Reading Connections to the World
is like ascending the stairs of an observatory and listening to an astronomer explain the latest theories of cosmology. Philosopher Arthur Danto turns his telescope on the distant notions of appearance and reality and explains how they have shaped certain key philosophical debates, especially in regard to knowledge, mind, language, and causation. His writing is so clear and free of philosophical jargon that readers imperceptibly finds themselves beyond just an introduction and on the very forefront of modern philosophy. Unusual in a philosopher, Danto has a knack for getting right to the point and never weighs down his writing with impressive words or outworn theories.
From Publishers Weekly
Philosopher-teacher Danto is an adroit guide through the thickets of contemporary philosophy. First, he defines our connections to the universe in terms of three basic elements: the subject, his or her representation of the world and the world itself. Using this formula as a yardstick, he gauges the approaches taken by various schools and thinkers to problems of morality, knowledge, the concept of the person, language and meaning. The reader engages in a dialogue with Kant, Wittgenstein, Plato, neurophilosophers, behaviorists. Danto demonstrates how the "vehicles of understanding" philosophers usesymbols, images, ideas, propositionsare crucial to their modes of thought. Professor at Columbia University and art critic for the Nation , he peppers his sometimes difficult discourse with down-to-earth examples drawn from Samuel Johnson, Marcel Duchamp, Superman and Kafka. His disquisition points up a dilemma: many problems with which modern thinkers grapple rest on archaic categories they now repudiate.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.