In Dante and the Limits of the Law, Justin Steinberg offers the first comprehensive study of the legal structure essential to Dante’s Divine Comedy. Steinberg reveals how Dante imagines an afterlife dominated by sophisticated laws, hierarchical jurisdictions, and rationalized punishments and rewards. He makes the compelling case that Dante deliberately exploits this highly structured legal system to explore the phenomenon of exceptions to it, crucially introducing Dante to current debates about literature’s relation to law, exceptionality, and sovereignty. Examining how Dante probes the limits of the law in this juridical otherworld, Steinberg argues that exceptions were vital to the medieval legal order and that Dante’s otherworld represents an ideal “system of exception.” In the real world, Dante saw this system as increasingly threatened by the dual crises of church and empire: the abuses and overreaching of the popes and the absence of an effective Holy Roman Emperor. Steinberg shows that Dante’s imagination of the afterlife seeks to address this gap between the universal validity of Roman law and the lack of a sovereign power to enforce it. Exploring the institutional role of disgrace, the entwined phenomena of judicial discretion and artistic freedom, medieval ideas about privilege and immunity, and the place of judgment in the poem, this cogently argued book brings to life Dante’s sense of justice.
In Dante and the Limits of the Law, Justin Steinberg offers the first comprehensive study of the legal structure crucial to Dante’s Divine Comedy. Steinberg reveals how Dante imagines an afterlife dominated by elaborate laws, hierarchical jurisdictions, and rationalized punishments and rewards. Steinberg makes the compelling case that Dante deliberately exploits this highly-structured legal system to explore the phenomenon of exceptions to it, introducing Dante to crucial current debates about literature’s relation to law, exceptionality, and sovereignty. Examining how Dante probes the limits of the law in this juridical otherworld, Steinberg argues that exceptions were vital to the medieval legal order and that Dante’s otherworld represents an ideal “system of exception.” Yet Dante saw this system as threatened on earth by the dual crises of church and Empire—the abuses and overreaching of the popes and the absence of an effective Holy Roman Emperor. In his imagination of the afterlife, Steinberg shows, Dante seeks to address this gap between the universal validity of Roman law and the lack of a sovereign power to enforce it. Exploring the institutional role of disgrace, the entwined phenomena of judicial discretion and artistic freedom, medieval ideas about privilege and immunity, and the place of judgment in the poem, this is an elegantly argued book that persuasively brings to life Dante’s sense of justice.
The best and most eloquent introduction to Dante for our time. Prue Shaw is one of the world's foremost authorities on Dante. Written with the general reader in mind, Reading Dante brings her knowledge to bear in an accessible yet expert introduction to his great poem. This is far more than an exegesis of Dante’s three-part Commedia. Shaw communicates the imaginative power, the linguistic skill and the emotional intensity of Dante’s poetry—the qualities that make the Commedia perhaps the greatest literary work of all time and not simply a medieval treatise on morality and religion. The book provides a graphic account of the complicated geography of Dante's version of the afterlife and a sure guide to thirteenth-century Florence and the people and places that influenced him. At the same time it offers a literary experience that lifts the reader into the universal realms of poetry and mythology, creating links not only to the classical world of Virgil and Ovid but also to modern art and poetry, the world of T. S. Eliot, Seamus Heaney and many others. Dante's questions are our questions: What is it to be a human being? How should we judge human behavior? What matters in life and in death? Reading Dante helps the reader to understand Dante’s answers to these timeless questions and to see how surprisingly close they sometimes are to modern answers. Reading Dante is an astonishingly lyrical work that will appeal to both those who’ve never read the Commedia and those who have. It underscores Dante's belief that poetry can change human lives.
Dante's Philosophical Life argues that Purgatorio was intended to give instruction on how to live the philosophic life. Paul Stern's claim that Dante was arguing for prudence against dogmatisms of every kind addresses a question of contemporary concern: whether reason can guide a life.
