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Politics and numbers | The Enlightened Economist
I’m thoroughly enjoying William Deringer’s Calculated Values: Finance, Politics and the Quantitative Age – almost finished. The book asks, why from the early…
reviews  17thC  18thC  19thC  economic_history  economic_culture  economic_models  statistics  rhetoric-political  political_press  parties  partisanship  books  review  kindle-available  from instapaper
march 2018 by dunnettreader
Simonton, M.: Classical Greek Oligarchy: A Political History. (2017 Princeton UP)
Classical Greek Oligarchy thoroughly reassesses an important but neglected form of ancient Greek government, the "rule of the few." Matthew Simonton challenges scholarly orthodoxy by showing that oligarchy was not the default mode of politics from time immemorial, but instead emerged alongside, and in reaction to, democracy. He establishes for the first time how oligarchies maintained power in the face of potential citizen resistance. The book argues that oligarchs designed distinctive political institutions—such as intra-oligarchic power sharing, targeted repression, and rewards for informants—to prevent collective action among the majority population while sustaining cooperation within their own ranks. - excerpt added to Evernote
institutional_change  political_history  democracy  power-asymmetric  representative_institutions  oligarchy  authoritarian  political_culture  books  kindle-available  ancient_Greece  ancient_history 
august 2017 by dunnettreader
Amie L. Thomasson, Ontology Made Easy - Reviewed by Matti Eklund | NDOR - March 2017
Amie L. Thomasson, Ontology Made Easy, Oxford University Press, 2015, 345pp., $53.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199385119.
Reviewed by Matti Eklund, Uppsala University
Carnap  analytical_philosophy  metaphysics  reviews  ontology  epistemology  kindle-available  books 
march 2017 by dunnettreader
Emily Nacol - An Age of Risk: Politics and Economy in Early Modern Britain (2016) | Princeton University Press (eBook and Hardcover)
In An Age of Risk, Emily Nacol shows that risk, now treated as a permanent feature of our lives, did not always govern understandings of the future. Focusing on the epistemological, political, and economic writings of Hobbes, Locke, Hume, and Adam Smith, Nacol explains that in 17th-18thC Britain, political and economic thinkers reimagined the future as a terrain of risk, characterized by probabilistic calculation, prediction, and control. Nacol contends, we see 3 crucial developments in thought on risk and politics. While thinkers differentiated uncertainty about the future from probabilistic calculations of risk, they remained attentive to the ways uncertainty and risk remained in a conceptual tangle, a problem that constrained good decision making. They developed sophisticated theories of trust and credit as crucial background conditions for prudent risk-taking, and offered complex depictions of the relationships and behaviors that would make risk-taking more palatable. They also developed 2 narratives that persist in subsequent accounts of risk—risk as a threat to security, and risk as an opportunity for profit. Nacol locates the origins of our own ambivalence about risk-taking. By the end of the 18thC, a new type of political actor would emerge from this ambivalence, one who approached risk with fear rather than hope. -- Emily C. Nacol is assistant professor of political science at Vanderbilt University.
Chapter 1 Introduction 1
Chapter 2 “Experience Concludeth Nothing Universally” - Hobbes and the Groundwork for a Political Theory of Risk 9
Chapter 3 The Risks of Political Authority - Trust, Knowledge, and Political Agency in Locke’s Politics and Economy 41
Chapter 4 Hume’s Fine Balance - On Probability, Fear, and the Risks of Trade 69
Chapter 5 Adventurous Spirits and Clamoring Sophists - Smith on the Problem of Risk in Political Economy 98
Chapter 6 An Age of Risk, a Liberalism of Anxiety 124
Notes 131 -- References 157 -- Index 167
Downloaded Chapter 1 to Tab S2
books  kindle-available  downloaded  intellectual_history  17thC  18thC  British_history  Hobbes  Locke  Locke-Essay  Locke-2_Treatises  Hume  Hume-causation  Hume-politics  Smith  political_economy  trade  commerce  commercial_interest  epistemology  epistemology-history  probability  risk  risk_assessment  uncertainty  insurance  risk_shifting  political_discourse  economic_culture 
september 2016 by dunnettreader
David Chan Smith -Sir Edward Coke and the Reformation of the Laws: Religion, Politics and Jurisprudence, 1578–1616 (2014) | Cambridge University Press
Throughout his early career, Sir Edward Coke joined many of his contemporaries in his concern about the uncertainty of the common law. Coke attributed this uncertainty to the ignorance and entrepreneurship of practitioners, litigants, and other users of legal power whose actions eroded confidence in the law. Working to limit their behaviours, Coke also simultaneously sought to strengthen royal authority and the Reformation settlement. Yet the tensions in his thought led him into conflict with James I, who had accepted many of the criticisms of the common law. Sir Edward Coke and the Reformation of the Laws reframes the origins of Coke's legal thought within the context of law reform and provides a new interpretation of his early career, the development of his legal thought, and the path from royalism to opposition in the turbulent decades leading up to the English civil wars.
