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Crucial texts, many available in English for the first time, written before and during the Bolshevik Revolution by the radical biopolitical utopianists of Russian Cosmism. Cosmism emerged in Russia before the October Revolution and developed through the 1920s and 1930s; like Marxism and the European avant-garde, two other movements that shared this intellectual moment, Russian Cosmism rejected the contemplative for the transformative, aiming to create not merely new art or philosophy but a new world. Cosmism went the furthest in its visions of transformation, calling for the end of death, the resuscitation of the dead, and free movement in cosmic space. This volume collects crucial texts, many available in English for the first time, by the radical biopolitical utopianists of Russian Cosmism. Cosmism was developed by the Russian philosopher Nikolai Fedorov in the late nineteenth century; he believed that humans had an ethical obligation not only to care for the sick but to cure death using science and technology; outer space was the territory of both immortal life and infinite resources. After the revolution, a new generation pursued Fedorov's vision. Cosmist ideas inspired visual artists, poets, filmmakers, theater directors, novelists (Tolstoy and Dostoevsky read Fedorov's writings), architects, and composers, and influenced Soviet politics and technology. In the 1930s, Stalin quashed Cosmism, jailing or executing many members of the movement. Today, when the philosophical imagination has again become entangled with scientific and technological imagination, the works of the Russian Cosmists seem newly relevant. Contributors Alexander Bogdanov, Alexander Chizhevsky, Nikolai Fedorov, Boris Groys, Valerian Muravyev, Alexander Svyatogor, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Anton Vidokle, Brian Kuan Wood A copublication with e-flux, New York
This entirely new translation of Critique of Pure Reason is the most accurate and informative English translation ever produced of this epochal philosophical text. Though its simple, direct style will make it suitable for all new readers of Kant, the translation displays a philosophical and textual sophistication that will enlighten Kant scholars as well. This translation recreates as far as possible a text with the same interpretative nuances and richness as the original.
For those open to the possibility that philosophical thought can improve life, David Hume's Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary have something to say. In the first comprehensive study of the Essays, Margaret Watkins engages closely with these neglected texts and shows how they provide important insights into Hume's perspective on the breadth and depth of human life, arguing that the Essays reveal his continued commitment to philosophy as a discipline that can promote both social and individual progress. Addressing topics such as politics, war, slavery, the priesthood, the development of industry, aesthetics, emotional disorders, egoism, friendship, sexuality, gender relations, and the nature of philosophy itself, the volume examines Hume's purposes and aims against the backdrop of the eighteenth century society in which he lived. It will be of interest to scholars of modern thought in philosophy, politics, history, and economics.
In a focused assessment of one of the founding members of the liberal tradition in philosophy and a self-proclaimed Under-Labourer working to support the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, the author maps the full range of John Locke s highly influential ideas, which even today remain at the heart of debates about the nature of reality and our knowledge of it, as well as our moral and political rights and duties. * Comprehensive introduction to the full range of Locke s ideas, providing an up-to-date account that acknowledges issues raised by recent scholarship over the past decade * A well-rounded perspective on one of the intellectual giants of the western philosophical tradition * Provides detailed coverage of Locke s two key works, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and The Two Treatises of Government. * A sophisticated analysis by a highly respected academic * A vital addition to the Blackwell Great Minds series
Translated by Antony M. Ludovici. With an Introduction by Ray Furness. The three works in this collection, all dating from Nietzsche's last lucid months, show him at his most stimulating and controversial: the portentous utterances of the prophet (together with the ill-defined figure of the UEbermensch) are forsaken, as wit, exuberance and dazzling insights predominate, forcing the reader to face unpalatable insights and to rethink every commonly accepted 'truth'. Thinking with Nietzsche, in Jaspers' words, means holding one's own against him, and we are indeed refreshed and challenged by the vortex of his thoughts, by concepts which test and probe. In The Twilight of the Idols, The Antichrist, and Ecce Homo Nietzsche writes at breakneck speed of his provenance, his adversaries and his hopes for mankind; the books are largely epigrammatic and aphoristic, allowing this poet-philosopher to bewilder and fascinate us with their strangeness and their daring. He who fights with monsters, Nietzsche once told us, should look to it that he himself does not become one, and when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you. Reader, beware.
