Occam’s Machete

David Lodge reviews What Good Are the Arts? by John Carey, in the London Times:

Regular readers will know that John Carey is that rare creature, an academic who writes shrewdly, wittily and economically on a wide range of subjects in a style that non-specialists can understand and appreciate. There is a principle, central to the British tradition of philosophical discourse, known as Occam’s Razor, which forbids the unnecessary multiplication of facts. Carey’s favourite argumentative tool is more like a machete. He has a ruthlessly logical mind that cuts through obscurity, pretension, fallacious reasoning and unsupported assertion, and he has a knack of summarising and quoting from writers with whom he disagrees to devastating effect.

More here.