Philosophical Temperaments: From Plato to Foucault by Peter Sloterdijk

By Peter Sloterdijk

Peter Sloterdijk turns his prepared eye to the background of western notion, carrying out colourful readings of the lives and ideas of the world's so much influential intellectuals. that includes nineteen vignettes wealthy in own characterizations and theoretical research, Sloterdijk's companionable quantity casts the improvement of philosophical considering no longer as a buildup of compelling books and arguments yet as a lifelong, intimate fight with highbrow and religious events, choked with as many pitfalls and derailments as transcendent breakthroughs.

Sloterdijk delves into the paintings and occasions 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 opposed to shamanism and Marx opposed to Gnosticism, revealing either the important exterior affects shaping those intellectuals' notion and the buzz and sweetness generated by means of the applying in their pondering within the actual international. The philosophical "temperament" as conceived by way of Sloterdijk represents the uniquely artistic come upon among the brain and a various array of cultures. It marks those philosophers' singular achievements and the distinct dynamic at play in philosophy as a complete. Creston Davis's advent information Sloterdijk's personal temperament, surveying the prestigious thinker's highbrow context, rhetorical variety, and philosophical persona.

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Extra info for Philosophical Temperaments: From Plato to Foucault

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To the extent that it is based on a lack of better understanding, it is largely due to the fact that Latin has been a dead language among Europe’s educated elite since the nineteenth century, as a result of which Bruno’s critical texts, written in Latin, were long buried as though in a tomb. Anyone who wants to expose himself to the power and greatness of Bruno’s thinking in its most impressive manifestations must first endeavor to liberate the “magician” Bruno, the memory artist, the materiosoph, the image-ontologist, and the teacher of nimble transformation from his Latin crypt so as to ponder his ideas in the light of modern languages.

In the process he draws out into the light that it is not only truth that dwells within the human being, but also the reason for despair, narcissistic wickedness, ungodly corruption, and the trace of Satanic separatism. What Augustine accomplished here was no less than the fundamental inquisition against human self-love, which would become a constant in the history of Western mentality: we find it still in Fichte’s verdict against the finite “I” enthralled with itself, in Schelling’s analysis of selfishly misused human freedom, in Dostoevsky’s definition of man as “a being that goes on two legs and is ungrateful,” in Sigmund Freud’s later theorems of human autoeroticism, in Jacques Derrida’s critique of the word that hears itself talking, and in the neoconservative lamentations about mass individualism—all are part of the history of the antinarcissistic inquisition launched by Augustine and the Catholic Fathers.

It was the task of the early modern development of science and knowledge to guide these “Faustian” impulses—whose wild forms ended up, typical of the modern age, in charlatanism—onto institutional pathways. It is no coincidence that one of the principal concerns of Leibniz as an organizer of science was to direct the progress of knowledge onto suprapersonal tracks by setting up academies. Where there had been magic, there were now to be polytechnics. Although the civilizing of universalism by placing it on an academic footing eventually necessitated a division into subjects and specialization, in Leibniz himself the power of the older, magical encyclopedism continued to operate, discretely but unbroken.

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