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Double Vision

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Hamlet tells Horatio that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in his philosophy. In Double Vision, philosopher and literary critic Tzachi Zamir argues that there are more things in Hamlet than are dreamt of--or at least conceded--by most philosophers. Making an original and persuasive case for the philosophical value of literature, Zamir suggests that certain important philosophical insights can be gained only through literature. But such insights cannot be reached if literature is deployed merely as an aesthetic sugaring of a conceptual pill. Philosophical knowledge is not opposed to, but is consonant with, the literariness of literature. By focusing on the experience of reading literature as literature and not philosophy, Zamir sets a theoretical framework for a philosophically oriented literary criticism that will appeal both to philosophers and literary critics. Double Vision is concerned with the philosophical understanding induced by the aesthetic experience of literature. Literary works can function as credible philosophical arguments--not ones in which claims are conclusively demonstrated, but in which claims are made plausible. Such claims, Zamir argues, are embedded within an experiential structure that is itself a crucial dimension of knowing. Developing an account of literature's relation to knowledge, morality, and rhetoric, and advancing philosophical-literary readings of Richard III, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, Hamlet, and King Lear, Zamir shows how his approach can open up familiar texts in surprising and rewarding ways.
Author: Tzachi Zamir
Published by Princeton University Press on 06/24/2012
Book details: 256 pages.

Ethics and the Beast

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Many people think that animal liberation would require a fundamental transformation of basic beliefs. We would have to give up "speciesism" and start viewing animals as our equals, with rights and moral status. And we would have to apply these beliefs in an all-or-nothing way. But in Ethics and the Beast, Tzachi Zamir makes the radical argument that animal liberation doesn't require such radical arguments--and that liberation could be accomplished in a flexible and pragmatic way. By making a case for liberation that is based primarily on common moral intuitions and beliefs, and that therefore could attract wide understanding and support, Zamir attempts to change the terms of the liberation debate. Without defending it, Ethics and the Beast claims that speciesism is fully compatible with liberation. Even if we believe that we should favor humans when there is a pressing human need at stake, Zamir argues, that does not mean that we should allow marginal human interests to trump the life-or-death interests of animals. As minimalist as it sounds, this position generates a robust liberation program, including commitments not to eat animals, subject them to factory farming, or use them in medical research. Zamir also applies his arguments to some questions that tend to be overlooked in the liberation debate, such as whether using animals can be distinguished from exploiting them, whether liberationists should be moral vegetarians or vegans, and whether using animals for therapeutic purposes is morally blameless.
Author: Tzachi Zamir
Published by Princeton University Press on 02/09/2009
Book details: 160 pages.

Acts

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The first philosophical study devoted solely to acting, offering a meditation on the spillover from acting to life
Author: Tzachi Zamir
Published by University of Michigan Press on 06/03/2014
Book details: 278 pages.

Ascent

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Paradise Lost has never received a substantial, book-length reading by a philosopher. This, however should surprise no one, for Milton himself despised philosophers. He associated philosophy with deceit in his theological writings, and made philosophizing into one of the activities of fallen angels in hell. Yet, in this book, philosopher and literary critic Tzachi Zamir argues that Milton's disdain for their vocation should not prevent philosophers from turning an inquisitive eye to Paradise Lost. Because Milton's greatest poem conducts a multilayered examination of puzzles that intrigue philosophers, instead of neatly breaking from philosophy, it maintains a penetrating rapport with it. Paradise Lost sets forth bold claims regarding the meaning of genuine knowledge, or acting meaningfully, or taking in the world fully, or successfully withdrawing from inner deadness. Other topics touched upon by Milton involve some of the most central issues within the philosophy of religion: the relationship between reason and belief, the uniqueness of religious poetry, the meaning of gratitude, and the special role of the imagination in faith. This tension-disparaging philosophy on the one hand, but taking up much of what philosophers hope to understand on the other-turns Milton's poem into an exceptionally potent work for a philosopher of literature. Ascent is a philosophical reading of the poem that attempts to keep audible Milton's anti-philosophy stance. The picture of interdisciplinarity that emerges is, accordingly, neither one of a happy percolation among fields ('philosophy', 'literature'), nor one of rigid boundaries. Overlap and partial agreement clash against contestation and rivalry. It is these conflicting currents which Ascent aims to capture, if not to reconcile.
Author: Tzachi Zamir
Published by Oxford University Press on 12/01/2017
Book details: 216 pages.

Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Does philosophy gain or lose when it is embedded within literature or embodied by drama? Does literary criticism gain or lose when it turns to literary works as occasions for abstract reflection? Leading literary scholars and philosophers interrogate philosophical dimensions of Shakespeare's Hamlet with these urgent questions in view. Scholars probe Hamlet's own insights, assess the significance of philosophy's literary-dramatic framing by this play, and trace the philosophically-relevant underpinnings revealed by historical transformations in Hamlet's reception. They focus on the play's thematizations of subjectivity, knowledge, sex, grief, self-theatricalization. Examining Shakespeare's play from a philosophical standpoint sharpens the questions the play itself so famously poses: What counts as a proper response to injustice upon realizing that whatever one does, there can be no undoing of the initial wrong? What do our commitments to the dead amount to? How to persist in infusing significance into action while grasping the degradation of death and our own replaceability? Scholars at the forefront of their fields tackle these and other questions from a wide range of viewpoints, illuminating the central concerns of one of Shakespeare's masterpieces.
Author: Tzachi Zamir
Published by Oxford University Press on 01/02/2018
Book details: 296 pages.

Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography

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What happens when art and pornography meet? By providing a plurality of disciplinary approaches and theoretical perspectives this essay collection will give the reader a fuller and deeper understanding of the commonalities and frictions between artistic and pornographic representations.
Author: H. Maes
Published by Springer on 11/19/2013
Book details: 318 pages.

On Being Awesome

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In this lively treatise, pro-skater-turned-philosopher Nick Riggle presents a theory of awesomeness (and its opposite, suckiness) that’s both sharply illuminating and more timely than ever “Nick Riggle’s fun book is ‘awesome’ by its own definition. But don’t miss its profound ambition, which is to show how philosophy unearths the structure of ordinary language, defines the meaning of life in routine business, and poses the question of how best to live.” —Aaron James, author of Assholes: A Theory We all know people who are awesome and people who suck, but what do we really mean by these terms? Have you ever been chill or game? Do you rock or rule? If so, then you’re tapped into the ethics of awesomeness. Awesome people excel at creating social openings that encourage expressions of individuality and create community. And if you’re a cheapskate, self-promoter, killjoy, or douchebag, you’re the type of person who shuts social openings down. Put more simply: You suck. From street art to folk singers, Proust to the great etiquette writer Emily Post, President Obama to former Los Angeles Dodger Glenn Burke, Riggle draws on pop culture, politics, history, and sports to explore the origins of awesome, and delves into the nuances of what it means to suck and why it’s so important to strive for awesomeness. An accessible and entertaining lens for navigating the ethics of our time, On Being Awesome provides a new and inspiring framework for understanding ourselves and creating meaningful connections in our everyday lives.
Author: Nick Riggle
Published by Penguin on 09/19/2017
Book details: 224 pages.

The Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics

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Edited by Tom L. Beauchamp and R.G. Frey.
Published by Oxford University Press on 11/17/2011
Book details: 982 pages.

The Routledge Companion to Shakespeare and Philosophy

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Iago’s ‘I am not what I am’ epitomises how Shakespeare’s work is rich in philosophy, from issues of deception and moral deviance to those concerning the complex nature of the self, the notions of being and identity, and the possibility or impossibility of self-knowledge and knowledge of others. Shakespeare’s plays and poems address subjects including ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and social and political philosophy. They also raise major philosophical questions about the nature of theatre, literature, tragedy, representation and fiction. The Routledge Companion to Shakespeare and Philosophy is the first major guide and reference source to Shakespeare and philosophy. It examines the following important topics: What roles can be played in an approach to Shakespeare by drawing on philosophical frameworks and the work of philosophers? What can philosophical theories of meaning and communication show about the dynamics of Shakespearean interactions and vice versa? How are notions such as political and social obligation, justice, equality, love, agency and the ethics of interpersonal relationships demonstrated in Shakespeare’s works? What do the plays and poems invite us to say about the nature of knowledge, belief, doubt, deception and epistemic responsibility? How can the ways in which Shakespeare’s characters behave illuminate existential issues concerning meaning, absurdity, death and nothingness? What might Shakespeare’s characters and their actions show about the nature of the self, the mind and the identity of individuals? How can Shakespeare’s works inform philosophical approaches to notions such as beauty, humour, horror and tragedy? How do Shakespeare’s works illuminate philosophical questions about the nature of fiction, the attitudes and expectations involved in engagement with theatre, and the role of acting and actors in creating representations? The Routledge Companion to Shakespeare and Philosophy is essential reading for students and researchers in aesthetics, philosophy of literature and philosophy of theatre, as well as those exploring Shakespeare in disciplines such as literature and theatre and drama studies. It is also relevant reading for those in areas of philosophy such as ethics, epistemology and philosophy of language.
Published by Routledge on 10/25/2018
Book details: 612 pages.

Shakespeare Studies

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Shakespeare Studies is an international volume published every year in hard cover that contains essays and studies by critics and cultural historians from both hemispheres. Although the journal maintains a focus on the theatrical milieu of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, it is also concerned with Britain's intellectual and cultural connections to the continent, its sociopolitical history, and its place in the emerging globalism of the period. In addition to articles, the journal includes substantial reviews of significant publications dealing with these issues, as well as theoretical studies relevant to scholars of early modem culture. Volume XXXVI features another in the journal's ongoing series of Forums, in which scholars exchange views on an issue of importance to early modern studies. Organized and introduced by Patrick Cheney, the Forum is entitled "The Return of the Author" and includes commentary by ten contributors considering the issue of authorship in a postmodern milieu. Volume XXXVI also features essays on Shakespeare's Hamlet, Henry V, and Richard II and an essay on Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, as well as fourteen reviews by scholars on such wide-ranging topics as early modern cultural capitals, the Jamestown project, shaping sound in Renaissance England, the places of London comedy, Shakespeare's Shylock, and the connections between animals, rationality, and humanity in Shakespeare's time. Susan Zimmerman is Professor of English at Queens College, CUNY. Garrett Sullivan is Associate Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University.
Published by Associated University Presse on 09/01/2008
Book details: 321 pages.
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