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John Whitmire [9]John F. Whitmire [4]John F. Whitmire Jr [1]
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John Whitmire
Western Carolina University
  1. A Slow Apprenticeship with the Real.John Whitmire - 2018 - In Steven M. Cahn, Alexandra Bradner & Andrew P. Mills (eds.), Philosophers in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching. Indianapolis, IN, USA: pp. 132-144.
    In a famous 1964 interview with _Le Monde_, Jean-Paul Sartre describes the evolution in his thought from the writing of _Nausea_ up to the publication of his autobiographical Les Mots. While not rejecting his earlier literary and philosophical work, he does recontextualize it in light of his own existential growth in the previous two decades, which he attributes to his confrontation with the reality of human suffering – specifically, that of a child dying of hunger. In this essay, I use (...)
     
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  2.  20
    The Lord of the Rings as Philosophy: Environmental Enchantment and Resistance in Peter Jackson and J.R.R. Tolkien.John Whitmire & David Henderson - 2023 - The Palgrave Handbook of Popular Culture as Philosophy.
    A key philosophical feature of Peter Jackson’s film interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s _The Lord of the Rings_ is its use of fantasy to inspire a “recovery” of the actual or, in other words, a reawakening to the beauty of nature and the many possible ways of living in healthier ecological relation to the world. Though none of these ways is perfectly achieved, this pluralistic view is demonstrated in the various lifeways of Hobbits, Elves, Men, and Ents. All of the positive (...)
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  3.  4
    Paul Ricoeur: Honoring and Continuing the Work.Lorenzo Altieri, Pamela Anderson, Patrick Bourgeois, Fred Dallmayr, Gregory Hoskins, Domenico Jervolino, Morny Joy, David M. Kaplan, Richard Kearney, Peter Kemp, Jason Springs, Henry Venema, John Wall & John Whitmire - 2011 - Lexington Books.
    This collection of essays is dedicated to the prolific career of Paul Ricoeur. Honoring his work, this anthology addresses questions and concerns that defined Ricoeur’s.
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  4. Exile and the Philosophical Challenge to Citizenship.Farhang Erfani & John Whitmire - 2004 - In Michael Hanne (ed.), Creativity in Exile. New York, NY, USA: Brill. pp. 41-56.
    Their paper begins with the observation that, even though many philosophers, especially in the twentieth century, have had personal experience of exile, they rarely treat the topic of exile directly in their philosophical works. Existentialist thinkers such as Heidegger, it is true, have employed exile as a metaphor for the human condition, yet the concrete experience of political exile has been treated as somehow lacking the universality that canonical philosophy needs. This paper warns against the temptation to conflate the real (...)
     
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  5.  90
    Ricoeur and the pre-political.Farhang Erfani & John F. Whitmire - 2008 - Continental Philosophy Review 41 (4):501-521.
    We argue that Paul Ricoeur’s work on narrative and alienation provides a largely untapped, though potentially fruitful way of re-thinking the question of political agency within the context of globalization. We argue that the political agency of many around the world has been placed in an exceedingly fragile position due to the rapid pace of globalization, the movement of multi-national corporations from their previous national headquarters, etc. We use Ricoeur’s work to argue that the alienation of globalization is not something (...)
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  6. An Archaeology of Hope and Despair in the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen.John Whitmire - forthcoming - Tolkien Studies.
    Hope is arguably the linchpin virtue of The Lord of the Rings. In this essay, as part of a larger project intended to establish this claim, I take up Appendix A.I.v to The Lord of the Rings, the relatively self-contained “Part of the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen.” Through a close study of the drafts for this section available in the Tolkien Archives at Marquette University, only some of which have been previously published in The Peoples of Middle-earth, as well (...)
     
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  7. A New Fragility: Ricoeur in the Age of Globalization.Farhang Erfani & John Whitmire - 2011 - In Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005): Honoring and Continuing the Work. Lexington, KY, USA: Lexington.
    The pace of globalization has disenfranchised many, alienating them from participation in local modes of self-governance and placing their political agency in an exceedingly fragile position. This alienation cannot be simply overcome, because institutional mediation, as Ricoeur argues, is constitutive of politics: political representation operates by its own rules, partially disconnected from the represented world. Using Ricoeur's work on narrative and alienation alongside Mouffe’s radical democratic theory, we re-envision what political participation could look like outside the traditional nation-state: an agonistic (...)
     
