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Philosophy, Aesthetics, Ethics - Concordia University Libraries Recent Acquisitions

Titles in the call number range B - BD (Philosophy) and BH - BJ (Aesthetics, Ethics) that were added to the Concordia University Libraries collection in the last 60 days.


  • Ludwig Wittgenstein : the duty of genius / Ray Monk
    B 3376 W564M59 1991b
    'Monk's energetic enterprise is remarkable for the interleaving of the philosophical and the emotional aspects of Wittgenstein's life' Sunday Times

    'Ray Monk's reconnection of Wittgenstein's philosophy with his life triumphantly carries out the Wittgensteinian task of "changing the aspect" of Wittgenstein's work, getting us to see it in a new way' Sunday Telegraph

    'This biography transforms Wittgenstein into a human being' Independent on Sunday

    'It is much to be recommended' Observer

    'Monk's biography is deeply intelligent, generous to the ordinary reader... It is a beautiful portrait of a beautiful life' Guardian

  • Boyhood with Gurdjieff / Fritz Peters
    B 4249 G84 P4 1972

  • The drama of celebrity / Sharon Marcus
    BJ 1470.5 M37 2019

    A bold new account of how celebrity works

    Why do so many people care so much about celebrities? Who decides who gets to be a star? What are the privileges and pleasures of fandom? Do celebrities ever deserve the outsized attention they receive?

    In this fascinating and deeply researched book, Sharon Marcus challenges everything you thought you knew about our obsession with fame. Icons are not merely famous for being famous; the media alone cannot make or break stars; fans are not simply passive dupes. Instead, journalists, the public, and celebrities themselves all compete, passionately and expertly, to shape the stories we tell about celebrities and fans. The result: a high-stakes drama as endless as it is unpredictable.

    Drawing on scrapbooks, personal diaries, and vintage fan mail, Marcus traces celebrity culture back to its nineteenth-century roots, when people the world over found themselves captivated by celebrity chefs, bad-boy poets, and actors such as the "divine" Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), as famous in her day as the Beatles in theirs. Known in her youth for sleeping in a coffin, hailed in maturity as a woman of genius, Bernhardt became a global superstar thanks to savvy engagement with her era's most innovative media and technologies: the popular press, commercial photography, and speedy new forms of travel.

    Whether you love celebrity culture or hate it, The Drama of Celebrity will change how you think about one of the most important phenomena of modern times.


  • Theorizing in organization studies : insights from key thinkers / Anne Vorre Hansen (Department of Social Sciences and Business, Roskilde University) and Sabine Madsen (Department of Political Science, Aalborg University, Denmark)
    B 842 H36 2019eb

  • Unreal for Mobile and Standalone VR : Create Professional VR Apps Without Coding / Cornel Hillmann
    QA 76.9 H85H55 2019eb

  • Landscape theories : a brief introduction / Olaf Kühne
    BH301.L3

  • Ethics and law for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear & explosive crises / Dónal P. O'Mathúna, Iñigo de Miguel Beriain, editors
    BJ55

  • Virtue ethics : retrospect and prospect / Elisa Grimi, editor
    BJ 1521 V57 2019eb

  • The value of emotions for knowledge / Laura Candiotto, editor
    B 815 V35 2019eb

  • Mind, meaning and world : a transcendental perspective / Ramesh Chandra Pradhan
    BD418.3

  • How matter becomes conscious : a naturalistic theory of the mind / Jan Faye
    B 808.9 F39 2019eb

  • Bergson's Philosophy of Self-Overcoming : Thinking without Negativity or Time as Striving / Messay Kebede
    B2430.B43

  • Post-truth, scepticism & power / Stuart Sim
    BD 171 S56 2019eb

  • An African philosophy of personhood, morality, and politics / Motsamai Molefe
    BD 450 M65 2019eb

  • An education in 'evil' : implications for curriculum, pedagogy, and beyond / Cathryn van Kessel
    BJ1401

  • The future of creation order. Govert J. Buijs, Annette K. Mosher, editors
    B 53 F88 2018eb

  • Metaphysics of states of affairs : truthmaking, universals, and a farewell to Bradley's regress / Bo R. Meinersten
    B105.U5

  • William Desmond's philosophy between metaphysics, religion, ethics, and aesthetics : thinking metaxologically / Dennis Vanden Auweele, editor
    BD 95 W55 2018eb

