This masterful translation of four tragedies by Antonio Buero-Vallejo (1916 -2000), Spain 's most important dramatist since the 1930s, will allow English-speaking audiences to experience the most deeply moving and intellectually rich works of one of the twentieth-century 's great authors. Patricia W. O'Connor complements vivid translations with generous supporting materials, including a reader-friendly introduction to the playwright's life and work, commentaries on the plays, and photographs of productions and playwright.
Buero-Vallejo's emblematic first play, Story of a Stairway (1949), chronicling decades in the lives of struggling Madrid families, catapulted the young author into prominence. Appearing here for the first time in English, Before Dawn (1953) is a whodunit and the riveting odyssey of one woman 's search for truth that recalls Greek tragedy. The Basement Window (1967), an Orwellian science-fiction experiment, portrays the moral climate of the late twentieth century as judged by ethically enlightened researchers of a distant future. In the first English translation of the author's poignantly relevant final play, Mission to the Deserted Village (1999), a wartime attempt to save an El Greco painting raises questions about how much of its own treasure a culture will destroy to keep it out of enemy hands.
Readers who know Buero-Vallejo's plays will celebrate O'Connor 's sparkling translations. Those who haven't yet read Buero-Vallejo will find a very moving introduction in this collection.
The Bad Conscience
Vladimir Jankélévitch University of Chicago Press, 2014 Library of Congress BJ1471.J313 2015 | Dewey Decimal 171.6
Vladimir Jankélévitch was one of the most distinctive voices in twentieth-century philosophy. In The Bad Conscience—published in 1933 and subsequently revised and expanded—Jankélévitch lays the foundations for his later work, Forgiveness, grappling with the conditions that give rise to the moral awareness without which forgiveness would make no sense. Remorse, or “the bad conscience,” arises from the realization that the acts one has committed become irrevocable. This realization, in turn, gives rise to an awareness of moral virtues and values, as well as freedom and the responsibilities freedom entails. Thus, while the majority of moral systems try to shield us from remorse, the remedy for the bad conscience lies not in repentance but in the experience of remorse itself.
To this careful and sensitive English-language translation of The Bad Conscience, translator Andrew Kelley has added a substantial introduction situating the work in historical and intellectual context. Notes throughout indicate differences between this and earlier editions. A thought-provoking critique of standard conceptions of moral philosophy, The Bad Conscience restores this work by an important philosopher who has only recently begun to receive his due from the English-speaking world.
In a provactive work that brings new tools to the history of philosophy, Karen S. Feldman offers an elegant account of how philosophical language appears to produce the very thing it claims to describe. She demonstrates that conscience can only be described and understood through tropes and figures of langugae. If description in literal terms is impossible, as Binding Words convincingly argues, perhaps there is no such thing. But if the word "conscience" has no tangible referent, then how can conscience be constructed as binding? Does our conscience move us to do things, or is this yet another figure of speech?
Hobbes's Leviathan, Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, and Heidegger's Being and Time dramatize conscience's relation to language and knowledge, morality and duty, and ontology. Feldman investigates how, within these works, conscience is described as binding upon us while at the same time asking how texts themselves may be read as binding.
Unlike earlier U.S. interventions in Latin America, the Reagan administration’s attempt to overthrow the Sandinista government of Nicaragua during the 1980s was not allowed to proceed quietly. Tens of thousands of American citizens organized and agitated against U.S. aid to the counterrevolutionary guerrillas, known as “contras.” Believing the Contra War to be unnecessary, immoral, and illegal, they challenged the administration’s Cold War stereotypes, warned of “another Vietnam,” and called on the United States to abide by international norms. A Call to Conscience offers the first comprehensive history of the anti–Contra War campaign and its Nicaragua connections. Roger Peace places this eight-year campaign in the context of previous American interventions in Latin America, the Cold War, and other grassroots oppositional movements. Based on interviews with American and Nicaraguan citizens and leaders, archival records of activist organizations, and official government documents, this book reveals activist motivations, analyzes the organizational dynamics of the anti–Contra War campaign, and contrasts perceptions of the campaign in Managua and Washington. Peace shows how a variety of civic groups and networks—religious, leftist, peace, veteran, labor, women’s rights—worked together in a decentralized campaign that involved extensive transnational cooperation.
