The Ambivalence of Scarcity and Other Essays


Author: Paul Dumouchel
Publisher: MSU Press
ISBN: 1628950005
Category: Political Science
Page: 405
View: 1304

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First published in French in 1979, “The Ambivalence of Scarcity” was a groundbreaking work on mimetic theory. Now expanded upon with new, specially written, and never-before-published conference texts and essays, this revised edition explores René Girard’s philosophy in three sections: economy and economics, mimetic theory, and violence and politics in modern societies. The first section argues that though mimetic theory is in many ways critical of modern economic theory, this criticism can contribute to the enrichment of economic thinking. The second section explores the issues of nonviolence and misrecognition (méconnaissance), which have been at the center of many discussions of Girard’s work. The final section proposes mimetic analyses of the violence typical of modern societies, from high school bullying to genocide and terrorist attacks. Politics, Dumouchel argues, is a violent means of protecting us from our own violent tendencies, and it can at times become the source of the very savagery from which it seeks to protect us. The book’s conclusion analyzes the relationship between ethics and economics, opening new avenues of research and inviting further exploration. Dumouchel’s introduction reflects on the importance of René Girard’s work in relation to ongoing research, especially in social sciences and philosophy.

The Genesis of Desire


Author: Jean-Michel Oughourlian,Jean-Michael Oughourlian
Publisher: MSU Press
ISBN: 1609171268
Category: Philosophy
Page: 176
View: 1420

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We seem to be abandoning the codes that told previous generations who they should love. But now that many of us are free to choose whoever we want, nothing is less certain. The proliferation of divorces and separations reveal a dynamic we would rather not see: others sometimes reject us as passionately as we are attracted to them. Our desire makes us sick. The throes of rivalry are at the heart of our attraction to one another. This is the central thesis of Jean-Michel Oughourlian's The Genesis of Desire, where the war of the sexes is finally given a scientific explanation. The discovery of mirror neurons corroborates his ideas, clarifying the phenomena of empathy and the mechanisms of violent reciprocity. How can a couple be saved when they have declared war on one another? By helping them realize that desire originates not in the self but in the other. There are strategies that can help, which Dr. Oughourlian has prescribed successfully to his patients. This work, alternating between case studies and more theoretical statements, convincingly defends the possibility that breakups need not be permanent.

The Ambivalence of Scarcity and Other Essays


Author: Paul Dumouchel
Publisher: MSU Press
ISBN: 1628950005
Category: Political Science
Page: 405
View: 8182

Continue Reading →

First published in French in 1979, “The Ambivalence of Scarcity” was a groundbreaking work on mimetic theory. Now expanded upon with new, specially written, and never-before-published conference texts and essays, this revised edition explores René Girard’s philosophy in three sections: economy and economics, mimetic theory, and violence and politics in modern societies. The first section argues that though mimetic theory is in many ways critical of modern economic theory, this criticism can contribute to the enrichment of economic thinking. The second section explores the issues of nonviolence and misrecognition (méconnaissance), which have been at the center of many discussions of Girard’s work. The final section proposes mimetic analyses of the violence typical of modern societies, from high school bullying to genocide and terrorist attacks. Politics, Dumouchel argues, is a violent means of protecting us from our own violent tendencies, and it can at times become the source of the very savagery from which it seeks to protect us. The book’s conclusion analyzes the relationship between ethics and economics, opening new avenues of research and inviting further exploration. Dumouchel’s introduction reflects on the importance of René Girard’s work in relation to ongoing research, especially in social sciences and philosophy.

The Barren Sacrifice

An Essay on Political Violence
Author: Paul Dumouchel
Publisher: MSU Press
ISBN: 1628952423
Category: Political Science
Page: N.A
View: 7555

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According to political theory, the primary function of the modern state is to protect its citizens—both from each other and from external enemies. Yet it is the states that essentially commit major forms of violence, such as genocides, ethnic cleansings, and large-scale massacres, against their own citizens. In this book Paul Dumouchel argues that this paradoxical reversal of the state’s primary function into violence against its own members is not a mere accident but an ever-present possibility that is inscribed in the structure of the modern state. Modern states need enemies to exist and to persist, not because they are essentially evil but because modern politics constitutes a violent means of protecting us against our own violence. If they cannot—if we cannot—find enemies outside the state, they will find them inside. However, this institution is today coming to an end, not in the sense that states are disappearing, but in the sense that they are increasingly failing to protect us from our own violence. That is why the violent sacrifices that they ask from us, in wars and even in times of peace, have now become barren.

