In a succession of provocative and wide-ranging chapters, Stanley Fish explores the rational basis of our literary, legal, and psychoanalytic interpretations. He argues that while we can never separate our judgements from the context in which they are made, those judgements are nevertheless authoritative, and in the only way that matters, objective. He explores the implications of his ideas on the nature of professional and institutional culture, on literary theory,
the philosophy of law, and the sociology of knowledge, and assesses the place of reason in a rhetorical world.
'easily the best book of literary theory published in the last few years...There isn't a drop of jargon in sight...no one can doubt the brilliance of Fish's writing.' James Wood, Guardian
`Stanley Fish is a notoriously entertaining writer, simultaneously combative and disarming in his self-appointed role as the scourge of his fellow professionals, as the second part of this book amply demonstrates ...'
British Journal of Aesthetics
Times Literary Supplement
`Nothing Stanley Fish writes can be ignored. In this latest work, he explodes all our comforting notions of unbiased, uninflected judgement in the pursuit of interpretation.'
`Stanley Fish is one of our most interesting, and most philosophically sophisticated literary theorists. He is at the top of his form in these essays.'
`Fish's latest book is easily the best book of literary theory published in the last few years. There isn't a drop of jargon in sight. His main argument is persuasive.'
'The coherence and lucidity of this critical history are beyond praise ... Fish's account could be called magisterial.'
Essays in Criticism, Vol.XL, No.4, Oct 1990
'ever, elegantly brutal, and range more widely than ever in their consideration of the status of legal, literary and psychoanalytic interpretations'
English Studies, Volume 72, Number 6, December 1991
'Stanley Fish offers us his 'general rule that a left-wing anti-professional is always a right-wing intellectual in disguise'. Doing What Comes Naturally is an irreverent, important book that addresses highly interesting issues with force and clarity.'
Hans Bertensm Unibersity of Utrecht, Modern Language Review, Vol. 87