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Dear Prudence

Steven Shapin: Stephen Toulmin, 14 January 2002

Return to Reason 
by Stephen Toulmin.
Harvard, 243 pp., £16.95, June 2001, 0 674 00495 7
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... a philosophical idiom in saying so. Like philosophy, anti-philosophy is for the philosophers. Stephen Toulmin’s work over the past half-century shares sensibilities and rhetorical styles with the later Wittgenstein and (more recently) with Rorty: there’s something wrong with modern academic philosophy (especially the philosophy of morals and of ...

You are not helpful!

Simon Blackburn: Wittgenstein in Cambridge, 29 January 2009

Wittgenstein in Cambridge: Letters and Documents 1911-51 
edited by Brian McGuinness.
Blackwell, 498 pp., £75, March 2008, 978 1 4051 4701 9
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... second that he was an engineer. The Viennese background, brilliantly documented by Allan Janik and Stephen Toulmin in Wittgenstein’s Vienna, alerts us to the linguistic and moral preoccupations that Wittgenstein shared with others of his generation before ever coming into the orbit of Frege and Russell. And the physics and engineering provide the key to ...

Vienna discovers its past

Peter Pulzer, 1 August 1985

Refugee Scholars in America: Their Impact and their Experiences 
by Lewis Coser.
Yale, 351 pp., £25, October 1984, 0 300 03193 9
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The Viennese Enlightenment 
by Mark Francis.
Croom Helm, 176 pp., £15.95, May 1985, 0 7099 1065 7
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The Jews of Vienna, 1867-1914: Assimilation and Identity 
by Marsha Rozenblit.
SUNY, 368 pp., $39.50, July 1984, 0 87395 844 6
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... been in English, as the names of William Johnston, William McGrath, Carl Schorske, Allan Janik, Stephen Toulmin, Andrew Whiteside and John Boyer testify.* There are a number of plausible reasons for this. The first and most obvious is the great diaspora of Central European scholars brought about by the rise of Nazism in the 1930s – though some ...

Start thinking

Michael Wood: The aphorisms of Karl Kraus, 7 March 2002

Dicta and Contradicta 
by Karl Kraus, translated by Jonathan McVity.
Illinois, 208 pp., £18.50, May 2001, 0 252 02648 9
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... I mention these examples from Kraus’s own linguistic and historical world – Allan Janik and Stephen Toulmin, in their book Wittgenstein’s Vienna, suggest that Kraus’s work is the other, ‘unwritten’ half of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus – in order to suggest both that there may be times and places where aphorisms flourish especially and that ...

Almighty Gould

Roy Porter, 23 April 1987

Time’s Arrow, Time’s Cycle: Myth and Metaphor in the Discovery of Geological Time 
by Stephen Jay Gould.
Harvard, 219 pp., £15.50, May 1987, 0 674 89198 8
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... seriously, and that is why it is especially pleasing that so distinguished a scientist as Stephen Jay Gould has chosen to take up the cudgels in the cause of demythologising the history of geological time. What makes his book so stimulating – apart from the fact that this volume is every bit as energetic, engaging and expert as the other half-dozen ...

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