finds out about the deception, she tells him to move out. How does this compare with the tripartite structures of The Philadelphia Story and The Rules of the Game ? I want to suggest it is a more subtle variant on the same theme. Elizabeth too is confronted with a choice between three options, the moral certainty of rigid ideology, the sense

in Cinema, democracy and perfectionism
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Old things with new things to say

fully knowing our objects of study, making it difficult to say with absolute certainty how this thing was made, or what that thing was made from, or for whom it was made, or what it was made for, how it functioned, how it might function now, if at all. By claiming animacy or agency, vibrancy or voice, on behalf of things that, from a commonsensical human perspective, seem so inanimate and inert, so still and silent, we not only gain a new understanding of the things themselves but are forced to rethink the concepts we apply to them. This has implications for further

in Nonhuman voices in Anglo-Saxon literature and material culture
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seventeenth century when Descartes 2 Aesthetics and subjectivity makes the ‘I think’ the main point of certainty upon which philosophy can build, but Descartes still relies upon God to guarantee the connection of ourselves to the order of the universe. Towards the end of the eighteenth century Immanuel Kant aims, in the light of Descartes’s arguments about self-consciousness, to describe the shared structures of our subjective consciousness which are the ‘condition of possibility’ of objective knowledge, and he tries to do so without having recourse to a divinity who

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
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Can historians assist development policy-making, or just highlight its faults?

start, it can only help policy-makers if specialists in analysing long-term trends are enlisted to point out the risks or errors in their assumptions, modify the tendency to isolate single causes (or effects) and emphasise the importance of political, social and cultural contexts. By embracing complexity, historians may be able to foresee possible ranges of outcomes or, with a little more certainty, warn of likely adverse reactions to policies that have chimed negatively with local populations in the past. That is useful, but not constructive. And social scientists

in History, historians and development policy
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Northern Irish fiction after the Troubles

9780719075636_4_016.qxd 16/2/09 9:29 AM Page 272 16 Remembering to forget: Northern Irish fiction after the Troubles Neal Alexander To speak of post-Troubles fiction, or even fiction ‘after’ the Troubles, is perhaps as problematic as it is unavoidable. Nearly a decade since the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, the political accord for which it paved the way remains fraught and uncertain. And if it can be said with at least some certainty that the war is finally over, then it is equally certain that Northern Ireland’s troubles are not. The latest edition of

in Irish literature since 1990

understand that she must now begin a new life and lay to rest the memories of her dead mother and husband, memories which have paralysed her with depression (Un secret sans importance, p. ). Finally, Max suddenly realises that he should shift his focus from his dead wife to the shared living legacy in which they perpetuate themselves, namely, their two children (Cinq photos de ma femme, p. ). The only certainty, it appears, is that death awaits everyone, and so Cyrille, Violette, Max, all Misunderstandings in Desarthe’s novels  individuals, have simply to

in Women’s writing in contemporary France

1 Scepticism in the Renaissance Scepticism has long been acknowledged to be a vital feature of Renaissance thought, and one which has been said to distinguish the period from the Middle Ages. Conventionally, Renaissance scepticism has been seen as part of what puts the ‘modern’ into ‘early modern’: the questioning of old certainties which ultimately helped to usher in the Enlightenment. This view understates the importance of sceptical attitudes within the medieval period; as early as the fifth or sixth century, Pseudo-Dionysius was emphasising the unknowability

in Scepticism and belief in English witchcraft drama, 1538–1681
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Hamlet, adaptation and the work of following

philosophical ‘knowing’, if that ‘knowing’ is construed in the narrower sense of mere objectification.8 In Cavell’s account, the desire for certainty within the modern philosophical tradition is itself exposed as a form of scepticism which barely conceals a rage at the non-identity of the other. So that, within the hermeneutical encounter, it is precisely because scepticism is forced to concede the limits of an experience beyond its grasp that it exposes us to the possibility that we might ‘acknowledge’ the ‘otherness of the human’.9 For Cavell, then, if Shakespeare’s texts

in The new aestheticism
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10 A polemical introduction Nicola McDonald The Middle English romances have been called the ‘ugly ducklings of medieval English studies’.1 In a discipline that contests even the most basic definition of the genre, romance’s low prestige is one of the few critical certainties. Despite its status as medieval England’s most popular secular genre (more than one hundred romances are extant), the origin of the modern novel (still the most significant literary form), the ancestor of almost all contemporary popular fiction (in print and on screen) and the most

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
The sense of an ending in Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone Gods

often on journeys of self-discovery, in which a better understanding of self is the reward for a courageous opening up to new worlds and new experiences, new beings and new ways of being. Throughout the novel, such journeys of openness contrast with attitudes of certainty and even mastery over others. Somewhat perversely, the latter position of closure is associated with the myth of progress, so that progress is construed as not really progress at all but a retrograde process ending in destruction. More perversely still, the novel suggests that such destruction is

in Literature and sustainability