by Nietzsche, including "Human, All Too Human" and "The Genealogy of Morals," as well as the philosopher's artistic metaphysics and semantical nihilism.
A distinguished philosopher offers a novel account of experience and reason, and develops our understanding of conscious experience and its relationship to thought: a new reformed empiricism. The role of experience in cognition is a central and ancient philosophical concern. How, theorists ask, can our private experiences guide us to knowledge of a mind-independent reality? Exploring topics in logic, philosophy of mind, and epistemology, Conscious Experience proposes a new answer to this age-old question, explaining how conscious experience contributes to the rationality and content of empirical beliefs. According to Anil Gupta, this contribution cannot be determined independently of an agent's conceptual scheme and prior beliefs, but that doesn't mean it is entirely mind-dependent. While the rational contribution of an experience is not propositional-it does not, for example, provide direct knowledge of the world-it does authorize certain transitions from prior views to new views. In short, the rational contribution of an experience yields a rule for revising views. Gupta shows that this account provides theoretical freedom: it allows the observer to radically reconceive the world in light of empirical findings. Simultaneously, it grants empirical reason significant power to constrain, forcing particular conceptions of self and world on the rational inquirer. These seemingly contrary virtues are reconciled through novel treatments of presentation, appearances, and ostensive definitions. Collectively, Gupta's arguments support an original theory: reformed empiricism. He abandons the idea that experience is a source of knowledge and justification. He also abandons the idea that concepts are derived from experience. But reformed empiricism preserves empiricism's central insight: experience is the supreme epistemic authority. In the resolution of factual disagreements, experience trumps all.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Introduction The ancient biography of Epicurus The extant letters Ancient collections of maxims Doxographical reports The testimony of Cicero The testimony of Lucretius The polemic of Plutarch Short fragments and testimonia from known works: * From On Nature * From the Puzzles * From On the Goal * From the Symposium * From Against Theophrastus * Fragments of Epicurus' letters Short fragments and testimonia from uncertain works: * Logic and epistemology * Physics and theology * Ethics Index
Axel Honneth is best known for his critique of modern society centered on a concept of recognition. Jacques Ranciere has advanced an influential theory of modern politics based on disagreement. Underpinning their thought is a concern for the logics of exclusion and domination that structure contemporary societies. In a rare dialogue, these two philosophers explore the affinities and tensions between their perspectives to provoke new ideas for social and political change. Honneth sees modern society as a field in which the logic of recognition provides individuals with increasing possibilities for freedom and is a constant catalyst for transformation. Ranciere sees the social as a policing order and the political as a force that must radically assert equality. Honneth claims Ranciere's conception of the political lies outside of actual historical societies and involves a problematic desire for egalitarianism. Ranciere argues that Honneth's theory of recognition relies on an overly substantial conception of identity and subjectivity. While impassioned, their exchange seeks to advance critical theory's political project by reconciling the rift between German and French post-Marxist traditions and proposing new frameworks for justice.
Published very shortly before his death in February 1976, Meaning
is the culmination of Michael Polanyi's philosophic endeavors. With
the assistance of Harry Prosch, Polanyi goes beyond his earlier
critique of scientific "objectivity" to investigate meaning as
founded upon the imaginative and creative faculties.
When we talk about Presocratic philosophy, we are speaking about the origins of Greek philosophy and Western rationality itself. But what exactly does it mean to talk about "Presocratic philosophy" in the first place? How did early Greek thinkers come to be considered collectively as Presocratic philosophers? In this brief book, Andre Laks provides a history of the influential idea of Presocratic philosophy, tracing its historical and philosophical significance and consequences, from its ancient antecedents to its full crystallization in the modern period and its continuing effects today. Laks examines ancient Greek and Roman views about the birth of philosophy before turning to the eighteenth-century emergence of the term "Presocratics" and the debates about it that spanned the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He analyzes the intellectual circumstances that led to the idea of Presocratic philosophy--and what was and is at stake in the construction of the notion. The book closes by comparing two models of the history of philosophy--the phenomenological, represented by Hans-Georg Gadamer, and the rationalist, represented by Ernst Cassirer--and their implications for Presocratic philosophy, as well as other categories of philosophical history. Other figures discussed include Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Diogenes Laertius, Schleiermacher, Hegel, Nietzsche, Max Weber, and J.-P. Vernant. Challenging standard histories of Presocratic philosophy, the book calls for a reconsideration of the conventional story of early Greek philosophy and Western rationality.
