By John Kaag
The epic knowledge contained in a misplaced library is helping the writer flip his lifestyles around
John Kaag is a dispirited younger thinker at sea in his marriage and his occupation whilst he stumbles upon West Wind, a break of an property within the hinterlands of latest Hampshire that belonged to the eminent Harvard thinker William Ernest Hocking. Hocking used to be one of many final actual giants of yankee philosophy and a right away highbrow descendent of William James, the daddy of yank philosophy and psychology, with whom Kaag feels a deep kinship. it really is James’s query “Is lifestyles worthy living?” that publications this striking book.
The books Kaag discovers within the Hocking library are crawling with bugs and entire of mould. yet he resolves to revive them, as he instantly acknowledges their value. not just does the library at West Wind comprise handwritten notes from Whitman and inscriptions from Frost, yet there are startlingly infrequent first variants of Hobbes, Descartes, and Kant. As Kaag starts to catalog and browse via those important volumes, he embarks on an exhilarating trip that leads him to the life-affirming tenets of yankee philosophy—self-reliance, pragmatism, and transcendence—and to an excellent younger Kantian who joins him within the recovery of the Hocking books.
Part highbrow heritage, half memoir, American Philosophy is eventually approximately love, freedom, and the function that knowledge can play in turning one’s lifestyles around.
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