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Literary Criticism and Cultural Anxiety in the Age of the Last Samurai
Considered by many to be the world’s first novel, The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu is a masterpiece of narrative fiction rich in plot, character development, and compositional detail. The tale, written by a woman in service to Japan’s imperial court in the early eleventh century, portrays a world of extraordinary romance, lyric beauty, and human vulnerability. Appraising Genji is the first work to bring the rich field of Genji reception to the attention of an English-language audience. Patrick W. Caddeau traces the tale’s place in Japanese culture through diaries, critical treatises, newspaper accounts, cinematic adaptation, and modern stage productions. The centerpiece of this study is a treatise on Genji by Hagiwara Hiromichi (1815–1863), one of the most astute readers of the tale who, after becoming a masterless samurai, embarked on a massive study of Genji. Hiromichi challenged dominant modes of literary interpretation and cherished beliefs about the supremacy of the nation’s aristocratic culture. In so doing, he inspired literary critics and authors as they struggled to articulate theories of fiction and the novel in early modern Japan. Appraising Genji promises to enhance our understanding of one of the greatest literary classics in terms of intellectual history, literary criticism, and the quest of scholars in early modern Japan to define their nation’s place in the world.
News Media and Individual Political Development
This groundbreaking book examines the significance of the news media for the political beliefs and behavior of contemporary Americans. Relying on original, in-depth interviews with members of the group known as Generation X, Marco Calavita analyzes the memories and understandings of these individuals’ political development dating back to childhood. Specifically, he focuses on the developmental significance of news media engagement in the context of institutions and phenomena like family, peers, schooling, and popular culture. Calavita succeeds where others have failed at exploring the inevitably contextualized and ecological nature of individual political development, and the specific roles of news media in that development. Apprehending Politics illuminates the subtle but fundamental power of news media in who we are politically, and how we got that way.
Fifty Years of Interstate and Ethnic Crises
Makes the perhaps surprising argument that in the last quarter of the twentieth century the Arab-Israeli conflict has been winding down. The Middle East conflict, be it between the state of Israel and Arab states or between Jews and Palestinians, is a staple of international news. Utilizing both theoretical approaches and empirical evidence, Hemda Ben-Yehuda and Shmuel Sandler argue that despite the recent upswing in violence, particularly over the Palestinian issue, conflict has gradually been giving way, since the 1970s, to a more orderly regime of conflict management. By integrating ethnonational theoretical literature into their analysis, the authors move beyond the current International Relations debate over the relative merits of realist/neo-realist approaches versus neo-liberal-institutional approaches. Ethnic-state disputes are the primary source for failing to terminate the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Interdisciplinary study of the role of violence in the Mediterranean and Europe. The Archaeology of Violence is an interdisciplinary consideration of the role of violence in social-cultural and sociopolitical contexts. The volume draws on the work of archaeologists, anthropologists, classicists, and art historians, all of whom have an interest in understanding the role of violence in their respective specialist fields in the Mediterranean and Europe. The focus is on three themes: contexts of violence, politics and identities of violence, and sanctified violence. In contrast to many past studies of violence, often defined by their subject specialism, or by a specific temporal or geographic focus, this book draws on a wide range of both temporal and spatial examples and offers new perspectives on the study of violence and its role in social and political change. Rather than simply equating violence with warfare, as has been done in many archaeological cases, the volume contends that the focus on warfare has been to the detriment of our understanding of other forms of “non-warfare” violence and has the potential to affect the ways in which violence is recognized and discussed by scholars, and ultimately has repercussions for understanding its role in society.
Enochian Magic and Modern Occulture
An exploration of John Dee’s Enochian magic of angel contact, its reinterpretation over the years, and its endurance to the present day. This fascinating work explores John Dee’s Enochian magic and the history of its reception. Dee (1527–1608/9), an accomplished natural philosopher and member of Queen Elizabeth I’s court, was also an esoteric researcher whose diaries detail years of conversations with angels achieved with the aid of crystal-gazer Edward Kelley. His Enochian magic offers a method for contacting angels and demons based on secrets found in the apocryphal Book of Enoch. Examining this magical system from its Renaissance origins to present day occultism, Egil Asprem shows how the reception of Dee’s magic is replete with struggles to construct and negotiate authoritative interpretational frameworks for doing magic. Arguing with Angels offers a novel, nuanced approach to questions about how ritual magic has survived the advent of modernity and demonstrates the ways in which modern culture has recreated magical discourse.
Aristotle belongs to the small class of philosophers who were not only influential in a particular field of philosophy but also shaped the profile of every philosophical discipline. In this book Otfried Höffe provides a comprehensive introduction to the life and work of Aristotle, covering well-known Aristotelian topics such as ethics, politics, and metaphysics as well as the less familiar, such as biology, psychology, and rhetoric. Höffe also compares Aristotle to other major figures in the history of European (especially German) philosophy, making connections to Kant and Hegel that are particularly insightful. A picture of Aristotle emerges as a philosopher who is much more modern than previously thought, one whose writings are still relevant today and continue to make valuable contributions to many contemporary philosophical debates.
Language and the World in the Sophistical Refutations
Presenting the first book-length study in English of Aristotle’s Sophistical Refutations, this work takes a fresh look at this seminal text on false reasoning. Through a careful and critical analysis of Aristotle’s examples of sophistical reasoning, Scott G. Schreiber explores Aristotle’s rationale for his taxonomy of twelve fallacy types. Contrary to certain modern attempts to reduce all fallacious reasoning to either errors of logical form or linguistic imprecision, Aristotle insists that, as important as form and language are, certain types of false reasoning derive their persuasiveness from mistaken beliefs about the nature of language and the nature of the world.
Accidents, Cause, Necessity, and Determinism
The first exhaustive study of Aristotle's concept of chance. This landmark book is the first to provide a comprehensive account of Aristotle’s concept of chance. Chance is invoked by many to explain order in the universe, the origins of life, even human freedom and happiness. An understanding of Aristotle’s concept of chance is indispensable for an appreciation of his views on nature and ethics, views which have had a tremendous influence on the development of Western philosophy. Author John Dudley analyzes Aristotle’s account of chance in the Physics, the Metaphysics, in his biological and ethical treatises, and in a number of his other works as well. Important complementary considerations such as Aristotle’s criticism of Presocratic philosophers, particularly Empedocles and Democritus, Plato’s concept of chance, the chronology of Aristotle’s works, and the relevance of Aristotle’s work to evolution and quantum theory are also covered in depth. This is an essential book for scholars and students of Western philosophy.
According to Aristotle, man’s essential sociality implies a distinctive conception of politics, one in which all political associations exist for the sake of the moral perfection of human beings. This stands in sharp contrast with the modern view of politics that man is not “by nature” political; rather, man chooses to create political associations for the sake of securing the protection of his life and property. Many political theorists have begun to express doubts about this modern view, calling for a return to Aristotle’s vision of a politics that is deeply moral. In Aristotle’s Politics Today, distinguished political philosophers representing a diversity of approaches examine the meaning, relevance, and implications of Aristotle’s political thought for contemporary social and political theory. The contributors engage a broad range of topics, including Aristotle’s views on constitutionalism, the extension of Aristotelian ideas to issues in international relations, the place of Aristotelian virtue in modern democratic politics, and Aristotle’s conception of justice.