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Edited by Josefa Ros Velasco

The Culture of Boredom is a collection of essays by well-known specialists reflecting from philosophical, literary, and artistic perspectives, in which the reader will learn how different disciplines can throw light on such an appealing, challenging, yet still not fully understood phenomenon. The goal is to clarify the background of boredom, and to explore its representation through forgotten cross-cutting narratives beyond the typical approaches, i.e. those of psychology or psychiatry. For the first time this experienced group of scholars gathers to promote a cross-border dialogue from a multidisciplinary perspective.

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Edited by Efraim Podoksik

Doing Humanities in Nineteenth-Century Germany, edited by Efraim Podoksik, is a collaborative project by leading scholars in German studies that examines the practices of theorising and researching in the humanities as pursued by German thinkers and scholars during the long nineteenth century, and the relevance of those practices for the humanities today.
Each chapter focuses on a particular branch of the humanities, such as philosophy, history, classical philology, theology, or history of art. The volume both offers a broad overview of the history of German humanities and examines an array of particular cases that illustrate their inner dilemmas, ranging from Ranke’s engagement with the world of poetry to Max Weber’s appropriation of the notion of causality.

Anarchism and the Avant-Garde

Radical Arts and Politics in Perspective

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Edited by Carolin Kosuch

Anarchism and the Avant-Garde: Radical Arts and Politics in Perspective contributes to the continuing debate on the encounter of the classical anarchisms (1860s−1940s) and the artistic and literary avant-gardes of the same period, probing its dimensions and limits. Case studies on Dadaism, decadence, fauvism, neo-impressionism, symbolism, and various anarchisms explore the influence anarchism had on the avant-gardes and reflect on avant-garde tendencies within anarchism. This volume also explores the divergence of anarchism and the avant-gardes. It offers a rich examination of politics and arts, and it complements an ongoing discourse with theoretical tools to better assess the aesthetic, social, and political cross-pollination that took place between the avant-gardes and the anarchists in Europe.

Stoicism and Performance

A Joyful Materialism

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Cormac Power

Power’s Stoicism and Performance presents Stoicism as a means of navigating key debates and concepts in contemporary theatre and performance. Stoicism has influenced many of the most cited radical thinkers in the discipline of theatre and performance studies; for instance Deleuze, Foucault, Kristeva, Agamben. A central aim of this work is to bring Stoicism more explicitly into the fold of the discipline, and to use Stoicism to think differently about performance. With a series of chapters covering themes such as performativity, embodiment, emotion, affect and spectatorship, this book finds points of encounter between Stoicism and contemporary understandings and practices of performance. It presents these encounters as modes of transformative experience in relation to our being in the world.

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Edited by Florian Lippert and Marcel Schmid

Self-reflection is fundamental for human thinking on many levels. Philosophy has described the mind's capacity to observe itself as a core element of human existence. Political and social sciences have shown how modern democracies depend on society's ability to critically reflect on their own values and practices. And literature of all ages has proven self-reflexivity to be a crucial trait of cultural production.

This volume provides the first diachronic panorama of genres, forms, and functions of literary self-reflection and their connections with social, political and philosophical discourses from the 17th century to the present. Far beyond the usual focus on postmodernist opacity, these contributions present a rich tradition of critical transparency: Literary texts that show us what is behind and beyond them.

After Thoughts: Beyond the ‘System’

Political and Cultural Lectures by Agnes Heller

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Agnes Heller†

Edited by John Edward Grumley

This book is a collection of recent lectures by Agnes Heller, delivered all over the world. These essays are edited and introduced by the author of the most significant intellectual biography of her work, John Grumley. In these lectures, Heller engages one of her greatest strengths: to discover philosophy within the very flux of contemporary events. These bring together such timely topics as refugees, human rights, truth in politics and the contemporary university as well as perennial issues like the possibility of artistic representation of the Holocaust, the question whether revolutions are always betrayed, and the possibility of universality in the contemporary multicultural world.

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Roberto Schwarz

Literary forms travel from core countries to the periphery of capitalism, where they are adopted under social conditions that differ from those in the countries of their origin. Besides being inevitable, the resulting maladjustments lead to new and original aesthetic problems, presenting to the reader the symptoms of the world’s complexity. When properly worked through, these allow for the rise of world-class art, as in the case of the great Brazilian novels by Machado de Assis.

First published in Portuguese in 1977 as Ao vencedor as batatas: Forma literária e processo social nos inícios do romance brasileiro by Duas Cidades/Editora 34, ISBN 978-85-7326-169-2, and presented here in a new English-language translation, To the Victor, the Potatoes! is a major work of one of the most significant Marxist literary critics of our time.

Eric Nsuh Zuhmboshi

Abstract

The relationship that exists between the state and her citizens has been described by Jean Jacques Rousseau as “a social contract.” In this contractual agreement, citizens are bound to respect state authority while the state, in turn, has the bounden duty to protect her citizens and guide them in their aspirations. In fact, any state that does not perform this duty is guilty of violating the fundamental rights of her citizens. This, however, is not the case in most postcolonial societies where the citizens see the state as an aggressive apparatus against their wellbeing because the state is not fulfilling its own part of the social contract, which requires them to protect the citizens and guide them in their aspirations. This unfortunate situation has laid the foundation for protest and anti-establishment writings in post-colonial societies – especially in Africa. Since literature, as a semiotic resource, is coterminous with its socio-political context, this attitude of the state has drawn inimical criticism from key postcolonial African writers such as Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Mongo Beti, and Nadine Gordimer. Using Helon Habila’s Waiting for an Angel and John Nkemngong Nkengasong’s Across the Mongolo, this essay shows the relationship between state-terrorism and the traumatic conditions of the citizens in contemporary Africa. From the perspective of trauma theory, the essay defends the premise that the postcolonial subjects/characters, in the novels under study, are traumatized and depressed because of their continuous victimization by the state. Due to this state-imposed terror and hardship, the citizens are forced to indulge in political agitation, radicalism and violence in response to their destitute and impoverished conditions.

Julia Amos

Abstract

In the Northern region of Ghana in the mid-1990s a coalition of NGOs came together to mediate an end to a large-scale inter-ethnic conflict. This essay develops the theoretical concepts of conflict and peace narratives to show how this process was able to transcend the violence. It also examines how the NGO-mediated negotiations compared and related with concurrent state initiatives. NGO advantage derived from the social capital that these organisations had accumulated through local service provision, and the perceived neutrality of the talks they arranged, highlighting the complex relationships between the provision of services, state resources and conflict resolution effectiveness.

Biraj Mehta Rathi

Abstract

This essay is a study on national self-determination and justice from the differing perspectives of John Rawls and Rabindranath Tagore. Both thinkers have addressed the problem of conflict caused by national loyalties. Influenced by Immanuel Kant’s philosophy of cosmopolitanism, John Rawls articulates the “Law of People(s)” that suggests that mutual consent consists in economic interdependence among nations and tolerance for cultural diversity under monitored conditions of the international relations. Such an arrangement is not inclusive as it excludes the subaltern perspectives and reinforces the hierarchies between East and West. Tagore offers post-colonial versions of nationalism and cosmopolitanism that call for a creative and spiritual unity of nations through cultural exchange where each is equal in dialogue. The essay makes a case for Tagore’s cosmopolitanism being more inclusive than Rawls, yet, limited in its accommodation of the “other” as Tagore’s creative unity domesticates this “other” on the basis of spiritual familiarity. The essay also critiques Martha Nussbaum’s cosmopolitanism that suggests reconciliation of both. It makes a case for a paradoxical understanding of hospitality, friendship and otherness theorized by Jacques Derrida (influenced by Kant) as the basis of self-determination and global justice.

