Philosophical Papers is useful for readers interested in the story of twentieth century continental philosophy. The book leads the reader throughout the shifts and turns in the often serpentine development of the philosophical perspectives within continental thought that have now become the legacy of our time.
The author carries on a conversation, which at times congeals into a confrontation, with the principal proponents of the various philosophical persuasions. They include Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Levi-Strauss, Foucault, Ricoeur, Gadamer, Habermas, Derrida, Deleuze, and Lyotard. Insofar as three nineteenth century philosophers—in particular, Marx, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche—figured so decisively in the shaping of twentieth century continental thought, they too become part of the wider story being told.
The concluding essays in the volume display the most recent efforts of the author to come to grips with the consequences of rationality between the universal claims of reason in modernity and the particular, heterogeneous, and local narratives of power and desire in postmodernity. The location of rationality betwixt and between the modern and the postmodern provides a space for a dynamics of transversal rationality oriented toward a convergence without coincidence, both in the life of thought and the life of action.
Calvin O. Schrag is the George Ade Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Purdue University.
"This book gives a coherent picture of a single philosopher's response to the developing currents within the Continental tradition from existentialism to phenomenology and beyond into the current debate on the role of philosophy in postmodern thought."— Eugene Kaelin
"This is a collection of sixteen papers written between 1958 and 1990, through the development of Continental philosophy in this country, written by someone who has been present throughout. The papers are beautifully written and elegantly conceived. They also present a developmental perspective on the Continental movement with a considerable degree of continuity."—Stephen David Ross