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Series: Vernon Series in Philosophy

The Book of Changes: A Modern Adaptation and Interpretation

Paul G. Fendos, Minnesota State System

April 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-393-4
Availability: Available 4 weeks
$55 £39 €44

The Book of Changes: A Modern Adaptation and Interpretation attempts to breathe new life into the Book of Changes by making it relevant to the present time and day. It does so by using archaeological evidence to trace the origins of the Book of Changes, starting with numeric trigrams and hexagrams, making its way up to early divination manuals, and ending with the oldest extant version of the Books of Changes—usually referred to as the ‘received version.’ It also explains the development of the Book of Changes from a divination manual into a philosophical text dealing with change. However, its main focus is on delineating sixty-four patterns of change in the Book of Changes, patterns based on novel metaphorical interpretations of the line texts in the Book of Changes that serve as the foundation for a new handbook on change. Each metaphorical interpretation consists of 1) a hexagram and the Chinese character associated with it, 2) a ‘description’ of the hexagram, 3) the Chinese characters for the line texts, 4) translations of the line texts, 5) a general interpretation of the line texts based on those translations, 6) and some explanatory notes that attempt to clarify each interpretation. Translations and the interpretations based on those translations reference Traditional and Modernist understandings of the line text materials, ancient texts/dictionaries/lexicons from the period when the Book of Changes was compiled, and the ideas of the author as he works to create a new Chinese ‘philosophy of change,’ complete with examples of how it can be adapted in modern-day life. The clear and concise general introduction to the Book of Changes that is incorporated into this work, the many interpretations of the line texts contained in it, and a popular philosophical content make this book a welcome addition to the field and will attract interested scholars and teachers, engage business people or those looking to better understand Chinese culture, and appeal to those focused on spirituality and holistic living.

Essay on Human Reason: On the Principle of Identity and Difference

Nikola Stojkoski

March 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-379-8
Availability: In stock
$55 £42 €48

The nature of human reason is one of the thorniest of mysteries in philosophy. The reason appears in many specific forms within general areas such as cognition, thinking, experiencing beauty, and moral judgment. These forms are “perfectly” known in philosophy, yet an unknown pattern has been noticed which shows us that they are all a variation of the same theme: truth is an identity relation between the “thought” and “reality”; justice is an identity relation between the given and the deserved; beauty is an identity relation as rhyme is an identity relation between the final sounds of words; rhythm is an identity relation between time intervals; symmetry is an identity relation between two halves; proportion is an identity relation between two ratios; anaphora is an identity relation between the initial words. Particular things are identities in themselves and universals are identities between particulars. One idea associates another idea identical to it; an analogy is an identity between relations; induction is an identification between the known and unknown instances; and all the logic rests on the law of identity. What is common for all of them is the nature of reason itself.

Ka Osi Sọ Onye: African Philosophy in the Postmodern Era

Edited by Jonathan Chimakonam, University of Calabar, Nigeria & University of Pretoria, South Africa and Edwin Etieyibo, University of the Witwatersrand

February 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-366-8
Availability: In stock
$67 £50 €57

This collection is about composing thought at the level of modernism and decomposing it at the postmodern level where many cocks might crow with African philosophy as a focal point. It has two parts: part one is titled ‘The Journey of Reason in African Philosophy’, and part two is titled ‘African Philosophy and Postmodern Thinking’. There are seven chapters in both parts. Five of the essays are reprinted here as important selections while nine are completely new essays commissioned for this book. As their titles suggest, in part one, African philosophy is unfolded in the manifestation of reason as embedded in modern thought while in part two, it draws the effect of reason as implicated in the postmodern orientation. While part one strikes at what V. Y. Mudimbe calls the “colonising structure” or the Greco-European logo-phallo-euro-centricism in thought, part two bashes the excesses of modernism and partly valorises postmodernism. In some chapters, modernism is presented as an intellectual version of communalism characterised by the cliché: ‘our people say’. Our thinking is that the voice of reason is not the voice of the people but the voice of an individual. The idea of this book is to open new vistas for the discipline of African philosophy. African philosophy is thus presented as a disagreement discourse. Without rivalry of thoughts, Africa will settle for far less. This gives postmodernism an important place, perhaps deservedly more important than history of philosophy allocates to it. It is that philosophical moment that says ‘philosophers must cease speaking like gods in their hegemonic cultural shrines and begin to converse across borders with one another’. In this conversation, the goal for African philosophers must not be to find final answers but to sustain the conversation which alone can extend human reason to its furthermost reaches.