Meng-Shi Chen

Abstract

This essay considers the way Georges Bataille associates sovereignty with ecstasy through his peculiar emotive reactions to the photographic images of lingchi execution. Aside from the traditional views relating to political authority, I show how Bataille holds an idiosyncratic notion of sovereignty that is firmly connected with ecstasy, which is disclosed and best exemplified in his fascination with the lingchi photos with intolerable imagery of torture and cruelty. I argue that the reasons for Bataille to seek ecstatic experience is to overcome banality and servility derived from the instrumentalization of our culture, so as to allow sovereignty to come into being. Although cruelty is a persistent theme in Bataille’s writings, I point out that what makes the lingchi photos pivotal for him is that it is the mirror of somatic disintegration, extreme physical violence and cruelty that corresponds to the rupture of psychological integrity as the state of ecstatic loss of self in a metaphysical sense, reflecting thus the non-boundary of uncontained sovereign individual. Furthermore, in the experience of ecstatic self-loss, an empathic identity is built up between Bataille and the victim of the lingchi execution, which not only allows the conception of ecstatic sovereignty to be endowed with ethical implication but also makes it an alternative approach to the issue of intercultural communication.

Wisam Kh. Abdul-Jabbar and Sabah Wajid Ali

Abstract

This essay looks at two young English-speaking Iraqi bloggers whose internationally recognized writings describe the chaos in post-Saddam Iraq. It examines sarcasm as a mode of resistance as employed by Salam Pax, characterized by BBC Radio in 2003 as “the most famous diarist in the world,” and Riverbend, whose blog was published as a book and translated into several languages. By subjecting the colonial discourse to ridicule, they not only successfully convey the angst their people suffer, but also mock a stereotypical rhetoric that haunts the Western mentality regarding the Middle East. This essay negotiates their use of sarcasm as a means of non-violent resistance. It demonstrates how, for instance, they shift from the sarcastic to the absurd to unravel the banality of the colonial mind and the conceited position of its liberating enterprises. The aim of the paper is, therefore, to shed light on the emergence of a digitalized group of subalterns who write back to the center in the wake of the American intervention to topple the Baath regime in Iraq. Pax and Riverbend distinctively succeed in subverting the colonial and hegemonic gaze by unravelling the encroaching uncertainties of war through the deployment of sarcasm to signify resistance, and by transforming the coalition forces’ theatre of war into a theatre of the absurd.

Kunst

Neu bearbeitet und herausgegeben von Stefan Majetschak

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Clive Bell

Edited by Stefan Majetschak

Das Buch „Kunst“ von Clive Bell, das 1914 erschien, ist ein Klassiker der Kunsttheorie, der noch heute starke Beachtung findet und moderne Strömungen der Kunsttheorie inspiriert. Clive Bell war als bedeutender Kunstkritiker Mitglied der legendären Bloomsbury Group, die zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts die kulturelle Modernisierung Englands vorantrieb. Bell geht es in seinem Buch um die Frage, welche Eigenschaft ein Werk zu einem Kunstwerk macht. Seine Antwort: Es ist die „signifikante Form“, die allen Kunstwerken gemeinsam ist und die unser ästhetisches Gefühl auslöst. Diese auf die Form bezogene essentialistische Kunstauffassung ist nicht unwidersprochen geblieben, ist aber bis heute ein wichtiges Dokument einer formalistischen Ästhetik, die zu ihrer Zeit den post-impressionistischen Malern wie Cézanne, Matisse und Picasso in der angelsächsischen Welt zum Durchbruch verhalf.Die zuletzt im Jahr 1922 erschienene deutsche Übersetzung von Paul Westheim wird hier in einer vollständig überarbeiteten Fassung neu vorgelegt.

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- Prof Dr Thomas Dreier

Law and images are generally not regarded as having much in common, since law is based on textual and images are based on visual information. The paper demonstrates that quite to the contrary, legal norms can be understood as models of intended moral behaviour and hence as images, in the same way as images can be said to have a normative and hence regulatory effect. Following an interdisciplinary approach along the lines of cultural research, the paper explains how images “function” to lawyers and how the law “works” to those trained in the visual sciences. In addition, laying the foundations for a research field “Law and Images” in parallel to the well-established “Law and Literature”, the paper describes the main avenues for future research in this field. Also, the paper contains a brief systematization of images in law, of law and for law.

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Edited by Richard Shusterman

Cities are defined by their complex network of busy streets and the multitudes of people that animate them through physical presence and bodily actions that often differ dramatically: elegant window-shoppers and homeless beggars, protesting crowds and patrolling police. As bodies shape city life, so the city’s spaces, structures, economies, politics, rhythms, and atmospheres reciprocally shape the urban soma. This collection of original essays explores the somaesthetic qualities and challenges of city life (in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas) from a variety of perspectives ranging from philosophy, urban theory, political theory, and gender studies to visual art, criminology, and the interdisciplinary field of somaesthetics. Together these essays illustrate the aesthetic, cultural, and political roles and trials of bodies in the city streets.

Danièle Dehouve

Abstract

By applying diverse approaches to study the Aztec gods, light can be shed on different aspects of their personalities. In this article the cognitive theory of conceptual blending, developed by Fauconnier and Turner, is applied. In this perspective the functioning of the human mind is viewed as being grounded on the constant blending of mental spaces, a process that, in turn, makes new mental spaces emerge. After briefly reviewing the attempts to apply this theory to the ritual domain in general, I consider two types of Aztec rituals, one dedicated to the rain god Tlaloc, and the other to Xochiquetzal, the goddess of seduction. I show the importance of the compression of time in the blending process that condenses three moments: mythical time, ritual time and the immediate future. The capability of the gods to subvert the lineal passage of time and to compress past, present and future stands out as a one of the chief characteristics highlighting the advantages found by applying Blending-Theory.

Benjamin Uel Marsh, Hyun Seo Lee and Janna Schirmer

Abstract

The current study is a conceptual replication of Wang (2008) using a pretest-posttest design and an online sample through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Seventy-one Asian-Americans recalled a recent memory before and after being primed as either Asian or American. On pre-prime memories, conditions did not significantly differ. However, on post-prime memories, participants primed as American recalled more self-focused memories than relationally focused memories and those primed as Asian recalled more relationally focused memories than self-focused memories. In addition, memories of Asian-Americans primed as American consisted of a smaller proportion of social interaction instances than those primed as Asian. In total, 6 of the 8 effects found in Wang (2008) were replicated. We discuss the implications that the current results and past studies have on our understanding of how culture influences memory encoding and retrieval.

Rawan Charafeddine, Hugo Mercier, Takahiro Yamada, Tomoko Matsui, Mioko Sudo, Patrick Germain, Stéphane Bernard, Thomas Castelain and Jean-Baptiste Van der Henst

Abstract

Developmental research suggests that young children tend to value dominant individuals over subordinates. This research, however, has nearly exclusively been carried out in Western cultures, and cross-cultural research among adults has revealed cultural differences in the valuing of dominance. In particular, it seems that Japanese culture, relative to many Western cultures, values dominance less. We conducted two experiments to test whether this difference would be observed in preschoolers. In Experiment 1, preschoolers in France and in Japan were asked to identify with either a dominant or a subordinate. French preschoolers identified with the dominant, but Japanese preschoolers were at chance. Experiment 2 revealed that Japanese preschoolers were more likely to believe a subordinate than a dominant individual, both compared to chance and compared to previous findings among French preschoolers. The convergent results from both experiments thus reveal an early emerging cross-cultural difference in the valuing of dominance.

