A particular dimension of democracy has been deprived of attention in both theoretical approaches and empirical research: the case of culture as referring to arts and popular culture. Drawing on examples of how the political role of arts and other forms of culture was acknowledged and exploited at various moments in the history of European societies, the article discusses the ways in which culture is important to “democracy as lived experience” playing a key role in the (...) functioning of democratic societies. Moreover, advancing the thesis that new sources of common identity, democracy and political unity can be found in the European culture, the paper represents a contribution to the framework that clarifies the role of culture – serious or popular – in the current process of forging a European identity. Finding theoretical support in the European literature, cultural policies elaboration, relevant official discourses and statistics elaborated at the European level, the article demonstrates that the answer to the question of European identity will be provided significantly by the European culture as an open space that must be constantly redefined. (shrink)
The dissertation criticizes two analogical applications of Darwinism to the spheres of mind and culture: the Darwinian approach to creativity and memetics. These theories rely on three basic analogies: the ontological analogy states that the basic ontological units of culture are so-called memes, which are replicators like genes; the origination analogy states that novelty in human creativity emerges in a "blind" Darwinian manner; and the explanatory units of selection analogy states that memes are "egoistic" and that they can (...) spread independently of our mind. The detailed philosophical analysis offered in the dissertation shows that these three analogies rely on either wrong or trivial statements: they provide either wrong or no new descriptions or explanations of the phenomena at hand. In Chapter One, I introduce the diverse ways, in which contemporary Darwinism is used today outside of evolutionary biology. Chapter Two explains what it means to claim that something evolves in a Darwinian manner. Chapter Three to Five address each of the three analogies separately. Darwinism applied to culture and mind, at least in the way discussed in this study, is not a dangerous idea. It leads either to wrong claims or to a re-telling in Darwinian terms of what we have already known. (shrink)
This paper means to demonstrate the theoretical-and-methodological potential of a particular pattern of thought about culture. Employing an end-means and absolute value plus concept of reality approach, the continuous model of culture aims to embrace from one holistic standpoint various concepts and debates of the modern human, social, and political sciences. The paper revisits the fact versus value, nature versus culture, culture versus structure, agency versus structure, and economics versus politics debates and offers the concepts of (...) the rule of law, state capitalism, a dialectical model of progress, and interpretative qualitative research, as well as of cultural diffusion, autonomy, alienation, and individuality. This model distinguishes between the ideal-symbolical and the instrumental functions of culture, sees culture as being sewn from universal binaries, and provides a certain understanding of the cognitive function of a value judgment, with positivism so far vague about the topic. It, too, suggests an extra method for investigating culture(s): the comparative literature study of culture(s) enables social science to view literature as its potential in-depth interviewee—a case for arguing for a certain conception of interdisciplinarity as well. In addition, it predicts that cultural particularism or individuality remains an essential factor of human existence. Analyzing the issue of Eurocentrism in social science, the model finds modernity’s concept of reality to be involved in “methodological” intellectualistic reductionism, characterizing it since the empiricism/rationalism origination. Systematically confusing the universal oppositions in a Eurocentric manner, intellectualism becomes a contributing factor in unfolding post-modernity. (shrink)
As the editor of this volume writes in his introduction: 'Simone Weil's philosophy is one that interrogates and contemplates our culture; it makes us aware of our lack of attention to words and empty ideologies, to human suffering, to the indignity of work, to our excessive use of power, to religious dogmatisms. Rather than set out a system of ideas, Simone Weil uses her philosophical reflections to show how to think about work and oppression, freedom and the good, necessity (...) and power, love and justice - even how to think about, or not think about, God. In this way we are asked to examine the human condition and learn to discern a way through it.' This is one of the very few books available in English to present a comprehensive interpretation of the philosophy of Simone Weil and how her thought can cast light on issues of contemporary importance such as work, justice, the law, war and peace, and issues of more general moral and theological concern. (shrink)
Conscience and Corporate Culture advances the constructive dialogue on a moral conscience for corporations. Written for educators in the field of business ethics and practicing corporate executives, the book serves as a platform on a subject profoundly difficult and timely. Written from the unique vantage point of an author who is a philosopher, professor of business administration, and a corporate consultant A vital resource for both educators in the field of business ethics and practicing corporate executives Forwards the constructive (...) dialogue on a moral conscience for corporations Offers a philosophical and practical approach to considering business ethics. (shrink)
This groundbreaking work considers one of the central themes of archaeology, time, which until recently has been taken for granted. It considers how time is used and perceived by archaeology and also how time influences the construction of identities. The book presents case studies, eg, transition from hunter gather to farming in early Neolithic, to examine temporality and identity. Drawing upon the work of Martin Heidegger, Thomas develops a way of writing about the past in which time is seenm as (...) central to the emergence of the identities of peoples and things. He questions the modern western distinction between nature and culture, mind and body, object and subject, and argues that in some senses the temporal structure of human beings, artefacts and places are similar. (shrink)
