An unusual aspect of Walter Benjamin's work is the provocative way he uses theology in tackling “theoretical” questions. While it is difficult to write about Benjamin without dealing with his relation to the Jewish tradition, in studies of his work surprisingly little attention is paid to theological questions. This is not to ignore the many accounts of Benjamin's interest in the Kabbala, his “theological” writings on language, or his messianic imagery. However, whereas for Benjamin theological concerns are central, this is (...) rarely true of his commentators. While some have confronted Benjamin's theology, until recently this has often been done by…. (shrink)
The article compares for the first time Luther‘s reflections on Islam with Cusanus‘s. Both thinkers didn‘t engage in Islam on their own initiative, but because they were prompted by political developments. Luther‘s writings on Islam are mostly authored in German. He addresses the public in the empire and tries to encourage Christians challenged in their Christians faith, especially those who are in Turkish captivity. Nicholas of Cusa addresses also Islamic receivers in his Cribratio Alkorani. Luther stresses the contrast between (...) the gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of Muhammad, whereas Cusanus tries to build theological bridges between Christianity and Islam. (shrink)
Modality, morality and belief are among the most controversial topics in philosophy today, and few philosophers have shaped these debates as deeply as Ruth Barcan Marcus. Inspired by her work, a distinguished group of philosophers explore these issues, refine and sharpen arguments and develop new positions on such topics as possible worlds, moral dilemmas, essentialism, and the explanation of actions by beliefs. This 'state of the art' collection honours one of the most rigorous and iconoclastic of philosophical pioneers.
This volume commemorates the 6th centennial of the birth of Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464), a Renaissance polymath whose interests included law, politics, metaphysics, epistemology, theology, mysticism and relations between Christians and non-Christian peoples. The contributors to this volume reflect Cusanus' multiple interests; and, by doing so they commemorate three deceased luminaries of the American Cusanus Society: F. Edward Cranz, Thomas P. McTighe and Charles Trinkaus. Contributors include: Christopher M. Bellitto, H. Lawrence Bond, Elizabeth Brient, Louis Dupré, Wilhelm Dupré, Walter (...) Andreas Euler, Lawrence Hundersmarck, Thomas M. Izbicki, Dennis D. Martin, Yelena Matusevich, Bernard McGinn, Clyde Lee Miller, Thomas E. Morrissey, Brian A. Pavlac, and Morimichi Watanabe. Publications by Charles Trinkaus: - Edited by C. Trinkaus and H.A. Oberman, The pursuit of holiness in late medieval and renaissance religion, ISBN: 978 90 04 03791 5 (Out of print). (shrink)
Introduction: the age of reflexion Part I. Romanticism: 1. Romanticism and the sciences David Knight 2. Schelling and the origins of his Naturphilosophie S. R. Morgan 3. Romantic philosophy and the organization of the disciplines: the founding of the Humboldt University of Berlin Elinor S. Shaffer 4. Historical consciousness in the German Romantic Naturforschung Dietrich Von Engelhardt 5. Theology and the sciences in the German Romantic period Frederick Gregory 6. Genius in Romantic natural philosophy Simon Shaffer Part II. Sciences of (...) the Organic: 7. Doctors contra clysters and feudalism: the consequences of a Romantic revolution Nelly Tsouyopoulos 8. Morphotypes and the historical-genetic method in Romantic biology Timothy Lenoir 9. ’Metaphorical mystifications’: the Romantic gestation of nature in British biology Evelleen Richards 10. Transcendental anatomy Philip F. Rehbock 11. Romantic thought and the origins of cell theory L. S. Jacyna 12. Alexander von Humbolt and the geography of vegetation Malcolm Nicholson Part III. Sciences of the Inorganic: 13. Goethe, colour, and the science of seeing Dennis L. Sepper 14. Johann Wilhelm Ritter: Romantic physics in Germany Walter D. Wetzels 15. The power and the glory: Humphrey Davy and Romanticism Christopher Lawrence 16. Oersted’s discovery of electromagnetism H. A. M. Snelders 17. Caves, fossils and the history of the earth Nicholas A. Rupke Part IV. Literature and the Sciences: 18. Goethe’s use of chemical theory in his Elective Affinities Jeremy Adler 19. Kleist’s bedlam: abnormal psychology and psychiatry in the works of Heinrich von Kleist Nigel Reeves 20. Coleridge and the sciences Trevor H. Levere 21. Nature’s book: the language of science in the American Renaissance David van Leer 22. The shattered whole: Georg Buchner and Naturphilosophie John Reddick. (shrink)
