The Relevance of Patočka’s “Negative Platonism”

  • Eddo Evink
Part of the Contributions To Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 61)


In twentieth-century continental philosophy, several evaluative standpoints with regard to the metaphysical tradition can be discerned, each working with a different concept of metaphysics: (1) Successive attempts to overcome metaphysics, taken as a philosophical position with a fixed foundation (Nietzsche, Heidegger, Levinas, Derrida); (2) the idea that metaphysics, i.e., the effort to reach absolute knowledge, has been left behind quite a while ago (Gadamer, Habermas); (3) metaphysics as a set of recurrent unanswerable basic questions (Merleau-Ponty, Patočka). This is the background against which the relevance of Patočka’s “Negative Platonism” is sketched, highlighting its main distinguishing aspects, especially in a comparison with the work of Derrida, which is very close to the thought of Patočka, though also showing some important differences.


Philosophical Thought Metaphysical Question Absolute Knowledge Metaphysical Tradition Metaphysical Thought 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of PhilosophyUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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