The Politics is one of the most influential texts in the history of political thought, and it raises issues which still confront anyone who wants to think seriously about the ways in which human societies are organized and governed. The work of one of the world's greatest philosophers, it draws on Aristotle's own great knowledge of the political and constitutional affairs of the Greek cities. By examining the way societies are run - from households to city states - Aristotle establishes how successful constitutions can best be initiated and upheld. For this edition Sir Ernest Barker's fine translation, which has been widely used for nearly half a century, has been extensively revised to meet the needs of the modern reader. The accessible introduction and clear notes by R F Stalley examine the historical and philosophical background of the work and discuss its significance for modern political thought. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
During the long eighteenth century the moral and socio-political dimensions of family life and gender were hotly debated by intellectuals across Europe. John Millar, a Scottish law professor and philosopher, was a pioneer in making gendered and familial practice a critical parameter of cultural difference. His work was widely disseminated at home and abroad, translated into French and German and closely read by philosophers such as Denis Diderot and Johann Gottfried Herder. Taking Millar's writings as his basis, Nicholas B. Miller explores the role of the family in Scottish Enlightenment political thought and traces its wider resonances across the Enlightenment world. John Millar's organisation of cultural, gendered and social difference into a progressive narrative of authority relations provided the first extended world history of the family. Over five chapters that address the historical and comparative models developed by the thinker, Nicholas B. Miller examines contemporary responses and Enlightenment-era debates on polygamy, matriarchy, the Amazon legend, changes in national character and the possible futures of the family in commercial society. He traces how Enlightenment thinkers developed new standards of evidence and crafted new understandings of historical time in order to tackle the global diversity of family life and gender practice. By reconstituting these theories and discussions, Nicholas B. Miller uncovers hitherto unexplored aspects of the Scottish contribution to European debates on the role of the family in history, society and politics.
'The most esteemed philosopher to have produced a general introduction to his discipline since Bertrand Russell' Independent In these essays, one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century writes about communism and socialism, the problem of evil, Erasmus and the reform of the Church, reason and truth, and whether God is happy. Accessible and absorbing, the essays in Is God Happy? deal with some of the eternal problems of philosophy and the most vital questions of our age. Leszek Kolakowski has also written on religion, Spinoza, Bergson, Pascal and seventeenth-century thought. He left communist Poland after his expulsion from Warsaw University for anti-communist activities. From 1970 he was a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. 'His distinctive mix of irony and moral seriousness, religious sensibility and epistemological scepticism, social engagement and political doubt was truly rare ... a true Central European intellectual-perhaps the last' Tony Judt, The New York Times Review of Books
A comprehensive philosophy of contemporary life and politics, by one of the sharpest critics of the presentWe live in an age of impotence. Stuck between global war and global finance, between identity and capital, we seem incapable of producing the radical change that is so desperately needed. Meanwhile the struggle for dominance over the world is a battlefield with only two protagonists: the forces of neoliberalism on one side, and the new order led by the likes of Trump and Putin on the other. How can we imagine a new emancipatory vision, capable of challenging the deadlock of the present? Is there still a way to disentangle ourselves from a global order that shapes our politics as well as our imagination? In this inspired work, renowned Italian theorist Franco Berardi tackles this question through a grounded yet visionary analysis of three concepts fundamental to his understanding of the present: possibility, potency, and power. Characterizing possibility as content, potency as energy, and power as form, Berardi suggests that the road to emancipation unspools from an awareness that the field of the possible is only limited, and not created, by the power structures behind it. Other futures and other worlds are always already inscribed within the present, despite power's attempt to keep them invisible. Overcoming the temptation to give in to despair or nostalgia, Berardi proposes the notion of "futurability" as a way to remind us that even within the darkness of our current crisis a better world lies dormant. In this volume, Berardi presents the most systematic account to date of his philosophy, making a crucial theoretical contribution to the present and future struggle
Presenting an unparalleled collection of primary texts in two flexible, portable volumes, The Norton Anthology of Western Philosophy also provides the rich editorial apparatus-introductions, headnotes, explanatory annotations, bibliographies-for which Norton Anthologies have been known and trusted by professors and students alike for more than fifty years. A comprehensive history of both the European interpretive tradition in one volume and the Anglo-American analytic tradition in the other, this anthology belongs on every philosopher's bookshelf.
