A System of Philosophy

By Crispin Sartwell

Subjects: American Philosophy, Philosophy, Metaphysics, Epistemology, Political Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in American Philosophy and Cultural Thought
Paperback : 9781438463889, 434 pages, November 2017
Hardcover : 9781438463872, 434 pages, March 2017

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Table of contents

I. First Philosophy: Reality, Truth, and Knowledge

Introduction: The Universe in Brief

1. Ontology

2. Theory of Truth

3. Epistemology
II. Axiology: Goodness, Beauty, and Liberty

Introduction: Values as Situations

4. Ethics

5. Aesthetics

6. Political Philosophy


Presents strikingly original and contemporary answers to the most traditional philosophical problems in epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, and political theory.


A work of maximally ambitious scope with a foundation in humility, Entanglements sets out a philosophical system of the sort rarely seen over the past century. In a discipline marked by greater and greater specialization and the narrowing of increasingly insular traditions and approaches, Crispin Sartwell has spent his career engaging widely across philosophical topics and texts. Here he brings together his philosophical positions in a unified system that is coherent across the issues and subdisciplines in the field. In addition to presenting his own theories of truth, knowledge, free will, beauty, and the political state, Sartwell's criticisms of other figures and movements provide an overview of the history of philosophy. The project of presenting an overarching philosophical system is a resolutely old-fashioned one, and in undertaking it, Sartwell is not only encapsulating an extraordinarily unique and productive career but also nudging philosophy back to its broader aims of explaining the world and our place in it.

Crispin Sartwell is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Dickinson College. He is the author of many books, including The Art of Living: Aesthetics of the Ordinary in World Spiritual Traditions; Obscenity, Anarchy, Reality; End of Story: Toward an Annihilation of Language and History; Extreme Virtue: Truth and Leadership in Five Great American Lives; Against the State: An Introduction to Anarchist Political Theory; and How to Escape: Magic, Madness, Beauty, and Cynicism, all published by SUNY Press.


"One of the greatest strengths of this book is its breadth, not just in topics but in the range of ideas drawn on—it's unusual to find a scholar who can move effortlessly from J. L. Austin to Heidegger to Emerson. Original, engaging, and accessible, there's nothing else like it. " — Roderick T. Long, Auburn University