The Task of Philosophy

Hegel gives an apt description of this salient difference between ancient and contemporary approaches to philosophical study. It basically goes like this. Under the weight of several centuries of tradition, philosophical study today finds ready-made theories and answers everywhere, a plethora of prefab homes for thinking. Whereas ancient philosophers learned to let a theory growContinue reading “The Task of Philosophy”

What is Phenomenology?

The opening of Merleau-Ponty’s Phénoménologie de la perception (1945) still rings true today. “What is phenomenology? It may seem strange that this question has still to be asked half a century after the first works of Husserl. The fact remains that it has by no means been answered.” The only different today is the “half aContinue reading “What is Phenomenology?”

Deleuze and Wolves

Between Deleuze’s individually written works and his co-written works (with Guattari), he deploys a swarm of concepts.  With that supernumerary distribution of concepts, one might think that there are thus many entry points into readings of Deleuze.  However, some concepts seem to stand out and receive more attention than the others.  The obvious example wouldContinue reading “Deleuze and Wolves”

A Hegelian Laxative

I finally got around to attending to some of the wonderful essays in Hegel and the Infinite: Religion, Politics, and Dialectic, edited by Slavoj Žižek, Clayton Crockett, and Creston Davis (Columbia UP, 2011).  Incidentally, this is one of about four of Clayton Crockett’s books I’ve read in the last year.  I’ll have more to sayContinue reading “A Hegelian Laxative”

For 2012: Hegel and a New World to Come

Close to what, for some, is a date inscribed with an apocalyptic script, I’m reminded of Derrida’s comment that we will never be done reading and rereading Hegel. “Besides, it is not difficult to see that ours is a birth-time and a period of transition to a new era. Spirit has broken with the world itContinue reading “For 2012: Hegel and a New World to Come”