5 June 1980
Show More Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature by Richard Rorty.
Blackwell, 401 pp., £12.50, May 1980, 0 631 12961 8Show More
The Claim of Reason: Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality and Tragedy by Stanley Cavell.
Oxford, 511 pp., £12.50, February 1980, 0 19 502571 7Show More
Philosophy As It Is edited by Ted Honderich and Myles Burnyeat.
Pelican, 540 pp., £2.95, November 1979, 0 14 022136 0Show More
“... The concerns of academic philosophy are to some degree the concerns of everybody. At the same time, they often appear to plain pre-philosophical men and women – including those perhaps not so plain persons who are professors of English or History or Physics – as vaguely ludicrous. On the one hand, academic philosophy is centrally concerned with such all-pervasive concepts as those of truth, rationality and goodness: and who, whether in other academic disciplines or in the transactions of everyday life, can disown an implicit commitment, at the very least, to some view of what rational justification consists in, and of what constitutes sound evidence for a belief, and who, consequently, can avoid admitting to a certain vulnerability to the conclusions of professional philosophers on these matters? Yet, on the other hand, the level at which academic philosophers treat these questions often appears to outsiders – including some philosophers themselves in their off-duty moments – as disturbingly abstract and unrealistic ...”