For almost the entire twentieth century, the discipline of philosophy has been in a quandary in attempting to identify and define its poroper role in the contemporary world. During the past twenty-five years, it has fallen on bad days in academe. often reduced to overly technical ramblings or postmodernist rants. Its demise has been predicted, if not reported, for years. Finally in this provocative and controversial book, Robert Greene does the dirty deed and puts philosophy out of its misery, issuing a 'coup de grace' to the current ill-conceived, skeptical discipline. But then he breathes life into the great interdisciplinary traditon of philosophers, freeing them from the straitjacket of the mind-body dualism and "the problem of knowledge." The Major seventeenth - and eighteenth-century writers from Descartes through Kant criticized Aristotle's ideas, but only replaced them with dualism and/or skepticism. Nevertheless, in light of their efforts, we can see his ability to solve the problems they raised. The heart of the book is a long chapter and appendix expounding the brilliance of Aristotle on language, the soul, and mind.
This updating of him, much broader than the conventional, stereotyped view, can be incorporated into modern science. 'The Death and Life of Philosophy' not only presents the great thinkers of the past in a new light, but also satirizes the philosophy professors today, putting their work and even their aims into perspective in a highly readable and engaging manner.