Coming Out as a Pluralist (1): Engaging with Hubert Dreyfus’s ontological pluralism

I started this blog 4 years ago as a defence and explanation of the pluralism expounded by Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Kelly in their book ALL THINGS SHINING, first published in January 2011, and in their lectures and seminars leading up to and following that publication. In particular I admired Dreyfus’s lecture series: “From gods to God and back“, tracing the history of pluralism from Homer’s polytheism, through its onto-theological abandonment, to its return in Herman Melville’s novels.

Initially enthusiastic, I came to the conclusion that their book was not pluralist enough. Despite gestures of daring to think outside the dominant paradigms, their thought was often restrained within intellectually conservative conclusions. Pluralist thinkers with “wilder” conclusions, such as Feyerabend and Deleuze, were passed over in silence, despite substantial resemblances in theme, references, and arguments.

I have written a review explaining why I think the book is important and interesting, and regretting that it is unjustly neglected. I also discuss its intellectual and stylistic flaws, but conclude that it is a must read for anyone interested in epistemological and ontological pluralism – not just as theoretical possibilities, but as something that can enrich your life.


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5 Responses to Coming Out as a Pluralist (1): Engaging with Hubert Dreyfus’s ontological pluralism

  1. David Leech says:

    The link to your review doesn’t work. That is, it takes you to the gods to Gods webcast rather than your review.


    • terenceblake says:

      Thanks, fixed it.


    • dmf says:

      hey david leech hope all is well good to see you in the mix here


      • David Leech says:

        DMF: Yes, same to you. All is very well here. Making good (if slow) progress on my “market is a work of art” thesis. Just finished an initial analysis if Mandeville’s pre-Fables, my candidate for “poet” of the “market as a work of art working.” Next semester I plan to focus on the market, itself, and explore “the market” in Western art and literature. I believe I will them be set to scale the peak and make the case that “markets” fulfill the criteria of works of art working. (Only when we see where, and how tightly bound we are to our gods can we begin to struggle free.)


      • dmf says:

        well the pagan gods/temples were often in the market squares and markets (to the degree that they aren’t just figures of speech) are surely works as much as a painting is,
        let us know when you get together a manuscript to share, cheers


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