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Debates in Continental Philosophy

Conversations with Contemporary Thinkers

Richard Kearney

Publication Year: 2004

This important book brings together in one volume a collection of illuminating encounters with some of the most important philosophers of our age-by one of its most incisive and innovative critics.For more than twenty years, Richard Kearney has been in conversation with leading philosophers, literary theorists, anthropologists, and religious scholars. His gift is eliciting memorably clear statements about their work from thinkers whose writings can often be challenging in their complexity. Here, he brings together twenty-one originally published extraordinary conversations-his 1984 collection Dialogues: The Phenomenological Heritage, his 1992 Visions of Europe: Conversations on the Legacy and Future of Europe, and his 1995 States of Mind: Dialogues with Contemporary Thinkers. Featured interviewees include Stanislas Breton, Umberto Eco, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Herbert Marcus, George Steiner, Julia Kristeva, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jean-Fran?ois Lyotard. To this classic core, he adds recent interviews, previously unpublished, with Paul Ricoeur, Jean-Luc Marion, Jacques Derrida, and George DumZzil, as well as six colloquies about his own work.Wide-ranging and accessible, these interviews provide a fascinating guide to the ideas, concerns, and personalities of thinkers who have shaped modern intellec-tual life. This book will be an essential point of entry for students, teachers, scholars, and anyone seeking to understand contemporary culture.ContentsPrefacePart One: Recent DebatesJacques Derrida: Terror, Religion, and the New PoliticsJean-Luc Marion: The Hermeneutics of RevelationPaul Ricour: (a) On Life Stories (b) On The Crisis of Authority (c) The Power of the Possible (d) Imagination, Testimony, and TrustGeorges Dumzil: Myth, Ideology, SovereigntyPart Two: From Dialogues: The Phenomenological Heritage, 1984Emmanuel Levinas: Ethics of the InfiniteHerbert Marcuse: The Philosophy of Art and PoliticsPaul Ricour: (a) The Creativity of Language (b) Myth as the Bearer of Possible WorldsStanislas Breton: Being, God, and the Poetics of RelationJacques Derrida: Deconstruction and the OtherPart Three: From States of Mind, 1995Julia Kristeva: Strangers to Ourselves: The Hope of the SingularHans Georg Gadamer: Text MattersJean-Franois Lyotard: What Is Just?George Steiner: Culture-The Price You PayPaul Ricour: Universality and the Power of DifferenceUmberto Eco: Chaosmos: The Return to the Middle AgesPart Four: Colloquies with Richard KearneyVillanova Colloquy: Against OmnipotenceAthens Colloquy: Between Selves and OthersHalifax Colloquy: Between Being and God Stony Brook Colloquy: Confronting ImaginationBoston Colloquy: Theorizing the GiftDublin Colloquy: Thinking Is DangerousAppendix: Philosophy as Dialogue

Published by: Fordham University Press

Debates in Continental Philosophy

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pp. xi-xii

The present volume brings together twenty-one dialogues which I conducted over recent years in the area of Continental thought. Part 1 features previously unpublished exchanges, ranging from the conversation with Georges Dumezil, one of the founding fathers of . . .

Part 1: Recent Debates

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p. 1-1

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Terror, Religion, and the New Politics

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pp. 3-14

RK: In the interview with Dominique Janicaud (Heidegger en France [Heidegger in France]), you talk about deconstruction as being a preference for discontinuity over continuity, for . . .

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The Hermeneutics of Revelation

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pp. 15-32

RK: They are many similarities between your work, Jean-Luc, and mine: Both of us owe a great deal of our philosophical formation to the phenomenologies of Husserl and Heidegger; we have both . . .

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On Narrative Imagination

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pp. 33-52

RK: You have written much about the power of narrative to provide people with a sense of identity and cohesion. You have also written much about the fact that human existence is always in quest of . . .

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Myth, Ideology, Sovereignty

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pp. 53-61

RK: There is still some debate as to how exactly your work should be situated and classified. Is it primarily philosophical, sociological, anthropological, theological, or linguistic? After your early research, . . .