Siba Ghrear, Maciej Chudek, Klint Fung, Sarah Mathew and Susan A. J. Birch

Abstract

We examined the universality of the curse of knowledge (i.e., the tendency to be biased by one’s knowledge when inferring other perspectives) by investigating it in a unique cross-cultural sample; a nomadic Nilo-Saharan pastoralist society in East Africa, the Turkana. Forty Turkana children were asked eight factual questions and asked to predict how widely-known those facts were among their peers. To test the effect of their knowledge, we taught children the answers to half of the questions, while the other half were unknown. Based on findings suggesting the bias’s universality, we predicted that children would estimate that more of their peers would know the answers to the questions that were taught versus the unknown questions. We also predicted that with age children would become less biased by their knowledge. In contrast, we found that only Turkana males were biased by their knowledge when inferring their peers’ perspectives, and the bias did not change with age. We discuss the implications of these findings.

Good Gods Almighty

A Report Concerning Divine Attributes from a Global Sample

Justin L. Barrett, R. Daniel Shaw, Joseph Pfeiffer, Jonathan Grimes and Gregory S. Foley

Abstract

If “Big Gods” evolved in part because of their ability to morally regulate groups of people who cannot count on kin or reciprocal altruism to get along (Norenzayan, 2013), then powerful gods would tend to be good gods. If the mechanism for this cooperation is some kind of fear of supernatural punishment (Johnson & Bering, 2006), then we may expect that mighty gods tend to be punishing gods. The present study is a statistical analysis of superhuman being concepts from 20 countries on five continents to explore whether the goodness of a god is related to its mightiness. Gods that looked more like the God of classical theism and gods that were low in anthropomorphism were more likely to be regarded as morally good and to be the target of religious practices. Mighty gods were not, however, especially likely to punish or to be a “high god.”

Nikolay R. Rachev and Miglena Petkova

Abstract

Dual-processes theories of cognition implicitly assume universality of the human mind. However, research has shown that large-scale differences exist in thinking styles across cultures. Thereby, the universality of the effects found in Western samples remains an open empirical question. Here, we explored whether effects predicted by prospect theory, such as the framing effect, would be observed in a sample of 312 Bulgarian students. Overall, the size of the framing effect was smaller than in the original studies. Most notably, we failed to reproduce the framing effect in the famous Asian Disease problem, using a rating response format. In a between-subjects design, decision- making performance was completely independent of university admission grades. We propose that studying the size of the effects across cultures is needed in order to establish the effects’ level of universality. More broadly, we suggest ways in which knowledge of cultural settings can help elaborate or test dual-process predictions.

Makena J. Easker and Allen H. Keniston

Abstract

Research has shown that minimally counterintuitive concepts (MCI) are more memorable than concepts that are simply bizarre. However, this disparity may exist only in studies using cross-cultural samples. To test the impact of bizarreness on culturally homogeneous populations, we read a fictional narrative to 33 college-age students at a Midwestern university. This narrative featured 18 sets of target items – six which were intuitive, six which were counterintuitive, and six which were bizarre. After hearing the story, experimenters administered a written recall task. As hypothesized, students did not differ in their recall of counterintuitive or bizarre target items. Therefore, we propose a minimally distinctive model of memorability, encompassing both counterintuitiveness and bizarreness. This model may help us better understand the memorability of expectation violations, especially those within religious stories.

Michaela Porubanova

Abstract

Minimal counterintuitiveness and its automatic processing has been suggested as the explanation of persistence and transmission of cultural ideas. This purported automatic processing remains relatively unexplored. We manipulated encoding strategy to assess the persistence of memory for different types of expectation violation. Participants viewed concepts including two types of expectation violation (schema-level or domain-level) or no violation under three different encoding conditions: in the shallow condition participants focused on the perceptual attributes of the concepts, a deep condition probed their semantic meaning, and intentional remembering condition. Participants’ recall was tested immediately as well as 2 weeks later. Our findings showed the greatest memory enhancement for schema-level violations regardless of the encoding condition, while the memory for domain-level violations improved over time. These results suggest two distinct memory patterns for different types of violations, and illustrate the importance of elaborative processes in memory consolidation especially for violations to our expectations.

Turning Water into Wine

Young Children’s Conception of the Impossible

Consuelo Orozco-Giraldo and Paul L. Harris

Abstract

Young children judge that violations of ordinary, causal constraints are impossible. Yet children’s religious beliefs typically include the assumption that such violations can occur via divine agency in the form of miracles. We conducted two studies to examine this potential conflict. In Study 1, we invited 5- and 6-year-old Colombian children attending either a secular or a religious school to judge what is and is not possible. Children made their judgments either following a minimal prompt or following a reminder of God’s extraordinary powers. Irrespective of their education, and whether or not they had been reminded of God’s extraordinary powers, children systematically judged violations of ordinary, causal constraints to be impossible. In Study 2, we asked if more extensive reminders of God’s special powers would prompt religious children to say that the impossible can happen. Five- and 6-year-old Colombian children attending either a secular or a religious school were presented with narratives in which the protagonist desired an ordinarily impossible outcome. In half the stories, the protagonist prayed to God for the desired outcome. Irrespective of education and of whether the protagonist prayed, children systematically concluded that the desired outcome would not occur and justified that conclusion by reference to ordinary causal constraints. Nevertheless, in a minority of their replies children did assert that violations of ordinary causality are possible. Overall, irrespective of their religious education, young children judge that events rarely deviate from their natural course; only occasionally do they acknowledge exceptions.

Gentry R. McCreary and Joshua W. Schutts

Abstract

Hazing behaviors as a part of group initiations have been theorized to contribute to a sense of group solidarity, to ensure loyalty and commitment of group members, to teach group-relevant skills and attitudes to group members, and to reinforce the social hierarchy within groups. In a survey of members of an international college fraternity (n=2833), researchers propose and test a four-dimensional model of hazing motivation. Using exploratory factor analysis, the proposed four-factor model explains 74 percent of the overall variance and confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated acceptable model fit. Correlation and regression analysis suggested that social dominance- motivated hazing is strongly associated with hazing tolerance, moral disengagement, and a variety of measures related to organizational commitment and attachment.

Conceptualism and Materiality

Matters of Art and Politics

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Edited by Christian Berger

Conceptualism and Materiality. Matters of Art and Politics underscores the significance of materials and materiality within Conceptual art and conceptualism more broadly. It challenges the notion of conceptualism as an idea-centered, anti-materialist enterprise, and highlights the political implications thereof.
The essays focus on the importance of material considerations for artists working during the 1960s and 1970s in different parts of the world. In reconsidering conceptualism’s neglected material aspects, the authors reveal the rich range of artistic inquiries into theoretical and political notions of matter and material. Their studies revise and diversify the account of this important chapter in the history of twentieth-century art — a reassessment that carries wider implications for the study of art and materiality in general.

Appendix

Translation of ‘Characterisation of Belinsky (Information and illumination)’ by M.P. Pogodin

David Foreman and Irene Zohrab

Irene Zohrab

M.P. Pogodin’s essay on ‘Characterisation of Belinsky’ was published in The Citizen (Grazhdanin) under F.M. Dostoevsky’s editorship in response to his first issue of A Writer’s Diary (Dnevnik pisatelia) launched on January 1, 1873. Dostoevsky represents Belinsky, his former mentor, as an impassioned atheist and socialist, who tried to convert him to his materialist belief. By implication Belinsky becomes the scapegoat for Dostoevsky’s earlier involvement with the socialist-orientated Petrashevsky Circle that resulted in his arrest and sentence for reading Belinsky’s banned letter to Gogol. Pogodin disputes Dostoevsky’s representation of Belinsky by demonstrating the critic’s commitment to Christian faith, whose ‘live’ voice affected his audience due to ‘particular circumstances’ (censorship) and whose changeability was natural. Dostoevsky’s partisan allusions to Belinsky (including verbal to Vs. Solov’ev), while not providing any context to Belinsky’s pronouncements, nor engagement with socio-philosophical ideas, such as individual anarchism (Max Stirner), undermine not only Belinsky, but subvert a wide range of Western philosophical humanist principles espoused at various times by him, from ‘love of humanity’ and ‘personal freedom’, to individualism.