-- Offers a new perspective on early seventeenth-century legal thought which will appeal to those interested in the evolution of Anglo-Atlantic constitutional thought
-- Revises the traditional view of a major thinker who is often cited and discussed in both scholarly literature and contemporary judicial decisions
-- Illustrates the importance of confidence in legal and political institutions during a period of contemporary debate about public institutions
Intro not in kindle sample - downloaded excerpt via Air
books  downloaded  kindle-available  legal_history  political_history  British_history  16thC  17thC  judiciary  litigation  legal_system  legal_culture  Coke_Sir_Edward  common_law  church_courts  James_I  royal_authority  prerogative  reform-legal  jurisdiction  institutional_change 
september 2016 by dunnettreader
Donald Kelley & David Hams Sacks, eds - The Historical Imagination in Early Modern Britain: History, Rhetoric & Fiction 1500-1800 (1997) | Cambridge University Press
These essays by some of the most distinguished historians and literary scholars in the English-speaking world explore the overlap, interplay, and interaction between supposedly truthful history and fact-based fiction in British writing from the Tudor period to the Enlightenment. -- downloaded intro via Air
1. Introduction Donald Kelley and David Harris Sacks
2. Example and truth: Deggory Wheare and the ars historica J. H. M. Salmon
3. Truth, lies and fiction in sixteenth-century Protestant historiography Patrick Collinson
4. Thomas More and the English Renaissance: history and fiction in Utopia Joseph Levine
5. Ancestral and antiquarian: Little Crosby and early modern historical culture Daniel Woolf
6. Murder in Faversham: Holinshed's impertinent history Richard Helgerson
7. Foul, his Wife, the Mayor, and Foul's Mare: anecdote in Tudor historiography Annabel Patterson
8. Thomas Hobbes' Machiavellian moments David Wooton
9. The background of Hobbes' Behemoth Fritz Levy
10. Leviathan, mythic history, and natural historiography Patricia Springborg
11. Adam Smith and the history of private life Mark Phillips
12. Protesting fiction, constructing history Paul Hunter
13. Contemplative heroes and Gibbon's historical imagination Patricia Craddock
14. Experience, truth, and natural history in early English gardening books Rebecca Bushnell.
books  downloaded  kindle-available  historiography  historiography-17thC  historiography-18thC  rhetoric-writing  belle-lettres  literary_history  fiction  epistemology-history  exemplarity  moral_philosophy  Hobbes  Machiavelli  Smith  Gibbon  Cicero  Foxe-Book_of_Martyrs  English_lit 
september 2016 by dunnettreader
Nausicaa Renner reviews Justin Smith's "The Philosopher" - The Gadfly and the Spider | The Nation - August 2016
Justin E.H. Smith wants to convince academic philosophers that it’s a problem to define philosophy narrowly as a Western endeavor.
The Philosopher: A History in Six Types, by Justin E.H. Smith$Princeton. 272 pp. $27.95.
AND The Stone Reader: Modern Philosophy in 133 Arguments
By Peter Catapano and Simon Critchley, eds.
Liveright. 794 pp. $39.95.
Instapaper  books  kindle-available  reviews  intellectual_history  philosophy  from instapaper
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Philip Ball, The Water Kingdom: A Secret History of China – review - The Guardian - August 2016
Tourists watch floodwaters gushing out of the Xiaolangdi dam during a sand-washing operation of the Yellow river in Jiyuan, China, 2010.Photograph: Miao… Useless review the only thing mentioned is "thorough" - since the reviewer was only interested in China's history of millenia dominated by water politics, one assumes that if Ball had made a hash of it, the faults would have been mentioned - and since Ball is an excellent writer of non-fiction, the assumption is the book must be pretty good
Instapaper  books  kindle-available  Chinese_history  16thC  17thC  18thC  19thC  20thC  21stC  Confucianism  Daoism  Asian_philosophy  China-governance  political_culture  political_economy  ancient_history  Chinese_politics  China  water  infrastructure  agriculture  economic_sociology  economic_history  social_order  hierarchy  institutions  institutional_capacity  transport  rivers  environment  pollution  industrialization  from instapaper
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Peter S. Wells - How Ancient Europeans Saw the World: Vision, Patterns, and the Shaping of the Mind in Prehistoric Times. (eBook, Paperback 2015 and Hardcover 2012) - Princeton University Press
The peoples who inhabited Europe during the two millennia before the Roman conquests had established urban centers, large-scale production of goods such as pottery and iron tools, a money economy, and elaborate rituals and ceremonies. Yet as Peter Wells argues here, the visual world of these late prehistoric communities was profoundly different from those of ancient Rome's literate civilization and today's industrialized societies. Drawing on startling new research in neuroscience and cognitive psychology, Wells reconstructs how the peoples of pre-Roman Europe saw the world and their place in it. He sheds new light on how they communicated their thoughts, feelings, and visual perceptions through the everyday tools they shaped, the pottery and metal ornaments they decorated, and the arrangements of objects they made in their ritual places--and how these forms and patterns in turn shaped their experience.

