‘A modern philosopher who has never experienced the feeling of being a charlatan is such a shallow mind that his work is probably not worth reading.’1 So states Leszek Kolakowski at the very start of a work on modern philosophy. His acerbic comment is no doubt true, but it some-what misses the real point, for it implies what can no longer be taken for granted: that there still is a clear differentiation to be drawn between those philosophers who are worth reading, the geniuses presumably, and those who are mere charlatans. In effect, he maintains that any modern philosopher who has never doubted himself sufficiently to entertain the possibility of being a charlatan is most probably in fact a charlatan. But most of the widely read and acclaimed modern philosophers were not given to such self-doubts. Despite this, one cannot castigate them as simply charlatans either.


Vienna Circle Class Consciousness Worth Reading Early Philosophy Religious Character 
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© Harry Redner 1997

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  • Harry Redner

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