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Pluralism in Philosophy: Changing the Subject Hardcover – December, 2000

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell Univ Pr; First Edition edition (December 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
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,620,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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