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 while he stumbles upon West Wind, a spoil of an property within the hinterlands of recent Hampshire that belonged to the eminent Harvard thinker William Ernest Hocking. Hocking used to be one of many final precise giants of yankee philosophy and an instantaneous highbrow descendent of William James, the daddy of yank philosophy and psychology, with whom Kaag feels a deep kinship. it truly is James’s query “Is lifestyles worthy living?” that courses this amazing book.
The books Kaag discovers within the Hocking library are crawling with bugs and whole of mould. yet he resolves to revive them, as he instantly acknowledges their value. not just does the library at West Wind include handwritten notes from Whitman and inscriptions from Frost, yet there are startlingly infrequent first variants of Hobbes, Descartes, and Kant. As Kaag starts off to catalog and browse via those useful 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 historical past, half memoir, American Philosophy is finally approximately love, freedom, and the function that knowledge can play in turning one’s lifestyles around.
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