Géza S. Horváth

The paper analyzes the various parallels of plot and text in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punisment (1866) and Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter (1850). Similarity of motifs in these novels has already been noticed in the critical literature but more detailed research is still lacking. In this paper, it is claimed that Hawthorne’s novel provided Dostoevsky not only with the material for certain narrative situations, motifs and characters in Crime and Punishment but also influenced the heterogeneity and complexity of the genre in Dostoevsky’s novel. To illuminate this relationship of the two novels, the article examines the characteristics of the genre of romance, the eschatological plot of revelation and the apocalyptic imagery proper to the romance. The study is focused on the common metaphorical basis of the two texts, such as the biblical and mythical semantics of the motifs of New Jerusalem, pearl, treasure etc., which circumscribes the transformation process in the correspondence of tresaure and word, letter and text.

Denis Zhernokleyev

It is common to see Myshkin, the principal character of Dostoevsky’s The Idiot, as a failed lover and a compassionate saintly figure, who gets entangled in a love triangle but cannot embody it. This paper challenges such a view and argues that Myshkin fully incarnates the violent dynamic of desire that governs the novel. With the help of René Girard’s notion of mimetic desire, the paper explores Myshkin’s relationship with Rogozhin as erotic rivalry. Instead of seeing the two characters as autonomous entities, it is suggested that they should be viewed as doubles, as two poles of the same consciousness. On this view, Myshkin’s compassion and Rogozhin’s lust become two different manifestations of the same desire, united by a conflict of interest, which drives the love triangle towards a violent resolution.

Jordi Morillas

In this article we analyse the Marxist interpretation of F. M. Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Although Raskolnikov’s worldview may share some features with a socialist point of view, the hero of Dostoevsky’s first novel of ideas represents a complete ideological antithesis to Socialism. Thanks to a careful analysis of Raskolnikov’s utterances and with the help of Merezhkovsky’s reading of the novel, we conclude that if there is a Dostoevsky novel which resists a Socialist understanding, then this novel is Crime and Punishment.

Glorious Temples or Babylonic Whores

The Culture of Church Building in Stuart England through the Lens of Consecration Sermons

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Anne-Françoise Morel

In Glorious Temples or Babylonic Whores, Anne-Françoise Morel offers an account of the intellectual and cultural history of places of worship in Stuart England. Official documents issued by the Church of England rarely addressed issues regarding the status, function, use, and design of churches; but consecration sermons turn time and again to the conditions and qualities befitting a place of worship in Post-Reformation England. Placing the church building directly in the midst of the heated discussions on the polity and ceremonies of the Church of England, this book recovers a vital lost area of architectural discourse. It demonstrates that the religious principles of church building were enhanced by, and contributed to, scientific developments in fields outside the realm of religion, such as epistemology, the theory of sense perception, aesthetics, rhetoric, antiquarianism, and architecture.

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Edited by Vitali I. Betaneli and Peter R. Weisensel

Audacity of the Spirit by A.F. Losev (1893-1988) dares us to think holistically, dialectically. Translated from the Russian original Дерзание духа (Politizdat Moskva, 1988) by Peter R. Weisensel and Vitali I. Betaneli, the book falls into three parts: the dialectical method; Losev’s application of dialectics to history and culture; and his personal reflections on studying philosophy. Losev’s insatiable intellectual curiosity probes a remarkable variety of areas. Positions he considers, though, are not always easily reconcilable, as with Marxism-Leninism and Orthodox Christianity. In Losev’s conception of culture, however, culture and the intrinsic unity of any given cultural order is the common element that underlies everything living, even the order’s incompatibles. The given culture cannot be reduced to any single position nor to all of them taken together. Audacity of the Spirit is an introduction to dialectics for beginners, but it is also a major philosopher’s summing-up of his reflections to a non-specialized audience.

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Edited by Shai Biderman and Michael Weinman

This book shows how and why debates in the philosophy of film can be advanced through the study of the role of images in Plato’s dialogues, and, conversely, why Plato studies stands to benefit from a consideration of recent debates in the philosophy of film. Contributions range from a reading of Phaedo as a ghost story to thinking about climate change documentaries through Plato’s account of pleonexia. They suggest how philosophical aesthetics can be reoriented by attending anew to Plato’s deployment of images, particularly images that move. They also show how Plato’s deployment of images is integral to his practice as a literary artist. Contributors are Shai Biderman, David Calhoun, Michael Forest, Jorge Tomas Garcia, Abraham Jacob Greenstine, Paul A. Kottman, Danielle A. Layne, David McNeill, Erik W. Schmidt, Timothy Secret, Adrian Switzer, and Michael Weinman.

Philosophizing Brecht

Critical Readings on Art, Consciousness, Social Theory and Performance

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Edited by Norman Roessler and Anthony Squiers

This anthology unites scholars from varied backgrounds with the notion that the theories and artistic productions of Bertolt Brecht are key missing links in bridging diverse discourses in social philosophy, theatre, consciousness studies, and aesthetics. It offers readers interdisciplinary perspectives that create unique dialogues between Brecht and important thinkers such as Althusser, Anders, Bakhtin, Benjamin, Godard, Marx, and Plato. While exploring salient topics such as consciousness, courage, ethics, political aesthetics, and representations of race and the body, it penetrates the philosophical Brecht seeing in him the never-ending dialectic—the idea, the theory, the narrative, the character that is never foreclosed. This book is an essential read for all those interested in Brecht as a socio-cultural theorist and for theatre practitioners.

Contributors: Kevin S. Amidon, José María Durán, Felix J. Fuch, Philip Glahn, Jim Grilli, Wolfgang Fritz Haug, Norman Roessler, Jeremy Spencer, Anthony Squiers, Peter Zazzali.

Zhu Guangqian and Benedetto Croce on Aesthetic Thought

With a Translation of the Wenyi xinlixue 文艺心理学 (The Psychology of Art and Literature)

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Mario Sabattini

Edited by Elisa Levi Sabattini

In Zhu Guangqian and Benedetto Croce on Aesthetic Thought, Mario Sabattini analyses Croce’s influence on the aesthetic thought of Zhu Guangqian. Zhu Guangqian is one of the most representative figures of contemporary Chinese aesthetics. Since the '30s, he had an active role in China both on the literary and philosophical scenes, and, through his writings, he exerted an important influence in the moulding of numerous generations of intellectuals. Some of his works have been widely read, and they still provoke considerable interest in China, on the mainland as well as in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The volume also presents a revised translation of Zhu Guangqian’s Wenyi xinlixue (Psychology of Art and Literature).

From Fountain to Moleskine

The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Producibility

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Maurizio Ferraris

Photography was invented in the mid-nineteenth century, and ever since that moment painters have been asking what they are there for. Everyone has their own strategy. Some say they do not paint what is there, but their impressions. Others paint things that are not seen in the world, and therefore cannot be photographed, because they are abstractions. Others yet exhibit urinals in art galleries. This may look like the end of art but, instead, it is the dawn of a new day, not only for painting but – this is the novelty – for every form of art, as well as for the social world in general and for industry, where repetitive tasks are left to machines and humans are required to behave like artists.

