The Felt Meanings of the World: A Metaphysics of Feeling

Overview

In a critical dialogue with the metaphysical tradition from Plato to Hegel to contemporary schools of thought, the author convincingly argues that traditional rationalist metaphysics has failed to accomplish its goal of demonstrating the existence of a divine cause and moral purpose of the world. To replace the defective rationalist metaphysics, the author builds a new metaphysics on the idea that moods and affects make manifest the world's felt meanings; he argues that each feature of the world is a felt meaning...
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Overview

In a critical dialogue with the metaphysical tradition from Plato to Hegel to contemporary schools of thought, the author convincingly argues that traditional rationalist metaphysics has failed to accomplish its goal of demonstrating the existence of a divine cause and moral purpose of the world. To replace the defective rationalist metaphysics, the author builds a new metaphysics on the idea that moods and affects make manifest the world's felt meanings; he argues that each feature of the world is a felt meaning in the sense that each feature is a source of a feeling-response, if and when it appears. The author asserts that we must synthesize our two ways of knowing-poetic evocations and exact analyses-in order to decide which mood or affect is the appropriate appreciation of any given feature of the world. Smith gives evocative and exact explications of such features as the world's temporality, appearance, and mind-independency, as these features appear in the appropriate recitations.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780911198768
  • Publisher: Purdue University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1986
  • Pages: 352

Meet the Author

Quentin Smith is the 2002 honorary member of Phi Betta Kappa (one honorary member is selected each year) He has been the editor of Philo: Journal of the Society for Humanist Philosophers since 2001 and the philosophy editor for Prometheus Books since 2002. He was the only philosopher selected for an award by the American Council of Learned Societies in 1996, and was awarded $20,000. He has been a full professor in the Philosophy Department, Western Michigan University since 1995. He was the Lillian Pierson Lovelace Visiting Professor at Antioch College from 1991 through 1993. He received the 1986 Rockefeller Award for the best philosophical work by an academically unaffiliated philosopher, for the article "Problems with the New Tenseless Theory of Time" the same award in 1984 for the article "The Infinite Regress of Temporal Attributions."
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