Retrieving Aristotle in an Age of Crisis
In 1935 Edmund Husserl delivered his now famous lecture Philosophy and the Crisis of European Humanity, in which he argued that the misguided rationalism of modern Western science, dominated by the model of mathematical physics, can tell us nothing about the meaning of our lives. Today Husserl s conviction that the West faces a crisis is no longer an abstraction. With the ever-present threat of nuclear explosion, the degradation of the oceans, and the possibility that climate change will wreak havoc on civilization itself, people from all walks of life are wondering what has gone so terribly wrong and what remedies might be available.
In Retrieving Aristotle in an Age of Crisis, David Roochnik makes a lucid and powerful case that Aristotle offers a philosophical resource that even today can be of significant therapeutic value. Unlike the scientific revolutionaries of the seventeenth century, he insisted that both ordinary language and sense-perception play essential roles in the acquisition of knowledge. Centuries before Husserl, Aristotle was a phenomenologist who demanded that a successful theory remain faithful to human experience. His philosophy can thus provide precisely what modern European rationalism now so painfully lacks: an understanding and appreciation of the world in which human beings actually make their homes.
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