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Colección: La Educación
Número: (119) III
Año: 1994

2. Robert W. BURCH and Herman J. SAATKAMP, Jr. Frontiers in American Philosophy, Vol. I. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press, 1992, 366 p., notes, bibliography, index.

This book is a collection of essays that were presented at the international conference, “Frontiers in American Philosophy,” which was held in College Station, Texas, in early June of 1988. The purpose of the conference was to encourage original thought within the context of American Philosophy. Although there are topics that merit much more exploration than they received, such as mathematical logic and philosophical analysis, the essays in this text were successful in approaching an impressive range of issues in insightful ways.

As is often the case with collections of works, it is difficult to generalize concerning the content. This is also true with this collection, however, it is further evidence of the variety of topics addressed within the work. It is no surprise that a great deal of emphasis is placed on the “idealism/realism” controversy. Many of the essays refer to a middle position between Putnam’s “external realism” and a form of relativistic subjectivism which could be seen as the central pillar of what students of American philosophy call “pragmatism.” However, this focus is in no way a limiting factor for the scope of the work. From James’ ruminations on morality to social critique of American society from the mouth of Pierce to an exploration of the age old topics of metaphysics and epistemology, it can safely be said that this collection contains something for everyone.

The articles in this work help to provide an understanding of the intellectual history in which American philosophy is rooted and the challenges that American philosophy will face in the future. As American philosophy matures, it is important to constantly clarify the dialogue that analyzes and critiques American thought in order to maintain the dialogue itself. Works such as this make an important contribution to this goal.

James F. Reed IV