Introduction: schema, substance, and symbol -- Linguistic form: the critique of reason becomes the critique of culture -- Mythical thought: beginning the ladder of consciousness -- Phenomenology of knowledge: taking phenomenology in the Hegelian, not the modern sense -- Metaphysics of symbolic forms: spirit, life, and Werk -- Logic of the cultural sciences: nature and culture -- Animal symbolicum -- Human freedom and politics.
Marcus Tullius Cicero, the greatest rhetorician among the ancients, in the final book of Tusculan Disputations, writes, “O philosophy, thou guide of life, o thou explorer of virtue and expeller of vice! Without thee what could have become not only of me but the life of man altogether?”. In a time of crisis, what may we expect of philosophy, as a form of thought and speech separate from politics?I use the term “rhetorical philosophy” in the sense put forth by Ernesto (...) Grassi in his seminal work, Rhetoric as Philosophy. Grassi claims, “‘Rhetoric’ is not, nor can it be the art, the technique of an exterior persuasion; it is rather the speech which is the basis of the rational thought”. All... (shrink)
Introduction: On philosophical tetralogy -- The canon of the primal scene in speculative philosophy -- Philosophical pragmatics -- Putting philosophical questions (in)to language -- Absolute knowledge and philosophical language -- The limits of argument : argument and autobiography -- Philosophical aesthetics -- Philosophical memory -- Culture, categories, and the imagination -- Metaphysical narration, science, and symbolic form -- Myth and metaphysics.
This book contends that both Anglo-American analytic philosophy and Continental philosophy have lost their vitality, and it offers an alternative in their place. Donald Phillip Verene advocates a renewal of contemporary philosophy through a return to its origins in Socratic humanism and to the notions of civil wisdom, eloquence, and prudence as guides to human action. Verene critiques reflection—the dominant form of philosophical thought that developed from Descartes and Locke—and shows that reflection is not only a philosophical doctrine but is (...) also connected to the life-form of technological society. He analyzes the nature of technological society and argues that, based on the expansion of human desire, such a society has eliminated the values embodied in the tradition of human folly as understood by Brant, Erasmus, and others. Focusing in particular on the traditions of some of the late Greeks and the Romans, Renaissance humanism, and the thought of Giambattista Vico, this book's concern is to revive the ancient Delphic injunction, "Know thyself," an idea of civil wisdom Verene finds has been missing since Descartes. The author recovers the meaning of the vital relations that poetry, myth, and rhetoric had with philosophy in thinkers like Cicero, Quintilian, Isocrates, Pico, Vives, and Vico. He arrives at a conception of philosophy as a form of memory that requires both rhetoric and poetry to accomplish self-knowledge. (shrink)
The small section of Hegel’s Phänomenologie des Geistes called “Das geistige Tierreich und der Betrug oder die Sache selbst” is one stage of the total dialectical movement of Hegel’s “Science of the Experience of Consciousness.” It plays a role like any other stage, as a form of appearance through which consciousness must pass on its way to “absolute knowing.” Some stages of Hegel’s Phänomenologie have tended to acquire a status for its readers beyond the function they serve in the total (...) movement of consciousness. This has certainly been true of the famous “Master and Servant” relationship and to a lesser extent of the “Unhappy Consciousness,” the “Beautiful Soul,” and that part of “Force and Understanding” called the “inverted” or “topsy-turvy world,” to name a few. (shrink)
Professor Singer’s work, as part of Oxford’s “Past Masters” series, is aimed at introducing a thinker to the general reader. In part the description of the work on the front flap of the dust cover reads: “This book is clearly written in ordinary English. It is intended for the general reader with no prior knowledge of philosophy or of Hegel. It will give such a reader, in the space of an evening’s reading, a broad knowledge of Hegel’s ideas, and an (...) account of the main themes of his major works.” Dust cover descriptions of a work are usually written by the publisher’s staff, and not by the author, so I do not assume that this is Singer’s own description. In fact, such descriptions are often inaccurate, but this statement, I believe, quite accurately informs the reader of what to expect, and shows the work to be quite in line with the general aim of the series. (shrink)
Since Descartes and Locke, theory of knowledge and the concept of rationality itself have been closely allied with the sciences, common sense, and empirical understanding. I argue: that theory of knowledge must be extended to theory of myth, to a theory of the origin of consciousness understood in cultural terms, rather than purely logical or metaphysical terms; and that this understanding of origin involves an understanding of the fundamental relationship between rationality and two forms of mind which have traditionally be (...) defined out of the sphere of knowledge—rhetoric and imagination. The argument that I make is based in part on an interpretation of Vico's New Science. (shrink)
This is the first book to examine in full the interconnections between Giambattista Vico’s new science and James Joyce’s _Finnegans Wake. _Maintaining that Joyce is the greatest modern “interpreter” of Vico, Donald Phillip Verene demonstrates how images from Joyce’s work offer keys to Vico’s philosophy. Verene presents the entire course of Vico’s philosophical thought as it develops in his major works, with Joyce’s words and insights serving as a guide. The book devotes a chapter to each period of Vico’s thought, (...) from his early orations on education to his anti-Cartesian metaphysics and his conception of universal law, culminating in his new science of the history of nations. Verene analyzes Vico’s major works, including all three editions of the _New Science_. The volume also features a detailed chronology of the philosopher’s career, historical illustrations related to his works, and an extensive bibliography of Vico scholarship and all English translations of his writings. (shrink)
Moral philosophy in all its contemporary forms, whether consequentialist, formalist, contractarian, utilitarian, or virtue ethicist, presumes the possibility of formulating principles of conduct that apply universally to all human beings. Standard exceptions are infants and young children, persons who are clinically insane, and persons with reduced mental capacity. These exceptions are recognized by all modern systems of morality and law. The inability to distinguish right from wrong, due to immature age, mental disorganization, or insufficient intelligence is grounds to exempt any (...) given person from moral responsibility and moral agency.Human beings not bound by such conditions are distinguished by their capacity .. (shrink)
This is a collection of seven essays by distinguished Italian scholars on “Hegel Interpreter of Kant.” The occasion for these essays is that 1981 both marks the second centenary of the publication of the first edition of the Critique of Pure Reason and is the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Hegel’s death.
THIS ESSAY ADDRESSES TWO QUESTIONS: Is the search for scientific truth a self-sufficient activity? or Does scientific right reasoning depend upon a form of truth-telling that lies beyond the limits of scientific investigation? Put differently, is there a sense of metaphysics as a form of human culture that is the embodiment of this general sense of truth-telling?
In what ways are Vico and Joyce similar? To what extent is Vico an influence on Joyce? And in what ways can Vico's philosophy be newly understood when seen in relation to Joyce's use of it? This book suggests ways to see both thinkers anew.