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Philosophy of Picture

Denis Diderot’s Salons

Maddalena Mazzocut-Mis

If it is true that a painting can ‘think visually’, then it is also true that Diderot was the first to say so - and he has spelled out this concept better than anyone else. Diderot’s Salons show that the ‘imaginal’ sense that arises from the engagement with a picture needs to be investigated using the concepts of ékphrasis and theatricality - the capacity to explore the power of pictures in relation to the composition of the scene, to the expressive and pantomimic gestures, and to what can be called a ‘theory of affections’.

The book will focus on an issue that pertains to the theory of pictures, on a question that is ground-breaking in the English-speaking academic context: how can we look at a picture in order to rethink aesthetics as a discipline that allows us to look at pictures from a philosophical point of view?

The Salons demonstrate that the ‘imaginal’ process leading to knowledge always emerges from the picture itself, and that this process always needs to be supported by a method of inquiry that can rightly be called a philosophical method - as Diderot was a philosopher himself. Even when approaching this issue from a contemporary perspective, this method should always be related to the concepts of ékphrasis and theatricality. Fundamental, however, is also the ‘pathetic’, the emotionally stimulating, due to its essential relation to the enjoyment of pictures - something rooted in aesthetic disinterestedness, absorption and, conversely, voyeurism.

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Cora Cruz

The Meditations of Manuel de la Vega addresses the "hard" problem of consciousness in a nonreductive way. Which is to say, the question is posited as to why, no matter how much structural or functional explanation we may devise, this does not quite satisfy attempts to grasp the essence, the "what it is like," of being an embodied consciousness. The book’s method aims to be faithful to its subject by its choice of format. It does not intend to offer fully articulated theory, as univocal argument, but to facilitate theory, over the course of several exemplars, and by way of various perspectives which in the end form a whole—albeit not a closed or finalized whole. While fully compatible with certain theories of consciousness, and while yet incorporating much theorizing itself, the book makes the point, by its example, that explanations of consciousness must not necessarily be theories and models, and that the mode in which theories are rendered may be only part, and perhaps not the most important part, of what consciousness "is" or "does." This is much in keeping with phenomenological methods, with the anthropological-genealogical approaches of existentialists, and with certain takes on aesthetics; in keeping also with the insights of post-structuralism, and yet it does not exclude (and may even complement) some current computational or neurophysiological models of consciousness.

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Evaluation of Acupuncture

An Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Approach


Edited by Friedrich G. Wallner and Fengli Lan

This book is the latest publication of the international research group «Theory, Methodology, and Structure of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM),» which has been working since 2008. It outlines a methodology that is adequate for research on Classical Chinese Medicine, followed by a detailed and careful analysis of Evidence-Based Acupuncture and Mechanistic Studies of Acupuncture. The authors also analyze and discuss classical texts, hermeneutical treatments, historical studies, clinical trials, women’s diseases, lifestyle-related diseases, placebo effects, and Baomai and Baoluo. Leading experts from America, Austria, Brazil, China, Germany, and South Korea demonstrate that Chinese medicine is a scientific system that is independent from Western medicine.

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Beyond the Juxtaposition of Nature and Culture

Lawrence Krader, Interdisciplinarity, and the Concept of the Human Being


Edited by Cyril Levitt and Sabine Sander

The essays contained in Beyond the Juxtaposition of Nature and Culture represent an attempt by scholars from Canada, Germany, and Mexico to come to grips with the innovative work of the American philosopher and anthropologist Lawrence Krader who has proposed nothing less than a new theory of nature, according to which there are at least three different orders—the material-biotic, the quantum, and the human—which differ from one another according to their different configurations of space-time, and which cannot be reduced the one to the others. Each author takes up Krader’s theory in relation to its impact on their own discipline: sociology, anthropology, the study of myth, the theory of labor and value, economics, linguistics, and aesthetics. The question of how nature and culture can be integrated within a theoretical framework which links them in difference and nexus and allows each their non-reductive space leads each of the contributors to move in their thinking beyond the old dualisms of materialism and idealism, fact and value, nature and culture.

