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.
Revered by the public, respected by scholars, and imitated by politicians, Abraham Lincoln remains influential more than two hundred years after his birth. His memory has inspired books, monuments, and museums and also sparked controversies, rivalries, and forgeries. That so many people have been interested in Lincoln for so long makes him an ideal subject for exploring why history matters to ordinary Americans as well as to academic specialists.
In Everybody's History, Keith A. Erekson focuses on the Southwestern Indiana Historical Society -- an organization composed of lawyers, historians, collectors, genealogists, teachers, college presidents, and newspaper editors -- who joined together during the 1920s and 1930s to recover a part of Lincoln's life his biographers had long ignored: the years from age seven to twenty-one when he lived on the Indiana frontier. Participants in the "Lincoln Inquiry," as it was commonly known, researched old records, interviewed aging witnesses, hosted pageants, built a historical village, and presented their findings in public and in print. Along the way they defended their methods and findings against competitors in the fields of public history and civic commemoration, and rescued some of Indiana's own history by correcting a forgotten chapter of Lincoln's.
Everybody's History traces the development of popular interest in Lincoln to uncover the story of an extensive network of nonprofessional historians who contested old authorities and advanced new interpretations. In so doing, the book invites all who are interested in the past to see history as both vital to public life and meaningful to everybody.
"A compelling agricultural story skillfully told; environmentalists will eat it up." - Kirkus Reviews
When Bob Quinn was a kid, a stranger at a county fair gave him a few kernels of an unusual grain. Little did he know, that grain would change his life. Years later, after finishing a PhD in plant biochemistry and returning to his family’s farm in Montana, Bob started experimenting with organic wheat. In the beginning, his concern wasn’t health or the environment; he just wanted to make a decent living and some chance encounters led him to organics.
But as demand for organics grew, so too did Bob’s experiments. He discovered that through time-tested practices like cover cropping and crop rotation, he could produce successful yields—without pesticides. Regenerative organic farming allowed him to grow fruits and vegetables in cold, dry Montana, providing a source of local produce to families in his hometown. He even started producing his own renewable energy. And he learned that the grain he first tasted at the fair was actually a type of ancient wheat, one that was proven to lower inflammation rather than worsening it, as modern wheat does.
Ultimately, Bob’s forays with organics turned into a multimillion dollar heirloom grain company, Kamut International. In Grain by Grain, Quinn and cowriter Liz Carlisle, author of Lentil Underground, show how his story can become the story of American agriculture. We don’t have to accept stagnating rural communities, degraded soil, or poor health. By following Bob’s example, we can grow a healthy future, grain by grain.
The first book of its kind, In Quest of Great Lakes Ice Age Vertebrates details the Ice Age fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals in the provinces and states surrounding the Great Lakes. Holman's work begins with definitions of concepts and terms for the general audience and a general discussion of how the last ice age, the Pleistocene Epoch, affected our physical and biological world. Methods employed and tools used in the collection of vertebrate fossils, as well as ethics and protocol in the maintenance of a useful collection follow, coupled with details of each animal's structure, habits, habitats, and ecological importance. The heart of the book is a species-by-species account of the Pleistocene vertebrates of the region, followed by an examination of the compelling problems of the Pleistocene relative to faunal interpretations, including overall ecological makeup of the region's fauna, vertebrate range adjustment that occurred in the region, Pleistocene extinction effects on the animals of the region, the aftermath of the Ice Age, and a look at what the future may hold for the region.
In honor of the 2018 centennial of Czech independence, philosopher of law Jiří Přibán and award-winning Czech journalist Karel Hvížďala took the opportunity to examine key moments in Czech history from the ninth century to the twenty-first. Covering such a broad span of time allowed them to look into the past and question how Czechs have viewed their history at different points—and what that means for the Czech present and future. As contemporary politics drift closer towards totalitarianism, historiography from scholars and thinkers who experienced twentieth-century totalitarian regimes is more important than ever. In their spirited dialogue, Hvížďala and Přibán raise and explore these crucial issues, sharing subjects normally reserved for university seminars with the broader public.
These lectures by one of the most influential and original philosophers of the twentieth century constitute a sustained argument for the philosophical basis of romanticism, particularly in its American rendering. Through his examination of such authors as Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, Wordsworth, and Coleridge, Stanley Cavell shows that romanticism and American transcendentalism represent a serious philosophical response to the challenge of skepticism that underlies the writings of Wittgenstein and Austin on ordinary language.
