Metaphysics in Ordinary Language (Carthage Reprints)
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Rosen addresses a wide range of topics - from eros, poetry, and freedom to problems like negation and the epistemological status of sense perception. Though diverse in subject, Rosen's essays share two unifying principles: there can be no legitimate separation of textual hermeneutics from philosophical analysis, and philosophical investigation must be oriented in terms of everyday language and experience, although it cannot simply remain within these confines. Ordinary experience provides a minimal criterion for the assessment of extraordinary discourses, Rosen argues, and without such a criterion we would have no basis for evaluating conflicting discourses: philosophy would give way to poetry.
Philosophical problems are not so deeply embedded in a specific historical context that they cannot be restated in terms as valid for us today as they were for those who formulated them, Rosen maintains. He shows that the history of philosophy - a story of conflicting interpretations of human life and the structure of intelligibility - is a story that comes to life only when it is rethought in terms of the philosophical problems of our own personal and historical situation.
fanciful Being of art, and a fortiori of postphilosophy, has been sundered from the voice of science, and so of philology, with the net result that sobriety stands forth as ridiculous in the light of the patent richness of the texts of the masters. What we require is not antiPlatonism, and certainly not the Platonism of the philological
doctrine of what might be called the ontology of human being. Eros perplexes us because it manifests itself with violence as well as subtlety, and the violence is likely to overwhelm and thus to coarsen the subtlety. I want to add at once that the expression “ontology of human being” is an expression of convenience and should not be taken too seriously. As the Page 40
we express our articulation of experience plays a role in the judging of the perception. And what linguists call natural languages are in fact historical or artificial. This is, so to speak, the window in Socrates' account of perception through which philosophers of language are able to gain entrance. I will restate this point with an eye to the relation between Plato and Kant, who is the grandfather of the philosophy of language. On the one hand, the remembered
to make the process of discursive judgment coextensive with that of perception as agitation. The Socratic model or simile seems to be very similar itself to the Kantian model, according to which discursive rules or categories not only participate, but take the leading role, in the process of constituting objects, which act of constitution makes perception coextensive with, and inseparable from, a judgment.
which lying is reserved for cowardly and incompetent mortals, whereas the Olympian gods regularly lie and deceive (85). The situation changes fundamentally in the Odyssey: “The divine world of the Iliad in contrast inclines more to the human domain of the Odyssey” (95). Honesty, openness, absence of guile: these attributes of Achilles are not exemplified by Odysseus, who lies and deceives in common with beggars, merchants, and the lower orders, but who is no longer condemned for this