Reconstruction of Thinking

By Robert Cummings Neville

Subjects: Philosophy
Paperback : 9780873954952, 350 pages, June 1981
Hardcover : 9780873954945, 350 pages, June 1981

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Table of contents


Part 1: Foundations

1 Foundational Issues of Thinking

An Historical Crisis in Thinkin


A Foundational Hypothesis

Structure of the Argument

2 Cosmology and Its Sources

The Nature of Cosmology

Critique of Cosmology

Plato and the Cosmology of Thinking

Aristotle and the Task of Cosmology

3 Axiological Cosmology

Cosmological Categories

Body, Nature, and Society

A Metaphysics of Value

Cosmology: Norms and Good Thinking

4 Responsibility, Norms, and the Social Reality of Thinking

Epistemology of Value

Critique of Axiology

General Norms for Thinking


Part 2: Imagination

A Beginning

5 Imagination as Synthesis: Religion

Phenomenology of Synthesis

Critical Interpretation

Cosmology of Imagination as Synthesis

Religion and the Commonality of the Worm

6 Imagination in Perception: Beauty

Phenomenology of Imagination in Perception

Critical Interpretation

Cosmology of Imagination in Perception

Responsibility in Imagination in Perception

7 Imagination as Appearance: Form

Phenomenology of Appearance

Critical Interpretation

Cosmology of Appearance

The Public Character of Image-Formation

8 Imagination as Engagement: Art

Phenomenology of Engagement

The Criticism of Images

Cosmology of Imagination as Art

Responsibilities of lmagination


Bibliography of Works Cited



The Renaissance development of science fulfilled the ancient ideal of integrating quantitative and qualitative thinking, but failed to recognize valuational thinking and thus deprived moral, aesthetic, and political thought of cognitive status. The task of this book is to reconstruct the concept of thinking in order to exhibit valuation, not reason, as the foundation for thinking and to integrate valuational with quantitative and qualitative modes. Part I explains the broad thesis, interpreting the problem of the foundations for thinking and providing a general theory of value. Part II explains the role of valuation at the imaginative level of thinking with discussions of synthesis, perception, form, and art. The method of reconstruction requires a cosmology that is generated in successive waves.


"I believe this to be a truly important book. It is the first genuinely neo-Whiteheadian offering on a large, systematic scale. " — Donald W. Sherburne

"The architectonic of the book is a marvelously creative application of Plato's divided line. Like nested boxes, each part is at a level of perspective different from the others; each chapter within each part rehearses those same levels; each section within each part does likewise; and even within the sections a similar movement across levels is exhibited. This is a method of inquiry, not a gimmick, and Neville both argues for and exhibits this method throughout the volume. " — George Allan