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Character & Identity, Vol 1: The Philosophical Foundation of Political and Sociological Perspectives

Character & Identity, Vol 1: The Philosophical Foundation of Political and Sociological Perspectives
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Edited book , Index
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Character and Identity: Philosophical Foundations of Political and Sociological Perspectives is designed by editor Morton A. Kaplan to show-despite the fundamental flaws in the classical Greek accounts of truth and knowledge--why its quest for rational knowledge remains legitimate and vital to the "concepts of character and identity." To set the stage, Part One includes a statement of the classical Greek position by Dean Jude Dougherty, an account of the contemporary anticlassical "stories" position by John Simpson, and an initial attempt to restore the Greek concept of rational inquiry by Lloyd Eby.
In subsequent chapters, Kaplan restates the Greek position and shows why developments in science and philosophy are incompatible with the Greek concepts of truth and knowledge. A brief excursis through the history of philosophy is intended to show how the Greek quest can be pursued in a manner consonant with the contemporary realm of knowledge. In the course of this argument, it will be shown why Leo Strauss, who regarded contemporary philosophy as the prisoner of a mistaken seventeenth-century paradigm, fatally misconceived the role of seventeenth-century philosophy and its relationship to contemporary thought.
Kaplan argues that contemporary philosophy is in large part a response to the breakdown of Hegel, a great attempt to provide a modem alternative to Aristotle's synoptic philosophy--an attempt that brings history and historicity into the center of the picture. Kaplan shows why postmodernism is based on an incomplete and ultimately incoherent understanding of the consequences of the collapse of the Hegelian system and of the character of language. In a version of pragmatism that restores the concept of objective truth, Kaplan then explores the political and sociological aspects of this philosophical position and shows how it relates to character and identity. He then shows how a weakly-ordered but relevant position with respect to ethics and morals is consistent with a sustainable contemporary understanding of the quest for rational, objective knowledge.

Selected reviews of Kaplan's book Science Language and the Human Condition:

Clear and readable
"This book is to be greatly welcomed, both for its following. the continental tradition of ignoring academic boundaries and for ... its clear and readable style."--Edmond Wright, philosophy, Oxford University

"... relates philosophy, science, and humanity in a uniquely reasonable way."--Peter Mitchell, Nobel Laureate in science.

Enormously rich
" . . . an enormously rich book. Kaplan masters an incredibly wide field of knowledge [that] will be of use to many scientists."--Gerhard Vollmer, philosophy, University of Giessen

A great contribution
" ... will make a great contribution to the philosophy of thought and the sciences."--Karl Pribram, psychology, Stanford University

MORTON A. KAPLAN is Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science emeritus from the University of Chicago and publisher of The World and I magazine. He is the author of many books including System and Process in International Relations and Science, Language, and the Human Condition.

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