Underappreciated Philosophical Writing of the Past 50 Years, Part 2: 1980s


Last week we began a decade-by-decade series on underappreciated philosophical writing of the past 50 years.

Today, we turn to the 1980s.

[Mary Heilmann, The Thief of Baghdad, 1983]

It might be helpful to repost part of what I said last week:

A valuable philosophical work may get overlooked because it was published in a lesser-known venue.  Or perhaps it was published in a part of the world or in a language that those in the mainstream tend to ignore. Perhaps sociological aspects of the profession concerning dominant writing style preferences or attitudes about the prestige of the author’s institutional affiliations led to its dismissal. Maybe it was ahead of its time, speaking to issues or presenting ideas or arguments the significance of which was only recognized much later. Maybe it was appreciated in its time, but somehow got lost in the crowd of publications since…

It’s not an exact science, of course, judging both the significance of the work and the extent to which it is currently appreciated. I encourage people to err in ways that are more inclusive, as it’s better to hear about something you’ve already heard about than to miss out on hearing about something new (to you) and good.

Readers, let’s hear your suggestions for overlooked, underappreciated, or insufficiently known philosophical writings from the eighties, along with some brief remarks as to why you think they’re worth drawing attention to.

(Of course, you’re also welcome to continue to add to the 1970s post.)

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