1906011508

BOOKS
CULTURES LANGUAGES

1.
Nigel Barley
Innocent Anthropologist: Notes from a Mud Hut

The wittiest introduction to the life of a social anthropologist ever written. Studying in the Cameroons for his first experience of fieldwork, Barley discovers that the society of the Dowayo people refuses to conform to the rules of his new discipline. Although set amongst a little-known tribe in the Cameroons, this slim volume reaches out to a vast audience who would otherwise never look at a travel book about West Africa, let alone an anthropological field study. A seminal text for any student in search of a laugh. Witty, hilarious and unconventional, but also a remarkable intellectual achievement; Barley manages to turn the western science of anthropology on its head, so that for once the laugh is on the professional practitioners not the observed.

2.
William D. Casebeer
Natural Ethical Facts: Evolution, Connectionism, and Moral Cognition

In Natural Ethical Facts William Casebeer argues that we can articulate a fully naturalized ethical theory using concepts from evolutionary biology and cognitive science, and that we can study moral cognition just as we study other forms of cognition. His goal is to show that we have “softly fixed” human natures, that these natures are evolved, and that our lives go well or badly depending on how we satisfy the functional demands of these natures. Natural Ethical Facts is a comprehensive examination of what a plausible moral science would look like. Casebeer begins by discussing the nature of ethics and the possible relationship between science and ethics. He then addresses David Hume’s naturalistic fallacy and G. E. Moore’s open-question argument, drawing on the work of John Dewey and W. V. O. Quine. He then proposes a functional account of ethics, offering corresponding biological and moral descriptions. Discussing in detail the neural correlates of moral cognition, he argues that neural networks can be used to model ethical function. He then discusses the impact his views of moral epistemology and ontology will have on traditional ethical theory and moral education, concluding that there is room for other moral theories as long as they take into consideration the functional aspect of ethics; the pragmatic neo-Aristotelian virtue theory he proposes thus serves as a moral “big tent.” Finally, he addresses objections to ethical naturalism that may arise, and calls for a reconciliation of the sciences and the humanities. “Living well,” Casebeer writes, “depends upon reweaving our ethical theories into the warp and woof of our scientific heritage, attending to the myriad consequences such a project will have for the way we live our lives and the manner in which we structure our collective moral institutions.”

3.
Michael Bérubé
The Secret Life of Stories: From Don Quixote to Harry Potter, How Understanding Intellectual Disability Transforms the Way We Read

Narrative informs everything we think, do, plan, remember, and imagine. We tell stories and we listen to stories, gauging their “well-formedness” within a couple of years of learning to walk and talk. Some argue that the capacity to understand narrative is innate to our species; others claim that while that might be so, the invention of writing then re-wired our brains.

In The Secret Life of Stories, Michael Bérubé tells a dramatically different tale, in a compelling account of how an understanding of intellectual disability can transform our understanding of narrative. Instead of focusing on characters with disabilities, he shows how ideas about intellectual disability inform an astonishingly wide array of narrative strategies, providing a new and startling way of thinking through questions of time, self-reflexivity, and motive in the experience of reading. Interweaving his own stories with readings of such texts as Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, and Philip K. Dick’s Martian Time-Slip, Bérubé puts his theory into practice, stretching the purview of the study of literature and the role of disability studies within it. Armed only with the tools of close reading, Bérubé demonstrates the immensely generative possibilities in the ways disability is deployed within fiction, finding in them powerful meditations on what it means to be a social being, a sentient creature with an awareness of mortality and causality—and sentience itself. Persuasive and witty, Michael Bérubé engages Harry Potter fans and scholars of literature alike. For all readers, The Secret Life of Stories will fundamentally change the way we think about the way we read.

4.
Linguistic Modeling of Information and Markup Languages

This book addresses the interests of a large community of researchers in the fields of XML-based annotation techniques and corpus-based language technology. It covers the most significant recent developments in this field, from multi-layered mark-up and standards to theoretical formalisms to applications. The contributions are based on research projects at international level in text technology, computational linguistics, hypertext modeling and in the domain of standards and tools for language resources. Core topics are: strategies for multi-layered document modeling and processing, mark-up at different levels for textual resources, and text-technological information modeling.

5.
Simon Goldhill
Victorian Culture and Classical Antiquity: Art, Opera, Fiction, and the Proclamation of Modernity (Martin Classical Lectures)

How did the Victorians engage with the ancient world? Victorian Culture and Classical Antiquity is a brilliant exploration of how the ancient worlds of Greece and Rome influenced Victorian culture. Through Victorian art, opera, and novels, Simon Goldhill examines how sexuality and desire, the politics of culture, and the role of religion in society were considered and debated through the Victorian obsession with antiquity.

Looking at Victorian art, Goldhill demonstrates how desire and sexuality, particularly anxieties about male desire, were represented and communicated through classical imagery. Probing into operas of the period, Goldhill addresses ideas of citizenship, nationalism, and cultural politics. And through fiction–specifically nineteenth-century novels about the Roman Empire–he discusses religion and the fierce battles over the church as Christianity began to lose dominance over the progressive stance of Victorian science and investigation. Rediscovering some great forgotten works and reframing some more familiar ones, the book offers extraordinary insights into how the Victorian sense of antiquity and our sense of the Victorians came into being.

With a wide range of examples and stories, Victorian Culture and Classical Antiquity demonstrates how interest in the classical past shaped nineteenth-century self-expression, giving antiquity a unique place in Victorian culture.

Rating
( No ratings yet )
Like this post? Please share to your friends:
New magazines in PDF every day from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, download free!
Leave a Reply