Many consider conscience to be one of the most important—if not the fundamental—quality that makes us human, distinguishing us from animals, on one hand, and machines on the other. But what is conscience, exactly? Is it a product of our biological roots, as Darwin thought, or is it a purely social invention? If the latter, how did it come into the world?
In this biography of that most elusive human element, Martin van Creveld explores conscience throughout history, ranging across numerous subjects, from human rights to health to the environment. Along the way he considers the evolution of conscience in its myriad, occasionally strange, and ever-surprising permutations. He examines the Old Testament, which—erroneously, it turns out—is normally seen as the fountainhead from which the Western idea of conscience has sprung. Next, he takes us to meet Antigone, the first person on record to explicitly speak of conscience. We then visit with the philosophers Zeno, Cicero and Seneca; with Christian thinkers such as Paul, Augustine, Aquinas, and, above all, Martin Luther; as well as modern intellectual giants such as Machiavelli, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Freud. Individual chapters are devoted to Japan, China, and even the Nazis, as well as the most recent discoveries in robotics and neuroscience and how they have contributed to the ways we think about our own morality. Ultimately, van Creveld shows that conscience remains as elusive as ever, a continuously mysterious voice that guides how we think about right and wrong.
Lowell Bennion, Sterling McMurrin, and Obert Tanner were colleagues whose lives often intertwined. All professors at the University of Utah, these three scholars addressed issues and events of their time; each influenced the thought and culture of Mormonism, helping to institute a period of intellectual life and social activism. In Conscience and Community multiple scholars, family members, and others look at the private and public aspects of three lives and examine the roles they played in shaping their communities inside and out of their university and church.
Lowell Bennion was founding director of the LDS Institute of Religion and professor of sociology at the University of Utah. He established multiple community service entities. Sterling McMurrin was distinguished professor of philosophy and history, dean of the graduate school, and former commissioner of education under JFK. He dismissed dogma and doctrine as barriers to a search for moral and spiritual understanding. Obert Tanner, also of the university’s Philosophy Department, excelled in teaching and business and became especially well known for philanthropy. The lives and work of these three men reveal the tensions between faith and reason, conscience and obedience. Their stories speak to us today because their concerns remain our concerns: racial justice, women’s equality, gay rights, and the meaning of integrity and conscience.
“Brilliant . . . Should be required reading.” —Commentary
“As a critic of liberalism, George is devastating.” —National Review
“Puts George’s highly burnished philosophical and constitutional learning on full display . . . George speaks for a sizable number of conscientious objectors to America’s ruling liberal secularism.” —New York Times Book Review
“Could not be more timely. A treasure trove of thought-provoking reflections by one of the best minds of our time.” —Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard Law, from the foreword to the updated and expanded paperback edition of Conscience and Its Enemies
Assaults on religious liberty and traditional morality are growing fiercer. Here, at last, is the counterattack.
This revised and updated paperback edition of the acclaimed Conscience and Its Enemies showcases the talents that have made Robert P. George one of America’s most influential thinkers. Here George explodes the myth that the secular elite represents the voice of reason. In fact, it is on the elite side of the cultural divide where the prevailing views are little more than articles of faith. Conscience and Its Enemies reveals the bankruptcy of these too often smugly held orthodoxies while presenting powerfully reasoned arguments for classical virtues.
In defending what James Madison called the “sacred rights of conscience”—rights for which government shows frightening contempt—George grapples with today’s most controversial issues: same-sex marriage, abortion, transgenderism, genetic manipulation, euthanasia and assisted suicide, religion in politics, judicial activism, and more. His brilliantly argued essays rely not on theological claims or religious authority but on established scientific facts and a philosophical tradition that extends back to Plato and Aristotle.
Conscience and Its Enemies sets forth powerful arguments that secular liberals are unaccustomed to hearing—and that embattled defenders of traditional morality so often fail to marshal.
