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Qui Parle, Volume 15, Number 1, Fall/Winter 2004

Vol. 15 | No. 1 | Fall/Winter 2004


    Articles

Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Cannibalism
Stanley Corngold

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

A study of the body in Hegel's aesthetics in its relation to Schopenhauer's aesthetics might well begin with an account of Schopenhauer's lurid view of Hegel. It is true that Schopenhauer's own bleak, disparaging view of the body as unsublatable has discouraged an academic corps of followers. Yet, though this corps may be absent, Schopenhauer's corpus –– organized around the unredeemable body –– survives as a shadow on Hegel's academic fame. This shadow is cast, so to speak, by the fury of Schopenhauer's detestation of Hegel: it continues to darken our apprehension of Hegel, like the shadow cast by a malignancy in an x-ray. Hegel's fame has swallowed up Schopenhauer, but this is not harmless for Hegel; for Schopenhauer, as I shall argue, associated him with the precise evil of cannibalism. And since this malignancy gnaws at Hegel, the question of who has devoured whom actually remains open.

Read now at Duke University Press


The Bawdy Sublime: Schopenhauer's "Theory of the Ludicrous"
Eric Baker

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

Bad Jokes

Schopenhauer's late essay, "On the Theory of the Ludicrous," picks up where the brief and schematic remarks on laughter from the first volume of World as Will and Representation left off. Or, to be more precise, the later text does not so much continue or build upon, as supplement the earlier essay with what it was thought to lack:

“In volume one I regarded it as superfluous to illustrate this theory by examples, as everyone can easily do this for himself by reflecting a little on the cases of the ludicrous which he calls to mind. However, to come to the aid of the mental inertness of those readers who always prefer to remain in a passive state, I will meet their wishes here. Indeed, in this third edition I will add more examples, so that there will be no question that here, after so many fruitless attempts, the true theory of the ludicrous is given.”

This would suggest that Schopenhauer now intends to satisfy his readers' desire straight-on, to be forthright where he had been circumspect, explicit where he had been equivocal, to provide the bare bones of his abstract theory with tangible, material flesh.

Read now at Duke University Press


Going Beyond Representation: The Ratio of Schopenhauer's Metaphysics of the Will
Kerstin Behnke 

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

Schopenhauer has often been accused of self-contradiction. However, a thinker of his acumen and clarity, who has made it his duty to point out faulty assumptions and conflicting statements in the works of others, and whose habit of self-referencing indicates an unusual degree of intellectual self-consciousness, would not as easily and on as many counts contradict himself as his critics would have it. The contradictions rather seem to lie with the critics, who, like his defenders, have failed to notice how exactly Schopenhauer develops and deploys his key concepts –– representation, appearance, one's own body [Leib], the will, and the thing in itself –– and what the various connections and transitions between them are. The contradictions disappear if we understand the senses in which Schopenhauer has used his philosophical terms and the references and relations that hold between them. Providing such an elucidation, my essay will examine one alleged contradiction at the heart of Schopenhauer's metaphysics, namely how the will can be both the unknowable thing in itself and an object of our cognition, thus a representation, and, therefore, will as it appears and no longer as it is in itself.

Read now at Duke University Press


Schopenhauer's Ontology of Art

Whitney Davis

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

Schopenhauer presented his theory of art and of the individual arts in Book Ill of his magnum opus, first published in 1819, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung (its second edition appeared in 1844). In this overall context we cannot easily separate Schopenhauer's aesthetics from his metaphysics. But readers interested in the power and originality of Schopenhauer's metaphysics –– perhaps they wish to assess its potent attraction for later writers as diverse as Freud and Wittgenstein –– seem to have been embarrassed by Schopenhauer's aesthetics even when they appreciate its role as a keystone in the architecture of his metaphysical system. Most commentators who have focused on it in an exegesis have usually not tried to defend it at the level of analysis. In fact they have often noted its contradictions or incompleteness or even its incoherence.

Read now at Duke University Press


On Max Horkheimer's “Schopenhauer and Society”
Todd Cronan

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

"Humanism," says Julien Benda in La Trahison des Clercs, "has nothing to do with globalism." "It is the impulse," he goes on to say, "of a certain category of men –– laborers, bankers, industrialists –– who unite across frontiers in the name of private and practical interests, and who only oppose the national spirit because it thwarts them in satisfying those interests." Benda's distinction is worth preserving. That a truly humanist philosophy might stand in opposition to globalism and internationalism may seem an unpopular notion, but stands as a powerful antidote to a too easy assimiliation of politics and philosophy. In the following essay, "Schopenhauer and Society," Max Horkheimer raises the distinction between nominalism and humanism into a philosophical antinomy.

