What Is Philosophy?
The title of the book is a question, and the book itself is the answer. It is a theoretic and contemplative achievement, expressed in the author’s own voice.Robert Sokolowski | From the Introduction
Reviews & Commentary
From scholars, students, and readers
A noted Catholic philosopher, a former pupil of Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, here presents a direct analysis and vigorous defense of the nature and value of philosophical knowledge in the traditional sense, as contrasted with other types, and particularly with scientific forms of knowledge. Philosophy, for the author of this book, is fundamentally a phenomenological study of “genuine essences” in a context of realism. Intended for the student of philosophy and for the average reader as well, the presentation is interesting, clear and concrete. A refreshing lack of citations of authority characterizes the treatment of the material offered. The author takes a fresh look at the data and invites the reader to do the same along with him. Original, incisive and profound. Not restricted to the Catholic market. A Catholic philosopher, the author is not, however, a Thomist. One of the volumes in Bruce’s new Impact Books series, designed to make the average reader familiar with academic work and personalities.
Firmly rooted in the realist phenomenological tradition begun by his teacher, Edmund Husserl, and expanded upon by the likes of Adolf Reinach, Max Scheler, and Hedwig Conrad-Martius among others, Hildebrand offers nothing short of a crusade against the relativism and denial of objectivity he witnessed in his time. Bookended by a wonderful introduction by Robert Sokolowski and the introduction to the 1991 edition by Josef Seifert, this new conclusive edition of one of Hildebrand’s most important works provides one of the most passionate defenses of not just objectivity, from a phenomenological perspective, but of the philosophical life as something important-in-itself; something which is needed now more than ever.
Timothy B. JaegerSymposium
Hildebrand’s What Is Philosophy? is—with respect to its quality—a philosophical classic, though it is recognized only by few to be such.
Josef SeifertPhilosopher, friend and student of Dietrich von Hildebrand.
Hildebrand’s clarity of thought and lucid style are unexpected bonuses that will come as a pleasant surprise to those who have forced themselves to slog through the works of many other 20th century philosophers, only to arrive at a dead end. What Is Philosophy? is truly different. It is a great book, containing ideas that will help shape the next renaissance.
C. Edward CollinsAmazon Review
This book is clear and presents a very solid understanding of philosophy.
Paul J. FlamanAmazon Review
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