All too often, we think of our minds and bodies separately. The reality couldn’t be more different: the fundamental fact about our mind is that it is embodied. We have a deep visceral, emotional, and qualitative relationship to the world—and any scientifically and philosophically satisfactory view of the mind must take into account the ways that cognition, meaning, language, action, and values are grounded in and shaped by that embodiment.
This book gathers the best of philosopher Mark Johnson’s essays addressing questions of our embodiment as they deal with aesthetics—which, he argues, we need to rethink so that it takes into account the central role of body-based meaning. Viewed that way, the arts can give us profound insights into the processes of meaning making that underlie our conceptual systems and cultural practices. Johnson shows how our embodiment shapes our philosophy, science, morality, and art; what emerges is a view of humans as aesthetic, meaning-making creatures who draw on their deepest physical processes to make sense of the world around them.
Formed on the South Side of Chicago in 1968 at the height of the civil rights, Black power, and Black arts movements, the AFRICOBRA collective created a new artistic visual language rooted in the culture of Chicago's Black neighborhoods. The collective's aesthetics, especially the use of vibrant color, capture the rhythmic dynamism of Black culture and social life. In AFRICOBRA, painter, photographer, and collective cofounder Wadsworth A. Jarrell tells the definitive story of the group's creation, history, and artistic and political principles. From accounts of the painting of the groundbreaking Wall of Respect mural and conversations among group members to documentation of AFRICOBRA's exhibits in Chicago, New York, and Boston, Jarrell outlines how the collective challenged white conceptions of art by developing an artistic philosophy and approach wholly divested of Western practices. Featuring nearly one hundred color images of artworks, exhibition ephemera, and photographs, this book is at once a sourcebook history of AFRICOBRA and the story of visionary artists who rejected the white art establishment in order to create uplifting art for all Black people.
First published in 1973, this collection of Chekhov's correspondence is widely regarded as the best introduction to this great Russian writer. Weighted heavily toward the correspondence dealing with literary and intellectual matters, this extremely informative collection provides fascinating insight into Chekhov's development as a writer. Michael Henry Heim's excellent translation and Simon Karlinsky's masterly headnotes make this volume an essential text for anyone interested in Chekhov.
We have all found ourselves involuntarily addressing inanimate objects as though they were human. For a fleeting instant, we act as though our cars and computers can hear us. In situations like ritual or play, objects acquire a range of human characteristics, such as perception, thought, action, or speech. Puppets, dolls, and ritual statuettes cease to be merely addressees and begin to address us—we see life in them.
How might we describe the kind of thought that gives life to the artifact, making it memorable as well as effective, in daily life, play, or ritual action? Following TheChimera Principle, in this collection of essays Carlo Severi explores the kind of shared imagination where inanimate artifacts, from non-Western masks and ritual statuettes to paintings and sculptures in our own tradition, can be perceived as living beings. This nuanced inquiry into the works of memory and shared imagination is a proposal for a new anthropology of thought.
In the twenty-first century, expecting parents are inundated with information and advice from every direction, but are often strapped for perspective on how to think through it. Unlike traditional pregnancy guidebooks that offer recommendations, Carrying On helps expecting parents make sense of the overwhelming amount of counsel available to them by shedding light on where it all came from. How and why did such confusing and contradictory guidance on pregnancy come to exist?
Carrying On investigates the origin stories of prevailing prenatal health norms by exploring the evolution of issues at the center of pregnancy, ranging from morning sickness and weight gain to ultrasounds and induction. When did women start taking prenatal vitamins, and why? When did the notion that pregnant women should “eat for two” originate? Where did exercise guidelines come from? And when did women start formulating birth plans?
A learning project with one foot in the past and the other in the present, Carrying On considers what history and medicine together can teach us about how and why we treat pregnancy–and pregnant women–the way we do. In a world of information overload, Carrying On offers expecting parents the context and background they need to approach pregnancy and prenatal health from a new place of understanding.
