Archive for the religion category

Black mystic in hyperspace

As a teenager I learned that the mathematics and philosophical exploitation of four-dimensional geometry (hyperspace) became a fad in the late 19th century. Following the development of the mathematics of the fourth dimension, the popularization of the concept manifested itself in literature, most notably in the works of Charles Howard Hinton and Edwin Abbott Abbott […]

Bruce Kuklick’s history of American philosophy (6)

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 . . . . . . 12. Europe’s Impact on the United States . . . . . . So now we are up to chapter 12: Europe’s Impact on the […]

Bruce Kuklick’s history of American philosophy (4)

Kuklick, Bruce. A History of Philosophy in America 1720-2000. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001. 346 pp. $19.95 (pbk), ISBN 0199260168. Part II: The Age of Pragmatism, 1859-1934 ………. 10. Instrumentalism in Chicago and New York John Dewey moved to the University of Chicago in 1894. He was influenced by the Social Gospel, but Protestantism was not […]

Existential America (6): Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, C.L.R. James

Cotkin was wise to include Black American appropriations of existentialism, as this gives me an opportunity to test my hypothesis that their perspective was different from white people’s investment in existentialism, and particularly that Wright used Kierkegaard for different purposes than his white contemporaries. Chapter 8 features Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison. Sartre unwittingly and […]

Existential America (4): Kierkegaard analyzed (1942)

Otto F. Kraushaar, “Kierkegaard in English. I”, The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 39, No. 21 (Oct. 8, 1942), pp. 561-583. While long recognized in Scandinavian, German, and theological circles, Kierkegaard began to be profusely translated into English only in the three years preceding the writing of this article, in which eight books are under review. […]

Existential America (3): reactionary Kierkegaard: references

These are references of interest from George Cotkin’s Existential America pointing to critiques of Kierkegaard and his reactionary appropriation in the United States. See also my bibliography on Case Studies of Metaphysical Pessimism. Samuel Greenberg, “Auden, Poet of Anxiety,” Masses and Mainstream, June 1948 Norbert Guterman, “Neither-Nor”, Partisan Review 10 (March-April 1943), pp. 134-142. V. […]

Leibniz’ Spinoza anxiety revisited

I blogged on this subject before: Leibniz (entry in old blog) . . . in reference to this book written for a popular audience: Stewart, Matthew. The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World. New York: Norton, 2006. Stewart highlights Leibniz’ fascination with Spinoza and the decisive challenge […]

June 2007 reading review (2): Vonnegut, Marxism, positivism

More Vonnegut When I picked up Kurt Vonnegut’s Timequake (New York: G.P. Putnam’s, 1997) off my table for the first time, I thought this might be a throwaway book. I was wrong; it was hilarious, and there’s much in there. It is a combination memoir and science fiction tale. A whole decade has to be […]

June 2007 reading review (1): Black authors

Cornel West, Marxism & morality West, Cornel. The Ethical Dimensions of Marxist Thought. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1991. West wrote this in the late 1970s, before he became a star. The exposition of the development of the Young Marx is good. He presents interesting information on Engels, Kautsky, and Lukàcs, but his thesis contrasting […]

February-April 2007 reading review

I have long delayed summarizing the books I read in all or part from February through April 2007, partly in hope of writing extensive reviews of some of them. For now, I will just list the books and some other materials, and I can always return and delve into more detail at a future date. […]