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This book uses case analyses and industry insights and blends them with forays into philosophy and ethics to conceptualise the mismatch between human values and the values inherent in an increasingly technologized world. Bringing together contributors from the disciplines of law, politics, philosophy, and communication studies, this volume develops an interdisciplinary vocabulary for thinking about the questions and antinomies of human-technology interaction while also resisting any deceptively straightforward synthesis. The topics discussed include the competition over and regulation of technology, the harm induced by autonomous technologies, and the place and role of humans in a world that is undergoing rapid and radical change.
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It is extremely difficult to seek new paths in the twilight of our former idols, ideals and visions of a happy and successful life. The authors of the book invite the reader to embark on this journey in a free-spirited manner and to look at the challenges posed by the new climate regime from different perspectives. Whether one accepts the concept of the Anthropocene as a starting point, or rather as an opportunity for constructive criticism, readers will be fully engaged by thinking through historical-philosophical, scientific, political, social, as well as educational problems.
This book explores a radically integrative phenomenology of nature through the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. By revisiting novel empirical findings in the sciences and advances in scientific methods and concepts, Merleau-Ponty leads us to rediscover a first nature right at the heart of the subject. Alessio Rotundo traces and documents the presence of a double meaning of nature affecting Merleau-Ponty’s analyses across foundational aspects of human experience: sense perception, organic development and behavior, cognition, language, and history. Physical, biological, and psychological processes in nature are not merely scientific data; they provide the evidence for another, more primordial sense of nature.
This interdisciplinary book focuses on Charles Darwin’s extensively detailed observations of all forms of animate life across the global world—humans included. These existential realities of Nature are not commonly recognized in today’s world, yet they are all of sizable import in impacting both flora and fauna, thus in human understandings of the nature of the world and the nature of all forms of animate life. Darwin’s descriptively anchored observations furthermore tie in directly with Edmund Husserl’s phenomenological analyses of experience. However different their inquiries and wonder at the world and at human experience, their analyses show how descriptive foundations and a concern with origins are integral to both, and how methodology and a living dynamics are central to a recognition of the complementarity of biological-neurological sciences and phenomenology.
Philosophy, Literature, Culture
Critical Plant Studies is a field that has grown in popularity over recent years. Brill is proud to have launched Critical Plant Studies, the original series with this title, with leading expert Michael Marder in 2013.

The goal of the Critical Plant Studies is to initiate an interdisciplinary dialogue, whereby philosophy and literature would learn from each other to think about, imagine, and describe, vegetal life with critical awareness, conceptual rigor, and ethical sensitivity. Literary works featuring plant imagery may be analyzed with reference to philosophical frameworks, while philosophical discussions of the meanings of vegetal life may be enriched and supported with the tools of literary criticism. Another dialogic dimension of the series entails a sustained engagement between Western and non-Western philosophies and religious traditions, representative of the human attitudes to plants. This “cross-pollination” of different fields of knowledge and experience will become possible thanks to the fundamental role plants play in human life, regardless of their backgrounding or neglect.

Ethically stated, the aim of the book series is to encourage an incremental shift of cultural attitudes from a purely instrumental to a respectful approach to vegetal beings. This is particularly important at the current time of the global environmental crisis, when massive de-forestation, seed patenting, and profit-driven agriculture threaten the very future of life on the planet. Not only will works included in the series shed light on the being of plants, but they will also assist us in critically thinking through the crucial issues and challenges of the contemporary world. Bioethics and genetic engineering, of which plants were the first examples; the role of spirituality and holism in the techno-scientific age; the reliance of our imagination and creativity on elements of the “natural” world; global food shortages and sustainable agricultural practices; the roots of our thinking and writing in other-than-human, vegetal processes, such as growth and decay, germination and branching out, fecundation and fruition—books included in Critical Plant Studies will, in one way or another, touch upon these and related themes central to the philosophy, literature, and culture of the twenty-first century.

