Richard Wolin. Labyrinths: Explorations in the Critical History of Ideas. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1995. Paperback, xi + 290 pages.
Richard Wolin, a professor of modern European intellectual history at Rice University, is the author of several books, including The Politics of Being (a work about Martin Heidegger) and The Seduction of Unreason.
The present volume, which is part of the Critical Perspectives on Modern Culture series, contains ten probing essays on core concerns in the ongoing labyrinthine discussions about such philosophical/cultural movements as postmodernism, poststructuralism, antihumanism, neoconservatism, democracy, Jewish secular messianism.
Arguing for a multidimensional theoretical perspective, which is rational but not merely logocentric, Wolin energetically examines some of the great intellectual issues and controversies of recent decades. His analyses give one an overwhelming sense of the fact that movements and countermovements in philosophy and culture, despite their claims and despite the obvious intelligence of their original minds, largely fail to hear each other but inhabit the realm of irrationality and confusion. It is good to hear Wolin’s balanced voice on these vital issues of intellectual history and cultural criticism.
This book is an eloquent and highly technical analysis of the intellectual forces of the twentieth century. It demonstrates once again that ideas matter, and that the wrong sort of idea can have a pernicious effect on cultural life.
Copyright ©2006 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved.
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