Part 2: The Phenomenological Heritage, 1984

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p. 63-63

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Ethics of the Infinite

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pp. 65-84

RK: Perhaps you could retrace your philosophical itinerary by identifying some of the major influences on your thought?
EL: Apart from the great masters of the history of philosophy,........, in particular Plato, Descartes, and Kant,........,the first contemporary . . .

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The Philosophy of Art and Politics

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pp. 85-98

RK: As a Marxist thinker of international renown and inspirational mentor of student revolutions in both the United States and Europe in the sixties, you have puzzled many by the turn to primarily . . .

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The Poetics of Language and Myth

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pp. 99-125

RK: How do your later works on metaphor (La Metaphore vive [The Rule of the Metaphor}, 1975) and narrativity (Temps et recit, vol. 1 [Time and Narrative}, 1983) fit into your overall program of . . .

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Being, GOd, and the Poetics of Relation

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pp. 126-138

RK: Your philosophical journey has been wide-ranging. You have published works on such diverse topics as Neoplatonism, Thomism, Marxism, phenomenology, logic, and poetics. What would you consider . . .

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Deconstruction and the Other

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pp. 139-156

RK: The most characteristic feature of your work has been its determination to "deconstruct" the Western philosophy of presence. I think it would be helpful if you could situate your program of deconstruction . . .

Part 3: From States of Mind, 1995

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p. 157-157

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Strangers to Ourselves: The Hope of the Singular

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pp. 159-166

RK: How would you describe your identity as a European?
JK: I consider myself a cosmopolitan. I was lucky in my childhood to learn French at an early stage. My parents sent me to a French . . .

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Text Matters

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pp. 167-191

RK: What were the milestones on your own way to hermeneutics?
H-GG: My way to hermeneutics describes my initial experiences with the study of language as a young philologist in Marburg. I had . . .

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What Is Just?

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pp. 192-204

RK: Today you are seen as the first philosopher of the postmodern condition. Yet one of your earliest works was entitled La phénomenologie [Phenomenology] (1954). How would you describe . . .

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Culture: The Price You Pay

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pp. 205-215

RK: Do you believe that there is such a thing as the "whole mind of Europe"?
GS: I believe that there is in the history of Europe a very strong central tradition, which is by no means an easy one to live with. It is . . .

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Universality and the Power of Difference

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pp. 216-222

RK: Do you believe in the idea of a European identity?
PR: Europe has produced a series of cultural identities, which brought with themselves their own self-criticism, and I think that this . . .

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Chaosmos: The Return of the Middle Ages

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pp. 223-228

RK: You have argued that the Dark Ages is a much maligned period of European history. Why?
DE: We can speak of the Dark Ages in the sense that the population of Europe fell by twenty million. . . .

Part 4: Colloquies with Richard Kearney

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p. 229-229

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Agailst Omnipotence: God Beyond Power

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pp. 231-245

LIAM KAVANAGH: The very title of the conference series which has brought us together today, namely, "Religion and Postmodernism," raises the question of the possibility of a productive exchange between . . .

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Between Selves and Others

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pp. 246-252

DEMETRIUS TEIGAS: I would like to put some critical questions to you, not in order to oppose your views, but to welcome your fresh thoughts on the topic of alterity, and also to invite you to elaborate on . . .

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Between Being and God

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pp. 253-260

FELIX O'MURCHADHA: Two of your most recent books deal explicitly and thematically with the question of God. That is not to say that this issue has been absent from your earlier work. Could you please . . .

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Confronting Imagination

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pp. 261-283

Q: I would like to begin by asking when and how you became interested in philosophy and literature. Was there a moment when you realized you would make these fields a lifelong . . .

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Theorizing the Gift

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pp. 284-304

MARK MANOLOPOULOS: In the Derrida/Marion debate "On the Gift" (Villanova, 1997), you ask the question, "Is there a Christian philosophy of the gift?"6 Do you think either Derrida or Marion or both . . .

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Thinking Is Dangerous

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pp. 305-325

STEPHEN J. COSTELLO: What attracted you to philosophy in the first place? Did you ever want to do anything else, such as medicine, like other members of your . . .

Appendix PhiloJophy as Dialogue

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pp. 327-332


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pp. 333-335


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pp. 337-358

E-ISBN-13: 9780823247677
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823223176
Print-ISBN-10: 0823223175

Page Count: 388
Publication Year: 2004