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See below for a selection of the latest books from History of ideas category. Presented with a red border are the History of ideas books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great History of ideas books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
Examining the discourse of 'home' and 'exile' in Enlightenment thought, this book explores its role in British imperial expansion during the 'long' 18th century. European imperial expansion radically increased population mobility through new trade routes, war, disease and labour, and by the 18th century millions of people were on the move. This book argues that this mass movement led to intellectual ideas and questions about what it meant to belong, and played a major role in the construction of racial difference in empire. Unhomely Empire maps the consolidation of an elite discourse of 'home' and 'exile' through three inter-related case studies and debates; slavery and abolition in the Caribbean, Scottish highland emigration to North America, and raising white girls in colonial India. Playing out over poetry, political pamphlets, travel writing, philosophy, letters and diaries, these debates offer a unique insight into the movement of ideas across a British-imperial literary network. Using this rich cultural material, Gust argues that these intellectual ideas in the long 18th century played a key role in determining who could belong to nation, civilization and humanity.
An enlightening account of the entwined histories of knowledge and nationhood in Latin America-and beyond The rise of nation-states is a hallmark of the modern age, yet we are still untangling how the phenomenon unfolded across the globe. Here, Nicola Miller offers new insights into the process of nation-making through an account of nineteenth-century Latin America, where, she argues, the identity of nascent republics was molded through previously underappreciated means: the creation and sharing of knowledge. Drawing evidence from Argentina, Chile, and Peru, Republics of Knowledge traces the histories of these countries from the early 1800s, as they gained independence, to their centennial celebrations in the twentieth century. Miller identifies how public exchange of ideas affected policymaking, the emergence of a collective identity, and more. She finds that instead of defining themselves through language or culture, these new nations united citizens under the promise of widespread access to modern information. Miller challenges the narrative that modernization was a strictly North Atlantic affair, demonstrating that knowledge traveled both ways between Latin America and Europe. And she looks at how certain forms of knowledge came to be seen as more legitimate and valuable than others, both locally and globally. Miller ultimately suggests that all modern nations can be viewed as communities of shared knowledge, a perspective with the power to reshape our conception of the very basis of nationhood. With its transnational framework and cross-disciplinary approach, Republics of Knowledge opens new avenues for understanding the histories of modern nations-and the foundations of modernity-the world over.
'Immensely learned and ambitious...seam-bursting eclecticism and polymathic brio... This is by any standards a significant book and its author deserves high praise.' Literary Review To imagine - to see that which is not there - is the startling ability that has fuelled human development and innovation through the centuries. As a species we stand alone in our remarkable capacity to refashion the world after the pictures in our minds. Traversing the realms of science, politics, religion, culture, philosophy and history, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto reveals the thrilling and disquieting tales of our imaginative leaps. Through groundbreaking insights in cognitive science, he explores how and why we have ideas in the first place, providing a tantalising glimpse into who we are and what we might yet accomplish. Fernandez-Armesto shows that bad ideas are often more influential than good ones; that the oldest recoverable thoughts include some of the best; that ideas of Western origin often issued from exchanges with the wider world; and that the pace of innovative thinking is under threat.
Scientists like to proclaim that science knows no borders. Scientific researchers follow the evidence where it leads, their conclusions free of prejudice or ideology. But is that really the case? In Freedom's Laboratory, Audra J. Wolfe shows how these ideas were tested to their limits in the high-stakes propaganda battles of the Cold War. Wolfe examines the role that scientists, in concert with administrators and policymakers, played in American cultural diplomacy after World War II. During this period, the engines of US propaganda promoted a vision of science that highlighted empiricism, objectivity, a commitment to pure research, and internationalism. Working (both overtly and covertly, wittingly and unwittingly) with governmental and private organizations, scientists attempted to decide what, exactly, they meant when they referred to scientific freedom or the US ideology. More frequently, however, they defined American science merely as the opposite of Communist science. Uncovering many startling episodes of the close relationship between the US government and private scientific groups, Freedom's Laboratory is the first work to explore science's link to US propaganda and psychological warfare campaigns during the Cold War. Closing in the present day with a discussion of the 2017 March for Science and the prospects for science and science diplomacy in the Trump era, the book demonstrates the continued hold of Cold War thinking on ideas about science and politics in the United States.
This book explores the history of the international order in the eighteenth and nineteenth century through a new study of Emer de Vattel's Droit des gens (1758). Drawing on unpublished sources from European archives and libraries, the book offers an in-depth account of the reception of Vattel's chief work. Vattel's focus on the myth of good government became a strong argument for republicanism, the survival of small states, drafting constitutions and reform projects and fighting everyday battles for freedom in different geographical, linguistic and social contexts. The book complicates the picture of Vattel's enduring success and usefulness, showing too how the work was published and translated to criticize and denounce the dangerousness of these ideas. In doing so, it opens up new avenues of research beyond histories of international law, political and economic thought.
