In Public/Private, Fairfield examines the ethical-political significance as well as the policy implications of a right to privacy. Discussing the different applications of privacy laws, technology,property, relationships, Fairfield writes in a style accessible to specialists and students alike.
Beginning with a wide-ranging discussion of liberal philosophers, Fairfield proposes that liberalism requires a complete reconception of moral selfhood, one that accommodates elements of the contemporary critiques without abandoning liberal individualism.
From Nietzsche's pronouncement that "God is dead" to Camus' argument that suicide is the fundamental question of philosophy, the concept of death plays an important role in existential phenomenology, reaching from Kierkegaard to Heidegger and Marcel. This book explores the phenomenology of death and offers a unique way into the phenomenological tradition. Paul Fairfield examines the following key topics: the modern denial of death Heidegger's important concept of 'being-toward-death' and its centrality in phenomenological ideas, such as authenticity and existence the (...) philosophical significance of death rituals: what explains the imperative toward ritual around death, and what is its purpose and meaning? death in an age of secularism the philosophy and ethics of suicide death as a mystery rather than a philosophical problem to be solved the relationship between hope and death. Death: A Philosophical Inquiry is essential reading for students of phenomenology and existentialism, and will also be of interest to students in related fields such as religion, anthropology and the medical humanities. (shrink)
The consequences of hermeneutics for education are profound and far‐reaching. While the philosophy of education was never a major preoccupation of Hans‐Georg Gadamer's, his writings on Bildung and dialogue, in particular, contain implications for what happens, or might happen, in classrooms. After discussing these two themes, this chapter offers a few reflections on some obstacles to education as hermeneutics conceives of it which are plainly visible in the university of today. The concept of Bildung fell into some disrepute in the (...) nineteenth and early twentieth centuries owing to its association in many minds with elitism. Much of the current vocabulary of educational theory and psychology, which is often difficult to distinguish from the economic, has an inveterate tendency to produce a quality of educational experience that closely compares to that of a rat in a maze, as Ivan Illich perceptively described in Deschooling Society. (shrink)
This book is a phenomenological and hermeneutical investigation into the nature of historical imagination. Carefully defining historical imagination, the book probes the relationship between the imaginative and the empirical, as well as the relationship between historical understanding and self-understanding.
This book examines the transitional periods of archaic Greece and late antiquity, the ostensible birth and death of the ancient west. The author argues that an interpretation of the social, political, and intellectual history of these important turning points brings to light some philosophical understanding of the dynamics of change itself.
Drawing upon a range of insights from Plato and Aristotle to Gadamer and Ingarden, this phenomenological study examines the nature of artistic creation. Mitscherling and Fairfield also draw heavily upon many artists’ statements regarding their own creative process.
Investigating connections between philosophical hermeneutics and neighbouring traditions of thought, this volume considers the question of how post-Heideggerian hermeneutics, as represented by Gadamer, Ricoeur and recent scholars following in their wake, relate to these traditions, both in general terms and bearing upon specific questions. The traditions covered in this volume-existentialism, pragmatism, poststructuralism, Eastern philosophy, and hermeneutics itself-are all characterized by significant internal diversity, adding to the difficulty in reaching an interpretation that is at once comparative and critical. None of these (...) traditions represent a unified system of belief; all are umbrella terms which are at once useful and imprecise, and the differences internal to each must not to be understated. An innovative work of comparative philosophy, this volume avoids oversimplification and offers specific analyses that treat hermeneutics in relation to particular themes and key figures in each of these traditions of thought. Philosophical hermeneutics is explicitly dialogical, and it is in this spirit that the authors of this book approach their subjects, revealing the important affinities and opportunities for mutually enriching conversations which have until now been overlooked. (shrink)
_John Dewey and Continental Philosophy_ provides a rich sampling of exchanges that could have taken place long ago between the traditions of American pragmatism and continental philosophy had the lines of communication been more open between Dewey and his European contemporaries. Since they were not, Paul Fairfield and thirteen of his colleagues seek to remedy the situation by bringing the philosophy of Dewey into conversation with several currents in continental philosophical thought, from post-Kantian idealism and the work of Friedrich Nietzsche (...) to twentieth-century phenomenology, hermeneutics, and poststructuralism. This unique volume includes discussions comparing and contrasting Dewey with the German philosophers G. W. F. Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and Hans-Georg Gadamer on such topics as phenomenology, naturalism, organicism, contextualism, and poetry. Others investigate a series of connections between Dewey and contemporary French philosophy, including the notions of subjectivity, education, and the critique of modernity in Michel Foucault; language and politics in Jacques Derrida; and the concept of experience in Gilles Deleuze. Also discussed is the question of whether we can identify traces of _Bildung_ in Dewey’s writings on education, and pragmatism’s complex relation to twentieth-century phenomenology and hermeneutics, including the problematic question of whether Heidegger was a pragmatist in any meaningful sense. Presented in intriguing pairings, these thirteen essays offer different approaches to the material that will leave readers with much to deliberate. _ John Dewey and Continental Philosophy_ demonstrates some of the many connections and opportunities for cross-traditional thinking that have long existed between Dewey and continental thought, but have been under-explored. The intersection presented here between Dewey’s pragmatism and the European traditions makes a significant contribution to continental and American philosophy and will spur new and important developments in the American philosophical debate. (shrink)
There is no more ultimate question in philosophy than the question of reason, and it is a question to which philosophical hermeneutics proffers a radical answer. Reason cannot be comprehended apart from the kind of being that is the rational animal, while the latter cannot be understood apart from the capacity for linguistic communication. Philosophy invariably strives after knowledge that in some measure eludes its grasp while reason itself is a process that drives us into communicative engagements without the possibility (...) of a final terminus. Richard Rorty discerned three meanings of relativism in articulating his own reply to the charge: first, every statement is as true and every judgment as just as any other; second, “true” and “just” are equivocal terms; and third, there is nothing substantive to be said about truth or justice but for historically specific procedures of justification. (shrink)
Democratic speech is not the altogether orchestrated and well-regulated affair that deliberative democrats and others describe it as being or capable of becoming. In democratic speech we encounter not only oases of genuine public deliberation but rhetoric, desire, struggle, will to power, mythology, and communicative incompetence. All of this is no less of the essence of democratic speech than its nobler aspect and is found everywhere that democratic institutions exist or have ever existed. This modest phenomenology undertakes a broad and (...) impressionistic account of democratic discourse, highlighting themes that are at once fundamental and largely unremarked. My aims in doing so are both critical and reconstructive: the critical aim is to expose the unreality of democratic idealism in both its theoretical and popular manifestations, while the reconstructive aim is to sketch the outline of a democratic ontology in which speech holds center stage. If speech is the lifeblood of democratic politics, we shall misunderstand our own democratic commitment for as long as we misconceive the real workings, dynamics, and conditions of democratic speech. I shall argue that the rhetorical dimension of political speech is not a contingency, but belongs to its fundamental structure. (shrink)
Whether liberalism may incorporate a strongly situated conception of the self is the main question posed in this paper. That it may, and in so doing counter an important element of the communitarian critique of liberalism, is its central thesis. Drawing primarily upon the work of Paul Ricoeur and John Dewey, I articulate and defend a conception of the self as a narrated and self-narrating agent. Moral selfhood is properly conceived as at once socially constituted and, in keeping with liberalism, (...) capable of critical distantiation from the traditions and forms of community life within which it stands. (shrink)