Philosophy and Its Others
Ways of Being and Mind
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Philosophy and its Others responds to the widespread sense that philosophy must renew its intellectual community with other significant ways of being and mind. The author articulates philosophy's community of mind with the aesthetic, the religious, and the ethical, without losing any of its own distinctive voice. He develops an original and constructive position between these extremes: the Hegelian extreme which reduces the plurality of others to a dialectical totality and the Wittgensteinian and deconstructive options that celebrate plurality, but without a proper sense of the connectedness of philosophy and its others.
William Desmond is Chairman and Professor of Philosophy in the Philosophy Department at Loyola College. He is author of Art and the Absolute: A Study of Hegel's Aesthetics, published by SUNY Press, and Desire, Dialectic and Otherness.
"I am impressed by this book's originality, its power of thought and imagination, its wisdom, its perceptiveness about matters large and small, its judiciousness. Desmond's comments concerning various figures and schools in the history of philosophy and culture, including the fashionable post-modernists and deconstructionists like Derrida, are marked by profound understanding, penetration, and critical acumen. "— George L. Kline, Bryn Mawr College
"The author is tackling one of the most important problems of contemporary thought. Philosophy, as taken up and developed by a professional elite, is in danger of losing touch with the concrete dimensions of experience that should serve as its target and its ground. In Philosophy and Its Others, William Desmond opens himself to a richer understanding of being human by drawing the reader's attention to the irreducible complexity of the aesthetic, religious, and ethical ways of being that blend with and support the reflective awareness that is philosophy's special province. Desmond brings a full-bodied sense of the varied texture of experience to his work, and sustains a high level of philosophical energy throughout. " — Brian J. Martine, The University of Alabama in Huntsville
"What I like most about this manuscript are a) the fact that it addresses what are probably the two central themes of contemporary philosophical discussion, the nature of philosophy and the meaning of otherness, b) that it does so in such a creatively different way, and c) that it brings prodigious scholarship to bear on this issue, yet wears that scholarship so lightly that it plays but a supporting role. " — Merold Westphal, Fordham University