Philosophical Temperaments
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Philosophical Temperaments

From Plato to Foucault

Peter Sloterdijk, Thomas Dunlap

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eBook - ePub

Philosophical Temperaments

From Plato to Foucault

Peter Sloterdijk, Thomas Dunlap

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About This Book

Peter Sloterdijk turns his keen eye to the history of western thought, conducting colorful readings of the lives and ideas of the world's most influential intellectuals. Featuring nineteen vignettes rich in personal characterizations and theoretical analysis, Sloterdijk's companionable volume casts the development of philosophical thinking not as a buildup of compelling books and arguments but as a lifelong, intimate struggle with intellectual and spiritual movements, filled with as many pitfalls and derailments as transcendent breakthroughs.

Sloterdijk delves into the work and times of Aristotle, Augustine, Bruno, Descartes, Foucault, Fichte, Hegel, Husserl, Kant, Kierkegaard, Leibniz, Marx, Nietzsche, Pascal, Plato, Sartre, Schelling, Schopenhauer, and Wittgenstein. He provocatively juxtaposes Plato against shamanism and Marx against Gnosticism, revealing both the vital external influences shaping these intellectuals' thought and the excitement and wonder generated by the application of their thinking in the real world. The philosophical "temperament" as conceived by Sloterdijk represents the uniquely creative encounter between the mind and a diverse array of cultures. It marks these philosophers' singular achievements and the special dynamic at play in philosophy as a whole. Creston Davis's introduction details Sloterdijk's own temperament, surveying the celebrated thinker's intellectual context, rhetorical style, and philosophical persona.

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INDEX
Page numbers refer to the print edition but are hyperlinked to the appropriate location in the e-book.
absolute object, modern efforts to remove as concept, 96
abyss, internal: centrality to Sloterdijk’s philosophical project, xiv–xv; as inescapable, 12–13; modern discovery of, 12–13; philosophers’ reactions to, 92–93; Sartre and, 93
Adorno, Theodor, critique of European metaphysics in, 102n2
adult status: in modern culture, 79; redefining of in Plato, 7–10
aesthetic of the everyday, 96
aesthetic Weltanschauung of Nietzsche, 77–78
Alexander the Great, Aristotle and, xiii, 15–16
alienated subjectivity: bourgeois materialism and, 48; Fichte as founder of, 47, 48–49, 50–51; Marx and, 75
Anglo-American philosophy, Wittgenstein and, 89
anthropology, Kant and, 43–44
Arab world, Plato’s influence on, 2
archeology of Foucault, 99
Aristotle: and Alexander the Great, xiii, 15–16; and bíos theoretikós (theoretical life), 15; and community of scholars, 16–17; as man of the mean, 17; rejection of, in early modern thought, 15; as root of European university system, 14–15; and scholarship vs. wisdom, 16
art, Schelling as theoretician of, 61
Asian wisdom traditions, Schopenhauer and, 65
Athenian Academy, 2
Augustine, 18–23; continuing influence of, 23; as darker reinterpretation of Plato, 19–20, 21; on grace, 20; on human nature, 20–22; influence on philosophers conception of human nature, 22; as most clearly visible person of antiquity, 18–19; nature of truth in, 22; original sin in, 20–21; Pascal and, 33–34; self-trial and confession of, 18–19, 22; soul’s irreparable separation from Good in, 19–22
author as authority figure, written culture and, 11
autonomous life, modern money culture and, 76
Bacon, Francis: and birth of modernity, 25–26, 27; on knowledge as power, viii
Bataille, Georges, 97
bíos theoretikós (theoretical life), Aristotle and, 15
birth, symbolic, in tribal cultures, 7
Blanchot, Maurice, 97
Blasen [Bubbles] (Sloterdijk), x, xi
Bonaparte, Napoleon, 47, 55–56
boundaries, in Kant, 44
bourgeois age, modernity as, 41
bourgeois cult of genius, 88
bourgeois materialism, Fichte on, 47–48
bourgeois philosophy, Kant and, 41–44
Bruno, Giordano, 24–26; and Christian scholasticism, emergence from, 24; cooptation of by later philosophers, 24–25; and poetic prose in philosophy, 11; as universalist, 37
Bubbles [Blasen] (Sloterdijk), x, xi
Cardano, Girolamo, 37
certainty: groundless instability underlying, 82–83; necessity of, 82
chaos theory: Schopenhauer and, 64–65; and uprooting of Platonism, 3
Christianity: basis in Platonic idealism, xi, 2; as catastrophe for philosophy, 20–21; and dominance of interpreters over text, 71–72; Kant and, 41–42, 43; theology, Hellenization of, 2, 19
Christian-Platonic philosophy: Foucault’s replacement of, 96–100; Hegel and, 52, 67; Heidegger and, 96; Marx and, 75; modernists’ efforts to replace, 95–96; Nietzsche and, 3, 33–34, 80–81, 96, 97; reason as foundation of, xiii–xiv, 7–8; Schopenhauer and, 64–65
Christian scholasticism, emergence from: Bruno and, 24; Descartes and, 27–29
classicism, Reformation self-reading and, 42
Clavel, Maurice, 99–100
common mind, philosophers’ alienation from, 48
communicative action theory, 96
Confessiones (Augustine), 18
consciousness: as basis of material phenomena, 82; history of, Schelling on, 60–61
constitutional state, as end of history in Hegel, 55
contemplation and science, interlacing of, in philosophical thought, 31
continental philosophy, Wittgenstein and, 89
Critique of Cynical Reason (Sloterdijk), x
cynicism, types of in Sloterdijk, x
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Table of contents