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The year 2011 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Emmanuel Levinas’s Totality and Infinity, which now stands as one of the classic texts of the second half of the twentieth century. At this anniversary, this collection of essays suggests that a revitalized understanding of the text is needed. While readers can easily fall into routine readings and discussions of this originally provocative—even intoxicating—text, Totality and Infinity at 50 invites students of Levinas to explore new avenues into the work by charting a map of Levinas scholarship for the next 50 years. From the problem of the other, the emphasis of ethics as first philosophy, the text’s theological implications, and the focus on the role of the feminine, Totality and Infinity has been the subject of a wide range of interpretations and scholarly interests since its publication. While these various emphases have contributed to a greater understanding of Levinas’s philosophy, they can also have the cumulative effect of leading us to believe that all of the different options have been explored. In contrast, this volume argues that there is still more to be said about this seminal book, inspiring readers to look beyond routine readings and worn themes of Totality and Infinity. As a result, these Levinas scholars provide essays that offer a fresh account of the argument and purpose of Totality and Infinity; draw parallels between Levinas and other thinkers including Marx, Stanley Cavell, and Édouard Glissant; consider Levinas’s relationship to other disciplines such as nursing, psychotherapy, and law; and bring this seminal text to bear on specific, concrete issues of present-day concern. With this focus, Totality and Infinity at 50 envisions a renewed and newly invigorated relationship with Totality and Infinity, so that Levinas’s philosophy might remain a vital companion to us in the next half-century.
Merleau-Ponty's Philosophy of Imagination
Imagining Bodies demonstrates how Merleau-Ponty’s understanding of the body has broad implications for philosophy, aesthetics and the social sciences. By examining Merleau-Ponty’s analysis of the body as a dialectic of habituation and creativity, Steeves unveils a deeper relation between self and world that is mediated by images of embodiment. Imagining Bodies is a testament to the importance of the body and the imagination in our perception of reality at a time when the philosophy of the body is associated with metaphysical presence.
The book also amends traditional theories of imagination by suggesting a new approach to determining what it is and how it functions. The imagination is not only extended beyond the realm of fanciful thinking but is restored as being essentially spatial and embodied; there is a primacy of the imaginary within perceptual experience. Further, Steeves demonstrates a stronger connection between Merleau-Ponty’s early works on the body and perception and his later works on aesthetic and social theory and on the ontology of the ‘flesh.’ He also provides a fresh and concrete interpretation of the later philosophy, and explains in what ways the imagining body relates to Being and to the natural environment. Finally, Steeves answers to recent criticisms of Merleau-Ponty’s work from postmodernism, deconstructionism, and feminism, paving the way toward a new understanding of perception and ontology.
A Theoretical Base for Eclectic Practice
Responding to what he perceives as the ever-increasing medicalization of psychotherapy in recent decades, whereby clients are seen as mostly passive recipients of services, Alphons J. Richert offers therapists a collaborative theory that reasserts the importance of a client-centered approach to therapy. To be most useful to the client, he maintains, therapists must not be entirely tied to a particular school or approach, but must have a guiding framework that enables them to work flexibly, engaging in different activities at different times and with different clients, but always with a clear understanding of why they are doing so.
Rooted in a primarily constructivist framework, Richert sets out to develop an approach that uses both existential and narrative thinking regarding the process of change. After each of these approaches — including the similarities and major differences between them — are outlined, a more integrative method can be described, as Richert focuses on the interplay of bodily, lived experience and socially constructed meaning in the creation of the person’s self and world. A client is best served, he argues, when the therapist attends carefully to such meaning-making processes, and a creative synthesis of existential and narrative approaches grants particular emphasis to the human process of meaning-making on both these internal and interpersonal levels.
As a scholar and a practitioner, Richert also discusses the implications of this integrative position for the actual practice of therapy. Acknowledging the variety of needs, difficulties, and complex cases therapists must often address, this approach offers a systematic and purposeful approach to psychotherapy that simultaneously equips the therapist to adapt to the constantly developing therapeutic enterprise and to flexibly engage different clients with a diverse assortment of activities, interventions, and methods of treatment. Integrating Existential and Narrative Therapy will be of special interest to scholars and clinical psychologists who pursue either of these approaches to psychotherapy, as well as to those who seek to enhance a variety of other methodologies.
