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Philosophy's Second Revolution: Early and…

Philosophy's Second Revolution: Early and Recent Analytic Philosophy

by David S. Clarke

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812693477, Hardcover)

First Descartes and his sympathizers transformed philosophy from an examination of the external to the internal; then Bertrand Russell and others of his school of thought transformed it to an examination of language. By taking a close look at analytic philosophy's objections to Cartesian-style modern philosophy, D.S. Clarke accomplishes two things: One, he introduces the reader to the linguistic foundations of analytical philosophy, the dominant school in contemporary philosophy. Two, he demonstrates that the recent slide of analytic philosophers into a narrow materialism is contrary to philosophy's enduring mission of providing an integrative framework for thinking in all disciplines. Although Clark is a bit blithe in dismissing the possibility of materialist correlations of thought processes and gives very little credit to the accomplishments of phenomenology when considering the significance of contemporary philosophy as a whole, he presents a lucid picture of analytic philosophy's place in the history of philosophy and its importance to future philosophical developments.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:07 -0400)

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Philosophy's Second Revolution is designed to introduce general readers and students to the methods and issues distinctive to 'analytic philosophy'. At the same time, D.S. Clarke presents a bold, heretical interpretation of the historical development of analytic philosophy. Analytic philosophy entered a new phase in about 1960, characterized by materialistic metaphysics, an attempt to assimilate philosophy to the natural sciences, and an attempt to reinstate normative ethics as a means of guiding conduct. Clark argues that this new phase of analytic philosophy was a diversion. Contemporary materialism rests on the view that our mental language has fact-stating functions, a mistaken perspective which overlooks language's primary transactional role of influencing others through evaluation.Clarke proposes a conception of philosophy that provides an alternative to the reductions of materialism and the search for normative principles. Philosophy's proper role is to describe similarities and differences among differing levels of language, specifically the familiar level of discourse within an ordinary language shared by all and the specialized discourses of social institutions such as science, law, and the arts. By constructing a logical framework in which these comparisons and contrasts can be made, philosophy performs the indispensable role of promoting the integration of disparate elements of our culture.… (more)

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