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Contemporary Philosophy


Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Monty Python and Philosophy: Nudge Nudge, Think Think! Edited by Gary L. Hardcastle, George A. Reisch (Popular Culture and Philosophy: Open Court) From the 1970s cult TV show, Monty Pythons Flying Circus, to the current hit musical Spamalot, the Monty Python comedy troupe has been at the center of popular culture and entertainment. The Pythons John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam are increasingly recognized and honored for their creativity and enduring influence in the worlds of comedy and film. Monty Python and Philosophy extends that recognition into the world of philosophy. Fifteen experts in topics like mythology, Buddhism, feminism, logic, ethics, and the philosophy of science bring their expertise to bear on Python movies such as Monty Pythons Life of Brian and Flying Circus mainstays such as the Argument Clinic, the Dead Parrot Sketch, and, of course, the Bruces, the Pythons demented, song-filled vision of an Australian philosophy department. Monty Python and Philosophy follows the same hit format as the other titles in this popular series and explains all the philosophical concepts discussed in laymens terms.

Excerpt: Pythonist: A person who professes to prophesy through some divine or esoteric inspiration. ---"Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged

England. Sunday evening, October 5th, 1969. A big surprise awaits those switching on their television sets and settling in for an evening of entertainment. A game show features Genghis Khan dying, his death scored by panelists. An advertisement for butter heralds its superior taste, all but indistinguishable from that of dead crab. And excited sportscasters cover Pablo Picasso painting while riding a bicycle through England ("It will be very interesting to see how he copes with the heavy traffic round Wisborough Green!"). It's . . . Mono Python's Flying Circus!

At the end of the 1960sa decade of race riots, student protests, undeclared wars, political assassinations, Woodstock, the first moon landing, and the rise of the sensitive singer-songwriterperhaps nothing could be entirely new and unexpected. Yet Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palincollectively, Monty Pythonpulled it off week after week. When a tuxedoed John Cleese intoned "And now for something completely different . . . " (mocking the BBC, naturally), he was completely right. Characters suddenly announced their desire to be not only lumberjacks, but cross-dressing lumberjacks. Sketches were interrupted by characters from other sketches. Viewers were taught self-defense techniques against fresh fruit. Somehow, the Pythons consistently found ways to move their audienceswithin minutes, sometimes even secondsfrom blunt incomprehension (the Fish Slapping Dance?) to fits of hearty, memorable laughter. Python fans vividly remember their first time.

For many of us, this kind of humor was just what we needed to survive the 1970s, not to mention the 1980s. By then, Monty Python had found its audience, wiggled into the collective consciousness, and become one of the most successful and influential comedy institutions of the twentieth century. After four seasons and forty-five episodes of Mono Python's Flying Circus, the Pythons did the proper British thing and established an empire of books, audio recordings, and feature films, notably Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Mono Python's Life of Brian (1979), and Mono Python's The Meaning of Life (1983). As of this writing, the empire has conquered Broadway, where Monty Python's Spamalot, a musical adaptation of Mono Python and the Holy Grail, plays to packed houses (well, at least, we can't get tickets) while its creators, chief among them Eric Idle, try out various spots on the mantel for the Tony Awards that the show has won. Indeed, much of popular culture has been Pythonized. Watch George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, Andy Kaufman, Mike Myers, and their comedic progeny, or Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, In Living Color, Kids in the Hall, Arrested Development, and their comedic progeny, and you'll see Python again, echoed in dozens of ways. Read contemporary criticism of entertainment and culture, or nearly anything "postmodern," and you'll see the word `pythonesque' or knowing references to "spam" or "nudge nudge, wink wink" that mark a common bond between author and readeryep, Python fan.

Not everyone, of course, belongs to the club. We all know one or two who stare at a Python sketch the way a dog looks at a card trick. They just don't get it. That's okay, of coursejust don't offer them a Whizzo Chocolate or tell them you weren't expecting the Spanish Inquisition, lest you get a blank stare in return. This book, on the other hand, is for people who do get it. Actually, it's a book for people who not only get it, but who have, on occasion, wondered what that "it" is exactly. You've probably noticed the book's title, so you won't be surprised that we think that Monty

Python's absurdities bear a deep and interesting connection to philosophy.

Really? What sort of "deep and interesting" connection? It's a good thing we didn't have to answer that question before we found contributors and put this book together, for back then we didn't have an answer. Fortunately, our philosophical colleagues and acquaintances (whom, naturally, we hit up for chapters) were as intrigued with that question as we were. Now that we've assembled the book, however, we still won't declare any simple, final theory about this connection. It remains somewhat mysterious. But thanks in no small part to our contributors, we understand much better why Monty Python and philosophy go together. It all starts with. . .

The Importance of Being British

Britain was a philosophical mecca for much of the twentieth century, especially the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, where the British Pythons studied in the 1960s. Here, too, philosophical superstars like Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, A.J. Ayer, G.E. Moore, and Gilbert Ryle spent the first half of the twentieth century living, working, playing, and, apparently, threatening one another with pokers.' (Gilliam, for the record, spent the 1960s at Occidental College in Southern California, which, as they say, explains a lot.) For better or worse, what gets taught in philosophy classrooms around the world to this very day derives from what these philosophers achieved at Oxford and Cambridge.

True, none of the Pythons specialized in philosophy. Chapman studied to be a physician, Cleese a barrister, Jones an historian, and so on. But they didn't have to be philosophers to get a healthy dose of Russell, Wittgenstein, and the rest. The way these philosophers approached philosophical issues, leaning heavily on an analysis of the language in which philosophical problems were cast, was in the air and influenced nearly every region of the intellectual landscape. And thus it seeped, much like advertising, muzak, or spilt Tate & Lyle's golden syrup, into so much of what the Pythons did.

That's why we're calling the first part of this volume Philosophical Aspects of Python. These chapters look at the ways in which particular Python sketches or films illustrate some issue or idea from philosophy. They differ in a number of ways, but they all take up a particular bit of Python and wring from it the philosophical content that we suspect is, more often than not, the vestige of an Oxbridge education, circa 1965. These chapters show what happens when twentieth-century philosophy gets run through a filter consisting of equal parts British music-hall tradition, 1960s-style anti-authoritarianism, and straightforward intelligence.