The United States has been distinguished among free governments as a “presidential” republic. In The Effective Republic, Harvey Flaumenhaft shows how the study of Alexander Hamilton’s political thought opens the way to understanding the nature of this republic and the reasons for its development. Although Hamilton exterted an extraordinary influence on American institutions, his contribution and the thinking behind it often have been obscured and misconstrued by piecemeal approaches to his voluminous writings. Here, Flaumenhaft draws upon more than two dozen volumes of Hamilton’s papers to produce a comprehensive account of his thought on the principles of politics—the account which Hamilton himself hoped to give in a multivolume treatise, but died before producing. Beginning with a discussion of the place of general principles in Hamilton’s thought, The Effective Republic proceeds to his views on popular representation as a safeguard of individual liberty. Flaumenhaft then elaborates on Hamilton’s thinking about efficacious administration, especially how the President and Senate meet the requirements of unity and duration in a republic, and on the importance of an independent judiciary for constitutional integrity. What emerges clearly as Hamilton’s chief concern is the need to make government not only safe but effective—hindered from doing harm by its popular base, but also, through the differentiation of administrative powers and tasks, capable of doing good. Interpreting, linking, and, and arranging Hamilton’s words, Flaumenhaft allows Hamilton to speak for himself, to explain his benificiaries his vision of what the republican experiment needed in order to succeed.
Ernest Hemingway’s groundbreaking prose style and examination of timeless themes made him one of the most important American writers of the twentieth century. Yet in Ernest Hemingway: Thought in Action, Mark Cirino observes, “Literary criticism has accused Hemingway of many things but thinking too deeply is not one of them.” Although much has been written about the author’s love of action—hunting, fishing, drinking, bullfighting, boxing, travel, and the moveable feast—Cirino looks at Hemingway’s focus on the modern mind, paralleling the interest in consciousness of such predecessors and contemporaries as Proust, Joyce, Woolf, Faulkner, and Henry James. Hemingway, Cirino demonstrates, probes the ways his character’s minds respond when placed in urgent situations or when damaged by past traumas.
In Cirino’s analysis of Hemingway’s work through this lens—including such celebrated classics as A Farewell to Arms, The Old Man and the Sea, and “Big Two-Hearted River” and less-appreciated works including Islands in the Stream and “Because I Think Deeper”—an entirely different Hemingway hero emerges: intelligent, introspective, and ruminative.
"Fortune is a woman, and if you want to keep her under, you've got to knock her around some."—Niccolò Machiavelli
Hanna Pitkin's provocative and enduring study of Machiavelli was the first to systematically place gender at the center of its exploration of his political thought. In this edition, Pitkin adds a new afterword, in which she discusses the book's critical reception and situates the book's arguments in the context of recent interpretations of Machiavelli's thought.
"A close and often brilliant exegesis of Machiavelli's writings."—The American Political Science Review
An iconic figure in American culture, Frank Lloyd Wright is famous throughout the world. Although his achievements in architecture are stunning, it is his importance in cultural history, Jerome Klinkowitz contends, that makes Wright the object of such avid and continuing interest. Designing more than just buildings, Wright offered a concept for living that still influences how people conduct their lives today. Wright's innovations in architecture have been widely studied, but this is the most comprehensive and sustained treatment of his thought.
Klinkowitz presents a critical biography driven by the architect's own work and intellectual growth, focusing on the evolution of Wright's thinking and writings from his first public addresses in 1894 to his last essay in 1959. Did Wright reject all of Victorian thinking about the home, or do his attentions to a minister's sermon on "the house beautiful" deserve closer attention? Was Wright echoing the Transcendentalism of Ralph Waldo Emerson, or was he more in step with the philosophy of William James? Did he reject the Arts and Crafts movement, or repurpose its beliefs and practices for new times? And, what can be said of his deep dissatisfaction with architectural concepts of his own era, the dominant modernism that became the International Style? Even the strongest advocates of Frank Lloyd Wright have been puzzled by his objections to so much that characterized the twentieth century, from ideas for building to styles of living.
In Frank Lloyd Wright andHis Manner of Thought, Klinkowitz, a widely published authority on twentieth-century literature, thought, and culture, examines the full extent of Wright's books, essays, and lectures to show how he emerged from the nineteenth century to anticipate the twenty-first.
Outstanding Book, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Reviewers
This volume of essays is an important introduction to the thought of one of the twentieth century's most significant yet underappreciated philosophers, Richard McKeon. The originator of philosophical pluralism, McKeon made extraordinary contributions to philosophy, to international relations, and to theory-formation in the communication arts, aesthetics, the organization of knowledge, and the practical sciences. This collection, which includes a philosophical autobiography as well as the out-of-print title essay "Freedom and History" and a previously unpublished essay on "Philosophic Semantics and Philosophic Inquiry," is a testimony to the range and systematic power of McKeon's thinking for the social sciences and the humanities.