Mimetic Theory and World Religions


Author: Wolfgang Palaver,Richard Schenk
Publisher: MSU Press
ISBN: 1628953136
Category: Philosophy
Page: 478
View: 3093

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Those who anticipated the demise of religion and the advent of a peaceful, secularized global village have seen the last two decades confound their predictions. René Girard’s mimetic theory is a key to understanding the new challenges posed by our world of resurgent violence and pluralistic cultures and traditions. Girard sought to explain how the Judeo-Christian narrative exposes a founding murder at the origin of human civilization and demystifies the bloody sacrifices of archaic religions. Meanwhile, his book Sacrifice, a reading of conflict and sacrificial resolution in the Vedic Brahmanas, suggests that mimetic theory’s insights also resonate with several non-Western religious and spiritual traditions. This volume collects engagements with Girard by scholars of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism and situates them within contemporary theology, philosophy, and religious studies.

Intellectual Sacrifice and Other Mimetic Paradoxes


Author: Paolo Diego Bubbio
Publisher: MSU Press
ISBN: 1628953225
Category: Philosophy
Page: 256
View: 5510

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Intellectual Sacrifice and Other Mimetic Paradoxes is an account of Paolo Diego Bubbio’s twenty-year intellectual journey through the twists and turns of Girard’s mimetic theory. The author analyzes philosophy and religion as “enemy sisters” engaged in an endless competitive struggle and identifies the intellectual space where this rivalry can either be perpetuated or come to a paradoxical resolution. He goes on to explore topics ranging from arguments for the existence of God to mimetic theory’s post-Kantian legacy, political implications, and capacity for identifying epochal phenomena, such as the crisis of the self, in popular culture. Bubbio concludes by advocating for an encounter between mimetic theory and contemporary philosophical hermeneutics—an encounter in which each approach benefits and is enriched by the resources of the other. The volume features a previously unpublished letter by René Girard on the relationship between philosophy and religion.

Economy and the Future

A Crisis of Faith
Author: Jean-Pierre Dupuy
Publisher: MSU Press
ISBN: 1628950331
Category: Philosophy
Page: 194
View: 4359

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A monster stalks the earth—a sluggish, craven, dumb beast that takes fright at the slightest noise and starts at the sight of its own shadow. This monster is the market. The shadow it fears is cast by a light that comes from the future: the Keynesian crisis of expectations. It is this same light that causes the world’s leaders to tremble before the beast. They tremble, Jean-Pierre Dupuy says, because they have lost faith in the future. What Dupuy calls Economy has degenerated today into a mad spectacle of unrestrained consumption and speculation. But in its positive form—a truly political economy in which politics, not economics, is predominant—Economy creates not only a sense of trust and confidence but also a belief in the open-endedness of the future without which capitalism cannot function. In this devastating and counterintuitive indictment of the hegemonic pretensions of neoclassical economic theory, Dupuy argues that the immutable and eternal decision of God has been replaced with the unpredictable and capricious judgment of the crowd. The future of mankind will therefore depend on whether it can see through the blindness of orthodox economic thinking.

In Praise of Copying


Author: Marcus Boon
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674058429
Category: Philosophy
Page: 294
View: 9878

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German critic Walter Benjamin wrote some immensely influential words on the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction. Luxury fashion houses would say something shorter and sharper and much more legally binding on the rip-off merchants who fake their products. Marcus Boon, a Canadian English professor with an accessible turn of phrase, takes us on an erudite voyage through the theme in a serious but engaging encounter with the ideas of thinkers as varied as Plato, Hegel, Orson Welles, Benjamin, Heidegger, Louis Vuitton, Takashi Murakami and many more, on topics as philosophically taxing and pop-culture-light as mimesis, Christianity, capitalism, authenticity, Uma Thurman's handbag and Disneyland.