Franz Kafka s vision of the Law in "The Trial "is so strange, arbitrary, and unjust that it would seem to be the antithesis of our own. Yet, that is what makes Robert Burns latest book so compelling. Robert Burns brilliantly shows that Kakfa s masterpiece provides an uncanny lens through which to see and understand the American criminal justice system today. It provokes a shock of recognition that makes us see it in a very different light. Assuming no prior knowledge of Kafka s book, Burns tells the story, at once funny and grim, of Josef K., caught in the Law s grip and then crushed by it. Laying out the characteristics of Kafka s Law, Burns argues that the American criminal justice system has taken on too many of those same qualities. In the overwhelming majority of cases, our system is composed of police interrogation followed by plea bargaining, where the courts only function is but to set a sentence on an individual already determined to be guilty. Like Kafka s nightmarish vision, too much of our criminal law and procedure has become unknowable, ubiquitous, and bureaucratic. It too has come to rely on deception in dealing with suspects and jurors, to limit the role of defense counsel, and to increasingly dispense justice without the protections of formal procedures. Burns compellingly explains how and why we have become an increasingly punitive society. Finally, he takes up the question of whether we have the resources to change these Kafkaesque aspects of our criminal justice system and shows how the jury trial has that potential, but only if it is returned to a more central place in our system."
'I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth' we say in a court of law. 'In a court of law, the truth is precisely what we will not say', says Lacan. ‘If God is dead, everything is permitted’, writes Dostoyevsky. ‘If God is dead, everything is prohibited’, responds Lacan. ‘I think, therefore I am’, reasons Descartes. ‘I am where I do not think’, concludes Lacan. What are we to make of Lacan’s inversions of these mottos? And what are the implications for the legal system if we take them seriously? This book puts the legal subject on the couch and explores the incestuous relationship between law and desire, enjoyment and transgression, freedom and subjection, ethics and atheism. The process of analysis problematizes fundamental tenets of the legal system, leading the patient to rethink long-held beliefs: terms like ‘guilt’ and ‘innocence’, ‘truth’ and ‘lies’, ‘reason’ and ‘reality’, ‘freedom’ and ‘responsibility’, ‘cause’ and ‘punishment’, acquire new and surprising meanings. By the end of these sessions, the patient is left wondering, along with Freud her analyst, whether ‘it is not psychology that deserves the mockery but the procedure of judicial enquiry’. A unique study on the nexus of Law and Psychoanalysis, this book will interest students and scholars of both subjects, as well as general readers looking to explore this perverse and fascinating relationship.
An Essay on Tolstoy’s View of History, Second Edition
Author: Isaiah Berlin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." This ancient Greek aphorism, preserved in a fragment from the poet Archilochus, describes the central thesis of Isaiah Berlin's masterly essay on Leo Tolstoy and the philosophy of history, the subject of the epilogue to War and Peace. Although there have been many interpretations of the adage, Berlin uses it to mark a fundamental distinction between human beings who are fascinated by the infinite variety of things and those who relate everything to a central, all-embracing system. Applied to Tolstoy, the saying illuminates a paradox that helps explain his philosophy of history: Tolstoy was a fox, but believed in being a hedgehog. One of Berlin's most celebrated works, this extraordinary essay offers profound insights about Tolstoy, historical understanding, and human psychology. This new edition features a revised text that supplants all previous versions, English translations of the many passages in foreign languages, a new foreword in which Berlin biographer Michael Ignatieff explains the enduring appeal of Berlin's essay, and a new appendix that provides rich context, including excerpts from reviews and Berlin's letters, as well as a startling new interpretation of Archilochus's epigram.