  • Moral certainty and the foundations of morality / Neil O'Hara
    BJ1012

  • Nietzsche's culture war : the unity of the untimely meditations / Shilo Brooks
    B 3318 C8B76 2018eb

  • Logic and society : the political thought of John Stuart Mill, 1827-1848 / Yuichiro Kawana
    B 1607 K39 2018eb

  • The new Cambridge companion to Nietzsche / edited by Tom Stern, University College London
    B 3317 N435 2019eb

  • How to read Heidegger / Mark Wrathall
    B 3279 H49W73 2006
    Martin Heidegger is perhaps the most influential, yet least readily understood, philosopher of the last century. Mark Wrathall unpacks Heidegger's dense prose and guides the reader through Heidegger's early concern with the nature of human existence, to his later preoccupation with the threat that technology poses to our ability to live worthwhile lives.Wrathall pays particular attention to Heidegger's revolutionary analysis of human existence as inextricably shaped by a shared world. This leads to an exploration of Heidegger's views on the banality of public life and the possibility of authentic anticipation of death as a response to that banality. Wrathall reviews Heidegger's scandalous involvement with National Socialism, situating it in the context of Heidegger's views about the movement of world history. He also explains Heidegger's important accounts of truth, art, and language.Extracts are taken from Heidegger's magnum opus, Being and Time, as well as a variety of his best-known essays and lectures.

  • The Cambridge companion to medieval ethics / edited by Thomas Williams, University of South Florida
    BJ 231 C36 2018eb

  • The Cambridge companion to hermeneutics / edited by Michael N. Forster, University of Bonn, Kristin Gjesdal, Temple University, Philadelphia
    BD 241 C3253 2019eb

  • Determinism and free will : new insights from physics, philosophy, and theology / Fabio Scardigli, Gerard 't Hooft, Emanuele Severino, Piero Coda
    BJ1461

  • The STEAM revolution : transdisciplinary approaches to science, technology, engineering, arts, humanities and mathematics / Armida de la Garza, Charles Travis, editors
    BD255

  • Landscape paradigms and post-urban spaces : a journey through the regions of landscape / Roberto Pasini
    BH301.L3

  • Quaint, exquisite : Victorian aesthetics and the idea of Japan / Grace E. Lavery
    BH 221 J3L38 2019

    From the opening of trade with Britain in the 1850s, Japan occupied a unique and contradictory place in the Victorian imagination, regarded as both a rival empire and a cradle of exquisite beauty. Quaint, Exquisite explores the enduring impact of this dramatic encounter, showing how the rise of Japan led to a major transformation of Western aesthetics at the dawn of globalization.

    Drawing on philosophy, psychoanalysis, queer theory, textual criticism, and a wealth of in-depth archival research, Grace Lavery provides a radical new genealogy of aesthetic experience in modernity. She argues that the global popularity of Japanese art in the late nineteenth century reflected an imagined universal standard of taste that Kant described as the "subjective universal" condition of aesthetic judgment. The book features illuminating cultural histories of Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado , English derivations of the haiku, and retellings of the Madame Butterfly story, and sheds critical light on lesser-known figures such as Winnifred Eaton, an Anglo-Chinese novelist who wrote under the Japanese pseudonym Onoto Watanna, and Mikimoto Ryuzo, a Japanese enthusiast of the Victorian art critic John Ruskin. Lavery also explains the importance and symbolic power of such material objects as W. B. Yeats's prized katana sword and the "Japanese vellum" luxury editions of Oscar Wilde.

    Quaint, Exquisite provides essential insights into the modern understanding of beauty as a vehicle for both intimacy and violence, and the lasting influence of Japanese forms today on writers and artists such as Quentin Tarantino.


  • Time in ecology : a theoretical framework / Eric Post
    BD 638 P67 2019

    Ecologists traditionally regard time as part of the background against which ecological interactions play out. In this book, Eric Post argues that time should be treated as a resource used by organisms for growth, maintenance, and offspring production.

    Post uses insights from phenology--the study of the timing of life-cycle events--to present a theoretical framework of time in ecology that casts long-standing observations in the field in an entirely new light. Combining conceptual models with field data, he demonstrates how phenological advances, delays, and stasis, documented in an array of taxa, can all be viewed as adaptive components of an organism's strategic use of time. Post shows how the allocation of time by individual organisms to critical life history stages is not only a response to environmental cues but also an important driver of interactions at the population, species, and community levels.

