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Hylkje de Jong

In Ἐντολή (mandatum) in den Basiliken Hylkje de Jong deals with the way the Byzantine jurists of the early period (6th and early 7th century) and later period (11th and 12th century) dealt with the law of mandate as they found this in respectively Justinian’s compilation and in the 9th century Basilica. Commonly characterised as consistent Byzantine dogmatics, the remarks of these Byzantine jurists appear to be in reality individual approaches, coloured by each jurist’s own methodology of interpreting.
Based upon the Basilica texts, the law of mandate is set out thematically: the mandate’s object, the liability of parties, actions, remunerations. De Jong proves convincingly that the Byzantine remarks provide a better understanding of Justinian Roman law.

In der Studie Ἐντολή (mandatum) in den Basiliken beschäftigt sich Hylkje de Jong mit der Art und Weise, wie sich die byzantinischen Juristen des 6. und frühen 7. aber auch des 11. und 12. Jahrhunderts mit dem Auftragsrechts befassten, das sie in Justinians Kompilation bzw. in den Basiliken des 9. Jahrhunderts fanden. Die Äußerungen dieser byzantinischen Juristen werden in der Regel als einheitliche byzantinische Rechtslehre aufgefasst, erweisen sich aber in Wirklichkeit als individuelle Ansätze, die von der Methodik des jeweiligen Juristen geprägt und gefärbt sind.
Basierend auf den Basilikentexten wird das Auftragsrecht thematisch dargestellt: Gegenstand des Mandats, Haftung der Parteien, Klagen, Vergütungen etc. Überzeugend weist De Jong nach, dass die byzantinischen Darlegungen ein besseres Verständnis des römischen Rechts von Justinian vermitteln.

How Language Informs Mathematics

Bridging Hegelian Dialectics and Marxian Models

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Dirk Damsma

In How Language Informs Mathematics Dirk Damsma shows how Hegel’s and Marx’s systematic dialectical analysis of mathematical and economic language helps us understand the structure and nature of mathematical and capitalist systems. More importantly, Damsma shows how knowledge of the latter can inform model assumptions and help improve models.

His book provides a blueprint for an approach to economic model building that does away with arbitrarily chosen assumptions and is sensitive to the institutional structures of capitalism. In light of the failure of mainstream economics to understand systemic failures like the financial crisis and given the arbitrary character of most assumptions in mainstream models, such an approach is desperately needed.

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Edited by Peter Bray and Marta Rzepecka

Communication decisively impacts upon all our lives. This inherent need to connect may either be soothing or painful, a source of intimate understanding or violent discord. Consequently, how it is brokered is challenging and often crucial in situations where those involved have quite different ways of being in and seeing the world. Good communication is equated with skills that intentionally facilitate change, the realisation of desirable outcomes and the improvement of human situations. Withdrawal of communication, or its intentional manipulation, provokes misunderstanding, mistrust, and precipitates the decline into disorder. This international collection of work specifically interrogates conflict as an essential outworking of communication, and suggests that understanding of communication’s potency in contexts of conflict can directly influence reciprocally positive outcomes.

Who Decides?

Competing Narratives in Constructing Tastes, Consumption and Choice

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Edited by Nina Namaste and Marta Nadales

How is the meaning of food created, communicated, and continually transformed? How are food practices defined, shaped, delineated, constructed, modified, resisted, and reinvented – by whom and for whom? These are but a few of the questions Who Decides? Competing Narratives in Constructing Tastes, Consumption and Choice explores. Part I (Taste, Authenticity & Identity) explicitly centres on the connection between food and identity construction. Part II (Food Discourses) focuses on how food-related language shapes perceptions that in turn construct particular behaviours that in turn demonstrate underlying value systems. Thus, as a collection, this volume explores how tastes are shaped, formed, delineated and acted upon by normalising socio-cultural processes, and, in some instances, how those very processes are actively resisted and renegotiated.

Contributors are Shamsul AB, Elyse Bouvier, Giovanna Costantini, Filip Degreef, Lis Furlani Blanco, Maria Clara de Moraes Prata Gaspar, Marta Nadales Ruiz, Nina Namaste, Eric Olmedo, Hannah Petertil, Maria José Pires, Lisa Schubert, Brigitte Sébastia, Keiko Tanaka, Preetha Thomas, Andrea Wenzel, Ariel Weygandt, Andrea Whittaker and Minette Yao.

