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The Question of Being: A Reversal of Heidegger [Paperback]

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Pages   1
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 6.34" Height: 1.07"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 30, 2002
Publisher   St. Augustine's Press
ISBN  1587316757  
EAN  9781587316753  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
In this book, Rosen enters into a debate with Heidegger in order to provide a justification for metaphysics. Rosen presents a fresh interpretation of metaphysics that opposes the traditional doctrines attacked by Heidegger, on the one hand, and by contemporary philosophers influenced by Heidegger, on the other. He refutes Heidegger's claim that metaphysics (or what Heidegger calls Platonism) is derived from the Aristotelian science of being as being. He argues indeed that metaphysics is simply the commonsensical reflection on the nature of ordinary experience and on the standards of living a better life.

Rosen uses his critique of Heidegger to suggest the next step in philosophy: that technical precision and speculative metaphysics be unified in what he calls a "step downward into the rich air of everyday life."

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More About Stanley Rosen

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Stanley Rosen is Borden Parker Bowne Professor of Philosophy and University Professor at Boston University. His previous books include "The Elusiveness of the Ordinary "and "Hermeneutics as Politics, "both published by Yale University Press.

Stanley Rosen currently resides in Boston, in the state of Massachusetts. Stanley Rosen was born in 1929.

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1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General   [15454  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Not for the faint of heart  May 31, 2001
While I agree with the previous reviewer's assessment of Rosen's originality it seems that there is a bit of confusion which I think should be clarified. This book is a careful, profoundly original discussion of Heidegger's misunderstanding of Plato and how it fundamentally colored the rest of his thinking. In order to clarify where Heidegger went wrong Rosen deems it necessary to embark on lengthy, difficult discussions of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Nietzsche. He also deems it necessary to take an occasional swipe at some of Heidegger's less-talented progeny as they are oblivious to the very difficulties their misreadings imply and their influence within the Academy is undeniable. Furthermore, in the case of Plato, it becomes necessary to "save" the dialogues from their many positivist admirers and interpreters. The tone of the book is not so much polemical as exegetical, and it is studded with Rosen's subtle humor. [N.B. This may be the source of the previous reviewer's accusations of "arrogance" ie. the self-confidence of the knower as opposed to the tentative gropings of the blind.]

Rosen's "platonism" is not the neo-platonism which has been handed down to us by Iamblichus, Albinus, and Plotinus but a substantially "deeper" platonism which does not assume that the dialogues were loaded with metaphysical dogma. To paraphrase Rosen, the history of "platonism" begins with Aristotle. From this standpoint the literary structure of the dialogues are as important as the allegedly "technical" discussions of "doctrines" which have been canonized in the secondary literature. Rosen's sympathies always lie with Plato but he is very careful to cite instances where he agrees with Heidegger, Nietzsche, or Kant. Indeed, his judicious and balanced discussions of these men lay bare the fundamental problems which each philosopher was attempting to confront and overcome. He does not, however, spare any of these men when their conclusions went awry. No sound writing should avoid this responsibility, though it can be done well or done poorly, depending upon the writer.

The book engages in a lengthy discussion of Heidegger's misinterpretation of "greek ontology" and in particular with regards to Plato. Rosen demonstrates the untenability of Heidegger's claims about a "general concept of being" animating greek philosophy. He also engages in an original reading of the central section of Plato's "Phaedo" as a way of contrasting Plato's slippery discussion with Heidegger's static, professorial interpretation. In effect we are led to realize that Heidegger read into Plato (and Aristotle) what he wanted to in order to make certain claims about them later on. Rosen also spends a bit of time on Heidegger's own political nihilism which he perceives as being fundamentally grounded in his philosophy. Along the way Rosen points out how Nietzsche's claims to having overcome Plato are really just less coherent instances of a quasi-platonic teaching and that Kant's transcendental ego is fundamentally flawed.

As the title of my review indicates, this book is not for the "uninitiated." It delves very deeply into areas of philosophy which most will find baffling. If, however, you want a challenging, profound discussion of philosophy and some of its most famous practitioners this book will reward many a careful reading. It will remind the reader that philosophy isn't the logic-chopping or ethical blather which we hear so often today, but is, has been, and always will be about what is the best life and how can we lead it.

rigorous, quirky, and more than a little arrogant  Apr 17, 2000
This book is vintage Rosen, which means any number of both good and bad things. Let's begin with the positive. Rosen is one of the most intelligent philosophy professors in America today. He is a maverick extremely well-grounded in the great works of the tradition, and a strong enough personality to cut his own path amidst the hundreds of slavish devotees of today's most fashionable philosophical currents. At times, he also displays a hilarious mastery of polemical writing techniques. Anyone reading his books is bound to end up with a renewed appreciation for the virtues of intellectual independence.

But the bad is here as well. As Nietzsche once wrote of the work of Ernst Renan, there often seems to be more ambition than love of truth in these pages. Rosen is a committed if somewhat unorthodox Platonist, and he spends an awful lot of time writing books about authors for whom he has no philosophical sympathy whatsoever, Heidegger among them. While the final product is a commentary far more interesting than those of Heidegger's rather bland followers, Rosen's goal is ultimately nothing more than to cut Heidegger down to size. The result of this ought to be a fine defense of an ancient thinker against the premature revolutionary claims of 20th century philosophy, but the arrogance of the author's tone is simply that of a competitive academic defending his turf. The book also suffers from some stylistic awkwardness-- taken alone, many of its metaphors are quite striking, but the overall effect of the prose is choppy, even nervous.

Rosen's works are among the most original philosophical writings being published today. Their petulant and often rambling style can be off-putting at first, but the patient reader will be amply repaid for her efforts.


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