Mediaevalia Lovaniensia 39Communication leads to an evolution of knowledge, and the free exchange of knowledge leads to fresh findings. In the Middle Ages things were no different. The inheritance of ancient knowledge deeply influenced medieval thought. The writings of ancient Greek philosophers such as Aristotle reached medieval readers primarily through translations. Translators made an interpretation of the source-text, and their translations became the subject of commentaries. An understanding of the complex web of relations among source-texts, translations, and commentaries reveals how scientific thinking evolved during the Middle Ages. Aristotle's Problemata, a text provoking various questions about scientific and everyday topics, amply illustrates the communication of ideas during the transition between antiquity and the Renaissance.
With an Introduction by Derek Matravers. Rights of Man is a classic statement of the belief in humanity's potential to change the world for the better. Published as a reply to Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, it differs from that great work in every relevant respect. Where Burke uses the language of the governing classes, Paine writes with the vigour of a self-taught mast-maker and exciseman. With passionate and rapier wit, Paine challenges Burke's assertion that society cannot be judged by rational standards and found wanting. Rights of Man contains a fully-costed budget, advocating measures such as free education, old age pensions, welfare benefits and child allowance over 100 years before these things were introduced in Britain. It remains a compelling manifesto for social change.
Ramon Llull was a highly original medieval writer and thinker. Direct contact with Moslem culture during his early years in Majorca, soon after the Christian reconquest, furnished him with a vision of the "Other" quite unique among medieval European intellectuals. It was not, however, until his thirties that he abandoned the courtly life, immersed himself in theological and philosophical studies and began his sustained campaign of conversion. He travelled on many occasions throughout Europe in search of royal and papal support and undertook several missions to north Africa, in the course of one of which he was stoned and imprisoned. Despite his many travels he found time to compose more than 260 works, in Catalan and Latin, many of which related to his famous "Art," a method for religious discussion with scientific and logical applications that subsequently influenced Giordano Bruno and Liebniz. When he was almost eighty years old, Llull dictated the story of his life to a group of Carthusians in Paris, leaving us this fascinating autobiography. This edition includes both an English translation and the original Latin version. Published in association with Editorial Barcino. ANTHONY BONNER is a translator and scholar who has published extensively on Ramon Llull.
An essential exploration of sense and meaning. Is there a "world"anymore, let alone any "sense"to it? Acknowledging the lack of meaning in our time, and the lack of a world at the center of meanings we try to impose, Jean-Luc Nancy presents a rigorous critique of the many discourses-from philosophy and political science to psychoanalysis and art history-that talk and write their way around these gaping absences in our lives. In an original style befitting his search for a new mode of thought, Nancy offers fragmentary readings of writers such as Nietzsche, Hegel, Marx, Levinas, Lacan, Derrida, and Deleuze insofar as their work reflects his concern with sense and the world. Rather than celebrate or bemoan the loss of meaning or attempt to install a new one, his book seeks to reposition both sense and the world between the presence and absence of meaning, between objectivity and subjectivity. Nancy's project entails a reconception of the field of philosophy itself, a rearticulation of philosophical practice. Neither recondite nor abstract, it is concerned with the existence and experience of freedom-the actuality of existence as experienced by contemporary communities of citizens, readers, and writers. Combining aesthetic, political, and philosophical considerations to convey a sense of the world between meaning and reality, ideal content and material form, this book offers a new way of understanding-and responding to-"the end of the world."d Jean-Luc Nancy teaches at the University of Human Sciences in Strasbourg. His books in English include The Literary Absolute (with Philip Lacoue-Labarthe, 1988), The Inoperative Community (Minnesota, 1991), The Birth to Presence (1993), The Experience of Freedom (1993), and The Muses (1996). Jeffrey S. Librett is associate professor of modern languages and literatures at Loyola University of Chicago.