Prompted by the suicides of Jean Amery and Primo Levi, Harold Kaplan sought to ask what the Holocaust can be said to affirm even even in the face of its overwhelming negation of meaning. "I wrote this book," he explains, "to translate the Holocaust out of the moral and intellectual shock which contemplates the alienation of humanity from itself. I wished to understand the 'crime against humanity' as a viable category of the moral reason. And I wished to respond to the written testimony of Holocaust victims and survivors as if the issue of their survival were present to us today."
Kaplan simulates the response to a long visit to the new Holocaust museum in Washington, D.C., which, crucially for Kaplan, is sited in direct view of the Jefferson and Lincoln monuments, powerful symbols of humanist democracy. He insists the Holocaust be viewed not only in terms of personal ethics but modern political ethics as well: for Kaplan the affirmative legacy of the Holocaust is its focus on the dangers of nationalism, racism, and all forms of separatist group identities. It challenges the historicism, cults of power, and scientistic politics of modernity. And it challenges the moral passivity and relativism of mass politics in Western and Eastern societies.
The opening of the Holocaust museum has sparked a debate that reflects a larger debate over the Holocaust's "meaning," its translatability for ordinary understanding. Some deny any possible response except that of overwhelming grief and horror. For others, the "lesson" of the Holocaust implies, in the words of Robert Nozick, that "mankind has fallen. . . . Humanity has lost its claim to continue." The moral life and political institutions will remain endlessly tormented by the Holocaust. That, Kaplan tells us, is the ultimate content of its "meaning," and is what makes the discussion of "meaning" much more than a mourner's symposium.
The Museum itself, according to Kaplan, has become an impressive memorial to the principle of humanism, instructing the collective memory of this democracy and that of nations everywhere which aspire to civil existence. Out of its awful darkness the Holocaust throws the light of conscience for those capable of receiving it.
Clifford Judkins Durr was an Alabama lawyer who played an important role in defending activists and other accused of disloyalty during the New Deal and McCarthy eras. His uncompromising commitment to civil liberties and civic decency caused him to often take unpopular positions.
In 1933, Durr moved to Washington to work as a lawyer for the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, a creation of Roosevelt’s new Democratic administration, becoming a dedicated New Dealer in the process. He was then appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a politically sensitive position as FDR sought to counter the increasing power and concentration of broadcasters, many of whom were opponents of the New Deal. Durr resigned from the FCC in 1948 and after brief employment with the National Farmers Union in Colorado, the Durrs eventually returned to Montgomery, Alabama in the hope of returning to a more prosperous, less controversial life.
Durr continued to practice in Montgomery as counsel for black citizens whose rights had been violated and ultimately, in December, 1955, when police arrested Rosa Parks for refusing to give her bus seat to a white man he stepped in and lent his extensive legal prowess to her case and the continuing quest for civil rights. Closing his firm in 1964 Durr began to lecture in the United States and abroad. He died at his grandfather's farm in 1975
This is the first book to survey the entire career of Joris Ivens, a prolific documentary filmmaker who worked on every continent over the course of seven decades. More than a biography of a leftist committed to changing the world through film, The Conscience of Cinema is also a microcosmic history of the documentary and its form, culture, and place within twentieth-century world cinema. Ivens worked in almost every genre, including the essay, compilation, hybrid dramatization, socialist realism, and more. Whether in his native Netherlands, the Soviet Union, the United States, Vietnam, or beyond, he left an indelible artistic and political mark that continues to resonate in the twenty-first century.
The Conscience of the Court celebrates the work of Justice William J. Brennan Jr., who served on the United States Supreme Court for thirty-four years (1956–1990).
Stephen L. Sepinuck and Mary Pat Treuthart introduce and present selected judicial opinions written by Justice Brennan on issues involving personal freedom, civil liberties, and equality. Brennan is ranked by many as the best writer ever to have served on the Supreme Court, and his written opinions depict real people, often in desperate, emotional situations. Remarkable for their clarity of analysis, for their eloquence, and for their forcefulness and persuasiveness, his opinions demonstrate that judicial thought need not be a proprietary enclave of lawyers or the intellectual elite.
The extended excerpts selected by Sepinuck and Treuthart highlight Brennan's approach to judicial decision making. Concerned always with how each decision would actually affect people's lives, Brennan possessed a rare quality of empathy. In Brennan, the editors note, "people and groups who lacked influence in society—Communists and flag burners, children and foreigners, criminal defendants and racial minorities"—found a champion they could count on "to listen to their causes and judge them unmoved by the passions of the politically powerful."
