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This chapter draws conclusions based on the impacts of exclusionary and hierarchical practices, the relative value of ‘top-down’ reform and ‘bottom-up’ activism, and the place of global learning in a gradualist approach to progressive change. Beyond that, the chapter considers how an approach inspired by American Pragmatism informs Global International Relations, which seeks to construct a discipline that is more inclusive of non-Western perspectives. The chapter draws parallels between the book’s reading of classical Pragmatism and non-Western ‘cosmologies’ like Confucianism. This has been introduced to contemporary Western IR mainly through the works of Yaqing Qin. The chapter does, however, build on other works identifying resonances across Deweyan Pragmatism and Confucian philosophy. The chapter argues that if the Pragmatist turn in Western IR continues, then it can be more easily harmonized with non-Western approaches. This at least signposts a path ‘towards’ Global IR, even if it does not fix the path’s end point. Indeed, the chapter argues that we should follow such signs because they do not fix the destination. Those points are for practitioners and global publics to construct and reconstruct as they work collectively to mitigate lived problems through communities of practice that are inclusive, reflexive, creative and deliberative.
Amidst the resurgence of scholarship on pacifism, this essay seeks to critically interrogate certain influential sections within pacifism which characterise Gandhi as a pacifist, and his philosophy as pacifism. After pointing out the shortcomings of existing attempts to problematise the pacifist connotations of Gandhi, I adopt a cosmological approach to reading Gandhi. I argue that such an approach enables us to view the uncritical equation of both strands of thought as symptomatic of the deep-rooted ontological, epistemological, and other biases informing Western cosmology. This is demonstrated by the channels through which Gandhian discourses are framed as pacifism (especially in their diffusion into the American context), via a distinct set of interactions with both the religious and secular cosmological background assumptions underpinning pacifism. In the subsequent section, I continue this approach by highlighting how an alternate relational cosmology – Gandhian hypophysics – with a radically different set of background assumptions results in an idiosyncratic notion of Gandhian ideas which are quite inimical to pacifism. Besides reconciling contradictory characterisations of the same man and his philosophy, as well as contributing to a dialogic, pluriversal approach, I argue that this work also seeks to extend the scholarship on the interrelated themes of agency and cosmology.
The Confucian “way of knowing” was validated through classical texts that transmitted the wisdom of antiquity. Early Song rulers promoted Confucianism as the ideological foundation of the state, and the reformulation of Confucianism commonly known as “Neo-Confucianism” took place against the backdrop of the newly unified Song dynasty. Well before the Song, the establishment of government schools and the examination system institutionalized early ideals of learning, transforming them into knowledge useful for governing a bureaucratic state. During the Song, debates over the content of the examinations – and thus what kinds of knowledge were valued – were sparked by political disputes, but disagreements were also based on deeply held beliefs about the meaning of learning and the purpose of knowledge. The cosmological underpinnings of Confucianism were articulated and transmitted through new interpretations of the Classics in the Northern Song, synthesized and systematized by the Neo-Confucian thinker Zhu Xi (1130–1200). History was a way of knowing distinct from the Classics as a source of political and philosophical principles. The Jurchen Jin incorporated and adapted these ways of knowing with their own in their rule of the north. The introduction of print technology altered people’s relationship to texts and to the transmission of knowledge.
One of the most unique features of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican thought, in comparison to that of other parts of the world, is its development of and the centrality of particular conceptions of time, the creation of time, and the role of time. In Mesoamerican thought, time plays a crucial role in the continual creation or maintenance of the cosmos. It is an organizational principle and structure, interconnected with other aspects of the world and containing features of non-temporal aspects of the world. We can determine that time has a key significance in much of Mesoamerican thought not just because many of the textual sources document time and its features, but because time is continually linked with correlated features of reality, and described to be a fundamental feature of objects and events in the world, as we will see in this chapter. Time clearly has a central role to play in the philosophical thought of Mesoamerica, though just how it plays this role is a matter of debate among scholars, and as we will also see, differs between and within traditions.
