From scientific revolutions to Boston AA : philosophy and the speaking of matter -- What is the history of philosophy? -- Aristotle, oppression, and metaphysics -- Modernism in philosophy : fulfillment and subversion in Kant -- The malleability of reason : Hegel's return to Heracleitus -- The fragility of reason : earth, art, and politics in Heidegger -- Dialectics, thermodynamics, and the end of critique -- Critical practice and public goods : the role of philosophy.
This paper explores how an earlier stage of Hegel’s system structures later stages. Starting with the section on “substance” in the Logic, I argue that substance for Hegel is a “dialectical” or narrative structure, one whose nature is to unfold over time. In the Logic, substance unfolds into causality and reciprocity in turn. This established, I then show how this narrative structure can be found in Hegel’s treatments of three phases of objective spirit: marriage, family, and state. Objective spirit, I (...) argue, can make only the transition to causality. The final transition in the narrative structure, into reciprocity, is reserved for absolute spirit. This means that while the categories of both substance and reciprocity structure Hegel’s accounts of marriage, family, and state, they coexist uneasily. Only in art are they harmoniously brought together via a philosophically comprehended transition. (shrink)
Time in the Ditch presents evidence that the politics of the McCarthy Era has distorted American philosophy, both institutionally and intellectually, ever since that time. It proposes a new paradigm, situating reason, which is free of those distortions. It is neither an account of the new golden age of philosophy outside philosophy departments (as Harding wishes) nor a general history of the rise of analytical philosophy (as Hollinger thinks). I defend myself against Cohen's charges of factual error and historical misreading, (...) and explain mycritical views on the way the history of philosophy is generally taught in the U.S. (shrink)
Hegel's rejection of the Kantian thing-in-itself makes the "an sich" an ingredient in experience—that about a thing which is not yet present to us is what it is "an sich." Hegel bars thus any philosophical appeal to anything construed as atemporal, a path which I argue was also taken by Nietzsche, Foucault, Rorty, and Habermas. Unlike them, however, Hegel pursues a project of systematic philosophy, which now consists in showing how temporal things mutually support one another. The recent Continental philosophers (...) I discuss do not share this systematic conception; hence some of their most distinctive insights and problems. (shrink)
Poetic Interaction presents an original approach to the history of philosophy in order to elaborate a fresh theory that accounts for the place freedom in the Western philosophical tradition. In his thorough analysis of the aesthetic theories of Hegel, Heidegger, and Kant, John McCumber shows that the interactionist perspective recently put forth by Jürgen Habermas was in fact already present in some form in the German Enlightenment and in Heidegger's hermeneutic phenomenology. McCumber's historical placement of the interactionist perspective runs counter (...) to both Habermas's own views and to those of scholars who would locate the origin of these developments in American pragmatism. From the metaphysical approaches of Plato and Aristotle to the interactionist approaches of Habermas and Albrecht Wellmer, McCumber provides an original narrative of the history of philosophy that focuses on the ways that each thinker has formulated the relationships between language, truth, and freedom. Finally, McCumber presents his critical demarcation of various forms of freedom to reveal that the interactionist approach has to be expanded and enlarged to include all that is understood by "poetic interaction." For McCumber, freedom is inherently pluralistic. Poetic Interaction will be invaluable to political philosophers, historians of philosophy, philosophers of language, and scholars of legal criticism. (shrink)