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Perspectives on Forgiveness

Contrasting Approaches to Concepts of Forgiveness and Revenge

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Edited by Susie DiVietro and Jordan Kiper

Demands for forgiveness, even in the face of horrific crimes, were common to the late twentieth century and remain critical aspirations for persons and communities in the early twenty-first century. Research on forgiveness and revenge has nevertheless revealed that many people hold divergent moral and pragmatic beliefs about forgiving, and most survivors express longstanding skepticism about when forgiveness is appropriate and when it is not. By taking an interdisciplinary approach to these issues, the current volume considers the complexities of forgiveness and revenge in the modern world. The chapters address some of the most critical inquiries today: How is forgiveness facilitated or obstructed? What is the role of truth, restitution, reparation or retribution? When is forgiveness without restitution appropriate? Is forgiveness in the true sense of the term even possible? Through empirical, theoretical and literary analyses, this volume addresses the power of revenge and forgiveness in human affairs and offers a unique outlook on the benefits of interdisciplinary discussions for enhancing forgiveness and deterring revenge in multiple aspects of human life.

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Ira Livingston

Magic Science Religion explores surprising intersections among the three meaning-making and world-making practices named in the title. Through colorful examples, the book reveals circuitous ways that social, cultural and natural systems connect, enabling real kinds of magic to operate. Among the many case studies are accounts of how an eighteenth-century actor gave his audience goosebumps; how painters, poets, and pool sharks use nonlinearity in working their magics; how the first vertebrates gained consciousness; how plants fine-tuned human color vision; and the necessarily magical element of activism that builds on the conviction that "another future is possible" while working to push self-fulfilling prophecy into political action.

Art and Adaptability

Consciousness and Cognitive Culture

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Gregory F. Tague

Art and Adaptability argues for a co-evolution of theory of mind and material/art culture. The book covers relevant areas from great ape intelligence, hominin evolution, Stone Age tools, Paleolithic culture and art forms, to neurobiology. We use material and art objects, whether painting or sculpture, to modify our own and other people’s thoughts so as to affect behavior. We don’t just make judgments about mental states; we create objects about which we make judgments in which mental states are inherent. Moreover, we make judgments about these objects to facilitate how we explore the minds and feelings of others. The argument is that it’s not so much art because of theory of mind but art as theory of mind.

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Ira Livingston

is another way. 4 Rain Dance Early monotheism—Judaism and Christianity—saw gods of competing religions as actually existing and their rituals and magic as genuinely powerful but evil , hence their commitment to an ongoing, high-stakes battle to defeat paganism. In the mono-rationalist dogma of

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Gregory F. Tague

stand-alone but part of many human activities, further attesting to their adaptive value; 3. the arts please us, and in nature many advantageous adaptations provide pleasure. Progressively in times after prehistory, what were social practices and rituals have become a means for us to achieve other ends

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Ira Livingston

performance of medical ritual.” The researcher makes a familiar distinction between belief (“positive thinking”) and practice (“performance, ritual”). This distinction was implied in the suggestion that patients didn’t “have to even believe in the placebo effect. Just take the pills.” The funny thing is

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Gregory F. Tague

practices exist in nonhuman species. Our human culture is not epitomized by museums and opera houses since material culture and ritual performance existed in prehistory. Ellen Dissanayake ( 1988 ) notes that genetic transmission occurs only once at birth, but genes can be expressed at different times

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Solange Ribeiro de Oliveira

Manifesto Antropófago ( Anthropophagic Manifesto). As a metaphorical reference to Indian ritual practices, anthropophagy—a concept which Brazilian critics go on discussing to this day—can be summed up as a celebration of the selective “eating up” of cultural elements brought by the colonizers. Amalgamated

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Gregory F. Tague

conducive to the social or ritual aspects of early art. Clearly, though, our modern disposition to view art privately might stem from communal activities. Consider how in the Middle Ages religious triptychs, for those who could afford them, were objects of cloistered spiritual meditation at home. Roald