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Major Book and Journal Publications by Members of Staff
2022: Felix Ó Murchadha: The Formation of the Modern Self: Reason, Happiness and the Passions from Montaigne to Kant.
Charting a genealogy of the modern idea of the self, Felix Ó Murchadha explores the accounts of self-identity expounded by key Early Modern philosophers, Montaigne, Descartes, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume and Kant. Exploring this trajectory, The Formation of the Modern Self pursues a number of themes central to the Early Modern development of selfhood, including, amongst others, grace and passion. Fundamental to the new question of the self was the relation of faith and reason. Uncovering commonalities and differences amongst Early Modern philosophers, Ó Murchadha traces how the voluntarism of Modernity led to the sceptical approach to the self in Montaigne and Hume and how this sceptical strand, in turn, culminated in Kant's rational faith. More than a history of the self in philosophy, The Formation of the Modern Self inspires a fresh look at self-identity, uncovering not only how our modern idea of selfhood developed but just how embedded the concept of self is in external considerations: from ethics, to reason, to religion.
2018: Tsarina Doyle (ed.), Nietzsche's Metaphysics of the Will to Power: The Possibility of Value
2015: Gerald Cipriani (ed.), Chinese Environmental Aesthetics
China is currently afflicted by enormous environmental problems. This book, drawing on ancient and modern Chinese environmental thinking, considers what it is that makes an environment a desirable place for living. The book emphasises ideas of beauty, and discusses how these ideas can be applied in natural, agricultural and urban environments in order to produce desirable environments. The book argues that environment is both a product of nature and of human beings, and as such is potentially alterable by culture. The book explores the three aspects of environmental beauty whereby such alteration might be beneficially made: integrated and holistic; ecological and man-made; and authentic and everyday.
This book addresses environmental issues by distinctively suggesting that an aesthetic approach inspired from ancient Chinese tradition could help us overcome the many problems that human beings have created at local and global levels. Although its main focus is the traditional and current contexts of the People’s Republic of China, the book transcends national borders. A typical example is the ancient Chinese thought system and cultural practice of Feng Shui (風水) that sought to negotiate how the natural environment and human constructions can cohabit without destructing each other. The author evokes that sought-after harmony through the powerful image of gardens of life whose environmental beauty can be found in traditional Chinese gardens and palaces as well as historically and culturally preserved cities.
2013: Gerald Cipriani (ed.), Art for Social Change and Cultural Awakening
Artistic residency has become widely adopted in Western countries while only recently having become popular and well-supported within Taiwan. This book explores the challenges that this form of art practice faced in contemporary Taiwan from the revocation of Martial Law in 1987 to the 2000s—arguably one of the most exciting periods in the sociocultural history of the island. Case studies show what is at stake politically, historically, and socially in artists’ endeavours to give shape to a sense of Taiwanese identity.
The precarious geo-political situation of Taiwan has made issues of cultural identity—tackled by artists and successive governments alike—very sensitive. A new genre of artistic residence in Taiwan would mean that artists involved from whatever cultural background operate as ‘engaging interpreters’; their roles would not be confined to mirroring culture and society. These artists-in-residence would contribute to cultural awakening by offering ways of negotiating creatively with otherness, and this for the sake of a better social life and shared identity.
2013: Felix Ó Murchadha, A Phenomenology of Christian Life: Glory and Night
How does Christian philosophy address phenomena in the world? Felix Ó Murchadha believes that seeing, hearing, or otherwise sensing the world through faith requires transcendence or thinking through glory and night (being and meaning). By challenging much of Western metaphysics, Ó Murchadha shows how phenomenology opens new ideas about being, and how philosophers of "the theological turn" have addressed questions of creation, incarnation, resurrection, time, love, and faith. He explores the possibility of a phenomenology of Christian life and argues against any simple separation of philosophy and theology or reason and faith.
