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The Critique of Intermediate Existence

BURNHAM, Douglas (2017) The Critique of Intermediate Existence. ?. (Unpublished)

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Abstract or description

The Critique of Intermediate Existence is a book published in 1792 by Josiah Bootes. Although trained at Oxford for the law, Bootes found himself running his father’s timber-importing business in London - although evidently with sufficient leisure to immerse himself thoroughly in the intellectual issues of the day. Little else is known of his life, not least because he is a fiction. His book likewise never existed, until now.
The work therefore is a form of counter-factual history. However, it functions not by negating some specific event the better to explore its significance, but by activating possibilities of thought that were historically real as possibilities but remained, so to speak, under-developed or even dormant, the better to provide a hermeneutically rich enquiry into intellectual history.
The work is additionally a form of novel, exhibiting emphasis on voice and character, and to a much lesser extent, on invented episodes, though it fits none of the usual genres of historical fiction; here the aim of the research is to explore how certain intellectual possibilities can become lived (and thus, again, more rich hermeneutically).
Finally, the work is philosophy, insofar as it endeavours to provide a rigorous and coherent analysis of basic concepts underlying experience or science, although it does so through the device of historical displacement which may or may not be dispensable to those analyses; the purpose here being to exhibit the nature of the complexities inherent in any claim concerning the relation of philosophy and history, especially those complexities that would inevitably be faced by a hermeneutically rich intellectual history.

Item Type: Book / Proceeding
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Humanities and Performing Arts
Depositing User: Douglas BURNHAM
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2017 09:51
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2018 16:32

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