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2010 USIH Conference

Plate o’ Shrimp, or Toward an Intellectual History of the New Age?

One of the many excellent papers I heard at our recent conference was (longtime friend of USIH) Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen’s “Philosophy out of Doors: Thinking as a Handicraft and Spiritual Practice in Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974)” One of the main questions Jennifer addressed was how intellectual historians should treat a work like Pirsig’s novel. Is it philosophy? Pirsig certainly intended it as philosophy and many of his readers experienced it as philosophy, but few if any academic philosophers took it seriously. Much of the lively conversation that followed Jennifer’s paper concerned contexts in which one Read more