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Changing the Subject

Changing the Subject

Philosophy from Socrates to Adorno

Raymond Geuss

ISBN 9780674981980

Publication date: 10/23/2017

“A history of philosophy in twelve thinkers…The whole performance combines polyglot philological rigor with supple intellectual sympathy, and it is all presented…in a spirit of fun…This bracing and approachable book [shows] that there is life in philosophy yet.”
Times Literary Supplement

“Exceptionally engaging…Geuss has a remarkable knack for putting even familiar thinkers in a new light.”
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

“Geuss is something like the consummate teacher, his analyses navigable and crystal, his guidance on point.”
—Doug Phillips, Key Reporter

Raymond Geuss explores the ideas of twelve philosophers who broke dramatically with prevailing wisdom, from Socrates and Plato in the ancient world to Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, and Adorno. The result is a striking account of some of the most innovative thinkers in Western history and an indirect manifesto for how to pursue philosophy today. Geuss cautions that philosophers’ attempts to break from convention do not necessarily make the world a better place. Montaigne’s ideas may have been benign, but the fate of those of Hobbes, Hegel, and Nietzsche has been more varied. Yet in the act of provoking people to think differently, philosophers remind us that we are not fated to live within the systems of thought we inherit.

Praise

  • Combines polyglot philological rigor with supple intellectual sympathy, and it is all presented—as Geuss puts it—hilaritatis causa, or in a spirit of fun…This bracing and approachable book [demonstrates] that there is life in philosophy yet.

    —Jonathan Rée, Times Literary Supplement

Author

  • Raymond Geuss is Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. His books include Changing the Subject, Reality and Its Dreams, and Who Needs a World View?

Book Details

  • Harvard University Press

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