Philosophy in a Time of Lost Spirit

Philosophy in a Time of Lost Spirit: Essays on Contemporary Theory – Ronald Beiner

In Philosophy in a Time of Lost Spirit, Ronald Beiner reflects on the dualism of theory and practice. The purpose of the theorist is not to offer sensible guidance on the conduct of social life but to test the boundaries of our vision of social order. Whereas the liberal citizen should embody the practical virtues of prudence and moderation, the theorist should be radical, probing and immoderate. Looking back at the liberal-communitarian debate of the 1980s, Beiner recognizes that the antidote to our spiritless times lies neither in the embrace of community over individualism nor of individualism over community: both individual and community need to be submitted to radical questioning. It is by exposing ourselves to the challenge of fearless thinking encountered at the philosophical extremities that we are most likely to understand our own world at a deeper level.

In this collection of essays and reviews, Ronald Beiner helps us to think critically about the thought-worlds of our foremost contemporary thinkers, including Hannah Arendt, Allan Bloom, Michel Foucault, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jergen Habermas, Will Kymlicka, Christopher Lasch, Richard Rorty, Judith Shklar, Leo Strauss, Charles Taylor and Michael Walzer.

  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division (Oct 18, 1997)
  • ISBN-10: 0802080677
  • ISBN-13: 9780802080677