Selected Writings of Richard McKeon: Philosophy, Science, and Culture

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Richard McKeon enjoys an enviable reputation as an erudite historian of ideas and exegete of philosophic texts. However, the originality and scope of his achievement as a systematic philosopher are less widely known. In this ambitious three-volume edition, of which Philosophy, Science, and Culture is the first, a selection of McKeon's writings will be collected to showcase his distinctive approach to the analysis of discourse. Volume I covers philosophic theory through his writings on first philosophy (metaphysics) and the methods and principles of the sciences, Volume II examines philosophic arts through his writings on aesthetics and forms of discourse as a whole, and Volume III looks at philosophic practice through his writings on world community and the relations of cultures.

Philosophy, Science, and Culture covers topics that range from philosophic semantics to the processes of the sciences to the forms of human rights. This collection makes McKeon's mission as a philosopher unmistakable. He characterized himself as a philosophic pluralist; he was an American philosopher in the tradition of the pragmatists, one whose philosophy subtly resonates with C. S. Peirce and John Dewey. McKeon also explored the themes of deconstructionism and other late-twentieth-century philosophies decades before their popular emergence—but, in generating a matrix of possibilities for productive debate, he avoided both relativism and the entrapments of dogmatism.

An important collection of his writings, this series will establish Richard McKeon as one of the foremost philosophers of the twentieth century.

Richard McKeon (1900-1985) taught philosophy at the University of Chicago from 1935 to 1973, and at the time of his death had published eleven books and 158 articles on an extraordinary array of topics and cultures. Among his many national and international distinctions, he was awarded the highest honor of the American Philosophical Association when he was invited to give the Paul Carus Lectures in New York in 1965.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
McKeon will eventually be regarded as one of the giants of 20th-century American philosophy. A pioneering theorist of the history of philosophy and its relations with science, he brought medieval philosophy to life and left a strong mark on the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. The 22 essays in this volume display him at his best. Six deal with the theory of the history of philosophy; seven with the history of science; five with value theory, human rights, and democracy; and the rest with questions in metaphysics and particular issues in the history of philosophy. They are tied to McKeon's conviction that philosophy is a reflective discipline that deals with the basic organizing idea of our lives and therefore interacts with all other human concernssometimes to guide them and sometimes in reaction to the problems they pose. This book should be in all academic libraries, in large public libraries, and wherever there are librarians with the time to guide readers to an important and readable book they might otherwise ignore.Leslie Armour, Univ. of Ottawa, Canada
This first of three volumes showcases the former University of Chicago professor's essays on philosophic problems of culture, science, and humanism. McKeon was an American philosopher in the tradition of the pragmatists. He explored themes of deconstructionism and other late 20th-century philosophies decades before their popular emergence, while avoiding both relativism and the entrapments of dogmatism. Subjects include philosophic semantics, human rights, and Aristotle's views on science. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226560366
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 522
  • Product dimensions: 6.41 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 1.36 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword, by WIlliam G. Swenson
General Introduction, by Zahava K. McKeon
1. Philosophy as a Humanism
2. A Philosopher Meditates on Discovery
3. Scientific and Philosophic Revolutions
4. Process and Function
5. Philosophy and Theology, History and Science in the Thought of Bonaventura and Thomas Aquinas
6. Rhetoric and Poetic in the Philosophy of Artistotle
7. Philosophy and the Development of Scientific Methods
8. Philosophy and Method
9. Philosophic Semantics and Philosophic Inquiry
10. Expereince and Metaphysics
11. The Flight from Certainty and the Quest for Precision
12. Being, Existence, and That Which Is
13. Aristotle's Conception of the Development and the Nature of Scientific Method
14. Aristotle and the Origins of Science in the West
15. The Hellenistic and Roman Foundations of the Tradition of Aristotle in the West
16. Democracy, Scientific Method, and Action
17. Communication, Truth, and Society
18. Philosphy and Action
19. Fact and Value in the Philosophy of Culture
20. Facts, Values, and Actions
21. Philosophy and History in the Development of Human Rights
22. Philosophy as an Agent of Civilization
Name and Title Index
Subject Index

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