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This book defends morality against the critiques of egoims, subjectivism, and relativism. It argues that we can and should construe some moral standards as objective and that justice and self-development are the cornerstones of healthy morality. Opening with a dialogue meant to tease and provoke the reader, the book's subsequent chapters treat misconceptions about morality, the possibility of unselfish action, the nature of free will and moral responsibility, and the identity of moral right and wrong.
This study is the first to prove conclusively that the Contes were inspired by the literary Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns, and addressed to the members of the French Academy. Drawing upon historical documentation and close textual analysis, it traces the evolution of Perrault's conte moderne and the way in which it was received by his contemporaries. Earlier studies dealing with the Contes' stylistic qualities or the fairy tale genre have been heavily influenced by the Contes' time-honored status as a work of folklore and children's literature; this study, however, examines the work strictly from the perspective of their author and originally intended audience. It is the first to refute the notion that the Contes were written for children, and to prove that the tales' very popularity has distorted our understanding of the original text. The stylistic analysis also identifies Perrault as a gifted moralist, rivalling La Rochefoucauld, La Bruyere, and especially La Fontaine."
How did Modern Architecture come about as a way of thinking? What were the forces that led to its emergence and evolution? From where did the new desires, values and beliefs, the design methods and building types that make up its cognitive system originate? In this book Liane Lefaivre and Alexander Tzonis bring together 140 documents spanning a period from the year 1000 to the end of the eighteenth century. They argue that Modern Architectural thinking was created during this period, a wholly new forma mentis for conceiving buildings, landscapes, and cities. The material includes, in addition to the more predictable texts, key extracts from architectural treatises, handbooks, and textbooks, material from letters, articles from the press of the times, scientific memoirs, maxims, poems, plays, and novels. Their authors are equally varied architects, patrons, politicians, artists, poets, scientists, priests, philosophers, and journalists. Some describe and systematize, some argue and criticize, and a large number are eager to present new findings and new ways to construe and construct the world. Through these diverse records, figures, and voices Lefaivre and Tzonis reconstruct a process of complex and perplexing events, conflicts, experiments, and interactions. They uncover that modernism is by its very nature multiple and identify what they call the cognitive 'co-revolution', a web of parallel revolutionary changes occurring in courts, monasteries, palaces, villas, academies, and workshops. This is the story of the replacement over a period of eight centuries of an 'archaic' design mentality, based on myth and ritual, with today's modern forms of reasoning. Marked with contradictions, Modern Architecture emerges making use of rigorous science but also freewheeling fantasy, driven by the desire for efficiency as well as for luxury and aesthetic delight, for adventure of experiences and for critical reflection, for global universality and for regionalist identity, for totalitarian power and for emancipation of the deprived and the oppressed.

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