A Choice Outstanding Academic Book of 2003
“Like Foucault and Levinas before him, though in very different ways, Scott makes an oblique incision into phenomenology . . . [it is] the kind of book to which people dazed by the specters of nihilism will be referred by those in the know.” —David Wood
“. . . refreshing and original.” —Edward S. Casey
In The Lives of Things, Charles E. Scott reconsiders our relationships with ordinary, everyday things and our capacity to engage them in their particularity. He takes up the Greek notion of phusis, or physicality, as a way to point out limitations in refined and commonplace views of nature and the body as well as a device to highlight the often overlooked lives of things that people encounter. Scott explores questions of unity, purpose, coherence, universality, and experiences of wonder and astonishment in connection with scientific fact and knowledge. He develops these themes with lightness and wit, ultimately articulating a new interpretation of the appearances of things that are beyond the reach of language and thought.