Grenzgänge in der Philosophie

Denken darstellen

Edited by Alexander Fischer and Annett Wienmeister

Nichtsprachliche Darstellungsformen in der Kunst finden als Medien der Vergegenwärtigung und Vermittlung philosophischer Fragestellungen gesteigerte Aufmerksamkeit. Dieser Band widmet sich aus erkenntnistheoretischer Perspektive der Frage nach den Möglichkeiten und Grenzen künstlerischer Darstellungen philosophischen Denkens.
Experten der Disziplinen Kunsttheorie und Philosophie wie Elke Bippus, Horst Bredekamp, Dieter Mersch, Klaus Sachs-Hombach u. a. setzen dabei einen Fokus auf Bilder, Filme, Ausstellungspraktiken und Architektur. Die einzelnen Texte sind auch durch Graphic Recordings des Zeichners Sebastian Lörscher festgehalten, wodurch die Forschungsbeiträge selbst im Dialog mit einer künstlerischen Darstellungsform stehen.

John A. Pauley

Abstract

This essay begins by demonstrating how conversations can end before they have a chance to authentically begin. Conversations are stultified by patterns in the human ecology. The first pattern identified is “self-obliviousness” in conversation. “Self-obliviousness” is then tied to patterns of both radical self-assurance and self-diminishment. The underlying idea and argument is that adequate self-awareness is a necessary condition for (authentic) conversation and this condition is only met as human beings recognize their own selves as relational. The argument then turns to remedies to the pattern. Metacognition as exercised in relation to literary art can reveal the conditions for identifying and recognizing the damaging patterns. By the end of the essay the conditions for creativity in conversation are conflated with the formation of empathetic dispositions and these are only possible through understanding the self in equal relation to other selves. The arguments and examples are from contemporary United States Culture, but the damaging patterns can easily be recognized as elements of the human condition generally.

Colleen Fitzpatrick

Abstract

This paper examines the dialogical relationship between painting and mindfulness. This premise is explored with reference to the aesthetics of Mikel Dufrenne. Dufrenne’s arguments make use of a number of features that characterise mindful practice and reflect mindfulness philosophy. Dufrenne’s phenomenology of aesthetic experience centres on being present, focused, non-judgemental and attentive to the aesthetic object in order to realise its signification. These concepts are also given primary importance in Buddhist philosophy of mindfulness. Dufrenne’s theory lends itself ideally to understanding aesthetic experience in relation to mindfulness as well as how these experiences complement one another. Although Dufrenne does not prioritise painting, the present paper will explore painting in particular due to its embodied, gestural nature, which utilises the notion of style, reflecting the artist’s mode of being-in- the-world. Dufrenne’s ideas allow both mindfulness and painting to be understood in more comprehensive terms than that of their meanings considered individually.

Åsa Andersson

John Baldacchino

Abstract

This essay starts off with a modern-day court jester (Nobel laureate Dario Fo) praising a Pope (Albino Luciani, who became John Paul I). Fo presents us with an historic moment: Luciani scandalises his Church by calling God “Mother.” With utmost seriousness, Fo appreciates the Pope’s kindness and warmth by which the artist perceives a way of scandalising the world out of complacency. In their idealised and situated presentations of the world, the sacred and the profane return the necessary to the contingent (and vice-versa) as moments of equal attention and distraction. Likewise, irony and satire mark our situated sense of the ideal by an inability to unlearn the certainties by which we are urged to construct our world. This is done by first presenting a situated pedagogical context that refuses to provide solutions presumed on measurement, certainty or finality. Secondly this begins to lay claim to the political, aesthetic and moral values that are gained through art’s ironic disposition. Thirdly, through our contingent states of being we begin to understand how education is culturally conditioned and why we need to shift it to another gear – that of unlearning through a weak pedagogy. An atheist, Fo suggests that thanks to Pope Luciani, we now could endear to the Holy Spirit as a spirito ridens, a spirit that laughs. Here one finds a kenotic sense that gives us a glimpse in how an ironic disposition owes its strength and effectiveness to a weak pedagogy. By dint of such weakness, the jester’s pedagogical disposition becomes a form of resistance, exiting the Court in order to be with the people and consequently transformed by the people.

Rudi Capra

Abstract

The present paper identifies creativity as a crucial component in the pedagogical process envisaged by Chan masters in the Song era. In particular, the paper considers ritual dialogues between masters and students involving questions and answers (wenda 問答) taken from the renowned collection known as the Blue Cliff Record (biyan lu 碧巖錄).

The first section is concerned with the definition of creativity and its role within the contextual framework of Chan pedagogy in the Song era. The second section analyses some significant ritual dialogues included in the Blue Cliff Record with the aim of exploring a variety of different creative expressions in the considered Chan narratives. The third and last section illustrates how the ritualized performance of dialogical encounters, and by extension the use of gongan literature, entails and promotes the recourse to creativity as a functional strategy in Chan practice.

Joshua M. Hall

Abstract

Twentieth-century Greco-French philosopher, economist, psychoanalyst and activist Cornelius Castoriadis offers a creative new conception of imagination that is uniquely promising for social justice. Though it has been argued that this conception has one fatal flaw, the latter has recently been resolved through a creative dialogue with dance. The present article fleshes out this philosophical-dancing dialogue further, revealing a deeper layer of creative dialogue therein, namely between Castoriadis’ account of time and choreography. To wit, he reconceives time as the self-choreography of the sociohistorical, in which performance the sociohistorical plays two dancing roles simultaneously, both choreographer and choreographed dancer. More precisely, as interpreted by Castoriadis in a late essay, the creation and emergence of forms in time consists of a poetic “scansion” or “scanning” of time. Thus, the sociohistorical is both choreographer and dancer, poet and reader, reinterpreting the poetic text of time as the music for its evolving dance.

Zheng Ren, Rikki H. Sargent, James D. Griffith, Lea T. Adams, Erika Kline and Jeff Hughes

Abstract

The topic of infantile amnesia, or often referred to as one’s earliest childhood memory, has been studied for more than 100 years. Recently, there have been increased efforts to examine cultural differences in earliest childhood memories. The present study recruited participants (N = 242) from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MT), referred to as Turkers, who were either from an individualist (United States) or collectivist (India) culture, and compared their earliest recollections. Turkers from India reported earliest recollections that were from a later age, had more social themes, had more unpleasant memories, had more specific memories, and took longer to complete the task compared to Turkers from the United States. These findings suggest that unique cultural differences may be associated with early memories, which may reflect cultural differences in the development of one’s self-concept.

Nicole Lynn Henderson and William W. Dressler

Abstract

This study examines the cognitive resources underlying the attribution of stigma in substance use and misuse. A cultural model of substance misuse risk was elicited from students at a major U.S. state university. We found a contested cultural model, with some respondents adopting a model of medical risk while others adopted a model of moral failure; agreeing that moral failure primarily defined risk led to greater attribution of stigma. Here we incorporate general beliefs about moral decision-making, assessed through Moral Foundations Theory. Specifically, we examined commitment to each moral foundation in relation to stigma attribution while controlling for the specific model of substance misuse risk. We found an interaction between the purity moral foundation and the cultural model of risk. This suggests that broad moral orientations, along with more specific understandings of substance misuse risk, combine to orient an individual with respect to stigma attribution.

Nicole Marie Summers and Falak Saffaf

Abstract

One way in which information about the unknown is socialized to children is through adult testimony. Sharing false testimony about others with children may foster inaccurate perceptions and may result in prejudicially based divisions amongst children. As part of a larger study, mothers were instructed to read and discuss an illustrated story about Arab-Muslim refugees from Syria with their 6- to 8-year-olds (n = 31). Parent-child discourse during two pages of this book was examined for how mothers used Islam as a talking point. Results indicated that only 50% of mothers and 13% of children shared accurate testimony about Islam. However, while 35% of children admitted uncertainty in their knowledge, only 3% of mothers admitted uncertainty. These results highlight the importance of parents sharing the confidence in their knowledge. If parents teach inaccurate information about other religions, it may create a greater divide between children of different religious backgrounds.