Continuing Franz Boas' work to establish anthropology as an academic discipline in the US at the turn of the twentieth century, Alfred L. Kroeber re-defined culture as a phenomenon sui generis. To achieve this he asked geneticists to enter into a coalition against hereditarian thoughts prevalent at that time in the US. The goal was to create space for anthropology as a separate discipline within academia, distinct from other disciplines. To this end he crossed the boundary separating anthropology from (...) biology in order to secure the boundary. His notion of culture, closely bound to the concept of heredity, saw it as independent of biological heredity (culture as superorganic) but at the same time as a heredity of another sort. The paper intends to summarise the shifting boundaries of anthropology at the beginning of the twentieth century, and to present Kroeber?s ideas on culture, with a focus on how the changing landscape of concepts of heredity influenced his views. The historical case serves to illustrate two general conclusions: that the concept of culture played and plays different roles in explaining human existence; that genetics and the concept of Weismannian hard inheritance did not have an unambiguous unidirectional historical effect on the vogue for hereditarianism at that time; on the contrary, it helped to establish culture in Kroeber's sense, culture as independent of heredity. (shrink)
The idea of culture has been subject to critical debate in anthropology during the past decade as the result of a shift in emphasis from the bounded local culture to transnational cultural flows. But at the very same time that cultural mobility is being emphasized by anthropologists, the people they study are recasting culture as a place of belonging as they construct local identities. Siting Culture argues that it is only through rich ethnographic studies that anthropologists (...) may explore the significance of place in the global space of relations which mold the lives of people throughout the world. By examining the concept of culture through case studies from Europe, Africa, Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean, it probes the methodological and theoretical implications of the divergent scholarly and popular concepts of culture. (shrink)
At the Intersection of High and Mass Culture analyses the contradictions and interaction between high and low art, with particular reference to Hollywood and European cinema. Written in the essayist, speculative tradition of Walter Benjamin and Theodore Adorno, this study also includes analyses of several key films of the 1980s. Tracing the boundaries of such genres as film noir, science fiction and melodrama, it demonstrates how these genres were radically expanded by such filmmakers as Neil Jordan, Chris Merker and (...) Georges Franju. This work also reflects on kitsch, the star system, racial and gender stereotypes, and the nature of audience participation. While defining the conditions under which the symbiotic relationship between high and mass culture can be cross-fertilising, this study stresses their inevitably contradictory characteristics. (shrink)
Ontologies are being used by information scientists in order to facilitate the sharing of meaningful information. However, computational ontologies are problematic in that they often decontextualize information. The semantic content of information is dependent upon the context in which it exists and the experience through which it emerges. For true semantic interoperability to occur among diverse information systems, within or across domains, information must remain contextualized. In order to bring more context to computational ontologies, we introduce culture as an (...) essential concept for information science. Culture helps to focus our attention on and make meaning of relevant extrapersonal structures and their qualities and dimensions that comprise the context and background of the world. In our approach, culture is integral to the study of semantics and, consequently, the study of ontologies and information technologies. The meaning we make of entities and phenomena in the world is always shaped by our cultural experience. If we understand culture as the emergent interplay of intrapersonal cognitive structures and extrapersonal structures of the world, then the notion of cognitive and cultural schemas becomes essential to understanding ontology and the ways in which we might achieve authentic semantic interoperability among diverse information systems. We explore the nature of ontologies and reconceptualize them as cultural schemas. Our proposal is an alternative to the historical path from philosophical ontology to computational ontologies as one that adheres primarily to the notion of ontology as a categorization and classification system. The obvious implication for ontology as categorization is that there is a single objective world that exists and that it can be described as entirely separate from the person observing it. We draw upon Heidegger’s examination of ontology to ground ontology in a phenomenological perspective, enabling it to remain flexible and adaptable and to accommodate context. (shrink)
In the decades since his death, Adorno's thinking has lost none of its capacity to unsettle the settled, and has proved hugely influential in social and cultural thought. To most people, the entertainment provided by television, radio, film, newspapers, astrology charts and CD players seem harmless enough. For Adorno, however, the culture industry that produces them is ultimately toxic in its effect on the social process. Here, Robert Witkin unpacks Adorno's notoriously difficult critique of popular culture in an (...) engaging and accessible style, looking first at the development of the overarching theories of authority, commodification and negative dialectics within which Adorno's work needs to be seen. This book is an essential guide for understanding one of the key thinkers of our time. (shrink)