2013: Paul Crowther, Phenomenologies of Art and Vision: A Post-Analytic Turn
Contemporary discussions of the image emphasize art's societal functions, or the relation between perception and convention in terms of how pictures are 'read'. Few studies come close to answering why pictures and sculptures fascinate and intrigue regardless of any practical functions they might serve. In this book Paul Crowther reveals the intrinsic significance of pictures and sculptures. To address the question of how painting becomes an art, Crowther uses the analytic philosophy of Richard Wollheim as a starting point. But to sufficiently answer the question, he makes an important link to a tradition much more successful in giving voice to the deeper ontology of visual art - existential phenomenology. The result is a work that demonstrates the reciprocal relationship between phenomenology and analytic aesthetics. To expand its ontological scope and solve the problem of expression, analytic aesthetics needs phenomenology; while to develop a sustained, critically balanced, and intellectually available ontology, phenomenology needs the discursive force and lucidity of analytic philosophy.Bringing the two approaches together enables contemporary discussions of the philosophy of art to be significantly advanced
2013: Felix O'Murchadha, The Time of Revolution
The Time of Revolution presents Heidegger as fundamentally rethinking the temporal character of revolutionary action and radical transformation
Felix O'Murchadha presents Heidegger as a thinker of revolution. Understanding revolution as an occurrence whereby the previously unforeseeable comes to appear as inevitable, the temporal character of such an event is explored through Heidegger's discussion of temporality and historicity. Beginning with his magnum opus, Being and Time, Heidegger is shown to have undertaken a radical rethinking of time in terms of human action, understood as involving both doing and making and as implicated in an interplay of the opportune moment (kairos) and temporal continuity (chronos)
Developing this theme through his key writings of the early 1930s, the book shows how Heidegger's analyses of truth and freedom led to an increasingly dialectical account of time and action culminating in his phenomenology of the - artistic and political - 'work'. A context is thus given for Heidegger's political engagement in 1933. While diagnosing the moral failure of this engagement, O'Murchadha defends Heidegger's account of the time of human action and shows it to foreshadow his later thought of a 'new beginning'.
2010: Paul Crowther, The Kantian Aesthetic: from Knowledge to the Avant-garde
The Kantian Aesthetic explains the kind of perceptual knowledge involved in aesthetic judgments. It does so by linking Kant's aesthetics to a critically upgraded account of his theory of knowledge. This upgraded theory emphasizes those conceptual and imaginative structures which Kant terms, respectively, 'categories' and 'schemata'. By describing examples of aesthetic judgment, it is shown that these judgments must involve categories and fundamental schemata (even though Kant himself, and most commentators after him, have not fully appreciated the fact). It is argued, in turn, that this shows the aesthetic to be not just one kind of pleasurable experience amongst others, but one based on factors necessary to objective knowledge and personal identity, and which, indeed, itself plays a role in how these capacities develop.
In order to explain how individual aesthetic judgments are justified, and the aesthetic basis of art, however, the Kantian position just outlined has to be developed further. This is done by exploring some of his other ideas concerning how critical comparisons inform our cultivation of taste, and art's relation to genius. By linking the points made earlier to a more developed account of this horizon of critical comparisons, a Kantian approach can be shown to be both a satisfying and comprehensive explanation of the cognitive basis of aesthetic experiences. It is shown also that the approach can even cover some of the kinds of avant-garde works which were thought previously to limit its relevance.
2009: Paul Crowther, Phenomenology of the Visual Arts (even the frame)
Why are the visual arts so important and what is it that makes their forms significant? Countering recent interpretations of meaning that understand visual artworks on the model of literary texts, Crowther formulates a theory of the visual arts based on what their creation achieves both cognitively and aesthetically. He develops a phenomenology that emphasizes how visual art gives unique aesthetic expression to factors that are basic to perception. At the same time, he shows how various artistic media embody these factors in distinctive ways. Attentive to both the creation and reception of all major visual art forms (picturing, sculpture, architecture, and photography), Phenomenology of the Visual Arts also addresses complex idioms, including abstract, conceptual, and digital art.
2009: Tsarina Doyle, Nietzsche on Epistemology and Metaphysics: The World in View
Few philosophers are as widely read or as widely misunderstood as Nietzsche. In this book, Tsarina Doyle sets out to show that a specifically Kantian-informed methodology lies at the heart of Nietzsche's approach to epistemology and metaphysics. The author claims, contentiously, that both Nietzsche’s early and late writings may be understood as responses to Kant’s constitutive-regulative distinction at the level of epistemology and to his treatment of force and efficient causality at the level of metaphysics.
