The Veil of Isis

An Essay on the History of the Idea of Nature

Author: Pierre Hadot

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674023161

Category: Philosophy

Page: 399

View: 8061

Nearly twenty-five hundred years ago the Greek thinker Heraclitus supposedly uttered the cryptic words "Phusis kruptesthai philei." How the aphorism, usually translated as "Nature loves to hide," has haunted Western culture ever since is the subject of this engaging study by Pierre Hadot. Taking the allegorical figure of the veiled goddess Isis as a guide, and drawing on the work of both the ancients and later thinkers such as Goethe, Rilke, Wittgenstein, and Heidegger, Hadot traces successive interpretations of Heraclitus' words. Over time, Hadot finds, "Nature loves to hide" has meant that all that lives tends to die; that Nature wraps herself in myths; and (for Heidegger) that Being unveils as it veils itself. Meanwhile the pronouncement has been used to explain everything from the opacity of the natural world to our modern angst. From these kaleidoscopic exegeses and usages emerge two contradictory approaches to nature: the Promethean, or experimental-questing, approach, which embraces technology as a means of tearing the veil from Nature and revealing her secrets; and the Orphic, or contemplative-poetic, approach, according to which such a denuding of Nature is a grave trespass. In place of these two attitudes Hadot proposes one suggested by the Romantic vision of Rousseau, Goethe, and Schelling, who saw in the veiled Isis an allegorical expression of the sublime. "Nature is art and art is nature," Hadot writes, inviting us to embrace Isis and all she represents: art makes us intensely aware of how completely we ourselves are not merely surrounded by nature but also part of nature.

The Veil of Isis

An Essay on the History of the Idea of Nature

Author: Pierre Hadot,Michael Chase

Publisher: Belknap Press

ISBN: 9780674030497

Category: Philosophy

Page: 399

View: 9865

Nearly twenty-five hundred years ago the Greek thinker Heraclitus supposedly uttered the cryptic words "Phusis kruptesthai philei." How the aphorism, usually translated as "Nature loves to hide," has haunted Western culture ever since is the subject of this engaging study by Pierre Hadot. Taking the allegorical figure of the veiled goddess Isis as a guide, and drawing on the work of both the ancients and later thinkers such as Goethe, Rilke, Wittgenstein, and Heidegger, Hadot traces successive interpretations of Heraclitus' words. Over time, Hadot finds, "Nature loves to hide" has meant that all that lives tends to die; that Nature wraps herself in myths; and (for Heidegger) that Being unveils as it veils itself. Meanwhile the pronouncement has been used to explain everything from the opacity of the natural world to our modern angst. From these kaleidoscopic exegeses and usages emerge two contradictory approaches to nature: the Promethean, or experimental-questing, approach, which embraces technology as a means of tearing the veil from Nature and revealing her secrets; and the Orphic, or contemplative-poetic, approach, according to which such a denuding of Nature is a grave trespass. In place of these two attitudes Hadot proposes one suggested by the Romantic vision of Rousseau, Goethe, and Schelling, who saw in the veiled Isis an allegorical expression of the sublime. "Nature is art and art is nature," Hadot writes, inviting us to embrace Isis and all she represents: art makes us intensely aware of how completely we ourselves are not merely surrounded by nature but also part of nature.

Plotinus Or the Simplicity of Vision

Author: Pierre Hadot

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226311944

Category: Philosophy

Page: 138

View: 2439

Since its original publication in France in 1963, Pierre Hadot's lively philosophical portrait of Plotinus remains the preeminent introduction to the man and his thought. Michael Chase's lucid translation—complete with a useful chronology and analytical bibliography—at last makes this book available to the English-speaking world. Hadot carefully examines Plotinus's views on the self, existence, love, virtue, gentleness, and solitude. He shows that Plotinus, like other philosophers of his day, believed that Plato and Aristotle had already articulated the essential truths; for him, the purpose of practicing philosophy was not to profess new truths but to engage in spiritual exercises so as to live philosophically. Seen in this light, Plotinus's counsel against fixation on the body and all earthly matters stemmed not from disgust or fear, but rather from his awareness of the negative effect that bodily preoccupation and material concern could have on spiritual exercises.

Science and the Secrets of Nature

Books of Secrets in Medieval and Early Modern Culture

Author: William Eamon

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691026022

Category: History

Page: 490

View: 8772

By explaining how to sire multicolored horses, produce nuts without shells, and create an egg the size of a human head, Giambattista Della Porta's Natural Magic (1559) conveys a fascination with tricks and illusions that makes it a work difficult for historians of science to take seriously. Yet, according to William Eamon, it is in the "how-to" books written by medieval alchemists, magicians, and artisans that modern science has its roots. These compilations of recipes on everything from parlor tricks through medical remedies to wool-dyeing fascinated medieval intellectuals because they promised access to esoteric "secrets of nature." In closely examining this rich but little-known source of literature, Eamon reveals that printing technology and popular culture had as great, if not stronger, an impact on early modern science as did the traditional academic disciplines.

