Books: Old-Fashioned Rationalist

THE QUEST FOR BEING (254 pp.)—Sidney Hook—St. Martin's ($6).

In an age when brisk, jet-borne academic types whisk in and out of Washington, the legendary absent-minded professor is an anachronism. But New York University Philosopher Sidney Hook still conforms to that older, homelier image; he has been known to enter the shower wearing pajamas, and he once absently rejected the Oedipus Complex as a tool of philosophy by exclaiming: "I learned that stuff at my mother's knee!"

In several other ways, Hook is oldfashioned. Unlike the predominant neo-positivists, who believe that philosophy is only semantics...

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