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Capitalism, Alienation and Critique

Studies in Economy and Dialectics (Dialectics, Deontology and Democracy, Vol. I)

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Asger Sørensen

Edited by Lisbet Rosenfeldt Svanøe

In Capitalism, Alienation and Critique Asger Sørensen offers a wide-ranging argument for the classical Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School, thus endorsing the dialectical approach of the original founders (Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse) and criticizing suggested revisions of later generations (Habermas, Honneth). Being situated within the horizon of the late 20th century Cultural Marxism, the main issue is the critique of capitalism, emphasizing experiences of injustice, ideology and alienation, and in particular exploring two fundamental subject matters within this horizon, namely economy and dialectics. Apart from in-depth discussions of classical political economy and Hegelian dialectics, the explorative and inclusive argument also takes issues with Émile Durkheim’s theory of value, the general economy of Georges Bataille and the dialectics of Mao Zedong.

Martin Pleitz

The Liar paradox arises when we consider a sentence that says of itself that it is not true. If such self-referential sentences exist – and examples like »This sentence is not true« certainly suggest this –, then our logic and standard notion of truth allow to infer a contradiction: The Liar sentence is true and not true. What has gone wrong? Must we revise our notion of truth and our logic? Or can we dispel the common conviction that there are such self-referential sentences? The present study explores the second path. After comparing the Liar reasoning in formal and informal logic and showing that there are no Gödelian Liar sentences, the study moves on from the semantics of self-reference to the metaphysics of expressions and proposes a novel solution to the Liar paradox: Meaningful expressions are distinct from their syntactic bases and exist only relative to contexts. Detailed semantico-metaphysical arguments show that in this dynamic setting, an object can be referred to only after it has started to exist. Hence the circular reference needed in the Liar paradox cannot occur, after all. As this solution is contextualist, it evades the expressibility problems of other proposals.

Michael Quante

Leading one’s life as a person is an essential feature of our human existence which is constitutively characterized by finiteness, sociality and vulnerability. Within the framework of a pragmatistic anthropology central features of our being persons (i.e. personal identity, self-consciousness, freedom, autonomy and responsibility) are made explicit in this study. The such unfolded conception is anthropological in the sense of being restricted to the human life-form. The explication is pragmatistic in a double sense: Firstly, action is taken as a complex and not reducible basic feature; secondly, the study is committed to the pragmatistic model of justification. Leading one’s life as a human person, this is the study’s central thesis, is realized in constellations of recognition (intersubjective or institutionally framed). These can be made explicit as basic grammar of our evaluative Praxis within an ascriptivist framework.

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Josef van Ess

Edited by Hinrich Biesterfeldt

Kleine Schriften, written by the eminent German scholar of Islamic Studies Josef van Ess, is a unique collection of Van Ess' widely scattered short writings, journal articles, encyclopaedia entries, (autobiographical) essays, reviews and lectures, in (mainly) German, English and French, some of which are published here for the first time. It includes a full bibliography of the author’s work, in addition to two indexes of classical authors and works, which aim to make accessible the remarkable riches that these Kleine Schriften have to offer. The three-volume collection, carefully selected by the author himself, offers over 150 texts organized primarily along Van Ess’ own biography and the history of the discipline. It is divided into twelve parts, beginning with Tübingen where his career began in 1968, and ending with Retrospects and Postscripts for the future, with the thematic complexes Islam and its first options and Muʿtazila as centre pieces. All parts are introduced by brief accounts of the historical context in which each of the assembled texts was written and which course subsequent scholarship may have taken.

Karel Lambert, Edgar Morscher and Peter M. Simons

Free Logic is an important field of philosophical logic. It appeared first in the 1950s, and Karel Lambert was one of its founders and coined the term. The volume begins with three of Lambert’s most recent essays. These papers are followed by a dialogue between Karel Lambert and Edgar Morscher on free logic. The second part of the volume contains papers by Peter Simons and Edgar Morscher on free logic. A systematic and historical survey of free logic with an annotated bibliography of works on free logic completes the book.

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Stephen M. Metzger

Gerard of Abbeville (d. 1272) was the foremost secular theologian at the University of Paris during the third quarter of the thirteenth century. Significantly, Gerard’s corpus includes the most comprehensive treatment of the nature and extent of human knowledge from the generation before Henry of Ghent.
Stephen M. Metzger’s study presents Gerard’s complete theory of human knowledge, which is a hierarchy extending from the knowledge acquired in faith, through scientific thought and culminating in the full vision of God by the blessed in patria. It is the fullest exposition of the life, works and thought of Gerard yet written and is augmented by the presentation for the first time of editions of several disputed questions and other texts.

Islam in a Post-Secular Society

Religion, Secularity and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith

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Dustin Byrd

Islam in the Post-Secular Society: Religion, Secularity and the Antagonism of Recalcitrant Faith critically examines the unique challenges facing Muslims in Europe and North America. From the philosophical perspective of the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory, this book attempts not only to diagnose the current problems stemming from a marginalization of Islam in the secular West, but also to offer a proposal for a Habermasian discourse between the religious and the secular.

By highlighting historical examples of Islamic and western rapprochement, and rejecting the ‘clash of civilization’ thesis, the author attempts to find a ‘common language’ between the religious and the secular, which can serve as a vehicle for a future reconciliation.

Conrad’s Narrative Voice

Stylistic Aspects of His Fiction

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Werner Senn

Werner Senn’s Conrad’s Narrative Voice draws on the methodology of linguistic stylistics and the analysis of narrative discourse to discuss Joseph Conrad’s perception of the role and the limitations of language. Tracing recurrent linguistic patterns allows Senn to demonstrate that Conrad’s view of the radical indeterminacy of the world is conveyed on the most basic levels of the author’s (often criticised) verbal style but permeates his work at all levels of the narrative. Detailed stylistic analysis also reveals the importance, to Conrad, of the spoken word, of oral communication. Senn argues that the narrators’ compulsive efforts to make their readers see and understand reflect Conrad’s ethics of human solidarity in a world he depicts as hostile, enigmatic and often senseless.

Phenomenology, Architecture and the Built World

Exercises in Philosophical Anthropology

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James Dodd

Phenomenology, Architecture and the Built World is an introduction to the methods and basic concepts of phenomenological philosophy through an analysis of the phenomenon of the built world. The conception of the built world that emerges is of space and time fashioned in accordance with a living understanding of what it is for human beings to exist in the world. Human building and making is thus no mere supplementary instrument in the pursuit of the ends of life, but a fundamental embodiment of the self-understanding of human beings. Phenomenological description is uniquely capable of bringing into view the physiognomy of this understanding, its texture and complexity, thereby providing an important basis for a critique of what constitutes its essence and its conditions of possibility.

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Gijsbert Jonkers

In The Textual Tradition of Plato's Timaeus and Critias, Gijsbert Jonkers provides new insights into the extant ancient and medieval evidence for the text of both Platonic dialogues. The discussions are set in the broader context of examinations in recent decades of the textual traditions of other individual Platonic works. Particularly the vast collection of testimonia of the Timaeus, one of Plato's most read, interpreted and discussed dialogues of all times, will be of interest for students of ancient philosophy, science and philology.