Description : A Fields medalist recounts his lifelong transnational effort to uncover the geometric shape—the Calabi-Yau manifold—that may store the hidden dimensions of our universe. Harvard geometer and Fields medalist Shing-Tung Yau has provided a mathematical foundation for string theory, offered new insights into black holes, and mathematically demonstrated the stability of our universe. In this autobiography, Yau reflects on his improbable journey to becoming one of the world’s most distinguished mathematicians. Beginning with an impoverished childhood in China and Hong Kong, Yau takes readers through his doctoral studies at Berkeley during the height of the Vietnam War protests, his Fields Medal–winning proof of the Calabi conjecture, his return to China, and his pioneering work in geometric analysis. This new branch of geometry, which Yau built up with his friends and colleagues, has paved the way for solutions to several important and previously intransigent problems. With complicated ideas explained for a broad audience, this book offers readers not only insights into the life of an eminent mathematician, but also an accessible way to understand advanced and highly abstract concepts in mathematics and theoretical physics.
Description : Rudolf Raff is recognized as a pioneer in evolutionary developmental biology. In their 1983 book, Embryos, Genes, and Evolution, Raff and co-author Thomas Kaufman proposed a synthesis of developmental and evolutionary biology. In The Shape of Life, Raff analyzes the rise of this new experimental discipline and lays out new research questions, hypotheses, and approaches to guide its development. Raff uses the evolution of animal body plans to exemplify the interplay between developmental mechanisms and evolutionary patterns. Animal body plans emerged half a billion years ago. Evolution within these body plans during this span of time has resulted in the tremendous diversity of living animal forms. Raff argues for an integrated approach to the study of the intertwined roles of development and evolution involving phylogenetic, comparative, and functional biology. This new synthesis will interest not only scientists working in these areas, but also paleontologists, zoologists, morphologists, molecular biologists, and geneticists.
Description : Marx&’s Fate is an intellectual biography of Marx that combines historical, textual and psychological analyses to provide major new insights into the philosopher&’s writings and development.
Description : Mintz has discovered a new sub-genre of fiction: the novel of vocation. In the nineteenth century, he maintains, work ceased to be merely what one did for a living or out of a sense of duty and became a vehicle for self-definition and self-realization. The change was prepared for by the growth of professions and the increase in middle-class career opportunities, He shows how George Eliot, in particular, linked these new social possibilities to the older Puritan doctrine of calling or vocation, achieving in her late novels a fictional structure that could encompass the conflicting energies of the age. In the idea of vocation she found a way to explore how far it is possible to be ambitious both for oneself and for a large cause, and a way to probe the contradictions between ambitious, self-defining work and the older institutions; of family, community, and religion. The book is solidly grounded in cultural and historical reality. Although Mintz concentrate on George Eliot and especially Middlemarch, he also examines the conceptions of self and work in Victorian biographies and autobiographies and the emergence in late-nineteenth-century fiction of the idea of the vocation of art.
Description : The Shape of Participation is a work of constructive theology addressed to theologians, seminarians, and thoughtful pastors. Owens engages and deepens recent popular discussions of church practices by approaching practices from the church Fathers' understanding of the church's participation in God. Through a wide-ranging engagement with theologians, both ancient and contemporary---including Cyril of Alexandria. Maximus the Confessor, Dietrich Bonhocffer, and Herbert McCabe---Owens argues that the embodied practices of the church are the church's participation in the life of God. making the church Jesus's own continued, peaceable embodiment in and for the world. This book is for theologians, pastors, and anyone who wants a deeper understanding of how the visible presence of God's church is extraordinarily good news in a violent world. "I'm grateful for this account of the church's relationship to the life of God for refusing the hopelessness of so much contemporary ecclesiology. All of us who persist in preaching or hearing the Word and receiving God's good gifts at the table will be strengthened and encouraged by Owens's theocentric understanding of what the church is up to in the world."---Beth Felker Jones wheaton College "A wonderful book---Owens takes the significant interest in `practices' that has emerged over the last decade, engages it theologically in rich ways with attention to specific eeclesial examples, and deepens it through insightful analyses of Dietrich Bonhocffer. Herbert McCabe, and Maximus the Confessor. Pastors and scholars alike will benefit from careful study of Owens's significant argument."---L. Gregory Jones Duke University "By refraining the church's practices as a participation in Christ and, indeed, as Christ's own practicing in and for the world. Owens has brought to the study of Christian practice new theological depth, shape, and creativity. Moreover, by doing this in dialogue with ancient as well as contemporary theological and philosophical sources and in a way that takes seriously the concrete, embodied church rather than remaining on the level of idealized and abstract ecclesiology, he has provided us a helpful new model for thinking about what it means to be the church."-Bryan Stone Boston University School of Theology
Description : In choosing between moral alternatives -- choosing between various forms of ethical action -- we typically make calculations of the following kind: A is better than B; B is better than C; therefore A is better than C. These inferences use the principle of transitivity and are fundamental to many forms of practical and theoretical theorizing, not just in moral and ethical theory but in economics. Indeed they are so common as to be almost invisible. What Larry Temkin's book shows is that, shockingly, if we want to continue making plausible judgments, we cannot continue to make these assumptions. Temkin shows that we are committed to various moral ideals that are, surprisingly, fundamentally incompatible with the idea that "better than" can be transitive. His book develops many examples where value judgments that we accept and find attractive, are incompatible with transitivity. While this might seem to leave two options -- reject transitivity, or reject some of our normative commitments in order to keep it -- Temkin is neutral on which path to follow, only making the case that a choice is necessary, and that the cost either way will be high. Temkin's book is a very original and deeply unsettling work of skeptical philosophy that mounts an important new challenge to contemporary ethics.