2007: Paul Crowther, Defining Art, Creating the Canon: Artistic Value in an Era of Doubt.
What is art; why should we value it; and what allows us to say that one work is better than another? Traditional answers have emphasized aesthetic form; but this has been challenged by Institutional definitions of art and postmodern critique. The idea of distinctively artistic value based on aesthetic criteria is at best doubted, and at worst, rejected. This book champions such notions. It restores the mimetic definition of art on the basis of factors which traditional answers neglect, namely the conceptual link between art's aesthetic value and ’non-exhibited’ epistemological and historical relations. These factors converge on an expanded notion of the artistic image (a notion which can even encompass music, abstract art, and some Conceptual idioms). The image's style serves to interpret its subject-matter. If this style is original (in comparative historical terms) it can manifest that special kind of aesthetic unity which we call art. Appreciation of this involves a heightened interaction of capacities (such as imagination and understanding), which are basic to knowledge and personal identity. By negotiating these factors, it is possible to define art and its canonic dimensions objectively, and to show that aforementioned sceptical alternatives are incomplete and self-contradictory.
2007: Richard Hull, Deprivation & Freedom
Deprivation and Freedom investigates the key issues of social deprivation and human freedom. This comprehensive yet refreshingly simple book is vitally important and philosophically interesting, providing rigorous examination of a number of central themes and distinctions in ethical and political theory.
2006: Felix Ó Murchadha (ed.) Violence, Victims, Justifications: Philosophical Approaches
Violence is a central issue of contemporary society at all levels, affecting human relationships from the most intimate to the most impersonal. But what is violence? Is violence justifiable? What relevance does the fate of the victim of violence have to such questions? To address these and similar questions, this volume brings together thinkers from a wide range of philosophical backgrounds who employ a rich variety of methods, ranging from the strictly analytic to the postmodern. They explore issues such as responsibility, provocation, violation, cruelty, self-determination and deception in attempting to understand violence in relation both to the suffering of its victims and the justifications offered by its perpetrators and their supporters. In exploring these issues the essays collected in this volume explore terrorism, rape, genocide and state-sponsored violence.
2004: Thomas Duddy (ed.) Dictionary of Irish Philosophers
This biographical dictionary of Irish philosophers is a by-product of a series of larger biographical dictionaries of British philosophers published in recent years by Thoemmes Press. The first of these larger dictionaries was the Dictionary of Eighteenth-Century British Philosophers (1999), followed in subsequent years by equivalent works on seventeenth and nineteenth-century British philosophers. Each of these dictionaries included Irish-born philosophers who were considered British not only because of the political links that had been forged historically between Britain and Ireland but also because of the dual or hybrid nationality of those who belonged to the Anglo-Irish ascendancy.
It was partly because of the problems that surrounded the inclusion of Irish entries in the existing 'British' dictionaries that the need for a special dictionary dedicated to Irish philosophers was recognized. This dictionary will include many of those who have already appeared in the 'British' dictionaries, but also many who have been left out of the existing dictionaries, either because they were too early to be included in the seventeenth-century dictionary, or too late to be included in the nineteenth-century dictionary, or simply because their obscurity was such that they had not come to the attention of the editors of the other published dictionaries.
2003: Paul Crowther, Philosophy after Postmodernism: Civilized Values and the Scope of Knowledge
This book formulates a new approach to philosophy which, instead of simply rejecting postmodern thought, tries to assimilate some of its main features. Paul Crowther identifies conceptual links between value, knowledge, personal identity and civilization, understood as a process of cumulative advance.
2003: Thomas Duddy (ed.), The Irish Response to Darwinism
2003:Bongard/Kampling/Wörner (eds) Verstehen an der Grenze - Beitraege zur Hermeneutik interreligioeser und interkultureller Kommunikation.
2002: Paul Crowther, The Transhistorical Image: Philosophizing Art and its History
Why are visual artworks experienced as having intrinsic significance or normative depth? Why are some works of art better able to manifest this significance than others? In his latest book Paul Crowther argues that we can answer these questions only if we have a full analytic definition of visual art. Crowther's approach focuses on the pictorial image, broadly construed to include abstract work and recent conceptually-based idioms. The significance of art depends, however, essentially on the transhistorical nature of the pictorial image, the way in which its illuminative power is extended through historical transformation of the relevant artistic medium. Crowther argues against fashionable forms of cultural relativism, while at the same time showing why it is important that an appreciation of the history of art is integral to aesthetic judgment.
