Does philosophy have a future? Postmodern thought, with its rejection of claims to absolute truth or moral objectivity, would seem to put the philosophical enterprise in jeopardy. In this volume some of today's most influential thinkers face the question of philosophy's future and find an answer in its past. Their efforts show how historical traditions are currently being appropriated by philosophy, how some of the most provocative questions confronted by philosophers are given their impetus and direction by cultural memory.
Unlike analytic philosophy, a discipline supposedly liberated from any manifestation of cultural memory, the movement represented by these essays demonstrates how the inquiries, narratives, traditions, and events of our cultural past can mediate some of the most interesting exercises of the present-day philosophical imagination. Attesting to the power of historical tradition to enhance and redirect the prospects of philosophy these essays exemplify a new mode of doing philosophy.
The product of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute in 1990, it is the task of this book to show that history can be reclaimed by philosophy and resurrected in postmodernity.Contributors. George Allan, Eva T. H. Brann, Arthur C. Danto, Lynn S. Joy, George L. Kline, George R. Lucas, Jr., Alasdair MacIntyre, Robert C. Neville, John Rickard, Stanley Rosen, J. B. Scheenwind, Donald Phillip Verene
Acknowledgment vii Introduction 1 Part I. Philosophy and Cultural Memory Traditions and Transitions / George Allan 21 Two Sources of Philosophical Memory: Vico Versus Hegel / Donald Phillip Verene 40 Part II. Philosophical Imagination and the History of Philosophy Are Philosophical Problems Insoluble? The Relevance of System and History / Alasdair MacIntyre 65 Modern Moral Philosophy: From Beginning to End? / J. B. Schneewind 83 Refutation, Narrative, and Engagement: Three Conceptions of the History of Philosophy / George R. Lucas, Jr. 104 Part III. Perspectives on the Significance of Cultural Memory The Shape of Artistic Pasts: East and West / Arthur C. Danto 125 Humanism and the Problem of Traditions in Seventeenth-Century Natural Philosophy / Lynn S. Joy 139 The Symbiotic Relation of Philosophy and Theology / Robert Cummings Neville 149 Part IV. Cultural Memory and Textual Interpretation The Six Silences of a Grecian Urn / Eva T. H. Brann 167 Changing Russian Assessments of Spinoza and Their German Sources, 1796-1862 / George L. Kline 176 Tradition and Intertextual Memory in James Joyce's Ulysses / John S. Rickard 195 Plato's Quarrel with the Poets / Stanley Roesn 212 Selected Bibliography 227 Index 233 Contributors 245