Sunday, September 22, 2019

The examined life …

… Left for Dead: On the Philosophical Life and Vocation of Walter Kaufmann - Los Angeles Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… as Kaufmann writes, honest appraisals of faith and morals often lead to hurt feelings and even war, “most people speak dishonestly of the most important subjects.” And worse, in a state of presumption or resignation, “[m]any recent philosophers prefer not to speak of them at all.” For Kaufmann, this was a pervasive, lamentable, and distressing silence that needed to be broken. How could reticence about religion and theology lead to anything more than ignorance of religious and theological traditions? How could confused interpretations of the Old and New Testament lead to anything more than dismissive, muddled, or overzealous treatments of formative cultures and institutions? And what good is philosophy, if its timeless pursuits are increasingly obscured by petty domestic infighting between the annoyingly abstruse (Continental) and the presumptuously ascetic (Analytic)?
I read a good bit of Kaufmann in my college days. He always impressed me.

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