William (Christopher) Barrett Allen Lacy - Essay

Allen Lacy

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

In a series of articles published in Commentary between 1967 and 1976, Barrett presented his interpretation of such modern philosophers as William James, Martin Heidegger, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Readers of these provocative and lively essays could have easily predicted their eventual publication in a single volume.

The Illusion of Technique is that volume. Rather surprisingly, Barrett has chosen to embed his reflections on major figures in 20th-century philosophy in an examination of "the nature of technique—its scope and limits."…

Barrett's thesis about "technique" provides him with both villains and heroes. His villains are sometimes the technicians who design...

(The entire section is 767 words.)