For Kevin Schilbrack, it's Monty Python's Life of Brian that serves as grist for the philosophical mill. His "Life's a Piece of Shit': Heresy, Humanism, and Heroism in Monty python's Life of Brian" (winner, incidentally, of the Award for Best Title in this Particular Volume, solely on the grounds of profanity and use of H's) argues that Brian, the film's hero, has existentialism written all over him (namely, the form of existentialism championed by Albert Camus (1913-1960)). Ten-year olds, and others similarly intrigued by the limits of the human digestive system, may want to turn immediately to Noel Carroll's sensitive and delicate treatment of the wonderfully insensitive and indelicate Mr. Creosote. In "What Mr. Creosote Knows about Laughter," Carroll finds an explanation for why we (well some of us, at least) find Mr. Creosote, from Mono Python's Meaning of Life, disgustingly funny rather than just plain disgusting. Enjoy the chapter with a wafer-thin after-dinner mint.

In "The Limits of Horatio's Philosophy," Kurt Smith takes up the delightfully absurd sketch "Piston Engine (a Bargain)" from Episode 43 of Mono Python's Flying Circus (titled "Hamlet") and asks a simple but vexing question: What are these women, these pepperpots, saying? Smith's answer leads us through the philosophical evolution of Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), the Austrian philosophical luminary transplanted to Cambridge in the 1930s. Harry Brighouse's contribution, "Why Is An Argument Clinic Less Silly than an Abuse Clinic or a Contradiction Clinic?," makes use of the Python's famous "Argument Clinic" sketch (originally in Episode 29 of Mono Python's Flying Circus, "The Money Programme") to illuminate how the political philosopher John Rawls (1926-2002) analyzed our beliefs about the rightness or wrongness of social practices and institutions. Far from being a ridiculous scenario, Brighouse suggests, a real argument clinic could serve a genuine and much-needed social function.

Taking us back to Brian (Cohen, that is), Randall Auxier makes an offer that you don't see everyday, at least not in a book of relatively serious philosophy. Auxier is willing to save your soul, both mortal and immortal, by way of the heroic anti-hero of Mono Python's Life of Brian. Sound good? Do be warned: the salvation involves a dose of Nietzsche, a smidgen of Pascal, and a heads-on confrontation with the evidence we have, or lack, that God is British. Rebecca Housel's "Mono Python and The Holy Grail: Philosophy, Gender, and Society," on the other hand, invites us to view Monty Python and the Holy Grail from the dual perspectives of Arthurian legend and feminist ethics. Amidst the humor, Housel argues, are serious and intriguing philosophical and ethical undertones. Stephen Asma's chapter, "Against Transcendentalism: The Meaning of Life and Buddhism," explores the recurring themes of dehumanization in Mono Python's The Meaning of Life and links these to a deeper dualistic framework embedded in many religions. In the end, Asma argues, the film leads us to something completely different (naturally): the Buddhist value of mindfulness. Stephen Erickson's "Is There Life After Monty Python's The Meaning of Life?" then offers a critique of the idea that life is a journey, its meaning somehow tied up with the journey's destination. Erickson sees the Pythons unwittingly reducing that notion to absurdity as they offer a more compelling alternative, a view Erickson calls "comedic eliminativism."

Okay. On then to the second part, Aspects of Pythonic Philosophy. Here the chapters focus not on a particular sketch or film but rather on a particular philosophical topic or ideaone that connects to several different Monty Python sketches or scenes. If you've come to this book looking for a particular philosophical topic (as opposed to a particular bit of Python), this is the section for you. Leading it off is Stephen Faison's chapter, "God Forgive Us." We are pleased to announce, in fact, that Faison's chapter has finally settled, once and for all, those thorny and unresolved questions of God's existence, God's nature, and God's relation to humanity. Well, not really. But Faison does argue that the Pythons, in consistently doing such a spectacular job parodying God's relation to us, have provided two invaluable services. They have raised the question of God's relationship to us and made immeasurably harder the jobs of well-meaning Sunday school teachers. John Huss's "Monty Python and David Hume on Religion" keeps the focus on God by drawing illuminating parallels between the treatment of theological questions by the Pythons and David Hume (1711-1776), the skeptical philosopher who contributed greatly to philosophy despite his being Scottish. Huss has convinced us, at least, that Hume, but for his dying in the eighteenth century, would plainly have become the seventh Python.

Taking us from God to madness, Michelle Spinelli makes use of "The Idiot in Society" (Episode 20 of Mono Python's Flying Circus, "The Attila the Hun Show"), among other classic Python skits, to get a grip on the claim, articulated by the social historian and philosopher Michel Foucault (1926-1984), that what counts as madness or insanity is something created`constructed' is the wordby the society in question. Don't be surprised if, after reading Spinelli's "Madness in Mono Python's Flying Circus," you find yourself watching Monty Python's Flying Circus, Foucault in hand.

Moving the focus from theology to morality, Patrick Croskery's "Monty Python and the Search for the Meaning of Life" performs the remarkable feat of illustrating several notions of the ethical life, as well as its pitfalls, solely by way of Monty Python. Not unlike other authors, Croskery addresses the Pythonic flirtation with nihilism, the denial of values of any sort, and offers a sensible verdict: the Pythons know nihilism well, but they are not nihilists. Nihilism is also the starting point for Edward Slowik's "Existentialism in Monty Python: Kafka, Camus, Nietzsche, and Sartre" (winner of the award for Most Names In A Single Title In This Volume. Congratulations, Ed). For Slowik, though, the Pythons's message is more existentialist and less nihilist. He notes a particular resonance between Monty Python's impatience with pretension and the philosophical message about life's meaning offered by the German philosopher and redoubtable laugh-meister Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900).

The ghost of Wittgenstein looms large in Monty Python and in Rosalind Carey's delightfully Gumbyish "My Brain Hurts!" Carey takes on the difficult question of what philosophy is exactly, a question that Wittgenstein himself answered in different ways throughout his life. Ludwig, sadly, could not avail himself of the Pythons to illustrate his ideas. But Carey has nicely filled the gap, matching bits of Python to bits of Wittgenstein in a manner that might not have pleased Wittgenstein himself (not much pleased him, to be honest) but, we think, enlightens and entertains us. Finally, anyone who has waded in philosophy's waters will have noted the far-fetched, perplexing, and often downright silly "thought-experiments" that brighten philosophers' eyes. In "Why Is a Philosopher Like a Python? How Philosophical Examples Work," James Taylor faces head-on and explains this distinctly philosophical thing called the thought experiment. By comparing such experiments to sketches that are equally far-fetched and sometimes utterly absurd (but, we grant, much more entertaining), he shows that the philosophical thought experiment is not quite as crazy as it may first appear.