    To demonstrate the applications of this exciting new conceptual framework, Time in Ecology uses meta-analyses of previous studies as well as Post's original data on the phenological dynamics of plants, caribou, and muskoxen in Greenland.


  • The secular Enlightenment / Margaret C. Jacob
    B 802 J33 2019

    A major new history of how the Enlightenment transformed people's everyday lives

    The Secular Enlightenment is a panoramic account of the radical ways that life began to change for ordinary people in the age of Locke, Voltaire, and Rousseau. In this landmark book, familiar Enlightenment figures share places with voices that have remained largely unheard until now, from freethinkers and freemasons to French materialists, anticlerical Catholics, pantheists, pornographers, readers, and travelers.

    Margaret Jacob, one of our most esteemed historians of the Enlightenment, reveals how this newly secular outlook was not a wholesale rejection of Christianity but rather a new mental space in which to encounter the world on its own terms. She takes readers from London and Amsterdam to Berlin, Vienna, Turin, and Naples, drawing on rare archival materials to show how ideas central to the emergence of secular democracy touched all facets of daily life. Human frailties once attributed to sin were now viewed through the lens of the newly conceived social sciences. People entered churches not to pray but to admire the architecture, and spent their Sunday mornings reading a newspaper or even a risqué book. The secular-minded pursued their own temporal and commercial well-being without concern for the life hereafter, regarding their successes as the rewards for their actions, their failures as the result of blind economic forces.

    A majestic work of intellectual and cultural history, The Secular Enlightenment demonstrates how secular values and pursuits took hold of eighteenth-century Europe, spilled into the American colonies, and left their lasting imprint on the Western world for generations to come.


  • The power of cute / Simon May
    BH 301 C4M39 2019

    An exploration of cuteness and its immense hold on us, from emojis and fluffy puppies to its more uncanny, subversive expressions

    Cuteness has taken the planet by storm. Global sensations Hello Kitty and Pokémon, the works of artists Takashi Murakami and Jeff Koons, Heidi the cross-eyed opossum and E.T.--all reflect its gathering power. But what does "cute" mean, as a sensibility and style? Why is it so pervasive? Is it all infantile fluff, or is there something more uncanny and even menacing going on--in a lighthearted way? In The Power of Cute , Simon May provides nuanced and surprising answers.

    We usually see the cute as merely diminutive, harmless, and helpless. May challenges this prevailing perspective, investigating everything from Mickey Mouse to Kim Jong-il to argue that cuteness is not restricted to such sweet qualities but also beguiles us by transforming or distorting them into something of playfully indeterminate power, gender, age, morality, and even species. May grapples with cuteness's dark and unpindownable side--unnerving, artful, knowing, apprehensive--elements that have fascinated since ancient times through mythical figures, especially hybrids like the hermaphrodite and the sphinx. He argues that cuteness is an addictive antidote to today's pressured expectations of knowing our purpose, being in charge, and appearing predictable, transparent, and sincere. Instead, it frivolously expresses the uncertainty that these norms deny: the ineliminable uncertainty of who we are; of how much we can control and know; of who, in our relations with others, really has power; indeed, of the very value and purpose of power.

    The Power of Cute delves into a phenomenon that speaks with strange force to our age.


  • Thinking about things / Mark Sainsbury
    B 105 T54S25 2018
    In the blink of an eye, I can redirect my thought from London to Cairo, from cookies to unicorns, from former President Obama to the mythical flying horse, Pegasus. How is this possible? In particular, how can we think about things that do not exist, like unicorns and Pegasus? They are notthere to be thought about, yet we think about them just as easily as we think about things that do exist.Thinking About Things addresses these and related questions, taking as its framework a representational theory of mind. It explains how mental states are attributed, what their aboutness consists in, whether or not they are relational, and whether any of them involve non-existent things likeunicorns.The explanation centers on a new theory of what is involved in attributing attitudes like thinking, hoping, and wanting. These attributions are intensional: some of them seem to involve non-existent things, and they typically have semantic and logical peculiarities, like the fact that one cannotalways substitute one expression for another that refers to the same thing without affecting truth. Mark Sainsbury's new theory, display theory, explains these anomalies. For example, substituting coreferring expressions does not always preserve truth because the correctness of an attributiondepends on what concepts it displays, not on what the concepts refer to. And a concept that refers to nothing may be used in an accurate display of what someone is thinking.

