Philosophy and the Puzzles of Hamlet

A Study of Shakespeare's Method

Author: Leon Harold Craig

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1628920483

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 3642

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Shakespeare's famous play, Hamlet, has been the subject of more scholarly analysis and criticism than any other work of literature in human history. For all of its generally acknowledged virtues, however, it has also been treated as problematic in a raft of ways. In Philosophy and the Puzzles of Hamlet, Leon Craig explains that the most oft-cited problems and criticisms are actually solvable puzzles. Through a close reading of the philosophical problems presented in Hamlet, Craig attempts to provide solutions to these puzzles. The posing of puzzles, some more conspicuous, others less so, is fundamental to Shakespeare's philosophical method and purpose. That is, he has crafted his plays, and Hamlet in particular, so as to stimulate philosophical activity in the "judicious" (as distinct from the "unskillful") readers. By virtue of showing what so many critics treat as faults or flaws are actually intended to be interpretive challenges, Craig aims to raise appreciation for the overall coherence of Hamlet: that there is more logical rigor to its plot and psychological plausibility to its characterizations than is generally granted, even by its professed admirers. Philosophy and the Puzzles of Hamlet endeavors to make clear why Hamlet, as a work of reason, is far better than is generally recognized, and proves its author to be, not simply the premier poet and playwright he is already universally acknowledged to be, but a philosopher in his own right.

The Philosopher's English King

Shakespeare's Henriad As Political Philosophy

Author: Leon Harold Craig

Publisher: Boydell & Brewer

ISBN: 1580465315

Category: Drama

Page: 290

View: 9095

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The Philosopher's English King offers a close reading of the Henriad, presenting Shakespeare's teaching on political authority and contributing to the burgeoning scholarship on Shakespeare as a political thinker.

Hamlet and the Vision of Darkness

Author: Rhodri Lewis

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691166846

Category: Drama

Page: 392

View: 4750

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Hamlet and the Vision of Darkness is a radical new interpretation of the most famous play in the English language. By exploring Shakespeare’s engagements with the humanist traditions of early modern England and Europe, Rhodri Lewis reveals a Hamlet unseen for centuries: an innovative, coherent, and exhilaratingly bleak tragedy in which the governing ideologies of Shakespeare’s age are scrupulously upended. This book establishes that life in Elsinore is measured not by virtue but by the deceptions and grim brutality of the hunt. It also shows that Shakespeare most vividly represents this reality in the character of Hamlet: his habits of thought and speech depend on the cultures of pretence that he affects to disdain, ensuring his alienation from both himself and the world around him. Lewis recovers a work of far greater magnitude than the tragedy of a young man who cannot make up his mind. He shows that in Hamlet, as in King Lear, Shakespeare confronts his audiences with a universe that received ideas are powerless to illuminate—and where everyone must find their own way through the dark. A major contribution to Shakespeare studies, this book is required reading for all students of early modern literature, drama, culture, and history.

Tibet's Last Stand?

The Tibetan Uprising of 2008 and China's Response

Author: Warren W. Smith

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9780742566859

Category: History

Page: 299

View: 5321

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This deeply knowledgeable book offers the first sustained analysis of the 2008 uprising in Tibet, which revealed much about Tibetan nationalism and even more about Chinese nationalism. Retracing the complex history between China and Tibet, noted expert Warren W. Smith Jr. describes the uprising itself and explores its broader significance for Chinese-Tibetan relations. He sharply critiques China's use of heavy-handed propaganda to recast the uprising and obscure its origins and significance. The book convincingly shows that far from becoming more lenient in response to Tibetan discontent, China has determined to eradicate Tibetan opposition internally and coerce the international community to conform to China's version of Tibetan history and reality.

Losing Touch with Nature

Literature and the New Science in Sixteenth-Century England

Author: Mary Thomas Crane

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421415313

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 248

View: 1492

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During the scientific revolution, the dominant Aristotelian picture of nature, which cohered closely with common sense and ordinary perceptual experience, was completely overthrown. Although we now take for granted the ideas that the earth revolves around the sun and that seemingly solid matter is composed of tiny particles, these concepts seemed equally counterintuitive, anxiety provoking, and at odds with our ancestors’ embodied experience of the world. In Losing Touch with Nature, Mary Thomas Crane examines the complex way that the new science’s threat to intuitive Aristotelian notions of the natural world was treated and reflected in the work of Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, and other early modern writers. Crane breaks new ground by arguing that sixteenth-century ideas about the universe were actually much more sophisticated, rational, and observation-based than many literary critics have assumed. The earliest stages of the scientific revolution in England were most powerfully experienced as a divergence of intuitive science from official science, causing a schism between embodied human experience of the world and learned explanations of how the world works. This fascinating book traces the growing awareness of that epistemological gap through textbooks and natural philosophy treatises to canonical poetry and plays, presciently registering and exploring the magnitude of the human loss that accompanied the beginnings of modern science.

