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Learning to Unlearn Cover

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Learning to Unlearn

Decolonial Reflections from Eurasia and the Americas

Learning to Unlearn: Decolonial Reflections from Eurasia and the Americas is a complex, multisided rethinking of the epistemic matrix of Western modernity and coloniality from the position of border epistemology. Colonial and imperial differences are the two key concepts to understanding how the logic of coloniality creates ontological and epistemic exteriorities. Being at once an enactment of decolonial thinking and an attempt to define its main grounds, mechanisms, and concepts, the book shifts the politics of knowledge from “studying the other” (culture, society, economy, politics) toward “the thinking other” (the authors). Addressing areas as diverse as the philosophy of higher education, gender, citizenship, human rights, and indigenous agency, and providing fascinating and little-known examples of decolonial thinking, education, and art, Madina V. Tlostanova and Walter D. Mignolo deconstruct the modern architecture of knowledge—its production and distribution as manifested in the corporate university. In addition, the authors dwell on and define the echoing global decolonial sensibilities as expressed in the Americas and in peripheral Eurasia. The book is an important addition to the emerging transoceanic inquiries that introduce decolonial thought and non-Western border epistemologies not only to update or transform disciplines but also to act and think decolonially in the global futures to come.

Liberal Faith Cover

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Liberal Faith

Essays in Honor of Philip Quinn

Edited by Paul J. Weithman

Philip Quinn, John A. O’Brien Professor at the University of Notre Dame from 1985 until his death in 2004, was well known for his work in the philosophy of religion, political philosophy, and core areas of analytic philosophy. Although the breadth of his interests was so great that it would be virtually impossible to identify any subset of them as representative, the contributors to this volume provide an excellent introduction to, and advance the discussion of, some of the questions of central importance to Quinn in the last years of his working life. Paul J. Weithman argues in his introduction that Quinn’s interest and analyses in many areas grew out of a distinctive and underlying sensibility that we might call “liberal faith.” It included belief in the value of a liberal education and in rigorous intellectual inquiry, the acceptance of enduring religious, cultural, and political pluralism, along with a keen awareness of problems posed by pluralism, and a deeply held but non-utopian faith in liberal democratic politics. These provocative essays, at the cutting edge of epistemology, the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and political philosophy, explore the tenets of liberal faith and invite continuing engagement with the philosophical issues.

Necessity and Possibility Cover

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Necessity and Possibility

The Logical Strategy of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser argues that reading Kant's Critique of Pure Reason as an argument for such a logic of experience makes more defensible many of Kant's most controversial claims, and makes more accessible Kant's notoriously difficult text.

No Religion without Idolatry Cover

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No Religion without Idolatry

Mendelssohn's Jewish Enlightenment

Gideon Freudenthal

Moses Mendelssohn (1725–1786) is considered the foremost representative of Jewish Enlightenment. In No Religion without Idolatry, Gideon Freudenthal offers a novel interpretation of Mendelssohn’s general philosophy and discusses for the first time Mendelssohn’s semiotic interpretation of idolatry in his Jerusalem and in his Hebrew biblical commentary. Mendelssohn emerges from this study as an original philosopher, not a shallow popularizer of rationalist metaphysics, as he is sometimes portrayed. Of special and lasting value is his semiotic theory of idolatry.

From a semiotic perspective, both idolatry and enlightenment are necessary constituents of religion. Idolatry ascribes to religious symbols an intrinsic value: enlightenment maintains that symbols are conventional and merely signify religious content but do not share its properties and value. Without enlightenment, religion degenerates to fetishism; without idolatry it turns into philosophy and frustrates religious experience. Freudenthal demonstrates that in Mendelssohn’s view, Judaism is the optimal religious synthesis. It consists of transient ceremonies of a “living script.” Its ceremonies are symbols, but they are not permanent objects that could be venerated. Jewish ceremonies thus provide a religious experience but frustrate fetishism. Throughout the book, Freudenthal fruitfully contrasts Mendelssohn's views on religion and philosophy with those of his contemporary critic and opponent, Salomon Maimon. No Religion without Idolatry breaks new ground in Mendelssohn studies. It will interest students and scholars in philosophy of religion, Judaism, and semiotics.

"In this lucid and provocative study, Gideon Freudenthal offers an original and compelling reading of Mendelssohn as well as a defense of the possibility of religious rationalism more generally. This book is not only an excellent contribution to a growing body of scholarship on Mendelssohn and early modern philosophy, but it also significantly sharpens and advances contemporary conversations about the relations between religion and reason." —Leora Batnitzky, Princeton University
 
"In this masterful study, Gideon Freudenthal demonstrates how Mendelssohn’s philosophy, including his philosophy of religion, is grounded in semiotics. The result is a landmark work that not only successfully challenges standard interpretations of Mendelssohn’s 'enlightened Judaism' and its alleged inconsistency but also effectively invites reconsideration of the very possibility of 'religion without idolatry.'" —Daniel O. Dahlstrom, Boston University
 