  • Making morality work / Holly M. Smith
    BJ 1012 S5194 2018
    Moral theories are called on to play both a theoretical and a practical role. In their theoretical role they provide accounts of what features make actions right or wrong. In their practical role, they provide a standard by which agents can guide their own conduct. Although it is often assumed that a single theory can successfully serve both these roles, in fact the limits on human knowledge often prevent people from using traditional normative theories to make decisions. People suffer from a wealth of impediments to their grasp of facts morally relevant to their choices: they labor under false beliefs, or they are ignorant or uncertain about the circumstances and consequences of their possible actions. An agent so hampered cannot successfully use her chosen moral theory as a decision guide.
    Holly M. Smith examines three major strategies for addressing this "epistemic problem" in morality. One strategy argues that the epistemic limitations of agents are defects in them but not in the moral theories, which are only required to play the theoretical role. A second strategy holds that the main point of morality is to play the practical role, so that any theory incapable of guiding decisions provides an unacceptable account of right-making features, and must be rejected in favour of a more usable theory. The third strategy claims the correct theory can play both the theoretical and practical role by offering a two tier structure. The top tier plays the theoretical role, while the lower tier provides a coordinated set of user-friendly decision guides that play the practical role. Agents use the theoretical account indirectly to guide their choices by directly utilizing the supplementary decision guides. Smith argues that the first two strategies should be rejected, and develops a detailed novel version of the third strategy that positions us to understand its strengths and shortcomings. Making Morality Work opens a path towards resolving a deep problem of moral life.

  • Working aesthetics : labour, art and capitalism / Danielle Child
    BH 301 C75C46 2019
    Working Aesthetics is about the relationship between art and work under contemporary capitalism. Whilst labour used to be regarded as an unattractive subject for art, the proximity of work to everyday life has subsequently narrowed the gap between work and art. The artist is no longer considered apart from the economic, but is heralded as an example of how to work in neoliberal management textbooks. As work and life become obscured within the contemporary period, this book asks how artistic practice is affected, including those who labour for artists. Through a series of case studies, Working Aesthetics critically examines the moments in which labour and art intersect under capitalism. When did labour disappear from art production, or accounts of art history? Can we consider the dematerialization of art in the 1960s in relation to the deskilling of work? And how has neoliberal management theory adopting the artist as model worker affected artistic practices in the 21st century? With the narrowing of work and art visible in galleries and art discourse today, Working Aesthetics takes a step back to ask why labour has become a valid subject for contemporary art, and explores what this means for aesthetic culture today.

  • The moral nexus / R. Jay Wallace
    BJ 1458.3 W348 2019

    The Moral Nexus develops and defends a new interpretation of morality--namely, as a set of requirements that connect agents normatively to other persons in a nexus of moral relations. According to this relational interpretation, moral demands are directed to other individuals, who have claims that the agent comply with these demands. Interpersonal morality, so conceived, is the domain of what we owe to each other, insofar as we are each persons with equal moral standing.

    The book offers an interpretative argument for the relational approach. Specifically, it highlights neglected advantages of this way of understanding the moral domain; explores important theoretical and practical presuppositions of relational moral duties; and considers the normative implications of understanding morality in relational terms.

    The book features a novel defense of the relational approach to morality, which emphasizes the special significance that moral requirements have, both for agents who are deliberating about what to do and for those who stand to be affected by their actions. The book argues that relational moral requirements can be understood to link us to all individuals whose interests render them vulnerable to our agency, regardless of whether they stand in any prior relationship to us. It also offers fresh accounts of some of the moral phenomena that have seemed to resist treatment in relational terms, showing that the relational interpretation is a viable framework for understanding our specific moral obligations to other people.


  • Reconceiving Spinoza / Samuel Newlands
    B 3999 M45N49 2018
    Samuel Newlands presents a sweeping new interpretation of Spinoza's metaphysical system and the way in which his metaphysics shapes, and is shaped by, his moral program. Newlands also shows how Spinoza can be fruitfully read alongside and through recent developments in contemporary metaphysicsand ethics. Conceptual relations are seen as the backbone of Spinoza's explanatory project and perform a surprising and underappreciated amount of work in his metaphysics and ethics. Conceptual relations are the philosophical grease that keeps the Spinozistic machine running smoothly, allowing himto do everything from reconciling monism with diversity to providing non-prudential grounds for altruism within an ethical egoist framework. Furthermore, given Spinoza's metaphysics of individuals, a moral agent's interests and even self-identity can vary, relative to some of these different ways ofbeing conceived. This will have the startling implication that Spinoza's ethical egoism, when combined with his concept-sensitive metaphysics, is ultimately a call to a radical kind of self-transcendence. Readers will thus be challenged to reconceive not only the world, but also Spinoza's project,and perhaps even themselves, along the way.