In their introduction to each opinion, the editors provide background facts, discuss how the excerpted opinion transformed the law or otherwise fit into the realm of constitutional jurisprudence, and delve into Justice Brennan's judicial philosophy, his method of constitutional interpretation, and the language he used.
What is your conscience? Is it, as Peter Cajka asks in this provocative book, “A small, still voice? A cricket perched on your shoulder? An angel and devil who compete for your attention?” Going back at least to the thirteenth century, Catholics viewed their personal conscience as a powerful and meaningful guide to align their conduct with worldly laws. But, as Cajka shows in Follow Your Conscience, during the national cultural tumult of the 1960s, the divide between the demands of conscience and the demands of the law, society, and even the church itself grew increasingly perilous. As growing numbers of Catholics started to consider formerly stout institutions to be morally hollow—especially in light of the Vietnam War and the church’s refusal to sanction birth control—they increasingly turned to their own consciences as guides for action and belief. This abandonment of higher authority had radical effects on American society, influencing not only the broader world of Christianity, but also such disparate arenas as government, law, health care, and the very vocabulary of American culture. As this book astutely reveals, today’s debates over political power, religious freedom, gay rights, and more are all deeply infused by the language and concepts outlined by these pioneers of personal conscience.
In 1989, The National Museum of the American Indian Act (NMAIA) was successfully passed after a long and intense struggle. One year later, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) followed. These federal repatriation statutes—arguably some of the most important laws in the history of anthropology, museology, and American Indian rights—enabled Native Americans to reclaim human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony.
Twenty years later, the controversy instigated by the creation of NMAIA and NAGPRA continues to simmer. In the Smaller Scope of Conscience is a thoughtful and detailed study of the ins and outs of the four-year process behind these laws. It is a singular contribution to the history of these issues, with the potential to help mediate the ongoing debate by encouraging all sides to retrace the steps of the legislators responsible for the acts.
Few works are as detailed as McKeown’s account, which looks into bills that came prior to NMAIA and NAGPRA and combs the legislative history for relevant reports and correspondence. Testimonies, documents, and interviews from the primary players of this legislative process are cited to offer insights into the drafting and political processes that shaped NMAIA and NAGPRA.
Above all else, this landmark work distinguishes itself from earlier legislative histories with the quality of its analysis. Invested and yet evenhanded in his narrative, McKeown ensures that this journey through history—through the strategies and struggles of different actors to effect change through federal legislation—is not only accurate but eminently intriguing.
The story of Czech theatre in the twentieth century involves generations of mesmerizing players and memorable productions. Beyond these artistic considerations, however, lies a larger story: a theatre that has resonated with the intense concerns of its audiences acquires a significance and a force beyond anything created by striking individual talents or random stage hits. Amid the variety of performances during the past hundred years, that basic and provocative reality has been repeatedly demonstrated, as Jarka Burian reveals in his extraordinary history of the dramatic world of Czech theatre.
Following a brief historical background, Burian provides a chronological series of perspectives and observations on the evolving nature of Czech theatre productions during this century in relation to their similarly evolving social and political contexts. Once Czechoslovak independence was achieved in 1918, a repeated interplay of theatre with political realities became the norm, sometimes stifling the creative urge but often producing even greater artistry. When playwright Václav Havel became president in 1990, this was but the latest and most celebrated example of the vital engagement between stage and society that has been a repeated condition of Czech theatre for the past two hundred years. In Jarka Burian's skillful hands, Modern Czech Theatre becomes an extremely important touchstone for understanding the history of modern theatre within western culture.
In Moral Conscience through the Ages, Richard Sorabji brings his erudition and philosophical acumen to bear on a fundamental question: what is conscience? Examining the ways we have conceived of that little voice in our heads—our self-directed judge—he teases out its most enduring elements, the aspects that have survived from the Greek playwrights in the fifth century BCE through St Paul, the Church Fathers, Catholics and Protestants, all the way to the 17th century’s political unrest and the critics and champions of the eighteenth to twentieth centuries.
