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The primary task of literary theory, Jonathan Culler asserts in the new edition of his classic in this field, is not to illuminate individual literary works but to explain the system of literary signification—the rules and conventions that determine a reader's understanding of a text and that make literary communication possible. In this wide-ranging book, he investigates the possibilities of a semiotics of literature. A new preface places The Pursuit of Signs in the context of major developments in the study of literature since publication of the original Cornell edition in 1981.
The pursuit of happiness is a defining theme of the modern era. But what if people aren't very good at it? This and related questions are explored in this book, the first comprehensive philosophical treatment of happiness in the contemporary psychological sense. In these pages, Dan Haybron argues that people are probably less effective at judging, and promoting, their own welfare than common belief has it. For the psychological dimensions of well-being, particularly our emotional lives, are far richer and more complex than we tend to realize. Knowing one's own interests is no trivial matter. As well, we tend to make a variety of systematic errors in the pursuit of happiness. We may need, then, to rethink traditional assumptions about human nature, the good life, and the good society. Thoroughly engaged with both philosophical and scientific work on happiness and well-being, this book will be a definitive resource for philosophers, social scientists, policy makers, and other students of human well-being.
In Western Europe and North America the idea that war can deliberately be used as an `instrument of policy' has become unfashionable, not least because of the carnage of two World Wars and the Americans' humiliating experience in Vietnam. But wars are still fought. Those who start wars clearly believe they are worthwhile. Why? In this original and provocative study, Brian Bond discusses the successes and failures of military and political leaders in their pursuit of victory over the lasttwo centuries. Professor Bond argues that in order to be counted victorious, a leader has to progress beyond military triumph to preserve the political control needed to secure an advantageous and enduring peace settlement. Napoleon was a brilliant general, but failed as a statesman. Bismarck, on the other hand, was a success in skilfully exploiting Moltke's victories on the battlefield to create a unified Germany. In the First World War, Germany and her allies were defeated but at such great cost that confidence in the idea that war could be controlled, and the pursuit of victory made rational, received a terrible shock. Germany and Japan exploited their military opportunites between 1939 and 1942, but lack of political control and moderation brought them catastrophic defeat. After 1945, nuclear weapons and the increased complexity of international relations blurred the identity of `victors' and `losers' and seemed to make the idea of a `decisive' victory almost unthinkable. But this study warns against the assumption that war as an instrument of policy has now been completely discarded. The Falklands and Gulf conflicts show that aggressors are still prepared to risk war for tangible goals, and that their opponents are quite capable of responding successfully to such challenges.
Islam scares the West. Militant conservatism and the horrific acts of violent fundamentalists evoke outrage, but the reprehensible few reinforce a longstanding Western stereotype of all Muslims as incorrigibly fanatical, violent and morally and culturally different. Overlooked is the long history of Muslim intellectual and cultural achievement, and its potential to flower once again. With about 1.5 billion adherents, Islam is the world's fastest growing religion. An understanding of its past glories, present state and future potential has never been more critical. This survey of Muslim intellectual and cultural achievements spans 1,400 years. Chapters fall into three sections: fundamentals of Islamic learning; its growth until the present; and its future direction in the face of anti-intellectual fundamentalism. Arranged chronologically within the sections, chapters begin with an historical overview of the time period they encompass, providing context for the subsequent discussion of key intellectual and cultural achievements within that period. Appendices describe decorative and other arts, the requirements for expertise in Islamic thought, Islamic ethical traditions, and list noteworthy personalities and achievements chronologically. Maps and photographs illustrate the text, which also includes a glossary, notes, a bibliography and an index.
Affirmative action strikes at the heart of deeply held beliefs about employment and education, about fairness, and about the troubled history of race relations in America. Published on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, this is the only book available that gives readers a balanced, non-polemical, and lucid account of this highly contentious issue. Beginning with the roots of affirmative action, Anderson describes African-American demands for employment in the defense industry--spearheaded by A. Philip Randolph's threatened March on Washington in July 1941--and the desegregation of the armed forces after World War II. He investigates President Kennedy's historic 1961 executive order that introduced the term "affirmative action" during the early years of the civil rights movement and he examines President Johnson's attempts to gain equal opportunities for African Americans. He describes President Nixon's expansion of affirmative action with the Philadelphia Plan--which the Supreme Court upheld--along with President Carter's introduction of "set asides" for minority businesses and the Bakke ruling which allowed the use of race as one factor in college admissions. By the early 1980s many citizens were becoming alarmed by affirmative action, and that feeling was exemplified by the Reagan administration's backlash, which resulted in the demise and revision of affirmative action during the Clinton years. He concludes with a look at the University of Michigan cases of 2003, the current status of the policy, and its impact. Throughout, the author weighs each side of every issue--often finding merit in both arguments--resulting in an eminently fair account of one of America's most heated debates. A colorful history that brings to life the politicians, legal minds, and ordinary people who have fought for or against affirmative action, The Pursuit of Fairness helps clear the air and calm the emotions, as it illuminates a difficult and critically important issue.
Today, practically any situation involving some kind of learning is liable to be referred to as an instance of curriculum. In this book, however, the author defines curriculum as the program or programs offered to students who enter ntar elementary school at age 5 or 6 and leave secondary school somewhere between the ages of 16 and 18. What is the curriculum? What should students be learning? Who should decide what should be taught? How are such decisions to be made? In this volume, the author examines the factors that need to be considered in finding solutions to these questions.
Organized into more than 200 thought- and action-provoking elements—from the importance of clean trucks and bathrooms to conversations with entrepreneurs creating new markets—Tom Peters, bestselling management guru offers a practical guide to impractical times. In The Pursuit of Wow!, Tom Peters offers readers the words, the tools, to survive in tumultuous business environments. In his groundbreaking book, In Search of Excellence changed the way business does business. Now it’s time to take the next leap into the cyberstage era. Getting to a place called excellence is no longer the idea. You’ve got to take that leap, then leap again—catapult their imaginations, blow their mindsets—in a word, wow! them. Once more the unconventional Peters stimulates corporate thought processes. Along with the best of his columns, Peters includes questions and rebuttals that come from readers and listeners, as well as his own candid responses. A must-read for every business person.