The Return of Nature

On the Beyond of Sense

Author: John Sallis

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 0253023378

Category: Philosophy

Page: 136

View: 9203

John Sallis dismantles the traditional conception of nature in this book of imagination and the cosmos. In the thought of Emerson, Hegel, and Schelling, Sallis discerns the seeds of an understanding of nature that goes against the modern technological assault on natural things and opens a space for a revitalized approach to the world. He identifies two fundamental reorientations that philosophical thought is called on to address today: the turn to the elemental in nature and the turn from nature to the cosmos at large. He traces the elusive course of the imagination, as if coming from nowhere, and describes the way in which it bears on the relation of humans to nature. Sallis's account demonstrates that a renewal of our understanding of nature is one of the prime imperatives we demand from philosophy today.

Representing and Intervening

Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science

Author: Ian Hacking

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 110726815X

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 2206

This 1983 book is a lively and clearly written introduction to the philosophy of natural science, organized around the central theme of scientific realism. It has two parts. 'Representing' deals with the different philosophical accounts of scientific objectivity and the reality of scientific entities. The views of Kuhn, Feyerabend, Lakatos, Putnam, van Fraassen, and others, are all considered. 'Intervening' presents the first sustained treatment of experimental science for many years and uses it to give a new direction to debates about realism. Hacking illustrates how experimentation often has a life independent of theory. He argues that although the philosophical problems of scientific realism can not be resolved when put in terms of theory alone, a sound philosophy of experiment provides compelling grounds for a realistic attitude. A great many scientific examples are described in both parts of the book, which also includes lucid expositions of recent high energy physics and a remarkable chapter on the microscope in cell biology.

The Figure of Nature

On Greek Origins

Author: John Sallis

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780253023124

Category: Philosophy

Page: 268

View: 8885

Broaching an understanding of nature in Platonic thought, John Sallis goes beyond modern conceptions and provides a strategy to have recourse to the profound sense of nature operative in ancient Greek philosophy. In a rigorous and textually based account, Sallis traces the complex development of the Greek concept of nature. Beginning with the mythical vision embodied in the figure of the goddess Artemis, he reanimates the sense of nature that informs the fragmentary discourses of Anaximenes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, and Empedocles and shows how Plato takes up pre-Socratic conceptions critically while also being transformed. Through Sallis s close reading of the Theaetetus and the Phaedo, he recovers the profound and comprehensive concept of nature in Plato s thought. "

What is Ancient Philosophy?

Author: Pierre Hadot,Michael Chase

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674013735

Category: Philosophy

Page: 362

View: 3654

Pierre Hadot shows how the various schools, trends, and ideas of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy all strove to transform the individual s mode of perceiving and being in the world. For the ancients, philosophical theory and the philosophical way of life were inseparably linked. Hadot asks us to consider whether and how this connection might be reestablished today."

The Politics of the Veil

Author: Joan Wallach Scott

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691147981

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 5646

In 2004, the French government instituted a ban on the wearing of "conspicuous signs" of religious affiliation in public schools. Though the ban applies to everyone, it is aimed at Muslim girls wearing headscarves. Proponents of the law insist it upholds France's values of secular liberalism and regard the headscarf as symbolic of Islam's resistance to modernity. The Politics of the Veil is an explosive refutation of this view, one that bears important implications for us all. Joan Wallach Scott, the renowned pioneer of gender studies, argues that the law is symptomatic of France's failure to integrate its former colonial subjects as full citizens. She examines the long history of racism behind the law as well as the ideological barriers thrown up against Muslim assimilation. She emphasizes the conflicting approaches to sexuality that lie at the heart of the debate--how French supporters of the ban view sexual openness as the standard for normalcy, emancipation, and individuality, and the sexual modesty implicit in the headscarf as proof that Muslims can never become fully French. Scott maintains that the law, far from reconciling religious and ethnic differences, only exacerbates them. She shows how the insistence on homogeneity is no longer feasible for France--or the West in general--and how it creates the very "clash of civilizations" said to be at the root of these tensions. The Politics of the Veil calls for a new vision of community where common ground is found amid our differences, and where the embracing of diversity--not its suppression--is recognized as the best path to social harmony.

Melville and the Idea of Blackness

Race and Imperialism in Nineteenth Century America

Author: Christopher Freeburg

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139536729

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: N.A

View: 1031

By examining the unique problems that 'blackness' signifies in Moby-Dick, Pierre, 'Benito Cereno' and 'The Encantadas', Christopher Freeburg analyzes how Herman Melville grapples with the social realities of racial difference in nineteenth-century America. Where Melville's critics typically read blackness as either a metaphor for the haunting power of slavery or an allegory of moral evil, Freeburg asserts that blackness functions as the site where Melville correlates the sociopolitical challenges of transatlantic slavery and US colonial expansion with philosophical concerns about mastery. By focusing on Melville's iconic interracial encounters, Freeburg reveals the important role blackness plays in Melville's portrayal of characters' arduous attempts to seize their own destiny, amass scientific knowledge and perfect themselves. A valuable resource for scholars and graduate students in American literature, this text will also appeal to those working in American, African American and postcolonial studies.

