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The Analysis of Wonder is both an engaging and enlightening presentation of the philosophy of Nicolai Hartmann, one of the major German philosophers of the first part of the 20th Century undeservedly little known in the English-speaking world. The book's three parts clearly present Hartmann's ontology, theory of values (both ethical and aesthetic ones) and personality, carefully drawing the major connections among them. After a long period of disarray, Hartmann rehabilitated both ontology -his ontology comprises one of the most composite and rich theories of categories ever developed - and developed one of the first systematic theories of values - both ethical and aesthetic - showing how the latter may include and are higher than the former. Cicovacki's book offers a well-balanced, clear introduction to these and other issues and promises to become the reference book for anyone wishing to know Hartmann's philosophy.
This introduction to the life work of Nicolai Hartmann is, to my knowledge, the only book in English to present the entire range of Hartmann's thought. It does so in lucid prose and with sufficient detail so that the reader new to Hartmann can take the measure of his procedure and its outcomes. Hartmann has created a method of research, a work in progress, indeed an edifice of ideas, especially in ethics and aesthetics, that cries out for development. Dr. Cicovacki's book is an important symptom of a welcome resurgence of interest in Hartmann. It will be of great use to professional philosophers who are unfamiliar with him, and to students whom it should encourage to take up the study of this great and unique philosopher.
This is a rewarding introduction to the thought of the last great metaphysician. Cicovacki shows how Hartmann avoids the temptation to over-systematize as he provides categories adequate for informed wonderment before the full splendor of reality.
In The Analysis of Wonder, Cicovacki provides a lively, comprehensive introduction to Hartmann's philosophy in a small package, written in a style that is not overly encumbered by scholarly jargon and technical apparatus, and balances well issues of contemporary relevance with detailed scholarship. It is not only a survey of Hartmann's major ideas, but makes a case for reading Hartmann in light of certain of these ideas-building up to the claim that 'personality' is a synthetic category and reality which brings together Hartmann's ontological and axiological work. It is an important contribution to a growing English-language literature on this neglected major German philosopher.