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The Fullness of Knowing
Modernity and Postmodernity from Defoe to Gadamer

By Daniel E. Ritchie

The Fullness of Knowing
Paperback $54.95
Published: 22nd July 2010
ISBN: 9781602583313
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All Philosophy, All Religious Studies, All Theology

Postmodern thinkers have demonstrated the fragmentation of the Enlightenment understanding of the self, society, and nature; for many, however, the postmodern alternatives—the pursuit of individual self-definition, utter skepticism regarding the relation between language and reality, or the embrace of ideological power—are unconvincing. In The Fullness of Knowing, by placing the most promising postmodern insights in dialogue with eighteenth-century critics of the Enlightenment, Daniel Ritchie argues that we can begin to overcome post-Enlightenment fragmentation without abandoning either coherence (as many postmoderns have done) or the valid insights of modern and postmodern thought (as many traditionalists have done).

Introduction: “All Is Trash that Reason Cannot Reach”: Unenlightened Writers and the Postmodern World

1. Learning to Read, Learning to Listen in Robinson Crusoe
2. The Hymns of Isaac Watts and Postmodern Worship: Aesthetic Knowledge as a Response to the Enlightenment Critique of Religion
3. Jonathan Swift’s Information Machine and the Critique of Technology
4. Christopher Smart’s Poetry and the Dialogue between Science and Theology
5. Festival and Discipline in Revolutionary France and Postmodern Times
6. Remembering Things Past: Tradition as a Way of Knowing in Edmund Burke and Hans-Georg Gadamer
7. Reconciling the Heart with the Head: The Poetry of William Cowper and the Thought of Michael Polanyi


"Unique in its comparative approach...The Fullness of Knowing offers an alternative narrative to the hard and fast empiricism that the eighteenth century are also present in postmodern thinkers."

—Katherine Kickel, The Scriblerian and Kit-Cats (2012, 44:2, 45:1)

“In the welter of books on postmodernism, this artful book stands out both in its matter and its method."

—Dan R. Stiver, Cook-Derrick Professor of Theology, Logsdon School of Theology, Hardin-Simmons University

Daniel E. Ritchie(Ph.D. Rutgers) is Professor of English and Founding Director of the Humanities Program at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota.  He is the author of Reconstructing Literature in an Ideological Age: A Biblical Poetics and Literary Studies from Milton to Burke (1996), and the editor of two collections on Edmund Burke: Further Reflections on the Revolution in France (1992) and Edmund Burke: Appraisals and Applications (1990).  He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Publication Details:

 9in x 6in

  PHI016000, PHI027000
 Baylor University Press

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