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Along the way they immerse themselves in France's rich medieval heritage, finally exploring the magnificent mountain-top ruins of the mysterious and romantic religious sect known as the Cathars, in the country's extreme south. From cheese and charcuterie to landmark hotels to Michelin-starred restaurants; from Aristotle, and Thomas Aquinas to Descartes and Magritte, Rowland blends the adventurous family's travel experiences with an astute and fascinating examination of some of our deepest assumptions about the nature of reality and our relationship to the world.
Rolling along back roads in their trusty rented Peugeot; in crusader castles and feudal dungeons; in bistros and supermarchés; in a borrowed country farmhouse, in a luxurious cave-dwelling in Vouvray, family discussions turn to the world view of medieval Europe, a system of thought and perception radically different from our own. Suspecting that the Enlightenment and Reformation tossed out the baby of moral certainty with the bathwater of hypocrisy and superstition, Rowland argues that modern values, derived from fundamentalist science and rationalism, have reduced human beings to alienated objects-human resources, or worse, human capital.
Reviewers have compared Ockham's Razor to both Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence and Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It is in fact a unique blending of philosophical speculation with an engaging and often humorous travel narrative that is both authentic and highly imaginative. Its head may be in the clouds both literally and figuratively, but its feet are planted firmly in everyday realities of the modern world and its challenges from family dynamics to global meltdown.