Philosophy's Cool Place

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Cornell University Press, 1999 - Philosophy - 170 pages

Ludwig Wittgenstein established a "cool" stance for philosophy, contemplating the world without meddling in it. D. Z. Phillips explores this position, focusing on its implications for philosophical authorship and the philosophical investigation of the nature of reality.

Influenced by the views of Wittgenstein and his pupil Rush Rhees, Phillips--who is one of Rhees's own students--first contrasts Wittgenstein's methods with Kierkegaard's religiously oriented dialectic. He describes the difficulty in sustaining a contemplative view of philosophy and discusses efforts to go beyond it in the work of Richard Rorty, Stanley Cavell, Annette Baier, and Martha Nussbaum, who, in different ways, propose to make philosophy a guide to living.

A provocative and challenging work, Philosophy's Cool Place is one of the few books that addresses the discipline as an enterprise and explores its relation to moral values, religious belief, and the nature of Reality. By advancing the cause of neutrality, it will stimulate debate and foster discussion of what philosophy is to become in the postmodern era.

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About the author (1999)

D. Z. Phillips is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus and Rush Rhees Professor Emeritus, University of Wales, Swansea, Danforth Professor of Philosophy of Religion, Claremont Graduate University, California. Phillips is the author of many books, including On the Problem of Evil, Religion and Friendly Fire, and Religion and the Hermeneutics of Contemplation.

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