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  8. Apocalyptic "Madness": Strategies for Reading Ecce Homo.John Whitmire - 2020 - In Nicholas Martin & Duncan Large (eds.), Nietzsche's "Ecce Homo". pp. 335-359.
    In this paper, I examine the claim that Nietzsche was already mad (or on the verge of madness) when he wrote Ecce Homo, arguing that this assumption, not the book’s quasi-autobiographical style, has been the chief impediment to a serious philosophical consideration of the text. I briefly take up several recent treatments of the work that attempt to counter the claim of madness commonly made about it, noting that while each of them gives us a good partial rejoinder, they all (...)
     
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  9.  23
    Finding meaning in the curriculum: orienting philosophy majors to a meaningful life as a primary learning outcome.John F. Whitmire - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 79 (4):451-457.
    I discuss a learning outcome of the Western Carolina University, Department of Philosophy and Religion, which focuses on a student’s development and pursuit of a meaningful, thriving, well-lived life, as a corrective to the poverty of existential reflection in the academy. We achieve this Socratic goal via a targeted series of assignments throughout the student’s education, a required pro-seminar on the topic of human flourishing, and other elective courses. The self-reflective, narrative assignments are designed to help students develop their own (...)
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  10. On the Subject of Autobiography: Finding a Self in the Works of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, and Derrida.John Whitmire - 2005 - Dissertation, Villanova University
    This dissertation interrogates the notions of selfhood, agency, and subjectivity in the autobiographical works of Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche, Søren (Soren) Kierkegaard, and Jacques Derrida, all of which are significantly under-researched in the philosophical literature. I show, in each case, that the autobiographical works have a significant philosophical core that deserves drawing out, particularly with relevance to the knot of problems surrounding the quaestio mihi factus sum—the question, enigma, or mystery that I am. I situate each work within the context (...)
     
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  11.  30
    Questioning the Self: Kierkegaard and Derrida.John F. Whitmire Jr - 2006 - Philosophy Today 50 (4):418-427.
    I argue in this paper that philosophers have tended to neglect most autobiographies, even explicitly philosophical ones, due to invalid presuppositions about genre demarcations, and that they would do well to consider them for the resources they offer in terms of constituting positions on selfhood and agency. I further argue that Jacques Derrida offers a productive theoretical framework for understanding philosophical autobiographies as performances, or instances of "making" the truth (Augustine's veritatem facere) by "testifying" or "witnessing," and analyze both Derrida's (...)
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  12. Reconstructing the Religious: Deconstruction, Transfiguration, and Witnessing in The Point of View_ and _On My Work as an Author.John Whitmire - 2010 - In Robert Perkins (ed.), International Kierkegaard Commentary: The Point of View. Macon, GA, USA: Mercer UP. pp. 325-358.
    Several deconstructive readings of Kierkegaard from the early 1980’s and 1990’s begin with a critique of the role the aesthetic plays in The Point of View for My Work as an Author in order to trouble the entire (ostensive) hierarchy of religious-ethical-aesthetic. These readings suggest that there is no way to discern with certainty whether the signature “Kierkegaard” (here and elsewhere) indeed refers to the factical author, or is just another playful aesthetic pose. From this point, they go on to (...)
     
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  13.  27
    The double writing of Les mots: Sartre's words as performative philosophy.John F. Whitmire - 2006 - Sartre Studies International 12 (2):61-82.
    Sartre's Les Mots has given rise to widely divergent competing readings in the philosophical literature, which tend to view it either as a simple continuation of his earlier, radical libertarianism, or as part of an alleged wholesale renunciation of the position we find in his early texts. I argue that most of these readings ignore the very real tensions in Words between the freedom of consciousness and the weight of circumstances. I further argue that Les Mots is a performative text (...)
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  14.  74
    The Many and the One: The Ontological Multiplicity and Functional Unity of the Person in the Later Nietzsche.John F. Whitmire - 2009 - The Pluralist 4 (1):1 - 17.
    A close reading of Nietzsche's post-1885 reflections on subjectivity and selfhood yields neither the voluntarist subject of his "existentialist" works ('Gay Science'; 'Zarathustra'), nor the complete dissolution of the self of some postmodern readers (Foucault, Deleuze). Instead, we find a quasi-phenomenological analysis of the (seemingly unitary) body as a multivalent, ceaselessly warring multiplicity of impulses and affects. Normatively, however (for the "higher" individual), this ontological diversity is yoked together by a single master-drive, creating a "social structure composed of many souls." (...)
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