This book places under sustained scrutiny some of our most basic modern assumptions about inheritance, genealogy, blood relations, and racial categories. It has at its core a deceptively simple question, one too often taken for granted: what constitutes good bonds among humans, and what compels us to determine them so across generations as both a physical and a metaphysical attribute? Answering this question is complex and involves a foray into a seemingly disparate array of early modern sources: from adages, common (...) law, and literature about bloodlines and bastardy to philosophical, political, and scientific discourses that both confirm and confound the common sense of familial, communal, national, and racial identity. (shrink)
Primary aloneness -- Incommunicado core and boundless supporting unknown -- Guilt in an age of psychopathy -- I killed Socrates -- Revenge ethics -- Something wrong -- Emily and M.E. -- Faith and destructiveness.
Earth possesses a double-character: it supports life and grounds perception and experience, but because of being this very base, also restricts these stances, since as base of any activity, theoretical or practical, it cannot be overstepped. Thus, earth itself is also groundless. Nevertheless, this duplicity is not contradictory, is no dualism, when formulated as earth being both a space of movement and a space of sense. Understanding this duplicity means understanding the intertwining of these two spaces by articulating the possibilities (...) of movements within sense; it means an understanding of sense and meaning in moving. This is the task of philosophy: both alienation from earth and the matter-of-course of its sense and return to it by taking part in its sense of moving and becoming. This is gained by interpretation, of which we draw on as a model reading Nietzsche on 'Will to Power' and perspectivity, and Plato's conception of dialectic. Thus, interpretation represents itself sensibly in earth's duplicity. (shrink)
The Symposium is one of Plato’s most literary and poetic dialogues. How might one reconcile this evidence of Plato’s predilection for poetry in light of his severe critique of poetry in the Republic? Though his critique is modified and refined in other dialogues, the power of his critique is nowhere significantly undermined. I argue in this paper that Plato’s poetic writing is not inconsistent with his critique, and that in fact there is an affinity between his practice of poetry and (...) his critique. Plato’s critique of poetry is not aimed against poetry itself, but just against its problematic claims and false promises. In turn, Plato’s use of the poetic image, especially in relationship to eros, delimits philosophy, and places it in relation to that which is not attainable for it. The battle between poetry and philosophy is seen to involve a reciprocal benefit for both, and a hidden affinity. In this sense, the poetic image has its philosophical sense precisely because it falls outside of the philosophical perspective. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the relationship between philosophy and rhetoric. It argues that philosophical claims are bound to language, and yet philosophy’sclaim to objective clarity is meaningless if language is radically perspectival. The paper attempts to show the limitations and possibilities that Platonic dialectics and Derridean deconstruction share in their respective approaches to the analysis of language and the relationship between speech and writing. The paper concludes that language is ambiguous, neither reducible to the relativism of sophistry nor to (...) the essentialism of metaphysics. Against Derrida, the paper argues that without structure, voice is not language; it renders only inarticulate sounds. Yet in speaking, this structural aspect gets taken for granted and passed over. Only when language is established in writing is the possibility of voice first recognized. (shrink)
Plato's cntique of poetry in the Republic aims at elucidating the relationship between poetry and philosophy to show the possibility of philosophical thinking. Both philosophy and poetry represent two own ways of experience depending on each other. While poetry is characterized as deceptive, philo- sophy proves herself as experience of tmth with an offspnng in her strife with poetry's untmth, since the latter is unable to express the difference fundamental to her st~cture as mimesis or representation: the difference between the (...) represented Sache and mimesis herself, this recognition of difference being the only way to a measure of her appropriateness to the Sache. Criticizing the mimetic lack of poetry, philosophy leams about her exclusive abilities as mimetic art herself: to perform the mimetic distance in interrogating her mimetic appropriateness and by this to gain a tme understanding about the represented. (shrink)
Hermeneutical philosophy as developed by Heidegger and Gadamer is not compatible with the classical phenomenological programme elaborated by Husserl. The hermeneutical stress on historicity as a necessary condition for understanding is unfamiliar to Husserl's strictly theoretical approach. However, this does not mean that a hermeneutical philosophy as such cannot be conceived in a phenomenological sense. Whether or not hermeneutical philosophy is phenomenological depends on the paradigm chosen for hermeneutical explanation. A hermeneutics referring to the interpretation of texts may elucidate constitutional (...) elements of phenomenology, e.g. phenomenological reduction and reflection. In this way it even can initiate a modification of phenomenology which, instead of being caught up in its subjective foundation, now appears as elucidating the openness of the correlation between intentional attitudes and their 'objects'. For this correlation the interpretation is a paradigm, whereas the openness of the correlation can be explained in respect of freedom, language, and time. (shrink)
Abstract The paper is divided into four brief but related sections: (I) a description of Figal's resuscitation and reinterpretation of the word that informs the title of his book, the word “ Gegenstand ,“ and his Heidegger-critique regarding this resuscitation; (II) an examination of an important strain of the aforementioned lineage, namely, the role of Wilhelm von Humboldt as source for Heidegger's and his own Sprachdenken ; (III) an account of the Figal-Heidegger encounter with respect to the speaking (...) of language; and (IV) the culmination of the “ Sprache “ chapter and some comments upon the outcome with regard to philosophy of language. (shrink)