Early German Romanticism sought to respond to a comprehensive sense of spiritual crisis that characterised the late eighteenth century. The study demonstrates how the Romantics sought to bring together the new post-Kantian idealist philosophy with the inheritance of the realist Platonic-Christian tradition. With idealism they continued to champion the individual, while from Platonism they took the notion that all reality, including the self, participated in absolute being. This insight was expressed, not in the language of theology or philosophy, but through aesthetics, which recognised the potentiality of all creation, including artistic creation, to disclose the divine. In explicating the religious vision of Romanticism, this study offers a new historical appreciation of the movement, and furthermore demonstrates its importance for our understanding of religion today.
This is a close and meditative consideration of a deeply intellectual friendship shared between two extraordinary thinkers, Jewish philosopher Martin Buber and scholar Maurice Friedman.
Caroline of Ansbach (1683-1737), Augusta of Saxe-Gotha (1719-1772), and Charlotte of Mecklenberg-Strelitz (1744-1818) were three German princesses who became Queens Consort-or, in the case of Augusta, Queen in Waiting, Regent, and Princess Dowager-of Great Britain, and were linked by their early years at European princely courts, their curiosity, aspirations, and an investment in Enlightenment thought. This sumptuously illustrated book considers the ways these powerful, intelligent women left enduring marks on British culture through a wide range of activities: the promotion of the court as a dynamic forum of the Hanoverian regime; the enrichment of the royal collection of art; the advancement of science and industry; and the creation of gardens and menageries. Objects included range from spectacular state portraits to pedagogical toys to plant and animal specimens, and reveal how the new and novel intermingled with the traditional.
Christianity is commonly held to have introduced an entirely new and better morality into the ancient world, a new morality that was decidedly universal, in contrast to the ethics of the philosophical schools which were only concerned with the intellectual few. Runar M. Thorsteinsson presents a challenge to this view by comparing Christian morality in first-century Rome with contemporary Stoic ethics in the city. Thorsteinsson introduces and discusses the moral teaching of Roman Stoicism; of Seneca, Musonius Rufus, and Epictetus. He then presents the moral teaching of Roman Christianity as it is represented in Paul's Letter to the Romans, the First Letter of Peter, and the First Letter of Clement. Having established the bases for his comparison, he examines the similarities and differences between Roman Stoicism and Roman Christianity in terms of morality. Five broad themes are used for the comparison, questions of Christian and Stoic views about: a particular morality or way of life as proper worship of the deity; certain individuals (like Jesus and Socrates) as paradigms for the proper way of life; the importance of mutual love and care; non-retaliation and 'love of enemies'; and the social dimension of ethics. This approach reveals a fundamental similarity between the moral teachings of Roman Christianity and Roman Stoicism. The most basic difference is found in the ethical scope of the two: While the latter teaches unqualified universal humanity, the former seems to condition the ethical scope in terms of religious adherence.
In Leviathan, one of the greatest works of political philosophy of all time, English philosopher Thomas Hobbes created the idea of a social contract and set out to explicate a doctrine for the foundation of states and legitimate forms of government. In On Hobbes, Alan Ryan explains how Hobbes created the secular conception of the state and politics in one of the first truly modern works of political philosophy. Inverting Aristotle s view of politics, Hobbes argued that humans organize themselves into political communities not out of any sociable impulse to pursue the good life in common, but rather out of an unsociable fear of one another and for the sake of avoiding the greatest evil of all: death. Ryan explicates how modern notions of individual rights, sovereignty, representative government, and almost all liberal political theory find their foundation in the work of Hobbes.
