Interpretation

A JOURNAL
Fall 1998

J.

OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
Number 1

Volume 26

3
21

Cameron Wybrow
Robert D. Sacks

The Significance The Book

of

the

City

in Genesis 1-11

of

Job: Translation

and

Commentary

on

Chapters 39-42 65
Andrew Reece

Drama, Narrative,
Charmides

and

Socratic Eros in Plato's

77

Mark Kremer

Liberty

and

Revolution in Burke's Letter to the

Sheriffs of Bristol

99

Steven

Berg

Interpreting
to

the Twofold Presentation of the

Will

Power Doctrine in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke

Zarathustra

Review Essays

121

Frank Schalow Bruce W. Ballard

Heidegger,

the

Polity,

and

National Socialism

137

Whose Pluralism?

Interpretation
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Interpretation
Fall 1998
-1-

Volume 26

Number 1

Cameron Wybrow
Robert D. Sacks

The Significance The Book
of

of

the

City

in Genesis 1-11
and

3
on

Job: Translation

Commentary

Chapters 39-42
Andrew Reece

21

Drama, Narrative,
Charmides

and

Socratic Eros in Plato's 65

Mark Kremer

Liberty

and

Revolution in Burke's Letter to the 77

Sheriffs of Bristol Steven

Berg

Interpreting
Zarathustra

the Twofold Presentation of the Will

to Power Doctrine in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke

99

Review Essays

Frank Schalow Bruce W. Ballard

Heidegger,

the

Polity,

and

National Socialism

121
137

Whose Pluralism?

Copyright 1998

-

interpretation

ISSN 0020-9635

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where it is stated that Nimrod ruled over (and possibly built) cities. Why this? One finds in the traditional commentaries a number of overlapping themes. in Genesis 10. from the to be political-theological perspective of the Biblical Finally. failing to note that in each instance there are redeeming features.The Significance of the City in Genesis 1-11 Cameron Wybrow McMaster Divinity College where The city is mentioned in three episodes in Genesis 1-11: in Genesis 4. second or at least reasonable those characters. antitechnical. Finally. the city is associated with the complexity and sophistication of a of which are number of necessary for survival and many of which are possibly morally dangerous. man. was was often sur prisingly antiurban. not paying enough attention to the different contexts in these characters appear. Vol. Nimrod. It improperly fuses the characters and accomplish life ments of Cain. the city and tower with its top in the heavens. in which the unified human race attempts to build Babel. or even defy. Fall 1998. with superfluous and which arts. in its urge to theory moralize about the lives and motives of the early city-builders. for the actions of is that the failure to read the text carefully does damage to the one major point on which the traditional interpreters I will seem to be correct: the unacceptability of the Babel project. The thing I wish to argue excuses. it makes funda mental interpretive errors. and in Genesis 1 1. the Babel-builders. 1 . the city is connected with land ownership. the the In this paper I wish to make three arguments. associated with and antipolitical. Second. Jewish and Christian. although intent. as argue. The first is that much of traditional pious exegesis of Genesis 1-11 fails in its very reasonable task elaboration of a moral or political of urban because. 26. the Lord God. of the effort they are making is indeed narrator. and thus opposed to an allegedly purer form of life. it is said that Cain (or possibly his son Enoch) built the first city. that of the nomadic Third. I is wish not to argue that. herds Nimrod. the city is associated with improper aspirations toward human greatness or even human divinization. few the pride or hubris desires to compete with. as a per Nimrod's kingdom of cities understood as a tyranny but fectly when reasonable attempt to establish a political ordering law. those who are supposed to be First. Traditional exegesis of these stories. in light the Babel project. interpretation. the Babel-builders are not evil in condemned For. has not yet made among inroads into the human men at a time heart. and the which Babel-builders. and it prejudges the motives of the characters in all three cases. No. the city is impious in their intentions: Cain. divine or conventional.

the an which founding of the city. between them properly distinguished in the text tendencies of establish some general but merely trying to which I can set my against interpretation. different are all trying to blur the differences and notes). is not said to have been born after Adam's (hence conclude that he is actually the offspring of death Sammael. if the quality is acceptable. I the inadequacy handling with of the political themes interpreters' traditional remarks the fine details of comparing the the Biblical text. Abravanel's reveal some representative tendencies. Cain cannot be expected to God's) image. in which those city-builders later in Genesis 1-11 get a (especially Nimrod and the Babel-builders) will find it hard to fair hearing. that is. and establishes among interpreters recorded antiurban.3 or. THE CRITIQUE OF THE CITY IN TRADITIONAL EXEGESIS The traditional commentaries on Genesis are only enough to Genesis Rabbah. antipolitical atmosphere. . Augustine's these City of God. of the Next. Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. he offers (according to some of the rabbis) the samples of inferior his produce. Cain. 1. This is why he becomes a murderer and Abel. have all been impugned. Out of antiurban. Noting that unlike his Genesis 5 counterpart Seth. according to some of the rabbis. fices to the most Thus. A. When he sacri Lord (Gen. a and Calvin's Commentary on the Pen Commentary on Genesis.3-5). anti- I have constructed kind I of composite account of the technical. Cain. and I have consulted Specifically. With this rather unauspicious head start in life. Nimrod and the will Babel-builders in show some representative premodern commentaries. legion. his religious performance is faulty. often little basis in the text. First. This negative portrayal of Cain colors the event with he is associated. the refuse. the first city.2 kills the son truly in God's image. has had abuse upon by scores of Jewish and interpreters for at least two millennia. I have used tateuch. I will propose my own tentative account of the Bible's moral-political evaluation of the city. antipolitical tendencies of commentaries am not the Jewish and Christian traditions. Fi by nally. they Eve and the angel of produce much good.1 His motives and his spiritual and the spiritual character of with his descendants. Cain's very birth is suspect. 4. heaped who is traditionally him credited with founding Christian character. Traditional One Hostility with Toward Cain and His Line must begin Cain. In fus ing (they own. I will present the political themes which can gleaned from the discussion of Cain.4 I Interpretation will proceed in the be following manner.

another choice. Cain's tion: p. to will return later. Augustine. however. dience for Rabbah see a Contrasting sufficiency and obe Abravanel and the Genesis and life of on one hand Rabbi Eliezer. Moses. and Uzziah lusted after the ground. One became a murderer. (without etymological argument) to of mean sexual "rebellion" (Genesis Rabbah. Jacob. career. Calvin Cain's choice of occupation as a tiller of the grants that this occupation can be laudable and holy. God intended with us. Rabbi Eliezer of allows The Genesis Rabbah.2). vol. Augustine. and do not hesitate to invent facts in order to condemn them. Calvin on the other. Augustine sees the city which Cain builds as an allegory of the City of Man. 29). XV. Cain practised a purely external religion and did not really serve God in his heart. and David. Augustine takes great pleasure in repeat About Cain's edly noting that the line murderers. and them. p. p. absent from the Biblical text. 1. that human society which seeks only earthly felicity and denies our supernatural end (City of God. 21). declares that Cain's other activities (unmentioned in the Biblical text) must have been evil. 17. Noah. Augustine says nothing negative. Abravanel sheds light on the rabbinic hostility Cain's farming simpler. 8. (City of God. vol. The names of Irad.4 The traditional do not commentators are a condemn little lighter on Cain in one respect: they and ground unanimously (4. and Cain Lamech Metusael. Those interpreters. his son Enoch) which would live forever (Genesis Rabbah. This activ fundamental difference allows room which for a more positive view of Cain's ities and intentions. life into a sophisticated. 255). 2. technical to run away which occupation represents the perennial nonluxurious human ten dency from the simple. Cain's leper" occupa no good came of a (Genesis to Rabbah. but with his hy pocrisy. that with which originated the earthly city began and ended with is. p. another a drunkard. some rabbis say that he. 256).5 Cain's desire to settle down more of a shepherd. such as Augustine and Calvin. who only a are not nature of vin willing to supplement the Genesis story quite so blatantly regarding the Cain's offerings. like other hoped to have immortality through a (presumably. his city and people. 8.5. who were themselves shep herds: Abraham. Cal declares that there was nothing wrong with Cain's grain. 5." therefore became a tiller of the "natural" whereas Abel was satisfied with the Abel. was the proto type of all the great prophets and leaders of Israel. says Abravanel. ruthless The commentators are regarding Cain's descendants. 1. Isaac. are supplied by the . 21). explaining that "Cain also chose to engage in artful things and ground.The he gives City in Genesis 5 paltry amount after finishing most of it off himself (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. says bluntly "Cain. p. The details Lamech's mistreatment of his wives. finding nothing wrong with Cain's sacrifice. XV. supplement it equally regarding Cain's motives. 1. that it in fact can be interpreted as commanded by God in Genesis 1 and and 2 (Calvin. 153). Mehujael. 192). "wicked" "house" building of a city. we fundamental difference I over the worth of settled agricultural life. and Lamech are all said vol.

In Calvin these "sons of are Augustine virtually and Calvin the Cainite self-conscious that they are the Church (Calvin. 237-40). went about stark naked. Cain's generation were sinners and rebels who thought p.). like beasts.22. They eyes. the latter who lived more virtuously. with human law making. Such is the picture which traditional exegesis of Genesis 4 tends to yield. God" at least more carnal in their interests. 2. superfluous sin. Calvin. duced Seth's line into waywardness. Tubal-Cain is mentioned as noted rabbis for his forging of of weapons (which are not provid specifically the metal implements crime Genesis 4. violence and In a more analytical vein. pp. did not yet exist). 160). however. his female descendants seduced the only godly people into his line have few if any redeeming features. In sum. the he founded. Abravanel argues that the were destruction which prevailed which before the Flood directly linked to the p. acquisitiveness Cain bequeathed to his descendants (Abravanel. far as we can tell from Genesis 4. Traditional Hostility Toward Nimrod accounts. his taking up an act of city is vainglory of vio defiance of God. thus more ing a way for his ancestor Cain's sister to be perpetrated efficiently (ibid. and because of this. his founding or even of and/or of a insincere. if not being the "sons of God" completely evil. the op for him the arts are goods. Calvin notes the wickedness of the atmosphere in which the arts arise. Like the rabbis. and all its connections (with the arts.). the former being. XV. flagrantly about violated the naked with rules concerning incest (p. view. and 159). In who se women are the "daughters men" justified both pp. Nimrod fares only slightly better than Cain in traditional "beginning" He liter actions ally cannot even make a onto the Biblical stage without his . 217-22). his offering to God was shoddy of farming is judged ambivalently.6 Interpretation (ibid. either by the introduction by their desire for He and city which wealth. creating the universal degeneration which lines' being wiped out by the Flood (City of God. His birth is suspect. these unions produced the wicked giants who were wiped out in the Flood (pp. of p. Calvin refuses to condemn 257). they did not need God (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. Cain's line is uniformly contrasted unfavorably with Seth's line. Tubal-Cain's given (about whom absolutely no details as are in Genesis).). it can be said that Cain does not have a very good public image.) (which. with political life) fall under a dark shadow. 160-62). he affirms the vileness of Lamech's polygamy and waxes eloquent about Lamech's cruelty and inhumanity (ibid. Naamah. sang and played in honor of idols (ibid.22). Taking posite the Cain line on such grounds. 238). his male descendants increased the level of weapons or lence in the world. and gifts from God (Calvin. In general. Cain's daughters went painted tempting the angels to fall.

pp. There is other evidence that Nimrod. tyranny (Calvin." who "begin" upon the name of the Lord." the rabbis feel justified in translate: "Nimrod vol.9) means that Nimrod was a rebel (City of God. Finally.26 are said. to degenerating calling "rebelling. against the order of things that he should a king (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. such evil to multiply upon the earth and the pre-Flood gi announced with the (ibid. in must company whose as the Cainites and their offspring. so negatively. p. Thus. 175). he Abraham. and. being a mighty hunter. instead of "beginning" to multiply upon the earth. Nimrod is lived until evil the time of because. and they the evil men of pre-Flood "rebelled" days. Another thing which counts against rule Nimrod is his be being a grandson of Ham. 60-61). Augustine tells us that Nimrod. some of the rabbis do say he fooled people into thinking he could cow fierce beasts. was based on a sham (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. Second. in later Jewish literature (Neusner tells us) he oppressive power of us that "hunter. Since Nimrod is a slave. which is what persuaded people to let him them. be evil. XVI. is reminiscent of the other hunter in Genesis. is bad for two reasons. of course. in Genesis Rabbah." sym bolizes the Rome (Jacob Neusner. was obviously a furious Nimrod. deriving all wicked things. p. "beginning" is is verb. his claim to might. who was consigned to slavery by Noah in Genesis 9. From the sense "pro fane. Nimrod the city-builder evil. 317). to "rebel" in their calling upon the name of the Lord. ants same Obviously. which is the normal meaning of the piel form of the same root. Calvin tells He further argues that the statement that Nimrod was a the Lord (Genesis Lord. he was the foe of his brother Jacob. Nimrod. "began" 2. mighty and thus they can liberally 'rebelled' when he was a one in the earth" (Genesis Rabbah. 174). is a deceiver. And. Esau.). he Genesis Rabbah. like all hunters. but mention rather. oppressor. In this attempt. if it mighty hunter before the mighty hunter "against" seems bad enough for not Nimrod that his even grant hunting is interpreted hunter. In case anyone should think the rabbis are stretching the meaning too much. they supply other examples of wicked people things. man. who.The City in Genesis 7 being be a condemned. here found in the hiphil form. p. vol. he a 10. although it is not mentioned in Scripture. when in fact he did it by wearing the magical coats of animal skin which God had given to Adam and Eve when he put them out of was a great They Eden. pp. that is. who 4. de Rabbi Eliezer. First. the ancestor of Israel. it is p. too. 260).4). p. as master of the pagan lands out of which when Abraham came. XVI. Genesis 10. was miraculously thwarted (Pirke vol. as the-verb "to (halal). 2. and destroyer of earth-bom creatures (City of God. 38). being a a beast than a human he was also the originator of more like being. 420-21. Esau. 2. . 3).8 reads: "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to begin" profane" Genesis Rabbah interprets the verb "to mighty one in the (halal). tried to kill Abraham he was young." earth. however. and hence were actually They mention the people of in not Genesis 4.

In p. In any case. (Genesis Rabbah. 11. vol. to make a "name" themselves (Gen. the purpose of this section is to discuss the faults of the Babel-builders insofar as they can be discerned without reference to Nimrod. scale Olympus and dethrone Jove in pagan mythology (City of God. 260). Traditional Hostility Toward the Babel-Builders explicitly state that Nimrod had anything Genesis 1 1. the the Ham line. right motives. 2. in an summary. tent "settle" in the land of Shinar. and the is condemned because it was the brainchild of Nimrod. for they p. His city. again. he was often assumed to have been not Although the Biblical text does to do with the Babel project of its initiator. too (Genesis Rabbah. worldly glory been founded with the set against righteousness.8 Interpretation Nimrod. pp. do. The rabbis object that in Genesis 11. First. 2. and Jacob." but are on the 50). means.4." are "rebels. p. 2. they are not satisfied with want the are are trying to challenge God. according to Genesis 10. God's people do not rest con move. heavens. was the area of his king dom. it is said in Genesis 10 that Nimrod founded a city called Babel. 49-50). therefore. a city. 324). vol. as one might expect. being settling and building in "settled. sinfulness of He the cruel godlessness of pride and the pagan empires. Isaac. is repudiated by much of the tradition because he represents was impious rebel against God and tyrannical over mankind. like Abraham. There are other flaws in the Babel-builders' motives. with the upper part. Both their deeds and their motives are entirely wicked. "Settling" is moti vol. like Nimrod. Calvin Calvin. They they being given the earth. bad scent. for two reasons. The tradition uniformly condemns the builders at Babel. the Lord. do" translated into rabbinic. which is often assumed to chapters are be the city discussed in Genesis 1 1 Thus. There is odious reason to question the connection out between Nimrod and Babel. Nimrod becomes Babel project due to responsibility for the Babel project. the Babel-builders are reminiscent . XVI. The Babel-builders.4). which. and vol. and. "this they are rebelling to (Genesis Rabbah. at signifies also that they made an on 261. takes on a associated with and his kingdom.2 they decide to vated by Satan (Genesis Rabbah. 51). to displace him. the two intertwined in traditional commentary. for idol They filled the sin of pride. p. Augustine insists their pride impiety and their foolishness thinking that a tower of any height could ever challenge concurs with the others that the story is about like that of the giants who tried to pile Pelion on Ossa to God-defying pride. could hardly him have Urban life. probably vol. as in the case of Cain. the lower part of the world. which p. want 2. the plain on which Babel was erected was in the land of Shinar. 1. ." "and this they begin to which. as I will point later. needless to say. Second. Why is their act a rebellion? They are trying to build a tower says: with because in Genesis 6 God its top in the heavens. 3.

but to conspire against and a God. At best it is a necessary evil in a fallen world. sinners. The city cannot provide for security against death. apparently picking up on the language a of mutual exhortation in 11. in criticizing the Babel-builders. and is associated with the violence of patriarchs. Nimrod being things some part of the Ham line which Noah subjects to Shem and Japheth. then of Seth. The the city. 4. It is their politics as much as their materialism that is at fault. who defined man as a political animal. political which go with cooperation. The city. CRITICISM OF THE TRADITIONAL ACCOUNTS OF THE CITY One upon of the first things that and the traditionalists' strikes us when we read the assault Cain. The arts come from the children of vengeful bigamist Lamech. Nimrod." us make "let build city"). They are from the wrong lines. Abravanel argues. B. that to urban the Babel-builders that wanted not only superfluity (his usual objection life) but social people they thought that political organization was the highest form of life. being Esau's way. in order to establish the stated. at worst it is temptation to idolatry. are equally stained by association the wrong sort of people. idola They wish to build a settled and secure life or even against wishes. which willing to supply motives which are recorded. not rendered suspect by the fact that the first is people to be political cooper to build a better cities life. More generally. is ated. thinking to build structures which will keep their names alive forever. without God's help by They purely human means. only God can do these things.The of City us in Genesis 9 the godless Cain. and even actions appropriate moral of each This might not be a bad procedure. Summary of the Traditional Critique of the City associations. Cain being rejected in favor first of Abel. and tyranny over others. and the rule of with human beings by others. which. the human beings who are desire to build is unnecessary. rejection of God. the arts. Ruling comes from Nimrod. the art of bringing people together to build a decent civil order. they God's murderers. then. desire of walking away from God rather than with him. hunting. is inferior to the way of the Politics. The city-builders of Genesis 1-11 all have unsavory are They or are fugitives from God ters.3-4 ("let brick. says Abravanel. manages to slip in the moral that the way of Torah is higher than the way of the Greeks. are quite are not Babel-builders is how much not they add to the text. if the materials they supplied were . heir of a slave. God's do not need the political life of the city. or rebels against God. are proud. is grounded in folly. Abravanel thus. it cannot give one immortal life or even an immortal name. They story.

between the pre-Flood and the Babel-builders' desire for a name. the evil of Cain and the others is axiomatic in the interpretive tradition in to my present which they have been would argue trained. to the fact that Nimrod to the similarity is reminiscent of the evil "mighty "men of men" wiped out name" in the Flood." "begin"-"profane" breaking as the "begin" piel ling. the errors the traditional interpretation is inadequate. and the Babel-builders the reasons for the antiurban are evil. point. demanding us to allow not only the rendering of the hiphil the claims made are simply too far "profane. and enough reading. Augustine's most claim that translators. to justify their They contrast can indeed appeal to a number of textual details. to Nimrod's connection with and associations upon Ham." reasoning that the "name" in the Babel story all mean can only mean or that the names of Cain's lies descendants I "rebellion. When material this far from the text is allowed to shape the inter limited to the go characters' pretation of motives and actions. The addition of legendary material and the use of verbal tricks are not interpretation. they in the Biblical text. We simply have to out much of the legendary material if we think our text of Genesis 1-11 make sense on can its own. however.10 Interpretation role of providing plausible explanations for what is recorded. Shinar. They can point to the parallel between Cain the farmer and and Abel the shepherd. but some of fetched. and Babel. they condemn Nimrod for his paganism and his attempt to murder Abraham. philologically unacceptable by found Nimrod unappealing. and other are facts simply do not fit into the antiurban picture. far beyond this. more relevant interest." they ask us to accept too much on faith. Nimrod. all interpretive control is lost. that the real problem of the traditional interpreters deeper. Some of the claims are errors. and would maintain this even reasons." but also the idiosyncratic "profaning" equation of with "rebel word Again. and so on. since Lamech fathers sons who are . which a plenty of loose connections traditional interpretation can be founded. the but the rabbis stretch it beyond the resemblance may be significant. even without the extraneous material. Cain's line ended with a murderer is also untrue. believe. again might not be bad in itself. There are Nonetheless. For example. The interpreters have already decided that Cain. however. They attribute Cain's birth to the angel They Sammael. Among the following: Augustine's claim that Nimrod was a hunter is considered who "against even God" by Calvin. The rule text can mean whatever the interpreters want it to mean. Another mology noticeable feature is the Jewish This interpreters' fascination with ety and other word play. to the connection between Abraham left the eastern world ruled Nimrod. if all the etymologies and legendary material were excluded. to the fact that by Nimrod. to the between the violence of Cain and Lamech and the rise of urban life and the arts. when they assert without philological "idol. to the connection be tween Nimrod Esau the hunters. they are merely the justifications. Sec that there is ond. for two First.

or out of the wish to build a worldly city without God. The inter Augustine and the rabbis that Nimrod must have been unneces sarily violent and tyrannical. the city falling to his arrows. execution. rather. because he was a hunter and hunters kill things. Nimrod. The way of the hunter is thus the settled no more violent toward animal life than that of the shepherd or his prey creation captive farmer. there is bad reasoning in the traditional pretation of constructions. or that he ordered the people him. For shepherds (like Abel) kill things. undertook the Babel project on his own. Canaan's brother Cush and Cush's son Nimrod are not slavery included in the curse. Then there are the the slave Ham is untrue.The not murderers of City in Genesis 11 but inventors. the shepherd who sells his wool and mutton or in spirit to the city than is the hunter trapper who is self-sufficient. is his sacrifice said supposed his sacrifice. but he does order to wicked derive this from textual evidence. and God does not contradict Cain on this point. these are nity. and the later Israelites) kill their cattle. text with uncharitable motives. no evil motive is to be flawed in either intention or Similarly. How. In fact. further. that Cain had a says justify God. The common interpretation that Nimrod to aid all the project." The interpretation same such is. If Israel is not wicked . since not Ham but facts that do not fit. out of the desire for a name. And settled farmers (like Cain. The hunter is the loner. could we expect Cain to build anything but a "worldly city." Again. runs against of the clear sense of the text in that of Genesis 11." not help him build "lusting after the laws to a heavenly that ground. are not rounded the association who up in pens of the hunter and with is peculiar. Abravanel. lives away from the city The landed farmer with his rural commu in the marketplace. Ham's son. Further. too their sheep. tilling it. if God will then. the rabbis rage against Cain for is. The rabbis' claim that Nimrod shares the character Canaan. Further. not supplementation that Cain's offering is hypocritical. because he does not keep for its entire life before killing it. and that the city to protect him. hardly closer the model of the political man. His victims enjoy God's before as castrated. the text says that Cain believes he is hidden from God's face. the entire race. Cain is to to build his city out of vainglory. which makes "children men. but say nothing against Moses who one? prescribes govern Israel's settled agricultural life. is cursed to in Genesis 9. Augustine all lifestyle. The text would seem was suggest that his motive was fear of being killed. and Asshur in Genesis 4 and 10. Yet the text is that God did nor not gaze unto Cain and imputed to Cain. is feeble. he infers it in infers. They they are by the farmer. equally responsible for the that the sin of the Babel-builders was cannot explain of the cities of essentially the why God took desire drastic of action at superfluity that motivated Cain. the hunter is less violent. The association between simply Then there is the Calvin claims not worked out well hunting by the and city life allegedly intended of the by Genesis is traditionalists. in a parallel manner. Babel but not in the case Cain.

12

Interpretation
of

for wanting land exactly
of the what

its

own

to till,

the pre-Flood men are said to

"rebel"

why is Cain's motive so disreputable? Again, in multiplying upon the earth, but that is
to

they

were commanded

do in Genesis 1.

Why is

their attempt at

obedience

lashed

out at as a rebellion? as motivated

forge interpreted

Finally, why is Tubal-Cain's invention by the desire to make swords rather than
the vengeful

ploughshares?

Certainly, his father

was

Lamech, but

one cannot

simply impute such emotions to a son. After all, no one else in the Cain line is said to be violent, and Tubal-Cain's siblings all invent useful or pleasant arts,
not violent ones.

One has to say, then, that the
tional

antiurban trend of thought
without textual

interpreters,

though not
a close

clearly justified

by

of the city-builders and

completely reading of the details of Genesis 1-11. The motives their families are not so clearly evil as supposed. There
and misunderstood rather

among the tradi foundation, is not

is

evidence that

Cain is frightened, slighted,

than evil.

Nimrod in Genesis 10 displays

no wicked motives or

overtly

evil actions.

The

Babel-builders, however wrong their project may be, say nothing at all about defying God. Further, if Nimrod cannot be connected with the Babel project of
Genesis 1 1
There is
,

a negative

interpretation

of

Babel

would not reflect upon

Nimrod.
theo-

much

work, then, to be done if
about the

we are

to articulate a coherent

logico-political teaching

city

as presented

in Genesis 1-11.

C. THE TEACHING ABOUT THE CITY IN GENESIS 1-11

essay will be a preliminary attempt to give the outlines of the doctrine of Genesis 1-11 on the place of the city in the political life of mankind. I wish to argue that Genesis 1-11 wants us to see the city, and, more
remainder of this

The

broadly

speaking, human

political

effort, in

a much more positive

light than the

tradition sometimes suggests.

The line

of

interpretation

which

body am building
who

of traditional

interpretation, but in its

I follow here comes, oddly enough, from the more unorthodox moments. For I

upon the work of

themselves are

Eugene Combs, Kenneth Post, and Robert Sacks, indebted to Midrashic sources such as the Genesis Rabbah.
one sees

In the Midrashic writings,
political

hints here

and

there

of a a

different

account of

by less pietistic, more acute of politically way reading Scripture. Combs, Post, and Sacks have devel oped these hints and systematized them to an extent; I wish to pursue their
an account which can

life,

be brought to light

ideas

further.6

What I

will

strive to establish

is

an

interpretation
rabbis,
of

of

Genesis

which, against

Augustine

and

Calvin

and

many

of the

sees the and

earthly
a

city

as

a

legitimate human

response

to the problem

justice

order,

response which

God is willing
Cain. The

to work with and, under certain

circumstances, is
so well

bless.
I begin
with classification of

Cain

as

a

"bad

guy"

The
established that

City

in Genesis

13

it

seems

impious to
Cain's

question

God's

refusal

to gaze

upon

sacrifice

trary. Cain cannot know why God pays no

it, but it must be questioned. First, is, from Cain's point of view, arbi attention to it, as God does not say.
much

He has
worked

worked

hard to

produce

his grain, probably
more

harder than Abel has
tried to obey God's the
earth

to raise his sheep.

Further, he,
not

than

Abel,

apparent commandments. and

Did

God tell Adam to

subdue

(Gen. 1),

to till the garden (Gen. 2)? Did not God tell Adam that
would work

upon expulsion

from Eden he
Cain felt

the

land for his food (Gen. 3)? One
like the

can see

slighted.

He is, in

a way,

more qualified applicant who

why loses

the job to the boss's nephew, or perhaps to an affirmative action program. As a
victim of apparent which

injustice, his
at

rage

is

natural.

This does

not

justify

the murder

follows, but it
so perverse as

least

explains
and

Cain's

emotional

state,

which

is

not

nearly Cain's

Augustine

Calvin
supply

make out. another nonmalicious account
of

Further,

the

rabbis

themselves

motives.

Cain

saw

that God preferred a sacrifice of an animal over that

of vegetation.
would

Might he

not

have

concluded
vol.

that the sacrifice of a human

being

be

even

better (Genesis Rabbah,

1,

pp.

248-49)? One does

not need

to presume that Cain killed Abel out of anger or

jealousy;
God.

one might argue that

he killed Abel in
Even if this
wicked. what sin

a misguided attempt to please

rabbinic speculation

is discounted, it is

not so clear that

Cain is

God

warns

him

"sin,"

about
ever give

is,

nor

does God

it is true (4.7), but God does not explain Cain any instructions about how to live. In
until

fact, God
Cain

says

Genesis 9. That
can rule

nothing to anyone about how to live is, God seems to be waiting to see if

after

the

Flood, in

man can rule

himself. If

race will not

be

his desire, this may be possible. If not, then perhaps the human able to live without law. The fact that Cain is not punished by
given will

God,

and

that no one else is

is waiting to see what people Lamech's speech in Genesis 4,
tion

any laws before the Flood, suggests that God live like. The violent world presumed by
that God's policy of nonpunishment and
wisest.

and the utter violence of the pre-Flood genera

described in Genesis 6, has
can grant that

suggests

noninstruction

not proved

to be the
a

Man

needs

law.

We

Cain does

sorry for it afterward. He engages remaining days in nonviolent ways, wandering, In this
respect

bad deed, but only one, and he seems to be in no more malicious activity and spends his

building

a

city,

and procreating. who

Cain

contrasts

favorably
great

with

his descendant Lamech,

proudly boasts of his killings. Cain says that his sin is too
will

to be forgiven and expects that everyone

kill him; that is, he assumes, with Hobbes, that everyone is a poten try tial murderer and that there is no safety in the state of nature. Further, he fears
to

he

will

be hidden from God's face, and,

while

God

promises

to protect Cain

from

the assaults of other men,

he

never reassures

Cain

about

his continuing

presence.

Perhaps God thinks his
not

protective sign

ence, but Cain clearly does

take

it that

way.

implies his continuing pres God therefore allows Cain to

14

Interpretation
from his
presence

go out

(4.16)

to

dwell in the land

of

Nod ("wandering").

Believing

that he

is

no

mark, is it any

wonder

interest to God, and not trusting in God's that Cain builds a city to protect himself? Is the defen
longer
of not a natural course

sive arrangement of a

city

for

men who

believe they

are

in

the state of nature, with no law

but that

of

the strong to protect them?
"Enoch,"

Similarly, it is hard
"inauguration,"

to find blame with Cain's descendants. None of them
son which means

does anything shameful, except for Lamech. Cain's lends his name to the first city. bad
overtones

"Inauguration"

does

not

have

in Hebrew,

as

Isaac Friedman has

shown against

in fact, it has rather the first city is an be
good.

good ones

(Friedman,
of a new

n.

1,

pp. of

"inauguration"

way

Jacques Ellul; 11, 49-61). The founding of life, one which may prove to

It begins

as

the act of a fearful murderer, but perhaps it will end in

something better. And, indeed, the descendants of Enoch, who invent arts which make life more convenient, suggest that this is the case. Even Calvin, who was

hostile to Cain, granted the goodness fact that one of the arts invented, that
prove the text condemns arts

of of

the arts described in Genesis 4. The

forging,

can yield weapons

does

not

in general; for the text does

not even mention and mu

weapons,

and

the other arts which arise at the same time

(tentmaking

sic)

are

My
and

clearly innocuous. intent here is not to
who seems

whitewash

Cain

or

Lamech,

to have understood God's

his line. Cain clearly did wrong, forgiveness of Cain in the
not punish

most perverse possible manner

(i.e., God does

killers,

therefore we

have to do I

unto others

omen of the violence to come story. would

before they do it unto us!), appears as an unsavory in Genesis 6. So there are dark spots in the Cain
that the association of the city with violence,

insist, however,

though a genuine theme of
conclusion remains
narrator

that urban

life, in any

ambiguous as a

Genesis 4, is not put in such a way as to force the of its aspects, must be rejected. The city moral and political possibility; neither God nor the
flesh"

judges it.
confirmed

This is

in Genesis 6. When "all
This

becomes

corrupt upon the

earth, much is said of wickedness and violence, but
evil

taking

place

in

cities.

makes

nothing is said of cities or because the people of the Seth sense,
city, are condemned along with
not connected with urbanism

line,

who are not associated with

Cain's

eastern

Cain's line. The
or political

wickedness
as such.

is

more

general, and

life

In

fact, it

could

be

contended that

absence of political structures and of would seem

laws

which

it is precisely the led to the wickedness. This

by the fact that God gave the first laws after the if to try to avert a repetition of the same wickedness. If we now turn to the cities of Genesis 10, we discover that they emerge in the context of obedience to God's intentions. That context is provided Gene
Flood (Genesis 9.1-7),
as

to be confirmed

by

sis

9. We
recall

that in Genesis 1 God ordered

Adam to be

replenish

the earth. In Genesis 9 Noah takes the place of

fruitful, multiply, and Adam, and is given

among Japheth separate violence. that populated not merely by individuals but by descent speaking a common tongue and occupy ing a traditional land. which are life. is.The similar City in Genesis 15 It is as instructions in language that is very strongly reminiscent of Genesis 1. The familial basis of nations seems to offer the possibility of internal concord within each nation. (9. families (mishpahoth) Shem. The Bible acknowledges that good kings can exist. naming the lands and peoples descending from and Japheth. whenever the tribal or them. suggests in which one will rule over many. which had no such structure discernible. must not conclude. the migrating offspring of Shem. Nimrod is word have begun his "kingdom" in the first in Shinar. people need to have some kind of authority set over a tribal or monarchical nature. without Thus. the "nations. In this new creation.19). the goodness. in the east. God's command and In this context of obedience to family solidarity. Since. The new begin ning. if we are watching a new creation. Genesis 10 documents this family by family. It also helps maintain concord between stay together. we must remember and that that such a form of rule was very common in ancient times. This time. therefore. something is added: God gives the first laws. built by Asshur. The first cities are or comes to rule. the between Cain nation. Ham. The "king occurring in Genesis for the first time. 13). Abimelech in Genesis 20)." for the Biblical statement and Augustine saw this as indicating was savagery and oppression. and and seems an improvement on the relationship unit. The next a region called in Shinar. an a world organized on the world by the new political seems to be improvement before the Flood. will have a legal dimension absent from the old. these Nimrod either builds group arises in the east as well. in this overspreading." earth becomes peoples of common nations. they occupy it as they were meant to." Asshur. sons of Noah are obedient in the way that the sons of Adam were never said to be: they "overspread" the whole earth overspreading. those restraining murder and improper diet (9. the city arises. for the laws of God (Gen. Abel. If this automatically and a new political ordering suggests ruthless power tyranny to modem ears. Recall that in Genesis 9. however. Thus. the race of Adam is being given a second chance at life. 9. amicably dividing the world themselves. cities a son of Shem. the Biblical narrator would not auto matically have assumed such a rule to be evil. which echoed Genesis 1 generally. both over Israel and over other nations (cf. Ham. which relied too much on we are innate human told.1-7) to be enforced. The peacefulness of the process reminds one of the separation of Abraham and Lot (Gen. One wicked one. whether of The Bible may be suggesting that kingship arises national structures are felt to be inadequate to enforce the the barest minimum for a decent social reason Noachide laws. the new creation as it were. that We may now be able to fathom the Calvin Nimrod was a "mighty hunter. that Nimrod's rule was a One might even argue that. and since they too are related. a slight modification to Genesis 1 . There is another interpretation. either built by or Nimrod in said to dom.1-7).

basis to nor of an adjective alone. good. condemn be evil. did the mighty men of old (6. Genesis 9 to him to be person carnivorous. I would suggest.16 Interpretation God does dread" made. unlike Lamech's. but it is less it has possibilities for something desperate. vulnerability to random killing). which consisted rule in Nimrod's prescribes moderate and measured punishments.9). the order of creation. Nimrod became famous. by God's . in fact. first hunter. not speak of upon the "dominion" over the animals which are now given "fear and animals. one must conclude that cannot as such. The new world contains harsh (men killing animals. In important respects. but it is others who note his greatness on the earth (10. "mighty" being "mighty" a hunter. as did Cain (4.4) or the Babel (1 1. may not be pretty. The likely to make men hopeless or pre-Flood world.17)." can one fault Nimrod? He is person said the first in the text said that is. the text is which teaching at that the rise of Nimrod possibility is new and. but his literally and hence the most striking excellence. I represents a political would argue. at overspread the earth at least potentially. city building. men ruling men). Nimrod and his city compare favorably with the Cain line and its city and the Babel-builders their city.23-24). then. at hunting makes He may not have been him the hunter par example of the new. but it is perhaps less harsh than the pre-Flood world. Finally. and so did his empire. and as did Lamech (4. For these reasons. Their sins cannot be imputed to him on the strength Thus. new order higher than the Note Nimrod does also that the text not seek a builders of any motive of vanity to Nimrod. but human for up as prey beings. and that Nimrod's hunting is not in itself a his cities.4). how to be a "hunter. Nimrod does not boast about himself. the first have taken advantage of the new bequest God has "might" given. but multiple vengeance driven by unre (mamlakhah) introduces into the world more stable and orderly. but those men were characterized by neither hunting hunting. but the text attempt be God's recommended least not for his own chosen people nowhere indicates that kingship is an illegitimate permis- to maintain order and justice in human life. One can grant that a king may become a one must also grant that a king can establish the rule of law. Nimrod does not name any cities after himself or after not attribute as "name" does his son. kings are one possible source of law. God-sanctioned It is true that Nimrod. in which other forms of suffering must have been prevalent (starvation after crop failure. that the rule of a hunter may symbolize the over urban civilization improvements elements of the new world over the old. strained passion. Genesis 1 allows implicitly taught that man was to be vegetarian. least some of the nations which legitimately source.8) and before the Lord (10. from the above discussion. note that which the only version of law and order hitherto obtain something tyrant. we must ing was Lamech's. of a any more. may remind us of the wicked men before the Flood. Kings may (I Samuel 8). Nimrod. At God's com the rule of mand are ruled not by kings. In this context.

if it and was a sin.5). I certain turn to the Babel story. They heavenward (11. in one place. His proj may be ambiguous. case of Babel is not exactly typical city. Babel-builders is. is. The "sons men" Noah. the language of unity and solidarity (Combs and "rules" Post. settled on Genesis 9 that they should fill the earth.28).4). Finally. among these Combs and Post point out. The 11. At this and will draw heavily upon the work of Eugene Combs Kenneth Post and attempt to confirm their analysis by the Babel-builders of Genesis 11 with Nimrod and the peoples of comparing Genesis 10." of perhaps educated obey God.4). is by Calvin. turns his prowess toward the ruling of peoples. of super-city with together. that the Babel story they are a of There is "scattering" to carry out their true difference between the "overspreading" of Genesis 10 if and the Genesis 11. that is. of willingness to take on the adventure of human life. God wants them to move outward. The their cautiousness. their fear of being a inward-looking attitude. too. They "scattered. Rather. scattered. it to be a certain un populating. the descendants of Flood. instead of a multitude of warring of the nations? What is wrong as with the wish of the Babel- builders? To think this The language out requires some care. God at the end of purpose.The sion a ect City in Genesis 17 mighty hunter. is perhaps reminiscent Cain's Yet motives. something. and in what respects their ambitions legitimate. the language of mutual entreaty. built desire for city in the east where he could can one condemn the Babel-builders for their we not social and geo graphic cohesion? a noble aspiration? Would Do normally call we the solidarity of the human race we not often say that believe that the in world would be better off if there were only one great people. seems to have nothing to do seems storming heaven defying God. to obey God. I think. It "scattered. and he. by natural a by (literally or figu the refuse Adam. and enjoying the earth. to the motives of the will builders which the traditional exegesis redeeming does not the I my discussion by showing exactly in what respects Babel-builders are are condemned point by I the text. p. the Babel-builders' adventure of mastering. Further. This desire runs counter to God's all and commandments of want Genesis 1 to build upward. They one spot. They want live. in a its top in the heavens. then. He. close even antiurban exegesis. like Cain's. kind people of Babel do to not wish to be "scattered" upon the earth (Gen. as of (11. aim spreading master to many spots. wants them to the earth (1." therefore are separated and moved over the earth in a more unnatural and violent manner. be was afraid of safe." is only fitting. but it is not to be so lightly condemned as it the rabbis. 428). speaking one language. No one people (which is why I would con- . The "sons ratively) of reproducing and nonviolently occupying the earth. are there is a a justification for the traditional however. process. too. who have not learned the lesson that the Flood. in the Babel there features grant. Regarding this story. united brotherly love. and Augustine. The with sin of the Babel-builders.

will and to give it. no possibility of the living. as it were. become corrupt. were tribal and monarchical. the "sons of will founding "nations. they on together as equal partners toward a goal is not them but chosen by themselves. God cannot allow it to be The Babel-builders. will in the very next story in the Bible promise to make great the name of a certain nation. speaking. In fact." a and that this may indicate worldly pride. wanting as is fact. In Genesis not allow of 11. they do not even mention him. They do not wish to God. unified world-state. having unable promised never destroy the world again with a Flood. but he will obtain the reward sought "name" by the Babel-builders will not Genesis 11. are not malicious. hold them together in Shinar forever. however. so that become nations and war with each other? Why not leave the entire human race in one construc tive unity? The Combs-Post answer. built. established by the "sons of Noah" of Genesis 10." of that is. Abraham will continue in the tradition of obedience a not Further. noble it may be. This form of social organization is in trast to the forms described in Genesis 10. It is true that they wish eternity. Cain may have been proud of his city. because they are "one speech" to rule over they do not need a monarch them because they have already imposed a unity of purpose on and wish to remain that way. unified world-state. then. It is more likely that the Babel- "name" for their project to christen the marvellous urban struc they have created. but that does not necessarily imply rebellion against rebelling against builders want a ture God. the world was orga according according to the to "nations. in if taking into account the desire of the Babel-builders. however thinking. its be to stop the corrupted universal state from retaining all members in thrall for Therefore. separate peoples. then. Why might the author of Genesis think such a project scatter a group of people who are working together Why should God fraternally for a common they can bad? end. and powerful cities. In Genesis nized 10. and the only people. only language that exists should If the only state." which are "kingdoms" connected with essentially families writ large. but he was not God in naming it after his son. God.18 tend Interpretation Nimrod had nothing to do work with the construction of the Babel which of Genesis imposed con 11). "name" necessarily an improper desire. The forms of govern men" ment. validated by the consensus of everyone in it. is that it is not for human beings to be of utterly that there and arising a different ways of peaceful. the nation sired by Abraham. his people who accepted the limitations of of nationhood. they dream. good which so I think is the one correct one. would God.7 overthrow "name. The desire to live in overlooks the is risk that the single. the situation be irreparable. a permanent essence which. The or reputation earn. and seem to be peaceful and nonviolent. be for . and themselves. and if every individ that state that will is so thoroughly committed to the own common ends of its evil cannot be perceived even by its to members. may be and the ual or become dedicated to bad ends.

