||Philosophy after Objectivity
||Paul K. Moser
||Oxford University Press © 1993
Oxford University Press, Inc.
200 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
The broad sweep of over 2,500 years of philosophizing is the background
for this book, which attempts to present a new answer to the issue of
realism-idealism, objective-subjective, essence-existence in five chapters
and 267 pages. Chapter 1 raises the questions and sets the stage.
Chapter 2 opens up conceptual relativism. In Chapter 3 semantic
interpretationism is presented. Chapter 4 accepts an
internalist-externalist distinction and tries to bridge it. The
final chapter deals with physicalism and ontology.
The main idea of this book is that we are in a stage of philosophical
development after objectivity. The Greeks are said to be responsible
for taking a realistic and objective view of the world. But now we
are beyond that and need to deal with the demand for non-question-begging
answers to the questions raised by subjectivists. The answer is in
the nature of a thought experiment and does not rely upon evidence or
data, but on some form of manipulation of the concepts of meaning and
intention and purpose. The answer, then, is essentially a
subjective, personal, internalized meaning derived from language. It
may have some intellectual interest but does not offer anything that
fulfills the aim of the exercise, something new under the sun. The
book is of value only to those who are deeply concerned with meaning and
the conventions of linguistic usage.
Reviewed by Ralph Underwager, Institute for Psychological
Therapies, Northfield, Minnesota.