The Universal (In the Realm of the Sensible)

The Universal (In the Realm of the Sensible): Beyond Continental Philosophy

Dorothea Olkowski
Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 280
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  • Book Info
    The Universal (In the Realm of the Sensible)
    Book Description:

    The Universal (In the realm of the sensible) proposes a radical, new philosophical system that moves from ontology to ethics.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-3104-9
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vi-viii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)

    French philosophy evinces a conflict of methodology that may be traced at least as far back as Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) and René Descartes (1596–1650). Montaigne is noted for rejecting scholasticism in favor of a philosophy conceived of as the practice of free judgment. He believed that insofar as human conduct does not obey universal rules, but a great diversity of rules, it follows that universal ‘reason’, ‘truth’, or ‘justice’ must be subject to doubt. Thus Montaigne pursues knowledge through experience; the meaning of concepts must be related to common language or to historical examples. This leads him...

  5. 1 Philosophy and the Limits of Difference
    (pp. 17-58)

    A story-teller tells a tale. We hear it, fascinated or irritated, completely in agreement or completely in disagreement. Either way, it is a question of what the ears hear.

    Summoned to lay down the rules for the foundation of Perinthia, the astronomers established the place and the day according to the position of the stars; they drew the intersecting lines of the decumanus and the cardo, the first oriented to the passage of the sun and the other like the axis on which the heavens turn. They divided the map according to the twelve houses of the zodiac so that...

  6. 2 ‘A Place of Love and Mystery’
    (pp. 59-93)

    Some people are standing in the back of a sparsely furnished room. Others, in front, are sitting restlessly; a few are moving around, but the room is generally quiet. A woman, surrounded by men, steps up to a microphone. She whispers more than sings, breathing her words, running the lines together:

    God knows how I adore life

    When the wind turns on the shore lies another day

    I cannot ask for more

    And when the timebell blows my heart

    and I have scored a better day

    Well nobody made this war of mine

    And the moments that I enjoy


  7. 3 ‘Love and Hatred’
    (pp. 94-137)

    The previous chapter began by posing a question. What sensibility releases the poet to speak, publicly and directly, to admit her vulnerability, to say, ‘God knows how I adore life ‘? What connects her to the realm of the sensible, to what she calls ‘mysteries of love’? Is her departure from the spheres of good sense and common sense an affirmation of the nonsense that is their foundation? Or, does she resolve her separateness, does she slow her cognitive or active response to perception by opening herself to her own pleasure and pain, her discrete diffusion and distress, her multiple...

  8. 4 ‘Under Western Eyes’
    (pp. 138-172)

    Once again, perhaps surprisingly, in the last chapter we found ourselves again influenced by the poet; the poet who absorbs and intuits, who is an ever-changing point of view, an effect of combinatorial networks, light emanating from stars and planets, clouds and mountains, forests and seas, plants, animals, humans, vast cities, desolate plains, objects, images, sounds, tastes, odors, touch. She too emits shimmering light. Let us begin by reminding ourselves that the words she uses, the language she speaks, the gestures she performs are the words and language, the gestures and performances of a crowd, a host of states combining,...

  9. 5 Passive Restraint
    (pp. 173-201)

    The argument for apparent inevitability of the regulative principles of connection, disjunction, conjunction as an ontological structure is already well known and, somewhat disturbingly, it seems to have been accepted almost without question. It is not only the inexorable judgment of the transcendental idealist, whose ideas, expressions, murmurs, sighs and utterances are given voice throughout the preceding pages of this book, but also that of the skeptical but transcendental empiricist, whose beliefs have been till now barely stated but, nevertheless, quietly insinuated. What allows the empiricist to take up a transcendental, and not merely skeptical, stance is the fundamental concept...

  10. 6 In the Realm of the Sensible
    (pp. 202-255)

    Sitting before the computer screen, we gaze at the display of digital photographs, souvenirs of summer. A few of the images appear to have a sequential or serial character. I am trying to make you laugh, so I click, click, click, one image after the next. We throw them up on the screen, viewing them at first simultaneously, then one at a time, but quickly. Your shoulders jerk back and forth; the laughing mouth lights up the image then quickly evaporates as we move forward then backward, forward and backward again, symmetrically, through the series, replacing one image with the...

  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 256-264)
  12. Index
    (pp. 265-280)