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Books about the Humanities
This page features books written or edited by UCI Faculty within the last 5 years that discuss topics in the Humanities.
Dreamers and Schemers: how an improbable bid for the 1932 Olympics transformed Los Angeles from dusty outpost to global metropolis by "Dreamers and Schemers chronicles how Los Angeles's pursuit and staging of the 1932 Olympic Games during the depths of the Great Depression helped fuel the city's transformation from a seedy frontier village to a world-famous metropolis. Leading that pursuit was the "Prince of Realtors," William May (Billy) Garland, a prominent figure in early Los Angeles. In important respects, the story of Billy Garland is the story of Los Angeles. After arriving in Southern California in 1890, he helped drive much of the city's historic expansion in the first two decades of the twentieth century, and then, from 1920 to 1932, he directed the city's bid for the 1932 Olympic Games. Garland's quest to host the Olympics provides an unusually revealing window onto a particular time, place, and way of life. Reconstructing the narrative from Garland's visionary notion to its consequential aftermath, Barry Siegel shows how one man's grit and imagination made California history."
Epistemic Pluralism by This book examines epistemic pluralism, a brand new area of research in epistemology with dramatic implications for the discipline. Challenging traditional assumptions about the nature of justification, an expert team of contributors explores pluralism about justification, with compelling first-order results ? including analysis of the various requisites one might want to impose on the notion of justification (and therefore of knowledge) and why. It is shown why a long-lasting dispute within epistemology about the nature of justification has reached a stalemate and how embracing a different overarching outlook might lead to progress and aid better appreciation of the relationship between the various epistemic projects scholars have been pursuing.0With close connections to the idea of epistemic relativism, and with specific applications to various areas of contemporary epistemology (such as the debate over epistemic norms of action and assertion, epistemic peers' disagreement, self-knowledge and the status of philosophical disputes about ontology) this fascinating new volume is essential reading for scholars, researchers and advanced students in the discipline.
Eva Picardi on Language, Analysis and History by The volume honours Eva Picardi – her philosophical views and interests, as well as her teaching – collecting eighteen essays, some by former students of hers, some by colleagues with whom she discussed and interacted. The themes of the volume encompass topics ranging from foundational and historical issues in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of logic and mathematics, as well as issues related to the recent debates on rationality, naturalism and the contextual aspects of meaning. The volume is split into three sections: one on Gottlob Frege’s work – in philosophy of language and logic –, taking into account also its historical dimension; one on Donald’s Davidson’s work; and one on the contextualism-literalism dispute about meaning and on naturalist research programmes such as Chomsky’s.
Religion in Enlightenment England by Introduces its readers to a rich array of British Christian texts published between 1660 and 1750. The anthology documents the arc of Christian writings from the reestablishment of the Church of England to the rise of the Methodist movement in the middle of the eighteenth century. The Enlightenment era witnessed the explosion of mass print culture and the unprecedented expansion of literacy across society. These changes transformed many inherited Christian genres—such as the sermon and the devotional manual—while also generating new ones, from the modern church hymn to spiritual autobiography.
Scepticism: a Very Short Introduction by Throughout history scepticism and the urge to question accepted truths has been a powerful force for change and growth. Today, as we are bombarded by fake news, adverts, and political rhetoric, a healthy amount of scepticism is widely encouraged. In this book, Duncan Pritchard examines the nature of scepticism, asking when it is problematic. He also examines the philosophical arguments for a radical form of scepticism which maintains that knowledge is impossible, and considers the part scepticism might play in leading a more meaningful life.
Sports TV by "This book offers an introductory guide to sports TV, its history in the United States, the genre's defining characteristics, and analysis of its critical significance for the business practices, formal properties, and social, cultural, and political meanings of the medium. Victoria E. Johnson discusses a range of examples, from textual analysis of programs such as Monday Night Football and Being Serena to examination of television rights details, to sports TV's technological innovations and engagement of critical political debates. Johnson examines sports TV from its introduction to the ESPN+ era. She proposes that sports, as seen on TV in all of its iterations, is the central cultural forum for working through questions of community ideals, struggles over national and regional mythologies, and questions of representative citizenship. This book is an ideal guide for students and scholars of television, media, and cultural studies as well as those with an interest in television genre, sports tv history, and contemporary sport and media culture."
What Do Philosophers Do? by How do you know the world around you isn't just an elaborate dream, or the creation of an evil neuroscientist? If all you have to go on are various lights, sounds, smells, tastes and tickles, how can you know what the world is really like, or even whether there is a world beyond your own mind? Questions like these -- familiar from science fiction and dorm room debates -- lie at the core of venerable philosophical arguments for radical skepticism: the stark contention that we in fact know nothing at all about the world, that we have no more reason to believe any claim -- that there are trees, that we have hands -- than we have to disbelieve it. Like non-philosophers in their sober moments, philosophers, too, find this skeptical conclusion preposterous, but they're faced with those famous arguments: the Dream Argument, the Argument from Illusion, the Infinite Regress of Justification, the more recent Closure Argument. If these can't be met, they raise a serious challenge not just to philosophers, but to anyone responsible enough to expect her beliefs to square with her evidence. What Do Philosophers Do? takes up the skeptical arguments from this everyday point of view, and ultimately concludes that they don't undermine our ordinary beliefs or our ordinary ways of finding out about the world. In the process, Maddy examines and evaluates a range of philosophical methods -- common sense, scientific naturalism, ordinary language, conceptual analysis, therapeutic approaches -- as employed by such philosophers as Thomas Reid, G.E. Moore, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and J.L. Austin. The result is a revealing portrait of what philosophers do, and perhaps a quiet suggestion for what they should do, for what they do best.
Wrestling with God by "Contrary to charges of religious "dogma," Christian actors in international politics often wrestle with the lack of a clear path in determining what to do and how to act, especially in situations of violence and when encountering otherness. Lynch argues that it is crucial to recognise the ethical precarity of decision-making and acting. This book contextualizes and examines ethical struggles and justifications that key figures and movements gave during the early modern period of missionary activity in the Americas; in the interwar debates about how to act vis-à-vis fascism, economic oppression and colonialism in a "secular" world; in liberation theology's debates about the use of violence against oppression and bloodshed; and in contemporary Christian humanitarian negotiations of religious pluralism and challenges to the assumptions of western Christianity. Lynch explores how the wrestling with God that took place in each of these periods reveals ethical tensions that continue to impact both Christianity and international relations."