Recent Philosophy, Volume 2


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By Étienne Gilson, Thomas Langan, and Armand Maurer, C.S.B.

Philosophy contends with the ultimate questions the human mind can ask. In Recent Philosophy, Étienne Gilson, Thomas Langan, and Armand Maurer, C.S.B., present the approaches and answers to those questions by the foremost philosophers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Like its published companions in the History of Philosophy series (Medieval Philosophy and Modern Philosophy), Recent Philosophy avoids the trap of becoming an encyclopedia of names and dates, producing instead an emphatically doctrinal chronicle of post-modern philosophical activity.

Much more important than knowledge about philosophy is a true notion of what it is to philosophize. And what better way is there to learn to philosophize than to observe the great philosophers of the past? (Étienne Gilson)

Volume Two comprises Armand Maurer’s studies of (1) English philosophy, covering Bentham and Mill and the emergence of utilitarianism; the advent of evolutionism via Darwin and Spencer; the continued development of idealism under the auspices of Coleridge; the return to realism ushered in by G. E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, and A. N. Whitehead; and the intersection of linguistics and metaphysics, especially in the work of Wittgenstein; and (2) American philosophy, from its beginning of “philosophizing divines,” through New England Transcendentalism and the American takes on idealism and realism, and, finally, the stark world of pragmatism envisioned by William James and John Dewey.

Étienne Gilson (1884–1978) was a French philosopher and historian of philosophy. One of the premier Catholic intellectuals of the twentieth century, he was founder of the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, member of the Académie française, and author of more than one hundred seventy books.

Thomas Langan (1929–2012) was an American philosopher and staunch proponent of the Catholic intellectual tradition. His writings include numerous books on existentialism and phenomenology.

Armand A. Maurer, C.S.B. (1915–2008), was an American philosopher and a Roman Catholic priest in the Congregation of Saint Basil. Appointed to the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in 1949, he spent the remainder of his career and life there, devoted to both teaching and scholarship.

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Paperback: 384pp.

ISBN: 978-1685952082

Also available: Volume 1