An award-winning professor and an accomplished educator, Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine take us beyond the hype of reform and inside some of America’s most innovative classrooms to show what is working—and what isn’t. In a world where test scores have been king, this boldly humanistic book offers a rich account of what education can be at its best.
Why shouldn't people who deplete our natural assets have to pay, and those who protect them reap profits? Conservation-minded entrepreneurs and others around the world are beginning to ask just that question, as the increasing scarcity of natural resources becomes a tangible threat to our own lives and our hopes for our children. The New Economy of Nature brings together Gretchen Daily, one of the world's leading ecologists, with Katherine Ellison, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, to offer an engaging and informative look at a new "new economy" -- a system recognizing the economic value of natural systems and the potential profits in protecting them.Through engaging stories from around the world, the authors introduce readers to a diverse group of people who are pioneering new approaches to conservation. We meet Adam Davis, an American business executive who dreams of establishing a market for buying and selling "ecosystem service units;" John Wamsley, a former math professor in Australia who has found a way to play the stock market and protect native species at the same time; and Dan Janzen, a biologist working in Costa Rica who devised a controversial plan to sell a conservation area's natural waste-disposal services to a local orange juice producer. Readers also visit the Catskill Mountains, where the City of New York purchased undeveloped land instead of building an expensive new water treatment facility; and King County, Washington, where county executive Ron Sims has dedicated himself to finding ways of "making the market move" to protect the county's remaining open space.Daily and Ellison describe the dynamic interplay of science, economics, business, and politics that is involved in establishing these new approaches and examine what will be needed to create successful models and lasting institutions for conservation. The New Economy of Nature presents a fundamentally new way of thinking about the environment and about the economy, and with its fascinating portraits of charismatic pioneers, it is as entertaining as it is informative.
One of the most controversial, cutting-edge ideas in cosmology—the possibility that there exist multiple parallel universes—in fact has a long history. Tom Siegfried reminds us that the size and number of the heavens have been contested since ancient times. His story offers deep lessons about the nature of science and the quest for understanding.
In an age when the nature of reality is complicated daily by advances in bioengineering, cloning, and artificial intelligence, it is easy to forget that the ever-evolving boundary between nature and technology has long been a source of ethical and scientific concern: modern anxieties about the possibility of artificial life and the dangers of tinkering with nature more generally were shared by opponents of alchemy long before genetic science delivered us a cloned sheep named Dolly.
In Promethean Ambitions, William R. Newman ambitiously uses alchemy to investigate the thinning boundary between the natural and the artificial. Focusing primarily on the period between 1200 and 1700, Newman examines the labors of pioneering alchemists and the impassioned—and often negative—responses to their efforts. By the thirteenth century, Newman argues, alchemy had become a benchmark for determining the abilities of both men and demons, representing the epitome of creative power in the natural world. Newman frames the art-nature debate by contrasting the supposed transmutational power of alchemy with the merely representational abilities of the pictorial and plastic arts—a dispute which found artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Bernard Palissy attacking alchemy as an irreligious fraud. The later assertion by the Paracelsian school that one could make an artificial human being—the homunculus—led to further disparagement of alchemy, but as Newman shows, the immense power over nature promised by the field contributed directly to the technological apologetics of Francis Bacon and his followers. By the mid-seventeenth century, the famous "father of modern chemistry," Robert Boyle, was employing the arguments of medieval alchemists to support the identity of naturally occurring substances with those manufactured by "chymical" means.
In using history to highlight the art-nature debate, Newman here shows that alchemy was not an unformed and capricious precursor to chemistry; it was an art founded on coherent philosophical and empirical principles, with vocal supporters and even louder critics, that attracted individuals of first-rate intellect. The historical relationship that Newman charts between human creation and nature has innumerable implications today, and he ably links contemporary issues to alchemical debates on the natural versus the artificial.
In The Quest Mircea Eliade stresses the cultural function that a study of the history of religions can play in a secularized society. He writes for the intelligent general reader in the hope that what he calls a new humanism "will be engendered by a confrontation of modern Western man with unknown or less familiar worlds of meaning."
"Each of these essays contains insights which will be fruitful and challenging for professional students of religion, but at the same time they all retain the kind of cultural relevance and clarity of style which makes them accessible to anyone seriously concerned with man and his religious possibilities."—Joseph M. Kitagawa, Religious Education