Description : Alexander X. Douglas offers a new understanding of Spinoza's philosophy by situating it in its immediate historical context. He defends a thesis about Spinoza's philosophical motivations and then bases an interpretation of his major works upon it. The thesis is that much of Spinoza's philosophy was conceived with the express purpose of rebutting a claim about the limitations of philosophy made by some of his contemporaries. They held that philosophy is intrinsically incapable of revealing anything of any relevance to theology, or in fact to any study of direct practical relevance to human life. Spinoza did not. He believed that philosophy reveals the true nature of God, and that God is nothing like what the majority of theologians, or indeed of religious believers in general, think he is. The practical implications of this change in the concept of God were profound and radical. As Douglas shows, many of Spinoza's theories were directed towards showing how the separation his opponents endeavoured to maintain between philosophical and non-philosophical (particularly theological) thought was logically untenable.
Description : For those who don't know the difference between Protagoras's pigs and Bacon's chickens, Zeno and the Tortoise is a sharp and witty guide to the biggest ideas in philosophy and how to use them. Thinking rationally involves using the right philosophical tool at the right time, be it Hume's Fork, Nietzsche's hammer, or some other device from the thinker's toolbox.
Description : This original work focuses on the rational principles of Indian philosophical theory, rather than the mysticism more usually associated with it. Ganeri explores the philosophical projects of a number of major Indian philosophers and looks into the methods of rational inquiry deployed within these projects. In so doing, he illuminates a network of mutual reference, criticism, influence and response, in which reason is used to call itself into question. This fresh perspective on classical Indian thought unravels new philosophical paradigms, and points towards new applications for the concept of reason.
Description : Since its inception philosophical thought has been fixated by death. Death, as much as life, has been the unrelenting driving force behind some of history’s greatest thinkers. Yet, for Emil Cioran, a Romanian-French philosopher, even philosophy cannot attempt to understand nor contain the inevitable unknown. Considered to be an anti-philosopher, Cioran approached and reflected on the human experience with a despairing pessimism. His works are characterised by a brooding, fatalistic temperament that reveals and defines itself in his irony, black humour and inimitable style. Although Cioran’s later works have received much scholarly recognition, little attention has been paid to the texts he wrote in his adolescent. Grounded in the historical context of interwar Romania, this book presents for the first time an analysis of the little-known works of this pioneering Romanian thinker. Deeply affected by his upbringing, this book offers a glimpse into Cioran’s first attempts to delve into philosophical enterprise, before turning its attention to his later works, On the Heights of Despair (1934), The Transfiguration of Romania (1936) and Twilight of thoughts (1940; written in France). Using both the French and Romanian editions of these works, but also their original manuscripts, this volume seeks to provide a re-reading that takes language rather than a social or political critique as its focal point. As an important and provocative contribution to the existing literature on Cioran, this book will be an essential point of reference for students and researchers, alike.
Description : In this work of original philosophy, Piotr Hoffman focuses on two of the central concerns of modern philosophy—doubt and time. He argues that both concerns stem from a suppressed but underlying feeling that life is an all-out, unrestrained struggle and that violence is inherent in the human condition. According to Hoffman, modern philosophy becomes fully intelligible and coherent only when the notion of human violence is given paramount importance. After briefly pointing out some significant parallels between Hobbes and Descartes, Hoffman undertakes a careful examination of ideas about doubt and time in the works of Descartes and Hegel, and, above all, in Heidegger's Being and Time. In a chapter on doubt, Hoffman shows that the skeptical predicament into which man is placed by Descartes's "evil demon" and Heidegger's "death" is grounded in the notion of complete vulnerability to an "other," a vulnerability revealed only in violent confrontation. Hoffman then compares Hegel's and Heidegger's views on time, showing that they presuppose the possibility of viewing the present as a complete break with the past. This possibility is again grounded in the experience of violent struggle with another human being. Hoffman concludes by linking philosophical concepts of doubt and time to ordinary experience. A lucid, intelligent, and persuasive work, firmly grounded in the texts it considers, Doubt, Time, Violence will challenge philosophers and interest all who ponder the significance of violence.
Description : It is widely assumed that science is the enemy of religious faith. The idea is so pervasive that entire industries of religious apologetics converge around the challenge of Darwin, evolution, and the "secular worldview." This book challenges such assumptions by proposing a different cause of unbelief in the West: the Christian conscience. Tracing a history of doubt and unbelief from the Reformation to the age of Darwin and Karl Marx, Dominic Erdozain argues that the most powerful solvents of religious orthodoxy have been concepts of moral equity and personal freedom generated by Christianity itself. Revealing links between the radical Reformation and early modern philosophers such as Baruch Spinoza and Pierre Bayle, Erdozain demonstrates that the dynamism of the Enlightenment, including the very concept of "natural reason" espoused by philosophers such as Voltaire, was rooted in Christian ethics and spirituality. The final chapters explore similar themes in the era of Darwin and Marx, showing how moral revolt preceded and transcended the challenges of evolution and "scientific materialism" in the unseating of religious belief. The picture that emerges is not of a secular challenge to religious faith, but a series of theological insurrections against divisive accounts of Christian orthodoxy.
Description : Charles Noble's long-awaited long poem. The book playfully connects autobiography, narrative, philosophy, history, and satire. It experiments with language and structure in a way that pushes the limits of contemporary poetry. Touches on issues related to contemporary Western society: mass media culture, gender politics, post-industrial technology, and the politics of post-modern culture.