Language is our key to imagining the world, others, and ourselves. Yet sometimes our ways of talking dehumanize others and trivialize human experience. In war other people are imagined as enemies to be killed. The language of race objectifies those it touches, and propaganda disables democracy. Advertising reduces us to consumers, and clichés destroy the life of the imagination. How are we to assert our humanity and that of others against the forces in the culture and in our own minds that would deny it? What kind of speech should the First Amendment protect? How should judges and justices themselves speak? These questions animate James Boyd White's Living Speech, a profound examination of the ethics of human expression--in the law and in the rest of life. Drawing on examples from an unusual range of sources--judicial opinions, children's essays, literature, politics, and the speech-out-of-silence of Quaker worship--White offers a fascinating analysis of the force of our languages. Reminding us that every moment of speech is an occasion for gaining control of what we say and who we are, he shows us that we must practice the art of resisting the forces of inhumanity built into our habits of speech and thought if we are to become more capable of love and justice--in both law and life.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE The searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive. A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other. The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation. A New York Times Notable Book One of the Best Books of the Year The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Denver Post, The Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, New York, People, Rocky Mountain News, Time, The Village Voice, The Washington Post
Marx’s Inferno reconstructs the major arguments of Karl Marx’s Capital and inaugurates a completely new reading of a seminal classic. Rather than simply a critique of classical political economy, William Roberts argues that Capital was primarily a careful engagement with the motives and aims of the workers’ movement. Understood in this light, Capital emerges as a profound work of political theory. Placing Marx against the background of nineteenth-century socialism, Roberts shows how Capital was ingeniously modeled on Dante’s Inferno, and how Marx, playing the role of Virgil for the proletariat, introduced partisans of workers’ emancipation to the secret depths of the modern “social Hell.” In this manner, Marx revised republican ideas of freedom in response to the rise of capitalism. Combining research on Marx’s interlocutors, textual scholarship, and forays into recent debates, Roberts traces the continuities linking Marx’s theory of capitalism to the tradition of republican political thought. He immerses the reader in socialist debates about the nature of commerce, the experience of labor, the power of bosses and managers, and the possibilities of political organization. Roberts rescues those debates from the past, and shows how they speak to ever-renewed concerns about political life in today’s world.
Territory is one of the central political concepts of the modern world and, indeed, functions as the primary way the world is divided and controlled politically. Yet territory has not received the critical attention afforded to other crucial concepts such as sovereignty, rights, and justice. While territory continues to matter politically, and territorial disputes and arrangements are studied in detail, the concept of territory itself is often neglected today. Where did the idea of exclusive ownership of a portion of the earth’s surface come from, and what kinds of complexities are hidden behind that seemingly straightforward definition? The Birth of Territory provides a detailed account of the emergence of territory within Western political thought. Looking at ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and early modern thought, Stuart Elden examines the evolution of the concept of territory from ancient Greece to the seventeenth century to determine how we arrived at our contemporary understanding. Elden addresses a range of historical, political, and literary texts and practices, as well as a number of key players—historians, poets, philosophers, theologians, and secular political theorists—and in doing so sheds new light on the way the world came to be ordered and how the earth’s surface is divided, controlled, and administered.
The perfect graduation gift "Meet the new Stephen Hawking . . . The Order of Time is a dazzling book." --The Sunday Times From the bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, a concise, elegant exploration of time. Why do we remember the past and not the future? What does it mean for time to "flow"? Do we exist in time or does time exist in us? In lyric, accessible prose, Carlo Rovelli invites us to consider questions about the nature of time that continue to puzzle physicists and philosophers alike. For most readers this is unfamiliar terrain. We all experience time, but the more scientists learn about it, the more mysterious it remains. We think of it as uniform and universal, moving steadily from past to future, measured by clocks. Rovelli tears down these assumptions one by one, revealing a strange universe where at the most fundamental level time disappears. He explains how the theory of quantum gravity attempts to understand and give meaning to the resulting extreme landscape of this timeless world. Weaving together ideas from philosophy, science and literature, he suggests that our perception of the flow of time depends on our perspective, better understood starting from the structure of our brain and emotions than from the physical universe. Already a bestseller in Italy, and written with the poetic vitality that made Seven Brief Lessons on Physics so appealing, The Order of Time offers a profoundly intelligent, culturally rich, novel appreciation of the mysteries of time.
The Banquet is a work written by Dante Alighieri roughly between 1304 and 1307. This unfinished work of Dante consists of four trattati, or "books": a prefatory one, plus three books that each include a canzone (long lyrical poem) and a prose allegorical interpretation or commentary of the poem that goes off in multiple thematic directions. The Banquet is a major stage of development for Dante, very different from the visionary world of the Vita nuova (although like the earlier work it too is a medium for the author's evolving sense of artistic vocation and philosophical-spiritual quest). This difference is reflected in how the two works use the prosimetrum format: in the Vita Nova there is a complex interrelation and intertwining between the prose and the poetry, while in the Banquet large blocks of prose have an autonomous existence apart from the poems; the content of the poetry is not amplified or edited in the prose so much as commented upon prosaically, to serve as points of departure for the various subjects that the Banquet discusses. Dante himself tells us that the prose of the Banquet is "temperate and virile," in contrast to the "fervid and passionate" prose of the Vita Nova; and that while the approach to this in the work of his youth was "like dreaming" the Banquet approaches it subjects soberly and wide awake, often modeling its style on Scholastic authors. The Banquet is a kind of vernacular encyclopedia of the knowledge of Dante's time; it touches on many areas of learning, not only philosophy but also politics, linguistics, science, and history. The treatise begins with the prefatory book, or proem, which explains why a book like the Banquet is needed and why Dante is writing it in the vernacular instead of Latin. It is one of Dante's early defenses of the vernacular, expressed in greater detail in his (slightly earlier) linguistic treatise De vulgari eloquentia (On Eloquence in the Vernacular).
Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy has, despite its enormous popularity and importance, often stymied readers with its multitudinous characters, references, and themes. But until the publication in 2007 of Guy Raffa’s guide to the Inferno, students lacked a suitable resource to help them navigate Dante’s underworld. With this new guide to the entire Divine Comedy, Raffa provides readers—experts in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Dante neophytes, and everyone in between—with a map of the entire poem, from the lowest circle of Hell to the highest sphere of Paradise. Based on Raffa’s original research and his many years of teaching the poem to undergraduates, The CompleteDanteworlds charts a simultaneously geographical and textual journey, canto by canto, region by region, adhering closely to the path taken by Dante himself through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. This invaluable reference also features study questions, illustrations of the realms, and regional summaries. Interpreting Dante’s poem and his sources, Raffa fashions detailed entries on each character encountered as well as on many significant historical, religious, and cultural allusions.
Joan Ferrante analyzes the Divine Comedy in terms of public issues, which continued foremost in Dante's thinking after his exile from Florence. Professor Ferrante examines the political concepts of the poem in historical context and in light of the political theory and controversies of the period. Originally published in 1984. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Kelsen, Hans. Pure Theory of Law. Translation from the Second German Edition by Max Knight. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967. x, 356 pp. Reprinted 2005 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN 1-58477-578-5. Paperbound. $36.95 * Second revised and enlarged edition, a complete revision of the first edition published in 1934. A landmark in the development of modern jurisprudence, the pure theory of law defines law as a system of coercive norms created by the state that rests on the validity of a generally accepted Grundnorm, or basic norm, such as the supremacy of the Constitution. Entirely self-supporting, it rejects any concept derived from metaphysics, politics, ethics, sociology, or the natural sciences. Beginning with the medieval reception of Roman law, traditional jurisprudence has maintained a dual system of "subjective" law (the rights of a person) and "objective" law (the system of norms). Throughout history this dualism has been a useful tool for putting the law in the service of politics, especially by rulers or dominant political parties. The pure theory of law destroys this dualism by replacing it with a unitary system of objective positive law that is insulated from political manipulation. Possibly the most influential jurisprudent of the twentieth century, Hans Kelsen [1881-1973] was legal adviser to Austria's last emperor and its first republican government, the founder and permanent advisor of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Austria, and the author of Austria's Constitution, which was enacted in 1920, abolished during the Anschluss, and restored in 1945. The author of more than forty books on law and legal philosophy, he is best known for this work and General Theory of Law and State. Also active as a teacher in Europe and the United States, he was Dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Vienna and taught at the universities of Cologne and Prague, the Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Harvard, Wellesley, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Naval War College.Also available in cloth.
THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED SECOND NOVEL FROM THE WRITER EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL (STATION ELEVEN) CALLS “SHARP, WITTY, AND IMMENSELY ENTERTAINING” Is a new life possible? Because Shira Greene’s life hasn’t quite turned out as planned. She’s a single mom living with her daughter and her gay friend, Ahmad. Her PhD on Dante’s Vita Nuova hasn’t gotten her a job, and her career as a translator hasn’t exactly taken off either. But then she gets a call from a Nobel Prize-winning Italian poet who insists she’s the only one who can translate his newest book. Stunned, Shira realizes that—just like that— her life can change. She sees a new beginning beckoning: academic glory, demand for her translations, and even love (her good luck has made her feel more open to the entreaties of a neighborhood indie bookstore owner). There’s only one problem: It all hinges on the translation, and as Shira starts working on the exquisitely intricate passages of the poet’s book, she realizes that it may in fact be, well ... impossible to translate. A deft, funny, and big-hearted novel about second chances, Good on Paper is a grand novel of family, friendship, and possibility.