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Beyond Transcendence in Law and Philosophy (Birkbeck Law Press) 1st Edition

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-1859419854
ISBN-10: 1859419852
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Editorial Reviews


"[The author's] mediation on 'the compassionate pursuit of the ordinary' is a valuable gift to his readers... This accessible book will profit anyone with an interest in critical legal theory or comparative philosophy." - Social & Legal Studies, vol. 16 no.4 (December 2007)

About the Author

Louis E. Wolcher is Charles I. Stone Professor of Law at the University of Washington.


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Product Details

  • Series: Birkbeck Law Press
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Birkbeck Law Press; 1 edition (September 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859419852
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859419854
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,608,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jan Patrick Oppermann on August 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
The best way to describe (and recommend) this strange and compelling work of philosophy is to point to its fundamental originality. True, there are many "original" books in the world today - but Louis Wolcher's text does not simply seek to trace questions back to their origins, nor does he simply set out to pursue a fancy of his imagination. Instead, he does something that literally no one else in America has ever done: pull the rug out from underneath the possibility of both the realm of the "imaginary possible" in philosophy, and of the realm of definable and determinable norms of transcendence. The result is a work of a compassionate and yet unrelenting realism. It actually manages to escape the vexing question of the grounding of philosophical claims by illuminating the lack of transcendent desires in any post-Heideggerian and post-Wittgensteinian attempt to re-think the claims of Western philosophy.

Lest anyone think this simply another book in the canon of the anti-canon, it is not inappropriate to point to the work's refusal to reject the canon since such a refusal would indicate another possibility of enshrined transcendence.

What Wolcher does put forward instead is a way of thinking that does not rely on anything but is simply itself within its own transformations and transmutations (which he discusses in terms of the lovely parable of the "third mountain"). I would add to this that the utilization of Zen koans and Zen texts is ultimately accidental: Wolcher never falls into the trap of building up Zen as another form of transcendence.
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