Excerpted here are: Leviathan, The Elements of Law."
Hegel's "highway of despair," introduced in his Phenomenology of Spirit, represents the tortured path traveled by "natural consciousness" on its way to freedom. Despair, the passionate residue of Hegelian critique, also indicates fugitive opportunities for freedom and preserves the principle of hope against all hope. Analyzing the works of an eclectic cast of thinkers, Robyn Marasco considers the dynamism of despair as a critical passion, reckoning with the forms of historical life forged along Hegel's highway. The Highway of Despair follows Theodor Adorno, Georges Bataille, and Frantz Fanon as they each read, resist, and reconfigure a strand of thought in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. Confronting the twentieth-century collapse of a certain revolutionary dialectic, these thinkers struggle to revalue critical philosophy and recast Left Hegelianism within the contexts of genocidal racism, world war, and colonial domination. Each thinker also re-centers the role of passion in critique. Arguing against more recent trends in critical theory that promise an escape from despair, Marasco shows how passion frustrates the resolutions of reason and faith. Embracing the extremism of what Marx, in the spirit of Hegel, called the "ruthless critique of everything existing," she affirms the contemporary purchase of radical critical theory, resulting in a passionate approach to political thought.
Are there such things as merely possible people, who would have lived if our ancestors had acted differently? Are there future people, who have not yet been conceived? Questions like those raise deep issues about both the nature of being and its logical relations with contingency and change. In Modal Logic as Metaphysics, Timothy Williamson argues for positive answers to those questions on the basis of an integrated approach to the issues, applying the technical resources of modal logic to provide structural cores for metaphysical theories. He rejects the search for a metaphysically neutral logic as futile. The book contains detailed historical discussion of how the metaphysical issues emerged in the twentieth century development of quantified modal logic, through the work of such figures as Rudolf Carnap, Ruth Barcan Marcus, Arthur Prior, and Saul Kripke. It proposes higher-order modal logic as a new setting in which to resolve such metaphysical questions scientifically, by the construction of systematic logical theories embodying rival answers and their comparison by normal scientific standards. Williamson provides both a rigorous introduction to the technical background needed to understand metaphysical questions in quantified modal logic and an extended argument for controversial, provocative answers to them. He gives original, precise treatments of topics including the relation between logic and metaphysics, the methodology of theory choice in philosophy, the nature of possible worlds and their role in semantics, plural quantification compared to quantification into predicate position, communication across metaphysical disagreement, and problems for truthmaker theory.
‘Nothing can harm a good man either in life or after death’
The trial and condemnation of Socrates on charges of heresy and corrupting young minds is a defining moment in the history of Classical Athens. In tracing these events through four dialogues, Plato also developed his own philosophy, based on Socrates’ manifesto for a life guided by self-responsibility. Euthyphro finds Socrates outside the court-house, debating the nature of piety, while The Apology is his robust rebuttal of the charges of impiety and a defence of the philosopher’s life. In the Crito, while awaiting execution in prison, Socrates counters the arguments of friends urging him to escape. Finally, in the Phaedo, he is shown calmly confident in the face of death, skilfully arguing the case for the immortality of the soul.
Hugh Tredennick’s landmark 1954 translation has been revised by Harold Tarrant, reflecting changes in Platonic studies, with an introduction and expanded introductions to each of the four dialogues.
Two eminent French philosophers discuss German philosophy-including the legacy of Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Adorno, Fichte, Marx, and Heidegger-from a French perspective. In this book, Alain Badiou and Jean-Luc Nancy, the two most important living philosophers in France, discuss German philosophy from a French perspective. Written in the form of a dialogue, and revised and expanded from a 2016 conversation between the two philosophers at the Universitat der Kunste Berlin, the book offers not only Badiou's and Nancy's reinterpretations of German philosophers and philosophical concepts, but also an accessible introduction to the greatest thinkers of German philosophy. Badiou and Nancy discuss and debate such topics as the legacies of Kant, Hegel, and Marx, as well as Nietzsche, Adorno, Fichte, Schelling, and the unavoidable problem of Heidegger and Nazism. The dialogue is contentious, friendly, and often quotable, with strong-at times passionate-positions taken by both Badiou and Nancy, who find themselves disagreeing over Kant, for example, and in unexpected agreement on Marx, for another. What does it mean, then, to conduct a dialogue on German philosophy from a French perspective? As volume editor Jan Voelker observes, "German philosophy" and "French philosophy" describe complex constellations that, despite the reference to nation-states and languages, above all encompass shared concepts and problems-although these take a range of forms. Perhaps they can reveal their essential import only in translation.
