Philosophy and the Modern Mind: A Philosophical Critique of Modern Western Civilization

Philosophy and the Modern Mind: A Philosophical Critique of Modern Western Civilization

Philosophy and the Modern Mind: A Philosophical Critique of Modern Western Civilization

Philosophy and the Modern Mind: A Philosophical Critique of Modern Western Civilization

Synopsis

In this unique philosophical critique of modern Western civilization, Adams argues that contemporary culture is deranged by false assumptions about the human mind. He sees a growing gap between the subjectivistic culture and the structure of reality which has not only produced
Originally published 1975.

Excerpt

This work is addressed to both professional and lay philosophers, for all fully aware people sense that our ordinary ways of approaching problematic situations do not today reveal and come to grips with our real problems. There is a growing awareness that our difficulties are intractable because they penetrate to the depths of our way of life, even to our ways of exercising our powers in our efforts to know and to cope with reality. in this time of loss of confidence and of little hope, people are writhing and turning in search of a new light. Many are "philosophizing," but few turn to or expect much from professional philosophers, for they are widely regarded as an esoteric set who talk only to each other about highly technical but trivial matters.

Contrary to those who believe that philosophy is dead or that it is trivial, the present work attempts to show that it is concerned with the profoundest problems of the human mind and the most significant and far-reaching troubles in our culture. Even the most technical work which only some other philosophers can comprehend, when properly understood, is seen to bear upon issues significant for all. No individual nor the culture at large, it is argued, can ignore philosophy and come to grips with the basic problems of life in our time.

It is a thesis of this work that the intellectual foundations of our institutions and life-sustaining attitudes are eroding and collapsing because of false philosophical assumptions about the knowledge-yielding powers of the human mind that generate a threatening, all-encompassing subjectivism. the pervasive naturalistic assumption that knowledge of the world is obtained only through sensory perception under scientific refinement and thought grounded therein calls into question all other areas of our culture, especially the humanities. Indeed the thrust toward skepticism and subjectivism engendered by naturalism has been so great that the fight to safeguard and to protect even science as an island of objectivity has been a losing battle. Such a loss of a philosophical sense of reality on the part of a culture, it is contended, is a derangement of the cultural mind that infects the lives of all who embrace it.

Philosophy, as a serious intellectual discipline, by exploring the . . .

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