Nature, Man and Woman

Nature, Man and Woman

In Nature, Man and Woman, philosopher Alan Watts reexamines humanity’s place in the natural world—and the relation between body and spirit—in the light of Chinese Taoism. Western thought and culture have coalesced around a series of constructed ideas—that human beings stand separate from a nature that must be controlled; that the mind is somehow superior to the body; that all sexuality entails a seduction—that in some way underlie our exploitation of the earth, our distrust of emotion, and our loneliness and reluctance to love. Here, Watts fundamentally challenges these assumptions, drawing on the precepts of Taoism to present an alternative vision of man and the universe—one in which the distinctions between self and other, spirit and matter give way to a more holistic way of seeing. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Ideas of Man and Woman in Renaissance France

Print, Rhetoric, and Law

The Ideas of Man and Woman in Renaissance France

The Ideas of Man and Woman in Renaissance France provides the first comprehensive comparison of the printed debates in the 1500s over the superiority or inferiority of woman - the Querelle des femmes - and the dignity and misery of man. Analysing these writings side by side, Lyndan Warner reveals the extent to which Renaissance authors borrowed commonplaces from both traditions as they praised or blamed man or woman and habitually considered opposite and contrary points of view. In the law courts reflections on the virtues and vices of man and woman had a practical application-to win cases-and as Warner demonstrates, Parisian lawyers employed this developing rhetoric in family disputes over inheritance and marriage, and amplified it in the published versions of their pleadings. Tracing these ideas and modes of thinking from the writer's quill to the workshops and boutiques of printers and booksellers, Warner uses probate inventories to follow the books to the households of their potential male and female readers. Warner reveals the shifts in printed discussions of human nature from the 1500s to the early 1600s and shows how booksellers adapted the ways they marketed and sold new genres such as essays and lawyers' pleadings.

Women's Liberation and the Sublime

Feminism, Postmodernism, Environment

Women's Liberation and the Sublime

The notion of citizenship is complex; it can be at once an identity; a set of rights, privileges, and responsibilities; an elevated and exclusionary status, a relationship between individual and state, and more. In recent decades citizenship has attracted interdisciplinary attention, particularly with the transnational growth of Western capitalism. Yet citizenship's relationship to gender has gone relatively unexplored--despite the globally pervasive denial of citizenship to women, historically and in many places, ongoing today. This highly interdisciplinary volume explores the political and cultural dimensions of citizenship and their relevance to women and gender. Containing essays by a well-known group of scholars, including Iris Marion Young, Alison Jaggar, Martha Nussbaum, and Sandra Bartky, this book examines the conceptual issues and strategies at play in the feminist quest to give women full citizenship status. The contributors take a fresh look at the issues, going beyond conventional critiques, and examine problems in the political and social arrangements, practices, and conditions that diminish women's citizenship in various parts of the world.

Cultural Beings

Reading the Philosophers of Genesis

Cultural Beings

Human beings are a cultural species. This predicament enables them to take on many different cultural identities, all of which transcend the bounds of natural behavior of other species. To contemplate this predicament through philosophy is to reflect on such questions as, What makes cultural forms of life possible? What is encompassed in them? What lies at their core? What distinguishes them from natural forms of life? What brings them about, sustains, and causes them to change? Philosophical answers to these questions predate abstract ways of thinking, as they are sometimes embedded in ancient mythical and religious narratives. Such is the story told in the first three chapters of the book of Genesis in the Bible, revealing how human beings became the cultural beings that they are. This study suggests how that ancient and most celebrated story in the literature of the West may be read as harboring insightful philosophical observations on the cultural nature of human beings. It first focuses on the very concept of cultural forms of life, revealing its complicated conceptual links to natural forms of life. It then offers an interpretive framework for reading mythical, symbolic narratives. Using these ideas, it provides a philosophical reading of the Biblical narrative, disclosing it to harbor a metaphysically oriented conception of nature and two insightful philosophical overviews of the cultural nature of human beings. Both overviews endow human beings with an ability to manipulate nature, but in different ways: the first by subjugating parcels of nature to human will; the second by subjugating human beings themselves to a value-laden conception of things and ethical forms of life. Thus, human beings are portrayed as natural creatures possessed of a cultural nature that enables them to transform nature and recreate themselves through their unique cultural predicament.