44-48. But I do I do not believe that Genesis wishes us to understand Cain as funda stained mentally evil or ungodly. eds. and not always the best. in Genesis 10. (Atlanta: Scholars Press.. There are grammatical and general grounds built the city. Cain pp. 150 51. The arguments for this are well summarized for arguing that it was Enoch. he is the first to explicitly a political in the new world. who in Isaac Friedman's thesis. Cain was afraid of afraid of what death. which once achieved will make Israel blessing and a source of wisdom for all the nations of the earth (Gen. 4. was the Babelers were not being scattered. arts.6). 1970). 4. vol. trans. trans. 2 vols. Nimrod is establish not the rebellion. the only possible means by which the non-Israelite children of Noah can justice upon the earth. 1847). p. that the city cities were Genesis 1-11 would seem is not evil. then. Gerald Friedlander (New York: Hermon Press. Commentary on the Pentateuch (selections). but for purity. Henry Bettenson (Harmondsworth. The mo tives of those who built the first mixed. Jacob Neusner. John Calvin. p. . The city is not bad as some of the rabbis and Christian by its association with Cain. it due to knowing God wanted. 196-98.3. Medieval Political Philosophy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. in the bequest epitome of evil and order of animal flesh in Genesis 9. we find that cities are built by a masterly figure. In societies other than Israel. 1. 3.The martial City in Genesis 19 valor. it is can only in coexist some kind of political order that the of time.7. or not trusting enough in God's promises to obey his wishes. Rev. but these motives were not wicked. trans.: Penguin. which do not claim the benefit of God's direct rule and teaching. John trans. Concerning the City of God Against the Pagans. The traditional pious exegesis of Genesis fails to understand that merely human are achieve political orderings. Augustine. 158. law.: McMaster University. NOTES 1. Genesis Rabbah. 12. God. 1985). (Title henceforth: City of 5. whose claim to leadership might be said to be indirectly authorized by God himself. 256. Commentaries on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis. the world which is being properly populated by the sons of Noah. "Piety and Four" Civilization: An Analysis of the City in Genesis results (Hamilton. King (Edinburgh. Isaac Abravanel. pp. Ont. Eng. trans. 2. or for building great towers into the a heavens. Although the political order is less than in that it requires the exercise of force. and human decency for any length Like Cain's city "Enoch. if one wished to put the city in a better light. 1972). because Cain is not so commentators make out. XV. as city of Enoch." Nimrod's cities are the "inauguration" of something new: a social order in which justice can have a foothold. argue that the evils of 1979). Robert Sacks. to teach. in Ralph and Muhsin Mahdi.) Lemer 1978). And in one case. One separated could use Friedman's (though he does not) to can be from the not require this argument. Cain's son. the order represented perfect by Nimrod is essential. If these people strayed. flawed and susceptible to abuse as they are. Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. 242. Deut. pp.

Ascribe to the Lord: Biblical and Other Studies in years. and to Leo Strauss. I know of no other philosophical and exegetical treat the Babel story of comparable length and depth. The Foundations of Political Order in Genesis and the Chandogya Upanisad (Lewiston. which who essay was seminal for them. 1990). In a general way. NY: Edwin Mellen Press. Craigie (Sheffield. Robert Sacks.20 Interpretation 6. hence. in my necessary simplification the Combs-Post of the Babel story which discussion. Eugene Combs and Kenneth Post. it is no longer possible for me to tell reliably which ideas were originally mine and which theirs.. Eugene Combs. and that my general line of approach is completely theirs. C. Due to space limitations. S. A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (Lewiston. I have only scratched the surface of the Combs-Post account of the Babel story. Readers who wish to think about its depths more fully should read the chapter on Genesis 1 1 (pp. 6. even though Strauss is not cited in this essay because he does not deal with the specific passages I am working on here. 1987). ment of of 405-39) in the work cited." Memory of Peter C. I am going to dispense for the most part with notes. But I give here a very firm acknowledgment that many of my specific sug gestions must have come from them. whose "Jerusalem and Strauss. NY: Edwin Mellen Press. I too have been influenced by the various Strauss on the Bible and wish to acknowledge it fully. I add that Combs and Post would probably transfer much credit for their ideas to Sacks. . except when I can clearly recall a specific indebtedness. MA: JSOT Press. "Has YHWH cursed the Ground? Perplexity of Interpretation in Genesis in Lyle Eslinger and Glen Taylor. and undoubtedly to the rabbinic tradition of interpretation shows writings of up in Sacks's work. As I have been deeply engaged with this material for a number of eds. Sacks in turn acknowledges his immense debt to Leo introduced him to Genesis. I have doubtless been influenced by another very rich interpretation in some respects resembles it. 1988). whose 1990 work was available to them Athens" in typescript form much earlier. I add that. 1-5. Lewis's novel That Hideous Strength.

and she has no share in 18 She just flaps her rider. or clothe its like a locust when the glory and exults at neck with a mane? of his snort breeds terror? 21 He digs up the valleys. he every green thing is his crib? plow to search out. Vol.9 bustling hills as of the hear the drivers 8 but roams the his pasture. 1 . 16 She treats her were all children roughly. Her toils caused foot can crush them. and who dwells city.5 thrive and flourish in the wild. You see. or that a wild beast might trample them down. and does not and even in the salt lands? 7 He laughs shout.14 wings as if on high. his you strength Could leave him it into the your toils? 12 Would you trust him to bring in the grain and gather barn?" 13 "An ostrich plumage of a stork. 26. 6 whose home I have at the made the wilderness. meet armed combat. appeared nor is he turned The first bers 2 and thirty-eight chapters of the translation and and commentary in Volume 24. 3 when to give birth to their young. No. in Volume 25 of Interpretation. and thus to end their they couch and split you watched number3 open4 travail? 4 Their her children more. 15 She has forgotten that hers. Santa Fe CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE 1 "Do you know the when it is time for the mountain goat to drop?1 and have hind writhing in the dance of birth?2 2 Can you the months they fulfill? and do you know the season for them to deliver.The Book Translation of and Job Commentary on Chapters 39 through 42 Robert D. Sacks St. horse'3 her to forget wisdom.10 9 "Would the 10 Can is you wild ox agree to serve you? Would spend the night at your up the valleys great. as if they were not even in all vain. Num 3.12 whimsically flaps her wings as if she had the pinions and 14 but leaves her eggs on the ground for the dust to keep a them warm. she has no fear 17 because God has understanding. They come out and return unto no 5 "Who6 sent the wild ass7 off to be free?8 And who has untied the reins of the untamed off jenny. Fall 1998. hitch him up with a rope and hold him to the furrow? Will he behind you? 11 Would you rely upon him? Remember. interpretation. in his is not strength as he goes out to 22 He laughs fear and dismayed. and laughs at a passing and its 19 "Did you give to the horse 20 Can you make him leap its strength. John's College.

It is to leam what each would be when viewed from the other but absolute veil They remind us of that thin between the world of man and the world beyond 39:18 man. 2. forever Ner. There he The The The will meet six sets of wild beasts: rock-goat and wild ass and untamed jenny wild ox ostrich The The horse The hawk None been of and eagle them is mythical." . if we were in Hebrew they have totally different names. unity that lies within the complexity As far as one can tell. 3:28 are of Afterward. 25 but facing battle from afar. David heard of it. consume the of their gates. although almost as side. Job has entered far into hind what we have come to call the Land of the Jackal. 23 A quiverful of arrows whizzes excitement and agitation. "I and father's house. 24 With he gouges pays no homage to trumpet's 'Huzzah' ! He smells the blast. 2Sam. Indeed." a very will complex word. guiltless May my kingdom before the LORD for the blood of Abner the son it whirl down upon the head of Joab. and See notes to 26. he is there. the roars of the hawk16 the trumpet the he cries captains and the shoutings!" 26 "Is it by your wisdom that soars and spreads its wings out to the south? 27 Does the eagle mount at your command. 1 1 :6 The bars sword shall "whirl and down" against their cities. by the flashing into the spear and the earth. Oh. javelin. which have here translated by the phrase of our I have generally translated birth" is "writhing in the dance of "writhe. and each of them is either a close relative to a tame species or made is itself a member of species of animals some of whom have tame. The and single Hebrew word hul.22 back Interpretation by He edge of sword. building its nest on high? 28 He dwells upon the rock. eye spots He takes up his lodging on the highest 29 From there he searches out his prey. 30 and his fledglings down the blood. His swill it from afar. much understanding of the Book of Job center on our attempt to regain the sense of of this word. and upon all his when devour them in their fortresses. he said.17 pinnacle. making it his stronghold." Hos."18 Comments 1. Whenever death defiles. it originally meant "to whirl.

they will be in anguish over the Tyre. then come out of the vineyards and seize of each man his wife from the daughters their Shiloh. for the Lord's purposes . the prophetess. 21:20 wait And they commanded the Benjaminites. too. anguish who shall hear the report of tremble and be in because of you. 15:20 Then Miriam." Sometimes it is and exultation: used in a perfectly wonderful context which can be full of joy Psa. "Go and lie in in the vineyards. 32:19 And as soon as Moses' he came near the dancing. making melody to him with lyre! But more often than not things get out of hand. 2:25 This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the peoples that are under the whole you and shall heaven. the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.The Book of Job It can also mean 23 "to dance. Exod. It "anguish" often means and "pain": Isa. king. 149:3 Let them timbrel and praise his name with dancing. 23:5 Jer. trembles and writhes The land in pain. it Psa. else you would now be guilty. And to us. that book which begins see them dashed. Deut. Benjaminites did so. saying. and rebuilt the towns. we will when fathers or their brothers come to complain did not take say to them. Then. from the dancers to their and took their wives. in her hand. and dwelt in them. And the to their number. the sister of Aaron. if the daughters of Shiloh come out win to dance the dances. then they went and returned inheritance. only to the book Judges. hands anger burned hot. Exod. Judg. the reader can feel a foreboding thought thickening the air. neither did you give them to them. Grant them graciously to us. because we for each man of them his wife in battle." or "to quake": The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness. and often when first reading the word. 51:29 When the report about report comes to Egypt. ends in fright and of a with such high hopes for self- the clear need of the one thing had hoped to avoid. 29:8 comes to mean "to tremble. her took a timbrel and all the women went out after with timbrels and dancing. and watch. The Book rule. and go to the land of Benjamin. foot and camp and saw the calf and the he threw the tables out of his and broke them at the of the mountain. according whom they carried off.

they aghast at looks. Job. 25:23 The north wind and a backbiting tongue. out of his sight. in and your right as the noonday. Pangs like a woman will and agony will seize will be in anguish in travail. and the archers he was badly wounded by the archers. in visiting the day of birth. a whirling burst upon the of the wicked. and ISam. There is Jer. and sin did my mother Prov. it the storm of the will LORD! Wrath has head gone forth. angry them. as for his foes. are on high. and you forgot birth. he We a man can now begin to understand the great admonition: "Gird your loins like is put (gebher). inhabitant. Isa." There is wildness and pain present when the signet to the clay to make a thing of value and worth. was revisiting the day of his own birth.24 Interpretation against without Babylon stand. brings forth rain. the mean "pain" "anguish" same word that meant and can also "to prosper": Psa. I conceive me. birth": as in our case. Note the phrase "a whirling word tempest. their faces be aflame. to make the land of Babylon a desolation. 32:18 the You God He were unmindful of who gave you the Rock that begot you." If the as we words and ideas the were intended pas- by the author to come together as naturally they do for may reader who knows the "whirlwind. brought forth in iniquity. To venture beyond the realm of man and to see each thing as having its own pain of was caused signet means to come to birth terms with the unity of all these things we must look at: opposing feelings. thy judgments puffs at them." English-speaking in this also recognize . 10:5 His ways prosper at all all times. 37:6 will bring was forth the light. 13:8 and will one they will be dismayed. Ps. it can also mean "to be in labor. tempest. Here there is no indication that the by a curse or the result of having taken a bite of the apple. 23:19 one more aspect of Behold. or even a mortal injury: The battle hard found him. For this reason. 31:3. your vindication as Ps. 51:5 Behold. But. They look another." and hence "to give Deu. pressed upon Saul.

8. a nurturing god rather than a constructing god. is land? the question to Job: Can he discern number and order in this untrodden 4. Yet we can all world. She. speaks to Job. perhaps with beyond world. 5. an order for the first time. before her she was delivered of a son. How different things Isa. did not have the respect that these lines demand: Job 24:5 They are wild asses at in the desert. the Voice is beginning to open Job to different kind of order. But quite even Job. lets interrelated that they cannot be of distinguished in speech.The Book of Job sage some 25 foundation for the shift we had already begun to feel in the role of the feminine. In using such a harsh word. Job already had Job 6:5 some care Will the bray when there is grass? Eliphaz had Job 11:12 none: Hollow a man man will become thoughtful when the wild ass gives birth to ('adam). the wild ass wild ass unlike donkey and the burro. The question is. of course. rhetorical. since. and are what they are. 66:7 her Before here from the Book in labor she gave Isaiah: pain came upon she was birth. then. 7. while he showed a certain amount of compassion. The had been for it: wild ass mentioned several times in the text before. From the point of view of human justice there is no priori reason a a why birth our should entail so much pain. are 3. we can begin to see its own necessities which seems to be see that without such a totally indifferent to our sense of order. Here. dancing. has never known either burden or rein. the joys of our world could never come to be. It is the whirling. fostering in each life to own its signet. it would be best to begin by seeing how the is in other Biblical contexts: . 6. The Voice here as reminds Job that in its own way. and understanding the of the one may lead us in coming to terms with the other. This. To word understand used this passage. the separation of birth is that our hard and as final as the separation of death. number and season as well as pleasure being according and pain are an integral part of the way in which things come to be what they If God is are. going off about their labors of snatching up dawn. pain-ridden. and in terms of human justice it a world seems all wrong. for the Hebrew word for tempest is see that pain and birthing a tempest that Job joy and birth are so feminine noun.

years. to oppressed go free. "Is not and make his father's house free in choose: Isa. all are there. that show his concern. to undo the thongs of the yoke. and now must I curry They with were servants or slaves. 34:9 and to break every every yoke?" that one should set free his Hebrew slaves. along many others. and you had set them into subjection to free according to their desire. children. is sold to you. When a man strikes the . his brother. you must set him But your fathers did you not listen to me or incline their but then turned around and profaned male and my name when each of you took whom you back his female slaves. the his Surely king this the he has up to will enrich with defy Israel. "Have come you seen this man who has him kills him. sake. I will not male or eye's female. and destroys it. male and . he shall serve six years. my wife.26 Interpretation Exod. 58:6 fast that I loose the bonds let the of wickedness. that was true." daughter. has served you six years. Job 7:2 Like his a slave he yearns for the shadows. but he him for favor. gave no answer. eye of my his slave. or a Hebrew woman. ears to me. be your slaves. for nothing. to and the man who and will give Israel. brought 9. and the slave is free his lord. And there are other passages. but they were treated kindness: justly and . Jer. did have a slave or servant: Job 19:16 to I called to my servant. "I love my master. female. too. 17:25 go free from men of And the come up? Israel said. and in the seventh he shall go out free. so that no one should enslave a Jew. 21:2 When you buy a Hebrew slave. Hebrew man. he shall serve you six you. . and But if the slave plainly says. and in the seventh year you shall let him ISam." since the with language does not distinguish between "slave" and Job. great riches. go out free. he a shall let the slave go free for the Deut. 15:12 If your brother. the At the who end of six years each of you must set free fellow Hebrew has been free from sold to you and your service. "servant. and like a hireling he waits for wages. Small and great. It is true that. Job himself had once said nearly the same thing: Job 3:18-19 There driver's prisoners are wholly at ease for they do not even hear the of voice.

five hundred of them. has kept itself in bal legitimate claim to be much older than or nature. Job world sees a world chaotic as which all things are trusted rather than watched. they are an abomination: the eagle. There were always some men suffering it caused. Human art is only the vaguest image of the world which farm. the . of course have been out of the question. it will be a long journey. and them yet he did have ox. and he did "hitch But to "trust them to bring in the up and hold them to the grain" would. the hoopoe. ance The farm.. regardless of whether there is pain and suffering involved or not. 11. in unrecorded Bildad's "first left to itself." This is the only verse. requires a certain admiration for the wild ass. but here is have in abomination what is known: Lev. and many of them devoted their lives to alleviating that suffering. oneself and men could always see that slavery unpleasant. both for moved for others. Even from was within the human sphere. what would or maid when when they brought complaint against me. 104:16 LORD abundantly. they and be eaten. The an furrow." answer can do none of these things. the vulture. I do God rose up? 10. "trust. it requires something like the concept of a signet. not certain what bird is meant. That is not to say that such ideas cannot find world back into the human is No.The Book of Job Job 31:13-14 If ever 27 man I felt contempt for the cause of one of my servants. in God speaks of contrast to what Eliphaz had said: put no trust in His servants and to a His angels lays charge of folly. To put it other who were deeply by the pain and wise. as we shall see. It is generations. the cedars of . roaming the hills as his pasture. Job but. It is in noticeable Job 4:18-19 If He with the exception of 39:24. the way each thing is when prior to either the arts or to tradition. each thing can be be what it is. the heron according to its kind. the osprey. the stork. 11:13 And these shall not you shall among the birds. in His Holy Ones and even the heavens are not in His Because trusted to each thing is what it is beyond the in sphere of man. it may seem.. what of those who dwell in house of clay. giving it a The signets. are watered bat." time. is 12. The trees of the Ps. It is through seeing the wild ass as having a life of freedom becomes important to their way its own. that its us. But the discovery of the notion that slavery is wrong as such. whose foundation is but dust? or Job 15:15 He clean puts no trust sight.

The imagery is not uncommon in the Bible. people crane keep the time of their coming. Part irony of this passage ridden is that ostriches. For Job this have been the fearful to most difficult of the beasts to meet thus far. silly beast. since the name of this bird means something like of the "piety" "loving by care. he will dwell on the heights. then. must 14. with lowest in man have a certain kinship home the lands that lie beyond that If Job is to return safely to the human of man. they had lifted they up the ephah between wings coming like the wings heaven. There is an early bas relief from Khorsabad showing a falconer bearing a hawk on his wrist. their nests. subhuman might own why the human soul should find itself so moved by the of a beast that could mean to it nothing other than its for such a and why the author should wish to arouse in Job an admiration beast. 33:15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly. The first as words ever spoken on the field at questions savage. too. 5:9 not the ordinance of the LORD. lest they hold a bribe. The hawk. who despises the gain of stops oppression. when if only in part." 13. Yet at the same time we are horrified know that if she were a fellow- citizen our arraign as judgment have to be Our quite otherwise and we would have to her for child abuse. earth and It is probable that the author intended or a double irony. insofar as been domesticated. he must learn to feel and to recognize all sides of the may find its proper place. have been were some tribesmen of the area as they have if they horses. and the turtledove. 15. and eyes and saw. pathways which lure men like Job toward the in the Great Wall Both the highest City and that reveal its problematic character. Who help being totally would charmed by the and foolish antics of this silly. and in the heavens knows her times. two women wind was in their wings. In them the birds build trees. foresaw hibernation? It he warned Job not to leave his warm den of would seem that there are not one. 8:7 Even the swallow. his place of defense who shakes . The first thing to be moving any to be asked. and behold. character that each 17. but two obscure and sometimes inter chinks weaving of the Human and the wall. Does this not mean raising the very passions in Job that Elihu. 16. at least it is the can most write about. worlds are met beginning to pull apart and to clash they have for Job as since we first him. ears his looking upon his hands. but my know Zech. had been domesticated. but the significance has greatly changed: Isa. Then I lifted my forward! The of a stork. who from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from evil. the has her home in the fir stork Jer.28 Interpretation Lebanon stork which he planted. destruction are said of these verses is that the Hebrew text is Agincourt.

bring down to the is Though you soar aloft will like the eagle. to of life life about precisely because he did see that the hawk. The sight of the blood and the gore have numbed carnage made was so him. cause longterm planning that led up to the We do not. the hawk. Though The you make your nest as as the eagle's. 18. is high. high and the pride of your heart."1 loins like Would might a man (gebher)2: I will question you. like the dove that The horror dwell in the rock. deck yourself out in majesty and dignity. and you must let me know. 49:16 Leave the cities. know whether Job or it the horrified be he did a not see. me dwelling set say in heart. we shall see next charming as his sister bird the chapter. How my hand upon my mouth. his bread will be given him. The ostrich. you though your nest says the among the stars. who hold the height I will of hill.The Book of Job will will 29 be the fortresses of rocks. pride of your whose says the LORD. however. who ground?" live in the "Who of the rock. Put on glory and 11 Let fly the outbursts of your anger. Elihu's so implicit claim that no man is enough of a man (gebher) to face the world of nature seems to be vindicated. thence I bring down. the you you who dwell in the clefts of the rock. is in the not Job. Look upon every man of him. O inhabitants in the Moab! Be nests sides of the mouth of a gorge. for your own right have saved . in returning to flow off into death. 14 Then you. 13 Bury them all in the dust. the ostrich was unable CHAPTER FORTY 1 And the LORD wrangle with swer. sixth as beast. but I cannot 6 And the LORD answered Job out of the Tempest and said: 7 "Gird up your I answer You? I lay continue. you inspire has deceived you. has been defeated.4 even would praise you. 48:28 Jer. 12 Look down the I upon everyone of majestic pride and majestic pride and abase bring hand him low and tread guilty. order 8 you shatter be right? my judgment? Would you condemn me in 9 Have you an arm like God's. and Jer. his of water be sure. but I have no answer. twice. bring clefts will down from there." answered Job and said: would 2 "Should convict a man of discipline the Almighty? One who God must give an an 3 Then Job can answered the LORD and said: 4 "I have become so weak. did for its children all that the charm to do. you who your Obad. 10 "Go ahead. and can you thunder in that you a voice such as His?3 splendor. 5 I have spoken once. LORD. The cold and more grotesque. 1:3 heart has deceived you. Bind their faces in would obscurity.

He has been numbed as if stung by the Socratic sting fish. and you will remember war no Comments no answer.6 of brass.30 * Interpretation Behemoth5 15 "But look now. He has it here at There would have been no need to continue. I believe. The world Job has been converted from the Brother of and that the Jackal to one who would "call out to the muck 'Mother' 'Sister' 'Thou Father' art my right and call out and recantation to the maggots. are The and his thighs are are all knit together. but he did not. But the Tempest will go. or with you to be your eternal his nose. and his teaching is not a but an 3. He is the mighty one. Again it says. He eats fodder just like the cattle. had been what God had wanted.8 21 He lies down the lotuses. 24 Can he be taken by the eyes? or pierced the nose with a 25 jaw "Can" you haul in the Leviathan12 with a fishhook? Can through you press down his his tongue with a with the line? 26 Can you put a barb? 27 Will he always softly? 28 Will he you make a covenant ring be coming to implore you. 23 Though the burst into his snare?10 river he is unalarmed.9 brook in him. beyond man is no place for a man." 2." again "asking. "gird up your loins like a man (gebher)". Indeed. or his head with fishing his head. 18 His bones iron. and can you thunder in a voice let Job "telling. his limbs Maker like rods of 19 He is the first of God's ways. but Job had always recognized God's greater power. that was always the problem: Job 9:19 If trial be by strength. If Job's this not point." His?" such as God seems to base His argument on His power. God's argument is. hiding in the reeds and the fen. 17 He can stretch out his sinews of strength in his loins.7 Only his come can approach him with a sword. 16 but just look at the is in the muscles of his belly. under and all the beasts of the field play. convinced him that Elihu was right. 22 The lotuses blanket him surround with their shade and the willows of the rage. 20 "The there to mountains yield him produce. who would plead my case? . The sight of the six beasts has 1 Job has . Once Job thought that he knew what justice was. and if by court of law. Now ray he neither knows nor believes that he knows. his warning was just. confident that the Jordan will mouth. His ducts might tail stiff as a cedar. "Have you an arm like God's. somewhat more specific than one might at first take it to be. here is whom I made along with you. or pierce speak to you servant?13 29 "Can ladies?14 play you with him like a bird hold or tie of him on a string for your young 30 Or 31 Can can the dealers get him and trade their shares in the spears? market? fill his hide hand with 32 Merely place your upon harpoons.

. God is joking." "His bones are ducts brass. of It is. it has justice was defective in that he had problem of not realized that an adequate attempt requires that one to address the sphere of human justice prob journey human justice to face the lem deal of what one might wish with to call cosmic justice. and I find knowledge of and discretion. not turn out to be the and Job has yet much to the spirit behind the administration of that justice. fools despise and whatever you instruction. Job's search a world for human justice has led him into relevant. These do cosmos. however. . "laugh" or . with you . is this: Get wisdom. however 6. a good understanding have ever! all those who practice it. Job 18:3 Job 35:10-11 Why none are we considered beasts and made unclean . are all who teaches us more The verbs. of The LORD acts of old. his wisdom. of wisdom Prov. Prov. The word is the normal plural of the feminine noun behemah. Man is 7. in your eyes? say "Where is God my maker. being lous nor mythical. We have which means already seen any large domesticated it in Job: Just ask the animal such as a cow or an ox. . Appropriately enough. 1:7 The fear wisdom and of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. in which human action no longer seems Its vast forces are so wide seen and no outburst of his anger ever sweeping that no decking would ever be be felt. In the become clear that Job's understanding beyond the last two chapters. than the beasts of the earth. the first 8. clearly are of mythic proportion. whom I along eats fodder just like the neither miracu It is a normal part of the greater world around us. 4:7 The get. His praise endures for Prov. however. means by which justice is established in the learn of 4. behemoth 5. Job 12:7 beasts and they will show you. dwell in prudence. iron. I. created me at the beginning his work. and his limbs like rods of The visible universe is much larger than any man knows and of which he is unaware." in the made masculine singular. "Behemoth cattle. 8:12 . get beginning insight. The next two chapters will the question of the administration of that justice. and it will take Job a time to see within the implications of that kind of justice as it expresses itself the sphere of human action. 111:10 contains creatures which man not did not name and the unquestioned center of all that is visible.The Book of Job When Job thought that he knew what 31 had justice was. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. he of also thought that he the means to establish that justice. Compare Ps.

however. He is passively ferocious yet actively gentle and seems to rule by laughter. but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son.32 9. 18:12 came next: So Sarah laughed to herself. Gen. since words like or I shall by I'g essentially verse. "After I have my husband is old." I believe that the role subject plays a of in the Book with Job which differs from its in the other the Bible. 'Shall I Indeed bear I old?' am Is anything too hard . saying. shall I have pleasure?" grown old." as It occurs rather frequently in of the Bible and with the exception of this verse only. "mocking" It must remembered that we are only speaking of "laughter." looking at each usage. no the possible exception of the Book of Proverbs. He finds Thus. The wages of a servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning. for the pounding. 17:18 is ninety years old. bear child?" next verses it becomes clear that it was not a contented laughter: said to God. "Why did Sarah laugh. Shall be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Sarah. and you shall call his name Isaac. sight!" And Abraham Sarah's laughter Gen. hand? that You have for the toil of your own You hired shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. There is." Joy and happiness are another matter. The half-mythic. way limit our mean of seeing that other than "derision. a and said to himself. making it his drinking foun tain. note on role we must now begin a rather and long and. is usually translated "oppress. But from the Gen. I fear. tyrannizing river. world with a living being at ease of monumental stature of the This grand beast is in the land Jackal. child. half-real fabric reader whom of this account succeeds in leaving the feeling he has room that he shares a never seen. verse inquiry be to the words shq and shq. now that and say. Interpretation 'Ashaq kind. "No. and But had her laughter been goodnatured. that she had laughed. 19:13 Does it contempt seem good to You that You oppress. somewhat boring books foot the subject of of "laughter" "play. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 10. 18:13 The LORD said to a she would have felt no need to deny Abraham. "O that Ishmael might live in thy God said. always implies injustice the gravest Job 10:3 Lev. 17:17 Then Abraham fell "Shall a child who his face laughed. person The first in the Bible to laugh on was Abraham: and Gen.

21:6 city." the But he seemed to be jesting. a When he had been there Philistines looked long time. 39:17 and she told whom you in to lie him the same story. you laugh". but did Then came the taunting laughter So Lot of the sons-in-law of Lot: who were to Gen. came "See. 39:14 she called to the men of her household and said to them." a But Sarah denied. he me to has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us. And Sarah said. Then came the golden calf: Exod. but certainly the betrayed him. He said. his marry his daughters. whom you brought up out of the Moses. place. and rose your And the LORD said to people. Abimelech Isaac out of a window and saw king of the joking with Rebekah his wife. "God has who made a laughingstock of me. 21:9 to Hagar the Egyptian. son whom she had borne Abraham. and I cried out with a loud voice. for the LORD is about to sons-in-law to destroy Sarah: Gen. every one hears will laugh me. Foolish Isaac's innocent play Gen. It is hard to have any idea of what Ishmael consequences were disastrous. Gen. in the saying. saying. came have brought among us. "Go down.The Book of Job for the LORD? At the spring. and the people sat down to eat and drink. "I did laugh. 32:6 and And they rose up early on the morrow. have corrupted themselves. playing her Isaac. The next two occurrences of the word are usually even translated by the word "insult": Gen. "No. for she was afraid. not 33 appointed time I will return to you." at Next there came Ishmael: But Sarah saw the son of with Gen." and Sarah shall have son. up to play. he with me. "Up. 19:14 went out and said to get out of this his sons-in-law. and offered burnt offerings brought peace offerings. for land of Egypt. "The Hebrew servant. 26:8 also was actually doing. in to me to insult me. Next .

" has slain his thousands. with songs and making merry before lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. 18:7 And the women sang to and one another as they made merry. I and will make myself yet more contemptible I will be in your eyes. 30:10 So the Ephraim and Manasseh. 2:14 And Abner us. And when they came to the and was threshing floor of Nacon. Next came laughter and a tune that led to a revolution: ISam." pillars." Then come mocking and scorning couriers went 2Chron. . 6:21 And David me above your prince over said to Michal. Israel. and mocked them. David his ten Joab and Abner play rough: 2Sam. the abased and above all people of the his house." twelve of the servants of his opponent by the head. Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God took hold of it. "Let the young men arise and play before And Joab said." said to Joab. 2Sam. and he made sport before them. David. The same might even be said for Michal: 2Sam. And in his each caught arise. There is laughter no question was but that Uzzah's punishment which stemmed from the next too great. "Let them over and by Then they arose and passed number. they said. so down together. is and thrust his sword opponent's side. and he died there beside the God. for the oxen stumbled. They made him stand between the us. at Gibeon. that he may make sport for So they called Samson out of the prison. "Saul thousands. "It was before the LORD. 16:25 And when their hearts were merry. who chose father. before the LORD. and God smote him there because he ark of put forth his hand to the ark. 6:5 And David the LORD and all the house of Israel were with all their might. to appoint me as LORD and I will make merry than this. but by the maids of whom you have spoken.34 Interpretation Judg. from city to city through the country of and as far as Zebulun. "Call Samson. And the anger of the LORD kindled against Uzzah. by them I shall be held in honor. but they laughed them to scorn. Therefore that which place was called they fell Helkathhazzurim. twelve for Benjamin and Ishbosheth the son of Saul.

