Cooperation, Contribution and Contestation: The Jain Community, Colonialism and Jainological Scholarship, 1800–1950. Edited by John E. Cort, Andrea Luithle-Hardenberg, and Leslie C. Orr. Studies in Asian Art and Culture, vol. 6. Berlin: eb verlAg, 2020. Pp. 615, plates. €69.
This book presents a detailed fieldwork-based study of the ancient Indian religion of Jainism. Drawing on field research in northern Gujarat and on the study of both ancient Sanskrit and Prakrit and modern vernacular Jain religious literature, JohnCort provides a rounded portrait of the religion as it is practiced today.
It has been widely proposed that the Jain logical methods of linguistic analysis collectively known as anekāntavāda (manypointedness) are an extension of the Jain ethical imperative of ahiṃsā (non-harm) into philosophy as a form of intellectual tolerance and relativity--described by several scholars as "intellectual ahiṃsā"--whose genealogy and development over the past sixty-five years are given in detail. It is shown how Jains used anekāntavāda to expose the relative truth of non-Jain metaphysics, while arguing that only Jain metaphysics, which alone is (...) based on the omniscience (kevala-jñāna) of the Jina, contains absolute truth (samyag-jñāna). Examples are given of Jain intolerance of others, based on nonphilosophical literacy and historical evidence, before returning to the issue of Jain tolerance for and curiosity about non-Jain philosophical positions, in an attempt to ground future discussions of Jain tolerance and intolerance on a fuller range of Jain data and not on ideological formulations inadequately grounded in historical analysis. (shrink)
The Making of a Modern Indian Artist-Craftsman: Devi Prasad. By Naman P. AhuJa, with contributions by Krishna Kumar, Kristine Michael, Bob Overy, and Sunand Prasad. New Delhi: Routledge, 2012. Pp. 320, 392 illustrations. Rs. 2495.
This review of Martin Jay’s recent published collection of essays examines his ongoing rethinking, supplementation, and revision of central themes—the negative and positive dialectics of historical totalization, the varieties and uses of conceptions of experience, the nature of visual cultures and scopic regimes, and the ambiguities of truth-construction in the public realm—that have been the focus of his major works since the 1970s. It argues that his more recent work indicates a gradual shift toward an affirmation of the kinds of (...) paratactic and deconstructive thinking of Adorno and Derrida as models for producing appropriate forms of historical consciousness and historical critique in the present, and it raises the question of how the issues of historical truth-telling, consensual collective identity, ethical action, and the cultural role of the critical intellectual are reformulated in this process. (shrink)
The popular belief that religion is the same everywhere or that all religions are ‘at bottom’ identical in essentials is a widespread falsehood that is saved from being completely worthless by the fact that religion does exhibit a universal or common structure wherever it appears. This structure is intimately related to the structure of human life in the world. The enduring pattern that enables us to understand religions widely separated in both time and space depends largely on the fact that (...) man and the process of human life in the world have their own structures which remain, despite the undeniable variety introduced by vast differences of culture, ethnic features, geographical location, climate etc. Structure means pattern or form; it is reality significantly organised. It can be grasped as that which endures above and beyond changing historical details. Because human life has a structure, we are able to understand the wrath of Achilles or sympathise with the love of Abélard for Héloïse although we are separated from both by centuries of time. (shrink)
Despite the title, I do not intend to launch another expedition into the domain of epistemology. I wish instead to call attention to some problems which have arisen for philosophical theologians and philosophers of religion, as a result of two facts about the development of modern philosophy and its bearing on the analysis and interpretation of religious insight. Following these considerations, I shall propose in brief compass a programme for the future which I believe will prove fruitful for the philosophical (...) treatment of religious concerns. (shrink)
Let it be clear at the outset that in reappraising Dewey's thought we have to do with no minute philosopher. In breadth of interest and range of thought he belongs with the great comprehensive thinkers of the past. And in contrast to many thinkers both in his own time and since, he had a constructive program. Philosophy for him meant more than analysis, even though analysis is an important part of the philosophic enterprise. Dewey's constructive philosophy has too often been (...) lost in polemic discussion. I subscribe to the confession made some years ago by Ernest Hocking in which he said that he began to understand Dewey when he started reading him for enjoyment and not for the purpose of showing that he was all wrong! As Dewey's work shapes up in historical perspective, it assumes a great substantiality. One may disagree and one may correct, but in comparison with philosophy of a wholly technical and professional sort, Dewey's large-minded approach to genuinely philosophic questions places him among philosophers of stature. (shrink)
_A new theory of how and why we cooperate, drawing from economics, political theory, and philosophy to challenge the conventional wisdom of game theory_ Game theory explains competitive behavior by working from the premise that people are self-interested. People don’t just compete, however; they also cooperate. John Roemer argues that attempts by orthodox game theorists to account for cooperation leave much to be desired. Unlike competing players, cooperating players take those actions that they would like others to take—which Roemer (...) calls “Kantian optimization.” Through rigorous reasoning and modeling, Roemer demonstrates a simpler theory of cooperative behavior than the standard model provides. (shrink)
This book is about the work of the Holy Spirit in the world, as distinct from the Spirit’s work in the church. One traditional term for this work is ‘common grace’. The book argues that there are four kinds of unity that the Spirit is working to bring about, and it takes one example of each. After the first chapter which is introductory, the second chapter takes up the first kind of unity: unity between us and the material world. The (...) example chosen is our experience of the beautiful and the sublime, and Immanuel Kant’s treatment of how this experience takes us to a divine being who lies behind both our faculties and the beautiful and sublime things we experience. The chapter uses two pieces by Beethoven, including the first movement of his Eroica symphony, as illustrations of the kind of unity that Kant has in mind. The second kind of unity is unity within a human life, and the third chapter discusses the example of gender transition within the life of a person assigned female at birth. The third kind of unity is unity between human beings, and the fourth chapter discusses the example of love of our country (patriotism) and its relation to the ideal of cosmopolitanism. The fourth kind of unity is unity of human beings with God, and the fifth chapter discusses the unity we can achieve in contemplation. Finally, the sixth chapter discusses the nature of unity itself and its relation to the Spirit’s love. (shrink)
In the first comprehensive biography of Ferdinand de Saussure, John E. Joseph restores the full character and history of a man who is considered the founder of modern linguistics and whose ideas have influenced literary theory, philosophy, cultural studies, and virtually every other branch of humanities and the social sciences.
Professor Roemer's goal in this book is to give a rigorous view of classical Marxian economic theory by presenting specific analytic models. The theory is not extended to deal with new problems, but it is deepened: Marxian theory is given micro-foundations and upon those foundations the author begins to rebuild a tightly constructed Marxian economics. The book begins, after a methodological introduction, with an examination of the Marxian notion of equilibrium and the theory of exploitation, and goes on to deal (...) with the theory of the falling rate of profit. The next section explores one of the points made in the first section of the book, that the Marxian theory of exploitation can be constructed completely independently of the labor theory of value as a theory of exchange. Technical study of this problem allows comment on various issues, such as the relative importance of 'marginal utilities' and 'class struggle' in determining relative prices. The final part examines models of various Marxian concepts. (shrink)