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Legibility in the Age of Signs and Machines offers a compelling reflection on what the notion of legibility entails in a machinic world in which any form of cultural expression – from literary texts, films, artworks and museum exhibits to archives, laws, computer programs and algorithms – necessarily partakes in ever-more complex processes of (mass) mediation. Divided over four clusters focusing on desire, justice, machine and heritage, the chapters in the volume explore what makes something legible or illegible to whom or, indeed, what; the kinds of reading, processing or navigating such il/legibility facilitates or forecloses; and the role critical (media) theory, literary studies and the Humanities in general can play in tackling these and related issues.

Contributors: Ernst van Alphen, Anke Bosma, Siebe Bluijs, Sean Cubitt, Colin Davis, Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld, David Gauthier, Giovanna Fossati, Isabel Capeloa Gil, Pepita Hesselberth, Yasco Horsman, Janna Houwen, Looi van Kessel, Esther Peeren, Seth Rogoff, Roxana Sarion, Frederik Tygstrup, Inge van de Ven, Ruby de Vos, Peter Verstraten, Tessa de Zeeuw
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Machiavelli on Freedom and Civil Conflict

An Historical and Medical Approach to Political Thinking

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Marie Gaille

In Machiavelli on Freedom and Civil Conflict: An Historical and Medical Approach to Political Thinking, Marie Gaille discusses Machiavelli’s conception of civil conflict. In complete opposition to the common view of Machiavelli as a defender of tyranny, this analysis brings new elements to the forefront: the use of medical metaphors to describe body politic, their historical lifespan, and their institutional arrangements. This study is also based on a comprehensive approach to Machiavelli’s writings, including his most famous works, and also The History of Florence, his correspondence and political, military, and diplomatic reports. In this study, Marie Gaille proposes an innovative assessment of Machiavelli’s insights for contemporary thought on democratic regimes.

This is a revised and translated edition of Conflit Civil et Liberté: la Politique Machiavelienne entre Histoire et Médecine, first published in French, in 2004 by Éditions Honoré Champion.
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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 unraveling 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.
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Robert Ovetz

The possibility of both reform or revolution appear remote in the US today. Open class conflict appears to have nearly disappeared and unions are on a long decline. The country looks today much like the late 19th to early 20th century. When Workers Shot Back: Class Conflict from 1877 to 1921 explores how self-organised workers escalated their tactics to disrupt the capitalist economy. Miners, and railroad, steel, and iron workers pursued a strategy of tension that sometimes erupted into armed class struggle and general strikes.

Turning common wisdom on its head, When Workers Shot Back argues that the escalation of working class conflict drives rather than reacts to the reorganization and consolidation of capital and economic and political reform. The reorganisation and consolidation of capital and the state followed in response to the violent class conflict. By studying the class composition and tactics of this period it is possible to understand why workers use tactical violence and when reform is likely to occur.
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John Lachs (1934-) has been one of the most interesting American philosophers for nearly sixty years. His philosophical, educational, and public activity has been an attempt to show the relevance of philosophy to life. This is the first book dedicated to his thought. International scholars have proposed different themes in Lachs’ philosophy, so as to present its enormous potential. Lachs’ responses to his critics shows that dialogue with his critics is an inspirational activity for both sides. Lachs’ way of philosophizing can be seen as exemplary for those who want to unify and present a clear and understandable articulation of moral and philosophical messages to everyone.
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For almost 150 years, scholars have been debating how to interpret Marx’s seminal work Capital while they had access to just some of Marx’s economic manuscripts. This changed in 2013 with the publication of all the known economic writings of Marx and Engels in the Marx-Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA). One can now reconstruct the lines of intellectual development, and one can also explore in detail how Friedrich Engels went about compiling volumes II and III of Capital from the vast legacy of manuscripts that Marx left behind after his death in 1883. It should be possible, now, to develop a more comprehensive and accurate picture of Marx as an economic theoretician. This volume of essays aims to initiate this process.