How Ancient Europeans Saw the World offers a completely new approach to the study of Bronze Age and Iron Age Europe, and represents a major challenge to existing views about prehistoric cultures. The book demonstrates why we cannot interpret the structures that Europe's pre-Roman inhabitants built in the landscape, the ways they arranged their settlements and burial sites, or the complex patterning of their art on the basis of what these things look like to us. Rather, we must view these objects and visual patterns as they were meant to be seen by the ancient peoples who fashioned them.

Peter S. Wells is professor of anthropology at the University of Minnesota. His many books include Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered and The Barbarians Speak: How the Conquered Peoples Shaped Roman Europe (Princeton).

This is a most important book. Wells argues that after 200 BC Eurasia moved generally toward the mass production and consumption of artifacts and that this changed people's relationships with the world, in turn altering the nature of experience. How Ancient Europeans Saw the World is thought-provoking and provocative."--Chris Gosden, author of Prehistory: A Very Short Introduction -- Chapter 1 downloaded to Tab S2
books  kindle-available  downloaded  Bronze_Age  prehistoric  ancient_Rome  barbarians  material_culture  mass-produced_articles  archaeology  art_history  visual_culture  cultural_change  burial_practices  decorative_arts 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Judith Herrin - Unrivalled Influence: Women and Empire in Byzantium. (eBook, Paperback 2015 and Hardcover 2013)
2nd volume of 2 collecting her work across her career - Unrivalled Influence explores the exceptional roles that women played in the vibrant cultural and political life of medieval Byzantium. Written by one of the world's foremost historians of the Byzantine millennium, this landmark book evokes the complex and exotic world of Byzantium's women, from empresses and saints to uneducated rural widows. Drawing on a diverse range of sources, Herrin sheds light on the importance of marriage in imperial statecraft, the tense coexistence of empresses in the imperial court, and the critical relationships of mothers and daughters. She looks at women's interactions with eunuchs, the in-between gender in Byzantine society, and shows how women defended their rights to hold land. Herrin describes how they controlled their inheritances, participated in urban crowds demanding the dismissal of corrupt officials, followed the processions of holy icons and relics, and marked religious feasts with liturgical celebrations, market activity, and holiday pleasures. The vivid portraits that emerge here reveal how women exerted an unrivalled influence on the patriarchal society of Byzantium, and remained active participants in the many changes that occurred throughout the empire's millennial history. Unrivalled Influence brings together Herrin's finest essays on women and gender written throughout the long span of her esteemed career. This volume includes three new essays published here for the very first time and a new general introduction - Herrin. She also provides a concise introduction to each essay that describes how it came to be written and how it fits into her broader views about women and Byzantium. -- Intro downloaded to Tab S2
books  kindle-available  downloaded  Byzantium  Roman_Empire  medieval_history  elite_culture  religious_history  religious_culture  women-intellectuals  women-in-politics  empires-governance  property_rights  women-property  court_culture  eunuchs  inheritance  gender_history  gender-and-religion  marriage  diplomatic_history  elites-political_influence  political_culture  popular_culture  popular_politics  ritual  Early_Christian  church_history  religious_imagery  religious_practices  religious_art  women-education  education-women  education-elites  Orthodox_Christianity  women-rulers 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Judith Herrin - Margins and Metropolis: Authority across the Byzantine Empire. (eBook, Paperback and Hardcover 2016) - Princeton University Press
1st volume of 2 covering her 40 year career - This volume explores the political, cultural, and ecclesiastical forces that linked the metropolis of Byzantium to the margins of its far-flung empire. Focusing on the provincial region of Hellas and Peloponnesos in central and southern Greece, Judith Herrin shows how the prestige of Constantinople was reflected in the military, civilian, and ecclesiastical officials sent out to govern the provinces. She evokes the ideology and culture of the center by examining different aspects of the imperial court, including diplomacy, ceremony, intellectual life, and relations with the church. Particular topics treat the transmission of mathematical manuscripts, the burning of offensive material, and the church's role in distributing philanthropy.