Cultural Politics and Education


Author: Michael W. Apple
Publisher: Teachers College Press
ISBN: 9780807735039
Category: Political Science
Page: 149
View: 4501

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Michael Apple offers a powerful analysis of current debates and a compelling indictment of rightist proposals for change. Apple presents the causes and effects of further integrating schools into the corporate agenda, as well as current calls for a national curriculum and national testing, privatization and voucher plans, and fundamentalist religious pressures to censor textbooks. He demonstrates who will be the winners and losers culturally and economically as the conservative restoration gains in strength, bringing with it an even greater restratification of knowledge and students in terms of race, class, and gender.

Tracks and Traces

Thailand and the Work of Andrew Turton
Author: Philip Hirsch,Nicholas Tapp
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
ISBN: 9089642498
Category: Social Science
Page: 159
View: 3343

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This volume traces the threads that tie together an understanding of Thailand as a dynamic and rapidly changing society, through an examination of the work of one major scholar of the country, Andrew Turton. Turton's anthropological studies of Thailand cover a wide spectrum from politics and economy to ritual and culture, and have been crucial in shaping evolving understandings of Thai society. In this collection, ten leading specialists on Thailand from a variety of disciplines critically consider aspects of Turton's work in relation to the changing nature of different aspects of Thai society. The book tracks the links between past and present scholarship, examines the contextuality of scholarship in its times, and sheds light on the current situation in Thailand.

Religion and Legal Pluralism


Author: Dr Russell Sandberg
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 140945584X
Category: Religion
Page: 300
View: 9185

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Whilst a number of important theoretical works concerning legal pluralism in the context of cultural rights have been published, little has been published specifically on religion. Religion and Legal Pluralism explores the extent to which religious laws are already recognised by the state and the extent to which religious legal systems, such as Sharia law, should be accommodated.

Software Studies

A Lexicon
Author: Matthew Fuller
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262062747
Category: Computers
Page: 334
View: 4616

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A cultural field guide to software: artists, computer scientists, designers, cultural theorists, programmers, and others define a new field of study and practice.

The Value of Culture

On the Relationship Between Economics and Arts
Author: Arjo Klamer
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
ISBN: 9789053562185
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 243
View: 5434

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Culture manifests itself in everything human, including the ordinary business of everyday life. Culture and art have their own value, but economic values are also constrained. Art sponsorships and subsidies suggest a value that exceeds market price. So what is the real value of culture? Unlike the usual focus on formal problems, which has 'de-cultured' and 'de-moralized' the practice of economics, this book brings together economists, philosophers, historians, political scientists and artists to try to sort out the value of culture. This is a book not only for economists and social scientists, but also for anybody actively involved in the world of the arts and culture.

Landscapes of the Secular

Law, Religion, and American Sacred Space
Author: Nicolas Howe
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022637680X
Category: Religion
Page: 240
View: 3735

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“What does it mean to see the American landscape in a secular way?” asks Nicolas Howe at the outset of this innovative, ambitious, and wide-ranging book. It’s a surprising question because of what it implies: we usually aren’t seeing American landscapes through a non-religious lens, but rather as inflected by complicated, little-examined concepts of the sacred. Fusing geography, legal scholarship, and religion in a potent analysis, Howe shows how seemingly routine questions about how to look at a sunrise or a plateau or how to assess what a mountain is both physically and ideologically, lead to complex arguments about the nature of religious experience and its implications for our lives as citizens. In American society—nominally secular but committed to permitting a diversity of religious beliefs and expressions—such questions become all the more fraught and can lead to difficult, often unsatisfying compromises regarding how to interpret and inhabit our public lands and spaces. A serious commitment to secularism, Howe shows, forces us to confront the profound challenges of true religious diversity in ways that often will have their ultimate expression in our built environment. This provocative exploration of some of the fundamental aspects of American life will help us see the land, law, and society anew.

Battling to the End

Conversations with Benoit Chantre
Author: René Girard
Publisher: MSU Press
ISBN: 1609171330
Category: Philosophy
Page: 256
View: 2661

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In Battling to the End René Girard engages Carl von Clausewitz (1780–1831), the Prussian military theoretician who wrote On War. Clausewitz, who has been critiqued by military strategists, political scientists, and philosophers, famously postulated that "War is the continuation of politics by other means." He also seemed to believe that governments could constrain war. Clausewitz, a firsthand witness to the Napoleonic Wars, understood the nature of modern warfare. Far from controlling violence, politics follows in war's wake: the means of war have become its ends. René Girard shows us a Clausewitz who is a fascinated witness of history's acceleration. Haunted by the French-German conflict, Clausewitz clarifies more than anyone else the development that would ravage Europe. Battling to the End pushes aside the taboo that prevents us from seeing that the apocalypse has begun. Human violence is escaping our control; today it threatens the entire planet.