Sorabji examines an impressive breadth of topics: the longing for different kinds of freedom of conscience, the proper limits of freedom itself, protests at conscience’s being ‘terrorized,’ dilemmas of conscience, the value of conscience to human beings, its secularization, its reliability, and ways to improve it. These historical issues are alive today, with fresh concerns about topics such as conscientious objection, the force of conscience, or the balance between freedoms of conscience, religion, and speech. The result is a stunningly comprehensive look at a central component of our moral understanding.
Based on decades of research, A Privilege of Intellect is D. A. Drennen’s portrait of the English cardinal John Henry Newman (1801–90), whose conversion to the Roman Catholic Church in 1845 significantly boosted the presence of the Catholic Church in England and caused many Anglicans to follow his example. Newman—who will be beatified this fall—devoted his life both to the Church and to the university, demonstrating that religious faith and intellectual pursuits could exist in harmony. Drennen’s biography combines theology with psychology and philosophy and will appeal to anyone interested in the history of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.
The implicit questions that inevitably underlie German bioethics are the same ones that have pervaded all of German public life for decades: How could the Holocaust have happened? And how can Germans make sure that it will never happen again? In Reasons of Conscience, Stefan Sperling considers the bioethical debates surrounding embryonic stem cell research in Germany at the turn of the twenty-first century, highlighting how the country’s ongoing struggle to come to terms with its past informs the decisions it makes today.
Sperling brings the reader unmatched access to the offices of the German parliament to convey the role that morality and ethics play in contemporary Germany. He describes the separate and interactive workings of the two bodies assigned to shape German bioethics—the parliamentary Enquiry Commission on Law and Ethics in Modern Medicine and the executive branch’s National Ethics Council—tracing each institution’s genesis, projected image, and operations, and revealing that the content of bioethics cannot be separated from the workings of these institutions. Sperling then focuses his discussion around three core categories—transparency, conscience, and Germany itself—arguing that without fully considering these, we fail to understand German bioethics. He concludes with an assessment of German legislators and regulators’ attempts to incorporate criteria of ethical research into the German Stem Cell Law.
“The strength of Empire,” wrote Ben Jonson, “is in religion.” In Reforming Empire, Christopher Hodgkins takes Jonson’s dictum as his point of departure, showing how for more than four centuries the Protestant imagination gave the British Empire its main paradigms for dominion and also, ironically, its chief languages of anti-imperial dissent. From Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene to Rudyard Kipling’s “The Man Who Would Be King,” English literature about empire has turned with strange constancy to themes of worship and idolatry, atrocity and deliverance, slavery and service, conversion, prophecy, apostasy, and doom.
Focusing on the work of the Protestant imagination from the Renaissance origins of English overseas colonization through the modern end of England’s colonial enterprise, Hodgkins organizes his study around three kinds of religious binding—unification, subjugation, and self-restraint. He shows how early modern Protestants like Hakluyt and Spenser reformed the Arthurian chronicles and claimed to inherit Rome’s empire from the Caesars: how Ralegh and later Cromwell imagined a counterconquest of Spanish America, and how Milton’s Satan came to resemble Cortés; how Drake and the fictional Crusoe established their status as worthy colonial masters by refusing to be worshiped as gods; and how seventeenth-century preachers, poets, and colonists moved haltingly toward a racist metaphysics—as Virginia began by celebrating the mixed marriage of Pocahontas but soon imposed the draconian separation of the Color Line.
Yet Hodgkins reveals that Tudor-Stuart times also saw the revival of Augustinian anti-expansionism and the genesis of Protestant imperial guilt. From the start, British Protestant colonialism contained its own opposite: a religion of self-restraint. Though this conscience often was co-opted or conscripted to legitimize conquests and pacify the conquered, it frequently found memorable and even fierce literary expression in writers such as Shakespeare, Daniel, Herbert, Swift, Johnson, Burke, Blake, Austen, Browning, Tennyson, Conrad, Forster, and finally the anti-Protestant Waugh. Written in a lively and accessible style, Reforming Empire will be of interest to all scholars and students of English literature.
