New Philosophy Books
A few more of the latest:
A Companion to Meister Eckhart
edited by Jeremiah M. Hackett (Brill)
From the publisher: This book meets an obvious need in English language studies on Meister Eckhart. It is the first handbook on Eckhart for graduate and undergraduate students. It is divided into three parts. Part one deals with the life, works, career, and trial; Greek, Jewish, and Arabic philosophical sources, and some central philosophical ideas. Part two examines Eckhart as a Latin exegete, vernacular preacher, Eckhart’s understanding of God, Eckhart as a reader of Maimonides and in relation to women’s spirituality. Part three deals with the reception of Eckhart and his works from the fourteenth century to the twenty-first century. It covers fourteenth-century German readers of Eckhart, the fifteenth-century reader Nicholas of Cusa, the sixteenth-seventeenth-century reader Valentine Weigel, the reception of Eckhart in German idealism and romanticism and Eckhart and philosophy in the twentieth century. There is an epilogue on mysticism and philosophy in Eckhart and an appendix on Dominican education in the Middle Ages. Contributors include Walter Senner OP, Allesandra Beccarisi, Dagmar Gottschall, Loris Sturlese, Tamar Tsopurashvili, Jennifer Hart Weed, Jeremiah Hackett, Udo Kern, Alessandro Palazzo, Eliza Rubino, Donald F. Duclow, Bruce Millem, Markus Enders, Yossef Schwartz, Lydia Wegener, Jack C. Marler, Nadia Bray, Elizabeth Brient, Fiorella Rettucci, Andrew Weeks, Cyril O’Regan, Dermot Moran, Karl Albert and Paul Dietrich.
Anthropology Confronts the Problems of the Modern World
by Claude Lévi-Strauss, translated by Jane Marie Todd (Harvard University Press)
From the publisher: Anthropology Confronts the Problems of the Modern World is the first English translation of a series of lectures Claude Lévi-Strauss delivered in Tokyo in 1986. Written with an eye toward the future as his own distinguished career was drawing to a close, this volume presents a synthesis of the author’s major ideas about structural anthropology, a field he helped establish. Critiquing insights of his earlier writings on the relationship between race, history, and civilization, Lévi-Strauss revisits the social issues that never ceased to fascinate him. He begins with the observation that the cultural supremacy enjoyed by the West for over two centuries is at an end. Global wars and genocides in the twentieth century have fatally undermined Western faith in humanity’s improvement through scientific progress. Anthropology, however, can be the vehicle of a new “democratic humanism,” broadening traditional frameworks that have restricted cross-cultural understandings of the human condition, and providing a basis for inquiries into what other civilizations, such as those of Asia, can teach. Surveying a world on the brink of the twenty-first century, Lévi-Strauss assesses some of the dilemmas of cultural and moral relativism a globalized society faces—ethical dimensions of economic inequality, the rise of different forms of religious fundamentalism, the promise and peril of genetic and reproductive engineering. A laboratory of thought opening onto the future, Anthropology Confronts the Problems of the Modern World is an important addition to the canon of one of the twentieth-century’s most influential theorists.
You Must Change Your Life: On Anthropotechnics
by Peter Sloterdijk (Polity Press)
From the publisher: In his major investigation into the nature of humans, Peter Sloterdijk presents a critique of myth – the myth of the return of religion. For it is not religion that is returning; rather, there is something else quite profound that is taking on increasing significance in the present: the human as a practising, training being, one that creates itself through exercises and thereby transcends itself. Rainer Maria Rilke formulated the drive towards such self-training in the early twentieth century in the imperative ‘You must change your life’. In making his case for the expansion of the practice zone for individuals and for society as a whole, Sloterdijk develops a fundamental and fundamentally new anthropology. The core of his science of the human being is an insight into the self-formation of all things human. The activity of both individuals and collectives constantly comes back to affect them: work affects the worker, communication the communicator, feelings the feeler. It is those humans who engage expressly in practice that embody this mode of existence most clearly: farmers, workers, warriors, writers, yogis, rhetoricians, musicians or models. By examining their training plans and peak performances, this book offers a panorama of exercises that are necessary to be, and remain, a human being.
Philosophos: Plato’s Missing Dialogue
by Mary Louise Gill (Oxford University Press)
From the publisher: Plato famously promised to complement the Sophist and the Statesman with another work on a third sort of expert, the philosopher–but we do not have this final dialogue. Mary Louise Gill argues that Plato promised the Philosopher, but did not write it, in order to stimulate his audience and encourage his readers to work out, for themselves, the portrait it would have contained. The Sophist and Statesman are themselves members of a larger series starting with the Theaetetus, Plato’s investigation of knowledge, and the whole series relies on the Parmenides, the second part of which presents a philosophical exercise, introduced as the first step in a larger philosophical program. Gill contends that the dialogues leading up to the missing Philosopher, though they reach some substantive conclusions, are philosophical exercises of various sorts designed to train students in dialectic, the philosopher’s method; and that a second version of the Parmenides exercise, closely patterned on it, spans parts of the Theaetetus and Sophist and brings the philosopher into view. This is the exercise about being, the subject-matter studied by Plato’s philosopher. Plato hides the pieces of the puzzle and its solution in plain sight, forcing his students (and modern readers) to dig out the pieces and reconstruct the project. Gill reveals how, in finding the philosopher through the exercise, the student becomes a philosopher by mastering his methods. She shows that the target of Plato’s exercise is internally related to its pedagogical purpose.
Saul Kripke : Puzzles and Mysteries
by John Burgess (Polity Press)
From the publisher: Saul Kripke has been a major influence on analytic philosophy and allied fields for a half-century and more. His early masterpiece, Naming and Necessity, reversed the pattern of two centuries of philosophizing about the necessary and the contingent. Although much of his work remains unpublished, several major essays have now appeared in print, most recently in his long-awaited collection Philosophical Troubles. In this book Kripke’s long-time colleague, the logician and philosopher John P. Burgess, offers a thorough and self-contained guide to all of Kripke’s published books and his most important philosophical papers, old and new. It also provides an authoritative but non-technical account of Kripke’s influential contributions to the study of modal logic and logical paradoxes. Although Kripke has been anything but a system-builder, Burgess expertly uncovers the connections between different parts of his oeuvre. Kripke is shown grappling, often in opposition to existing traditions, with mysteries surrounding the nature of necessity, rule-following, and the conscious mind, as well as with intricate and intriguing puzzles about identity, belief and self-reference. Clearly contextualizing the full range of Kripke’s work, Burgess outlines, summarizes and surveys the issues raised by each of the philosopher’s major publications. Kripke will be essential reading for anyone interested in the work of one of analytic philosophy’s greatest living thinkers.
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