Adriaan Theodoor Peperzak is Full Professor and Chair of Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Ethics in the Philosophy Department of the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
He offers a personal gathering of influences on his own work as guides to the uses of philosophy in our search for sense and meaning. In concise, direct, and deeply felt chapters, Peperzak moves from Plato, Plotinus, and the Early Christian theologians to Anselm, Bonaventure, Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, Hegel, and Levinas. Throughout these carefully linked essays, he touches on the fundamental ideas-from reason and faith to freedom and tradition-that inform the questions his work has consistently addressed, most specifically those concerning philosophy as a practice.
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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