This eagerly awaited study brings to completion Louis Dupré's planned trilogy on European culture during the modern epoch. Demonstrating remarkable erudition and sweeping breadth, _The Quest of the Absolute_ analyzes Romanticism as a unique cultural phenomenon and a spiritual revolution. Dupré philosophically reflects on its attempts to recapture the past and transform the present in a movement that is partly a return to premodern culture and partly a violent protest against it. Following an introduction on the historical origins of the (...) Romantic Movement, Dupré examines the principal Romantic poets of England, Germany, and France, all of whom, from different perspectives, pursued an absolute ideal. In the chapters of the second part, he concentrates on the critical principles of Romantic aesthetics, the Romantic image of the person as reflected in the novel, and Romantic ethical and political theories. In the chapters of the third, more speculative, part, he investigates the comprehensive syntheses of romantic thought in history, philosophy, and theology. _The Quest of the Absolute_ is an important work both as the culmination of Dupré's ongoing project and as a classic in its own right. The book will meet the expectations of the specialist as well as appeal to more general readers with philosophical, cultural, and religious interests. "_The Quest of the Absolute _is the third volume in Louis Dupré's trilogy dealing with the origins and development of modernity and the major cultural currents defining its history. It follows _Passage to Modernity_ and _The Enlightenment and the Intellectual Foundations of Modern Culture_. This third volume deals with the Romantic movement. Dupré's account is concerned to restore something of the full dimensionalities to Romanticism as a whole, to acknowledge something of the immense intellectual, political, and spiritual ambitions at work in it, without reneging on a reflective critical relation to it." —_William Desmond, Catholic University Louvain and Villanova University_. (shrink)
_Religion and the Rise of Modern Culture_ describes and analyzes changing attitudes toward religion during three stages of modern European culture: the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the Romantic period. Louis Dupré is an expert guide to the complex historical and intellectual relation between religion and modern culture. Dupré begins by tracing the weakening of the Christian synthesis. At the end of the Middle Ages intellectual attitudes toward religion began to change. Theology, once the dominant science that had integrated all others, (...) lost its commanding position. After the French Revolution, religion once again played a role in intellectual life, but not as the dominant force. Religion became transformed by intellectual and moral principles conceived independently of faith. Dupré explores this new situation in three areas: the literature of Romanticism ; idealist philosophy ; and theology itself. Dupré argues that contemporary religion has not yet met the challenge presented by Romantic thought. “This beautifully crafted essay by Louis Dupré makes an original contribution to our understanding of the emergence and development of modernity, which dispensing with religion as a governing discourse and form of life, nonetheless attempts to find a place for it in a world sufficiently depleted of meaning and value as to require reenchantment. It supplements Dupré’s two magisterial texts on the topic of the modernity covering the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods, and whets the appetite for the forthcoming volume on Romanticism. Deep learning is worn lightly in this marvelously readable book.” —_Cyril O'Regan, University of Notre Dame_ “A stunning synthesis of Dupré's magisterial intellectual history of modernity and his distinctive and important philosophy of religion.” —_David Tracy, emeritus, The University of Chicago Divinity School_ “Louis Dupre's literate and sweeping review of the fate of religious faith in modern culture will help contemporary readers, who share his closing yearning for ways in which ‘transcendence can be recognized again,’ to appreciate why many of us find a postmodern climate—for better or worse—more conducive to fulfilling that desire. For his dramatic depictions of modernity teach us how different is the culture in which we now live.” —_David Burrell, CSC, Hesburgh Professor Emeritus in Philosophy and Theology, University of Notre Dame_. (shrink)
Major problems in modern theodicy derive from a rationalist conception of God---alien to living faith---and from an abstract, theologically neutral definition of good and evil. The alternative model here proposed rests on a more intimate union of finite with infinite Being which, on the one hand, allows the creature a greater autonomy and responsibility, and, on the other hand, enables the Creator to share in the suffering of his creatures and thereby to redeem them.
