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In this difficult work, Unger (law, Harvard Univ.) develops "a conception of humanity and of its place in the world" and calls for "a world revolution that is spiritual as well as political." He believes that to bring this about, we need an alternative to the "perennial philosophy" that sees change and time as illusions and ultimate reality as an unchanging "unity prior to all difference." This thinking, which traces its roots back to ancient Greek metaphysics, is, he argues, exactly the opposite of what is needed today; what is needed now is actionâ€”engagementâ€”a refined pragmatism that goes out into the world and brings about transformative projects "in politics, religion and speculative thought." He outlines these projects in detail, touching on myriad central issues in philosophy, law, and politics. This is not an easy book: Unger's interests are wide-ranging, highly informed, insightful, and demanding. His writing is graceful, with poetic overtones. Highly recommended for advanced studies in philosophy, law, and political theory.
—Leon H. Brody