Prov. the fool only rages and laughs. he will snatch and tear you tent. Ecclesiastes also has a rather dim view of laughter. and I was daily his delight. I will mock when panic strikes I. 2:4 Ps. dwell in prudence. a time to mourn. He too rejects the "laughter" of his day: . and fear. 52:5-6 But God will break you down for ever. wicked. firebrands. as For the crackling of thorns this also made under a pot. 10:23 beside him. 8:31 Prov. but wise conduct is pleasure to a man of understanding. Ps. however. Strength and dignity her clothing. Prov. and shall laugh your from of the at living. wisdom. "It is mad. It is like sport to a then I was fool to do wrong. and money answers everything. 26:18 Even in laughter the heart is sad. 37:13 who sits in the heavens laughs. 3:4 to a time to weep. there is no quiet. Prov. he will uproot you from the land The righteous shall see. "I am only joking!" Prov. Prov. 29:9 If a wise man and an argument with a fool. of There only do find something find in the Book Job. also will laugh at your calamity. for Eccles. Sorrow is better than laughter. arrows. at them. is vanity. thou dost hold Peppered throughout the one quotations from the Book we of Proverbs. Like a madman who throws and the end of joy is grief. 59:8 But thou. rejoicing before him always." and of pleasure. it?" Eccles. all the him.The Book of Job Even the good 35 laughing He at the bad is not the same as goodnatured laughter: Ps. 7:6 the by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad. like a master workman. 2:2 I said of laughter. Eccles. and a time to laugh. and death. at the but the LORD laughs coming. Selah. and I find knowledge and discretion. 8:12 . rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the sons of men. . so is the laughter of fools. and a time dance. Jeremiah is not quite the same. O LORD. and wine gladdens life. for he sees that his day is Ps. dost laugh nations in derision. saying. 10:19 Bread is for laughter. I you. closer to what we finds another strain. laughs at the time to come. 14:13 Prov. "What use is Eccles. the LORD has them in derision. . 31:10 . is the man who deceives his has neighbor and says. 1:26 Prov. A good wife who can find? She is far are more precious than and she jewels. 7:3 Eccles.

and I was deceived. thou hast deceived me. I will restore the cares!' fortunes the of the tents of Jacob. Then our mouth was with laughter." Thus in the says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women shall again streets of Jerusalem. city be full boys and girls in hand for very age. Jer. and thou hast prevailed. When her . and have compassion on his dwellings. because they have called you an outcast: 'It is Zion. 20:7 stronger all O LORD. however. they shall not It is reserved for another time and is not a way of meeting what is before us. But he also has another notion of laughter. multiply them. I sat because thy hand was upon me. 30:17 the For I will restore health to you. When who the LORD restored the fortunes filled said of Zion. every one mocks me. thou art than I. and they be be few. shall each with staff of the streets of the streets. a derision horror to all that are round about and feels mocked Jer. Jer. There are also such thoughts to be found elsewhere: Ps. "The LORD has done things for them. the we were like those and our dream. I have become a laughingstock the day. 126:1 A Song of Ascents. Zech. 1:7 of the Book of Job there are only a handful left. and where city it shall be rebuilt upon its mound. says LORD. They read as Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and bitterness all the precious things that were hers from days of old. for thou hadst filled me with indignation. I will make them honored. nor did I rejoice. shall not small. Was thieves. And playing in its Outside follows: Lam. for whom no one Thus says the LORD: Behold. and the voices of those who make merry. and your wounds Jer. then they among nations. Moab shall wallow not in his vomit. Out of them shall come songs of will thanksgiving. 8:4 sit tongue with shouts of great joy.36 Interpretation Jer. I will heal. because he so that magnified himself against the LORD. 48:39 shame! Israel a derision to you? that whenever you spoke of you wagged your Was he found among head? How it is broken! How they wail! How Moab has turned his back in and a So Moab has become him. 48:26 "Make him drunk. him and he too shall be held in derision. I did alone. I and the palace shall stand used to be. 15:17 not sit in the company of merrymakers.

3:14 Ezek. for it Hab. made him all his trouble. for they like the wind and go they make sport. and every green thing is his to search out. Lam. . for you have a covenant with the rocks the field. innocent joke! those younger than Job 30:1 they have would turned me into the joke. They laugh at heap up earth and take on. 25. if to judge by different from the others. Luke 6:21. 23:32 I have become the joke to songs all all the peoples. The much subject was and bound to come up. because one cannot fail to notice how play innocent laughter there is in the Tempest: He laughs Job 39:7-8 at the clamor of the roams the city. FEAR will of violence when you will secure and shall have no it comes. a one who would 'Call answer' and now joke. the beasts of the fields will bring His laughter is rocks and the you peace. mocking at her downfall. But there of was another side of we are laughter. Then they sweep by own might is their god! It might be noted Testament also imply in passing that the six references to laughter in the New only scoffing (cf. the burden of their day says long. the a side which had always been a part Job and. The first to Job 5:21-23 speak of Job is Eliphaz: be When tongues scourge.The Book of Job people 37 fell into the hands gloated over the foe of the foe. you shall be laughed at and held in derision. 1:10 contains much. Job 12:4 on also grim side of But God But whose now I have become have him a joke to my friends. Mark 5:40. every fortress. laughter in the Book of 8:53. James 4:9). whose it. and does not even hear the drivers shout. even before his real thought had started: Job 29:24 I joked them them a many quotations given above. and perhaps even before with bit so that my kindness would not overwhelm because they had no self-confidence. and of rulers At kings they scoff. none to help her. Have no FEAR in beasts and the earth. a simple. I fathers I have felt contempt to put with my sheep dogs. Job the outcast. Mat. rooted of beasts in the safety of a fields" the but is not knew the "covenant" he will have "with the we so different from laughter laughter have known before. and there was her. but of the at violence and starvation you of laugh. guilty men. but hills as his pasture. the Lord GOD: "You shall drink your sister's cup and Thus which is deep large. 9:24.

and one of the things he learned. 3:8 and 13. On this question. "Let us make man in our image. the brother. after our likeness. Hamlet. and over every of the . but it and the beasts of the fields will bring you peace. Imagine Oedipus being mistaken for a long-lost twin than of comedy. but at violence and starvation you will laugh." some connection of between Job's new understanding sees a bit strange. at fear and is not dismayed. Job has come. and laughs at a passing horse and Job 39:22 Job 40:20 He laughs The play. To that extent. At one first. subject of laughter and his Identity really discovery being what the signets. . who well who she is even while she is being Ganymede playing Rosalind? 11. mountains yield him produce. nor is he turned back by edge of sword. was not the right slave?" dream: "Will he make a covenant with you to be your eternal To conquer rather it more succinctly. It with is way of living the times: "I joked them a bit so that my kindness would not over whelm them because they had no It is hard not to feel that there isn't of self-confidence. 1 :26 and Then God said. and even their sex. Job has come to learn from nature. Some English translations 12. wings on high. their iden tity. continually changing their clothing. and over the cattle. granted who asks: "Who is it that upon can tell me who I am? Lear's and why must Hamlet insist knows full things which can so be taken for by Rosalind. he has come to have its ways impressed upon him than impressing his ways upon it. for you have a covenant with the rocks in the field. bird and all the beasts come there to Job 40:29 Job 41:21 you play with him like ladies? young He laughs to the sound Can a or tie him on a string for your of the javelin. laughter ceases to be a thing hidden away for a better time a or a luxury with indulged in by those who are mindless of the times. of nature.38 Interpretation Job 39:18 its She just flaps her rider. this relation is seems to Dane. as we put have from the ostrich. but not to it. but he has a dream: not come to be the conquerer Job 5:22 . is the importance of freedom understanding of the signets. let them have dominion over the fish of the sea. With Job. and over the birds air. Eliphaz once had he has seen. Have no FEAR of the beasts of the earth. compare: seen as it follows from an Gen." be more a It is in comedy tragedy that people seem more plastic. "It is I. . Yet it is Lear shadow". and over all the earth. See note to start Chapter Forty-one at this point.

but the beyond is not ours. But it is not the same. sword against nation. "subdue" In addition. But female afterward slaves they turned around and took back the male they had set free. and they shall into plowshares. There is no promise of a great an act day to come one day that Job must wait for in expectation." It should be noted that both words. many of the peoples shall come. In many Isa. Jer. male and female he fruitful and multiply. and their spears into pruning hooks. "subdue" "dominate. We cannot divide it up and as we will.The Book of Job creeping thing that creeps upon the own image. and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. and shall their swords decide for many peoples. 18:1 Then the whole congregation of the people of Israel assembled at subdued Shiloh. and over the And God blessed them. but the he must perform now. Josh. to the house God Jacob. the land lay before them. The charm of the sentence teaches us it innocent jesting." out up he may teach us his of Zion shall go forth shall to the mountain the law. It house of shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the the LORD shall be established as the highest mountains. let of us go LORD. ways 15. The world about use world beyond can man in which man can play. the word for also has a sense of completion and final ity. and God said to them. the and all the nations shall flow to it. 25:46 You may bequeath them to your possession for ever. with harshness. For that ways and that we may walk in his paths. 34: 1 1 and set up the tent of meeting there. and have fish of the sea and over the dominion every birds of the air and over living thing that moves upon the earth. earth. "Be fill the earth and subdue it. To see it is to see it as a thing for itself. you may make brethren the another. 2: 1 this verse reminds one of the famous passage from Isaiah: The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah of the and Jerusalem. and say: of "Come. it is only a in which he learn about play. is not a world and 14. He judge between the beat nations. and and shall be raised above the hills." and are quite defi nite and strong: Lev. but over your one over Israel you shall not take dominion. people of sons after you. . not as a thing for us. in the image of God he created them. and subdued them as slaves. to slaves of inherit as a them. neither shall nation shall not lift up they leam war any more." 39 So God created man in his created him.

tohalto is from the much versed root root yhl (wait in expectation). laughs to the 22 "His the mud15 underparts are jagged leaves shards. 11 fire escape. the gods are in dread.13 cast as a nether millstone. 25 No without one of the dust shining wake till the abyss seems all hoaryhave dominion over him. 12 From his cauldron. shatter and are nor in confu 18 No sword that will reach can javelin. 14 His strength resides his neck. is a near relative of the at hwl or hyl. whereas this implies hope might also of or expectation. He makes the sea his be ointment16 24 and headed.10 8 each touching clings" one to his brother. wait. It too. 20 No son of the bow can stubble him to flight. him? 2 No would stand restitution?4 [all] one expectation' is an illusion. He sprawls himself out implacable on 23 and makes the pot17 deep will to seethe a like a cauldron. 15 Festoons of flesh. quaver. He is king over all the sons of pride. 5 7 But his can unveil his garment.40 Interpretation CHAPTER FORTY-ONE 1 "Thus. and terror dances before him. of some use to the reader It the be to consider how the root is used in Book Job: Job 6:11 What end that strength have I. Slingstones turn to sound of the javelin. His his mouth comes a flaming from torch as sparks of a stream or like the cracking of dawn. stand.2 Do up. 19 He Iron he put counts as straw. They Out clutch'2 each other and cannot at be parted. 17 "When he sion. "to or so I believe.18 26 He sees every towering thing. eyes are 10 "Lights flash of his sneeze. men not reel at the sight of is so brutal3 as to rouse him Now. for he was made to dread.14 21 and clubs are rated as straw. up by a breath between them. and not a his shields7. word mean but along it a sense of dread. that I should wait in expectations? What is my I should prolong my life? .'"9 Comments 1. rises up. could. nostrils there comes smoke as boiling 13 His breath in ignites the coals and flames come out of his mouth. or come before his double-folded jaw? 6 surrounded tight9 can open the doors6 of his face his teeth by terror! is the strength of the next." times. Even the can see that yhl reader not in Hebrew. which was discussed in carried the note to with Job 39:1. or exploits or the grace of his frame. 9 Each closed8 seal. nor lance. fused all together. lie on him cast as metal and do not 16 His heart is cast hard as stone. and bronze as rotton wood. who is that one who give exact before Is not me? 3 Who confronts me and [demands that] I everything outer under the heavens his mine?5 4 "I Who Who pride will not be silent about him. nor They spear.

till they stood longer 2. till they had finished speaking. None the less I will defend my ways before Him. but there came only a murk. YaChaL. for something to say. Men would hear me and wait in expectation. on a with. the Ps.The Book of Job Job 13:15 It may be that He will 41 slay will me. The Voice has introduced us to the then perhaps we can gain a deeper insight into the first while Since the relation to abandonment of expectation. The first has replaced the second. apart from their being for us. that we begin to see our own legitimate being as it is implied in the notion of the hwl. that God hopes? Would that God were pleased to crush me. that it is by giving up the yhl and recognizing that the world beyond man and its denizens have a legitimate being for themselves. We have heard those Isa. Job 3:8 who despise the sea. it might be wise to remind ourselves of Job's hopes Who will see as well: Job 6:8-9 grant to it that my request comes to light. If abandoning that the "expectation" means day will come the Leviathan will primarily abandoning the expectation be crushed in favor of the alternative account of the Leviathan: There go the ships. 104:26 Leviathan whom you made They Job 40:29 serve You and You give them their a to play food in due time. That is to say. I rain. interplay between hwl and denying us the second. which deals with our relation to the world of man. Job 14:14 of If a man (gebher) dies. their in mouths opened wide as if to catch the I hoped for the good spring but there came evil. need not imply the abandonment of hope QaWah. he come back to life again? All the days Job 29:21 my service I have waited in expectation for my release to come. waited expectation for Job 32:11 light. I have waited in expectation for your while you searched words and listened for your Job 32:16 understanding I waited in and could no expectation reply. falling silent to hear counsel. and the Leviathan the crooked serpent: and Ps. loose my his hand and cut me off! . you play ladies? young Can with him like bird or tie him string for your yhl. my Job 29:23 Job 30:26 the They waited for me in expectation as for the rain. He the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall Leviathan the shall flying serpent. insofar as it deals with our the world beyond man. will curse and those who are determined to lay open the Leviathan it. head of the Leviathan and gave it to the people of island Those food. I have no higher expectations. 27:1 On that punish the expectations: day. 74:14 the You crushed the as slay the crocodile that is in the sea.

a rock dislodged from its torrents have worn the have You washed away the dust his face of of away and its the land. You have resigned. Back in Verse 21 of that same chapter. has fallen The waters and crumbled away. Then the within fifty-two days. So. Job had said: Job 30:21-22 You have turned brutal persecute me. But to see that "[all] expec tation is illusion. Job has nonhuman. then. They with were in disgrace. mangled never overpowered man. occurs which I have translated "brutal.42 Interpretation Job 14:18-22 A mountain place. away. in already begun. The word. word 'akf'zar. 'Mother* call out to the muck 'Sister' Pit to be my home. His his sons were was honored but he unaware. 6:15 the wall was finished (shlm) on the twenty-fifth day the month Elul. to imply the attempt or desire to be or be come an actor within the realm beyond the human. The comes the root of this word. But that knowledge rouse may admire. where out my couch Father' and call out and then is my hope? 3. He first felt it in the form fear: Job 30:29 I became a and so brother to the Jackal and friend to the ostrich. but he and His body surrounds him pain." an is to see a world which man a world as a world can may first leam to recognize of man. But the forces pulling him back into the land of the Jackal had. means "to be whole or word complete." Neh. The "brutal" word seems." From it Hebrew So for "peace. and spread 'Thou art my to the maggots. shlm. You have stones trashed all mortal hope. One of them reads: give the Lam. ostriches but the daughter of my people has become brutal. 4:3 Even the jackals breast and suckle their young. apart from the needs only lead one to say: "No one is so brutal as to him up. like the in the wilderness. to mean "to pay [a word comes debt]": . passed through that veil which separates the human from the of His journey had begun some time ago. spirit is eaten Job 17:13-15 If I must take the in darkness. and with the might of fact. knew it." as is not a very common and it only twice outside the Book of Job. and in which he for itself. and he has and sent him off." 4. Your hand You You hoist in the me up onto the wind and set me astride to be tossed about wreckage.

one charged with a is punished for what harm he has caused others." by all to his the scales. is to "make whole. dead beast shall be his." 7. for it closed not the doors Him Job 1 1:10 Job 12:14 my mother's belly but hid my eyes from toil. If He should pass by and separate or close up. does have kind He impenetrable be hurt skin the others. "Is not everything under the heavens human justice. Therefore he cannot learn from others and so cannot learn to know himself. He closes in on a man and Job 16:1 1 of nothing is ever reopened. he pay ox for ox. In the embodied to Job 31:34 we door." insures of a of that there will be grass even note "where no man saw But its justice is the 6. and what who can turn back? He tears down can never be rebuilt. and I am not sure that be of much assistance either to the reader or to myself. 21:36 Or if it is known that the ox has been accustomed to gore shall in the and the past." oil rest." importance winnowing kind. in the however. to begin by looking to see word sgr ("closed") is used rest of the text: Job 3:9-10 of May it not see the eyelid of dawn open. This is human justice as it is contained in the notion of shlm. The I can remainder of this chapter is clearly how the quite dense. God sets the wicked to close in men. It might help." where the word a for debt is related to a word To pay off." debt. it means that the spoke Leviathan. crime goal of this kind of justice is to make those who have suffered whole To the extent that one must speak of punishment. however. on me and casts me into the hands guilty . If. "Go. mean normally In either of means "to shield. cannot by No one can touch him. 8. then. sell the live on the lift. unlike Job. know him from the Here it is taken outside only. Satan He cannot be disturbed by others. It leaves always room restitution. defend. then punishment for cosmic crimes can only be punished in terms of the harm man has caused to himself. from the root mgn. Job's openness as We can in his "open But Leviathan is "to finally closed to man. winnowing is the prime anal ogy of cosmic justice. of. it does not strictly make sense to "demand exact 5. meganim. and pay debts and you and your sons can he said.The Book of Job 2Kings 4:7 - 43 She and came and told the man of your God. case. and its owner has not kept it in." mine?" Cosmic justice is larger than and for the Leviathan is. The again." meaning "to or "to fill in" what one has "lifted This understanding is fundamental to human justice: Exod. In that sense.

the Leviathan does Job's skin. it is to another thing: Job 38:38 and liquify the dust and cast it into congealed (dbq) clods? for the Leviathan it Each seems to be yet another. For us it is ugly. but has the Leviathan seen Job? His closedness would seem to say No. off. become that which seals it hotam for Job. Job 19:20 Job 31:7 My bones stick (dbq) to If my step has wandered my skin and to my flesh. has. and their tongue stuck (dbq) to their palate.44 Interpretation One cannot up." away from all other beings. 9. "signet." his completion and perfection. of murk and confusion. complete. shameful. But it also left him open to feeling and then seeing a world beyond his world. But. in the world beyond man. or a taint stuck (dbq) to my hand." all others. For the world beyond man. or constrictive: "stick. tight itself. while noticing that the Leviathan finds his strength in Job's strength lay in his willingness to stand in the open help being not. dabhaq." sar. The Leviathan's pride turns out to be Job's old foe narrow For Job it was the oppressive was feeling of walls For the Leviathan it "Seal. ing What gave anything its being by mak it intelligible to another. flesh. ness. closed entranceway. At best. making it unknown and unintelligible to 11. it restrains speech: Job 29:10 The voice of the nobles was hushed. also consider: Job 38:30 clutches to Water draws itself up. and the face of the deep Again. the list is . Iqd: It is important to Job 5:13 Job 36:8 He traps the contorted ones see how very different this in their word looks to men: wise own craftiness as the advice of those dashes headlong. lie on him cast as metal do not quaver. fused (dbq) all together. as stone. Job leaves himself openness open to what is most other. for the Leviathan. from the way. "tight. pulling in and sky cutting For Job it was the beginning 10. Job has seen the Leviathan. are But if they bound in fetters and trapped in cords of affliction. 12. Job 41:9 Job 41:15 one clings of Festoons and (dbq) to his brother. my heart gone after my eyes." first came to light when we saw that he had no "skin beneath his This was the vulnerability that let in pain and anguish.

The Book of Job
13. Not
Job 6:12
so

45

Job,

who once said:

Do I have flesh

of

bronze?

For

man

to

be

made of

flesh is to be

able to

feel

pain:

Job 19:22

Why
flesh?

do

you pursue me

like God, taking

satisfaction out of

my

Not to feel
Job 10:4

pain

is

not

to understand pain;

Have You

eyes of

flesh?

For Job, it is through the
notion of which

feeling

of pain that we come

to understand the

importance, by seeing

ourselves

willing to

risk pain and

death for that

is important:
For

Job 13:14

what reason

do I take my flesh between my teeth

and

my life in

my hands?

flower 14.

The way his flesh lies makes it appear to be open to the other, but, like a carved in stone, the festoons of flesh cast like iron remain for ever, but

forever in itself.

Nothing

can

be for him

what

it is for itself. Difference for him
His total
unawareness and

makes no

difference. "Slingstones turn to
to the world around
neither

stubble."

indifference he
uses

him is

awesome.

The lights

which

flash

at

his

sneeze

to see
see

To

appreciate

by, by only him. are for themselves and not as are for us, to things as they they the grass which grew where no man was, Job was forced to quit the
nor

to read

and yet we are arrested and can see

world of man

for

a world unstifled

by

human

need and

let to be itself. But in

that world only man, the stranger, through his weakness and otherness could

learn to let things be.

Only

then could he return with a

fuller understanding

of

human

need. an old

15. Once

Parmenides

asked a

anything in itself apart from what bit absurd. Has mud anything better to do than to be

young Socrates if he thought mud was it is for us. The question would seem to be a
made

into

a mud

pie,

or a

brick,

or a

house? And

we all

stand upon the earth with never a thought of

asking its permission. Nonetheless, we can almost feel the jagged shards cutting gashes into the ground. In this imagery we see the great destruction to others implied in his
16. Or
simple

being.

"perfume"

Exod. 30:25

.

.

.

and you shall make of these a sacred as

blended

by

the perfumer; a

holy

anointing oil anointing oil it shall be.

.

.

.

46

Interpretation
Whoever
ISam. 8:13 He bakers.
compounds

outsider shall
will

be

cut off

any like it or whoever from his people.

puts

any

of

it

on an

take your daughters to be

perfumers and cooks and

Song

of

Sol. 5:13

His

cheeks are

like beds

of spices,
myrrh.

yielding fragrance. His

lips

are

lilies, distilling

liquid

17.
first it burst

38:8

Who

closed

up the

sea

behind the double door

when

out of

the womb

The sea,
which

long

in

our

tale the measureless realm of chaos and confusion,

had

always threatened to engulf
pleasure.

all, has become a simple utensil,

instru

ment of

his innocent

18. The

word which

I have translated

"dread"

as

is

a

very

obscure

word, and

in fact

appears

in only

one other passage

in the

whole of

Biblical literature.

Ironically,
Gen. 9:2

the passage reads:

on

all

and dread of you shall rest on every animal of the earth, and bird of the air, on everything that creeps on the ground, and on every the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered.

Panic

But the Leviathan "was
emerges,
and perhaps

made

to

be

dread."

without correction

Thus, Job 41:25

intentionally

so, as a

to

Genesis 9:2. If the

human

understanding is to be of any ultimate relevance, man cannot be master of the visible universe. It is only in seeing a thing outside of himself as a being in itself, that man can begin to regard himself as a self.
sphere of

19. in

shahas.

The

one other verse

exact meaning of this word is in the Bible. The context is:

not

very

clear.

It only

appears

Job 28:7-9

The

eye of the

falcon has it

never caught sight of

it,

nor

have the

sons of pride ever trampled

over.

The lion

can

bear it

no witness, mountains

but

man

has

put

his hand to the flint

and overturned

its

by

the root.

In Aramaic, the
means

shahsa'

word

means

"a

lion,"

while

in Ethiopian the
elevated,"

root

"to be

insolent."

root comes

the word

In Arabic, the shhis, "a bulky

root means
or

"to be

from

which

man"

"a

rank."

man of

Thus,

there

king
since

over

beasts

is disagreement among translators as to whether the Leviathan is or over men. The ambiguity may not be totally unintentional,
that such a

it is

not so clear

distinction is
that

the Leviathan himself. It

is

not even clear

of any concern whatsoever to he knows that he is king, though

king

indeed he surely is.
grand

This

beast,

above and

beneath

all malice or

ambition, oblivious to all,

The Book of Job
rules all and

47

by

the mere weight of his

being. In him

we recognize our

limitations

hence

see our

definition.

CHAPTER FORTY-TWO

1 Then Job
that no
without
design'

answered
can

the LORD and said: 2 "I know that You

can

do

all and counsel

be

withheld

from You. 3 Who is this I had
wonders2

one that

hides

knowledge? I have

spoken though

not understood.

There is

a

beyond me, a world full of that I had never known. 4 Now listen and I will speak; I shall question you, and you will inform me. 5 I had hear;3 heard of You as ears can but now my eyes have seen You. 6 Wherefore I
world

have both

contempt and compassion

for4

dust

and

ashes."5

7

And6

it

was

so, that

after

the LORD had spoken these words unto
Temanite,7

Job,
you,

that
and

the LORD said to Eliphaz the
against your two as

"My

anger

fumes

against

friends: for

you

have

not spoken of me the

thing

that

is right,
rams,

has my

servant

Job. 8 Therefore,
and offer

get yourselves seven

bulls

and seven

Job, my bear8 Job shall pray for you; for I will deal with you after your folly, in that you have
and go to servant servant

up for

yourselves a

burnt offering; and my his countenance in order not to
not spoken of me the

thing

that

is right, as my servant Job 9 So Eliphas the Temanite
Naamathite
also

has."

and

Bildad the

Shuhite

and

Zophar

the

went and did according as the LORD commanded them, the LORD Job.9 bore up the countenance of 10 And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his

friends,

and

the LORD returned all that Job
all of

had,

twice over.

11 Then his house
sion

his brothers
with which

sisters'0

and

and all of

his friends
him.12

came over to

supped"

and

him.

They
12

consoled

him

and showed

him

compas

for

all

the evils

the LORD

had brought

upon

Each

one gave a of

Qesitahn

and each a golden ring;

and the

LORD blessed the last days

his 13
the
all

life

even more

than He had its beginning. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six
asses;'4

thousand camels, one thousand head of cattle, and one thousand she
and

he

also

had

seven sons and three

daughters.'5

14 The first he

called

by

name of

Jamimah,16

the second to be

Keziah,17

and the third

Keren-Hapuch.18

15 In

the land there

could not

daughters,
knew his

and their

found any woman more father gave them an inheritance alongside
hundred
and

beautiful'9

than Job's
brothers.20

their

16 And Job lived

another one

forty

years after

these events, and

sons and

his

son's

sons, and

died,

an old man contented with

theirs, four his days.

generations.

17 And

so

Job

Comments 1 It is terribly
how
translate this word. Gener

.

mezimah.

unclear

one should

ally speaking it usually implies

evil or wicked

intent:

48

Interpretation
Job 21:27 Ps. 10:2

Oh, I know
devised In

what you are

thinking, the

machination you

have

against me.

arrogance the wicked

hotly

pursue the poor;

let them be

caught

in

the schemes which

they have devised.
often means

In the Book
cretion":

of

Proverbs, however, it

something

more

like "dis

Prov. 8:12

I,
on

wisdom, dwell

in prudence,

and

I find knowledge

and

discretion.

Jeremiah,
wicked:

the other

hand,

uses

it to describe God's

plans

against

the

Jer. 30:24

The fierce

anger of

the LORD

will not

turn

back

until

he has

executed and accomplished the you will understand this.

intents

of

his

mind.

In the latter days

The
sage

in question, yibhaser, only in the Bible:
verb

occurs

in the

passive

in

one other pas

Gen. 1 1 :6

all one and

And the LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do;

nothing

that

they

propose to

do

can

be

withheld

from

them."

The verb, then,
sense one

would seem or

to preclude

finds in Proverbs

taking the in Jeremiah, since in
also

word mzmh either

in the

neither case

is anything
Perhaps Job

being

spoken of which one would want to prevent.

This leaves the first meaning, but that is
means,

difficult to

accept.

however,

that that too can

be

accepted as

long

as

it is known to be

without malice or

intent. beyond me,
a world

2. "There is
are]
wonders

a world

full

wonders,"

of

literally, "[There

beyond
'em'

me."

3. Literally, "I had heard of You by rumor of the cf. 28:22. 4. 'al ken as wenihamti 'al 'epher we'phar. This is clearly a critical contested passage. I also think that it has been much abused.
ear,"

and

King
least

James translates: "Wherefore I
The Revised Standard does

abhor

myself, and repent

on

dust

and

ashes."

about the

same,

except that

King

James

at

puts the word

"myself in
ashes."

italics, indicating

that there

is nothing

corre

sponding to it in the Hebrew text. Greenberg has "Therefore, I recant and re lent, being but dust and Greenberg is more in line with the original
punctuation which puts the major
as the

stop

after the second verb rather than the

first

King

James

would require.

ashes."

The Cambridge Bible translates: "Therefore I melt away; I repent in dust Their reasoning is somewhat complicated. The root m's had

and

already

He also knows that that large woolly world has in it a kind of love and a kind of laughter which only he his fellows 6. . the inference which is automatic in Hebrew. and repentance. of course.epher we'phar. a common Biblical phrase in all its mortality. The the root m 's fundamentally Again. require as Greenberg does. This return by an author who knows the names of Eliphaz and Bildad and Zophar is. if one feels sorrow guilt. He is of at home in He a very large world in for more than a hill beans. "Let them be like the with snail which dissolves into and nms slime. and would something like a "myself to be to be no basis for such an assumption. 18:27 the Abraham answered. normally as 'el. there seems "to feel deep compassion. that the book was conceived of as a whole. The root nhm means understood in the text. however. one feels remorse. one more reason for believing tion. we have returned to Chapter One." or is." and is. and that the linguistic and flight from back to the mundane was a integral part of the author's inten . real feeling that God has when people offer Him sacrifices that have no to translate it as "recant. Job the homeless is which no man counts at home now." where it "to It is found in Ps. I have taken upon myself to speak to Lord. Also see Gen. "Behold. far as I have been able to in English vernacular is by no means as they mean "while sitting tell. can establish in the world of the small. in itself. means "to despise" "reject. that dust so clear 'al is exactly the word that one would expect to mean find following for." and 5. Job 30:19 It throws me into the mire and I become like dust and ashes.The Book of Job occurred meant -49 in Job 7:5: ooze. back to the everyday language of Dick and Jane. the word normally and so imply does guilt or self-recrimination." to be behind their understanding of the verse. He is value. Linguistically speaking." "My also skin has become hard and begins to ooze." These passages." but. But to others for something that one has done. have expected but it would not be so . "Dust meaning mankind ashes. I who am but dust ashes. 58:8. together seem the fact that the It roots mss do mean "to melt." 'al. also at home in a very each and and small world world in which each man is of infinite can be at home in only because he is at home in the other. "I have comtempt for as 'eth or strange to let the 'al do for both." wenihamti." one assumes ashes. "upon. feel sorrow or compassion for the suffering of anything like "on" does not." meaning to them. and mean or When King James trans on lates "on dust ashes. As far em' and together as the word 'em' they simply 'em' "I feel compassion one would is concerned." sorrow or Like the English word. as . by the way. for instance.

that the moths eaten. It might be worth mentioning that the only sisters. All of by the language ordinary everyday adult human speech. 9. another eat their remains by fire?" then let me sow. and the worms cover Job 22:20 Job 31:8 saying. Can egg what white is tasteless be eaten without salt or does the slime of Job 13:28 Job 15:34 Job 18:13 and all have any taste? becomes worn out like have a rotten thing like a piece of clothing . and Joshua 2:13 . death's first born his members. Again there has been a switch middle in the texture section with of the language. 8." other Biblical character to use the was phrase "brothers and with all the sense of equality that it implies. and send word to their three to come and eat and drink them. but that seeing took place in a foreign land in act. but . Job's his hands his friends eyes could not have seen. and Job His sons used to make feasts in their homes. will consume His be away. 11. destruction. living in a nutshell. and save alive and mother. Gone is the vocabulary. 10. "Has consumed not our enemy been destroyed. yet his soul. The nation now word 'aChaL that had so often meant death. Job 20:26 Job 21:25-26 He will be consumed by an unblown fire and all shall go ill with the remnant left in his tent. Job 1:4 be a world devoid of all meaningful human action. Remember Aaron. Job of the wide world is again Job the servant which of the LORD. that wonderful woman of the night. the tents of skin will bribery eaten are a consuming fire. The world of out to seeing turned has returned. our and all who belong to deliver lives from death. . Rahab: my father them. sisters each one on a different with day. my brothers and sisters. .50 Interpretation 1. interact: devour even and resig holds together a world that can act and Job 5:5 All he has harvested the hungry shall taking out from Job 6:6 an under the thorns: and the thirsty shall go panting after their wealth. never having eaten of together they lie in the dust. of Another dies in the bitterness goodness. He who has seen the Leviathan will say a prayer for as they bring their bulls and their rams to be sacrificed. tortuous syntax of the long its obscure The that language is simple. but it is has been replaced not a simple return of to a fairytale world. them over.

they up claims that I have eaten its produce without payment and eye. can lose its destructive Job 2: 1 1 Now when Job's three friends had heard came each of all the evils that had come upon him. and Zophar the Naamatite. strength in his Now. Shechem's father. inheritance of the descendants 14. It fell down . uprooting withhold pleasures all that I have ever accomplished. whom Job 40:15-16 He But look now. or even eat a crust of when bread alone. They him conferred and to with one another and planned to come together to console him compassion. He richest man ('ish) in the East 15. The recognition of compassion that Job gained from beyond the human sphere has had its full effect within the human sphere. but look at the loins. Bildad show Shuhite. three thousand camels. he bought for land on which a hundred Qesitoth the of piece of he had pitched his tent. We remember: Job 1:18-19 While he was yet talking. in sons of an the portion of ground which Jacob bought from the Hamor the father Shechem for of a hundred Qesitoth. 33:19 Joshua 24:32 And from the The bones sons of Hamor. fodder just like the cattle. eating joyous unity. ten thousand of cattle. they the from his own place Eliphaz the Temanite. not snuffed out the life of its owners. "Your sons and your of daughters eating and drinking wine in the house their oldest brother. Job 1:3 He head owned seven thousand sheep. were another one came in and said. 12. How widow's could I from the poor or drain a with the Job 31:39 sharing it had grown with me for a father? fatherless. after character and become an act of simple Job's return. Gen.The Book of Job Job 31:12 Job 31:16-17 It would 51 be a fire consuming down to Abaddon. His might is in the muscles of his belly. when a mighty wind came in from the on wilderness and struck the four corners of the house. at the end of the book. it became Joseph. 13. What was not possible before has now become actual. five hundred she asses and was the head of a very large was the estate. Joseph at which the people of Israel brought up from of Egypt were buried Shechem. here is Behemoth eats I made along with you.

Your your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.52 Interpretation the young people. came to Jezreel. "day. the iron for the things iron. too. They are dead. Then. that you and adorned enlarge your eyes with paint? . and looked out of the window. and used pens of the by women as eye makeup. antimony. the silver of of my God. all sorts of precious stones. Job opened mouth and spurned 17. the very fact that them a certain being and hence a The pukh names are the clearly intended to be very beauti daughters are mentioned by name gives But what of certain nobility." is a fragrant bark of a tree that can be pow dered like Ps. keren happuli1: the first two ful. including the being his 16. and she painted her head. stones. "cassia. in English. We remember to his friends: his his day. or all the things that a self. and of bronze for the things for the things bronze. qesi'a." Nor have they been forgotten: Job 42:1 1 to Then all of his brothers and sisters and all of his friends him came over his house and supped with him." are. means "antimony": for house IChron 29:2 So I have the gold the provided the of for the things of gold. And you. Job himself becomes word yom. of Job does not end with a deus ex machina or miracle or resur of death In recognizing the being of itself. They consoled and showed upon him compassion for all the evils which the LORD had brought him. of silver. in the prophets. It is from the words It is a new Job. Job 3:1 Then. In ancient times it was ground into a powder. this name? second word. what do you mean that you dress in scarlet. As such it became. so far for the things as I was able. O desolate one. and marble. also called pukf1. 4:30 When Jehu her eyes. that you deck yourself with ornaments of gold. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad. 45:8 cinnamon and used in cooking. and I alone have escaped to tell thee. and wood and stones wood. 18. besides great quantities of onyx colored for setting. The Book rection. sym bolic of feminine corruption: 2Kings 9:30 Jer. Jezebel heard of it.

and they were afraid to come near him. 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn his oil. The LORD to judge the horn ends of the of earth. 2:1 Hannah horn also prayed and said. and his homs are the of a wild with he shall push the peoples. His bull has majesty. Moses' his face shone. and There Zadok the anointed horn of oil from the Solomon. flashed from his hand. 2:10 The them the LORD shall be broken will to pieces. rejected and being king to Israel? Fill your go. behold." of but qeren much than A horn contained the oil used to anoint the said to kings of Israel: ISam. 33:17 ox. for I sons. until in to speak with him. and exalt the his And so it comes to mean all these things for a human being: heart exults in the LORD. that the skin of skin of face shone. But the root also means "to shine": Exod. salvation. will give strength his king. and he veiled his power. rays Hab. 34:30 the And when Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses. "How long him from will you grieve over over Saul. Then they blew the trumpet. tent. The homs of an animal are his strength and his defense. qeren. and the Spirit of the LORD mightily upon David from that 1 Kings 1:39 day forward. My mouth rejoice in thy . he and went and Moses would put the veil upon his face again. 16:1 The LORD seeing I have horn with oil. They give him greater stature and a formidable look: adversaries of will ISam. and went to Ramah. my derides my enemies. the word itself can mean "a ray of light". against he thunder in heaven. And Samuel priest took the rose up. to begin at the beginning. to the ends of the earth. "My exalted in the LORD." 53 us look at the first word. said. all of them. firstling them the word means the horn of a living horns animal: Deut. and anointed him in the midst of came brothers. hence. "Long live King Solomon!" and all the people But." provided for myself a king of among his ISam. I will send you Jesse the Bethlehemite. 3:4 His brightness there was like the light. The people of Israel saw the face of Moses. and such are the thousands of Manasseh. he anointed.The Book of Job Now let name "horn. It "horn. such are the ten thousands of Ephraim." means means so and together the more means "the Horn Mascara. because I ISam. have Samuel.