Russell’s rejection in 1898 of the doctrine of internal relations — the view that all relations are grounded in the intrinsic properties of the terms related — was a decisive part of his break with Hegelianism and opened the way for his turn to analytic philosophy. Before rejecting it, Russell had given the doctrine little thought, though it played an essential role in the most intractable of the problems facing his attempt to construct a Hegelian dialectic of the sciences. I (...) argue that it was Russell’s early reading of Leibniz, in preparation for his lectures on Leibniz given at Cambridge in 1899, that most probably alerted him to the role the doctrine was playing in his own philosophy. Leibniz defended a similar doctrine and extricated it from difficulties like those faced by Russell by means of devices that were not open to Russell. Russell would have come across these views of Leibniz in writings by Leibniz that he read in the summer of 1898, just before he rejected the doctrine of internal relations. References F. H. Bradley. Appearance and Reality. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968. Originally published 1893. Nicholas Griffin. Russell’s Idealist Apprenticeship. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991. Nicholas Griffin. Russell and Leibniz on the Classification of Propositions. In Ralf Krömer and Yannick Chin-Drian, editors, New Essays on Leibniz Reception. Basel, Birkhäuser, pp. 85–127, 2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-0346-0504-5 G. W. Leibniz. Die Philosophischen Schriften von Leibniz, 7 Volumes. Edited by C.I. Gerhardt. Berlin, Weidman, 1875–90. G. W. Leibniz. The Philosophical Works of Leibnitz. Edited by G.M. Duncan. New Haven, Tuttle, Morehouse and Taylor, 1890. G. W. Leibniz. New Essays Concerning Human Understanding, Translated by A.G. Langley. London, Macmillan, 1896. G. W. Leibniz. The Monadology and other Philosophical Writings. Edited by R. Latta. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1898. G. W. Leibniz. Philosophical Papers and Letters, 2 Volumes. Edited by L.E. Loemker. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1956. G. W. Leibniz. New Essays Concerning Human Understanding, Translated and Edited by Peter Remnant and Jonathan Bennett. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1981. Massimo Mugnai. Leibniz’ Theory of Relations. Stuttgart: Steiner, 1992. Massimo Mugnai. Leibniz’s Ontology of Relations: A Last Word?. In Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy, Volume IV. Edited by Daniel Garber and Donald Rutherford. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659593.001.0001 Walter H. O’Briant. Russell on Leibniz. Studia Leibniziana, 11: 159–222, 1979. B. Russell. An Essay on the Foundations of Geometry. New York, Dover, 1956. B. Russell. My Philosophical Development. London, Allen and Unwin, 1959. B. Russell. The Principles of Mathematics. London: Allen and Unwin, 1964. B. Russell. The Monistic Theory of Truth. In Philosophical Essays New York, Simon and Schuster, pages 131–46, 1968. B. Russell. A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz. London, Allen and Unwin, 1975. B. Russell, The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, vol. 1, Cambridge Essays, 1888–99, edited by Kenneth Blackwell, et al. London, Allen and Unwin, 1983. B. Russell. The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, vol. 2, Philosophical Papers, 1896–99, edited by Nicholas Grif?n and Albert C. Lewis. London, Routledge, 1989a. B. Russell. On the Relations of Number and Quantity (1897). In Russell [1989a], pages 70–82, 1989b. B. Russell. An Analysis of Mathematical Reasoning (1898). In Russell [1989a], pages 163–241, 1989c. B. Russell. The Classification of Relations (1899), in Russell [1989a], pages 138–46, 1989d. B. Russell. The Fundamental Ideas and Axioms of Mathematics (1899). In Russell [1989a], pages 265–305, 1989e. B. Russell. The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, vol. 3, Towards “The Principles of Mathematics”, 1900–02, edited by Gregory H. Moore. London, Routledge, 1993a. B. Russell. The Principles of Mathematics, 1899–1900 Draft. In Russell [1993a], pages 13–180, 1993b. B. Russell. The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, vol. 11, Last Philosophical Testament, 1943–68. Edited by John G. Slater. London, Routledge, 1997. (shrink)
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Diana Raffman, Nicholas Asher, Modality, Morality, and Belief, Essays in Honor of Ruth Barcan Marcus.Terence Parsons, Ruth Barcan Marcus and the Barcan Formula.Robert Stalnaker, The Interaction of Modality with Quantification and Identity.Maxwell J. Cresswell, S1 is not so Simple.David Kaplan, A Problem in Possible-world Semantics.Charles Parsons, Structuralism and the Concept of Set.
