God: A brief philosophical introduction

K.H.A. Esmail, University of Cambridge

November 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-148-0
Availability: In stock
$60 £49 €55

This is a clear and original investigation of God's nature and existence. First of all, it considers two of God’s traditional properties: being all-knowing and being all-powerful. It argues he cannot possess these properties. But, it argues this is in accord with him being worthy of worship. Secondly, it introduces the notion of evil being “overridden”. It argues he has to bring about other free living things and it is plausible they have to be liable to experience evil due to their conditions. But, it argues the evil in this world is “overridden”. Thirdly, it considers the principal arguments for the claim he does not exist. (They refer to the evil in the world.) It argues they do not establish sufficient grounds for this claim. Finally, it considers some well-known arguments for the claim he exists. It argues they face difficulties. It sets out other arguments. It covers as a whole the principal parts of the Philosophy of Religion. It unifies these parts to a significant degree. It proceeds regularly by way of formal and clear arguments. These arguments are frequently original. It will be of interest to advanced students and specialists in Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology. Given its explanation of key terms, its jargon-free language, its clarity and brevity.... , it will be of interest to others, too.

Freedom, Authority and Economics: Essays on Michael Polanyi's Politics and Economics

Edited by R. T. Allen

October 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-131-2
Availability: In stock
$60 £48 €55

This edited volume of original contributions deals with the economic and political thought of Michael Polanyi. Requiring little prior knowledge of Polanyi, this volume further develops a somewhat neglected side of Polanyi's work. In particular it examines the 'tacit integration', of subsidiary details into focal objects or actions as central to all knowing and action. It traces ontological counterparts in the structures of comprehensive entities and complex actions, and a multi-level universe in which lower levels have their boundary conditions, the extents to which they apply, determined by those of the next higher level, whilst each possessing its own laws or operative principles. This schema of 'dual control' preserves the reality and relative autonomy of each level, and its interactions with others, against the various reductions. The essays in this volume also employ and develop important additional concepts and distinctions such as: 'corporate' and 'spontaneous' order; 'public' and 'private' liberties; 'general' and 'specific authority'; and 'moral inversion'; which, as the essays show, are necessary for understanding and maintaining a free society and the freedom of institutions within it. Among the topics treated with them are: more of the prerequisites of freedom in public liberties dedicated to principles and transcendent values; totalitarianism and society as spontaneous order; the balance of general and specific authority in society and particular institutions; reductionism, totalitarianism and consumption in consumer societies, as moral inversions; the mutual interactions of economics and politics as distinct and autonomous but interacting levels; the sociological aspects of economics; and Polanyi's own contributions to sociology. Although, as indicated, Polanyi has his special terms, the essays in this volume, like his works, give them meaning with concrete examples and so avoid merely shuffling a mass of abstractions. Together the essays show that his work is a rich seam of ideas and inspiration for yet further extension and application.

Intervention or Protest

Acting for Nonhuman Animals

Edited by Andrew Woodhall, University of Birmingham and Gabriel Garmendia da Trindade, University of Birmingham

October 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-062-9
Availability: In stock
$75 £58 €68

Within current political, social, and ethical debates – both in academia and society – activism and how individuals should approach issues facing nonhuman animals, have become increasingly important, ‘hot’ issues. Individuals, groups, advocacy agencies, and governments have all espoused competing ideas for how we should approach nonhuman use and exploitation. Ought we proceed through liberation? Abolition? Segregation? Integration? As nonhuman liberation, welfare, and rights’ groups increasingly interconnect and identify with other ‘social justice movements’, resolutions to these questions have become increasingly entangled with questions of what justice and our ethical commitments demand on this issue, and the topic has become increasingly significant and divisive. The book considers how this question, and contemporary issues facing nonhumans (such as experimentation, hunting, and factory farming) should be answered by drawing on both theory and practice in order to provide grounded, yet actionable, ways forward. Indicatively, the book covers topics such as: • The intersection between interspecies ethics and the ethics of war and self-defence • Nonhuman animals as political subjects and acting agents • Whether we should intervene for nonhuman animals in cases of natural disaster • Various explorations of why the nonhuman movement may not be succeeding as well as it could be • Comparisons between the nonhuman movement and other social movement • Arguments for and against intervening to help or save nonhumans, and how far we may go • What intervention could ultimately mean for nonhumans The book is therefore intended not only to provide new and interesting insight into the area and important contemporary discussions, but also to constructively aid the nonhuman movement and unite theory and practice on the crucial issues. With the nonhuman movement and its past approaches currently being questioned as a success, more nonhumans than ever being harmed and exploited, and a growing gulf between activists and scholars, this book will not only be a timely addition to the literature, but an attempt to bridge these gaps and move both theory and practice – and thus the movement and field – forward.

Communication Images in Derek Walcott's Poetry

Sadia Gill

October 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-132-9
Availability: In stock
$75 £65 €70

This book investigates the potential purpose of recurrent communication images in the poetry of Derek Walcott. The recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1992, Walcott is one of the most important postcolonial poets of the 20th century. His poetry delves into the dynamics of Caribbean marginalization and seeks to safeguard the paradigms characteristic of his island home. Several major studies have examined themes in his poetry but the images of communication in his poetics have not been explored. This book examines Walcott’s poetry expressions that the poet brings into play in order to demonstrate the relevance of the Caribbean in the contemporary world—firstly through a study of communication imagery, and secondly through an examination of the conclusions he reaches through these means. The quantitative chart demonstrates that Walcott is especially reliant upon images of communication from the 1980s. Extensive textual analysis indicates that the place and contextual meaning of communication imagery, for example, page mirrors the historical plight of the Caribbean region; likewise, line expresses an identity deficit. Finally, this book validates that Walcott’s extensive use of communication imagery in his poetry contributes to a fluid notion of self that embraces multiculturalism while maintaining the imaginary intact.

Self-Preservation at the Center of Personality

Superego and Ego Ideal in the Regulation of Safety

Ralf-Peter Behrendt

October 2016 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-103-9
Availability: In stock
$45 £35 €42

The book discusses personality as a unified set of evolved and culturally developed structures that serves a single and definable purpose, to maintain the individual’s safety, in the context of dyadic relationships, group processes and more abstract and fluid social configurations. The infant-mother relationship remains the blueprint for modes of relating to the social surround, at whatever level of complexity, and for approximating the sense of safety originally provided by the mother. The personality is organized around the need to maintain self-esteem, thereby preserving the individual’s sense of safety and warding off deep-seated paranoid anxiety, which signals the potential of annihilation of the self. Paranoid anxiety is the counterpart of intraspecific aggression and the potential of the group as a whole to attack and annihilate the individual. Paranoid anxiety, which was recognized by Melanie Klein as playing a critical role in infant development, is not overcome as development proceeds but remains latent, buried under layers of personality organization that are essentially concerned with sourcing recognition and approval from the social environment, thereby inhibiting others’ aggression and guarding against annihilation of the self. The book adds to self psychology (Kohut) by showing how the principle of self-preservation underpins all aspects of normal and abnormal character dynamics. It integrates self psychology with other branches psychoanalytic theory and revives the link between psychoanalysis and ethology. Ethology (Lorenz, Hass, Eibl-Eibesfeldt) has provided insights into how interrelated intraspecific aggression and appeasement gestures are critically important for the evolution of social behavior in higher animals as well as for cultural evolution in humans, insights that allow, more generally, for a bridging of the gap between psychoanalysis and the biology of social behavior. Furthermore, an evolutionary approach to character dynamics and related social phenomena will have important implications for understanding psychopathological vulnerabilities and self-perpetuating processes in mental illness.