Friday, January 29, 2010

Lamenting ...

... Wise Men Gone. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In Cosmopolis, Toulmin started talking up the 16th-century humanist thinker Montaigne as the truly must-read philosopher of the early modern period. Could he have chosen a thinker more likely to drive away the technocrats who dominated professional philosophy at the time? But Toulmin, trained in the hard sciences and mathematics himself, saw through the science worship of less-credentialed sorts. He didn't relent, announcing "our need to reappropriate the wisdom of the 16th-century humanists, and develop a point of view that combines the abstract rigor and exactitude of the 17th-century 'new philosophy' with a practical concern for human life in its concrete detail."
Hard to object to that.

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