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Cold War in Psychiatry

Human Factors, Secret Actors

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Robert van Voren

For 20 years Soviet psychiatric abuse dominated the agenda of the World Psychiatric Association. It ended only after the Soviet Foreign Ministry intervened. Cold War in Psychiatry tells the full story for the first time and from inside, among others on basis of extensive reports by Stasi and KGB – who were the secret actors, what were the hidden factors? Based on a wealth of new evidence and documentation as well as interviews with many of the main actors, including leading Western psychiatrists, Soviet dissidents and Soviet and East German key figures, the book describes the issue in all its complexity and puts it in a broader context. In the book opposite sides find common ground and a common understanding of what actually happened.

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Edited by Nelly van Doorn-Harder and Lourens Minnema

The various Christian, Muslim, traditional (African), and secular (Western) ways of imagining and coping with evil collected in this volume have several things in common. The most crucial perhaps and certainly the most striking aspect is the problem of defining the nature or characteristics of evil as such. Some argue that evil has an essence that remains constant, whereas others say its interpretation depends on time and place.
However much religious and secular interpretations of evil may have changed, the human search for sense and meaning never ends. Questions of whom to blame and whom to address—God, the devil, fate, bad luck, or humans—remain at the center of our explanations and our strategies to comprehend, define, counter, or process the evil we do and the evil done to us by people, God, nature, or accident. Using approaches from cultural anthropology, religious studies, theology, philosophy, psychology, and history, the contributors to this volume analyze how several religious and secular traditions imagine and cope with evil.

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Roland A. Champagne

Reading a text is an ethical activity for Emmanuel Levinas. His moral philosophy considers written texts to be natural places to discover relations of responsibility in Western philosophical systems which are marked by extreme violence and totalizing hatred. While ethics is understood to mean a relationship with the other and reading is the appropriation of the other to the self, readings according to Levinas naturally entail relationships with the other. Levinas's own writings are often frought with the struggle between his own maleness, the concerns of feminism, and the Judaism that marks his contributions to the debates of the Talmud. This book uses male feminism as its perspective in presenting the applications of Levinas's ethical vision to texts whose readings have presented moral dilemmas for women readers. Levinas's philosophical theories can provide keys to unlock the difficulties of these texts whose readings will provide models of reading as ethical acts beginning with the ethical contract in Song of Songs where the assumption of a woman writer begins the elaboration of issues that sets a male reader as her other. From the reader's vantage point of seeing the self as other, other issues of male feminism become increasingly poignant, ranging from the solicitude of listening to Céline (Chapter 2), the responsibility for noise in Nizan (Chapter 3), the asymmetrical pattern of face-to-face relationships in Maupassant (Chapter 4), the sovereignty of laughter in Bataille and Zola (Chapter 5), the call of the other in Italo Svevo (Chapter 6), the Woman as Other in Breton (Chapter 7), the ethical self in Drieu la Rochelle (Chapter 8), the response to Hannah Arendt (Chapter 9), and the vulnerability of Bernard-Henri Lévy (Chapter 10). The male feminist reader is thus the incarnation of the struggle at the core of the issues outlined by Levinas for the act of reading as an ethical endeavor.

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Edited by Steven Earnshaw

The essays collected here represent the latest thinking on postmodernism in a number of key areas: economics, law, postcolonialism, literature, feminism, film, philosophy. One of the issues common to the volume is the desire to cast postmodernism in a predominantly ethical ('just') light, and the opportunities and obstacles postmodernism might place in the path of the description of, and search for, justice. The collection highlights the most recent trends in postmodern thinking, the turn away from postmodernism as mere discourse and language games to a more politically and socially engaged forum. The book will be of interest to all students of contemporary cultural, social and critical thought.