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Author: James Mensch
What is the relation between our selfhood and appearing? Our embodiment positions us in the world, situating us as an object among its visible objects. Yet, by opening and shutting our eyes, we can make the visible world appear and disappear—a fact that convinces us that the world is in us. Thus, we have to assert with Merleau-Ponty that we are in the world that is in us: the two are intertwined. Author James Mensch employs the insights of Jan Patočka’s asubjective phenomenology to understand this double relationship of being-in. In this volume, he shows how this relation constitutes the reality of our selfhood, shaping our social and political interactions as well as the violence that constantly threatens to undermine them.
The 'Activity Approach' in Late Soviet Philosophy
For the first time, this book presents to Western readers a current in the late Soviet philosophy of the 1960s and 1970s known as the ‘activity approach’. It had to some degree a counterpart in so-called cultural-historical psychology, but whilst the work of Vygotsky and Leontyev was received in the West decades ago, its sibling in philosophy has remained virtually unnoticed. Started by Evald Ilyenkov and other young Moscow philosophers in the early 1960s, the activity approach soon became an intellectual mode, leading to several different interpretations of human activity and challenging Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy. The book depicts in detail the rise and fall of this remarkable phenomenon in Soviet Marxism.

Contributors are: David Bakhurst, Aleksandr Khamidov, Vladislav Lektorsky, Alex Levant, Pentti Määttänen, Andrey Maidansky, Sergei Mareyev, Elena Mareyeva, Vesa Oittinen, Edward Swiderski, and Inna Titarenko.