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Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Roots of Romanticism by Isaiah Berlin

The Roots of Romanticism at last makes available in printed form Isaiah Berlin's most celebrated lecture series, the Mellon Lectures, delivered in Washington in 1965. Combining the freshness and immediacy of the spoken word with Berlin's inimitable eloquence and wit, the lectures are the record of a bravura intellectual performance - of one of the century's most influential philosophers dissecting and assessing a movement that changed the course of history.

The Recovery of Rhetoric edited by R.H. Roberts and J.M.M.Good

Persuasive Discourse and Disciplinary in the Human Sciences. This collection of essays by distinguished international scholars from various disciplines addresses the widespread and growing interest in the nature and function of rhetoric, and in the rhetorical analysis of such human sciences as psychology, political science, economics, medicine and philosophy.
The essays use literary theory and philosophical analysis to reveal the persuasive strategies and the nature of argument in human science disciplines. Some explore the history science discipline. some explore the history of rhetorical theory and practice, while others show how rhetoric has constituted knowledge in particular disciplines of the human sciences. Taken together they work to elucidate the concept of 'disciplinarity', thus contributing to the emerging critique of this form of modern knowledge-production and the conditions, such as boundary work and field constitution that make it possible. 
The book may be situated with the new studies that show how disciplines have been constructed, legitimated, and institutionalised and, in particular, with those focusing on the material, social and rhetorical practices that have produced disciplinary knowledges and disciplines themselves. While the disciplines often present their knowledges as purely objective, their knowledges as purely objective,their  knowledges are, as the book shows, only available in rhetorical from. Rhetoric is thus not merely a medium through which knowledge is communicated of but rather that which is constitutive of knowledge itself.

Beyond Hegel and Dialectic by William Desmond

Speculation, Cult, and Comedy. This book is a defense of speculative philosophy in the wake of Hegel. In a number of wide-ranging, meditative essays, Desmond deals with criticism of speculative thought in post-Hegelian thinking. He covers the interpretation of Hegelian speculation in terms of the metataxological notion of being and the concept of philosophy that Desmond has developed in two previous works, Philosophy and Its Others, and Desire, Dialectic, and Otherness. Though Hegel is Desmond's primary interlocutor, there are references to Aristophanes, Socrates, Plato, Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Kant, Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Levinas, and Derrida. Desmond is concerned with the limits of philosophy. The themes of the essays include speculation and representation, evil and dialectic, logos and the comedy of failure.

Basic Writings of Nietzsche by Walter Kaufmann

Walter Kufmann's classic edition of the Basic Writings of Nietzsche includes complete texts of five major works that profoundly influenced modern literature and thought.
The Birth of Tragedy is one of the most important studies of tragedy written. It exploded the nineteenth-century conception of Greek culture and sounded themes developed by twentieth-century philosophers, psychoanalysts and novelists.
Beyond Good and Evil provides a comprehensive idea of Nietzsche's thought and style, presented more clearly than in Thus Spake Zarathustra, which was written a year earlier. " This one of the great books of the earlier. " This is one of the great books of the nineteenth century," writes Kaufmann," indeed of any century."
On the genealogy of Morals is Nietzsche's major work on ethics.
The case of Wagner was written after Nietzsche's break with "the only great genuis whom he ever knew intimately." It was one of his last books, and his wittiest.
Ecce Homo is Nietzsche's beautifully written, passionate analysis of his life and work. 
Included also are seventy-five aphorisms, selections from Nietzsche's correspondence about The Case of Wagner, and variants from drafts for Ecce Homo. Professor Kaufmann made new translations for this volume and furnished footnote commentaries, introductions, and indexes.

Ariadne's Clue by Anthony Stevens

A guide to the symbols of humankind. Symbolism is the most powerful and ancient means of communication available to humankind. For centuries people have expressed their preoccupations and concerns through symbolism in the form of myths, stories, religions, and dreams. The meaning of symbols has long been debated among philisophers, antiquarians, theologians, and, more recently, anthropologists and psychologists. In Ariadne's Clue, distinguished analyst and psychiatrist Anthony Stevens explores the nature  of symbols and explains how and why we create the symbols we do.
The book is divided into two pars: an interpretive section that concerns symbols in general and a "dictionary" that lists hundreds of symbols and explains their origins, their resemblances to other symbols, and the belief systems behind them. In the first section,, Stevens takes the ideas of C.G. Jung a stage further, asserting not only that we possess an innate symbol-forming propensity that exists as a creative and integral part of our psychic make-up, but also that the human mind evolved this capacity as a result of selection pressures encountered by our species in the course of its evolutionary history. Stevens argues that symbol formation has an adaptive function: it promotes our grasp on reality and dreams often corrects deficient modes of psychological functioning. In the second section, Stevens examines symbols under four headings: " The Physical Environment," "Culture and Psyche," "People, Animals, and Plants," and "The Body." Many of the symbols are illustrated in the book's rich variety of woodcuts. From the ancient symbol of the serpent to the archetypal masculine and feminine, from the earth to the stars, from the primordial landscape of the savannah to the mysterious depths of the sea, Stevens traces a host of common symbols back through time to reveal their psychodynamic functioning and looks at their deep-rooted effects on the lives of modern men, women, and children.

Raskolnikov's Rebirth by Ilham Dilman

Pschology and the Understanding of Good and Evil. This book is concerned with our relation to good and evil and with what psychology can tell us about it. Professor Dilman argues that experimental, 'scientific' psychology can make no contribution to our understanding of good and evil.
Only a 'thoughtful' psychology prepared to reflect on human life and on the different modes being open to human beings in that life can have anything to say about the genuinely moral person and that person's behavior. Psycho-analysis has the potential to be such a psychology, and Professor Dilman searches for the realization of this potential in some later psycho-analytic thinkers.
The book culminates in an examination of Raskolnikov, the murderer-protagonist of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. Dostoyevsky's novel shows a profound appreciation of what it means to be alienated from goodness and of the radical change in mode of being that accompanies a reintegration with goodness.

Time in Pyschoanalysis by Andre Green

Translated by Andrew Weller. Time is a traditional theme in philosophy and a fundamental theme in psychoanalysis. The wealth of studies devoted to the former contrasts strikingly with their scarcity in the latter.
Over more than forty years Freud elaborated different hypotheses on the conception of time in psychoanalysis. His speculations contained numerous different aspects: a developmental point of view (the libido theory) involving fixations and regressions, the process of 'retroaction', dreams as a form of indirect recollection, the timelessness of the unconscious, the function played by primal phantasies in categorising experience and, finally, repetition compulsion. His investigations ultimately led him to the concept of historical truth which, unfortunately, has since been ignored.
Taken together these hypotheses form a complex theory of temporarily, a genuine diachronic heterogeneity, justifying its description as fragmented time. In this book Andre Green sets out to restore the full richness of a theory which contemporary psychoanalysis has progressively tended to simplify with the aim of taming it and retutning to a linear homogeneous conception of time.