This book provides papers of the conference of leading scientists and philosophers on the notion of progress of knowledge, which is constitutive of our modern selfunderstanding, from the perspective of their disciplines. Summary of contents: 1. GEorg Henrik von Wright, Progress: Fiction and Fact 2. WAlter Burkert, Impact and Limits of the Idea of Progress in Antiquity 3. AListair Crombie, Philosophical Commitments and Scientific Progress 4. SHigeru Nakayama, Chinese "Cyclic" View of History vs Japanese "Progress" 5. JEan Blondel, Political Progress: (...) Illusion or Reality 6. NIcholas Rescher, Progress and the Future 7. RUdolf Flotzinger, Progress and Development in Musical History 8. DAg Pravitz, Progress in Philosophy 9. JOhn D. BArrow, Time in the Universe 10. ANtonio Garcia-Bellido, Progress in Biological Evolution 11. GEreon Wolters, The Idea of Progress in Evolutionary Biology: Philosophical Considerations 12. PHilippe Lazar, The Idea of Progress in Human Health. (shrink)
"The essays, both philosophical and historical, demonstrate the continuing significance of a neglected aspect of Kant’s thought."—Religious Studies Review Challenging the traditional view that Kant's account of religion was peripheral to his thinking, these essays demonstrate the centrality of religion to Kant's critical philosophy. Contributors are Sharon Anderson-Gold, Leslie A. Mulholland, Anthony N. Perovich, Jr., Philip J. Rossi, Joseph Runzo, Denis Savage, Walter Sparn, Burkhard Tuschling, Nicholas P. Wolterstorff, and Allen W. Wood.
Part I: WHAT IS ETHICS? Plato: Socratic Morality: Crito. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part II: ETHICAL RELATIVISM VERSUS ETHICAL OBJECTIVISM. Herodotus: Custom is King. Thomas Aquinas: Objectivism: Natural Law. Ruth Benedict: A Defense of Ethical Relativism. Louis Pojman: A Critique of Ethical Relativism. Gilbert Harman: Moral Relativism Defended. Alan Gewirth: The Objective Status of Human Rights. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part III: MORALITY, SELF-INTEREST AND FUTURE SELVES. Plato: Why Be Moral? Richard Taylor: On the Socratic Dilemma. David Gauthier: Morality and (...) Advantage. Gregory Kavka: A Reconciliation Project. Derek Parfit: Later Selves and Moral Principles. Bernard Williams: Persons, Character, and Morality. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part IV: VALUE. Jeremy Bentham: Classical Hedonism. Robert Nozick: The Experience Machine. Richard Taylor: Value and the Origin of Right and Wrong. Friedrich Nietzsche: The Transvaluation of Values. Derek Parfit: What Makes Someone’s Life Go Best? Thomas Nagel: Value: The View from Nowhere. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part V: UTILITARIANISM AND CONSEQUENTIALISM. John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism. J.J.C. Smart: Extreme and Restricted Utilitarianism. Kai Nielsen: Against Moral Conservatism. Bernard Williams: Against Utilitarianism. John Hospers: Rule-Utilitarianism. Robert Nozick: Side Constraints. Peter Singer: Famine, Affluence and Morality. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part VI: KANTIAN AND DEONTOLOGICAL SYSTEMS. Immanuel Kant: Foundation for the Metaphysic of Morals. W. D. Ross: What Makes Right Acts Right? Onora O’Neill: Kantian Formula of the End in Itself and World Hunger. Thomas Nagel: Moral Luck. Philippa Foot: Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives. Judith Jarvis Thomson: Killing, Letting Die, and the Trolley Problem. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part VII: CONTRACTARIAN ETHICAL SYSTEMS. Thomas Hobbes: The Leviathan. David Gauthier: Why Contractarianism? John Rawls: Contractualism: Justice as Fairness. T.M. Scanlon: Contractualism and Utilitarianism. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part VIII: VIRTUE-BASED ETHICAL SYSTEMS. Aristotle: The Ethics of Virtue. Bernard Mayo: Virtue and the Moral Life. William Frankena: A Critique of Virtue-Based Ethics. Walter Schaller: Are Virtues No More than Dispositions to Obey Moral Rules? Alasdair MacIntyre: The Nature of the Virtues. Susan Wolf: Moral Saints. Louis P. Pojman: In Defense of Moral Saints. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part IX: THE FACT/VALUE PROBLEM: METAETHICS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. David Hume: On Reason and the Emotions: The Fact/Value Distinction. G. E. Moore: Non-Naturalism. A. J. Ayer: Emotivism. R. M. Hare: Prescriptivism: The Structure of Ethics and Morals. Geoffrey Warnock: The Object of Morality. