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The Intimate UniversalThe Hidden Porosity Among Religion, Art, Philosophy, and Politics$
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William Desmond

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231178761

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231178761.001.0001

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For and Against the Universal—Doing Justice

For and Against the Universal—Doing Justice

(p.1) Introduction For and Against the Universal—Doing Justice
The Intimate Universal

William Desmond

Columbia University Press

THE QUESTION OF THE UNIVERSAL SO CONSTANTLY RECURS throughout the philosophical tradition that one might be tempted to think of it as being a perplexity, more or less universal. The quest of the universal is also deeply intimate to that long tradition, though that intimacy is not often, if at all, made a theme for reflection. Why are the intimate quest and the universal question not held together? Can we wed the intimacy of the quest with the universality of the question? Can we speak of the intimate universal? What is this intimate universal? Why speak of it at all? How can we speak of the intimate universal? Does this universal withdraw from our grasp with a transcendence of which we are not the measure? Does it elude us in an intimacy verging on the inarticulate? Or is the intimate the space wherein the universal comes to articulation? Do we need a plurality of lines of approach to do justice to its significance? The different explorations of this work will suggest how we might respond to such questions, and do so diversely. Can we, how can we, do justice to the intimate universal? This will be our concern....

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