French Philosophy in the Twentieth Century Gary Gutting
ISBN: 0521665590, 9780521665599
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
French philosophers have a reputation as some of the most perplexing. American readers tend to dismiss them with a huff or venerate them over cigarettes and coffee. Gary Gutting does neither. His approach in French Philosophy in the Twentieth Century is scholarly, judicious, and clear. The result is an exceptional look at a rich philosophical tradition. Gutting is one of the world's leading authorities on the work of Michel Foucault, and his depth on the century's other Gallic thinkers is comparable. The book is more than a general survey; it is a careful history of ideas, as well as an excellent series of essays on the main French thinkers of the last 100 years.
Gutting devotes much of his time to the half dozen giants of recent French thought: Henri Bergson, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, and Jacques Derrida. Of course, there are legions of other influences--such as Marcel, Saussure, Lévi-Strauss, Lacan, Kristeva, Lyotard, Deleuze, Irigaray, Levinas--and these get attention too, though in fewer pages. Gutting weaves the book together with a narrative history that accounts for the influences of literature and German thought. In addition, the carefully selected chapter epigraphs do more than supplement the text; they are windows into the vivid philosophy of Marcel Proust's literature. --Eric de Place
"This very important review of philosophy in France from 1890 to 1990 will be great value to newcomers and specialists...surveyed is impressive...With helpful notes and a good index and bibliography, even those who object to some of Gutting's interpretations or criticisms will find this a valuable resource." Choice Nov 2001
"Gutting's text...reintroduces French philosophy to the rest of the Anglo-American philosophical community; it is a helpful read for anyone at all interested in French philosophy, and entirely indispensable for those who reject French philosophy altogether." Philosophy in ReviewMORE EBOOKS: