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This essay develops a theory of improvisation as practice of aesthetic sense-making. While considering all arts, references are made to many concrete cases. A topic in vogue since the XX. century, as evidenced by the great philosophers who were interested in it (Ryle, Derrida, Eco among others), improvisation, a felicitous mixture of habit and creativity, norm and freedom, is constitutive of human action. Human practices – including very well-regulated activities such as playing chess, piloting airplanes, or medicine – permit and often require it to varying degrees.
Improvisation is also the true source of artistic experience. Consequently, the aesthetics of improvisation result in a philosophy of art: Art was born as improvisation. Yet improvisation has its own aesthetic dimension: that of a "grammar of contingency" in which notions such as emergence, presence, curiosity and authenticity explain the pleasures of joyful adventure and empathic involvement elicited by improvisation.
Prolegomena to Ecological Thinking in Heidegger
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Nature as Limit provides an account of Nature in terms of the collapse of the subject-object binary, presenting Heidegger’s work as a series of prolegomena toward a prospective ecological thought. This begins with a critical re-evaluation of the homology Heidegger discovers between the essence of technology and the trajectory of Western metaphysics, with special attention paid to his return to Aristotle’s Physics in 1939. Reimagining technics and our understanding of Nature as ‘technical image’, the book examines Nature as the occurrence of (de)limitation. An uncapturable immanence in the field of total phenomena, Nature is the incompletedness of any naturalism, an understanding that raises strange and compelling questions about space, time, and history. Nature as Limit confronts Heidegger’s use of language on its own terms, exploring the full breadth of its intention and offering a demystification of that language, a reappraisal that offers a new lexicon for future readers.
Approaches to Eric Voegelin’s Political Philosophy
The first volume of this new yearbook focuses on Eric Voegelin’s 1952 paper “New Science of Politics”, its significance and enduring relevance.
Eric Voegelin’s “New Science of Politics” is today considered a classic of recent political philosophy, albeit a controversial one. As soon as it was published, the book caused a sensation, especially because of its relatively sharp criticism of the normative foundations of Western modernity. In doing so, Voegelin places the question of the ambiguity of the concept of representation and its claim to truth at the center of his reflections. The contributions to this volume aim to shed light on how fruitful and topical this perspective still is today from various perspectives. The contributions come from authors of different disciplines, including political science, philosophy, and sociology. In addition to a classification of the “New Science of Politics” in Voegelin’s oeuvre as a whole, the volume primarily inquires into the systematically interesting points of contact, which are also of interest beyond Voegelin’s reception.
Medicine and Writing in the Early Eighteenth Century
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This book explores the impacts, particularly on their writing, of the serious illnesses of Swift and Pope, alongside their respective understandings of health issues and within their period context.
Both Swift and Pope spent most of their lives suffering from serious illness, Ménière’s Disease (Swift) and Pott’s Disease (Pope). This was at a time when medical understanding of these conditions was minimal. This book examines the effects of illness on each writer’s relations with doctors, treatment, and medicine more widely, and how far and in what ways their own experiences affected their writing. The book explains the contemporary medical context and subsequent specialist knowledge of the illnesses, and places each alongside both writers’ attempts to come to terms with their suffering, not least with respect to the different forms and styles of their works. Each writer’s extensive correspondence is drawn on, as well as a range of texts.
Open Access
Forgetting and Forgetfulness in Modern Science
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The book offers a fundamental view on the problem of forgetting in sociology in general and within sociology of knowledge. Furthermore it focuses – as a case study – on the field of modern science. With recourse to the term ‚oblivionism‘, originally introduced with ironic-critical intent by the german romance scholar Harald Weinrich, it analyzes the fundamental and multifaceted problem of the loss of knowledge in the field of science.
A declarative-reflective, an incorporated-practical and an objectified-technical memory motif is at the centre. These form the basis for the development of the three forms of forgetting that are also central to modern science: forgetfulness, wanting to forget and, ultimately, making one forget.
