From Platonism to phenomenology -- Kant's epistemological shift to phenomenology -- Hegel's phenomenology as epistemology -- Husserl's phenomenological epistemology -- Heidegger's phenomenological ontology -- Kant, Merleau-Ponty's descriptive phenomenology, and the primacy of perception -- On overcoming the epistemological problem through phenomenology.
This anthology is a significant contribution to the debate over the relevance of Martin Heidegger's Nazi ties to the interpretation and evaluation of his philosophical work. Included are a selection of basic documents by Heidegger, essays and letters by Heidegger's colleagues that offer contemporary context and testimony, and interpretive evaluations by Heidegger's heirs and critics in France and Germany.In his new introduction, "Note on a Missing Text," Richard Wolin uses the absence from this edition of an interview with Jacques Derrida (...) as a springboard for examining questions about the nature of authorship and personal responsibility that are at the heart of the book.Richard Wolin is Professor of Modern European Intellectual History and Humanities at Rice University. He is the author of Walter Benjamin, The Politics of Being: The Political Thought of Martin Heidegger, and The Terms of Cultural Criticism: The Frankfurt School, Existentialism and Poststructuralism. (shrink)
In this book—the first large-scale survey of the complex relationship between Hegel’s idealism and Anglo-American analytic philosophy—Tom Rockmore argues that analytic philosophy has consistently misread and misappropriated Hegel. According to Rockmore, the first generation of British analytic philosophers to engage Hegel possessed a limited understanding of his philosophy and of idealism. Succeeding generations continued to misinterpret him, and recent analytic thinkers have turned Hegel into a pragmatist by ignoring his idealism. Rockmore explains why this has happened, defends Hegel’s idealism, and (...) points out the ways that Hegel is a key figure for analytic concerns, focusing in particular on the fact that he and analytic philosophers both share an interest in the problem of knowledge. (shrink)
Given the significant attachment of the philosopher to the climate and intellectual mood of National Socialism, it would be inappropriate to criticize or exonerate his political decision in isolation from the very principles of Heideggerian philosophy itself. It is not Heidegger, who, in opting for Hitler, "misunderstood himself"; instead, those who cannot understand why he acted this way have failed to understand him. A Swiss professor regretted that Heidegger consented to compromise himself with the "everyday," as if a philosophy that (...) explains Being from the standpoint of time and the everyday would not stand in relation to the daily historical realities that govern its origins and effects. The possibility of a Heideggerian political philosophy was not born as a result of a regrettable "miscue," but from the very conception of existence that simultaneously combats and absords the Zeitgeist. (shrink)
German Idealism as Constructivism is the culmination of many years of research by distinguished philosopher Tom Rockmore—it is his definitive statement on the debate about German idealism between proponents of representationalism and those of constructivism that still plagues our grasp of the history of German idealism and the whole epistemological project today. Rockmore argues that German idealism—which includes iconic thinkers such as Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel—can best be understood as a constructivist project, one that asserts that we cannot know (...) the mind-independent world as it is but only our own mental construction of it. Since ancient Greece philosophers have tried to know the world in itself, an effort that Kant believed had failed. His alternative strategy—which came to be known as the Copernican revolution—was that the world as we experience and know it depends on the mind. Rockmore shows that this project was central to Kant’s critical philosophy and the later German idealists who would follow him. He traces the different ways philosophers like Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel formulated their own versions of constructivism. Offering a sweeping but deeply attuned analysis of a crucial part of the legacy of German idealism, Rockmore reinvigorates this school of philosophy and opens up promising new avenues for its study. (shrink)
Martin Heidegger's impact on contemporary thought is important and controversial. However in France, the influence of this German philosopher is such that contemporary French thought cannot be properly understood without reference to Heidegger and his extraordinary influence. Tom Rockmore examines the reception of Heidegger's thought in France. He argues that in the period after the Second World War, due to the peculiar nature of the humanist French Philosophical tradition, Heidegger became the master thinker of French philosophy. Perhaps most importantly, he (...) contends that this reception - first as philosophical anthropology and later as postmetaphysical humanism - is systematically mistaken. (shrink)
_Marx After Marxism _encourages readers to understand Karl Marx in new ways, unencumbered by political Marxist interpretations that have long dominated the discussions of both Marxists and non-Marxists. This volume gives a broad and accessible account of Marx's philosophy and emphasizes his relationship to Hegel.
In ancient times, the main approaches to metaphysical realism were intuitive. In modern times, foundationalism has replaced intuition as the main strategy to make out metaphysical realist claims to know. In On Foundationalism, Rockmore argues that foundationalism fails in all its known variants.
