Author: Palle Yourgrau File Type: pdf Simone Weil, legendary French philosopher, political activist, and mystic, died in 1943 at a sanatorium in Kent, England, at the age of thirty-four. During her brief lifetime, Weil was a paradox of asceticism and reclusive introversion who also maintained a teaching career and an active participation in politics. In this concise biography, Palle Yourgrau outlines Weils influential life and work and demonstrates how she tried to apply philosophy to everyday life. Born in Paris to a cultivated Jewish-French family, Weil excelled at philosophy, and her empathetic political conscience channeled itself into political engagement and activism on behalf of the working class. Yourgrau assesses Weils controversial critique of Judaism as well as her radical re-imagination of Christianityfollowing a powerful religious experience in 1937in light of Platos philosophy as a bridge between human suffering and divine perfection. In Simone Weil, Yourgrau provides careful, concise readings of Weils work while exploring how Weil has come to be seen as both a modern saint and a bete noir, a Jew accused of having abandoned her own people in their hour of greatest need. Simone Weil, legendary French philosopher, mystic and political activist who died in England in 1943 at the age of thirty-four, belongs to a select group of thinkers as with St Augustine, Pascal and Nietzsche, so with Weil a single phrase can permanently change ones life. In this book, Palle Yourgrau follows Weil on her lifes journey, from her philosophical studies at the Ecole Normale Superieure, to her years as a Marxist labour organizer, her explosive encounter with Leon Trotsky, her abortive attempt to fight against Franco in the Spanish Civil War, her mystical experience in the town of Assisi. We see how Weils struggle to make sense of a world consumed by despotism and war culminated in her monumental attempt, following St Augustine, to re-imagine Christianity along Platonistic lines, to find a bridge between human suffering and divine perfection.How seriously, however, should Weils ideas be taken? They were admired by Albert Camus and T. S. Eliot, yet Susan Sontag wrote famously that I cant imagine more than a handful of the tens of thousands of readers she has won . . . really share her ideas. If this is really true, Palle Yourgrau must count as one of the handful. Though he brings to life the pathos of Weils tragi-comic journey, Yourgrau devotes equal attention to the question of truth. He shines a bright light on the paradox of Simone Weil at once a kind of modern saint, and a bete noire, a Jew accused of having abandoned her own people in their hour of greatest need. The result is a critical biography that is in places as disturbing as Weils own writings, an account that confronts head-on her controversial critique of the Hebrew Bible, as well as her radical rejection of the received wisdom that the Resurrection lies at the heart of Christianity.ReviewWeils moral absolutism remains a reproach to Jews who believe they can appropriate Israels ethnicity (and perhaps its ethics) but dispense with its holiness code, and to Christians who seek redemption in their own ethnic roots rather than through adoption into the People of God. Although her reasoning led to tragic results, Weil nonetheless did the world a service, and Yourgrau has done a service by explaining her.(First Things) A comprehensive philosophical readingto my mind, the firstof Weils work. . . . Yourgrau is a master at tracing the hyper-sanity within dense philosophical systems that appear, to the untrained, as madness. . . . Paying this great philosopher the compliment of discussing her work in its own terms, Yourgrau has, for the first time, given the breadth of Weils thought the expansive frame it deserves.(Los Angeles Review of Books) About the AuthorPalle Yourgrau is professor of philosophy at Brandeis University and the author of A World Without Time The Forgotten Legacy of Godel and Einstein.
