Philosophy

These four essays by Howard Jones, R. J. M. Blackett, Thomas Schoonover, and James M. McPherson reconsider why the Confederacy never received the foreign aid that it counted on, and trace the war's impact upon European and Latin nations and dependencies. The book provides fresh perspectives regarding Britain's refusal to recognize the Confederacy, the role abroad of pro-Union African-American lecturers, French emperor Napoleon III's intervention in Mexico, and the Civil War's meaning to peoples all over the world.
Samuel Alexander, one of the leading speculative philosophers of the twentieth century and an originator of the school of process philosophy, undertook, throughout his mature life a sustained reflection on the ancient problem of unity and diversity, how the one and the many might be reconciled.   Prof. Michael A. Weinstein's major study of Alexander, in each stage of his philosophic career, attempted to relate unity and diversity in such widely different areas of thought as metaphysics, psychology, and philosophy of art.  In the process of exposing the development of Alexander's seminal ideas, Weinstein brings out those aspects of his thought that are most relevant to current concerns in the philosophic community, such as phenomenological description, philosophy of art, and the metaphysics of process.   One of Weinstein's major contributions is to show that the periods of Alexander's thought alternate between moments dominated by what he called the spirit of continuity and those ruled by the spirit of diversity.  Weinstein, who is the first scholar to analyze Alexander's early period, finds the origin of this structured dynamic in the primal existential awakening that Alexander had at the beginning of his philosophic life when he grasped concretely the inability of particulars to conform to any type.  Alexander's work is then interpreted most generally as a series of intelligibly ordered efforts to depict how the stubborn particularity and diversity of things might be unified.  Weinstein shows how Alexander ends his career with a philosophy of art and civilization that opens out towards such thinkers as Camus, Sartre, and Nietzche.  Alexander is revealed in Weinstein's work to be a representative thinker who bridged the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and whose ideas helped to shape many of our present perspectives.
This authoritative study explores the scientific and mathematical cultural milieu that patterns much of the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges's narrative design.  Although criticism of Borges's fiction and essays has long emphasized philosophical traditions, Merrell expands the context of this interrogation of traditions by revealing how early twentieth-century and contemporary mathematics and physics also participated in a similar exploration.  In this light, Merrell's study provides materials that greatly contribute to a reevaluation of Borges's writings as more than parodies, satires, or metaphysical jokes. Topics treated include the semiotic flows of paradox and contradiction, the patterns of of infinities, the limits of natural and mathematical languages, and the narrative fiction in scientific theory.  Against this background, Merrell provides incisive readings of Borges's complex fiction and essays. Merrell establishes a series of parallels among Borges, mathematics and physics that suggests a large cultural project in the "thinking" of the first half of the twentieth century to "unthink" the closure of traditional models of reality and to press the limits of how the "real" can be described, modeled, and defined.  The result is an integrative study of the relationship between aesthetic and scientific narratives.
In Virginia's Native Son, the election of L. Douglas Wilder in Virginia represents the first and only time an African-American has been elected Governor in the United States history. The book hits on five main points of his election and administration (an analysis of the campaign victory, the media's response to the campaign, the racism involved with the election and administration, the administration itself, and the legacy of the administration
All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind. - AristotleOnly by strict specialization can the scientific worker become fully conscious. -- Max WeberNo race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem. - Booker T. WashingtonThe group must always dictate the modes of activity for the individual. -- Mary Parker FollettWhy Work: The Perceptions of "A Real Job" and the Rhetoric of Work through the Ages explores the contemporary cultural construction of work, beginning with the expression, "A Real Job." Over time, the concept of "work" was thought to be inherently understood by those who examined societal structures and human interactions. Today, the concept is more transient, and past definitions can be regarded as lacking because the concept of "work" arose from the particulars of an environment. This volume examines "work" in the writings of Aristotle, Plato, Confucius, St. Benedict, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Mother Jones, Emma Goldman, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Frederick Winslow Taylor, and Mary Parker Follett to answer the question, "Can the concept of work be divorced from the thinker's past?" A final chapter re-examines the core issue in light of the varying concept of "work" and ask one more time "why work?" This work is a result of an Honors seminar at Purdue University.
Our dominant culture continues to celebrate blind economic expansion despite its heavy toll on people and nature all over the globe. In fact, our national income accounts (such as the GDP) and our policies ignore that much of today's economic income stems from liquidating our social and natural assets. While living on the planet's capital, rather than on the interest (or sustainable harvest) of its renewable assets, we operate as if we could transgress ecological limits forever. Rather than acknowledging this ecological reality, we actively resist recognizing biophysical limits and use wealth to temporarily shield ourselves from the fallout of ecological over-shoot. This study addresses the core question of sustainability and shows why nations will also secure their future competitiveness if they improve their ecological performance. Taken together, all the countries studied consume approximately one-third more ecological services than their available ecological capacity can provide, suggesting that the global economy as a whole is poorly positioned for future competition. Still we find that the European countries, Japan , and Canada (this last because of its large ecological remainder) are in distinctly more favorable starting positions for future competitiveness than all the other countries. They are better at using fewer resources to produce commodities, and, in the case of the countries with ecological remainders, they take better care of their existing ecological capacities. Perhaps the most significant-cant finding is that 16 of the 20 eco-efficiency leaders (about 80 percent) are competitive, compared to only 11 of the 24 eco-efficiency laggards (about 45 percent). This suggests either that eco-efficiency already offers a competitive edge or that competitiveness and high eco-efficiency are not mutually exclusive.
Wittgenstein's Thought in Transition offers a detailed exposition of Wittgenstein's philosophy as a continuous engagement with a single set of problems. Dale Jacquette argues that the key to understanding the transition in Wittgenstein's thought is his 1929 essay "Some Remarks on Logical Form," which is reprinted in this book. Wittgenstein disowned the essay, then came to see its failure as refuting his early theory altogether and began to investigate the requirements of meaning with a new method that resulted in the characteristic innovations of his later period.
In the late 1970s, Brazil was experiencing the return to democracy through a gradual political opening and the re-birth of its civil society. Writing Identity examines the intricate connections between artistic production and political action. It centers on the politics of the black movement and the literary production of a Sao Paulo-based group of Afro-Brazilian writers, the Quilombhoje. Using Pierre Bourdieu's theory of the field of cultural production, the manuscript explores the relationship between black writers and the Brazilian dominant canon, studying the reception and criticism of contemporary Afro-Brazilian literature. After the 1940s, the Brazilian literary field underwent several transformations. Literary criticism's displacement from the newspapers to the universities placed a growing emphasis on aesthetics and style. Academic critics denounced the focus on a political and racial agenda as major weaknesses of Afro-Brazilian writing, and stressed, the need for aesthetic experimentation within the literary field. Writing Identity investigates how Afro-Brazilian writers maintained strong connections to the black movement in Brazil, and yet sought to fuse a social and racial agenda with more sophisticated literary practices. As active militants in the black movement, Quilombhoje authors strove to strengthen a collective sense of black identity for Afro-Brazilians.