Reshaping Reason

Reshaping Reason

Toward a New Philosophy
John McCumber
Distribution: World
Publication date: 10/09/2007
Format: Paperback 1 figures
ISBN: 978-0-253-21936-7
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Description

Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2005

In Reshaping Reason, John McCumber advocates new life for American philosophy. At present, McCumber believes, American philosophy is ready to go in new directions, but American philosophers remain hopelessly divided between analytic or Continental approaches. There seems to be no middle ground, and the debate between the two traditions has created indifference to the field, both in wider intellectual culture and among philosophers themselves. Here, McCumber brings together aspects of analytic and Continental philosophy to give, for the first time, a fully temporalized account of reason. He proposes an expanded set of rational tools for reason and with these tools takes a fresh look at key issues in ontology, ethics, and social philosophy. This is a gutsy and ambitious book that not only shows philosophy’s achievements and failures in cold light, but suggests how philosophy might become more rigorous and relevant to society at large.

Author Bio

John McCumber is Professor of German at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is author of Metaphysics and Oppression (IUP, 1999) and Philosophy and Freedom (IUP, 2000).

Reviews

“In this book, John McCumber seeks to redefine the entire concept of American philosophy. Rather than dwelling on the stale divide between analytic and continental philosophy, McCumber recommends a new set of tools to help aid philosophers in their work. Looking at the philosophical landscape in cold light, McCumber proposes how the field might become more meaningful and relevant to society as a whole. ”

“McCumber brings together aspects of analytic and Continental philosophy to give, for the first time, a fully temporalized account of reason. This ambitious book not only shows philosophy’s achievements and failures in a cold light, but suggests how philosophy might become more rigorous and relevant to society at large.”

“This is one of the most important books in philosophy in the 21st century. McCumber (German, UCLA) develops a new vocabulary and a new way of thinking outside the box concerning seven traditional ontologies, beginning with Plato. He rejects both what he calls the fantasy island of analytic philosophy carried on in the timeless present and the endless struggle of postmodern Continental philosophies, in order to advocate a philosophy that is both postanalytic and metacontinental—and relevant! He is not alone. McCumber says that a whole posse of contemporary American philosophers is now riding to philosophy's rescue, so he joins them and articulates his thinking in terms of logic, ontology, and ethics. This is not his first book to address the situation of American philosophy. There was Metaphysics and Oppression: Heidegger's Challenge to Western Philosophy (CH, Apr'00, 37—4434, Outstanding Academic Title), Philosophy and Freedom: Derrida, Rorty, Habermas, Foucault (2000), and then Time in the Ditch: American Philosophy and the McCarthy Era (CH, Oct'01, 39—0867), each getting more confident and daring. Now, in the final chapter of this lively, original, and provocative book, McCumber attains a new level of ethics and politics, and addresses the current world situation. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-level undergraduates and above.October 2005”
 — R. E. Palmer, emeritus, MacMurray College

“This is one of the most important books in philosophy in the 21st century. McCumber develops a new vocabulary and a new way of thinking outside the box concerning seven traditional ontologies, beginning with Plato. . . . Lively, original, provocative . . . he attains a new level of ethics and politics, and addresses the current world situation.”
 — Choice

“McCumber’s work provokes debate about the nature and the direction of philosophy itself, and so, in that sense, it is something of a meta-critique of the quietism many philosophers have resigned themselves to in the face of the encroaching metaphysical-absolutism of the scientific world-view. As agent-provocateur, McCumber’s text is indeed a worthy effort . . . .Vol.1 2008”
 — Perspectives

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Table of Contents

<FMO>Contents<\>
Preface
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
1. Historico-Philosophical Prologue
2. Enlarging the Philosophical Toolbox
3. From Metaphysics to Ontologies
4. The Edge of Ethics
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index