A compact and accessible edition of Hume's political and moral writings with essays by a distinguished set of contributors A key figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, David Hume was a major influence on thinkers ranging from Kant and Schopenhauer to Einstein and Popper, and his writings continue to be deeply relevant today. With four essays by leading Hume scholars exploring his complex intellectual legacy, this volume presents an overview of Hume's moral, political, and social philosophy. Editors Angela Coventry and Andrew Valls bring together a selection of writings from Hume's most important works, with contributors placing them in their appropriate context and offering a lively discourse on the relevance of Hume's thought to contemporary subjects like reason's dependence on emotion and the importance of social convention in political and economic behavior. Perfect for classroom use, this volume is an invaluable companion for anyone studying an important thinker who advanced the development of moral philosophy, economics, cognitive science, and many other fields of the Western tradition.
Jose L. Zalabardo puts forward a new interpretation of central ideas in Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus concerning the structure of reality and our representations of it in thought and language. He shows the origins of Wittgenstein's picture theory of propositional representation in Russell's theories of judgment, arguing that the picture theory is Wittgenstein's solution to some of the problems that he found in Russell's position. Zalabardo defends the view that, for Wittgenstein, facts in general, and the facts that play the role of propositions in particular, are not composite items, arising from the combination of their constituents. They are ultimate, irreducible units, and what we think of as their constituents are features that facts have in common with one another. These common features have built into them their possibilities of combination with other features into possible situations. This is the source of the Tractarian account of non-actual possibilities. It is also the source of the idea that it is not possible to produce propositions answering to certain descriptions, including those that would give rise to Russell's paradox. Zalabardo then considers Wittgenstein's view that every proposition is a truth function of elementary propositions. He argues that this view is motivated by Wittgenstein's epistemology of logic, according to which we should be able to see logical relations by inspecting the structures of propositions. Finally, Zalabardo considers the problems that we face if we try to extend the application of the picture theory from elementary propositions to truth functions of these.
Twelve Voices from Greece and Rome is a book for all readers who want to know more about the literature that underpins Western civilization. Chistopher Pelling and Maria Wyke provide a vibrant and distinctive introduction to twelve of the greatest authors from ancient Greece and Rome, writers whose voices still resonate strongly across the centuries: Homer, Sappho, Herodotus, Euripides, Thucydides, Plato, Caesar, Cicero, Virgil, Horace, Juvenal and Tacitus. To what vital ideas do these authors give voice? And why are we so often drawn to what they say even in modern times? Twelve Voices investigates these tantalizing questions, showing how these great figures from classical antiquity still address some of our most fundamental concerns in the world today (of war and courage, dictatorship and democracy, empire, immigration, city life, art, madness, irrationality, and religious commitment), and express some of our most personal sentiments (about family and friendship, desire and separation, grief and happiness). These twelve classical voices can sound both compellingly familiar and startlingly alien to the twenty-first century reader. Yet they remain suggestive and inspiring, despite being rooted in their own times and places, and have profoundly affected the lives of those prepared to listen to them right up to the present day.
Descartes's Fictions traces common movements in early modern philosophy and literary method. Emma Gilby reassesses the significance of Descartes's writing by bringing his philosophical output into contact with the literary treatises, exempla, and debates of his age. She argues that humanist theorizing about poetics represents a vital intellectual context for Descartes's work. She offers readings of the controversies to which this poetic theory gives rise, with particular reference to the genre of tragicomedy, questions of verisimilitude or plausibility, and the figures of Guez de Balzac and Pierre Corneille. Drawing on what Descartes says about, and to, his many contemporaries and correspondents embedded in the early modern republic of letters, this volume shows that poetics provides a repository of themes and images to which he returns repeatedly: fortune, method, error, providence, passion, and imagination, for instance. Like the poets and theorists of his age, Descartes is also drawn to the forms of attention that people may bring to his work. This interest finds expression in the mature Cartesian metaphysics of the Meditations, as well as, later, in the moral philosophy of his correspondence with Elisabeth of Bohemia or the Passions of the Soul. This volume thus bridges the gap between Cartesian criticism and late-humanist literary culture in France.
