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Series: Vernon Series in Philosophy

Metaphysics of Human Rights 1948-2018

On the Occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the UDHR

Edited by Luca Di Donato, State Professional School B. Cavalieri, Italy and Elisa Grimi

January 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-559-4
Availability: In stock
284pp. ¦ $63 £47 €53

The 1948 Declaration of Human Rights demanded a collaboration among exponents from around the world. Embodying many different cultural perspectives, it was driven by a like-minded belief in the importance of finding common principles that would be essential for the very survival of civilization. Although an arduous and extensive process, the result was a much sought-after and collective endeavor that would be referenced for decades to come. Motivated by the seventieth anniversary of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and enriched by the contributions of eminent scholars, this volume aims to be a reflection on human rights and their universality. The underlying question is whether or not, after seventy years, this document can be considered universal, or better yet, how to define the concept of “universality.” We live in an age in which this notion seems to be guided not so much by the values that the subject intrinsically perceives as good, but rather by the demands of the subject. Universality is thus no longer deduced by something that is objectively given, within the shared praxis. Conversely, what seems to have to be universal is what we want to be valid for everyone. This volume will be of interest to those currently engaged in research or studying in a variety of fields including Philosophy, Politics and Law.

Being Played: Gadamer and Philosophy’s Hidden Dynamic

Jeremy Sampson, University of Chichester, UK

ISBN: 978-1-62273-629-4
Availability: Forthcoming
$63 £47 €54

Are we being played? Is our understanding of the traditionally fixed and static concepts of philosophy based on an oversimplification? This book explores some of the theories of the self since Descartes, together with the rationalism and the empiricism that sustain these ideas, and draws some startling conclusions using Gadamer’s philosophical study of play as its starting point. Gadamer’s ludic theory, Sampson argues, reveals a dynamic of play that exists at the deepest level of philosophy. It is this dynamic that could provide a solution in relation to the Gadamer/Habermas hermeneutics debate and the Gadamer/Derrida relativism debate, together with a theory of totality. Sampson shows how ludic theory can be a game-changer in understanding the relationship between philosophy and literature, exploring the dynamic between the fictive and non-fictive worlds. These worlds are characterized simultaneously by sameness (univocity of Being) and difference (equivocity of Being). The book questions Heidegger’s idea that the univocity of Being is universal, instead maintaining that the relationship between the univocity of Being and equivocity of Being is real, and that ontological mediation is required to present them as a unified whole. Using the works of Shakespeare, Beckett and Wilde, Sampson contends that such a mediation, termed ‘the ludicity of Being’, takes place between literature and its audience. This literary example has profound implications not only for literature and its attendant theories but also for philosophy — in particular, ontology and hermeneutics. This book will be of particular interest to scholars of philosophy and literature, for it seeks to develop our understanding of ontology and hermeneutics. It should also engage the general reader who wishes to understand literature and philosophy with a genuinely new set of perspectives.

Liberation Philosophy: From the Buddha to Omar Khayyam

Mostafa Vaziri, University of Innsbruck, Austria

ISBN: 978-1-62273-531-0
Availability: Pre-order
$66 £49 €56

The critical narrative of this interdisciplinary book offers a first-time look at the interrelationship between biology, mythology and philosophy in human development. Its daring premise follows the trajectory of human thought, starting with the biological roots of fear and the original need for religion, truth-seeking, and myth-making. The narrative then innovatively links a number of maverick philosophical teachings over the centuries, from pre-Buddhist time to the Buddha, from Epicurus and Pyrrho to Lucretius, and eventually to the seminal poetry of Omar Khayyam. These emergent philosophies exemplified liberation from the grasp of mythical and religious thinking and instead espoused an empirical and joyful mind. The narrative concludes with a look at the emancipating philosophical movement that resulted in the European Enlightenment and suggests that the philosophical teachings explored in this book may offer the potential for a ‘second’, broader Enlightenment.

Solipsism, Physical Things and Personal Perceptual Space

Solipsist Ontology, Epistemology and Communication

Safak Ural, İstanbul University, Turkey

November 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-403-0
Availability: In stock
348pp. ¦ $65 £48 €55

Solipsism indicates an epistemological position that denies the existence of ‘others’ by asserting that the ‘self’ is the only thing that can be known to exist. For sophist philosophers, the belief that “we can not know anything, and even if we do so, we cannot communicate it” is central to this theory. However, until now there has been little academic scholarship that has tried to provide answers to the pressing issues raised by solipsism. In Solipsist Ontology: Physical Things and Personal Perceptual Space, Ural aims to redefine solipsism by analyzing and elaborating on traditional philosophical problems, such as empiricism and rationalism, as well as discussing problems of language, communication, and meaning. Ural reveals where solipsism has been previously ignored, pseudo-problems have arisen that disguise the sources of the problems with prejudices that concern the philosophical problems in question. Notably, many current, as well as traditional problems of ontology, epistemology, and language are bound up in discourses of solipsism. Ural argues that discarding solipsism as a philosophical discourse hinders new interpretations of traditional philosophical thought. This book offers a fresh perspective to solipsism by defining it in relation to concepts such as ‘physical things,’ ‘personal perceptual space’ and ‘identity.’ Importantly, Ural proposes that an understanding of ‘identity’ is not necessary in order to redefine solipsism. By building a logical system that fashions communication and solipsism as interrelated, it is possible to reject ‘identity’ as a useless concept and thus overcome the classic solipsist dilemma of “we are not able to communicate.” This original piece of research is an important and timely contribution to the field of philosophy that will be of great interest to teachers, researchers, and students.

Cioran – A Dionysiac with the voluptuousness of doubt

Ion Dur, Baia Mare Northern University Centre, Romania

December 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-460-3
Availability: In stock
182pp. ¦ $58 £45 €50

Since its inception philosophical thought has been fixated by death. Death, as much as life, has been the unrelenting driving force behind some of history’s greatest thinkers. Yet, for Emil Cioran, a Romanian-French philosopher, even philosophy cannot attempt to understand nor contain the inevitable unknown. Considered to be an anti-philosopher, Cioran approached and reflected on the human experience with a despairing pessimism. His works are characterised by a brooding, fatalistic temperament that reveals and defines itself in his irony, black humour and inimitable style. Although Cioran’s later works have received much scholarly recognition, little attention has been paid to the texts he wrote in his adolescent. Grounded in the historical context of interwar Romania, this book presents for the first time an analysis of the little-known works of this pioneering Romanian thinker. Deeply affected by his upbringing, this book offers a glimpse into Cioran’s first attempts to delve into philosophical enterprise, before turning its attention to his later works, On the Heights of Despair (1934), The Transfiguration of Romania (1936) and Twilight of thoughts (1940; written in France). Using both the French and Romanian editions of these works, but also their original manuscripts, this volume seeks to provide a re-reading that takes language rather than a social or political critique as its focal point. As an important and provocative contribution to the existing literature on Cioran, this book will be an essential point of reference for students and researchers, alike.