Tag Archives: thinker

Educational Philosophy in the French Enlightenment

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Natasha Gill, "Educational Philosophy in the French Enlightenment"
English | 2010 | ISBN-10: 0754662896 | 304 pages | PDF | 4 MB

Educational Philosophy in the French Enlightenment
Though Emile is still considered the central pedagogical text of the French Enlightenment, a myriad of lesser-known thinkers paved the way for Rousseau's masterpiece. Natasha Gill traces the arc of these thinkers as they sought to reveal the correlation between early childhood experiences and the success or failure of social and political relations, and set the terms for the modern debate about the influence of nature and nurture in individual growth and collective life. Gill offers a comprehensive analysis of the rich cross-fertilization between educational and philosophical thought in the French Enlightenment. She begins by showing how in Some Thoughts Concerning Education John Locke set the stage for the French debate by transposing key themes from his philosophy into an educational context. Her treatment of the abbe Claude Fleury, the rector of the University of Paris Charles Rollin, and Swiss educator Jean-Pierre de Crousaz illustrates the extent to which early Enlightenment theorists reevaluated childhood and learning methods on the basis of sensationist psychology. Etienne-Gabriel Morelly, usually studied as a marginal thinker in the history of utopian thought, is here revealed as the most important precursor to Rousseau, and the first theorist to claim education as the vehicle through which individual liberation, social harmony and political unity could be achieved. Gill concludes with an analysis of the educational-philosophical dispute between Helvetius and Rousseau, and traces the influence of pedagogical theory on the political debate surrounding the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1762.

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Learning from Leonardo: Decoding the Notebooks of a Genius

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Learning from Leonardo: Decoding the Notebooks of a Genius by Fritjof Capra
English | 2013 | ISBN: 1609949897 | 384 pages | EPUB | 19 MB

Learning from Leonardo: Decoding the Notebooks of a Genius
eonardo da Vinci was a brilliant artist, scientist, engineer, mathematician, architect, inventor, writer, and even musician—the archetypal Renaissance man. But he was also, Fritjof Capra argues, a profoundly modern man. Not only did Leonardo invent the empirical scientific method over a century before Galileo and Francis Bacon, but Capra's decade-long study of Leonardo's fabled notebooks reveal him as a systems thinker centuries before the term was coined. He believed the key to truly understanding the world was in perceiving the connections between phenomena and the larger patterns formed by those relationships. This is precisely the kind of holistic approach the complex problems we face today demand. Capra describes seven defining characteristics of Leonardo da Vinci's genius and includes a list of over forty discoveries Leonardo made that weren't rediscovered until centuries later. Leonardo pioneered entire fields—fluid dynamics, theoretical botany, aerodynamics, embryology. Capra's overview of Leonardo's thought follows the organizational scheme Leonardo himself intended to use if he ever published his notebooks. So in a sense, this is Leonardo's science as he himself would have presented it. Leonardo da Vinci saw the world as a dynamic, integrated whole, so he always applied concepts from one area to illuminate problems in another. For example, his studies of the movement of water informed his ideas about how landscapes are shaped, how sap rises in plants, how air moves over a bird's wing, and how blood flows in the human body. His observations of nature enhanced his art, his drawings were integral to his scientific studies, and he brought art and science together in his extraordinarily beautiful and elegant mechanical and architectural designs. Obviously, we can't all be geniuses on the scale of Leonardo da Vinci. But by exploring the mind of the preeminent Renaissance genius, we can gain profound insights into how best to address the challenges of the 21st century.
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Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?

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Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? by Philip E. Tetlock
English | 2006 | ISBN: 0691128715, 0691123020 | 352 pages | EPUB | 5 MB

Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?
The intelligence failures surrounding the invasion of Iraq dramatically illustrate the necessity of developing standards for evaluating expert opinion. This book fills that need. Here, Philip E. Tetlock explores what constitutes good judgment in predicting future events, and looks at why experts are often wrong in their forecasts.

Tetlock first discusses arguments about whether the world is too complex for people to find the tools to understand political phenomena, let alone predict the future. He evaluates predictions from experts in different fields, comparing them to predictions by well-informed laity or those based on simple extrapolation from current trends. He goes on to analyze which styles of thinking are more successful in forecasting. Classifying thinking styles using Isaiah Berlin's prototypes of the fox and the hedgehog, Tetlock contends that the fox–the thinker who knows many little things, draws from an eclectic array of traditions, and is better able to improvise in response to changing events–is more successful in predicting the future than the hedgehog, who knows one big thing, toils devotedly within one tradition, and imposes formulaic solutions on ill-defined problems. He notes a perversely inverse relationship between the best scientific indicators of good judgement and the qualities that the media most prizes in pundits–the single-minded determination required to prevail in ideological combat.