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part X: MORAL REALISM AND THE CHALLENGE OF SKEPTICISM. J.L. Mackie: The Subjectivity of Values. Jonathan Harrison: A Critique of Mackie’s Error Theory. Gilbert Harman: Moral Nihilism. Nicholas Sturgeon: Moral Explanations. Bernard Williams: Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. Bruce Russell: Two Forms of Ethical Skepticism. Michael Smith: A Defense of Moral Realism. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part XI: RELIGION AND ETHICS. Plato: Morality and Religion. Immanuel Kant: God and Immortality as Necessary Postulates of Morality. George Mavrodes: Religious and the Queerness of Morality. Kai Nielson: Ethics Without God. Suggestions for Further Reading. Part XII: CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGES TO CLASSICAL ETHICAL THEORY. Part A. Sociobiology and the Question of Moral Responsibility. Charles Darwin: Ethics and the Descent of Man. E.O.Wilson: Sociobiology and Ethics. Michael Ruse: Evolution and Ethics: The Sociobiological Approach. Elliot Sober: Prospects for an Evolutionary Ethics. J.L. Mackie: The Law of the Jungle, Evolution and Morality. Suggestions for Further Readingon Sociobiology. Part B. The Challenge of Determinism to Moral Responsibility and Desert. Galen Strawson: The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility. Louis Pojman: Free Will, Determinism, and Moral Responsibility:A Response to Galen Strawson. Richard Taylor: A Libertarian Defense of Free Will and Responsibility. Suggestions for Further Reading on Moral Responsibility. Glossary of Ethical Terms. (shrink)
Book reviewed in this article: In Search of History: Historiography in the Ancient World and the Origins of Biblical History. By John Van Seters. The Hidden God: The Hiding of the Face of God in the Old Testament. By Samuel E. Balentine. Theodicy in the Old Testament. Edited by James L. Crenshaw. Ce Dieu censé aimer la Souffrance. By François Varone. Evil and Evolution, A Theodicy. By Richard W. Kropf. ‘Poet and Peasant’ and ‘Through Peasant Eyes’: A Literary‐Cultural Approach to (...) the Parable in Luke. By Kenneth Bailey. The Biblical Foundations for Mission. By Donald Senior and Carroll Stuhlmueller. New Testament Foundations of Ministry. By Colin Kruse. Church, Ministry and Unity. By James E. Griffiss. Theology of Ministry. By Thomas Franklin O'Meara. Yesterday and Today: A Study of Continuities in Christology. By Colin E. Gunton. I believe in the Holy Spirit. By Yves Congar. Between Jesus and Paul. By Martin Hengel. From Nicaea to Chalcedon: A Guide to the Literature and its Background. By Frances Young. Alan of Lille: The Frontiers of Theology in the Later Twelfth Century. By G.R. Evans. Mystic and Pilgrim: The Book and the World of Margery Kempe. By Clarissa W. Atkinson. Church, Politics and Society: Scotland 1408–1929. Edited by N. Macdougall. Renaissance and Reform: The Italian Contribution. Collected Essays, Volume II. By Frances A. Yates. Seven‐Headed Luther: Essays in Commemoration of a Quincentury, 1483–1983. Edited by Peter Newman Brooks. Ökumenische Erschliessung Martin Luthers. Edited by Peter Manns and Harding Meyer. Luther's Ecumenical Significance, An Interconfessional Consultation. Edited by Peter Manns and Harding Meyer, in collaboration with Carter Lindberg and Harry McSorley. States of Mind: A Study of Anglo‐Irish Conflict 1780 to 1980. By Oliver MacDonagh. The Parish Clergy in Nineteenth‐Century Russia: Crisis, Reform, Counter Reform. By Gregory L. Freeze. Pusey Rediscovered. Edited by Perry Butler. Between Two Worlds: George Tyrrell's Relationship to the Thought of Matthew Arnold. By Nicholas Sagovsky. The Concept of Glaubenslehre. By Walter E. Wyman, Jr. The Existence and Nature of God. Edited by Alfred J. Freddoso. Faith and Reason. By Anthony Kenny. Logic and The Nature of God. By Stephen T. Davis. Personal Responsibility and Christian Morality. By Josef Fuchs. Morality and Conflict. By Stuart Hampshire. Realism and Imagination in Ethics. By Sabina Lovibond. Intentionality. By John R. Searle. Philosophical Papers, I: Practical Reason. By G.H. von Wright. Philosophical Papers, II: Philosophical Logic. By G.H. von Wright. A Model of Making: Literary Criticism and its Theology. By Ruth Etchells. The Return of the Goddess: Femininity, Aggression and the Modern Grail Quest. By Edward Whitmont. The Power of the Poor in History. By Gustavo Gutierrez, translated by Robert R. Barr. The God of the Xhosa. By Janet Hodgson. Our Hymn Tunes: Their Choice and Performance. By Donald Webster. The Almighty Wall: The Architecture of Henry Vaughan. By William Morgan. An Introduction to Plato's Laws. By R.E. Stalley. Plato's Late Ontology: A Riddle Resolved. By Kenneth M. Sayre. Plato's ‘Parmenides’: Translation and Analysis. By R.E. Allen. Politics in the Ancient World. By M.I. Finley. (shrink)
