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Subject: Philosophy

The end of the Western Civilization? The Intellectual Journey of Humanity to Adulthood

Hippokratis Kiaris, University of South Carolina

November 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-544-9
Availability: In stock
118pp. ¦ $50 £40 €47

Civilizations can be perceived as living human beings that are born, mature, age, and ultimately die and disappear, passing their legacy to the future generations. These transitions may be projected to the different stages of cognitive development of children. The Western Civilization, which embodies our current state of cultural advancement from the Classic Greek to the modern period, can be paralleled by the gradual transitions of human beings toward adulthood. From this perspective, the ancient Greek era resembles the toddler years of humanity at which the first “why”-type questions are being asked. The theocratic period that followed until the Renaissance can be seen as our childhood, when people lived their lives under the tight boundaries set by religious authorities. The period spanning from the Enlightenment until almost the end of the 20th century can be considered as our teenage years when people rediscover their past, are liberated from superstition, and set the path forward based on reason by a manner at which the distinction between plausible and feasible is vague. Within this scheme, postmodernism also finds its place in our teenhood. The last few decades, from this perspective, signify our entrance to adulthood at which major questions are considered answered, or at least settled, and the only path forward perceived as feasible is the one that is followed already, a state that is bringing us closer to our intellectual aging and its inevitable death. Some signs of aging-related pathologies are already manifested in today’s technology-intensive society. By identifying our intellectual age and by appreciating our health status, we may be able to proactively delay or even avert our intellectual aging and death.

The Anthropic Principle: A Universe Built for Man

Anthony Walsh, Boise State University

October 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-524-1
Availability: In stock
180pp. ¦ $63 £50 €58

The Copernican Principle states that humankind is an insignificant assemblage of chemical scum living on an accidental planet in a suburb of a purposeless universe. Many prominent scientists, including Nobel laureate physicists, have questioned this scurrilous principle, which has led physicists to propose the Anthropic Principle. This principle posits a purposeful link between the structure of the universe and the existence of humankind and its specialness. The numerous features of the universe are so freakishly fine-tuned for the existence of intelligent life that physicists are beginning to come to grips with the notion that our universe is profoundly purposeful and that there is a powerful and incredibly intelligent Mind behind it all.

Getting Bergson Straight: The Contributions of Intuition to the Sciences

Pete A. Y. Gunter, University of North Texas

ISBN: 978-1-64889-503-6
Availability: Pre-order
$53 £42 €49

This study concerns the ideas of one particular philosopher, Henri Bergson, whose views of time, intuition, and creativity have had a significant impact on art, literature, and the humanities, both in his time and in our own. Although it is generally recognized that Bergson’s ideas have significantly impacted the arts and the humanities, it has not been recognized how they have also had a creative influence on the sciences as well. Nor has it been realized that this was one of his most basic contentions. Bergson’s conception of intuition—his fundamental insight into reality—was not limited to fugitive insights into human existence. By realizing previously unsuspected possibilities for research and discovery, his endeavors were also meant to make possible new advances in the sciences. If it enabled his cousin by marriage, Marcel Proust, to explore human memory in depth, it also inspired psychologists like Daniel Schachter to use Bergson’s ideas to make real contributions to contemporary memory science. If his notion of creative evolution brought many thinkers to a belief in human creative freedom, it brought others (notably Alexis Carrel and Pierre Lecomte de Noüy) to a scientific study of biological time. Among his successful speculations was the theory of the Big Bang cosmology. 'Getting Bergson Straight' shows many points at which Bergson’s ideas anticipated future developments in the sciences. This was seen clearly by the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Luis de Broglie who viewed Bergson’s physics as presaging quantum physics. Thus, the text is well situated for arts, humanities, social science, and natural science classrooms studying creative thinking and/or intellectual history.

Ignite: A Decolonial Approach to Higher Education Through Space, Place and Culture

Edited by Laura M. Pipe, University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Jennifer T. Stephens, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

ISBN: 978-1-62273-961-5
Availability: Forthcoming
$91 £75 €86

“Ignite: a Decolonial Approach to Higher Education Through Space, Place and Culture” seeks to examine the process of unlinking colonizing structures from teaching and learning. The work, through an exploration of justice-forward approaches, suggests that a blend of equity and culturally-responsive pedagogies with experiential approaches of learning are essential, while indicating that the current social justice frameworks and pedagogical practice within educational settings stop short of the direct action required for true social change, as they overlook the significance of space, place, and culture in the learning process. This edited volume is framed by the Toward a Liberated Learning Spirit (TALLS) Model for Developing Critical Consciousness, and it will take the reader on a learning journey from academic detachment to embodied liberation, through a process of unlearning. This book will be of interest to students, scholars, and researchers in higher education as well as critical and cultural studies, apart from program administrators and educators. “Ignite” can be used in such tasks as the development of inclusive curricula and practices, while expanding approaches to diversity and equity.

Being in Conscience: A Theory of Ethics

Lambros Philippou

ISBN: 978-1-64889-533-3
Availability: Available 4 weeks
$74 £58 €69

This book aims to suggest a worldview departing from an articulation of a theory of conscience. It analyses the constitutive parts of conscience, a concept that has not been thoroughly examined and analysed in the discussions on ethics. Having the mechanisms of production of conscience as a point of reference, the book proceeds to discuss the concepts of subjective and collective evil. The concept of being in enhanced conscience aims to position the subjective conscience in human historicity. Based on the analysis of the roots of conscience, the subject is placed in the public sphere from the point of view of its corporeal harmony and disharmony as the conditions for its binding with the institutions and the spirit of a worldsphere. The book then expands its scope by addressing the question of what makes a worldsphere functional and dysfunctional. This analysis is useful for scholars who are interested in the deep structural conditions that produce and sustain a liberal democratic state. Through the analysis of inner-worldly and inter-worldly temporality, the mode of the creative rhythm is depicted by underlining the creative divergence that occurs not only within distinct worlds but also between worldspheres. The mediation of this analysis introduces the concept of planetary functionality whereby what is at stake is the islands of functionality that serve the survival of an interconnected world. The theory of conscience is applied also to the analysis of the state and of the economy. Conscience is also identified with the properties attributed to God, suggesting a new understanding of the meaning of religion and its role in human historicity. Finally, it argues that we should understand the future as the future of conscience that can function as the only motor of historical evolution.

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