Letter from the Philosophy Editor:
It is with great pleasure that I present the Columbia University Press philosophy catalog for 2020. These books, which span subjects from aesthetics to ethics; critical life, environmental, and animal studies; Asian studies; philosophy of religion; and feminist, queer, critical, and political theory, reflect the interdisciplinary and global approach of our list and exemplify the quality of scholarship that we value.
Among the many outstanding titles in this year’s wide-ranging catalog, several deserve special notice. We are proud to present Wendy Brown’s In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West, which argues convincingly that apocalyptic populism, right-wing nationalism, and white male supremacy were no part of the neoliberal vision but rather unintended nihilistic side effects that may spell the end of democracy and with it the end of the world as we know it. Beef, Brahmins, and Broken Men is an annotated critical selection from the classic work on caste, The Untouchables, by B. R. Ambedkar. A Time for Critique, edited by Didier Fassin and Bernard Harcourt, reinvents critical thinking for a pluralistic world. And Nature and Value, edited by Akeel Bilgrami, is an interdisciplinary tour de force that asks, what are the implications if we ascribe value to the concept of nature?
Other innovative projects include titles in the area of environmental humanities, Islamic philosophy, philosophy of mind, and film and media theory. The Wake of Crows: Living and Dying in Shared Worlds, by Thom van Dooren examines five sites where crows and humans cohabit contested spaces and investigates the possibility of a multispecies ethics. Gendered Morality: Classical Islamic Ethics of the Self, Family, and Society by Zahra Ayubi reveals hidden resources for gender equality within the tradition’s hierarchical male cosmology. Morphing Intelligence: From IQ Measurement to Artificial Brains, by Catherine Malabou analyzes the porous border between mind and machine. And Videophilosophy: The Perception of Time in Post-Fordism, by Maurizio Lazzarato argues that digital technologies mark the transition to an unprecedented commodification of the self.
More exciting books to consider: Fear of Breakdown: Politics and Psychoanalysis, by Noëlle McAfee explains the psychological underpinnings of intractable contemporary politics and how democratic practices can help in their resolution. The Perils of the One, by Stathis Gourgouris offers a philosophical anthropology of our desire to subject ourselves to a sovereign or a deity. After Eunuchs: Science, Medicine, and the Transformation of Sex in Modern China, by Howard Chiang traces the influence of transsexuality on Chinese conceptions of sex. I am sure that you will find much to enjoy and ponder in these pages. I, and my colleagues at Columbia University Press, look forward to continuing our dialogue.