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 profession 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 real giants of yank philosophy and an instantaneous highbrow descendent of William James, the daddy of yankee philosophy and psychology, with whom Kaag feels a deep kinship. it really is James’s query “Is existence worthy living?” that courses this notable book.
The books Kaag discovers within the Hocking library are crawling with bugs and whole of mildew. yet he resolves to revive them, as he instantly acknowledges their significance. not just does the library at West Wind include handwritten notes from Whitman and inscriptions from Frost, yet there are startlingly infrequent first versions of Hobbes, Descartes, and Kant. As Kaag starts off to catalog and browse via those valuable volumes, he embarks on an exciting trip that leads him to the life-affirming tenets of yankee philosophy—self-reliance, pragmatism, and transcendence—and to a super younger Kantian who joins him within the recovery of the Hocking books.
Part highbrow heritage, half memoir, American Philosophy is finally approximately love, freedom, and the position that knowledge can play in turning one’s existence around.
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