What Is Philosophy?
A comprehensive new edition of Dietrich von Hildebrand’s foundational study in epistemology with an introduction by Robert Sokolowski.
Hildebrand begins by analyzing closely the receptivity that is proper to all kinds of knowledge. As a result, he holds a robust philosophical realism according to which the mind does not impose its terms on the object known, but receives the object on the object’s own terms.
Hildebrand’s What Is Philosophy? is perhaps the most significant and nuanced work we have that defends the position of realist phenomenology.
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.
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.
This book is clear and presents a very solid understanding of philosophy.
Paul J. FlamanAmazon Review
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
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