Ross (philosophy, SUNY Binghamton) attempts to rethink metaphysical traditions in terms of continental and pragmatist critiques, viewing the major work in the tradition as heretical. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR.
IF MODERN philosophy began with Cartesian doubt, it threatens to end not with a resolution of skepticism but with its dissipation. The skeptic's demand for total justification has been replaced by a repudiation of foundations. Such repudiation has been formulated in terms of holism, contextualism, pragmatism, and interpretationism. Yet some of these approaches display significant difficulties even if we accept their denial of foundations. The approach I will examine in particular here is Richard Rorty's version of holism. I will criticize (...) it not for its denial of foundations--with which I am in complete agreement--but for its incompleteness. I will argue that if we take Rorty's anti-foundationalism seriously, we must develop his theory in certain directions much further than he takes it himself. The directions to be pursued in such developments will become clearer in the course of the discussion. I am particularly concerned to explore the possibility of a systematic but anti-foundational theory--one similar in certain ways to but fundamentally incompatible with holism. I will argue that a metaphysical theory can be developed which accommodates the force of Rorty's, Heidegger's, and Dewey's contextualism--a theory which might be called a perspectival realism. (shrink)
Subjects and Simulations presents essays focused on suffering and sublimity, representation and subjectivity, and the relation of truth and appearance through engagement with the legacies of Jean Baudrillard and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe.
Quantum aesthetics fosters what might be called a general thesis of metaphysical intimacy. There is no place left, even in nature, where uninterpreted events can hide. With regard to the work of Niels Bohr and Heisenberg, this condition of unavoidable interpretation is referred to as the “indivisibility of the quantum action.” Accordingly, talking about any privileged or pristine considerations involves contradictions that, according to advocates of quantum aesthetics, must be overcome. Now, every facet of existence has a voice that has (...) a human origin and must be correctly deciphered. Even nature is not simply confronted, but must be explored in terms of its cultural nuances. (Caro and Murphy, eds., WQC, 182). (shrink)
The four parts of this anthology comprise a remarkably wide array of positions on the nature and importance of art in human experience. Part I, from the history of philosophy, includes selections by the essential writers: Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche. Part II contains significant selections from Dewey, Langer, Goodman, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty. The major selections in Part III are from Hirsch and Gadamer on the nature of interpretation, supplemented by selections from Pepper, Derrida, and Foucault. Selections in Part IV (...) sharpen the issues that emerge from the more theoretical discussions in the preceding sections. Significantly revised for this second edition, Part IV now presents discussions of major contemporary importance. In recognition of the increasing influence of Bakhtin and his notion of linguistic multiplicity, materials from The Dialogic Imagination are included. A new section on postmodernism presents some of Lyotard’s definitions of the phenomenon. The Frankfurt School is more adequately represented with the addition of the essays by Benjamin and Adorno to the selection from Marcuse. Perhaps the most important additions are the essays by Gottner-Abendroth, Cixous, and Owens. Crucial contributions to the contemporary discourse, these writings from feminist theory represent a mode of thought that questions male-centered structures of authority and expression. These changes result in a more provocative and representive second edition. (shrink)
The phenomenology of memory proposed here is structured around two questions: Of what are there memories? Whose memory is it? (Ricoeur, MHF, 3)in the margins of a critique of imagination, there has to be an uncoupling of imagination from memory . . . . (5–6).
Now let us imagine, if you please, a tiny worm living in the blood, . . . . The worm would be living in the blood as we are living in our part of the universe, and it would regard each individual particle as a whole, not a part, and it would have no idea as to how all the parts are controlled by the overall nature of the blood and compelled to mutual adaptation as the overall nature of the (...) blood requires, so as to agree with one another in a definite relation. . . .Now all the bodies of Nature can and should be conceived in the same way as we have here conceived the blood; . . . . Now since the nature of the universe, unlike the nature of the blood, is not limited, but is absolutely infinite, its parts are modified by the nature of this infinite in infinite ways and are compelled to undergo infinite variations. (Spinoza, ESL, Letter 32, 245–6). (shrink)
The fundamental faith of the metaphysicians is the faith in opposite values. . . .For one may doubt, first, whether there are any opposites at all, and secondly whether these popular valuations and opposite values on which the metaphysicians put their seal, are not perhaps merely foreground estimates, only provisional perspectives, perhaps even from some nook, perhaps from below, frog perspectives, as it were, to borrow an expression painters use. For all the value that the true, the truthful, the selfless (...) may deserve, it wouldstill be possible that a higher and more fundamental value for life might have to be ascribed to deception, selfishness, and lust. . . .Maybe! (Nietzsche, BGE, #2). (shrink)
