History as the Story of Freedom

Philosophy in Intercultural Context


The purpose of this book is to advance responsible rehabilitation of the speculative philosophy of history. It challenges the idea popularized by thinkers such as and Claude Lévi-Strauss and Jean-François Lyotard that historical meta-mythology and meta-narrative are philosophically obsolete. As long as humanity, viewed anthropologically, lives by over-arching narrative, the quest for a version that survives rational criticism remains vital. Here human rights serve as the key to unlock such a version. Despite the fact that the Hegelian philosophy of history has often been derided, something very similar currently functions as the official ideology of the world community: the idea of history as the story of freedom. This book does not retell the world-historical story of freedom. Rather, it uncovers it, beginning with the current age of human rights and working backward through the great role-model civilizations of history. Its conclusion is that a forward retelling of the story of freedom as the story of human rights can be justified by dewesternizing the story. The book contains critical responses from specialized scholars and re-presentative of selected world cultures. The volume includes illustrations, and a guest Afterword by Donald Phillip Verene. It is a companion-volume to the author's Hegel's Logic: Between History and Dialectic (North-western University Press, 1996).

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Table of contents
Illustrations. Acknowledgments. Robert GINSBERG: Editorial Foreword. INTRODUCTION. ONE The Age of Human Rights. Responses Jeffrey STRAYER: On the Death of Art. David HALL: Relativism and the Pragmatic Concept of Truth. R.G. FREY: On Human Rights. TWO Christianity and Philosophy. Response Marc SHERRINGHAM: Modern Gnosticism: An Orthodox Reply. THREE Rome and Stoicism. Response Richard DOUBLE: A Faulty Case for Indeterminism. FOUR Greece and Classicism. Responses Dallas WILLARD: Against Nominalism. Patricia FAGAN and John RUSSON: Interpreting Ancient Greek Culture: Two Classicists Reply. FIVE Judaism and Enlightened Divine Despotism. Responses Charles H. LINEWEAVER: Before the Big Bang. William HASKER: Theism Defended. Kenneth SEESKIN: The Jewish World-View. SIX India and Mystical De-personalization. Responses Jeffrey STRAYER: Remarks on Zeno and Motion. Michel HULIN: Hegel and the Orient. SEVEN China and Divine Emperorship. Response Chung-Ying CHENG: China and Divine Emperorship. EIGHT Prehistory and Panpsychism. Responses Alan R. SANDSTROM: Prehistory and Paradise Lost in Empirical Anthropology. Paul M. CHURCHLAND: Panpsychism: A Brief Critique. NINE History as the Story of Freedom. TEN The Story of Freedom De-Westernized. Donald Phillip VERENE: Afterword. Appendix I A Weakly True Story of Rights? Appendix II Multiple Human Rights Stories. About the Author. About the Contributors. References. Index.
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