philosophy meta-forum

Harsh book reviews - ancient philosophy edition

Shang

13 day(s) ago

Can anybody think of any good examples of especially harsh reviews of books about ancient philosophy? Asking because it could be useful for a paper I'm writing that includes a few reflections about common ways that ancient philosophical scholarship can go wrong.

Petrus

13 day(s) ago

Jonathan Barnes has written some harsh reviews

Sojourner

13 day(s) ago

eg on Nussbaum's Fragility of Goodness in the Cambridge Review. But Jenny Teichmann on Love's Knowledge in the NYT hits harder imho.

Max

13 day(s) ago

nothing on top of my head. perhaps the field is too small to allow for harsh criticisms of one another.

Karl

12 day(s) ago

Wait, the book on Parmenides by frank lewis got pretty harsh reviews. One by mourelatos. Needless to say, mourelatos was right

Anaxarchus

11 day(s) ago

eg on Nussbaum's Fragility of Goodness in the Cambridge Review. But Jenny Teichmann on Love's Knowledge in the NYT hits harder imho.

Sojourner

The first hit after googling that review is Henry Richardson's (imo) justifiably sick burn of the review; a satisfyingly harsh review of a (satisfyingly?) harsh review.

Anselm

11 day(s) ago

Morrison's review of Moss in Phronesis. It's savage.

Anaxarchus

11 day(s) ago

though the review also has some choice bits. eg.:

Third, there is no such thing as a special British and American philosophical style. There are nearly as many styles as philosophers. Thus Philippa Foot is careful, Mary Midgley intense, Elizabeth Anscombe difficult and involved; Arthur Prior is terse, J. J. C. Smart is elegant; Edmund Gettier is lucid, W. V. O. Quine is self-conscious and Saul Kripke is conversational; Robert Nozick is rhetorical and interrogative, David Lewis is boyish and Peter Geach is deliberately outrageous. Of course I am using ellipsis and speaking of styles, not people.

"Philippa Foot is careful"

lol but I guess it was still true in '91

"Mary Midgley intense"

ok but only in the way we use "intense" when we can't think of anything else nice to say about someone

"Elizabeth Anscombe difficult and involved"

... said anyone who's read Intention (or gave up after 20 pages)

"J. J. C. Smart is elegant"

the only way this is comprehensible to me is if I assume that Jenny Teichmann only ever read the half of Utilitarianism: For and Against everyone else reads (red: not the "for" part)

"Edmund Gettier is lucid"

BIG sample size there

"W. V. O. Quine is self-conscious"

dunno how to interpret this but it reminds me of the behaviorists-after-sex joke

"Saul Kripke is conversational"

when you don't write much out ahead of time you kind of tend to be

"Robert Nozick is rhetorical and interrogative"

(Is he, really? Or isn't this just the natural thing to say about a writer most memorable for the occasional self-indulgent parenthetical aside? Were the authors of the Upanishads rhetorical and interrogative too?)

"David Lewis is boyish"

???

"Peter Geach is deliberately outrageous"

whereas hedonistic act- utilitarianism and modal realism are only accidentally outrageous

Sojourner

11 day(s) ago

Morrison's review of Moss in Phronesis. It's savage.

Anselm

And completely unwarrantedly so.

(I'm not Moss, btw.)

Anita

11 day(s) ago

Morrison's review of Moss in Phronesis. It's savage.

Anselm

And completely unwarrantedly so.

(I'm not Moss, btw.)

Sojourner

Morrison's problem is that he thinks he's much smarter than he is.

Anita

11 day(s) ago

(I think this partly explains why he has been so successful)

Maurice

11 day(s) ago

Morrison's review of Moss in Phronesis. It's savage.

Anselm

Can someone give a link?

Anita

11 day(s) ago

Morrison's review of Moss in Phronesis. It's savage.

Anselm

Can someone give a link?

Maurice

beyond paywall

Maurice

11 day(s) ago

I expect I'll have access, I just can't find the review.

Ernst

11 day(s) ago

http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/15685284-12341252

Edward

11 day(s) ago

Morrison's review of Moss in Phronesis. It's savage.

Anselm

I wouldn't quite call it 'savage'. It is heavily critical, but the review ends with the line:

"The book is lively, controversial, and unfailingly interesting."

Abdolkarim

10 day(s) ago

Morrison's review of Moss in Phronesis. It's savage.

Anselm

And completely unwarrantedly so.

(I'm not Moss, btw.)

Sojourner

Moss's book is terrible for precisely the reasons that Morison mentions (and others).

(I'm not Morison, btw.)


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