Toward a Metaphysics of Silence

Idealistic Studies 32 (3):255-271 (2002)
The metaphysics of presence has led not only to the closure of rationalized systems that define modernity, but also to what can appear as its opposite, the freely flowing movement of information (and of capital) characteristic of the post-modern “de-centered” world. Ideas, after all, require a depth dimension that ultimately proves irreconcilable with the one-dimensionality of the purely present. It is for this reason that the rejection of metaphysics (which is only the final consequence of the metaphysics of presence) fails to solve our dilemma. An alternative strategy is to attempt the recovery of the living heart of metaphysics, its open and ecstatic gaze, rather than its final consequence, the constrictive will to closure, determination, and power. This is the genuinely Socratic possibility, a metaphysics not of presence but of radical transcendence. To clarify that possibility, it is necessary to show how Socrates himself was characterized less by practical and political concerns than by a metaphysical vision directed not to presence but to the unknowable region that opens with death. Socrates’ irony and courage have the same source, what I call a metaphysics of “silence.”
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/idstudies200232315
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,707
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Rae Langton (2007). Disenfranchised Silence. In Michael Smith, Robert Goodin & Geoffrey Geoffrey (eds.), Common Minds. Oxford 199.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

6 ( #336,406 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #231,316 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.