Distinguished scholar and philosopher Tom Rockmore examines one of the great lacunae of contemporary philosophical discussion—idealism. Addressing the widespread confusion about the meaning and use of the term, he surveys and classifies some of its major forms, giving particular attention to Kant. He argues that Kant provides the all-important link between three main types of idealism: those associated with Plato, the new way of ideas, and German idealism. The author also makes a case for the contemporary relevance of at least (...) one strand in the tangled idealist web, a strand most clearly identified with Kant: constructivism. In terms of the philosophical tradition, Rockmore contends, constructivism offers a lively, interesting, and important approach to knowledge after the decline of metaphysical realism. (shrink)
The debate over foundationalism, the viewpoint that there exists some secure foundation upon which to build a system of knowledge, appears to have been resolved and the antifoundationalists have at least temporarily prevailed. From a firmly historical approach, the book traces the foundationalism/antifoundationalism controversy in the work of many important figures Animaxander, Aristotle and Plato, Augustine, Descartes, Hegel and Nietzsche, Habermas and Chisholm, and others throughout the history of philosophy. The contributors, Joseph Margolis, Ronald Polansky, Gary Calore, Fred and Emily (...) Michael, William Wurzer, Charlene Haddock Siegfried, Sandra B. Rosenthal, Kathleen Wallace, and the editors present well the diversity, interest, and roots of antifoundationalism. Tom Rockmore is Professor and Chairman in the Department of Philosophy at Duquesne University. Beth J. Singer is Professor of Philosophy at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. (shrink)
Two centuries after his birth, Karl Marx is read almost solely through the lens of Marxism, his works examined for how they fit into the doctrine that was developed from them after his death. With Marx’s Dream, Tom Rockmore offers a much-needed alternative view, distinguishing rigorously between Marx and Marxism. Rockmore breaks with the Marxist view of Marx in three key ways. First, he shows that the concern with the relation of theory to practice—reflected in Marx’s famous claim that philosophers (...) only interpret the world, while the point is to change it—arose as early as Socrates, and has been central to philosophy in its best moments. Second, he seeks to free Marx from his unsolicited Marxist embrace in order to consider his theory on its own merits. And, crucially, Rockmore relies on the normal standards of philosophical debate, without the special pleading to which Marxist accounts too often resort. Marx’s failures as a thinker, Rockmore shows, lie less in his diagnosis of industrial capitalism’s problems than in the suggested remedies, which are often unsound. Only a philosopher of Rockmore’s stature could tackle a project this substantial, and the results are remarkable: a fresh Marx, unencumbered by doctrine and full of insights that remain salient today. (shrink)
In Art and Truth after Plato, Tom Rockmore argues that Plato has in fact never been satisfactorily answered—and to demonstrate that, he offers a comprehensive account of Plato’s influence through nearly the whole history of Western ...
It makes sense to ask from time to time where we are in the philosophical discussion. This article reviews the debate in the twentieth century. Michael Friedman has recently argued that the split between Continental and analytic philosophy is due to the inability, because of war, to carry forward a genuine debate begun by Heidegger and Carnap around the time of Heidegger's public controversy with Cassirer at Davos in 1929. I, however, argue that there was not even the beginning of (...) a genuine debate between Heidegger and Carnap. I argue further that the split between analytic and Continental philosophy originated earlier, in the analytic attack on idealism at the beginning of the century. And finally, I argue that the differences among analytic philosophy, Continental philosophy, and pragmatism, the third main current of twentieth-century philosophy, can be traced to differing reactions to Kant. (shrink)
For Martin Heidegger the "fall" of philosophy into metaphysics begins with Plato. Thus, the relationship between the two philosophers is crucial to an understanding of Heidegger--and, perhaps, even to the whole plausibility of postmodern critiques of metaphysics. It is also, as the essays in this volume attest, highly complex, and possibly founded on a questionable understanding of Plato. As editors Catalin Partenie and Tom Rockmore remark, a simple way to describe Heidegger's reading of Plato might be to say that what (...) began as an attempt to appropriate Plato (and through him a large portion of Western philosophy) finally ended in an estrangement from both Plato and Western philosophy. The authors of this volume consider Heidegger's thought in relation to Plato before and after the " Kehre " or turn. In doing so, they take up various central issues in Heidegger's Being and Time (1927) and thereafter, and the questions of hermeneutics, truth, and language. The result is a subtle and multifaceted reinterpretation of Heidegger's position in the tradition of philosophy, and of Plato's role in determining that position. (shrink)
In this new volume, On Constructivist Epistemology, Rockmore traces the idea of constructivism and then proposes the outlines of an original constructivist approach to knowledge, building on the work of such thinkers as Hobbes, Vico, and Kant.