Like Alice following the white rabbit into a topsy-turvy world where the laws of logic don't apply, subversive thinking unearths the mysteries behind the mundane. Tracking the White Rabbit is a fascinating, original work that invites us to use depth psychology to challenge our deepest assumptions about world politics, theology, social norms, everyday speech, and usual ideas of sex and emotion. Raised in an environment of McCarthyism and rock-and-roll, Jungian analyst Lyn Cowan shows readers-through provocative essays on memory and homosexuality, (...) music and the art of cursing-that we can flip our ingrained attitudes on their heads and achieve a better understanding of our cultural landscape. America has been plagued by a flattening of its psychic life, Cowan argues, exhibited in the escalating need for external stimulation and the distrust of intense emotion. With humor and insight, she confronts the "isms" that entrap our imaginations (capitalism, fundamentalism, feminism, sexism, antisemitism, communism) in order to unearth a more soul-serving culture. Encouraging us to mine the creativity of spontaneous imagination, this psychology brings dramatic new ideas and themes into focus, breaking down barriers and yielding fresh perspectives on some of the more pressing individual dilemmas of our time: abortion, gender, language, homosexuality, and victimization. (shrink)
" The Moment of Complexity is a profoundly original work. In remarkable and insightful ways, Mark Taylor traces an entirely new way to view the evolution of our culture, detailing how information theory and the scientific concept of complexity can be used to understand recent developments in the arts and humanities. This book will ultimately be seen as a classic."-John L. Casti, Santa Fe Institute, author of Godel: A Life of Logic, the Mind, and Mathematics The science of complexity (...) accounts for that inscrutable mix of chaos and order that governs our natural world. Complexity explains how networks emerge and function, how species organize into ecosystems, how stars form into galaxies, and how just a few sequences of DNA can account for so many different life forms. Recently, the idea of complexity has taken the worlds of business and politics by storm. The concept is used to account for phenomena as varied as the behavior of the stock market, the response of voting populations, and the effects of risk management. Even Disney has used complexity theory to manage crowd control at its theme parks. Given the startling development of new information technologies, we now live in a moment of unprecedented complexity, an era in which change occurs faster than our ability to comprehend it. With The Moment of Complexity , Mark C. Taylor offers a timely map for this unfamiliar terrain opening in our midst, unfolding an original philosophy through a remarkable synthesis of science and culture. According to Taylor, complexity is not just a breakthrough scientific concept, but the defining quality of the post-Cold War era. The flux of digital currents swirling around us, he argues, has created a new network culture with its own distinctive logic and dynamic. Drawing on resources from information theory and evolutionary biology, Taylor explains the operation of complex adaptive systems in social and cultural processes and captures a whole new zeitgeist in the making. To appreciate the significance of our emerging network culture, he claims, we need not only to understand contemporary scientific and technological transformations, but also to explore the subtle influences of art, architecture, philosophy, religion, and higher education. The Moment of Complexity , then, is a remarkable work of cultural analysis on a scale rarely seen today. To follow its trajectory is to learn how we arrived at this critical moment in our culture, and to know where we might head in the twenty-first century. (shrink)
Traditional scholars of philosophy and religion, both East and West, often place a major emphasis on analyzing the nature of “the self.” In recent decades, there has been a renewed interest in analyzing self, but most scholars have not claimed knowledge of an ahistorical, objective, essential self free from all cultural determinants. The contributors to this volume recognize the need to contextualize specific views of self and to analyze such views in terms of the dynamic, dialectical relations between self and (...)culture.An unusual feature of this book is that all of the chapters not only focus on traditions and individuals, East and West, but include as primary emphases comparative philosophy, religion, and culture, reinforcing individual and cultural creativity. Each chapter brings specific Eastern and Western perspectives into a dynamic, comparative relation. This comparative orientation emphasizes our growing sense of interrelatedness and interdependency. Culture and Self includes many Asian and Western philosophical, religious, and cultural perspectives. Chapters focus on Vedanta, Samkhya-Yoga, and other Hindu approaches, as well as Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist and other Indian, Chinese, and Japanese perspectives. Studies present Cartesian and other dominant Western perspectives, as well as Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre, feminism, and other Western challenges to the dominant Western interpretations of culture and self.This volume will appeal to students and readers of philosophy, religious studies, Asian studies, and cultural studies. (shrink)
