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Western Philosophy

BE NOT AFRAID OF LIFE

BE NOT AFRAID OF LIFE

By: James, William
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A compelling collection of the life-changing writings of William James

William James--psychologist, philosopher, and spiritual seeker--is one of those rare writers who can speak directly and powerfully to anyone about life's meaning and worth, and whose ideas change not only how people think but how they live. The thinker who helped found the philosophy of pragmatism and inspire Alcoholics Anonymous, James famously asked, "is life worth living?" Bringing together many of his best and most popular essays, talks, and other writings, this anthology presents James's answer to that and other existential questions, in his own unique manner--caring, humorous, eloquent, incisive, humble, and forever on the trail of the "ever not quite."

Here we meet a James perfectly attuned to the concerns of today--one who argues for human freedom, articulates a healthy-minded psychology, urges us to explore the stream of consciousness, presents a new definition of truth based on its practical consequences, and never forecloses the possibility of mystical transcendence. Introduced by John Kaag and Jonathan van Belle, these compelling and accessible selections reveal why James is one of the great guides to the business of living.

BEFORE THE LAW: THE COMPLETE TEXT OF PRÉJUGÉS

BEFORE THE LAW: THE COMPLETE TEXT OF PRÉJUGÉS

By: Derrida, Jacques
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Thinking judgment in relation to the work of Jean-François Lyotard


"How to judge--Jean-François Lyotard?" It is from this initial question that one of France's most heralded philosophers of the twentieth century begins his essay on the origin of the law, of judgment, and the work of his colleague Jean-François Lyotard. If Jacques Derrida begins with the term préjugés, it is in part because of its impossibility to be rendered properly in other languages and also contain all its meanings: to pre-judge, to judge before judging, to hold prejudices, to know "how to judge," and more still, to be already prejudged oneself.

Striving to contain that which comes before the law, that is in front of the law and also prior to it, how to judge Jean-François Lyotard then becomes perhaps a beneficial attempt for Derrida to explore humanity's rapport with judgment, origins, and naming. For how does one come to judge the author of the Differend? How does one abstain from judgment to accept the term préjugés as suspending judgment and at once as taking into account the impossibility of speaking before the law, prior to naming or judging? If this task indeed seems insurmountable, it is the site where Lyotard's work itself is played out. Hence this sincere and intriguing essay presented by Jacques Derrida, published here for the first time in English.

BEGINNINGS

BEGINNINGS

By: Said, Edward
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"Beginnings, " winner of the first Lionel Trilling Memorial Award, is one of the major texts of contemporary criticism.
BEING GIVEN: Toward a Phenomenology of Givenness

BEING GIVEN: Toward a Phenomenology of Givenness

By: Marion, Jean-Luc
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Along with Husserl's Ideas and Heidegger's Being and Time, Being Given is one of the classic works of phenomenology in the twentieth century. Through readings of Kant, Husserl, Heidegger, Derrida, and twentieth-century French phenomenology (e.g., Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, and Henry), it ventures a bold and decisive reappraisal of phenomenology and its possibilities. Its author's most original work to date, the book pushes phenomenology to its limits in an attempt to redefine and recover the phenomenological ideal, which the author argues has never been realized in any of the historical phenomenologies. Against Husserl's reduction to consciousness and Heidegger's reduction to Dasein, the author proposes a third reduction to givenness, wherein phenomena appear unconditionally and show themselves from themselves at their own initiative.

Being Given is the clearest, most systematic response to questions that have occupied its author for the better part of two decades. The book articulates a powerful set of concepts that should provoke new research in philosophy, religion, and art, as well as at the intersection of these disciplines.

Some of the significant issues it treats include the phenomenological definition of the phenomenon, the redefinition of the gift in terms not of economy but of givenness, the nature of saturated phenomena, and the question "Who comes after the subject?" Throughout his consideration of these issues, the author carefully notes their significance for the increasingly popular fields of religious studies and philosophy of religion. Being Given is therefore indispensable reading for anyone interested in the question of the relation between the phenomenological and the theological in Marion and emergent French phenomenology.