The Science of Shakespeare

A New Look at the Playwright's Universe

Author: Dan Falk

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1250008786

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 397

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William Shakespeare lived at a remarkable time—a period we now recognize as the first phase of the Scientific Revolution. New ideas were transforming Western thought, the medieval was giving way to the modern, and the work of a few key figures hinted at the brave new world to come: the methodical and rational Galileo, the skeptical Montaigne, and—as Falk convincingly argues—Shakespeare, who observed human nature just as intently as the astronomers who studied the night sky. In The Science of Shakespeare, we meet a colorful cast of Renaissance thinkers, including Thomas Digges, who published the first English account of the "new astronomy" and lived in the same neighborhood as Shakespeare; Thomas Harriot—"England's Galileo"—who aimed a telescope at the night sky months ahead of his Italian counterpart; and Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, whose observatory-castle stood within sight of Elsinore, chosen by Shakespeare as the setting for Hamlet—and whose family crest happened to include the names "Rosencrans" and "Guildensteren." And then there's Galileo himself: As Falk shows, his telescopic observations may have influenced one of Shakespeare's final works. Dan Falk's The Science of Shakespeare explores the connections between the famous playwright and the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution—and how, together, they changed the world forever.

Reference and Existence

The John Locke Lectures

Author: Saul A. Kripke

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019992838X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 170

View: 8500

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This volume collects Saul Kripke's Locke Lectures, which were delivered in Oxford in 1973.

Through Shakespeare's Eyes

Seeing the Catholic Presence in the Plays

Author: Joseph Pearce

Publisher: Ignatius Press

ISBN: 1681495937

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 225

View: 5298

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Fulfilling the promise he made in his previous book, The Quest for Shakespeare, bestselling literary writer Joseph Pearce analyzes in this volume three of Shakespeare's immortal plays — The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet and King Lear — in order to uncover the Bard's Catholic beliefs. In The Quest for Shakespeare, which has been made into an EWTN television series, Pearce delved into the known biographical evidence for Shakespeare's Catholicism. Here the popular and provocative author digs into the plays, which were written and first performed during the English crown's persecution of Catholics. English history and literature were taught for generations through the prism of English Protestantism. Of late both of these fields have been dominated in universities and academic presses by modern scholars with filters and interpretations of their own. Though the evidence for Shakespeare's Catholicism has been studied before now, thanks, in part, to the unique contribution of Joseph Pearce, the Bard's genius is being analyzed in the open air of the public arena, the very place where Shakespeare intended his dramas to entertain and edify.

A Passion for Mathematics

Numbers, Puzzles, Madness, Religion, and the Quest for Reality

Author: Clifford A. Pickover

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9781118046074

Category: Mathematics

Page: 408

View: 6965

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A Passion for Mathematics is an educational, entertaining trip through the curiosities of the math world, blending an eclectic mix of history, biography, philosophy, number theory, geometry, probability, huge numbers, and mind-bending problems into a delightfully compelling collection that is sure to please math buffs, students, and experienced mathematicians alike. In each chapter, Clifford Pickover provides factoids, anecdotes, definitions, quotations, and captivating challenges that range from fun, quirky puzzles to insanely difficult problems. Readers will encounter mad mathematicians, strange number sequences, obstinate numbers, curious constants, magic squares, fractal geese, monkeys typing Hamlet, infinity, and much, much more. A Passion for Mathematics will feed readers’ fascination while giving them problem-solving skills a great workout!

The Time is Out of Joint

Shakespeare as Philosopher of History

Author: Agnes Heller

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9780742512511

Category: Fiction

Page: 375

View: 9581

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The Time Is Out of Joint presents an examination of Shakespeare's distinctly modern confrontation with time and temporality, the difference between the truth of the fact, that of theory, and that of interpretation and revelatory truth, and finds that Shakespeare anticipated post-metaphysical philosophy and its central concerns at a time when modern metaphysics had not yet reached it speak. Visit our website for sample chapters!

