Synopses & Reviews
The “existential” drama at the heart of the modern world is the result of a truly cataclysmic transformation in our institutions and modes of belief. It rivals in scope and significance, if it does not surpass, the transformation occasioned by the “Scientific Revolution” of the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Few can still doubt--even if they do not yet appreciate--the comprehensive and global scope of this “Second Scientific Revolution.” Our fundamental modes of thought and action, institutional structure, personal identity, economic development, and relation to nature, all require radical revision if human life on this planet (and beyond) is to survive and prosper. We are thus confronted with a world whose structures of meaning and corresponding institutional foundations are being undermined, thus presaging a revolutionary transformation. That transformation, however unclear at present, cannot fail to be radical and comprehensive. This work critically evaluates its nature, outlines the structures of an alternative world view and then develops the contours of the social and institutional order it suggests. It concludes with a discussion of practical strategies by which we may reasonably hope to meet the challenges confronting our civilization.
“A surprisingly broad yet detailed tour of the history of ideas, of the development of consciousness, self-consciousness and freedom, of the development and functions of individuals and social relationships, and of the evolution of human nature from pre-humans to modern humans. The book challenges and guides readers to think like they've never thought before as it transforms the current/prevalent world view of things and people and events-based-on-things-and-people into a world of things, people, hierarchies, emergent properties, event-guiding-field-interactions and a fabric of interconnectedness that by far can be best understood by reading this book. This book effortlessly (and delightfully) transcends philosophical, social and natural scientific realms while maintaining a level of scholarship suitable for university and professional/research discussions.”--Rolf Martin, Bioinformatics Director, MMT Corporation
“David Sprintzen's book is an ambitious, learned, probing, daring, and controversial work, reflecting decades of Sprintzen's thinking and action in regard to many of life's most engaging metaphysical, existential, and social issues. Convinced that we are experiencing the ‘death throes of the ‘modern Western world, Sprintzen assiduously offers us the contours of a global metaphysical and cultural transformation that is struggling to give birth to a ‘new world. In the process, he criticizes modernity's substance- or object-oriented reductionist metaphysics, unabashedly dismisses religion as outdated through scientific progress, and outlines an alternative naturalistic but non-reductive metaphysics of ‘emergence. Using that as base, he radically deconstructs and indicts the theory and practice of free market capitalism, atomistic Individualism, the New Colonialism, and all forms of exploitative social competition. His distinct call to all of us is to effect a transformation of values and social institutions coherent with his proposed field theory. Agree or disagree (I do, at times!) with Sprintzen on any given issue, yet his book brings pause to modernity's metaphysical or societal assumptions, and returns us to the task of cultivating and/or restoring human dignity. Open inquirers must not overlook this challenging book.”--Ronald E. Santoni, Maria Theresa Barney Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Denison University, Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University, and Associate Fellow of Berkeley College at Yale, and author of Bad Faith, Good Faith, and Authenticity in Sartres Early Philosophy and Sartre on Violence: Curiously Ambivalent, among other works
“This is a most ambitious book. David Sprintzens novel approach helps us to understand the present condition and envision an alternative frame.”--Peter T. Manicas, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Queens College, CUNY
About the Author
David Sprintzen is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Long Island University, having served as Chairperson of the Philosophy Department at C. W. Post College, and as Vice-Chairperson of the Colleges Faculty Council and Vice- President of the University Senate. He founded the Institute for Sustainable Development at Long Island University and served as its Co-Director for seven years. In addition to numerous popular and scholarly articles, he has authored three previous books: Camus: A Critical Examination, Sartre and Camus: An Historic Confrontation, and The Drama of Thought: an enquiry into the place of philosophy in human experience. He is also a founder and Co-Chair of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, on whose Board of Directors he continues to serve as an officer. He represents the LIPC on the Board of its statewide affiliate, Citizen Action of New York, part of the network of US Action national affiliates, of which he was also a founding member. He served on New York Governor Mario Cuomos Shoreham Commission and, among numerous honors and awards, has been honored as a founder of the movement for sustainability on Long Island.
Table of Contents
PART ONE: Rethinking The World * A World in Crisis * Living in a World Without God * The End of an Era * A Ripple in a Field * PART TWO: Remaking The World * Telling Our Story * Ecosense * The Webbed Self: Deconstructing Individualism * The American Enterprise * Current Patterns and Future Prospects