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A Philosophy of the Possible

Modalities in Thought and Culture

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Mikhail Epstein

In this book, Mikhail Epstein offers a systematic theory of modalities (the actual, possible, and necessary), as applied to the discourse of philosophy in its post-Kantian and especially post-Derridean perspectives. He relies on his own experience of living in the USSR and the US, dominated respectively by imperative and possibilist modalities. Possibilism assumes that a thing or event acquires meaning only in the context of its multiple possibilities, inviting counterfactual and conditional modes of description. The author focuses on the creative potentials of possibilistic thinking and its heuristic value. The book demonstrates the range of modal approaches to society, culture, ethics, and language, and outlines potentiology as a new philosophical discipline interacting with ontology and epistemology.
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Fichtes Bildtheorie im Kontext

Teil I: Entwicklungsgeschichtliche und systematische Aspekte

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Edited by Matteo Vincenzo d'Alfonso and Christian Klotz

In Fichte’s late philosophy, the concept of image becomes the central notion of the Science of Knowledge. Both the representational reference of consciousness to the objects of its experience and its relation to an absolute being which transcends all appearances are explained from the image-like character which consciousness acquires through its own activity. The present volume collects contributions which contextualize Fichte’s theory of image in various respects, focusing on its relation to pre-modern theories of image, its changing role in the development of Fichte’s thinking and its place within Fichte’s foundation of philosophy in the area between theory of truth or validity and ontology. Der Bildbegriff wird in Fichtes Spätphilosophie zum zentralen Begriff der Wissenschaftslehre. Sowohl der repräsentationale Bezug des Bewusstseins zu den Gegenständen seiner Erfahrung, als auch sein Verhältnis zu einem alle Erscheinungen übersteigenden absoluten Sein wird hierbei aus der von ihm selbst aktiv ausgebildeten Bildeigenschaft des Bewusstseins verstanden. Der vorliegende Band versammelt Beiträge, die Fichtes Bildtheorie in verschiedenen Hinsichten kontextualisieren, wobei ihr Verhältnis zu prä-modernen Bildtheorien, ihre wechselnde Rolle in der Entwicklung von Fichtes Denken und ihre im Spannungsfeld von Wahrheits- bzw. Geltungstheorie und Ontologie angesiedelte Stellung in Fichtes Grundlegung der Philosophie im Mittelpunkt stehen.
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Leo Courbot

With Fred D'Aguiar and Caribbean Literature: Metaphor, Myth, Memory, Leo Courbot offers the first research monograph entirely dedicated to a comprehensive reading of the verse and prose works of Fred D'Aguiar, prized American author of Anglo-Guyanese origin. “Postcolonial” criticism, when related to the history of the African diaspora, regularly inscribes itself in the wake of Sartrean philosophy. However, Fred D'Aguiar's both typical and untypical Caribbean background, in addition to the singularity of his diction, call for a different approach, which Leo Courbot convincingly carries out by reading literature in the light of Jacques Derrida and Édouard Glissant's less conventional sense of the intrinsically metaphorical and cross-cultural nature of language.
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Czesław Porębski

This book offers a synoptic introduction to an important chapter of Polish 20th century philosophy, by introducing the studies of Kazimierz Twardowski, Tadeusz Czeżowski, Tadeusz Kotarbiński, Władysław Tatarkiewicz, Roman Ingarden, Henryk Elzenberg, Maria Ossowska, and Józef Maria Bocheński and how they contributed to value theory, ethics and aesthetics. These philosophers differed in their more definite interests, methodological approaches, and main results and yet their investigations share a number of characteristic features. Questions of value, considered as extremely vital, are treated with care and precision. In spite of the richness of their insights and an impressive number of detailed results these philosophers refrain from hasty conclusions, trying here, as elsewhere, to conduct their studies in an intellectually and morally responsible way.
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Fantasies of Self-Mourning

Modernism, the Posthuman and the Finite

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Ruben Borg

In Fantasies of Self-Mourning Ruben Borg describes the formal features of a posthuman, cyborgian imaginary at work in modernism. The book’s central claim is that modernism invents the posthuman as a way to think through the contradictions of its historical moment. Borg develops a posthumanist critique of the concept of organic life based on comparative readings of Pirandello, Woolf, Beckett, and Flann O’Brien, alongside discussions of Alfred Hitchcock, Chris Marker, Béla Tarr, Ridley Scott and Mamoru Oshii. The argument draws together a cluster of modernist narratives that contemplate the separation of a cybernetic eye from a human body—or call for a tearing up of the body understood as a discrete organic unit capable of synthesizing desire and sense perception.
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Biological Time, Historical Time

Transfers and Transformations in 19th Century Literature

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Edited by Niklas Bender and Gisèle Séginger

Biological Time, Historical Time presents a new approach to 19th century thought and literature: by focussing on the subject of time, it offers a new perspective on the exchanges between French and German literary texts on the one hand and scientific disciplines on the other. Hence, the rivalling influences of the historical sciences and of the life sciences on literary texts are explored, texts from various scientific domains – medicine, natural history, biology, history, and multiple forms of vulgarisation – are investigated. Literary texts are analysed in their participation in and transformation of the scientific imagination. Special attention is accorded to the temporal dimension: this allows for an innovative account of key concepts of 19th century culture.
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Perspektiven der Philosophie