For some time now I have been arguing that Fichte's theory can be read as circular, antifoundationalist, and systematic, and further arguing that it is the source of an epistemological revolution in philosophy. Fichte and most of his interpreters mainly see him as carrying forward the critical philosophy. But I see him as breaking with it in crucial ways in a profoundly innovative theory. The aim of this paper is to pull together aspects of this argument in a single place (...) in order to describe Fichte's theory as I see it, using a wider range of texts than I have so far employed, drawing consequences that follow from my interpretation and responding to recent criticism of it. In so doing, I intend to reaffirm my conviction that the interest of Fichte's theory is not merely archival, something historians of philosophy are interested in because they cannot do philosophy, or something that philosophers might concern themselves with when they are not concerned with philosophy, but directly relevant to the contemporary discussion. But as I see it, the contemporary relevance of the Fichtean view largely depends on an unorthodox, anti-foundationalist reading of it. For if it is read in an orthodox, Cartesian, foundationalist manner, favored by most writers on Fichte, it has nothing or almost nothing to contribute to our increasingly anti-foundationalist debate on knowledge. (shrink)
We ignore the history of philosophy at our peril. Engels, who typically conflates Marx and Marxism, points to the relation of Marxism to the tradition while also denying it. In his little book on Feuerbach, Engels depicts Feuerbach as leading Marx away from Hegel, away from classical German philosophy, away from philosophy and towards materialism and science. This view suggests that Marx is at best negatively related to Classical German philosophy, including Hegel. Yet Engels elsewhere suggests that Marx belongs to (...) the classical German philosophical tradition. In the preface to Socialism, Utopian and Scientific, Engels wrote: “We German socialists are proud that we trace our descent not only from Saint Simon, Fourier and Owen, but also from Kant, Fichte and Hegel”. In this paper I will focus on Marx’s relation to Fichte. This relation is rarely mentioned in the Marxist debate, but I will argue, it is crucial for the formulation of Marx’s position, and hence for assessing his contribution accurately. One of the results of this study will be to indicate that Marx, in reacting against Hegel, did not, as is often suggested, ‘leave’ philosophy, but in fact made a crucial philosophical contribution. (shrink)
: Since the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001, the country has embarked on a so‐called war on terrorism. This essay argues that so‐called war on terrorism has used the pretext of responding to terrorist attacks in the U.S. in September 2001 to wage wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that have objectives other than stamping out terrorism. It further argues that war requires a moral justification that cannot be provided for either the war in Afghanistan or the (...) war in Iraq. (shrink)
THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW CENTURY provides a good time to reflect on the most influential philosophers of this period, or those most likely to survive, or again whom we should be reading in a hundred years. The answer one gives to this type of question obviously depends on what one thinks philosophy is about. I would like to suggest that at the beginning of the new century, at the start of the new millennium, the philosopher we will and should (...) still be reading at the end of the new century is not one of the obvious candidates, like Russell, Wittgenstein, Quine, Heidegger, Peirce, or Dewey, Rorty’s favorite, but the nineteenth century German thinker, G. W. F. Hegel. (shrink)
In this engaging and accessible introduction to Hegel's theory of knowledge, Tom Rockmore presents the philosopher's ideas the way Hegel himself saw them: as coming to grips with, even competing with, prior philosophical positions. Carefully laying out the philosophical tradition of German idealism, he concisely explicates the theories of Kant, Fichte, and Schelling, essential to an understanding of Hegel's thought. Rockmore shows how Hegel first formulates his own position in relation to the philosophical discussion of his own historical moment, before (...) extending the discussion, in a second phase, to the entire historical tradition. The Hegelian system, according to Rockmore, remains an essentially modern conception of knowledge, surprisingly relevant to our contemporary intellectual situation. Rockmore's remarkably lucid book will interest general readers as well as students of philosophy, intellectual history, politics, culture, and society. (shrink)
Hegel's _Phenomenology of Spirit_, the philosopher's first and perhaps greatest work, is the most important philosophical treatise of the nineteenth century. In this companion volume to his general introduction to Hegel, Tom Rockmore offers a passage-by-passage guide to the _Phenomenology_ for first-time readers of the book and others who are not Hegel specialists. Rockmore demonstrates that Hegel's concepts of spirit, consciousness, and reason can be treated as elements of a single, coherent theory of knowledge, one that remains strikingly relevant for (...) the contemporary discussion. He shows how the various conceptions of cognition developed in the text culminate in absolute knowing, which Rockmore reads, in opposition to the frequent religious readings of Hegel, in a wholly secular manner. Unlike commentators who isolate Hegel's text from its philosophical origins, Rockmore analyzes the book in the philosophical context from which it emerged, lucidly discussing notoriously difficult passages in relation to the ideas of Aristotle and Descartes, and above all to those of Kant and other German idealists. (shrink)
