One of the challenges facing Continental Philosophy is how to maintain its identity as “Continental” (and thus as “European”) while avoiding the dangers of Euro-centrism. This challenge calls for many approaches, but one entry point is through the question of Europe—can we think a European identity that is pluralistic and radically open to its others, a Europe that is not Euro-centric? Rodolphe Gasché, in his recently published Europe, or the Infinite Task: A Study of a Philosophical Concept (Stanford 2009), articulates (...) just such a concept of Europe, providing careful studies of Husserl, Heidegger, Patočka, and Derrida, as well as his own insights. In spring of 2009, the Department of Philosophy at DePaul University invited Prof. Gasché for a discussion of Europe, or the Infinite Task. Peg Birmingham and Franklin Perkins presented papers engaging and responding to the book, and Rodolphe Gasché subsequently offered his response. The three essays are published together here, with slight revisions but retaining their original character as a dialogue. We hope that the lively debate they express will serve to stimulate further discussion of the relationships among philosophy, Europe, and openness to others. (shrink)
Edmund Husserl. Infinite tasks -- Universality and spatial form -- Universality in the making -- Martin Heidegger. Singular essence -- The strangeness of beginnings -- The originary world of tragedy -- Jan Patoka. Care of the soul -- The genealogy of Europe-responsibility -- Jacques Derrida. European memories -- This little thing that is Europe -- De-closing the horizon.
The Honor of Thinking investigates the limits of criticism, theory, and philosophy in light of what Martin Heidegger and French post-Heideggerian philosophers have established about the nature and tasks of thinking. In addition to in-depth analyses of Walter Benjamin's conception of critique—and in particular the relation of critique to ethics, as well as alternative models of criticism (such as Heidegger's notion of “Auseinandersetzung,” and Derridean deconstruction)—this book contains essays on the notion of theory from the Greeks and the early German (...) Romantics to the contemporary use of this notion in literary studies. The last part of the book investigates the different ways of understanding philosophical thinking that are found in contemporary French thought, examining works of Foucault, Deleuze, Lyotard, and Derrida. (shrink)
Unlike all the major thinkers in the phenomenological tradition, but contemporary French philosophers as well, who are indebted to this tradition, Jacques Derrida, it seems, has never explicitly taken up the venerable question of philosophy’s origin in wonder. Is one to conclude from this that Derrida’s philosophy is a philosophy without wonder? Yet, what would it mean to philosophize without wonder? Or, by contrast, is Derrida’s philosophical thought engaged in multiplying wonder with the result that there is in his thought (...) more wonder than one thinks? (shrink)
Against the assumption that aesthetic form relates to a harmonious arrangement of parts into a beautiful whole, this book argues that reason is the real theme of the Critique of Judgment as of the two earlier Critiques. Since aesthetic judgment of the beautiful becomes possible only when the mind is confronted with things of nature, for which no determined concepts of understanding are available, aesthetic judgment is involved in an epistemological or, rather, para-epistemological task. The predicate “beautiful” indicates that something (...) has minimal form and is cognizable. This book explores this concept of form, in particular the role of presentation (Darstellung) in what Kant refers to as “mere form,” which involves not only the understanding, but also reason as the faculty of ideas. Such a notion of form reveals why the beautiful can be related to the morally good. On the basis of this reinterpreted concept of form, most major concepts and themes of the Critique of Judgment—such as disinterestedness, free play, the sublime, genius, and beautiful arts—are examined by the author and shown in a new light. (shrink)
In the aftermath of Kant, that is, with Schelling and Hegel, the natural beautiful is no longer a major concern of aesthetic theory. According to Adorno, an evil star hangs over the theory of natural beauty. The essay examines the reasons for this neglect of the beautiful of nature by confronting Kant's account of natural beauty with Hegel's theory about the fundamental deficiencies of beauty in nature and locates them in the essential indeterminacy of everything that belongs to nature. Inquiring (...) into what Adorno seeks to achieve by playing Kant and Hegel off against one another, it is shown that this indeterminacy of nature is both an index of nature's interconnectedness with mythical violence and the promise of a freedom from myth. (shrink)
Borges, Calvino, and Eco are as noted for the intriguing philosophical puzzles they present as they are for their inventive literary styles. In their writings, sequences of causality are reversed, individuals switch identities, and stories of one person mirror those of others. Literary Philosophers brings together a group of distinguished philosophers, literary scholars, and comparativists to explore and debate the relationship between philosophy and literature in the works of these brilliant figures.
Attempts made by philosophical hermeneutics to come to grips with deconstruction as well as criticisms leveled by the Gadamerian perspective both operate on the assumption that deconstruction is of Nietzschean inspiration. Why does German hermeneutics choose an approach to Derridean thought that inevitably results in misinterpretation and thus thwarts the dialogue that it ostensibly seeks? I explore the philosophical presuppositions of hermeneutics that cause it to view deconstruction as an extension of Nietzschean thought. I also turn to Derrida’s Spurs: Nietzsche’s (...) Styles in order to argue that Derrida is critical of Nietzsche and, thus, deconstruction is not a specifically Nietzschean operation. (shrink)
Exploring and reassessing the philosophical notion of relation, Of Minimal Things views relation as the minimal and elemental theme and structure of philosophy, in contrast to the scholastic, ontological conception of relation as a thing of diminished being. Drawing radical conclusions from the classical understanding of relation as a being-toward-another, it argues that rethinking relation engages the very possibility and limits of philosophical discourse. In the author's studies of Nietzsche, Benjamin, Husserl, Heidegger, Derrida and Blanchot, relation is shown to be (...) central to their thought and to undergo elaborations that escape the ontological, categorial, and formalist ways in which the concept has traditionally been interpreted. Studying the writings of Mallarme; and Kafka, the author argues that philosophy necessarily opens up to and is implicated in its others, one such possible other being literature. (shrink)
Rodolphe Gasché (1988). God, for Example. In Angela Ales Bello & Richard Rojcewicz (eds.), Phenomenology and the Numinous: The Fifth Annual Symposium of the Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center. Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center, Duquesne University.