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Subject: Philosophy

Neither Capital, Nor Class

A Critical Analysis Of Pierre Bourdieu's Theoretical Framework

Jacek Tittenbrun, University of Poznan, Poland

May 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-207-4
Availability: In stock
366pp. ¦ $75 £65 €72

This book offers an in-depth examination of Pierre Bourdieu's theoretical framework. The book is not just a collection of more or less critical remarks but constitutes a coherent whole, underpinned by an original analytical framework. This conceptual apparatus makes it possible to present some alternative solutions to the theoretical problems under consideration. The book goes largely against the grain of views that are dominant in the literature on Bourdieu. Therefore, its conclusions may be surprising to many a reader. The book demonstrates that Bourdieu's well-known theory of 'capital' forms is untenable, resembling more an illegitimate metaphor rather than a scientific concept. In a similar vein, the Bourdesian class theory should be largely regarded as a variant of social stratification rather than class. There are many theoretical and empirical problems with Bourdieu's theory of social and cultural reproduction as well. There is more to the above criticisms than meets the eye. The point is that many weaknesses of Bourdieu's style of theorising seem to stem from his intellectual dependence upon structuralism, especially in Claude Lévi-Strauss' version. It is this affinity that accounts for such features of Bourdieu's approach as its essentialism, formalism and epistemic idealism. The book will be of interest primarily to students of Bourdieu's many and varied contributions to social theory. In view of Bourdieu's immense influence, it will also hold interest to critical scholars in political science, economic sociology and political philosophy.

Bertrand Russell’s Life and Legacy

Edited by Peter Stone, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

August 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-191-6
Availability: In stock
214pp. ¦ $60 £49 €57

Almost five decades after his death, there is still ample reason to pay attention to the life and legacy of Bertrand Russell. This is true not only because of his role as one of the founders of analytic philosophy, but also because of his important place in twentieth-century history as an educator, public intellectual, critic of organized religion, humanist, and peace activist. The papers in this anthology explore Russell’s life and legacy from a wide variety of perspectives. This is altogether fitting, given the many-sided nature of Russell, his life, and his work. The first section of the book considers Russell the man, and draws lessons from Russell’s complicated personal life. The second examines Russell the philosopher, and the philosophical world within which his work was embedded. The third scrutinizes Russell the atheist and critic of organized religion, inquiring which parts of his critical stance are worth emulating today. The final section revisits Russell the political activist; it directs an eye both at Russell’s own long career of peace activism, but also at his place in a highly political family tradition of which he was justifiably proud. This book thus constitutes an invitation, if one were needed, to the world of Bertrand Russell. Those new to Russell, but with an interest in biography, philosophy, religion, or politics, will hopefully find something to learn here. This may spark an interest in learning more about Russell. But this book is not just intended for the Russell neophyte. The book sheds fresh light on a number of topics central to Russell studies—his connections to other philosophers, for example. Scholars well-versed in Russell studies will enjoy grappling with the treatment given to these topics here.

The Confusion between Art and Design

Brain-tools versus Body-tools

Tsion Avital, Holon Institute of Technology, Israel

April 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-205-0
Availability: In stock
428pp. [Color] ¦ $130 £107 €122

In the past century the borders have blurred between art and design. Designers, artists, aestheticians, curators, art and design critics, historians and students all seem confused about these borders. Figurative painting was reduced to graphic design while still being called 'art'. Figurative sculpture was reduced to nonfunctional industrial design while being called 'sculpture'. This fundamental blunder resulted from total misunderstanding of the concept of "abstraction" by the founders of modern art. Comprehensive analysis shows that so-called "abstract art" is neither abstract nor art, but a very simple, even trivial, kind of design. In this book the prehistoric, philosophical, logical, historic and religious sources of the confusion between art and design are analyzed. A new and coherent conceptual framework is proposed, to distinguish between art and design. Nearly one hundred distinctions, contradistinctions and comparisons between art and design are presented, showing clearly that they are totally independent domains. Philosophy of art books are written by philosophers for philosophers, not for artists and designers; therefore they are irrelevant for the latter, especially for students who normally lack the necessary conceptual training. This book is not only for theoreticians but for art and design practitioners at all levels. This is a new kind of book: an illustrated philosophical book for the art and design world, which can make philosophical knowledge accessible and useful for solving real problems for designers and artists who are mostly visual rather than conceptual thinkers. The book contains over two hundred images; thus art and design people can easily follow the arguments and reasoning presented in this book in their own language; images. Lack of distinction between art and design harms both. Design is contaminated by the ills of modern art, while modern art cannot recover from its current stagnation whilst under the illusion that it is actually art rather than design.

Mustard Seeds in the Public Square

Between and Beyond Theology, Philosophy, and Society

Edited by Sotiris Mitralexis, City University of Istanbul, Turkey; University of Winchester, UK

March 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-169-5
Availability: In stock
265pp. ¦ $55 £40 €50

This volume seeks to explore the intersection of theology, philosophy and the public sphere not by referring the social and political to ethics and deontology as is often the case, but rather to ontology itself, to the very nature of beings. The meaning of history and historicity is most pertinent to this enquiry and is approached here both from the perspective of social reality and from the perspective of ontology. Joining together contributions focusing on theory of the public sphere and metaphysics, chapters explore subjects as diverse as the political implications of the Incarnation, the paradox between ontology and history, politically left and right appropriations of Christianity, the fecundity of Maximus the Confessor’s insights for a contemporary political philosophy, modern Orthodox political theology focusing on Christos Yannaras and numerous thematic areas that together form the mosaic of the enquiry in question.

The Common Good

An Introduction to Personalism

Edited by Steffen Boeskov, University of Liverpool and Leif E. Kristensen, Københavns Universitet

March 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-192-3
Availability: In stock
172pp. ¦ $45 £35 €42

Our traditional ways of thinking about politics and society are becoming obsolete. We need some new points of reference in order to re-imagine the possible character, growth, and functioning of our private and common life. Such re-imagination would imply doing away with every-man-for-himself individualism as well as consumption-makes-me-happy materialism and the-state-will-take-care-of-it passivity. There is an alternative: Personalism is a forgotten, yet golden perspective on humanity that seeks to describe what a human being is and to then draw the social consequences. Personalism builds upon the thinking of Martin Buber and Emmanuel Levinas, among others, and has been a source of inspiration for Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu, and other important personalities in recent history. According to personalism, humans are relational and engaged and possess dignity. The person and the relationship amongst persons are the universal point of departure: Human beings have inherent dignity, and good relationships amongst humans are crucial for the good, engaged life and for a good society. Personalism has been greatly neglected in Western political thought. In this book, Jonas Norgaard Mortensen attempts to introduce personalism while simultaneously demonstrating its historical origins, acquainting the reader with its thinkers and those who have practiced it, and showing that personalism has a highly relevant contribution to make in the debate about today’s social and political developments.

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