75:4 up Ps. too. And. it was the source of all kinds of music: Joshua 6:5 And you when they make a long blast with the ram's horn. and you shall take part of the of overlay it with bronze. the phrase "hom mascara" of works well. 132:17 will bring these meanings together: There I will make a horn to sprout for David. and the IChron. 15:28 So all up every Israel brought up the of man straight before him. and made loud music on harps and lyres. the hom played a central role in the place of worship: Exod. of course. trumpets. my shield and the horn savest my salvation. to the sound the hom. then city all the people shall shout with a great shout. its horns shall of one piece with and shall it. in whom I take refuge. When the although news came to for Joab had supported Adonijah he had not supported Absalom Joab fled to the tent of the LORD and caught hold of the horns of the altar. Linguistically. for Israel who are near to him. 29:12 And you shall make horns for it blood on its four corners." not and to the wicked. Joab and the rest of the pour out at the base of the altar. as soon as hear the sound of the trumpet. the bull and put it upon the blood you shall horns 1 Kings 2:28 of the altar with your finger. 89:17 I say your to the horn. LORD with ark of the covenant of the and shouting. by thy favor our horn is This is what Job had in I have the mind when he said: Job 16:15 sewed sackcloth over my skin. Often the Psalmist Ps. 148:14 lamp for my anointed. "Do glory boast. my rock. and the wall of the people shall go will fall down flat. He has raised up a hom for his the people of people. I have driven my horns into dust. my savior. because it eas and ily blends "the hom into the language along of with such other phrases as "hom oil" of my salvation": 2Sam.54 Interpretation Ps. 22:3 of My God. praise all his saints. art the of their strength. stronghold and my refuge. I have for prepared a Ps. Praise the LORD! As I once before had occasion to mention. cymbals." boastful. my me from violence. 27:2 be Exod. thou . "Do not lift For thou exalted.

there is also good. you are a a dead man. a prima facie assumption that the beautiful is that That statement is by no means intended to imply Plato was unaware of the problematic character of that assumption: only and think of such people as Meno Alcibiades. in have to be Song its of Songs. and said to him. Jacob preferred Rachel's beauty to Leah's soft eyes: Gen. for she is Now Abimelech had not approached her. has a child: Leah knows only Gen." "Lord. As is the case in the dialogues of Plato. he said to Sarai his behold. Jacob loved Rachel. 29:31 gratitude each time she When the LORD but Rachel was saw that Leah was hated. "Behold. is no longer sufficient conjure up a degrading image of womankind. he opened her womb. to Sarai. But God sister. but Rachel was beautiful and lovely. Although it is wilt thou slay an innocent people? clear that as a young man. her beauty almost led to the death of an innocent. And Leah conceived and bore a son. "She is my Gerar sent and took Sarah. From the The subject first arises with respect beginning we are shown the difficulties involved: When he know that Egyptians me. the and the name of the younger was name of the older was eyes were Leah. 19. Gen. then they kill but they let you live. Abram's And ultimately. barren. wife. and his house because of Sarai. And when the princes of woman was Pharaoh into her. 20:2 And Abraham Abimelech said of king a of Sarah his wife. and when . because of the woman whom you have taken. And the But the LORD afflicted taken Pharaoh's house. We have not. they praised her to Pharaoh. Rachel. though perhaps somewhat naive man. we shall have to consider the full list." But it is not clear what the reader is to think. 12:11 was about to enter you are a woman beautiful to Egypt. Leah's soft. "I the will see you. so as to not mislead ourselves. man's wife. cluded however. by conjoining the Its bare word queren ("hom") to the pukh in such a natural and ordinary way. and she . "I will serve you seven years daughter Rachel. with great plagues Pharaoh wife. saw Gen.The Book of Job To word 55 put the argument simply. for your younger and he said. 'This is his wife'. will they will say. 29:16 Now Laban had two daughters. the author has silently but mention force to fully robbed the word of its sting." And to came Abimelech in dream by night. it is a subject in itself which would understood on own terms. also complicated The Biblical The view of beauty since is and. so he said.

"Give children. but his father buried Benjamin. but with a demand for Gen. saying. Then Rachel said. and two maidservants. 30:1 Gen.56 Interpretation called upon his name Reuben. When she finally does have another: a son of her own. "Because the LORD has heard that I his name am hated. Bethlehem). for the way of women is upon So he searched. "With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister. but did not find them. Rachel travailed. when she was now you will she and when they were still some distance from Ephrath. 30:24 and she called me another his name Joseph. and entered Rachel's. So Rachel died. he has given me this son also". But Rachel always thinks in terms of battle and victory: Gen. and sat upon all about the tent. and I die!" shall Then Rachel said. and into the tent of the not find them. in her hard labor. and said." them. Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel's saddle. but did not find the household gods. so she called his name Naphtali. and have prevailed".' and she had hard labor." She my affliction. And midwife said to as her. (that and she was on the way to Ephrath is. In the presence of our kinsmen not Now Jacob did I have that is yours. she reacts not with gratitude. for she said. 31:32 it. but at a very heavy price: Gen. "May the LORD add to son!" Her demand was met. she called his name Benoni. So Laban point out what went into Jacob's tent. voice and given me a has also heard my son". 30:6 When Rachel sister. and she called Simon." "Any one with whom you find your gods shall not live. said to me. surely now my husband will love conceived again and bore a son. "Because the LORD has looked me. therefore she called his name Dan. saw that she bore Jacob me no children. and take know that Rachel had stolen them. she envied or her and she said to Jacob. 35:16 Then they journeyed from Bethel. And she her father. "God has judged me. "Fear called not. "Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you. her Nor is it clear what we are to think of charm: Gen. for another And her soul was departing his (for name died). And he went out of Leah's tent. Laban felt . the have son. but he did into Leah's tent.

for it." Then come the pointless cows: Gen. for when this is ISam. 25:3 Now the name of the man was woman was of good Nabal. behold. they first seven fat cows. 41:2 and fat. David. And after a time his wife cast her eyes upon Joseph. but the ill-behaved. and not to allow oneself to fall under the sway of that one cannot is to miss a great deal of the Bible. . for he He charm was but ruddy beautiful in was charming. and the name of his wife Abigail. which and having him he had was for anything but the food he ate. and saw and him. for blood be made pollutes the land. he disdained appearance. except can for him the land. Abigail: ISam. Joseph. "Arise. Now Joseph handsome (beautiful) and good-looking. whom we saw at work in the note to Job 6:11. 39:6 So he left no concern he had in Joseph's charge. "Lie with master's me. David was beautiful: brought him in. . blood that is by the blood of who shed There is a law: and see among the captives a beautiful woman.The Book of Job But perhaps most 57 soft- telling of all is the ultimate superiority of Leah's spoken son Judah over that master magician. 21:11 you have but it must be read in the light of Cozbi. and had and was handsome. 16:12 And he sent. Nile seven cows beautiful and And the thin and gaunt cows ate On the other hand beauty as a fictional goal is at times implicitly praised: Num. and said. 17:42 And the Philistine looked. the [beautification] in it. Now he he. the . beautiful eyes. Deut. a youth. 35:33 You shall not thus pollute the land in and no expiation shed which you live. Nonetheless. Gen. and up the there came up out of fed in the reed grass." ISam. And the LORD said. The man was churlish and understanding and beautiful. anoint and was ruddy. and desire for her and would take her for yourself as wife. was Joseph himself beautiful. totally forget his There relation was also to Bath Shibah. he was a Calebite. . him. but all that again it led to grave problems.

with listen to her. The very beautiful." of her. and lay Her brother was not so wonderful. I saw Absalom hand.58 Interpretation Tamar was a wonderful person. her. Absalom and struck him." with And he took three darts in his of hand. then you yourself would have stood not waste time like this you. my than she. and being stronger to me. 2Sam. "Come. David's son. though I do not its importance: 2Sam. he it)." treacherously against his life (and there is nothing hidden from Joab said. and the mule went under the thick caught branches was of a great oak. "Pray let my sister Tamar come and Now was make a couple of cakes But and said when she in my sight. and pretended to be ill. and killed him. but her beauty caused her disaster: 2Sam. from the sole of . and told hanging in an oak. the and she became the king's not. Absalom he riding his mule. But he would not he forced her. 18:10 And a certain man saw it. oak. while he was still in the surrounded And ten young men." hand. lie with her. when was heavy meet on him. nurse and ministered to him. 13:1 Absalom. Joab's armor-bearers. hair his head. David's son. crown of cut there was no blemish in him. Amnon said to the king. whose name So Tamar. one daughter whose Next came poor Abishag: 1 Kings 1:3 of So they sought for a beautiful maiden throughout all the territory Israel. Amnon lay down. two chanced to and upon hundred the shekels by the king's And Absalom was servants of David. "I king). 14:27 There were name was Tamar. but king knew her . On the other Joab. alive and thrust them into the heart Absalom. he weighed weight. his foot to the . and when the king came to see him. that I may eat from her brought them near him to eat. and left hanging between heaven earth. and she was a beautiful woman. For the understand sake of completeness I shall add the rest of the story. born to Absalom three sons. had a beautiful sister. and after a time Amnon. . while the mule that was under him went on. loved her. 14:25 Now in all Israel there was no one so much to be praised for his his hair it of beauty head as Absalom. he took hold sister. and brought her to the maiden was king. his head and fast in the oak. every And when he the his head (for at the end of cut year he the used to cut of it. and found Abishag the Shunammite. but beauty did him in as well: 2Sam. "Behold. if I had dealt the will aloof.

shame. that is Esther. they seek your life. and what I have seen to be good and to be beautiful is to eat drink and find enjoyment of in all the toil with which one toils which under the sun the few days his life God has given him. Esther's beauty saved her people. 48:2 the beautiful in elevation. and instead of well-set that stretches afar. 10:3 lovers despise you. 31:30 Charm is deceitful. Do not desire her beauty in your heart. is the joy of all the earth. 5:18 Behold. for themselves: is Ps. and and do not capture you with Prov. as and when her father and her mother died. 3:24 Instead girdle. Eccles. and instead Isa. a there will be rottenness. in let her Prov. Jer. O desolate one. 6:25 far north. in she was order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty. and He had brought up Hadassah. her eyelashes. for fair to behold. grace you poured upon your lips. scarlet. but it is The not clear what rest speak one kind way of a person she or the other has become by the end of the book. A tree from the forest is cut down. Esther 2:7 uncle. of perfume Isa.The Book of Job Vashti's 59 beauty did not help her. 33:17 Jer. they will behold a land rope. that you enlarge your eyes with paint? In vain you beautify yourself. the maiden was beautiful lovely. Your eyes will see the king in his beauty. but a woman who fears the praised. Jer. 4:30 hair. Mount Zion. and instead of a rich robe. therefore God has blessed for ever. for of a this is his lot. the city of the great King. LORD is to be beauty is vain. baldness. And you. a girding of sackcloth. Mordecai adopted her his own daughter. instead of beauty. that you what do you mean that you dress in Your beautify yourself with ornaments of gold. 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. the daughter of his for she had neither father nor mother. it it and worked with an axe with silver and by the hands of a craftsman. 11:15 What right has my beloved in my house. Eccles. for the customs of the peoples are false. they fasten it with hammer and nails cannot move. when she has done vile . Men beautify so that gold. 45:2 You are the most beautiful of the sons of men. also he has put eternity into man's mind. and there is little reason to believe she deserved her fate: Esther 1:11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown. yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. Ps.

they perfect your beauty. Son of man. nor the fir trees equal its boughs. 9:15 that thirst. of your your renown exceedingly beautiful. but they will not do it. and grew embroidered fine flour came and honey and oil. were blameless in your ways from the day you were created. iniquity was found in you. in the length of its branches. no tree in the God was like it in beauty. high Eden envied it. 2:15 with goodly fruit". and lavished your harlotries your on any passer-by at the head of every street you yourself built lofty place and prostituted your beauty. I will give it into the hand of a mighty one of the nations. "But trusted in beauty. but with the roar of a great tempest he fire to it. to feast their eyes on It was its roots went beautiful in its greatness." I Ezek. the joy of all of with gold and this the city which earth?" the beautiful and silver. The cedars in the garden of God trees could not rival were as it. . "Is beauty. towered proud of Ezek. and your cloth. says the Lord GOD. he shall surely deal with it as its wickedness deserves. that were in the garden of God. to perfect your The men of men of Arvad Gamad and Helech were upon your walls round about. the plane garden of of nothing compared with its branches. and played the harlot because of your . Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because it and set its top among the clouds. you then exult? The LORD once called you. and its branches will be consumed. Thus says the Lord GOD: "You were the signet of perfection. you ate raiment was of fine linen. 31:7 exposed you before kings. 27:4 any passer-by. for down to abundant waters. and say to him. your builders beauty. day the beautiful of virgins and the The LORD hosts will protect them. Your heart was proud because of your beauty. and multiplying your Your borders are in the heart of the seas. offering made harlotry. faint for Amos 8:13 Zech.60 Interpretation deeds? Can vows and sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can tree. raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre. and were in your towers. beautiful you you are to them like one who sings love songs with a what voice and plays well on an instrument. You to regal estate. made they hung Ezek. . I have cast it out. I made it beautiful in the mass and all the trees of its branches. for they hear young and men shall say. 28:15 You their shields upon your walls round about. 16:13 Thus at the daughter was called the perfection of you were made Jerusalem. they shall devour and . and went forth among the nations you because beauty. for it upon was perfect through the splendor which I had bestowed your you. cast you to the ground. "A green olive beautiful will set Lam. you. I you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. All who pass along the way clap their hands at you. . 33:32 And. they hiss and wag their heads Ezek." Ezek. full of wisdom and perfect in beauty till . lo. And silk. and its heart was its height. renown.

"The daughters Zelophelad right. Hoglah. tance only would not The first thing to note is that the daughters of Zelophehad received an inheri because their father had no son. Machir. given what he had seen in the Tempest: case of Num. The names of his daughters Mahlah. but only a dowry. 20. On that of day the LORD their for they are the flock his people. It should also be noted that it was Job's own decision to change his will. were but daughters: daughters Tirzah. Num. the daughters have received an inheritance. Thus. Noah. Noah. son of Manasseh. Milcah. and Tirzah. and before the leaders and all the congregation. the next phrase Num. Milcah. you shall give them . young be! Grain shall make the flourish. so cannot convey the same sense of equality that one feels strongly in the verse Job 42:15b and their father gave them an inheritance alongside their brothers. 26:33 Now Zelophehad the and the names of the son of oc Hepher had of no sons. a and they shall drink their blood like wine. Perhaps the best way of understanding the significance of what has curred is to compare it to the case of the daughters of Zelophehad: Num. and he had no sons. saying. and before Eleazar the priest. of Gilead. 27:4a Why family. but died for his sin. Our father died in the wilderness.The Book of Job tread and 61 down the slingers. The text continues: Num. And they stood before Moses. 27:4b Give to us a possession alongside our father's brothers. corners of be full like bowl. drenched like the God will save them crown shall the altar. should the name of our father be taken away from his The main argument here concerns the preservation of the name of the sake of father. whereas in the Book of Job the inheritance is purely for the the daugh ters. Had there been a son. son of Hoglah. Zelophehad Mahlah. from the families were: Manasseh the Joseph. for like the jewels of a Yea. And are the LORD said to Moses. and new wine the maidens. at the door of the tent of meeting. 27:5 Moses brought their before the LORD. he those who gathered of among the company of themselves together against the LORD in the was not own company Korah. how good and how fair it men they shall shine on his land. 27:1 Then drew son of and near the son of son of daughters of Zelophehad the Hepher.

So no of inheritance the tribes shall be transferred from Israel of one tribe to another. then you shall cause no his inheritance to you shall give pass to his daughter. the tribe and their inheritance will be taken from inheritance Israel of fathers. Milcah. These LORD the commandments and the ordinances which the commanded by Moses at to the people of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan Jericho. the heads fathers' of the of the people of give Israel. and Noah. The heads of the fathers' there was a further complication: Num. they shall marry the family of the tribe of their father. inheritance turns be little more than a grand . In the case of Zelophehad. This is what the LORD commands concerning the daughters of of Zelophehad. tribe to another. and of LORD to give the inheritance my lord was commanded by the Zelophehad our brother to his of the people of daughters.' " The daughters Zelophehad did as the LORD commanded the Moses. and has no son. Tirzah. 'If dies. however. so that of wife to one of the of family of the tribe of the people of Israel may possess the inheritance every one his fathers. And you shall say to the a man people of Israel. tribe.62 Interpretation possession of an the inheritance of their inheritance among their father's brothers and cause father to pass to them. then will inheritance be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which the they belong. daughters of Zelophehad. 36:1 houses of of the families of the of the sons of fathers' Gilead the the sons Machir. came near son of Manasseh. were married to sons of their father's are brothers. tribal the women inheritance is paramount. And every daughter who of the people of Israel shall be her father. they said. saying. "The LORD commanded my lord to the land for inheritance by lot to the people of Israel. And their when will be taken away from the lot of our the jubilee of the people of Israel comes. 'Let within them marry whom they think best. And if he has daughter. it inheritance. for Mahlah. The only." of our And Moses commanded the people of according to the word of the LORD. "The tribe of the sons Joseph is right. the inheritance of the people of Israel shall not be transferred from one for every one of the people of Israel shall cleave to inheritance of the tribe of his possesses an inheritance in any tribe fathers. Although the genuine concern words "Let them marry welfare of whom they think best" clearly own show for the the women. then his inheritance to his brothers. Hoglah. son of Joseph. so and added to the inheritance of the tribe to they belong. for each of the people of shall cleave to its own inheritance. But if they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes Israel then their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance which of our fathers. houses houses of and spoke before Moses and before the leaders. and the Husbands are immediately out to found for from their dowry.

beauty. that that Job has established the right of women to own and hold a property. "just" by the For Job." Out of the whirl of the Tempest came the notion of the signets. They be taught. however. be and of the ways. . A small change in a last will and testament was the result. nothing is said dowries. ways must be taught they must be learned. the way to bake bread. the and all way to These some bury the dead. The inheritance is outright and absolute.The Book of Job Job's daughters. there would be no bread." clashing for human One said while friendship. Of what do they speak? Of the com. the other cried beginning The was a need "unjust. for clarity that came about when his world began to fall asunder led Job to the need for autonomous understanding. there and us. there would no way to live as "one of com. men are empty and life is without taste. and hence to ultimately questions concerning those accounts of "the first The need things. by the fathers and some by the mothers. of his daughters. led. Human sociality way to plant men work together and it requires means nothing more than that by day in the evening they talk. Could this be world part of a legacy that Job has brought back from Job to very large and to a very small world? was prepared The way by the names that gave the slight shift the author gave to our understanding of worlds. the notion that things had their own selves apart seal upon them and were what recognition they were in them under from human need. This insight. But men are such that the stories that teach these ways cannot be shared unless they touch upon "the first a things" and tell of a world which holds all of our ways together. This led to a shift in Job's standing of and sensitivity to beauty. to the emergence of the nurturing and swaddling God as distin guished from the making and constructing God. The needs of man may better be served being open to the excellence of things as they grow of themselves than by by seeing them as being directed towards those needs. So far In the case of means 63 or about husbands as I can see. the way to go out on the hunt. as we have seen. Without whole. the two refused to mesh. and it is the children who must learn them. in turn. and a need of clarity." Without these would must be no life.

.

Drama, Narrative,
Plato's Charmides
Andrew Reece
Earlham College

and

Socratic Eros in

Plato's Charmides is
the
reader multiple

an evocative and

highly
of

nuanced

dialogue, offering
of possible

to

themes

for

consideration and a

variety

inter

pretative approaches.
open

Three formal factors

Plato's

composition

immediately

an

corresponding points of entry into the work. First, the Charmides is aporetic, definitional dialogue, a dramatized discussion in which Socrates
three

and

his interlocutors
term, in this

attempt

but fail to formulate
("prudence,"

a

satisfactory definition
(first
posed at

of a

"sound-mindedness,"

moral

case sophrosyne

or "self-

control").

By leaving

the question "What is

sophrosyne?"

159a)

unanswered at

the end of the text, Plato encourages us to review the proposed

definitions (as Socrates
ment

does, 175a-c)

and

to scrutinize the processes of argu
aporia.

by

which the

investigation has derailed in
not

Second,

the Charmides

is

a narrated

dialogue, featuring Socrates

only

as a participant

in the discus
on the next

sion
day.1

but In

also as a reporter of

the proceedings to
gives

an unnamed

friend

so

casting his dialogue Plato
the
"friend"

his

readers

the opportunity to as

sume the role of

and to evaluate

Socrates'

own

commentary

on

the

previous

day's

events.

Third,

the obvious care Plato takes to give the dialogue a

dramatic setting demands that we pay close attention to details of characterization, locale, and time. Most studies of the Charmides have focused
particular
on

the definitions of

sophrosyne presented within

the text and the complex and
knowledge"

intriguing
175a). I

introduction

of the concept of a approach

"knowledge

of

(166e-

propose

here to

the dialogue the

by

the second and third routes,

responding to
cratic eros.

Socrates'

narrative and

overall

dramatic frame, in
the

order

to

consider a theme not

usually discussed

with reference to

Charmides, So
Socrates tell the
Charmides'

Plato story
of

prefaces the elenctic core of the

dialogue

by having
Charmides

his introduction to Charmides, Socrates
night

a

story that

has

conspicuous elements of and at

an erotic encounter.

says that when

he

met

cousin

Critias the

before, he had just
his

come

back from battle
grounds

Potidaea

stamping into the wrestling school (palaistra) of Taureas and met several of his acquaintances, to whom he gave a report of the fighting. After spending an
wandered undetermined time on this

and was

happy

to

be

able return to

usual

in Athens. He

subject, he turned the

conversation

toward the latest

happenings in the
interpretation, Fall

philosophical

community, asking

whether there were

any

1998, Vol. 26, No. 1

66

Interpretation
men who

young
their

had

proven themselves exceptional
worth

for

their wisdom or

for
one

beauty

(153a-d). It is
about

breath both
echoi

"what's going

noting that Socrates (peri on in

should

have

asked

in

philosophy"

philosophias

hopos

ta nun) and about the physical attractiveness of the youths.
anticipated this
where

Plato has

already

juxtaposition

of themes

palaistra,

Athenian

males would

setting the Charmides in a be stimulated both physically and intel

by

lectually by
Lysis, in
palaistra

one another's presence.

We

are reminded of the

beginning

of the

which

by

looking
author

ones"

Ctesippus try to entice Socrates into a new telling him that they and "a great many other young men good (203b).2 wile away their time there in discussion Already our

Hippothales

and

has

established a

link between eros, the desire for beauty,

and philoso

phy, the desire for wisdom, though the nature of that link is not
clear.

immediately

No

sooner

had he

asked about the

young men,
all of

continues

throng
was

of them

began to fill the room,
Critias'

whom,

Socrates, than a Critias told him, were the
that this cousin

lovers (erastai)

of

cousin

Charmides (154a). We learn
young immediate discomfiture
man

by

common consent the soon

best-looking

in his

age group. of all

Char

mides

himself

entered, to the

present, in
of

cluding Socrates,
this youth:

who confides

to his anonymous

companion

his impression

My friend,

I

am no good at measuring.

I

am

simply
and

a

blank

ruler when me.

it

comes to

beautiful young men. Nearly all men at that Charmides seemed just then remarkably tall
Charmides'

age seem

beautiful to

But still,

beautiful.

(154b-c)
youngest

arrival

had

a

like

effect on all the men

present, from the
were a

to the oldest, all of whom gazed upon
agalma

him "as if he

statue"

(hosper

154c). Plato's

use of words and

images here is
is

suggestive.

What I have
a white

translated as "I am

measuring-line."

simply a blank Atechnos leuke stathme
regard to.
. .

ruler"

literally
. .

"I

am

simply

eimi pros

was colloquial

for "I

make no extended make

distinctions in

Presumably

the expression

derived this

meaning from the fact that a line coated with visible measuring marks on limestone or marble,
while

white chalk could not

so

it is

an appropriate

image here

Socrates is

looking

at a man who seems to

be

an agalma,

perhaps of stone.

Socrates

then says that

his friend

Chaerephon,

who was also

present, remarked upon
was so

Charmides'

and added that his body singularly fine (pankalos) that it could easily cause one to forget the young man's face altogether (154d). There was, then, something unreal about attractiveness. He was like a sculpted image, with a superhuman
Charmides'

handsome face

beauty,

whose admirers

temporarily forgot
and a

ual with a

distinctive face
Charmides'

beauty

was

that they were looking at an individ distinctive identity. The very magnitude of this distinguishing feature to his other admirers, but the

Drama, Narrative,
metrically inept
companion

and

Eros in Plato 's Charmides

67

Socrates,
narrative

even while

in the him.
was

that beautiful youths

admitting his wonderment, reminds his qua beautiful now seem much
he
Charmides'

the same to

Socrates
at

indeed

not convinced that

needed to see
cousin
thing,"

body,
noble

least

until

he had

Critias'

assurance that

his

possessed, besides his specifically, "a
soul was

obvious

soul"

stimulating qualities, "one other little (154d-e).4 When Critias had answered that

Charmides'

indeed

kalos kai agathos, Socrates suggested by means of a discussion. In order to
he
asked

"undressing"

that part of the young man

prevent
call

Critias,
of

Charmides'

guardian, to

any impression of unseemliness, Charmides over. By making this

Socrates'

example

politesse older man

explicit, Plato

ironically

heightens the

erotic

ambience.

An

in

a palaistra

suspected of sexual motives often

(and it

was

have

paidagogoi attend

their sons

approaching a youth could easily be partly for this reason that fathers would in such settings, to shield the boys from
Charmides'

possible seduction.

See Symp. 183c-d, Lys. 223a; Dover 1978, pp. 82-83.). By soul, telling Critias just before that he was interested above all in Socrates turned the banter of the older men away from their carnal appreciation
of the youth.

At the

same

time,

by having
the

Socrates

bring

up the issue Socrates

of wres

tling-school protocol,

Plato

makes

reader aware

that this meeting does at
and

least have the
were
on

appearance of a seductive approach. enough

Happily

Critias

good

terms that

they

could collaborate

in

a

ruse

to draw

for headaches, the malady about which Charmides had recently been complaining. It may be that Critias suggested this scheme because it seemed to him a less erotically
Charmides to them.

They

pretended

that Socrates knew a

cure

charged

scenario

than a removal of the garments

from

Charmides'

soul and

(as

McAvoy 1996,
came.

pp.

83-84,

suggests).

In any event, it worked,
companion

Charmides

Socrates

continues

his narrative, telling his among the
to
make

proach caused a great ruckus man

men

pushing his

neighbor aside opted

ap sitting in the palaistra, with every room on the bench for Charmides next

that

Charmides'

to himself. He eventually
mides'

to sit between Socrates and
a

Critias,

and

Char

sudden nearness threw

Socrates into

dither:

At this point, my friend, I lost my bearings (eporoun), and my previous confidence in my ability to speak with him easily was knocked out of me. When Critias told him that I
was the one who

knew the cure, he looked

me

right in the

eyes with an

indescribable look

and was on the verge of

asking
I

me a question.

Everyone in the
longer

palaistra gathered round us

in

a

circle, and it was right at that moment, my noble
cloak. caught

friend,
of

that I saw what was

inside his

fire, I

was no

within

myself, and I came to regard Cydias as the

wisest counselor with respect

to matters

love.

Speaking

of a

beautiful boy, he fawn before

gave the a

following
be

advice to someone:

Take
meat.

care not to go as a

lion

and

snatched

up like

a piece of

it is easy ability to overcome his immediate lust for Char mides introduces one possible definition of the term dramatically. Still. Diotima explains that while those who want to gain a kind of physical immor eros ing theme in the Charmides. But Socrates is a rare creature (Alcibiades not alto remarks on gether his atopia. from sex been Since self-control. 221d). and perhaps it is surprising that we should find courage and sophrosyne complementing one another in his character. an elenctic investigation begun. important texts on the theme of eros." p. 97). at Symp. entered the palaistra to his actual meeting Sophrosyne. audience familiar courage with it certainly springs to the mind of a later the Symposium. one of Plato's most enhance our understand she has explained to Socrates that is ultimately a longing for immortality through procreation (201c-208e). Charmides. "oddness. our Socrates' for Plato's treatment importance I wish of Socratic eros to review what we have learned with in this dialogue. After tality seek marriage and family. 306b).5 Furthermore. We might see from Plato of the unity of virtue. One question is help the the elenchus of the of fact that Socrates apparently possesses the virtue? The first Charmides. in these small dramatic hints such a explicit: quences way that it poses What is sophrosyne? (159a). and it can of that drives a consideration of course. Although Plato makes a connection between courage and sophrosyne in other dialogues (Grg. 507a-c. and another is implicit: What conse for our understanding of sophrosyne and of this dialogue follow from question meaning of sophrosyne has not yet Plato to frame the upcoming discussion two questions for us rather than one. 714). these virtues were often considered a rare combination. The second leads us back into Socratic eros. particularly restraint indulgence. (155d-e) The Charmides is which is all we only source for this Cydias fragment (Page 1962. was a enough to see that Socrates' typical understanding of the word's meaning.68 I Interpretation thought that I myself cure had been captured by a beast like that. In the Laches Socrates context of Laches agree that one speak easily Though of courage resisting temptation and of the indulgence (191d). but more particularly we have notion geous coexisting and here a suggestion an augmented coura of Socratic sophrosyne. in in the which self-control and exhibits itself in can actions. in which Alcibiades praises Socrates sophrosyne both for and for (219d-220c). those who are more inclined to leave an intel- . Diotima's lecture to Socrates in the Symposium is. I managed when he asked me if I knew the for his headache. citation of Cydias is significant have from the poet. the setting of this well dialogue some immediately following of the battle at Potidaea may that Socrates displayed have reminded Plato's and original readers exceptional courage in that battle. but before elaborating its so far from the time Socrates Charmides. has ual not yet the topic of the discussion that takes up most of the mentioned. with some effort to answer that I did. not mutu Pit. if ally exclusive (North 1966.

In he will be well-supplied with words about (arete). and gifted soul. rather than ugly ones. least if self-control might presence. face. was considered the external we might manifestation of that virtue's with sophrosyne. like He this be very much drawn to this combination. Narrative. Socrates felt that he needed to speak with Charmides face to rosyne. someone who is both kotos and. and and since the greatest kinds "by justice (dikaiosyne) sophrosyne. Soc men met more or (as the blank ruler) confesses to his friend that he finds all young less equal in beauty. Socrates beyond his infatuation with the young man's individual beauty and begun his when ascent toward universal. to quotation of return Cydias. who had warned the lover that would one could be overtaken and consumed by a beautiful boy. is. and good. just as a fawn . but generally speaking he Socrates' beauty of all men (154b-c). despite body. at least potentially. who be taught impregnated with soph It became quickly obvious that Charmides met the first qualification.Drama. the lover will prefer a combination of these qualities. palaistra he had sophrosyne in his soul. Since love loves of wisdom both far" beauty are and wisdom (204b). like his describes. lectual or spiritual and Eros in Plato 's Charmides 69 legacy hope lover to produce who wisdom (phronesis) and excellence (arete) (208e-209a)." he says. the spiritual a man looks for find a suitable wife to bear his goes out to a good match. dikaios and sophron: If anyone should even be pregnant in his of soul with these virtues when [dikaiosyne and sophrosyne] enough from the time to his youth. at we observe that Plato has indicated to us through met setting and action that when Socrates his friends in the be He was. eternal rates beauty (Symp. he implies that either at the moment he shortly "Charmides or Charmides universal. he the company goodness of a person and will if he should also come upon a beautiful. thereafter seemed he had already started the movement to the just then (tote) to be remarkably tall and beauti appreciates the ful to young We me. 210a-212a). certainly will he would never anything ugly. have we If the Socrates of the Charmides is a lover like that Diotima even should Charmides have turned out to be an ideal soul mate (the would passed term is hackneyed but strangely appropriate here). Indeed. know that Critias' assurance that his cousin's soul was beautiful. Therefore he attracted to beget offspring with beautiful bodies for his procreative intentions. and what (209a-c) sorts of Returning the to the Charmides. inward say. try to teach the other. Surely he too [like the hoping to child] to find some specimen of beauty with whom to reproduce. then he is a man and old he will desire both man impregnate father be a another and to give will go out birth himself. hoping to find young men who could were both kalos and wise. For the second. pregnant If this is the case. he tual lover when he went out merely acting like Diotima's spiri to the palaistra. Like children. distinguished. he about what sort of a man a good man will activities will pursue.

p. 1978.) his first speech Concluding motives of in the Phaedrus. reveals to his confidant that the actually foreshadows the sent Charmides' swarm of lovers detached sudden proximity of the youth of composure him reeling into elenctic aporia aporia. fond of lambs. Socrates. hunting (Dover.70 be Interpretation reduced to a chunk of meat by a lion. Socrates begins to launch into epic (as wolves are he admits he has done. with who had been observing the behavior of amusement. the perception of their own lack knowledge. him to finally renewed reflection. In both cases. there c-d: seems to be a probable sexual connotation to Theognis 1278 A a lion. For of example. in singing. or as a hunter tracking game. The usual formulation of prey lighting upon the erastes the part the metaphor comparing an erotic pursuit to a beast its quarry. does indeed give of the hunter and the eromenos the part of the hunted. This physiological loss in which the dialogue concludes. 81-91. stretches the Charmides text enough For example. This is a remarkable passage for several reasons. Socrates' sexual arousal here leads him to a new awareness of his ceptibility to advice. Jowett's translation to make it approximate a more conven tional arrangement: . potentially embarrassing (if opportunity for detached introspection indicates that shown in his control of his desire. inversion the expected im age. of which three come immediately to mind. Socrates' (241d). I caught a fawn in my claws. by having Socrates for a metaphor erotic pursuit that would have been familiar to his readers. an pp. the aporia has a beneficial element. but it seems surprising that Socrates should choose (or perhaps construe) a version of the predator-prey image in which the lover (erastes) figures as the lion. just so do lovers love 165). 241e). First. of citation of the line from Cydias. here appetite cite Socrates' having greater of this line urgency than his Cydias Plato appropriates sexual appetite. 58.7 as the fawn and the object of figures We might expect that the image his desire (the eromenos) would function the other way around. The bewilderment greater engendered by the Socratic elenchus ideally spurs the of interlocutors to and self-awareness. consists in part in his intellectual Socrates' ability to unpleasant) event into an sophrosyne.6 Third. Sim sus ilarly. right out from under hind. "As which he denounces the selfish lovers boys" under the spell of eros. but did not drink its blood. passion and causes consider the significance of Cydias' The second striking point about the passage not is that turn a disconcerting. with trust in my strength. Halperin 1985. Such metaphors are similar to the common compari game son of sexual pursuit to p. (Cited as an image for erotic capture by Dover 1978. has not always been recognized as such.

when." for I felt that I had been by a sort of wild-beast lion. He then realizes the version we can still as In this imagine Socrates the saliency would-be of the advice given of the and by Cydias. Charmides thereafter spend every day together in will resort discussion. Another reading. catch. and devour (McAvoy 1996. 92.Drama. he must mean us to go along with the game. also interprets the quotation in this sense). lion. and I think the one that most simply accommodates the text. we will be inclined to expect the metaphor of the lion and fawn to felt refer to Socrates and Charmides." realization of his desire to be Socrates. If Charmides' either. so that the lion in the poem stands for carnal desire." you resist me Socrates answers. respectively. or . Critias and and plotting that if Charmides is really intent says you" force to make Socrates submit playfully say that they to their will. not for an individual whose beauty incites it. "I myself to have been captured by a beast like that. p. Since Plato has seem contrived to make between Socrates handsome youth and and Charmides striking up so very much like a lover looking over a a conversation with him. "I with won't resist we continue to follow the erotic subtext of the dialogue we to "see him can view again. to speak. Socrates to replies in kind then. is aware that he poses some danger to the younger man (Nussbaum 1986. p. we can see that dialogue. only if a with the power to momentarily. pursue. and slyly Charmides have failed in his suggests that the pursued will become the When Socrates. pursuer. perceiving his craving for Charmides. If we do. this inverted image is to suppose that One way of understanding he means he has been snared by his lust for Charmides. and to imagine Socrates as the erastes and Charmides as the eromenos. Narrative. 90. a lover might approach his beloved." no one will be able to resist him. I thought how fair youth.8 and Eros in Plato's Charmides love. perhaps to the point that the two roles are exchanged. while that he found himself in the role of the fawn If Socrates' we understand quotation of Plato is here whom foreshadowing the end of the Socrates had first approached as Cydias in this sense. When Socrates says. their attempt to tells Socrates that the two of them should cousin even define sophrosyne. also reads the text in this way). But what Cydias had advised the lover lion" fair youth was actually "take me care not to go as a fawn before a be devoured: eulabeisthai katenanta leontos seem Socrates' nebron elthonta moiran haireisthai kreon [my emphases]. interprets the inversion his encounter as a simple rever sal of roles." he most likely means Charmides became. which as a manifestation of anteros. Critias. "So Charmides. who. "don't (176a-d). in which Charmides. he devoured appetite. in speaking of a 71 well Cydias understood the nature of warns someone "not to bring the fawn in sight of the lion to be overcome by him. a phenomenon passive eromenos of a sexual in the nominally advances relationship not only enjoys his lover's but even reciprocates. Thus there to me to be use of at least two more likely readings.

will fall in love with him and care for him (210b-c)9 and give birth to the kinds of logoi that make young men better. step. Diotima's ladder lover standing drawn to a so unique after all soul Charmides' (step 3). but he does not condemn the desires of either party. his story about his meeting he had regained with Charmides and the others. With some confidence in that soul's made a proposal to the young man to next This would have been the Socrates in effect receptivity join him in constructing a kalos logos. on Charmides' description Zalmoxian therapy and from the third rung of He was looking body (step 1) but realized in time that its beauty was not (step 2). which itself he beautiful words (logoi kaloi). Then [the in a lover] must consider that beauty in souls is worth more than the beauty in his soul. but also in Euthydemus and our very Charmides (222a-b). This cure he Thracian doctor working under the patronage of the god a Zalmoxis. a neat and quotation of Cydias encapsulates this reversal of in Continuing told surprising image. as Diotima defines it: to sophrosyne. His focus shifted (not without difficulty) to up.). to the With this present and as a could cause sophrosyne to settle into one's soul and to be in it (engenomenes kai parouses). relationship eros of their souls (255a-256e. in the hopes that soul would prove amenable to such a charm that Socrates had agreed to speak with him. 210a. If is . The holistic Thracian had taught that other part of malady of the head the body could only be cured through a regimen of care any directed at apply the soul. Soc speak. even if he has little to show on the that will be enough: the lover surface. Critias had quickened a his expectation by assuring Socrates moreover. he which rates says that once his composure and was able to consisted of a Charmides that the headache remedy he knew administered a leaf had to be had learned from concurrently with a charm (epode. For Plato's treatment of see and anteros of in the Phaedrus Symposium. which cf. or the entire body charm and the soul as well. philosophos (154e-155a). cautions that the sexual desires couple on either side of the relationship should be kept in check so that the may enjoy each other's thoughts and pursue wisdom together. came that Charmides would be willing to have Socrates' discussion of and was. 155e). was composed of A Zalmoxian physician would charm. met become should In the Phaedrus Socrates says that in He an ideal relationship eros be by anteros as a matter of course. and actually help nurture the Symp. someone suitable body.72 Interpretation merged. Socrates' Halperin 1986. The Charmides dramatizes the title character's expe Socratic eros the Symposium says that eros aroused a rience of (just as the Alcibiades I dramatizes Alcibiades' own first feelings roles Socrates' of anteros). In setting himself up practitioner of Zalmoxian medicine Socrates promised to impart sophrosyne to Charmides by means of kaloi logoi. bringing the soul to a healthy state consequently expediting bodily health (156d-157c). It was Socrates' version of the charm would Charmides' naturally prove to be an elenchus. The Alcibiades anteros not own corresponding only in Alcibiades himself.