IR proceeds on a Eurocentric ontological assumption that sovereignty has universal validity today. How can IR be decolonised, when in spite of countless examples of the enactment of ‘sovereignty otherwise’, the discipline remains unconcerned with the fact that the logic of sovereignty remains uni-versal. The question is as much political as it is intellectual, because as a discipline, we have allowed the inertia of our professional rhythms to marginalise pluri-versal sovereignty, or the organisation of sovereignty along different ontological starting points. I argue IR must abandon its disciplinary love affair with uni-versal sovereignty. The tendency to ‘bring in’ new perspectives by inserting them into an already ontologically constituted set of assumptions works to protect IR’s Eurocentricity, which makes disciplinary decolonisation untenable. I propose that as a starting point, IR needs to be more mature about recognising the decolonisations that are happening under our very feet if we are to stand a chance at disciplinary level decolonisation. As an illustrative example, I explore an ongoing collision of settler-colonial and Mi’kmaw sovereignty through the issue of lobster fisheries in Mi’kma’ki, or Nova Scotia as the territory is known to Canadians.
Having developed the necessary mathematics in chapters 4 to 6, chapter 7 returns to physics Evidence for homogeneity and isotropy of the Universe at the largest cosmological scales is presented and Robertson-Walker metrics are introduced. Einstein’s equations are then used to derive the Friedmann equations, relating the cosmic scale factor to the pressure and density of matter in the Universe. The Hubble constant is discussed and an analytic form of the red-shift distance relation is derived, in terms of the matter density, the cosmological constant and the spatial curvature, and observational values of these three parameters are given. Some analytic solutions of the Friedmann equation are presented. The cosmic microwave background dominates the energy density in the early Universe and this leads to a description of the thermal history of the early Universe: the transition from matter dominated to radiation dominated dynamics and nucleosynthesis in the first 3 minutes. Finally the horizon problem and the inflationary Universe are described and the limits of applicability of Einstein's equations, when they might be expected to break down due to quantum effects, are discussed.
Einstein's general theory of relativity can be a notoriously difficult subject for students approaching it for the first time, with arcane mathematical concepts such as connection coefficients and tensors adorned with a forest of indices. This book is an elementary introduction to Einstein's theory and the physics of curved space-times that avoids these complications as much as possible. Its first half describes the physics of black holes, gravitational waves and the expanding Universe, without using tensors. Only in the second half are Einstein's field equations derived and used to explain the dynamical evolution of the early Universe and the creation of the first elements. Each chapter concludes with problem sets and technical mathematical details are given in the appendices. This short text is intended for undergraduate physics students who have taken courses in special relativity and advanced mechanics.
Recent astrophysical findings suggest that the era during which the Universe is habitable has just begun. This raises the question whether the entire Universe may at some point in the future be filled with intelligent life. Hanson et al. (2021, The Astrophysical Journal922, 182) argued that we can be confident that the Universe will, by cosmic standards, soon be dominated by imperialist civilizations which expand rapidly, persist long and make drastic changes to the volumes they control. The main motivation for this ‘grabby civilizations’ hypothesis is that it supposedly provides a good explanation of why we are so early in cosmic history. In this paper, we criticize this motivation and suggest that it fails, for reasons analogous to why the notorious Doomsday argument fails. In the last part of the paper we broaden our discussion and argue that it may be rational to assign a rather low prior probability to the grabby civilizations hypothesis. For instance, if there are any civilizations that expand rapidly and indefinitely, they may well not make any drastic changes to the volumes they inhabit, potentially for strategic reasons. Hence, we call for epistemic caution and humility regarding the question of the long-term evolution of intelligence in the Universe.
