The Actuality of Philosophy: Critical Reflections on Hermeneutic Communism
Philosophy is not an adventure in modesty. Most philosophers do not want to talk about this or that particular person, but about the whole concept of man or human beings. They are not interested in capturing the spirit of an epoch, but of humanity’s entire history. Nor are they concerned about one particular way of reasoning, but about Reason. They like to write about the “most important questions” that, if left unanswered, will drive us toward catastrophes. Socrates’ insistence to Thrasymachus that they should continue talking about the importance of the soul is a vintage example. Kant writes about the preconditions of knowledge; Nietzsche, about the turmoil of the entire Western civilization; Hegel about the whole of Western history until it found its highest echelon in the state; Marx about the same history but with his radar on the ground, close to the material reality of the producers. Heidegger writes about Being. Hermeneutic communism is a refreshing example of this expansive and capacious project. Its central concepts are Being, emancipation, event, contingency. The goal is to hasten the demise of metaphysics and to propose a conception of philosophy that seeks to deepen the conflicts of the present along with the necessary awareness of those conflicts.
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