In 1980, Michel Foucault began a vast project of research on the relationship between subjectivity and truth, an examination of conscience, confession, and truth-telling that would become a crucial feature of his life-long work on the relationship between knowledge, power, and the self. The lectures published here offer one of the clearest pathways into this project, contrasting Greco-Roman techniques of the self with those of early Christian monastic culture in order to uncover, in the latter, the historical origin of many of the features that still characterize the modern subject. They are accompanied by a public discussion and debate as well as by an interview with Michael Bess, all of which took place at the University of California, Berkeley, where Foucault delivered an earlier and slightly different version of these lectures.
Foucault analyzes the practices of self-examination and confession in Greco-Roman antiquity and in the first centuries of Christianity in order to highlight a radical transformation from the ancient Delphic principle of “know thyself” to the monastic precept of “confess all of your thoughts to your spiritual guide.” His aim in doing so is to retrace the genealogy of the modern subject, which is inextricably tied to the emergence of the “hermeneutics of the self”—the necessity to explore one’s own thoughts and feelings and to confess them to a spiritual director—in early Christianity. According to Foucault, since some features of this Christian hermeneutics of the subject still determine our contemporary “gnoseologic” self, then the genealogy of the modern subject is both an ethical and a political enterprise, aiming to show that the “self” is nothing but the historical correlate of a series of technologies built into our history. Thus, from Foucault’s perspective, our main problem today is not to discover what “the self” is, but to try to analyze and change these technologies in order to change its form.
Though often invoked by pro-life supporters, Thomas Aquinas in fact held that human life begins after conception, not at the moment of union. But in following the twists and turns of Aquinas’ thinking about the beginning and end of human life, Fabrizio Amerini reaches a nuanced interpretation that will unsettle both sides in the abortion debate.
As ardent debates over creationism fill the front pages of newspapers, Genesis has never been more timely. And as Leon R. Kass shows in The Beginning of Wisdom, it’s also timeless.
Examining Genesis in a philosophical light, Kass presents it not as a story of what happened long ago, but as the enduring story of humanity itself. He asserts that the first half of Genesis contains insights about human nature that “rival anything produced by the great philosophers.” Kass here reads these first stories—from Adam and Eve to the tower of Babel—as a mirror for self-discovery that reveals truths about human reason, speech, freedom, sexual desire, pride, shame, anger, and death. Taking a step further in the second half of his book, Kass explores the struggles in Genesis to launch a new way of life that addresses mankind’s morally ambiguous nature by promoting righteousness and holiness.
Even readers who don’t agree with Kass’s interpretations will find The Beginning of Wisdom acompelling book—a masterful philosophical take on one of the world’s seminal religious texts.
“Extraordinary. . . . Its analyses and hypotheses will leave no reader’s understanding of Genesis unchanged.” —New York Times
“A learned and fluent, delightfully overstuffed stroll through the Gates of Eden. . . . Mix Harold Bloom with Stephen Jay Gould and you’ll get something like Kass. A wonderfully intelligent reading of Genesis.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Throughout his book, Kass uses fruitful, fascinating techniques for getting at the heart of Genesis. . . . Innumerable times [he] makes a reader sit back and rethink what has previously been tediously familiar or baffling.”—WashingtonPost
“It is important to state that this is a book not merely rich, but prodigiously rich with insight. Kass is a marvelous reader, sensitive and careful. His interpretations surprise again and again with their cogency and poignancy.”—JerusalemPost
Beginning the Quest by Barry Cooper provides an analysis of the legal and political writings of Eric Voegelin during the 1920s and 1930s. The subject matter of his analyses during this time period was quite distinct from the focus of his concerns thirty years later.
It has often been noted that Voegelin was a pupil of Hans Kelsen, the author of the postwar Austrian constitution and one of the great legal minds of the twentieth century. The significance of the fact that Voegelin began his academic life as a legal scholar has not, however, been emphasized, though his background provides a strong contrast with that of his contemporaries Leo Strauss and Hannah Arendt.
Beginning the Quest opens with Voegelin’s efforts, following the trauma of defeat in World War I, at understanding the relation of law and the study of law (Staatslehre) to what he then called “sociohistorical reality.” Much of this writing consisted of methodological analysis and criticism centered chiefly on the status of neo-Kantian philosophy as the basis for what we now call the social sciences. Voegelin wished to push the scientific understanding of sociohistorical reality beyond the scope afforded by German social science.