2002: Thomas Duddy, A History of Irish Thought
The first complete introduction to the subject ever published, A History of Irish Thought presents an inclusive survey of Irish thought and the history of Irish ideas against the backdrop of current political and social change in Ireland.
Clearly written and engaging, the survey introduces an array of philosophers, polemicists, ideologists, satirists, scientists, poets and political and social reformers, from the anonymous seventh-century monk, the Irish Augustine, and John Scottus Eriugena, to the twentieth century and W.B. Yeats and Iris Murdoch.
Thomas Duddy rediscovers the liveliest and most contested issues in the Irish past, and brings the history of Irish thought up to date. This volume will be of great value to anyone interested in Irish culture and its intellectual history.
2002: Thomas Duddy (ed.), Irish Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century: Epistemology and Metaphysics
Irish philosophy is nowadays the subject of increasing attention by scholars and students, and Thomas Duddy, author of A History of Irish Thought (2002), has collaborated with Thoemmes Press to produce a collection of important Irish texts in epistemology and metaphysics from the nineteenth century. (Further sets, on Irish philosophical responses to Darwin and on Irish moral and political philosophy, are in preparation). In this first collection, seven writers address such perennial philosophical issues as the problem of perception and the question of what, if anything, exists beyond the perceived world. The group of writers featured in the set includes Thomas Kingsmill Abbott and W.H.S. Monck, both of whom responded critically to Berkeley's theory of vision. It also includes Thomas Maguire, an idealist in the Platonic tradition, Henry MacCormac who applied empiricist principles to social and political problems, William Graham who attempted a metaphysical critique of science and also argued for pantheism, and George Gabriel Stokes who explored the borderland between science and theology while at the same time attempting to reconcile the religious and scientific world-pictures. These books are extremely uncommon in libraries and virtually unobtainable in the antiquarian book market. Presented here in their earliest editions, with Thomas Duddy's authoritative introduction, many scholars will now have access to them for the first time.
2002: J. Mahon, Simone de Beauvoir and her Catholicism - An essay on her Ethical and Religious Meditations
As an ardent feminist Simone de Beauvoir was in the vanguard of French intellectual life for more than forty years. Raised in a strict and highly traditional Catholic family, De Beauvoir rejected the religious and social values of her family early on and advanced a radical political and philosophical debate that was in direct opposition to the Catholic Church. This provocative, carefully argued book reveals that the woman whose most important and famous work—The Second Sex—was banned by the Catholic Church, had a tenacious grasp of the rudiments and refinements of Catholicism. Indeed, this was one of the foundations on which she built her philosophy. Joseph Mahon documents the formative influences of home, school, and Church on the mind of France’s most famous female philosopher, novelist, and essayist. Examining her memoirs, philosophical monographs, and short stories, Mahon reveals a vocabulary that remains richly Catholic. This book offers a major contribution to feminist philosophy, ethical theory, philosophy of religion, and cultural studies.
2000: M. H. Wörner, Glückendes Leben.
1999: Felix Ó Murchadha, Zeit des Handelns und Moglichkeit der Verwandlung: Kairologie und Chronologie bei Heidegger im Jjahrzehnt nach Sein und Zeit
Die als "Kehre" getaufte, entscheidende, wenn auch höchstumstrittene Phase von Heideggers Denken im Jahrzehnt nach der Veröffentlichung von "Sein und Zeit" (1927) ist vom Scheitern des ursprünglichen Denkansatzes und von Heideggers Versuch, einen neuen Ansatz, etwa durch seine philosophische Begegnung mit Kunst und Dichtung zu gewinnen, gekennzeichnet. Die vorliegende Arbeit unternimmt den Versuch, die Wandlungen und Krisen von Heideggers damaligem Denkweg als letztlich doch in den sachlichen Fragen nach der Zeitlichkeit geschichtlichen Handelns begründete darzulegen. In Auseinandersetzung mit Heidegger wird diese Zeitlichkeit als ein Wechselspiel von Kairos (dem plötzlichen Augenblick) und Chronos (der kontinuierlichen Jetztfolge) einerseits, und Praxis (Tun) und Poiesis (Machen) andererseits ausgelegt. Aus diesem Komplex von Phänomenen zeigt der Autor auf, wie gewisse Wandlungen und insbesondere die zunehmende Bedeutung des Poiesisbegriffs, die etwa in der Kunstwerkabhandlung (1935) unverkennbar ist, sich mit Rückblick auf "Sein und Zeit" begreifen lassen, nämlich als ein Resultat Heideggers Reflexion auf die Verflechtungen von Handelns- und Zeitproblematiken in "Sein und Zeit". Daß dem so ist, bleibt bei Heidegger selbst ungesagt. Aus diesem Zusammenhang heraus wird auch Heideggers politisches Engagament in den Jahren 1933/34 neu bewertet.