Many Indigenous lowland South American peoples treat the thinking, feeling self as constituted by the process of relating to a panoply of others, including enemies. This need for alterity in the constitution of selves is arguably part of a loose but widespread and enduring pattern – an ‘Amazonian package’ – that also tends to feature claims to the effect that the collective fabrication of beautiful, competent, human bodies is a central purpose of human social life, in the context of a cosmos in which beings with similar bodies perceive each other as human and those with different bodies as non-human. I examine practices and speech genres in which people attribute an evaluative gaze to murdered enemies, sorcerers, would-be lovers, and fishhooks, among other figures of alterity, and I argue that such attributions reflect and reproduce motivating pictures of moral subjects. Over time and motivated by these pictures, people have gone about living their lives such that their evaluative deployments have more or less felicitously interpellated new generations. Morality has thus been central in the reproduction of the Amazonian package. The process, however, is not teleological.
During the fifth and fourth centuries bce, a number of Greek doctors attempted to base the art of healing on the first principles of all things in general. These “cosmological doctors” included such thinkers as Eryximachus, Philistion, Petron, the unnamed opponents of On Ancient Medicine, and the authors of On the Nature of the Human Being, On Breaths, On Flesh, and On Regimen. Previous studies have approached these thinkers under the rubric of medicine's interactions with “philosophy.” This book, by contrast, will approach them from a medical point of view, arguing that the best way to understand these systems is to view them as responses to preexisting modes of medical thinking.
Why did some doctors in Classical Greece feel compelled to study the universe as a whole? How could cosmological principles be employed in clinical practice? This book explores the works of the cosmological doctors, such as On Breaths, On Flesh, and On Regimen, and argues that they form part of a much broader reorganization of medical knowledge in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. These healers used cosmological principles as a supplement to, rather than a replacement of, more traditional approaches to health and disease, creating theories about the cosmos whose obscurities can best be understood as the products of medical thinking. Through fresh readings of many ancient sources, the book revises customary views of the intersections between medicine and cosmology in Classical Greece and advances our understanding of one of the most remarkable periods in the history of ancient thought.
The ancient Zoroastrian hymn of worship dedicated to the frauuaṣ̌i-s (affirmative choices) of righteous mortals and divinities refers to an important discourse that takes place between an unnamed Zoroastrian poet-sage and his mysterious rival, named Gaōtəma. The figure of Gaōtəma has intrigued Avestan scholars through the years, but the significance and the implications of Gaōtəma's identity, and of his presence in the hymn, has to date not been seriously studied. This article first examines the context in which Gaōtəma is presented in the hymn. Building upon this, it then evaluates four potential identities for Gaōtəma: Avestan, Turanian, Buddhist, and Vedic. Conducting a multidisciplinary and comparative assessment, the article eventually argues in favour of a Vedic identity for Gaōtəma, specifically that of a poet-sage who was a proponent of the Rig Vedic divinity Indra. This investigation into Gaōtəma's identity concomitantly provides important perspectives on certain aspects of the Zoroastrian religion, and often in a comparative context.
This chapter discusses the place of the traditional and cosmic gods in the cosmological theogony of the Timaeus. It argues that Plato’s cosmology follows the Greek theogonic tradition to a certain degree and accommodates both the traditional and cosmic gods via a shared pair of the first gods, but adopts different explanatory frameworks for the two types of gods. It also proposes a new reading of the Timaeus as a theogony of Ouranos. For Plato, Ouranos is a traditional god and a cosmic being, and as such he is the most senior deity of both families. These new findings lead to a more detailed examination of the double identity of gods (cosmological and religious) in Plato’s later dialogues, which shows that there are at least three ways to understand the double identification of gods.
The Introduction examines the status quaestionis regarding the relation between Greek religion and Plato’s cosmology, and in particular Plato’s proposed division between the traditional and cosmic gods. It argues that it is necessary to differentiate Plato’s understanding of religion, which is internal to his text, from a cultural-historical account of Greek religion. It also argues that the recognition of the plurality of interpretative models inherent to philosophical cosmology gives us a more precise way to understand how this discourse can affect the gods of religion. This methodological framework is then deployed to formulate the thesis of the book, after which follows a short overview of each chapter.
