Philosophical Turns: Epistemological, Linguistic, and Metaphysical (Paperback)

Philosophical Turns: Epistemological, Linguistic, and Metaphysical By Robert Wess Cover Image

Philosophical Turns: Epistemological, Linguistic, and Metaphysical (Paperback)

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Philosophical Turns is a tour de force, a sophisticated and erudite book that not only captures the cognitive and emotive rhythms of the contemporary philosophical conversation surrounding speculative realism but also becomes a distinctive voice within that conversation. A reviewer can but adumbrate and applaud the density, complexity, and richness of the arguments Robert Wess prosecutes with rigor and artfulness, paying homage to him just as he paid homage to Richard McKeon, his mentor.-Greig E. Henderson


Robert Wess speaks persuasively to the present moment in philosophy and critical theory within the human sciences. He does this not just by addressing current issues being discussed within, for example, the new materialist turn and posthumanist debates; but more importantly by placing those discussions within a larger framework of philosophical turns, a framework building on McKeon's thinking. Philosophical Turns should interest a wide range of readers in the theoretical humanities and the interpretive social sciences.-Steven Mailloux


In this thoroughly researched and thoughtful study, Robert Wess concentrates on the philosophical return to metaphysical foundations after the long reign of anti-foundationalism explicitly conceptualized by the anti-philosophies of the linguistic turn. Philosophical Turns primarily focuses on the so-named speculative realism authored by Quentin Meillassoux and Graham Harman, demonstrating the torsion and turning away from the humanist and anthropocentric confines of correlationism, the most prevalent structure of traditional philosophical thought. The claim that philosophy undergoes cyclical turns and returns is critical to Wess's study. Wess provides the background for the reader to encounter familiar philosophical terminology radically differently. This extensive study is invaluable for readers attentive to current philosophical priorities and the rhetorization of these emergent priorities. -Timothy Donovan


Robert Wess was emeritus professor of English at Oregon State University. He received a BA, MA, and PhD at the University of Chicago. While at Chicago, time in Richard McKeon's classroom inspired Wess to become a lifelong student of McKeon's work, publishing a few articles on him and Kenneth Burke along the way and now publishing this book that is the product of years of work. Wess attended the 1984 conference at which the Kenneth Burke Society was formed and later received the Society's Distinguished Service Award (1999) and Lifetime Achievement Award (2017). He served as the Society's president from 2005 to 2008. He passed away in late 2022 just after completing Philosophical Turns.


Wess was the author of Kenneth Burke: Rhetoric, Subjectivity, Postmodernism (1996) and coeditor (with Jack Selzer) of Kenneth Burke and His Circles (2008). His articles were published in such journals as KB: The Journal of the Kenneth Burke Society, Modern Philology, Pre/Text, The Minnesota Review, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, and Restoration.



Product Details ISBN: 9781643173702
ISBN-10: 1643173707
Publisher: Parlor Press
Publication Date: July 17th, 2023
Pages: 288
Language: English