The William Desmond Reader

By William Desmond
Edited by Christopher Ben Simpson
Introduction by Christopher Ben Simpson
Foreword by John D. Caputo

Subjects: Continental Philosophy, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Philosophy Of Religion
Paperback : 9781438442921, 275 pages, September 2012
Hardcover : 9781438442914, 275 pages, September 2012

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Table of contents

Foreword by John Caputo
List of William Desmond’s Works
Part I. Metaphysics and Philosophy

The Fourfold Way
The Truth of Metaphysics
What Is Metaphysical Thinking?
Metaphysics and Dialectic
The Metaxological
The Idiocy of Being
Agapeic Mind
Part II. Ethics and Ethos
Autonomy and Freedom
The Potencies of the Ethical
Metaxological Ethics
Part III. Religion and the Philosophy of God

Agapeic Origin
Breaking the Silence
Beyond Godlessness
Hegel’s Counterfeit Double
God and the Metaxological Way
God and Hyperbole
God beyond the Whole
God Being Over-Being: A Metaphysical Canto
Part IV. Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

Being Aesthetic
Being at a Loss: On Philosophy and the Tragic
Art and Transcendence
Part V. Retrospections and Reflections

Wording the Between
“Two Thinks at a Distance”: An Interview with William Desmond by Richard Kearney on 9 January 2011

Career-spanning selections from the writings of William Desmond.


Known especially for his original system of metaphysics in a trilogy of books published between 1995 and 2008, and for his scholarship on Hegel, William Desmond has left his mark on the philosophy of religion, ethics, and aesthetics. The William Desmond Reader provides for the first time in a single book a point of entry into his original and constructive philosophy, including carefully chosen selections of his works that introduce the key ideas, perspectives, and contributions of his philosophy as a whole. Also featured is an original essay by Desmond himself reflecting synthetically on the topics covered, as well as an interview by Richard Kearney.

Christopher Ben Simpson is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Lincoln Christian University. He is the author of Religion, Metaphysics, and the Postmodern: William Desmond and John D. Caputo and The Truth is the Way: Kierkegaard's Theologia Viatorum.


"...Simpson keeps a finessed editorial (di)stance, with which he lets the other speak for himself; such deference suggests Simpson's knowledge that the compilation of the excerpts are never exhaustible of the philosopher. This book, therefore, is an excellent introductory reader for those who have never read the works of Desmond, while those who are familiar with his writings should also find it to be an excellent addition to their intellectual repertoire." — Bibliographia

"The William Desmond Reader is a welcome resource for those who are not yet acquainted with his work, as well as for those already familiar with it … [an] excellent volume." — Ethical Perspectives

"The contributions in this book are of a high quality and definitely to be recommended to the veteran and novel scholar of Desmond's philosophy." — Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger