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This is a book review

Geoffrey Hawthorn: John Searle, 20 January 2011

Making the Social World: The Structure of Human Civilisation 
by John Searle.
Oxford, 208 pp., £14.99, January 2010, 978 0 19 957691 3
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... reference (the difference between saying that Mark Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn and saying that Samuel Clemens did – Clemens was Twain’s real name – where the sense, the cognitive significance, is different but the reference is the same); a great will, too, to separate sentences that were true by definition from those that weren’t, and among those ...

Flailing States

Pankaj Mishra: Anglo-America Loses its Grip, 16 July 2020

... and every other late-developing nation was forced to confront – the ‘social question’. Max Weber put it bluntly: how to ‘unite socially a nation split apart by modern economic development, for the hard struggles of the future’? Weber was among the conservative German nationalists who saw the social question as a ...

The Sound of Cracking

Pankaj Mishra: ‘The Age of the Crisis of Man’, 27 August 2015

The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-73 
by Mark Greif.
Princeton, 434 pp., £19.95, January 2015, 978 0 691 14639 3
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Moral Agents: Eight 20th-Century American Writers 
by Edward Mendelson.
New York Review, 216 pp., £12.99, May 2015, 978 1 59017 776 1
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... episodes and vignettes. The Age of the Crisis of Man seems at first to be a rich genealogy, like Samuel Moyn’s The Last Utopia (2010), which describes the way the concept of ‘human rights’, beginning in the 1940s, eclipsed social and economic rights before becoming part of the rhetorical arsenal of freedom-promoters and humanitarian ...

Time after Time

Stanley Cavell, 12 January 1995

... L’Avventura – each associated with a question about whether something new might happen (Samuel Beckett’s Godot and Endgame were still new), shadowed by the question whether love is an exhausted possibility, a question incorporating some residue of a fantasy of marriage. In each case the answer is presented as in the hands of a woman – in ...

The Darwin Show

Steven Shapin, 7 January 2010

... included 7600 copies of an account of the Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin and 3200 copies of Samuel Smiles’s Self-Help. From 1860 to 1865, the monthly sales of ‘the book that made the modern world’ were less than 30, although a cheap edition of the Origin pushed its total British sales to 16,000 by the mid-1870s. ‘Considering how stiff a book it ...

11 September

LRB Contributors, 4 October 2001

... incongruities at which my slow-moving mind balks is the combination of two forms of life that Max Weber taught us were immiscible: the symbolic-religious and the calculating-rational. Obviously, those who carried out the attacks on 11 September practised both, and simultaneously. It took painstaking planning, meshed co-ordination of people and objects, and a ...

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