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Nicholas Rescher

Philosophical Pragmatism in Context looks at human affairs and the condition of man from a purposive point of view. From this point of view it is a centrally significant feature of man that we humans are creatures possessing preferences, desires, wants, and—above all—needs. The possession of people’s wants and needs is clearly a factual issue. What my needs are—what I require in order to have a healthy, happy, and rewarding life—is part and parcel of the conditions that define me as the sort of being that I am. Both what people happen to desire and what it is that they require of a healthy, happy, communally productive life—one that engenders satisfaction to themselves and enlists the appropriation (and even admiration) of their fellows—is clearly something factual, something that can be determined by observation. Furthermore, it is something objective—people do not choose what it is that they need; rather, this is something that is determined for them by their mode of emplacement in the world’s scheme of things.

For pragmatism, these requisites pervade the whole domain of human activity, and the issue of whether our modus operandi achieves these goals is pivotal. The pragmatic approach to validation is thus diversified in its efficacy, and it is the aim of this book to expound and illustrate its merits. Both teachers and students of philosophy will find material of interest in the author’s normative and original point of view.

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Learning from Decay

Essays on the Aesthetics of Architectural Dereliction and Its Consumption

Max Ryynänen and Zoltan Somhegyi

Architectural decay as well as the reasons, effects, appearance and representation of ruination have always been important sources of understanding the state of our culture. The essays in this co-written book offer broad perspectives on the potential of ruins, on the use and appropriation of derelict architecture and on the aesthetics and also touristification of places by analysing a variety of phenomena in the range from classical to fake ruins, from historic city centres to hot dog stands, from debris to theme parks. The survey travels from Tallin through Venice and Istanbul to Beirut, discussing among others actual spaces, allegorical monuments and nostalgic aestheticisations of the past in high and popular culture, thus showing numerous inspiring opportunities of learning from decay.

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To Whom Belongs the Land?

Leviticus 25 in an African Liberationist Reading


Ndikho Mtshiselwa

The main question of this book, which focuses on the role of the Old Testament in the South African context, is: If reread from an African liberationist perspective in the context of land redistribution and socio-economic justice in South Africa, could the Israelite Jubilee legislation in Leviticus 25:8–55 offer liberating and empowering possibilities for the poor in South Africa? The exegesis of Leviticus 25:8–55 in which the historical-critical method is employed lays the foundation for the contextualisation of the issues arising from the exegesis. Furthermore, within the African liberationist framework, the South African context serves as a lens to interpret Leviticus 25:8–55. The striking parallels between the contexts from which the text of Leviticus 25:8–55 emerged and the context of the modern reader of the Bible in South Africa are shown. In the end, it is argued that when re-read from an African liberationist perspective and in the context of the land redistribution and socio-economic justice discourse, Leviticus 25:8–55 can contribute positively to the redress of inequality and consequently to poverty alleviation in South Africa.

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Dios de repente

Análisis filológico y fenomenológico de los testimonios de conversión de Paul Claudel, André Frossard y Manuel García Morente

José María Contreras Espuny

En este estudio se ahonda en tres testimonios autógrafos de conversión súbita al catolicismo en el siglo XX: Paul Claudel, Manuel García Morente y André Frossard. Se abre el libro con un primer apartado donde se describe el esquema fenomenológico que despliega este tipo de experiencias para, acto seguido, abrir el debate filológico sobre la naturaleza de estos textos y su relación dentro del género autobiográfico. En el sentido filosófico y teológico, se rastrean los antecedentes en las distintas experiencias místicas y se resaltan los paralelismos con casos clásicos, como serían los de San Pablo de Tarso y San Agustín de Hipona. En el sentido filológico, se plantea la posibilidad de un subgénero dada la idiosincrasia particular que narrativamente configuran los tres escritos. Posteriormente, se procede al análisis pormenorizado de cada uno de los testimonios, tendiendo puentes comparativos que nos ayuden a ponderar las particularidades personales, filosóficas y filológicas de la experiencia y de los escritos que las describen.