In this engaging book, Douglas Anderson begins with the assumption that philosophy—the Greek love of wisdom—is alive and well in American culture. At the same time, professional philosophy remains relatively invisible. Anderson traverses American life to find places in the wider culture where professional philosophy in the distinctively American tradition can strike up a conversation. How might American philosophers talk to us about our religious experience, or political engagement, or literature—or even, popular music? Anderson’s second aim is to (...) find places where philosophy happens in nonprofessional guises—cultural places such as country music, rock’n roll, and Beat literature. He not only enlarges the tradition of American philosophers such as John Dewey and William James by examining lesser-known figures such as Henry Bugbee and Thomas Davidson, but finds the theme and ideas of American philosophy in some unexpected places, such as the music of Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, and Bruce Springsteen, and the writingsof Jack Kerouac.The idea of “philosophy Americana” trades on the emergent genre of “music Americana,” rooted in traditional themes and styles yet engaging our present experiences. The music is “popular” but not thoroughly driven by economic considerations, and Anderson seeks out an analogous role for philosophical practice, where philosophy and popular culture are co-adventurers in the life of ideas. Philosophy Americana takes seriously Emerson’s quest for the extraordinary in the ordinary and James’s belief that popular philosophy can still be philosophy. (shrink)
This book explores Gilles Deleuze's contribution to film theory. According to Deleuze, we have come to live in a universe that could be described as metacinematic. His conception of images implies a new kind of camera consciousness, one that determines our perceptions and sense of selves: aspects of our subjectivities are formed in, for instance, action-images, affection-images and time-images. We live in a matrix of visual culture that is always moving and changing. Each image is always connected to an (...) assemblage of affects and forces. This book presents a model, as well as many concrete examples, of how to work with Deleuze in film theory. It asks questions about the universe as metacinema, subjectivity, violence, feminism, monstrosity, and music. Among the contemporary films it discusses within a Deleuzian framework are Strange Days, Fight Club, and Dancer in the Dark. (shrink)
This radical reinterpretation of the formative stages of Chinese culture and history traces the central role played by cosmology in the formation of China's early empires. It crosses the disciplines of history, social anthropology, archaeology, and philosophy to illustrate how cosmological systems, particularly the Five Elements, shaped political culture. By focusing on dynamic change in early cosmology, the book undermines the notion that Chinese cosmology was homogenous and unchanging. By arguing that cosmology was intrinsic to power relations, it (...) also challenges prevailing theories of political and intellectual history. (shrink)
This is my review of Howard B. Radest's book on Felix Adler and Ethical Culture. The book involves interesting comparisons of Adler to Emerson and to the pragmatists, and Radest is well qualified to tell the history of Adler's work and its influence.
The only obvious successor in our day to the philosophies of Jefferson and Emerson and Whitman is the "pragmatism" of William James and John Dewey. All of the critics from whose writings selections have been made for this volume agree that Pragmatism is an indigenous American philosophy; most of them would add that it is the philosophy which best expresses the "climate of opinion" peculiar to American civilization. Their criticisms, therefore, take two forms: they may argue that, granted pragmatism is (...) a native philosophy, it is but a partial and inadequate representation of certain trends within our culture; or they may contend that pragmatism is only too faithful a transcription of American life. Critics of the first sort will disparage those particular traits of our society which they think pragmatism represents; critics of the second kind will deliver a wholesale condemnation of"Americanism." In effect, therefore, all of these writers in their discussions of the pragmatic philosophy are censuring what is distinctive of American culture itself,in some of its aspects or as a whole. (shrink)
Confucianism has a deep influence on the opinion of value priority in traditional Chinese culture, which consider the value of morality prior to that of utility; the value of moral merit prior to that of intelligent; the value of group prior to that of individuals; the value of peace and safety prior to that of freedom and liberty; the value of harmony prior to that of conflict. This kind of value priority has performed very important and positive functions in (...) Chinese culture, along with certain side-effects. Under the context of globalization, it is possible for the Chinese and Western values to complement each other in fusional harmony. (shrink)
Speculations After Freud confronts the dilemmas of contemporary psychoanalysis by bringing together some of the most influential and best known writers on psychoanalysis and culture. These advocates and critics of psychoanalysis, both institutional and theoretical, reveal the powerful role psychoanalytic speculation plays in all areas of culture. Psychoanalysis has played a pivotal role in challenging the modernist notions of rationality and selfhood. It offers an alternative means of examining how identity is engendered, yet its identity has come into (...) question because of multiple claims to its possession. This volume addresses the dilemmas that afflict contemporary psychoanalysis, transforms the terms in which psychoanalysis has to be seen and shows the portents in store as we enter a post-analytic age. Contributors: Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, Cornelius Castoriadis, James Hillman, Sarah Kofman, David Farrell Krell, Julia Kristeva, Alphonso Lingis, Nicholas Rand, William Richardson, Charles E. Scott, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Maria Torok. (shrink)
Over the past ten years or so, the position of Liberal Nationalism has progressed from being an apparent oxymoron to a widely accepted view. In this paper I sketch the most prominent liberal defenses of nationalism, focusing first on the difficulties of specifying criteria of nationhood, then criticizing what I take to be the most promising, culture-based defense, forwarded by Will Kymlicka. I argue that such an approach embroils one in a pernicious conservatism completely at odds with the global (...) justice concerns that I take to be central to liberalism with its core values of equality and liberty. (shrink)
