Archive for the postmodernism category

Existential America (7): Highway 61 revisited

When I first read George Cotkin’s Existential America several years ago, I came across this review: T. H. Adamowski, “Out on Highway 61: Existentialism in America,” University of Toronto Quarterly, Volume 74, Number 4, Fall 2005, pp. 913-933. From this link you can download a PDF of the full text. The reviewer is obviously highly […]

Bruce Kuklick’s history of American philosophy (8)

Kuklick, Bruce. A History of Philosophy in America 1720-2000. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001. 346 pp. $19.95 (pbk), ISBN 0199260168. Part III: Professional Philosophy, 1912-2000 …………………… 14. The Tribulations of Professional Philosophy, 1962-1999 Continuing, rather returning to the beginning of Chapter 14: Philosophy benefited from the huge expansion of higher education following World War II. Geographical mobility […]

Existential America revisited

Cotkin, George. Existential America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. Contents: Acknowledgements Chapter One Introduction 1741-1949: American Existentialists before the Fact Chapter Two The “Drizzly November” of the American Soul 1928-1955: Kierkegaardian Moments Chapter Three Kierkegaard Comes to America Chapter Four A Kierkegaardian Age of Anxiety 1944-1960: The Era of French Existentialism Chapter Five The […]

Globalization of obscurantist philosophy

I have written several relevant entries both on this blog and on my Reason & Society blog. The most generic keywords to search on are ‘globalization’, ‘ethnophilosophy’, ‘postmodernism’, and ‘liberalism’ or ‘neoliberalism’ where such keywords are used. But any post on non-western philosophy is likely to be relevant, the most numerous being ‘Asian philosophy’ or […]

Vonnegut in Hungary: postmodernism, hi-low genre hopping, & self-parody

Bényei, Tamás. „Leakings: Reappropriating Science Fiction: The Case of Kurt Vonnegut,” in Anatomy of Science Fiction, edited & introduced by Donald E. Morse (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2006), pp. 48-69. I’m fairly indifferent to the obsession with high/low culture and genre boundaries, not to mention postmodernism (which has taken over the whole world, now […]

Chinese philosophy & globalization gone wrong

Why I didn’t publish this draft on August 12, 2008 when I wrote it, I do not know. At least there are links to follow. Free issue online: Contemporary Chinese Thought, Volume 37, Number 4, Summer 2006. Theme issue: Globalization. I see that things have not improved since I last reviewed this journal on this […]

Bergson, apostle of reactionary irrationalism

A draft from March 5, 2009. I don’t recall what I planned to write, but here are the references: Nizan, Paul. “The End of a Philosophic Parry: Bergsonism,” Les Revues, 1929, reprinted in Paul Nizan, Intellectuel Communiste Maspero (Paris, 1967). Nizan exposes Bergson’s empty pseudoconcreteness, which reminds me of Adorno’s later evisceration of Heidegger. My […]


Originally titled “Ethnoepistemology, my ass!”, written 2 August 2008. Excuse all the cuss words. I’ve cut out a few of the epithets, but I’m preserving the flavor of my diatribe. * * * * * Ethnoepistemology (James Maffie), The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. There are often lapses and biases in reference works in the humanities […]

Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching), Ames & Hall

In initiating a close reading of the Daoist (Taoist) classic the Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching) on the part of my discussion group the Washington Philosophy Circle, I discovered this new translation by Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall, who, as it turns out, are major peddlers of ancient Chinese philosophy retooled for […]

The Institution of Philosophy (4)

Cohen, Avner; Dascal, Marcelo; eds. The Institution of Philosophy: A Discipline in Crisis? La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1989. Joseph Margolis, “Radical Philosophy and Radical History,” pp. 249-270. Wittgenstein, Heidegger, and Derrida may have wanted to put an end to traditional philosophy, but at most they provided self-corrective measures, not the therapies they though they […]