Philosophy, Ethics, and Religious Studies
Featuring scholars at the forefront of contemporary political theology and the study of German Idealism, Nothing Absolute explores the intersection of these two flourishing fields. Against traditional approaches that view German Idealism as a secularizing movement, this volume revisits it as the first fundamentally philosophical articulation of the political-theological problematic in the aftermath of the Enlightenment and the advent of secularity. Nothing Absolute reclaims German Idealism as a political-theological trajectory. Across the volume’s contributions, German thought from Kant to Marx emerges as crucial for the genealogy of political theology and for the ongoing reassessment of modernity and the secular. By investigating anew such concepts as immanence, utopia, sovereignty, theodicy, the Earth, and the world, as well as the concept of political theology itself, this volume not only rethinks German Idealism and its aftermath from a political-theological perspective but also demonstrates what can be done with (or against) German Idealism using the conceptual resources of political theology today.
Despite the fact that culture, aesthetics, and art were some of the main concerns of early classical sociology (e.g., Simmel’s essays are probably the most popular reference in this regard), later culture has become a matter of interest of a sub-discipline, that of the sociology of culture. The end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries brought a radical transformation of sociological understanding of culture, and it was Jeffrey Alexander who revived the notion and proposed a new understanding of sociological theory drawn on this notion. According to Alexander, culture should be treated as an autonomous realm being able to act and contribute to the social order. In (re)turning to this understanding, Alexander draws upon a variety of now-classical theories, but mainly on Durkheim’s theory of religion as explicated in The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Clifford Geertz and his idea of thick description is one of the sources for the renewed cultural sociology. In Art as a Cultural System (1976), he wrote that “to study an art form is to explore a sensibility” and “such a sensibility is essentially a collective formation, and that the foundations of such a formation are as wide as social existence and as deep”. The special issue of the RSR is dedicated to empirical and theoretical discussion of how art can serve as a source of sociological imagination.
This book, a philosophical consideration of Soviet socialism, is not meant simply to revisit the communist past; its aim, rather, is to witness certain zones where capitalism’s domination is resisted—the zones of countercapitalist critique, civil society agencies, and theoretical provisions of emancipation or progress—and to inquire to what extent those zones are in fact permeated by unconscious capitalism and thus unwittingly affirm the capitalist condition.
By means of the philosophical and politico-economical consideration of Soviet socialism of the 1960 and 1970s, this book manages to reveal the hidden desire for capitalism in contemporaneous anticapitalist discourse and theory. The research is marked by a broad cross-disciplinary approach based on political economy, philosophy, art theory, and cultural theory that redefines old Cold War and Slavic studies’ views of the post-Stalinist years, as well as challenges the interpretations of this period of historical socialism in Western Marxist thought.
The text traces the rise of the intelligentsia, from the 18th century to the present day, at the same time problematizing its central ideas. Beginning with this historical background, the book proceeds to investigate the distinctive intellectual, spiritual and biographical opposition of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy in relation to the history, character and fate of the Russian intelligentsia.The present is indeterminate and, just as we did three hundred years ago, we Russians once again find ourselves searching for answers to the question of who we are, as we attempt to defend our own sense of distinctiveness in a multipolar world, and to produce a differentiated narrative of our own identity. The precariousness of the present geopolitical situation lends a particular urgency to these questions.
This third edition of Moral Constraints on War offers a principle by principle presentation of the ethics of war as is found in the age-old tradition of the Just War. Parts one and two trace the evolution of Just War Theory, analyzing the principles of jus ad bellum and jus in bello: the principles that determine the conditions under which it is just to start a war and then conduct military operations. Each chapter provides a historical background of the principle under discussion and an in-depth analysis of its meaning. More so than in the previous editions, there is a special focus on the transcultural nature of the principles. Besides theoretical clarifications, each of the principles is also put to the test with numerous historical and contemporary examples. In Part three, Just War Theory is applied in three specific case studies: the use of the atomic bomb against Japan in World War II, the Korean War (1950-53), and the use of armed drones in the "war on terror." Bringing together an international coterie of philosophers and political scientists, this accessible and practical guide offers both students of military ethics and of international relations rich, up-to-date insights into the pluralistic character of Just War Theory.
The book focuses most of all on women's and partly on men's agency, to discuss variant ways in which women and men actively use their scopes of action - through political activism, protest, movements, in the military. The book is aiming to dicuss variant perspectives on these issues in different contexts witin Eastern Europe. How do these in change affect conservative societies and the concepts of masculinity?
The volume is structured in four parts:
I) Floating concepts of Femininities and Masculinities
(essentially this is a discussion on the role of feminism in the transformation period in Eastern Europe)
II) Political Activism
(this part deals with political participation of women - also within conservative parties - and of variant forms of protest)
III) Nationalism and Militarization of societies
(also papers on violence)
IV) Social Roles and Concepts of Women and Men
The book analyses the modes and methods of argumentation between the opponents in the ancient world.