457b). the element of to doing (163e-164d). Soc rates argues for the identity of to kalon e. see Larson 1951). is accepted by Socrates and his interlocutors in the Republic as a definition for justice (433a). and so with everything else controlled by sophrosyne. What Socra present sophrosyne tes says about later in the dialogue could be said perhaps more naturally of dikaiosyne: A house city run in accordance with sophrosyne would certainly be run well. however. diakaiosyne in Socrates mate also prompted on Critias to elevate the discussion to the next. and. Indeed the Re principle followed by public is a much more extended discussion of nomoi than one's own is the Charmides. In the Charmides of sophrosyne Socrates. he did so with the definition of the virtue as accep of of "knowledge of the other knowledge and of knowledge itself (166c). Rep. 165b) kind remains and his agreement with Socrates that point must therefore of the be some of episteme (165c). The first logoi that would ensue would and Eros in Plato 's Charmides the 73 (to be conversations about beauty kalon) of customs or laws (nomoi) and practices or activities (epitedeumata) their (210c). possibility. Charmides. but leads the three Critias' definition in the things" of sophrosyne as "doing speakers sequences of dialogue ultimately to a consideration of the social con sophrosyne construed in various ways (171d-173d). keeping good things to one's own work (159b-160d). (161b-163d). and Critias begin discussion by considering likely manifestations of that virtue quiet circumspection in practice. showing modesty generally. expands his logos nomoi. The began (to Critias' consideration of sophrosyne as a form episteme with gignoskein statement that sophrosyne was the same as and know ing it oneself heauton. seeking to evaluate the others on the basis of their goodness and societal benefits.Drama. level again. From that on on. Now the third concep tion of sophrosyne. e. Phil. and goodness (to agathon. own" every member of a city. like walking and talking with deliberate. and it may well be that Soc sophrosyne in the Charmides implies his concomi so tant possession of dikaiosyne. the discussion possible Charmides an fixed for the meaning. as would a so governed. penulti rung (episteme).g. In other dialogues. "doing one's (to ta heautou prattein). about an individual soul (Charmides') to the of of a logos about It has been observed that the meanings sophrosyne and rates' dikaiosyne often apparent possession of overlap in Plato. (On the similarity in meaning Plato's dialogues. expanded as a and usefulness (to ophelimon. their investigation still fo 64e) cuses on the quality of admirability in various practices. that he has both of the virtues required of sophrosyne and by a Diotiman lover.g. and benefits for individual a polis of a knowledge of knowledge . Narrative. They consider kalon only in the first of these activities. (160d-161b). When Socrates Diotima's ladder: made an appreciation of the beauty of knowledge the observation about the benefits to a city of provisional being tance governed Critias' according to sophrosyne. (17 le) Socrates.

In the Charm can Zalmoxis' ides these logoi Charmides tes' was not an out of the only be the elenchus. He dropped Socra ascent could go no further with him. As an example. I do go not mean imply that Plato intended his original audience to back through the Charmides after kinds of point-to-point comparisons first reading the Symposium to find the I have been making. and Republic. while in the Symposium acted in the guise of an he imagines how the actions of a philosopher- lover might be expressed in theory. itself In the Symposium Diotima tells Socrates that the consideration of epistemai will allow the lover to see profound manifestation beauty in its of most and coax from him the kaloi logoi (210d). Laches. ideal youth with whom to give birth to such discourse. 148291. more dogmatic treatment that his middle dialogues like the Re public would give to the ideas presented with less elaboration in the earlier "threshold" argued that Charmides ("premiddle" works. pp. any case. Sadly for Socrates. 541-49). For and other Kahn has early dialogues or dialogues in Kahn's terms) partly in order to prepare his readers for the fuller. as well as the philosophoi logoi that Socratic lover's discourse in the Phaedrus (257b). he shows that the notion of the knowl- . In the might Charmides he imagines how Socrates erastes. vision. Kahn 1996.10 By show reading the drama how one and narration of the Charmides "about" with frequent refer ence to other dialogues. I am con Plato had developed have an vinced that when he wrote both dialogues idea of philo sophical love that he wanted to express through the character of Socrates. Lysis. discussion before the topic of episteme came up. The discourse by the contemplation of pose the charm of knowledge here reminds us of the kaloi logoi that com comprise the therapy.74 Interpretation and the various epistemai. 56-70. can reinforce the understanding of that topic we achieve through the other dialogues. The fact that Diotima's ladder in the Sym posium reaches no to the vision of the Beautiful in proaches such level in the Charmides drama has little itself but that Socrates ap relevance for the Forms when question of whether Plato had in mind a theory of he wrote the Charmides. conclude with an observation about of the significance of the narrative and or "ingressive" drama earlier the Charmides for the proposed wrote the "proleptic" reading some years now of Plato's dialogues Plato by Charles Kahn. the arguments of aporetic dia logues like the Charmides. would not had. my intention has been a certain to dialogue that is not. pp. and Euthydemus would tions to the reader that could only be answered by a consideration writings with reference suggest ques of these early to the others and after the appearance of the middle dialogues (the Symposium. as it turned out. According to Kahn's theory of prolepsis. The near as contemplation of the he can come to the vision of beauty beauty of the epistemai philosophy brings the lover as prompted itself. he as a solution to the question of sophrosyne. Phaedo. to topic. Rather. If he had I such a necessarily have allowed that Socrates had in Plato did not choose to introduce the theory and. here eros. ostensibly. 1988. especially the Symposium.

'Take care not to go as a meat. 179-80) captures the ambiguity of but seems to indicate Charmides as the referent for the lion: "When speaking of a p." this . the dialectically for trained philosopher kings of Republic V-VII (Kahn 1996. 7." observation has been p. the passage in the reading than the one I propose Plato meant to elicit. McAvoy (1996. makes the comment that "a chatterbox [adoleschos] is simply a white it. address his remarks to a specific second-person listener.) kind kind of reading I have been pursuing here. see the critique of Kahn 1988 by Griswold 1988. 73 n. 513f)innuendo of "one little see McAvoy 1996. The with Socrates included a bit of wrestling. (For an pp. p. One of the more modest of the methodological which one finds elegant support is the point that the aporetic works dialogues look forward to the middle dialogues. 187) It also preserves the ambiguity care the text: a someone on the subject of a provide a meal handsome boy 'to take lest. If Plato's readers expected even from Cydias the more usual relation lion fawn :: erastes : eromenos. 146). For the 5. by way of advice to presence of a lion and be snatched as a portion creature. NOTES character other dialogues in which Socrates narrates directly (as opposed to narrating to another in the dialogue. edge of good and and Eros in Plato 's Charmides sophrosyne 75 evil. Jowett 1961. 2. for example. 25. in which Alcibiades tells the assembled guests that one of his early 1. p. mention from what poem that differed parenthetically the possibility that Plato puts a spin on its author intended because the quotation alone does not indicate that Cydias had in mind : Cydias' the metaphorical relation lion fawn : :: eromenos : erastes. (1977. 187-88). pp. though rejected as a definition for courage and in the Charmides of and for the Euthydemus only becomes pp. p. 3. as in the Protagoras and Euthydemus) are the Lysis and the Republic. but in those works he does not. Bruell was aware of was part of this point of made by North (1966. by Mahoney (1996. puts 6. so to speak. by which of fit neatly that there is a Socrates' ac tions and narrative anticipate of Plato's and more expositive. has in common with the political art wisdom in the Lysis a possible political dimension understandable to which fully Plato's readers after they have met pp. . Cf.Drama. possible sexual meaning that the topic of a discussion makes no difference to endlessly on any theme (Mor. Alcibiades. since he can speak 4. And gave some power his awareness of all his wisdom. together with his irresistible passion . principles 542-46). 54-55. not opposing view. Although the specific details of his interpretation would perhaps to the 550-51. p. who by this time was entirely smitten See Socrates. concern " for p. 154). like in advising fawn in front of a lion. Narrative. in Kahn's work 203-9. while the middle help the reader to a fuller understanding of the earlier works. [Cydias] said. Hyland (1981. thing. 102. and Kahn (1996. as here. pp. proposed this activity in the belief that "surely something would come out of also Dover 1978. he stood himself him how he in relation to Kydias with respect to wisdom. Donald Watt's translation (1987. 82). more 184). he also thought. that thought the experience. This recently. Plutarch." measuring-line about such a person. 1988. pp.' fawn into the just such a of I felt I'd been of caught by said Kahn (1996. the effect would have been an even more protracted pause 8.' seemed to me that I had fallen victim to a wild animal of sort." someone. in the Laches. handsome boy." "dates" with conversations. the Symposium. well: "Socrates was not simply outside of himself. p. I would suggest dramatic prolepsis at work in the Charmides. I to resist what had been an this. 27) and. theoretical explorations Socratic eros in the Phaedrus especially in the Symposium. he "[Cydias] for the beast.

" Classical Antiquity 5: 60-80. "The Platonic Synonyms dikaiosyne nal sophrosyn and American Jour of Philology 72: 395-414." Dialogues of Plato. L. Edmonton: Academic Printing Publishing. 1961. Plato and the Socratic Dialogue. "Platonic Eros and What Men Call Love. 1987. Griswold. Charmides. C. 1996. J. Sophrosyne: Self-Knowledge and Self-Restraint in Greek Literature." 161-204. NY: Cornell University Press. and Jowett. The Collected Dialogues.. Potae Melici Graeci. Greek Homosexuality... Eng: Penguin. "Plato's Charmides and the Proleptic Reading of Socratic Journal of Philosophy 85: 541-49." and also reasonable to suppose that intended his to the Charmides ruling and the prejudice that after the Charmides. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Watt. trans. Kahn. "Plato and Erotic Reciprocity. Ithaca. lacked sophrosyne in its in its manifestation as a kind of knowledge. Saunders. 1996. North. Cambridge: Cambridge Press. 1985. 1981. T. MA: Harvard University Press. Cairnes. 1988. Pp. "self-control. 1996. 1986. Plato: Early Socratic Dialogues. Human Journal of Philosophy 34: 183-99." REFERENCES Bruell. Benitez. "The Charmides: Socratic Sophrosyne. The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy. Princeton: Princeton University Press. E. H. Athens: The Ohio University Press. like Critias a member of the notorious oligarchic regime manifestation as Athens therefore also Peloponnesian war. 270) also has the Symposium and in these men philosophical noticed the connection between the logoi Socrates' shared by the lovers natural described in Socrates' conversations with attractive an interlocutors: "It is flirtatious to recognize with logoi implicit reference to conversations handsome like Meno. C. eds. D. 1951. University Larson. Hanmondsworth. M. Charmides. McAvoy. Cambridge. 1988. In E. ed. . Ed." South Dialogues and with Plato (Apeiron 29." and Self-Knowledge: An Interpretation of Plato's Interpretation 6: 141-203. K. Sophrosyne. In T. Plato. B. Page. 63-103. 1978. Kahn (1996. C. 1966. D. Pp. "Carnal Knowledge in the ern Charmides. as well as reference to the protreptic speeches Socrates loves to or address to much-admired youths like Charmides Plato and Clinias (in the Euthydemus) readers to come to beautiful boys like Lysias 10. Nussbaum. 1977.. M.4). D. "Socratic Politics Charmides. D. 1986. Journal of Philosophy 85: 550-51.76 Interpretation 9. 1962. Hyland. "Unifying Ancient Philosophy 5: Halperin. 99-122. p. Hamilton H." Dover. trans. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. C. 163-209." Mahoney. It is with Menexenus. Pp. The Virtue of Philosophy: An Interpretation of Plato's Charmides.

He op spirited saw the aristo- justified by a legal doctrine sovereignty. and one must ex as plain peculiar defense understanding of justice liberty they relate to prudence. in the pay of the North American colonies at the beginning of the American troubles. Burke's apparent inconsistency was also criticized by Paine. because he thought both were part of an historical movement towards not see Marx did freedom.2 Burke's defense opposition to the of the influence American Revolution is properly seen in light of his of theory or abstract ideas on political life.Liberty and Revolution in Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol Mark Kremer The University of Chicago INTRODUCTION Two of the most noteworthy and seminal events and on during Burke's life were the American French Revolutions. and his himself. Public had decayed in both instances into hatred and revenge. He them have wrote judgements thought support formed judgements far on extensively on both. because he thought that both revolutions supported the rights of man. He did not support the Amer ican Revolution because it He defended it ent protected the absolute right to freedom and equality. No. Burke them to threat of tyranny less from the selfishness of the bourgeoisie and from interpretation. he had played the liberal against the English oligarchy. His own Whig party with his condemnation of the French Revolution was inconsistent went so his for the Americans. and on prudential about grounds. Paine failed to grasp the consistency of Burke's judgement because he failed to grasp the reasons for Burke's support of the Americans. Like Marx. 26.'" any essential difference between the two revolu tions. He was the American Revolution because their of against Parliament during indignation. Marx to as to attribute Burke's of apparent lack of principle his love of lucre. posed the revolution in France because their doctrine the rights of man was leading ness anarchy and a subsequent military despotism. was becoming of a tyranny. Vol. was an out-and-out bourgeois. 1 . Fall 1998. if one is to make sense of his differ judgements his the American and the French and Revolutions. He wrote the following Burke in Capital: "The romantic sycophant who in the pay of the laudator temporis acti against the French Revolution English oligarchy played the just as.

The political asso is necessarily a mixture of the general and the particular. there is a strong of as the part of the British. but punishment. fight the to rebels using the an law. equitableness of the because it is threatened a two different and fronts. however. absolute and abstract character of cannot theory is a poor guide principle. It is. yet it must also execute partially American traitors. He did not write a theoretical work on politics. The the law is against defense against internal tyranny. The law from corrupting one another. also the nature of law to be just. who are gland. A disobeyed be effectual. Its force . In doing so.3 for political life because justice however much be made into a consistent This means that Burke thought the laws to be the as guardian of freedom. as he is for being a defender of constitutional government. Yet. one gains the distance faced philosophy The without abstracting from the concrete political problems by citizens and statesmen. and it is no small thought that part of the art of the statesman to they had their limitations. The political association is constituted by both the on aspect of law and the aspect of patriotism. His speeches letters are informed by the immediacy of of events. The Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol (1777) is an excellent portrayal of how Burke understood the conflicting aspects of justice and how he managed those conflicts in the defense of political liberty. one learn to the universal and permanent problems of political life in his treatment of the political of issues of his time. while partiality to whom one's own country. The American The British do rebels are not only thought of as authority enemy. In order to exact wage defeat the Americans. the habeas corpus in order to and unenforced law is not a law. must those same citizens must treat as enemies the rebels and foreigners against they fight. The whereas the justice of war consists in treat its citizens equitably. not disobedient want to Parliament and unfaithful to En them. because it must regulate both the relation between citizens as well as the relation between citi ciation zens. On temptation. The letter is a discussion about Britain's partial suspension of the habeas to corpus as a tool of war against the English in America. Parliament must use the form simply suspend to punish of law to war. Burke's defense ciation of and of prudence against principle and theory requires an appre his art. Justice has two different aspects. in order to persuade his audience about the meaning To events. but treasonous criminals. see his thought and his peculiar genius. than from self-righteous cratic authority and self-righteous rebellion fueled by general and abstract ideas. He is keep them justice of law consists in its impartiality. love of country is a defense foreign domination. he also famous for arguing that policy needs to be guided by prudence. rather than law. Burke's rhetoric and reasoning appreciate the broadest questions about justice must and government. and foreigners. the on account of the war being a civil one. he had to reflect on politics as a encompass whole. It is the nature of law to and the British have modified theirs to ensure ought not to its bite. rebels.78 Interpretation privilege.

He in effect helps to mold and strengthen a peace articulating the issues. The dissolution of a of a common good feeling and idea among the British accompanies the extremes of Burke foresees the savagery as of tyrannical barbarism hate tyranny and servility. devoid of hope. By teaching us to consider our fellow-citizens in us. necessity Although law the common good.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs overreach of Bristol 79 the bounds be of the bounds force of what^can its justice. and by bringing the partiality of war into law. they are not gether an the bonds of affection between citizens. and making a show of face of popular and Parliamentary hostility. He gives to the sheriffs political reasons. when the communion of our country is dissolved. The hatreds bom either civil or of broken love have be a vengefulness that is not excused by war. bringing generality with hate. they pervert even the natural taste and relish for equity and justice. Burke thought that civil wars were the worst. The very names become incentives to hatred and rage. public spirited reasons. By the of law into the British destroy honest patriotism war. and he the foresees attempt grave consequences from it. any more than its justice ought to overreach be enforced. 189)4 which were the becomes gradually less dear to bond of charity whilst we agreed. they corrupt their morals. Burke puts his case for reconciliation with America before the on sheriffs and the public as can he did earlier with Parliament in his Speech Taxation. they are destructive to justice wars strike Civil deepest of all into the manners of the people. The Sheriffs Bristol have grown cynical and are sworn has become melancholy because the law to which they instrument of crime and tyranny. for pursuing peace. but they have not lost their humanity. of the whole body of our nation affection and new kindred. a hostile light. they both an require a bond of love that is accompanied by a feeling simply negative and destructive. or rather confusion. Their cynicism and 177). however. The spirit might partial of murderous hatred dominates in its and in its object and patriotism devotion. proposing a policy. they dissolve alto of the common idea good. They vitiate their politics. the required is of an extent that goes well beyond the equity required for justice under the realm of law and law. (P. Of most all wars. They have lost confidence in justice. His opposition to the party by courage in the war party is . well suited to The theme of of Burke's letter is very an its audience. and this is where Burke steps in to make their desire for peace more than just a humane Ameri and pious hope. It is in this background of Parliament's to use the law as an instrument of war that Burke writes the Letter. Their problem is how to restore peace without the sword of justice. and the slavishness of despondency the extreme consequences of Brit ain's corruption of the law.5 melancholy are not. they wish for peace (p. of the realm of policy is very disturbing to Burke. because and piety. In order to maintain the integrity of law. Britain's combination. realm of war and there needs to as a distinction between the for war the realm of law.

the guilty justice in four different ways: first. proper. . The determination infamous action. rather than the moral This habit of indulging their hatred threatens the morals of of American commanders and mariners as pirates reveals disturbing and state of the English soul. to the they rejoice at quality of the action. image of death neither softens nor horrifies the British.80 Interpretation defense of expressed as a justice against tyranny. than law. traced to the all-consuming anger of Parliament. because. and. THE PARTIAL SUSPENSION OF THE HABEAS CORPUS The partial suspension of the habeas corpus has two objects: "The first. therewith. Although piracy and their equation treason share the same sentence tween mistaken virtue and (death). by treating innocent citizens inequitably. . and then distribute a war themselves. to infamy to punishment. 179). by treating fourth. The determination a it. put to death the the cargo amongst American men. blurs the difference be (p. the distinction itself of American rebels as pirates was made with the add intention allow of insulting them. but. third. to enable administration to confine. inconsistently. the British themselves. Burke says that it under the cloak of naval is the British to be the pirates. 178). because they do the possibility of their own deaths god. Burke argues that the objects of the suspension corrupt the order of crimes. and All four corruptions can The partial suspension determines as pirates those American commanders and mariners of private ships and vessels of war which fall into British hands equi- (p. 178). the British the will not even allow them the pity owed to the con demned. Hatred determines the crime. second. as long as it shall think . contrary. is behaving like who appear tyrant. The letter of as a whole teaches and practices prudence by both teaching the limits Burke's support of the law and by supporting the belief in it. In fact. Parliament has taken the tone a criminal of an angry and all powerful but. The determination tableness of the law of enemy rebels as pirates undermines the by confounding the order of crimes. defeat. The British will not them the respect owed to a noble love of liberty or to a formidable enemy. It is in this that one opposition to the fanatic of effects of theory and his defense the two of prudence finds the consistency Burke's reflections on revolutions. by confusing by be denying the accused a fair trial. The Letter about of shows that Americans owed less to ideas effects democracy and abstract rights than to his opposition to the fanatic theory on political life and his desire to protect political liberty. they take the confiscated cargo. rather giving it to treasury (p. those whom that act the act The second purpose of qualify by the name of pirates. Their hatred is not entertain accompanied by pitiless- ness and fearlessness. 179). in fact. is to detain in England for trial those who shall commit high treason in is pleased to America" (p.

Parliament its proper time and place. manly defiance becomes the only virtue. because the accused cannot possibly forward witnesses to defend himself. finds itself in god a world where strength and a tyrant in so far as is the only claim to authority. that they will become savage. corpus The second object of the partial suspension of the who shall commit is "to detain (p. should the ment English be victorious. they Britain are only hardened by the punishments. Burke does habeas corpus not hesitate to precedent point out that the partial of the has its justice in King Henry war. but not according to justice. the absence of justice. What example can an American in England serve the Americans at home? The unjust pun ishments only pride and execution serve to increase American vigilance. rather than the the crime. This attempt to punish the Ameri cans through the law brings the law into disrepute. (pp. makes them of Bristol 81 lower than the By moral qualities of allowing their indignation to dictate the order of crimes. Parliament replaces justice with force and will.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs Their wrath. 180). both. far from making the British godlike. Not only does the trial of Americans in England corrupt justice. Parliament denies a place for patriotism in the moral order and. as if In they is have killed British in to prove themselves virtuous. it be the imprisonment killing enemies. in England for trial those But these trials cannot high treason in America" bring possibly be just. of a The mere thought of shackling the to have them arrive ship (only where Americans. and The proper place for the punishments is in America. 181-82). It is only the perverse hate that of a tyrant will that could cause one to congratulate oneself for an tenfold upon one's suspension be retaliated friends. because the legal process appears to be nothing more than a cover for the arbitrary will of Parliament. The spirit of just victory is completely lacking habeas in the British. This manliness untempered whether by justifications and fears. because it is blinded by its own indignation. it and expresses of itself in simple or the domina of tion. This insolent men as some only reflected in its characterization of American naval pirates. object of their own insults. ought to evoke feelings of horror jail. it acts like both a its actions are not justified by country. peace. and Burke suggests that this pitilessness will become a permanent part of the British character. It is particularly important to understand that the blurring of the distinction be tween treason and piracy is only possible at the expense of love of country. their proper time is cannot give punish after the war. therefore. . The accused is. the British more insult them order by calling them cowards. therefore. The punishments serve neither or nor the ends of which are victory. but it does produce punished not even the desired effects of punishment. Yet the English in will await a pro they have lost all feelings of pity and humanity for their fellow Englishmen in America. VIII (p. but also in its description of American soldiers in general. After strength not is American should defeats. tried ac cording to form. taking their goods. tying half dead in England). 180). them down and then in the hold tossing them in forma trial.

but the distinction between men in the realms treats the innocent differently. The law be of no effect most if it were opposed feelings and ideas of the people. This offense to threat to political liberty. It hardly seems just. because it is The empty prisoners are formality of legal proceedings and the inconsistent treatment of not. expediencies of war necessitate the unequal treatment of prisoners. however. The hatred affection between the British and the remaining bonds of English in America. innocence and guilt dependent to do with therefore not to pardon the remain upon circumstance. Burke says general venoms equity. respect for justice has Since the much how consistently the innocent an and guilty with are treated. It dissolves the nation be citizens without the dissolves by dissolving shared the common good. 182). liberty principle. openly denies some men their rights while protecting those of others (p. that it be The partial suspension the distinction between men in the differ ent realms and. 186). the worst aspects of the partial suspension. accords with them and moves them partial suspension codifies their further in the and same direction (p. . parliament is incapable of such prudence. naval men as they were allowed to go free. like the deter pirates. this action. corrupts justice because according the action the earlier prisoners should have been punished. How can there can belief in fates? How there be a belief in shared fates when the law separates of those who are under it? This cynicism with respect to the has the effect of disaffecting decent citizens from politics altogether. The issue liberty is really requires the Liberty a common good equality under the law. Apathy is the accompanying obverse of legislated hate. But. 184). therefore. the British are intent on punishing as traitors those prisoners who remain mination of American of to the yet reasoning in their hands (p. far from being the opposed to manners. far as he tell. because it between citizens. to punish the exchanged prisoners. never mind possible. The The exchanged prisoners were ing prisoners is to make clearly pardoned. The unequal treatment of American prisoners only treats the guilty unequally. justice possibility The partial suspension destroys public spiritedness by destroying the public. instead of of taking out the sting. justice is the as act's can most dangerous is a that. as a life was given in return for a life. but its to the corruption of manners. by breaking draws the first principle of law. it is more prudent not to make crime and punishment respect issue to prisoners. But the British punitive. the limiting qualification.82 Interpretation The punitive hate of Parliament even extends to the exchange of prisoners. At the end of the war. belief in What not makes the partial suspension of the habeas corpus truly dangerous is would its corruption of law. 188). en one of it to a greater requires degree (p. It shakes the foundation of the nation general. Burke finds it disturbing that the partial suspension. because it leaves no place for decent political attachments.

British disaffection for their past connected to a lack for their future. In sheriffs that order to give privy biting information concerning the real threat foreign powers posed to Brit in the last year. if only through fear. They have the shamelessness to celebrate the names of victory of German are mercenaries and to concerned with herald the German generals. He reminds are threatened by their rulers even more than of by the rebels. the confidence fueling their hatred (recent that victories they have not increased their authority.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs PRELUDE TO DIALOGUE of Bristol 83 By past raising the issue of liberty they the war towards the relation the British that and tyranny. He first reminds the British of their noble order to en a representative of the traditionalists. have with doses of fear. despite American defeats. 189-90). Burke Having specter of British doubt the certainty of victory. and moral Burke must appeal to private advantage to moderate the British. Burke asks the British to look between the people and their representatives. made the reminds them British feel invincible). in love of country. 191). He wants to awaken in the people the jealous love liberty. But the British have lost their honest prejudices which supported their love of liberty. The British have spread devastation but have only the ground they encamp on and no more. He even wishes that some abuse of the partial suspension would touch them. He reminds them that the war has taken on a magni made the tude unimagined the fear of the to secret ain by those who either wished it or feared it. British of as individual citizens with individual interests One the ways to make the British think about their welfare is to destroy. he tells the he was that the mazes way ahead is intricate. might says that be of some consolation was enlightened for the loss is of their old if the reason of the British in proportion to the removal their honest prejudices. public Since British spiritedness has decayed into hatred in order of Americans. as they are Burke's letter indifferent to its injustice only because they do not suffer from it. the attachment to country. attempts to moderate the extremes of hate and apathy by encour and aging the belief in virtue past. Their hatred causes them to live in the pre sent. The specter of foreign powers is meant to re awaken the ties of kinship which and the love of country. . be can fore they be enlightened. with because they harm to their Burke regards of less it British virtue and glory than doing enemies (pp. Parliament's fury appears both ridiculous and irresponsible. He even speaks as courage justice. and full of perplexed and treacherous (p. Burke can move With the reawakening of his rhetoric from fear to shame. He speaks to the consciences. he says unknown a reality. of concern But. The British must doubt themselves. it blinds them to their own nobility and their own good. He even uses images to induce doubt and fear. Burke raises the the unknown. In obstinate light of the dangers lie ahead. dark.

Burke suggests his audience to conclusion for themselves) that the British should quit while they are ahead. helpless creature. the cold doses of fear that Burke throws nal the heated anger of the British prepare a more ratio discussion the war. Burke must discuss the rewards of war. and notable their private and they mortgage exult themselves performed some water exploit. when in triumph. or at money in the form of best the British can hope for is to not receive them. Far from man's of being cowards. But I conceive any existence under heaven (which in the depths of its wisdom tolerates all sorts of things) that is more truly odious and disgusting than an impotent. 199). those in favor of peace are acting responsibly. Parliament needs wis dom be and justice. 191) Burke to shatters the upon illusion of Parliament's bear its strength. pride of a coward. calling for battles which but his servility to it. actually the hypocritical others. as if they kindred blood pours like from the arms of foreign soldiers. contending to save itself from an object respectable justice cannot oppression. without a consciousness of other qualification for power arrogance. The victories fear of could only make it once he had tamed indigna humiliation upon which he builds places the recent are not proofs of allows in a new light. show little are content to real magnanimity. dominion in which he cannot exercise. Burke has for his plan. pair facing the Brit ish.84 Interpretation It is The and no excuse poorest for presumptuous ignorance. but they will thing In light of this hopeless prospect. The mocking insolence of the British is who is courageous at the expense of Besides laying of a foundation for on shame and love of country. He also tells them that they will not get one cent from America. that it is directed by insolent passion. By prepared the ground argument reducing British hopes to the salvation of their reputation. Those in favor of the war. any without civil wisdom or military skill. "no blood pays the forfeit of [their] rashness. The British can at best hope to maintain trade monopolies. They (he British invincibility draw the He but of good fortune. bloated with pride and he is not to fight. the taxes. of uncertain In light victory and certain understood as Burke reinterprets this partaking famous of death. No desolate widow weeps tears blood over [their] ignorance" (p. contending for a violent (P. and satisfied to be himself mean and miserable. rather than to punish and to subjugate. With the awakening of their interests. states to the . order to render others contemptible and wretched. closest least the to save their reputation not to look weak and foolish in frustration and defeat. far from being manly. He has been building towards an explicit for reconciliation but tion and greed. He reminds the British that the goal of the war was to increase their wealth. they their country. They they would offer themselves promise for battle but fortunes hire German mercenaries. manliness and cowardice judgement. Being godlike authority by bringing reason limited in its strength. is in the eyes of God and man. rather than simply force and in light of the real situation must will. being that crawls on the earth.

Burke is faced dangerous and colossal task of himself American policy If one man is to be heard dividing and conquering a nation unified in its hatred. But Parliament illusion that it is omnipotent and believes that any limit placed on its is necessarily a sign of weakness and an insult to its honor. In order to and break this whom circle of hate distrust. both addresses popular and parliamentary. Burke turns to reason as the foundation his policy. of Without the affection and strength Englishmen. Burke's not criticisms of disputing their right to trying to make unanimity are not direct criticisms of the people. a division that has lost its tension due to widespread hate and The English in America their fellow will only put their confidence in a peace party that contains the popular support of the people.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol 85 British. He directly to the unanimity by which Parliament justifies its by first drawing the distinction between agreement and truth. the British must form a strong peace party confidence. therefore. Just a short time . to that to reconcile while of in a position of strength is magnanimous the glory Parliament. by pointing to the arbitrariness of Parliament's American policy. He is be heard but is rather competing for their ear. This is his moves to first statement about British guilt. above the voices of many. they must earn that trust. and be trusted. he must invoke a truth beyond the source and collective or conventional of wisdom. themselves. to risk with defeat their own arms. the Americans must trust in themselves. therewith. the Americans can place their The way to form and strengthen the peace party is not through parliamentary debate. and Burke shows As things stand. The British have broken so many promises that it expect to expected would to initi absurd be for them to death in them the way. In taking his case for reconciliation to the public (the letter is meant for circula tion) Burke is able to exploit the division between the people and their repre sentatives. as it is asserted that talk of peace encourages rebellion (p. The obstacle to almost unanimous support with peace seems. Burke argues that rebellions are provoked rather than encouraged. remains as he stated earlier to Parliament in his Speech on American Taxation and. to be the for the the war in England. (1774). Burke has absented himself from Parliament. the Americans are virtually alone. the power under will be popularly recognized as such. He is the people doubt Parliament and. cynicism. Honesty and prudence compel him to take his case to those decent citizens in whom there still exist justice and pity. THE ARGUMENT FOR RECONCILIATION The of argument for reconciliation must address itself directly to the accusation treason. rather than certain tyranny. he wards ate it slowly by first arguing that the Americans cannot be peace. because his objections to its policies only increased its obstinacy. He is cautious in his blame. 195).

waves of chance and. The argument for reconciliation on an argument about good government. but people. but that their desires should be respected because of their strength. Par liament must. its passions and mind are enslaved to the prevailing fortune it meets. so as to offend the people. because Parliament has given itself claims the right over to doctrinaire fanaticism. Now. by habits argues that abstract Parliament rules for the He does not argue that the have rights. but that no other given part of only the invidious branch of taxation that legislative rights can be exercised. He turns their traces the cause of the war to bad politicians government. 205). even though right of they have no representation. Burke people not justified by an abstract legal right. legislative The not government should exercise its rule with as much reserve as possible. He implies that Parliament is waging the war for its own Burke tries to awaken within the breasts of the British their minds towards jealous love British of liberty. 210-11). having recently tasted victory. I must attend to public opinion. The people are. rather than oppress it. Parliamentary of obedience sovereignty is (p. Burke paints a picture and cowardly in defeat and confident and insolent Parliament lacks the gravity and constancy of reason and character. he can accuse aggrandizement. Burke recognizes Parliament's sovereignty only because it its power has exercised for a long time and continues to do so.86 ago Interpretation Parliament unanimously opposed the war and was willing to negotiate a peace. to separate not accuse the British nation for the war. when public . but it is nothing in the direction of affairs. GOOD GOVERNMENT In the Letter to the and ity of Parliament Sheriffs of Bristol we see Burke attack the ruling author defend the colonists. It rides the of Parliament that is fearful in victory. be governed. He is thereby domestic politics. 207) omnipotence. and he able to blame the with sympathies for the hinges war and to encourage a peace party towards the English in America without appearing treasonous. beg leave to observe. (P. The arbitrari can serve as a wedge its policy cannot but induce doubts that the lukewarm from the majority While Burke dares British politicians. that it is not will be resisted. because the British had suffered defeats. it may be the mind. Parliament to tax the Americans. can neither be admired by those who love virtue nor ness of followed by those who worship the promise of success. at best. therefore. Due to the strength and the constitution ought to have offices which can variability be appealed to of public opinion. Parliament is unanimously in support of the war. granted social rights (pp. therefore. because Parliament claims to have the sovereignty. without regard to the general opinion of those who are to opinion a That general is the vehicle and organ of theory to entertain Without this.

religion more the monarchy. . than the particular men in power or an easily remedied law. it free would know that the Americans must are averse other than a one. through pressures placed on. from. Parliament must be heard. They practicing (the god of this lower world). but with the belief that the problem is not with the entire constitution. If one puts together his discussion of good government of his policy reconciliation. which The British make a studying the are not particular circumstances prudence they must decision. If Parliament had listened to and had studied the Americans. is of theories of susceptible government to the ex tremes of theory. Reason cannot tolerate an freedom in theory is its death in inconsistent principle. freedom others. the clergy and of maybe even veto and its legislation. parliament can no longer legislate religion. then the responsible should party Parlia to case of the American Revolution god of be prudent enough satisfy complaint. to be mistaken.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs opinion changes. any more than is sover of eignty. In light freedom. The this lower world (prudence) is needed to secure the blessing of the lower world (peace). whereas politics tends to blame entire constitu demands gated. they embody than parlia ment. It requires compromise. Freedom then be understood as to any government it is understood by the Americans. and it must have the to appropriate offices for the appropriate complaints. doing what one wills. Thus it is wise not destroy case the convocation of the clergy or any other ceremonial also mentions offices. is a feeling felt by those who are subjected to the oppression and admits rules Freedom is primarily freedom from to various not degrees paying depending in on the people being ruled (p. He condemned the French Revolution in no uncertain terms. like authority. however. Freedom. Burke is quick to point out that. Compromise If the in the the and reform. Freedom is not an abstract principle. but because of a consistent opposition to the influence of ab stract theory on political life. but are account thinking in terms of an abstract legal doctrine that fails to for the character of the factions. ment. not because of a perverse humor. as a defense of freedom in general. and. But Parliament is are not attention to public opinion. rather theory require tions for injustice. of all becomes such tyranny as and usurpation because freedom is thought The perfection of in an extreme form. one sees that he flatters hopes to put pressure on and Parliament. as it was by the New Whigs. ought not Burke's defense of American freedoms. The voice of and his friends is are a weak minority. politics. and even independence. of Bristol 87 The government must act as a kind of grievance committee. 211). Burke the veto power of with the monarchy. 208). the charac understand ter of those over which it governs. compromise to the extent that first principles are better left uninvesti By painting the world in extremes. because of the fixed sentiments and beliefs Burke the people. the particular men running the govern people are sane enough responsible to articulate their particular grievance and blame those ment for the problem. but it which gains might strength through the knowledge that there Since institutions in so public opinion is they important. just in they are needed (p.

on the are bom more from vengeance than an government. idea the common good or of legitimate while The former is bom source of the antitheological of a god. and savage cruelty. One of Burke's rhetorical goals in the Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol and the Reflections on the Revolution in France and encourage murderous cosmic and world fanaticism. collective are bom from disappointed trust. bom of sovereignty and rebellion tend to fortify the most extreme of self-righteous of the most extreme circumstances. The British Parliament the authority of a god. they claimed to embody mankind. rather than cod ified. because the hatreds of civil war difficult to satisfy. The idea as of no taxation without representation does his criticism. Moments authority lived. as he saw that philosophic replacing hatred by lending fortify historical meaning to killing the enemy. the aristocracy.88 thus. These feelings and ideas of significance drown out the feelings of pity and horror that are the humane emotions evoked by slaughter. Burke sees fanaticism leading to the practical both anarchy and tyranny. of and are defiant of past therefore contain an element of mission that is lacking in Not the least Burke's concerns was the alliance between the hate that is the heart ideas were of civil war and abstract philoso religion as a new source of phy. Abstract ideas . they affection. do the doctrines of the rights of man and the absolute sovereignty of parliament. made themselves absolute by claiming they denied their opposition the right to resistance. He even considered civil war worse than are more savagery. The French revolutionaries made their anger absolute by claiming principles of and serve General freedom to tive to speak for the rights of man. the latter has its in the wrath sovereignty fortify puni hate because they make authority absolute while denying the opposition the right to exist. it implicitly legitimate The rights other possibility of legitimate authority as well as rebellion. thus denying claimed the church. and the monarchy the status and rights they for themselves.6 ire of an atheist. General theories passions. because it is a principle of compromise. Burke considered civil war as an evil worse than national wars because the and self-righteous rebellion ought violence of civil war to be short is untempered by a concern for the common good. not a principle that is destructive of all order and prudence. of principles of destruction that sovereignty of parliament are. of man and the absolute hand. He is critical of favorably the disposed to the former but the latter two. In abstract theory. Interpretation one must understand the demands of each faction and what is needed to satisfy them. because they only extend and exacerbate the evils of civil war. Yet Burke's criticisms of abstract theory ously not effects of are obvi directed against general principles in general cisms of religious fanaticism are directed against religion not arouse any more than his criti in general. No taxation of a parliament without representation does not deny the legitimacy It is to exist or legitimacy of grievances against one. rather than acknowledges the hate.

