Portraits of American Philosophy

Portraits of American Philosophy

by Steven M. Cahn
     
 

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In Portraits of American Philosophy eight of America’s leading philosophers offer autobiographical narratives, reminding us that the life of a scholar is both a personal struggle and an adventure in ideas. Selected from the prestigious John Dewey Lectures, these reminiscences provide personal perspectives on how a generation of scholars faced barriers built on

Overview

In Portraits of American Philosophy eight of America’s leading philosophers offer autobiographical narratives, reminding us that the life of a scholar is both a personal struggle and an adventure in ideas. Selected from the prestigious John Dewey Lectures, these reminiscences provide personal perspectives on how a generation of scholars faced barriers built on prejudices of religion, race, gender, and sexual orientation, while being affected by the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, and feminism. Also explored are the major themes of post-World War II American philosophy, including the temporary dominance of logical positivism and then ordinary language philosophy; the animus between some supporters of the so-called “analytic” and “Continental “ traditions;
new approaches to a variety of subfields; and a deepened understanding of how the history of philosophy can be enriched through concentration on textual and contextual study. These unique remembrances of people, institutions, and issues not only chart the history of recent American philosophy but also present incisive accounts of the trajectory of American intellectual life as seen through the eyes of some of its most influential thinkers.

Contributions by Nicholas Wolterstorff, J.B. Schneewind, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Ruth Barcan Marcus, Richard J. Bernstein, Harry Frankfurt, Marilyn McCord Adams, and Claudia Card.

Editorial Reviews

Susan Wolf
These Dewey lectures, written by some of the leaders of the field, provide an informative and thought-provoking perspective on the ways philosophy and academia more generally have changed over the last fifty years. Practicing philosophers, and anyone with a historical or sociological curiosity about the discipline of philosophy, will find much of interest here.
Inc. Book News
This text is a collection of select lectures from the American Philosophical Association's John Dewey Lectures. They are chosen for their autobiographical nature and all focus on the orator's career and calling as a philosopher. There is a fairly even split of male and female philosophers from the last half century, the most notable of whom is Harry Frankfurt, known for his work On Bullshit. The philosophers in question are all former or current academics, and many of their reflections focus on going to school and transitioning from student to teacher roles, while conducting research and attending to post-graduate demands. Claudia Card's contribution is interesting for the way it exposes academic philosophers' gender-biases and the social situation of 'doing philosophy' in a university setting. Philosophy appears in every lecture, but more as a dramatic or literary prop than an object of thought.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442223349
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
08/23/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
File size:
816 KB

Meet the Author

Steven M. Cahn is professor of philosophy at The Graduate Center at CUNY and president of the John Dewey Foundation.

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