BELIEFS OWN ETHICS

BELIEFS OWN ETHICS

By: Adler, Jonathan E
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The fundamental question of the ethics of belief is What ought one to believe? According to the traditional view of evidentialism, the strength of one's beliefs should be proportionate to the evidence. Conventional ways of defending and challenging evidentialism rely on the idea that what one ought to believe is a matter of what it is rational, prudent, ethical, or personally fulfilling to believe. Common to all these approaches is that they look outside of belief itself to determine what one ought to believe.

In this book Jonathan Adler offers a strengthened version of evidentialism, arguing that the ethics of belief should be rooted in the concept of belief--that evidentialism is belief's own ethics. A key observation is that it is not merely that one ought not, but that one cannot, believe, for example, that the number of stars is even. The cannot represents a conceptual barrier, not just an inability. Therefore belief in defiance of one's evidence (or evidentialism) is impossible. Adler addresses such questions as irrational beliefs, reasonableness, control over beliefs, and whether justifying beliefs requires a foundation. Although he treats the ethics of belief as a central topic in epistemology, his ideas also bear on rationality, argument and pragmatics, philosophy of religion, ethics, and social cognitive psychology.

BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS: A Story of Philosophers, God, and Evil in the Age of Reason

BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS: A Story of Philosophers, God, and Evil in the Age of Reason

By: Nadler, Steven
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In the spring of 1672, German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz arrived in Paris, home of France's two greatest philosopher-theologians of the period, Antoine Arnauld and Nicolas de Malebranche. The meeting of these three men represents a profoundly important moment in the history of philosophical and religious thought.

In The Best of All Possible Worlds, Steven Nadler tells the story of a clash between radically divergent worldviews. At its heart are the dramatic--and often turbulent--relationships between these brilliant and resolute individuals. Despite their wildly different views and personalities, the three philosophers shared a single, passionate concern: resolving the problem of evil. Why is it that, in a world created by an all-powerful, all-wise, and infinitely just God, there is sin and suffering? Why do bad things happen to good people, and good things to bad people?

The Best of All Possible Worlds brings to life a debate that obsessed its participants, captivated European intellectuals, and continues to inform our ways of thinking about God, morality, and the world.

BEYOND MORAL JUDGMENT

BEYOND MORAL JUDGMENT

By: Crary, Alice
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What is moral thought and what kinds of demands does it impose? Alice Crary's Beyond Moral Judgment claims that even the most perceptive contemporary answers to these questions offer no more than partial illumination, owing to an overly narrow focus on judgments that apply moral concepts (for example, "good," "wrong," "selfish," "courageous") and a corresponding failure to register that moral thinking includes more than such judgments.

Drawing on what she describes as widely misinterpreted lines of thought in the writings of Wittgenstein and J. L. Austin, Crary argues that language is an inherently moral acquisition and that any stretch of thought, without regard to whether it uses moral concepts, may express the moral outlook encoded in a person's modes of speech. She challenges us to overcome our fixation on moral judgments and direct attention to responses that animate all our individual linguistic habits. Her argument incorporates insights from McDowell, Wiggins, Diamond, Cavell, and Murdoch and integrates a rich set of examples from feminist theory as well as from literature, including works by Jane Austen, E. M. Forster, Tolstoy, Henry James, and Theodor Fontane. The result is a powerful case for transforming our understanding of the difficulty of moral reflection and of the scope of our ethical concerns.

BIG BOOK OF CONCEPTS

BIG BOOK OF CONCEPTS

By: Murphy, Gregory
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Concepts embody our knowledge of the kinds of things there are in the world. Tying our past experiences to our present interactions with the environment, they enable us to recognize and understand new objects and events. Concepts are also relevant to understanding domains such as social situations, personality types, and even artistic styles. Yet like other phenomenologically simple cognitive processes such as walking or understanding speech, concept formation and use are maddeningly complex.

Research since the 1970s and the decline of the classical view of concepts have greatly illuminated the psychology of concepts. But persistent theoretical disputes have sometimes obscured this progress. The Big Book of Concepts goes beyond those disputes to reveal the advances that have been made, focusing on the major empirical discoveries. By reviewing and evaluating research on diverse topics such as category learning, word meaning, conceptual development in infants and children, and the basic level of categorization, the book develops a much broader range of criteria than is usual for evaluating theories of concepts.