Adorno, Culture and Feminism brings Adorno's work and feminism together, and explores how feminism can both harness and develop Adorno's ideas. The picture that emerges displays how gendered relations and cultural practices and texts operate today, and the relevance of critical theory for contemporary feminisms. Adorno's work on the scale of inequality and repression in the administered society is presented as matching the feminist understanding of the unequal balance of power between the sexes. This volume shows how Adorno's central (...) concepts - commodification, authenticity, the culture industry, Kulturkritik, negative dialectics, non-identity thinking and authoritarian personality - can be used productively and purposefully in feminist thinking. Adorno, Culture and Feminism shows how a dialogue between feminism, Adorno and other members of the Frankfurt School enhances our understanding of culture and society. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in sociology, feminism and cultural studies. (shrink)
The study of animal culture is a flourishing field, with culture being recorded in a wide range of taxa, including non-human primates, birds, cetaceans, and rodents. In spite of this research, however, the concept of culture itself remains elusive. There is no universally assented to concept of culture, and there is debate over the connection between culture and related concepts like tradition and social learning. Furthermore, it is not clear whether culture in humans and (...)culture in non-human animals is really the same thing, or merely loose analogues that go by the same name. The purpose of this paper is to explicate core desiderata for a concept of culture and then to construct a concept that meets these desiderata. The paper then applies this concept in both humans and non-human animals. (shrink)
Human Being Human explores the classical question What is a human being? and produces original and challenging insights in the process of providing an answer. In examining our human being, Christopher Hauke challenges the notion of human nature, questions the assumed superiority of human consciousness and rational thinking and pays close attention to the contradiction of living simultaneously as an autonomous individual and a member of the collective community. The main chapters include: Whose in Charge Here? Knowledge, Power and Human (...) Being That Thinking Feeling Is Modern Consciousness Different? Modern Consciousness and the Quest for Spirituality Endings, the Unconscious and Time Orpheus, Dionysus and Popular Culture The book is also structured around brief panel essays with a distinctly personal tone, such as: The Rise of revulsion: Spitting and The Stones, What is the Double When the Original is Gone? And "I lived with the speaking clock". All these themes are amplified by examples drawn from psychotherapy, film, literature and popular culture, and illustrated with many evocative photographs and film stills. Human Being Human provides an original perspective on what it is to be a human being, the value of popular culture, the relationship between the individual and the collective and our assumptions about truth, reality and power. Written in a highly accessible style, this book is both intellectually and emotionally satisfying and will fascinate anyone interested in contemporary psychology, cultural studies, film and media, social history and psychotherapy. (shrink)
Kierkegaard is often viewed in the history of ideas solely within the academic traditions of philosophy and theology. The secondary literature generally ignores the fact that he also took an active role in the public debate about the significance of the modern age that was taking shape in the flourishing feuilleton literature during the period of his authorship. Through a series of sharply focussed studies, George Pattison contextualises Kierkegaard's religious thought in relation to the debates about religion, culture and (...) society carried on in the newspapers and journals read by the whole educated stratum of Danish society. Pattison brings Kierkegaard into relation to not only high art and literature but also to the ephemera of his contemporary culture. This has important implications for our understanding of Kierkegaard's view of the nature of religious communication in modern society. (shrink)
IntroductionCultural Consultation is a clinical process that emerged from anthropological critiques of mental healthcare. It includes attention to therapeutic communication, research observations and research methods that capture cultural practices and narratives in mental healthcare. This essay describes the work of a Cultural Consultation Service (ToCCS) that improves service user outcomes by offering cultural consultation to mental health practitioners. The setting is a psychiatric service with complex and challenging work located in an ethnically diverse inner city urban area. Following a period (...) of 18 months of cultural consultation, we gather the dominant narratives that emerged during our evaluation of our service. Results: These narratives highlight how culture is conceptualized and acted upon in the day-to-day practices of individual health and social care professionals, specialist psychiatric teams and in care systems. The findings reveal common narratives and themes about culture, ethnicity, race and their perceived place and meaningfulness in clinical care. These narratives express underlying assumptions and covert rules for managing, and sometimes negating, dilemmas and difficulties when considering “culture” in the presentation and expression of mental distress. The narratives reveal an overall “culture of understanding cultural issues” and specific “cultures of care”. These emerged as necessary foci of intervention to improve service user outcomes. Conclusion: Understanding the cultures of care showed that clinical and managerial over-structuring of care prioritises organisational proficiency, but it leads to inflexibility. Consequently, the care provided is less personalised and less accommodating of cultural issues, therefore, professionals are unable to see or consider cultural influences in recovery. (shrink)
be tempted to treat them as independent and somewhat mysterious forces operating across the field of history, but rather as parts of the process of evolution of Western-European culture as a whole. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries ...