Few diseases have exercised the Western imagination as chronically as hysteria--from the wandering womb of ancient Greek medicine, to the demonically possessed witch of the Renaissance; from the vaporous salong women of Enlightenment Paris, through to the celebrated patients of Sigmund Freud, with their extravagant, erotically charged symptoms. In this fascnating and authoritative book, Mark Micale surveys the range of past and present readings of hysteria by intellectual historians; historians of science and medicine; scholars in gender studies, art history, and literature; and psychoanalysts, psychiatriasts, clinical psychologists, and neurologists. In so doing, he explores numerous questions raised by this evergrowing body of literature: Why, in recent years, has the history of hysterical disorders carried such resonance for commentators in the sciences and humanities? What can we learn form the textual traditions of hysteria about writing the history of disease in general? What is the broader cultural meaning of the new hysteria studies? In the second half of the book, Micale discusses the many historical cultures of hysteria. He reconstructs in detail the past usages of the hysteria concept as a powerful, descriptive trope in various nonmedical domains, including poetry, fiction, theater, social thought, political criticism, and the arts His book is a pioneering attempt to write the historical phenomenology of disease in an age preoccupied with health, and a prescriptive remedy for writing histories of disease in the future. Mark S. Micale is Assistant Professor of History at Yale. He is the editor of Beyond the Unconscious: Essays of Henri F. Ellenberger (Princeton). Originally published in 1994. 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.
What did democracy mean before liberalism? What are the consequences for our lives today? Combining history with political theory, this book restores the core meaning of democracy as collective and limited self-government by citizens. That, rather than majority tyranny, is what democracy meant in ancient Athens, before liberalism. Participatory self-government is the basis of political practice in 'Demopolis', a hypothetical modern state powerfully imagined by award-winning historian and political scientist Josiah Ober. Demopolis' residents aim to establish a secure, prosperous, and non-tyrannical community, where citizens govern as a collective, both directly and through representatives, and willingly assume the costs of self-government because doing so benefits them, both as a group and individually. Basic democracy, as exemplified in real Athens and imagined Demopolis, can provide a stable foundation for a liberal state. It also offers a possible way forward for religious societies seeking a realistic alternative to autocracy.
Sixty years ago, at the height of World War II, an extraordinary series of gatherings took place at Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts. During the summers of 1942-1944, leading European figures in the arts and sciences met at the college with their American counterparts for urgent conversations about the future of human civilization in a precarious world. Two Sorbonne professors, the distinguished medievalist Gustave Cohen and the existentialist philosopher Jean Wahl, organized these Pontigny sessions, named after an abbey in Burgundy, where similar symposia had been held in the decades before the war. Among the participants - many of whom were Jewish or had Jewish backgrounds - were the philosophers Hannah Arendt and Rachel Bespaloff, the poets Marianne Moore and Wallace Stevens, the anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss and the linguist Roman Jakobson, and the painters Marc Chagall and Robert Motherwell. In this collection of original essays, Stanley Cavell and Jacques Derrida lead an international group of scholars - including Jed Perl, Mary Ann Caws, Jeffrey Mehlman, and Elisabeth Young-Bruehl - in assessing the lasting impact and contemporary significance of Pontigny-en-Amerique. Rachel Bespaloff, a tragic figure who wrote a major work on the Iliad, is restored to her rightful place beside Arendt and Simone Weil. Anyone interested in the intellectual resistance of Francophone intellectuals and artists, and the inspiring support from such American figures as Stevens and Moore, will want to read this pioneering work of scholarship and historical re-creation.
In this second English-language edition of one of his most notable works, Miguel Le n-Portilla explores the Maya Indians' remarkable concepts of time. At the book's first appearance Evon Z. Vogt, Curator of Middle American Ethnology in Harvard University, predicted that it would become a classic in anthropology, a prediction borne out by the continuing critical attention given to it by leading scholars. Like no other people in history, the ancient Maya were obsessed by the study of time. Their sages framed its cycles with tireless exactitude. Yet their preoccupation with time was not limited to calendrics; it was a central trait in their evolving culture. In this absorbing work Le n-Portilla probes the question, What did time really mean for the ancient Maya in terms of their mythology, religious thought, worldview, and everyday life? In his analysis of key Maya texts and computations, he reveals one of the most elaborate attempts of the human mind to penetrate the secrets of existence.
In the controversy over political correctness, the canon, and the curriculum, the role of Western tradition in a post-modern world is often debated. To clarify what is at stake, Vassilis Lambropoulos traces the ideology of European culture from the Reformation, focusing on a key element of Western tradition: the act of interpretation as a distinct practice of understanding and a civil right. Championed by Protestants insisting on independent interpretation of scripture, this ideal of autonomy ushered in the era of modernity with its essentialist philosophy of universal man and his aesthetic understanding of the world. After explaining the dominance of European culture through the combined archetypes of Hebraism (reason and morality) and Hellenism (spirit and art), Lambropoulos shows how the rule of autonomy has been transformed into the aesthetic, disinterested contemplation of things in themselves. Arguing that it is time to restore the socio-political dimension to the movement of autonomy, he proposes that a genealogy of the Hebraic-Hellenic archetypes can help us evaluate more recent models--like the Afrocentric one--and redefine the controversy surrounding education, Eurocentrism, and cultural politics.