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The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce, Volume I

Culture, Philosophy, and Religion

John J. McDermott

Now back in print, and in paperback, these two classicvolumes illustrate the scope and quality of Royce'sthought, providing the most comprehensive selection ofhis writings currently available. They offer a detailedpresentation of the viable relationship Royce forgedbetween the local experience of community and thedemands of a philosophical and scientific vision ofthe human situation.The selections reprinted here are basic to any understandingof Royce's thought and its pressing relevanceto contemporary cultural, moral, and religious issues.

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The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce, Volume II

Logic, Loyalty, and Community

John J. McDermott

Now back in print, and in paperback, these two classicvolumes illustrate the scope and quality of Royce'sthought, providing the most comprehensive selection ofhis writings currently available. They offer a detailedpresentation of the viable relationship Royce forgedbetween the local experience of community and thedemands of a philosophical and scientific vision ofthe human situation.The selections reprinted here are basic to any understandingof Royce's thought and its pressing relevanceto contemporary cultural, moral, and religious issues.

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Before the Fires

An Oral History of African American Life in the Bronx from the 1930s to the 1960s

Mark Naison, and Bob Gumbs

People associate the South Bronx with gangs, violence, drugs, crime, burnt out buildings, and poverty. This is the message that has been driven into their heads over the years by the media. As Howard Cosell famously said during the 1977 World’s series at Yankee Stadium, "There it is, ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning." In this new book, Naison and Gumbs provide a completely different picture of the South Bronx through interviews with residents that lived there from the 1930s to the 1960s. In the early 1930s, word began to spread among economically secure black families in Harlem that there were spacious apartments for rent in the Morrisania section of the Bronx. Landlords in that community, desperate to fill their rent rolls and avoid foreclosure, began putting up signs in their windows and in advertisements in New York’s black newspapers, which said “We rent to select colored families," by which they meant families with a securely employed wage earner and light complexions. Black families who fit those criteria began renting apartments by the score. Thus began a period of about twenty years where the Bronx served as a borough of hope and unlimited possibilities for upwardly mobile black families. Chronicling a time when African Americans were suspended between the best and worst possibilities of New York City, Before the Fires tells the personal stories of seventeen men and women who lived in the South Bronx before the social and economic decline of the area that began in the late 1960s. Located on a hill hovering over one of the borough’s largest industrial districts, Morrisania offered black migrants from Harlem, the South, and the Caribbean with an opportunity to raise children in a neighborhood that had better schools, strong churches, better shopping, less crime, and clean air. This culturally rich neighborhood also boasted some of the most vibrant music venues in all of New York City, giving rise to such music titans as Lou Donaldson, Valerie Capers, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Palmieri, Donald Byrd, Elmo Hope, Henry “Red” Allen, Bobby Sanabria, Valerie Simpson, Maxine Sullivan, the Chantals, the Chords, and Jimmy Owens. Alternately analytical and poetic, but all rich in detail, these inspiring interviews describe growing up and living in vibrant black and multiracial Bronx communities whose contours have rarely graced the pages of histories of the Bronx or black New York City. Capturing the excitement of growing up in this stimulating and culturally diverse environment, Before the Fires is filled with the optimism of the period and heartache of what was shattered in the urban crisis and the burning of the Bronx.

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The Beginning of Heaven and Earth Has No Name

Seven Days with Second-Order Cybernetics

Heinz von Foerster

Heinz von Foerster was the inventor of second-order cybernetics, which recognizes the investigator as part of the system he is investigating. The Beginning of Heaven and Earth Has No Name provides an accessible, nonmathematical, and comprehensive overview of von Foerster’s cybernetic ideas and of the philosophy latent within them. It distills concepts scattered across the lifework of this scientific polymath and influential interdisciplinarian. At the same time, as a book-length interview, it does justice to von Foerster’s élan as a speaker and improviser, his skill as a raconteur. Developed from a week-long conversation between the editors and von Foerster near the end of his life, this work playfully engages von Foerster in developing the difference his notion of second-order cybernetics makes for topics ranging from emergence, life, order, and thermodynamics to observation, recursion, cognition, perception, memory, and communication. The book gives an English-speaking audience a new ease of access to the rich thought and generous spirit of this remarkable and protean thinker.

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Being Brains

Making the Cerebral Subject

Fernando Vidal

Being Brains offers a critical exploration of one of the most influential and pervasive contemporary beliefs: “We are our brains.” Starting in the “Decade of the Brain” of the 1990s, “neurocentrism” became widespread in most Western and many non-Western societies. Formidable advances, especially in neuroimaging, have bolstered this “neurocentrism” in the eyes of the public and political authorities, helping to justify increased funding for the brain sciences. The human sciences have also taken the “neural turn,” and subspecialties in fields such as anthropology, aesthetics, education, history, law, sociology, and theology have grown and professionalized at record speed. At the same time, the development of dubious but successful commercial enterprises such as “neuromarketing and “neurobics” have emerged to take advantage of the heightened sensitivity to all things neuro. Skeptics have only recently begun to react to the hype, invoking warnings of neuromythology, neurotrash, neuromania, and neuromadness. While this neurocentric view of human subjectivity is neither hegemonic nor monolithic, it embodies a powerful ideology that is at the heart of some of today’s most important philosophical, ethical, scientific, and political debates. Being Brains critically explores the internal logic of such ideology, its genealogy, and its main contemporary incarnations.