Justin P. Gregory, Tyler S. Greenway and Christina Keys

Abstract

Supernatural agent concepts are regarded as a defining trait of religion. The interaction of the minimally counterintuitive (MCI) mnemonic effect and the hypersensitive agency detection device (HADD) may be employed to explain the universal presence of concepts of gods and deities. Using the measure of free-recall, a broad model of cultural transmission investigated this pan-cultural transmission bias with a large age-representative sample (3 to 86 years; N = 764) in UK and China. Results were analyzed by four-way mixed ANOVA considering counterintuitiveness, familiarity, ontological category, and delay, and with age as a covariate. A significant interaction of counterintuitiveness × HADD was found for both UK and China samples. These findings support assertions that supernatural agent concepts are more easily transmitted than other concepts because the present study finds that concepts similar to supernatural agents were more readily recalled.

Karenleigh A. Overmann and Thomas Wynn

Abstract

Using a model of cognition as extended and enactive, we examine the role of materiality in making minds as exemplified by lithics and writing, forms associated with conceptual thought and meta-awareness of conceptual domains. We address ways in which brain functions may change in response to interactions with material forms, the attributes of material forms that may cause such change, and the spans of time required for neurofunctional reorganization. We also offer three hypotheses for investigating co-influence and change in cognition and material culture.

Rohan Kapitány and Mark Nielsen

Abstract

Rituals are able to transform ordinary objects into extraordinary objects. And while rituals typically do not cause physical changes, they may imbue objects with a particular specialness – a simple gold band may become a wedding ring, while an ordinary dessert may become a birthday cake. To treat such objects as if they were ordinary then becomes inappropriate. How does this transformation take place in the minds of observers, and how do we recognize it when we see it? Here, we suggest that two under-examined elements of ritual need deeper consideration within the context of ritual cognition. We propose a fully integrated operational definition in which these two critical ritual elements – causal opacity and goal demotion – are included. In a pre-registered experiment one-hundred and one adults, in a 2 × 2 mixed-within participants design observed actions performed upon profane objects. These actions were either ordinary (causally transparent and goal apparent) or ritualized (causally opaque and goal demoted), and were described as a blessing, a curse, or were not described at all. Contrary to established findings and pre-registered predictions, we found that ritualized actions alone are not enough to influence perceptions of, and attributions towards, objects, and that positive goal information (blessings) are more behaviorally persuasive than negative information. However, we found that participants recalled ritualized action in greater detail and with more specificity than ordinary actions. In effect, we demonstrate that causal opacity and goal information interact to allow us to recognize a ritual as a ritual.

Taner Edis and Maarten Boudry

Abstract

Judgments of the rationality of beliefs must take the costs of acquiring and possessing beliefs into consideration. In that case, certain false beliefs, especially those that are associated with the benefits of a cohesive community, can be seen to be useful for an agent and perhaps instrumentally rational to hold. A distinction should be made between excusable misbeliefs, which a rational agent should tolerate, and misbeliefs that are defensible in their own right because they confer benefits on the agent. Likely candidates for such misbeliefs are to be found in the realm of nationalism and religion, where the possession costs of true beliefs are high, and where collective beliefs in falsehoods may allow for a cohesive community. We discuss the paradoxes of reflective awareness involved in the idea of deliberately embracing falsehoods. More rigorous, fully reflective concepts of rationality would still disallow false beliefs, but such demanding versions of rationality would commit agents to pay large costs, thereby weakening the motivation for acquiring true beliefs.

Michael Moncrieff and Pierre Lienard

Abstract

Models of ethnic violence have primarily been descriptive in nature, advancing broad or particular social and political reasons as explanations, and neglecting the contributions of individuals as decision-makers. Game theoretic and rational choice models recognize the role of individual decision-making in ethnic violence. However, such models embrace a classical economic theory view of unbounded rationality as utility-maximization, with its exacting assumption of full informational access, rather than a model of bounded rationality, modeling individuals as satisficing agents endowed with evolved domain-specific competences. A newer theoretical framework hypothesizing the existence of a human coalitional psychology, an evolved domain of competence, allows us to make sense of core features of memorial narratives about ethnic violence. Qualitative data from the interviews of fifty-seven participants who were impacted by the Croatian Homeland War support expectations entailed by a coalitional psychology model of ethnic strife.

Justin L. Barrett, R. Daniel Shaw, Joseph Pfeiffer and Jonathan Grimes

Abstract

Are the places that superhuman beings purportedly act and dwell randomly or arbitrarily distributed? Inspired by theoretical work in cognitive science of religion, descriptions of superhuman beings (e.g., ancestors, demons, ghosts, gods, spirits) were solicited from informants in 20 countries on five continents, resulting in 108 usable descriptions, including information about these beings’ properties, their dwelling location, and whether they were the target of rituals. Whether superhuman beings are the subject of religious and ritual practices appeared to co-vary in relation to both features of physical geography and cognitive factors. Good gods were more likely the focus of religious practices than evil gods, and where the gods are thought to dwell mattered. If either the being was thought to dwell in a dangerous place or a resource rich place, it was more likely to have practices directed at it.

How to Do Things with Affects

Affective Triggers in Aesthetic Forms and Cultural Practices

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Edited by Ernst van Alphen and Tomáš Jirsa

How to Do Things with Affects develops affect as a highly productive concept for both cultural analysis and the reading of aesthetic forms. Shifting the focus from individual experiences and the human interiority of personal emotions and feelings toward the agency of cultural objects, social arrangements, and aesthetic matter, the book examines how affects operate and are triggered by aesthetic forms, media events, and cultural practices. Transgressing disciplinary boundaries and emphasizing close reading, the collected essays explore manifold affective transmissions and resonances enacted by modernist literary works, contemporary visual arts, horror and documentary films, museum displays, and animated pornography, with a special focus on how they impact on political events, media strategies, and social situations.

Contributors: Ernst van Alphen, Mieke Bal, Maria Boletsi, Eugenie Brinkema, Pietro Conte, Anne Fleig, Bernd Herzogenrath, Tomáš Jirsa, Matthias Lüthjohann, Susanna Paasonen, Christina Riley, Jan Slaby, Eliza Steinbock, Christiane Voss.

Series:

Leo Courbot

With Fred D'Aguiar and Caribbean Literature: Metaphor, Myth, Memory, Leo Courbot offers the first research monograph entirely dedicated to a comprehensive reading of the verse and prose works of Fred D'Aguiar, prized American author of Anglo-Guyanese origin. “Postcolonial” criticism, when related to the history of the African diaspora, regularly inscribes itself in the wake of Sartrean philosophy. However, Fred D'Aguiar's both typical and untypical Caribbean background, in addition to the singularity of his diction, call for a different approach, which Leo Courbot convincingly carries out by reading literature in the light of Jacques Derrida and Édouard Glissant's less conventional sense of the intrinsically metaphorical and cross-cultural nature of language.

Art and Science in Word and Image

Exploration and Discovery

Series:

Edited by Keith Williams, Sophie Aymes, Jan Baetens and Chris Murray

Art and Science in Word and Image investigates the theme of ‘riddles of form’, exploring how discovery and innovation have functioned inter-dependently between art, literature and the sciences.

