We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

The Thought of John Sallis

Phenomenology, Plato, Imagination

Bernard Freydberg

Publication Year: 2012

John Sallis is one of America’s preeminent and most original contemporary philosophers. The absence, until now, of a com-prehensive work on Sallis has constituted a glaring oversight in philosophical scholarship. The Thought of John Sallis is both an introduction for students new to his work and a valuable resource for scholars needing a systematic consideration of Sallis’s wide-ranging thought.

Sallis’s work possesses an intrinsic power and originality, as well as deep interpretive insight. This book is a descriptive and critical journey through his thought, providing an overview for readers who wish to gain a sense of its sweep, along with discrete sections on particular philosophical disciplines for readers whose interests are more specific. It grapples with the challenges Sallis’s thought presents, making them explicit and opening them up to further consideration. And it attempts to locate his thought within both contemporary continental philosophy and philosophy as a whole. Essential for any student of continental philosophy, The Thought of John Sallis expounds on his work in a manner that increases access, honors its depth, and opens up unexplored possibilities for phil-osophy.


Published by: Northwestern University Press

Series: NUP

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF (108.9 KB)


pdf iconDownload PDF (53.6 KB)
pp. vii-viii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (86.4 KB)
pp. ix-x

I wrote The Thought of John Sallis: Phenomenology, Plato, Imagination in isolation over a two-year period. However, there can be no doubt that I benefited significantly from conversations with such excellent colleagues as Dennis Schmidt, Jason Wirth, Günter Figal, Sanem Yaziçioǧlu, Maria Acosta, Charles Scott, Christopher Yates, ...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (159.3 KB)
pp. xi-xx

The thought of John Sallis dwells not only on imagination, but within imagination. The gently eloquent bearing of his writing has a seductive pull, and the reader who thinks along with him finds herself suddenly in the midst of the deepest philosophical ideas, and very often with the means to address them. ...

Works by John Sallis

pdf iconDownload PDF (86.3 KB)
pp. xxi-xxii

Note on References and Transliteration

pdf iconDownload PDF (77.5 KB)
pp. xxiii-xxiv

Part 1. Phenomenology

pdf iconDownload PDF (18.6 KB)
pp. 3-4

read more

1. Phenomenology and the Return to Beginnings

pdf iconDownload PDF (186.0 KB)
pp. 5-17

In Phenomenology and the Return to Beginnings,1 phenomenology has two guiding characteristics. First, phenomenology gives the name to the way of philosophizing, inaugurated by Husserl, which has “to the things themselves!” as its banner. Of course, earlier philosophers such as Hegel have used the term “phenomenology” to indicate a doctrine of appearances. ...

read more

2. Delimitations: Phenomenology and the End of Metaphysics

pdf iconDownload PDF (416.4 KB)
pp. 18-58

Delimitations: Phenomenology and the End of Metaphysics1 is John Sallis’s fourth book. Its first edition (1986) concludes with a chapter that concerns itself with exceeding phenomenology by rigorously following out and reflecting upon its own peculiar pathway. Its second, expanded edition concludes with an added chapter, on Schelling. ...

Part 2. Sallis’s Plato Interpretation

pdf iconDownload PDF (18.7 KB)
pp. 59-60

read more

3. Being and Logos: Reading the Platonic Dialogues

pdf iconDownload PDF (802.5 KB)
pp. 61-144

The first edition of Sallis’s magnum opus on Plato, titled Being and Logos: The Way of Platonic Dialogue, emerged in 1975 as a Duquesne University Press book. Its second edition was published by Humanities Press in 1986. The third edition, titled Being and Logos: Reading the Platonic Dialogues,1 appeared under the Indiana University imprint in 1996. ...

read more

4. Chorology: On Beginning in Plato’s Timaeus

pdf iconDownload PDF (286.7 KB)
pp. 145-166

The question of beginning—the questionableness of beginning—has claimed Sallis’s thought . . . from its very beginning, from its inception. Chorology: On Beginning in Plato’s “Timaeus”1 (1999) must be regarded as a contemporary contemplation of this crucial matter, just as it is also a major contribution to Plato scholarship. ...

read more

5. Platonic Legacies

pdf iconDownload PDF (310.7 KB)
pp. 167-192

In one sense, Platonic Legacies1 concerns itself with the way important thinkers in the Continental tradition have taken up the legacy of the Platonic dialogues. Sallis engages his own thought with such thinkers as Nietzsche, Arendt, Derrida, Reiner Schürmann, Heidegger, Augustine, Charles Scott, and Dennis Schmidt ...

read more

Part 3. Art/Sallis

pdf iconDownload PDF (71.5 KB)
pp. 193-194

It would mislead to say that John Sallis has an “aesthetics.” For such a characterization not only suggests the differentiation of philosophical “subject matters” that Sallis’s thought does not share at all (e.g., aesthetics, as distinct from ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology, etc.). ...

read more

6. Stone

pdf iconDownload PDF (185.0 KB)
pp. 195-205

The title “Shining Truth” extends far beyond this opening chapter, indeed far beyond Stone1 and to all of his work on art and on sense. “Shining” is no mere property of truth. Rather, truth occurs precisely as shining. Nor is truth a quality of statements, propositions, or even insights. ...

read more

7. Shades—Of Painting at the Limit

pdf iconDownload PDF (167.4 KB)
pp. 206-214

Instead of a prologue or a foreword, Sallis titles the opening section of Shades—Of Painting at the Limit1 “Adumbrations.” One might initially substitute the synonymous “foreshadowings,” and read this word as signaling a hint as to what is to come, but in doing so one might overlook the originary sense of the word. ...

read more

8. Topographies

pdf iconDownload PDF (172.2 KB)
pp. 215-226

Topographies1 is especially difficult to place within the Sallisian corpus. It consists of a foreword followed by thirty- two brief chapters. Many of its 164 pages feature vivid color photographs of places, many of which were taken by Jerry Sallis, his wife. The photographs are more than mere accompaniments to the text. ...

Part 4. Sallis and Other Thinkers

pdf iconDownload PDF (18.6 KB)
pp. 227-228

read more

9. The Gathering of Reason

pdf iconDownload PDF (174.5 KB)
pp. 229-239

In one sense, The Gathering of Reason1 primarily concerns itself with the Transcendental Dialectic of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason.2 Readers seeking a guide through that long and most challenging section could scarcely do better than employ what Sallis calls his “duplex interpretations” of its various sections. ...

read more

10. Spacings—Of Reason and Imagination in Texts of Kant, Fichte, Hegel

pdf iconDownload PDF (170.9 KB)
pp. 240-250

A text titled Spacings1 demands a definition of its title, or at least an account of its meaning. Yet as Sallis points out, such a demand is improper. It cannot be met since the deed of spacing is prior to all defining and all accounting, indeed making these possible at all. Yet he does provide a series of glimpses that serve to provide access: ...

read more

11. Echoes: After Heidegger

pdf iconDownload PDF (144.7 KB)
pp. 251-258

This book’s title has at least two senses. First of all, it indicates that a certain Aneignung of Heidegger’s thought will occur, that Sallis will take up echoes of Heidegger’s thought into his own. Also, however, the chapters of the text occur within a pair of asymmetrically matched bookends: “Ēchō” (“Echo”) precedes the first chapter; ...

read more

12. Crossings: Nietzsche and the Space of Tragedy

pdf iconDownload PDF (196.2 KB)
pp. 259-270

This difficult and often intricate text proceeds according to its own peculiar logic. Like Spacings—Of Reason and Imagination in the Texts of Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and unlike The Gathering of Reason, the reader finds very little duplex interpretation or commentary. From the outset of Crossings: Nietzsche and the Space of Tragedy,1 ...

Part 5. Sallis Speaks Directly

pdf iconDownload PDF (18.6 KB)
pp. 271-272

read more

13. Double Truth

pdf iconDownload PDF (212.4 KB)
pp. 273-288

Double Truth1 consists of ten chapters that, in responding to other contemporary thinkers, culminate in Sallis’s own distinct perspectives, and in a concluding eleventh chapter that gathers these perspectives. It is introduced by an “anti-preface” along the lines of the one titled “Horismos” ...

read more

14. Force of Imagination: The Sense of the Elemental

pdf iconDownload PDF (808.1 KB)
pp. 289-370

Sallis has been heard to speak of Force of Imagination: The Sense of the Elemental1 as his first systematic work on the subject. It combines fineness of language with the most exacting delineation of distinctions. Force of Imagination provides Sallis’s contribution to philosophy in his own original voice. ...

read more

15. On Translation

pdf iconDownload PDF (202.9 KB)
pp. 371-386

Heidegger has famously asserted: “Tell me what you think about translation, and I will tell you who you are.”1 In On Translation,2 Sallis tells what he thinks about translation. Or to speak more properly, Sallis shows that the matter of translation does not allow sufficient distance for straightforward narration. ...

Part 6. The Sallis/Derrida Dialogue

pdf iconDownload PDF (18.7 KB)
pp. 387-388

read more

16. Derrida’s “Tense” and Sallis’s The Verge of Philosophy

pdf iconDownload PDF (263.8 KB)
pp. 389-405

Given the many decades of deep friendship between Sallis and Derrida that includes both express and implicit references to one another’s work, it is possible to enumerate areas of similarity as well as marked areas of difference between them. Such enumeration, of course, cannot do justice to the stylistic idiom of each thinker ...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (108.4 KB)
pp. 406-410

I will begin by discussing the striking and uncommon mood (Stimmung) of Sallis’s writings, abiding cheerfulness. It has its source most of all in the image of Socrates of the Platonic dialogues. Sallis’s is a cheerfulness that is fully aware of darkness, death, injustice, and pain. ...


pdf iconDownload PDF (210.5 KB)
pp. 411-424


pdf iconDownload PDF (120.0 KB)
pp. 425-430


pdf iconDownload PDF (251.4 KB)
pp. 431-450

read more

About the Author

pdf iconDownload PDF (69.8 KB)

Bernard Freydberg is a professor emeritus at Slippery Rock University and a scholar in residence in the philosophy department at Duquesne University. ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780810166110
Print-ISBN-13: 9780810128279

Publication Year: 2012

Edition: 1
Series Title: NUP

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Sallis, John, 1938-.
  • Philosophy, Modern -- 20th century.
  • Phenomenology.
  • Plato.
  • Art -- Philosophy.
  • Philosophy, European.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access