Liberalism in Russia is one of the most complex, multifaced and, indeed, controversial phenomena in the history of political thought. Values and practices traditionally associated with Western liberalism—such as individual freedom, property rights, or the rule of law—have often emerged ambiguously in the Russian historical experience through different dimensions and combinations. Economic and political liberalism have often appeared disjointed, and liberal projects have been shaped by local circumstances, evolved in response to secular challenges and developed within often rapidly-changing institutional and international settings. This third volume of the Reset DOC “Russia Workshop” collects a selection of the Dimensions and Challenges of Russian Liberalism conference proceedings, providing a broad set of insights into the Russian liberal experience through a dialogue between past and present, and intellectual and empirical contextualization, involving historians, jurists, political scientists and theorists. The first part focuses on the Imperial period, analyzing the political philosophy and peculiarities of pre-revolutionary Russian liberalism, its relations with the rule of law (Pravovoe Gosudarstvo), and its institutionalization within the Constitutional Democratic Party (Kadets). The second part focuses on Soviet times, when liberal undercurrents emerged under the surface of the official Marxist-Leninist ideology. After Stalin’s death, the “thaw intelligentsia” of Soviet dissidents and human rights defenders represented a new liberal dimension in late Soviet history, while the reforms of Gorbachev’s “New Thinking” became a substitute for liberalism in the final decade of the USSR. The third part focuses on the “time of troubles” under the Yeltsin presidency, and assesses the impact of liberal values and ethics, the bureaucratic difficulties in adapting to change, and the paradoxes of liberal reforms during the transition to post-Soviet Russia. Despite Russian liberals having begun to draw lessons from previous failures, their project was severely challenged by the rise of Vladimir Putin. Hence, the fourth part focuses on the 2000s, when the liberal alternative in Russian politics confronted the ascendance of Putin, surviving in parts of Russian culture and in the mindset of technocrats and “system liberals”. Today, however, the Russian liberal project faces the limits of reform cycles of public administration, suffers from a lack of federalist attitude in politics and is externally challenged from an illiberal world order. All this asks us to consider: what is the likelihood of a “reboot” of Russian liberalism?
This book examines the function and development of the cult of saints in Coptic Egypt, focusing primarily on the material provided by the texts forming the Coptic hagiographical tradition of the early Christian martyr Philotheus of Antioch, and more specifically, the Martyrdom of St Philotheus of Antioch (Pierpont Morgan M583). This Martyrdom is a reflection of a once flourishing cult which is attested in Egypt by rich textual and material evidence. This text enjoyed great popularity not only in Egypt, but also in other countries of the Christian East, since his dossier includes texts in Coptic, Georgian, Ethiopic, and Arabic.
This book consists of previously unpublished manuscripts by Vygotsky found in the first systematic study of Vygotsky’s family archive. The notebooks and scientific diaries gathered in this volume represent all periods of Vygotsky’s scientific life, beginning with the earliest manuscript, entitled The tragicomedy of strivings (1912), and ending with his last note, entitled Pro domo sua (1934), written shortly before his death. The notes reveal unknown aspects of the eminent psychologist’s personality, show his aspirations and interests, and allow us to gain insights into the development of his thinking and its internal dynamics. Several texts reflect the plans that Vygotsky was unable to realize during his lifetime, such as the creation of a theory of emotions and a theory of consciousness, others reveal Vygotsky’s involvement in activities that were previously unknown, and still others provide outlines of papers and lectures. The notes are presented in chronological order, preceded by brief introductions and accompanied by an extensive set of notes. The result is a book that allows us to obtain a much deeper understanding of Vygotsky’s innovative ideas.
The Working Paper focuses on possible impacts of related technologies, such as machine learning and autonomous vehicles, on international relations and society. The authors also examine the ethical and legal aspects of the use of AI technologies. The present Working Paper of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) includes analytical materials prepared by experts in the field of artificial intelligence, machine learning and autonomous system, as well as by lawyers and sociologists. The materials presented here are intended to contribute to the public dialogue on issues of artificial intelligence and the possible consequences of using this technology.
