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Cultural Revolutions : Reason Versus Culture in Philosophy, Politics, and Jihad

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ISBN: 9780271025247 Year: Pages: 240 Language: English
Publisher: Penn State University Press
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Cultural Revolutions argues that reason itself is cultural, but no less reasonable for it. Lawrence Cahoone systematically defines culture and gauges the consequences of the ineradicably cultural nature of cognition and action, yet argues that none of this implies relativism. Cahoone offers a definition of culture as teleologically organized practices, artifacts, and narratives and analyzes the notion of cultural membership in relation to race, ethnicity, and “primordialism.” He provides a theory of culture’s role in how we form our sense of reality and argues that the proper conception of culture dissolves “the problem” of cultural relativism. Applying this perspective to Islamic fundamentalism, Cahoone identifies its conflict with the West as representing the break between two of three historically distinctive forms of reason. Rather than being “irrational,” he shows, fundamentalism embodies a rationality only recently devalued—but not entirely abandoned—by the West.

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Philosophy

Feudal America : Elements of the Middle Ages in Contemporary Society

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ISBN: 9780271037813 Year: Pages: 184 Language: English
Publisher: Penn State University Press
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Do Americans live in a liberal capitalist society, or a society in which big money, private security, and personal relations determine key social outcomes? Shlapentokh and Woods argue that the answer to these questions cannot be found among the conventional models. Offering a new analytical tool, the authors present a provocative explanation of the nature of contemporary society by comparing its essential characteristics to those of medieval European societies.Their feudal model emphasizes five elements: the weakness of the state to protect its citizens, conflict and collusion between and within organizations that involve corruption and other forms of illegal or semilegal actions, the dominance of personal relations in political and economic life, the prevalence of an elitist ideology, and the use of private agents and organizations to provide safety and security. Feudal America urges readers to look for explanations of contemporary social problems in medieval European history.

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History

First Pages : A Poetics of Titles

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ISBN: 9780271029962 Year: Pages: 376 Language: English
Publisher: Penn State University Press
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"Titology” is the field of literary studies that focuses on the significance of a title in establishing the thematic developments of the pages that follow. While the term has been used in the literary community for many years, this book presents for the first time a thoroughly developed theoretical discussion on the significance of the title as a foundation for scholarly criticism.Though Maiorino acknowledges that many titles are superficial and “indexical,” there exists a separate and more complex class of titles that do much more than simply decorate a book’s spine. To prove this argument, Maiorino analyzes a wide range of examples from the modern era through high modernism to postmodernism, with writings spanning the globe from Spain and France to Germany and America. By examining works such as Essais, The Waste Land, Ulysses, and Don Quixote, First Pages proves the power of the title to connect the reader to the thematic, cultural, and literary context of the writing as a whole.

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Literature

Friendship and Politics in Post-Revolutionary France

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ISBN: 9780271061924 Year: Pages: 240 Language: English
Publisher: Penn State University Press
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In Friendship and Politics in Post-Revolutionary France, Horowitz brings together the political and cultural history of post-revolutionary France to show how French society responded to and recovered from the upheaval of the French Revolution. The Revolution led to a heightened sense of distrust and divided the nation along ideological lines. In the wake of the Terror, many began to express concerns about the atomization of French society. Friendship was regarded as one bond that could restore trust and cohesion. Because trust and cohesion were necessary to post-revolutionary parliamentary life, politicians turned to friends and ideas about friendship to create solidarity. Relying on detailed analyses of politicians’ social networks, new tools from the digital humanities, and examinations of behind-the-scenes political transactions, Horowitz makes clear the connection between politics and emotions in the early nineteenth century, and reevaluates the role of women in political life.

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History

Genius Envy : Women Shaping French Poetic History, 1801-1900

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ISBN: 9780271077086 Year: Pages: 304 Language: English
Publisher: Penn State University Press
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In Genius Envy Adrianna M. Paliyenko uncovers a forgotten past: the multiplicity and diversity of nineteenth-century French women’s poetic voices. Conservative critics of the time attributed genius to masculinity and dismissed the work of female authors as “feminine literature.” Despite the efforts of leading thinkers, critics, and historians to erase women from the pages of literary history, Paliyenko shows how female poets invigorated the debate about the origins of genius and garnered recognition in their time for their creativity and bold aesthetic ideas.This fresh account of French women poets’ contributions to literature probes the history of their critical reception and considers the texts of celebrated writers such as Desbordes-Valmore, Ségalas, Blanchecotte, Siefert, and Ackermann. The results show that these women explicitly challenged the notion of genius as gendered, advocating for their rightful place in the canon.

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Literature

Rousseau and the Problem of Human Relations

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ISBN: 9780271074641 Year: Pages: 270 Language: English
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Subject: Philosophy
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Among Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s chief preoccupations was the problem of self-interest implicit in all social relationships. A person with divided loyalties (i.e., to both himself and his cohorts) was, in Rousseau’s thinking, a divided person. According to John Warner’s Rousseau and the Problem of Human Relations, not only did Rousseau never solve this problem, he believed it was fundamentally unsolvable: social relationships could never restore wholeness to a self-interested human being. Warner traces his argument through the contours of Rousseau’s thought on three distinct types of relationships—sexual love, friendship, and civil or political association. Warner concludes that none of these, whether examined individually or together, provides a satisfactory resolution to the problem of human dividedness located at the center of Rousseau’s thinking. In fact, concludes Warner, Rousseau’s failure to obtain anything hopeful from human associations is deliberate, self-conscious, and revelatory of a tragic conception of human relations. Thus Rousseau raises our hopes only to dash them.This title was made Open Access by libraries from around the world through Knowledge Unlatched.

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