Lucian Blaga: Selected Philosophical Extracts

Edited by R. T. Allen et al.

February 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-293-7
Availability: In stock
$58 £44 €49

After the Editor's General Introduction, the extracts include central elements of Blaga’s metaphysics, general epistemology, philosophies of science, history, religion, language and especially metaphor, the experience of space and time, art, and finally culture which includes all of them, especially the presence in all of ‘style’ and distinctive ways of practising them. All these extracts are linked by his general epistemology, especially his distinction between two types of knowledge: ‘paradisiac’ or Type 1, which is that of everyday awareness and the current methods, concepts and presuppositions of the sciences of nature and humanity, plus mathematics and philosophy, and accumulates in ‘plus knowledge’ and resolves problems in standard ways; and ‘Luciferican’ or Type 2, which opens up the ‘mysteries’ of new realms of reality which do not fit the current methods, concepts and presuppositions, and so results in ‘minus’ knowledge, the awareness that there are things which at the moment we cannot understand. For these ‘mysteries’ new methods, concepts and presuppositions are required, which ‘abyssal’ categories can supply, ones below those we normally employ and may be aware of. It is part of man’s role in the cosmos to reveal such mysteries. They are also linked by Blaga's awareness of historical changes, especially ‘dogmatic aeons’ in which a prevailing framework of categories, etc., guides knowledge and research, and ones in which Type 2 knowledge dominates and new frameworks are eventually created. Each extract has its own Introduction which places it in the context of the rest of his interlinked philosophy. They show how Blaga, with both general themes and concepts and also with particular examples, combines much of the concerns and methods of Analytic and Continental philosophy, and how his historical perspective applied especially to modern times long before anyone spoke of 'postmodernism', and thus as in his lifetime.

The Origins of Liberty: An Essay in Platonic Ontology

Alexander Zistakis

January 2018 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-289-0
Availability: Forthcoming
$68 £48 €55

Unlike the vast majority of existing literature on Plato, this book seeks to argue that liberty constitutes the central notion and preoccupation of Platonic thought and that his theory of ideas is indeed a theory of liberty. Moreover, this book contends that Plato’s thought can be understood to be both one of liberty and a theory of liberation. Bound up in its efforts to reveal both the ideal liberty and the conditions and possibility of its existence in the so-called ‘real world,’ the thought of liberty tends to be all-encompassing. Consequently, this book seeks to expose how liberty can be understood to influence Plato’s ontological form of analysis in relation to politics, philosophy, and anthropology, as well as its influence on the structural unity of all three. Understood from such a perspective, this book frames Platonic philosophy as primarily an investigation, an articulation and as a way of establishing the relationship between the individual and the collective. Importantly, this relationship is acknowledged to be the natural and original framework for any conception and exercise of human liberty, especially within democratic theory and politics. By treating Plato’s philosophy as a continuous effort to find modes and dimensions of liberation in and through different forms of this relationship, this book hopes to not only engage in the discussion about the meaning of Platonic ontological-political insights on different grounds, but also to provide a different perspective for the evaluation of its relevance to the main contemporary issues and problems regarding liberty, liberation, democracy and politics. This book will be of interest to both undergraduate students, experienced scholars and researchers, as well as to the general public who have an interest in philosophy, classics, and political theory.