"An extraordinarily ambitious and surprisingly successful attempt to bridge the gap between analytical philosophy and modern developments in Marxism, existentialism, and pragmatism. . . . An important step towards the restructuring of contemporary philosophy."—Charles KahnFrom the Introduction:
"Richard Bernstein has succeeded in bringing together the major streams of recent and contemporary thought in their common and central concern with praxis and action. . . . His accounts of Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Peirce, Dewey, and recent analytic philosophers from Carnap and Wittgenstein on, are outstanding for their insightfulness, justice, and clarity of presentation. This book will be of signal use to those who wish to understand the thrust of contemporary schools of thought and who look towards the possibility of a renewal of genuine communications among them. No student of contemporary philosophy should neglect it."—Albert Hofstadter
This inquiry is concerned with the themes of praxis and action in four philosophic movements: Marxism, existentialism, pragmatism, and analytic philosophy. It is rare that these four movements are considered in a single inquiry, for there are profound differences of emphasis, focus, terminology, and approach represented by these styles of thought. Many philosophers believe that similarities among these movements are superficial and that a close examination of them will reveal only hopelessly unbridgeable cleavages. While respecting the genuine fundamental differences of these movements, this inquiry is undertaken in the spirit of showing that there are important common themes and motifs in what first appears to be a chaotic babble of voices. I intend to show that the concern with man as an agent has been a primary focal point of each of these movements and further that each contributes something permanent and important to our understanding of the nature and context of human activity.
Richard J. Bernstein is Vera List Professor, Graduate Faculty, at the New School for Social Research and Chair of the Department of Philosophy. He is the author of numerous books, including these also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press: The Restructuring of Social and Political Theory and Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxis.