Eros and Irony

A Prelude to Philosophical Anarchism

By David L. Hall

Subjects: Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Philosophy
Paperback : 9780873955867, 271 pages, June 1983
Hardcover : 9780873955850, 271 pages, June 1983

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"The conception of culture and philosophy's role within it developed in this work permits interesting formulations of a number of important issues and concepts: the relations between the utopian and utilitarian functions of philosophic theory; the character of the aesthetic and mystical sensibilities; the meaning and function of metaphor and of irony; the value of theoretical consensus; the nature of philosophic communication; and the distinctive relation of Plato and Socrates as a model for philosophic activity. " — David L. Hall

With Eros and Irony, David Hall re-evaluates the cultural role of philosophy, probing to the very heart of questions in epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of culture. Two central arguments structure the book: the first is that in modern culture the autonomy of the aesthetic and religious sensibilities has been seriously qualified by an overemphasis on narrowly rational moral interests. The second is that philosophic activity must be construed in terms of two conflicting elements: the desire for completeness of understanding, and the failure to achieve such understanding.

Hall provides a historical survey of philosophic thought, encompassing Plato, Kant, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, and Whitehead. He also avails himself of sources outside of philosophy, in such diverse fields as poetry, psychology, physics, and Eastern religion, to create a work that not only addresses key issues in philosophy, but also has deep implications for science, art, religion, morality, and cultural self-understanding.


"One cannot read this book without being challenged to the core about the way in which he perceives the world. It is interesting, provocative, and engagingly written. " — Donald Crosby, Professor of Philosophy, Colorado State University

"Hall's work is a rather extraordinary achievement. He discusses with imagination and authority issues ranging over the entire history of philosophy and with special relevance to contemporary cultural situations. It is a wonderful piece of work. " — Eliot Deutsch, Professor of Philosophy, University of Hawaii