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

Changing the Subject

Philosophy from Socrates to Adorno

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$29.95 • £23.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674545724

Publication Date: 10/23/2017

Trade

368 pages

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

World

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.

From Our Blog

Photo of Lucia Jacobs as a child sitting next to Oaky

How to Plant a Forest

For this week’s University Press Week Blog Tour, Lucia Jacobs offers us a glimpse of environmental stewardship as seen through the activities of the ubiquitous squirrel, a species native to the Americas, Africa, and Eurasia from the Eocene Epoch onward. Lucia Jacobs is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.