BLUBBERLAND

BLUBBERLAND

By: Farrelly, Elizabeth
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A leading critic examines the connections between obesity and architecture, unchecked sprawl and unchecked appetites, and other forms of insatiability that are hurting our planet and bodies.

Welcome to Blubberland--a world of quadruple-garaged mansions, vast malls, gated communities, stretch limos, and posh resorts. Blubberland is a place, but it is also a state of mind: we expect to be happy (trophy house, SUV in the driveway, home entertainment system, pension fund, cosmetic surgery), but in fact we've grown increasingly bloated, bored, and miserable. In Blubberland, award-winning critic Elizabeth Farrelly looks at our "superfluous superfluity," our huge eco-footprint, and asks why we find it so hard to abandon habits we know to be destructive. Why can't we build human-scale cities, design meaningful public spaces, eat reasonable meals, and stop assaulting nature? Farrelly, trained as an architect, begins this story with architecture, urban sprawl, and housing, but she does not end there. She also looks at "affluenza," childhood asthma, diabetes, addiction, beauty, ugliness, narcissism, climate change, mega-churches, big box retailers, sustainability, depression, anorexia, and the links that collect all of these issues under the same roof--the roof, as it were, of the McMansion. As "big" becomes more and more pervasive, and success is seen in increasingly measurable and material terms, the goal of happiness jeopardizes our survival. Blubberland is a smart, thoughtful, and stylish argument for turning things around.

BODY CONSCIOUSNESS

BODY CONSCIOUSNESS

By: Shusterman, Richard
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Contemporary culture increasingly suffers from problems of attention, over-stimulation, and stress, and a variety of personal and social discontents generated by deceptive body images. This book argues that improved body consciousness can relieve these problems and enhance one's knowledge, performance, and pleasure. The body is our basic medium of perception and action, but focused attention to its feelings and movements has long been criticized as a damaging distraction that also ethically corrupts through self-absorption. In Body Consciousness, Richard Shusterman refutes such charges by engaging the most influential twentieth-century somatic philosophers and incorporating insights from both Western and Asian disciplines of body-mind awareness.
BOOK OF TRAVELS

BOOK OF TRAVELS

By: Diyāb, Ḥannā
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The adventures of the man who created Aladdin

The Book of Travels is Ḥannā Diyāb's remarkable first-person account of his travels as a young man from his hometown of Aleppo to the court of Versailles and back again, which forever linked him to one of the most popular pieces of world literature, the Thousand and One Nights.

Diyāb, a Maronite Christian, served as a guide and interpreter for the French naturalist and antiquarian Paul Lucas. Between 1706 and 1716, Diyāb and Lucas traveled through Syria, Cyprus, Egypt, Tripolitania, Tunis, Italy, and France. In Paris, Ḥannā Diyāb met Antoine Galland, who added to his wildly popular translation of the Thousand and One Nights several tales related by Diyāb, including "Aladdin" and "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves." When Lucas failed to make good on his promise of a position for Diyāb at Louis XIV's Royal Library, Diyāb returned to Aleppo. In his old age, he wrote this engaging account of his youthful adventures, from capture by pirates in the Mediterranean to quack medicine and near-death experiences.

Translated into English for the first time, The Book of Travels introduces readers to the young Syrian responsible for some of the most beloved stories from the Thousand and One Nights.

An English-only edition.

BREAKING THE SPELL

BREAKING THE SPELL

By: Dennett, Daniel C
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The New York Times bestseller - a "crystal-clear, constantly engaging" (Jared Diamond) exploration of the role that religious belief plays in our lives and our interactions

For all the thousands of books that have been written about religion, few until this one have attempted to examine it scientifically: to ask why--and how--it has shaped so many lives so strongly. Is religion a product of blind evolutionary instinct or rational choice? Is it truly the best way to live a moral life? Ranging through biology, history, and psychology, Daniel C. Dennett charts religion's evolution from "wild" folk belief to "domesticated" dogma. Not an antireligious screed but an unblinking look beneath the veil of orthodoxy, Breaking the Spell will be read and debated by believers and skeptics alike.