He argues that the revolu tionaries slandered. might Some Burke of being fact reductionistic and opportunistic. horror. though in theory. because the citizens need theoretical principles for knowl edge of their rights and duties. is helpful for understanding Burke's opposi tion to abstraction. to law by evoking the pity fear accompanying the breaking of it and. just as their crimes are contrary to human and divine law. and the tence. He looks at the character the revolution and shows how the actions of the and the various groups leading revolution reflect their individual low motives. He after places the discussion of their science of legislation the quasi tragedy in Their order to confirm through reason what science of government he had evoked through passion. he never argues that revolutionary idealism than a platform and in effect. and placed personal gain was before their ideals. Burke is new fully aware of this and undertakes an examination of the science of politics that is being used to found the French republic. who resented vengeance and on their exclusion from title honor. in particular. the by restoring calm and comfort by demonstrating and that the revolutionary contradicts science of politics is destined to defeat doom because it requirements of life. The Reflections justifies obe dience then. is contrary to the first and principles of politics. greed. eyes each of the revolution's victims the church. order a of how This is especially the case in a philo sophic revolution. guilt. In not fact. and executions. The legislator must whole.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs is to restore simple and of Bristol 89 the and feelings of pity. Burke removes the claim to justice with which they excused their faithlessness. They destroy . By looking into the actions and motives of the principles of the revolution. It is a stage upon which Burke brings before the racy. confiscations. their persecutors. He defends decent morality accuse and obedience to the law as necessities for a free people. broke faith. In this.7 He gives them human feeling justifies their exis He shows their virtue and beneficence Burke also with which they were painted. pocket- anything more by which the merchant class. The Reflections. The goodness of the cause and the wisdom of the laws cannot be reduced to mo tives.8 The incommensurateness of theory and politics comes into focus most clearly in the revolution's activity of legislation. and especially to science. and affection by describing suffering crimes of innocence of the murdered and the stupidity. the aristoc and monarchy. could and satisfy their books by confiscating church property speculating it. malice. thereby lightens the blackness diverts the imagination away from and all the grandiose claims of the revolution to about universal of righting wrong and to bringing freedom and the brotherhood of man. he must have an understanding of the ends of government and each of the parts contribute to that end. the revolutionaries treat country in the way as would a foreign conqueror. Burke says that the first law of revolutionary legislation is to their own destroy all that came same before it.

of from the declamations astonished and buffooneries satirists.10 Burke's understanding legislator is inextricably connected to his understanding of the nature of politics. . which means they have feasted exclusively on satire. who would themselves be if they were held to the letter seem of their own descriptions. and that the habit of criticizing and good breaking the law tends to must give make human beings completely lawless.9 The critical negativity that stems a love of ridicule is compounded by the detachment These and abstractness of the scientific mind. God. for the work of reformation: because their minds are not come good. The ancient sceptics had no public spir itedness because they thought the law was conventional.90 the Interpretation beliefs and habits that nothing. Philosophy not place be so him beyond the suffering blinded by indignation at the nor vengeful his fellow human beings. Their them. it always flies before 520-21) defects must of Hate cient and abstraction are the legislative soul. because moderation they are defi must in love. almost says that the revolutionary legislators have a disposition towards de that They have the taste of Paris. he the appearance of continuity to mends and patches. they of any interest. but in general." Burke denies cause him to despise the By showing theory. which if it operated alone would make them more rage are carried away with such headlong race towards every desperate trial. offices. nor fanatic visionary. would sacrifice the whole human to the slightest of their experiments. philosopher. ranks. It is who are undoubtedly true. are ready to declare that they for the good they pursue. but things. is at their horizon like their horizon. Burke has two types in he speaks of the thorough- . Your legislators seem to have taken their opinions of all professions. Like the of the good seamstress. Nothing can be conceived more hard than the heart of a thoroughbred metaphysician they a period do not think two thousand years too long and. The legislator have of in his soul. that they . the modem atheists are revolutionaries that politics politics. they from love men too little. but that does not the conflict between politics and mind when rational. He is aware that all rebel lion contains evil. though it may paradoxical. humanity (Pp. they do the not seek to reform but to build from political science. . by By hating habit they only unfurnished with patterns of the fair to take no delight in the contemplation of those come to vices too much. he teaches limits of both. yet he must not spectacle of injustice that he hopes to bring The legislator is neither about a Utopia through punishment and persecution. philosophers are fanatics: independent tractable. This defines their task and wisdom of their new Burke struction. because they think politics can be made can be made fully rational. united them as a people. . those are unqualified habitually and employed in finding and displaying faults.

whereby chemistry creates and order uses its materialism to oppose groupings authority. decent morality his rhetoric and Burke understood that prudence and used were threatened by the French Revolution. cannot recognize the politics. and order to do so it must must division and of labor. His attempt to restore the political perspective from that of abstract rights and science of wants. possibility (Reflections. creating Burke does. These two types are legislators for the Europe and even new republic in France and have their ambitions set on all of the entire world. The chemists would like to turn The all of Europe into laboratory using men like the revolutionaries are more proud of than their chemical action There is nothing experiments (p. Legislation is deliberative p. its rela tions depend more graphical accidents than upon numerical necessity. in fact. unique character of Geometry. a mathematical order. which of it. an un geometry differentiated mass. while geometry reduces them to number and shape. Its rebel to be used against them. and Reduction and abstraction are the essence of their sciences. rats. the uniqueness of human beings 301). and he ways on different occasions ridiculous absurdities. The materialism of the chemists expresses political arena as antitheological and antiaristocratic accompanied itself in the from but it lion is not. and reaction of those experiments consist in churches and ammunition the manors of aristocrats and then tearing down the transforming the rubble into ire. however. 524). Chemistry reduces human beings to their lowest common element. to have the power of ordering.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs bred metaphysician of Bristol 91 the geometrician and the chemist. a by numerical from understand the science of the revo lution to have divided itself into these different functions. however. Nothing can come for infinite divisibility. and may in and do exist in total degree much greater . At best. like promises proportion. atomism except by a principle of order. therefore. but these are the two categories over which a man has no control. they to represent and to secure those interests. because it deals political order upon with number and The is not. up France create districts according to for loyalty to a measuring stick. In formative act.12 chemistry. substance Chemistry and (matter) its own geometry can only recognize the categories of quantity. The geo boundaries and of political associations are are meant formed by interest rather than symmetry. chemistry and geometry can produce a association. begins with the idea that the end of government is the satisfaction Government is independence not made in virtue of natural rights. The number geometricians who are and shape dividing ask and. and exist in much greater clearness. and recognize recognize and the peculiarity of the political But chemistry and geometry are material and simple. to show reasoning in many different the Revolution's shocking immorality and In confronting the French Revolution Burke himself was forced to put forward the first principles under which morality and prudence live.

222). such. about the parts are at (p. To the contrary. of Thus he amongst argues that "unsuspecting which all confidence is the true rest" centre gravity mankind. 215).92 Interpretation of abstract perfection: a but their abstract perfection is their practical defect. 370) Burke did of not a contrivance of derive from this end the equal right of each to be the sole judge oneself. from the funda mental end he derived a new basis for the rule of gentlemen and a new under standing of ancestral authority. By having right to everything they want everything. since the belief in argues that there civic virtue is impossible (p.13 The British drove the Americans to rebellion by not one's Burke is willing to strip Parliament of the power looking after their complaints. be would someone attempt to change the government if he thought the change would not improve things? There be no pressures placed on the government in order to keep it responsible to the public. But the actions of Parliament and the arguments of sophisticates suggest that all men act solely for themselves. or to an equal share in government. then there must be moral . developed its own Ideological differences. for America had. courtiers and political men would public in or der to enjoy freedom from scrutiny and indignation. 221). people can Burke thinks that the live content under the watch of Parliament. of government. (P. If Parlia had the Americans and by differences between the British covered. then all the political the Americans would never have been un by this point. Government is human wisdom to provide for human wants. The doctrine that because moral man is selfish poses a great threat to leveling made destroys trust in government as unsuspecting confidence. Burke hopes freedom and to cure apathy and cynicism with spirited jealousy is of one's own belief in the possibility of civic virtue. give repealing the tax. to tax in order to restore American trust. Unsuspecting confidence look after is simply trust that the government will not be oppressive and will interests. theory in the name of the satisfaction of wants. He begins where other modern theorists but he combines the fundamental good with the old order. or rather conflicts provisionary mode of principle. He also points out the opportunistic reasons that lie behind the opinion that all excuse themselves is selfishness. Burke opposed abstract was against began. inherently Why would corrupt is a servile belief. Burke therefore He have been virtuous men who cared about the public. do not rise to dissent among the people as naturally as do particular situations which clearly threaten their welfare and their liberty. If there are to be compromise and freedom. but because he wanted to it against abuse satisfied from both authoritative and rebellious pride. asks the public to government believe in virtue and to believe that corruption is not innate to like to (p. Unsuspecting interests confidence assumes that the government will look after public and not their own private interests. not political because he temper ment the idea of right. The belief that the cause government it is conducive to resignation.

there would be no brake on as them (with the exception of a preferred military dictatorship). Burke the rule of gentlemen not only because of their education and expe also rience but sidered because of their relative weakness to the people. an Perhaps most important. function of the people was to be a brake on the The people are a visible strength that always puts fear into the few who rule. they are too strong to oppose. They competent to judge their grievances by their feelings.14 birth that form own will or consent are not continuity and community. Burke thus suggests is rare and weak. is gentlemen have defending the habits of continuity on interest in property and. but trust that is called to account and office. should the people rule. they provide only necessary Burke's attempt to found attachments and authority attachments without status of morality in prescription. from time yet does not require the usurpation of authority Burke preferred unsuspecting confidence to the rights of man. therewith. The issue of property to that other moderator of takes Burke away from the satisfaction of wants partisanship patriotism. satisfy those grievances. on habits of continuity gains the thought that prescription gives any basis in one's but also ennobling. have dence is to time degree of public spiritedness. just the aristocrats and parlia confi ment must show some concern not for convenience and wants. The as are though people dis must. The people are the product of the constitution. Some have so much authority to the past that Burke must . it must means justify its borders to itself must to others. The the rights of man French Revolution's it was claim to be defending fails to acknowl the rights of the French with which they concerned themselves.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs indignation directed that virtue at of Bristol 93 the government from time to time. natural Burke thought the rulers. liberty. not contradict Even the claim to global revolution and liberation does the fact that the French would not recognize the claim of an Englishman to an equal share of French land. a Unsuspecting blind faith or apathy. He does backs gusted not want but that belief in its possibility better insures the people to become misanthropists who turn their on political life completely because they by the greed. but they do are not possess the character and mind to demagogues. however. but. in which it depends. not so much because he thought there entailed were no such rights. avarice. who ity and who seek They easily misled by blame everything on the inequality of property and of author to remedy all ills by bringing both under the rule of equality. of the people actually threatens the satisfaction of wants. Every edge that nation must exist somewhere to the exclusion of other nations. and a brutality of accepting of political men. This necessity of justice that equality The understood as qualified by country. If be a nation and is to be more than a band of robbers. but because he saw that they The are that each man be the judge of the means to his own preservation and and happiness authority that he have an equal share in government to all other men. Burke con guardian their fear to be a that the of their virtue. therefore. rather than connections of its sovereign.

Liberty is in danger of being made unpopular to Englishmen. But Burke did not equate the ancestral with the good. Burke never thought reality. all other Those ingenuous feeling minds who are so fortified things. satisfies and its benefits are those habits of virtue and affection that preserve the constitution. and beneficence. for the a leading to is the does for politics what satisfying Adam Smith did for result of variety of needs and desires. tion or even an proven idea that be conceived greatest independent Prescrip beneficence. but he never allows the idea of impartiality or universality to dominate politics. and so unarmed to whatever approaches in the shape of disgrace. not think that the British constitution was the best form of government origins and because it had divine because it was his own. Prescription Burke's ideas a matter of of political convenience and political pa process triotism. He was too impressed with the virtue to place so much emphasis on the particularity of politics and its need for law and its form. never harmony between natural desire and that history constituted a realm of be real. history could that it could be The British constitution defends the equity of the law and recognizes how important it is to the common good. Burke believed that rational. . The best can constitution is not the product of the of practice. CONCLUSION The spirit of equitable justice that is corpus offended and dissolved by the partial suspension of the habeas leads to the twin tendencies of tyranny and cynical despair. History is so far from being rational that it is turned to in order to support attachments that are threat ened by reason. because he never believed is not Hegel's state.15 The hidden hand is not. however. Contending for an imaginary power. . force. It is something to be Although He respected. The origins are inferior to the end product.94 Interpretation a have been He did traditionalist. . Burke never lost sight of the conflict between the particular and the universal. He economics. Prescription the constitution is satisfying want. rather. we begin to acquire the spirit of domination and to lose the relish of honest equality. mind. but the end product does cess not exist independent of the pro by is which it came into being. It is impossible that we should remain long in a situation which breeds such notions and dispositions and without some great alteration in the against national character. viewed by its beneficiaries as a series of accidents grounded in man's desires. To the contrary. Provi dence appears godlike in its mysterious dispensation. It gives the political body continuity and its citi zens a shared past and a shared providence destiny. he thought it was the best form of government precisely because it came into being through a series of accidents over a long period of time. brings a degree of the common good. it is viewed as an unintelligible and superhuman force.

Burke constantly encouraged prudence in the governing. (P. Macpherson (Burke [New York: Hill and so far as Macpherson saw in Burke a bourgeois capitalist above all . Karl Marx. in order to guard against their authoritativeness and brutality. In turning to life of the prescription and polemics against theory. on hand. He age gives an account of himself as a representative in order to encour the belief in virtue and the love of liberty. but because he loves virtue and country more than himself. 223) By fighting prudent a war with with laws and punishments. to be grown in disrepute. He does not court power the prevailing opinions of the people. be executed with seen past that NOTES Wang. espe cially in the great. not leads to tyranny and misanthropy by destroying an idea and a feeling of the common good. The partial suspension. In to preserve prudence and public spiritedness from cynical politics was not that of a suspect particular. Capital I (Moscow. His Yet one cannot of visionary. to foster the love of Furthermore. so or a misanthropist. he will not sacrifice by flattering ment his judge to the majority and even feels that it is for what he owes them as a represen tative. he also recognizes the need to recognize virtue.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol 95 finding these principles. but that his portrayal of the problems of politics and much art unless his defense he had its perspective could not perspective. 1954) p. but they can trust him. which will retire they considered as sure means of honor. the latter necessarily corrupts. although Burke recognizes the power of public opinion and public opinion the need to work with it. as an alternative to the Burke did not citizen and of portray the life of reason the statesman. country a universal suspension would serve liberty and by awakening the sense of urgency amongst all the citizens. Burke himself is be an example of judge of yond the salutary hopes to virtue. So. Burke offers no greater counter example to the extremes of his time than himself. The suspension would outrage the public if it were abused at home. It would have been much more universal for it simply to only the other while suspend the habeas corpus universally. B. he is in his self-right eous wrath. 1980]) follows Marx in 1. but rather in his beneficence and wisdom. Prudence makes the former feasible. He is ment and goes well beyond the presentation not godlike himself as a virtuous representative. and he encouraged the people towards a measured jealousy of their liberty so that they would not become either slavish or ambitious. a God. 260. C. disheartened and disgusted. only because they have elected him. he apathy sought to preserve the perspective and attachments of political life. he and sought indignant fanaticism. The greatest fault of the partial suspension of the habeas corpus is that it He is not one of the people. which which he lends credence. Unlike Parliament. the British Parliament has in fected justice hatefulness and expediency. contains its abuses within it.

remarkably similar to Aristotle's criticisms of Plato's. pp. 364) and thus he could not For Burke's vol. and wished to be learned in nature as a Hippodamus did his ambitious dress according to the different seasons. even though far removed political practice that who public assistance to the children of those it was a law in Athens anything about the nature of authority. attempt 8. Nor did Hippodamus know He thought that instead of voting innocent or guilty. p. The Complete Writ 1945]. Burke says that the genius of the of the old regime. Stephen Browne (Edmund Burke Alabama Press. portrait. W. and the 2. 4. his regime on the number 12. Glorious 1984). was cited within the text as Reflections. in whose 6. but I think he emphasizes the aesthetic aspect of Burke's politics at the his political thought.: Penguin. 10. Phaleas for advocating equality of property. farmers. wore by cheap whole. Phaleas'. This abound psychological account of the many political reasons that in the Reflections. Jackson Bate (Westport. 1994]) argument. CA: Sage. and Aristotle criticizes Plato for trying to make the city a unity. CT: Greenwood Press. 358. 1992]) argues that Burke's decisively determined by the fact that he was an Irish Burke fails to appreciate Catholic. he made the military the farmers by giving the army their own property. pp. tyranny (Thomas Paine. Conniff finds him too cautious for not advocating vol. But he did give the any property. they both ideas. Hippodamus thought that his and rulers would be popularly elected. Aristotle draws attention to the importance of Hippo calling him the first political scientist. Burke's Despite their to define a realm of political existence cannot but remind one of Aristotle. All references by to the Selected Writings of Edmund Burke. but according to his fancy. There are three classes of citizens. vol. of govern 3. and Aesthetics [Thousand Oaks. rather than his ideas Hippodamus was ambitious. Eng. 94. and by looking at the man. three sections of the city. ultimate differences. The faults of Hippodamus are the most important to both Aristotle damus only. p. many other cities. 8. 533. 6. p. pp. In from looking to the number three for order. 1993]) argues that one must read Discourse of Vmue [Tuscaloosa: University of Burke as one would read a drama or look at a makes a similar expense of Stephen White (Modernity. independent farmers of the and that all the classes not (artisans. vol. James Conniff (The Useful Cobbler: Edmund Burke State University of New York Press. Interpretation Paine thought that all hereditary government was ings of Thomas Paine [New York: Citadel Press. 520. Conor Cruise O'Brien (The Great judgement of the French Revolution is Melody [Sinclair: Stevenson. vol. Furthermore. Reflections Revolution in France (Harmondsworth. therefore guaranteeing a military dictatorship. a more participatory form vol. reflections on progress see The Works of Edmund Burke (London: Bohn. 1. be legitimate according to the laws 287-300. and Hippodamus for his ambition and simplicity. vol. and to Burke. 7. 1960). 5. Old Whigs. Politics. In An Appeal from the New Revolution that it pretended to to the 11. Edmund Burke. In desire to know nature as a whole. he denied and the artisans arms. and the 7. was so He knew nothing about the influence of force and interest. page number alone are 3.96 else. Works. He he thought he was the first person ever to propose died in battle. vol. Burke's criticize the attempt to understand politics through abstract and mathematical criticisms of the legislative science of the revolution are Hippodamus' best regimes. Hippodamus failed to understand the nature of political order. Works. The mind and the disposition of the Sheriffs clearly character Burke writes A Vindication of Natural Society. pp. vol. artisans the military) would be loyal to and the city as a whole. 101. jurors and . remind one of the old man ed. 164. 382-84. Hippodamus models three. but by thoughtful considerations about the protection of liberty. 2. adorned himself with expensive ornaments and long hair. 431-32. 1854-89). 350-52. sympathize with Burke's ideas of prescription. 431. he failed to understand the unique nature of on the politics. 15-16. p. 282-83. 282-83. 1994]) argues that Burke's understanding of change was not informed by conservative opinions. pp. 2. and warm clothes in both the not winter and the summer. although ment. 31. pp. 9. and three kinds of legal suits. 3. Politics of Progress [Albany: 2. 439. 279.

(Harvey Mansfield. 331-33. 224) a argues that prescription supports popular prejudice and thereby corrects parti There is tions of Burke and the very interesting and illuminating controversy between the natural law interpreta Straussian interpretation of Burke as a precursor to Hegel. 151-53) law theorist in the tradition of St. 432. of Chicago Press. Montesquieu argues that the opinion of one's own security is the end of the law. as in the French Revolution. 1. 77). 2. a person of actual virtue defend the presumptions against dangerous theory. that its authority depends habits of obedience. case of the Edmund Burke [Chicago: presumptions University Chicago Press. The problem is that Burke's idea of fate could lead to or encourage philistinism outside of the that Burke's because it sanctions vulgar success and argues that deprives the law or natural mind of a standard dominant. Burke's emphasis on unsuspecting confidence. NJ: Transaction Publishers. not simply its evident usefulness. uses his understanding to support men of political prudence and virtue. susceptible of of infinite improvement. trans. 13. against abstract doctrine. and Canavan (Ed mund argue Burke: Prescription that Burke and is a natural particular. Nugent (New York: Hafner Press." the ruling majority and 14. 470. 294-95. vol. thus making an who improved the law. According to and Leo Strauss (Natural Right attempt to another. find a standard of History [Chicago: University legitimacy through providence British constitution. pp. Canavan is for Burke life. 1993]. He honors for those individual judgement. Thomas Aquinas. 1. pp. When questioned. who lives according to the actual. Canavan. vol. Strauss claims understanding of prescription undermines the idea of noble defeat. to hope against all odds in the heat of battle. 1954). he is vulnerable to the problems connected to his providential god. as opposed to natural rights. 15.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs should of Bristol 97 be able to vote in shades of grey. Mansfield's analysis of the difference between presumptive and actual virtue helps to clar of ify Burke's relation to political life pp. Works. those presumptions must are Presumptive virtue rests on about justice. Frohnen (Virtue and the Prom ise of Conservatism [Lawrence: University of Kansas Press. 406-7. natural right is an indepen dent principle that used as a standard for political 16. vol. Works. he opposed a universal understanding of justice. 1991]. Stanlis (Edmund Burke [New Brunswick. p. 348. vol. p.9-10). Burke's one solves problem While Burke is able to anchor the and political only to pose life in general. 1987]. of Chicago Press. pp. 6. according to their also proposed authoritative verdict impossible.237). rather than the presumptive. pp. In the Spirit of the Laws. He failed to and law is undermined by the habit changing it. in Strauss concerning Burke's understanding of providence.149-52). is taken from Montesquieu. 1984]. because he thought it made prudence impossible. . Strauss has in mind the realm of thought. March 1996) argues that Burke's understanding of virtual contemporary democracy by establishing confidence or trust between those who have been traditionally excluded from government. 1965]. Science. the man of actual virtue. for men of action are often. sanship. Reappraisal. Like Burke. Thus. Harvey Mansfield (Statesmanship and Party Government [Chicago: University p. pp. and even expected. rather than action. because understand on he thought the law that the was like the arts. p. 1949). Williams ("Burkean Descriptions and And Political Representation: A Canadian Journal of Political representation can still serve overcome it. takes issue with Providence [Durham: Carolina Academic Press. 431. and actually increased the harshness of tyranny where it threatened authority but could not Melissa S. 29.

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New Orleans Next to the things themselves the the greatest what writings of the philosophers seem to pose works difficulties for interpretation. 1 . the truth observation surface." Part One origin and falls decisively in the "Night to break and the second rises from its the shoals of the Redemption" in "On of Self-Overcoming" with violence upon thought the eternal and return as Riddle" it is developed first in "On and "The Vision wave the and finally in "The Convalescent. . is fissure in what appears to only to those whose be a flawless on is keen enough to spot the of It is through the disruption the continuity of the apparent enter the level of the apparent that we are invited to new and strange and and into a deeper world that is that would otherwise be peculiar char sealed to us with seven seals (Beyond Good Evil." In the first Zarathustra's to unsuccessful attempt to transmit and forces him will to reflect upon this teaching his teaching to his disciples to realize that. The acter of philosophical readers of his books . Within their only clue offered to the things are never they seem and yet the discovery of what is is what seems to be. Fall 1998. argument and action. . and that in its composition these aspects are not merely parallel or complementary.Interpreting the Twofold Presentation of the Will to Power Doctrine in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra Steven Berg Loyola University. The first crests at the end of Song. 26. No. as it stands. therefore. but are inseparably It is joined." Preface. In our efforts to do so it is useful to begin with the consideration that a drama is composed of two essential aspects. to interpret this drama. 289).1 As readers of the book. 5. In the second. might writing led Nietzsche to give voice to the wish that be possessed of the philological equivalent of "the work gold smith's art offer his gratitude has nothing but delicate cautious in advance for some "subtlety of which and to do" and to interpretation" (Daybreak. Zarathustra offers a revised to his teaching regarding calls the power not disciples. "deepest. Beyond Good Evil. presentation of this argument occurs less commonly observed that the in two waves. but to those whom he "the wisest. It is generally recognized that Zarathustra presents an argument will according to which the essential core of all somewhat things is the to power." In interpretation. 27) seems to The book that Nietzsche himself have considered his Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Vol. A genuinely philosophical book might to the golden bowl of revealed with some plausibility be of whose con compared stitution Henry James's novel. it is incoherent. is a work that dramatizes the attempt of a man to we are called interpret upon the things themselves.

" But this his means "to be again.g.3 At the opening of the work it is made clear that Zarathustra not only takes himself to be wise. much passes for the core of Nietzsche's philosophy. Overburdened by its superfluity. This under persuading live. It. he and wishes to "go down" to again. he is met with incredulity. thinks through this revised Zarathustra's The Truth- teaching further ecy" than Zarathustra the essential has himself and reveals to him in a "proph (Weissagung) sayer's mind incoherence still nested at its core.100 Interpretation to response his invitation to "seriously the test" "wisest. therefore. however. of accordingly. Appealing directly to the multitude. no mention is made of it in Parts Three read not and the work.. In the light appeals and of this failure Zarathustra upon a novel strat- prudently further such direct fastens . According to one auditor of his speeches he is lucky to have escaped with his life ("Zarathustra's eschews all Prologue. e. of Thus when Nietzsche's utterances Zarathustra is through which simply as collection Zarathustrian Nietzsche gives voice to understood his own opinions. he is not a god: part of his wisdom is his knowledge that "god is He is. Nietzsche's philosophy looks less "post-modern" precursor of Heideggerian existentialism or tionism and more like an attempt in the wake of German Idealism to philosophy to its portrait of a genuine core: Socratic or Platonic thought. the will to power proves to doctrine." men in order to distribute his wisdom thereby "become empty is defined dead. then the distribution. ridicule and hatred.2 to fruition in Zarathustra's as thought of the a eternal This thought demonstrates to Zarathustra in takes as final way the false character of his supposed wisdom which its first principle the doctrine of the will to power. like the be merely a superficial or partial aspect of his thought." however. the superman. is directed to to go so that the superman renewal of this condition would have to find its source in the confirmation of his wisdom. insights the articulate the kernel of what comes return. therefore. however." man since more man by his lack of wisdom or ignorance.4 If Zarathustra is human. however." this account. If it is primarily the fact that he is wise rather than ignorant that accounts for his superhuman condition. As it is attempt presented in "Zarathustra's Prologue. Zarathustra will relinquish his than superhuman status by going down to ignorant men and distributing man his wisdom to them. but as a drama in of the which each speech round may be only in the light deeds that sur it and of what its necessary place within a sequential order of presentation. one of these version of a man called Truthsayer. Nowhere is this other than a more apparent than in Thus Spoke Zarathustra: the book is nothing in the original thinker's progress from self-proclaimed wise man or dogmatist to sceptical philosopher Socratic sense. his first distribute his wisdom to men is an utter failure. Once deconstrucreturn its deeper levels are taken sight of. but as such to be more than human. Zarathustra relinquishes his superhuman status may then only ultimately to renew or reconfirm it. demon strates the false character of that doctrine Four a as such and. It seems that Zarathustra to will somehow attempt to confirm his wisdom through its distribution." 8).

activity stands the legislator or. Zarathustra proceeds with As the narrative unfolds and his attempt to initiate his disciples into his teaching." or power over neighbors meaning various creation of all victory "the high." holy.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra egy: -101 he will make a new beginning by transmitting his wisdom to a cadre of handpicked disciples who. the people." Here he that if be made to speak. according to Zara thustra." character of his alleged wisdom becomes of possession of a causal own knowledge principle "all including is the the being of his knowing. the life of the superman ("Zarathustra's Prologue. according to Zarathustra's understanding. which those speeches are first and foremost concerned to articulate not what is being. That is to say. "On the is to be interpreted or understood it to as man. in accordance with its law. all of of good and them. one Afterworldsmen. Persians. calls "praiseworthy. including his soul and mind. the It is the of the creator that brings the law into being and. the first." 9). the apparent: he believes that he is in being. require that beings who speaks: man the rational animal. Since the of about good and evil are derived from the laws the various political commu nities. however. despite their variety. em but rather what good and evil. the Still. Behind the creator. Thus whatever allows a and victory or power over itself." "will to for the first time. The first of this wisdom will to power. law. its things. power" In that speech of Part One in he ploys the term Goals. acting in the light of its truth. he insists. root cause of all the will to power is the things. But being. Zarathustra does knowledge of not possible to gain an immediate access to since being is through examining the speeches of human beings. the good for man is understood by the law to be convertible with moral virtue. will then turn their efforts to shaping humanity in such a way -as to prepare it to embrace Zara thustra's teaching and its final end. . Zarathustra's presented argument for the truth of his first principle as of in the speech that marks the beginning must attempt genuinely first is to transmit his reasons wisdom being his disciples. Jews because all and Germans all speak differently about good speeches and are formed by different laws. speaks to man only being. the measure and the What Zarathustra believes he has discovered through his good and and whatever allows it to gain it calls examination of the speeches of the legislators or creators as embodied in their laws is that is the will at the origin and the end of the activity of legislation or to power. "On the Thousand authoritative speeches of the and One Zarathustra makes the claim that the speeches about good and evil on all men's lips are derived from the follow laws of various peoples: and evil Greeks. agree in articulating an understanding evil as identical to virtue and vice. as Zarathustra calls him. therefore. in the Aristotelian phrase. since. this activity is directed to sustaining people of which the people to gain legislator or creator expanding the power of the is the founder. The understanding and interpretation of interpret the speeches of that one being among speaking believe it being or.

a law that is. but rather fellow creators. directed to producing a determinate number of subordinate legislations or. man the speaking linked to their root man the political being and that both aspects of man's being is necessarily humanity find the rational an uncontroversial an he calls the will are to power. as an expression of the indefi Zarathustra human. it were. indicates.102 We Interpretation see that. to creating creators. is indefinitely being of infinitely malleable and that is simply a reflection of the essential being of all beings. the to power. As both the laws of his fellow creators and his own law of laws will be the first to have been constructed on the foundation of a full recognition of the truth of the law as rooted in the creative will or the will to power. that "humanity it plasticity self or in the proper sense does not in fact exist. perhaps." nations" among its brotherhood of equals. law that is. therefore. It is with this end in view has descended from his his mountain solitude to offer his the same a That teaching. At the close of Part One. Zarathustra. in Zarathustra's own words. however. longer disciples. insofar as he takes the paradigmatically human speech to be the authoritative speeches of the law. It is this than human. therefore. The only thing that seems to fracture identity is the variety of such speeches or the multiplicity Zarathustra himself has taken these laws and their multiplicity as the this of laws. overarching then. divine. is at one and new teaching in the time the distribu as tion of wisdom and the promulgation of a law. in his farewell speech to his disciples Zarathustra looks forward to a superlegislation future in which his friends. according in what to Zarathustra. believes. The indefinite or through plurality of peoples can be given definition if Zarathustra how impose a finitude upon this plurality and then bind this finite unlimited peoples together can some number of into a genuine whole by directing each and every one of them to a single humanity itself. as it were. however. to a Virtue. nite laws. the coming to be of the superman. To create great endeavor. their legislation will also be the first to have been articulated in the . This new "light to the will itself recognize Zarathustra as the source of its light and. human beings seems necessarily is. That the related political and aspects of claim. but identity between them.5 But then Zarathustra's perspective of own speech about the beings itself transcends the his transcendence that marks wisdom as more any particular law. Zarathustra to wish to establish not simply a link. to an key understanding of the and human and taken the of human as the key to an understand ing of being in the light the potentially infinite this number of particular will peoples and laws has plastic or concluded that the human at its core. will have become the founders of a finite number of novel peoples and will themselves form what Zarathustra calls "a new chosen ("On the Giving 2). standing above and ruling a humanity they have helped to fashion. is Zarathustra's goal. first no people" the successful completion of this promulgation. believes of peoples and of the possible The indefinite plurality it to produce or create humanity itself on the level of the political transforming his transcendent or superhuman wisdom into a novel and comprehensive moral law. that he cities of men.

friends and fellow creators ("On the Giving Virtue. but teaching as from Zarathustra's speech of command own teaching. humanity being If he is itself into successful for the in his endeavor. At this culminating moment hind his veil. therefore." 1). The of his knowledge have become of coextensive with the horizon the law.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra light of 103 the the truth of being. If Zarathustra's disciples are to fulfill this command to freedom it would seem that they must proceed in one of two ways: they may either reject teach- his teaching while lacking a sufficient understanding of the truth of that . and the perfection of his wisdom will coincide with its successful trans mission or with the successful legislation have been of of his law of laws. a natural law. it and as well. saying that Zarathustra fails in this endeavor. the authenticity of his superhuman if he is indeed able to make another like himself or confirm That is to say. simultaneously confirm the truth of his wis condition. as he At the moment of the Great Noon man will no principle of all join longer is the between animal and god. But Zara these thustra identifies the have perfect possession will of wisdom with secured happiness." things. But the freedom his disciples are obliged to achieve it requires not only that the understanding of they liberate themselves from their former prejudices or good and evil instilled in their minds by the old law. in of that the final a Part One Zarathustra to his disciples to offers as the last injunction themselves" teaching that reject "find in order they may ultimately become his equals. It almost goes without fails is the question. as it were. will creators. by and made of same means his happiness made ("Zarathustra's Prologue. This teaching is is engineered produce within them the freedom of mind and will prerequisite to the activity of comprehensive: creation. reveal himself to a his career. "the Great stand Noon. the superhuman creator over his human creatures. create dom and. in celebrating the feast of this new epiphany or. but animal gods are and superman. a He will his knowledge is being perfectly legal a himself blissful horizon divinity of who at the same time will philosopher-king will kings. Accordingly. Zarathustra will. this his account of the core of all beings as will to power and as indefinitely since plastic. How he We can answer this question if we recall that Zarathustra's like himself is incumbent upon the successful effort to create another sion of transmis to his wisdom or teaching to his disciples." 3). Zarathustra for his first step from be true and mankind prepared advent as the divinity with calls or the highest embodiment of the his fellow creators it. It will be a legislation in perfect accord with man nature of and man man's things or. while bringing humanity first time. rule of a justice that is identical to a certain form of inequality. since mankind as a whole will recognize that "all of dead" and that Zarathustra himself living and incarnate truth the novel superhuman ideal ("On the of Giving man Virtue. In acknowledging the transcendant superiority kind will at the same time acknowledge the justice of the Zarathustra new law he has laid the legitimate down. Through it the political animal the rational animal will have been seamlessly joined and the law and made one." 3).

the Zarathustra as "Tarantula" "preacher equality. That Zarathustra is himself aware the implications of his encounter with the Tarantula is made clear in the first three songs which punctuate the close of the Song. Neverthless. of course. his venom. By the seventh speech of Part Two ("On the Tarantulas"). however. The venom of the Tarantula is his doctrine justice ity at the center of which. wholly not abstracts from the fact that the wishes child of reveal the dream expressly asks Zarathustra to look at himself: he to to Zarathustra something about on author of that teaching. he henceforth they now bids last sufficiently prepared his friends for this rejection. This interpretation. must accomplish pre teaching force them into Song" an all too human bondage to its lover": it "The Night of a expresses an intense desire . which marks the cul mination of a series of engagements with his "enemies. however." victory over he bites him of and infects him as equal revenge." Zarathustra seems to believe that he has at Consequently. as Zarathustra has argued. to create his equals in the form of fellow creators.104 Interpretation so ing The that. "The Night In this song Zarathustra which opposite of what offers a portrait of own activity of creation in its fulfillment cisely the demonstrates that it is this supposed to effect: of mind disciples a more than will human freedom is "the song activity far from producing in his and will. lies the desire for suggests This doctrine is. rushes his teaching. What this incident another is that Zarathustra's attempt to make at like himself. they may appropri they may reject it in full awareness of its truth. the distribution of his author. on the basis of their own or ate this truth for themselves."6 Zarathustra interprets this dream enemies and ence his teaching has been distorted signifying that have grown ashamed of their his disciples consequently that by his adher to it. but about himself as the the basis of his inadequate understand mountain retreat ing of the dream. them to become his enemies and suggests that from another. to be absurd. of latter. It is not or while he takes to be the distortions enough then that sufficient his disciples knowledge of reject his teaching in they a distorted form it rather lacking its truth. In "The Child which a child his disciples. Zarathustra and down from his of what to rejoin his disciples practiced upon purify his teaching it by his foes. of course. of with the particular enemy claims a he here confronts. This is the Mirror" opening within of Part in with Zarathustra from a nightmare he sees holds up a mirror there is the "mocking as and asks him to look mask himself it." in other words. has itself in its the core the same vengeful passion that Zarathustra identifies manifests as the source of what teaching of the preachers of sickness" calls "the turning and equality and that "the tyrant liberation he madness. opposed to Zarathustra's own doctrine of justice as inequality." of first half his of Part Two. must reject in full awareness of what it is they are rejecting. Nonetheless. that the to pave the of teaching he believes to be a path to will instead prove way to enslavement and self-enslavement." "divinely strive against one At the same or moment. appears independent inquiries. What and grotesque of a devil. it is precisely what made clear at the awakes at Zarathustra demands Two.