Bloody Hell, There's More!?!

It depends how you look at it. Wittgenstein wrote that the same figure can be seen as a duck or a rabbit. So, you may see the remaining chapters as a misfit bunch of leftovers or, very differently, as a natural class defined by similarities of form and content. We see them as a school of ducks, each of which looks at philosophy (or some aspect of it) in light of the phenomenon of Monty

Python. It is remarkable, after all, not only that the utterly bizarre Mono Python's Flying Circus was sponsored by the BBC in the first place, but that Monty Python itself grew into an institution of enormous cultural influence. In light of that success and the many connections between philosophy and Monty Python explored in the earlier chapters, this section asks, What might be gleaned about the fortunesor misfortunesof the otherwise unworldly enterprise of philosophy? These authors (your two editors among them) think there is much to explore. Hence, our final section: Pythonic Aspects of Philosophy.

Alan Richardson's "Tractatus Comedio-Philosophicus" wants us to know that the only difference between Monty Python and academic philosophy is that philosophy isn't funny. Sensing philosophy's imminent disaster, Richardson conducts an intervention (of sorts) to which he has invited Wittgenstein and Nietzsche, if you can picture that. George Reisch's "Monty Python's Utterly Devastating Critique of Ordinary Language Philosophy" makes the case that the Pythons imbibed, and found unsatisfying, far more of the analytic philosophy afoot in Cambridge and Oxford than might have otherwise been thought. Reisch then calls for a Python-inspired rehabilitation of philosophy, but one quite different from Richardson's.

Yet a third style of rehabilitation is suggestedokay, demandedby Bruce Baldwin's "Word and Objection: How Monty Python Destroyed Modern Philosophy." Though less sympathetic to the intersection of philosophy with popular culture than the other chapters, we chose to include Baldwin's chapter (in the form of a faithfully transcribed lecture) in order to promote debate about philosophy in popular culture and because Baldwin's personal investment in things Pythonic proved too ironic for us to resist.

Finally, Gary Hardcastle's "My Years With Monty Python" recounts his adventures over the past ten years lecturing about Monty Python and philosophy to non-academic audiences. Hardcastle tries to make sense of why anyone would find the combination palatable, let alone entertaining. Taking up a similar question that Hume, that almost-seventh Python, posed centuries ago, Hardcastle finds a satisfying answer (note, however, that he is easily pleased). Hardcastle's chapter makes frequent reference to hisearlier essay, "Themes in Contemporary Analytic Philosophy as Reflected in the Work of Monty Python," so we've included that here, too. Call it a Special Bonus Track.

Okay, That's All for Now

That's how it goes. There is no one "deep and interesting" connection between Monty Python and philosophy, it turns out, because there are many. There are bits of Python that are better understood and appreciated by philosophical analysis; there are bits of philosophy that are well served by Python sketches and themes; and the whole, enduring empire of Monty Python has a thing or two to say about the status of philosophy and its role in the world. If you were hoping for something pithier, less obvious, or pythonesque (see?), well, we're sorry.

We know, much has been left out of this book, too. As Heather Douglas reminds one of the editors daily, there are not nearly enough mentions of the Holy Hand Grenade (even counting that one). Other colleagues, we rest assured, will complain that their personal philosophical heroes had to be left out ("What, no Bosanquet?! No Nicolas de Cusa?!?!"). Who knowsmaybe there is room on the shelf for a sequel volume of Monty Python and Philosophy in which the Holy Hand Grenade and other topics can be philosophically analyzed. If you want to see that sequel, make sure you buy at least two copies of this book. Going farther still, one might consider a new academic organization, something like a society dedicated to the philosophical analysis of Monty Python. Those plans, alas, will remain exceedingly tentative so long as a suitably catchy and marketable acronym remains elusive.

A Jacques Barzun Reader: Selections from His Works by Jacques Barzun, edited by Michael Murray (Harper Collins) A wonderful introduction to one of the great public voice of the 20th century. A tribute and a joy to read and argue and agree with, makes an admirable introduction to this critic works.

 Throughout his career Jacques Barzun, author of more than thirty books, including most recently the New York Times bestseller From Dawn to Decadence, has always been known as a witty and graceful essayist, one who combines a depth of knowledge and a rare facility with words.

In A Jacques Barzun Reader, Michael Murray has carefully selected from Barzun's oeuvre eighty of the most inventive, accomplished, and insightful essays, now available for the first time in one magisterial volume. The list of subjects covered has an amazing range: history, philosophy, literature, education, music -- and more.

Here is Barzun's classic examination of baseball in American life, Lincoln as a literary artist, and the pleasures of reading crime fiction. Among the many diverse figures whom Barzun reexamines -- leading to fresh portraits -- are Shaw, Berlioz, Swift, both Henry and William James, Dorothy Sayers, Chapman, Agate, and Diderot.

Jacques Barzun draws the reader into his enthusiasms with an infectious style and keen insights. A Jacques Barzun Reader is a feast for any reader.

Criticism as I understand it differs entirely from attack or complaint. Its difference from complaint is especially important here, for I am persuaded that complaints against the machinations of culture today have become as poisonous as the things complained of. This is not surprising. Resentment and indignation are feelings dangerous to the possessor and to be sparingly used. They give comfort too cheaply; they rot judgment, and by encouraging passivity they come to require that evil continue for the sake of the grievance to be enjoyed.

"Criticism, on the contrary, aims at action. True, not all objects can be acted on at once, and many will not be reshaped according to desire; but thought is plastic and within our control, and thought is a form of action. To come to see, in the light of criticism, a situation as different from what it seemed to be, is to have accomplished an important act."

A Jacques Barzun Reader is a book for readers of Barzun, would-be readers of Barzun, and readers who have never liked Barzun. A treat for all these three kinds of readers are the few pages of verse at the end of the book.

Culture of Accidents: Unexpected Knowledges in Early Modern England by Michael Witmore (Stanford University Press) Collapsing buildings, unexpected meetings in the marketplace, monstrous births, encounters with pirates at sea‑these and other unforeseen "accidents" at the turn of the seventeenth century in England acquired unprecedented significance in the early modern philosophical and cultural imagination. Drawing on intellectual history, cultural criticism, and rhetorical theory, this book chronicles the narrative transformation of "accident" from a philosophical dead end to an astonishing occasion for revelation and wonder in early modern religious life, dramatic practice, and experimental philosophy.