The concept of sacred insanity is widespread among many religions of the world and through many ages and cultures. The present volume collects the contributions of the symposium Holy Fools and Divine Madmen, held in Munich in 2015. Employing interdisciplinary approaches, these studies cover a wide geographical and cultural range, from Byzantium westward to Italy and Ireland, and eastward to Islamic Iran, and to India and Tibet
What is it to be a work of art? Renowned author and critic Arthur C. Danto addresses this fundamental, complex question. Part philosophical monograph and part memoiristic meditation, What Art Is challenges the popular interpretation that art is an indefinable concept, instead bringing to light the properties that constitute universal meaning. Danto argues that despite varied approaches, a work of art is always defined by two essential criteria: meaning and embodiment, as well as one additional criterion contributed by the viewer: interpretation. Danto crafts his argument in an accessible manner that engages with both philosophy and art across genres and eras, beginning with Plato’s definition of art in The Republic, and continuing through the progress of art as a series of discoveries, including such innovations as perspective, chiaroscuro, and physiognomy. Danto concludes with a fascinating discussion of Andy Warhol’s famous shipping cartons, which are visually indistinguishable from the everyday objects they represent.
Unity and Aspect has been short-listed as a finalist for the 2019 Prix Mercier.
What is first philosophy today? In Unity and Aspect, the questioning begins with a new (old) approach to metaphysics: being is implied; it is implied in everything that is; it is an implication. But then, the history of philosophy must be rethought completely – for being implies unity, and time, and the other of time, namely, aspect. The effect on the self and on self-understanding is radical: we can no longer be thought as human beings; rather, reaching back to the ancient Greek name for us (phos), Haas seeks to rearticulate us as illuminating, as illuminating ourselves and others, and as implicated in our illuminations. Unity and Aspect then provokes us to problematize words and deeds, thoughts and things – and this means reconsidering our assumptions about history and survival, meaning and universality, sensibility and intimacy, knowledge and intentionality, action and improvisation, language and truth. And if Haas suspends the privilege enjoyed by our traditional philosophical concepts, this has implications for fields as diverse as ontology and phenomenology, ethics and aesthetics, education and linguistics, law and politics.
Review of Unity and Aspect by Mark Tanzer:
“Haas’ book is unique...his own foray into metaphysics...an original metaphysics written in a way that is designed to afford a unique angle on the problems of metaphysics, specifically in their ineluctably problematic character”.
Alongside the Arab Spring, the 'Occupy' anti-capitalist movements in the West, and the events on the Maidan in Kiev, Russia has had its own protest movements, notably the political protests of 2011–12. As elsewhere in the world, these protests had unlikely origins, in Russia’s case spearheaded by the 'creative class'. This book examines the protest movements in Russia. It discusses the artistic traditions from which the movements arose; explores the media, including the internet, film, novels, and fashion, through which the protesters have expressed themselves; and considers the outcome of the movements, including the new forms of nationalism, intellectualism, and feminism put forward. Overall, the book shows how the Russian protest movements have suggested new directions for Russian – and global – politics.
The book considers how to make the methodology of business ethics more scientific, especially its normative branch. Storchevoy explores the attempts of economic theory to contribute to the scientific normative analysis of economic behavior, particularly the welfare economics of 1910-1950 and methodological discussions of economics and ethics from 1980-2015. He then examines the development of the methodological structure of business ethics in general since the 1980s and the scientific validity of normative business ethics, including stakeholder theory, the separation thesis, integral social contract theory, corporate social responsibility, virtue ethics and other frameworks. He concludes by suggesting an additional step to make business ethics a more systematic discipline by developing a typology of moral issues and dilemmas. Business Ethics as a Science will be a thought-provoking resource for students and practitioners of business ethics and economists alike.
According to Gadamer, the main distinguishing feature of hermeneutic experience is its ontological dimension epitomized by complex and multilayered transformative processes expressed in such formulae as ‘increasing in being’, ‘transformation into the true’ or ‘total mediation’. This notion of ontological experience as a transformative event allows two readings. The weak reading of Gadamer’s hermeneutic ontology (favoured by Gadamer himself as well as by all his interpreters and critics), laying the stress on interpreter’s self-consciousness, contents itself with just ‘subjective’ side of transformative effects of hermeneutic experience. The strong treatment of transformative potential of hermeneutic experience, which corresponds better to the universality claim of philosophical hermeneutics, presupposes equally strong transformation affecting not only interpreter’s self-consciousness but also her body as well as material environments of interpretive experience. We find the elements of such a ‘strong’ treatment of the transformative (i.e. ontological) potential of understanding in Gadamer’s conception of the speculative, adumbrated in the concluding sections of his ‘Truth and Method’. Drawing on this conception, the paper proposes the notion of transubstantiation as a model for describing the bodily-material dimension of transformative processes making up the core element of hermeneutic ontology.
Academic Bibliography of Syriac and Christian Arabic Studies in Russian published in 2020.