Since Freud, psychoanalysis has always concerned itself with questions of art, creativity, politics, and war. This collection of essays from leading writers on psychoanalysis explores questions of culture through a close dialogue between psychoanalytic clinical and academic traditions. Culture and the Unconscious is a major contribution to these debates. With accessible introductions to its central themes, the book opens up conversations between the spheres of art, academia and psychoanalysis, revealing points of commonality and divergence.
The eight essays contained in Philosophical Feminism and Popular Culture explore the portrayal of women and various philosophical responses to that portrayal in contemporary post-civil rights society. The essays examine visual, print, and performance media — stand-up comedy, movies, television, and a blockbuster trilogy of novel. These philosophical feminist analyses of popular culture consider the possibilities, both positive and negative, that popular culture presents for articulating the structure of the social and cultural practices in which gender matters, (...) and for changing these practices if and when they follow from, lead to, or perpetuate discrimination on the basis of gender. The essays bring feminist voices to the conversation about gender where is it taking place and attest to the importance of feminist critique in what is sometimes claimed to be a post-feminist era. (shrink)
Culture and Psyche is a collection of Sudhir Kakar's essays on cultural psychology, which analyses various facets of Indian identity and sexuality through sources as diverse as case studies, Indian myths and legends, and popular cinema. The second edition of this classic includes a new introduction and three additional essays which explore issues like riots, the psychology of Islamist terrorism, among others.
This book argues for the ethical relevancy of contemporary fiction at the beginning of the 21st century. The writers discussed in Contemporary Fiction and the Ethics of Modern Culture pay close attention to the concrete realities of the everyday world, such as the feelings of isolation created in urban environments; the roles played by sports, drugs, advertising, and the media; and the widespread use of computer, telecommunication, and entertainment technologies. Through reading novels by such writers as David Foster Wallace, (...) Richard Powers, and Irvine Welsh, this book looks at how these works seek to transform the ways that readers live in the world. This book should appeal to scholars of contemporary literature, persons interested in cultural studies, critics interested in ethics, scholars of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, students of contemporary literature, and general readers of contemporary literature. (shrink)
Integrating Kant's ideas on aesthetics and morality, Dr. Kemal explains how Kant's theories emphasize that art is critical to the development of culture and community goals. He clarifies Kant's often obscure efforts to justify artistic judgements and demonstrates Kant's claim that they have their own necessity. Containing explanations of many difficult terms present in Kant's Critique of Judgment, this study is a valuable guide to understanding Kant's association of beauty and morality.
