From David Hume's famous puzzle about "the missing shade of blue," to current research into the science of colour, the topic of colour is an incredibly fertile region of study and debate, cutting across philosophy of mind, epistemology, metaphysics, and aesthetics, as well as psychology. Debates about the nature of our experience of colour and the nature of colour itself are central to contemporary discussion and argument in philosophy of mind and psychology, and philosophy of perception. This outstanding Handbook contains 29 specially commissioned contributions by leading philosophers and examines the most important aspects of philosophy of colour. It is organized into six parts: The Importance of Colour to Philosophy The Science and Spaces of Colour Colour Phenomena Colour Ontology Colour Experience and Epistemology Language, Categories, and Thought. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Colour is essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy of mind and psychology, epistemology, metaphysics, and aesthetics, as well as for those interested in conceptual issues in the psychology of colour.
Happiness in World History traces ideas and experiences of happiness from early stages in human history, to the maturation of agricultural societies and their religious and philosophical systems, to the changes and diversities in the approach to happiness in the modern societies that began to emerge in the 18th century. In this thorough overview, Peter N. Stearns explores the interaction between psychological and historical findings about happiness, the relationship between ideas and popular experience, and the opportunity to use historical analysis to assess strengths and weaknesses of dominant contemporary notions of happiness. Starting with the advent of agriculture, the book assesses major transitions in history for patterns in happiness, including the impact of the great religions, the unprecedented Enlightenment interest in secular happiness and cheerfulness, and industrialization and imperialism. The final, contemporary section covers fascist and communist efforts to define alternatives to Western ideas of happiness, the increasing connections with consumerism, and growing global interests in defining and promoting well-being. Touching on the experiences in the major regions of Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and North America, the text offers an expansive introduction to a new field of study. This book will be of interest to students of world history and the history of emotions.
Genevieve Lloyd illuminates and challenges some perplexing aspects of contemporary attitudes to wonder. Central to her argument is the claim that wonder has come to be largely eclipsed by the allure of the notion of the Sublime - a concept closely associated with Romantic Idealism. Lloyd offers us a renewed sense of wonder, reconnected with its philosophical history, that plays a significant role in contemporary social critique. In her path to reclaim wonder, she moves between philosophical and literary sources. She draws especially on Flaubert's responses to Romanticism and his related treatment of stupidity, which influenced the thought of Jean-Paul Sartre, Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Derrida. She also reaches into contemporary debates on refugees, secularisation and climate change.
In attempting to answer the question posed by this book's title, Giorgio Agamben does not address the idea of philosophy itself. Rather, he turns to the apparently most insignificant of its components: the phonemes, letters, syllables, and words that come together to make up the phrases and ideas of philosophical discourse. A summa, of sorts, of Agamben's thought, the book consists of five essays on five emblematic topics: the Voice, the Sayable, the Demand, the Proem, and the Muse. In keeping with the author's trademark methodology, each essay weaves together archaeological and theoretical investigations: to a patient reconstruction of how the concept of language was invented there corresponds an attempt to restore thought to its place within the voice; to an unusual interpretation of the Platonic Idea corresponds a lucid analysis of the relationship between philosophy and science, and of the crisis that both are undergoing today. In the end, there is no universal answer to what is an impossible or inexhaustible question, and philosophical writing--a problem Agamben has never ceased to grapple with--assumes the form of a prelude to a work that must remain unwritten.
How highly abstract quantum concepts were represented in language, and how these concepts were later taken up by philosophers, literary critics, and new-age gurus. The principles of quantum physics--and the strange phenomena they describe--are represented most precisely in highly abstract algebraic equations. Why, then, did these mathematically driven concepts compel founders of the field, particularly Erwin Schrödinger, Niels Bohr, and Werner Heisenberg, to spend so much time reflecting on ontological, epistemological, and linguistic concerns? What is it about quantum concepts that appeals to latter-day Eastern mystics, poststructuralist critics, and get-rich-quick schemers? How did their interpretations and misinterpretations of quantum phenomena reveal their own priorities? In this book, Jennifer Burwell examines these questions and considers what quantum phenomena--in the context of the founders' debates over how to describe them--reveal about the relationship between everyday experience, perception, and language. Drawing on linguistic, literary, and philosophical traditions, Burwell illuminates representational and linguistic problems posed by quantum concepts--the fact, for example, that quantum phenomena exist only as probabilities or tendencies toward being and cannot be said to exist in a particular time and place. She traces the emergence of quantum theory as an analytic tool in literary criticism, in particular the use of wave/particle duality in interpretations of gender differences in the novels of Virginia Woolf and critics' connection of Bohr's Principle of Complementarity to poetic form; she examines the "quantum mysticism" of Fritjof Capra and Gary Zukav; and she concludes by analyzing "nuclear discourse" in the context of quantum concepts, arguing that it, too, adopts a language of the unthinkable and the indescribable.