Review of Kojin Karatani, Isonomia and the Origins of Philosophy. Durham: Duke UP, 2017. 176 pages.

Peter Trnka


This is a book for anyone interested in: the origins of philosophical thinking, the idiocy of the designation ‘pre-Socratic’, the coincidence of western and eastern cultures, the political economy of intellectual life, the nexus democratic-anarcho-communist, the power of movement, and, in short, anything critical to do with the structure of thought and world history (a grand scope, perhaps, but one that fits with the course of the Japanese Kantian-Marxist’s recent work, as this book grew out of a larger project on economic modes of exchange and production entitled, in English, The Structure of World History (Durham: Duke UP, 2014)). So, this book is for just about anyone with interests in philosophy; it is, accordingly, accessible, written in a clear, uncluttered prose, and short, yet shatteringly good and widespread and intense in its consequences, if the argument is received.

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