The Last Conference

A Pragmatist Saga

By Arild Pedersen

Once, philosophers like Plato and Kierkegaard combined narratives and logical arguments to engage both brain hemispheres, creating a kind of 'Gesamtphilosophy.' Nowadays, philosophers mostly communicate with their left hemisphere. In this novel, Gesamtphilosophy is restored in a spirit of pragmatism. It is the story of an inexperienced New York Times journalist who is sent to Reykjavik by his editor to cover a philosophy conference on experience, where he himself becomes experienced. During the conference, he reports from five presentations on views of experience: those of Timothy Williamson, John McDowell, Robert Brandom, Richard Rorty, and John Dewey, all representing increasingly complex theories. At the same time, he experiences what the theories say. He becomes a participant, rather than a mere reporter, and finds himself living a modern saga with striking similarities to a certain Old Norse saga. Dramatic events, involving love and a power struggle, are crowned by a volcanic eruption with fatal consequences, before he returns to New York as a very experienced man. *** ". . . Author Arild Pedersen clearly draws upon his many years of experience and expertise as a professor of philosophy at the University of Oslo (Norway) and his familiarity with old Norse saga traditions to craft a complex and engaging novel set in contemporary times. The result is a solid and original entertainment." - The Midwest Book Review, Small Press Bookwatch, The Fiction Shelf, May 2014~

300 pages

Publication Date: 12/4/2013
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9788232103225