Noetics is Lawrence Krader's magnum opus, which he began while still an undergraduate philosophy major at the City College of New York in the 1930s. By examining the architectonics of some of the greatest thinkers in history - Aristotle, Plato, Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, and Husserl among others - as works of art combining myth, speculation and empirical science, Krader tackles one of the central problems of the philosophy of science: what is science and how does it relate to human thinking and knowing more generally. Building on his theories concerning the different orders of nature adumbrated in his Labor and Value (2003), he follows not only the lines of development of the three fields of science corresponding to three orders of nature (material, quantum, and human) but also examines the development of all three as human processes and products. Krader takes up the relations of thinking and knowing in conjunction with emotions, feelings and judgment and examines the processes of abstraction as one of the key and unique features of human being and knowing. He proposes noetics as a science of thinking and knowing and establishes its relation to the natural sciences, the human sciences, and the arts. The breadth and depth of Krader's scholarship is stunning and evokes Spinoza's thought that "all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare."
The Author: Lawrence Krader (1919-1998) was Professor and Director of the Institut fur Ethnologie at the Freie Universitat Berlin (1972-1982). He studied philosophy and logic with Morris Raphael Cohen, Ruldoph Carnap, and Alfred Tarski, linguistics with Roman Jakobson, and anthropology with Franz Boas and Gene Weltfish. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. One of the leading authorities on the peoples of Central Asia and an expert on minorities in the former Soviet Union, Krader is the author of The Ethnological Notebooks of Karl Marx (1972), The Asiatic Mode of Production (1975), Dialectic of Civil Society (1976), The Treatise of Social Labor (1979), Die Anfange des Kapitalismus in Mitteleuropa (1993), and Labor and Value (2003). The Editor: Cyril Levitt is Professor and former Chair of the Department of Sociology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where he is currently Director of the Lawrence Krader Research Project. He received his doctorate in anthropology from the Freie Universitat Berlin.