  • Friedrich Nietzsche and European nihilism / Paul van Tongeren
    B 3318 N54 T6613 2018
    This book is a thorough study of Nietzsche's thoughts on nihilism, the history of the concept, the different ways in which he tries to explain his ideas on nihilism, the way these ideas were received in the 20th century, and, ultimately, what these ideas should mean to us. It begins with an exploration of how we can understand the strange situation that Nietzsche, about 130 years ago, predicted that nihilism would break through one or two centuries from then, and why, despite the philosopher describing it as the greatest catastrophe that could befall humankind, we hardly seem to be aware of it, let alone be frightened by it.The book shows that most of us are still living within the old frameworks of faith, and, therefore, can hardly imagine what it would mean if the idea of God (as the summit and summary of all our epistemic, moral, and esthetic beliefs) would become unbelievable. The comfortable situation in which we live allows us to conceive of such a possibility in a rather harmless way: while distancing ourselves from explicit religiosity, we still maintain the old framework in our scientific and humanistic ideals. This book highlights that contemporary science and humanism are not alternatives to, but rather variations of the old metaphysical and Christian faith. The inconceivability of real nihilism is elaborated by showing that people either do not take it seriously enough to feel its threat, or - when it is considered properly - suffer from the threat, and by this very suffering prove to be attached to the old nihilistic structures.Because of this paradoxical situation, this text suggests that the literary imagination might bring us closer to the experience of nihilism than philosophy ever could. This is further elaborated with the help of a novel by Juli Zeh and a play by Samuel Beckett. In the final chapter of the book, Nietzsche's life and philosophy are themselves interpreted as a kind of literary metaphorical presentation of the answer to the question of how to live in an age of nihilism.

  • Sources of knowledge : on the concept of a rational capacity for knowledge / Andrea Kern ; translated by Daniel Smyth
    BD 181 K3913 2017

    How can human beings, who are liable to error, possess knowledge? The skeptic finds this question impossible to answer. If we can err, then it seems the grounds on which we believe do not rule out that we are wrong. Most contemporary epistemologists agree with the skeptic that we can never believe on grounds that exclude error. Sources of Knowledge moves beyond this predicament by demonstrating that some major problems of contemporary philosophy have their roots in the lack of a metaphysical category that is fundamental to our self-understanding: the category of a rational capacity for knowledge.

    Andrea Kern argues that we can disarm skeptical doubt by conceiving knowledge as an act of a ratio­nal capacity. This enables us to appreciate human fallibility without falling into skepticism, for it allows us to understand how we can form beliefs about the world on grounds that exclude error. Knowledge is a fundamental capacity of the human mind. Human beings, as such, are knowers. In this way, Sources of Knowledge seeks to understand knowledge from within our self-understanding as knowers. It develops a metaphysics of the human mind as existing through knowledge of itself, which knowledge--as the human being is finite--takes the form of a capacity.

    Regaining the concept of a rational capacity for knowledge, Kern makes a powerful and original contribution to philosophy that reinvigorates the tradition of Aristotle and Kant--thinkers whose relevance for contemporary epistemology has yet to be fully appreciated.


  • Isaiah Berlin and the enlightenment / edited by Laurence Brockliss and Ritchie Robertson
    B 1618 B454I73 2016
    Isaiah Berlin (1909-97) was recognized as Britain's most distinguished historian of ideas. Many of his essays discussed thinkers of what this book calls the "long Enlightenment" (from Vico in the eighteenth century to Marx and Mill in the nineteenth, with Machiavelli as a precursor). Yet he isparticularly associated with the concept of the "Counter-Enlightenment", comprising those thinkers (Herder, Hamann, and even Kant) who in Berlin's view reacted against the Enlightenment's naive rationalism, scientism and progressivism, its assumption that human beings were basically homogeneous andcould be rendered happy by the remorseless application of scientific reason. Berlin's "Counter-Enlightenment" has received critical attention, but no-one has yet analysed the understanding of the Enlightenment on which it rests.Isaiah Berlin and the Enlightenment explores the development of Berlin's conception of the Enlightenment, noting its curious narrowness, its ambivalence, and its indebtedness to a specific German intellectual tradition. Contributors to the book examine his comments on individual writers, showing howthey were inflected by his questionable assumptions, and arguing that some of the writers he assigned to the "Counter-Enlightenment" have closer affinities to the Enlightenment than he recognized. By locating Berlin in the history of Enlightenment studies, this book also makes a contribution todefining the historical place of his work and to evaluating his intellectual legacy.