Author: Simon Goldhill
File Type: pdf
We can begin with a kiss, though this will not turn out to be a love story, at least not a love story of anything like the usual kind. So begins A Very Queer Family Indeed, which introduces us to the extraordinary Benson family. Edward White Benson became Archbishop of Canterbury at the height of Queen Victorias reign, while his wife, Mary, was renowned for her wit and charmthe prime minister once wondered whether she was the cleverest woman in England or in Europe. The couples six precocious children included E. F. Benson, celebrated creator of the Mapp and Lucia novels, and Margaret Benson, the first published female Egyptologist. What interests Simon Goldhill most, however, is what went on behind the scenes, which was even more unusual than anyone could imagine. Inveterate writers, the Benson family spun out novels, essays, and thousands of letters that open stunning new perspectivesincluding what it might mean for an adult to kiss and propose marriage to a twelve-year-old girl, how religion in a family could support or destroy relationships, or how the death of a child could be celebrated. No other family has left such detailed records about their most intimate moments, and in these remarkable accounts, we see how family life and a familys understanding of itself took shape during a time when psychoanalysis, scientific and historical challenges to religion, and new ways of thinking about society were developing. This is the story of the Bensons, but it is also more than thatit is the story of how society transitioned from the high Victorian period into modernity. **
Author: Gabriel Finder
File Type: pdf
In Justice Behind the Iron Curtain, Gabriel N. Finder and Alexander V. Prusin examine Polands role in prosecuting Nazi German criminals during the first decade and a half of the postwar era. Finder and Prusin contend that the Polish trials of Nazi war criminals were a pragmatic political response to postwar Polish society and Poles cravings for vengeance against German Nazis. Although characterized by numerous inconsistencies, Polands prosecutions of Nazis exhibited a fair degree of due process and resembled similar proceedings in Western democratic counties.The authors examine reactions to the trials among Poles and Jews. Although Polish-Jewish relations were uneasy in the wake of the extremely brutal German wartime occupation of Poland, postwar Polish prosecutions of German Nazis placed emphasis on the fate of Jews during the Holocaust.Justice Behind the Iron Curtain is the first work to approach communist Polands judicial postwar confrontation with the legacy of the Nazi occupation. **ReviewJustice Behind the Iron Curtain is a cogently argued and clearly presented work on the pursuit of justice in the country that suffered a bloody occupation under the Nazis only to come under Soviet control at the end of the Second World War. With expertise in East European history, Holocaust studies and legal history, Finder and Prusin tackle a topic of great significance, drawing on archival sources, memoirs, the press, and previous search by scholars in Poland and abroad. - Natalia Aleksiun, Graduate School of Jewish Studies, Touro College, NYA major work, Justice Behind the Iron Curtain fills a gap in the field, and will be of interest to both scholars and members of the general public with a keen interest in history. - Piotr Wrobel, Department of History, Konstanty Reynert Chair of Polish History, University of TorontoAbout the Author Gabriel N. Finder is an associate professor in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures and Ida and Nathan Kolodiz Director of Jewish Studies at the University of Virginia.Alexander V. Prusin was a professor of history at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
Author: Renee Jeffery
File Type: pdf
For the last thirty years, documented human rights violations have been met with an unprecedented rise in demands for accountability. This trend challenges the use of amnesties which typically foreclose opportunities for criminal prosecutions that some argue are crucial to transitional justice. Recent developments have seen amnesties circumvented, overturned, and resisted by lawyers, states, and judiciaries committed to ending impunity for human rights violations. Yet, despite this global movement, the use of amnesties since the 1970s has not declined. Amnesties, Accountability, and Human Rights examines why and how amnesties persist in the face of mounting pressure to prosecute the perpetrators of human rights violations. Drawing on more than 700 amnesties instituted between 1970 and 2005, Renee Jeffery maps out significant trends in the use of amnesty and offers a historical account of how both the use and the perception of amnesty has changed. As mechanisms to facilitate transitions to democracy, to reconcile divided societies, or to end violent conflicts, amnesties have been adapted to suit the competing demands of contemporary postconflict politics and international accountability norms. Through the history of one evolving political instrument, Amnesties, Accountability, and Human Rights sheds light on the changing thought, practice, and goals of human rights discourse generally. **html
Author: Julie Knight
File Type: pdf
This book presents a close-up account of sociological research on Polish migrants who came to the region of South Wales in the wake of Polands entry into the EU in 2004. At the time, they were seen as economically motivated, short-term migrants who would enter the UK to work, save money, and return home. More than a decade after EU enlargement, however, the large number of Poles who have opted to stay in the UK has forced a reconsideration of that assumption. A reassessment of the long-term place of Poles within Wales is thus long overdue, especially in the wake of new tensions related to Brexit. **
Author: Craig Murray
File Type: epub
When Craig Murray arrived in Uzbekistan to take up his post in 2002, he was a young ambassador with a brilliant career and a taste for whisky and women. But after hearing accounts of dissident prisoners being boiled to death and innocent people being raped and murdered by agents of the state, he started to question both his role and that of his country in so-called democratising states. Following his discovery that the British government was accepting information obtained under torture, Murray could no longer maintain a diplomatic silence. When he voiced his outrage, Washington and 10 Downing Street decided he had to go. But Uzbekistan had changed the high-living diplomat and there was no way he was going to go quietly. In this candid and at times shocking memoir, Murray lays bare the dark and dirty underside of the War on Terror.
