Varieties: Essays

Jonathan Lieberson, Author George Weidenfeld & Nicholson $0 (351p) ISBN 978-1-55584-059-4
In these ironic essays, Lieberson casts a skeptical eye on fashion doyenne Diana Vreeland, photographer Diane Arbus and avant-garde opera composer Robert Wilson. Whether he is attending a Gestalt encounter group at Esalen, or laying bare the amoral core of est therapy, this contributing editor to the New York Review of Books (where most of these 19 pieces were originally published) brings a philosophical outlook to trends, fads and social issues. In discussing whether psychoanalysis is a science, and in a dialogue with romantic rationalist Karl Popper, the author, who teaches philosophy at Barnard, stresses the limits of science in defining reality. In a long article on global overpopulation, he argues that no governmental policy can be value-free. This miscellany includes lighter pieces on medieval cookery and Oscar Levant, along with scholarly ones on Isaiah Berlin, Paul Valery and anthropologist Clifford Geertz. (March)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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