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Safak Ural, İstanbul University, Tukey
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 space perception’ 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.
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144pp. ¦ $55 £39 €45
Is the creative act like a volcano: an outburst that lights up the universe? This volume connects reason with desire and the arts in ways that enable us to imagine how creativity can bring us closer to the truth. The artistic quest for freedom stands in stark contrast to philosophy's call to subordinate art to reason and tradition. The struggle between them has culminated in artistic attempts to subsume philosophical matters within the domain of art. One central question in this study is what the consequences will be of a final dissolution of the boundary between the two domains: will all that remains of the artwork be an abstract howl of the rock – our rock, the planet – itself?
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136pp. ¦ $55 £42 €48
The nature of human reason is one of the thorniest of mysteries in philosophy. The reason appears in many specific forms within general areas such as cognition, thinking, experiencing beauty, and moral judgment. These forms are “perfectly” known in philosophy, yet an unknown pattern has been noticed which shows us that they are all a variation of the same theme: truth is an identity relation between the “thought” and “reality”; justice is an identity relation between the given and the deserved; beauty is an identity relation as rhyme is an identity relation between the final sounds of words; rhythm is an identity relation between time intervals; symmetry is an identity relation between two halves; proportion is an identity relation between two ratios; anaphora is an identity relation between the initial words. Particular things are identities in themselves and universals are identities between particulars. One idea associates another idea identical to it; an analogy is an identity between relations; induction is an identification between the known and unknown instances; and all the logic rests on the law of identity. What is common for all of them is the nature of reason itself.
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394pp. ¦ $67 £50 €57
This collection is about composing thought at the level of modernism and decomposing it at the postmodern level where many cocks might crow with African philosophy as a focal point. It has two parts: part one is titled ‘The Journey of Reason in African Philosophy’, and part two is titled ‘African Philosophy and Postmodern Thinking’. There are seven chapters in both parts. Five of the essays are reprinted here as important selections while nine are completely new essays commissioned for this book. As their titles suggest, in part one, African philosophy is unfolded in the manifestation of reason as embedded in modern thought while in part two, it draws the effect of reason as implicated in the postmodern orientation. While part one strikes at what V. Y. Mudimbe calls the “colonising structure” or the Greco-European logo-phallo-euro-centricism in thought, part two bashes the excesses of modernism and partly valorises postmodernism. In some chapters, modernism is presented as an intellectual version of communalism characterised by the cliché: ‘our people say’. Our thinking is that the voice of reason is not the voice of the people but the voice of an individual. The idea of this book is to open new vistas for the discipline of African philosophy. African philosophy is thus presented as a disagreement discourse. Without rivalry of thoughts, Africa will settle for far less. This gives postmodernism an important place, perhaps deservedly more important than history of philosophy allocates to it. It is that philosophical moment that says ‘philosophers must cease speaking like gods in their hegemonic cultural shrines and begin to converse across borders with one another’. In this conversation, the goal for African philosophers must not be to find final answers but to sustain the conversation which alone can extend human reason to its furthermost reaches.
R. T. Allen et al.
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190pp. ¦ $58 £44 €49
After the Editor's General Introduction, the extracts include central elements of Blaga’s metaphysics, general epistemology, philosophies of science, history, religion, language and especially metaphor, the experience of space and time, art, and finally culture which includes all of them, especially the presence in all of ‘style’ and distinctive ways of practising them. All these extracts are linked by his general epistemology, especially his distinction between two types of knowledge: ‘paradisiac’ or Type 1, which is that of everyday awareness and the current methods, concepts and presuppositions of the sciences of nature and humanity, plus mathematics and philosophy, and accumulates in ‘plus knowledge’ and resolves problems in standard ways; and ‘Luciferican’ or Type 2, which opens up the ‘mysteries’ of new realms of reality which do not fit the current methods, concepts and presuppositions, and so results in ‘minus’ knowledge, the awareness that there are things which at the moment we cannot understand. For these ‘mysteries’ new methods, concepts and presuppositions are required, which ‘abyssal’ categories can supply, ones below those we normally employ and may be aware of. It is part of man’s role in the cosmos to reveal such mysteries. They are also linked by Blaga's awareness of historical changes, especially ‘dogmatic aeons’ in which a prevailing framework of categories, etc., guides knowledge and research, and ones in which Type 2 knowledge dominates and new frameworks are eventually created. Each extract has its own Introduction which places it in the context of the rest of his interlinked philosophy. They show how Blaga, with both general themes and concepts and also with particular examples, combines much of the concerns and methods of Analytic and Continental philosophy, and how his historical perspective applied especially to modern times long before anyone spoke of 'postmodernism', and thus as in his lifetime.