Author: Frank Palmeri
File Type: pdf
Frank Palmeri sees the conjectural histories of Rousseau, Hume, Herder, and other Enlightenment philosophers as a template for the development of the social sciences in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Without documents or memorials, these thinkers, he argues, employed conjecture to formulate a naturalistic account of societys commercial and secular progression. Palmeri finds evidence of speculative frameworks in the political economy of Malthus, Martineau, Mill, and Marx. He traces the influence of speculative thought in the development of anthropology and ethnography in the 1860s, the foundational sociology of Comte and Spencer, and the sociology of religion pioneered by Weber, Durkheim, and Freud. Conjectural histories reveal a surprising ambivalence toward progress, modernity, and secularization among leading thinkers of the time, an attitude that affected texts as varied as Darwins Descent of Man, Nietzsches Genealogy of Morality, and the novels of Walter Scott, George Eliot, and H.G. Wells. Establishing the critical value of conjectural thinking in the study of modern forms of knowledge, Palmeri concludes his investigation with its return in the work of Foucault and in recent histories on early religion, political organization, and material life.
Author: Wesley Kendall
File Type: pdf
This book offers the reader an incisive view into the political, social and economic evolutions of mass incarceration across the globe. It examines the different political and social contexts that combine with free market mechanisms of mass incarceration to ascertain how economic incentives shape penal policy. Using qualitative analysis of a wide variety of incarceration forms, each chapter compares a US example with a non-US case study, showing how first world countries that occupy the economic forefront of prison privatization are exporting new models of penal institutionalization to developing countries. The chapters examine issues such as the privatization of asylum detention centres, the economic impacts of maintaining vast forced labour camps, the social consequences of imprisoning journalists, and the use of state sanctioned torture. Capturing a nascent international trend through an interdisciplinary lens, this book questions why so many languish in prison, whether the incarceration of thousands benefits society as a whole, and how these penal policies might be roundly reconsidered.
Author: Gregory Fernando Pappas
File Type: pdf
John Dewey, perhaps the most prolific figure in American philosophy and pragmatism, is roundly considered deficient with respect to ethics. Pappas (Texas A&M) addresses this misconception by demonstrating that ethics is the organizing center of Deweys entire philosophical approach. This is a challenging thesis to argue for both dedicated pragmatists and philosophers of ethics from the analytic or Continental traditions. Pappass argument moves in three steps experience as method, moral theory and practice, and the normative standpoint of pragmatism. The claim to normativity is the most interesting and problematic. Pappas says that the broadest characterization of Deweys ideal is that he advocates living a moral life that is intelligent, aesthetic, and democratic. Imagination and conscientiousness are primary aspects of this emergent normativity, and Pappas also explores Deweys notion of affections and virtues of character. Pappas is consistent in signaling the qualitative notion of faith present in Deweys moral thought, although the content of this faith remains necessarily vague. This book handles Deweys disparate texts and broad research adeptly, and focuses on the issues of experience and experiment in a holistic treatment of pragmatic ethics. Summing Up Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through facultyresearchers general readers. General Readers Lower-division Undergraduates Upper-division Undergraduates Graduate Students ResearchersFaculty. Reviewed by R. Ward.