The Lives of Things

The Lives of Things

Charles E. Scott
Distribution: World
Publication date: 06/10/2002
Format: Paperback 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-21514-7
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A Choice Outstanding Academic Book of 2003

Like Foucault and Levinas before him, though in very different ways, Scott makes an oblique incision into phenomenology... [it is] the kind of book to which people dazed by the specters of nihilism will be referred by those in the know." —David Wood

... refreshing and original." —Edward S. Casey

In The Lives of Things, Charles E. Scott reconsiders our relationships with ordinary, everyday things and our capacity to engage them in their particularity. He takes up the Greek notion of phusis, or physicality, as a way to point out limitations in refined and commonplace views of nature and the body as well as a device to highlight the often overlooked lives of things that people encounter. Scott explores questions of unity, purpose, coherence, universality, and experiences of wonder and astonishment in connection with scientific fact and knowledge. He develops these themes with lightness and wit, ultimately articulating a new interpretation of the appearances of things that are beyond the reach of language and thought.

Author Bio

Charles E. Scott is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy at the Pennsylvania State University. He is author of The Question of Ethics, On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethics in Politics (both published by Indiana University Press), and The Time of Memory.

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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

Part 1. Physicality
1. Facts and Astonishments
2. What's the Matter with "Nature"?
3. Phusis and Its Generations
Part 2. Topics at "Nature's" Edge
4. Physical Memories
5. Starlight in the Face of the Other
6. Physical Weight on the Edge of Appearing
7. Lightness of Mind and Density
8. Feeling, Transmission, Phusis: A Short Genealogy of "Immanence"
9. Psalms, Poems, and Morals With Celestial Indifference
10. The Phusis of Nihil: Sight and Generation of Nihilism