• 325 pages
  • 6 x 9
  • Price: $72.50
  • EAN: 9780877227847
  • Publication: May 1991

The Metaphysics of Self and World

Toward a Humanistic Philosophy

E. M. Adams

A great fissure occurred in Western civilization in the early modern period with the divorce between the humanities and the sciences and the rise of scientific naturalism. The Metaphysics of Self and World is a philosophical exploration of the relationship between the individual, the culture, and the world. It is, in the author’s words, "a philosophy of the humanities, a philosophy of humanity, and a philosophy of social reality." It explores the implications of a world-view that would integrate the perspective of the sciences with humanistic ways of thought.

E.M. Adams claims that we do violence to ourselves as human beings by trying to fit into the world as delineated in scientific categories. Rejecting cultural subjectivism and scientific naturalism, he argues for the irreducibility and validity of the categories of the humanities and for a fully developed humanistic philosophy of self and world. In generating this world-view, he utilizes the humanities as a source of culture therapy in order to close the fissure in Western civilization.


"Just possibly a landmark book. Adams writes very well and his illustrations are very good. He also displays great erudition." Richard Taylor, University of Rochester

"A very impressive, well-written, and philosophically sound work. With this volume, Adams rounds out a major contribution to contemporary philosohy and cultural criticism." Douglas Browning, University of Texas at Austin

"E. M. Adams is one of America's most distinguished philosophers. The Metaphysics of Self and World is a masterpiece in philosophy, original and persuasive, profound and clear, tightly argued yet dealing with major philosophical and cultural issues, reaching the heights of speculative theory while also affording wise and compassionate insight into urgent practical problems. All those who take philosophy seriously, as well as all those concerned about the present plight of the humanities and the predicament of mankind in the midst of science and technology, will learn immeasurable from reading it." Andrew J. Reck, Tulane University

About the Author(s)

E. M. Adams is Kenan Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has written numerous books and articles, and a festschrift celebrating his work, Mind, Value, and Culture: Essays in Honor of E. M. Adams (edited by David Weissbord), was published in 1989.