Cooper discusses Voegelin’s first systematic effort to bring together the principles of philosophical anthropology (including philosophy of history) with his understanding of comparative social science and a theory of law more comprehensive than Kelsen’s. In developing his argument, Voegelin discovered the centrality of what he called “political ideas.”
Cooper also deals with Voegelin’s The Authoritarian State (1936), which argues that Austria was more an administrative unit than a body politic. It was, to say the least, a startling analysis, but one that reappeared in later writings as well, especially in The New Science of Politics.
As a final point, Cooper deals with the concept of “political religions” that Voegelin developed in the 1938 book of that name. Just as the Austrians were groping toward the formation of a body politic, so too were the Germans. Instead of the authoritarian state being the form that the German “political people” attained, it was, as Voegelin showed in his race books, quite different. Voegelin developed the term political religion to describe the animating core of the National Socialist regime. The formation of this concept reveals that Voegelin had moved from a focus on the legal structure of a polity to its spiritual order—in the example of Nazi Germany, an unquestionably “Satanic” order.
Cooper concludes that just as the great crisis of Voegelin’s youth—World War I and its aftermath—led him to question the received premises of the Staatslehre tradition in which he was schooled, so did the crisis resulting in World War II lead him to develop ever-more-comprehensive accounts of the disorder and political convulsions of the day. The “quest” of the title of this study continued until Voegelin’s death.
From the New Yorker’s inimitable first pop music critic comes this pioneering collection of essays by a conscientious writer whose political realm is both radical and rational, and whose prime preoccupations are with rock ’n’ roll, sexuality, and above all, freedom. Here Ellen Willis assuredly captures the thrill of music, the disdain of authoritarian culture, and the rebellious spirit of the ’60s and ’70s.
Beginning with Plato was first published in 1944. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
These selected poems of Joseph Warren Beach range in time from the present year to the age of Pericles; in place from California to Shangri-La, from Paris to the Middle West; in theme from current political issues to the timeless problems of Greek philosophy; in mood from tender love to trenchant satire. In these fifty-odd poems is a rich variety—Anthony Eden and Cordell Hull, the French capital in the summer preceding the first World War, the skylines of the American West, the skylines of Minneapolis, soldier and swan maiden, and the inner life of man wherever lived. Mr. Beach can tell home truths without bitterness, and handle nostalgic emotion without sentimentality.
John Boswell’s National Book Award–winning study of the history of attitudes toward homosexuality in the early Christian West was a groundbreaking work that challenged preconceptions about the Church’s past relationship to its gay members—among them priests, bishops, and even saints—when it was first published thirty-five years ago. The historical breadth of Boswell’s research (from the Greeks to Aquinas) and the variety of sources consulted make this one of the most extensive treatments of any single aspect of Western social history.
Now in this thirty-fifth anniversary edition with a new foreword by leading queer and religious studies scholar Mark D. Jordan, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality is still fiercely relevant. This landmark book helped form the disciplines of gay and gender studies, and it continues to illuminate the origins and operations of intolerance as a social force.
"Truly groundbreaking work. Boswell reveals unexplored phenomena with an unfailing erudition."—Michel Foucault
John Boswell's National Book Award-winning study of the history of attitudes toward homosexuality in the early Christian West was a groundbreaking work that challenged preconceptions about the Church's past relationship to its gay members—among them priests, bishops, and even saints—when it was first published twenty-five years ago. The historical breadth of Boswell's research (from the Greeks to Aquinas) and the variety of sources consulted make this one of the most extensive treatments of any single aspect of Western social history. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, still fiercely relevant today, helped form the disciplines of gay and gender studies, and it continues to illuminate the origins and operations of intolerance as a social force.
As the Civil War was drawing to a close, former Missouri governor Sterling Price led his army on one last desperate campaign to retake his home state for the Confederacy, part of a broader effort to tilt the upcoming 1864 Union elections against Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans. In The Collapse of Price’s Raid: The Beginning of the End in Civil War Missouri, Mark A. Lause examines the complex political and social context of what became known as “Price’s Raid,” the final significant Southern operation west of the Mississippi River.