The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra 105 that (Begierde) ate another to give and receive love effort to with perfect mutuality. And in creating while rejecting the true teaching of creation they are determined not by the truth of the will alone. therefore. If they are to become his equals in creation they must reject that teaching in full awareness of its truth. they must liberate above oneself as one's it. they may transform themselves able neither to cannot from friends into accept enemies of Zarathustra and. friendship and love read on a basis of perfect of equality When "The Night clear Song" is in the light "On the Tarantulas" it becomes that Zarathustra's equality in love relations indicates that his longing for love has been infected with the desire for justice as understood by the preachers insistence upon absolute of equality and. therefore. dependency disciples' upon or subordinate status to the will of an Thus the truth of Zarathustra's teaching. On the other hand. But precisely in such rejection they obey the final command of. be his love nor to offer love to him in return. That his disciples but fail in their his enemies efforts to free themselves from Zarathustra's tutelage by becoming however. that is. but by the falsehood of their willful ignorance. is perfectly self-sufficient self-legislation or one's own will their wills from any other. and adhere to and fulfill this teaching. that is. On the one hand. Moreover. but infe who will always fall short of his own perfection. In order for Zarathustra's disciples to become fellow creators. and It thus reveals Zarathustra's distribute his wisdom. prove incapable either of or even of they may reject their properly receiving the gifts of his love. In attempting to liberate their wills from subordination so all to the will of another they subordinate themselves to the will of Zarathustra. as Zarathustra setting up only law ("On the Way of the Creator"). made clear through stands following reflection. disciples and. is under in pursuing the their own independent activity of creation. that his understanding of the just political order is incoherent insofar as the essential character of its ruling peak would of neces this ruling peak itself. has its motive not wisdom and thereby his superhuman simply a desire to confirm his but moreover a longing to share condition. as through such distribution cre like himself. and this is men. therefore. for he has come to perceive that the teaching he took to be the proper means to establish this perfectly reciprocal love must sity violate of its fundamental principle. requires that they his teaching as an external determination upon their wills. Thus Zarathustra's only disciples' attempts to achieve an equality with their master serve to confirm their inferiority and to him in terms of both will knowledge and the freedom of the will. dependent position as disciples and attempt to become in their own autonomous creators right. munity is now apparent to Zarathustra. this condition with another. The distribution of his wisdom create not equals capable of rior creatures of his will properly receiving returning his love. fellow creators and wise instead result in one of two remain his disciples may returning equally unsatisfactory situations. which reveals Zarathustra to be the legislator of his reject own supposed self-legislation. to establish a community of and reciprocity. It . Creation. the com incoherent in its own terms. consequently.

" Consequently pedantry." Through its distribution Zarathustra distribution distribution proves to sought to confirm own terms. As he puts giving. spite. will produce in his relations to his recalcitrantly inferior disciples the sad passions of envy. consequently. The dominant passion of the preachers of equality. ("On the Giving Vir 1). Through wished to pro- his legislation and the transmission of . but by self-mockery. wisdom. rather than confirming his happiness or bliss. will supplant the for love his the perfection of Zarathustra's giving or creation proves to be at the same its undoing. review order to articulate the structure of this aporia it is to the progress of Zarathustra's thought in the his wisdom following Zarathustra terms. Zarathustra's attempt to combine jus perfectly reciprocal tice and love. he is in useful a state of aporia. it is his seems to follow that central to the incoherence Zarathustra's wisdom assumption that in its highest expression love is as the former finds its source perfectly in and is ultimately identical to the self-legislating will. how he the seductive and veiled figure of Lady Wisdom who persistently In an extended series of questions at the end of eludes speech his he gaze and grasp. confesses that this he In no longer knows where he is or how to go forward. Yet that thus be impossible in its of This impossibility law. dancing of a group of "lovely wisdom. self-sufficient a them aware of their own poverty and dependence in relation to He will put them to shame.8 ignorance what after by In this song he makes manifest his knowledge of his own describing how he falls into perplexity when trying to fathom "thirsts" he takes to be Life's boundless depths and.7 either to command another to be free or to will a Consequently." By false terized "The Dance Song" of Part Two Zarathustra has become aware of the charac character of his by bombast he to accompany the Cupido. and Having failed in his with effort to unite to freedom with friendship justice love he will succumb desire to punish his disciples for the inferiority longing and incapacity within of which he is Thus time the cause. the punishment or desire for soul. with his wisdom. compatible with the moral law insofar tue. As "The Night Song" predicts.106 Interpretation be impossible for Zarathustra to create another proves to proves to like himself because it be impossible love. demonstrates the incoherence of Zarathustra's Given the fact that the and his wisdom was to be identical its promulgation as will considering that the starting point of that legislation end the enjoyment of is the to power and its of love. revenge. and his speech is no longer girls" In the song that he sings with "the little god portrays himself as the inept lover of two ladies by the names of Life and Wisdom. my virtue grew it in "The Night Song": "my happiness in giving died in tired of itself in its overflow. and the desire for revenge within his soul. way to an in its turn to a envy of those to whom he distributes such gifts and this envy spiteful desire to afflict them with the pain of the longing that he himself expe unsatisfied Zarathustra's longing to receive the gifts of love will give riences: he will take revenge upon them by withholding his gifts from them and thereby making his superfluity.

to secure the good happiness for his fellows with and himself. that false horizon now of the is. Though in his trayal in a dialogue with his beloved Life of his unsatisfied thirst for and ongoing suit.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra vide a comprehensive solution or 107 to the human problem. and the good. The in wisdom and toward the awareness of self-contradictory nature of Zarathustra's Gay Science. Accordingly. He man as political and man as rational and distinguishes sharply between concludes that the only genuine good is a transpolitical good. Thus if in Part . He cannot painful beyond endurance. from the perfect possession of speeches that beginning. elaborating of the beautiful.9 standing of the good points to the life devoted to the love dom in erotic community through speech: it points to In significant contrast to all of Nietzsche's other works. therefore." he cannot understand his life to be worth living if he cannot believe himself to be Song" wise. since. the morally or legally determined under and pursuit of wis philosophy. the rule of the creator over his creatures to the advantage of both is impossible. and to have ascended to the naked truth of things. of the rational good. he has identified perfect happiness with the and the two wisdom. ing and The rational good and the political good were to be made to coincide through the rale of the wise creator over his creatures. But Zarathustra's understanding came to ruin when he realized that friendship or love in the highest sense is incompatible with the justice of the political realm. 381). in "The Grave attempts follow he of to resolve his perplexity by jettisoning both his understanding understanding and the political good. the In doing so he considers himself to have stepped beyond the limitations of the political realm. that understood need on is. the word "philoso por phy" nowhere appears within the speeches of Zarathustra. all human community established upon the basis of the law. and his beautiful as the loving community of the believes to be a new extramoral account what he instead wise. As he reveals at the close of "The Dance Song. therefore. His understanding of the good overcoming of need thus divided into the beautiful as the perfectly recip love of the wise for the wise and the just as the structure of an overarch final political order. and that. in which the just is included as false appearance. What Nietzsche suggests in "The Dance is that the inco Song" herence human need as of Zarathustra's wisdom points of need away from an understanding of the good as the knowledge overcoming of ignorance (cf. to the career own desirability life informed of the discovery of philos by the love and pur at this point rather than the possession of knowledge sustain good. That is to say. pursuit of Wisdom Zarathustra comes close of a to the ophy and. or that love is incompatible with the self-legislating freedom of the will. in his his newly won awareness of his the ignorance because he finds perplexity into which he has been thrown he misses the mark. He that good to be coinci dent the overcoming would of human both the final rational and the political levels: ignorance political orders be replaced by knowledge and all partial and transitory its ruling by one that is comprehensive and and that had as peak the as the rocal loving community of creator-wise men. the just as final political order.

but of itself personified as a malevolent host assembled to oppose and thwart vulgarity him in his endeavors. e. and by infecting them with the vulgar or base passions of. It is the of have his it "poisoned" the (Borne) life for Zarathustra by bringing youthful loves to a premature terminus presence of ("On the Rabble")." both his life his wisdom at the end of "The Grave "The Grave Island in Song" opens as Zarathustra retreats to the solitude of the Grave youth. order to lay a wreath upon the tomb of the lost loves of his In the course of the lamentations he offers loved dead. envy. It seems then that the recapture the distribution Zarathustra's in his wisdom was youth and designed both to believes to be ful love that he experienced of to overturn the political and "spiritual" dominance polluted the the vulgar majority that he or well of responsible for having fountain his youth joy in and desire for life. quickly devolves into to an he pretends to discover the cause of the transience of his youthful love in the "rabble" efforts of his destroy him. happy. was the lingering he the low or the vulgar within the souls of those whom Zarathustra youth loved in his that brought the association between them to an end: even could not stomach the persistent presence of the low that he discovered in the highest form of this link between the high intercourse between human beings. a love expressed in (seligen Geister)." it becomes clear that up behind Zarathustra's days over the silent graves of his "best perfectly love that longing for a mutual love lay a nostalgic desire to in the recapture and perfect a species of of he knew but all too briefly sunnier the playful intercourse of "blissful minds" his youth. In other words. his difficulties or not upon his own dis longing on the for "purity" "cleanliness" perfection and (Reinheit [see upon "On the Tree Mountainside" and "On the Rabble"]). Zarathustra's la angry accusation as mentation.108 One Interpretation and the first half of Part Two Zarathustra his moral attempted to enclose the sun of knowledge pretends within the cave of law. and his revulsion before and the low extinguished his love. "enemies" however. fundamental doctrine ple of both his He original and his revised teachings remains the of the will to power. for having corrupted the souls of those he loved best spite. control of The failure of be brought completely under the the distribution of Zarathustra's wisdom to to . in the second half of Part Two he to have liberated himself entirely from the cave of the law and to have for ascended evil what into the light of the sun of a sense. That is love were to say. and reaffirms the will to power as the first princi Song. the conditions of possi bility and his his actual enjoyment of will. Zarathustra blames his failures position. Zarathustra's primary opponents. His creation was supposed to guarantee both "eternity" the perfection and of his love. however. rabble who are those whom the Tarantulas or preachers of equality serve: the of vulgar or well or the great majority fountain human beings. and however.. As is his habit. consequently.g. the longing for revenge. Nevertheless. knowledge that his stands beyond good and in the moral Zarathustra exchanges refuted moral wisdom he understands to be a new amoral wisdom and wise thereby permits himself to the persist in the belief that he is principle of and. that is.

but to those whom he calls "you he now embraces precisely the unlimited character of the will and the wisest. in the infinite power of the will. His own others disgust and indignation before the traces be low that he detects in In fact it thus itself appear to an expression of this same vulgarity. The greatest good. and resurrects the creative activity of the can continue will highest The will to power doctrine. Without himself being aware of it. manifests itself in an infinite becoming. he realizes. therefore. In doing so go of rest he lays to as the as his desire for love good. he says is. It is a protean mon must not that hides its essential indeterminacy in the ceaseless production of false in his and ephemeral appearances. "the good. but perpetually limitations upon its own activity. His cannot skepticism extends to all supposedly final knowledge. he also concludes that any particular vice. "whatever I oppose how I love it rooted I have to it and my love: thus my win will have it. as well as relegated teaching concerning limited and any particular teaching now regarding the character of being. in expressing its or unlimited character. spite. Be that it may.10 At the end of this same speech Zarathustra offers his new extramoral ac count of the good. and indignation that have led to the premature deaths his loves. ing") Zarathustra his revised version of the will No longer addressing himself to his disciples. One but wonder whether this new skeptical cate teaching regarding the will to power of so does not impli as itself in its own critique of all comprehensive accounts of being. destroy ster such self-created only perpetually create. seems of to be this disgust youthful enemy. For the will." again and soon and. however. As a conse good and evil quence. Zarathustra is his a paroxysm of own worst It is only over after he has of whipped himself up into perpetrated indignation the "murder" his loves allegedly by his foes that Zarathustra lets as his perplexity and once again fastens upon the will to power doctrine the means to his salvation and the foundation of his knowledge. He adopts a dogmatic skepticism. Zarathustra thus replaces his dogmatic moral wis dom with an amoral skeptical wisdom that nevertheless remains grounded of the will fundamental dogma to power.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra effect 109 this unification of love and will was made evident own soul with the passions of envy." creative It is identical to the creation of values as an ongoing activity or to the ever-renewed ." indefinite plurality or virtue and all of its creations that he originally sought to limit. In the immediately following articulates "The Grave Song" ("On Self-Overcom to power doctrine. must be to the status of a transitory and so false fabrication infinite of the will to power. after to serve rein the cornerstone of his wisdom only having been extensively terpreted in the light speech of the collapse of his original understanding." Life. Zarathustra baptizes the name this revised understanding that in secret the will to power with "self-overcoming" and claims doing the words in which overcome ever much life itself revealed its he is merely echoing to him: "I am that which must create and itself again. and the of the by the infection of his longing for revenge.

as the highest good. It is. naively (The Gay Science. As he puts it at the end of behind the serious or heroic moral virtue of the superman as the paradigm of the highest life lies the Nietzsche himself secret playful appears to ness of what scribe he now calls the "superhero. in clinging to his its freedom. will's creation of values as the greatest good is extra-moral and in charac ter and those values themselves or the moral law a beautiful concealing falsehood. as a whole through the transmission of Consequently.110 Interpretation of fabrication transitory teachings of good and evil as virtue and vice. himself to purchasing his its first principle. Gay Science when he speaks "the ideal of a mind who plays divine" hitherto If the called holy. . If the creation of values requires the legislation morality. "Thus Spake Zarathustra. virtue and vice are immiscible Zarathustra originally thought of that he had. necessarily the greatest evil. or itself stands the gloomy seriousness of those ideals. then Zarathustra must hence his disciples and mankind his wisdom. for. will's "sublime" character good. through the examination of the laws the various peoples." 2). wisdom and will and And. the self-sufficient freedom at the expense of the enslavement of everyone else. he no longer considers honesty to be the best policy and turns to concealment and prudential irony in the presentation of his thought: at the opening of his speech "On the Sublime." as a form of artful play. law or or as he it there. from opposites. . he . necessarily imprisons the Thus Zarathustra of mind and will those upon whom he imposes his creation. that moral has compelled him to distinguish the the good from virtue. to the one true He now understands himself to have ascended and from the plurality of moral virtues to the truth of the good as distinct from the source of moral virtue and its plurality. entails moral (true) extramoral understanding He argues that since the greatest good." self-concealing above cre beautiful moral ideals. Zarathustra is understanding and a now able to distinguish between a of good and (false) evil. the false perspective of the moral law." as a "still sea" whose calls riddling surface hides "impenetrable of the The infinite. ascended from the plurality of accounts of moral virtue morality. destruction of values as its Accordingly. must veil itself in the false the appearances of wholeness and com pleteness of the moral ation of beautiful." he describes himself depths. which he has come to identify of a with beautiful. his desire for happiness as he understands it. 382. good untouchable. it follows that the genuine of the good as understanding moral inseparable from evil is incompatible virtue and with the understanding of good and evil as identical to vice. the possession of wisdom. the destruction of values. of course. the false char acter of which is fully recognized by forth renounce any desire to enlighten the minds of its creator. But the ceaseless creation of values requires the ceaseless precondition. But the "values. it follows minds and wills of now resigns that the wise man must remain since the creation of values that liberates his will solitary in his activity. the creation of values. Zarathustra describes it "On the Sublime. Ecce with all that was Homo."" de Zarathustra's of new paradigm of the highest life in the .

The reproduction of the good is guaranteed (cf. He will attempt to direct the sense with another human being. one fers his revised account of the will to of the "wisest" to whom Zarathustra of power responds to his invitation to "seri his ously interprets them test" "word. of another like himself. is now understood by and from the intercourse radically of one human mind with another. Zarathustra In other gives dren. think through. the realm of ing the life that is free on and slavery and informed by the of falsehood. He listens carefully to these speeches. however.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra renounces -111 his longing for love such or for genuine community are a with another like himself and denies that love and happiness." He will produce his "children" or reproduce men within men will his own activity in of another through convincing the highest the political community then become the bearers the conditions the truth of his false moral teaching. the undiscovered in the furthest sea: after it I call my sails to seek and to seek." What the Truth his initial transcend understanding must of not the just political order by reducing the political realm to a mere means to the reproduction of his own necessity fail. As we have already observed. its fundamental incoherence. Zarathustra's Nietzsche indicates this fact way as to such a lead the reader by initially teaching better than Zarathustra does him presenting the words of the Truthsayer in to infer that they are the words of Zarathustra ("The Truthsayer"). and create engendered. truth. the beautiful becomes a kind of rase through which the 206a. in some indefinite future. Symposium reproduction of his own good. and. Zarathustra to be ultimately detached It is identical to the self-sufficient knowledge freedom of the will of the wise and solitary creator of values. in new doing so. Zarathustra of attempts to demolish the tradition he confronts. Plato. This fellow thinker is name within the work." as he calls it. his old moral teaching. It creating on a will fail because each of activity in the person of another Zarathustra's successors can predecessor. this second Zarathustra will penetrate as as riddling surface of the regnant Zarathustrian teaching. but ultimately to the generation. to the end of reproduc words. Zarathustra himself has done. These of a new Zarathustrian tradition that will ultimately provide for the coming into the being of a new creator. As in the case of sexual intercourse. now wishes to the beautiful a means to "procreation" ("On Immaculate Knowledge") or the activity in the person of another.12 Yet if he has false renounced community necessary his desire for living together in the highest condition of still wishes to employ the promulgation of he has created." "now I love only my children's land." up As he the men of the present and turns his attention to producing "chil proclaims in "On the Land Education. anew out use the rains he has as Zarathustra. never given a proper sayer comes but is simply called "the to understand is that Zarathustra's attempt to of Truthsayer.207a). as a means not only to realizing the freedom of his will. comes to understand the implications self. therefore. demolish it. he values the admittedly political community. with caution and of subtlety. help lower level than his The reason for this .

his its core an account of the just political regime cave of the political realm and that is on a lower plane than that of Zarathustra. but rather a all efforts of creation and was. of Zarathustra's his successor cannot. the future continues way . Consequently. In his dream Zarathustra has .14 have been handed over to the ignorant Zarathustra is laid low lapse he priate by the "prophecy" of the Truthsayer. as it were. then do so if he attains to Zarathustra's level in knowledge he cannot in his best creation of values: regime he found his own teaching on an account of the that he at own new tradition must have has himself demolished. just the prophet had predicted. everything That is to say.. despite the in some to this region of the dead."13 It is the low despair point of this necessary future in which those process of decline that the prophecy with of will the Truthsayer predicts: a over the capacity to create the vanity of consequently succumb to the belief that "everything is empty. in his dream Zarathustra sees that. self-overcoming that begins from the which has at its center his account he to be the in speech of the political order or regime. but in terms of knowledge as well. everything is one. however. must initiate a process of decline of what considers worst that will end in the realization in deed political order or regime: the rule of the "rabble." and grave-watchman on the hill and fortress of guardian of other life that has been "overcome" that lies in as coffins around him. the Truthsayer foresees that Zarathustra will engender not a second Zarathustra. Thus. In words. It is only by thinking through the incoherence and impos Zarathustra's beautiful and false account of the best regime and its one justice that may ascend direcdy beyond the falsehood of the politi cal realm to the peak of knowledge of the good.112* Interpretation as decline is sibility perfect of follows. become the "night-watchman death. bursts open. in which "shallow swamps" reins of political rule men. The implication seems to difficulties that the Truthsayer has foreseen. and regurgitates an odd assort images of resurrected life. will exist on a still lower level and not only in terms of creation. This second Zarathustra will be obliged to seal off the exit from the its false The cre beliefs ation that Zarathustra's account of the best regime had opened up. therefore. During his draw the col experiences a second nightmare in which he seems to appro lessons from the Truthsayer's He is the prophecy. the high point of Zarathustra's best moral teaching. Zarathustra the Third. therefore. If Zarathustra's successor must destroy cannot the Zarathustrian tradition even in order to clear the way for the creation of his own. Nevertheless. the conclusion of his dream that the Truthsayer has appears to offer a suggestion as uncovered can entrance ment of to how the difficulty be resolved: a black coffin appears in the gateway that is the be that. his own efforts at through the transmission of a enervation and paralysis of reproducing the life of the creator Zarathustrian tradition must finally result in an the will." climate in which "the best grow tired of their works" "harvested" after having predominate or the multitude of vulgar "rotten fruit" and.. serve as a vehicle for the reproduction of own activity: his own successor.

namely." Zarathustra has the come to that the apparent salvation of his revised ac count of the will to power as the perdition of creativity. Zarathustra traces this circular at trajectory will as willing the point in the discourse which following teaching in "The of Truthsayer" ("On Redemption") in he speaks of his own the liberator and then follows this with an account of the decline of the will "madness" from this height in it seeks to annul several stages to the nadir of the will's which we or return once itself in willing not-willing. the Machiavelli. recovers he appears to fathom the full significance his that dream. to say to Zarathustra at the meal they by the speech of Part Three realize entitled "On the Vision and the Riddle. the series of tradi follow in their decline and renewal a necessary and need course. If. Zarathustra. that the finite process of decline in the creations of the will the Truthsayer predicts cal regimes or implies a similar finitude in regard to the kinds of politi that no matter how be. is the causal principle of number of of those peoples. Nietzsche does not afford us this pleasure. but to willing this willing. This insight is cause. Whatever the Truthsayer may have had shared.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra - 1 13 to hold out the promise of a reprisal or recapitulation of the high point of the activity of the will that Zarathustra's when own creation represents. Zarathustra only will this repetition or recur will as in order to once again secure the self-sufficient activity of the the final cause of the becoming of the political community (cf. highest good has been bought in his at the price of or unlimited of his understanding The latter according to will of the will to power as was grounded infinite in its proposition analysis the political things which the potentially infinite variety of peoples implied the corresponding infinitude of that which to power. 1. if any one necessity fall under one of a among the infinite finite number of kinds regime. more to Zarathustra's own teaching that "the will is a height from which we creator" ascend to the makes began. circular process of the ascent and decline of the will Willing this circular recurrence of is the be "sea" in which Zarathustra be He apparently shares his new insight with the Truthsayer at the dinner party to which he invites him immediately following his recovery. then. however. Dis courses on Livy. when combined with seems to suggest that a initially encouraging to Zarathustra be his understanding of the will as self-overcoming. at least at this point. of therefore.2). The suggestion that Zarathustra immediately following seems this account that the will must learn to "will in its backwards" to refer. not to willing all of the past. all of them fall under one or infinite the variety of particular peoples may another of a strictly limited number of possible regimes (see note 5). By willing will's his own superior existence as of the inevitable in this way he would reproduce the highest good. it finite process of decline in political orders must inevita bly be followed by an tions and regimes were to predictable circular rence opposing process of renewal. the peoples must of Yet." will Truthsayer posed responds to Zarathustra's ostensible solution to the problem he has for him. . Much as we would like to know how the lieves the difficulties the Truthsayer "drowned. From this low point.

his attempt to becoming of the political community in the reproduction of the employ highest good requires that he will not only the circular repetition of political regimes. therefore. implies the that the recurrence of the past and the future recurrence of the moment in which the eternal return is known and. there number politi becomes master: Zarathustra thus discovers that the or cal problem has certain implications for cosmology about the whole that that the problem of jus tice and its relation to the beautiful and the good points to the problem of the order of the whole. since if he cannot will the past in such a future as his own creation. the first cause own willing: recurrence of all things.' "My day-wisdom mocks all 'infinite worlds. In a last-ditch attempt to salvage the freedom of the will that he understands to be the highest good. . the to power as highest good transforms itself into the best causal principle of a be both beautiful in its wholeness and just in the riddle relations of its parts insofar as the rule of the within prevails within it. saying. but every stone that is thrown .' 'Where force (Kraft) is. The truth Zarathustra believes himself to undermine his to have discovered. the dwarf replies with the cos "all circle. then he must submit to secondary cause within the nexus of causes being will merely a dependent deter mining the necessity of recurrence. he now concludes that the circular recurrence of finite finite same. Zarathustra's Riddle" own gloom over this insight is or in "On the Vision heaviness" and the by the voice of the . . its to necessity by willing the eternal as it were. Thus. but the way eternal recurrence of all as to reproduce it in the or things. regimes implies a circular recurrence on the cosmological scale or that a power at the core of all being must give rise to the .114- Interpretation his doctrine that at the core of all then Zarathustra must reconsider unlimited power. he therefore makes a virtue out of this way the will so the becomes. according the Zarathustra's current understanding. . "O Zarathustra high. namely. eternal return of . then the creation or represented will can never be first cause and there can be no genuine liberty in this sense. cosmological whole that appears to By willing the recurrence of all things. seems fundamentally teaching first concerning the freedom of the will. however. must past and Accordingly." mological and necessitarian version of the thought of the eternal return: truth is crooked. In of the whole of things and first cause of it wills its own will or becomes self-caused. time itself is sees a Zarathustra. one when Zarathustra asks him whether the paths of the future that stretch out "contradict" moment in contrary directions from the gateway of the another eternally. that the liberation through acts of creation or by becoming cause: will can achieve genuine a truly autonomous recurrence if the cosmological order is defined a by a necessary of all things. "dwarf" the "mind of of wisdom! fall!" who mocks You have thrown yourself you stone him. That there are problems lurking Zarathustra's apparent solution to the presented by the eternal return of the same is made clear at the end of . being is an Accordingly. in which it may be willed. the As he says in "On the Three Evils": For my wisdom it has more says: "" force. however.

21).The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra "On the Vision choking upon a -115 and the Riddle" where Zarathustra sees a vision of a shepherd "heavy black snake" that has crawled into his throat and there bit itself fast. of It is. This thought proves monstrous and nauseating to Zarathustra when he realizes that the political and cosmological rule of the best or his willing the eternal recurrence of all things means willing not only the reproduction of the will's own goodness or superior petual activity in the person of another. At equality the bottom will Zarathustra's attempt to bring all things under the sway of his lies the same passion that animates the efforts of the preachers of ." Moreover. that is."17 In the thought of the eternal return the doctrine of the will to power as necessarily entail self-sufficient and shows. freedom will at its peak. the life but is in creative great effect of in. all would be one. the that has crawled his throat. Thus Zarathustra explains that "the small disgust at man ." That "the man recurs realizes would eternally . of sickness" therefore. ." Zarathustra calls this vision a "parable" and a Convalescent" and asks "who it is that must come In "The it is made clear that the shepherd represents Zarathustra himself picture that insofar as he is a ruler and legislator and that. the will "turning the low passion of revenge that lies behind the incoherent metaphysical superlative and unfulfillable sense" desire for "freedom and in the of (Beyond Good Evil. The presence of the low not only persists human life. as having repudiated He does so far away because he has come to in his attempt understand that the same problem that encountered to trans form his disciples into fellow proves to creators embodied in his attempt to reproduce the autonomous activity of his will: the path to absolute freedom of the will be identical the with the path to or its thoroughgoing "tyrant-madness" self-enslavement. paradoxically. that this the first and final cause of all knowing animals and all being is decisively refuted by Zarathustra himself. the result of what he takes to be the highest human activity. nothing be profitable.16 dominion would the Truthsayer prophesied. but the per recurrence of the bad in the form of the lowest and smallest sort of the rabble. . Zarathustra trine and in fact describes himself as it. When the no does this he up one laughing day?" and "no longer shepherd. Though his insist that his never "spit" "destiny" is to become this doc the teacher of the eternal return. as Zarathustra now describes it. the thought of the will eternal return elaborates precisely the what would be required for the to attain to a pure and perfectly would activity impure community of the highest with the lowest and the complete passivity of the will in submitting to a blind and inalterable "fate. "foreseeing" longer man. choked me and crept . Zarathustra's and spit advice to the shepherd shepherd is to bite rises off the snake's head is it far away. despite the rosy "monster" his into animals paint of "snake" it. he that the will's "free of all a things in willing the eternal return or the universal be indistinguishable from of necessity: as and thoroughgoing determinism choke.18 does this promulgate "monster" having he is from him. knowledge would Thus. the of the . that was my disgust at all creation" existence. into my throat. the thought of the eternal recurrence of all things is the or.

of not be given. Nietzsche's primary Platonic recovery of Socratic sense. on the one hand. Finally. the char acter of which he takes to be essentially indeterminate or fluid. is in the deepest tension with the principle of the life of philosophy. In doing so he unfolds an account of being or an ontol ogy in which the highest good and the beautiful are one and the same. and that genu knowing will. he discovers that the presence within philosophy in the midst of things is a good that cannot be made to fit ." with the absolute freedom that of the Through the refutation of own Zarathustra discovers the primary source of tional constructions thinking is not the will to power and of its inten directed to the overcoming chance. however. In Part One Zarathustra found a political order that principle of all is truly just by structuring it in accordance with the true being. "purification" That the drama philosophy The three can Zarathustra is ultimately devoted to such be seen by reviewing its overall trajectory. of a of parts of Zarathustra as it was published under Nietzsche's attempts to author ity may be characterized as follows.21 need. In doing so he offers a teleological the beautiful and the good are wherein becoming in which fundamentally is distinct. as a means through which to realize the the political community and account of highest good.20 freedom his of mind are incompatible his "wisdom. namely. the thought of the eternal return developed. but is ine rather a projection of and the political onto the natural realm.116 to Interpretation all things under the bring political realm. which this The self-contradictory is the image of a cosmos in double causality of the will. Far from having escaped the its justice. Therefore it shows both that which a complete causal account could cosmological order. In Part Two he attempts to employ the becoming of the political community. the will and its desire for and i. character of grounded the thought of the eternal return. however. its law and sway of the rabble. but. love and. is in accord with reason. of as on the awareness of the goodness of need and the the other hand. that the will is the primary phenomenon and its freedom being. shows such a cosmos to be impos a "rational" sible." the core of what it is to be a human Nietzsche's demonstration of the incoherent foundations of "German and Idealism" is in and the service of a philosophy in its original other words.e. in Part Three.. Zarathustra's revised version of the will an expression of the most to power doctrine passion." revenge. of "justice" "freedom. In figure political presentation of the life of philosophy in the his Zarathustra is ultimately directed to showing that the principle of the political realm. In other desire (Lust) for eternity words. Zarathustra's understanding of the starting point and end of the po litical realm is shown to imply a complementary cosmology or an account of the will being of becoming according to which the whole of things is rooted in the to power as both its efficient and its final cause. a good that lies beyond the justice of its moral law. is simply fundamental political The self-refutation of Zarathustra's doctrine of the will to power in the thought of the eternal return of the same thus proves to be the refutation of the fundamental ration premise of that philosophical school that finds its origin and inspi in Kant.

Writing"). Zarathustra's mind of is the "mind heaviness" of ("On Reading heaviness. are behind Zarathustra's thought of the eternal return is in "On the Convalescent. belatedly offers the most fundamental kinds of regime: rule of the one and rule of ("despotism"). In Part Three. He is simply the most thought Truthsayer. of this In the original dogmatic and and legislative version parody may be Zarathustra's characterized as follows. 1888. It points to the Seth Benardete. Zarathustra well arrives at this conclusion on the basis of insufficient evidence: though it may and be the case that the number of particular peoples their particular laws is potentially strictly the various infinite.22 upon in his wanderings. 9. As such he is the closest thing NOTES 1. 4. ful man that Zarathustra has chanced that he has to a friend. stands of claim to have fathomed Life's depths as the in stark contrast and to the portrait he himself in "The Dance ignorant lover Life Wisdom. 8. See "On Cf." 5. is "the attempt revenge" mind of ("On Redemption"). but that nevertheless conveys a good ness totality is of things which would made possible not be absent from such a perfect whole. rooted In neglecting to perform an analysis of regimes. 10. and therefore of being. it is limited kinds of nevertheless also the case that these particular peoples and laws all fall under a number of kinds or species of regime." 3. however. He explicitly Zarathustra as a . good and evil when the Chairs of and "On the Old Tables. Behind the 6." turns out to be Cupido or Eros. One of the most striking signs of Zarathustra's transformation is his temporarily abandoning The god in question his doctrine that "god is for a declaration that he is "god's himself basis of their dead" advocate. That Zarathustra is to be first lines of read with Plato and of his Socrates in mind is made clear in the very the book in which the famous images the cave and the sun from Plato's Republic are conspicuously employed.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra a -117 beautiful to the whole of justly ordered parts. Zarathustra has aspect of the political community that is recalcitrantly his understanding of man. 23). Zarathustra. The Truthsayer is obviously neither a disciple of Zarathustra's teaching nor a creature of his will. Cf. 153. That the made clear of speeches of the Truthsayer June 21. Zarathustra's painted of Socrates' Second Sailing Song" (Chicago: distinction between the necessary and the good. but by only by his community in Zarathustra's the speech and thought with community based not upon the mutual possession. Tablets. but the mutual pursuit of wisdom. On the simplest level. it also points to the partial obstruction that the political community and its justice pose to the acquisition of that good. Zarathustra's to command his disciples to Jesus' free themselves from their belief in his his disciples to love one another teaching is and the negative reflection of on the attempt to command belief in his teaching and his divinity. Preface. in that irrational. p. In its revised sceptical and extramoral he parodies the incompleteness and infinitude of philosophical speaks inquiry as of the pursuit of "the fundamental (Beyond Good and Evil.'' something like an analysis of rule of the few ("nobility") and the many ("mob-rule"): "On Old and New "devil" 11. examination of This discovery human the or political a things. 202. after having covered quite a bit of ground in his thinking. if the refutation of Zarathustra's claim to wisdom points to philosophy as the human good." Nietzsche philosophical version writing its artful completeness or finitude. See Letter to Karl Knortz 2. Zarathustra later specifies the ignorance of human beings Virtue" as believing they and know New what is they do not. Beyond Good and Evil. parodies "wisdom. appears to offer a 11. also see Ecce Homo. University of Chicago Press). Through the twofold parody twofold presentation of Zarathustra's "wisdom" Nietzsche of philosophy. Of course. 7. 4.

