The introduction by Merold Westphal sets the scene: "Two books, two visions of philosophy, two friends and sometimes colleagues...". Modernity and Its Discontents is a debate between Caputo and Marsh in which each upheld their opposing philosphical positions by critical modernism and post-modernism. The book opens with a critique of each debater of the other's previous work. With its passionate point-counterpoint form, the book recalls the philosphical dialogues of classical times, but the writing style remains lucid and uncluttered. Taking the (...) failure of Englightenment ideals as their common ground, the debaters challenge each other's ideas on the nature of post-foundationalist critique. At the core of the argument lies the timely question of the role that each person can play in creating a truly humane society. (shrink)
Enrique Dussel's writings span the theology of liberation, critiques of discourse ethics, evaluations of Marx, Levinas, Habermas, and others, but most importantly, the development of a philosophy written from the underside of Eurocentric modernist teleologies, an ethics of the impoverished, and the articulation of a unique Latin American theoretical perspective. This anthology of original articles by U.S. philosophers elucidating Dussel's thought, offers critical analyses from a variety of perspectives, including feminist ones. Also included is an essay by Dussel that responds (...) to these essays. (shrink)
Professor Lauer at the beginning of his book makes clear what he is doing by indicating what he is not doing. He is not giving a commentary, like Hyppolite, nor a genial discussion of the issue, like Lowenberg. Lauer’s is a reading of the Phenomenology, not the only reading or even the best reading, but a plausible one that he hopes will spare others the tortures he himself had to go through in understanding Hegel and that will facilitate one’s own (...) reading of this difficult work. In the opinion of this reviewer, Lauer largely succeeds in his project. (shrink)
This book is a philosophical-literary reflection on the condition of the possibility of radical intellectual life, art, culture, politics, and religion in the contemporary United States. The standpoint assumed and defended in this reflection is that of critical modernism, a principled commitment to a radical leftist version of modern, western rationality. In this book of fragments such rationality emerges, after encounters with liberalism, conservatism, and postmodernism, as the preferable form of rationality.
This book is an interpretation and critique of Habermas's philosophy as contained in his book, Between Facts and Norms. The main argument is that while Habermas does succeed in laying out foundations, conceptual and methodological, for the philosophy of law, the book is flawed by a fundamental contradiction between a democracy ruled by law and capitalism.
The practical question about God's relation to human freedom isthe issue between Nietzsche and Sartre, on the one hand, and Marcel,on the other. God is compatible with human freedom, for Marcel,because He is conceived as an absolute “Thou,” not an objectivecause, and because human freedom is essentially disposability, openand receptive to the other. God is relevant to human freedom becauseHe is more intimate to me than I am to myself, because He can re-veal to me possibilities about myself and the (...) world which I can thenaccept or reject. If the other is essential for self-knowledge in thefinite sphere, then the absolute Other is essential for the deepestself-knowledge. Also God is essential as the ground of that hopewithout which creative fidelity would die.The most fundamental question, therefore, of the atheism-theismdebate is the nature of freedom. If freedom is conceived in an “either-or” manner as totally subjective, independent, and closed in uponitself, then there is an essential antagonism between man and God.If freedom is conceived in a “both-and” fashion as both independentand dependent, active and receptive, personally responsible and yetopen to the other, then there is not antagonism, but rather fruitfulinteraction. One of Gabriel Marcel's major contributions to existentialphilosophy and the philosophy of religion is to have indicated theplausibility and fruitfulness of such a model. (shrink)
Considering the play written by Daniel Berrigan about his own civil disobedience (burning hundreds of draft files in Catonsville, Maryland), the author asks whether Catholics have adopted the American dream at the expense of Christianity. How should we live and philosophize in an age of American empire? Philosophy must be both practical and transformative. We need to question our political situation since 2001, and arrive at a liberatory philosophy and social theory “from below” so as to meet Berrigan’s liberatory, prophetic (...) theology “from above,” resulting in a philosophy and theology of liberation of and from the seductive imperialist center. The author further stresses individual self-appropriation and the critique of imperialism through a Marxist understanding of surplus value (as arising from labor time for which workers are not paid). There is a link between capitalistic imperialism and militarism, and President Bush has made illegitimate use of religion in the attempt to legitimate empire. Liberation is the good and the happiness that together result from doing the work of justice, free from capitalist corruption. In challenging capitalist empire, we ought to aim for the “downward mobility” of a simpler lifestyle, where self-appropriation leads to moral, religious, and practical conversion. An inhumane, capitalist society is fundamentally at odds with us as human beings, as philosophers, and as Christians. (shrink)
What happened in New York City on September 11, 2001, creates an urgent need for a turn to practical reason, to ethics, to critique, and to a radical,transformative theory and praxis. Contemplation, speculation, pure theory, and contemplative metaphysics in philosophy, while necessary and valuable, are notsufficient in dealing with such an infamous crime against humanity. The central idea running through this paper and much of my work is that there is an essentiallink between rationality and radicalism. The aim of this (...) paper is to explore this link in an argument sketched in three parts: self-appropriation as the pearl of great price in philosophy; a critical theory of society; and a metaphysics and philosophy of religion that are both contemplative and political — a threefold radicality, if you like. This argument seeks to show negatively how the postmodern critique of rationality misfires, and positively how a post-imperial phenomenology, critical theory, and metaphysics/philosophy of religion can do justice to and recognize difference and the otherness of nature, other human beings, being itself, and God.Because in Vietnam the vision of a burning Babeis multiplied, multiplied, the flesh on firenot Christ’s, as Southwell saw it, prefiguringthe Passion upon the Eve of Christmas,but wholly human and repeated, repeated,infant after infant, their names forgotten,their sex unknown in the ashesset alight, flaming but not vanishingnot vanishing as his vision but lingering,cinders upon the earth or living onmoaning and stinking in hospitals three abed;because of this my strong sight,my clear caressive sight, my poet’s sight I was giventhat it might stir me to songis blurredWhy do men then not wreck his rod?Generations have trod, have trod, have trodAnd all is seared with trade, bleared, smeared with toilAnd wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell, the soilIs bare now, nor can foot feel, being. (shrink)