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

196Philosophy and Literature in the German tradition of philosophical anthropology to which Vattimo owes so much. If one accepts this thesis, developed in most detail by Vattimo's early teacher Karl Lowith, together with Nietzsche's criticism ofChristian values, and an appreciation of the difficulty any mere secularization is going to have in trying to go beyond the religious values it takes as its raw material, then the path to postmodernism seems assured. But why should we accept the secularization thesis? Vattimo seems unaware of the debates surrounding the thesis, and especially the very detailed (and to my mind decisive) objections to the idea that modernity is to be characterized in terms of a secularization raised by Hans Blumenberg in his Legitimacy of tL· Modern Age, a book which is not even mentioned, despite its central relevance to what Vattimo wants to argue. There is litde in Vattimo's book to challenge modernists, or to inspire postmodernists , and while some of the discussion of hermeneutics is interesting, even here we find nothing novel or especially engaging. University of SydneyStephen Gaukroger Redrawing the Lines: Analytic Philosophy, Deconstruction, and Literary Theory, edited by Reed Way Dasenbrock; 263 pp. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989, $35.00 cloth, $14.95 paper. The Anglo-American analytic tradition has been coming into increasing "contact " with Continental philosophy, often by means of literary theory. Redrawing tL· Lines attempts to demonstrate this "contact" with essays on Lyotard and Rawls, Davidson and de Man, Wittgenstein and Derrida. Of the twelve contributors , eight are affiliated with literature departments (Charles Altieri, Anthony Cascardi, Reed Dasenbrock, Michael Fischer, Jules Law, Christopher Norris, Henry Staten, Steven Winspur), three with philosophy (Richard Rorty, Richard Shusterman, Samuel Wheeler), and one with both (Henry Staten). This curious distribution may attest to the large role of literary theory in bringing about the "contact"—which I retain in quotes—but the distribution is also surprising , since what is missing from the collection, with few exceptions—the pieces by Norris and Winspur—is any sign of interest in literature. Such a situation is relevant to Dasenbrock's intriguing attempt, as editor, to provide an introductory historical-theoretical overview. His account, as quickly becomes clear, vacillates between claiming that there is a "convergence" or "common ground," and that there is not. He takes the work ofRorty as showing how the two schools together contest traditional philosophy, yet also notes Reviews197 Rorty's doubts that they are otherwise similar. As for Redrawing the Lines, Dasenbrock tells us that the contributors are not interested in "bashing the other side," but instead "articulate a common ground" (pp. 13-14). The collection signally fails to support that claim, and we are informed that there are more "unreconstructed Searle-bashers and unreconstructed Derridabashers . . . around than one might expect" (p. 14). Nor is Dasenbrock by any means a neutral party. His account of Derrida's work, as we might expect from his announced stance—"more sympathetic to analytic philosophy than deconstruction "—is condescending and unreliable: the "early" Derrida is "carefully argued, even scholarly" (why "even"?) while the "later" Derrida (why "later"?) "clearly dispensefs] with . . . any recognizable modes of argumentation" (pp. 13, 15). Note die terms "clearly" and "recognizable": are we not being offered a bit of (to use his term) "Derrida-bashing"? Can Dasenbrock have read Glas or even commentaries (such as Glossary) which relate Glas to traditional tactics of argumentation? And how is it that he does not seem to notice that Glas deals not only with Hegel but with Jean Genêt—and that the juxtaposition of two such writers might have some bearing on the issues under discussion? The articles in Redrawing the Lines are often biased, as is the editor, in an analytic direction. Fischer, for example, speaks of "Derrida's all-or-nothing world" or "Derrida's stated dedication to certainty" (pp. 53, 56) without citing even a single text by Derrida as evidence. Similarly Shusterman takes issue with Paul de Man's usage of "organic unity" without any mention of de Man on German Romanticism, on Coleridge, or indeed on Hegel. Again, Law faults Derrida's OfGrammatology for not accounting for "the origin ofthis myth" about writing (p. 143...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 196-197
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.