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The ever-crusading Bunge here argues that "all the philosophical schools are in ruins" including Aristotelianism, Thomism, Kantianism, Hegelianism, dialectical materialism, positivism, pragmatism, phenomenology, and linguistic philosophy. His own solution is a kind of materialism that allows for the emergence of minds and societies as entities with distinct properties. He has long been professor of logic and metaphysics at McGill, and he draws on his many books to lay down much that is sensible and humane. Readers will enjoy some of his attacks on the woollier social sciences and the dafter deconstructionists and metaphysicians. But some will think his definition of "matter" as what is located and "can be in at least two different states" allows him to win too easily, like a man who adds 20 wild cards to a solitaire deck. "Matter" then includes by definition everything except things like the number two and infinity. (Is love material, and don't the friends of Cantor and Goedel who think we need the infinite and must accept the existence of all the numbers have a point?) Much of Bunge's concern is with locating the social sciences and philosophy in relation to the natural sciences. As in his recent The Sociology-Philosophy Connection (Transaction, 1999), he denounces his opponents as lacking brainpower without giving them much of an argument. This work is flawed, but it is an important book that deserves a place in any substantial academic library. Leslie Armour. Univ. of Ottawa
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"...an important book that deserves a place in any substantial academic library." -- Library Journal, March 1, 2001
"...survey of competing ontologies, philosophies of mind, approaches to the sciences, ethical theories, and more." -- Choice, January 2002