Perhaps we lead a sheltered life here at TechBookReport, but there are few books that we get to see that will include discussions of post-modernist thinking, philosophical hermeneutics, Heidegger and the intricacies of object oriented software development. While this might seem like theoretical muscle-flexing on West's part, it is in fact central to his contention that object thinking is part and parcel of a wider approach to problem solving (indeed wider than that, for West this is a world-view rather than something specific to software development).
The book takes a partisan line, attacking rationalist/determinism thinking which favours tools, mathematics and rigid formalism as opposed to a 'post-modernist' line which favours emergent behaviour, hermeneutics (the art or science of interpretation) and agile techniques. In more workaday terms it's the contrast between those who see software development as being people-led (i.e. the proponents of agile methodologies, including extreme programming and SCRUM), and those who see it as tools-led (the proponents of modelling, UML and Rational Rose)."