Against the Idols of the Age
16%
off

Against the Idols of the Age

4.4 (20 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 11 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

Little known outside his native Australia, David Stove was one of the most illuminating and brilliant philo-sophical essayists of the postwar era. A fearless at-tacker of intellectual and cultural orthodoxies, Stove left powerful critiques of scientific irrationalism, Dar-winian theories of human behavior, and philosophi-cal idealism. He was also an occasional essayist of considerable charm and polemical snap. Stove's writ-ing 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.'" Against the Idols of the Age brings together a repre-sentative selection of Stove's writing and is an ideal introduction to his work.

The book opens with some of Stove's most impor-tant attacks on irrationalism in the philosophy of sci-ence. He exposes the roots of this fashionable attitude, tracing it through writers like Paul Feyerabend andThomas Kuhn to Karl Popper. Stove was a born controversialist, so it is not surpris-ing that when he turned his attention to contemporary affairs he said things that are politically incorrect. The topical essays that make up the second part of the book show Stove at his most withering and combative. Whether the subject is race, femi-nism, the Enlightenment, or the demand for "non-coercive philosophy," Stove is on the mark with a battery of impressive arguments expressed in sharp, uncompromis-ing prose. Against the Idols of the Age concludes with a generous sampling of his blistering attacks on Darwinism.

David Stove's writings are an undiscovered treasure. Although readers may dis-agree with some of his opinions, they will find it difficult to dismiss his razor-sharp arguments. Against the Idols of the Age is the first book to make the full range of this important thinker available to the general reader.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 347 pages
  • 164.3 x 237.5 x 37.8mm | 739.37g
  • Transaction Publishers
  • Somerset, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0765800004
  • 9780765800008

Review quote

-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
show more

Rating details

20 ratings
4.4 out of 5 stars
5 65% (13)
4 15% (3)
3 15% (3)
2 5% (1)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X