In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

406Philosophy and Literature for objective validity" in his arguments and proofs (p. 215). Few other contributors are as silly as this, but many display some measure of hostility to what they caU "analytic" work on Plato. There is an air of bravado about some of these essays: unreconstructed analysts must be made to see that only when Plato is read in the clear light of German hermeneutics can we hope to understand him. But as Terence Irwin sensibly notes, we need to be shown some phuosophicaUy interesting results of the new methods of interpretation if we are to be persuaded to take them seriously (p. 199). Griswold's volume largely fails this test. The book thus offers indirect evidence that the orthodox methods of interpretation, when applied to Plato, are reasonably sound after aU. The principal contributors to the anthology agree that the dialectical nature of Plato's writings is a crucial part of their philosophical content. All seem to agree that conventional "analytic" work is inadequate. But the alternatives they offer are not often weU thought out. Griswold himself, however, in one of the better articles, develops an erudite view of Plato as a philosopher who was urgendy concerned with the very possibility of his own philosophical activity. This is a Plato who is interested in subde issues of metaphilosophy and who converses easily with Hegel and Rorty. But even if Griswold is right, and Plato was interested in these issues, it foUows neither that he was interested only in them nor that he was most interested in them. Griswold's metaphilosopher is worth talking about: but in no way does he displace the "analytic" Plato. As Irwin says (p. 199), it would be a mistake for philosophers to give up phUosophy for metaphilosophy,just as "it would be a mistake for students of Plato to spend aU their time worrying about how to read Plato." The volume includes an entertaining group of exchanges between critics and authors. Critical commentaries from the "new" perspective are offered on books by Irwin, Kraut, Woodruff, and Dorter. Their replies, which are sometimes surprisingly patient, are among the most balanced contributions to the book. As an advertisement for alternative approaches to Plato, then, this volume is not a great success. There are many works on Plato which combine sensitivity to the form of his writings with rigor and acumen in the analysis of their discursive contents. Griswold's volume fails to make a case for the radical rethinkingofthis approach. University of Canterbury, New ZealandDerek Browne Heidegger's Being and Time: A Reading for Readers by E. F. Kaelin; ix & 358 pp. TaUahassee: Florida State University Press, 1988, $29.50 cloth, $15.00 paper. "Phenomenologist" and "phenomenology" are words slung about with litde consistency by the critics these days. Only a phenomenological reading of a major phenomenological text of our century can bring a "light to bare" to Reviews407 resolve this problem, and Eugene Kaelin's reading of Heidegger's Bang and Time creates the needed revision. Kaelin knows that Heidegger's main insight into the way we "work" lies in his/our use of language and, subsequenüy, what it does (read "means"). Following Heidegger's lead, he reexamines, generally reproblematizes and, at times, retranslates the major vocabulary oíBang and Time. On the very helpful level of modern commentary, he allows Heidegger's work to "speak for itself." This ostensibly is our author's purpose in the first eleven, and part of the twelfth, chapters ofhis reading. Nowhere will the English reader find a clearer, more forceful, or more insightful explication of Being and Time. Kaelin has clearly been a fine teacher of this text for many years. Yet, the author is much more than a commentator because he is much more than a "Heideggerian." One remarkable feature of his book is that it carefully avoids ideological suppressions and superficial reductions. In our day of the De Manian flap and Victor Farias's Heidegger et le nazisme, it takes a great deal of self-control not to read Being and Time as a tidied-up version of Mein Kampf and deem its author a cross between Hider and the Mad Hatter. Nowhere does...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 406-408
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.