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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.
Interviews with Environmental Artists
Art Nature Dialogues offers interviews with artists working with, in, and around nature and the environment. The interviews explore art practices, ecological issues, and values as they pertain to the siting of works, the use of materials, and the ethics of artmaking. John K. Grande includes interviews with Hamish Fulton, David Nash, Bob Verschueren, herman de vries, Alan Sonfist, Nils-Udo, Michael Singer, Patrick Dougherty, Ursula von Rydingsvard, and others.
Between Philosophy and Art
Though our time is often said to be post-religious and post-metaphysical, many continue to seek some encounter with otherness and transcendence in art. This book deals diversely with the issues of art, origins, and otherness, both in themselves and in philosophical engagements with the works of Plato, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Heidegger. Addressing themes such as eros and mania, genius and the sublime, transcendence and the saving power of art, William Desmond tries to make sense of the paradox that too much has been asked of art that now almost nothing is asked of it. He argues that there is more to be said philosophically of art, and claims that art has the power to open up mindfulness beyond objectifying knowledge, as well as beyond thinking that claims to be entirely self-determining.
Toward a Radical Phenomenology of Contemporary Social Movements
By reexamining the very foundations of everyday acting and thinking and stepping into the open expanse of a possible transition to a postmodern era, this book presents a radical phenomenological approach to the study of contemporary social movements. It offers a theory of acting that refuses to surrender to norms and legislations and thus always intimates a mode of thinking that challenges various manifestations of ultimacy. Vahabzadeh invites us to radically rethink many basic principles that inform our lives, such as the democratic discourse, the concept of rights, liberal democratic regimes, time and epochs, oppression, acting, and the practice of sociology, in an effort to instate a reworked concept of experience in theories about social movements.
Reinventing the Humanities for the Twenty-first Century
Arts of Living presents a social history of the humanities and a proposal for the future that places creativity at the heart of higher education. Engaging with the debate launched by Allan Bloom, Harold Bloom, Bill Readings, John Guillory, and others, Kurt Spellmeyer argues that higher education needs to abandon the “culture wars” if it hopes to address the major crises of the century: globalization, the degradation of the environment, the widening chasm between rich and poor, and the clash of cultures.
Theorizing Authority through Myths of Identity
In Aryans, Jews, Brahmins, Dorothy M. Figueira provides a fascinating account of the construction of the Aryan myth and its uses in both India and Europe from the Enlightenment to the twentieth century. The myth concerns a race that inhabits a utopian past and gives rise first to Brahmin Indian culture and then to European culture. In India, notions of the Aryan were used to develop a national identity under colonialism, one that allowed Indian elites to identify with their British rulers. It also allowed non-elites to set up a counter identity critical of their position in the caste system. In Europe, the Aryan myth provided certain thinkers with an origin story that could compete with the Biblical one and could be used to diminish the importance of the West’s Jewish heritage. European racial hygienists made much of the myth of a pure Aryan race, and the Nazis later looked at India as a cautionary tale of what could happen if a nation did not remain “pure.” As Figueira demonstrates, the history of the Aryan myth is also a history of reading, interpretation, and imaginative construction. Initially, the ideology of the Aryan was imposed upon absent or false texts. Over time, it involved strategies of constructing, evoking, or distorting the canon. Each construction of racial identity was concerned with key issues of reading: canonicity, textual accessibility, interpretive strategies of reading, and ideal readers. The book’s cross-cultural investigation demonstrates how identities can be and are created from texts and illuminates an engrossing, often disturbing history that arose from these creations.
Ideologies in the Structuring of a Community
An account of the life of the Ashkenazi Jews in Mexico in this century highlights the intersection of cultural and political international problems, shedding light on the contemporary condition of minorities the world over. In a century full of social dreams and abhorrent calamities, the survival of a small cultural ethnic group is no small story. Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews arrived in Mexico in the early years of this century. The vast majority of these 40,000 Jews live in Mexico City and have done so for most of the eighty years of this communal experiment. Arriving with few resources, the Ashkenazi created a network of organizations to sustain their cultural survival in a country that had its own complex cultural context. This community chose its own survival path; while successful in confronting some issues, it faced problems of identity and social cohesion that mirror contemporary dilemmas everywhere. The author examines the particular exchanges that took place between minority and majority, and reflects on the challenges for multicultural living shaped by pluralism, democracy, and socio-political tolerance.
These are the papers and discussions of the eighth annual conference of the Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies at the State University of New York, Binghamton. The topics discussed were the relationship between Jewish and medieval studies, the patristic basis for Christian attitudes on the Jews, the Hispanic literary tradition, Jewish Spain, problems in Jewish art, and myth criticism and medieval studies.
Essays on Ahad Ha'am
A founding father of modern Israel, Ahad Haam (18561927) was one of the shapers of the contemporary Zionist consciousness. His career spanned the era of Russian Jewry’s nationalist awakening. During the last decade of the nineteenth century, he was the leading theorist of the Russian Zionist movement. Afterwards, he was overshadowed by Theodore Herzl, who imposed his own stamp on Zionism. With the failure of Herzl’s diplomacy and his early death in 1904, Russian Zionists abandoned Herzl’s priorities and gradually refashioned the program of the Zionist organization in their own image. More than anyone else, Ahad Haam provided the ideological authority for this shift.
Ethnographic Research on Women, Culture, and Exercise
Informed by feminism and the fields of anthropology and sociology of sport, this anthology investigates women’s place in sport and exercise from a sociocultural perspective, documenting women’s struggle into the sports arenas of male hegemony. The nine ethnographic case studies explore issues of identity, embodiment, and meaning in various sports and exercise, including triathlons, aerobics, basketball, bodybuilding, weightlifting, motorcycle riding, softball, casual exercise, and rugby.