This chapter addresses the relationship between divinity, cosmology, morality and religion in the Timaeus and the Laws. It argues that the ideal of godlikeness becomes both the main ethical and the central religious principle in these dialogues. In particular, Plato finds in religion the institutional environment for achieving moral improvement as much as leading a good civic life, provided that the ordinary citizens will imitate the character traits of the traditional gods. However, the highest level of moral achievement lies in the assimilation to the cosmic gods via cosmological understanding, which can be achieved by the intellectual elite. Thus, this ideal has two sets of assimilative objects, two ways of imitating the gods, and it appeals to two different groups of people.
This book sheds new light on Plato's cosmology in relation to Greek religion by examining the contested distinction between the traditional and cosmic gods. A close reading of the later dialogues shows that the two families of gods are routinely deployed to organise and structure Plato's accounts of the origins of the universe and of humanity and its social institutions, and to illuminate the moral and political ideals of philosophical utopias. Vilius Bartninkas argues that the presence of the two kinds of gods creates a dynamic, yet productive, tension in Plato's thinking which is unmistakable and which is not resolved until the works of his students. Thus the book closes by exploring how the cosmological and religious ideas of Plato's later dialogues resurfaced in the Early Academy and how the debates initiated there ultimately led to the collapse of this theological distinction.
I ask how sensory models are established and operate across different cultures, including their variant ethnographical nuances. This problematises the interplay of the senses whereby sensory conjunctions or amalgams form part of everyday life and ritual practices in many societies, as opposed to the broader compartmentalisation of the senses in Western aesthetics. The chapter compares a range of categories that delineate different senses, as well as the varying modalities per sense. This is accomplished through an investigation of linguistic descriptors of senses as a starting point. How a particular culture names the senses that wield cultural importance is however not merely an exercise in description or enumeration. I analyse sensory nomenclatures in a three-fold manner to unveil the phenomenological epistemology of the senses. First, I engage with the numbers of modalities per sense in order to acknowledge alternate sensory models beyond the hegemonic Romano–Grecian five-sense categorisation. Second, I query the social significance of the nuances of each sense. Third, I raise examples of how two or more senses may be employed synaesthetically. By focusing on cultural interpretations of sensory practices, pairings, and intersections, this approach sheds analytical attention upon everyday orderings of sensory categories and their cultural significance.
We give a broad-brush overview of cosmology, including a timeline of events starting from the Big Bang until the present day. We introduce the three pillars of the Big Bang cosmological model, the concepts of homogeneity and isotropy, as well as parsec as a unit of distance. We also introduce natural units, and develop intuition on how to adopt and use them.
This new graduate textbook adopts a pedagogical approach to contemporary cosmology that enables readers to build an intuitive understanding of theory and data, and of how they interact, which is where the greatest advances in the field are currently being made. Using analogies, intuitive explanations of complex topics, worked examples and computational problems, the book begins with the physics of the early universe, and goes on to cover key concepts such as inflation, dark matter and dark energy, large‑scale structure, and cosmic microwave background. Computational and data analysis techniques, and statistics, are integrated throughout the text, particularly in the chapters on late-universe cosmology, while another chapter is entirely devoted to the basics of statistical methods. A solutions manual for end-of-chapter problems is available to instructors, and suggested syllabi, based on different course lengths and emphasis, can be found in the Preface. Online computer code and datasets enhance the student learning experience.
The Late Preclassic (400 b.c.–a.d. 200) site of Noh K'uh in Chiapas, Mexico, is home to extended residential groups that aggregated around a small ceremonial complex at the bottom of the Mensäbäk Basin. Evidence collected from domestic contexts indicates that the Late Preclassic households of this site were organized under corporate political systems that emphasized collective identity and cosmological renewal. This article reveals how the people of Noh K'uh integrated cosmological beliefs and practices within the construction of their dwelling spaces, particularly through using cache deposits and participating in other architectural renewal ceremonies. Residents of Noh K'uh may have engaged in these practices to create “semipublic” gathering spaces for administrative and ceremonial activities at the level of the household.