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Being-in-Creation

Human Responsibility in an Endangered World

Edited by Brian Treanor, Bruce Ellis Benson, and Norman Wirzba

What is the proper relationship between human beings and the more-than-human world? This philosophical question, which underlies vast environmental crises, forces us to investigate the tension between our extraordinary powers, which seem to set us apart from nature, even above it, and our thoroughgoing ordinariness, as revealed by the evolutionary history we share with all life. The contributors to this volume ask us to consider whether the anxiety of unheimlichkeit, which in one form or another absorbed so much of twentieth-century philosophy, might reveal not our homelessness in the cosmos but a need for a fundamental belongingness and implacement in it.

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Believing in Order to See

On the Rationality of Revelation and the Irrationality of Some Believers

Jean-Luc Marion

Faith and reason, especially in Roman Catholic thought, are less contradictory today than ever. But does the supposed opposition even make sense to begin with? One can lose faith, but surely not because one gains in reason. Some, in fact, lose faith when reason is not able to make sense of the experience of our lives. Yet, we actually lose reason by losing faith. Examining such topics as the role of the intellectual in the church, the rationality of faith, the infinite worth and incomprehensibility of the human, the phenomenality of the sacraments, and the phenomenological nature of miracles and of revelation more broadly, this book spans the range of Marion’s thought on Christianity. Throughout he stresses that faith has its own rationality, structured according to the logic of the gift that calls forth a response of love and devotion through kenotic abandon.

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Believing Scholars

Ten Catholic Intellectuals

James L. Heft

How do Catholic intellectuals draw on faith in their work? And how does their work as scholars influence their lives as people of faith?For more than a generation, the University of Dayton has invited a prominent Catholic intellectual to present the annual Marianist Award Lecture on the general theme of the encounter of faith and profession. Over the years, the lectures have become central to the Catholic conversation about church, culture, and society.In this book, ten leading figures explore the connections in their own lives between the private realms of faith and their public calling as teachers, scholars, and intellectuals.This last decade of Marianist Lectures brings together theologians and philosophers, historians, anthropologists, academic scholars, and lay intellectuals and critics.Here are Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., on the tensions between faith and theology in his career; Jill Ker Conway on the spiritual dimensions of memory and personal narrative; Mary Ann Glendon on the roots of human rights in Catholic social teaching; Mary Douglas on the fruitful dialogue between religion and anthropology in her own life; Peter Steinfels on what it really means to be a liberal Catholic; and Margaret O'Brien Steinfels on the complicated history of women in today's church. From Charles Taylor and David Tracy on the fractured relationship between Catholicism and modernity to Gustavo Gutirrez on the enduring call of the poor and Marcia Colish on the historic links between the church and intellectual freedom, these essays track a decade of provocative, illuminating, and essential thought. James L. Heft, S.M., is President and Founding Director of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies and University Professor of Faith and Culture and Chancellor, University of Dayton. He has edited Beyond Violence: Religious Sources for Social Transformation in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Fordham).

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Benjamin's Passages

Dreaming, Awakening

Alexander Gelley

In transposing the Freudian dream work from the individual subject to the collective, Walter Benjamin projected a “macroscosmic journey” of the individual sleeper to “the dreaming collective, which, through the arcades, communes with its own insides.” Benjamin’s effort to transpose the dream phenomenon to the history of a collective remained fragmentary, though it underlies the principle of retrograde temporality, which, it is argued, is central to his idea of history. _x000B_The “passages” are not just the Paris arcades: they refer also to Benjamin’s effort to negotiate the labyrinth of his work and thought. Gelley works through many of Benjamin’s later works and examines important critical questions: the interplay of aesthetics and politics, the genre of The Arcades Project, citation, language, messianism, aura, and the motifs of memory, the crowd, and awakening._x000B_For Benjamin, memory is not only antiquarian: it functions as a solicitation, a call to a collectivity to come. Gelley reads this call in the motif of awakening, which conveys a qualified but crucial performative intention of Benjamin’s undertaking. _x000B_

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Bestial Traces

Race, Sexuality, Animality

Christopher Peterson

In contemporary race and sexuality studies, the topic of animality emerges almost exclusively in order to index the dehumanization that makes discrimination possible. Bestial Traces argues that a more fundamental disavowal of human animality conditions the bestialization of racial and sexual minorities. Hence, when conservative politicians equate homosexuality with bestiality, they betray an anxious effort to deny the animality inherent in all sexuality. Focusing on literary texts by Edgar Allan Poe, Joel Chandler Harris, Richard Wright, Philip Roth, and J. M. Coetzee, together with philosophical texts by Derrida, Heidegger, Agamben, Freud, and Nietzsche, Peterson maintains that the representation of social and political others as animals can be mitigated but never finally abolished. All forms of belonging inevitably exclude some others as "beasts." Though one might argue that absolute political equality and inclusion remain desirable, even if ultimately unattainable, ideals, Bestial Traces shows that, by maintaining such principles, we exacerbate rather than ameliorate violence because we fail to confront how discrimination and exclusion condition all social relations.

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