  • Irony and idealism : rereading Schlegel, Hegel and Kierkegaard / Fred Rush
    B 823 R87 2016
    Irony and Idealism investigates the historical and conceptual structure of the development of a philosophically distinctive conception of irony in early- to mid-nineteenth century European philosophy. The principal figures treated are the romantic thinkers Friedrich Schlegel and Novalis,Hegel, and Kierkegaard. Fred Rush argues that the development of philosophical irony in this historical period is best understood as providing a way forward in philosophy in the wake of Kant and Jacobi that is discrete from, and many times opposed to, German idealism.Irony and Idealism argues, against the grain of received opinion, that among the German romantics Schlegel's conception of irony is superior to similar ideas found in Novalis. It also presents a sustained argument showing that historical reconsideration of Schlegel has been hampered by contestableHegelian assumptions concerning the conceptual viability of romantic irony and by the misinterpretation of what the romantics mean by "the absolute." Rush argues that this is primarily a social-ontological term and not, as is often supposed, a metaphysical concept. Kierkegaard, although critical ofthe romantic conception, deploys his own adaptation of it in his criticism of Hegel, continuing, and in a way completing, the arc of irony through nineteenth-century philosophy.The book concludes by offering suggestions meant to guide contemporary reconsideration of Schlegel's and Kierkegaard's views on the philosophical significance of irony.

  • Happiness / by Alain Badiou ; translated with foreword by A.J. Bartlett and Justin Clemens
    B 105 H36 B3313 2019
    'All philosophy is a metaphysics of happiness.or it's not worth an hour of trouble' claims Alain Badiou in this lively intervention into one of the most persistent themes in philosophy: what is happiness? And what do I need to do to be happy? The desire to be happy is one of our most universal goals and yet there doesn't seem to be any easy answers or formulas for achieving happiness. And the concept has become so commodified and corrupted to be almost unrecognizable as something worth pursuing. In light of this, should we just give up the aspiration to be happy altogether? Alain Badiou thinks not. While eschewing futile procedures for magically becoming 'happy', Badiou does passionately maintain that in order to be truly happy we need philosophy. And, bolder still, that a life lived philosophically is the happiest life of all!

  • The epistemic dimensions of ignorance / edited by Rik Peels, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Martijn Blaauw, Delft University of Technology
    BD 221 E65 2016
    Ignorance is a neglected issue in philosophy. This is surprising for, contrary to what one might expect, it is not clear what ignorance is. Some philosophers say or assume that it is a lack of knowledge, whereas others claim or presuppose that it is an absence of true belief. What is one ignorant of when one is ignorant? What kinds of ignorance are there? This neglect is also remarkable because ignorance plays a crucial role in all sorts of controversial societal issues. Ignorance is often thought to be a moral and legal excuse; it is a core concept in medical ethics and debates about privacy, and it features in religious traditions and debates about belief in God. This book does not only study an epistemic phenomenon that is interesting in itself, but also provides important tools that can be fruitfully used in debates within and beyond philosophy.

  • Adorno and existence / Peter E. Gordon
    B 3199 A34G67 2016

    From the beginning to the end of his career, the philosopher Theodor W. Adorno sustained an uneasy but enduring bond with existentialism. His attitude overall was that of unsparing criticism, verging on polemic. In Kierkegaard he saw an early paragon for the late flowering of bourgeois solipsism; in Heidegger, an impresario for a "jargon of authenticity" cloaking its idealism in an aura of pseudo-concreteness and neo-romantic kitsch. Even in the straitened rationalism of Husserl's phenomenology Adorno saw a vain attempt to break free from the prison-house of consciousness.