Using the impact of evolutionary biologist D’Arcy Thompson’s On Growth and Form on Modernist practices as springboard into the theme, contributors consider engagements with mysteries of natural form in painting, photography, fiction, etc., as well as theories about cosmic forces, and other fields of knowledge and enquiry. Hence the collection also deals with topics including cultural inscriptions of gardens and landscapes, deconstructions of received history through word and image artworks and texts, experiments in poetic materiality, graphic re-mediations of classic fiction, and textual transactions with animation and photography.

Contributors are: Dina Aleshina, Márcia Arbex, Donna T. Canada Smith, Calum Colvin, Francis Edeline, Philippe Enrico, Étienne Février, Madeline B. Gangnes, Eric T. Haskell, Christina Ionescu, Tim Isherwood, Matthew Jarron, Philippe Kaenel, Judy Kendall, Catherine Lanone, Kristen Nassif, Solange Ribeiro de Oliveira, Eric Robertson, Frances Robertson, Cathy Roche-Liger, David Skilton, Melanie Stengele, Barry Sullivan, Alice Tarbuck, Frederik Van Dam.

Fashion and Contemporaneity

Realms of the Visible

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Edited by Laura Petican

This book represents the voices of scholars, fashion designers, bloggers and artists, who speak to the pervasive nature of fashion in matters of politics, history, economics, sociology, religion, culture, art and identity. Dialogically open, the volume offers a broad apprehension of visual matter in the global contemporary context with fashion at its core, exploring its metamorphosing, media-oriented and ‘disordered’ modes of being in the early twenty-first century. The book’s contributors consider topics of universal import stemming from the realm of fashion, its dissemination and impact, from institutional, corporate, collective and individual perspectives, reflecting on the morphing, interchanging and revolutionary quality of the visual realm as the basis for continued research in fashion studies. Contributors are Shari Tamar Akal, Jess Berry, Naomi Braithwaite, Claire Eldred, Sarah Heaton, Hilde Heim, Demetra Kolakis, Sarah Mole, Lynn S. Neal, Laura Petican, Cecilia Winterhalter, Manrutt Wongkaew.

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.

Roots in the Air

A Philosophical Autobiography of a Philosopher, Artist, and Musician

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Michael Krausz

By way of dialogues, Michael Krausz offers philosophical reflections about his life as philosopher, artist, and musician. He also rehearses his views about relativism, interpretation, creativity, and self-realization. Much of Krausz’s work has been inspired by conversations with thinkers such as Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Isaiah Berlin, the Dalai Lama, and musicians such as Josef Gingold, Frederik Prausnitz, and Luis Biava. While the death of his grandparents in Auschwitz continues to disquiet his consciousness, Krausz’s critiques of versions of Advaitic Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism led him to a distinctive humanism. This thought-provoking book includes personal and professional accounts about particular philosophers, artists, and musicians. It will edify anyone who, like Krausz, has confronted issues of self-identity and human existence.

Eleanor Smith's Hull House Songs

The Music of Protest and Hope in Jane Addams's Chicago

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Graham Cassano, Rima Lunin Schultz and Jessica Payette

In Eleanor Smith’s Hull House Songs : The Music of Protest and Hope in Jane Addams’s Chicago, the authors republish Hull House Songs (1916), together with critical commentary. Hull-House Songs contains five politically engaged compositions written by the Hull-House music educator, Eleanor Smith. The commentary that accompanies the folio includes an examination of Smith’s poetic sources and musical influences; a study of Jane Addams’s aesthetic theories; and a complete history of the arts at Hull-House. Through this focus upon aesthetic and cultural programs at Hull-House, the authors identify the external, and internalized, forces of domination (class position, racial identity, patriarchal disenfranchisement) that limited the work of the Hull-House women, while also recovering the sometimes hidden emancipatory possibilities of their legacy.

With an afterword by Jocelyn Zelasko.

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Joshua Richards

In T. S. Eliot’s Ascetic Ideal, Joshua Richards charts an intellectual history of T. S. Eliot’s interaction with asceticism. This history is drawn from Eliot’s own education in the topic with the texts he read integrated into detailed textual analysis. Eliot’s early encounters with the ascetic ideal began a lifetime of interplay and reflection upon self-denial, purgation, and self-surrender. In 1909, he began a study of mysticism, likely, in George Santayana’s seminar, and thereafter showed the influence of this education. Yet, his interaction with the ascetic ideal and his background in mysticism was not a simple thing; still, his early cynicism was slowly transformed to an embrace.

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Andrea Baldini

What is the relationship between street art and the law? In A Philosophy Guide to Street Art and the Law, Andrea Baldini argues that street art has a constitutive relationship with the law. A crucial aspect of the identity of this urban art kind depends on its capacity to turn upside down dominant uses of public spaces. Street artists subvert those laws and social norms that regulate the city. Baldini shows that street art has not only transformed public spaces and their functions into artistic material, but has also turned its rebellious attitude toward the law into a creative resource. He aims at elucidating and arguing for this claim, while drawing important implications at the level of street art’s metaphysics, value, and relationship with rights of intellectual property, in particular copyright and moral rights. At the other end of the spectrum of contractual art, street art is outlaw art.

Xiaomeng Ning

Abstract

This essay offers a critical reflection on the central concept of “famous painting” as expounded in Zhang Yanyuan’s Lidai minghua ji (历代名画记, A Record of Famous Paintings of All Dynasties). Building upon the past scholarship, this essay will proceed in the following three steps. I propose to distinguish the concept of “famous painting” from the common understanding of painting. I argue that it is the former that plays a central role in the entire text of the Lidai minghua ji. As a result of this new approach, I will outline an intentional and discernable structure formed by the fifteen essays in the first three books. I proceed with discussing the relationship between famous paintings and famous painters so as to demonstrate Zhang Yanyuan’s implicit intention and considerations in selecting and evaluating painters and their works. Finally, I examine the basic formats of famous painting and further elucidate the historical dimension embedded within the concept of famous painting that constituted and changed the very idea under consideration.

Philip Ogo Ujomu and Anthony I. Bature

Abstract

This paper studies conflict of values as triggers for social disorder. Specifically, we review the condition of negative dominant social paradigm (DSP) leading to value clashes. Value clashes are conflicts that arise from collision of ways of life, (ethnic, political, religious, etc.) thought systems and diverse uses of nature and sharing of resources. This shortfall is easily seen in egoism, corruption, disregard for the rule of law, inability to secure core human values in the social system. Using a local case study, we notice that such value disruptive tendencies pose a threat to Nigeria’s citizens, government, institutions and democracy, due to the rise of, violent conflicts and degradation of the value of human life ultimately leading to terrorism and other life-threatening challenges. It is suggested that such value clashes or clashes of values can be mitigated by a push for the sustenance of social order using some principles. The philosophical notion or principle of Ubuntu recommends the interdependence of human beings and the urgent need for a humane, compassionate and dignified approach to social living using basic democratic and moral values to deepen and widen the concept of peace and peace building.

Ronald Olufemi Badru

Abstract

This exercise that straddles political philosophy and philosophy of culture is to constructively dialogue with the hitherto deficit of national cohesion in Nigeria in the post-centennial era. Employing the research methods of conceptual mapping, critical analysis, reflective argumentation, and historical data, the work advances as its problem statement that the deficit of national cohesion in Nigeria has been a fundamental issue for a long time, which has manifested in various ethnic and religious conflicts in society, taking the conflictual phenomena as the core of the deficit of national integration. The thesis statement of the study is that, if the post-centennial Nigeria is to achieve any substantial national cohesion in the midst of ethno-religious pluralism, then a form of third culture (TC), a culture of positive integration of the essentials of the self culture (SC) and the other culture (OC) ought to be conscientiously developed among Nigerians. But, to successfully develop this third culture, its philosophical dimensions, that is, its epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, and logic must be explored and made intelligible to all. Therefore, a systematic exposition of the philosophical dimensions of the third culture and the process of ultimate realization of their prescriptions constitute the goals of the present study.