The success of the Confederates would be measured by how long they could avoid returning south to spend a hungry winter among the picked-over fields of southwestern Arkansas and northeastern Texas. As Price moved from Pilot Knob to Boonville, the Raid brutalized and alienated the people it supposedly wished to liberate. With Union cavalry pushing out of Jefferson City, the Confederates took Boonville, Glasgow, and Sedalia in their stride, and fostered a wave of attacks across northern Missouri by guerrillas and organizations of new recruits. With the Missouri River to their north and the ravaged farmlands to their south, Price’s men continued west.
At Lexington, Confederates began encountering a second Federal army newly raised in Kansas under General Samuel R. Curtis. A running battle from the Little Blue through Independence to the Big Blue marked the first of three days of battle in the area of Kansas City, as the two Federal armies squeezed the Confederate forces between them. Despite a self-congratulatory victory, Union forces failed to capture the very vulnerable army of Price, which escaped down the Kansas line.
The follow-up to Price’s Lost Campaign: The 1864 Invasion of Missouri, Lause’s The Collapse of Price’s Raid is a must-have for any reader interested in the Civil War or in Missouri state history.
The first major history of Chicago ever written, A History of Chicago covers the city’s great history over two centuries, from 1673 to 1893.
Originally conceived as a centennial history of Chicago, the project became, under the guidance of renowned historian Bessie Louise Pierce, a definitive, three-volume set describing the city’s growth—from its humble frontier beginnings to the horrors of the Great Fire, the construction of some of the world’s first skyscrapers, and the opulence of the 1893 World’s Fair. Pierce and her assistants spent over forty years transforming historical records into an inspiring human story of growth and survival.
Rich with anecdotal evidence and interviews with the men and women who made Chicago great, all three volumes will now be available for the first time in years. A History of Chicago will be essential reading for anyone who wants to know this great city and its place in America.
“With this rescue of its history from the bright, impressionable newspapermen and from the subscription-volumes, Chicago builds another impressive memorial to its coming of age, the closing of its first ‘century of progress.’”—E. D. Branch, New YorkTimes (1937)
This volume contains fourteen essays by authoritative academics studying the field of mystery and detective fiction. The essays all concentrate on the first novels in established series, analyzing ways in which the opening books of the series do or do not create patterns followed in succeeding novels.
The Mahabharata, an ancient and vast Sanskrit poem, is a remarkable collection of epics, legends, romances, theology, and ethical and metaphysical doctrine. The core of this great work is the epic struggle between five heroic brothers, the Pandavas, and their one hundred contentious cousins for rule of the land. This is the first volume in what will ultimately become a multi volume edition encompassing all eighteen books.
Moving Lessons is an insightful and sophisticated look at the origins and influence of dance in American universities, focusing on Margaret H'Doubler, who established the first university courses and the first degree program in dance (at the University of Wisconsin). Dance educator and historian Janice Ross shows that H'Doubler (1889–1982) was both emblematic of her time and an innovator who made deep imprints in American culture. An authentic "New Woman," H'Doubler emerged from a sheltered female Victorian world to take action in the public sphere. She changed the way Americans thought, not just about female physicality but also about higher education for women.
Ross brings together many discourses—from dance history, pedagogical theory, women's history, feminist theory, American history, and the history of the body—in intelligent, exciting, and illuminating ways and adds a new chapter to each of them. She shows how H'Doubler, like Isadora Duncan and other modern dancers, helped to raise dance in the eyes of the middle class from its despised status as lower-class entertainment and "dangerous" social interaction to a serious enterprise. Taking a nuanced critical approach to the history of women's bodies and their representations, Moving Lessons fills a very large gap in the history of dance education.
Nothing is considered more natural than the connection between Isaac Newton’s science and the modernity that came into being during the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. Terms like “Newtonianism” are routinely taken as synonyms for “Enlightenment” and “modern” thought, yet the particular conjunction of these terms has a history full of accidents and contingencies. Modern physics, for example, was not the determined result of the rational unfolding of Newton’s scientific work in the eighteenth century, nor was the Enlightenment the natural and inevitable consequence of Newton’s eighteenth-century reception. Each of these outcomes, in fact, was a contingent event produced by the particular historical developments of the early eighteenth century.