Contributors are: Christopher J. Arthur, Matthias Bohlender, Timm Graßmann, Jorge Grespan, Gerald Hubmann, Heinz D. Kurz, Marcel van der Linden, Kenji Mori, Fred Moseley, Lucia Pradella, Geert Reuten, Regina Roth, and Carl-Erich Vollgraf.
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Cynical Suspicions and Platonist Pretentions

A Critique of Contemporary Political Theory

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John McGuire

In Cynical Suspicions and Platonist Pretensions, John McGuire offers a critique of recent trends in contemporary political theory, specifically concerning the ‘dangers’ of cynicism and the contamination of public reason. In the view of many theorists and pundits, cynicism remains one of the gravest ills to befall any democratic society, injecting a virulent estrangement which leaves sufferers unable to trust elected representatives and unwilling to participate in collective action. Starting with a reconstruction of the performative and rhetorical tactics of the ‘first’ Cynic, Diogenes of Sinope (c. 323 BCE), John McGuire aims to demonstrate how cynicism’s non-defeatist, relentlessly sceptical ethos provides an important counterweight to the self-aggrandising designs of moralists and policymakers alike.
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Gender under Construction

Femininities and Masculinities in Context

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Gender performativity, its variances depending on their historical, social and cultural contexts, and the rituals, representations and institutions involved in gender performances are some of the issues the authors addressed in this collection. Gender under Construction takes a non-essentialist view of gender and provides illustrative examples of gender constructive processes by pursuing them in various contexts and by means of diverse methodologies. In so doing, the book demonstrates that it is unfeasible to consider gender as a fixed biological trait. Instead, the authors propose to look at gender performance as ongoing processes in which femininities and masculinities enter multiple and dynamic intersections with a myriad of categories, including those of nationality, ethnicity, class, sexuality and age.

Contributors are Iqbal Akthar, Renata Ćuk, Ewa Glapka, Deirdre Hynes, Borja Ibaseta, Martin King, Ana Cristina Moreira Lima, Mervi Patosalmi, Marcia Bastos de Sá, Andréa Costa da Silva, Vera Helena Ferraz de Siqueira, Christi van der Westhuizen and Isabelle V. Zinn.
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Machiavelliana

The Living Machiavelli in Modern Mythologies

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Michael Jackson and Damian Grace

In Machiavelliana Michael Jackson and Damian Grace offer a comprehensive study of the uses and abuses of Niccolò Machiavelli’s name in society generally and in academic fields distant from his intellectual origins. It assesses the appropriation of Machiavelli in didactic works in management, social psychology, and primatology, scholarly texts in leaderships studies, as well as novels, plays, commercial enterprises, television dramas, operas, rap music, Mach IV scales, children’s books, and more. The book audits, surveys, examines, and evaluates this Machiavelliana against wider claims about Machiavelli. It explains the origins of Machiavelli’s reputation and the spread of his fame as the foundation for the many uses and misuses of his name. They conclude by redressing the most persistent distortions of Machiavelli.
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With The Life of Reason in an Age of Terrorism, Charles Padrón and Kris Skowroński (editors) gather together a broad assortment of contributions that address the germaneness of George Santayana’s (1863-1952) social and political thought to the world of the early twenty-first century in general, and specifically to the phenomenon of terrorism.

The essays treat a broad range of philosophical and historical concerns: the life of reason, the philosophy of the everyday, fanaticism, liberalism, barbarism, egoism, and relativism. The essays reflect a wide range of viewpoints and perspectives, but all coalesce around discussions of how Santayana’s thought fits in with and enhances an understanding of both our challenging times, and our uncertain future.

Contributors are: Cayetano Estébanez, Matthew Caleb Flamm, Nóra Horváth, Jacquelyn Ann Kegley, Till Kinzel, Katarzyna Kremplewska, John Lachs, José Beltrán Llavador, Eduardo Mendieta, Daniel Moreno Moreno, Luka Nikolic, Charles Padrón, Giuseppe Patella, Daniel Pinkas, Herman Saatkamp, Jr., Matteo Santarelli, Krzysztof Piotr Skowroński and Andrés Tutor.