Embracing the notion that accident was a concept with both learned and popular appeal, the book traces its evolution through Aristotelian, Scholastic, and Calvinist thought into a range of early modern texts. It suggests that for many English writers, accidental events raised fundamental questions about the nature of order in the world and the way that order should be apprehended.

Alongside texts by such canonical figures as Shakespeare and Bacon, this study draws on several lesser‑known authors of sensational news accounts about accidents that occurred around the turn of the seventeenth century. The result is a cultural anatomy of accidents as philosophical problem, theatrical conceit, spiritual landmark, and even a prototype for Baconian "experiment," one that provides a fresh interpretation of the early modern engagement with contingency in intellectual and cultural terms.


Excerpt: Over the last two decades, wonder and wonders have come to occupy a special place in early modern studies. Under this rubric, an astonishing range of subjects has been assembled for analysis, topics as disparate as the early modern fascination with "curiosities," debates about the significance of monstrous births and prodigies, representations of the "marvels" of the New World and changes in the nature of philosophical curiosity.' This work has made clear the degree to which experiences of the singular, astonishing and unexpected captivated the early modern imagination, engaging both a poetic appetite for the "strange" and a philosophical curiosity about the causes of singular phenomena. Having located wonder somewhere in the fertile zone between knowing and feeling, scholars now have a more integrated story to tell about the interlocking realms of early modern poetics, politics and epistemology, one that foregrounds the relationship between the representational practices that produced wonder and the various early modern interests‑philosophical, religious, and political‑which those practices engaged? As this story gets told in richer detail, we recognize that the early modern fascination with things strange and unexpected cuts a broad path across English intellectual and cultural life, linking the rise of an experimental science with the theological interest in portentous events, connecting the marvels of the stage with a self‑conscious theatricalization of experience in politics and religious life?

Given the widespread interest in wonder, it is surprising that one of its most traditional sources‑accidental events‑has gone largely unstudied.  Accidents are some of the most luminous and enigmatic events to be found in early modern texts, appearing regularly on stage, in popular news reports, in theological texts and in philosophical treatises. Whenever they occur, accidents have the power to startle and amaze, inviting individuals to reflect on the causes and meaning of events that defy the human capacity for prudence, calculation and knowledge. This affective state ox "passion" had already been linked to accidental events in the tradition of Aristotelian poetics, a tradition that was being revived in the sixteenth century as the Poetics became available to European readers. Accidents, Aristotle writes in this text, are particularly qualified to provoke wonder in the theatrical spectator when they mix the spontaneous with the purposeful in suggestive ways. Such events are most marvelous because they have the appearance of design in them, he points out, and a plot that employs this device of the meaningful accident or chance event is "necessarily finer" than others.

This glowing recommendation was not lost on early modern playwrights who packed their plays with "casualties," "mishaps," and "sudden accidents." But while accidents made for good dramaJonson, Webster and Shakespeare regularly made use of them on stage‑they presented a challenge to both the theology of the Reformation and the longstanding philosophical tradition of Aristotelian metaphysics. On the one hand, the early modern belief in "special providence" dictated that a disposing God actively brings about all events, no matter how unexpected or inconsequential. Strictly speaking, there are no accidents in a providential world, something that early modern theologians such as John Calvin and his English interpreters were quick to point out.' As Calvin wrote in his landmark Institutes of the Christian Religion, "[T]he providence of God, as it is taught in Scripture, is opposed to fortune and fortuitous accidents," a dictum which suggested that the very idea of accidents was a theological absurdity a On the other hand, accidents had for centuries been excluded as an object of knowledge in Aristotelian metaphysics, itself still a powerful intellectual force in the seventeenth century. According to Aristotle and his Scholastic interpreters, there could be no science of accidents; by definition these events had unique causes rather than general ones and so could not be brought into the purview of genuine philosophical inquiry.

Given the reluctance of writers like Calvin and Aristotle to admit accidents as either a category of analysis or an object of knowledge, it is tempting to assume that early modern accidents were either impossible (because of God's providence) or unknowable (because they had no regular, general causes). Just the opposite is the case, however. Even a casual survey of early modern texts turns up repeated declarations that certain events come to pass "by accident," even if such events are really a more subtle form of divine action. Indeed, "accidents"‑sudden, lamentable, happy, doleful, wonderful‑occur in abundance during the period and are regularly described as such. They are even divided into a number of recognizable types. The unexpected meeting in the marketplace, the chance encounter with pirates or robbers, the hairsbreadth deliverance from danger or sudden death by a falling object: events like these were the common stock of the early modern imagination, easily recognizable as the kind of thing that happens once in a while. And while the word "accident" had the generic meaning of "event" during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it nevertheless bore long‑standing associations with the operations of chance and Fortune, those inscrutable pagan agencies that Christian writers like Calvin were working so hard to dismiss or refashion. Just as important, the word "accident" resonated with an immense body of learned thought on the nature of these events, associations that we can trace even into some of the least" intellectual" texts of the period.

Within natural philosophy, moreover, the accident would become increasingly significant as techniques for acquiring knowledge about nature began to change. Unlike the physics and metaphysics of the Scholastics, the natural philosophy that took shape in the seventeenthcentury writings of Francis Bacon emphasized the need for "experiment" in the pursuit of knowledge. The "contrived event" of the experiment, as Peter Dear has called it, might at first seem at odds with the spontaneous character of an accident." Bacon, however, identified a fundamental similarity between both occurrences: accidents and experiments require an unusual disposition of circumstances, which is what makes both a powerful engine for discovery. Bacon's equation of experiment with accident‑and here I am broaching one of the major claims of the book‑marked an end to the accident's long‑standing marginalization within philosophy; it also expressed a more widespread appreciation for the ways in which such spontaneous events were nevertheless somehow "contrived." Accidents were, in fact, a model for a certain kind of indirect action, a spontaneous form of revelation traditionally associated with the female goddess Fortuna, whom Bacon wanted to imitate in a regime of deliberate experimentation. Accidents also represented an instance of deviation in the usual course of things; their power to distract or estrange onlookers from habitual patterns of expectation and attention thus gave them unusual epistemological force in the skeptical context of the seventeenth century?

