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This first full-length study of the Arabic reception of Plato's Timaeus considers the role of Galen of Pergamum (129–c. 216 CE) in shaping medieval perceptions of the text as transgressing disciplinary norms. It argues that Galen appealed to the entangled cosmological scheme of the dialogue, where different relations connect the body, soul, and cosmos, to expand the boundaries of medicine in his pursuit for epistemic authority – the right to define and explain natural reality. Aileen Das situates Galen's work on disciplinary boundaries in the context of medicine's ancient rivalry with philosophy, whose professionals were long seen as superior knowers of the cosmos vis-à-vis doctors. Her case studies show how Galen and four of the most important Christian, Muslim, and Jewish thinkers in the Arabic Middle Ages creatively interpreted key doctrines from the Timaeus to reimagine medicine and philosophy as well as their own intellectual identities.
Latin American philosophy is best understood as a type of applied philosophy devoted to issues related to the culture and politics of Latin America. This introduction provides a comprehensive overview of its central topics. It explores not only the unique insights offered by Latin American thinkers into the traditional pre-established fields of Western philosophy, but also the many 'isms' developed as a direct result of Latin American thought. Many concern matters of practical ethics and social and political philosophy, such as Lascasianism, Arielism, Bolívarism, modest and immodest feminisms, republicanism, positivism, Marxism, and liberationism. But there are also meta-philosophical 'isms' such as originalism and perspectivism. Together with clear and accessible discussions of the major issues and arguments, the book offers helpful summaries, suggestions for further reading, and a glossary of terms. It will be valuable for all readers wanting to explore the richness and diversity of Latin American philosophy.
Why did Greek philosophy begin in the sixth century BCE? Why did Indian philosophy begin at about the same time? Why did the earliest philosophy take the form that it did? Why was this form so similar in Greece and India? And how do we explain the differences between them? These questions can only be answered by locating the philosophical intellect within its entire societal context, ignoring neither ritual nor economy. The cities of Greece and northern India were in this period distinctive also by virtue of being pervasively monetised. The metaphysics of both cultures is marked by the projection (onto the cosmos) and the introjection (into the inner self) of the abstract, all-pervasive, quasi-omnipotent, impersonal substance embodied in money (especially coinage). And in both cultures this development accompanied the interiorisation of the cosmic rite of passage (in India sacrifice, in Greece mystic initiation).
Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, many Western observers of Iran have seen the country caught between Eastern history and 'Western' modernity, between religion and secularity. As a result, analysis of political philosophy preceding the Revolution has become subsumed by this narrative. Here, Afshin Matin-Asgari proposes a revisionist work of intellectual history, challenging many of the dominant paradigms in Iranian and Middle Eastern historiography and offering a new narration. In charting the intellectual construction of Iranian modernity during the twentieth century, Matin-Asgari focuses on broad patterns of influential ideas and their relation to each other. These intellectual trends are studied in a global historical context, leading to the assertion that Iranian modernity has been sustained by at least a century of intense intellectual interaction with global ideologies. Turning many prevailing narratives on their heads, the author concludes that modern Iran can be seen as, culturally and intellectually, both Eastern and Western.
This wide-ranging introduction to classical Indian philosophy is philosophically rigorous without being too technical for beginners. Through detailed explorations of the full range of Indian philosophical concerns, including some metaphilosophical issues, it provides readers with non-Western perspectives on central areas of philosophy, including epistemology, logic, metaphysics, ethics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of religion. Chapters are structured thematically, with each including suggestions for further reading. This provides readers with an informed overview whilst enabling them to focus on particular topics if needed. Translated Sanskrit texts are accompanied by authorial explanations and contextualisations, giving the reader an understanding of the argumentative context and philosophical style of Indian texts. A detailed glossary and a guide to Sanskrit pronunciation equip readers with the tools needed for reading and understanding Sanskrit terms and names. The book will be an essential resource for both beginners and advanced students of philosophy and Asian studies.
Western philosophy and science are responsible for constructing some powerful tools of investigation, aiming at discovering the truth, delivering robust explanations, verifying conjectures, showing that inferences are sound and demonstrating results conclusively. By contrast reasoning that depends on analogies has often been viewed with suspicion. Professor Lloyd first explores the origins of those Western ideals, criticises some of their excesses and redresses the balance in favour of looser, admittedly non-demonstrative analogical reasoning. For this he takes examples both from ancient Greek and Chinese thought and from the materials of recent ethnography to show how different ancient and modern cultures have developed different styles of reasoning. He also develops two original but controversial ideas, that of semantic stretch (to cast doubt on the literal/metaphorical dichotomy) and the multidimensionality of reality (to bypass the realism versus relativism and nature versus nurture controversies).
This volume of new essays is the first English-language anthology devoted to Chinese metaphysics. The essays explore the key themes of Chinese philosophy, from pre-Qin to modern times, starting with important concepts such as yin-yang and qi and taking the reader through the major periods in Chinese thought - from the Classical period, through Chinese Buddhism and Neo-Confucianism, into the twentieth-century philosophy of Xiong Shili. They explore the major traditions within Chinese philosophy, including Daoism and Mohism, and a broad range of metaphysical topics, including monism, theories of individuation, and the relationship between reality and falsehood. The volume will be a valuable resource for upper-level students and scholars of metaphysics, Chinese philosophy, or comparative philosophy, and with its rich insights into the ethical, social and political dimensions of Chinese society, it will also interest students of Asian studies and Chinese intellectual history.