Open Access
Uses and Abuses of an American Icon
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Thoreau in an Age of Crisis reconsiders the relevance of 19th-century American naturalist, philosopher, and social reformer Henry David Thoreau to our troubled present. This new anthology collects the work of fourteen leading scholars from various disciplines. They consider Thoreau’s life and work in light of contemporary concerns regarding racism, climate change, environmental policy, and political strife. They review Thoreau’s trajectory as a scientist and literary artist, as well as his evolving attitudes toward Native American cultures. The essaysists also consider Thoreau’s acoustics, concepts of play, and impact on later writers. Most provocatively, they reveal a vulnerable and empathetic Thoreau, a far cry from the distanced and misanthropic critic often portrayed in popular culture.
Polemische Konstellationen vom 18. zum 21. Jahrhundert
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Der Band versucht, das Verhältnis von Klassizismus und Antiklassizismus als polemische Konstellation zu fassen.
Die einzelnen Beiträge nehmen die Beziehungen zwischen Klassizismus und Antiklassizismus vom 18. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart in den Blick. Gefragt wird nach den polemischen Konstellationen, in denen literarische wie künstlerische Werke beider Strömungen sich aufeinander beziehen, sich gegeneinander abgrenzen und so profilieren. Kontroversen dieser Art lassen sich häufig nicht auf die Intentionen einzelner Akteure zurückführen, sondern werden nur aus einer genaueren Autopsie der strukturellen Verschiebungen erklärbar, die die konkurrierenden Einsätze ermöglichen und deren Ausdruck sie sind. Eine solche Sichtweise soll die wechselseitige Erzeugung und Profilierung distinkter ästhetischer Positionen durch Konkurrenzverhältnisse neu modellieren.
Game Studies Interdisziplinär
Der Band präsentiert interdisziplinäre Zugangsweisen zu Games und vereint fachwissenschaftliche und didaktische Perspektiven aus dem Bereich der Kulturwissenschaften. Hierbei werden sowohl Indie-Games wie Path Out, Life is Strange und GRIS als auch Tripple-A-Titel wie Call of Duty, GTA und Legend of Zelda betrachtet. Schwerpunktbereiche des Bandes präsentieren unter anderem die Darstellung von Wissenschaft in Games sowie das Spannungsverhältnis von Bild und Storytelling. Es werden Phänomene wie die Werbestrategien der Bundeswehr, psychische Erkrankungen aber auch aktuelle Themen wie Flucht und Migration sowie ökosensible Kulturkritik erörtert.
Das Staunen in der Dichtung der italienischen Renaissance
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Die vorliegende Forschung definiert die Literatur der Renaissance neu: Die Bedeutung der aristotelischen Poetik wird zurückgestuft zugunsten innovativer – erstaunlicher – literarischer Ansätze. Das seit langem geltende Paradigma, die italienische Renaissance würde von der klassisch-aristotelischen Literaturtheorie dominiert, wird damit maßgeblich ausdifferenziert. Anhand der Analyse des Staunens – ein Begriff, den Aristoteles und Platon an den Anfang des wissenschaftlichen und metaphysischen Denkens stellten und der sich in der italienischen Renaissance zu einem zentralen Konstitutions- und Alleinstellungsmerkmal der Literatur wandelte – wird gezeigt, dass Momente der Neuheit und der Überraschung, ja der erstaunlichen innovatio auf allen Ebenen, die Literatur der Renaissance entscheidend prägten.
Open Access
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Translator:
The magic of the Renaissance embodies a great meditation on the human condition.
This book focuses on the contribution that Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa of Nettesheim made to the philosophical discussion. Agrippa views humankind as a microcosm, created by God in His own image, whose purpose is to bring creation to completion. Soul and body conceal divine powers that each person can rightfully awaken through magical knowledge and miraculous practice. Agrippa’s humanism responds to the spiritual crisis that hit the Christian world in the early modern period.
Die Magie der Renaissance verkörpert eine umfassende Meditation über die Würde des Menschen. Laut Agrippa von Nettesheim begünstigt die Wiedergeburt der okkulten Wissenschaften eine Reform der Kultur. In seinen Schriften wird dem Menschen die Verwirklichung der Schöpfung durch magische Weisheit zugesprochen.