PORTRAIT OF A PHILOSOPHER by Lo Rosenfield

PORTRAIT OF A PHILOSOPHER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The late Morris Cohen, one of America's great philosopher-professors, a ""sage, scholar, gadfly, destroyer of myths and animateur"" is here presented by daughter in a brilliant, bulging memorial embracing three realms; the first, the many moods of the man, both intellectual and emotional; the second, an exchange of letters between him and others, mostly names like Einstein, Santayana, Frankfurter, Laski, Holmes, Roscoe and finally a survey of Cohen's youthful diaries, manuscript notes, speeches, unpublished autobiographical data and what-not, all used as introductions to each category or chronological sequence. His was a lonely childhood largely given to daydreams, but-though a Russian immigrant- he subsequently studied with William James at Harvard, became an ""institution"" during 25 years of teaching at City College and influenced- as much as anybody-trends in law and logic through the first half of the 20th century. From his ""feeling in the dumps"" days in the early 1900's to his grand old man debates with John Dewey or the Marxists or semanticists, the Cohen personality, encyclopedic elegance and all-around humanity splendidly shines through a work brimming with devotion, intimacy, insight and depth.

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World