Chronicling the Post-Kantian Erosion of Noumena (Thing of This World: A History of Continental Antirealism) (Book Review) - Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy

Chronicling the Post-Kantian Erosion of Noumena (Thing of This World: A History of Continental Antirealism) (Book Review)

By Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy

  • Release Date - Published: 2010-01-01
  • Book Genre: Religion & Spirituality
  • Author: Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy
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Chronicling the Post-Kantian Erosion of Noumena (Thing of This World: A History of Continental Antirealism) (Book Review) Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy read online review & book description:

Lee Braver, A Thing of This World. A History of Continental Antirealism, Evanston (IL), Northwestern University Press, 2007, ISBN 0-8101-2380-0. What makes Lee Braver's A Thing of This World a truly impressive achievement is its rare ability to perform many different roles and to succeed in fulfilling its many goals. In the first place, it is a detailed reconstruction of the evolution of anti-realism through the last three centuries of continental philosophy. Secondly, it is aimed at bridging the gap of incomprehension between analytic and continental philosophers by offering a lucid, meticulous reconstruction of the thought of major figures of the continental tradition, namely Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault and Derrida. Braver facilitates the access to their texts by explaining jargon and elucidating background assumptions, seeking to demonstrate 'to analytic philosophers that, once the context has been clarified and the vocabularies explained, continental philosophers have been working on topics that they can easily recognize as philosophical and of great concern to them' (6). Third, and regardless of its explicit aims, this book is a paradigmatic example of how to compose a text on the history of philosophy: Braver's exposition is constantly and painstakingly accompanied by an impressive amount of textual references (and he often addresses the reader to more relevant passages not quoted). Such a heavy reliance on citation does not distract from the quality of the exposition, for they are never employed as explanatory shortcuts; on the contrary, the scrupulous attention given to the textual sources reveals the careful (and intellectually honest) exegetical method that Braver employs throughout. Indeed, his mastery of both major and minor works of the philosophers he analyses is impressive, the more so if paired with his familiarity with the most influential works of secondary literature and with his frequent reference to texts from the analytic tradition.

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