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The Prisms of Gramsci

The Political Formula of the United Front

Series:

Marcos Del Roio

In this work, Marcos Del Roio analyses Gramsci's pre-prison political-theoretical activity in light of a radical thesis: that throughout Gramsci's life we see a total continuity between his political praxis and his philosophical reflection. That is not to ignore the changes, turns, and even fractures in the Sardinian communist's thinking across his brief but rich existence. On the contrary. Reading Gramsci, we find key ideas that set the rhythm of all of his thought, at least from the time of the Turin factory councils up till the writing of his final notebooks. These ideas also established the essential identity of his thinking, throughout (and over and above) the diversity of its manifestations: just as we typically find in all great thinkers. This book's title, referring to the metaphor of a ray of light passing through a prism, expresses this counterpoint between identity and diversity. The main category we find in the subtitle speaks to this same problematic, considered in the context of Gramsci's political action and the radical Leninism that guided him in his victorious battle with Bordiga: the 'united front'. This political formula was coined in Germany in 1921 and was central to the late Lenin's thinking, and in this work Del Roio shows its various different interpretations as the basis for analysing Gramsci's own position in this regard.

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Edited by Fred Moseley

Marx’s only full draft of Volume III of Capital was written in the Economic Manuscript of 1864—1865. The Volume III that we know was heavily edited by Engels. It has been a long-standing question in Marxian scholarship whether or not there are significant differences between Marx’s original manuscript and Engels’s edited version. Marx’s manuscript was published for the first time in German in 1992 in the Marx/Engels Gesamtausgabe, Section II, Volume 4.2, but this important manuscript has not previously been translated into English. The publication of this English translation of Marx’s original manuscript is thus an important event in Marxian scholarship. English-speaking Marxist scholars can finally compare Engels’s Volume III with Marx’s original manuscript and evaluate for themselves the significance of the differences.

Series:

Wouter Goris

Transcendental unity is a figure of thought of the Latin Middle Ages, which is indebted to Avicenna’s renewal of metaphysics and which is wrongly attributed to Aristotle. A specific interpretation of the demonstrable attribute determines the metaphysical reflection on ‘the one’ and turns it into a transcendental attribute of being. Notwithstanding the variety of epistemic constellations, however, this metaphysical relationship of being and unity always turns out to be a fundamental state of affairs. Transcendental unity identifies as a problem constellation, the principles of which are still effective in the critique of scholastic metaphysics in classical German philosophy.

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Guido Liguori

Gramsci's works, in particular his Prison Notebooks, are a real 'workshop' of activity. Even though these texts were the product of a great mind and an organic conception of the world, the particular context in which they are written poses challenges for their interpreters. This philological 'excavation' of the pathways of Gramsci's thinking brings us closer to an author who is more 'widely-known' than he is understood. The first part of the volume deals with central themes of Gramsci's worldview such as the concepts of the state, civil society, ideology, common sense, morality and conformism. The second part deals with Gramsci’s relations with thinkers as diverse as Machiavelli, Marx, Engels, Labriola, Togliatti, whereas the third part offers some reflections on the metaphors used by Gramsci as well as contemporary views of the Sardinian Communist.

First published in Italian by Carocci Editore as Sentieri gramsciani, 2006.

Ockham's Assumption of Mental Speech

Thinking in a World of Particulars

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Sonja Schierbaum

In Ockham’s Assumption of Mental Speech: Thinking in a World of Particulars, Sonja Schierbaum advances a detailed philosophical reconstruction of William Ockham’s (1287-1349) conception of mental speech. Ockham’s conception provides a rich account of cognition and semantics that binds together various philosophical issues and forms a point of departure for many later and even contemporary debates. The book analyses the role of mental speech for the semantics and the use of linguistic expressions as well as its function within Ockham’s cognitive theory and epistemology. Carefully balancing Ockham’s position against contemporary appropriations in the light of Fodor’s LOTH, it allows us to understand better Ockham’s view on human thought and its relation to language.

Cold War in Psychiatry

Human Factors, Secret Actors

Series:

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.