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Edited by Andrej Démuth

The book is a second volume of the project, which is focused on a systematic examination of aesthetic experience by the unification of philosophical and cognitive-scientific approaches to beauty and aesthetic experience. This volume is focused on the analysis of selected aspects of aesthetic experience, especially on methodological problems and aspects of philosophical and scientific research, the question of the complementarity and compatibility of methods, and needs to interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research. Authors of the chapters are considering about diverse areas of perception of beauty, e.g.: pleasure by face perception; the synchronicity by music; the problems of musical chills; the psychosomatic unity of dance; or the problem of development of aesthetic appreciation.

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Cognitive Rethinking of Beauty

Uniting the Philosophy and Cognitive Studies of Aesthetic Perception

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Edited by Andrej Démuth

The presented book is a direct sequel to the previous collections of studies “The Cognitive Aspects of Aesthetic Experience - Introduction” (2017) and “The Cognitive Aspects of Aesthetic Experience – Selected Problems” (2019), and represents the culmination of the project which examines whether it is possible to identify the cognitive aspects or purposes in aesthetic judgments and in the perception of beauty, and whether it is possible to meaningfully establish cognitive aesthetics as a unified scientific discipline (philosophy united with a cognitive approach), studying the epistemic background of beauty and art.

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Mathematics and Beauty

An Attempt to Link the Cognitive and Philosophical-Spiritual Aspects of Beauty

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Andrej Démuth, Slávka Démuthová and Adrián Slavkovský

The monograph outlines the dual role of mathematics in relation to beauty. On one hand mathematics refers to an objective, through mathematical formulas expressible side of beauty. On the other hand, it points out that entirely abstract things like mathematical equations can be seen as beautiful, too. This refers to two aspects of beauty. 1. The biological, evolutionary: our brains react to certain aesthetic stimuli in scientifically adequately explainable way. 2. Philosophical spiritual: This shows a connection of beauty with goodness and being. To such a perception we can mature. Handed down wisdom can be mentioned as a hint: You cannot find beauty, if you don’t carry it in yourself. Such an analysis can help us understand why we use the word beauty in so many different ways.

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Promises and perils of emerging technologies for human condition

Voices from four postcommunist Central and East European countries

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Edited by Peter Sýkora

Emerging technologies are defined as fast-growing radically novel technologies with an estimated prominent impact on human society in the future. The ambiguity and uncertainty of emerging technologies at the same time raise techno-optimistic expectations, as well as serious worries about possible unwanted and unpredicted negative consequences following their introduction into wider practice. And because of their radical novelty, emerging technologies also challenge various traditional philosophical and ethical concepts, established risk assessment methods, science and technology governance and policies, science to public communication and practices within and outside the medical domain. The aim of this volume is to present the view of ten authors from four postcommunist Central and East European countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Latvia) on emerging technologies and human enhancement. They analyse the topic from various perspectives: anthropological, ethical, philosophical, ontological, empirical, and legal. A variety of views will contribute to a development of the discourse on technology assessment in their countries, help to make the process of national policy and law formation more active and less “mimetic”, and open the national discourses to international discussion and critical analysis.

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Hermeneutic Research

An Experiential Method

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Edited by Sunnie D. Kidd, Jim Kidd and Omar S. Alattas

Hermeneutic Research: An Experiential Method presents a method to investigate lived experiences. In doing so, this book integrates a broad range of philosophical topics, such as hermeneutics, the philosophy of consciousness, and the philosophy of being. We are conscious beings. Through every act of consciousness, something is presented to the experiencing person. Something—a theme—stands in the focus of attention. Within the dimensional human consciousness, this theme is related to other thoughts, a process that includes certain aspects of the theme and excludes others from conscious experience.

The foundational conviction of the experiential method detailed in this book is that thought is not static in its ultimate nature but organically dynamic. Thought uncovers its internal endlessness through time as its medium, just as the small seed uncovers the unity of a tree through soil as its medium. Thought, as a dynamic self-revealing phenomenon, uncovers itself as a series of understandings that cannot be interpreted except through reciprocal reference. Meaningfulness, therefore, is not contained in self-identity but in the larger whole in which it is a specific part. Wholeness contains possibilities of knowledge as present realities revealing themselves, through human choices and experiences, in temporal progression to reach a unity that is already contained in them. This infinite movement of knowledge thus reveals the possibility intrinsic to finite thought. Intuition, as wholistic apprehension, is movement that could acknowledge and reach an immanent infinite, of which the finite concepts of comprehension and cognition are only momentums.

