Cover: Changing the Subject: Philosophy from Socrates to Adorno, from Harvard University PressCover: Changing the Subject in PAPERBACK

Changing the Subject

Philosophy from Socrates to Adorno

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$21.00 • £18.95 • €19.95

ISBN 9780674248359

Publication Date: 08/11/2020

Academic Trade

368 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

World

Also Available As

Jacket: Changing the Subject

HARDCOVER | $29.95

ISBN 9780674545724

Trade

Add to Cart

Educators: Request an Exam Copy (Learn more)

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

Ask a question and it is reasonable to expect an answer or a confession of ignorance. But a philosopher may defy expectations. Confronted by a standard question arising from a normal way of viewing the world, a philosopher may reply that the question is misguided, that to continue asking it is, at the extreme, to get trapped in a delusive hall of mirrors. According to Raymond Geuss, this attempt to bypass or undercut conventional ways of thinking, to escape from the hall of mirrors, represents philosophy at its best and most characteristic.

To illustrate, Geuss explores the ideas of twelve philosophers who broke dramatically with prevailing wisdom, from Socrates and Plato in the ancient world to Wittgenstein and Adorno in our own. The result is a striking account of some of the most innovative and important philosophers 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 the views developed by, for instance, Augustine, Hobbes, and Nietzsche has been more varied. But in the act of provoking people to think differently, philosophers make clear that we are not fated to live within the often stifling systems of thought that we inherit. We can change the subject.

A work of exceptional range, power, and originality, Changing the Subject manifests the precise virtues of philosophy that it identifies and defends.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

A stack of five bestselling titles from Harvard University Press against a hot pink textured background

Ringing in the New Year with HUP’s 2022 Bestsellers

There is no better way for readers to usher in the new year than by looking back to the books that defined the last. For Harvard University Press, our 2022 bestsellers make up a diverse list of books across time and discipline.