The intention of this article is investigate ways in which the image and metaphor of the garden open productive avenues for thinking the being of nature. The primary focus of this investigation is found in two instances in which gardens play significant roles in presenting, even if only tacitly, an image of nature: Homer’s Odyssey and Plato’s reference to the “Gardens of Adonis” in Phaedrus.
Abstract The purpose of this paper is to argue that the connection between hermeneutics and practical philosophy is so strong that one needs to consider hermeneutics as the outline of an ethical sensibility, one that takes up the challenges that are outlined by Heidegger's call for an “original ethics.“ Part of this argument entails demonstrating how understanding, the real task of every hermeneutic project, is ultimately a form of self-understanding.
The purpose of this paper is to raise the question of ethical life independently of the framework of metaphysical assumptions, above all, independently of the language and idiom of conceptual reason. In order to carry out this project, which is akin to what Heidegger described as the project of formulating an “original ethics,” I take up several works by Charles Scott that I find offering especially productive openings for that project.
The intention of this paper is to discuss the notion and word "democracy" as a Greek legacy and then to pose the question of the specific challenges to that conception of democracy presented by this historical present, which Heidegger characterizes as the Gestell. Questions concerning the sources of power, the relation of power to peoples and individuals, as well as the shift from power to violence are addressed. Plato, Aristotle, Pericles, Lincoln, Derrida, and Heidegger are the key figures in this (...) discussion. (shrink)
Whitehead’s widely cited and accepted remark that the history of philosophy is but a series of footnotes to Plato has implications for how both Plato and the history of philosophy is to be understood. Such an understanding does an injustice to both Plato and the history of philosophy. A recent book by John Sallis, Platonic Legacies, presents us with a counterview, one that offers a more exciting view of both Plato and the meaning of his legacy for the history of (...) philosophy. The chief purpose of this article is to unpack some of Sallis’s contributions in this regard. (shrink)
In his celebrated "Letter on Humanism," Heidegger spoke of the need for an "original ethics" which did not submit itself to the ideal of something like a "subject" or the "human," two notions that he suggested were no longer serviceable for the task of thinking the problems of ethical life. The purpose of this article is to look at how Gadamer's hermeneutics might offer an avenue for developing this original ethics. To this end, Gadamer's discussion of language, in particular the (...) relation of language and freedom, serves as the guideline for unpacking this claim. (shrink)
Key to Gadamer's theory of hermeneutics are notions of translation, conversation, and openness. What is often not known is just how much Gadamer himself embodied those notions in his own practice as a teacher and a friend. In what follows, I speak of how the man I knew Hans-Georg Gadamer to be, illustrated some of the traits of hermeneutic theory that show that such a theory is always a practice of life and an ethical practice. Not a theoretical text but (...) a recollection follows. S. Afr. J. Philos. Vol.21(4) 2002: 223–227. (shrink)
A typical view of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit takes the view that it traces the forward march of spirit and that this forward moving education outlines a path of pure progress. My contention is that what most needs to be said about spirit is that it is indeed a slow learner: lessons must be learned over and over again, structures get repeated, the same mistakes are made in different contexts. Repetition, not progress, is the rule of spirit's education. Two questions (...) are addressed in this essay. First, what is it about spirit that makes it such a slow learner of the lessons it must learn? Second, how is it that the crisis of tragedy and its resolution in the form of comedy represent a new stage in the education of spirit, one in which there is some hope of finally learning the lessons it must suffer? (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to begin to renew the theme of nature as a central, even unavoidable, question for philosophizing today. Furthermore, the argument is made that this question is most productively posed as a question concerning ethical life. Texts by Aristotle, Kant and Höderlin are considered. Attention to Heidegger's concerns with technology also serves to guide the issues here.