In this paper, I draw upon the ‘post-Kantian’ reading of Hegel to examine the consequences Hegel’s idea of God has for understanding his metaphysics. In particular, I apply Hegel’s ‘recognition-theoretic’ approach to his theology. Within the context of this analysis, I focus especially on the incarnation and sacrifice of Christ. First, I claim that Hegel’s philosophy of religion employs a peculiar notion of sacrifice (kenotic sacrifice). Here, sacrifice is conceived as a withdrawal, that is, as a ‘making room’ for the (...) other. Second, I argue that the idea of kenotic sacrifice plays a fundamental role in Hegel’s account of Christ. Third, I conclude by sketching some of the consequences Hegel’s idea of a God who renounces his own divinity has for an idealistically conceived metaphysics. My main thesis is that Hegel’s turn to Christianity can be regarded as indicative of his endorsement of social and political freedoms that are characteristic of modernity. That is, modern freedoms are cognate with a certain idea of God. Thus, the notion of incarnation is conceived as the expression of a spirit that advances only insofar as it is willing to withdraw and make room for the other. (shrink)
This paper addresses the role of the notion of sacrifice in Kant’s theoretical philosophy, practical philosophy, and in his account of religion. First, I argue that kenotic sacrifice, or sacrifice as ‘withdrawal’, plays a hidden and yet important role in the development of Kant’s transcendental philosophy. Second, I focus on Kant’s practical philosophy, arguing that the notion of sacrifice that is both implied and explicitly analyzed by Kant is mainly suppressive sacrifice. However, Kant’s account is fundamentally ambiguous, as sometimes the (...) kenotic meaning of sacrifice seems to resurface, especially in the context of Kant’s discussion of the happiness of others as an end in itself. Because religious notions are regarded by Kant as necessary transitional forms (Darstellungen) to be used to make moral ideas applicable to the world, I then scrutinize Kant’s view of sacrifice as an improper symbol, and I analyze Kant’s arguments for such a dismissal and discuss the subject matter in recent literature. Finally, I examine the role of sacrifice in Kant’s account of Christ as the prototype of pure moral disposition. I conclude by arguing that Kant indeed grasped the importance of including kenotic dynamics in practical philosophy but was somehow unable or unwilling to integrate it into the formal grounding of his ethics. This tension, however, effectively provides an entry point for features that can be found in the post-Kantians. (shrink)
Abstract The present paper suggests to consider Kierkegaard?s use of Abraham?s story in Fear and Trembling in regulative terms, that is, to consider it as a model ? not for our moral behaviour but rather for our religious behaviour. To do so, I first rely on recent literature to argue that Kierkegaard should be regarded as a distinctively post-Kantian philosopher: namely, a philosopher who goes beyond Kant in a way that is nevertheless true to the spirit of Kant?s original critical (...) philosophy. Then, I present a post-Kantian reading of Fear and Trembling, focusing on the problematic implications that result from comparing this text with Hegel?s theory of recognition. Finally, I submit that sacrifice in Fear and Trembling is a regulative notion in a Kantian sense. This interpretation addresses some of the most problematic aspects of the text. I conclude that the regulativity of sacrifice may be regarded as an important and perhaps an essential component of Kierkegaard?s overall philosophical strategy. (shrink)
In this paper I rely on recent literature that emphasises the importance of recognition in Hegel's philosophy in order to apply the recognition-theoretic approach to the notion of sacrifice in the Phenomenology of Spirit. Firstly, I conduct a preliminary analysis by examining the general meaning of sacrifice as a form of determinate negation. Secondly, I focus on two phenomenological moments (the struggle between ?faith? and ?pure insight?, and the cult) in order to answer the question, ?Is a real (effective and (...) unselfish) sacrifice possible?? Finally, I argue that sacrifice should be considered as a Darstellung, and I explain the twofold connection between sacrifice and recognition. I conclude that there is no sacrifice without recognition, and the process of recognition is intrinsically sacrificial. (shrink)
This paper has two related goals. Firstly, after briefly clarifying the theoretical core of Solger's thought, it will analyse his metaphysics from Hegel's point of view, emphasizing that sacrifice is, for Solger, the fundamental structure of the relationship between the finite and the Infinite. Secondly, it will investigate the main reasons behind Hegel's criticism of Solger, showing that they have different conceptions of privation and negation and concluding that Solger and Hegel have different aims. Hegel's aim consists in recomposing the (...) unity of finite and infinite, whereas Solger's thought is structured on the rupture between these two. (shrink)
The aim of the paper is to clarify the theoretical core of Solger's thought, the foundation for his aesthetics. I first analyze Solger's dialectic of double negation. Secondly I focus on Solger's gnoseology, which is orientated toward grasping the equilibrium between the Infinite (God) and the finite (world) consisting in this double negation. Lastly I investigate the notion of sacrifice, connecting it with Solger's ironic dialectic and showing its relevance to a complete understanding of his thought.
René Girard’s mimetic theory has significantly influenced the fields of comparative literature and cultural studies, as well as sociological anthropology and philosophy. Nevertheless, I argue that a somewhat different line of interpretation, an interdisciplinary one, has not been sufficiently investigated. This involves an interpretation which focuses on the vicissitudes of the mimetic and “victimage” circle not (or not only) in sociological terms, but by analysing their articulation on the level of knowledge. The sociological and epistemological perspectives do not exclude each (...) other, but can be integrated. The main aim of this paper is to clarify this articulation, and to show that integration between these two perspectives is possible only by bringing into play a real ‘literary aesthetics’. The notion of literary aesthetics needs to be considered in both the common and the etymological sense, as a theory of feeling and of experiencing. In doing so, I firstly cover in brief the main stages of Girard’s thought in the light of this perspective, to then focus on the relationship between literary aesthetics and knowledge. Finally I argue that this picture, if seriously considered, could lead to a mystical outcome, and will discuss the possible alternatives to that outcome. (shrink)
René Girard's mimetic theory has been object of much interest in the last few years, both in the 'Continental' and in the 'English-speaking' philosophical areas. Nevertheless, Girard's thought is not always accepted in the academic circles. The main cause for this is that his theory is considered too 'philosophical' in the Human Sciences Departments, and it seems too close to cultural anthropology and literary criticism to be appreciated by philosophers. This is the reason why it could be fruitful to focus (...) the attention on the philosophical aspects of René Girard's thought. I clarify what is meant exactly by 'philosophy' within the mimetic theory of René Girard and I define the borders of the problem of the 'death of philosophy,' as it appears from Girard's work. Then, I focus on philosophical hermeneutics and its relationship with the mimetic theory. Finally, I try to answer a central question: is it still possible to speak of 'philosophy' within the Girardian universe? (shrink)