One of the challenges facing Continental Philosophy is how to maintain its identity as “Continental” (and thus as “European”) while avoiding the dangers of Euro-centrism. This challenge calls for many approaches, but one entry point is through the question of Europe—can we think a European identity that is pluralistic and radically open to its others, a Europe that is not Euro-centric? Rodolphe Gasché, in his recently published Europe, or the Infinite Task: A Study of a Philosophical Concept (Stanford 2009), (...) articulates just such a concept of Europe, providing careful studies of Husserl, Heidegger, Patočka, and Derrida, as well as his own insights. In spring of 2009, the Department of Philosophy at DePaul University invited Prof. Gasché for a discussion of Europe, or the Infinite Task. Peg Birmingham and Franklin Perkins presented papers engaging and responding to the book, and Rodolphe Gasché subsequently offered his response. The three essays are published together here, with slight revisions but retaining their original character as a dialogue. We hope that the lively debate they express will serve to stimulate further discussion of the relationships among philosophy, Europe, and openness to others. (shrink)
ABSTRACT The focus of this essay is Kant's argument in the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals III that regarding oneself as rational implies regarding oneself as free. After setting out an interpretation of how the argument is meant to go, I argue that Kant fails to show that regarding oneself as free is incompatible with accepting universal causal determinism. However, I suggest that the argument succeeds in showing that regarding oneself as rational is inconsistent with accepting universal causal determinism (...) if one accepts a certain, plausible view of the explanation of events. RESUMEN El ensayo se enfoca en el argumento de Kant en la Fundamentación de la metafísica de las costumbres III según el cual considerarse racional implica verse a uno mismo como libre. Se interpreta la forma en que debe entenderse el argumento y se afirma que Kant no logra demostrar que considerarse libre es incompatible con la aceptación del determinismo casual universal. No obstante, se sugiere que el argumento sí logra demostrar que considerarse a uno mismo como racional es incompatible con la aceptación del determinismo casual universal, si se acepta una cierta versión plausible de la explicación de los eventos. (shrink)
Rodolphe Calin | : Comment rendre compte de l’articulation entre l’image et le langage, plus précisément, de la double dimension, langagière et figurative, que présente le langage dans les figures de rhétorique? L’article essaie de montrer que, pour répondre à cette question, Ricoeur n’aura pas seulement eu besoin, dans la sixième étude de La métaphore vive, de développer une sémantique de l’image consistant à penser l’image comme une dimension du procès de la prédication métaphorique, mais également, comme en témoigne (...) son article « Image et langage dans la psychanalyse », une sémiotique de l’image, une sémiotique non linguistique permettant de faire droit à la dimension « pictoriale » qu’acquiert le langage en devenant figuré. Et dans la mesure où la sémantique et la sémiotique de l’image mettent en jeu deux modèles distincts, l’un prédicatif, l’autre substitutif, qui tour à tour permettent de décrire le schématisme de l’imagination, ce sont ici deux approches de l’imagination créatrice qui sont requises pour rendre compte du langage figuré. | : How to explain the connection between images and language? More precisely, how to give an account of the double dimension, both linguistic and figurative, that language presents in rhetorical figures? The present article attempts to show that in order to answer this question, Ricoeur had to develop not only a semantics of the image in La métaphore vive, where the image is conceived as a part of the process of metaphorical predication, but also, as evidenced by his article “Image and language in psychoanalysis,” a semiotics of the image — i.e., a non-linguistic semiotics making it possible to grant the “pictorial” dimension that language acquires in becoming figurative. And to the extent that the semantics and semiotics of the image deploy two distinct models — one predicative, the other substitutive — which alternately describe the schematism of the imagination, it becomes clear that two approaches of the creative imagination are required to account for figurative language. (shrink)
Rodolphe Gasché’s commentary on Deleuze and Guattari’s last book, _What Is Philosophy?,_ homes in on what the two thinkers define as philosophy in distinction from the sciences and the arts and what it is that they understand themselves to have done while doing philosophy. Gasché is concerned with the authors’ claim not only that philosophy is a Greek invention but also that it is, for fundamental reasons, geophilosophical in nature. Gasché also intimates that, rather than a marginal issue of (...) their conception of philosophy, geocentrism is a central dimension of their thinking. Indeed, Gasché argues, if all the principal traits that constitute philosophy according to _What is Philosophy_?—_autochthony, philia,_ and _doxa_—imply in an essential manner a concern with Earth, it follows that what Deleuze and Guattari have been doing while engaging in philosophy has been marked by this concern from the start. (shrink)
Against the assumption that aesthetic form relates to a harmonious arrangement of parts into a beautiful whole, this book argues that reason is the real theme of the Critique of Judgment as of the two earlier Critiques. Since aesthetic judgment of the beautiful becomes possible only when the mind is confronted with things of nature, for which no determined concepts of understanding are available, aesthetic judgment is involved in an epistemological or, rather, para-epistemological task. The predicate “beautiful” indicates that something (...) has minimal form and is cognizable. This book explores this concept of form, in particular the role of presentation (Darstellung) in what Kant refers to as “mere form,” which involves not only the understanding, but also reason as the faculty of ideas. Such a notion of form reveals why the beautiful can be related to the morally good. On the basis of this reinterpreted concept of form, most major concepts and themes of the Critique of Judgment—such as disinterestedness, free play, the sublime, genius, and beautiful arts—are examined by the author and shown in a new light. (shrink)
In the aftermath of Kant, that is, with Schelling and Hegel, the natural beautiful is no longer a major concern of aesthetic theory. According to Adorno, an evil star hangs over the theory of natural beauty. The essay examines the reasons for this neglect of the beautiful of nature by confronting Kant's account of natural beauty with Hegel's theory about the fundamental deficiencies of beauty in nature and locates them in the essential indeterminacy of everything that belongs to nature. Inquiring (...) into what Adorno seeks to achieve by playing Kant and Hegel off against one another, it is shown that this indeterminacy of nature is both an index of nature's interconnectedness with mythical violence and the promise of a freedom from myth. (shrink)
Edmund Husserl. Infinite tasks -- Universality and spatial form -- Universality in the making -- Martin Heidegger. Singular essence -- The strangeness of beginnings -- The originary world of tragedy -- Jan Patoka. Care of the soul -- The genealogy of Europe-responsibility -- Jacques Derrida. European memories -- This little thing that is Europe -- De-closing the horizon.