Social Constructivism and the Philosophy of Science

Author: André Kukla

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134567383

Category: Philosophy

Page: 192

View: 9569

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Social constructionists maintain that we invent the properties of the world rather than discover them. Is reality constructed by our own activity? Do we collectively invent the world rather than discover it? André Kukla presents a comprehensive discussion of the philosophical issues that arise out of this debate, analysing the various strengths and weaknesses of a range of constructivist arguments and arguing that current philosophical objections to constructivism are inconclusive. However, Kukla offers and develops new objections to constructivism, distinguishing between the social causes of scientific beliefs and the view that all ascertainable facts are constructed.

Evidence and Religious Belief

Author: Kelly James Clark,Raymond J. VanArragon

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199603715

Category: Philosophy

Page: 214

View: 3205

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Evidence and Religious Belief features eleven new essays on the question of whether religious belief must be based on evidence in order to be rational. Leading philosophers in the field discuss the demand for evidence, the ways in which available evidence differs from person to person, and the current arguments for and against religious belief.

The Book of Dead Philosophers

Author: Simon Critchley

Publisher: Melbourne Univ. Publishing

ISBN: 0522855148

Category: Death

Page: 298

View: 8873

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Diogenes died by holding his breath. Plato allegedly died of a lice infestation. Diderot choked to death on an apricot. Nietzsche made a long, soft-brained and dribbling descent into oblivion after kissing a horse in Turin. From the self-mocking haikus of Zen masters on their deathbeds to the last words (gasps) of modern-day sages, The Book of Dead Philosophers chronicles the deaths of almost 200 philosophers-tales of weirdness, madness, suicide, murder, pathos and bad luck. In this elegant and amusing book, Simon Critchley argues that the question of what constitutes a 'good death' has been the central preoccupation of philosophy since ancient times. As he brilliantly demonstrates, looking at what the great thinkers have said about death inspires a life-affirming enquiry into the meaning and possibility of human happiness. In learning how to die, we learn how to live.

Acts

Theater, Philosophy, and the Performing Self

Author: Tzachi Zamir

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 0472120298

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 278

View: 599

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Why do people act? Why are other people drawn to watch them? How is acting as a performing art related to role-playing outside the theater? As the first philosophical study devoted to acting, Acts: Theater, Philosophy, and the Performing Self sheds light on some of the more evasive aspects of the acting experience— such as the import of the actor's voice, the ethical unease sometimes felt while embodying particular sequences, and the meaning of inspiration. Tzachi Zamir explores acting’s relationship to everyday role-playing through a surprising range of examples of “lived acting,” including pornography, masochism, and eating disorders. By unearthing the deeper mobilizing structures that underlie dissimilar forms of staged and non-staged role-playing, Acts offers a multi-layered meditation on the percolation from acting to life. The book engages questions of theatrical inspiration, the actor’s “energy,” the difference between acting and pretending, the special role of repetition as part of live acting, the audience and its attraction to acting, and the unique significance of the actor’s voice. It examines the embodied nature of the actor’s animation of a fiction, the breakdown of the distinction between what one acts and who one is, and the transition from what one performs into who one is, creating an interdisciplinary meditation on the relationship between life and acting.

The Platonian Leviathan

Author: Leon Harold Craig

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: 1442698624

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 704

View: 7556

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Thomas Hobbes's influential political treatise, Leviathan, was first published in 1651. Many scholars have since credited him with a mechanistic outlook towards human nature that established the basis of modern Western political philosophy from the perspective of social contract theory. In The Platonian Leviathan, Leon Harold Craig weaves together philosophy, political science, and literature to offer a radical re-interpretation of Hobbes's most famous work. Though Craig begins and concludes his analysis with discussions of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick and includes an essay on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, the bulk of his two-part commentary centres on Leviathan. Part One shows the overt principles of Hobbes's political prescription to be untenable, and strongly suggests that Hobbes himself did not subscribe to these rules, using them only as tools to further his philosophical goals. In Part Two, Craig displays the underlying Platonism of Hobbes's thinking. Sure to be controversial, The Platonian Leviathan may nonetheless re-orient the future direction of Hobbes scholarship.