In this original and illuminating work, the reader is invited to approach philosophy as an activity that can instruct, delight, and move. On this view, philosophy can be seen as a key to human education, a mastery of humane letters, and a part of the repulic of the liberal arts. Embracing this approach to philosophy, Verene argues, involves moving beyond modern philosophy's analytical encounter with experience, one that emphasizes argument and criticism at the expense of the Socratic search for self-knowledge. Relying on insights from Vico and Hegel, Verene introduces a new sense of reason, one that sees the True as the whole and that connects reason to the ancient sense of speculation. Reflection and criticism are given their due, but the reorientation of philosophy toward the speculative grasp of the whole of things allows memory, imagination, and dialectical ingenuity to take on philosophical form. In the end, this work show how speculation, symbolic form, metaphor, poetry, and rhetoric are natural parts of philosophical thinking.
- Electronic book text | 190 pages
- 16 Apr 2009
- Lexington Books
- MD, United States
With imagination and learning, Professor Verene recalls speculative (or systematic) philosophy to the center of high culture. His foil is philosophy conceived as critical reflection and analysis, which objectifies its topic but leaves out its own account. Speculative philosophy, by contrast, cultivates the imagination of rhetorical creativity and the systematic learning of how things fit into a self-explaining whole, an inevitably tragic because always imperfect project. Vico, Hegel, Cassirer, and James Joyce are Verene's muses, although his discussion ranges through figures throughout Western philosophy from Plato and Aristotle down to Peirce and Whitehead. More than any thinker since Collingwood, Verene shows the humanistic heart of philosophy. I shall cite this book often, repeating its images and arguing them out to my own conclusions.--Robert Cummings Neville, Boston University
About Donald Phillip Verene
Donald Phillip Verene is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Metaphysics and Moral Philosophy at Emory University.