Modern philosophy originates during the scientific revolution, and Michael Jacovides provides an engaging account of how this scientific background influences one of the foremost figures of early modern philosophy, John Locke. With this guiding thread, Jacovides gives clear and accurate answers to some of the central questions surrounding Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Why does he say that we have an obscure idea of substance? Why does he think that we perceive a two-dimensional array of color patches? Why does he think that matter can't naturally think? Why does he analyze secondary qualities as powers to produce ideas in us? Jacovides' method also allows him to trace the effects of Locke's scientific outlook on his descriptions of the way things appear to him and on his descriptions of the boundaries of conceivability. By placing Locke's thought in its scientific, religious, and anti-scholastic contexts, Jacovides explains not only what Locke believes but also why he believes it, and he thereby uncovers reveals the extra-philosophical sources of some of the central aspects of Locke's philosophy.
Philosopher, dramatist, rhetorician, Stoic and pragmatist, Seneca was one of the most contradictory figures in ancient Rome, embracing a stern ascetic morality while amassing a fortune under Nero and eventually committing suicide. This definitive biography reveals a life lived perilously in the gap between ideals and reality.
The volumes of the Symposium Aristotelicum have become essential reference works for the study of Aristotle. In this nineteenth volume, eleven distinguished scholars of ancient philosophy provide a running commentary on the first book of Aristotle's Physics, a central treatise of the Aristotelian corpus that aims at knowledge of the principles of physical change. Along with the general introduction, the ten chapters together comment on the entirety of the Aristotelian text and discuss the philosophical issues that are raised in it in detail. Aristotle is shown to be in dialogue with the divergent doctrines of earlier philosophers, namely with the Eleatics' monism, with Anaxagoras' theory of mixture, and finally with the Platonist dyadism that posits the two principles of Form and the Great and Small. Aristotle uses critical examination of his predecessors' views sat her basis for formulating his own theory of the principles of natural things, which are fundamental for the entire Aristotelian study of the natural world. Aristotle provides his own solution to the problem of coming-to-be and passing-away by distinguishing between coming-t- be in actuality and in potentiality. Comprehensive analysis of Aristotle's doctrines and arguments, as well as critical discussion of rival interpretations, will makes this volume a valuable resource for scholars of Aristotle.
John Locke (1632-1704) has a good claim to the title of the greatest ever English philosopher, and was a founding father of both the empiricist tradition in philosophy and the liberal tradition in politics. This new book provides an accessible introduction to Locke's thought. Although its primary focus is on the Essay Concerning Human Understanding, it also discusses the Two Treatises on Government, the Essay on Toleration, and the Reasonableness of Christianity, and draws on materials from Locke's correspondence and notebooks to shed light on the contexts of these major works. Locke's arguments for his central claims are subjected to close scrutiny, and his replies to his main critics evaluated. A.J. Pyle takes as his guiding theme Locke's own maxim, that God has given humans enough knowledge for our needs. The philosopher who emerges from these pages is a strikingly modern figure, anti-metaphysical in his attitude both to science and to theology, anti-authoritarian in his politics, and cautiously optimistic about human progress. Locke is indeed one of the founding figures of the Enlightenment, but for Pyle the Lockean Enlightenment is a modest affair of slow and hesitant groping towards the light. As well as serving as an introduction to Locke for students, the book also helps to correct a number of significant errors and misunderstandings that have marred our understanding of Locke and will spark discussion and debate amongst scholars of his work.
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