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As Wide as the World Is WiseReinventing Philosophical Anthropology$
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Michael Jackson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231178280

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231178280.001.0001

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Matters of Life and Death

Matters of Life and Death

Chapter:
(p.82) 4. Matters of Life and Death
Source:
As Wide as the World Is Wise
Author(s):

Michael Jackson

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231178280.003.0005

Chapter four further explores the indeterminate relationship between being and thought. Can thought ever transcend the limits of a thinker’s particular situation, let alone comprehend the lifeworlds of animals or the nature of the material universe? Is an abstract language possible, or is all language grounded in bodily, material, and social imagery and experience? Theodor Adorno, speaks of the illusion “that the concept can transcend the concept” and “thus reach the nonconceptual.” This remains, he adds, “one of philosophy’s inalienable features and part of the naïveté that ails it.” Arguably, however, this naïveté is also a necessity, for what human being could live without the illusion that thought or language, number or knowledge, can enable him or her to encompass, demystify, and even master, the world itself.

Keywords:   Philosophy, Anthropology, Philosophical anthropology, subjectivity

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