Gift and Economy: Ethics, Hospitality and the Market
Editor: Eric R. Severson
Date Of Publication: Jan 2012
Is it possible to really give a gift? This may, at first glance, seem like a peripheral question for philosophy, which normally directs its attention to seemingly bigger questions. The dynamics of the gift move into philosophy from anthropology and sociology, but Jacques Derrida insists that this question belongs at the heart of philosophy. This volume takes up Derrida’s challenge to invest in the question of a gift, and the relationship between gift and economy. The powerful and corruptive forces of economy can wreak havoc on every effort to give or receive a pure gift. Each of the essays investigates some aspect of the gift, and the way economics relate to the sheer hospitality and generosity implied in the idea of giving.
Is there a blessed economy? Must economics always operate in a sinister and exploitive fashion? What can be learned by the philosophical investigations related to this concept? There is something about the event or idea of the gift that cannot be entirely explained by the machinations of economy. In the giving of a gift something happens, if only unpredictably and rarely, that cannot be explained by the calculus that tracks the exchange of money, property, goods, debt and power. This excess that confounds the reduction of the gift to the dynamics of power and exchange is a source of creative fascination for a wide range of philosophers, including the collection of scholars who have contributed to this book.
Eric Severson is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Eastern Nazarene College, Massachusetts, USA, as well as Co-Director of The Center for Responsibility and Justice. He is the author of Scandalous Obligation: Rethinking Christian Responsibility as well as the editor of The Least of These and I More than Others: Responses to Evil and Suffering, also from Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
“Gift and Economy: Ethics, Hospitality and the Market is a timely intervention in what is proving to be a timeless debate in postmodern theory over the dynamics and aporetics of the gift. By re-examining the sources and extending the discussion to the question of the market capitalism in a series of incisive and well-argued studies, it sheds new and needed light on a central issue.”
– John D. Caputo, Watson Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Syracuse University
“There is a momentum that brings the question of the gift back around again and again. Gift and Economy is a volume that attends to this recurring mystery, which remains a truly fruitful question for philosophy and its boundary limit – theology.”
– Richard Kearney, Charles B. Seelig Chair of Philosophy, Boston College
“As the global economy continues to waste the life of the earth, the gift still surprises. So does this fetching collection, which draws the charismatic gift-concept into a lucid, variegated and accessible engagement of Christian priorities.”
– Catherine Keller, Professor of Theology, Drew University, The Theological School; Author of Face of the Deep, and On the Mystery
Price Uk Gbp: 39.99
Price Us Usd: 59.99
Sample pdf (including Table of Contents)