Chapter

Genealogy, History, and the Work Of Fiction

Jason K. Winfree

in Styles of Piety

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225002
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237081 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823225002.003.0008

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Genealogy, History, and the Work Of               Fiction

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Modern philosophy is increasingly concerned with the so-called genealogy of philosophical thought. This phenomenon begs the question of the genealogy of philosophy's genealogy. The book contends that such an undertaking can clarify not only the origins of specific discontinuities within the development of philosophical thought, but can actually bring about a new understanding of precisely those issues that constitute the “fracturing” of modern philosophy, i.e., its break with classical ideas and assumptions, and the creation of multiple avenues of thought. As such, this kind of genealogy not only clarifies the past, but also the present. The first third of the chapter focuses on how Kant explained the Enlightenment and its message regarding the place of morality and purpose in relation to history and philosophic development, and claims that the history “fractures”. The remaining third uses Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian to deconstruct Kant and posit the correctness of Nietzschean nihilism.

Keywords: Kant; philosophy; genealogy of philosophy; Enlightenment; telos; history; morality; Cormac McCarthy; Blood Meridian; nihilism

Chapter.  13995 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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