Time in the Ditch: American Philosophy and the McCarthy Era

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Northwestern University Press, 2001 - History - 213 pages
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That McCarthyism damaged American philosophy is in itself no scandal, nor is it scandalous that the damage was not clearly perceived for some time after the fact. But the possibility that the political pressures of the McCarthy era might have skewed the development of the discipline was barely addressed in the subsequent half century. Why has silence been maintained for so long? And what happens when political events and pressures go beyond interfering with individual careers to influence the nature of a discipline itself? While prevailing thought maintains that such things do not happen in America, McCumber argues that Joseph McCarthy and his "academic henchmen" had a decisive and lasting impact on American philosophy: from a philosophy that was socially engaged and pragmatic in outlook to a socially disengaged vision that advocated a highly restricted "scientistic" conception of truth, language, and method.--From publisher description.

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Time in the ditch: American philosophy and the McCarthy era

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A distinguished Hegel scholar and something of an expert on philosophical postmodernism who now chairs the German department at Northwestern, McCumber here argues that McCarthyism turned American ... Read full review


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German Department, Northwestern University

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