New Book: The Remains of Being


Interesting new book by Santiago Zabala coming out – The Remains of Being: Hermeneutic Ontology After Metaphysics – might be related to our discussion of Braver’s book (and general public), here’s a Columbia blurb:

In Basic Concepts, Heidegger claims that “Being is the most worn-out” and yet also that Being “remains constantly available.” Santiago Zabala radicalizes the consequences of these little known but significant affirmations. Revisiting the work of Jacques Derrida, Reiner Schürmann, Jean-Luc Nancy, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Ernst Tugendhat, and Gianni Vattimo, he finds these remains of Being within which ontological thought can still operate.

Being is an event, Zabala argues, a kind of generosity and gift that generates astonishment in those who experience it. This sense of wonder has fueled questions of meaning for centuries-from Plato to the present day. Postmetaphysical accounts of Being, as exemplified by the thinkers of Zabala’s analysis, as well as by Nietzsche, Dewey, and others he encounters, don’t abandon Being. Rather, they reject rigid, determined modes of essentialist thought in favor of more fluid, malleable, and adaptable conceptions, redefining the pursuit and meaning of philosophy itself.

Here’s also an interview with Zabala that looks interesting.

Random Quote: On Philosophical Cacography.


Taking a break from reading by reading something else – Nancy’s small book on Kant, The Discourse of the Syncope:

The misfortune of a dreaful style in writing has befallen more than one philosopher – perhaps all of them. It’s a well-known fact, so well known that when the opportunity presents itself, it is truer to deem that it is not an accident, but rather an infirmity that is cosubstantial with and congenital to the exercise of philosophy. However, this can be understood in two ways: first, that this exercise condemns one to this infirmity; or, second, that this infirmity dooms one to this exercise. (However one chooses to look at it in the end, it is certainly about infirmity that one has to speak here, just as Kant did.) There is no lack, incidentally, of explanations and even excuses for this infirmity withing and outside the body of the profession. The depth, the elevation, the complexity, or the gravity of philosophical thought tolerates if not demands some amount of dense writing. Indeed, it is not a little strange that this is the case up to a point where such a density not only spoils the charms of discourse but also perturbs its pure and simple legibility. The philosopher writes badly, and sometimes he or she does nothing but scribble.

At least that’s the folklore of philosophical cacography. [17]