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Hye-Joon Yoon

The Rhetoric of Tenses in Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” examines the tenses of the predicates in the famous and typical passages of the monumental work to explore the intricacies of the rhetoric and argument they support, paying particular attention to the question of temporality. Smith’s subtle modulation of language attests to his reluctance to offer a mere theory of economics and to his refusal to ignore the complicated challenges history and actuality offer to his beliefs in the natural system of liberty. The theoretical frame of the book is derived from the grammarians of Smith’s age, in particular James Harris. The supple interdisciplinary approach of this book invites literary and publishing histories to converse with intellectual history.

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Edited by Carla Risseeuw and Marlein van Raalte

The concept of friendship is more easily valued than it is described: this volume brings together reflections on its meaning and practice in a variety of social and cultural settings in history and in the present time, focusing on Asia and the Western, Euro-American world.
The extension of the group in which friendship is recognized, and degrees of intimacy (whether or not involving an erotic dimension) and genuine appreciation may vary widely. Friendship may simply include kinship bonds—solidarity being one of its more general characteristics. In various contexts of travelling, migration, and a dearth of offspring, friendship may take over roles of kinship, also in terms of care.

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Francisco Fernández Buey

Reading Gramsci is a collection of essays by Francisco Fernández Buey with a unifying theme: the enduring relevance of Gramsci’s political, philosophical and personal reflections for those who wish to understand and transform ‘the vast and terrible world’ of capital. Reading Gramsci is of considerable biographical and philosophical interest for scholars and partisans of communism alike.

Fernández Buey distils Gramsci’s intimate thinking on the relation between love and revolutionary engagement from Gramsci’s personal correspondence; he reveals how Gramsci draws on both Marxism and Machiavellianism in order to formulate his conception of politics as a collective ethics; he retraces the trajectory of Gramsci’s thinking in the Prison Notebooks, and elucidates Gramsci’s reflections on the relation between language and politics.

English translation of Leyendo a Gramsci, published by El Viejo Topo in 2001.

Dialectics of the Ideal

Evald Ilyenkov and Creative Soviet Marxism

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Edited by Alex Levant and Vesa Oittinen

In Dialectics of the Ideal: Evald Ilyenkov and Creative Soviet Marxism Levant and Oittinen provide a window into the subterranean tradition of ‘creative’ Soviet Marxism, which developed on the margins of the Soviet academe and remains largely outside the orbit of contemporary theory in the West. With his ‘activity approach’, E.V. Ilyenkov, its principal figure in the post-Stalin period, makes a substantial contribution toward an anti-reductionist Marxist theory of the subject, which should be of interest to contemporary theorists who seek to avoid economic and cultural reductionism as well as the malaise of postmodern relativism. This volume features Levant’s translation of Ilyenkov’s Dialectics of the Ideal (2009), which remained unpublished until thirty years after the author’s tragic suicide in 1979.

Contributors include: Evald Ilyenkov, Tarja Knuuttila, Alex Levant, Andrey Maidansky, Vesa Oittinen, Paula Rauhala, and Birger Siebert.

Gramsci and Languages

Unification, Diversity, Hegemony

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Alessandro Carlucci

Winner of the prestigious 'Giuseppe Sormani International Prize' for the best monograph on Antonio Gramsci (4th edition, 2012-2017).
Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) is one of the most translated Italian authors of all time. After the Second World War his thought became increasingly influential, and remained relevant throughout the second half of the century. Today, it is generally agreed that his Marxism has highly original and personal features, as confirmed by the fact that his international influence has continued to grow since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Gramsci and Languages offers an explanation of this originality and traces the origins of certain specific features of Gramsci’s political thought by looking at his lifelong interest in language, especially in questions of linguistic diversity and unification.

The Perverse Art of Reading

On the phantasmatic semiology in Roland Barthes’ Cours au Collège de France

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Kris Pint

‘I sincerely believe that at the origin of teaching such as this we must always locate a fantasy’. This provoking remark was the starting point of the four lecture courses Roland Barthes taught as professor of literary semiology at the Collège de France. In these last years of his life, Barthes developed a perverse reading theory in which the demonic stupidity of the fantasy becomes an active force in the creation of new ways of thinking and feeling.
The perverse art of reading offers the first extensive monograph on these lecture courses. The first part examines the psychoanalytical and philosophical intertexts of Barthes’ ‘active semiology’ (Lacan, Kristeva, Winnicott, Nietzsche, Deleuze and Foucault), while the second part discusses his growing attention for the intimate, bodily involvement in the act of reading. Subsequently, this study shows how Barthes’ phantasmatic reading strategy radically reviews the notions of space, detail and the untimely in fiction, as well as the figure of the author and his own role as a teacher.
It becomes clear that the interest of Barthes’ lecture courses goes well beyond semiology and literary criticism, searching the answer to the ethical question par excellence: how to become what one is, how to live a good life.