The Philosophy Scare: The Politics of Reason in the Early Cold War (Hardback)John McCumber (author)
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Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
--Times Literary Supplement
What came was the rise of what McCumber calls Cold War philosophy, which used the 'mathematical veneer of scientific objectivity and practices of market freedom [largely engineered by] forces outside the university' to remove what today is known as continental philosophy. All this occurred as US philosophy entered "the dark realm of socio-political pressure."
McCumber's key text to explain the philosophical side of this is Reichenbach's The Rise of Scientific Philosophy, as well as his impressive research using primary sources (university documents, catalogues, letters, memorandums, directives, policies, etc.) gained through substantial archival work as well as secondary sources (newspaper articles, etc.). The rise of Cold War philosophy occurred at a time "deeply haunted by fear of atheism" and "the battle against communism [for which] rational choice theory (RCT) provided the favoured model." With the support of governmental and academic elites, RCT quickly took over the discipline of economics and made strong inroads into political science." It also affected philosophy... One thing one might learn from McCumber's exquisite book is that as soon as the freedom to write philosophy is restricted, philosophy is damaged. If anything, McCumber's book is a timely reminder that true philosophy can only exist in absolute freedom.--Philosophy in Review
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