On the Problem of Empathy

Springer
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Publisher
Springer
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Published on
Dec 19, 2013
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Pages
113
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ISBN
9789401755467
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / General
Philosophy / Movements / Phenomenology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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To help celebrate the fourth centenary of the birth of St. John of the Cross in 1542, Edith Stein received the task of preparing a study of his writings. She uses her skill as a philosopher to enter into an illuminating reflection on the difference between the two symbols of cross and night. Pointing out how entering the night is synonymous with carrying the cross, she provides a condensed presentation of John's thought on the active and passive nights, as discussed in The Ascent of Mount Carmel and The Dark Night. All of this leads Edith to speak of the glory of resurrection that the soul shares, through a unitive contemplation described chiefly in The Living Flame of Love. In the summer of 1942, the Nazis without warrant took Edith away. The nuns found the manuscript of this profound study lying open in her room. 
Because of the Nazis' merciless persecution of Jews in Germany, Edith Stein traveled discreetly across the border into Holland to find safe harbor in the Carmel of Echt. But the Nazi invasion of Holland in 1940 again put Edith in danger. The cross weighed down heavily as those of Jewish birth were harassed. Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross's superiors then assigned her a task they thought would take her mind off the threatening situation. The fourth centenary of the birth, of St. John of the Cross (1542) was approaching, and Edith could surely contribute a valuable study for the celebration. It is no surprise that in view of her circumstances she discovered in the subject of the cross a central viewpoint for her study. A subject like this enabled her to grasp John's unity of being as expressed in his life and works.      Using her training in phenomenology, she helps the reader apprehend the difference in the symbolic character of cross and night and why the night-symbol prevails in John. She clarifies that detachment is designated by him as a night through which the soul must pass to reach union with God and points out how entering the night is equivalent to carrying the cross.      Finally, in a fascinating way Edith speaks of how the heart or fountainhead of personal life, an inmost region, is present in both God and the soul and that in the spiritual marriage this inmost region is surrendered by each to the other. She observes that in the soul seized by God in contemplation all that is mortal is consumed in the fire of eternal love. The spirit as spirit is destined for immortal being, to move through fire along a path from the cross of Christ to the glory of his resurrection.       Book includes two photos and fully linked index.
Antifragile is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. The other books in the series are Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan, Skin in the Game, and The Bed of Procrustes.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.

Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish. 

In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.

Furthermore, the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. Why is the city-state better than the nation-state, why is debt bad for you, and why is what we call “efficient” not efficient at all? Why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak? Why should you write your resignation letter before even starting on the job? How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives? The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine. And throughout, in addition to the street wisdom of Fat Tony of Brooklyn, the voices and recipes of ancient wisdom, from Roman, Greek, Semitic, and medieval sources, are loud and clear.

Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world.

Erudite, witty, and iconoclastic, Taleb’s message is revolutionary: The antifragile, and only the antifragile, will make it.

Praise for Antifragile

“Ambitious and thought-provoking . . . highly entertaining.”—The Economist

“A bold book explaining how and why we should embrace uncertainty, randomness, and error . . . It may just change our lives.”—Newsweek
Five contributions on the title themes, including two of Stein's most famous essays: a comparison of Husserl and Aquinas, and an examination of the "Ways to Know God" according to Pseudo-Dionysius.  Contains a fully linked Index.

More Information

     The articles and notes in this new anthology come from the final twelve years of Edith Stein's life, and reveal her efforts to integrate the Christian faith she had embraced at the time of her baptism with her rigorous training as a phenomenologist. Included here for the first time are both versions of her famous comparison between the thought-systems of Edmund Husserl (her philosophical mentor) and Thomas Aquinas (representing the Catholic tradition), written first in dialogue form and then reworked as an essay in Husserl's honor. The final entry, "Ways to Know God," a study of the famed fifth or sixth century author who wrote under the name of Dionysius the Areopagite, was originally published in The Thomist and intended for an American audience. One of the last works that Edith Stein completed before her arrest and deportation to Auschwitz, it is presented here in a fresh new translation, amplified with previously deleted sections that deal with such important topics as atheism and the nature of symbols.

     In his recent encyclical, Fides et Ratio, Pope John Paul II recommends attention to Edith Stein as one of the great modern figures who "offer significant examples of a process of philosophical enquiry which was enriched by engaging the data of faith" (para. 74). This book provides readers interested in Edith Stein with an accessible introduction to major themes in her later thought.  

Winner of the International Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction

Animal tracks, word magic, the speech of stones, the power of letters, and the taste of the wind all figure prominently in this intellectual tour de force that returns us to our senses and to the sensuous terrain that sustains us. This major work of ecological philosophy startles the senses out of habitual ways of perception.

For a thousand generations, human beings viewed themselves as part of the wider community of nature, and they carried on active relationships not only with other people with other animals, plants, and natural objects (including mountains, rivers, winds, and weather patters) that we have only lately come to think of as "inanimate." How, then, did humans come to sever their ancient reciprocity with the natural world? What will it take for us to recover a sustaining relation with the breathing earth? 

In The Spell of the Sensuous David Abram draws on sources as diverse as the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, Balinese shamanism, Apache storytelling, and his own experience as an accomplished sleight-of-hand of magician to reveal the subtle dependence of human cognition on the natural environment. He explores the character of perception and excavates the sensual foundations of language, which--even at its most abstract--echoes the calls and cries of the earth. On every page of this lyrical work, Abram weaves his arguments with a passion, a precision, and an intellectual daring that recall such writers as Loren Eisleley, Annie Dillard, and Barry Lopez.
 Edith Stein's analysis of the interplay between the philosophy of psychology and cultural studies, particularly psychoanalytic theory and behaviorism. Contains a fully linked Index.

More Information:  "Do I have to?" is the most human of all questions. Children ask it when told to go to sleep. Adults ponder it when faced with the demands of the workplace, the family, or their own emotions and addictions. We find ourselves always poised between freedom and necessity.

     In this volume, her most profound and carefully argued phenomenology of human creativity, Edith Stein explores the interplay of causal constraints and motivated choices. She demonstrates that physical events and physiological processes do not entirely determine behavior; the energy deployed for living and creativity exceeds what comes to us through physical means. The human body is a complex interface between the material world and an equally real world of personal value.

     The body opens as well to community. Stein shows that, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as a solitary human being. Communities are reservoirs of the meaning and value that fuel both our everyday choices and our once-in-a-lifetime accomplishments. This basic fact, she argues, is the starting point for any viable political or social theory.

     The two treatises in this book comprise her post-doctoral dissertation that Stein wrote to qualify for a teaching job at a German university just after the First World War. They ring with the joy, hope, and confidence of a brilliant young scholar. Today they continue to challenge the major schools of twentieth-century psychology and cultural studies, particularly psychoanalytic theory and behaviorism. Here, too, is the intellectual manifesto of a woman who would go on to become a Christian and a Carmelite nun, only to be killed at Auschwitz like so many others of Jewish ancestry.


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