Brilliant and insightful. An important message for our times. Lear exposes the causes and effects of 'Knowing'. Clear and relatively easy reading.
Many take issue with Lear's "defense" of Freud, but I see it differently. Lear is not so much defending Freud as he is using the example of Freud-bashing to remind us to continue to question what we think we know about reality. The human tendency is to look for answers, and that is good for us as a species. In our search for order, patterns, and understanding we have learned a great deal about the nature of objective reality (the natural world)...but the basis of scientific pursuit is test and test again; question and question again. There are scientists who continue to refine the measurement of Pi...we don't reach a point where we can simply assume that we know, and we can't interpret the work of Philosophers or Scientists with shallow prejudice and expect to come up with a true understanding of their contributions. Freud's writings are complex and convey a great deal. Many of his ideas were false ones, but that doesn't negate the value of the work he...
Like "Love and Its Place In Nature," most of this book is a philosophical interpretation of Freudian psychoanalysis. But it is more. One chapter is a discussion of the purpose of tragedy (why would anyone want to watch, or read, or even write a tragedy?). The answer is in this book. Another chapter that has very little to do with Freud discusses the tension between the transcendental nature of Philosophy and the brute classifications of "scientific" Anthropology. Is there room for a merging of the two? Lear thinks so. But the hook is in the first chapter, where he launches a full-on aussault on "knowingness." For example we all "know" Clinton committed infidelity and thus we choose to brush it aside or blow it up into some outrageous impeachment crusade. But how do we really "know" what to do? Read Lear's book and you will be surprised, I guarantee you that.
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