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Against the Idols of the Age - David Stove

Against the Idols of the Age

Paperback

Published: 31st July 2001
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Little known outside his native Australia, David Stove was one of the most illuminating and brilliant philosophical es sayists of the postwar era. A fearless attacker of intellectual and cultural orthodoxies, Stove left powerful critiques of scientific irrationalism, Darwinian theories of human behavior, and philosophical idealism. Stove's writing is both rigorous and immensely readable. It is, in the words of Roger Kimball, "an invigorating blend of analytic lucidity, mordant humor, and an amount of common sense too great to be called 'common.'"

Whether the subject is race, feminism, the Enlightenment, or the demand for "non-coercive philosophy, " Stove is on the mark with a battery of impressive arguments expressed in sharp, uncompromising prose. Against the Idols of the Age concludes with a generous sampling of his blistering attacks on Darwinism.

David Stove (1927-1994) taught philosophy at the University of New South Wales and, until his retirement in 1988, at the University of Sydney. He was the author of numerous essays, articles, and several books including Anything Goes: Origins of the Cult of Scientific Irrationalism, The Plato Cult and Other Intellectual Follies, and two posthumously published volumes, Darwinian Fairytales and Cricket versus Republicanism.

-Stove was undoubtedly the most stylish and witty writer of all philosphers of the last one hundred years, if not of all time. When it comes to attacking the absurdities of twentieth century intellectual movements no one else came close, and certainly no one else was as funny. The greatest iconoclast of the twentieth century, we can now see in retrospect, was not any of the European avant-garde, most of whom in fact, epitomized the spirit of the century perfectly, but this no nonsense Australian. His greatest contributions were in the philosophy of science, in particular in his defense of inductive reasoning, and in his attack on the sort of irrationalism manifested by his four horsemen, Popper, Kuhn, Lalatos, and Feyerabend.-

--The Review of Metaphysics

-A self-proclaimed neo-positivist-and a brilliant, truculent, cantankerous essayist-Stove attacks everything from contemporary philosophy of science and evolutionary theory to religious belief and intellectual equality of women.-

--The Weekly Standard

-The greatest philosopher of the twentieth century may not have been Wittgenstein, or Russell, or Quine (and he certainly wasn't Heidegger), but he may have been a somewhat obscure and conservative Australian named David Stove (1927-94). If he wasn't the greatest philosopher of the century, Stove was certainly the funniest and most dazzling defender of common sense to be numbered among the ranks of last century's thinkers, better even--by far--than G. E. Moore and J. L. Austin. . . . What separates Stove from your average angry-eyed reactionary is the startling brilliant way that he argues, combining plain horse sense with the most nimble and skillful philosophical reasoning this side of Hume, along with a breathtaking wit.-

--Partisan Review

-An early, fearless, sometimes reckless combatant in the science and culture wars, Stove fought wittily and two-fistedly on the side of empirical realism.-

--Choice

-The incisiveness of [Stove's] logic presses toward the something new and adventuresome that has been obscured by the intellectual idols of the age.-

--The New Criterion

-David Stove is thoughtful, trenchant, sharp and wonderfully disrespectful of the established pieties of our time.-

--Harvey C. Mansfield, Harvard University

-Stove is an independent and honest philosopher who, like Voltaire and Nietsche, has the wit to make us laugh as we learn.-

--John Silber, Boston University "Stove was undoubtedly the most stylish and witty writer of all philosphers of the last one hundred years, if not of all time. When it comes to attacking the absurdities of twentieth century intellectual movements no one else came close, and certainly no one else was as funny. The greatest iconoclast of the twentieth century, we can now see in retrospect, was not any of the European avant-garde, most of whom in fact, epitomized the spirit of the century perfectly, but this no nonsense Australian. His greatest contributions were in the philosophy of science, in particular in his defense of inductive reasoning, and in his attack on the sort of irrationalism manifested by his four horsemen, Popper, Kuhn, Lalatos, and Feyerabend."

--The Review of Metaphysics

"A self-proclaimed neo-positivist-and a brilliant, truculent, cantankerous essayist-Stove attacks everything from contemporary philosophy of science and evolutionary theory to religious belief and intellectual equality of women."

--The Weekly Standard

"The greatest philosopher of the twentieth century may not have been Wittgenstein, or Russell, or Quine (and he certainly wasn't Heidegger), but he may have been a somewhat obscure and conservative Australian named David Stove (1927-94). If he wasn't the greatest philosopher of the century, Stove was certainly the funniest and most dazzling defender of common sense to be numbered among the ranks of last century's thinkers, better even--by far--than G. E. Moore and J. L. Austin. . . . What separates Stove from your average angry-eyed reactionary is the startling brilliant way that he argues, combining plain horse sense with the most nimble and skillful philosophical reasoning this side of Hume, along with a breathtaking wit."

--Partisan Review

"An early, fearless, sometimes reckless combatant in the science and culture wars, Stove fought wittily and two-fistedly on the side of empirical realism."

--Choice

"The incisiveness of [Stove's] logic presses toward the something new and adventuresome that has been obscured by the intellectual idols of the age."