BRIBES

By: Noonan, John T, Jr
$15.95
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BROKEN TABLETS: LEVINAS, DERRIDA, AND THE LITERARY AFTERLIFE OF RELIGION

BROKEN TABLETS: LEVINAS, DERRIDA, AND THE LITERARY AFTERLIFE OF RELIGION

By: Hammerschlag, Sarah
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Over a span of thirty years, twentieth-century French philosophers Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida held a conversation across texts. Sharing a Jewish heritage and a background in phenomenology, both came to situate their work at the margins of philosophy, articulating this placement through religion and literature. Chronicling the interactions between these thinkers, Sarah Hammerschlag argues that the stakes in their respective positions were more than philosophical. They were also political. Levinas's investments were born out in his writings on Judaism and ultimately in an evolving conviction that the young state of Israel held the best possibility for achieving such an ideal. For Derrida, the Jewish question was literary. The stakes of Jewish survival could only be approached through reflections on modern literature's religious legacy, a line of thinking that provided him the means to reconceive democracy. Hammerschlag's reexamination of Derrida and Levinas's textual exchange not only produces a new account of this friendship but also has significant ramifications for debates within Continental philosophy, the study of religion, and political theology.
BURN OUT SOCIETY

BURN OUT SOCIETY

By: Han, Byung-Chul
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Our competitive, service-oriented societies are taking a toll on the late-modern individual. Rather than improving life, multitasking, "user-friendly" technology, and the culture of convenience are producing disorders that range from depression to attention deficit disorder to borderline personality disorder. Byung-Chul Han interprets the spreading malaise as an inability to manage negative experiences in an age characterized by excessive positivity and the universal availability of people and goods. Stress and exhaustion are not just personal experiences, but social and historical phenomena as well. Denouncing a world in which every against-the-grain response can lead to further disempowerment, he draws on literature, philosophy, and the social and natural sciences to explore the stakes of sacrificing intermittent intellectual reflection for constant neural connection.

CAMB COMP TO ABELARD

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Although best known for his views about universals and his dramatic love affair with Heloise, Peter Abelard (1079-1142) also made important contributions in metaphysics, logic, philosophy of language, mind and cognition, philosophical theology, ethics, and literature. The essays in this volume survey the complete range of Abelard's thought by examining his overall achievement in its intellectual and historical context. They also trace Abelard's influence on later thought and his relevance to contemporary philosophical debate.
CAMB COMP TO EMERSON

CAMB COMP TO EMERSON

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The Cambridge Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson is intended to provide a critical introduction to Emerson's work. The tradition of American literature and philosophy as we know it at the end of the twentieth century was largely shaped by Emerson's example and practice. This volume offers students, scholars, and the general reader a collection of fresh interpretations of Emerson's writing, milieu, influence, and cultural significance. All essays are newly commissioned for this volume, written at an accessible yet challenging level, and augmented by a comprehensive chronology and bibliography.

CAMB COMP TO PEIRCE

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Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), the founder of pragmatism, is generally considered the most significant American philosopher. Popularized by William James and John Dewey, pragmatism advocates that our philosophical theories be linked to experience and practice. The essays in this volume reveal how Peirce developed this concept.
CAMB COMP TO POSTMODERNISM

CAMB COMP TO POSTMODERNISM

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Offering a comprehensive introduction to postmodernism, this Companion features examinations of the different aspects of postmodernist thought and culture that have had a significant effect on contemporary critical thought. Topics discussed by experts in the field include postmodernism's relation to modernity, and its significance and relevance to literature, film, law, philosophy, and modern cultural studies. Additional material includes a guide to further reading and a chronology.
Cambridge Companion to Existentialism

Cambridge Companion to Existentialism

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Existentialism exerts a continuing fascination on students of philosophy and general readers. As a philosophical phenomenon, though, it is often poorly understood, as a form of radical subjectivism that turns its back on reason and argumentation and possesses all the liabilities of philosophical idealism but without any idealistic conceptual clarity. In this volume of original essays, the first to be devoted exclusively to existentialism in over forty years, a team of distinguished commentators discuss the ideas of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and Beauvoir and show how their focus on existence provides a compelling perspective on contemporary issues in moral psychology and philosophy of mind, language and history. A further sequence of chapters examines the influence of existential ideas beyond philosophy, in literature, religion, politics and psychiatry. The volume offers a rich and comprehensive assessment of the continuing vitality of existentialism as a philosophical movement and a cultural phenomenon.
CAMERA LUCIDA: Reflections on Photography

CAMERA LUCIDA: Reflections on Photography

By: Barthes, Roland
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Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes's personal, wide-ranging, and contemplative volume--and the last book he published--finds the author applying his influential perceptiveness and associative insight to the subject of photography.

