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How Language Informs Mathematics

Bridging Hegelian Dialectics and Marxian Models

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Dirk Damsma

In How Language Informs Mathematics 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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Why Look at Plants?

The Botanical Emergence in Contemporary Art

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Giovanni Aloi

Why Look at Plants? proposes a thought-provoking and fascinating look into the emerging cultural politics of plant-presence in contemporary art. Through the original contributions of artists, scholars, and curators who have creatively engaged with the ultimate otherness of plants in their work, this volume maps and problematizes new intra-active, agential interconnectedness involving human-non-human biosystems central to artistic and philosophical discourses of the Anthropocene.

Plant’s fixity, perceived passivity, and resilient silence have relegated the vegetal world to the cultural background of human civilization. However, the recent emergence of plants in the gallery space constitutes a wake-up-call to reappraise this relationship at a time of deep ecological and ontological crisis. Why Look at Plants? challenges readers’ pre-established notions through a diverse gathering of insights, stories, experiences, perspectives, and arguments encompassing multiple disciplines, media, and methodologies.
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The Science of Religion: A Defence

Essays by Donald Wiebe

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Donald Wiebe

Edited by Anthony Palma

Donald Wiebe, Professor of Philosophy of Religion at Trinity College, University of Toronto, has spent much of his academic career arguing for a clear demarcation between Theology and Religious Studies. The Science of Religion: A Defence offers a brilliant overview of Professor Wiebe's contributions on methodology in the academic study of religion, of the development of his thinking over time, and of his intellectual commitment to 'a science of religion'.

The work is divided into three parts. The first part identifies pertinent connections between 'religion', 'religious studies', and 'science' and why 'reductionism' in the academic study of religion, when properly applied, can bridge the explanatory gap between the sceptic and the devotee. The second part treats conceptual debates in the academic study of religion, with particular reference to the place of 'belief', 'understanding', and 'meaning' in the modern study of religion. The third part addresses the theological resistance to the scientific study of religion and how that resistance can be overcome. Finally, two new essays are included: a critique on ‘The Preconceptions of a Science of Religion’ by Anthony J. Palma, and an accompanying reply by Donald Wiebe.

The Science of Religion: A Defence is an essential resource for both scholarly and non-scholarly audiences alike, and will be of particular interest to both defenders and critics of a scientific study of religion.
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Paul Ricoeur’s Idea of Reference

The Truth as Non-Reference

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Sanja Ivic

This book investigates the importance of Ricoeur’s hermeneutics and poetics in rethinking humanities. In particular, Ricoeur’s insights on reference as refiguration and his idea of interpretation as a triadic process (which consists of mimesis 1 – prefiguration, mimesis 2 – configuration, and mimesis 3 – refiguration) will be applied to philosophy of science and to literary and historical texts. It will be shown that Ricoeur’s idea of emplotment can be extended and applied to scientific, literary and historical texts. This multidisciplinary research will include philosophy of science, metaphysics, hermeneutics, and literary theory.
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Edited by Anders Klostergaard Petersen, Gilhus Ingvild Sælid, Luther H. Martin, Jeppe Sinding Jensen and Jesper Sørensen

Evolution, Cognition, and the History of Religion: A New Synthesis comprises 41 chapters that push for a new way of conducting the study of religion, thereby, transforming the discipline into a genuine science of religion. The recent resurgence of evolutionary approaches on culture and the increasing acknowledgement in the natural and social sciences of culture’s and religion’s evolutionary importance calls for a novel epistemological and theoretical framework for studying these two areas. The chapters explore how a new scholarly synthesis, founded on the triadic space constituted by evolution, cognition, cultural and ecological environment, may develop. Different perspectives and themes relating to this overarching topic are taken up with a main focus on either evolution, cognition, and/or the history of religion.
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Ileana Chinnici

In Decoding the Stars, Ileana Chinnici offers an account of the life of the Jesuit scientist Angelo Secchi (1818-1878). As well as providing an invaluable account of Secchi’s life and work—something that has been sorely lacking in the English-language scholarship—this biography will be especially stimulating for those interested in the evolution of astrophysics as a discipline from the nineteenth century onward. Despite his eclecticism, reminiscent of the natural philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Secchi was in many ways a very modern scientist: open to innovation and cooperation, and a promoter of popularization and citizen science. Secchi also appears fully inserted in the cultural context of his time: he participated in philosophical and scientific debates, spread new theories and ideas, but also suffered the consequences of political events that marked those years and impacted on his life and activities.
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Edited by Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas, Charles Burnett, Silke Ackermann and Ryan Szpiech

First published as a special issue of the journal Medieval Encounters (vol. 23, 2017), this volume, edited by Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas, Charles Burnett, Silke Ackermann, and Ryan Szpiech, brings together fifteen studies on various aspects of the astrolabe in medieval cultures. The astrolabe, developed in antiquity and elaborated throughout the Middle Ages, was used for calculation, teaching, and observation, and also served astrological and medical purposes. It was the most popular and prestigious of the mathematical instruments, and was found equally among practitioners of various sciences and arts as among princes in royal courts. By considering sources and instruments from Muslim, Christian, and Jewish contexts, this volume provides state-of-the-art research on the history and use of the astrolabe throughout the Middle Ages.

Contributors are Silke Ackermann, Emilia Calvo, John Davis, Laura Fernández Fernández, Miquel Forcada, Azucena Hernández, David A. King, Taro Mimura, Günther Oestmann, Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas, Sreeramula Rajeswara Sarma, Petra G. Schmidl, Giorgio Strano, Flora Vafea, and Johannes Thomann.
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Genealogy of Obedience

Reading North American Dog Training Literature, 1850s-2000s

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Justyna Wlodarczyk

In Genealogy of Obedience Justyna Włodarczyk provides a long overdue look at the history of companion dog training methods in North America since the mid-nineteenth century, when the market of popular training handbooks emerged. Włodarczyk argues that changes in the functions and goals of dog training are entangled in bigger cultural discourses; with a particular focus on how animal training has served as a field for playing out anxieties related to race, class and gender in North America. By applying a Foucauldian genealogical perspective, the book shows how changes in training methods correlate with shifts in dominant regimes of power. It traces the rise and fall of obedience as a category for conceptualizing relationships with dogs.
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Carmen Cusack

Fish, Justice, and Society is an in-depth look into the fishing industry, fish, and aquatic environments. This book delves past the façade of what may be known by the average fisherman, bringing to the surface new information about numerous species and aquatic habitats. It is the most comprehensive book on the subject of fish, law, and human behavior. It is a standalone work, but complements Cusack’s Fish in the Bible (2017). It is a treatise on the subject of animal law while also serving the common fisherman information on compliance issues.
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Paul Mattick

Theory as Critique, while discussing many central issues of Marxian theory, has two main emphases: First, as the title suggests, it takes seriously Capital’s claim to be a critique of economic theory, rather than a contribution to political economy. Understanding what this means, it shows, goes far to unravelling many difficulties traditionally found in Marx’s book, from the nature of his theory of class to the 'transformation problem'. Secondly, Mattick’s volume carefully explores how to bridge the gap between the extreme abstraction of Marx’s ideas and the complex reality that they are intended to help us understand.