By Roy Brand
Columbia University Press, $24.50, 144 pages
Love Knowledge by philosopher Roy Brand is a fascinating exploration of philosophy starting with Socrates and goes into the present. The slim volume discusses only seven texts, but the writers are famous and also include Spinoza, Rousseau, Nietzsche, Foucault, and Derrida. At the core of this exploration is a search for self knowledge. It is not a sweeping history, but instead is focused on the philosophical goal of introspection and self understanding. There is also interesting biographical information which will help the reader understand some of the goals and adventures of being a philosopher. Brand is a great and knowledgeable host for this exploration.
“Through long and involved readings, I discovered that my thinking comes back to the fundamental question over and over again, from different perspectives: what is love that turns into knowledge and how is the knowledge we seek already a form of love?”
The book is compelling and gives the reader a good sense of some of the concerns of these multifaceted men. Accolades include: eloquent, quotable, profound, intriguing, and personal…. Some may find the work to be dense, narcissistic, and sometimes challenging. One, however, is likely to find a philosopher among the assembled who has similar concerns to them. The book is also likely to help one explore themselves which is surprisingly a major concern of those discussed. Such knowledge will help one love and be loved by others. Knowledge has its rewards.
Reviewed by Ryder Miller