IPT Book Reviews

Title: Philosophy after Objectivity  Neutral Review
Author: Paul K. Moser
Publisher: Oxford University Press 1993

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Description:

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.
 

Discussion:

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.

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