"In focusing on Mendelssohn's 'semiotics of idolatry,' Gideon Freudenthal writes as a philosopher fully at home in multiple traditions: contemporary philosophy, eighteenth-century philosophy, Jewish biblical exegesis, and comparative religion. The result is a systematic and penetrating study, based on the Hebrew as well as the German texts, that engages Mendelssohn on perhaps the most critical issue of his understanding of religion with unprecedented philosophical rigor and imagination." —David Sorkin, City University of New York Graduate Center
 

 

Philosophical Apprenticeships Cover

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Philosophical Apprenticeships

Contemporary Continental Philosophy in Canada

Jay Lampert and Jason Robinson

Philosophical Apprenticeships gathers fresh and innovative essays written by the next generation of Canada's philosophers on the work of prominent Canadian philosophers currently researching topics in continental philosophy. The authors--doctoral students studying at Canadian universities--have studied with, worked with, or been deeply influenced by these philosophers. Their essays present, discuss, and develop the work of their mentors, addressing issues such as time, art, politics, hermeneutics, and phenomenology. The result is a volume that introduces the reader to the work of current Canadian philosophers and to that of their successors, who will soon be making their own contributions to Canadian continental philosophy. Includes articles by Gabriel Malenfant on Bettina Bergo, Saulius Geniusas on Gary Madison, John Marshall on Samuel Mallin, Fran\u00e7ois Doyon on Claude Pich\u00e9, Stephanie Zubcic on Jennifer Bates, Alexandra Morrison on Graeme Nicholson, Scott Marratto on John Russon, and Jill Gilbert on John Burbridge.

A Scriptural Sculpture of Knowledges Cover

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A Scriptural Sculpture of Knowledges

This book is a scriptural sculpture of how the physical dimensions of the earth ñbuilt and natural ñ and antecedents of history structure knowledges and the physical containers ñ human and non-human ñ that embody those knowledges. The book deals with universalisms grounded on African experiences and perspectives. A key theme is how (in)security relates to knowledge creation by drawing a parallel between the proliferation of violent conflict in Africa and the marginal position that the continent occupies in the modern formation of knowledge. Also explored is the concept of creativity in relation to art and politics, as experienced by the black African elite. Bottlenecks to African creativity and the role of space and history in the production and reproduction of knowledge and ways of knowing are critically reviewed. The author makes a case for the existence of irreducible forms of knowledge existing in distinct laboratories and traces how particular biological and environment features interact with human cognition to form what passes for knowledge. He interrogates the variety of environment cognition in the light of an increasing homogenization of human cognition globally with a particular accent on climate change. This is a bold and legitimate voice on an important conversation.

The Tarskian Turn Cover

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The Tarskian Turn

Deflationism and Axiomatic Truth

Leon Horsten

A philosopher proposes a new deflationist view of truth, based on contemporary proof-theoretic approaches.

Thought and World Cover

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Thought and World

The Hidden Necessities

James Ross

James F. Ross is a creative and independent thinker in contemporary metaphysics and philosophy of mind. In this concise metaphysical essay, he argues clearly and analytically that meaning, truth, impossibility, natural necessity, and our intelligent perception of nature fit together into a distinctly realist account of thought and world. Ross articulates a moderate realism about repeatable natural structures and our abstractive ability to discern them that poses a challenge to many of the common assumptions and claims of contemporary analytic philosophy. He develops a broadly Aristotelian metaphysics that recognizes the "hidden necessities" of things, which are disclosed through the sciences, which ground his account of real impossibility as a kind of vacuity, and which require the immateriality of the human ability to understand. Those ideas are supported by a novel account of false judgment. Ross aims to offer an analytically and historically respectable alternative to the prevailing positions of many British-American philosophers.

The View from Within Cover

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The View from Within

Normativity and the Limits of Self-Criticism

Menachem Fisch and Yitzhak Benbaji

The View from Within examines the character of reason and the ability of an individual to effectively distance himself from the normative framework in which he functions in order to be self-critical and innovative. To accomplish this task, Menachem Fisch and Yitzhak Benbaji critically employ or reject the recent writings of Brandom, Friedman, Frankfurt, Walzer, Davidson, Williams, Habermas, Rorty, and McDowell to offer a fundamental analysis of the character of reason and the problem of relativism. This ambitious book forcefully raises the problem of rational normative change and makes the unique and insightful claim that although we cannot be convinced by normative criticism to modify or replace our norms, we can be rationally motivated to do so by the effect of exposure to trusted critics. Its unprecedented analysis, with its solution to the problem of normative self-criticism that has baffled philosophers for the past sixty years, will be welcomed by both students and scholars of philosophy.

Ways of Knowing Cover

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Ways of Knowing

Kierkegaard's Pluralist Epistemology

M.G. Piety

While Kierkegaard is one of the most important thinkers of the nineteenth century, until now very little scholarly attention has been paid to his epistemology. As M. G. Piety explains, this is a serious problem, as Kierkegaard’s views on our ways of knowing are, and must be, intimately related to his view on religious faith and its role in human experience. Thus, in Ways of Knowing, Piety offers the first book-length exploration of Kierkegaard’s views on knowledge, an epistemology that she argues is both foundationalist and nonfoundationalist, substantive and procedural, and includes both internalist and externalist theories of belief justification. In developing, then, a general outline of Kierkegaard’s views, Piety provides the foundational material for future contextualizing and comparative scholarship.

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