Levinas and Infinite Responsibility
“The essential theme of my research is the deformalization of the notion of time,” asserted Emmanuel Levinas in a 1988 interview, as he approached the end of his long philosophical career. But while the notion of time is fundamental to the development of every key theme in Levinas’s thought — the idea of the infinite, the issue of the alterity of the other, the face of the other, the question of our ethical relations with other people, the role of fecundity, speech and language, and radical responsibility — his view of time remains obscure. Yael Lin’s exhaustive look at Levinas’s primary texts, both his philosophical writings and his writings on Judaism, brings together his various perspectives on time. Lin concludes that we can, indeed, extract a coherent and consistent conception of time from Levinas’s thought, one that is distinctly political. First situating Levinas’s views against the background of two of his most influential predecessors, Henri Bergson and Martin Heidegger, The Intersubjectivity of Time demonstrates that Levinas’s interpretation of time seeks to fill a void created by the egological views those thinkers emphasized. For Levinas, time is neither considered from the perspective of the individual nor is it a public dimension belonging to everyone, but it occurs in the encounter between the self and the other person, and the infinite responsibility inherent in that relation. Yet Levinas himself is surprisingly vague as to how exactly this relation to the other person creates time’s structure or how it is experienced in our everyday lives, and he does not make an explicit move from this intersubjective ethical dimension to the broader collective-political dimension. Lin offers a unique perspective to address this crucial question of the political dimension of Levinas’s project. By turning to Levinas’s talmudic writings and examining aspects of Jewish life, traditions of communal prayer, and ritual, Lin sketches out a multivocal account of time, deepening Levinas’s original claim that time is constituted via social relationships. This imaginative and evocative discussion truly opens the subject to further research.
In a systematic and comprehensive manner, this book was the first to sketch out a full picture of the field of phenomenological psychology for those coming to it from other perspectives. The first chapter discusses the influence of the nineteenth century on psychology in general, after which Kruger characterizes aspects of behaviorism and depth psychology. The second chapter comprises a fluent review of the philosophical prehistory of phenomenological psychology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The third chapter deals with perception, memory, and imagination and provides a phenomenological interpretation of the unconscious. Chapter four introduces the reader to the field of phenomenological, empirical, and experimental research. Chapter five comprises a summary of the meaning of phenomenology for psychopathology and for psychotherapy. The last chapter provides the reader with a defense of the standpoint taken up by the phenomenologist, namely, that psychology concerns itself with interpersonal events—that is, never with intrapsychic ones.
An Annotated Bibliography of Modern Criticism, 1979-1995
This comprehensive bibliography covers a 17-year period (1979–1995) in John Donne studies and criticism. This third bibliography on Donne is a continuation of two bibliographies previously compiled by noted Donne scholar John R. Roberts, spanning the years 1912–1978. Included here are more than 1,600 entries of descriptive annotations wherein Roberts quotes extensively from each item in order to convey a sense of its approach and the level of its critical sophistication and complexity. Entries are organized chronologically, and within each year, alphabetically by author. The bibliography contains annotations on books, monographs, essays, editions, poetry, prose, and notes specifically on Donne published between 1979 and 1995; discussions of Donne that appear in studies not centrally concerned with him that add to our knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of his life and work; translations into foreign languages; and editions and translations of Donne's own works as well as criticism and interpretation of Donne. The informative and concise annotations provide not only a summary of content but also indicate the critical approaches and themes under discussion. Usability is enhanced by means of three detailed indexes (author, subject, and works mentioned in the annotations) and cross-references.
The End of Equity in the Satyres
Though law and satire share essential elements Ñ both aim to correct individual vice, to promote justice, and to claim authority amid competing perspectives Ñ their commonality has gone largely unexplored by both legal theorists and literary critics. Gregory Kneidel, in this thoroughly original work, finds that just such an exploration leads to fascinating new insights for both fields of study. Reversing the more common association of satire with illegality, especially with libel, Kneidel takes as his test case the five formal verse satires written by a young John Donne in the mid-1590s. The Satyres, a highly regarded but difficult and little-studied group of poems, appeared just as Òlegal cultureÓ was beginning to emerge in something like its modern, secularized form. By placing the Satyres within the broader historical narrative explaining the triumph of the Anglo-American common-law tradition over other legal jurisdictions, Kneidel demonstrates, too, that Donne was clearly informed about and interested in the legal controversies of the time, those that pitted the common-law tradition against ideas of equity as well as Roman civil and canon law, parliamentary legislation, and royal prerogative. In fact, Kneidel argues, Donne clearly conceived of his satires as a supplement to Ñ or even a form of Ñ early modern law. The poems specifically engage with jurisprudential conflicts over the role of equity amid the numerous other forms of law that dominated the English legal landscape, as equity was just then losing its independent status and being absorbed by the common-law tradition. Like satire, equity considers and attempts to bridge the distance between justice and law, taking into account the unique circumstances of individual cases. Thus, by examining this argument about the rivalry of equity and law within DonneÕs satires, we achieve a much clearer picture of the complexities of that historical moment, together with a fresh and insightful addition to the growing field of literature and early modern legal studies.
An Annotated Bibliography, 1989–1999
This comprehensive bibliography covers a ten-year period (1989-1999) in Milton studies and criticism, a period notable for both the quality and quantity of Milton scholarship produced, as well as for the many critical methodologies employed to examine and interpret Milton and his writings. This bibliography annotates over 2,400 works, surveying books, articles, collections, and dissertations, as well as editions and translations of Milton’s own works. This study also documents thousands of reviews of Milton scholarship from this period. The third and final volume of Calvin Huckabay’s celebrated series of Milton bibliographies of twentieth century Milton scholarship, this particular bibliography stands out for its unique combination of comprehensive coverage and exceptionally detailed and thorough annotations.