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Part I. Identity, Information, and Trade, c. 1500–1850

Nile Green Indiana University Press ePub

Sanjay Subrahmanyam

Huran-i bihishti ra dozakh bud a‘raf,

Az dozakhyan purs ki a‘raf bihisht ast.

To the huris of paradise, purgatory (a‘raf) seems hell.

Ask the denizens of hell; to them purgatory is paradise.

—Sa‘di, Gulistan

Some years ago, an Uzbek soccer coach who had just been employed by a team in India was asked by a Delhi newspaper to comment on the degree of cultural difficulty he expected to face in his new position. The Central Asian sportsman simply shrugged off the question. People tended to forget, he stated confidently, that North India and Central Asia were all pretty much a part of the same continuum. Circulation between the two spheres had gone on for centuries if not millennia, and the mountain ranges that had allegedly been “Indian-killers” (thus, hindu-kush) had in reality barely posed a barrier to the process. Invoking such figures as the Timurid (or Mughal) dynast Zahir al-Din Muhammad Babur in the early sixteenth century, he suggested that there was scarcely any need to speak of difference—except perhaps in minor matters such as language—between his own homeland and Hindustan.1 While the response was no doubt reassuring to our soccer coach’s employers and wards, it was actually not based on a close reading of the Baburnama, Babur’s autobiographical text in Chaghatai Turkish, which is at times quite insistent precisely on the differences between the hot and dusty plains farther south and the cool climes of the Ferghana Valley or even Kabul, where Babur had spent a certain time in exile. The question then naturally arises of the categories that Babur, as well as other writers from the Central Asian and Indian worlds, deployed in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries to speak of spatial difference as well as spatial belonging. And how is one to discern how such changes were experienced in a context of movement?

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Chapter 17

Jesse Lee Kercheval Indiana University Press ePub

Pavel came at 11:30 the next morning. Ilya had just gotten up and was sitting in the living room eating the breakfast that room service sent up, a boiled egg in a brightly painted egg cup, sliced cucumbers, and a pot of strong black tea. Our room, thanks to Pavel, was a large, two-bedroom suite done almost entirely in stiff new red velvet furniture that was a modern imitation of the mahogany that clogged Mosjoukine’s apartment. The Hotel Sputnik, in spite of its name, was trying its best to appear more czarist than Soviet. Ilya was ignoring me, reading or pretending to read the morning paper in Russian. Pavel came pounding in with greetings in French and kisses for me, a crushing hug for my brother. He swept me out of the room with one huge arm around my shoulders. Ilya, he said, he would come back for.

When we were again in his car and vaulting out into traffic, he said, “I’ve checked out this Father Ivan you’re going to see. He’s the talk of Moscow, or so my girlfriend Kisa says. She has a taste for all this monarchist Orthodox bullshit.”

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4 Phenomenology as Rigorous Science

John Llewelyn Indiana University Press ePub

As a student of mathematics at Berlin, Husserl became acquainted with Karl Weierstrass and his project for founding mathematical analysis on the concept of number. Not without finding Weierstrass guilty of a certain naïve empiricism, Husserl himself aimed to further this program in the dissertation On the Concept of Number (1887) which he went on to compose at Halle under the direction of Carl Stumpf, a former student of Brentano, and which became integrated into his Philosophy of Arithmetic (1891).1 In these works Husserl demonstrates that numbers belong to a continuum that presupposes a mental act of collecting. It is not surprising that Frege criticized the Philosophy of Arithmetic for its psychologism. Without fully accepting Frege’s criticism, Husserl henceforth stressed the objectivity of the fundamental concepts of mathematics and logic. The mental act of collecting, for example, was not a subjective operation; it was conducted according to “rigorous laws,” as will be what Husserl will call his “philosophy as rigorous science.” This philosophical science will steer a course between the naïve empiricism he finds in Weierstrass, the naïve Platonism he finds in Bernard Bolzano’s Theory of Science, and the naïve psychologism he finds in Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint and other works of Franz Brentano whose classes he had attended at the University of Vienna.

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Epilogue and Farideh Farhi

Daniel Brumberg Indiana University Press ePub


Daniel Brumberg and Farideh Farhi

WHAT DOES A COLLECTIVE assessment of these chapters tell us about the trajectory of Iran’s politics in the coming decade and beyond? Do they portend continued centralization, or prospects for a reopening of the political and social field? These are not, of course, either/or propositions. Centralization and increased competition can unfold simultaneously, along different tracks and at different paces. Such dissonance would not be unusual for Iran’s diffused semiautocracy, which had for decades managed contending political, social, and even ideological currents. Nevertheless, we sense that 2009 was something of a threshold. What came before cannot be fully duplicated, but it can be revived or recast in ways that will create new political and social dynamics. Although their content, nature, and direction cannot be predicted, these dynamics merit careful consideration.

In undertaking this task, our case studies were largely finished before Hassan Rouhani’s 2013 election, an event that surprised many of our authors as much as anyone. While we must be careful about drawing definitive conclusions regarding the significance of that election, we are confident that it reflected more than momentary circumstances. Even if—as seems likely—hard-liners try to thwart the cautious bid of Rouhani and his allies to reopen the political, cultural, and economic fields, the deeper structural forces that gave rise to these pluralizing efforts will shape Iran’s politics for many years to come, creating a complex interplay between dynamics of sociopolitical opening and contraction.

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Carrion Body Carrion Utterance

Alphonso Lingis Indiana University Press ePub

every discourse among interlocutors is a struggle against outsiders, those who emit interference and equivocation, who have an interest in that the communication not take place. But in the measure that communication does take place and that statements are established as true, it designates outsiders as not making sense, as mystified, mad, or brutish, and it delivers them over to violence.

What can be true is a statement that can be integrated into the common discourse. Statements can be true, and meaningful, only in the discourse of an established community that determines what could count as observations, what degrees of accuracy in recording observations are possible, how the words of common language are restricted and refined for different kinds of cognition and for practical or technological uses, and what could count as an argument. Truth requires a community with institutions that set up and fund exploration, research, and laboratories to gather information and observations according to community standards of accuracy and repeatability; institutions that determine the grammatical and rhetorical forms in which theoretical or technological research is to be reported, and its conclusions formulated; and institutions that establish what counts as argument and what counts as evidence in logic, physics, history, literary criticism or Biblical scholarship, economics, penology, jurisprudence, and military strategy. Truth requires institutions that select researchers, teach them the paradigms of successful research, and train them to repeat and apply that research to batches of other material selected by institutional criteria; it requires institutions that certify and evaluate their researchers and technicians. It requires institutions that select what research is to be published and how it is to be judged. All these institutions recruit and train their members and are funded and controlled by institutions that regulate the command posts by which the established community monopolizes and elaborates its power.

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