Glenn Alexander Magee's pathbreaking book argues that Hegel was decisively influenced by the Hermetic tradition, a body of thought with roots in Greco-Roman Egypt. Magee traces the influence on Hegel of such Hermetic thinkers as Baader, Bohme, Bruno, and Paracelsus, and fascination with occult and paranormal phenomena. Hegel and the Hermetic Tradition covers Hegel's philosophical corpus and shows that his engagement with Hermeticism lasted throughout his career and intensified during his final years in Berlin. Viewing Hegel as a Hermetic thinker has implications for a more complete understanding of the modern philosophical tradition, and German idealism in particular."
Karl Popper was one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. His criticism of induction and his falsifiability criterion of demarcation between science and non-science were major contributions to the philosophy of science. Popper's broader philosophy of critical rationalism comprised a distinctive philosophy of social science and political theory. His critique of historicism and advocacy of the open society marked him out as a significant philosopher of freedom and reason. This book sets out the historical and intellectual contexts in which Popper worked, and offers an overview and diverse criticisms of his central ideas. The volume brings together contributors with expertise on Popper's work, including people personally associated with Popper (such as Jarvie, Miller, Musgrave, Petersen and Shearmur), specialists on the topics treated (Bradie, Godfrey-Smith and Jackson), and scholars with special interests in aspects of Popper's work (Andersson, Hacohen, Maxwell and Stokes).
Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) was one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. Regarded as the father of existentialist philosophy, he was also a political critic, moralist, playwright, novelist, and author of biographies and short stories. Thomas R. Flynn provides the first book-length account of Sartre as a philosopher of the imaginary, mapping the intellectual development of his ideas throughout his life, and building a narrative that is not only philosophical but also attentive to the political and literary dimensions of his work. Exploring Sartre's existentialism, politics, ethics, and ontology, this book illuminates the defining ideas of Sartre's oeuvre: the literary and the philosophical, the imaginary and the conceptual, his descriptive phenomenology and his phenomenological concept of intentionality, and his conjunction of ethics and politics with an 'egoless' consciousness. It will appeal to all who are interested in Sartre's philosophy and its relation to his life.
"This book features a CD of rarely performed music, including a specially commissioned rap by Erik Weiner of Walter Benjamin's "Thesis on the Philosophy of History." "
Theodor W. Adorno was the prototypical German Jewish non-Jew, Walter Benjamin vacillated between German Jew and Jewish German, Gershom Scholem was a committed Zionist, and Arnold Sch?nberg converted to Protestantism for professional reasons but later returned to Judaism. Carl Djerassi, himself a refugee from Hitler's Austria, dramatizes a dialogue between these four men in which they discuss fraternity, religious identity, and legacy as well as reveal aspects of their lives-notably their relations with their wives-that many have ignored, underemphasized, or misrepresented.
The desire for canonization and the process by which it is obtained are the underlying themes of this dialogue, with emphasis on Paul Klee's "Angelus Novus "(1920), a canonized work that resonated deeply with Benjamin, Adorno, and Scholem (and for which Djerassi and Gabrielle Seethaler present a revisionist and richly illustrated interpretation). Basing his dialogue on extensive archival research and interviews, Djerassi concludes with a daring speculation on the putative contents of Benjamin's famous briefcase, which disappeared upon his suicide.
