Modernity and Its Discontents
The introduction by Merold Westphal sets the scene: "Two books, two visions of philosophy, two friends and sometimes colleagues..." This book is an attempt at a mediated dialogue between the critical modernism of Marsh's Post-Cartesian Meditations, deeply indebted to the thought of Jurgen Habermas, and the postmodernism of Caputo's Radical Hermeneutics, equally indebted to the thought of Jacques Derrida. Their distinctive embodiments of these two major movements in contemporary philosophy are by no means simply the exposition and defense of Habermas and Derrida, for Marsh and Caputo bring to the discussion their own long formation in continental philosophy as interpreted and practiced in North America. Moreover, given their even longer formation in the Christian tradition, they are not bound by the dogmatic secularism of Habermas and Derrida. But the point of contact is not so much religious as political, and the fundamental question concerns the role that reason may play in building a humane society. It is in their differing estimates of reason's nature and possible political function that the disagreements are most sharply focused. Thus the epistemological debate is driven by political passion and properly concerns the viability of the Enlightenment dream that knowledge could indeed be enlightening and humanizing. Westphal is especially well suited to attempt to mediate the debate because he not only shares with Caputo and Marsh a long formation in both continental philosophy and the Christian faith, but he is deeply sympathetic to both critical modernism and postmodernism. Caputo finds him to be almost as hopeless a rationalist as Marsh, while Marsh finds him to flirt almost asshamelessly with irrationality as Caputo. Westphal seeks to argue, not for a synthesis of the two perspectives, but for a willingness to live in the tension between the two.
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a-thetic affirm ambiguity apodicticity argue argument capitalism Caputo Cartesian claims conception concrete continental philosophy Cratylus criteria critical modernism critical modernist critical theory critique Dasein deconstruction deny Derridean Descartes dialectical phenomenology dialogue difference discourse discussion eidetic enology essence ethics experience facticity fallibilism flux formal Gadamer going Habermas Habermasian Hegel Heidegger Heidegger's Heideggerian historical human Husserl Ibid ical identity inside/outside interpretation issue Jack Kierkegaard kind language liberal linguistic logic logocentrism marginalized Marsh Marxism mean mediation Merleau-Ponty Merold metaphor metaphysics move Nietzsche nology notion object ontology overcome performative contradiction phenom philosophy play political position possible post-Cartesian postmodernism postmodernist praxis prefer present question radical hermeneutics rationality reason reflection Ricoeur seems self-referential sense simply social suffering supra suspicion talk thematization there's things tion tradition trans transcend transcendental trembling true truth undecidability unity University validity western Westphal
Página x - Religion through its sanctity, and law-giving through its majesty, may seek to exempt themselves from it. But they then awaken just suspicion, and cannot claim the sincere respect which reason accords only to that which has been able to sustain the test of free and open examination.
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