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Series: Vernon Series in Philosophy

Bioethics in Africa: Theories and Praxis

Edited by Yaw A. Frimpong-Mansoh, Northern Kentucky University, USA and Caesar A. Atuire, University of Ghana, Ghana

October 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-459-7
Availability: In stock
182pp. ¦ $44 £33 €38

Bioethics urges us to question and debate fundamental moral issues that arise in health-related sciences. However, as a result of Western dominance and globalization, bioethical thinking and practice has inevitably been shaped and defined by Western theories. With recent discussions centering on the relationship between culture and bioethics, it is important to consider how and to what extent can bioethics reflect and accommodate non-Western values and beliefs? Debatably, many scholars working in the field of ‘African bioethics’ seek to construct a bioethical practice that is grounded in indigenous African values. Yet, how relevant are ancient African cultural norms to the lives and realities of the 21st century Sub-Saharan-Africans? This edited volume explores bioethics in Africa from pluralistic and inter-cultural perspectives. The selected papers offer diverse theoretical and practical perspectives on the bioethical challenges that are common and specific to the lives of Sub-Sahara Africans. The contributors define bioethics broadly (beyond ethical issues relating to biomedical and biotechnological science) to include applied ethics that concern all aspects of life. Multidisciplinary in approach, the contributions to this book consider bioethics in relation to philosophy, social work, psychiatry, African studies, religious studies, psychology, and medicine. The broad scope of this volume means it will be of interest to those studying and working in bioethics as well as the fields mentioned above.

Does Happiness Write Blank Pages? On Stoicism and Artistic Creativity

Piotr Stankiewicz, University of Warsaw, Poland

October 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-446-7
Availability: In stock
180pp. ¦ $44 £33 €37

Stoicism is coming back in a big way. Seen as a remedy for the craziness of the times we live in, it is experiencing a great surge in academic and cultural interest. Yet, can one live stoically and be a creative artist at the same time? Delving into its underlying tenets, obscure restrictions and limits of applicability, Stankiewicz critically explores Stoicism and its complex association with artistic creativity. Stoicism and artistic creativity are two great displays of the human spirit. Yet, there are multiple reasons to suspect that they are at odds with each other. Popular culture encapsulates this problem in the figure of the rational, yet emotionally remote Stoic, who achieves serenity through withdrawal, and the contrasting figure of the “cursed poet,” “tormented artist,” or simply a rock star, who lives in a whirl of creative energy, yet falls short of quietude. Is this contrast valid? Other disciplines, including psychology, have explored this problem. But it has never been done philosophically. Pioneering in its philosophical approach, this book discusses how artistic creativity and its problems of identity, expression and self-creation serve as a great testing ground for Stoicism, as well as its theoretical challenges and practical limits. Stankiewicz presents a detailed investigation into the stereotypes of Stoic life that seeks to explain the cause of Stoicism’s modern revival. This book is an essential read for anyone captivated by Stoicism’s complex allure.

Essays in Post-Critical Philosophy of Technology

Edited by Mihály Héder, Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE), Hungary and Eszter Nádasi, Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE), Hungary

November 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-457-3
Availability: In stock
170pp. ¦ $42 £32 €36

Technology, in all its forms, has had and continues to have an indisputable impact on society and culture. Philosophy of technology seeks to understand this impact and the meaning of technology for society and culture. Although its origins can be traced back to the Greeks, it wasn’t until the late 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century that it gained ground as a philosophical discipline. Now more than ever it is considered an essential philosophical enterprise. ‘The Budapest Workshop on Philosophy of Technology’ was a lively and successful event that sought to discuss, reflect on and apply this branch of philosophical inquiry to both historical and contemporary examples. Importantly, the contributors’ methodological approaches were influenced by, although not limited to, Michael Polanyi’s term ‘post-critical’. Moving beyond the rigidity of past approaches, the selected essays were driven by two lines of inquiry, what has been the historical role of technology in social and scientific change? And, how can a ‘post-critical’ approach enhance and extend our understanding of philosophy of technology? This edited volume begins by exploring the role of technology in social and scientific developments from a historical perspective, before moving towards a discussion of philosophy of technology from a ‘Post-Critical’ epistemic stance. Free from the constraints of previous methodologies, the third part of this work engages with the term ‘Post-Critical’ in its broadest sense. The contributors to this section consider the phenomenology of the body and the influence of technology on our lives. Finally, the four concluding chapters of this book apply this philosophical approach to a wide range of contemporary problems from Decision Support Systems to Crisis Communication.

God: A brief philosophical introduction II

K.H.A. Esmail, University of Cambridge

November 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-520-4
Availability: In stock
369pp. ¦ $66 £50 €56

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: eg, some arguments to increase any degree of belief one has that God can exist. It includes a number of Appendices: God’s sovereignty; Are there sufficient grounds for the claim that, very probably, God does not exist; Theodicy and some theodicies; .... 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. 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.

rock philosophy: meditations on art and desire

Torgeir Fjeld

July 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-441-2
Availability: In stock
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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