Commenting on artists such as Avedon, Clifford, Mapplethorpe, and Nadar, Barthes presents photography as being outside the codes of language or culture, acting on the body as much as on the mind, and rendering death and loss more acutely than any other medium.

This groundbreaking approach established Camera Lucida as one of the most important books of theory on the subject, along with Susan Sontag's On Photography.

CAMUS & SARTRE

CAMUS & SARTRE

By: Aronson, Ronald
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CAPITALISM AND DESIRE

CAPITALISM AND DESIRE

By: McGowan, Todd
$27.00
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Despite creating vast inequalities and propping up reactionary world regimes, capitalism has many passionate defenders--but not because of what it withholds from some and gives to others. Capitalism dominates, Todd McGowan argues, because it mimics the structure of our desire while hiding the trauma that the system inflicts upon it. People from all backgrounds enjoy what capitalism provides, but at the same time are told more and better is yet to come. Capitalism traps us through an incomplete satisfaction that compels us after the new, the better, and the more.

Capitalism's parasitic relationship to our desires gives it the illusion of corresponding to our natural impulses, which is how capitalism's defenders characterize it. By understanding this psychic strategy, McGowan hopes to divest us of our addiction to capitalist enrichment and help us rediscover enjoyment as we actually experienced it. By locating it in the present, McGowan frees us from our attachment to a better future and the belief that capitalism is an essential outgrowth of human nature. From this perspective, our economic, social, and political worlds open up to real political change. Eloquent and enlivened by examples from film, television, consumer culture, and everyday life, Capitalism and Desire brings a new, psychoanalytically grounded approach to political and social theory.

CAPITALIST REALISM: IS THERE NO ALTERNATIVE?

CAPITALIST REALISM: IS THERE NO ALTERNATIVE?

By: Fisher, Mark
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After 1989, capitalism has successfully presented itself as the only realistic political-economic system - a situation that the bank crisis of 2008, far from ending, actually compounded. The book analyses the development and principal features of this capitalist realism as a lived ideological framework. Using examples from politics, films, fiction, work and education, it argues that capitalist realism colours all areas of contemporary experience. But it will also show that, because of a number of inconsistencies and glitches internal to the capitalist reality program capitalism in fact is anything but realistic.
CAREER AND FAMILY

CAREER AND FAMILY

By: Goldin, Claudia
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A renowned economic historian traces women's journey to close the gender wage gap and sheds new light on the continued struggle to achieve equity between couples at home

A century ago, it was a given that a woman with a college degree had to choose between having a career and a family. Today, there are more female college graduates than ever before, and more women want to have a career and family, yet challenges persist at work and at home. This book traces how generations of women have responded to the problem of balancing career and family as the twentieth century experienced a sea change in gender equality, revealing why true equity for dual career couples remains frustratingly out of reach.

Drawing on decades of her own groundbreaking research, Claudia Goldin provides a fresh, in-depth look at the diverse experiences of college-educated women from the 1900s to today, examining the aspirations they formed--and the barriers they faced--in terms of career, job, marriage, and children. She shows how many professions are "greedy," paying disproportionately more for long hours and weekend work, and how this perpetuates disparities between women and men. Goldin demonstrates how the era of COVID-19 has severely hindered women's advancement, yet how the growth of remote and flexible work may be the pandemic's silver lining.

Antidiscrimination laws and unbiased managers, while valuable, are not enough. Career and Family explains why we must make fundamental changes to the way we work and how we value caregiving if we are ever to achieve gender equality and couple equity.

