The Tree of Knowledge and Other Essays
In an autobiographical introduction the author tells about the two forces which have shaped his intellectual life: philosophy as an academic profession and philosophy as a search for a view of life. The book, accordingly, divides in two parts.
The essays in the first part survey developments in logic and analytical philosophy in the perspective of the closing century and in the light of the author's long experience and participation in them. There are also essays on Musil's criticism of Mach, on the Finnish philosopher Eino Kaila's search for a monistic world view, and on Wittgenstein's place on the cultural map of the century.
The papers in the second part deal with traits of contemporary civilization which have become problematic thanks to the impact of technological developments on political and social forms of life. Humanism, modernity, and scientific rationality are key-ideas taken up for critical scrutiny.