Herrin contrasts life in the capital with provincial life, tracing the adaptation of a largely rural population to rule by Constantinople from the early medieval period onward. The letters of Michael Choniates, archbishop of Athens from 1182 to 1205, offer a detailed account of how this highly educated cleric coped with life in an imperial backwater, and demonstrate a synthesis of ancient Greek culture and medieval Christianity that was characteristic of the Byzantine elite.

This collection of essays spans the entirety of Herrin's influential career and draws together a significant body of scholarship on problems of empire. It features a general introduction, two previously unpublished essays, and a concise introduction to each essay that describes how it came to be written and how it fits into her broader analysis of the unusual brilliance and longevity of Byzantium.

Judith Herrin is the Constantine Leventis Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Hellenic Studies at King’s College London. She is the author of Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire, Women in Purple: Rulers of Medieval Byzantium, and The Formation of Christendom (all Princeton). -- downloaded Introduction to Tab S2
books  kindle-available  downloaded  Byzantium  medieval_history  empires  political_history  politics-and-religion  political_culture  empires-governance  Islam  Islamic_civilization  ancient_Greece  Christianity  Christendom  elite_culture  urban_elites  rural  center-periphery  Orthodox_Christianity  Roman_Catholicism  religious_history  religious_culture  religion-established  manuscripts  iconoclasm  philanthropy  intelligentsia  church_history  theology  Islam-expansion  Christianity-Islam_conflict 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Dewatripont, M. and Rochet, J., Tirole, J. - Balancing the Banks: Global Lessons from the Financial Crisis (orig 2010) - Princeton University Press
The financial crisis that began in 2007 in the United States swept the world, producing substantial bank failures and forcing unprecedented state aid for the crippled global financial system. Bringing together three leading financial economists to provide an international perspective, Balancing the Banks draws critical lessons from the causes of the crisis and proposes important regulatory reforms, including sound guidelines for the ways in which distressed banks might be dealt with in the future.

While some recent policy moves go in the right direction, others, the book argues, are not sufficient to prevent another crisis. The authors show the necessity of an adaptive prudential regulatory system that can better address financial innovation. Stressing the numerous and complex challenges faced by politicians, finance professionals, and regulators, and calling for reinforced international coordination (for example, in the treatment of distressed banks), the authors put forth a number of principles to deal with issues regarding the economic incentives of financial institutions, the impact of economic shocks, and the role of political constraints.

Offering a global perspective, Balancing the Banks should be read by anyone concerned with solving the current crisis and preventing another such calamity in the future.
Downloaded Chapters 1 & 2 to Tab S2
books  kindle-available  downloaded  financial_system  financial_regulation  financial_crisis  banking  bank_runs  shadow_banking  capital_markets  capital_flows  capital_adequacy  liquidity  risk_management  incentives-distortions  incentives  international_finance  global_governance  regulatory_arbitrage  regulatory_avoidance  regulation-costs  regulation-enforcement  regulation-harmonization  regulation 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Jean Tirole - Financial Crises, Liquidity, and the International Monetary System (eBook, Paperback 2016 and Hardcover 2002) - Princeton University Press
Written post Asia crisis but eternally applicable - he was focusing on capital flows when it still was heterodoxy -- Once upon a time, economists saw capital account liberalization--the free and unrestricted flow of capital in and out of countries--as unambiguously good. Good for debtor states, good for the world economy. No longer. Spectacular banking and currency crises in recent decades have shattered the consensus. In this remarkably clear and pithy volume, one of Europe's leading economists examines these crises, the reforms being undertaken to prevent them, and how global financial institutions might be restructured to this end. Jean Tirole first analyzes the current views on the crises and on the reform of the international financial architecture. Reform proposals often treat the symptoms rather than the fundamentals, he argues, and sometimes fail to reconcile the objectives of setting effective financing conditions while ensuring that a country "owns" its reform program. A proper identification of market failures is essential to reformulating the mission of an institution such as the IMF, he emphasizes. Next he adapts the basic principles of corporate governance, liquidity provision, and risk management of corporations to the particulars of country borrowing. Building on a "dual- and common-agency perspective," he revisits commonly advocated policies and considers how multilateral organizations can help debtor countries reap enhanced benefits while liberalizing their capital accounts.

