System and History in Philosophy: On the Unity of Thought & Time, Text & Explanation, Solitude & Dialogue, Rhetoric & Truth in the Practice of Philosophy and its History

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The book begins with the problem of the relationship between systematic philosophy and the history of philosophy. Why does philosophy attach so much importance to history? Consideration of this question is an essential part of metaphysics, and it has important consequences for the methodology of both history and philosophy.

An analysis of the problem that begins the book leads to many other fundamental questions concerning the nature of philosophy. In treating these issues the author discusses positions taken on them by Russell, Rorty, Heidegger, Gadamer, Levinas, Ricoeur, Derrida, and others of our century. He also draws inspiration from Plato, Plotinus, Augustine, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche.
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About the author

Adriaan Theodoor Peperzak is Full Professor and Chair of Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Ethics in the Philosophy Department of the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Pages
172
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ISBN
9781438415833
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Philosophers speak--or, rather, they respond to various forms of speaking that are handed to them. This book by one of our most distinguished philosophers focuses on the communicative aspect of philosophical thought. Peperzak's central focus is "addressing": what distinguishes speaking or writing from rumination is their being directed by someone to someone. To be involved in philosophy is to be part of a tradition through which thinkers propose their findings to others, who respond by offering their own appropriations to their interlocutors.

After a critical sketch of the conception of modern philosophy, Peperzak presents a succinct analysis of speaking, insisting on the radical distinction between speaking about and speaking to. He enlarges this analysis to history and tries to answer the question whether philosophy also implies a certain form of listening and responding to words of God.

Since philosophical speech about persons can neither honor nor reveal their full truth, speaking and thinking about God is even more problematic. Meditation about the archaic Word cannot reach the Speaker unless it turns into prayer, or--as Descartes wrote--into a contemplation that makes the thinker "consider, admire, and adore the beauty of God's immense light, as much as the eyesight of my blinded mind can tolerate."

"Thinking is a work of genuine and original scholarship which responds to the tradition of philosophical thinking with a critique of its language, style, focus, and scope."--Catriona Hanley, Loyola College, Maryland

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