Jocelyn Maclure and Charles Taylor provide a clearly reasoned, articulate account of the two main principles of secularism—equal respect, and freedom of conscience—and argue that in our religiously diverse, politically interconnected world, secularism, properly understood, may offer the only path to religious and philosophical freedom.
“To love is to act”— “Aimer, c’est agir.” These words, which Victor Hugo wrote three days before he died, epitomize his life’s philosophy. His love of freedom, democracy, and all people—especially the poor and wretched—drove him not only to write his epic Les Misérables but also to follow his conscience. We have much to learn from Hugo, who battled for justice, lobbied against slavery and the death penalty, and fought for the rights of women and children. In a series of essays that interweave Hugo’s life with Les Misérables and point to the novel’s contemporary relevance, To Love Is to Act explores how Hugo reveals his guiding principles for life, including his belief in the redemptive power of love and forgiveness. Enriching the book are insights from artists who captured the novel’s heart in the famed musical, Les Mis creators Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, producer of the musical Les Misérables Cameron Mackintosh, film director Tom Hooper, and award-winning actors who have portrayed Jean Valjean: Colm Wilkinson and Hugh Jackman.
While most philosophers who write about punishment ask, "Why may we punish the guilty?" Jacob Adler asks, "To what extent does a guilty person have a duty to submit to punishment?" He maintains that if we are to justify any system of punishment by the state, we must explain why persons guilty of an offense are morally bound to submit to punitive treatment, or to undertake it on their own. Using Rawls's theory of social contract as a framework, the author presents what he calls the rectification theory of punishment.
After examining punishment from two points of view—that of the punisher and that of the offender who is to be punished—Adler proposes the Paradigm of the Conscientious Punishee: a repentant wrongdoer who views punishment as not necessarily unpleasant, but as something it is morally incumbent upon one to undertake. The author argues that this paradigm must play a central role in the theory of punishment. Citing community service projects and penances for sin (as required by some religions), Adler argues that punishment need not involve pain or any other disvalue. Instead he defines it in terms of its justificatiory connection with wrongdoing: punishment is that which is justified by the prior commission of an offense and generally not justified without the prior commission of an offense.
The rectification theory applies particularly to offenses involving basic liberties. It is based on the assumption that each person is guaranteed the right to an inviolable sphere of liberty. Someone who commits an offense has expanded his or her sphere by arrogating excess liberties. In order to maintain the equality on which this theory rests, an equivalent body of liberties must be given up. In discussing applications of the theory, Adler demonstrates that active service (as punishment) is more effective in safeguarding important rights and interests and maintaining the social contract than is afflictive punishment.
You can find a Starbucks coffeehouse almost anywhere, from Paris, France to Paducah, Kentucky, from the crowded streets of Thailand to shopping malls in Qatar. With nearly 200 of them in New York City alone, this coffee retail giant with humble beginnings has become an actor and icon in the global economy. As we sip our cappuccinos, frappuccinos, and our double half-caf venti low-fat mochaccinos, many of us wonder if Starbucks is a haven of civilization or a cultural predator, a good or bad employer, a fair trader or a global menace. In this entertaining and provocative ramble through Starbucks's ethos and actions, Kim Fellner asks how a coffeehouse chain with a liberal reputation came to symbolize, for some, the ills of globalization.
Armed with an open mind and a sense of humor, Fellner takes readers on an expedition into the muscle and soul of the coffee company. She finds a corporation filled with contradictions: between employee-friendly processes and anti-union practices; between an internationalist vision and a longing for global dominance; between community individuality and cultural hegemony. On a daily basis Starbucks walks a fine line. It must be profitable enough to please Wall Street and principled enough to please social justice advocates. Although observers might argue that the company has done well at achieving a balance, Starbucks's leaders run the risk of satisfying neither constituency and must constantly justify themselves to both.
Through the voices of Central American coffee farmers, officers at corporate headquarters, independent café owners, unionists, baristas, traders, global justice activists, and consumers, Fellner explores the forces that affect Starbucks's worth and worthiness. Along the way, she subjects her own unabashedly progressive perspective to scrutiny and emerges with a compelling and unexpected look at Starbucks, the global economy, our economic convictions, and the values behind our morning cup of joe.