1997: Paul Crowther, The Language of Twentieth Century Art: A Conceptual History
Recent theory has tended to understand the meaning of art primarily as a function of original contexts of production and reception or in its relation to fashionable notions of gender, multiculturalism, and "scopic regimes." These approaches, however, fail to negotiate adequately art’s transhistorical and transcultural significance, a shortcoming that is particularly serious in relation to twentieth-century works because it confines their significance to contexts that are regulated by the specialist interests of a narrow managerial class of curators, critics, and historians. In this important book, Paul Crowther provides a radical reinterpretation of key phases and figures in twentieth-century art, focusing on the way artists and critics negotiate philosophically significant ideas.
Crowther begins by discussing how and why form is significant. Using Derrida’s notion of "iterability"—a sign’s capacity to be used across different contexts—he links this possibility to key reciprocal cognitive relations that are the structural basis of self-consciousness. He then argues that while such relations are necessarily involved in any pictorial work, they are especially manifest in aesthetically valuable representation, and even more so in those twentieth-century works that radically transform or abandon conventional modes of representation. The involvement of key reciprocal relations gives such works a transhistorical and transcultural significance. To show this, Crowther investigates the theory and practice of important artists such as Malevich, Pollock, Mondrian, and Newman, and major tendencies such as Futurism, Surrealism, and Conceptual Art. By linking them to reciprocal relations, he is able to illuminate a language of twentieth-century art that cuts across those boundaries set out by such conventional notions as modern, avant-garde, and postmodern.
1997: J. Mahon, Existentialism, Feminism and Simone de Beauvoir.
Simone De Beauvoir made her own distinctive contribution to existentialism in the form of an ethics which diverged sharply from that of Jean-Paul Sartre. In her novels and philosophical essays of the 1940s she produced not just a recognizable existentialist ethics, but also a character ethics and an ethics for violence. This book defends her existentialist feminism against the many reproaches which have been levelled against it over several decades.
1993: Paul Crowther, Art and Embodiment: from Aesthetics to Self-Consciousness
In his Critical Aesthetics and Postmodernism, Paul Crowther argued that art and aesthetic experiences have the capacity to humanize. In Art and Embodiment he develops this theme in much greater depth, arguing that art can bridge the gap between philosophy's traditional striving for generality and completeness, and the concreteness and contingency of humanity's basic relation to the world. As the key element in his theory, he proposes an ecological definition of art. His strategy involves first mapping out and analyzing the logical boundaries and ontological structures of the aesthetic domain. He then considers key concepts from this analysis in the light of a tradition in Continental philosophy (notably the work of Kant, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Hegel) which--by virtue of the philosophical significance that it assigns to art--significantly anticipates the ecological conception. On this basis, Crowther is able to give a full formulation of his ecological definition. Art, in making sensible or imaginative material into symbolic form, harmonizes and conserves what is unique and what is general in human experience. The aesthetic domain answers basic needs intrinsic to self-consciousness itself, and art is the highest realization of such needs. In the creation and reception of art the embodied subject is fully at home with his or her environment.
