In this debut, Wang offers an entirely new way of conceptualizing economics and social relations. Drawing from a rich historical analysis of ancient Greece, she provides an exposition of ‘Olympianism’—a stunning program of political economy and identity formation that speaks directly to the crises in the 21st century. Olympianism comprises a series of distinct economic patterns which shaped the workings of property, labor, money, and knowledge in ancient Greece, around the time of its first democracy. As a comprehensive model, the Olympian system also sustained a set of particular metaphysical, ontological, and sociological narratives which gave rise to a unique subjectivity that was central to early democratic politics. Through exploring the links among culture, identity, and economics, Before the Market presents a compelling example that highlights the benefits that radical paradigm transformation could bring to societies all around the world.
Ferdinand de Saussure is most famous for his Course in General Linguistics, reconstructed after his death by his students from notes of lectures he had given at the University of Geneva. He only published two books before his death, the Memoir on the Primitive Vowel System in Indo-European Languages, and the book that we publish here for the first time in English translation, On the Use of the Genitive Absolute in Sanskrit. Originally a doctoral thesis in French written while he was a student at the University of Leipzig, On the Use of the Genitive Absolute in Sanskrit was first published in French in 1881. Here, Saussure explores a neglected area in Sanskrit syntax. Already in this work we find an empirical case of the seminal principle of structural linguistics based on use, a principle for which, after his death, he was to become so famous. Editor and translator Ananta Sukla has at last rescued this book from neglect. Apart from translating the text in collaboration with late Patrick Thomas, Sukla provides an extensive introduction that clarifies several points illuminating foundation of modern linguistics in ancient Sanskrit grammars, particularly in principles of use.
In probing Leo Strauss’ interpretation of Nietzsche’s political philosophy, this work shows that Strauss’ Nietzsche is a philosopher who, while committed to the contemplative life, launched a theological-political project aimed at emancipating human beings from ecclesiastical tutelage, while laying the groundwork for planetary justice based on a new understanding of the human predicament in the conditions of late modernity. Pace the dominant interpretations of Nietzsche, it argues that Strauss reads Nietzsche as providing an understanding of the political problem in light of the intention of the philosopher as philosopher.. This work maintains that, properly understood, Strauss’ interpretation of Nietzsche shows how it also depicts the friendship achieved by Socrates and Thrasymachus in The Republic. By putting forward the philosophy of the will to power, Strauss’ Nietzsche advanced the Thrasymachean idea that the philosophers are “commanders and legislators.” This is the meaning of Nietzsche’s “philosophers of the future,” who have the responsibility of the fate of mankind upon their shoulders. The Thrasymachean philosophy as the will to power is Nietzsche’s political action aimed at both emancipating man from ecclesiastical tutelage, and defending the philosophical way of life. In contradistinction, the thought of the “eternal return of the same” points to a conception of philosophy as “contemplative” rather than “legislative.” The contemplative disposition takes its bearings from the acceptance of the world as it is rather than as political actions aimed at transforming it. Thus, in a way, the thought of the eternal return belies the thought of the will to power.