Terry Eagleton’s new book looks awesome. Stanley Fish wrote about it here.
Select quotes from the article:
“And as for the vaunted triumph of liberalism, what about ‘the misery wreaked by racism and sexism, the sordid history of colonialism and imperialism, the generation of poverty and famine’? Only by ignoring all this and much more can the claim of human progress at the end of history be maintained: ‘If ever there was a pious myth and a piece of credulous superstition, it is the liberal-rationalist belief that, a few hiccups apart, we are all steadily en route to a finer world.'”
“‘Ditchkins,’ Eagleton observes, cannot ground his belief ‘in the value of individual freedom’ in scientific observation. It is for him an article of faith, and once in place, it generates facts and reasons and judgments of right and wrong. ‘Faith and knowledge,’ Eagleton concludes, are not antithetical but ‘interwoven.’ You can’t have one without the other, despite the Satanic claim that you can go it alone by applying your own independent intellect to an unmediated reality: ‘All reasoning is conducted within the ambit of some sort of faith, attraction, inclination, orientation, predisposition, or prior commitment.’ Meaning, value and truth are not ‘reducible to the facts themselves, in the sense of being ineluctably motivated by a bare account of them.’ Which is to say that there is no such thing as a bare account of them. (Here, as many have noted, is where religion and postmodernism meet.)”
Buy it from an independent bookseller, please. (God is looking at your online banking statement. Really. She wants you to keep independent businesses alive.)