Clearly written and impeccably researched, the book fills a huge void in the literature on evaluating expert opinion. It will appeal across many academic disciplines as well as to corporations seeking to develop standards for judging expert decision-making.
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Augustine for the Philosophers: The Rhetor of Hippo, the Confessions, and the Continentals

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Calvin L. Troup, "Augustine for the Philosophers: The Rhetor of Hippo, the Confessions, and the Continentals"
English | ISBN: 1481300873 | 2014 | 238 pages | PDF | 2 MB

Augustine for the Philosophers: The Rhetor of Hippo, the Confessions, and the Continentals
St. Augustine of Hippo, largely considered the greatest thinker of Christian antiquity, has long dominated theological conversations. Augustine's legacy as a theologian endures. However, Augustine's contributions to rhetoric and the philosophy of communication remain relatively uncharted. Augustine for the Philosophers recovers these contributions, revisiting Augustine's prominence in the work of continental philosophers who shaped rhetoric and the philosophy of communication in the twentieth century. Hannah Arendt, Albert Camus, Jacques Ellul, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Martin Heidegger, Edmund Husserl, Jean-Francois Lyotard, and Paul Ricoeur are paired with Augustine in significant conversations close to the center of their work. Augustine for the Philosophers dares to hold Augustine's rhetoric and philosophy in dynamic tension with his Christianity, provoking serious reconsideration of Augustine, his presence in twentieth-century continental thought, and his influence upon modern rhetoric and communication studies.
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Laruelle: Against the Digital

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Laruelle: Against the Digital (Posthumanities) by Alexander R. Galloway
2014 | ISBN: 0816692130, 0816692122 | English | 304 pages | PDF | 4 MB

Laruelle: Against the Digital
Laruelle is one of the first books in English to undertake in an extended critical survey of the work of the idiosyncratic French thinker François Laruelle, the promulgator of non-standard philosophy. Laruelle, who was born in 1937, has recently gained widespread recognition, and Alexander R. Galloway suggests that readers may benefit from colliding Laruelle’s concept of the One with its binary counterpart, the Zero, to explore more fully the relationship between philosophy and the digital.

In Laruelle, Galloway argues that the digital is a philosophical concept and not simply a technical one, employing a detailed analysis of Laruelle to build this case while referencing other thinkers in the French and Continental traditions, including Alain Badiou, Gilles Deleuze, Martin Heidegger, and Immanuel Kant. In order to explain clearly Laruelle’s concepts such as the philosophical decision and the principle of sufficient philosophy, Galloway lays a broad foundation with his discussions of “the One” as it has developed in continental philosophy, the standard model of philosophy, and how philosophers view “the digital.”

Digital machines dominate today’s world, while so-called digital thinking—that is, binary thinking such as presence and absence or self and world—is often synonymous with what it means to think at all. In examining Laruelle and digitality together, Galloway shows how Laruelle remains a profoundly non-digital thinker—perhaps the only non-digital thinker today—and engages in an extensive discussion on the interconnections between media, philosophy, and technology.
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A Political Companion to Herman Melville

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Jason Frank, "A Political Companion to Herman Melville"
English | ISBN: 081314387X | 2014 | PDF | 456 pages | 8,7 MB

A Political Companion to Herman Melville
Herman Melville is widely considered to be one of America's greatest authors, and countless literary theorists and critics have studied his life and work. However, political theorists have tended to avoid Melville, turning rather to such contemporaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau to understand the political thought of the American Renaissance. While Melville was not an activist in the traditional sense and his philosophy is notoriously difficult to categorize, his work is nevertheless deeply political in its own right. As editor Jason Frank notes in his introduction to , Melville's writing "strikes a note of dissonance in the pre-established harmonies of the American political tradition."