Gesture and Thought
David McNeill University of Chicago Press, 2005 Library of Congress P117.M359 2005
Gesturing is such an integral yet unconscious part of communication that we are mostly oblivious to it. But if you observe anyone in conversation, you are likely to see his or her fingers, hands, and arms in some form of spontaneous motion. Why? David McNeill, a pioneer in the ongoing study of the relationship between gesture and language, set about answering this question over twenty-five years ago. In Gesture and Thought he brings together years of this research, arguing that gesturing, an act which has been popularly understood as an accessory to speech, is actually a dialectical component of language. Gesture and Thought expands on McNeill’s acclaimed classic Hand and Mind. While that earlier work demonstrated what gestures reveal about thought, here gestures are shown to be active participants in both speaking and thinking. Expanding on an approach introduced by Lev Vygotsky in the 1930s, McNeill posits that gestures are key ingredients in an “imagery-language dialectic” that fuels both speech and thought. Gestures are both the “imagery” and components of “language.” The smallest element of this dialectic is the “growth point,” a snapshot of an utterance at its beginning psychological stage. Utilizing several innovative experiments he created and administered with subjects spanning several different age, gender, and language groups, McNeill shows how growth points organize themselves into utterances and extend to discourse at the moment of speaking.
An ambitious project in the ongoing study of the relationship of human communication and thought, Gesture and Thought is a work of such consequence that it will influence all subsequent theory on the subject.
While Harold B. Lee served as president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for a mere one and half-years—among the shortest tenure of any church leader—his impact on the modern LDS Church remains among the most profound. Lee implemented the Church Welfare Program, which provided relief to suffering church members during the 1930s Great Depression and continues to impact the lives of church members today. As a high-ranking general authority from 1941 to 1973, he championed other innovations, the most important being Correlation. Lee acted in response to the church’s record growth and increased diversity to consolidate and streamline churchwide instruction and administration. As a teacher/mentor, he promoted conservative church doctrine and practice, which influenced a generation of church leaders, including future presidents Spencer W. Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, Howard W. Hunter, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas S. Monson. Noted historian Newell G. Bringhurst succinctly narrates the major, defining events in Lee’s remarkable life, while highlighting Lee’s important, lasting contributions. This is the first volume in Signature’s new Brief Mormon Lives series.
Huguccio was an important lawyer of the medieval church, bishop of Ferrara, and one of the greatest representatives of twelfth-century scholasticism. In this book-length study of this influential figure, Wolfgang P. Müller provides a critical account of the biographical information on the man and his writings. He discusses the various aspects of Huguccio's career and thought as well as the manuscript tradition of some of his works. The author's scholarship rests on direct consultation and painstaking analysis of enormous quantities of manuscript material.
This book provides the point of departure for anyone wishing to study Huguccio first-hand. It will be worthy reading for students of medieval canon law and an essential addition to all libraries supporting research in medieval studies.
I Thought of Daisy
Edmund Wilson University of Iowa Press, 2001 Library of Congress PS3545.I6245I12 2001 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
Originally published in 1929, I Thought of Daisy is the first of three novels by Edmund Wilson. Written while he was still balancing his ambitions as a novelist against a successful career in literary criticism, I Thought of Daisy marries Wilson's two vocations to create an unusual and revealing work of fiction.
This collection of essays shifts the focus of scholarly debate away from the themes that have traditionally dominated the study of Edmund Burke. In the past, largely ideology-based or highly textual studies have tended to paint Burke as a “prophet” or “precursor” of movements as diverse as conservatism, political pragmatism, and romanticism. In contrast, these essays address prominent issues in contemporary society—multiculturalism, the impact of postmodern and relativist methodologies, the boundaries of state-church relationships, and religious tolerance in modern societies—by emphasizing Burke’s earlier career and writings and focusing on his position on historiography, moral philosophy, jurisprudence, aesthetics, and philosophical skepticism.
The essays in this collection, written by some of today’s most renowned Burke scholars, will radically challenge our deeply rooted assumptions about Burke, his thought, and his place in the history of Western political philosophy.
Henry Petroski's previous bestsellers have delighted readers with intriguing stories about the engineering marvels around us, from the lowly pencil to the soaring suspension bridge. In this book, Petroski delves deeper into the mystery of invention, to explore what everyday artifacts and sophisticated networks can reveal about the way engineers solve problems.
Engineering entails more than knowing the way things work. What do economics and ecology, aesthetics and ethics, have to do with the shape of a paper clip, the tab of a beverage can, the cabin design of a turbojet, or the course of a river? How do the idiosyncrasies of individual engineers, companies, and communities leave their mark on projects from Velcro® to fax machines to waterworks?Invention by Design offers an insider's look at these political and cultural dimensions of design and development, production and construction.
