The Owl of Minerva 28 (1):100-108 (1996)

Richard Winfield
University of Georgia
Maker’s Philosophy Without Foundations is that rare work which deserves to shift the entire direction of philosophical debate by posing a bold alternative that contemporary discussion has all but ignored. In eleven tightly argued, interconnected essays, Philosophy Without Foundations presents a radical challenge to current thought first, by defending the option of a non-foundational philosophy that does not abandon objective truth, secondly, by arguing how such a non-foundational philosophy can provide modernity with its only adequate justification, and thirdly, by showing how Hegel’s system can be most coherently understood as providing just such a philosophy without foundations. Maker makes these arguments in critical dialogue with an imposing range of thinkers covering modern epistemology from Descartes through Fichte and culminating in the contrast between Hegel’s overcoming of foundationalism and contemporary trends from Rorty and Davidson to Gadamer and Derrida. If Maker’s arguments succeed, he has not only refuted the prevailing directions in Hegel interpretation, but, more importantly, rehabilitated the project of systematic, yet foundation-free philosophy, breaking the back of the emerging consensus of analytical and continental theory, and undermining the philosophical basis of the traditional and postmodern opposition to modernity from which a resurgent fascism draws ideological support.
Keywords Major Philosophers
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ISBN(s) 0030-7580
DOI 10.5840/owl199628130
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