Thus, we are looking to publish a mix of specialized manuscripts and introductory texts on the theory, literary criticism, and religious or aesthetic appreciation of plant life. Each title in the series will combine at least two of the disciplines listed above, with preference given to cutting-edge methodologies in comparative literature, comparative philosophy, comparative religious studies, etc., and trans-disciplinary approaches. Analyses of plant-related writings and artworks from any historical period and geographical area will be welcome.


The full-scale war in Ukraine negatively impacted populations of urban and semi-urban animals. This study examines the effects of war-related damages on urban populations of bats in Kharkiv city (NE Ukraine) during 2022. Our findings suggest that 45.1% of buildings used as wintering roosts for N. noctula were either partially damaged or completely destroyed by shellings, which may have led to the direct killing of approximately 7,000 bats. Additionally, the war-damaged urban environments in Kharkiv serve as a deadly trap for bats during the period of autumn migration or swarming. Bats flew into buildings’ interiors through windows that were left open or broken by blast waves, resulting in entrapment. The total number of N. noctula trapped inside buildings damaged by shelling was 2,836 individuals, with a death rate of approximately 30%. The group size of trapped bats was more numerous than in previous years, and the main findings were concentrated in war-damaged districts of the city.

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In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research
Während sich Band III der erkenntnistheoretischen Reflexion und Rekonstruktion der „unbelebten“ Naturwissenschaften Physik und Chemie widmete, stehen in Band IV die Biowissenschaften im Fokus, die mit dem Leben Dasjenige zu ihrem Forschungsgegenstand machen, was (notwendigerweise) zwischen Physis und Psyche vermittelt.
Typisch philosophische Fragen in diesem Zusammenhang sind u.a.: Was ist „Leben“ im für die Biowissenschaften relevanten Sinn des Ausdrucks? Woher wissen wir, dass es Leben nicht „immer schon“ gegeben hat, sondern dass es im Zuge einer Abiogenese aus der unbelebten Natur heraus entstanden sein muss? Was ermöglicht uns insbesondere, konkretes Wissen über die Naturgeschichte des Menschen zu erwerben und wie verhält sich in diesem Zusammenhang dann der spezifisch biologische Gattungsbegriff „Homo“ zum allgemeineren Begriff des Menschen als eines Vernunft- und Kulturwesens? In diesem Kontext wird auch der Begriff der „Rasse“ und die in jüngerer Zeit aufgeworfene These, dass die praktische Philosophie Kants durch seine „Rassenlehre“ implizit rassistisch sei, untersucht. Schließlich werden die methodischen Grundlagen der Neurowissenschaften und ihre Grenzen als Beitrag zur Philosophie des Geistes untersucht, die als solche in Band VI zu Wort kommen wird.
A Global Comparison of Research Distortions
Volume Editors: and
The book is focused on distorted research and university education in recent decades, and on alternatives for a new research era. It deals with the critique, explanation and normativity of bureaucratically, commercially and ideologically shaped humanities and social sciences. The authors analyse it in a ground-breaking way, putting the West in a global comparison with the non-Western world. Particularly, they pay special attention to Central Europe and the major countries and macro-regions: Latin America, China, Russia, Africa and India. This is an illuminating book for readers interested in philosophy, sociology, global studies, education studies and related disciplines.
Andy Blunden completes his immanent critique of Activity Theory, begun in 2010 with An Interdisciplinary Theory of Activity. A summary of the ontological foundations of Activity Theory introduces a critical review of the work of activity theorists across the world with a focus of applications in medical and educational contexts, and concluded with a review of the ethics of collaboration. Blunden expands the domain of Activity Theory to address the pressing problems facing humanity today and activities lacking in clear objects, collaboration in voluntary projects and social movements, the life projects of individuals and emerging practices. Blunden brings an understanding of Marxist and Hegelian philosophy to bear on the application of Activity Theory to problems of social change.
In: Towards a New Research Era