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Philosophy Between the Lines
Author: Arthur M. Melzer

ISBN: 9780226175096
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 453
Published: 21 July 2014
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 6.0 x 9.0 x 3.3
Description:
Philosophical esotericism?the practice of communicating one's unorthodox thoughts ?between the lines"?was a common practice until the end of the eighteenth century. The famous Encyclopedie of Diderot, for instance, not only discusses this practice in over twenty different articles, but admits to employing it itself. The history of Western thought contains hundreds of such statements by major philosophers testifying to the use of esoteric writing in their own work or others'. Despite this long and well-documented history, however, esotericism is often dismissed today as a rare occurrence. But by ignoring esotericism, we risk cutting ourselves off from a full understanding of Western philosophical thought.

Arthur M. Melzer serves as our deeply knowledgeable guide in this capacious and engaging history of philosophical esotericism. Walking readers through both an ancient (Plato) and modern (Machiavelli) esoteric work, he explains what esotericism is?and is not. It relies not on secret codes, but simply on a more intensive use of familiar rhetorical techniques like metaphor, irony, and insinuation. Melzer explores t...

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