If Marx is to survive as a source of unparalleled insight into the modern world, he needs to be recovered. This article will begin to address some of the difficulties which arise in recovering Marx, above all the need to free Marx from Marxism. Marx has always been studied through Marxism, hence in a way which profoundly distorts his philosophical ideas. If we remove this Marxist 'filter', we see a rather different, more philosophical, and more philosophically-interesting thinker, Hegel's most important (...) student, a full member of German idealism, who comes closer than anyone else to grasping the nature of the modern industrial world. Key Words: capitalism Engels Hegel Lukács Marx Marxism. (shrink)
Recent discussion has seen an increase in the interest in hermeneutics. The increased interest in hermeneutics goes back at least until the appearance of Being and Time in 1927, more than sixty years ago. Thisbookis characterized by the unresolved tension between two clearly incompatible theses: the Husserlian form of absolute truth, and a post-Husserlian view of truth arising from the hermeneutical circle. More recently, the interest in hermeneutics has been strengthened by the appearance of Truth and Method in 1960, in (...) which Gadamer, Heidegger’s most important student, developed the hermeneutical thesis of the latter’s Fundamentalontologie in a way which has influenced numerous other thinkers, notably Ricoeur and Habermas, in a wide-ranging and often confused discussion. The latter’s theory of communicative action can be seen as carrying further the Gadamerian view that knowledge results from interpretation. In Habermas’s version of the linguistic turn, which is further influenced by Kant’s view of Vernunftinteresse and Habermas’s own, peculiar reading of Peirce, speech is intrinsically aimed at potential agreement through the development of consensus. (shrink)
Since history concerns change over time, an ontology of history requires a notion of subjectivity. In the modern tradition, beginning with Kant, ontology has come to be understood as epistemology. But as a result of the failure of foundationalism and the turn to a relativistic theory of knowledge, it is necessary to rethink the idea of history in terms of a conception of the historical subject.
Este trabajo recorre el constructivismo epistemológico de Vico. Por "constructivismo" se entiende la visión de que el objeto cognitivo no es algo simplemente dado sino en cierto modo "construido" por el sujeto como una condición de conocimiento. Se piensa que en este camino Vico figura como uno de los más importantes innovadores epistemológicos de los tiempos modernos. Vico entendió que, no pudiendo nosotros conocer independientemente la realidad, las condiciones de conocimiento son entonces, de algún modo, formas de constructivismo. De esta (...) manera anticipó cualquier forma posterior de constructivismo, entre otras: la conocida revolución copernicana de Kant.This paper is a review of Vico’s epistemological constructivism. By "constructivism" is understood the view that the congnitive object is not a simple given but rather in some way "constructed" by the subject as a condition of knowledge. It is believed that in this way Vico set the stage for one of the most important epistemological innovations in modern times. Vico grasped that, since we cannot know independent reality, the conditions of knowledge is some form of constructivism. He anticipated thus all later forms of constructivism, including inter alia: Kant’s better known Copernican revolution. (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)
This volume is a collection of previously unpublished papers dealing with the neglected "phenomenological" dimension of the philosophy of Johann Gottlieb Fichte, which it compares and contrasts to the phenomenology of his contemporary Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and to that of Edmund Husserl and his 20th century followers. Issues discussed include: phenomenological method, self-consciousness, intersubjectivity, temporality, intentionality, mind and body, and the drives. In addition to Fichte, authors discussed include: Hegel, Brentano, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Levinas, and Ricur.
At the present time, Europe, particularly eastern Europe, is still immersed in a major political transformation, the most significant such change since the Second World War, arising out of the rejection of official Marxism. This unforeseen rejection requires meditation by all those concerned with the relation of philosophy to the historical context. Marxism, that follows Marx’s insistence on the link between a theory and the context in which it arises, cannot be indifferent to the rejection of Marxist theory in practice. (...) In respect to the usual tendency to pass rapidly over practice for a theoretical analysis of social theory, Merleau-Ponty stands out for his concern to evaluate the theoretical claims of Marx and Marxism against practice. (shrink)
This book brings together ten essays by Emil Fackenheim, centred on the tension between concepts of individual autonomy and divine revelation. Fackenheim is well known for a series of books, some of which are related to the theme of this volume, including a fine earlier study, The Religious Dimension in Hegel's Thought. Most of the essays in the book, which were mainly completed before 1967, have appeared already in one form or another, although some of them have been updated.