Using Kierkegaard’s Works of Love, I advocate a theory of interpretation as a conversation with the dead, of the same sort Kierkegaard was practicing in the last discourse of his book. I do not mean reading the works of dead white European males, but looking at things from the perspective of the grave where, as Kierkegaard says, we are all equal before God. I will maintain that the creative conflict of interpretations arises from the ambiguity of this conversation, from the (...) difficulty we have in making out just what the dead are saying, which I will relate to what Derrida calls the absolute “secret.” Whence the Derridean idea that only as “hauntology” is hermeneutics possible. I insert the interpretation of religious faith within this hauntological hermeneutical framework. (shrink)
I characterize Merold Westphal’s synthesis of Christian faith and postmodern philosophy as an “epistemological” or “methodological,” postmodernism, one that sees postmodern thought as describing certain limits upon human understanding while leaving open the question of how things are in the nature of things, that is, how things are understood by God. Postmodernism (unless it waxes dogmatic) is not denying God, but only that we are God. In a characteristically postmodern way, Westphal has found it useful to limit knowledge in order (...) to make room for faith, in the tradition of Kant, where these limits are historical and linguistic rather than ahistorical and apriori. In the second half of this paper, I advance the notion that postmodernism cuts deeper than epistemology and makes questionable certain features of the self and God. (shrink)
A pós-modernidade sublinha o papel produtivo da diferença, em oposição à predilecção "moderna" ou do Iluminismo pela universalidade, comunalidade, consenso, bem como por aquilo que os modernos chamam "racionalidade". Segundo o autor do artigo, existem duas variedades distintas desta filosofia da diferença, dependendo de qual predecessor do século XIX – Nietzsche ou Kierkegaard – se prefere, de modo que o artigo distingue entre um pós-modernismo "dionisíaco" e outro de carácter mais "profético". A maioria das objecções que se fazem contra o (...) pós-modernismo têm em conta a versão dionisíaca do mesmo, falhando em larga medida a sua visão, ou dimensão, profética. A linha de objecções levantada contra os pós-modernistas - relativismo, subjectivismo, cepticismo, anarquismo, antinomianismo, anti-institucionalismo, niilismo e desespero - deriva fundamentalmente da versão do pós-modernismo de inspiração nietzschiana. Segundo o autor, se todas ou a maioria destas objecções fossem válidas, o pós-modernismo deveria ser denunciado como inimigo de Deus e da religião. Assim, muito embora estas queixas possam ser pertinentes no que se refere à versão dionisíaca do pós-modernismo, no que se refere à sua versão profética, elas são falsas e ignoram a sua proveniência religiosa e até bíblica. /// Postmodernism emphasizes the productive role of difference, as opposed to the "modern" or Enlightenment predilection for universality, commonality, consensus, and what modernists call "rationality" There are two different varieties of this philosophy of difference, depending on which of its two nineteenth century predecessors – Nietzsche or Kierkegaard – one favors, which I call "Dionysian" and "prophetic" postmodernism. Most of the objections that are made against postmodernism have in mind the Dionysian version, but they fall wide of the mark of the prophetic version. The line of objections raised against postmodernists – relativism, subjectivism, scepticism, anarchism, antinomianism, anti-institutionalism, nihilism, and despair – takes its lead from the Nietzscheanized version of postmodernism. Clearly, were all or most of these objections valid it would be as rightly denounced as inimical to God and religion. These complaints may hold of its Dionysian version; they are, as regards the second or prophetic version, false and ignore its religious and even biblical provenance. (shrink)
On Religion is a thrilling and accessible exploration of religious faith today. If God is dead, why is religion back? Digging up the roots of all things religious, Caputo inspects them with clarity and style. Along the way, some fascinating questions crop up: What do I love when I love my God? What are people doing when they perform an act "in the name of God?" Drawing widely on examples from popular culture, telecommunications and philosophy, the author asks why and (...) how religion is for many a source of personal inspiration and moral guidance in a digitalized, post-industrial, nihilistic age. (shrink)
The introduction by Merold Westphal sets the scene: "Two books, two visions of philosophy, two friends and sometimes colleagues...". Modernity and Its Discontents is a debate between Caputo and Marsh in which each upheld their opposing philosphical positions by critical modernism and post-modernism. The book opens with a critique of each debater of the other's previous work. With its passionate point-counterpoint form, the book recalls the philosphical dialogues of classical times, but the writing style remains lucid and uncluttered. Taking (...) the failure of Englightenment ideals as their common ground, the debaters challenge each other's ideas on the nature of post-foundationalist critique. At the core of the argument lies the timely question of the role that each person can play in creating a truly humane society. (shrink)
Rodolphe Gasché, The Tain of the Mirror: Derrida and the Philosophy of Reflection. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986. 348 pp. Irene E. Harvey, Derrida and the Economy of Différance. Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986. xv & 285 pp. John Llewelyn, Derrida on the Threshold of Sense. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986. xiii & 137 pp.
Nietzsche, Heidegger and Derrida: these are not merely the names of three authors, but of three matters for thought, of three ways beyond metaphysics, three transgressions. I want to offer here a reflection, first, upon the dynamics of these transgressions—how each conceives metaphysics and where each makes its move against metaphysics—and, then, upon the relationships of the three to one another, on the interplay of their transgressive practices.