--The New Criterion

"David Stove is thoughtful, trenchant, sharp and wonderfully disrespectful of the established pieties of our time."

--Harvey C. Mansfield, Harvard University

"Stove is an independent and honest philosopher who, like Voltaire and Nietsche, has the wit to make us laugh as we learn."

--John Silber, Boston University "Stove was undoubtedly the most stylish and witty writer of all philosphers of the last one hundred years, if not of all time. When it comes to attacking the absurdities of twentieth century intellectual movements no one else came close, and certainly no one else was as funny. The greatest iconoclast of the twentieth century, we can now see in retrospect, was not any of the European avant-garde, most of whom in fact, epitomized the spirit of the century perfectly, but this no nonsense Australian. His greatest contributions were in the philosophy of science, in particular in his defense of inductive reasoning, and in his attack on the sort of irrationalism manifested by his four horsemen, Popper, Kuhn, Lalatos, and Feyerabend."

--The Review of Metaphysics

"A self-proclaimed neo-positivist-and a brilliant, truculent, cantankerous essayist-Stove attacks everything from contemporary philosophy of science and evolutionary theory to religious belief and intellectual equality of women."

--The Weekly Standard

"The greatest philosopher of the twentieth century may not have been Wittgenstein, or Russell, or Quine (and he certainly wasn't Heidegger), but he may have been a somewhat obscure and conservative Australian named David Stove (1927-94). If he wasn't the greatest philosopher of the century, Stove was certainly the funniest and most dazzling defender of common sense to be numbered among the ranks of last century's thinkers, better even--by far--than G. E. Moore and J. L. Austin. . . . What separates Stove from your average angry-eyed reactionary is the startling brilliant way that he argues, combining plain horse sense with the most nimble and skillful philosophical reasoning this side of Hume, along with a breathtaking wit."

--Partisan Review

"An early, fearless, sometimes reckless combatant in the science and culture wars, Stove fought wittily and two-fistedly on the side of empirical realism."

--Choice

"The incisiveness of [Stove's] logic presses toward the something new and adventuresome that has been obscured by the intellectual idols of the age."

--The New Criterion

"David Stove is thoughtful, trenchant, sharp and wonderfully disrespectful of the established pieties of our time."

--Harvey C. Mansfield, Harvard University

"Stove is an independent and honest philosopher who, like Voltaire and Nietsche, has the wit to make us laugh as we learn."

--John Silber, Boston University "Stove was undoubtedly the most stylish and witty writer of all philosphers of the last one hundred years, if not of all time. When it comes to attacking the absurdities of twentieth century intellectual movements no one else came close, and certainly no one else was as funny. The greatest iconoclast of the twentieth century, we can now see in retrospect, was not any of the European avant-garde, most of whom in fact, epitomized the spirit of the century perfectly, but this no nonsense Australian. His greatest contributions were in the philosophy of science, in particular in his defense of inductive reasoning, and in his attack on the sort of irrationalism manifested by his four horsemen, Popper, Kuhn, Lalatos, and Feyerabend."

--The Review of Metaphysics

"A self-proclaimed neo-positivist-and a brilliant, truculent, cantankerous essayist-Stove attacks everything from contemporary philosophy of science and evolutionary theory to religious belief and intellectual equality of women."

--The Weekly Standard

"The greatest philosopher of the twentieth century may not have been Wittgenstein, or Russell, or Quine (and he certainly wasn't Heidegger), but he may have been a somewhat obscure and conservative Australian named David Stove (1927-94). If he wasn't the greatest philosopher of the century, Stove was certainly the funniest and most dazzling defender of common sense to be numbered among the ranks of last century's thinkers, better even--by far--than G. E. Moore and J. L. Austin. . . . What separates Stove from your average angry-eyed reactionary is the startling brilliant way that he argues, combining plain horse sense with the most nimble and skillful philosophical reasoning this side of Hume, along with a breathtaking wit."

--Partisan Review

"An early, fearless, sometimes reckless combatant in the science and culture wars, Stove fought wittily and two-fistedly on the side of empirical realism."

--Choice

Introduction: Who Was David Stove?p. vii
Acknowledgments and a Note on the Textp. xxxiii
The Cult of Irrationalism in Science
Cole Porter and Karl Popper: The Jazz Age in the Philosophy of Sciencep. 3
Sabotaging Logical Expressionsp. 33
Paralytic Epistemology, or The Soundless Screamp. 71
Idols Contemporary and Perennial
D'Holbach's Dream: The Central Claim of the Enlightenmentp. 81
"Always apologize, always explain": Robert Nozick's War Woundsp. 93
The Intellectual Capacity of Womenp. 113
Racial and Other Antagonismsp. 137
Idealism: A Victorian Horror-story (Part Two)p. 153
Darwinian Fairytales
Darwinism's Dilemmap. 205
Where Darwin First Went Wrong about Manp. 225
Genetic Calvinism, or Demons and Dawkinsp. 253
"He Ain't Heavy, He's my Brother," or Altruism and Shared Genesp. 283
Indexp. 339
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780765809100
ISBN-10: 0765809109
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 31st July 2001
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.9  x 2.82
Weight (kg): 0.58
Edition Type: New edition