By Roger Scruton
Realize for your self the pleasures of philosophy! Written either for the professional pupil of philosophy in addition to the overall reader, the well known author Roger Scruton offers a survey of recent philosophy. constantly attractive, Scruton takes us on a desirable travel of the topic, from founding father Descartes to an important and recognized thinker of the 20 th century, Ludwig Wittgenstein. He identifies all of the important figures in addition to outlines of the most highbrow preoccupations that experience expert western philosophy. portray a portrait of recent philosophy that's vibrant and lively, Scruton introduces us to a couple of the best philosophical difficulties invented during this interval and pursued ever seeing that. together with fabric on fresh debates, A brief background of contemporary Philosophy is already validated as the vintage creation. learn it and discover why.
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Extra resources for A Short History of Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Wittgenstein (Routledge Classics)
This is the message of the cogito: the individual self is essentially the mind; the body is contingent to selfhood, and hence to our identity. And given the mechanistic conception of matter, the body is a deadweight that shackles the mind, the cross that the human spirit is, unaccountably, condemned to bear. ) Modern western culture is characterized by its revulsive attitudes to the body. As a culture we are devoted to the elimination of the sight and odour, even the mention, of bodily secretions.
We are mere micro-dots over which this huge engine of a universe rolls unwittingly. We can do what we like, for better or worse, because, from the point of view of the steamroller, nothing, and in particular nothing that micro-dots do, could possibly matter. A singularly discouraging myth! But it has been the very chorus of this chapter that we must not identify science per se with Newtonianism. It is Newtonianism which embodies the fact/value distinction, portraying the world as inert, insensate, devoid of telos, of value, purpose and meaning.
What is the reason for this apparent fade-out? It cannot be the fact that mythology is beset with epistemological difficulties, for so are science and ordinary empirical knowledge, yet the epistemological obstacles to science and ordinary knowledge are regarded as academic by the community at large, and for practical purposes are set aside. We recognize that ordinary knowledge, and to some extent science, are necessary if we are to live, and epistemological scruples will not persuade us to give them up.