there is something else to which we are witness, and which we might describe as an insurrection of subjugated knowledges. (Foucault, 2L, 81)a whole set of knowledges that have been disqualified as inadequate to their task or insufficiently elaborated: naive knowledges, . . . . (82)What emerges out of this is something one might call a genealogy, or rather a multiplicity of genealogical researches, a painstaking rediscovery of struggles together with the rude memory of their conflicts. (83)Let us give the (...) term genealogy to the union of erudite knowledge and local memories which allows us to establish a historical knowledge of struggles and to make use of this knowledge tactically today. (83)If we were to characterise it in two terms, then “archaeology” would be the appropriate methodology of this analysis of local discursivities, and “genealogy” would be the tactics whereby, on the basis of the descriptions of these local discursivities, the subjected knowledges which were thus released would be brought into play. (85). (shrink)
A giving which gives only its gift, but in the giving holds itself back and withdraws, . . . . (Heidegger, TB, 8)the Forgotten is . . . the Law. (Lyotard, “HJ," 147)how could this thought (Heidegger’s), a thought so devoted to remembering that a forgetting (of Being) takes place in all thought, in all art, in all “representation” of the world, how could it possibly have ignored the thought of [that] which, in a certain sense, thinks, tries to think, (...) nothing but that very fact? . . . to the point of suppressing and foreclosing to the very end the horrifying (and inane) attempt at exterminating, at making us forget forever what, in Europe, reminds us, ever since the beginning, that “there is” the Forgotten? (Lyotard, HJ, 4)[I]n witnessing, one also exterminates. The witness is a traitor. (Lyotard, I, 204)The Other becomes my neighbour precisely through the way the face summons me, calls for me, begs for me, and in so doing recalls my responsibility, and calls me into question.. . . as if I had to answer for the other’s death even before being. (83). (shrink)
The disaster ruins everything, all the while leaving everything intact. It does not touch anyone in particular; “I” am not threatened by it, but spared, left aside. It is in this way that I am threatened;. . . .The disaster is separate; that which is most separate.When the disaster comes upon us, it does not come. The disaster is its imminence, but since the future, as we conceive of it in the order of lived time, belongs to the disaster, the (...) disaster has always already withdrawn or dissuaded it; there is no future for the disaster, just as there is no time or space for its accomplishment. (Blanchot, WD, 1–2). (shrink)
Without the mind of a seer, I now maintain that I can predict (vorhersagen) from the aspects and precursor—signs (Vorzeichen) of our times, the achievement (Erreichung) of this end, and with it, at the same time, the progressive improvement of mankind, a progress which henceforth cannot be totally reversible . . . a phenomenon of this kind in human history can never be forgotten (vergisst sich nicht mehr). (Kant, CF; quoted in Lyotard, SH, 408).
[T]he common character of the mildest, as well as the severest cases, to which the faulty and chance actions contribute, lies in the ability to refer the phenomena to unwelcome, repressed, psychic material, which, though pushed away from consciousness, is nevertheless not robbed of all capacity to express itself. (Freud, PEL, 146).
Zen-Buddhist nothingness is the nowhere is there something that is I, or conversely: the I that is the nowhere is there something. (Hisamatsu, FN, 25-26; quoted and trans. in Stambaugh, FS, 76)... it is empty of being. That means that it is beyond all measure ....... it is empty without emptiness. That means that it does not cling to itself.... it possesses nothing. That means that it doesn't possess and also cannot be possessed. (Hisamatsu, FN, 31; quoted and trans. in (...) Stambaugh, FS, 77-8)The emptiness of what is called "emptiness" is referred to as "the emptiness of emptiness" (ʼsūnyatāʼsūnyatā), and it is explained in this way for the purpose of controverting any understanding of emptiness as a[n ontological reference to] "being." (Candrakīrti, EMW, 180)A skillful Zen student will strive to be awakened to an identity with all phenomena, the student him- or herself emptyand continually changing as the phenomena come forth. (Codiga, ZPSP, 108)Zen practice is a means for the enlightenment of bushes and grasses, an activity that has no beginning or end in the vastness of any empty universe. (p. 110). (shrink)
The image sees.The image feels.The image acts. (Bennett, CB, 195)The image gives.The image is given.The image proliferates.The image betrays.The image for gives.The image is for giving.The image is for exposition.The image is for beauty.The image is from the good.The image is mother, and is father, is both mother and father, and neither mother nor father; for it is the child. The image is the parent, and the children, both parent and children, and neither parent nor children.
Sixth volume devoted to the good. Human, natural worlds filled with gifts. Nature, general economy of the good, earth's abundance, beyond measure. Gifts and giving, beyond having. Cherishment, sacrifice, plenishment: exposure to the good. Plato. The good grants authority to knowledge and truth. Anaximander. Injustice, restitution.Beauty, truth, justice gifts from the good. Precedence in Western philosophic tradition to gathering, assembling, and having being. Love of self as having. A self beyond itself, giving beyond having. Ethic responsive to the heterogeneous abundance (...) of things in the earth. (shrink)
How does one desire forgetting? How does one desire not to keep?How does one desire mourning (assuming that to mourn, to work at mourning does not amount to keeping . . .)? (Derrida, GT, 36)Jacques Derrida died Friday night, October 8–9, 2004.
This book addresses the nature and injustice of authority, retracing the ideas of reason and law from ancient Greece to the present, pursuing a line of thought begun with Anaximander, who speaks of the ordinance of time as restitution for ...