Epilogue “Metaphors we live by …”

in Socrates and the Jews

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780226472478
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226472492 | DOI:
Epilogue “Metaphors we live by …”

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The antithesis between Athens and Jerusalem appears to persist even in the age of postmodernity. This is evident in Jacques Derrida's decision to write his 1967 essay “Violence and Metaphysics,” almost exactly a century after Matthew Arnold's Culture and Anarchy, with a quotation from Arnold himself about Hellenism and Hebraism. In “Violence and Metaphysics,” Derrida uses a contrast between Emmanuel Lévinas's ethics of Judaism and Martin Heidegger's Hellenic metaphysics to show how a conflict between Greeks and Jews had been pivotal to the very definition of philosophy. That the Enlightenment formulation of the Greek/Jew antithesis remained a major preoccupation of post-Enlightenment philosophy may be attributed in part to the strong hold of Christianity on European intellectuals. Another factor is the ongoing debates surrounding the “Jewish question.”

Keywords: Jacques Derrida; Hellenism; Hebraism; Emmanuel Lévinas; Judaism; Martin Heidegger; metaphysics; Greeks; Jews; Enlightenment

Chapter.  3000 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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