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Socrates’s Assault on the Ivory Tower

Socrates’s Assault on the Ivory Tower Joseph P. LawrenceSocrates Among Strangers. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2015, xv + 214.In his poem “Frühling der Seele,” Georg Trakl writes of a humanity whose own discordant and incongruous yearnings burden it with the severest of bequests. There Trakl writes: “the soul is a stranger upon the earth.”1 With this enigmatic utterance Trakl gives voice to a truth that is less a pronouncement about some final human identity than it is a call or summons to rethink the very project of what it means to be human. It is in our strangeness, Trakl seems to say, that we begin our circuitous journey upon the earth. Strangeness in this sense should not be understood as a momentary reaction to an unsettling or disaffecting condition that suddenly comes upon us; rather, it comes to us as an irremediable endowment that marks our every venture in factical life. It is precisely this element of strangeness that, as Martin Heidegger has put it, “shows the soul the path of its essential being.”2 What this strangeness denotes, and how such strangeness comes to shape the very standing of the human being in the world, constitutes one of the oldest questions that besets philosophical thinking. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Research in Phenomenology Brill

Socrates’s Assault on the Ivory Tower

Research in Phenomenology , Volume 47 (3): 9 – Sep 6, 2017

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0085-5553
eISSN
1569-1640
DOI
10.1163/15691640-12341380
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Joseph P. LawrenceSocrates Among Strangers. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2015, xv + 214.In his poem “Frühling der Seele,” Georg Trakl writes of a humanity whose own discordant and incongruous yearnings burden it with the severest of bequests. There Trakl writes: “the soul is a stranger upon the earth.”1 With this enigmatic utterance Trakl gives voice to a truth that is less a pronouncement about some final human identity than it is a call or summons to rethink the very project of what it means to be human. It is in our strangeness, Trakl seems to say, that we begin our circuitous journey upon the earth. Strangeness in this sense should not be understood as a momentary reaction to an unsettling or disaffecting condition that suddenly comes upon us; rather, it comes to us as an irremediable endowment that marks our every venture in factical life. It is precisely this element of strangeness that, as Martin Heidegger has put it, “shows the soul the path of its essential being.”2 What this strangeness denotes, and how such strangeness comes to shape the very standing of the human being in the world, constitutes one of the oldest questions that besets philosophical thinking.

Journal

Research in PhenomenologyBrill

Published: Sep 6, 2017

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