Fags, Hags and Queer Sisters is a provocative account of the importance of women and cross-gender identification in "gay" male culture. It offers a range of cultural readings from Tennessee William's classic A Streetcar Named Desire and Forster's 'gay' novel Maurice through Pulp Fiction , queer lifestyle magazines, Roseanne , slash fan fiction, and Jarman's Edward II to Almodovar's camp classic Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Theoretically sophisticated, yet passionate, accessible and opinionated, Fags, Hags and Queer (...) Sisters takes issue with many of the sacred cows of contemporary gay politics, and offers a number of new concepts in lesbian and gay theory. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Preface v -- CRITIQUE -- 1. Culture and Semantics 1 -- 2. What is 'Cartesian' in Linguistics? 8 -- 3. Computer, Brain and Grammatical Theory 22 -- DYNAMICAL SEMANTICS -- 4. From Discrete Signs to Dynamic Semantic Continuum 37 -- 5. Catastrophe Theoretic Semantics: -- Towards a Physics of Meaning 50 -- 6. Ontological and Cognitive Bases of kiraka Theory 60 -- 7. 'Force Dynamics' as a Dynamical Sem-antics Model 72 -- METAPHOR -- 8. Body, (...) Space and Metaphorical-Cultural Worlds 85 -- 9. Metaphors in Grammar 103 -- SEMIOTICS -- 10. Dynamics in Nar-rative Structures 123 -- 11. -Perspectives in the Semiotics of Objects 139 -- 12. Tfhe Semantics of 'Nukespeak' 149 -- POST-STRUCTURALISM I POSTMODERNISM -- 13. Language, Power, and Plurality 155 -- 14. On Difference(s) 160 -- 15. Dialogics, or the Dynamics of Intersubjectivity 170 -- 16. Writing, hifinity, and Dialogicality 178 -- 17. Lacan, Denrida and the Vicissitudes of the 'Sign' 185. (shrink)
On origins -- Adorning the feminine, or the language of fans -- Salon poets, the Bécquer craze, and Romanticism -- Textual economies : the embellishment of credit -- Fabricating history -- The dream of negation -- The margins of home : modernist cursilería -- The culture of nostalgia, or the language of flowers -- Coda : the metaphor of culture in post-Franco Spain.
Joseph Henrich and Richard McElreath begin their survey of theories of cultural evolution with a striking historical example. They contrast the fate of the Bourke and Wills expedition — an attempt to explore some of the arid areas of inland Australia — with the routine survival of the local aboriginals in exactly the same area. That expedition ended in failure and death, despite the fact that it was well equipped, and despite the fact that those on the expedition were tough (...) and experienced. For survival in such areas depended on accumulated local knowledge. The locals had learned how detoxify seeds before making bread from them, and how to catch the local fish. Bourke and Wills and their companions lacked this local knowledge, and died as a result (Henrich and McElreath 2003). (shrink)
Upon what philosophical foundation are semantic network graphs based? Does this foundation allow for the legitimization of other semantic networks and ontological diversity? How can we design our computational and informational systems to accommodate this ontological diversity and the variety of semantic networks? Are semantic networks segmentations of larger semantic landscapes? This paper explores semantic networks from a Heideggerian existentialist and phenomenological perspective. The analysis presented uses cultural schema theory to bridge the syntactic and lexical elements to the semantic and (...) conceptual dimensions of semantic network graphs and offers reasons why the viability of such graphs as they are currently constructed are insufficient for creating semantic interoperability for our informationtechnologies. Reconceptualizing semantic networks as cultural landscapes offers us. (shrink)
This book offers an assessment of Sartre as an exemplary figure in the evolving political and cultural landscape of post-1945 France. Sartre's originality is located in the tense relationship that he maintained between deeply held revolutionary beliefs and a residual yet critical attachment to traditional forms of cultural expression. A series of case-studies centered on Gaullism, communism, Maoism, the theatre, art criticism, and the media, illustrates the continuing relevance and appeal of Sartre to the contemporary world.
The relationship between cinema and technology is a complex and fascinating one. Andrew Utterson brings together key theoretical texts spanning more than a century of writing. He begins by investigating cinema as technology or as an interconnected series of technologies, then goes on to examine the technological history of cinema within a much broader context: as one element in a sustained period of technological expansion, cinematic or otherwise, and its impact on the wider world. Rather than seeing technologies in traditional (...) mechanical terms, this reader explores by way of the moving image the various cultural, social, political, economic and ideological dimensions that are essential to an understanding of technology. Students taking courses on cinema and media technologies will find this an ideal introduction to the wealth of writing and research in the field. (shrink)
Gianni Vattimo, the Italian philosopher and politician, has argued that the end of colonialism and imperialism and the rise of the society of mass communication have contributed to the emergence of the postmodern. Modernity‘s unilinear conception of history is no longer possible in the face of multiple cultures and subcultures coming to the microphone across countries in the West. This article considers this view in the light of the problematizing comments made by the philosopher Slavoj Žižek on the nature of (...)culture – that it is something people do not take seriously and therefore people do not regard science as a culture. If science is apart from culture, then modernity can continue as the grand narrative of the increasing rationalisation of humankind as shown by the emancipating effects of science expressed through technology. Resources from Vattimo‘s broader philosophical programme are drawn upon to argue that not taking culture seriously is a postmodern condition and that science is cultural. (shrink)
The volume brings together a collection of original papers on some of the main tenets of Joseph Raz's legal and political philosophy: Legal positivism and the nature of law, practical reason, authority, the value of equality, incommensurability, harm, group rights, and multiculturalism.