A comprehensive study of public culture, The Newton Wars and the Beginning of the French Enlightenment digsbelow the surface of the commonplace narratives that link Newton with Enlightenment thought to examine the actual historical changes that brought them together in eighteenth-century time and space. Drawing on the full range of early modern scientific sources, from studied scientific treatises and academic papers to book reviews, commentaries, and private correspondence, J. B. Shank challenges the widely accepted claim that Isaac Newton’s solitary genius is the reason for his iconic status as the father of modern physics and the philosophemovement.
Derrida's first book-length work, The Problem of Genesis in Husserl's Philosophy, was originally written as a dissertation for his diplôme d'études supérieures in 1953 and 1954. Surveying Husserl's major works on phenomenology, Derrida reveals what he sees as an internal tension in Husserl's central notion of genesis, and gives us our first glimpse into the concerns and frustrations that would later lead Derrida to abandon phenomenology and develop his now famous method of deconstruction.
For Derrida, the problem of genesis in Husserl's philosophy is that both temporality and meaning must be generated by prior acts of the transcendental subject, but transcendental subjectivity must itself be constituted by an act of genesis. Hence, the notion of genesis in the phenomenological sense underlies both temporality and atemporality, history and philosophy, resulting in a tension that Derrida sees as ultimately unresolvable yet central to the practice of phenomenology.
Ten years later, Derrida moved away from phenomenology entirely, arguing in his introduction to Husserl's posthumously published Origin of Geometry and his own Speech and Phenomena that the phenomenological project has neither resolved this tension nor expressly worked with it. The Problem of Genesis complements these other works, showing the development of Derrida's approach to phenomenology as well as documenting the state of phenomenological thought in France during a particularly fertile period, when Levinas, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Ricoeur, and Tran-Duc-Thao, as well as Derrida, were all working through it. But the book is most important in allowing us to follow Derrida's own development as a philosopher by tracing the roots of his later work in deconstruction to these early critical reflections on Husserl's phenomenology.
"A dissertation is not merely a prerequisite for an academic job. It may set the stage for a scholar's life project. So, the doctoral dissertations of Max Weber and Jacques Derrida, never before available in English, may be of more than passing interest. In June, the University of Chicago Press will publish Mr. Derrida's dissertation, The Problem of Genesis in Husserl's Philosophy, which the French philosopher wrote in 1953-54 as a doctoral student, and which did not appear in French until 1990. From the start, Mr Derrida displayed his inventive linguistic style and flouting of convention."—Danny Postel, Chronicle of Higher Education
Nikolai Chernyshevsky (1828-89) is most famous as the author of What is To Be Done? (1863), one of the most inspirational texts in the Russian revolutionary movement. But during his long and lonely Siberian exile Chernyshevsky wrote Prologue, an novel of extraordinary interest for anyone eager to understand the course of Russian history and the political debate over democratization taking place in Russia today.
Set in Petersburg in 1857, on the eve of the great reforms that would include the emancipation of the serfs, Prologue expresses the author's hostility toward Russian liberals, their halfhearted attempts to alleviate the sufferings of peasants, and their insufficient support of revolution, while also exploring the obstacles in the path of women's social and personal development in the Victorian era. Michael R. Katz's new translation makes this singular work available to the non-Russian reading public for the first time.
Dismissing oversimplified and politically charged views of the politics of Shi'ite Islam, Said Amir Arjomand offers a richly researched sociological and historical study of Shi'ism and the political order of premodern Iran that exposes the roots of what became Khomeini's theocracy.
Intensive care medicine today is as close to the miraculous as most of us are likely to see in our lifetime. Nowhere is this magic more effectively practiced than in neonatal nurseries. Infants who are born prematurely at twenty-four weeks gestation and who weigh less than a pound can now be treated successfully. No other type of medicine has a more dramatic payoff, for the infants who survive can look forward to seventy or more years of life.
But there is a dark underside to the exercise of these skills. A growing number of babies live only to be tethered to life-support systems, unconscious or suffering incessant pain for years and sometimes for the duration of their lives. The ethical issues raised by these children are among the most difficult in our society. Should life be maintained no matter what its quality? Or is there a point at which treatment should be stopped on humane grounds? Who is to make decisions on continuing or ending therapy for damaged children? Is the law a suitable instrument for regulating medical decisions in intensive care nurseries? Should the growing cost of intensive care influence therapy decisions?