Readers unfamiliar with engineering will find Petroski's enthusiasm contagious, whether the topic is the genesis of the Ziploc baggie or the averted collapse of Manhattan's sleekest skyscraper. And those who inhabit the world of engineering will discover insights to challenge their customary perspective, whether their work involves failure analysis, systems design, or public relations. Written with the flair that readers have come to expect from his books, Invention by Design reaffirms Petroski as the master explicator of the principles and processes that turn thoughts into the many things that define our made world.
Intended for readers seeking insight into the day-to-day life of some of the world's most ancient peoples, Life and Thought in the Ancient Near East presents brief, fascinating explorations of key aspects of the civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Palestine, Asia Minor, and Iran. With vignettes on agriculture, architecture, crafts and industries, literature, religion, topography, and history, Orlin has created something refreshingly unique: a modern guidebook to an ancient world. The book also reaches out to students of the Ancient Near Eastern World with essays on decipherments, comparative cultural developments between Egypt and Mesopotamia, and language and literature.
In addition to general readers, the book will be useful in the classroom as a text supplementing a more conventional introduction to Near Eastern Studies.
"Well-written and accessible, Life and Thought in the Ancient Near East deftly connects the past with present experience by drawing out the differences between, for instance, modern churches and ancient temples, and frequently employing biblical references. This simplicity together with connecting contemporary to ancient experience makes the text ideal for freshmen and general readers."
---Marc Cooper, Professor of History, Missouri State University
Now Professor Emeritus, Louis L. Orlin taught in the department of Ancient Near Eastern History and Literature at the University of Michigan for more than thirty years. He is the author and editor of several books, including Assyrian Colonies in Cappadocia and Ancient Near Eastern Literature: A Bibliography of One Thousand Items on the Cuneiform Literatures of the Ancient World.
Life and Thought in the Middle Ages was first published in 1967. 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.
The period of the early Middle Ages - from the fourth to the eleventh centuries—used to be commonly called "the dark ages." Now that term has been discarded by scholars, who reject its implications as they recognize increasingly, the historical importance of the period. In this volume eight historians, in as many essays, discuss various aspects of the life and thought which prevailed during the centuries which extended from the time of the establishment of Germanic "successor states" in the western provinces of the Roman Empire to the appearance of some of the economic and feudal institutions which provided a basis for the civilization of the high Middle Ages.
The essay, by showing that a process of assimilation and synthesis of the Roman, Christian, and barbarian elements characterized life in the early Middle Ages, demonstrate that the significance of the period is far better indicated by words like "transition" or "transformation" than by the term "dark ages."
An essay by the late Professor Adolf Katzenellenbogen, "The Image of Christ in the Early Middle Ages," is illustrated with eighteen halftones showing examples of art of the period.
The other essays are "The Barbarian Kings of Lawgivers and Judges" by Katherine Fischer Drew; "Of Towns and Trade" by Robert S. Lopez; "The Two Levels of Feudalism" by Joseph R. Strayer; "The Life of the Silent Majority" by Lynn White, Jr; "Beowulf and Bede" by John C. McGalliard; "Viking - Tunnit - Eskimo" by the late T. J. Oleson; "The Church, Reform, and Renaissance in the Early Middle Ages" by Karl F. Morrison.
Hans Jonas (1903–1993) is one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century. Born in a German Jewish community in the Rhineland, Jonas’s mentors included Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, and Rudolf Bultmann. The committed Zionist fled Germany in 1933 for Jerusalem, fought in the British Army against Hitler, and then left Israel for North America in 1949. Much of Jonas’s philosophy responds to contemporary historical and political challenges: mass society, totalitarianism, the Holocaust, “nuclearism,” environmental devastation (Chernobyl), and, later, the risks of genetic engineering. Wiese’s study examines how Jonas’s Jewish background influenced his intellectual development. Wiese shows how philosophical ethics and Jewish identity were two inseparable aspects of his thinking, with the fight against Nihilism as the most important link. Drawing on a wealth of unpublished material and exploring momentous encounters with major figures of 20th century life and letters like Gershom Scholem and Hannah Arendt, Wiese demonstrates how Jonas combined religious and philosophical elements in his thought, and offers new insights into the work of this eminent thinker.
