Philosophy and Public Life

Philosophy and Public Life

All too often, the kind of essay in political thought that hits the bookstores wearing the wrapper of a distinguished university press makes one’s heart sink. As an academic production it is often admirable. It usually adds at least a little to the sum of human knowledge; it helps its author up the professorial ladder and disseminates the latest acceptable scholarship. Still, such books are so obviously addressed by professors to professors that one sometimes wonders whether publication is quite the right term for what has happened to them. They seem remote from public life, untethered to matters of public concern, and cast in an idiom that no member of the public speaks or willingly reads.

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Lima