Special Care explores the moral and legal issues in neonatal intensive care. Fred M. Frohock spent four months in a special care nursery, observing the daily actions of doctors and nurses and interviewing staff and parents of patients. This engaging, human drama is told through the author's own journal entries interspersed with generous excerpts from taped interviews that display the practical reasoning of staff and parents as they address the moral problems raised by intensive care medicine. Several case studies of infants highlight the often contradictory directions in which medical staffs are pulled and the painful decisions that doctors and parents together are often called upon to make. The result is a book that reconstructs the ordinary life of a neonatal nursery and presents the moral views of those who are most intimately involved in therapy decisions.
This book is an urgently needed entry in the current discussions of treatment for badly damaged babies. Frohock argues that our tradition of rights language, which rests on the premise that we know what a human being is, is inappropriate when dealing with the paradoxes of decision making in neonatal nurseries. Calling for a new moral vocabulary better adapted to the world of medicine, he introduces the notion of harm in place of rights, a concept drawn from medicine's Hippocratic oath that pledges to "do no harm," as a way to begin framing questions and making decisions. Special Care will interest anyone who wants to understand medical decisions at the margins of human life.
We know the universe has a history, but does it also have a story of self-creation to tell? Yes, in Roy R. Gould’s account. Heoffers a compelling narrative of how the universe—with no instruction other than its own laws—evolved into billions of galaxies and gave rise to life, including humans who have been trying for millennia to comprehend it. Far from being a random accident, the universe is hard at work, extracting order from chaos.
Making use of the best current science, Gould turns what many assume to be true about the universe on its head. The cosmos expands inward, not outward. Gravity can drive things apart, not merely together. And the universe seems to defy entropy as it becomes more ordered, rather than the other way around. Strangest of all, the universe is exquisitely hospitable to life, despite its being constructed from undistinguished atoms and a few unexceptional rules of behavior. Universe in Creation explores whether the emergence of life, rather than being a mere cosmic afterthought, may be written into the most basic laws of nature.
Offering a fresh take on what brought the world—and us—into being, Gould helps us see the universe as the master of its own creation, not tethered to a singular event but burgeoning as new space and energy continuously stream into existence. It is a very old story, as yet unfinished, with plotlines that twist and churn through infinite space and time.
To outsiders, the state of Utah often conjures many unsurprising stereotypes and images: Mormons, polygamy, large families, national parks, and skiing. Is there more to Utah and its residents than these generalizations? Few doubt that the religious institutions in Utah affect the state’s quality of life in many ways. But it is equally true that numerous features of the population are steadily and profoundly altering the very nature of Utah and its residents. This book describes the many fundamental demographic, social, and economic pressures that will likely alter the state’s path in the future.
Utah’s leading social scientists and population-related scholars draw on their specific areas of expertise and analyze Utah’s population using recent sources of data such as the 2000 U.S. Census. The chapters are organized into three broad topical sections: the foundations of Utah’s population (basic demographics), how the nature of the population affects our daily lives (quality of life issues), and the public policy challenges that will face Utah’s leaders (emerging issues).
The Western film is inextricably tied to American culture: untamed landscapes, fiercely independent characters, and an unwavering distinction between good and evil. Yet Westerns began in the early twentieth century as far more fluid works of comedy, adventure, and historical explorations of the frontier landscape. Nanna Verhoeff examines here the earliest films made in the Western genre and proposes the thought-provoking argument that these little-studied films demand new ways of considering Westerns and the history of cinema.
Verhoeff analyzes the earliest American and European Westerns—made between 1894 and 1915—and finds them to be an international repository for anxieties about modernity and identity, not the instructional morality tales we assume them to be. She draws on an array of archival materials—photography, paintings, Wild West shows, popular ethnographic studies, and pulp literature—to locate these early Westerns more precisely in their original social and cultural contexts. These early films—which coincided with the “closing” of the West and rises in rates of immigration, railroad travel, and urbanization—drove the transformation of film, Verhoeff argues, from just another new technology into the dominant cultural vehicle for dealing with issues of national and personal nostalgia, as well as uncertainty in the face of modernity. From these fragmentary early films Verhoeff extracts a rich historical analysis that radically reorients our view of the first two decades of cinema history in America and provocatively connects the evolution of Westerns to our transition today into a new media culture.
The West in Early Cinema challenges established history and criticism of the Western film and will be an invaluable resource for the film scholar and John Wayne fan alike.