The concept of yinyang lies at the heart of Chinese thought and culture. The relationship between these two opposing, yet mutually dependent, forces is symbolized in the familiar black and white symbol that has become an icon in popular culture across the world. The real significance of yinyang is, however, more complex and subtle. This brilliant and comprehensive analysis by one of the leading authorities in the field captures the richness and multiplicity of the meanings and applications of yinyang, including its visual presentations. Through a vast range of historical and textual sources, the book examines the scope and role of yinyang, the philosophical significance of its various layers of meanings and its relation to numerous schools and traditions within Chinese (and Western) philosophy. By putting yinyang on a secure and clear philosophical footing, the book roots the concept in the original Chinese idiom, distancing it from Western assumptions, frameworks and terms, yet also seeking to connect its analysis to shared cross-cultural philosophical concerns.
Democratic political theory often sees collective action as the basis for non-coercive social change, assuming that its terms and practices are always self-evident and accessible. But what if we find ourselves in situations where collective action is not immediately available, or even widely intelligible? This book examines one of the most intellectually substantive and influential Chinese thinkers of the early twentieth century, Zhang Shizhao (1881–1973), who insisted that it is individuals who must 'make the political' before social movements or self-aware political communities have materialized. Zhang draws from British liberalism, democratic theory, and late-Imperial Confucianism to formulate new roles for effective individual action on personal, social, and institutional registers. In the process, he offers a vision of community that turns not on spontaneous consent or convergence on a shared goal, but on ongoing acts of exemplariness that inaugurate new, unpredictable contexts for effective personal action.
In this undergraduate textbook Lewis R. Gordon offers the first comprehensive treatment of Africana philosophy, beginning with the emergence of an Africana (i.e. African diasporic) consciousness in the Afro-Arabic world of the Middle Ages. He argues that much of modern thought emerged out of early conflicts between Islam and Christianity that culminated in the expulsion of the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula, and from the subsequent expansion of racism, enslavement, and colonialism which in their turn stimulated reflections on reason, liberation, and the meaning of being human. His book takes the student reader on a journey from Africa through Europe, North and South America, the Caribbean, and back to Africa, as he explores the challenges posed to our understanding of knowledge and freedom today, and the response to them which can be found within Africana philosophy.
In this clearly written undergraduate textbook, Stephen Laumakis explains the origin and development of Buddhist ideas and concepts, focusing on the philosophical ideas and arguments presented and defended by selected thinkers and sutras from various traditions. He starts with a sketch of the Buddha and the Dharma, and highlights the origins of Buddhism in India. He then considers specific details of the Dharma with special attention to Buddhist metaphysics and epistemology, and examines the development of Buddhism in China, Japan, and Tibet, concluding with the ideas of the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh. In each chapter he includes explanations of key terms and teachings, excerpts from primary source materials, and presentations of the arguments for each position. His book will be an invaluable guide for all who are interested in this rich and vibrant philosophy.
Noam Chomsky is one of the leading intellectual figures of modern times. He has had a major influence on linguistics, psychology and philosophy, and a significant effect on many other disciplines, from anthropology to mathematics, education to literary criticism. In this rigorous yet accessible account of Chomsky's work and influence, Neil Smith analyses Chomsky's key contributions to the study of language and the study of mind. He gives a detailed exposition of Chomsky's linguistic theorizing, discusses the psychological and philosophical implications of Chomsky's work, and argues that he has fundamentally changed the way we think of ourselves, gaining a position in the history of ideas on a par with that of Darwin or Descartes. This second edition has been thoroughly updated to account for Chomsky's most recent work, including his continued contributions to linguistics, his further discussion on evolution, and his extensive work on the events of September 11th, 2001.
Chomsky has had a major influence on linguistics, psychology, and philosophy. In this rigorous yet accessible account of Chomsky's work, Neil Smith analyses Chomsky's key contributions to the study of both language and the mind. He gives a detailed exposition of Chomsky's linguistic theorizing, and examines the ideas for which he is best known. Smith discusses the psychological and philosophical implications of Chomsky's work, and argues that he has fundamentally changed the way we think of ourselves. Smith examines Chomsky's political ideas and how these fit intellectually with his scholarly work. The final chapter spells out the themes - rationality, creativity and modularity - that unite the disparate strands of his vast output. Throughout, Smith explores the controversy surrounding Chomsky's work, and explains why he has been both adulated and vilified.
This book derives from a series of lectures given in 1888 by Monier Monier-Williams, who was Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford for over 30 years and whose work broke new ground in the Western understanding of Buddhism and other South Asian religions. This substantial historical survey of Buddhism begins with an account of the Buddha and his earliest teaching, as well as a brief description of the origin and composition of the scriptures containing the Buddha's law (Dharma). Monier-Williams explains the early constitution of the Buddha's order of monks (Sangha), and outlines the philosophical doctrines of Buddhism together with its code of morality and theory of perfection, culminating in Nirvana. He also describes formal and popular rituals and practices, and sacred places and objects. The book is an example of Victorian Orientalist scholarship which remains of interest to historians of religious studies, Orientalism, and the British Empire.
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