1993: Paul Crowther: Critical Aesthetics and Postmodernism
In recent times considerable controversy has raged around the question of postmodern culture and its products. Paul Crowther attempts to overcome some of the antagonistic viewpoints involved by expounding and developing key themes from the work of Kant and Merleau-Ponty in the context of contemporary culture. His work analyzes topics such as the relation between art and politics, the problems of poststructuralist and feminist approaches to art, the re-emergence and relevance of theories of the sublime, and the continuing possibilities of artistic creativity. The central theme of the book is that there are constants in human experience around which art and philosophy turn. At the same time, however, due account must be given of the ways such constants are historically mediated. By articulating various aspects of this relation, Crowther shows that the postmodern sensibility can be more than that of an alienated consumerism. Understood in the proper theoretical context, it is grounded on experience and artifacts which humanize .
1989: Paul Crowther, the Kantian Sublime: from Morality to Art
With this, the first volume in the Oxford Philosophical Monographs series, Paul Crowther breaks new ground by providing what is probably the first study in any language to be devoted exclusively to Kant's theory of the sublime. It fills a gap in an area of scholarship where Kant makes crucial links between morality and aesthetics and will be particularly useful for Continental philosophers, among whom the Kantian sublime is currently receiving widespread discussion in debates about the nature of postmodernism. Crowther's arguments center on the links which Kant makes between morality and aesthetics, and seek ultimately to modify Kant's approach in order to establish the sublime as a viable aesthetic concept with a broader cultural significance.
1996 (2/2001): M. H. Wörner, Thomas von Aquin, Summa Contra Gentiles IV, lat. annot. Text, dt, Übersetzung u. Nachwort., Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft
1995: F.P. O'Gorman/T. Boylan, Beyond Rhetoric and Realism
1992: F.P. O'Gorman, Rationality and Relativity
1990: M. H. Wörner, Das Ethische in der Rhetorik des Aristoteles
Rhetorik als Medium politisch-praktischer Vernunft besteht für Aristoteles in einer Methode, dasjenige aufzufinden, was zum Gelingen des Lebens in einem Stadtstaat erforderlich ist. Der Autor legt dar, wie dieser aristotelische Grundsatz auf unser heutiges Zusammenleben übertragbar ist.
1984: J. Mahon, An Introduction to Practical Ethics
1978: M. H. Wörner, Performative und Sprachliches Handeln
2014-21: Gerald Cipriani: Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology (London: Routledge)
The Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology aims to encourage and promote research in aesthetics that draws inspiration from the phenomenological tradition as broadly understood, where “phenomenology” is inclusive of, but goes beyond the limits of, intellectual practices associated with the tradition and its well-known representative thinkers. Unique in the English speaking world, the journal welcomes scholarly articles written in a phenomenological vein as well as analyses of aesthetic phenomena by researchers working on phenomenology within analytic philosophy.
The field of the Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology is further defined by its close connections with the arts and culture, including the reality of human experience and its environment. Besides philosophical rigor, the journal puts emphasis on both creativity of ideas and precision of language. It provides a platform for new innovative ideas crossing the boundaries of both philosophical traditions and traditionally accepted fields of research in aesthetics.
|General Editor (effective from 01/01/22)
2014-21: Gerald Cipriani: Culture and Dialogue (Leiden: Brill)
Culture and Dialogue is an international peer-reviewed journal of cross-cultural philosophy and the arts that is published semi-annually both in print and electronically. The journal seeks to encourage and promote research in the type of philosophy and theory that sees dialogue as a fundamental ingredient of cultural formations, that is to say the ways cultures become apparent and ultimately identifiable. What is meant here by culture is a particular manifestation of human achievement in the arts, languages, forms of expression (whether secular or religious), and customs of all kinds. Dialogue, in this context, means a mode of relationship that lets cultural formations unfold by bringing together human beings and, for example, their natural environment, their historical past, traditions, external cultural influences, contemporary trends, other communities, or simply other persons in conversation.
The Journal provides a forum for researchers from philosophy as well as other disciplines who study cultural formations dialogically, through comparative analysis, or within the tradition of hermeneutics. Contributions are expected to either reflect on the role played by dialogue in cultural formations from various perspectives such as politics, religion and the arts; or else establish cross-cultural dialogues globally within those fields. For each issue, the journal seeks to bring manuscripts together with a common denominator. The language of the Journal is English, but submissions in other languages including German, Traditional Chinese, French and Japanese may be considered for Special Issues with guest editors.
|Editor-in-Chief (effective from 01/01/22)
Dr. Gerald Cipriani is on leave in 2021/22.