AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY AND THE FUTURE: Essays for a New Generations by Michael--Ed. Novak

AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY AND THE FUTURE: Essays for a New Generations

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Very few American philosophy curricula pay serious attention any more to the so-called Golden Age of American philosophy--the era of Royce and James and G. H. Mead (fortunately exhumed here) and Santayana (who gets somewhat bypassed, as he wasn't really homegrown), and of course John Dewey. The editor begins with criticism of the prevailing linguistic/analytic school; the articles, by lesser-known philosophers, plunge right into unfashionable topics like the inner life, the concept of community, religious experience--as well as classic topics which have continued to permeate Anglo-American professional philosophy; problems of perception, ethics, and, marginally, aesthetics (a fine essay by McDermott). These two strains are best conjoined in the discussions of judgment and the critiques of Dewey, Peirce and James; social man with reflective man, action with inquiry. The book will interest intellectual historians too; it doesn't succeed in convincing the philosopher that any of these thinkers (with the quite possible exception of Peirce) is more than a second-level Parnassian, nor that what Novak might call the Byzantine sterilities of the past forty years represent any progress; but it does make a strong, invigorating case for reading them, and it is a peculiarly attractive book for more general consumption.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Scribners