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Ethan Taubes, Tanaquil Taubes and Susan Taubes

Edited by Thomas Macho and Johannes Steizinger

Der zweite Band der Edition der Schriften von Susan Taubes umfasst ihre 1956 abgeschlossene, bisher unveröffentlichte Dissertation Der abwesende Gott. Eine Studie über Simone Weil sowie ihre Aufsätze und Rezensionen, die zwischen 1951 und 1959 in renommierten Zeitschriften wie The Journal of Religion oder The Review of Metaphysics erschienen sind.
Ausgehend von den Grundlinien der Moderne untersucht Susan Taubes in ihren philosophischen Schriften Gnosis und Tragödie als kulturgeschichtliche Konstellationen und spürt verschwiegene Verbindungen zwischen jüdischer Erfahrung und deutscher Philosophie auf. Sie entwirft eine Theorie der Tragödie (Das Wesen der Tragödie, 1953), erschließt Die gnostischen Grundlagen von Heideggers Nihilismus (1954) und kommentiert Das Rätsel Simone Weil (1956). Methodisch zwischen Religionsphilosophie und Kulturwissenschaft angesiedelt, wird in Susan Taubes’ theoretischen Arbeiten aus der kritischen Auseinandersetzung mit Themen wie Entfremdung und Revolte, Nihilismus und Theologie einer Kulturtheorie der Moderne skizziert.

Ursula Renz

In the past few years, the philosophical debate about self-knowledge has presented itself in a strikingly ‘pre-Kantian’ fashion. Some claimed that all sorts of self-knowledge can be analyzed in the manner of the empiricists, or in terms of cognitive psychology (to use a more contemporary label), whereas defenders of rationalism have not grown tired of voicing the claim that there must be some sort of self-knowledge present and underlying, as it were, all sorts of epistemic self-concern. It is against this background that this paper advocates what I would call a ‘Kantian’ strategy to approach the problem of self-knowledge. Taking Kant as a model, it argues, we may come to see how the current divide between empiricism and rationalism may be overcome in philosophical theorizing about self-knowledge.

Christophe Point

With this proposal, we wish to revisit the Idea of the University in the perspective of the democratic project of the American philosopher and pragmatist John Dewey. Our hypothesis consists in the thesis that the deweyen project confronts the problem of the social distribution of knowledge, in the aim of giving us the means to transform the latter. In this way, if we consider that the university is part of this distribution through its student learning function, then our purpose is to demonstrate that this learning is currently guided by an individual intelligence paradigm harms that the development of collective intelligence. For John Dewey, the latter is one of the central means of his democratic project which would reconcile the Idea of a University with real University institutions. Therefore, according to him, if universities want to contribute to the democratic project, we must adopt a new pedagogical orientation promoting individual and collective intelligence.

Asger Sørensen

The idea of the university is habitually discussed in relation to German or English language classics. Instead, I will focus on the Spanish language periphery arguing that the discussions there merit attention for distinguishing between three central Old World models of the university, namely, apart from the English and the German, also a French one. Moreover, the marginal perspective stresses the social and political importance of the university. In this perspective, José Ortega y Gasset deserves attention for arguing for a university in the service of a modern republican state. Ortega stresses the importance of a cultural formation that includes the sciences to make enlightened decisions, the distinction between teaching a discipline and doing research within it, and that between a scientist doing research and a highly educated professional practitioner. Unfortunately, the role of knowledge and truth is neglected. The argument from the periphery is therefore necessary albeit not sufficient.

Don Berkich

The plodding rate of change within higher education makes it ill-suited to anticipate the challenges rapidly looming in government and corporate sectors. This prospectus outlines those challenges and describes a bold solution. If implemented, it would signal a less hidebound, more adroit institution of higher education to better serve students, business, and society, while fostering a new future for higher education.

Matthew Festenstein

The analysis and defence of democracy on the grounds of its epistemic powers is now a well-established, if contentious, area of theoretical and empirical research. This article reconstructs a distinctive and systematic epistemic account of democracy from Dewey’s writings. Running like a thread through this account is a critical analysis of the distortion of hierarchy and class division on social knowledge, which Dewey believes democracy can counteract. The article goes on to argue that Dewey’s account has the resources to defuse at least some important forms of the broader charges of instrumentalism and depoliticization that are directed at the epistemic project. The gloomy conviction of the stratified character of capitalist societies and the conflictual character of their politics shapes Dewey’s view of political agency, and this article outlines how this epistemic conception of democracy is deployed as a critical standard for judging and transforming existing political forms but also serves as a line of defence for democratic political forms against violent and authoritarian alternatives.

Judy D. Whipps

The current global wave of nationalism threatens the process of shared critical reflection, driving many of us back to reading Hannah Arendt. These “dark times” are especially challenging from a Deweyan pragmatist perspective because critical and cooperative inquiry requires a free community of thinkers. Having lived in a near-fascist religious group for fifteen years, this essay brings personal experiences to the questions of how we think as well as create spaces for diverse yet shared realities to think and act in freedom. Drawing on Arendt as well as Dewey, Addams, and Minnich, this essay explores three necessities for integrity in dark times: (a) Radical honesty and reflection which requires facing up to reality and being mindful about events in our world; (b) Building communities: creating shared reality and public spaces to appear, (c) Developing the skills of engaged thinking and the capacity for deep reflection as a foundation for action together.