Based on the Paolo Baffi Lecture the author delivered at the Bank of Italy, this refreshingly accessible book is teeming with rich insights that researchers, policymakers, and students at all levels will find indispensable. -- downloaded excerpt to Tab S2
books  kindle-available  downloaded  financial_system  financial_regulation  financial_crisis  banking  capital_adequacy  contagion  sovereign_debt  international_monetary_system  international_finance  international_political_economy  IMF  emerging_markets  globalization  global_governance  global_system 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
Richard McCarty, review - Kenneth Westphal, Hume and Kant Reconstruct Natural Law: Justifying Strict Objectivity without Debating Moral Realism (2016) | Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, July 2016
Published: July 20, 2016

Kenneth R. Westphal, How Hume and Kant Reconstruct Natural Law: Justifying Strict Objectivity without Debating Moral Realism, Oxford University Press, 2016, 252pp., $65.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198747055. - Reviewed by Richard McCarty, East Carolina University - gives high marks for way he approaches history of philosophy and current relevance, though thinks he's unfair to Hume and very untidy in how he applies his version of Kant - comment about re Pufendorf as predecessor to Hume's approach is useful - see quote and cite
books  kindle-available  intellectual_history  17thC  18thC  moral_philosophy  natural_law  morality-objective  morality-conventional  moral_sentiments  morality-divine_command  obligation  constructivism  contractualism  Hume-ethics  Kant-ethics 
july 2016 by dunnettreader
Akeel Bilgrami, ed. - Beyond the Secular West (2016) | Columbia University Press
What is the character of secularism in countries that were not pervaded by Christianity, such as China, India, and the nations of the Middle East? To what extent is the secular an imposition of colonial rule? How does secularism comport with local religious cultures in Africa, and how does it work with local forms of power and governance in Latin America? Has modern secularism evolved organically, or is it even necessary, and has it always meant progress? A vital extension of Charles Taylor's A Secular Age, in which he exhaustively chronicled the emergence of secularism in Latin Christendom, this anthology applies Taylor's findings to secularism's global migration. (...) What began as a modern reaction to—as well as a stubborn extension of—Latin Christendom has become a complex export shaped by the world's religious and political systems. Brilliantly alternating between intellectual and methodological approaches, this volume fosters a greater engagement with the phenomenon across disciplines.
Preface, by Akeel Bilgrami
1. Can Secularism Travel?, by Charles Taylor
2. The Sufi and the State, by Souleymane Bachir Diagne
3. The Individual and Collective Self-Liberation Model of Ustadh Mahmoud Mohamed Taha, by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im
4. Creating Democratically Friendly Twin Tolerations Outside of Latin Christendom: Tunisia, by Alfred Stepan
5. Secularism and the Mexican Revolution, by Claudio Lomnitz
6. Is Confucianism Secular?, by Peter van der Veer
7. Disenchantment Deferred, by Sudipta Kaviraj
8. An Ancient Indian Secular Age?, by Rajeev Bhargava
9. Gandhi's Radicalism: An Interpretation, by Akeel Bilgrami
10. A Secular Age Outside Latin Christendom: Charles Taylor Responds
books  kindle-available  secularization  modernity  modernization  Islam  tolerance  liberalism  decolonization  secularism  universalism  MENA  Tunisia  Mexico  India  ancient_India  Gandhi  Sufis  Confucianism  connected_history  Taylor_Charles  Christianity  Christendom 
july 2016 by dunnettreader
(107) NOW Published: How Hume
How Hume and Kant Reconstruct Natural Law: Justifying Strict Objectivity  without Debating Moral Realism, Clarendon Press (2016)
Front matter including both overview TOC and very detailed TOC plus introductory chapter -- He explains in the intro how both Hume and Kant (via Rousseau) pursued "moral constructivist" approaches using a (modified) "natural law" framework - after Hume had successfully attacked weaknesses in traditional approach to natural law. Notes that "justice" traditionally one of the 2 branches of moral philosophy (the other ethics). He's especially concerned with failure of "business ethics " as cause of financial crisis and Great Recession - but "business ethics" meaningless without a framework of "Justice." His target audience includes lawyers and legal/jurisprudence students and scholars - he thinks legal positivism and legal realism has run out of steam. He returns to accountancy standards in final chapter. -- pdf is the same material as kindle sample -- downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
books  legal_system  constructivism  morality-objective  justice  legal_theory  norms  accountability  legal_realism  18thC  norms-business  downloaded  moral_sentiments  moral_economy  jurisprudence  morality-conventional  legal_positivism  accounting  moral_realism  moral_psychology  Hume  kindle-available  natural_law  moral_philosophy  morality  Kant 
july 2016 by dunnettreader

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