Machine generated contents note: Chapter 1 Acknowledgments -- Chapter 2 Introduction: The Chatter of the Present -- Chapter 3 Definitions of Solitude -- Chapter 4 Distraction: The Flip Side of Engagement -- Chapter 5 Antigone: Literature as "Thinking Apart" -- Chapter 6 The Workshop Model in New York City -- Chapter 7 The Folly of the "Big Idea" -- Chapter 8 The Cult of Success -- Chapter 9 Mass Personalization and the "Underground Man" -- Chapter 10 The Need for Loneliness (...) -- Chapter 11 The Practice of Solitude -- Chapter 12 Discernment and the Public Sphere -- Chapter 13 Conclusion: Setting up Shop -- Chapter 14 Bibliography -- Chapter 15 About the Author -- Chapter 16 Index. (shrink)
Members of a human group are bound with one another by multiple flows of information. (Here we use “information” in a broad sense that includes not only the content of people’s knowledge, but also that of their beliefs, assumptions, fictions, rules, norms, skills, maps, images, and so on.) This information is materially realized in the mental representations of the people, and in their public productions, that is, their cognitively guided behaviors and the enduring material traces of these behaviors. Mentally represented (...) information is transmitted from individuals to individuals through public productions. Public representations such as speech, gestures, writing, or pictures are a special type of public productions, the function of which is to communicate a content. Public representations play a major role in information transmission. Much information, however, is communicated implicitly, that is, without being publicly represented. Information can also be transmitted without being properly speaking communicated, not even implicitly, as when one individual acquires a skill by observing and imitating the behavior of others. Most information transmitted among humans is about local and transient circumstances, and is not transmitted beyond these. Some information of more general relevance, however, is repeatedly transmitted, and propagates throughout the group. Talk of “culture” (whatever the preferred definition or theory of culture) is about this widely distributed information and about its material realizations inside people’s mind and in their common environment (see Sperber 1996). One can study cultural phenomena in two main ways. One can interpret them, that is, try and make their contents intelligible to people of another culture, or more intelligible to members of the culture in which these phenomena occurs, as do anthropologists and historians. One may also try and explain causally how these cultural phenomena emerge, stabilize and evolve.. (shrink)
Fascism, modernism and modernity -- The Jew as anti-artist : Georges Sorel and the aesthetics of the anti- Enlightenment -- La Cité française : Georges Valois, Le Corbusier and fascist theories of urbanism -- Machine primitives : Philippe Lamour and the fascist cult of youth -- Classical violence : Thierry Maulnier and the legacy of the Cercle Proudhon.
India has been known for its diverse cultures and communities. But in the contemporary economic and social setup where global cultural and economic ideologies dominate markets, media and every aspect of the social life, the paper asks if the notion of cultural diversity is intact in the contemporary India. Culture is certainly not static but what about diversity, is it transforming as well alongside as cultures around the world assimilate, as many argue? Does the profit driven market and media (...) logic nurture diversity? In investigating cultural diversity, the paper argues that diversity is in the process of mainstreamisation as a result of similarisation of consumption of products, meanings and messages resulting in the reduction and simplification of diversity, as one is becoming the simulation of the other. It concludes that Indian society is in rapid transition from a diverse society to a post-diverse society which presents us with both unprecedented challenges and possible opportunities. (shrink)
: The purposes of this critical analysis are to clarify why high stakes testing reforms have become so prevalent in the United States and to explain the connection between current federal and state emphases on standardized testing reforms and educational opportunities. The article outlines the policy context for high stakes examinations, as well as the ideas of testing and accountability as major tenets of current education reform and policy. In partial explanation of the widespread acceptance and use of standardized tests (...) in the United States, we argue that there is a pervasive testing culture, in addition to other contributing factors such as administrative utility, profit motives, and political ideology. Finally, we offer a critique of high stakes testing reforms in light of concerns about equality of educational opportunity. (shrink)
This book establishes how Hanna Segal's approach provides a clear focus to this burgeoning yet troublesome area of thought. With contributions from internationally-renowned psychoanalysts and academics influenced by Hanna Segal-Wollheim, Feldman, Steiner, Sodre, Anserson and others-this book addresses a wide range of issues such as classic and contemporary literature, film, the problems of old age, emotions, modernism and emigration.
In this multi-disciplinary volume, comprising the work of several established scholars from different countries, central concepts associated with the work of the Bakhtin Circle are interrogated in relation to intellectual history, language theory and an understanding of new media. The book will prove an important resource for those interested in the ideas of the Bakhtin Circle, but also for those attempting to develop a coherent theoretical approach to language in use and problems of meaning production in new media.