Connections to the World: The Basic Concepts of Philosophy

Arthur Coleman Danto, Author
Arthur Coleman Danto, Author HarperCollins Publishers $22.95 (281p) ISBN 978-0-06-015960-3
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Philosopher-teacher Danto is an adroit guide through the thickets of contemporary philosophy. First, he defines our connections to the universe in terms of three basic elements: the subject, his or her representation of the world and the world itself. Using this formula as a yardstick, he gauges the approaches taken by various schools and thinkers to problems of morality, knowledge, the concept of the person, language and meaning. The reader engages in a dialogue with Kant, Wittgenstein, Plato, neurophilosophers, behaviorists. Danto demonstrates how the ``vehicles of understanding'' philosophers usesymbols, images, ideas, propositionsare crucial to their modes of thought. Professor at Columbia University and art critic for the Nation , he peppers his sometimes difficult discourse with down-to-earth examples drawn from Samuel Johnson, Marcel Duchamp, Superman and Kafka. His disquisition points up a dilemma: many problems with which modern thinkers grapple rest on archaic categories they now repudiate. (Mar.)
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