Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Connell, Sophia M. "Review of Anthony Kenny's PHILOSOPHY IN THE MODERN WORLD." BMCR (August 2008).

Kenny, Anthony. Philosophy in the Modern World. Vol. 4 of A New History of Western Philosophy. Oxford: OUP, 2007. This is the fourth and final volume of Anthony Kenny's (hereafter K.) History of Western Philosophy series. It covers modern philosophy, from 1757 to 1975. In the brief introduction, K. divides readers into two classes: those interested in the history of philosophy for the purpose of aiding contemporary philosophical concerns, and those who take a historical or contextual interest only. He connects these interests to the different sections of the book: Chapters 1-3 will be for the historically minded, and Chapters 4-12 for those interested in philosophy proper (xiii). Chapters 1-3 cover time periods bounded by two thinkers, although as a whole they do not run chronologically: 1. Bentham to Nietzsche; 2. Pierce to Strawson; and 3. Freud to Derrida. Chapters 4-11 follow topic-areas, relating to themes in modern philosophy: 4. Logic; 5. Language; 6. Epistemology; 7. Metaphysics; 8. Philosophy of Mind; 9. Ethics; 10. Aesthetics; 11. Political Philosophy; and 12. God. The themes for the most part carry through all four volumes, providing crucial continuity. This volume, however, leaves out "physics" since, as K. explains, natural philosophy is no longer part of philosophy post-Newton (xiv). This implies, as is the case, that the philosophy of science is largely absent. K. also explains why there is a slight chronological overlap with the last volume in the section on aesthetics (which begins in the early 18th century), which is that the theme has not been included in previous volumes (xiv). . . . Read the rest here:

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