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Number, Word, and Spirit

Rethinking T. F. Torrance’s Theological Science From a Pneumatological Perspective

Aaron Yom

This book contributes to the study of Thomas F. Torrance by promoting his realist agenda, and the same time, expanding his program that takes into consideration a well-nuanced pentecostal spirituality. More specifically, it assesses the foundational methodological framework of Torrance’s scientific approach to theology for the purpose of constructing a triadic methodological structure for theological science. In doing so, it not only recognizes Torrance’s efforts to bridge the gap between science (number), word (hermeneutics), and spirit (theo-philosophy), but also critically reviews his theo-scientific project by identifying his restrictive tendencies that limit the full outworking of human spirituality and imagination. Based upon this analysis, this study constructively modifies Torrance’s theological science by complementing his realist agenda with the pentecostally driven pneumatological imagination. In the final analysis, Number, Word, and Spirit argues that theological science grounded on the pneumatological imagination can expand the restrictive tendencies of Torrance’s theo-scientific project, thereby giving rise to a triadic analogical approach that recognizes the interplay of ontologic, informal logic, and translogic for the development of a theo-scientific method. The book can be used as a secondary reading material for the courses in theological method, interdisciplinary studies, and faith and science dialogue.

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Arts with or without Ideas

Idealist Remnants in Contemporary Concepts of Art

Veli-Matti Saarinen

Past philosophical ideas about arts influence contemporary artistic practices. We still use traditional Idealist concepts, such as the autonomy of art or the subjective expression of the artist. At the same time, today’s art often attacks and abandons Idealist thinking.

The author of this book analyses this relation between the Idealist conception of the arts including literature and present-day reality. The aim is to create a link between past and present artistic practices and theoretical, philosophical thinking. The author also questions the Idealist notions of history and the relation between the theoretical, the aesthetic and the practical, and seeks new ways to deal with the relation between the past and the present.

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The Economy and Meaningfulness. A Utopia?

With a foreword by Herman Van Rompuy, former President of the European Council and an afterword by Ludo Abicht, philosopher


Hendrik Opdebeeck

It is utopian to represent the economy as a place in which human happiness is as paramount as profit. That is the opinion of many who might pick up this book. This truism, analogous to the argument that Gross National Happiness is utopian, is, however, confronted by the actual situation of our economy today. Our globalized society, with its Gross National Product, turns out to be a dystopia. Our globe has indeed become a place where it is no longer that pleasant to live. From burned-out people at the workplace, via the gap between the northern and the southern hemisphere, to our threatened environment: there is not much left of the utopia of the free market. The aim of at least the last fifty years, since the Club of Rome, of transforming it into a sustainable economy is failing. In this book, we find a plea for economic practices as elaborated in the Social Economy, the Purpose Economy and the Economy of Communion. Time and again, these are manifestations of an economic transition which, to a greater or lesser degree, no longer focuses exclusively on principles such as scarcity, individualism or utility. Responsibility, the interpersonal and authenticity are at least as central. Each time, they are concrete challenges that are the pertinent responses to the tension between utopia and dystopia. It is not a matter of fanatically reversing all economic activity in our globalized society in the direction of an economy of meaningfulness. But the unmistakably obvious challenge for our economy that the alternatives represent has something of an appealing urgency.

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Harald Aarbakke

The Eldest Brother and New Testament Christology explores the origin of cultural representations of Jesus as an eldest brother. Through ethnographic surveys, author Harald Aarbakke shows that the role of the eldest brother in different African societies is often accompanied by additional roles, among them mediator, protector, and leader. Aarbakke also searches for an exegetical basis for this understanding of Jesus, and argues that an eldest brother Christology can be substantiated by the cultural and literary context of certain New Testament texts (Matthew 25:31–46 and 28:10, Mark 3:31–35, John 20:17, Romans 8:28–30, Colossians 1:15–20, and Hebrews 2:10–18).

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Edited by Eray Yağanak and Ahmet Umut Hacıfevzioğlu

This edited collection of essays aims to acquaint the reader with different aspects of the contemporary philosophy. The contributors to this book provide a genuinely scholarly basis for the understanding of the philosophical issues on epistemology, ethics and political philosophy. Each author provides an in-depth analysis of various aspects of the problems, such as democracy, ground of the law, epistemology of ignorance, public and private sphere distinction.

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Ethics of Ancient Greece and Rome

Academic Script for Students of Humanities


Dorota Probucka

This book provides an overview of the main moral ideas typical of ancient ethics. The first chapter concerns the ethics of ancient Greece, while the second chapter discusses the views of the ethics of ancient Rome. The third part contains the source texts that have been translated into English. The book can serve as a script for students of humanities and can be useful for studying and teaching ethics.