Catalogue


The unraveling of scientism : American philosophy at the end of the twentieth century /
Joseph Margolis.
imprint
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2003.
description
xiii, 178 p.
ISBN
0801441528, 9780801441523
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2003.
isbn
0801441528
9780801441523
local note
Fisher copy: With dust jacket.
catalogue key
5005465
 
Gift; Michael Walsh; 2014; RB316197.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Joseph Margolis is Laura H. Carnell Professor of Philosophy at Temple University.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-05-01:
Margolis (Temple Univ.) here takes on the second part of the huge task he began in Reinventing Pragmatism (CH, Oct.'03). Together the two books constitute a critical evaluation of the rise and fall of analytic philosophy--and in this book, its recovery. As made clear by the introduction, entitled "First Word: Anticipation of a Final Reckoning," this book will interest mainly those who hunger for and think possible a big-picture assessment of the state of philosophy now, and those already well schooled in analytic philosophy. Margolis mentions or discusses just about every important 20th-century philosopher in the Anglo-American tradition, from Frege to Rorty. Margolis's distinctive philosophical personality is on hand in his final, most interesting chapter, "The Unraveling of Scientism." He first takes on Quine and Davidson on the battle over indeterminacy of translation, and decides, with an enthusiasm that outstrips the argument's success, that both Quine's radical translation and Davidson's radical interpretation fail to deliver adequate extensionalism. He concludes with some interesting arguments against Dennett and Paul Churchland's brands of scientism. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Graduate students and researchers/faculty. K. Doran Hamilton College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Joseph Margolis, while endorsing the 'procedural rigor' of American analytical philosophy, rejects what he calls its 'scientism,' the commitment of its central figures to materialism and extensionalism. His extended argument proceeds dialectically by way of detailed (often irreverent) criticisms of Quine, Davidson, and most of the well-known analytical philosophers. As it unfolds, the argument is intertwined with a compelling history and a comprehensive map of the intellectual landscape of fifty years of analytic philosophy. Agree with it or not, this book is a remarkable achievement to which the defenders of materialism and extensionalism owe a serious response."-Hugh Lacey, Swarthmore
"Lucid, compelling, and convincing, The Unraveling of Scientism shows once again why Joseph Margolis has been a celebrated figure in American philosophy for more than a quarter of a century. No one makes a better case for constructivism than Margolis, and he does so by deftly employing the skills of a disciplined analytic philosopher, even as he draws our attention to the perspicacity of Hegel and other historically minded continental philosophers. The Unraveling of Scientism is not only an excellent critical examination of analytic philosophy's commitments to scientism, it is also a timely and accessible introduction to Margolis's recent thought."-Mitchell Aboulafia, author of The Cosmopolitan Self: George Herbert Mead and Continental Philosophy and The Mediating Self: Mead, Sartre, and Self-Determination
"The Unraveling of Scientism is an excellent book in every way. Joseph Margolis takes us deep into the trenches and high above the battlefields of contemporary analytic philosophy to offer a big-picture perspective of scientism's last stand. He projects a future greening of philosophical analysis that preserves conceptual rigor but discards mainstream commitments to mind-body reductivism and semantic extensionalism. Margolis proves himself once again to be among the best informed and uncompromisingly acute critics of today's philosophical scene."-Dale Jacquette, The Pennsylvania State University
"The Unraveling of Scientism reviews the major topics of concern in the current debate on analytic philosophy. With superlative style, Joseph Margolis offers a synoptic view grounded in the historic traditions of pragmatism and its continental, or Hegelian, roots."-Alex Orenstein, City University of New York
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
The Unraveling of Scientism, a companion to Joseph Margolis's Reinventing Pragmatism, follows the thread of American analytic philosophy through the second half of the twentieth century, the period of its greatest influence and activity. Margolis finds that the distinctive features of analytic philosophy were effectively altered, at about mid-century, most pointedly by W. V. Quine. Surprisingly, this was a time of declining conceptual invention and originality among the leading strands of philosophy-pragmatism, logical positivism and the unity of science program, and the principal continental European movements. The Unraveling of Scientism centers on the primary commitment of analytic philosophy through the twentieth century to what Margolis calls "scientism"-the conviction that an unyielding reductionism, applied universally but in an exemplary way in the sciences, can provide a convincing account of the most important philosophical puzzles of the human world, those centered on the nature of the objective world, our knowledge of reality, language, and human existence. Margolis examines the principal puzzles that the analytic movement has addressed and argues that in recent years its claims have been effectively stalemated, perhaps even defeated.
Main Description
The Unraveling of Scientism, a companion to Joseph Margolis's Reinventing Pragmatism, follows the thread of American analytic philosophy through the second half of the twentieth century, the period of its greatest influence and activity. Margolis finds that the distinctive features of analytic philosophy were effectively altered, at about mid-century, most pointedly by W. V. Quine. Surprisingly, this was a time of declining conceptual invention and originality among the leading strands of philosophy -- pragmatism, logical positivism and the unity of science program, and the principal continental European movements. The Unraveling of Scientism centers on the primary commitment of analytic philosophy through the twentieth century to what Margolis calls "scientism" -- the conviction that an unyielding reductionism, applied universally but in an exemplary way in the sciences, can provide a convincing account of the most important philosophical puzzles of the human world, those centered on the nature of the objective world, our knowledge of reality, language, and human existence. Margolis examines the principal puzzles that the analytic movement has addressed and argues that in recent years its claims have been effectively stalemated, perhaps even defeated. Book jacket.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
First Word: Anticipation of a Final Reckoningp. 1
Materialism by Less than Adequate Meansp. 19
Incommensurability Modestly Recoveredp. 42
Restoring the Bond between Realism and Truthp. 77
The Unraveling of Scientismp. 105
Notesp. 153
Indexp. 175
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem