In the remarks that follow I concentrate on Lorenzo Simpson's two books, Technology, Time and the Conversations of Modernity (cited as TTC ) and The Unfinished Project: Toward a Postmetaphysical Humanism (cited as UP ). Common to both works what unites them, I believe is a philosophical orientation that has been deeply influenced by Gadamerian hermeneutics. I begin with a discussion of UP.
The author shows that literary fiction can do the work of philosophy, arguing that Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra is a philosophical explanation of the possibility of modernism. Nietzsche takes up the problem of modernism by inventing Zarathustra, a self-styled cultural innovator who aspires to subvert the culture of modernity (the repressive culture of the 'last man') by creating new values. By showing how Zarathustra can become a creator of new values, notwithstanding the forces that hinder his will to innovate, Nietzsche (...) answers the skeptic who proclaims that new-values creation is impossible. Zarathustra is a story of repeated clashes between Zarathustra's avant-garde, modernist intentions and figures of doubt who condemn those intentions. (shrink)