The eight papers in this collection, which were delivered at the Fourth Annual Conference in Philosophy at the University of Georgia in February, 1971, deal with a variety of topics related to the current controversy about man’s use of his environment. The contributors, Eugene P. Odum, William T. Blackstone, Joel Feinberg, Charles Hartshorne, Walter O’Briant, Nicholas Rescher, Robert G. Burton, and Pete A. Y. Gunter, discuss such issues as overpopulation, man’s relation to nature, man’s attitude toward his environment, and (...) the proper role of technology in industrialized societies. Two especially interesting papers are Rescher’s "The Environmental Crisis and the Quality of Life" and Feinberg’s "The Rights of Animals and Unborn Generations." Rescher believes that Americans can avoid bitter disappointment only by realizing that no significant improvement in the quality of their environment is possible. He is aware that this realization will be painful because it involves surrendering the deeply held convictions that the quality of our life will continually improve and that our technology can overcome any physical obstacles. Feinberg discusses some of the complex issues involved in deciding whether people are obligated to leave a satisfactory environment for those who will come in the future. He contends that there is no obligation to add additional people; but, insofar as it is known that there will be future generations, we are obligated to consider their interests. The book has a helpful introduction by the editor which summarizes the position and arguments of each contributor.—M.G. (shrink)
_From the ethicist the _New Yorker_ calls “the most influential living philosopher,” a new way of thinking about living ethically__ "Singer’s argument is powerful, provocative and, I think, basically right. The world would be a better place if we were as tough-minded in how we donate money as in how we make it."—Nicholas Kristof, ___New York Times___ "Bold, fresh, inspired, reasoned, optimistic."—Walter M. Bortz II, MD, ___Huffington Post Blog__ Peter Singer’s books and ideas have been disturbing our complacency ever (...) since the appearance of _Animal Liberation_. Now he directs our attention to a new movement in which his own ideas have played a crucial role: effective altruism. Effective altruism is built upon the simple but profound idea that living a fully ethical life involves doing the "most good you can do." Such a life requires an unsentimental view of charitable giving: to be a worthy recipient of our support, an organization must be able to demonstrate that it will do more good with our money or our time than other options open to us. Singer introduces us to an array of remarkable people who are restructuring their lives in accordance with these ideas, and shows how living altruistically often leads to greater personal fulfillment than living for oneself. _The Most Good You Can Do _develops the challenges Singer has made, in the _New York Times _and _Washington Post_, to those who donate to the arts, and to charities focused on helping our fellow citizens, rather than those for whom we can do the most good. Effective altruists are extending our knowledge of the possibilities of living less selfishly, and of allowing reason, rather than emotion, to determine how we live. _The Most Good You Can Do _offers new hope for our ability to tackle the world’s most pressing problems. (shrink)
David Owen wants to understand what Hume means by reason, given its pivotal importance in the wide range of issues that Hume discusses in his philosophical works. In order to achieve that understanding, Owen places Hume in the historical context of writers such as Descartes and Locke, what was later referred to as the way of ideas. Owen objects to stating Humes views in terms of contemporary semantic frameworks. After a careful review of the many contexts in which Hume discusses (...) reason in book 1 of the Treatise, Owen concludes that Hume rejected the notion of reason as an independent faculty and offered instead an account of reason as based on the imagination. Owens scholarship is meticulous and his attempt to understand Humes historical context commendable. The difficulties are that he tells us nothing new and his context is much too narrow. Hume was neither a scholastic nor a contemporary professional responding only to the works of other professional philosophers on some technical point. At the very least, Humes discussion of causal reasoning was very much influenced by the transition from Aristotelian physics and its attendant conception of causality to Newtons physics and its attendant conception of causality. The details of Humes mechanistic account of belief are not mentioned. (shrink)