Rather than sitting at the margins of intellectual and cultural life, then, accidents‑like other marvels and wonders‑captivated the early modem imagination and patterned some of its most distinctive modes of interpretation. This book is an attempt to describe some of these modes, showing how a mixture of intellectual distinctions and problems developed in the Aristotelian philosophical tradition were diffused across a truly astonishing range of early modern texts, some of them quite well known, others which are rarely read. In part, this is the story of how an abstraction moved out of the fertile pastures of Scholastic philosophy to acquire a cultural life of its own in the decades surrounding the turn of the seventeenth century. To the extent that it charts the development of a canonical concept within Scholasticism and its circulation through several early modern discursive domainsShakespearean drama, Baconian natural philosophy, early modern theologies of providence, and a genre of popular wonder literature that chronicled "accidents" ‑this volume is a genealogy of an idea, or in the more traditional sense, an intellectual history.

But the intellectual ferment over these events must itself be understood as part of a larger cultural engagement with accidents in the early modern period, one that a strictly philosophical analysis can only hint at. For early modern accidents are not simply a type of event with curious philosophical consequences; they are a regular feature of stories and storytelling, which means that their significance extends beyond the province of metaphysical reflection into other areas where narrative is a conduit for knowledge and experience. In addition to serving as a lightning rod for debates about God's providence, for example, we find the accident at the center of Shakespeare's highly reflexive theatrical practice, engaging basic questions about the nature of theatrical artifice and the relationship between the playwright's ordered world and that of a providential God. The prevalence of that analogy between world and stage, itself a staple of royal political rhetoric and post‑Reformation theology, also meant that the accident was capable of generating powerful ideological effects, transforming the world of lived experience into a fiction whose narrative devices and conventions seemed scripted by an all‑powerful being. When we examine some of these effects in popular religious literature about "accidents," we find that accidents have a rhetoric and poetics of their own, one that binds their ideological force to certain genres of fiction and, in the case of Bacon, certain gendered notions of discovery and action. Finally, we see that as accidents become associated with theatrical display, they are increasingly viewed as a source of knowledge. This view of accident as an opportunity for revelation in the broadest sense depends, I will argue, on its association with narrative "contriving," an artificial quality that links the accident quite literally with the notion of "experiment" as it emerges in Francis Bacons natural philosophy.

Words such as "narrative," "knowledge," and "revelation" should begin to suggest the cultural‑epistemological thrust of the analyses that follow. On the one hand, this book charts an intellectual shift that saw accidents transformed from an epistemological dead end into a source of knowledge in the early modern period, whether that knowledge was of God, nature, or the hidden plots of individuals. On the other, it identifies some of the representational strategies that enhanced the accident's association with revelation and knowledge, particularly those that placed accidents in a theatrical frame, thereby cementing their association with contrivance and status as a narrative device. As I will argue in the chapters that follow, these two developments are related, which is why I have regularly tried to bring accounts of the narrative practices at work in early modern texts into contact with the intellectual currents they engaged. This approach of merging the intellectual and cultural is not arbitrary, but a consequence of the curious status that the accident has in early modern texts, both as an object of knowledge and as a narrative device. Since these two features of the accident‑what I call their "categorical instability" and their "rhetoricity"‑are a recurring motif in the analyses that follow, I would like to introduce them at the outset before continuing with more focused discussion in individual chapters.

Culture's Consequences: Comparing values, Behaviors, Institutions, and Organizations Across Nations by Geert Hofstede (Sage) The Second Edition of this classic work, first published in 1981 and an international bestseller, explores the differences in thinking and social action that exist among members of more than 50 modern nations. The First Edition was mainly about international differences in values, while the Second Edition has widened the areas covered to differences in behaviors, institutions, and organizations. Geert Hofstede argues that people carry "mental programs" that are developed in the family in early childhood and reinforced in schools and organizations, and that these programs contain components of national culture. They are expressed most clearly in the different values that predominate among people from different countries.

Geert Hofstede has completely rewritten, revised, and updated Culture's Consequences for the twenty‑first century. He has broadened the book's cross‑disciplinary appeal, expanded the coverage of countries examined from 40 to more than 50, reformulated his arguments, and included a large amount of new literature. Hofstede structures the book around five major dimensions: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism versus collectivism, masculinity versus femininity, and long‑term versus short‑term orientation. This "must have" reference book will be an essential resource across the behavioral sciences and management fields.


This book explores the differences in thinking and social action that exist among members of more than 50 modern nations. It argues that people carry "mental programs" that are developed in the family in early childhood and reinforced in schools and organizations, and that these mental programs contain a component of national culture. They are most clearly expressed in the different values that predominate among people from different countries.

Chapter 1 describes the major theoretical issues in the study of cultures, in particular at the country level. Cross‑cultural studies proliferate in all the social sciences, but they usually lack a theory of the key variable, culture itself. Names of countries are usually treated as residues of undefined variance in the phenomena found. This volume aims at being specific about the elements of which culture is composed. It identifies five main dimensions along which dominant value systems in the more than 50 countries can be ordered and that affect human thinking, feeling, and acting, as well as organizations and institutions, in predictable ways.

Chapter 2 provides a methodological justification, showing how the initial data used for the empirical part of the research were extracted from an existing database. This database compiled paper‑and‑pencil survey results collected within subsidiaries of one large multinational business organization (IBM) in 72 countries and covering, among others, many questions about values. The survey was conducted twice, around 1968 and around 1972, producing a total of more than 116,000 questionnaires; respondents could be matched by occupation, age, and gender. Later on, additional data were collected from other populations, unrelated to IBM but matched across countries. At first four and later five main dimensions on which country cultures differ were revealed through theoretical reasoning and statistical analysis; they reflect basic problems that any society has to cope with but for which solutions differ.

Chapters 3 through 7 describe the five dimensions:

Power distance (Chapter 3) is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. The basic problem involved is the degree of human inequality that underlies the functioning of each particular society.

Uncertainty avoidance (Chapter 4) is the extent to which a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Unstructured situations are novel, unknown, surprising, different from usual. The basic problem involved is the degree to which a society tries to control the uncontrollable.

. Individualism on the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, is the degree to which individuals are supposed to look after themselves or remain integrated into groups, usually around the family. Positioning itself between these poles is a very basic problem all societies face.

Masculinity versus its opposite, femininity (Chapter 6), refers to the distribution of emotional roles between the genders, which is another fundamental problem for any society to which a range of solutions are found; it opposes "tough" masculine to "tender" feminine societies.

Long‑term versus short‑term orientation (Chapter 7) refers to the extent to which a culture programs its members to accept delayed gratification of their material, social, and emotional needs.