Neues Jahrbuch. Band 44 – 2018

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Edited by Georges Goedert and Martina Scherbel

Perspektiven der Philosophie. Neues Jahrbuch eröffnet Forschern, denen die philosophische Begründung des Denkens wichtig ist, eine Publikationsmöglichkeit. Wir verstehen uns nicht als Schulorgan einer philosophischen Lehrmeinung, sondern sehen unsere Aufgabe darin, an der Intensivierung des wissenschaftlichen Philosophierens mitzuwirken. Besonders fördern wir den wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchs und laden ihn zur Mitarbeit ein. Beitragende sind Jutta Georg, Georges Goedert, Christina Kast, Salvatore Lavecchia, Cordelia Mühlenbeck, Peter Nickl, Rebecca Paimann, Leonhard G. Richter, Tina Röck, Alfred Rohloff, Werner Schmitt, Harald Seubert, Thorsten Streubel und Andreas Woyke.
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Edited by Sjef Houppermans, Manet van Montfrans, Annelies Schulte Nordholt, Sabine van Wesemael and Nell de Hullu-van Doeselaar

Ce volume comporte un dossier sur la thématique de l’argent dans A la recherche du temps perdu. Chez Proust, l’argent est beaucoup plus que l’argent, il devient véhicule de passion, de pulsion, d’excès. Loin de se limiter à la dimension sociologique du roman, il joue un rôle à d’autres niveaux : esthétique, imaginaire mais surtout affectif, dans le motif récurrent du don. Dans une série de huit études, le dossier éclaire les diverses facettes de cet imaginaire de l’argent, qui s’infiltre dans les relations humaines ainsi que dans l’art.
Dans la section mélanges, on trouvera des études sur le Paris proustien, sur les objets et les arts décoratifs dans la Recherche et sur l’amitié de Proust avec Robert de Flers.

The greater part of this issue is devoted to the topic of money in the Recherche. In Proust’s work, money is so much more, it is the vehicle of passions, impulses and excess. Apart from its sociological references, money plays a role at other levels of the novel: the aesthetic, the imaginary and above all the affective dimension, with the recurrent motive of gift. With a series of eight studies, the present issue throws a light on this imaginary of money, which infuses human relations and art.
The Miscellanea section includes studies about Proust’s Paris, about art objects and decorative arts in the Recherche and on Proust’s friendship with Robert de Flers.
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Mit Fichte philosophieren

Perspektiven seiner Philosophie nach 200 Jahren

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Edited by Matteo Vincenzo d'Alfonso

Dieser Band ist dem Andenken des 200. Todesjahres Fichtes gewidmet, mit der Absicht, seine letzten Schriften und die Aktualität seiner Philosophie zu würdigen. Nach dem Abschluss der Fichte-Gesamtausgabe im Jahre 2012 stehen alle Materialien zur Verfügung, die der Fichte-Forschung ermöglichen, eine schlüssige Interpretation der letzten Gedanken Fichtes zu liefern. Dementsprechend ist der Band in vier Teile gegliedert. Der erste Teil beschäftigt sich mit der theoretischen und systematischen Darlegung seines Denkens in den letzten Berliner Jahren; der zweite Teil thematisiert den Freiheitsgedanken als grundlegende Annahme seines Systems und unternimmt unter Berücksichtigung verschiedener Reaktionen auch den Versuch, diesen zu kontextualisieren. Der dritte Teil ist der politischen Seite seiner Theorie gewidmet, die Fichte gerade in den Berliner Jahren weiter ausarbeitete. Diesen klassischen Themen der Fichte-Forschung folgen im vierten Teil Beiträge, die Fichtes philosophische Ansätze in den Dialog mit gegenwärtigen Autoren und Fragen der Philosophie bringen.

Beitragende sind Frederick Beiser, Daniel Breazeale, Matteo Vincenzo d’Alfonso, Mário Jorge De Carvalho, Carla De Pascale, Erich Fuchs, Andres Höntsch, Marco Ivaldo, Christian Klotz, Douglas Moggach, Peter L. Oesterreich, Ives Radrizzani, Klaus Ries, Jacinto Rivera de Rosales Chacón, Friedrike Schick, Andreas Schmidt, Hartmut Traub, Klaus Vieweg, Hans Georg von Manz und Günter Zöller.
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Piotr Jaroszyński

Metaphysics or Ontology? treats the evolution of the object of metaphysics from being, to the concept of being, to, finally, the object (thought). Possible being must be non-contradictory, but an object of thought includes anything a human being can think, including contradictions and nothingness. When the concept of being, or object of thought, replaces existence as the object of metaphysics, it becomes something other than metaphysics—ontology, or something beyond ontology. However, ontology cannot examine existence because it only investigates concepts and possibility. Only classical metaphysics investigates reality qua reality. This book masterfully treats the history of this controversy and many other important metaphysical questions raised over the centuries