It is stated that husserl's theory of truth is ambiguous. When husserl attacked psychological interpretations of truth, A logicism seemed to be predominant; later he inclined toward intuitionism, Where truth is constituted by the real presence of the object. Purely logical relations in an eternal order of truth, Independent of things, Seems to conflict with the idea of evidence, Which is a psychological experience. It is concluded that truth is the result of an intuition in which the thing itself is (...) given. Finally, Parallels are drawn between husserl's double truth and leibniz's truths of reason and truths of fact. (staff). (shrink)
Hegel’s attitude toward the Enlightenment was ambivalent from the start. He embraced its religious theories yet became almost immediately critical of them. He never wavered in accepting its program of social and political emancipation, but he rejected the individualist philosophy that supported it. He praised the Enlightenment as the dawn of a new age, yet his entire philosophy may be seen as a reaction against what he called its “reflective” thought. In his early years he dealt mainly with the religious (...) aspect of the Enlightenment. Soon, however, the ideal of freedom and emancipation claimed his interest. At the same time, he began to realize the destructive impact the increasing role of the economic was having upon social life. In the Phenomenology he traced this problem to its theoretical source, a utilitarian reduction of the real. This reduction resulted from a cultural alienation. Enlightenment thought separates ideal form from content without being able to reunite them. Hence, its opposition to faith and its diminished perspective on reality. The later works develop particular aspects of this fundamental confrontation. The Logic evaluates the philosophy of reflection in the light of the philosophy of Spirit. The Philosophy of Right places the economic factor that emerged during and as a result of the Enlightenment within the whole of social thought. The Philosophy of History and the articles on Hamann situate the Enlightenment within Hegel’s view of history. (shrink)
A silver anniversary is the moment for a first backward look. Still too early for a recall of the past as past it nevertheless invites an initial reflection on a still uncompleted course. Rather than recapitulating our short past I decided to turn to Hegel’s own thoughts about remembering. Not much has appeared in The Owl about memory in Hegel’s philosophy, least of all about his early encounter with the idea in the romantic classicism of his friend Hölderlin. Yet memory (...) has occupied a central position in Hegel’s philosophy. It played a crucial role not only in the Tübingen fragments and the Jena Phenomenology, but still in the Berlin Philosophy of Spirit. This commemoration presents no occasion for a fundamental study of Hegel’s theory nor does The Owl’s anniversary issue offer the space for it. In the following pages I intend to do no more than evoke Hegel’s awakening to the idea of recollection and his development of it both in his discussion of the Greek religion of beauty in the Phenomenology and in the Encyclopedia section on the psychology of the subjective spirit. (shrink)
IS POSTMODERNISM A NEW, perhaps decisive stage that completes the unfinished project of modernity, as Jürgen Habermas and, in some respects, Jean-François Lyotard claim? Or does it intend to break with that project altogether, as Derrida and Rorty maintain? The latter, more radical thesis tends to go hand in hand with the assumption of an essential continuity between modern and premodern thinking. Among those who defend the latter thesis we find Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, and Rorty. Rorty's position has become somewhat (...) questionable, however, since in the Introduction to his recent Essays on Heidegger and Others he distances himself from the very term "postmodern." "The term," he writes, "has been so over-used that it is causing more trouble than it is worth.... It seems best to think of Heidegger and Derrida simply as post-Nietzschean philosophers--to assign them places in a conversational sequence which runs from Descartes through Kant and Hegel to Nietzsche and beyond rather than to view them as initiating or manifesting a radical departure." This way of contextualizing the so-called postmoderns with the moderns differs from the radical discontinuity Derrida proposes and that Rorty himself formerly appeared to advocate. Western philosophy would then follow a single course from its Greek beginnings to the present with some distinct swerves, of which the so-called postmodern is one, but with no radical interruptions. According to the recent view the ontotheological principles that guided Greek and medieval thought continue to operate in the rationalist and, indirectly, in the empiricist philosophies of the modern age. This essay will argue that there is discontinuity between modern and premodern and continuity between modern and postmodern. (shrink)
FROM VARIOUS THINKERS and in different languages we have been receiving an identical message: the philosophy of the subject initiated by Descartes' cogito has reached a definitive impasse. Critical reactions range from attempts to dispose of the subject altogether to efforts to restore pre-Cartesian theories. The authors here presented adopt positions different from either of those extremes. Fully aware of the modern predicament they advocate neither a return to a pre-Cartesian past nor do they dismiss outright the post-Cartesian subjective starting (...) point. Theoretical attitudes once adopted cannot simply be discarded: philosophy has to work its way through them. Still, the proposed answers vary substantially. In Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Richard Rorty advocates abandoning traditional truth claims in favor of a rational "conversation" carried on between incommensurable positions. Francis Jacques's Différence et subjectivité reverses the traditional priority of subject to relation. In Généalogie de la psychanalyse Michel Henry attempts to reclaim a theory of "pure" subjectivity from the wild growth of its objectivist deviations. Alasdair MacIntyre exposes the disastrous moral consequences that have resulted from the primacy of an autonomous, isolated subject and proposes a program for a socially and historically more integrated ethical reconstruction. No idea has of late more consistently come under fire than that of the subject as sole source of meaning and value. Heidegger attributed it to Descartes, and three of the studies show the direct impact of his reading. Yet similar tendencies had been at work in analytic philosophy. Rorty presents pragmatic anti-subjective interpretations of language going back to Wittgenstein; Francis Jacques supports his attack by Russell's theory of relations. (shrink)
De filosofie heeft de cultuur als symbolische aktiviteit van de mens pas laat ontdekt. Pas Giambattisto Vico trachtte de geschiedenis als een organisch proces in zijn filosofie te betrekken. Kant en Herder ontwikkelden op eigen wijze deze cultuurfilosofie verder. In de afgelopen eeuw zijn de theorieën zover uitgewaaierd dat er nauwelijks meer een metafysische synthese te vinden is, die alles kan bevatten.
