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The View from Within: Normativity and the Limits of Self-Criticism Paperback – October 30, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press; 1st Edition edition (October 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0268029040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0268029043
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,340,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Menachem Fisch is Joseph and Ceil Mazer Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Yitzhak Benbaji is associate professor on the law faculty and in the philosophy department at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Syrkin on March 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
In one of David Foster Wallace's stories he describes two baby fishes swimming in the ocean. They come across an slowly swimming wise
old fish who says to them: "Hello there, young ones! How is the water this morning?". The two young fish continue swimming without
answering and then one turns to the other and asks: 'What water is he talking about?!" Well, if you want to find out how the fish - who are us - can figure
out that they are swimming in water, and, if need be, decide to change to a different stream, you have to read this book.
It is philosophy at its best: relevant, smart, challenging, mind opening. The book is wonderfully written, clear, and wide ranging, taking the
reader through a fantastic stroll through some of modern philosophy's deepest questions. A tour de force by Fisch and Benbaji. Do your brain
a great favor and go buy it!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Noah Efron on April 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An extraordinary book, and an important one. The View from Within asks a fundamental question about reason and rationality that hasn't been asked before, but desperately needs to be answered. There is a problem, the authors point out, with the way we normally understand how we can be persuaded to change our minds about normative issues. No criticism can hit home, and be convincing, if it comes from outside our normative framework. Thus, to be successful, criticism must be something we internalize, causing us to call into question our own normative framework, essentially spurring us to self-criticism.

In their brilliant analysis, Fisch and Benbaji describe how such a thing might come to pass. In so doing, they put onto solid foundations a philosophy of critical dialogue and normative change. Along the way, they take us on an breathtaking critical tour of the past generations' most celebrated philosophers of reason - Walzer, Habermas, Rorty, Brandom, Friedman, Frankfurt, Davidson, Williams and McDowell (among others). In the end, we are left with a new understanding of reason and rational discourse, which will serve as the starting point for all future investigations into the field.

In short, a thrilling achievement.
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