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Pluralism in Philosophy: Changing the Subject Hardcover – October 12, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0801438059 ISBN-10: 0801438055 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (October 12, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801438055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801438059
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,291,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A worthy successor to a run of excellent books. . . Carefully argued and highly readable. There is an impressive directness and integrity about the writing: clear, straightforward, and utterly free from the pretentiousness and obfuscation of so much contemporary academic writing. Even those who are unconvinced that it will radically alter our philosophical outlook on the problems of the good life wil have to admit that it casts a fresh and challenging light on questions of the utmost importance."—John Cottingham, University of Reading. Mind

"John Kekes's project has been to encourage others to be realistic about what it takes to make good lives for themselves in a troubled, flawed, and apparently contingent universe."—Preston Jones, Cambridge School of Dallas. Touchstone, June 2002

"Humans seek to live good lives, trusting in habit and custom as primary guides. However, certain facts arise which disrupt the attempt to realize such lives. . . Because the writing quality is of a very high order, the reader wil readily absorb Keke's initial exposition of the problem and follow him to his final conclusions. One may end up disagreeing with these conclusions, but one will have learnt to look at an old problem from a novel, illuminating, and human angle."—Christopher Albrecht, St. Basil College. The Review of Metaphysics.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I read a book by John Kekes many years ago in a graduate seminar on contemporary ethics. I returned to Kekes at the suggestion of an Amazon friend who has read and reviewed some of his books. A prolific philosophical author, Kekes is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Albany. In addition to his writings on ethics, Kekes is a political conservative who has written extensively on political philosophy. I find the combination of philosophical pluralism and political conservatism appealing and intruiging. The book I am reviewing, however, "Pluralism in Philosophy: Changing the Subject" (2000), concerns issues in ethics and theory of knowledge, with little detailed, explicit discussion of political theory.

The title of the book with its references to "pluralism" and to "changing the subject" indicate Kekes' broad approach. His book explores the relationship of the philosophical concepts of "absolutism", "pluralism" "relativism" and "reason". According to Kekes, many philosophers have erred over the centuries by pursuing an "absolutistic" approach. By this, Kekes means, seeking a single type of philosophical answer to the problems of life that overrides or trumps all other possible answers. Kekes identifies five types of absolutist approaches offered by various great philosophers: religious,moral, scientific, aesthetic, and subjective. In contrast to an absolutist approach, Kekes argues that a pluralistic approach recognizes each of these approaches and significant and important. He denies that any one of these approaches predominates over the other in all cases. He argues that the weight to be given to these factors varies by circumstance, by society and social conditions, and by individual.
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Pluralism in Philosophy: Changing the Subject
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