Sexual Meanings

The Cultural Construction of Gender and Sexuality

Sexual Meanings

This 1996 collection of essays deals with the ways in which sex and gender are socially organized and conceptually construed in various cultures. Its scope is not limited to a series of cross-cultural issues of sex roles and sexual status but rather encompasses a wide range of sex-related practices and beliefs. Ceremonial virginity in Polynesian ritual androgynism in New Guinea, the valorization of young African bachelors, and fantasies of male self-sufficiency in South American myth are among the subjects discussed. Taken in their totality, these essays demonstrate that cultural notions sexuality and gender are seldom straightforward extrapolations of biological facts but are the outcome of social and cultural processes. The book is not only a compendium of symbolic approaches to gender but is also an important statement of the theoretical directions in anthropological research in this field.

The Concept of Woman

The Aristotelian Revolution, 750 BC-AD 1250

The Concept of Woman

The culmination of a lifetime's scholarly work, this pioneering study by Sister Prudence Allen traces the concept of woman in relation to man in Western thought from ancient times to the present. Volume I uncovers four general categories of questions asked by philosophers for two thousand years. These are the categories of opposites, of generation, of wisdom, and of virtue. Sister Prudence Allen traces several recurring strands of sexual and gender identity within this period. Ultimately, she shows the paradoxical influence of Aristotle on the question of woman and on a philosophical understanding of sexual coomplemenarity. Supplemented throughout with helpful charts, diagrams, and illustrations, this volume will be an important resource for scholars and students in the fields of women's studies, philosophy, history, theology, literary studies, and political science. In Volume 2, Sister Prudence Allen explores claims about sex and gender identity in the works of over fifty philosophers (both men and women) in the late medieval and early Renaissance periods. Touching on the thought of every philosopher who considered sex or gender identity between A.D. 1250 and 1500, The Concept of Woman provides the analytical categories necessary for situating contemporary discussion of women in relation to men. Adding to the accessibility of this fine discussion are informative illustrations, helpful summary charts, and extracts of original source material (some not previously available in English). In her third and final volume Allen covers the years 1500--2015, continuing her chronological approach to individual authors and also offering systematic arguments to defend certain philosophical positions over against others.

The Romantic and Teleological Nature of the Universe

The Romantic and Teleological Nature of the Universe

What if the teleological (purposive) nature of the universe was romantic? In this article the author discusses this exact issue and its implications on our understanding and experience of love. Author Bio: Christopher Alan Anderson (1950 - ) received the basis of his education from the University of Science and Philosophy, Swannanoa, Waynesboro, Virginia. He resides in the transcendental/romantic tradition, that vein of spiritual creativity of the philosopher and poet. His quest has been to define and express an eternal romantic reality from which a man and a woman could together stand in their difference and create a living universe of procreative love. Mr. Anderson began these writings in 1971. The first writings were published in 1985. On a personal note, when Mr. Anderson was asked to describe the writings and what he felt their message was he responded, "Spiritual procreation. Mankind has yet to distinguish the two sexes on the spiritual level. In this failure lies the root of our problems and why we cannot yet touch the eternal together. The message of man and woman balance brings each of us together in love with our eternal other half right now." Keywords: Man and Woman Balance, Relationships, Procreation, Spirituality, Love, Metaphysics, Eternal, Creation, Sexuality, & Soul.

Man and Nature in God

Man and Nature in God

"Cast as ideology by the "isms" of humanism, naturalism, and postmodernism, today's subjective standpoint has turned the question of truth into one question of politics. The unhappy result has been and continues to be a profound and deadly misunderstanding of nature as well as man, epitomized in contemporary American culture today. Taking this as his starting point, Sandelands suggests how we can save ourselves from our mortifying philosophical error, thereby claiming our true relation to nature, and reinvigorating our sexual lives. He identifies the need for a natural philosophy that takes God to be the starting point of self-understanding."