These five dimensions were empirically verifiable, and each country could be positioned somewhere between their poles. Moreover, the dimensions were statistically independent and occurred in all possible combinations, although some combinations were more frequent than others.

This volume shows that the same dimensions were validated by data from completely different sources, both survey studies of various kinds and nonsurvey comparative studies such as McClelland's achievement motivation analysis based on a content analysis of children's books. Altogether, data from 140 other studies comparing from 5 to 39 countries were found to be significantly correlated with one or more of the five dimensions. With few exceptions, these other studies so far had not been related to each other by their authors or by anyone else. In addition, the five dimensions showed significant and meaningful correlations with geographic, economic, demographic, and political national indicators.

The book divides countries on the basis of their scores on the five dimensions into culture areas and in some cases finds historical reasons for the cultural differentiation between the areas. Time‑series data show no convergence between countries but some worldwide or almost worldwide value shifts.

Chapter 8 focuses on the consequences of the cultural differentiation among countries for the functioning of and theorizing about organizations. It also analyzes the phenomenon of organizational cultures, specific to organizations within and across countries. This part is based on a separate research project across 20 Danish and Dutch organizational units that my associates and I carried out in the 1980s.

Chapter 9 deals with the consequences of cultural differences for various types of encounters between cultures: through migration; in international politics, including development Cooperation; in multinational business, including international mergers and alliances; in education: in tourism; and on the Internet. It deals with the influence of language, culture shock, intercultural training, and intercultural negotiation.

Chapter 10 collects experiences with the use of the culture dimensions for research and theory building. It provides advice and warns of pitfalls for future users.

The various appendixes contain the instruments used, country scores per survey item, original and additional country scores per dimension, and a summary of the external studies validating the dimensions. They also contain two case studies from the "organizational cultures" project and a statement (taken from the first edition) of my own values.

Poetics of Modernity: Toward a Hermeneutic Imagination by Richard Kearney (Philosophy and Literary Theory: Humanity Books) addresses one of the burning issues of modern European thought‑how the crisis of values (ethics) relates to the crisis of imagination (poetics). Through a series of in‑depth studies of thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Husserl, Heidegger, Levinas, Ricoeur, Derrida, and others, Kearney explores the ways in which Continental philosophy, in both its modern and postmodern guises, has endeavored to respond to these twin crises. Some studies focus on the dilemma of individual imagination faced with the fragmentation of inherited concepts of truth, God, or the good. Others concentrate on conflicts internal to the social imagination of our times‑such as, ideology versus utopia, myth versus critique, tradition versus reason, modernity versus postmodernity. Kearney also applies these philosophical disputes to a number of postmodern texts in literature and to painting and politics.

"Richard Kearney's wide‑ranging [book] brings together strands of modern thought and sensibility which are all‑too‑often held apart. This illuminating and insightful study moves towards a synthesis in which certain essential contours of our modern predicament . . . come into view."  Professor Charles Taylor, McGill University, Montreal

 Richard Kearney is Professor of Philosophy at University College Dublin and Visiting European Professor for part of the year at Boston College.

 Cross-Readings by Louis Marin, translated by Jane Marie Todd (Philosophy and Literary Theory: Humanities Press) is a wide‑ranging series of readings of texts, from classical works (Herodotus, Cicero, Ovid) to early Christian texts (Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Augustine), to children's literature (Perrault, Robinson Crusoe, Jules Verne, La Fontaine), to`the classics of French literature and thought (Descartes, Corneille, Pascal, Rousseau, Balzac, Stendhal). It enters into dialogue with such diverse works as Sir Thomas More's Utopia, Louis II of Bavaria's personal journals, and theoretical writings by Roman Jakobson, Emile Benveniste, and Ernst Bloch.

In short texts that approach the lyricism of the prose poem, Marin describes the topography of Rue Traversiere in Paris as a metaphor for his readings of texts, proposing that we "use the text in the way the passerby customarily uses Rue Traversibre (in the twelfth arrondissement) by borrowing with a lively step a section of its itinerary without lazing about out of curiosity or dawdling out of interest simply passing as quickly as possible to other places, using it to have easier access to other spaces."

A challenging text designed for serious students and scholars of theory, Cross-Readings also shines with the rich imagery of literature and the minute detail of everyday life.

Louis Marin was Director of Studies and Professor at the Ecole de Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, in Paris. He published extensively. Available in English translations are: Utopics: The Semiological Play of Textual Places (Humanity Books, 1988); Semiotics of the Passion Narrative Topics and Figures (Pickwick Publications); and Food for Thought (Johns Hopkins). Jane Marie Todd is a writer and translator. She is the author of Autobiographics in Freud and Derrida (Garland).

Philosophy in Cultural Theory by Peter Osborne (Routledge) 'If philosophy is going to matter, to itself or anyone, then it must conceive of itself as a component of culture at large, and that means now that it must put itself in relation to our best thinking about culture. In these rich, fiercely argued essays, Peter Osborne shows how philosophy and cultural theory can, indeed, must be thought together.' What is the place of philosophy in cultural theory today?

What might come of a confrontation between philosophy and cultural studies?

Philosophy in Cultural Theory offers a philosophical critique of cultural theory today. Foregoing its initial distance from philosophy, cultural theory has recently found itself increasingly engaged with the philosophical issues of universality and difference, pragmatism, totalization, temporality and abstraction.

Peter Osborne makes critical interventions into the central philosophical debates motivating cultural theory today: interdisciplinarity and the status of pragmatism; the relationship between sign and image; the technological basis of cultural form; the theoretical importance of translation; the temporality and politics of modernism; the conceptuality of art; and the place of fantasy in human affairs. Drawing on the legacy of Walter Benjamin and the Communist Manifesto, he establishes a new transdisciplinary perspective on the experience of modernity as cultural‑historical form.

Philosophy in Cultural Theory will appeal to all those in philosophy, cultural studies and art theory, and to readers interested in the shifting role of interdisciplinary studies.

 Culture & Equality: An Egalitarian Critique of Multiculturalism by Brian M. Barry (Harvard) All major western countries today contain groups that differ in their religious beliefs customary practices or ideas about the right way in which to live. How should public policy respond to this diversity? In this important new work, Brian Barry challenges the currently popular answer and develops a powerful restatement of an egalitarian liberalism for the twenty-first century.

