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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.
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.
This book recovers Dionysus and Apollo as the twin conceptual personae of life’s dual rhythm in an attempt to redesign contemporary theory through the reciprocal affirmation of event and form, earth and world, dance and philosophy. It revisits Heidegger and Lévi-Strauss, and combines them with Roy Wagner, with the purpose of moving beyond Nietzsche’s manifold legacy, including post-structuralism, new materialism, and speculative realism. It asks whether merging philosophy and anthropology around issues of comparative ontologies may give us a chance to re-become earthbound dwellers on a re-worlded earth.
Spanish Jesuits such as Francisco Suárez (1548–1617), José de Acosta (1540–1600), Pedro de Ribadeneira (1526-1611) and Juan de Mariana (1536-1624) had a powerful impact on English thinkers of the magnitude of John Locke (1632–1704), Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Robert Persons (1546-1610), Algernon Sidney (1623-1683), and, later, William Robertson (1721–1793), Thomas de Quincey (1785–1859) and Hilaire Belloc (1870–1953). An influence that was sometimes hidden and always controversial.
This work highlights the importance of this influence regarding thought on politics, law and natural rights. A constitutionalist understanding of political power, the recognition and promotion of innate rights and the necessary subjection of rulers to the law, all form part of the important legacy of these scholastic doctors for European intellectual heritage.

Contributors to this volume: Rafael Alé Ruiz, Francisco T. Baciero Ruiz, Francisco Castilla Urbano, José Luis Cendejas Bueno, Alfonso Díaz Vera, Francisco Javier Gómez Díez, Cecilia Font de Villanueva, León M. Gómez Rivas, Fermín del Pino Díaz, Leopoldo J. Prieto López, Daniel Schwartz, Lorena Velasco Guerrero, and María Idoya Zorroza Huarte.
Richard Kilvington (ca. 1302–1361) was one of the most original and influential thinkers among the Oxford Calculators. His impact on late medieval philosophy and theology remains unquestionable. His physical, logical, and ethical solutions were extensively debated and referred to, paving the way for new approaches in philosophy and theology.
This volume presents a critical edition of question 4 from Kilvington’s Quaestiones super libros Sententiarum, complete with an introduction to the edition and a guide to Kilvington’s theological concepts.
Synthesizing Generalized Evolution Theory
Do social systems evolve similarly to biological ones and societies similarly to organisms? For some time now, an interdisciplinary paradigm has been developing in this regard: the Generalized Evolution Theory. After pointing out differences between biological and cultural evolution, as well as different inheritance strategies, the book proposes a philosophy of science classification of the different approaches in this vast and ever-growing field of research. It leads from generalized microevolution to generalized macroevolution and to their synthesis. As evolution favors groups with high internal cohesion, it will also favor strategies and reward agents responsible for this cohesion. In the long run, generalized evolution selects those populations that exhibit a higher density of interaction.