We think with objects—we conduct our lives surrounded by external devices that help us recall information, calculate, plan, design, make decisions, articulate ideas, and organize the chaos that fills our heads. Medieval scholars learned to think with their pages in a peculiar way: drawing hundreds of tree diagrams. Lines of Thought is the first book to investigate this prevalent but poorly studied notational habit, analyzing the practice from linguistic and cognitive perspectives and studying its application across theology, philosophy, law, and medicine.
These diagrams not only allow a glimpse into the thinking practices of the past but also constitute a chapter in the history of how people learned to rely on external devices—from stone to parchment to slide rules to smartphones—for recording, storing, and processing information. Beautifully illustrated throughout with previously unstudied and unedited diagrams, Lines of Thought is a historical overview of an important cognitive habit, providing a new window into the world of medieval scholars and their patterns of thinking.
It is considerably easier to say that modern philosophy began with Descartes than it is to define the modernity and philosophy to which Descartes gave rise. In Lines of Thought, Claudia Brodsky Lacour describes the double origin of modern philosophy in Descartes’s Discours de la méthode and Géométrie, works whose interrelation, she argues, reveals the specific nature of the modern in his thought. Her study examines the roles of discourse and writing in Cartesian method and intuition, and the significance of graphic architectonic form in the genealogy of modern philosophy. While Cartesianism has long served as a synonym for rationalism, the contents of Descartes’s method and cogito have remained infamously resistant to rational analysis. Similarly, although modern phenomenological analyses descend from Descartes’s notion of intuition, the “things” Cartesian intuitions represent bear no resemblance to phenomena. By returning to what Descartes calls the construction of his “foundation” in the Discours, Brodsky Lacour identifies the conceptual problems at the root of Descartes’s literary and aesthetic theory as well as epistemology. If, for Descartes, linear extension and “I” are the only “things” we can know exist, the Cartesian subject of thought, she shows, derives first from the intersection of discourse and drawing, representation and matter. The crux of that intersection, Brodsky Lacour concludes, is and must be the cogito, Descartes’s theoretical extension of thinking into material being. Describable in accordance with the Géométrie as a freely constructed line of thought, the cogito, she argues, extends historically to link philosophy with theories of discursive representation and graphic delineation after Descartes. In conclusion, Brodsky Lacour analyzes such a link in the writings of Claude Perrault, the architectural theorist whose reflections on beauty helped shape the seventeenth-century dispute between “the ancients and the moderns.” Part of a growing body of literary and interdisciplinary considerations of philosophical texts, Lines of Thought will appeal to theorists and historians of literature, architecture, art, and philosophy, and those concerned with the origin and identity of the modern.
David Farrell Krell reflects on nine writers and philosophers, including Heidegger, Derrida, Blanchot, and Holderlin, in a personal exploration of the meaning of sensual love, language, tragedy, and death. The moon provides a unifying image that guides Krell's development of a new poetics in which literature and philosophy become one.
Krell pursues important philosophical motifs such as time, rhythm, and desire, through texts by Nietzsche, Trakl, Empedocles, Kafka, and Garcia Marquez. He surveys instances in which poets or novelists explicitly address philosophical questions, and philosophers confront literary texts—Heidegger's and Derrida's appropriations of Georg Trakl's poetry, Blanchot's obsession with Kafka's tortuous love affairs, and Garcia Marquez's use of Nietzsche's idea of the Eternal Return—all linked by the tragic hero Empedocles.
In his search to understand the insatiable desire for completeness that patterns so much art and philosophy, Krell investigates the identification of the lunar voice with woman in various roles—lover, friend, sister, shadow, and narrative voice.
George Oppen (1908–1984), born into a prosperous German Jewish family, began his career as a protégé of Ezra Pound and a member of the Objectivist circle of poets; he eventually broke with Pound and became a member of the Communist party before returning to poetry more than twenty-five years later. William Bronk (1918–1999), by contrast, a descendant of the first European families in New York, was influenced by the works of Shakespeare, the King James Bible, and the work of the New England writers of the American Renaissance. Despite differences in background and orientation, the two men formed a deep friendship and shared a similar existential outlook. As Henry Weinfield demonstrates in this searching and original study, Oppen and Bronk are extraordinary thinkers in poetry who struggled with central questions of meaning and value and whose thought acquires the resonance of music in their work. These major writers created poetry of enduring value that has exerted an increasing influence on younger generations of poets.
From his careful readings of Oppen’s and Bronk’s poetry to his fascinating examination of the letters they exchanged, Weinfield provides important aesthetic, epistemological, and historical insights into their poetry and poetic careers. In bringing together for the first time the work of two of the most important poets of the postwar generation, The Music of Thought not only illuminates their poetry but also raises important questions about American literary history and the categories in terms of which it has generally been interpreted.
