Chasing the Norm

Australian academic and blogger on politics, international relations, and culture

America the Philosophical

America the Philosophical
by Carlin RomanoRomano - US Philosophical

This is a very good tour of the mind of the US. A former book reviewer, Romano makes a strong case that while Sarah Palin exists and academic analytical philosophy may be a dead end (insofar as it’s struggling to replicate itself or engage the general public), the US is a very intellectual, even philosophical society.

We all half know this. Most of the era-defining authors headed to, or are products of the American system. And if we take Philosophy as more than an academic degree in logic, and view it an active process of public debate and discussion of ideas, then America has a rightful claim to one of the most vibrant philosophical societies on the planet.

While I like the argument, even more important for me was the chance to build and extend my ‘interested/must read’ author list. Everyone knows the Nietzsches/Kant/Hume/Berkley’s of this world. But what about mid-late twentieth century thinkers who are little known beyond the academy. Or those in the fields of sociology, linguistics, political theory, psychology and so on who have made important [dare we say it] philosophical contributions to how we understand modern life.

It was an extra pleasure to read this book while in the US, but for anyone who has visited the classics and is looking for a new reading list, that is engagingly discussed within a larger argument for the importance and significance of America for the frontiers of thought today, this is a welcome addition to your bookshelves

« Previous post