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Glacier fluctuations from key Vatnajökull outlets have been redated using tephrochronology coupled with two lichenometric techniques to ascertain the timing of the Little Ice Age (LIA) maximum in southeast Iceland. An updated tephrochronology for southeast Iceland (both the number of tephra layers present and their geochemical signatures) indicates a LIA maximum for both glaciers between AD 1755 and 1873. Based on a population gradient approach, lichenometrically dated moraines along the margins of Skálafellsjökull and Heinabergsjökull narrow this window to the early to mid-19th century respectively. These revised chronologies, in addition to emerging evidence from elsewhere in Iceland, support a late 18th- to early 19th-century LIA glacier maximum. In contrast, the Norwegian LIA glacial maximum is strongly centred around AD1750. This implies differing glaciological responses to secular shifts in the North Atlantic Oscillation. Such revisions to the Vatnajökull record are crucial, as accurately identifying the timing and delimiting the spatial extent of the Icelandic LIA glacier maximum will allow further light to be shed on glacier–climate interactions in the North Atlantic.
To refer to Prince Andrei as a rational man seems to flout Tolstoian psychological theory. In a passage from the second (unpublished) part of Youth that Boris Eikhenbaum treats as autobiographical, Tolstoi explains that one of his earliest maxims arose from a refutation of Descartes's “I think, therefore I am.“
I recall that the basis of my new philosophy was that man consisted of body, feelings, reason and will, but that the essence of the soul was will, not reason: that Descartes, whom I had not read then, in vain had said Cogito, ergo sum, because he had thought because he had wanted to think. Consequently it was necessary to say Volo, ergo sum.
Tolstoi alters Descartes's maxim to make it consistent with the metaphysical underpinnings of science and psychology as he understands them. Life is self-propelled motion, while reason is the principle that defines it or, as he puts it in the second epilogue of War and Peace, gives it form. The essence of a living being, therefore, must be desire or impulse, not thought, which gives form to impulse but does not itself move. To live is to will, not to think.
The account of “democracy” presented in the writings of Alfarabi differs considerably from all other treatments of the subject, both ancient and modern. The goal of this article is to elucidate the falāsifa's view of democracy and account for its unusual character, by showing how appropriate it is to both the meaning of the term in medieval Arabic and the political situation of their own time. Questions such as internal order, war, immigration, philosophy, and their relationship to democracy as understood by the falāsifa are all duly considered. The article concludes with the suggestion that this peculiar sort of democracy nonetheless resembles modern democracy in one small but crucial respect.
Alfarabi treats the question of global governance more thoroughly than any of his Greek predecessors. The key to understanding his view of the matter lies with his highly selective use of the term “inhabited world” across several works. Citing the inhabited world's enormous size, immeasurable diversity, and frequently inhospitable terrain, Alfarabi rejects the possibility that its entirety will ever be governed politically. Furthermore, Alfarabi omits the term “inhabited world” from his most important accounts of deliberation and legislation. The implication is that in Alfarabi's view no statesman or prophet can ever deliberate about, or legislate for, the whole of the inhabited world. The scope and multiplicity of the political accidents occurring within this vast domain are too great for any deliberator or group of deliberators to adequately grasp. The consequence is that any given political action or piece of legislation concerns at most several nations. Alfarabi's discussion helps to reveal the limited scope of most political decisions today, which often appear to be global but in fact do not involve more than several nations.
Leo Tolstoy, who wrote three novels, insisted that the first and most ambitious of them – War and Peace (WP) – was not a novel at all: he called it a ‘book’ instead. The second – Anna Karenina (AK) – he subtitled ‘a novel’. The fact that roman, the Russian word for ‘novel’, also means ‘love affair’ ties the genre more closely to romantic love than in English. The ‘novel’ in the title of Anna Karenina is associated specifically with Anna's story, and the continuation of the book after her death asserts that novels end, while life – and Tolstoy's book – go on. In the 1890s, writing Resurrection (R), Tolstoy referred to it casually and multiple times as a novel, but he also remarked in his 1893 diary that ‘the novel form is on its way out’. Here and elsewhere during the 1890s, he complained that it was shameful to invent stories for the decadent leisured classes, and, as we shall see, he conceptualised Resurrection as a novel that reproaches its fellows. So, having hardly acknowledged the existence of the novel in his œuvre early on, Tolstoy was ready to usher it out in his old age. Nonetheless, in his own time and today he has been recognised as one of the world's greatest novelists.