    Most scholars of critical theory still regard these philosophical exercises as marginal works--unfortunate lapses of judgment for a thinker otherwise celebrated for dialectical mastery. Yet his persistent fascination with the philosophical canons of existentialism and phenomenology suggests a connection far more productive than mere antipathy. From his first published book on Kierkegaard's aesthetic to the mature studies in negative dialectics, Adorno was forever returning to the philosophies of bourgeois interiority, seeking the paradoxical relation between their manifest failure and their hidden promise.

    Ultimately, Adorno saw in them an instructive if unsuccessful attempt to realize his own ambition: to escape the enchanted circle of idealism so as to grasp "the primacy of the object." Exercises in "immanent critique," Adorno's writings on Kierkegaard, Husserl, and Heidegger present us with a photographic negative--a philosophical portrait of the author himself. In Adorno and Existence , Peter E. Gordon casts new and unfamiliar light on this neglected chapter in the history of Continental philosophy.


  • Surpassing modernity : ambivalence in art, politics and society / Andrew McNamara
    BH 301 M54 M36 2019

    For the past thirty to forty years, cultural analysis has focused on developing terms to explain the surpassing of modernity. Discussion is stranded in an impasse between those who view the term modernity with automatic disdain-as deterministic, Eurocentric or imperialistic-and a booming interest that is renewing the study of modernism. Another dilemma is that the urge to move away from, or beyond, modernity arises because it is viewed as difficult, even unsavoury. Yet, there has always been a view of modernity as somehow difficult to live with, and that has been said by figures we regard today as typical modernists.

    McNamara argues in this book that it is time to forget the quest to surpass modernity. Instead, we should re-examine a legacy that continues to inform our artistic conceptions, our political debates, our critical justifications, even if that legacy is baffling and contradictory. We may find it difficult to live with, but without recourse to this legacy, our critical-cultural ambitions would remain seriously diminished.

    How do we explain the culture we live in today? And how do we, as citizens, make sense of it? This book suggests these questions have become increasingly difficult to answer.


  • Shadows of being : four philosophical essays / Marko Uršič
    BD 331 U77 2018
    This book is a study of the phenomena of shadows, meant in a broader sense as "symbolic forms". The shadow is a less real, "surface" replica of some more real form. From the Platonic point of view, empirical objects are "shadows of ideas", while from the modern "natural" point of view, shadows are seen and conceived primarily as "weaker" replicas of bodies, which give evidence of their material reality. In the first three essays here, several topics from the Ancient Egypt and Greece to modern arts and sciences are considered, while in the fourth essay, the contemporary virtual reality, cyber-technology and the internet as our parallel "shadow world" are discussed from the philosophical point of view. The main and innovative point of this book is the connection between the meaning of shadows in philosophy and art on the one hand, and their role in modern science and technology on the other. The book will appeal to a wide span of readers, from academic circles, students, and artists, to the general reader interested in the humanities, especially in philosophy and art."

  • Fichte's ethics / Michelle Kosch
    B 2849 E8K67 2018
    Michelle Kosch offers a systematic, historically informed reconstruction of Fichte's ethical theory of the Jena period, highlighting that theory's very substantial potential for contribution to various contemporary debates. One of Fichte's most important ideas - that nature can place limits onour ability to govern ourselves, and that anyone who values autonomy is thereby committed to the value of basic research and of the development of autonomy-enhancing technologies - has received little attention in the interpretative literature on Fichte, and has little currency in contemporaryethics. Kosch aims to address both deficits.Beginning from a reconstruction of Fichte's theory of rational agency, this volume examines his arguments for the thesis that rational agency must have two constitutive ends: substantive and formal independence. It argues for a novel interpretation of Fichte's conception of substantive independence,and shows how Fichte's account of moral duties is derived from the end of substantive independence on that conception. It also argues for a new interpretation of Fichte's conception of formal independence, and explains why the usual understanding of this end as providing direct guidance for actionmust be mistaken. It encompasses a systematic reconstruction of Fichte's first-order claims in normative ethics and the philosophy of right.

  • La moïeutique de Cioran : l'expansion et la dissolution du moi dans l'écriture / Mihaela-Gențiana Stănișor
    B 2430 C5254S73 2018
    A bilingual writer, Cioran developed two distinct bodies of work, each expressing in its own way his two homelands and his two identities. He emphasized two topoi: Romania - the site of disaster - and France - a space of Otherness. He sketched portraits of being - freed from, as well as constrained by, the word.
page last updated on: Tuesday 23 July 2019
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