The Wretched of the Earth

Author: Frantz Fanon

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

ISBN: 9780802198853

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 696

Frantz Fanon was one of the twentieth century’s most important theorists of revolution, colonialism, and racial difference, and this, his masterwork, is a classic alongside Orientalism and The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The Wretched of the Earth is a brilliant analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage of colonized peoples and the role of violence in historical change, the book also incisively attacks postindependence disenfranchisement of the masses by the elite on one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. A veritable handbook of social reorganization for leaders of emerging nations, The Wretched of the Earth has had a major impact on civil rights, anticolonialism, and black-consciousness movements around the world. This new translation updates its language for a new generation of readers and its lessons are more vital now than ever.

Occult Knowledge, Science, and Gender on the Shakespearean Stage

Author: Mary Floyd-Wilson

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107036321

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 236

View: 4154

Belief in spirits, demons and the occult was commonplace in the early modern period, as was the view that these forces could be used to manipulate nature and produce new knowledge. In this groundbreaking study, Mary Floyd-Wilson explores these beliefs in relation to women and scientific knowledge, arguing that the early modern English understood their emotions and behavior to be influenced by hidden sympathies and antipathies in the natural world. Focusing on Twelfth Night, Arden of Faversham, A Warning for Fair Women, All's Well That Ends Well, The Changeling and The Duchess of Malfi, she demonstrates how these plays stage questions about whether women have privileged access to nature's secrets and whether their bodies possess hidden occult qualities. Discussing the relationship between scientific discourse and the occult, she goes on to argue that as experiential evidence gained scientific ground, women's presumed intimacy with nature's secrets was either diminished or demonized.

The Crossing

My journey to the shattered heart of Syria

Author: Samar Yazbek

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473527945

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 5350

'ONE OF THE FIRST POLITICAL CLASSICS OF THE 21st CENTURY'- Observer 'EXTRAORDINARILY POWERFUL, POIGNANT AND AFFECTING. I WAS GREATLY MOVED' Michael Palin FOREWORD BY CHRISTINA LAMB Journalist Samar Yazbek was forced into exile by Assad's regime. When the uprising in Syria turned to bloodshed, she was determined to take action and secretly returned several times. The Crossing is her rare, powerful and courageous testament to what she found inside the borders of her homeland. From the first peaceful protests for democracy to the arrival of ISIS, she bears witness to those struggling to survive, to the humanity that can flower amidst annihilation, and why so many are now desperate to flee.

Privacy’s Blueprint

The Battle to Control the Design of New Technologies

Author: Woodrow Hartzog

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674976002

Category: Computers

Page: 322

View: 4577

Woodrow Hartzog develops the underpinning of a new kind of privacy law responsive to the way people actually perceive and use digital technologies. Rather than permit exploitation, it would demand encryption, prohibit malicious interfaces that deceive users and leave them vulnerable, and require safeguards against abuses of biometric surveillance.

The Nature Principle

Human Restoration and the End of Nature-deficit Disorder

Author: Richard Louv

Publisher: Algonquin Books

ISBN: 1565125819

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 317

View: 6608

Argues that, by replicating the balance of nature in their own bodies and minds, people can be smarter, healthier, more creative and happier.

Karl Marx

Author: Gareth Stedman Jones

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674974808

Category: History

Page: 720

View: 5686

Gareth Stedman Jones returns Karl Marx to his nineteenth-century world, before later inventions transformed him into Communism’s patriarch and fierce lawgiver. He shows how Marx adapted the philosophies of Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, and others into ideas that would have—in ways inconceivable to Marx—an overwhelming impact in the twentieth century.

Elements of Surprise

Our Mental Limits and the Satisfactions of Plot

Author: Vera Tobin

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674919599

Category: Psychology

Page: 310

View: 9570

Why do some surprises delight—the endings of Agatha Christie novels, films like The Sixth Sense, the flash awareness that Pip’s benefactor is not (and never was!) Miss Havisham? Writing at the intersection of cognitive science and narrative pleasure, Vera Tobin explains how our brains conspire with stories to produce those revelatory plots that define a “well-made surprise.” By tracing the prevalence of surprise endings in both literary fiction and popular literature and showing how they exploit our mental limits, Tobin upends two common beliefs. The first is cognitive science’s tendency to consider biases a form of moral weakness and failure. The second is certain critics’ presumption that surprise endings are mere shallow gimmicks. The latter is simply not true, and the former tells at best half the story. Tobin shows that building a good plot twist is a complex art that reflects a sophisticated understanding of the human mind. Reading classic, popular, and obscure literature alongside the latest research in cognitive science, Tobin argues that a good surprise works by taking advantage of our mental limits. Elements of Surprise describes how cognitive biases, mental shortcuts, and quirks of memory conspire with stories to produce wondrous illusions, and also provides a sophisticated how-to guide for writers. In Tobin’s hands, the interactions of plot and cognition reveal the interdependencies of surprise, sympathy, and sense-making. The result is a new appreciation of the pleasures of being had.

Sketches of the History of Man

Author: Lord Henry Home Kames

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Civilization

Page: N.A

View: 3392