Germain Grisez has been a leading voice in moral philosophy and theology since the Second Vatican Council. In this book, such major thinkers as John Finnis, Ralph McInerny, and William E. May consider issues in ethics, metaphysics, and politics that have been central to Grisez's work.
Grisez's reconsideration of the philosophical foundations of Christian moral teaching, seeking to eliminate both legalistic interpretation and theological dissent, has won the support of a number of leading Catholic moralists. In the past decade, moreover, many philosophers outside of Catholicism have weighed carefully Grisez's alternatives to theories that have long dominated secular moral philosophy.
This book presents a broad spectrum of viewpoints on subjects ranging from contraception to capital punishment and considers such controversies as the scriptural basis of Grisez's work his interpretations of Aquinas, and his new natural law theory. The collection includes not only contributions from Grisez's supporters but also from critics of his thought, from proportionalist Edward Collins Vacek, SJ, to the neo-Thomist Ralph McInerny. A reply by Grisez, written with Joseph M. Boyle Jr., addresses the issues and viewpoints expressed, while an afterword by Russell Shaw reviews Grisez's pioneering work and conveys a vivid sense of the philosopher's personality.
As Grisez's influence grows, this volume will serve as an important touchstone on his contributions to moral and political philosophy and theology.
French artist Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) once reproached the Impressionists for searching “around the eye and not at the mysterious centre of thought.” But what did he mean by this enigmatic phrase? In this innovative investigation into Gauguin’s art and thought, Dario Gamboni illuminates Gauguin’s quest for this “mysterious centre” and offers a fresh look at the artist’s output in all media—from ceramics and sculptures to prints, paintings, and his large corpus of writings.
Foregrounding Gauguin’s conscious use of ambiguity, Gamboni unpacks what the artist called the “language of the listening eye.” Gamboni shows that the interaction between perception, cognition, and imagination was at the core of Gauguin’s work, and he traces a line of continuity in them that has been previously overlooked. Emulating Gauguin’s wide-ranging curiosity with literature, psychology, theology, and the natural sciences—not to mention the whole of art history—this richly illustrated book provides new insight into the life and works of this well-known yet little understood artist.
Marcel Franciscono offers an exhaustive historical and critical study of Klee's artistic personality and thought. Drawing extensively on documentation published since 1940, Franciscono highlights the extraordinary range of artistic, literary, and philosophical speculation Klee brought to his work. The portrait that emerges is one of a great comic artist, an ironist whose most characteristic pictures pit beauty of form and color against the dubious nature of things, yet one whose satiric depictions of everyday life extend to the most rarified evocations of nature.
Lysaker examines the relationship between philosophical thought and the act of writing to explore how this dynamic shapes the field of philosophy.
Philosophy’s relation to the act of writing is John T. Lysaker’s main concern in Philosophy, Writing, and the Character of Thought. Whether in Plato, Montaigne, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, or Derrida, philosophy has come in many forms, and those forms—the concrete shape philosophizing takes in writing—matter. Much more than mere adornment, the style in which a given philosopher writes is often of crucial importance to the point he or she is making, part and parcel of the philosophy itself.
Considering how writing influences philosophy, Lysaker explores genres like aphorism, dialogue, and essay, as well as logical-rhetorical operations like the example, irony, and quotation. At the same time, he shows us the effects of these rhetorical devices through his own literary experimentation. In dialogue with such authors as Benjamin, Cavell, Emerson, and Lukács, he aims to revitalize philosophical writing, arguing that philosophy cannot fulfill its intellectual and cultural promise if it keeps to professional articles and academic prose. Instead, philosophy must embrace writing as an essential, creative activity, and deliberately reform how it approaches its subject matter, readership, and the evolving social practices of reading and reflection.
When the Somali Republic received independence, its parliamentary government decided to adopt three official languages: English, Italian, and Arabic—all languages of foreign contact. Since the vast majority of the nation's citizens spoke a single language, Somali, which then had no written form, this decision made governing exceedingly difficult. Selecting any one language was equally problematic, however, because those who spoke the official language would automatically become the privileged class.
Twelve years after independence, a military government was able to settle the acrimonious controversy by announcing that Somali would be the official language and Latin the basic script. It was hoped that this choice would foster political equality and strengthen the national culture. Politics, Language, and Thought is an exploration of how language and politics interrelate in the Somali Republic. Using both historical and experimental evidence, David D. Laitin demonstrates that the choice of an official language may significantly affect the course of a country's political development.