Until recently it was assumed without much question that cultural diversity could best be accommodated by leaving cultural minorities free to associate in pursuit of their distinctive ends within the limits imposed by a common framework of laws. This solution is rejected by an influential school of political theorists, who argue that this 'difference-blind' conception of liberal equality. fails to deliver either liberty or equal treatment. In its place, they propose that the state should 'recognize' group identities, by granting groups exemptions from certain laws, publicly 'affirming' their value and by providing them with special privileges or subsidies.

In Culture & Equality, Barry offers an incisive critique of these arguments and suggests that these theorists of multiculturalism tend to misdiagnose the problems of minority groups. Often, these are not rooted in culture, and multi-culturalist policies may actually stand in the way of universalistic measures that would be genuinely beneficial.

The Language of Deception: A Discourse Analytical Study by Dariusz Galasinski (Sage) employs a discourse analytical approach to the study of deception. The hook focuses on the deceptive messages themselves‑how language is used to deceive others and what kinds of linguistic devices are used.

Galasinski develops a theory of deception based on his extensive study .of debates and interviews of American and British politicians. Exchanges such as the one in which a politician is asked the same question 14 times and evades it 14 times provide fascinating insight into deceptive linguistic practices.

The Language of Deception develops arguments that expand the traditional field of deception research by including metadiscursive and cooperative deception. The book also covers the discourse analytical category of taking words out of context.


Contents: Introduction; Acknowledgments; The Natural Way of Being; What Is Deception? How People Deceive; Deceptiveness of Evasion; Metadiscursive Deception; Conversation for Misrepresentation; Pragmatics of Deception; Conclusions: A Linguist's Look Beyond Language; References; Author Index




I shall be studying deception from a discourse analytical point of view. This means that my analyses of language as a means to deceive will go beyond the boundaries of the syntactic or semantic form of the utterance. Although aware of the lexico‑grammatical resources of the language system, I shall also be interested in their functions within the utterance as well as the utterance's functions within the context in which it appears. Furthermore, discourse analysis, not only is interested in the formal (phonological or syntactic) aspects of discourse, or language use, but also focuses on social actions accomplished by language users who communicate both within certain social situations and within society and culture.

Discourse analysis is interested in naturally occurring text (written) and talk (verbal). "Real data" that are analyzed are not in any way edited or sanitized but are studied as they are, or close to their actual form in the contexts in which they occurred.

The data that I shall analyze come mostly from British and U.S. political debates and interviews shown on British television from 1994 to 1996. In total, my corpus comprises approximately 60 hours' worth of debates and interviews. In Chapters 5 and 6, I shall also use excerpts from two 1995 Polish presidential debates and one interview broadcast on Polish television.

Discourse is studied within its global and local context, preferably, as a constitutive part of the context, that is, settings, participants and their communicative and social roles, goals, relevant social knowledge, norms and values, and institutional or organizational structures.

Discourse is a form of social practice in its sociocultural context. Language users are not isolated individuals; rather, they are engaged in communicative activities as members of groups, institutions, or cultures.

The accomplishment of discourse is linear and sequential. This means that units of discourse are to be explained in relation to those that precede them. It may also mean that later elements may have particular functions with respect to previous ones (for example, answers following questions).

Constitutive units of discourse may also be constructive of larger units, creating in such a way hierarchical structures. Language users, moreover, are capable of using those units functionally in constructing or understanding the hierarchy of discourse.

Discourse analysis is interested in levels or layers of discourse, attempting, however, to mutually relate one to another. The levels represent different types, on the one hand, different construction units (sounds, words, and syntactic forms), and, on the other hand, different dimensions of discourse operation (linguistic actions and forms of interaction).

Language users and analysts are interested in meaning. Two types of questions are possible to ask in relation to meaning‑not only the question of "What does she or he mean in this situation?" but also, "Why is this being said or meant in this situation?"

Language, discourse, and communication in general are rule governed. On the one hand, they may be the (strict, "all‑or‑nothing") grammatical rules, but on the other hand, they may be the ("softer" and negotiable) principles of interaction. The study of actual discourse, furthermore, focuses not only on how certain rules or principles are followed but also on how they are violated, ignored, or suspended.

Indeed, this study is devoted in its entirety to examining communicative actions whose essence is the violation of the presumption that speakers will normally tell the truth, nothing but the truth is a study of uncooperative communicative actions in the sense that the speakers/deceivers violate their addressees'/targets' expectations as to what type of communicative interaction they will be engaging in.

Finally, this study is designed to study strategic discourse. It assumes that language users can use their communicative actions not only to achieve understanding but also to achieve local or global communicative, social, or political goals, some of which may also be concealed from the addressee. In this book, I am interested in actions that are necessarily clandestine. Deceivers who are found out are unlikely to achieve their goal of duping the addressees.

Having espoused the above assumptions of discourse analysis, the book is methodologically eclectic. My study draws primarily on two main domains. The first, and more important in this study, is what Blum‑Kulka described as discourse pragmatics with its two main areas: speech act theory and Gricean pragmatics. Although the former is interested in how communicative intentions are conventionally encoded in the linguistic text, the latter is more concerned with the ways in which communicators recognize (or fail to recognize) their intentions in what is communicated. Toward the end of the book, the theory of politeness will also provide a relevant theoretical basis.

The second domain, with which, again, I have predominantly engaged toward the end of the book, is the tenets and assumptions of critically oriented linguistics and discourse analysis, drawing heavily on functional linguistics, most particularly that of Halliday. I shall use this perspective particularly in Chapter 7 in the analysis of discursive representations of agency in evasive responses. Rather than presenting these perspectives in detail here, however, I hope to do it more usefully at those stages of my discussion when they will be drawn on directly.

Dimensions of Human Behavior: Person and Environment by Elizabeth D. Hutchison (Pine Forge) Written in a fun and engaging style, this book will equip readers with the knowledge and ability to perform and interpret the results of basic linear regression analysis.

Introduces dimensions of human behavior not found in comparable texts.
Includes chapters on the biological and spiritual dimensions of person, the physical environment, social institutions, and social movements‑,all of which provide important insights into human behavior
Combines the benefits of individually written chapters from knowledgeable teachers and scholars with the skills of a single talented author to provide organizational and stylistic coherence.

