Fate, Time, and Language: An Essay on Free Will
In 1962, the philosopher Richard Taylor used six commonly accepted presuppositions to imply that human beings have no control over the future. David Foster Wallace not only took issue with Taylor's method, which, according to him, scrambled the relations of logic, language, and the physical... show more
In 1962, the philosopher Richard Taylor used six commonly accepted presuppositions to imply that human beings have no control over the future. David Foster Wallace not only took issue with Taylor's method, which, according to him, scrambled the relations of logic, language, and the physical world, but also noted a semantic trick at the heart of Taylor's argument. Fate, Time, and Language presents Wallace's brilliant critique of Taylor's work. Written long before the publication of his fiction and essays, Wallace's thesis reveals his great skepticism of abstract thinking made to function as a negation of something more genuine and real. He was especially suspicious of certain paradigms of thought-the cerebral aestheticism of modernism, the clever gimmickry of postmodernism-that abandoned "the very old traditional human verities that have to do with spirituality and emotion and community." As Wallace rises to meet the challenge to free will presented by Taylor, we witness the developing perspective of this major novelist, along with his struggle to establish solid logical ground for his convictions. This volume, edited by Steven M. Cahn and Maureen Eckert, reproduces Taylor's original article and other works on fatalism cited by Wallace. James Ryerson's introduction connects Wallace's early philosophical work to the themes and explorations of his later fiction, and Jay Garfield supplies a critical biographical epilogue. (10/11/10)
Publish date: December 10th 2010
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Pages no: 252
Edition language: English
Upon further review of my previous review (which was blank) of the DFW book in question, I remember now giving the book one star because I was led to believe the goodreads rating system, which one star meant I did not like the book, which was completely true. But, in all honesty, I did not like the ...
I haven't actually read this book, only the raw PDF of Wallace's thesis, which MyFleshSingsOut kindly mailed to me the other day. I just finished it. I'm seriously conflicted as to how to react.On the one hand, I was astonished to find what a close emotional connection I had to it. DFW wrote his the...