It was the invention and dissemination of alphabetic literacy some twenty-six hundred years ago that produced the Enlightenment that became our philosophical tradition. Descartes consolidated in his mind-body dualism the values and images of literacy that Western intellectuals embraced. But literacy was not without price, according to William H. Poteat: in a world of printed words and discarnate readers, nihilism and cultural insanity reign.
Poteat strikes through the veil of our literate imaginations to an archaic but still active reality that antedates literacy--the intractable and substantial actuality of the lively words we speak and hear spoken. In the medium of printed words he seeks the philosophic import of our ongoing oral/aural life, which has been obscured and denigrated by the images and values we have learned as readers. By every available rhetorical strategy, therefore, this must be an anti-book. It must strive to defeat our centuries-old habituation to the book as spectacle, in order that we may be brought to dwell in the immediacies of our lively selves in the world, as we do in our oral/aural life.
A Philosophical Daybook: Post-Critical Investigations sets out to induce a radical and irreversible transformation in the way we apprehend the world and our being in it. With journal entries written over fifteen months, Poteat attempts the impossible. In a world threatened by our own false conception of our nature and our place in the world, Poteat--by a feat of philosophical archaeology--seeks, still intact within ourselves, the ground for a new philosophy of the human.
Running through the work is Professor Oakshott's belief in philosophical reflection as an adventure: the adventure of one who seeks to understand in other terms what he already understands, and where the understanding is sought is a disclosure of the conditions of the understanding enjoyed and not a substitute for it. Its most appropriate expression is an essay, which, he writes, "does not dissemble the conditionality of the conclusions it throws up and although it may enlighten it does not instruct."
Senor Ortega y Gasset has contributed a thoughtful and a careful analysis of our present situation. If he is correct, then nationalism and liberalism as we have known them in the past are doomed. A new and perhaps a better order and conditioning of life are on the way. This book attempts to justify historically the coming of great change the same great change that was prophesied by William Morris in England, more than half a century ago. The New York Times"
Positions is a collection of three interviews with Jacques Derrida that illuminate and make more accessible the complex concepts and terms treated extensively in such works as Writing and Difference and Dissemination. Derrida takes positions on his detractors, his supporters, and the two major preoccupations of French intellectual life, Marxism and psychoanalysis.The interviews included in this volume offer a multifaceted view of Derrida. "Implications: Interview with Henri Ronse" contains a succinct statement of principles. "Seminology and Grammatology: Interview with Julia Kristeva" provides important clarifications of the role played by linguistics in Derrida's work. "Positions: Interview with Jean-Louis Houdebine and Guy Scarpetta" is a wide-ranging discussion that touches on many of the polemics that Derrida's work has provoked. Alan Bass, whose translation of Writing and Difference was highly praised for its clarity, accuracy, and readability, has provided extremely useful critical notes, full of vital information, including historical background.
These essays reveal Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975)--known in the West largely through his studies of Rabelais and Dostoevsky--as a philosopher of language, a cultural historian, and a major theoretician of the novel. The Dialogic Imagination presents, in superb English translation, four selections from Voprosy literatury i estetiki (Problems of literature and esthetics), published in Moscow in 1975. The volume also contains a lengthy introduction to Bakhtin and his thought and a glossary of terminology.
Bakhtin uses the category "novel" in a highly idiosyncratic way, claiming for it vastly larger territory than has been traditionally accepted. For him, the novel is not so much a genre as it is a force, "novelness," which he discusses in "From the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse." Two essays, "Epic and Novel" and "Forms of Time and of the Chronotope in the Novel," deal with literary history in Bakhtin's own unorthodox way. In the final essay, he discusses literature and language in general, which he sees as stratified, constantly changing systems of subgenres, dialects, and fragmented "languages" in battle with one another.
Skillful, sophisticated translations of two of Nietzsche's essential works about the conflict between the moral and aesthetic approaches to life, the impact of Christianity on human values, the meaning of science, the contrast between the Apollonian and Dionysian spirits, and other themes central to his thinking.The Birth of Tragedy (1872) was Nietzsche's first book, The Geneology of Morals (1887) one of his last. Though they span the career of this controversial genius, both address the problems such as the conflict between the moral versus aesthetic approaches to life, the effect of Christianity on human values, the meaning of science, and the famous dichotomy between the Apollonian and Dionysian spirits, among many themes which Nietzsche struggled throughout his tortured life.
A fascinating portrait of the minds that have shaped the modern world. In an intriguing series of case studies, Rousseau, Shelley, Marx, Ibsen, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Bertrand Russell, Brecht, Sarte, Edmund Wilson, Victor Gollancz, Lillan Hellman, Cyril Connolly, Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, Kenneth Tyan, Noam Chomsky, and others are revealed as intellectuals both brilliant and contradictory, magnetic and dangerous.
Presented here in a new translation, with a historical introduction by the translators, Fear and Trembling and Repetition are the most poetic and personal of S ren Kierkegaard's pseudonymous writings. Published in 1843 and written under the names Johannes de Silentio and Constantine Constantius, respectively, the books demonstrate Kierkegaard's transmutation of the personal into the lyrically religious.
Each work uses as a point of departure Kierkegaard's breaking of his engagement to Regine Olsen--his sacrifice of "that single individual." From this beginning Fear and Trembling becomes an exploration of the faith that transcends the ethical, as in Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac at God's command. This faith, which persists in the face of the absurd, is rewarded finally by the return of all that the faithful one is willing to sacrifice. Repetition discusses the most profound implications of unity of personhood and of identity within change, beginning with the ironic story of a young poet who cannot fulfill the ethical claims of his engagement because of the possible consequences of his marriage. The poet finally despairs of repetition (renewal) in the ethical sphere, as does his advisor and friend Constantius in the aesthetic sphere. The book ends with Constantius' intimation of a third kind of repetition--in the religious sphere.