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Being and Belonging

A Comparative Examination of the Greek and Cypriot Orthodox Churches’ Attitudes to ‹Europeanisation› in Early 21st Century


Georgios Trantas

This book examines and compares, from an interdisciplinary perspective of Religious Studies and International Relations, the conduct and rhetoric of the Orthodox Churches of Greece and Cyprus vis-à-vis the ‹Europeanisation› process. This study focuses on the conditionality of their «sense of belonging» in the European Union (EU) as their predisposition is dependent, in part, on their sense of «being», as well as on their perception of an ideal type of Europeanness. In this context, this book offers insights on how the Greek and Cypriot Churches, as soft power actors of domestic and European capacity, perceive Europeanness and Otherness; thereby, the compatibility of the personified Greek and Cypriot states with the EU as a post-Westphalian political-cultural entity comes into view.

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Thomas J. J. Altizer, America's 20th Century Religious Heretic

An Analytic Bibliography of the Writings of Altizer and the Death of God Theme

Glenn Wittig

Thomas J. J. Altizer, America’s 20th Century Religious Heretic: An Analytic Bibliography of the Writings of Altizer and the Death of God Theme is a 50-year-plus analytical English-language bibliography covering: 1) all the published works by Thomas Altizer and 2) writings of others that have explored the "death of God" theme. The bibliography (including books, journal and magazine articles, newspaper stories, sermons, book reviews, and letters) is arranged chronologically by year. The first introductory essay addresses questions and concerns about Altizer and his writings; the second introductory essay provides a guide to the structure of the bibliography. Four extensive indexes covering persons named, essay titles, book titles, and periodical titles are included.

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Unknown God, Known in His Activities

Incomprehensibility of God during the Trinitarian Controversy of the 4th Century


Tomasz Stępień and Karolina Kochańczyk-Bonińska

What can man know about God? This question became one of the main problems during the 4th-century Trinitarian controversy, which is the focus of this book. Especially during the second phase of the conflict, the claims of Anomean Eunomius caused an emphatic response of Orthodox writers, mainly Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa. Eunomius formulated two ways of theology to show that we can know both the substance (ousia) and activities (energeiai) of God. The Orthodox Fathers demonstrated that we can know only the external activities of God, while the essence is entirely incomprehensible. Therefore the 4th-century discussion on whether the Father and the Son are of the same substance was the turning point in the development of negative theology and shaping the Christian conception of God.

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Edited by Dennis Sölch and Laura Wackers

Mit dem amerikanischen Transzendentalismus entwickelt sich zwischen 1830 und 1860 die erste eigenständige Philosophietradition der Vereinigten Staaten. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller und andere wenden sich kritisch gegen jede Form von historischer oder erkenntnistheoretischer Autorität und verfechten eine Philosophie, die von einem Vertrauen auf die natürliche Einsichtsfähigkeit des Menschen getragen wird. Überzeugungen und Theorien, so die Grundintuition des Transzendentalismus, müssen sich in der individuellen Lebenspraxis, die immer auch soziale Lebenspraxis ist, bewähren, ohne überzeitliche Geltung beanspruchen zu können. Damit bereiten die Transzendentalisten den Boden für den klassischen Pragmatismus und vermessen die Grundlagen von Politik, Ethik und Pädagogik neu.

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Nicolae Râmbu

This book represents an attempt to explain the manner in which values are attached to memory. The author examines that when the fundamental values of a civilisation are attached to the individual’s memory, they can never be forgotten or erased, irrespective of how violent or subtle the means used for this purpose might be. The essay investigates why some people who have been educated in a foreign culture and who are, well-integrated, suddenly return to the fundamental values of their culture of origin and, in some cases, they violently turn against their foster civilization.

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Flucht, Migration und Integration Flight, Migration and Integration

Eine Anfrage an die christliche Theologie und Diakonie A Question for Christian Theology and Social Engagement


Edited by Matthias Heesch, Russell Kleckley and Hans Schwarz

Das Buch legt theologische Deutungen der Thematik Flucht, Migration und Integration, ausgehend von verschiedenen kulturellen und sozialen Kontexten, vor. Viele der Beiträgerinnen und Beiträger sind an Orten tätig, in denen dieser Themenkomplex ähnlich bedeutend ist, wie in Westeuropa. Sie besprechen Flucht, Migration und Integration als Fragen an die christliche Theologie und Diakonie. Ihre individuellen Antworten und Sichtweisen bereichern die kritische Debatte über diese aktuellen Herausforderungen.

This book presents theological approaches to the subject flight, migration and integration from various cultural and social contexts. Many of the contributors are active in places where the issue of flight, migration and integration is similarly significant as it is in Western Europe. They discuss flight, migration and integration as questions for Christian theology and diaconia. Their individual responses and views illuminate and inform the critical discussion for the challenges facing today’s world.