Philosophy

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By Carlin Romano

A daring, insightful e-book that rejects the parable of the United States the Unphilosophical, arguing that the USA this present day towers because the so much philosophical tradition within the historical past of the realm, an extraordinary market of fact and argument that a long way surpasses old Greece or the other position you possibly can name.
With verve and willing intelligence, Carlin Romano--Pulitzer Prize finalist, award-winning publication critic, and professor of philosophy--takes at the extensively held trust that ours is an anti--intellectual society. as a substitute, whereas supplying a richly said review of yank notion, Romano argues that standard american citizens see via phony philosophical justifications quicker than an individual else, and that the easiest of our thinkers abandon synthetic educational debates for clean highbrow agencies, akin to cyberphilosophy. alongside the best way, Romano seeks to topple philosophy's such a lot fiercely well-known hero, Socrates, announcing that it really is Isocrates, the approximately forgotten Greek thinker who rejected simple task, whom americans may still honor as their highbrow ancestor.
America the Philosophical introduces readers to a state whose life so much nonetheless doubt: a dynamic, deeply stimulating community of individuals and locations drawn jointly by means of shared pleasure approximately rules. From the yearly convention of the yankee Philosophical organization, the place students tack wiseguy notes addressed to Spinoza on a public bulletin board, to the eruption of philosophy blogs the place members speak about every little thing from pedagogy to the philosophy of technological know-how to the character of employer and unfastened will, Romano unearths an international the place public debate and highbrow engagement by no means cease. And readers meet the boys and girls whose principles have assisted in shaping American lifestyles over the previous couple of centuries, from famous old figures like William James and Ralph Waldo Emerson, to trendy cultural critics who should be noticeable as thinkers (Kenneth Burke, Edward Said), to the iconoclastic African American, ladies, local American, and homosexual mavericks (Cornel West, Susan Sontag, Anne Waters, Richard Mohr) who've broadened the limits of yank philosophy.
Smart and provocative, the USA the Philosophical is a rebellious travel de strength that either celebrates our country's unprecedented highbrow strength and provides to bury a few of our such a lot hidebound cultural clichés.

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53. 19. See Edith Wyschogrod, An Ethics of Remembering: History, Heterology, and the Nameless Others (Chi20. 21. 22. 23. 24. cago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 166-69. , 77-81. , 114-15. Wyschogrod, Crossover Queries, 65-66. , 364-66. , 311. 25. , 63-66. For a similar conception of legal nomoi, see Robert Cover, "Nomos and Narrative," The Har26. 27. 28. 29. 30. vard Law Review 97:4 ( 1983): 4-68. Wyschogrod, Crossover Queries, 23, 24-25. , 120. , 118-19. , 157. , 3-36. AFTER THE ETHICS OF "DOWNCAST EYES" 359 31.

The rhetorical parry carried by the word "cynical" allows him to express himself with a stylized, neoclassical "naivety," the one that looks simple only because it pretends to be simple. 56 In his self-pre"Stupid" Metaphysics, "Probably the True sentation he shows himself to be a spectator of photos, not the alienated spectator à la Sartre, but Metaphysics" as one who animates the photographic index and [The lama] Marpa was very upset when his is animated by it. Claiming to be a "realist," he son was killed and one of his disciples said, moves away from constructivists who under"You used to tell us that everything is illustand the photograph to be nothing other than a sion.

Without entering into the fairness of her readings of these thinkers and artists, it is enough simply to say here that for Wyschogrod postmodernism is cynical and/or ecstatic, never ethical. 40 To understand the problem with this construal of postmodernism is to understand that Wyschogrod's thought belongs just as much to the postmodern moment as do the tendencies disparaged by her. To turn away from her ethics of downcast eyes and to in- AFTER THE ETHICS OF "DOWNCAST EYES" 353 vestigate aesthetic and spiritual enthusiasm in photography, that allegedly mechanical aura-destroying art in which copies destroy originality, is to show the possibilities opened up in the photographic image that she herself wants to explore.

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