Description : Caught up in current social changes, we do not fully understand the reshaping of social life. In sociological analyses there is a conceptual gap between subjectivities and social structural processes, and we face real difficulties in understanding social change and diversity. Through analysis of key areas of social life, here, Sarah Irwin develops a new and exciting resource for better understanding our changing social world. Breaking with conventional approaches and reconnecting the subjective with the objective, Irwin's book develops a new conceptual and analytical perspective with social relationality, interdependence and social context at its heart. The new perspective is developed through grounded analyses of empirical evidence, and draws on new data. It explores and analyzes: * significant changes in family forms, fertility, gender relations and commitments to employment, children and care, both now, and with comparisons to early twentieth century developments * the meshing of norms and social relations in contexts of change * diverse values, norms and perceptions of fairness, analyzed with respect to diversity over the life course, and in respect of gender, ethnicity and social class. Through analysis of context, Irwin offers new insights, and tackles puzzles of explanation. Reshaping Social Life offers a fascinating and innovative way of slicing into and re-interrogating our changing social world, and is sure to become a landmark resource for students, scholars and researchers.
Description : On the 400th anniversary of The Faerie Queene, this book challenges the received tradition of Spenser's biography. The first "life" of Edmund Spenser (c. 1552-99) was written by the poet himself, in allegorical fictions of poetic ambition, envy, and anxiety. Over succeeding centuries, readers have tried to revise and elaborate this life with reference to a handful of surviving records and a wealth of dubiously pertinent historical fact and gossip. The nine essays in this volume examine the history of Spenser biography and suggest strategies for reinterpreting it to an audience newly sensitive to problems of artistic self-presentation.
Description : Tim Wynveen, winner of the Commonwealth Writers Best First Book prize, has outdone himself with his new novel, masterfully weaving themes of creativity, memory, time, loss and reconnection into the fragmented lives of the Owen family Ten years after their parents die in a car accident, Cyrus, Isabel and Hank Owen are still trying to put their lives in order. Hank, the eldest, is in prison. The second-born, Isabel, is on the verge of divorce. Cyrus, the youngest in the family, is consumed by a crazy dream -- to one day become a rock star. Three siblings; three solitary figures looking for a way forward; three separate melodic lines that, when they meet, cause more dissonance than harmony. As the story begins, Cyrus quits school and hits the road with the Jimmy Waters Revival, a curious entertainment that combines the southern fire of a Jimmy Swaggart with the oral narratives of a modern-day Homer. Even within his adopted musical family, Cyrus struggles to find his way, too caught up in his dream to see his life for what it really is, and after twelve years of wandering, he returns home a broken man. Yet his time on the road has taught him how important it is to strike a balance between individual and group, soloist and ensemble -- lessons that will serve Cyrus well when he tries to make a new start with Hank and Isabel. As he pays more attention to the needs of his fractured family and old friends, he begins to create for the first time in his life the sweet and elusive music of human connection.
Description : We live in a moral world in which reasons come in different kinds as well as different weights, so that the claims of one reason upon us are often different from but no greater than the claims of some other reason. Yet law, in its self-presentation and in theoretical accounts of it, proceeds as if its rational pull was conclusive, as if there were no sensible alternative to compliance with its terms. In itself that should not be surprising: each of us often acts as if the reasons that animate us were morally determinative. Why should law operate in any other way? Yet we know that in fact reasons are usually not determinative of action, and while pretence to the contrary may not much matter in individual settings, it matters very much in the setting of the law. The ability of the law to build a life in common, of whatever kind, is dependent on its ability to function, most of the time at least, as if its claims were pre-eminent, rather than undefeated at best. If law is to succeed in its basic project of binding people to its aims, it must buttress its limited rational claims with arational appeals. It needs partners, not only in the prudential considerations that force gives rise to, but also in the beguilement that shared imaginings make possible. This book is an exploration of those partnerships, in principle and in their most important details.