Fleeing the Universal: The Critique of Post-Rational Criticism

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SUNY Press, 1998 M01 1 - 297 pages
Fleeing the Universal takes issue with the popular view that contemporary literary and cultural theory has brilliantly effected, or at least brilliantly reported, the demise of philosophy and the emergence of a new post-philosophical culture. It offers a critique of the various options presented by "post-rational" critics and theorists and, at the same time, argues for the superiority of speculative philosophy to all these options. Further, it demonstrates that the chief problems with post-rationalism were already seen, before our time, by two speculative philosophers, Hegel and Santayana, both of whose systems of philosophy are primarily intended to avoid the problems that beset the critique of reason.

Fleeing the Universal criticizes the arguments and methods of deconstruction, the new pragmatism, and New Historicism, and suggests that the alternatives to post-philosophy developed by Hegel in the early nineteenth century and by Santayana in the early twentieth century have not been superseded by any theory associated with the culture of postmodernism or the analytical techniques of poststructuralism.

 

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Contents

WHAT IS POSTRATIONAL CRITICISM?
1
THE TRANSCENDENTALIST IMPULSE IN THE PROJECTS OF CONTEMPORARY CRITICISM
25
HEGELS CONCEPT OF THE DISSOLUTION OF ART
67
WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS AND THE ART OF INFINITE SPIRITUALITY
93
THE METAPHYSICS OF DECONSTRUCTION
101
IDEOLOGY AND THE NEW PRAGMATISM
117
THE SELFCONTRADICTIONS OF PRAGMATISM
137
POSTMODERN FANTASIES OF PLURALISM
155
THE CRISIS OF REASON IN CONTEMPORARY THOUGHT
177
CONCRETE HISTORY OR MERE HOLOGRAM? Hegel versus the New Historicism
211
SANTAYANAS CRITIQUE OF TRANSCENDENTALISM
231
HEGEL AND SANTAYANA ON THE NATURE OF PHILOSOPHY
245
THESES FOR THE CRITIQUE OF THE POSTRATIONAL CRITIQUE OF REASON
271
Notes
275
Index
295
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About the author (1998)

Carl Rapp is Associate Professor of English at the University of Georgia. He is also the author of William Carlos Williams and Romantic Idealism, recipient of the Brown University Press First Book Prize Award.

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