Part I of Laitin's study is an attempt to explain why the parliamentary government was incapable of reaching agreement on a national script and to assess the social and political consequences of the years of nondecision. Laitin shows how the imposition of nonindigenous languages produced inequalities which eroded the country's natural social basis of democracy.
Part 2 attempts to relate language to political thought and political culture. Analyzing interviews and role-playing sessions among Somali bilingual students, Laitin demonstrates that the impact of certain political concepts is quite different when expressed in different languages. He concludes that the implications of choosing a language are far more complex than previously thought, because to change the language of a people is to change the ways they think and act politically.
Between present and past, visible and invisible, and sensation and idea, there is resonance—so philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty argued and so Jessica Wiskus explores in The Rhythm of Thought. Holding the poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé, the paintings of Paul Cézanne, the prose of Marcel Proust, and the music of Claude Debussy under Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological light, she offers innovative interpretations of some of these artists’ masterworks, in turn articulating a new perspective on Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy.
More than merely recovering Merleau-Ponty’s thought, Wiskus thinks according to it. First examining these artists in relation to noncoincidence—as silence in poetry, depth in painting, memory in literature, and rhythm in music—she moves through an array of their artworks toward some of Merleau-Ponty’s most exciting themes: our bodily relationship to the world and the dynamic process of expression. She closes with an examination of synesthesia as an intertwining of internal and external realms and a call, finally, for philosophical inquiry as a mode of artistic expression. Structured like a piece of music itself, The Rhythm of Thought offers new contexts in which to approach art, philosophy, and the resonance between them.
Interrogating the work of four contemporary French philosophers to rethink philosophy’s relationship to science and science’s relationship to reality
The Technique of Thought explores the relationship between philosophy and science as articulated in the work of four contemporary French thinkers—Jean-Luc Nancy, François Laruelle, Catherine Malabou, and Bernard Stiegler. Situating their writings within both contemporary scientific debates and the philosophy of science, Ian James elaborates a philosophical naturalism that is notably distinct from the Anglo-American tradition. The naturalism James proposes also diverges decisively from the ways in which continental philosophy has previously engaged with the sciences. He explores the technical procedures and discursive methods used by each of the four thinkers as distinct “techniques of thought” that approach scientific understanding and knowledge experimentally.
Moving beyond debates about the constructed nature of scientific knowledge, The Technique of Thought argues for a strong, variably configured, and entirely novel scientific realism. By bringing together post-phenomenological perspectives concerning individual or collective consciousness and first-person qualitative experience with science’s focus on objective and third-person quantitative knowledge, James tracks the emergence of a new image of the sciences and of scientific practice.
Stripped of aspirations toward total mastery of the universe or a “grand theory of everything,” this renewed scientific worldview, along with the simultaneous reconfiguration of philosophy’s relationship to science, opens up new ways of interrogating immanent reality.
What does a chessmaster think when he prepartes his next move? How are his thoughts organized? Which methods and strategies does he use by solving his problem of choice? To answer these questions, the author did an experimental study in 1938, to which famous chessmasters participated (Alekhine, Max Euwe and Flohr). This book is still usefull for everybody who studies cognition and artificial intelligence.
Thought, Fact, and Reference was first published in 1978.Against a background of criticism of alternative accounts, Professor Hochberg presents an analysis of thought, reference, and truth within the tradition of logical atomism. He analyzes G. E. Moore’s early attack on idealism and examines the influence of Moore on the development of Bertrand Russell’s and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s logical atomism. He traces an early divergence between Russell and Wittgenstein, on the one side, and Moore and Gottlob Frege on the other, into variants recently advocated by Wilfrid Sellars, Gustav Bergmann, and others. The work will be of interest to professional philosophers, graduate students in philosophy, and linguists with interests in philosophy.
“Every practice is a mode of thought, already in the act. To dance: a thinking in movement. To paint: a thinking through color. To perceive in the everyday: a thinking of the world’s varied ways of affording itself.” —from Thought in the Act
Combining philosophy and aesthetics, Thought in the Act is a unique exploration of creative practice as a form of thinking. Challenging the common opposition between the conceptual and the aesthetic, Erin Manning and Brian Massumi “think through” a wide range of creative practices in the process of their making, revealing how thinking and artfulness are intimately, creatively, and inseparably intertwined. They rediscover this intertwining at the heart of everyday perception and investigate its potential for new forms of activism at the crossroads of politics and art.