Evolution and Conversion

Dialogues on the Origins of Culture
Author: René Girard
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1350018244
Category: Religion
Page: 216
View: 4483

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Evolution and Conversion explores the main tenets of René Girard's thought in a series of dialogues. Here, Girard reflects on the evolution of his thought and offers striking new insights on topics such as violence, religion, desire and literature. His long argument is a historical one in which the origin of culture and religion is reunited in the contemporary world by means of a reinterpretation of Christianity and an understanding of the intrinsically violent nature of human beings. He also offers provocative re-readings of Biblical and literary texts and responds to statements by Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins. Including an introduction by the authors, this is a revealing text by one of the most original thinkers of our time.

The Prophetic Law

Essays in Judaism, Girardianism, Literary Studies, and the Ethical
Author: Sandor Goodhart
Publisher: MSU Press
ISBN: 1628950188
Category: Philosophy
Page: N.A
View: 2618

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To read literature is to read the way literature reads. René Girard’s immense body of work supports this thesis bountifully. Whether engaging the European novel, ancient Greek tragedy, Shakespeare’s plays, or Jewish and Christian scripture, Girard teaches us to read prophetically, not by offering a method he has developed, but by presenting the methodologies they have developed, the interpretative readings already available within (and constitutive of) such bodies of classical writing. In The Prophetic Law, literary scholar, theorist, and critic Sandor Goodhart divides his essays on René Girard since 1983 into four groupings. In three, he addresses Girardian concerns with Biblical scripture (Genesis and Exodus), literature (the European novel and Shakespeare), and philosophy and religious studies issues (especially ethical and Jewish subject matters). In a fourth section, he reproduces some of the polemical exchanges in which he has participated with others—including René Girard himself—as part of what could justly be deemed Jewish-Christian dialogue. The twelve texts that make up the heart of this captivating volume constitute the bulk of the author’s writings to date on Girard outside of his three previous books on Girardian topics. Taken together, they offer a comprehensive engagement with Girard’s sharpest and most original literary, anthropological, and scriptural insights.

Orientalism and Religion

Post-Colonial Theory, India and "The Mystic East"
Author: Richard King
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134632347
Category: Religion
Page: 296
View: 3793

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Orientalism and Religion offers us a timely discussion of the implications of contemporary post-colonial theory for the study of religion. Richard King examines the way in which notions such as mysticism, religion, Hinduism and Buddhism are taken for granted. He shows us how religion needs to be reinterpreted along the lines of cultural studies. Drawing on a variety of post-structuralist and post-colonial thinkers, such as Foucault, Gadamer, Said, and Spivak, King provides us with a challenging series of reflections on the nature of Religious Studies and Indology.

Banished from Eden

Original Sin and Evolutionary Theory in the Drama of Salvation
Author: Raymund Schwager
Publisher: Gracewing Publishing
ISBN: 9780852446065
Category: Religion
Page: 191
View: 1391

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Schwager explores how evolutionary theory and the doctrine of original sin need not contradict each other. The Christian message of the drama of salvation provides the context for this dynamic exploration of the fundamental issues for human self-reflection and for theological inquiry. (Catholic)

Vengeance in Reverse

The Tangled Loops of Violence, Myth, and Madness
Author: Mark R. Anspach
Publisher: MSU Press
ISBN: 1628952903
Category: Psychology
Page: 136
View: 1515

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How do humans stop fighting? Where do the gods of myth come from? What does it mean to go mad? Mark R. Anspach tackles these and other conundrums as he draws on ethnography, literature, psychotherapy, and the theory of René Girard to explore some of the fundamental mechanisms of human interaction. Likening gift exchange to vengeance in reverse, the first part of the book outlines a fresh approach to reciprocity, while the second part traces the emergence of transcendence in collective myths and individual delusions. From the peacemaking rituals of prestate societies to the paradoxical structure of consciousness, Anspach takes the reader on an intellectual journey that begins with the problem of how to deceive violence and ends with the riddle of how one can deceive oneself.