The essays compiled in this book explore aspects of Walter Benjamin's discourse that have contributed to the formation of contemporary architectural theories. Issues such as technology and history have been considered central to the very modernity of architecture, but Benjamin's reflection on these subjects has elevated the discussion to a critical level. The contributors in this book consider Walter Benjamin's ideas in the context of digitalization of architecture where it is the very technique itself that determines the processes of design (...) and the final form. This book was published as a special issue of Architectural Theory Review. (shrink)
This case looks at the question of how to consider obligations of confidentiality by a mental health professional who works for an institution and learns that a student has been using a drug intended for an animal research project. Dr. Paul Appelbaum, MD, a psychiatrist at Columbia University, examines the issue of the limits of confidentiality. Nicholas Steneck, PhD, a scholar in research misconduct at the University of Michigan, explores the obligations to report research misconduct. Walter Limehouse, MD, an (...) ethicist at the Medical University of South Carolina, considers the systems issues raised by this case and offers some suggestions that might change the institutional environment. (shrink)
We are in a state of impending crisis. And the fault lies in part with academia. For two centuries or so, academia has been devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and technological know-how. This has enormously increased our power to act which has, in turn, brought us both all the great benefits of the modern world and the crises we now face. Modern science and technology have made possible modern industry and agriculture, the explosive growth of the world’s population, global (...) warming, modern armaments and the lethal character of modern warfare, destruction of natural habitats and rapid extinction of species, immense inequalities of wealth and power across the globe, pollution of earth, sea and air, even the aids epidemic (aids being spread by modern travel). All these global problems have arisen because some of us have acquired unprecedented powers to act, via science and technology, without also acquiring the capacity to act wisely. (shrink)
http://www.cla.umn.edu/jhopkins/ Taken together, twenty-four of these works constitute Nicholas of Cusa’s complete philosophical and theological treatises. They must be supplemented by studying his richly conceptual sermons, along with his ecclesiological and exegetical writings such as De Concordantia Catholica and Coniectura de Ultimis Diebus. His mathematical writings are also of interest, even though they are not of lasting importance, as Gottfried Leibniz rightly recognized.
[opening paragraph]: Walter Freeman discusses with Jean Burns some of the issues relating to consciousness in his recent book. Burns: To understand consciousness we need know its relationship to the brain, and to do that we need to know how the brain processes information. A lot of people think of brain processing in terms of individual neurons, and you're saying that brain processing should be understood in terms of dynamical states of populations?
Called “the most important critic of his time” by Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin has only become more influential over the years, as his work has assumed a crucial place in current debates over the interactions of art, culture, and meaning. A “natural and extraordinary talent for letter writing was one of the most captivating facets of his nature,” writes Gershom Scholem in his Foreword to this volume; and Benjamin's correspondence reveals the evolution of some of his most powerful ideas, while (...) also offering an intimate picture of Benjamin himself and the times in which he lived. Writing at length to Scholem and Theodor Adorno, and exchanging letters with Rainer Maria Rilke, Hannah Arendt, Max Brod, and Bertolt Brecht, Benjamin elaborates on his ideas about metaphor and language. He reflects on literary figures from Kafka to Karl Kraus, and expounds his personal attitudes toward such subjects as Marxism and French national character. Providing an indispensable tool for any scholar wrestling with Benjamin’s work, The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin, 1910–1940 is a revelatory look at the man behind much of the twentieth century’s most significant criticism. (shrink)