Bereft of Reason [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 49 (4):925-926 (1996)
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Descartes' dualism of mind and matter has long since lost its merely metaphysical and anthropological status. For many philosophers, particularly in our own century, it has taken on the character of metaphor, a metaphor covering all manner of division in human experience, especially various forms of economic, social, and cultural alienation. In the book under review, the author takes the "ghost in the machine" as a dominant defining metaphor for modern thought and life, and criticizes it with gusto, wit, wide reading, and philosophical acumen. Although putatively concerned with a specific compartment of philosophical inquiry, namely social philosophy, the work is intended to be a large-scale examination of fundamental philosophical assumptions and the lived experience of modern humankind. As such the author's repertory includes a wide variety of philosophical and literary figures, which makes his work more interesting than typical academic philosophical critique.



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