UNIVERSITY of PENNSYLVANIA
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY CN
December 23, 1981
I should like to strongly support; Dr. Ron Schindler for both research and teaching. jobs.
I have known him since October 1972. He has attended several of my courses in social and political philosophy and worked with me as a teaching assistant in one of my graduate seminars. Since then I have been in contact with him, have followed his work on a doctoral dissertation and have read a series of his papers on the problems of contemporary psychology.
His philosophical and scientific culture is very impressive: he covers literature from a broad field of humanities; social and political philosophy, individual and social psychology, political science, psychoanalysis and psychiatry. He reads German and has excellent knowledge of European intellectual trends: Hegel and Hegelian tradition, Schopenhauer, Marx, Nietzsche, Frankfurt School, Lukacs, Freud, Husserl, contemporary phenomenology, Heidegger, Sartre, hermeneutics, structuralism. And yet with all his enormous intellectual curiosity and openness for different cultural traditions he could not be described as a mere erudite, or collector of ideas. He has a selective independent mind and a remarkable capacity for synthetic, creative thinking which cannot be found very often in our age of narrow specialization and purely instrumented analysis.
His intellectual capacities have fully come to expression in his doctoral dissertation on The Frankfurt School Critique of Capitalist Culture. This is a very comprehensive work of almost monumental proportions covering such issues as: emergence of dialectical intelligence in German philosophy, theory of reification, false consciousness, contemporary modalities of alienated consciousness, phenomenology of language, theory of practice and the problem of communicative competence. The focus of the work is analysis of the contemporary critical theory in its various ramifications. The mere size of the work (517 pages) does not really express its full scope since the writing is very compressed and metaphorical. The most impressive feature of the work is a creative blending of the results of different inquiries and schools of thought--something that becomes increasingly scarce and important in our present day technical civilization.
During the last two years Dr. Schindler has produced several papers on psychology, psychological methods and techniques of therapy, medical models. What I find most valuable in them is the author's ability to study specialized problems within a broad social and psychological context.
As a teacher Dr. Schindler was able to keep a good contact with students, always ready to help them and to direct them in the literature even when they were not enrolled in a course. On the other hand he was firm and demanding high standards of working discipline.
This suggests that he would be not only an extremely well informed research worker; but also a very good university teacher.
For all these reasons, I would like to warmly recommend him.
Visiting Professor in the University of
Professor in the University of Belgrade
Dr. Jerry Greiner on Dr. Ronald Schindler
David Lakata on Dr. Ronald Schindler