Empiricism and Sociology

Springer Science & Business Media
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On the last day of his life, Otto Neurath had given help to a Chinese philosopher who was writing about Schlick. Only an hour before his death he said to me: "Nobody will do such a thing for me." My answer then was: "Never mind, you have Bilston, isn't that better?" There were con sultations in new housing schemes, an exhibition, and hopes for a fruitful relationship of longer duration. I did not dream at that time that I would one day work on a book like this. The idea came from Horace M. Kallen, of the New School for Social Research, New York, years later; to encourage me he sent me his selection from William James' writings. Later I met Robert S. Cohen. Carnap had sent him to me with the message: "If you want to find out what my political views were in the twenties and thirties, read Otto Neurath's books and articles of that time; his views were also mine." In this way Robert Cohen became ac quainted with Otto Neurath. Even more: he became interested; and when I asked him, would he help me as an editor of an Otto N eurath volume, he agreed at once. In previous years I had already asked a number of Otto Neurath's friends to write down for me what they especially remembered about him.
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Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Dec 6, 2012
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Philosophy / Movements / General
Philosophy / Political
Social Science / Sociology / General
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The Obstacle is the Way has become a cult classic, beloved by men and women around the world who apply its wisdom to become more successful at whatever they do.

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From the Hardcover edition.

One of our most renowned and brilliant historians takes a fresh look at the revolutionary intellectual movement that laid the foundation for the modern world.
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Everyone can agree on its impact. But in the end, just what was Enlightenment? A cohesive philosophical project? A discrete time period in the life of the mind when the superstitions of the past were overthrown and reason and equality came to the fore? Or an open-ended intellectual process, a way of looking at the world and the human condition, that continued long after the eighteenth century ended? To address these questions, Pagden introduces us to some of the unforgettable characters who defined the Enlightenment, including David Hume, the Scottish skeptic who advanced the idea of a universal “science of man”; François-Marie Arouet, better known to the world as Voltaire, the acerbic novelist and social critic who challenged the authority of the Catholic Church; and Immanuel Kant, the reclusive German philosopher for whom the triumph of a cosmopolitan world represented the final stage in mankind’s evolution. Comprehensive in his analysis of this heterogeneous group of scholars and their lasting impact on the world, Pagden argues that Enlightenment ideas go beyond the “empire of reason” to involve the full recognition of the emotional ties that bind all human beings together. The “human science” developed by these eminent thinkers led to a universalizing vision of humanity, a bid to dissolve the barriers past generations had attempted to erect between the different cultures of the world.
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“Sweeping . . . Like being guided through a vast ballroom of rotating strangers by a confiding insider.”—The Washington Post
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From the Hardcover edition.
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