From the title of this book the reader might expect a comparative analysis of the dialectic of Hegel and of Marx. Yet all the essays which it contains deal with Hegel, his sources and his influences, and only in the last twenty pages does the author draw a direct comparison with Marx’s dialectic. On the other hand, the areas of investigation are clearly chosen from a Marxist point of view. Thus we read about Hegel and early socialism, Hegel and Utopianism, (...) Hegel and the revolutionary war. The disadvantage of studying a philosopher from a perspective that is not his own are obvious. All the time the reader feels that Hegel’s philosophy here is made to serve a “higher” purpose. (shrink)
De Grieks-Romeinse cultuur verspreidde zich in de oudheid over het Romeinse wereldrijk. In de hoge Middeleeuwen was het christendom een band tussen de volkeren. Na de Franse revolutie had het ideaal van een religieus geordende samenleving die alle landen in een spiritueel verbond verenigde, voorgoed afgedaan. In de negentiende eeuw trad een spanning op tussen universalistische en nationalistische ideologieën, met later een hoogtepunt in communisme en nazisme. Europa moet de zuiver instrumentalistische opvatting van de rede afzweren. Kunnen we de gemeenschappelijke (...) geestelijke identiteit van Europa nieuw leven inblazen, nu een gemeenschappelijk religieus geloof geen culturele eenheid meer schept? (shrink)
Heidegger’s commentaries on Hölderlin’s poetry constitute an essential part of his philosophical heritage. They played a decisive role in the move from a self-enclosed theory of Being to a transcendent openness. Nietzsche confirmed Heidegger’s aversion of the philosophical subjectivism that had come to paralyze all of Western philosophy and, related with it, threatened Western culture with collapse. The time before and during World War I confirmed both the consequences of a philosophical subjectivism and the urgent need for an active political (...) attitude. Heidegger’s support of Nietzsche did not outlast the war nor the information that the will to power’s political interpretation was not Nietzsche’s own but his sister’s and had become a secret weapon in the service of the Nazi party. By that time Heidegger studied Hölderlin’s poetry and understood that also his own philosophy of Being had been rigid and one-sided. From Hölderlin’s poetry he learned the indispensability of passive attitudes. Thus far atheism had served as protection of the absoluteness of a self-enclosed Being. Through the poems of Hölderlin Heidegger learned that Being is not a self-supporting absolute but a transcendent openness that might be expressed actively in religion or in a mystical Gelassenheit. (shrink)
No aspect of Marx’s theory has received more attention in recent decades than the dialectical method. Yet, Western interpreters have mainly restricted the discussion to those early writings in which Marx explicitly confronts Hegel’s philosophy, while socialist commentators often hesitate to subject Marx’s mature writings to fundamental questioning. In the present contribution I propose to raise a number of questions concerning the dialectical method as used in Marx’s later works and as interpreted in those of his principal followers. I realize (...) that there may be a substantial difference between the two, yet since the latter, correctly or incorrectly, explicate a text which frequently demands further justification, they must be consulted. My purpose with this task is hermeneutical rather than critical. I feel that, despite the existing bulk of Marxist literature, we still have not read Marx attentively enough to be ready for a decisive critique of his work. My own critical remarks pretend to do no more than to allow the text to reveal its own meaning within its total context. They are part of that internal criticism without which there can be no true hermeneutic. (shrink)