To the surprise of many readers, Jurgen Habermas has recently made religion a major theme of his work. Emphasizing both religion's prominence in the contemporary public sphere and its potential contributions to critical thought, Habermas's engagement with religion has been controversial and exciting, putting much of his own work in fresh perspective and engaging key themes in philosophy, politics and social theory. Habermas argues that the once widely accepted hypothesis of progressive secularization fails to account for the multiple trajectories of modernization in the contemporary world. He calls attention to the contemporary significance of "postmetaphysical" thought and "postsecular" consciousness - even in Western societies that have embraced a rationalistic understanding of public reason. "Habermas and Religion "presents a series of original and sustained engagements with Habermas's writing on religion in the public sphere, featuring new work and critical reflections from leading philosophers, social and political theorists, and anthropologists. Contributors to the volume respond both to Habermas's ambitious and well-developed philosophical project and to his most recent work on religion. The book closes with an extended response from Habermas - itself a major statement from one of today's most important thinkers.
Michael Forster here presents a ground-breaking study of German philosophy of language in the nineteenth century (and beyond). His previous book, After Herder, showed that the eighteenth-century philosopher J.G. Herder played the fundamental role in founding modern philosophy of language, including new theories of interpretation ('hermeneutics') and translation, as well as in establishing such whole new disciplines concerned with language as anthropology and linguistics. This new volume reveals that Herder's ideas continued to have a profound impact on such important nineteenth-century thinkers as Friedrich Schlegel (the leading German Romantic), Wilhelm von Humboldt (a founder of linguistics), and G.W.F. Hegel (the leading German Idealist). Forster shows that the most valuable ideas about language in this tradition were continuous with Herder's, whereas deviations from the latter that occurred tended to be inferior. This book not only sets the historical record straight but also champions the Herderian tradition for its philosophical depth and breadth.
Aristotle (384-322BC) is the philosopher who has most influence on
the development of western culture, writing on a wide variety of
subjects including the natural sciences as well as the more
strictly philosophical topics of logic, metaphysics and ethics. To
the poet Dante, he was simply 'the master of those who know'.
IF IT IS GOOD TO SAY OR DO ARE MY GUIDING PRINCIPLES
IF IT IS GOOD TO SAY OR DO
ARE MY GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Essayist Matthew Arnold described the man who wrote these words as "the most beautiful figure in history." Possibly so, but he was certainly more than that. Marcus Aurelius ruled the Roman Empire at its height, yet he remained untainted by the incalculable wealth and absolute power that had corrupted many of his predecessors. Marcus knew the secret of how to live the good life amid trying and often catastrophic circumstances, of how to find happiness and peace when surrounded by misery and turmoil, and of how to choose the harder right over the easier wrong without apparent regard for self-interest.
The historian Michael Grant praises Marcus's book as "the best ever written by a major ruler," and Josiah Bunting, superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, calls it "the essential book on character, leadership, duty." Never intended for publication, the Meditations contains the practical and inspiring wisdom by which this remarkable emperor lived the life not of a saintly recluse, but of a general, administrator, legislator, spouse, parent, and judge besieged on all sides.
The Emperor's Handbook offers a vivid and fresh translation of this important piece of ancient literature. It brings Marcus's words to life and shows his wisdom to be as relevant today as it was in the second century. This book belongs on the desk and in the briefcase of every business executive, political leader, and military officer. It speaks to the soul of anyone who has ever exercised authority or faced adversity or believed in a better day.
The first comprehensive collection of the work of Richard Rorty(1931-2007), The Rorty Reader brings together the influentialAmerican philosopher s essential essays from over fourdecades of writings. * Offers a comprehensive introduction to Richard Rorty's life andbody of work * Brings key essays published across many volumes and journalsinto one collection, including selections from his final volume ofphilosophical papers, Philosophy as Cultural Politics (2007)) * Contains the previously unpublished (in English) essay, Redemption from Egotism * Includes in-depth interviews, and several revealingautobiographical pieces * Represents the fullest portrait available today onRorty s relationship with American pragmatism and thetrajectory of his thought
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