118: The Force of Reason and the Logic of Force by Richard A. Lee

by Gerard


118: Lee, Richard A., Jr. The Force of Reason and the Logic of Force. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2004. 114 pp. ISBN 1-4039-3366-9.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 100: Philosophy and Psychology
  • 110: Metaphysics
  • 118: Force and energy

Richard A. Lee’s The Force of Reason and the Logic of Force is a complex foray into how the concept of force, depicted here as the basis for violence and power, interweaves itself into our realities, thoughts, and cosmologies. At least that’s what I’m pretty sure it’s about. Lee hits fast and hard with complex philosophical arguments right off the bat and never really lets up. It’s a short book, but requires a lot of energy to get through. He examines the history of the concept of force from the ancient Greeks through Roger Bacon and Thomas Aquinas and then on to Pierre d’Ailly and Thomas Hobbes. He also looks as force from both a human and a natural perspective. Human force gets linked to power and violence pretty easily, but force in nature is linked to simple movement.

Folks with a decent level of philosophical know-how will get a deeper dive with this one. As for me, I was just struggling to keep up, but you can’t encounter this much philosophy without some of it sticking. Maybe someday, way in the future, I’ll be able to conjure up some of Lee’s arguments and amaze myself, but for now, I’ll leave these texts for far better thinkers than me. My head is still spinning, thank you very much.