Read now at Duke University Press


Schopenhauer and Society
Max Horkheimer

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The concept of middle class society first settled into the sciences in Schopenhauer's time. It has a long prehistory. With the decline of the hierarchical order in the Renaissance, the certainty of a natural arrangement of humanity faded as well, and the form of social relations required justification. But the interest that was philosophically registered in the course of the rising nation-states denied at the same time the specific sphere we call society. In contrast to the great Scholastics, modern philosophy positioned the state directly against the individual. Although Machiavelli presented the social struggles in Florence with admirable vividness, in his theoretical remarks it seems that the republican order or the monarch only bears upon a crowd of individuals; history is not determined so much through the dynamic structure of economically and socially conditioned groupings, than directly through the drives and passions of individuals, both on the part of the government as well as the people. Hobbes thinks similarly to Schopenhauer, who is so clearly related to him. With all his insight into social phenomena and epiphenomena, such as that of ideology, and despite his comparison of the state with an organism, Hobbes understands by all of this primarily individuals who are equipped with power and whose task consists in domination over other individuals.

Read now at Duke University Press


The Secret Adorno
Paul Fleming

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Lyric –– at least in the case of Adorno –– can lead to strange liaisons. When discussing lyric poets, Adorno repeatedly finds himself in bed with the wrong man. While the list of poets demanding his attention notably includes Hölderlin and Heine, Adorno retains his most passionate exegeses of poetic language for the conservative, restorative poets: George is defended against his circle; Eichendorff against the tradition; and Borchardt against the student movement. Particularly striking are the names from twentieth-century German poetry that do not find a prominent place in Adorno's work: Rilke, Brecht, and Hofmannsthal. A study on Celan was, of course, planned but never realized.

The question is then: What is it about conservative poets and restorative lyric that attracts Adorno? That is, where and how does apparently anti-modernist poetry fit into Adorno's otherwise decidedly modernist aesthetics? It seems that to be modern, one must not be modern, at least as a poet. To subsume this tendency, however, under the list of indices demonstrating Adorno's supposed elitism simply misses the mark. Much more is at stake, for only in the realm of lyric poetry does this surprising elective affinity surface.

Read now at Duke University Press


Biological Poetry: Santayana’s Aesthetics
Todd Cronan

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

Santayana the Augustan

In his farewell address to Downing College, Cambridge, a sixty-eight-year-old F. R. Leavis, bade goodbye to his colleagues and students with a wry nod to the philosopher, poet, and novelist George Santayana. Casting the mantle of aesthetics to Santayana and the Santayanans he obliquely remarked, "He doesn't say it’s good, he doesn't say it's bad; he just stands there drunk in the bathwater." The "it" of this sentence is meant to resonate with a sense of stoic generality, "it" is the world at large.

Leavis's image is not as casual (and derisive) as it may seem. The aged philosopher in Rome, standing drunk in his bathwater while the world outside tumbles into decadence is a picture of Santayana as a latter day Dying Seneca (fig. 1). Nearly twenty-five years earlier, Leavis offered the readers of Scrutiny a scathing commentary on the author's "Senecan tragic attitude or philosophy."

Read now at Duke University Press


From Doubt to Dogma: Ontology and Santayana's Skeptical Analysis of Knowledge
Glenn Tiller

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

Introduction

George Santayana is often described as one of the giants of classical American philosophy. This is correct but also misleading. For if ever there was a philosopher who eludes easy classification it is Santayana. It's true that after emigrating from Spain at the age of nine Santayana spent nearly thirty years at Harvard, first as student and then as a professor, and all of his works are written in English. Santayana conceded this was enough to classify him as an American writer. But beyond that his life and thought are entirely cosmopolitan. His greatest philosophical work, the introductory text Scepticism and Animal Faith and the four-volume Realms of Being, were nearly thirty years in the making and composed after he left America in 1912 to reside in Europe. In addition to his magnum opus, the tremendous range of his reflections resulted in works on aesthetics, literary criticism, religion, and political philosophy. His system, which draws on virtually the entire history of Western philosophy and major elements of Indian thought, found expression in poetry, plays, essays, a novel (a best seller), and an autobiography. The power and scope of Santayana's philosophy and his gifts as a writer are extraordinary and not easily summarized.

Read now at Duke University Press


   Book Review

On Tia DeNora’s After Adorno: Rethinking Music Sociology
Brian Kane

A review of DeNora, Tia. After Adorno: Rethinking Music Sociology. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003).

Read now at Duke University Press



Volume 15.1 is available at Duke University Press and JSTOR. Qui Parle is edited by an independent group of graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley and published by Duke University Press.