"Above all, these books are about identification of the numerous approaches we as social workers must employ to be effective as professionals and in this regard they meet a great educational need. ‑Marie J. Raber, Catholic University

"I commend the editors and authors on these books‑they read like novels. And the attention to content is wonderful." ‑Susan Tebb, Dean, School of Social Service, St. Louis University

"New human behavior textbooks arrive on faculty desks every year. These paperbacks offer a refreshing alternative to what I traditionally see. I especially appreciated the discussion of multiple perspectives, recognition of the need to practice in a multicultural world, and the entire chapter (Chapter 6) devoted to the role or place of spirituality in human development. In addition, the books' movement from individual development to the broader environments in which people move through the life course makes them an especially valuable introduction to mezzo and macro levels of practice." ‑Jean Perlmutter, Case Western Reserve University

"These are reader‑friendly books. The stories in each chapter of ordinary people, introduced to set the stage for discussions of person‑and‑environment and the life course, are their heart and soul." ‑Martin Bloom, University of Connecticut

"Simply stated, these books are excellent. They provide a critically needed integration of research, theory, and multiculturalism across systems. I recommend their use to any social work program." ‑Christian Molidor, University of Denver


Profiles of the Origins of Twentieth Century Thought

by William R. Everdell

University of Chicago Press

$29.95, cloth, 501 pages, notes, bibliography, index


"About December, 1910, human character changed," wrote Virginia Woolf in 1924. Actually it changed quite a few years earlier, and it changed at least as much in Paris, Vienna, Munich, St. Petersburg, and St. Louis as it did in Bloomsbury. Modernist sex and manners eventually appeared, but Modernism’s early headlines were mostly about art and ideas. THE FIRST MODERNS is the first book that describes the initial thirty years of Modernism. Everdell accessibly details the origins of the twentieth century’s new atomistic and disjunctive way of thinking by delivering chronologically ordered stories and linked profiles of the men whose monumental works at the dawn of this century forever changed the course of work in their field.

Everdell narrates portraits of genius, conceding, "A genius I take to be a person who does something no one else can do until enough time has passed for a lot of other people to learn how to do it too." Profiling intellectual breakthroughs, and richly evoking the fin-de-siecle atmosphere of Paris, Vienna, St. Louis and St. Petersburg, Everdell constructs a lively and accessible history of nascent Modernism. He follows Picasso to the Cabaret des Assassins, discourses with Ernst Mach on the contingency of scientific law, and takes in the riotous premiere of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

In the early 1870s, mathematicians like Cantor and Dedekind discovered the set and divided the mathematical continuum; in 1886, Georges Seurat debuted his visionary masterpiece, Sunday Ahernoon on the Island of La Grande Jade; by the end of 1900, Hugo de Vries had discovered the gene, Max Planck had laid claim to the quantum, and Sigmund Freud had laid bare the unconscious workings of dreams. Throughout the worlds of art and ideas, of science and philosophy, Modernism was dawning, and with it a new mode of conceptualization.

But how are we to define the inception of an era predicated upon such far-flung and radically disparate innovations? Everdell insists on the creative interrelation of these events. Instead, what for him unites such germinally modernist achievements is a profound concern with the insight: that the objects of our knowledge are contrary to the evolutionary seamlessness of nineteenth-century thought, discrete, atomistic, and discontinuous. The gray matter was found to be made out of neurons, poems out of disjunctive images, and paintings out of dots of color, all by innovators whose worlds were just beginning to align. Theoretically sophisticated yet marvelously entertaining, THE FIRST MODERNS is for anyone with a general intellectual curiosity about the roots of modern culture.

William R. Everdell has taught history since 1972 at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, where he is Dean of Humanities. He is a published poet and author of The End of Kings (1983) as well as numerous articles on modern European history.


Theories and Methods

by John Storey

University of Georgia Press

$15.95, paper, notes, bibliography, index


This book is an accessible introduction to the range of theories and methods which have been used to study contemporary popular culture. At the same time it provides a map of the development of cultural studies through discussion of its most influential approaches. Organized around a series of case studies, each chapter focuses on a different media form and presents a critical overview of the methodology for the actual study of popular culture. There are individual chapters on television, fiction, film, newspapers and magazines, popular music, and consumption (fan culture and shopping).

For students new to the field, the book provides instantly usable theories and methods; for those familiar with the procedures and politics of cultural studies, the book provides a succinct and accessible overview.

1. Cultural Studies and the Study of Popular Culture: An Introduction
Cultural Studies and Popular Culture
More about This Book
2. Television
Encoding and Decoding Televisual Discourse
Television and 'The Ideology of Mass Culture'
The Two Economies of Television
3. Fiction
Ideology and Symptomatic Reading
Reading Formations
Reading Romantic Fiction
4. Film
Structuralism and Popular Film
Poststructuralism and Popular Film
Cultural Studies and Popular Film
5. Newspapers and Magazines
The Popular Press
Magazines for Women and Girls
Reading Visual Culture
6. Popular Music
The Political Economy of Popular Music
Youth and Pop Music
Subcultures, Ethnography and Structural Homologies
Words and Music: Making Plain Talk Dance
Politics and Pop Music
7. The Consumption of Everyday Life
Theories of Consumption
Subcultural Consumption
Fan Culture
Shopping as Popular Culture`

John Storey is Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of Sunderland in England. He is the author of An Introductory Guide to Cultural Theory and Popular Culture (Georgia, 1993), which won the 1994 Ray and Pat Browne Award of the Popular Culture Association.


An Experiential Approach to Cross-Cultural Education, Second Edition

edited by Theodore Gochenour

Intercultural Press

$17.95, paper, 195 pages


In 1977 the philosophy and educational technique of The Experiment in International Living (World Learning, Inc.) and its academic arm the School for International Training (SIT) were embodied in a book BEYOND EXPERIENCE. Out of print for some years, this seminal work is now being published by Intercultural Press in a second edition.

Divided into three sections (Ideas, Activities, and Assessment), the book provides: a conceptual framework for experiential cross-cultural education, a collection of essays on the practical applications of these ideas along with specific exercises, simulations and other activities, and a guide to assessing the educational impact of the experience.

BEYOND EXPERIENCE explores: how experience reinforces cognitive learning cultural factors in language learning cross-cultural adjustment and personal ethics cultural identity evaluation of experiential cross-cultural learning and other issues. BEYOND EXPERIENCE includes such venerable simulations as: The Albatross The Drop-off The Martian Anthropology Exercise The Owl among other training exercises.

Ted Gochenour is the vice president for International Programs at World Learning. Afghanistan, Uganda. Somalia, Mozambique, Nepal, the Philippines, and the United States have been among the locales for his professional life in educational exchange programs, training, and consulting. He is the author of Considering Filipinos, published in the InterAct series of Intercultural Press.

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