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2619"dialectic" and dialogue (was: Conference)

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  • Robert Wallace
    Aug 1 12:59 PM
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      Dear Thomas,

      Yeah, I too have major problems with Fichte. Hegel addresses these
      problems with his accounts of true infinity, the relation of Spirit
      to Nature, and the I that is We, and We that is I.

      As to "the real interactive elenchic interaction between two actual
      interacting persons in dialogue": Plato is obviously a literary
      artist, and Hegel is not. But Plato's depiction of dialectic is
      ultimately just as abstract as Hegel's seems to be. Cf. the
      Parmenides, etc. (Not to mention successors like Plotinus and
      Proclus.) Hegel's dialectic seems to me to illuminate innumerable
      "real interactions" in which I take part. That was, I think, a major
      part of its purpose.

      If on the other hand you want to go back literally to _Socrates_, who
      didn't write anything.... Well, I can't argue with someone I haven't
      met and who left nothing behind him for me to read. ;-)

      It seems to me that Kierkegaard, Dewey, Habermas and Levinas all
      hypostatize something ("subjectivity," the "actual person,"
      "communicative interaction," the "face") that deserves to be
      questioned. Is there such a thing in reality? What is "reality"? What
      is "actuality"? That's where Plato and Hegel are more helpful.

      As for Habermas's unilateral theorizing--this has a good deal to do (I
      think) with his failure to recognize that Plato (in the Symposium) and
      Hegel had said a lot about the relation between normativity and
      "communication," which it might behoove him (Habermas) to respond to.
      But Habermas reads Hegel as though he were Schelling ("philosophy of
      identity"), and doesn't seem to read Plato at all.

      Best, Bob

      On Jul 30, 2009, at 11:16 AM, Thomas Mether wrote:

      > Hmmm, I've been reading Fichte lately. Maybe I have a Fichte
      > infection when he has the ego posit the nonego which raises ethical
      > questions for me. But I would still wonder if -- and I'm sort of
      > taking a Deweyan-Kierkegaardian-Habermasian-Levinasian perspective
      > here -- the dialog and dialectic in Hegel is not the real
      > interactive elenchic dialectic between two actual interacting
      > persons in dialogue that you find with Socrates.
      > [I agree with Habermas until he unilaterally comes up with a
      > normative account of communicative action -- was it developed via
      > communicative action? Dewey, Kierkegaard and Levinas appear better
      > tuned in to the fact that what is communication and discourse is
      > itself soemthing not predefined but worked out and negotiated in
      > process.]

      Robert Wallace
      website: www.robertmwallace.com (Philosophical Mysticism; The God of
      email: bob@...
      phone: 414-617-3914

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