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Enlivening Faith

Music, Spirituality and Christian Theology

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Edited by June Boyce-Tillman, Stephen Roberts and Jane Erricker

The relationship between Christian theology and music has been complex since the early days

of the Church. In the twentieth century the secularization of Western culture has led to further

complexity. The search for the soul, following Nietzsche’s declaration of the Death of God has

led to an increasing body of literature in many fields on spirituality. This book is an attempt

to open up a conversation between these related discourses, with contributions reflecting a

range of perspectives within them. It is not the final word on the relationship but expresses a

conviction about their relationship. Collecting together such a variety of approaches allows new

understandings to emerge from their juxtaposition and collation. This book will contribute to

the ongoing debate between theology, spirituality, culture and the arts. It includes contexts with

structured relationships between music and the Church alongside situations where spirituality

and music are explored with sometimes distant echoes of Divinity and ancient theologies

reinterpreted for the contemporary world.

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Theodore Sabo

Origins of Eastern Christian Mysticism asserts that the thinkers between Basil of Caesarea and Symeon the New Theologian were important mainly for their role in the formation of Hesychasm, a fourteenth-century mystical movement in the Eastern church. The book surveys previous research on Proto-Hesychasm and sets forth eight Hesychastic trends in its practitioners: monasticism, dark and light mysticism, and an emphasis on the heart, theōsis, the humanity of Christ, penthos, and unceasing prayer.

Theodore Sabo integrates detailed and carefully researched accounts of the lives and thought of the foundational figures of Hesychasm into a compelling narrative of the movement’s origins. The Cappadocian fathers established monasticism as the predominant milieu of Proto-Hesychasm and emphasized both theōsis and dark mysticism. Dark mysticism would come into conflict with the light mysticism of their contemporary Pseudo-Macarius, but both currents would be passed on to the Hesychasts. Macarius was a seminal figure within Proto-Hesychasm, responsible for its stress on light mysticism and heart mysticism. Hesychasm itself, the author contends, emerged from two main Proto-Hesychast fonts, the philosophical (represented by such figures as Pseudo-Dionysius and Maximus the Confessor) and the ascetic (the realm of figures like John Climacus and Isaac of Nineveh). The former school transmitted to Hesychasm a virtually unacknowledged Platonism; the latter contributed to Hesychasm’s preoccupation with theōsis, penthos, and unceasing prayer, albeit from a solely monastic perspective. Finally, Symeon the New Theologian emerged as the redoubtable successor to these schools, unifying their distinct traditions in his philosophical approach.

While previous scholarship has documented the connections between Proto-Hesychasm and Hesychasm, Origins of Eastern Christian Mysticism is unique in its treatment of the Proto-Hesychasts as a distinguishable group, and as direct instigators of Hesychasm. This provocative study should be of interest to students and scholars of the late antique history of the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as to contemporary theologians steeped in the Eastern mystical tradition.

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Seung-In Song

The central aim of Water as an Image of the Spirit in the Johannine Literature is to propose two sets of indicators that can be used to assess the symbolic reference of water imagery in the Johannine literature. The first set, comprised of five indicators, can be used to decide whether a given instance of water imagery in the Johannine literature represents the Spirit. The other set, comprised of six indicators, can be used to determine whether a given instance of water imagery has a symbolic meaning instead of or in addition to its literal meaning. The validity of these indicators is demonstrated by applying them to six disputed water passages (1 John 5:6–8; Rev. 22:1–2; John 3:5, 4:10–14, 6:35, and 19:34). The author draws on narrative and exegetical methodologies to stage new claims that will incite further debate and discussion regarding the role of water imagery—and symbolic devices more broadly—in the Johannine texts.

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The Body of Christ in a Market Economy

An Anglican Inquiry into Economic Thinking

Gawain de Leeuw

Holy Scripture and economists have distinct ways of exploring market networks. The Body of Christ in a Market Economy explains how desire connects scripture, economics, theological anthropology, and soteriology. By explaining the mechanics of desire and Jesus’ saving grace, it becomes possible for churches and congregations to better align their networks for the common good within market economies. Rivalry is an expense. Follow Jesus or prepare to spend.

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Edited by Elize Bisanz

The volume focuses on the application of Peirce’s semeiotic as a methodological tool to establish a common field for interdisciplinary research. Contributors from the fields of biology, architecture, logic, esthetics and neuroscience, among others, work on diverse research problems, unified by the idea of transcending the dyadic limitations of disciplinary restrictions and applying Peirce’s triadic method, and the structure and process of sign relations of the particular problem that has to be solved. The result is an invigorating example of methodological plasticity wherein the reader acquires an understanding of scientific observation within the complex universe of semeiosis relations.