Architectonics of Meaning, The
Foundations of the New Pluralism
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"This book presents what I take to be the most significant philosophic discovery of the present century. This is the discovery, first, of the fact of pluralism, that the truth admits of more than one valid formulation, and, second, of the reason for this fact in arbitrary or conventional elements inseparable from the nature of thought itself. With this discovery, the very thing that was formerly thought to be a scandal and a disgrace to philosophy, namely, that philosophers do not agree, turns out to be its great virtue. For through it are revealed essential features of all thought. "
Thus begins what seems destined to become one of the most influential works of modern philosophy. Building on the work of Richard McKeon, Walter Watson analyzes the presence and importance of "archic elements" in texts of every kind — philosophic, scientific, literary, political. "Archic elements" correspond to what we think of as differences of conceptual framework. Professor Watson brings them into the full light of day, and shows how they can be treated systematically. As a result, new patterns of relationship emerge within and among the various philosophic traditions of the world, and between philosophy and the special arts and sciences. The enterprise of textual interpretation acquires new precision. This is the first truly useful taxonomy of all ideas.
Walter Watson is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.