Pragmatism, Critique, Judgment

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2004-09-01
  • Publisher: Mit Pr
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The work of Richard J. Bernstein has achieved a groundbreaking synthesis of the analytical and continental modes of thought. Countering the highly technical metaphysical and epistemological puzzles of analytic philosophy in the early 1960s, Bernstein offered a model of philosophy in a democratic society as the work of the engaged public intellectual. Working within the tradition of American pragmatism, he also changed that tradition by opening it to the international intellectual currents of phenomenology, deconstructionism, and critical theory. These essays by leading philosophers and social thinkers pay tribute to Bernstein and reflect the themes that have engaged him throughout his career. Pragmatism, Critique, Judgmentopens with a group of essays that examine the place of philosophy in a democratic society; included in this section are Richard Rorty's exploration of the legacy of American pragmatism and Juuml;rgen Habermas's reconsideration of ethics in philosophy. The essays in the second section examine postpositivist social critique and include Jacques Derrida's consideration of the philosophical paradoxes of the death penalty. The third group of essays considers the theme of radical evil, and includes discussions of Bernstein's nuanced reading of Hannah Arendt. The book ends with a biographical essay based in part on a series of conversations with Bernstein himself.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. v
Introductionp. vii
Philosophy's Scope and Limits
Philosophy as a Transitional Genrep. 3
The Moral and the Ethical: A Reconsideration of the Issue of the Priority of the Right over the Goodp. 29
"... Ergo sum" -- Between Poetry and Philosophyp. 45
What Is Pragmatism?p. 73
Hegel's Aphorisms about "The True"p. 93
Reconstructing Social Critique
Insitutionalizing Democratic Justice: Redistribution, Recognition, and Participationp. 125
Political Philosophy and Racial Injustice: From Normative to Critical Theoryp. 149
Kantian Questions, Arendtian Answers: Statelessness, Cosmopolitanism, and the Right to Have Rightsp. 171
Capital Punishment: Another "Temptation of Theodicy"p. 197
Memory, Judgment, Evil
Memory Traces, Archive, Historical Truth, and the Return of the Repressed: On the Rediscovery of Freud's Mosesp. 225
Omnipotence and Radical Evil: On a Possible Rapprochement between Hannah Arendt and Psychoanalysisp. 243
Reflecting on Judgment: Common Sense and a Common Worldp. 261
Semprun and the Experience of Radical Evilp. 295
The Seventh Demon: Reflections on Absolute Evil and the Holocaustp. 307
Life and Work
A Philosopher from New Yorkp. 329
Worksp. 353
Contributorsp. 363
Indexp. 367
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