The Institution of Philosophy: A Discipline in Crisis?

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9780812690941: The Institution of Philosophy: A Discipline in Crisis?
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Book jacket: From postmodernist and post-philosophical quarters we now hear that philosophy is at the end of its rope, that modern philosophy is just another modernist product which has outlived its usefulness. Whatever the precise merits of the various postmodernist critiques, they have certainly compelled many philosophers to take notice, and to concede that their enterprise has reached an impasse.

The essays in this volume mark a new stage in the debate. Though divergent in their philosophical -- or post-philosophical -- standpoints, the authors all share the view that philosophy is at a fateful juncture.

Postmodernism, pragmatism, feminism, and historicism are some of the tendencies scrutinized in this wide-ranging symposium on the past, present, and many possible futures of the 'institution of philosophy.'

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People who write philosophy disagree about what it is, what its aim should be, and whether it is viable; and this disagreement leads them to create a new "discipline," metaphilosophy, devoted to stating their views on those themes. When enough disagreement arises within metaphilosophy, presumably it will proliferate into meta-metaphilosophy, and so on ad infinitum . At least philosophers will not become idle; but, to judge by the essays in this book, they will continue to write both good essays and bad. Some of the essays lack enough subtlety, rigor, or insight to be worth much, but others, including those by Casteneda, Putnam, Margolis, and A.O. Rorty, merit careful reading. Philosophers will be stimulated and provoked by the book, but lay readers will continue to be puzzled by what philosophers are up to. For large collections only.
- Robert Hoffman, York Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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