Institute for Human Sciences Vienna Lecture Series
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A hundred years after William James delivered the celebrated lectures that became The Varieties of Religious Experience, one of the foremost thinkers in the English-speaking world returns to the questions posed in James’s masterpiece to clarify the circumstances and conditions of religion in our day.
Recognition, though it figures profoundly in our understanding of objects and persons, identity and ideas, has never before been the subject of a single, sustained philosophical inquiry. This work seeks to develop nothing less than a proper hermeneutics of mutual recognition.
Zygmunt Bauman urges us to think in new ways about a newly flexible, newly challenging modern world. In an era of routine travel, where most people circulate widely, the inherited beliefs that aid our thinking about the world have become an obstacle. He challenges members of the “knowledge class” to overcome their estrangement from the rest of society.
As a logical concept, identity refers to one and the same thing. So how can it describe membership in various groups, as in ethnic and religious identity? Bringing together an analytic conception of identity with a psychosocial understanding, Vincent Descombes demonstrates why a person has more than one answer to the essential question Who am I?