The Gift of Truth

Gathering the Good

By Stephen David Ross

Subjects: Aesthetics
Paperback : 9780791432686, 265 pages, April 1997
Hardcover : 9780791432679, 265 pages, April 1997

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Table of contents


General Preface to the Project: The Gift of the Good

Introduction: The Good in Truth

1. Soul Wings

2. Bird Flight

3. Bat Ears

4. Brute Truth

5. Mad Will

6. Full Body

7. True Experience

8. Miraculous Authority

9. Moving Truth

10. True Being

11. Woman's Truth

12. Fecund Exposure

13. Abundant Truth




Reexamines the good, tracing the history of the idea of truth as an ethical movement, and interpreting the good as nature's abundance, giving beauty and truth as gifts.


This volume traces the history of the idea of truth as an ethical movement, exploring those developments in Western thought, from Plato and Aristotle through Kant and Hegel, when ethics was separated from science and philosophy. At the heart of the project is a reexamination of the good, found in Plato as that which makes being possible, which gives authority to knowledge and beckons to art, preserved in Levinas as infinite responsibility. The idea of the good is interpreted as nature's abundance, giving beauty and truth as gifts. It gives rise to an ethics of inclusion.

Stephen David Ross is Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature at the State University of New York, Binghamton. He is the author of The Gift of Beauty: The Good as Art, as well as other books published by SUNY Press.


"I like Ross's attempts to demonstrate how a striving for 'the good' is the characteristic striving or desire of 'the' philosophical endeavor from Plato and Aristotle, through Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Kant, and Hegel, to Nietzsche, Heidegger, Levinas, and Irigaray.

"Ross engages thinkers in their own terms, selectively embracing the gifts and achievements proffered by the thinker, and then moving on to rethink and reoffer these gifts as appropriate to his concerns.

"Ross's presentation of an ongoing philosophical analysis on the project of gifts—the gifts of touch, nature, work, place, law, authority, property...of the good—is a rare effort in contemporary philosophy." — Gayle L. Ormiston, Kent State University