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Eros and Revolution

The Critical Philosophy of Herbert Marcuse

Series:

Javier Sethness Castro

In Eros and Revolution, Javier Sethness Castro presents a comprehensive intellectual and political biography of the world-renowned critical theorist Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979). Investigating the origins and development of Marcuse's dialectical approach vis-à-vis Hegel, Marx, Fourier, Heidegger, and Freud as well as the central figures of the Frankfurt School—Horkheimer, Adorno, Neumann, Fromm, and Benjamin—Sethness Castro chronicles the radical philosopher's lifelong activism in favor of anti-capitalism, anti-fascism, and anti-authoritarianism together with Marcuse's defiant revindication of global libertarian-socialist revolution as the precondition for the realization of reason, freedom, and human happiness. Beyond examining Marcuse's revolutionary life and contributions, moreover, the author contemplates the philosopher's relevance to contemporary struggle, especially with regard to ecology, feminism, anarchism, and the general cause of worldwide social transformation.

Fechner's Legacy in Psychology

150 Years of Elementary Psychophysics

Edited by Joshua A. Solomon

This collection celebrates the 150th anniversary of Fechner's book on Psychophysics (originally published ten years after his epiphany of Oct. 22, 1850). Topics include modern assessments of the problems with which Fechner wrestled. Also included are more general discussions of psychophysical methodology, psychophysical theory, and how these two things can be useful in areas not normally associated with psychophysics. Furthermore, these works provide an entrée into Fechner’s ideas, which is perhaps more accessible than his seminal work itself.

Metaphors, Narratives, Emotions

Their Interplay and Impact

Series:

Stefán Snævarr

This book argues that there is a complex logical and epistemological interplay between the concepts of metaphor, narrative, and emotions. They share a number of important similarities and connections. In the first place, all three are constituted by aspect-seeing, the seeing-as or perception of Gestalts. Secondly, all three are meaning-endowing devices, helping us to furnish our world with meaning. Thirdly, the threesome constitutes a trinity. Emotions have both a narrative and metaphoric structure, and we can analyse the concepts of metaphors and narratives partly in each other’s terms. Further, the concept of narratives can partly be analysed in the terms of emotions. And if emotions have both a narrative structure and a metaphoric one, then the concept of emotions must to some extent be analysable through the concepts of narratives and metaphors. But there is more. Metaphors (especially poetic ones) are important tools for the understanding of the tacit sides of emotions, perhaps because of the metaphoric structure of emotions. The notion that narrations can be tools for understanding emotions follows from two facts: narrations are devices for explanation and emotions have a narrative structure. Fourthly, the threesome has an impact on our rationality. It has become commonplace to say that emotions have a cognitive content, that narratives have an explanatory function, and that metaphors can perform cognitive functions. This book is the first attempt to articulate the implications that these new ways of seeing the three concepts entail for our concept of reason. The cognitive roles of the threesome suggest a richer notion of rationality than has traditionally been held, a rationality enlivened with metaphoric, narrative, and emotive qualities.

Patterns of Creativity

Investigations into the sources and methods of creativity

Series:

Kevin Brophy

Patterns of Creativity reflects on the implications of recent neuro-science findings, evolutionary theory and linguistics for ideas about creativity and the practice of creativity.
Kevin Brophy approaches questions of art and creation from-the-inside, that is as a poet himself. The conclusions about what it might mean to be a creative writer are counter-intuitive. What might it mean to understand the production of art as an evolutionary process with no endpoint and no goal? If consciousness is a minor player in decision-making and problem-solving as recent neuro-science findings suggest, how best might an artist manage conscious intentions while seeking to make original art?
Brophy argues that consciousness must be managed in new ways if creativity is to be sourced, that much of what we learn in education is learned without consciousness being involved, that a writer must read with a particular agenda, that writing is itself a particular kind of communication beyond speech, requiring specific skills. He argues that the metaphor is not merely a poetic device but is central to the way human thought proceeds and the way communication happens. It is the strange and surprising view-from-within informed by those views science offers to art that preoccupy these investigations.

Touching Surfaces

Photographic Aesthetics, Temporality, Aging

Series:

Anca Cristofovici

Who isn’t seduced by the idea of an affinity between aging and aesthetics? Yet, when does aging truly begin? What attributes does the aesthetic embrace? Looking into startling photographic art of the past three decades, this book is prompted by such questions and turns them into a meditation on how aesthetics mediates our relation to time.
The photographic approach of the corporeal is at the center of the book. Within a phenomenological framework, Cristofovici brings into focus the physical and the psychic body to read aging as a process of change and becoming over time. Her understanding of aging sees beyond difference into larger patterns of perceptions that we share.
Offering valuable insights into aging as a process of subject construction, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of visual culture, photography, art history, age studies, and theories of knowledge. This cross-disciplinary study that puts theory to the test of life’s and art’s paradoxes in an evocative style will also appeal to a wider readership interested in how photography and aging illuminate each other.

Series:

Donald Wesling

Joys and Sorrows of Imaginary Persons is a literary approach to consciousness where Donald Wesling denies that emotion is the scandal or handmaid of reason—rather emotion is the co-creator with reason of human life in the world. Discoveries in neuro-science in the 1990s Decade of the Brain have proven that thinking and feeling are wrapped with each other, and regulate and fulfill each other. Accepting this co-creative equality, we reveal a new role for literature, or a traditional role we’ve repressed: literature as a set of processes in time where we’ve thought feeling through stories about the lives of imaginary persons. We need these stories in order to practice emotions for when we return to the world from reading. Donald Wesling argues that to be more accurate in our dealings with stories, we require a grammar of this new recognition, where we build up traditional stylistics by a more careful tracking of emotion-states as these are set into writing.
The first half of Joys and Sorrows of Imaginary Persons offers a creative stock-taking of the current state of scholarship on emotion, based on wide reading in several fields. The second half gives three focused studies, rich in examples, of emotion as cognition, as story, and as historical structure of feeling.

Cognition in Emotion

An Investigation through Experiences with Art

Series:

Tone Roald

Emotions are essential for human existence, both lighting the way toward the brightest of achievements and setting the course into the darkness of suffering. Not surprisingly, then, emotion research is currently one of the hottest topics in the field of psychology. Yet to divine the nature of emotion is a complex and extensive task. In this book emotions are approached thought an exploration of the nature of cognition in emotion; the nature of thoughts in feelings. Different approaches to emotions are explored, from brain research to research at the level of experience, and it is argued that all approaches must seriously take into account the experiential dimension. A qualitative study of experiences with art is therefore presented, as emotions and cognition are often expressed in experiences with art. It is the first study of its kind. Descriptions of various affective phenomena are then given which have significant implications for contemporary debates about emotions, resolving several contemporary controversies.