Gregory Palamas has faced a problem of compatibility of two theological provisions within his doctrine based on the distinction of substance and non-created activities in God: these are, firstly, that God is unalterable, and, secondly, that He acts accordingly with time in relation to the created world, in particular, having made the created being. This background caused polemical argumentations on the possibility of signifying the divine activities as accident. The notion of accident here refers to the context ascending to the Peripatetic tradition, yet modified in writings of such Christian authors as Augustine, Cyril of Alexandria and John Damascene. Palamas addresses this topic in two of his works, Antirrh. c. Acind and Capita 150, written within the interval of five or six years. We see that Palamas is moving towards a more detailed notion of accident while considering its applicability to divine activities: this is him moving to the notion of inseparable accidents. But even in this sense, the accident, compliant to Palamas, must not be attributed to God and divine activities, though the Church tradition used to do this. Palamas finds a solution of this tension by pointing out that the notion of accident was used by the Church tradition in an improper sense. Meanwhile, his ally David Dishypatus takes a more subtle position: he admits a possibility to apply the notion of accident to the divine activities, but minding core restrictions of the human language, which speaks of God only within the horizon of human nature.
Fazliddin Muhammadiev’s Dar on dunyo (In the other world), first published in Tajik in 1965 and later translated to Russian, Uzbek, and many other languages, is the only known fictionalized account of the ḥajj produced in the Soviet Union. Based on a trip made by the author in 1963, the novel provided the Soviet reader a rare glimpse into this sacred rite. Drawing on archival sources, contemporary responses, and the text itself, this article traces the origins and publication history of the novel, situates it within Soviet domestic and foreign policy goals, and analyses the text to see how the author tries to reconcile competing ideological priorities.
The question ‘What is a novel?’ has received scant attention in the philosophical literature. Meanwhile, this question is important. In light of this, in this paper, I would like to address it, suggesting a potential answer. I begin by defining what I call ‘novel in the restricted sense’—the concept that covers all novels except the so-called nonfiction novels, graphic novels, and novels in verse. Then, drawing upon Jerrold Levinson’s approach to defining ‘art’, I provide a definition of the concept that covers nonfiction novels, graphic novels, and novels in verse. Finally, with the help of this definition and the definition of ‘novel in the restricted sense’, I formulate a definition of ‘novel’ simpliciter and defend it against potential objections.
While understanding their positions on various ethical issues in the field of reproductive technologies, IVF patients form their own special language, not scientific, but rather vernacular, based on real experience. A group of women actively seeking procreation with modern biotechnologies remains somewhat conservative, focused on a traditional family. New concepts and terminology are particularly well-formed in their disputes over the use of reproductive donation. In general, what they articulate and advocate is consistent with concepts of bioethics that are also controversial – for some, the priority of genetic connectivity is unusually strong, while others deny its significance. The study bases on examining perceptions of reproductive donation by bioethics specialists presented in the literature and their comparison with the views of ART patients communicating on the Internet. The author uses qualitative discourse analysis and studies thematic discussions on the Probirka.ru website, which are devoted to the preferences of their participants in relation to reproductive donation, its acceptance or rejection. The study shows that patients’ positions are somewhat more extreme than the views of bioethics. For example, some participants practically deny the existence of genes, while others talk about the advantage of finding a child without using one’s own body. The author reveals different groups of patients, and more traditionally oriented women prefer to delegate the genetic part of parenthood to third parties and cannot refuse to bear pregnancy as they see it as a central part of female identity, while more modernized prefer to keep genetic connection if it is possible to refuse childbearing.
The editorial introduction outlines the theoretical framework of the special issue by indicating main ideas that shape the research agenda. Alexander Filippov and Nail Farkhatdinov provide the grounds for the cultural sociological understanding of the arts and literature in relation to the problems of sociological knowledge. The editorial is completed with the overview of the contributions.
The modern theory of complex systems changes our view of historical processes, accompanied by uncertainties, instabilities and ambiguities. The knowledge of this theory allows us to master a system or holistic thinking, and to understand the laws of functioning and growth of not just structural, but dynamic complexity. Uncertainties and chaotic elements that indicate any state of crisis are not only negative factors that we should beware of and not without fear to worry about them. We can learn to manage them and use them in the way of renewal of social systems, producing innovations. The strategic vision of complex systems evolution becomes an effective tool for decision making and scenarios planning based on our participatory activities with alternative futures. The article examines the case of Shell Corporation, which has been using scenario thinking technologies since the early 1970s, which has given it incredible competitive advantages and incentives for rapid growth and transformation into an international energy giant.
The introductory article to the special issue “The Strategic Management in the Context of Dynamic Complexity” substantiates that models and representations of the theory of complex systems are becoming the most relevant science-based background, which allows us to respond to the challenges of our time. The increasing complexity of social and economic development processes, accompanied by uncertainties, instabilities, unexpected turns, digitalisation in the economy and the birth of Industry 4.0, the growing importance of network structures in business activity, new environmental standards associated with the need to switch to circular processes in the economy - all this requires changes in the management strategies of firms and corporations. Unconditional advantages are received by those firms that embed the principles of systemic, holistic, and non-linear thinking in their business philosophy.