Josef Boehle

Abstract

In this article it is proposed to reflect on the structures of all dialogue by using a Trialogue model: in the encounter between the dialogue partners the presence of a third dimension, Ultimate Reality, as well as the Ultimate Self of each of the dialogue partners are postulated and reflected upon. Trialogue, with this meaning, is a new model and is reinterpreting the core concepts used in the dialogical thinking of Martin Buber: I-It; I-Thou; and the eternal Thou. The concepts used in the Trialogue model are appropriate for an interreligious context: Ultimate Self and Ultimate Reality are concepts not limited to a specific religious tradition. Trialogue, understood as a universal type of encounter between persons, goes beyond the confines of Abrahamic traditions and a Western Enlightenment understanding of selfhood.

Wei Hsiu Tung

Abstract

This essay discusses how artists, architects, and local community people have collaborated together to regenerate an everyday life aesthetics that embodies and reflects the environmental specificity of local culture, history, and geography in the context of Taiwan, where systematic urbanisation has had a very negative impact in many different areas since the early 2000s. The essay explores the possibility of local aesthetics retrieving the feelings of the Taiwanese “vernacular worlds” against the effects of globalisation, urbanisation and rapid socio-political changes. Two social practice art projects are considered accordingly: Plum Tree Creek and Togo Village.

Justin E. Lane and F. LeRon Shults

Abstract

The use of modeling and simulation (M&S) methodologies is growing rapidly across the psychological and social sciences. After a brief introduction to the relevance of computational methods for research on human cognition and culture, we describe the sense in which computer models and simulations can be understood, respectively, as “theories” and “predictions.” Most readers of JoCC are interested in integrating micro- and macro-level theories and in pursuing empirical research that informs scientific predictions, and we argue that M&S provides a powerful new set of tools for pursuing these interests. We also point out the way in which M&S can help scholars of cognition and culture address four key desiderata for social scientific research related to the themes of clarity, falsifiability, dynamicity, and complexity. Finally, we provide an introduction to the other papers that comprise this special issue, which includes contributions on topics such as the role of M&S in interdisciplinary debates, shamanism, early Christian ritual practices, the emergence of the Axial age, and the social scientific appropriation of algorithms from massively multiplayer online games.

Andreas Tolk, Wesley J. Wildman, F. LeRon Shults and Saikou Y. Diallo

Abstract

The social sciences and humanities are fragmented into specialized areas, each with their own parlance and procedures. This hinders information sharing and the growth of a coherent body of knowledge. Modeling and simulation can be the scientific lingua franca, or shared technical language, that can unite, integrate, and relate relevant parts of these diverse disciplines.

Models are well established in the scientific community as mediators, contributors, and enablers of scientific knowledge. We propose a potentially revolutionary linkage between social sciences, humanities and computer simulation, forging what we call “human simulation.” We explore three facets of human simulation, namely: (1) the simulation of humans, (2) the design of simulations for human use, and (3) simulations that include humans as well as simulated agents among the actors. We describe the potential of human simulation using several illuminating examples. We also discuss computational, epistemological, and hermeneutical challenges constraining the use of human simulation.

William Sims Bainbridge

Abstract

Massively multiplayer online (MMO) games are not merely electronic communication systems based on computational databases, but also include artificial intelligence that possesses complex, dynamic structure. Each visible action taken by a component of the multi-agent system appears simple, but is supported by vastly more sophisticated invisible processes. A rough outline of the typical hierarchy has four levels: (1) interaction between two individuals, each either human or artificial, (2) conflict between teams of agents who cooperate with fellow team members, (3) enduring social-cultural groups that seek to accomplish shared goals, and (4) large-scale cultural traditions, often separated into virtual geographic regions. In many MMOs, both magic and religion are represented, in ways that harmonize with a social-scientific theory that defines them in terms of specific versus general psychological compensators. This article draws empirical examples from five diverse MMOs: Dark Age of Camelot, Dungeons and Dragons Online, World of Warcraft, A Tale in the Desert and Gods and Heroes.

Vojtěch Kaše, Tomáš Hampejs and Zdeněk Pospíšil

Abstract

This article introduces an agent-based and a system-dynamics model investigating the cultural transmission of frequent collective rituals. It focuses on social function and cognitive attraction as independently affecting transmission. The models focus on the historical context of early Christian meals, where various theoretically inspiring trends in cultural transmission of rituals can be observed. The primary purpose of the article is to contribute to theorizing about cultural transmission of rituals by suggesting a clear operationalization of their social function and cognitive attraction. Furthermore, the article challenges recent trends in the field by providing a theoretically feasible model for how, under certain conditions, cognitive attraction can influence the transmission to a relatively greater extent than social function. In the system dynamics model we reproduce the results of our agent-based model while putting some of our basic operational assumptions under scrutiny. We consider approaching social function and cognitive attraction in isolation as a preliminary but necessary step in the process of creating more complex models of the cultural selection of rituals, where the two aspects will be combined to produce ritual forms with greater correspondence to real-world religious rituals.

F. LeRon Shults, Wesley J. Wildman, Justin E. Lane, Christopher J. Lynch and Saikou Diallo

Abstract

Debates over the causes and consequences of the “Axial Age” – and its relevance for understanding and explaining “modernity” – continue to rage within and across a wide variety of academic disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, archaeology, history, social theory, and cognitive science. We present a computational model that synthesizes three leading theories about the emergence of axial civilizations. Although these theories are often treated as competitors (especially by their proponents), our computational model shows how their most important conceptual insights and empirically based causal claims can be integrated within a single computational architecture. The plausibility of the latter is supported by the results of our simulation experiments, which were able to simulate the emergence and growth of an axial civilization. The model shows how the relevant theories can be rendered consistent, while challenging the claims of any one to comprehensiveness.

Connor Wood, Saikou Diallo, Ross Gore and Christopher J. Lynch

Abstract

Religious practices centered on controlled trance states, such as Siberian shamanism or North African zar, are ubiquitous, yet their characteristics vary. In particular, cross-cultural research finds that female-dominated spirit possession cults are common in stratified societies, whereas male-dominated shamanism predominates in structurally flatter cultures. Here, we present an agent-based model that explores factors, including social stratification and psychological dissociation, that may partially account for this pattern. We posit that, in more stratified societies, female agents suffer from higher levels of psychosocial trauma, whereas male agents are more vulnerable in flatter societies. In societies with fewer levels of formal hierarchy, males come into informal social competition more regularly than in stratified contexts. This instability leads to a cultural feedback effect in which dissociative experiences deriving from chronic psychosocial stress become canalized into a male religious trance role. The model reproduces these patterns under plausible parameter configurations.

Speculation as a Mode of Production

Forms of Value Subjectivity in Art and Capital

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Marina Vishmidt

In Speculation as a Mode of Production: Forms of Value Subjectivity in Art and Capital, Marina Vishmidt offers a new perspective on one of the main categories of capitalist life in the historical present. Writing not under the shadow but in the spirit of Adorno’s negative dialectic, her work pursues speculation through its contested terrains of philosophy, finance, and art, to arrive at the most detailed analysis that we now possess of the role of speculation in the shaping of subjectivity by value relations. Featuring detailed critical discussions of recent tendencies in the artistic representation of labour, and a brilliant reconstruction of the philosophical concept of the speculative from its origins in German Romanticism, Speculation as a Mode of Production is an essential, widescreen theorisation of capital’s drive to self-expansion, and an urgent corrective to the narrow and one-sided periodisations to which it is most commonly subjected.