This unique volume explores Melville's politics by surveying the full range of his work — from Typee (1846) to the posthumously published Billy Budd (1924). The contributors give historical context to Melville's writings and place him in conversation with political and theoretical debates, examining his relationship to transcendentalism and contemporary continental philosophy and addressing his work's relevance to topics such as nineteenth-century imperialism, twentieth-century legal theory, the anti-rent wars of the 1840s, and the civil rights movement. From these analyses emerges a new and challenging portrait of Melville as a political thinker of the first order, one that will establish his importance not only for nineteenth-century American political thought but also for political theory more broadly.
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The Legacy of Cornelius Cardew

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The Legacy of Cornelius Cardew by Tony Harris
2013 | ISBN: 140944810X | English | 217 pages | PDF | 6 MB

The Legacy of Cornelius Cardew
Cornelius Cardew is an enigma. Depending on which sources one consults he is either an influential and iconic figure of British musical culture or a marginal curiosity, a footnote to a misguided musical phenomenon. He is both praised for his uncompromising commitment to world-changing politics, and mocked for being blindly caught up in a maelstrom of naive political folly. His works are both widely lauded as landmark achievements of the British avant-garde and ridiculed as an archaic and irrelevant footnote to the established musical culture. Even the events of his death are shrouded in mystery and lack a sense of closure. As long ago as 1967, Morton Feldman cited Cardew as an influential figure, central to the future of modern music-making. The extent to which Cardew has been a central figure and a force for new ideas in music forms the backbone to this book. Harris demonstrates that Cardew was an original thinker, a charismatic leader, an able facilitator, and a committed activist. He argues that Cardew exerted considerable influence on numerous individuals and groups, but also demonstrates how the composer's significance has been variously underestimated, undermined and misrepresented. Cardew's diverse body of work and activity is here given coherence by their sharing in the values and principles that underpinned the composer's world view. The apparently disparate and contradictory episodes of Cardew's career are shown to be fused by a cohesive 'Cardew aesthetic' that permeates the man, his politics and his music.
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Oxford Readings in Lucretius

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Oxford Readings in Lucretius by Monica R. Gale
English | 2007-10-25 | ISBN: 0199260346, 0199260354 | PDF | 400 pages | 2 MB

Oxford Readings in Lucretius
This book gathers together some of the most important and influential scholarly articles of the last sixty to seventy years (three of which are translated into English here for the first time) on the Roman poet Lucretius. Lucretius' philosophical epic, the De Rerum Natura or On the Nature of the Universe (c.55 BC), seeks to convince its reader of the validity of the rationalist theories of the Hellenistic thinker Epicurus. The articles collected in this volume explore Lucretius' poetic and argumentative technique from a variety of perspectives, and also consider the poem in relation to its philosophical and literary milieux, and to the values and ideology of contemporary Roman society. All quotations in Latin or Greek are translated.
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Albert Schweitzer’s Ethical Vision A Sourcebook

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Albert Schweitzer's Ethical Vision A Sourcebook by Predrag Cicovacki
English | 2009-02-02 | ISBN: 0195377885, 0195377893 | PDF | 264 pages | 2 MB

Albert Schweitzer’s Ethical Vision A Sourcebook
The philosophy of Albert Schweitzer has proved widely influential in modern thinking, especially in the field of ethics. His leading ethical idea can be summarized in the phrase "reverence for life" – namely, that good consists in maintaining and perfecting life, and evil consists in destroying and obstructing life. For Schweitzer, all life is sacred. Ethics thus deals with human attitudes and behavior toward all living beings.

Unlike many moral philosophers, Schweitzer argues that knowledge of human nature does not provide a sufficient foundation for any adequate moral theory. That is why he bases his ethics on much broader foundations, articulated in his philosophy of civilization and the philosophy of religion. Schweitzer argues that the material aspect of our civilization has become far more important than its spiritual counterpart. Even organized religion has put itself in the service of politics and economy, thereby losing its vitality and moral authority.

Schweitzer's ethics of reverence for life, argues Predrag Cicovacki, offers a viable alternative at a time when traditional ethical theories are found inadequate. Schweitzer's robust and un-dogmatic idealism may offer the best antidote to the prevailing relativism and nihilism of the postmodern epoch. His ethical vision directs us toward a new way of building a more just and more peaceful world. Collecting sixteen of Schweitzer's most effective essays, this volume serves as a compelling introduction to this remarkable thinker and humanist.
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Philosophy and Politics in the Thought of John Wyclif

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Philosophy and Politics in the Thought of John Wyclif By Stephen E. Lahey
Publisher: C U P 2003 | 252 Pages | ISBN: 052163346X , 0521058465 | PDF | 1 MB

Philosophy and Politics in the Thought of John Wyclif
John Wyclif was the fourteenth-century English thinker responsible for the first English Bible, and for the Lollard movement–persecuted widely for its attempts to reform the church through empowerment of the laity. This study argues that John Wyclif's political agenda was based on a coherent philosophical vision ultimately consistent with his earlier reformative ideas. Several of Wyclif's formal, Latin works proposed that the king should take control of all church property and power in the kingdom, a vision close to what Henry VIII was to realize 150 years later.
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