By Daniel J. Boorstin

All through heritage, from the time of Socrates to our personal smooth age, the human race has sought the solutions to primary questions of existence: who're we?  Why are we here?

In his past nationwide bestsellers, The Discoverers and The Creators , Daniel J. Boorstin first instructed brilliantly how e came across the truth of our global, after which he celebrated man's achievements within the arts.  He now turns to the nice figures in heritage who sought which means and goal in our existence.

Boorstin says our Western tradition has visible 3 grand epics of Seeking.  First there has been the heroic method of prophets and philosophers--men like Moses or task or Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, in addition to these within the groups of the early church universities and the Protestant Reformation--seeking salvation or fact from the god above or the explanation inside each one of us.

Then got here an age of communal looking, with humans like Thucydides and Thomas extra and Machiavelli and Voltaire pursuing  civilization and the liberal spirit.

Finally, there has been an age of the social sciences, while guy appeared governed by way of the forces of history.  Here are the soaking up tales of remarkable males corresponding to Marx, Spengler, and Toynbee, Carlyle and Emerson, and Malraux, Bergson, and Einstein.

These nice thinkers nonetheless have the ability to talk to us, now not constantly a lot for his or her solutions as for his or her manner of asking the questions that by no means stop both to intrigue or to obsess us.

In this striking climax to a enormous trilogy, Daniel J. Boorstin once more exhibits that his skill to offer tough rules, coupled with sharp pix of serious writers and thinkers, continues to be extraordinary.

Show description

Read Online or Download The Seekers: The Story of Man's Continuing Quest to Understand His World PDF

Best philosophy books

Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Plato and the Trial of Socrates

This guidebook introduces and examines Plato's 3 dialogues that care for the dying of Socrates: Euthphryo, Apology and Crito. those dialogues are greatly considered as the nearest exposition of Socrates' ideas.

Part of the Routledge Philosophy Guidebooks sequence.

Jean-François Lyotard (Routledge Critical Thinkers)

Jean-François Lyotard is likely one of the so much celebrated proponents of what has develop into referred to as the 'postmodern'. greater than virtually the other modern theorist, he has explored the family among wisdom, paintings, politics and background, in ways in which provide radical new probabilities for considering smooth tradition.

Paul Celan and Martin Heidegger: An Unresolved Conversation, 1951-1970

This paintings explores the bothered dating and unfinished highbrow discussion among Paul Celan, seemed by way of many because the most crucial ecu poet after 1945, and Martin Heidegger, probably the main influential determine in twentieth-century philosophy. It facilities at the continual ambivalence Celan, a Holocaust survivor, felt towards a philosopher who revered him and now and then promoted his poetry.

Three Critics of the Enlightenment: Vico, Hamann, Herder (2nd Edition)

Isaiah Berlin was once deeply renowned in the course of his existence, yet his complete contribution was once maybe underestimated as a result of his choice for the lengthy essay shape. The efforts of Henry Hardy to edit Berlin's paintings and reintroduce it to a extensive, keen readership have long gone a long way to therapy this. Now, Princeton is happy to come back to print, lower than one conceal, Berlin's essays on those celebrated and beautiful highbrow pictures: Vico, Hamann, and Herder.

Additional info for The Seekers: The Story of Man's Continuing Quest to Understand His World

Example text

However, this melancholy, at its extreme, touches the thing itself. It saves mortified things, it hears their lament, their breath; maybe it is this hearing which transforms the lanlent into nlusic: nlusic which from then on lets the immemorial and unforgettable gift of language be heard. Melancholic man reaches the limit of his humanity, if his humanitas consists in the task of denomination . Thus, the analysis of the thing's sadness allows this limit upon which denomination always suspends itself to appear: 'Melan­ choly betrays the world for the sake of knowledge.

A surprising affirmation, since he does not deal with the socio­ political implications of language in his early essay. Maybe we should read the text in question as a ' pre-history' [ Urgesehiehte] of these implications. ) In the course of his digressions, Benj amin identifies three languages, or rather three different states of language: God's language, paradisiacal human language and language as a 'parody' of God's language. God's language is the one which gives names to what has j ust been created by the word, by the ' creating word' (das sehaffende Wort) , this word which allows itself to be neither spoken nor written, neither classified nor translated, neither chosen nor refused, neither loved nor hated, since it absolutely precedes all other tongues and languages.

The thing which laments does not become an allegory because the lament does not allow itself to be reduced to its representation or schenlatic appropriation. As lament, the thing does not stand in the actuality of the life of meaning , but equally it does not lend itself to fixation, abstrac­ tion or reification. The lament is neither symbolic nor allegori­ cal, it preserves the thing both fronl the idealisation operated by the symbol and from the mortification which it must suffer to become an obj ect of knowledge and criticisnl: ' Criticism means 1 4 the mortification of the works .

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.32 of 5 – based on 44 votes