Questioning Ethics: Contemporary Debates in Philosophy

By Mark Dooley; Richard Kearney | Go to book overview

Notes
1
The Cambridge Review, ed. R. Morse and S. Collini, Vol. 113, No. 2318, Oct. 1992, Cambridge: CUP, p. 131. Page references to the ‘Cambridge-Derrida affair’ that follow are from the articles collected in this number of The Cambridge Review.
2
Barry Smith et al., ‘Derrida Degree: A Question of Honour’, The Times (London), Saturday 9 May 1992.
3
J. Passmore, A Hundred Years of Philosophy, Harmondsworth: Penguin, second edition, 1978, p. 467.
4
B. Smith et al., ‘Derrida Degree’.
5
Reprinted in Ratio, Vol. II, No. 2, 1960. Another classic example from this period which should be noted here is Gilbert Ryle’s essay ‘Phenomenology versus The Concept of Mind’ (reprinted in G. Ryle, Collected Papers, London: Hutchinson, 1971) presented to a conference entitled ‘La Philosophie Analytique’ in Royaumont, France, in 1958. The very title of Ryle’s contribution reflects the assumption of, and perhaps desire for, confrontation and division. Indeed, throughout his presentation Ryle was determined to affirm a ‘wide gulf’ between ‘Anglo-Saxon and Continental philosophy’ (p. 182). The sentence which concludes his opening discussion of Husserl’s work indicates, however, how uncertain this scene of division really is: ‘This caricature of Husserl’s phenomenology is intended to show up by contrast some of the predominant features of recent philosophy and in particular of the philosophy of mind in the English-speaking world’ (p. 181; emphasis added). The factual and philosophical distortions involved in Ryle’s distinction are neatly addressed by Ray Monk in his recent essay ‘Bertrand Russell’s Brainchild’ (Radical Philosophy, No. 78, 1996). Yet it is not only in retrospect that the non-logical, ethical-political, character of Ryle’s gulf-seeking is evident. One of the participants at Royaumont was Maurice Merleau-Ponty. In discussion he stated that, like others present, he was not convinced by Ryle’s talk of a ‘wide gulf’: ‘I have also had the impression, while listening to Mr Ryle, that what he was saying was not so strange to us, and that the distance, if there is a distance, is one that he puts between us rather than one I find there’ (M. Merleau-Ponty, Texts and Dialogues, ed. H. Silverman and J. Barry, London: Humanities Press, 1992, p. 65).
6
As Bernard Williams puts it, the current distinction is ‘rather as though one divided cars into front-wheel drive and Japanese’ (B. Williams, ‘Contemporary Philosophy: A Second Look’, in The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy, ed. N. Bunin and E.P. Tsui-James, Oxford: Blackwell, 1996, p. 25).
7
Hare does note, however (and correctly I think), that ‘the tone of British philosophy is at present set by Oxford’ (p. 113).
8
Ratio, Vol. III, No. 1, 1960, p. 5.
9
There is one name mentioned, that of Husserl. But one has to question its value as ‘evidence’ for anything whatsoever: ‘My wife has a cousin who studied philosophy under Husserl at Freiburg. I have heard him say that, when he first went to see the great man, Husserl produced about six bound volumes and said: “Here are my books; come back in a year’s time”’ (p. 107).
10
In this regard I think it is notable that when Michael Dummett (finally) explored Husserl’s work in some detail he found that this supposedly alien thought was not, in fact, so very different to Frege’s: ‘At the very beginning of the century, say at the time Husserl published the Logical Investigations, there wasn’t yet phenomenology as a school. There wasn’t yet analytic philosophy

-130-

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Questioning Ethics: Contemporary Debates in Philosophy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - Hermeneutics 3
  • 1 - Memory and Forgetting 5
  • 2 - Imagination, Testimony and Trust 12
  • 3 - Narrative and the Ethics of Remembrance 18
  • References 32
  • 4 - The Politics of Memory 33
  • 5 - Ethics and Lifeworlds 44
  • Part II - Deconstruction 63
  • 6 - Hospitality, Justice and Responsibility 65
  • Notes 83
  • 7 - Reason, History, and a Little Madness 84
  • 8 - The Experience of the Ethical 105
  • 9 - The Ethics of Exclusion 120
  • Notes 130
  • Part III - Critical Theory 133
  • 10 - Three Normative Models of Democracy 135
  • 11 - The Problem of Justice in a Multicultural Society 145
  • Notes 161
  • 12 - Enlightenment and the Idea of Public Reason 164
  • 13 - Paradigms of Public Reason 181
  • Part IV - Psychoanalysis 199
  • 14 - In the Name-Of-The-Father 201
  • 15 - Revolt Today? 220
  • 16 - The Original Traumatism 230
  • Part V - Applications 243
  • 17 - Some Enlightenment Projects Reconsidered 245
  • 18 - Questioning Autonomy 258
  • 19 - From Ethics to Bioethics 283
  • Index 294
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