CHARMIDES TR. WEST AND WEST

CHARMIDES TR. WEST AND WEST

By: West, G S
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A literal translation, allowing the simplicity and vigor of the Greek diction to shine through.

CLASSIC AND ROMANTIC GERMAN AESTHETICS

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This volume brings together major works by German thinkers who were extremely influential in the crucial period of aesthetics prior to and after Kant. It includes the first translation into English of Schiller's Kallias Letters and Moritz's on the Artistic Imitation of the Beautiful, and new translations of some of Hölderlin's most important theoretical writings and works by Hamann, Lessing, Novalis and Schlegel. The volume features an introduction in which J.M. Bernstein places the works in their historical and philosophical context.
CLOUD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE: NEGATIVE THEOLOGY AND PLANETARY ENTANGLEMENT

CLOUD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE: NEGATIVE THEOLOGY AND PLANETARY ENTANGLEMENT

By: Keller, Catherine
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The experience of the impossible churns up in our epoch whenever a collective dream turns to trauma: politically, sexually, economically, and with a certain ultimacy, ecologically. Out of an ancient theological lineage, the figure of the cloud comes to convey possibility in the face of the impossible. An old mystical nonknowing of God now hosts a current knowledge of uncertainty, of indeterminate and interdependent outcomes, possibly catastrophic. Yet the connectivity and collectivity of social movements, of the fragile, unlikely webs of an alternative notion of existence, keep materializing--a haunting hope, densely entangled, suggesting a more convivial, relational world.

Catherine Keller brings process, feminist, and ecopolitical theologies into transdisciplinary conversation with continental philosophy, the quantum entanglements of a "participatory universe," and the writings of Nicholas of Cusa, Walt Whitman, A. N. Whitehead, Gilles Deleuze, and Judith Butler, to develop a "theopoetics of nonseparable difference." Global movements, personal embroilments, religious diversity, the inextricable relations of humans and nonhumans--these phenomena, in their unsettling togetherness, are exceeding our capacity to know and manage. By staging a series of encounters between the nonseparable and the nonknowable, Keller shows what can be born from our cloudiest entanglement.

COMMON HUMANITY

COMMON HUMANITY

By: Gaita, Raimond
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The Holocaust and attempts to deny it, racism, murder, the case of Mary Bell. How can we include these and countless other examples of evil within our vision of a common humanity? These painful human incongruities are precisely what Raimond Gaita boldly harmonizes in his powerful new book, A Common Humanity.
Hatred with forgiveness, evil with love, suffering with compassion, and the mundane with the precious. Gaita asserts that our conception of humanity cannot be based upon the empty language of individual rights when it is our shared feelings of grief, hope, love, guilt, shame and remorse that offer a more potent foundation for common understanding. Drawing on the work of Hannah Arendt, Simon Weil, Primo Levi, George Orwell, Iris Murdoch and Sigmund Freud, Gaita creates a beautifully written and provocative new picture of our common humanity.

COMPLEMENTARITY

COMPLEMENTARITY

By: Plotnitsky, Arkady
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Many commentators have remarked in passing on the resonance between deconstructionist theory and certain ideas of quantum physics. In this book, Arkady Plotnitsky rigorously elaborates the similarities and differences between the two by focusing on the work of Niels Bohr and Jacques Derrida. In detailed considerations of Bohr's notion of complementarity and his debates with Einstein, and in analysis of Derrida's work via Georges Bataille's concept of general economy, Plotnitsky demonstrates the value of exploring these theories in relation to each other.
Bohr's term complementarity describes a situation, unavoidable in quantum physics, in which two theories thought to be mutually exclusive are required to explain a single phenomenon. Light, for example, can only be explained as both wave and particle, but no synthesis of the two is possible. This theoretical transformation is then examined in relation to the ways that Derrida sets his work against or outside of Hegel, also resisting a similar kind of synthesis and enacting a transformation of its own.
Though concerned primarily with Bohr and Derrida, Plotnitsky also considers a wide range of anti-epistemological endeavors including the work of Nietzsche, Bataille, and the mathematician Kurt Gödel. Under the rubric of complementarity he develops a theoretical framework that raises new possiblilities for students and scholars of literary theory, philosophy, and philosophy of science.