The Honor of Thinking investigates the limits of criticism, theory, and philosophy in light of what Martin Heidegger and French post-Heideggerian philosophers have established about the nature and tasks of thinking. In addition to in-depth analyses of Walter Benjamin's conception of critique—and in particular the relation of critique to ethics, as well as alternative models of criticism (such as Heidegger's notion of “Auseinandersetzung,” and Derridean deconstruction)—this book contains essays on the notion of theory from the Greeks and the early German (...) Romantics to the contemporary use of this notion in literary studies. The last part of the book investigates the different ways of understanding philosophical thinking that are found in contemporary French thought, examining works of Foucault, Deleuze, Lyotard, and Derrida. (shrink)
Exploring and reassessing the philosophical notion of relation, Of Minimal Things views relation as the minimal and elemental theme and structure of philosophy, in contrast to the scholastic, ontological conception of relation as a thing of diminished being. Drawing radical conclusions from the classical understanding of relation as a being-toward-another, it argues that rethinking relation engages the very possibility and limits of philosophical discourse. In the author's studies of Nietzsche, Benjamin, Husserl, Heidegger, Derrida and Blanchot, relation is shown to be (...) central to their thought and to undergo elaborations that escape the ontological, categorial, and formalist ways in which the concept has traditionally been interpreted. Studying the writings of Mallarme; and Kafka, the author argues that philosophy necessarily opens up to and is implicated in its others, one such possible other being literature. (shrink)
In the Critique of Judgement, Kant, despite his strong condemnation of rhetoric, introduces the figure of hypotyposis at the very moment he sets out to tackle the philosophical problem of presentation as such. This study holds that this choice of the rhetorical term is not fortuitous. Its connotations of vivid illustration, synopsis, and moral grandeur serve Kant in arguing that, on a transcendental level, presentation secures the mind's life, unity, and self-affection. Although of rhetorical origin, hypotyposis is thus shown to (...) link up with a specifically philosophical meaning of the term in the writings of Aristotle. (shrink)
Ricœur and Levinas both think the constitution of the subject on the basis of a critique of consciousness. Subjectivity is to think from the proof of a sense that the subject does not constitute, but that requires the subject. Yet Levinas and Ricœur don't achieve this critique in the same way. The aim of this article is to confront these different ways.
Attempts made by philosophical hermeneutics to come to grips with deconstruction as well as criticisms leveled by the Gadamerian perspective both operate on the assumption that deconstruction is of Nietzschean inspiration. Why does German hermeneutics choose an approach to Derridean thought that inevitably results in misinterpretation and thus thwarts the dialogue that it ostensibly seeks? I explore the philosophical presuppositions of hermeneutics that cause it to view deconstruction as an extension of Nietzschean thought. I also turn to Derrida’s Spurs: Nietzsche’s (...) Styles in order to argue that Derrida is critical of Nietzsche and, thus, deconstruction is not a specifically Nietzschean operation. (shrink)
At first sight, “theory” does not seem to be a major issue in Heidegger's thought. Yet, as his early Freiburg lectures from 1919 demonstrate, Heidegger's development of a phenomenological method of his own required a systematic debate with the neo-Kantians and the philosophical privilege they accorded to theoretization. While laying the foundation for a phenomenological method whose prime object is the lived experience of the surrounding world, Heidegger sketches out a double concept of theorization, one which, through a process of (...) successive stages of unliving, culminates in the objectified conception of an empty “something,” and another concept of theoretization for which the “something” is “the experienceable in general,” and which guides the a-theoretical encounter of phenomenology as an “archontic form of life” with the world, the other, and the “not yet.”. (shrink)
This article examines the critique of philosophical Eurocentrism developed over the past two-and-a-half decades by Robert Bernasconi. The restriction of the moniker “philosophy” to the Western tradition, and the exclusion of non-Western traditions from the field, became the standard view only after the late eighteenth century. Bernasconi critically analyzes this restriction and exclusion and makes a compelling case for its philosophical illegitimacy. After showing how Bernasconi convincingly repudiates the identification of philosophy with Europe – asserted most explicitly by Continental philosophers (...) such as Hegel, Husserl, Levinas, and most recently Rodolphe Gasché – the present article critically reflects on both the significance and the limits of Bernasconi’s own predominantly “immanent critique” of philosophical Eurocentrism, and ends by calling on philosophers to engage more thoroughly in studies of and dialogues with non-Western traditions of philosophy. (shrink)
Rodolphe Gasché, The Tain of the Mirror: Derrida and the Philosophy of Reflection. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986. 348 pp. Irene E. Harvey, Derrida and the Economy of Différance. Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986. xv & 285 pp. John Llewelyn, Derrida on the Threshold of Sense. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986. xiii & 137 pp.