We might attribute Tolstoy's resistance to the novel form to contrarianism; he loved to expose false pretences and undercut convention. Russian formalist critic Viktor Shklovsky located his unique greatness in such truth seeking. One of the main purposes of art, according to Shklovsky, is to shake up automatic perceptions.
A century after Leo Tolstoy's death, the author of War and Peace is widely admired but too often thought of only with reference to his realism and moral sense. The many sides of Tolstoy revealed in these essays speak to readers with astonishing force, relevance, and complexity. In a lively, challenging style, leading scholars range over his long life, from his first work Childhood to the works of his old age like Hadji Murat, and the many genres in which he worked, from the major novels to aphorisms and short stories. The essays present fresh approaches to his central themes: love, death, religious faith and doubt, violence, the animal kingdom, and war. They also assess his reception both in his lifetime and subsequently. Setting new agendas for the study of this classic author, this volume provides a snapshot of more current scholarship on Tolstoy.
What if there were a war and nobody came? Bumper stickers in college towns all over the United States in the 1960s broadcast this slogan, but today, fifty years later, no end to war is in sight. Count Lev (Leo) Nikolaevich Tolstoy, advocate of conscientious war resistance and author of the greatest war fiction in modern times, hated war but understood its role in human life. He fought in two conflicts, the long-running battle against mountain tribes in the Caucasus, and the Crimean War. Born into a family of warrior aristocrats, with his oldest brother Nikolai already in the army, his decision to take up arms came naturally, and so, presumably, did his celebration of Russian martial spirit at the siege of Sevastopol. Yet the seeds of his later pacifism are evident in his earliest war stories. A draft of his first one, “The Raid” (1853), defines war as “murder,” while the patriotic “Sevastopol in December” (1855) calls it “blood, suffering, and death.” War seemed evil to him for religious reasons, and in the final chapter of “Sevastopol in May” (1855) he asks how “all those [Christians] who profess the same great law of love and self-sacrifice” could fight one other. In his old age, by then a world-famous pacifist, Tolstoy returned in Hadji Murat (published posthumously, 1911) to the Caucasian wars of his youth to depict them as an imperialist adventure by Russia. Yet this anti-war masterpiece contains his most sympathetic portrait of a warrior.
One hundred years ago, on November 20, 1910 (or November 7, according to the Russian calendar at that time), Count Leo Tolstoy died of pneumonia in the home of the stationmaster at a railway stop called Astapovo. In the seven days during which he lingered, reporters gathered at the obscure station to wire capitals all over the world about his illness and death. It was the first great media circus, made possible by the existence of the telegraph, as well as by Tolstoy's own global reach. He was celebrated not only as a writer of fiction, but also as a moral thinker and reformer whose jeremiads and solutions influenced people everywhere, from Mahatma Gandhi in India, to the founders of the kibbutz movement in Palestine, to Jane Addams, the founder of the settlement movement in Chicago. When I lecture in the older buildings at the University of Toronto or at other universities in North America, I imagine Tolstoy's ideas echoing in these places from the days when my predecessors debated them in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. After Tolstoy's death, there was a battle to assimilate his considerable authority to various causes often at odds with positions he had taken while he was alive and able to defend himself. The concluding chapter in this volume, by Michael A. Denner, documents the different and contradictory ways that Tolstoy was used during the Russian Revolution and its aftermath (1917–24) by all sides of the conflict, from dark red to lily white, about Russia and its future.