Emerging from active collaborations, the book analyzes the experiential work of the architects and conceptual artists Arakawa and Gins, the improvisational choreographic techniques of William Forsythe, the recent painting practice of Bracha Ettinger, as well as autistic writers’ self-descriptions of their perceptual world and the experimental event making of the SenseLab collective. Drawing from the idiosyncratic vocabularies of each creative practice, and building on the vocabulary of process philosophy, the book reactivates rather than merely describes the artistic processes it examines. The result is a thinking-with and a writing-in-collaboration-with these processes and a demonstration of how philosophy co-composes with the act in the making. Thought in the Act enacts a collaborative mode of thinking in the act at the intersection of art, philosophy, and politics.
John Sallis is one of America’s preeminent and most original contemporary philosophers. The absence, until now, of a com-prehensive work on Sallis has constituted a glaring oversight in philosophical scholarship. The Thought of John Sallis is both an introduction for students new to his work and a valuable resource for scholars needing a systematic consideration of Sallis’s wide-ranging thought.
Sallis’s work possesses an intrinsic power and originality, as well as deep interpretive insight. This book is a descriptive and critical journey through his thought, providing an overview for readers who wish to gain a sense of its sweep, along with discrete sections on particular philosophical disciplines for readers whose interests are more specific. It grapples with the challenges Sallis’s thought presents, making them explicit and opening them up to further consideration. And it attempts to locate his thought within both contemporary continental philosophy and philosophy as a whole. Essential for any student of continental philosophy, The Thought of John Sallis expounds on his work in a manner that increases access, honors its depth, and opens up unexplored possibilities for phil-osophy.
Exploring what two foundational figures, Plato and Aristotle, have to say about the nature of human awareness and understanding, Aryeh Kosman concludes that ultimately the virtues of thought are to be found in the joys and satisfactions that come from thinking philosophically, whether we engage in it ourselves or witness others' participation.
Seven decades after his death, German Jewish writer, philosopher, and literary critic Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) continues to fascinate and influence. Here Uwe Steiner offers a comprehensive and sophisticated introduction to the oeuvre of this intriguing theorist.
Acknowledged only by a small circle of intellectuals during his lifetime, Benjamin is now a major figure whose work is essential to an understanding of modernity. Steiner traces the development of Benjamin’s thought chronologically through his writings on philosophy, literature, history, politics, the media, art, photography, cinema, technology, and theology. Walter Benjamin reveals the essential coherence of its subject’s thinking while also analyzing the controversial or puzzling facets of Benjamin’s work. That coherence, Steiner contends, can best be appreciated by placing Benjamin in his proper context as a member of the German philosophical tradition and a participant in contemporary intellectual debates.
As Benjamin’s writing attracts more and more readers in the English-speaking world, Walter Benjamin will be a valuable guide to this fascinating body of work.
Colonial expert and pamphleteer William Knox has received attention in virtually every major study of the American Revolution, yet this is the first biography of Knox ever written. Knox is best known as undersecretary of state in the American Department of the British government from 1770 to 1782. A prolific and candid commentator, he also made a reputation as a pamphleteer, defending the imperial cause during the decade preceding the Revolution. It had been his experience as provost marshal in Georgia from 1757 to 1762 that convinced Knox of the danger to the empire of the growing “democratic” forces in the American colonies. While numerous historical works have focused on this or that aspect of Knox’s career and thought, such treatment has produced at best a jigsaw portrait. Bellot’s comprehensive narrative reveals Knox as a person—one whose Calvinist heritage and Scots-Irish upbringing profoundly influenced his view of empire—and as a historical actor and witness. Here is a look at the events of the revolutionary period through the eyes of a British bureaucrat who had a significant role in both the formation and the execution of British policy. This perspective also provides an excellent case study of the operation of the eighteenth-century British bureaucracy.
The center of this prodigious work of scholarship is a fresh examination of the range of Chinese thought during the formative period of Chinese culture. Benjamin Schwartz looks at the surviving texts of this period with a particular focus on the range of diversity to be found in them. While emphasizing the problematic and complex nature of this thought he also considers views which stress the unity of Chinese culture.
Attention is accorded to pre-Confucian texts; the evolution of early Confucianism; Mo-Tzu; the “Taoists,”; the legalists; the Ying-Yang school; and the “five classics”; as well as to intellectual issues which cut across the conventional classification of schools. The main focus is on the high cultural texts, but Mr. Schwartz also explores the question of the relationship of these texts to the vast realm of popular culture.