The Wisdom of the Ancients. but only on that of philosophical writing." is the im "On Zarathustra's three headshakes before his disciples in Part Two: and see "On the Poets. 15. "The speech Self-Overcoming. As Nietzsche's Zarathustra makes clear. His odd lack of a give an adequate for the One comic made it impossible for him to it did not stand interpretation of Nietzsche's of thought. II. Cf." 360-425 and Bacon. 17. to articulate (Nietzsches Philoso 197). any final end the direction of which can just as well down as up: "The into the castle and even the heart of the more powerful and power. 12." Thus Spoke Zarathustra represents his attempt at such a solution. Zarathustra's p. the political between the philosopher's pursuit of the truth must include an examination of the false appearances of the political realm. See "The port of Wanderer' and "On Blessedness Against the This thrice-reiterated Jesus Will. or Zarathustra. an aphorism it says at the end of virtually identical to the opening of Zarathustra: take caution! Something this doubtful-undoubting book There is no doubt. What the preceding argument seems to show is that a solution to this problem of reproduc tion cannot be found on the level of political legislation. therefore. Row. Michael Gillespie Tracy Strong (Chicago: in University with of Press. . namely. in community with the lowest of the low and submits to suffering the greatest of passions and. IV." "The Truthsayer. In the words of dictory: I myself am phie myself cause Karl Lowith. pp. Nietzsche's "On publication of Truthsayer. he then goes on to Zarathustra concludes from this self-refutation that is pp. Vol. is the perfectly active and self-sufficient creator of the whole of from understanding the freedom of the an of second attempt of the good in terms the Jesus' being out of the infinite power of his will.'' Great Events. trans. The Eternal Recurrence of the Same. Matter. the realm of ignorance and falsehood. his revised wisdom in which mind and the unconditional freedom and self-suffi ciency of the will were to be perfectly combined. overcoming of need. "Proteus." 1 1." steals the of the mob That the Truthsayer's reference to "shallow swamps" is meant to indicate the rule is made clear in "On Old to and New Tablets. Odyssey. what 53-54. Unfortunately. It should come as no surprise. wonders whether in the way of his understanding the thought This renunciation certain other philosophers as well. it would require "something double. . Homer. divided and self-contra for all eternity the fatality of all existence and its eternal return and: I world" only one conditioned fatality in all the circling of the natural der Ewigen Wiederkunft des Gleichen [Berlin: Kohlhammer. the topic of which is "the religious essen This fifty-sixth aphorism concludes by suggesting that the thought of the eternal return would be circulus vitiosus deus a vicious circle as god. to uncover that which is unchanging in the nature of things or fundamental problems": see Beyond Good and and Evil. 1988). 13." Life's be is self-overcoming weaker steals. where he makes reference to the last aphorism of the original edition of the tragoedia' latter work. 1984). David Farrell Krell (San Francisco: Harper and sense See his Nietzsche. paradigmatically bad and mischievous declares itself: incipit parodia Heidegger's understanding of Nietzsche's philosophy as essentially tragic in character measures the depth of his misunderstanding. Zarathustra limited in seems discover that the protean transformations of the will to power are number or that they fall within a determinate number of kinds. as man. "historicist" offer a not interpretation accordance Nietzsche's "the philosophical intention. 14. In his "Irony and Affirmation in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra's thought and Robert Pippin de Chicago of scribes this self-refutative aspect of of the eternal return with some clarity: see Nietzsche's New Seas." renunciation is the negative reflection of Peter's thrice-repeated renunciation of immediately before his death. 23. 1935]. turns out to be a necessary precondition for the life that is preeminently free because it is devoted to the pursuit of truth. 28-31." 16. that Nietzsche the thought of the places eternal the one aphorism in Beyond Good return and Evil dedicated to of an elaboration of in the context of the third part that work. as god.118 Interpretation preface parody in the "'Incipit to The Gay Science. lacking . XIII. The fundamental problem that the incom of patible combination of freedom necessity in the thought of the eternal return points to is that the relation community and philosophy: the political community. ed. reproduces at its peak the contradiction that stands at the center of the traditional morality he had hoped man-god decisively to transcend: is." The Truthsayer has simply drawn these conclusions from Zarathustra's There Zarathustra indicated that although moralistic human beings procreation or may believe amoral secret all willing to be directed to a "a goal" or "something higher.

" 21. comes closer to the truth in her treatment of Nietzsche's differing presentations of the thought of the eternal return (see Clark. 264). one can legitimately wishes to appear in the guise of a teacher and promoter of why it is that Nietzsche these doctrines. by "convictions" ("Antichrist. therefore. 29. the Truthsayer proves to be very persistent in alone. Robespierre. bridge." 54): Clark insists that Nietzsche recognition that there are no good arguments to support teaching of the will to it. (Speech of 7 June. and The Gay Science. . One can answer this ask observing that according to his own testimony Nietzsche was the practitioner of an art writing (see Beyond Good and Evil. bumped into Zarathustra him: he simply Need.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra 18. namely. Nietzsche on clearly Truth Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. therefore. pp. above all. "Where chattering is there the community in speech and thought in the lies before me like a garden. he harboured in of his the of that moral fanaticism whose executor another disciple Rousseau and confessed et de la justice de la himself to be. chooses to treat which Nietzsche's are arguments 213-27.'' for every is an afterworld. 381) that is directed to (a) overtly appealing to while at the same time covertly undermining the dominant prejudices of his time. 289. from the complex motion of the larger argument that in its entirety unfolds. and the prideful account of the thinker as endued with a out responsibility for the whole of things turns Nietzsche according to the dictates of prudence in the 19. vertu' 20. Nietzsche himself ultimately will repudiate the doctrines of the to power and the eternal return." Having pears by chance. Within Thus Spoke Zarathustra the animals of Zarathustra are the spokesmen for the doctrine of the eternal return in that the eagle and the serpent represent pride and Zarathustra's godlike his prudence." also Dancing 4. Seth Benardete." necessity in the form of bodily need: he insists on a meal before indulging in speeches. too too soul had been bitten idea by the moral tarantula Rousseau. Zarathustra Socrates' 3. the ill-constituted. sceptical in character and so insistence that he is. characterizes world following that terms. "Fame and Second Sailing. 1794)": Daybreak. 152 and 192. 3. 1990). In "On the Convalescent" Cf. Maudemarie Clark is ceives 119 per and one of the few commentators on Nietzsche's work who the problematic character of the doctrine of the will to power: see pp. despite his commitment to a particular set of moral values or convictions (see Clark. Sunrise. That Nietzsche return of all understands a the incoherence of Zarathustra's attempt to will the eternal of things to be demonstration the impossibility of a complete causal account of the whole of things are all is grounded founded 11. 27." eternal desire longs for "The Other For all desire wants itself: "The Drunken Eternity. 40. 283-85. his attachment to will not leave Zarathustra he and In Part Four of the work in "The Cry of in which Zarathustra have become so close as he reap to be able to guess each other's thoughts when to you. Between the most alike appearance (Schein) lies most Within the wholeness of this community Zarathustra seems gap is the most difficult to beautiful and within the genuineness of its community the truth truth of the to discover the finally of the every other soul beautifully. (b) proffering a morality while simultaneously demonstrating that the genuine life of philosophy is in the deepest tension with the moral law. however. p. she for that doctrine in abstraction from the contexts of the works in each work squared found and. 'de fonder sur la terre l'empire de la sagesse. p. This closeness is confirmed Zarathustra declares to the Truthsayer that "whatever in my cave belongs to me also belongs where he reminds Zarathustra of We last hear from the Truthsayer in "The Last Supper. To every soul belongs another world. "Kant depths felt of to be a concealing surface adopted by the presentation of his thought." and 22. 30. 36 and 87. a philosopher free of all attachment to moral asserts the cosmological and that philosophy is. Preface. "All Song. for the smallest just. Unfortunately. This leads her to attribute to Nietzsche an attitude that cannot be they with his own definition." merely by looking into each other's faces. on account of his 227). Dithyrambs of Dionysus. Song. and question by of esoteric "philosophical" (c) providing of the proto-philosophical reader with a propaedeutic teaching that both seduces him to the pursuit of philosophy and points the way to the transcendence of that teaching in the direction fitting philosophy in the proper sense. How lovely it is words and sounds exist: are words and sounds not rainbows and bridges of appearance soul (Schein) between the eternally divided. She power. See "Before upon the in his understanding of the general character of causal accounts: they belief in the causality of the will: see Beyond Good and Evil. If both Zarathustra and.

.

Heidegger's Confrontation ogy. Caputo. Berel Lang. and Nazism (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni versity Press. xii + 263 pp. One might expect that this trend of Heidegger criticism would produce such dark revelations about his fascist tendencies have had the as to dampen all enthusiasm for his thought. a wave of books have appeared which develop this theme. Politics. In this essay. 1995). xi + 382 pp. $49. Fall 1998.. $33. and National Socialism Frank Schalow of New Orleans John D. Demythologizing Heidegger (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. xii + 129 pp. 1993).95 paper.. 1993). Philosophy. Heidegger's Silence (Ithaca. $19. No. Vol. Heidegger's Philosophy and Nazism (Berkeley: University of California Press. Michael E. 1992). xv + 232 pp. Tom Rockmore.50 cloth. 26. MA: Harvard University Press. x + 285 pp. I develop to un- such an approach by examining a wide spectrum of which seek interpretation. $49. University the Polity. itics (Princeton: Princeton Timely Meditations: Martin Heidegger and Postmodern Pol University Press. this century comes to a close.Review Essays Heidegger. NY: Cornell University Press.95 paper. $15.50 Hans Sluga. Leslie Paul Thiele. xi + 234 pp.95. Indeed. Since Victor Farias published his book detailing Heidegger's involvement in National Socialism (1987). 1996). Julian Young. even to the point of at "apologetics." spawning stimulating new if not as actions least for his perhaps philosophical vision... Zimmerman.50 paper. Art (Bloomington: Indiana with Modernity: Technol xxvii University Press. Heidegger. 1 . Yet these works reverse effect of interest in his for his philosophy. greater notoriety.95. Heidegger's Crisis: Philosophy and Politics in Nazi Germany (Cambridge. $19.. the greatest thinker of his time has never received Precisely for has never this reason the need for balanced books criticism of will Heidegger's thought been more urgent. + 306 pp... $14. $15.50 cloth. 1990). $47.95 paper. 1997).

that Heidegger recanted National Socialism its ideology. politics. world comes a more recent example within the English-speaking and from Tom Rockmore's Heidegger's a method of Philosophy Hans Sluga Nazism.g. of and Derrida. One point example. we must consider those which explore the ten between his innovative development political views. along with the literature detail ing the atrocities of the Holocaust. implements his an "analytic" method to refute by point the damning evidence critics gather against him. that may be described This fact-gathering enterprise is crucial in order to embraced as "sociologicalsupport the con and never clusions. We can appreciate a thinker's politics only even when by lary treatment of freedom. is . "Teutonic-Hellenism" including Ju- Levinas. As bridge between reject discover. for example.122 Interpretation his fascist ties. which follows on the heels of to re-examine Heidegger's involvement in National Socialism. Lyotard. Although Farias champions this position." in Heidegger's Crisis. implicit evidence and that of his his contin to National ways of different Socialism. we will to expose Heidegger's thought to the criticisms of work those traditions which his brand excludes. which also exemplifies historical. Caputo's forms an important those scholars who sit on the Heideggerian fence and those who his philosophy because of his politics. the scope considering his or her corol of that freedom remains un clear. Wherever the terpret criticism of Heidegger becomes which most severe. Farias' attempt ontology and his reactionary outstanding example. In the process. we can making inferences from Heidegger the man-politician and vice versa. Among first the various books addressing Heideg Nazism politics. From this a more radical spirit of an of criticism of Heidegger arises ex his presuppositions. the interconnection between Heidegger's concept of freedom and the example of his politics. we must examine different interpretive the polity ger's sion strategies which scholars employ to outline the place of in Heidegger's and thought. several books paint the Heideggerian Among these books is Richard Wolin's The Politics of Being. namely. Unlike Zimmerman. When scholars analyze Heidegger's philosophy.. of One such is Michael Zimmerman's Heidegger's Confrontation "immanent" with Modernity. which is exemplified in John Caputo's Demythologizing Heidegger. daeo-Christianity. Given this historical archaeology. attempts to rein vision his thought in such ways more compatible with our democratic become Julian inevitable. of to Heidegger the intellectual-thinker darkest implications Not surprisingly. they a conclusion often subordinate their explication of his concept of freedom to already the drawn about his politics. In order to discern this tendency. Caputo develops "deconamination structive" strategies as practiced by the luminaries of postmodernity. I will point cover the truth about to a theme which remains dormant throughout the majority of those analyses. Rockmore implements criticism. including Berel Lang's Heidegger's Silence. however. that he exhibited antisemitic provides silence about the ual allegiance evaluate horrors of Auschwitz tendencies. e.

Being and Time (1927). it is just as necessary to of approach thought as an occasion to question the possibility of ethics as to present his philosophy as an esoteric narrative on the meaning being. they would not have had the impact they did upon many Anglo-American scholars if a transition were not already under way to engage Heidegger's thought with an area of philoso catastrophic events Farias' historical phy he seemingly ignored: namely. This work stands motifs of must apart include Leslie Paul by reinterpreting the which undercuts key the Heidegger's thought in he order to outline a politics Nazi ideology initially embraces. e. We Thiele's Timely Meditations.g. Given this reciprocity hypocritical to suggest that philoso phy of human can secure a action. the Polity.Heidegger. of most proponents with of Heidegger's thought had when aware of his brief flirtation "official National Socialism and he became rector of the power.. indeed. already the publication of his magnum opus. philosophy originates from the concrete situa ing tion in which the inquirer places him. While in capturing the interest of many importance been etched in Heidegger's thought with its had scholars. ethics. Philosophy. The thinker's commitment to authentic existence fosters the openness of philosophical appears between thought and existence. Caputo. Nazism. which shift in the emphasis on provides the climate Heidegger scholarship not only parallels for hearing the troubling allegations Farias' but. then any such investigation must speak to those ethical dilemmas which distinguish perhaps the most turbu lent period in world history. and Charles Scott began Heidegger's to recognize in the 1980's. If the inquiry into being is to have its root in the historical situation of human beings. thereby creating a buffer between the brilliance of his ontological insights and whatever myopia he may have shown in his political judgment. The Farias' effect of revelations.or herself in question and owns up to his emphasizes that a thinker can engage or her unique existence as a finite it self. Even been prior to Farias' book. In this work. of was to tear away this buffer and foreclose the all too convenient option insulating Heidegger's thought from the surrounding his life in Germany. hence. University overall Freiburg in 1933 supported Hitler's rise to the phi Yet the story" has been to separate Heidegger losopher from Heidegger the politician. sanctuary for truth apart from its exemplification in the realm As Herbert Marcuse argues in a famous letter to his teacher: . he this correlation may have been slow in ontological inquiry only by participat in being's disclosure. II. raises. of ethics and politics. he If concrete praxis orients the question of being. This work. however. then practical concerns. must help to shape the landscape of ontological inquiry. As Zimmerman. inquiry. As poignant as revelations were. and National Socialism also 123 Young's Heidegger.

A philosopher can mistaken about politics then will openly admit his error. Yet could Heidegger verted went astray by underestimating how leaders be sub by the powers of technology they seek to harness. Thus the question he asks is not simply whether his thinking became juxtaposed Heidegger had Nazi ties. is "the question concerning all domination over exerts control and technology technology. By 'thinking. i.. That is. of "enframing. The inquiry by he can address all of these configuration. xxiii-ix) Jews. As Zimmerman states: .e. is of political which things. granting humanity the power to impose its will on the diver sity of being's manifestation. technology in social organization in order that we can combat ger saw and this potential both Western capitalism and communism as for destruction. One can debate the sociological factors ment which surround Heidegger's involve in National Socialism. spearhead ing violence and mass destruction themselves.' he did not mean rational calculation. the our need to day. but instead how with such a why what destructive ideology. us most basic global consideration of all remains the problem Because of its solicits from equally radical responses destructive power. But he cannot mistaken about a regime that murdered millions of Jews merely because they that made terror part of everyday life really tied to the concept of spirit and freedom (Quoted in Kettering and Neske. we cannot make the distinction between the he philosopher and the human be being be were Martin Heidegger it contradicts your own philosophy. but the of technology." the process of aspects of issues simultaneously and distinguish their As course. the which unique forgetting of being." nature. and the end of metaphysics. "Heidegger claimed that only authentic thinking and poetry could mons cians' human beings to face this save Germany in its hour of crisis. as the political movement which sum hence turned to National Socialism epochal challenge. considers Zimmerman the interface between the intellectual Zeitgeist emphasis in Ger many concern from Spengler's for on the "decline of the West" to Jiinger's the worker's encounter with the global of forces of industrialization as a and Heidegger's interpretation the crisis of Western history descent into nihilism. The audacity of the politi decision became the corollary to the philosopher's attempt at original thinking. and turned everything that ever was and truth into its opposite. pp." up to the its darkness and horror to face the crisis of not far fetched.' bloody In Heidegger's Confrontation with Modernity. let alone the turmoil of including develop a new politics Germany in the 1930's. 84). . but instead the mode of comportment which opened one awesome and dreadful presencing (p. Michael Zimmerman and em braces this statement as the leitmotif for his discussion. Interpretation .124 '. As Zimmerman emphasizes. Heideg instruments of technology. were the set of variables which shaped Heidegger's interest in National Social ism and seduced press him into the misunderstanding that Nazi ideology could ex the political implications of his thought? To answer this question. On the surface.

the and National Socialism 'dark' 125 the Nazis meant by 'unrestrained' and was not the of being of entities. Consider Heidegger's . philosophy and politics. recast Going forward. . the Nazis united instinct with technology in a way which led to unparalleled devastation. For those who still espouse Heideg gerian at the themes. what the Polity. for joining these apparently The ar tist's ex-centricity convention and be in contrast to the complacency of bourgeois the self-serving politics of the modem enlightenment. a the greatest chal the lenge is to possibility Heidegger's thought through dialogue which examines of politics in the contemporary world. elements of must Art becomes the vehicle incompatible harmony revered and strife. 84) In the end. translating that insight into guidelines of political arises to take On the other hand. man born in a manger in Holderlin's beloved Swabian countryside knew that he was destined to change the course of history! (P. Not surprisingly. tion can provide even the barest recipe for politics. The self-mythifying Heidegger believed that he had been destined to proclaim the saving vision of his hero. But the question becomes whether the artist's way of begetting creativity from chaos. conflict and resolution. As reactionary modernists. (P. it becomes forefront of increasingly evident that the question of politics lies any future appropriation of his philosophy. . his we must still ask where a rift emerges why Heidegger found National Socialism to be at these revelations leave us as scholars. p. 127). frenzy and violence.Heidegger. Once and destiny from destruc having understood tractive. On the one hand. 132) The heroic leader must exhibit the creative power to transform tradition. Yet hubris and quite another to trace origin. to seek in the strife of the present the possibility of transmitting one's heri tage to future generations. Unfortunately. Zimmerman pinpoints the dissonance between Heidegger's grasp of the Westem crisis and the prospect of action. but instead blood and instinct. and that he himself was thus the worldhistorical figure who would transform the 'destiny' fate of the West. Holderlin. Heidegger may flawed realm of politics could cal vision person of succumb to a ever yield a kind of hubris in it is one believing that the leader its with the kind of world-histori to match technology's global reach. a new opportunity Heidegger's short fall as an occasion to re-examine the perennial problem of the relation and between theory praxis. Sacrifice the rather than comfort provides key to motivate individuals to place their trust in a new political regime. Heidegger's hero sense of combines a nostalgia for the Greek origins with a grandiose "destiny" (Geschick) as reflected in Schelling's thought. domination humanity and nature. gerians" between the status as a thinker attuned to the who "right-wing voice of being Heideggerians" who uphold and the "left-wing Heideg employ deconstractive tactics to expose incongruities within the Heideggerian text (Schurmann. [emphasis on] the The grandson of the linking him with Holderlin. that is. According thing to accuse a to Zimmerman. harmony from strife.

In his 'being' " advancing this criticism. The exclusivity with which holds the Greco-German other set of categories of and was virtues amounts to dismissing Heidegger up the importance of an Christian origin. The second pertains to the discovery of Heideg ger's thought uncovers an and in the early 1920's. . Heidegger abandoned his early theological ori entation to have been much of a in favor of Holderlin's to express mythic-poetic of other vision of the gods. to the radically to the generic being's claim upon Dasein (p. . love. who rebuked for his "self-stylization into p. "His parallels his to specific volitional categories of strength. Despite the deaf to the religious orientation of solicitousness about Heidegger's early thought. The first involves the emergence of the political question and the revelations of ment Heidegger's involve in National Socialism. 72). love otherwise absent facticity. 207). John Caputo blends his these two developments in way the compassionate spirit of Heidegger's early religious orientation subsequent commitment major the callousness of to totalitarian politics." which speaks contrast to the suffering "truth" of the of individual. the categories of tenderness. in must emerge "singular. Ironically. and heroism. Only by possible a shepherd. self-affirmation. charity. in his stark concept of Dasein. all of which stem from Hellenic the Holocaust." community. the German seem people's Christian heritage does not deterrent in preventing the atrocities of National Socialism. baffling silence about of the gas chambers real to modem agri pain these are all scandalously suffering" insensitive to 'factical' and concrete human (p. Heidegger's turn to National Socialism thought. the scandalous comparison culture . "he the flesh in the biblical narratives (p. and sayer of Heideggerian thought of this tendency does it purging to cultivate another ethos whose roots spring from the Judaeo- Christian heritage. In a De- mythologizing which plays against Heidegger. As Caputo indicates.126 Interpretation past Within the have decade. Thus Caputo distinguishes the two dislocations in Heidegger's thought from which a new According commitment to topography of questioning can emerge. (Lowith.g. we must cultivate a plu forum in which various criticisms of his philosophy: the need to heed the the and disenfranchised (Levinas). Heidegger's thought cannot occur without undoing the of a privileged origin from which Western philosophy "homecoming" the nostalgic search for it through a with (Holderlin). the dissident (Derrida). To open Heidegger's thought to the ralistic "piety" traditions. become 68). a new voice of the persecuted "justice" (Lyotard). . including care. and temporality. thinker. e. 73). According to Caputo. truth. . Caputo. . The deconstruction unfold of Heidegger's thought requires an alternative axis to the key motifs of But an appropriation of "myth" Greco-Germanic arises and his ontology. Caputo concurs teacher Karl Lowith. in his youthful "hermeneutics of he ethos which includes motifs from primordial Christianity. there have been two major breakthroughs which dramatically changed the face of Heidegger studies.

and that." maintains that the key motifs of "conscience. despite a whatever personal shortcomings man. propagated not view only by Heidegger but by some of his closest It is the between Heidegger's political" philosophical position and that." Heidegger's philosophy (e. 54). Yet even given the plausibility of these connec tions. he couches the Heideggerian problem of this polis in this which supposedly hold be National Socialism. III. and cial their strategy is to uncover unusual facts about Heidegger the person and then weave them together "innocence. Socialism" Rockmore's overarching thesis is that Heidegger's thought is "intrinsically (p. This is a different position than maintaining that Heidegger outlines the ontological presuppositions of the polis and hence his thought can be interpreted as implicating various political stances. 54). . Thus Rock philosophy" "resoluteness. stance.g. being's transmis its destiny most to a chosen intellectual German people's emergence as a vanguard of world history. In Heidegger.. these have is no bearing on our assessment of Heidegger may have exhibited as his thought. maintaining the its contamination by his behavior from 1933 Interview" a narrower in 1966.Heidegger. as Nazism." story" detective story assessing his As Rockmore states. ties the element compelling question which Rockmore poses is whether some in Heidegger's philosophy prohibited him from recognizing the atroci the banner of National perpetuated under Socialism. This distinction becomes important. 74). Rockmore. the self's exercise of resolve and sion of political decision and the of 1933. the time has come to combat the "offi that Heidegger briefly flirted with National Socialism in 1933 only an ultimate to reject it shortly thereafter upon resigning from the post of rector in 1934." more makes a stronger claim than most Nazism was based in his in suggesting that Heidegger's "turn to (p. construes the term sense to mean the implementation of a kind of ideol rather ogy aligned with Heidegger's thought. roughly speaking. Both in Heidegger's texts and more as ars proceed less as disciples in steeped histo "guilt" rians. than a reflection upon the princi ples of the polity. there is no. the "destiny") are adaptable to Nazism and only Nazism. National or no important. Rockmore schol exemplifies this critical does Sluga in Heidegger's Crisis. for Rockmore "hero. namely. the Polity. "What I call the 'official' view students. Because Rockmore way. link (p. Philosophy. however. Rockmore thereby closes the loophole by which Heidegger's seek an escape of defenders purity to his "Spiegel "political" his thought in over against from confronting his Nazism. Thus Rockmore makes can then establish the complex synergies and tween fundamental ontology the relevant associations between Heidegger's emphasis on the elitism of au thentic philosophy and his leadership his as rector of the German university. and National Socialism 127 Heidegger's most vehement critics converge in a single attempt to counter the wholesale attempt ment by "Heideggerians" to whitewash their mentor's involve and in National Socialism.

5). While the macrocosmic events of the Western crisis can be lines. In agreeing with that it is necessary to "see a connection in Heideg act of human between the domains of the political and the philosophical. there which are different interpretations But it is safe to of the degree to he Heidegger was or was not antisemitic. philosophy While Zimmerman and Rockmore Germany show that as a catalyst of politi not develop a single in a political vacuum. which made the politics of National Socialism attrac tive and which allowed scale? intolerance toward the Jews to which develop on such a broad This is the question Hans Sluga raises. the Holocaust may be of such a singular darkness. philosophy assumes such a leadership role as com pensation for a floundering economic and political life characterizing Germany . What stands out is his question for which even Heidegger's detractors do Heidegger not way have a of focusing simple answer: How can we continue to grant such premier stature in the history of philosophy when his indifference to the plight of humanity appears so obvious? The irony is that "Heidegger attempts to break the very notion of the limits of thinking . . Ironically. In this clear sense Lang's the is not altogether novel. stitutes plight of Lang points to a double fault by which the Jews during Hitler's uprising. The "tragic question then becomes. freedom and necessity. Sluga illustrates how thought transform the fragmented tradition of the German Volk and its uncertain future into a vision of destiny. Yet Heidegger of was not the was Nazism. In Heidegger's Crisis. of illumination and blindness.128 Interpretation to According dient Rockmore. the public and occasional" the private. Of course. Sluga tional more reconstructs the historical environment which precipitated the rise of Na and Socialism. 100-101). What shared with only German intellectual to align with the dark it about not only Heidegger. He emphasizes less the intricacies took in of Heidegger's thought philosophy does can the unique role which cal action. never saw the persecution of the Jews as a philosophical problem say that in its own right. the professional and the thesis (p. In Heidegger's Silence. Why does be that Heidegger's Greek sense nance occur? And a one possible answer might dimension" destiny includes in the purest of of strife and reconciliation. But it may more accurate to suggest that Heidegger acknowledged political develop ments only on a macro power level proper to thought and not on the micro level of this disso concept of conflicting interests. Lang ger history (pp. Heidegger speaking sanctified the role of silence as an ingre of authentic existence to the point that when the time came out against the he had a built- in be excuse for not forces of totalitarianism. but the intellectual others. unlike the nihilism Nietzsche envisioned. but in thought" ignoring the "Jewish question" continues to "settle for limits to his forces life he (pp. insofar as the and then. in con again neglected the "Jewish question" Holocaust the most abominable maintains Rockmore. Berel Heidegger ignored the retrospect. 5-8). gories of interpreted along these character that the depths of its cannot be fit into the cate Greek tragedy.

19). it is uncovers especially provocative to claim that polis: contrary to the his e. but what extent a political crises of of the political. 245-48). and the possibility of law. Heidegger understood the not Greek polis as a site that combines the human concern for the good with an occasion to act. be translated into any specific may For example. Given this philosophy politics the Polity. and National Socialism the 129 a condition of social instability. There are many different philosophers to whom we might turn to provide insight into and the nature of the polis Plato and Hegel. setting institutions the decline. it may be possible which conflict with the specific politics proves Heideg develop other inferences about the polity ideology of fascism. it is "political" not obvious fies as one of these of thinkers. IV. an opportunism "timely. We order need to make this sights distinction in that a philosopher harbors in into the nature of the polis which or political beliefs he she upholds. Indeed. which unfolds within the historical compass of being's mani festation. Arendt that he quali Marcuse. And because the determination this ancestry involves both establishing a as hierarchy among its members as well excluding those who do not belong. this sense of the polis formed one important ingre Gestalt of politics which are on took shape in National Socialism. for most critics construe these . not Because fascism is so tenets Western democracy. the brand of Nazi politics to the Germans ultimately suc a While Heidegger may have embraced Nazi ideology. But despite Heidegger's Nazi ties. which philosophy prefigures cumbed. ontology some of the basic components integral to any freedom. Sluga takes an thinker's thought arises through a important step in dialogue with the "reduced" his or her time. community. inevitably The action must as a be but in among order not to appear arbitrary it must project "common of descent" all of its proponents (p. In outlining this Gestalt addressing to political. Philosophy cannot then be to the rather a philosopher may inculcate to show within his or her enterprise a questioning attitude which speaks to the possibility of politics (pp. in the 1930's. To preserve the question of to extract totalitarian elements to from to be one of the greatest strengths of Sluga's careful analysis. a process occurs. And ger's while one may try vision.Heidegger. "Politics is thereby always a process of ticular priorities of self-legitimation self-legitimation necessarily which par in for action and particular social structures must be justified" (p. action.. link between which proclaims a new destiny and the rhetoric of a totalitarian the resurgence of becomes more than accidental. Mill and Kant. 22).g. he nevertheless upheld Greek view of politics as involving the determination of the polis as a "site" (topos). a voluntaristic sense of prevails." forged through the will. dient in In a According an overall where to Sluga.

We must recall that Schurmann Farias' published his book in French five former years before the gers ger's publication of book.130 Interpretation formal which concepts whose motifs as stances meaning can in Heidegger first articulated circum only be derived from the them. it would a type of action irrecon (p. Yet his opposed to the Fiihrerprinzip. The indeterminacy port of Heidegger's concept of authentic selfhood implies that one could exhibit the steadfastness of resolve and yet do terrible things. e. action hostile to the standard" solution operates on a plane of generality. As our discussion of the previous . sup emphasizes the inhumane ideology of National Socialism. a Heideggerian politics must confront. in order that one to the dilemma in question. The analogue abruptness Heidegger's political decision 1933 has its in his concept of most ob resoluteness (Entschlossenheit). Thus Wolin concept of resolve.. In many respects. it is perhaps the is among the For Heidegger. factic plane. An "anarchic praxis" the forefront that of a new epochal relation between being thought. in way thinking and be informed by action and not simply the other way around." paints a grim picture of what happens when a philosopher In The Politics of Being. he Nazism nor an apologetic makes neither an encounter with Heideg for it primary. however. Schurmann problem stands alone as a scholar who tackles a tenacious a solution.). Richard Wolin is hyperbolic Wolin prospect one such critic we must address before entertaining the of a "Heideggerian politics. vious. While this most problematic.g. how But once having a developed concepts on an ontological can their scope be readjusted to include the diverse variables of ontic concern of truth and the on so that action becomes locus language and of thought provides a sanctuary addresses of freedom? In Heidegger Being Acting. anyone sympathetic the lack of ethical content pinpoints in Heidegger's which Wolin a problem to the prospect of on developing experience. and while the addresses the dan involved in totalitarianism. Heidegger believed that tological concepts must be developed out of the ontic stream of concrete. offers steps toward Anarchic be praxis "will be di ametrically cilably 14). resolve is correlation a way of bringing oneself can develop those in concert with what the situation possibilities which speak demands. his commitment to National Socialism. Reiner Schurmann this problem by of explicating the insights suggesting that praxis constitutes the domain for Heidegger's thought. breaks with the enlightenment tradition of political checks and balances and seeks to recre ate of the polis ex nihilo from "decision" a single of (Entscheidung). 35 ff. it holds only if we accept the deconstructive paradox that governance arises from overturning pre-existing models of political rule. resolve is of such a indeterminate any prescription of the good within that decision (pp. Ac singular character as to render cording to Wolin. alien to all reduction to the uniform. hence only praxis can illustrate the mode of governance which thought seeks principles in divesting and itself of all rational unfolds at such a (arche) must and models of presence.

79). Young appeals a sense of epitomized to provide grounds for its rejection" to Heidegger's concept of authentic which responsibility in totalitarianism. is contrary to the demand toward conformity On the second front. it tion and a allegiances than attempts at academics defending every a political his thought. provides According to Dallmayr. Philosophy. Moreover. at least exposes some of their one-sidedness. Young a sudden and that Heidegger's turn to National Socialism adopted a almost far from momentous which decision. 41). Against that Heidegger was Hugo Ott. a way which condemns the exploitation of people and under a fascist for Young in a concludes missed that Being Time harbors an ethic of respect critics" persons way by Heidegger's " 'decisionist' (p. which claims In ogy. Heidegger's of injustice sights into the nature ironic way of re-examining his texts to discover in of justice. By drawing upon Heidegger's eclectic interests an in Anaximander stood anew as a and Schelling.Heidegger. 50). for his or ger's concept of solicitude promotes a concern her own integrity. Young argues that Heideg for the other. not answer Young all of makes a case against Heidegger's critics which. Lacoue-Labarthe Derrida. as those of a wide spectrum of European thinkers from Levinas to to Lyotard. Heidegger logical categories such as "inferior" was skeptical of any attempt to apply bio "superior" "blood-line" to designate a people as or (p. When joined Young's solicitude. The fallacy fallacy works inferring a con itself out on two fronts that either Heidegger's philosophy harbors concepts which "positively Nazism National Socialism or his thought "negatively implicates (p. Rockmore. On the first promoting selfhood as by failing front. In Heidegger. instead. Young. Against Rockmore was by point Wolin. Dallmayr's appeal to "letting be" holds promise as a either case a key for developing our political obligations toward others. 125). Heidegger had been percolating in Germany and for reactionary form of politics two decades (p. Fred ger" Dallmayr crystallizes a perspective that there Along with is "another Heideg example beyond the Nazi ideologue. 38-41). philosopher Young refutation claims proceeds of like "analytic" an to provide a point and Heidegger's opponents. But in further exploration of the parameters of human freedom may be . 104). Farias. and National Socialism - 131 indicates. books the Polity. Young maintains of not antisemitic rather exhibited concern toward many his Jewish students (pp. in regime. Because in is not movement pushes philosophy to its surprising that the pendulum would swing in the other direc defense of Heidegger would emerge. if it does their objections. a way is couched more in the language of logic than in phenomenol Young as that Heidegger's critics commit a and nection between his thought the claim implicate" Nazism. but Wolin. on the ensuing decade would produce more caustic criticisms of Heidegger's Nazi based extreme. Dallmayr suggests that justice can be under others with great "juncture" (Fuge) or measure which care" disposes us "to let be and to attend to them with considerate emphasis on (p. and Nazism Julian as well Young counters the criticisms of the scholars mentioned above.

may exhibit shortcomings in our system of know it. Thiele raises the question which would losophy within a practical context. if government as fully we articulated. 48-49). in Such an approach refrained to articulate the democratic precepts we uphold. they yield nuances to enhance our reflections on the polis. What Heidegger recognizes. that democracy includes its own presupposi tions which. If an our democratic system on is its assumptions. although in a way which can assumptions about of to the naive contemporary democracy." Correlatively. that moral emphasis on can (pp. namely. In this way a community develops. Yet the fact that Heideg ger's thought can take this novel turn right to about "vindicate" him either may not be sufficient evidence in its own for his Nazi allegiance or subsequent silence be taken which can alien it. including "right" as a constitutional resetting the parameters of free speech which we accept (pp. Leslie Paul Thiele follows this lead. language and dwell By tracing synergy Thiele develops a "postmodern Yet this perspective remains ing. reorient phi speak In Timely Meditations. Of in all the scholars who appropriate Heidegger's insights into politics a positive way. is that the power which permits political participation. namely." rather abstract unless it can develop a critical edge to match liberal thinkers' criticism of Heidegger's language political views. we this "disclosive evoke other of the liberties assume. facets as as Thiele indi cates. then tional concepts ontology implemented in our democratic an original freedom" must be able to cast practices.132 Interpretation in order to required rectify the Heideggerian Gelassenheit lacks As much as omission which Lang identifies. As Thiele emphasizes. language. Language is not simply an instrument of verbal expression. 198). A still more unorthodox approach must motifs within a political context order transpose Heideggerian presumably to them. harbors a concession which most of Heidegger's critics have from making. Heideg is synonymous with freedom. In words. the nexus of politics. simul taneously allows for the cultivation of individuality with a communal setting. the self's unique way of dwelling with others. 81-83). "tolerance" namely. the key to devel oping a democracy lies in safeguarding maximum participation among its mem bers. but calls each of us to submit to it as a place of dwelling. As Arendt suggests. of light the opera Thus.. however. Free speech is asserts his her self-interest over against .g. there is a more primordial connection "free" between freedom and speech "speech" than appears in how the adjective a qualifies the "right" not a by which one activity of individual in democratic or sense. e. Heidegger develops understanding may freedom "letting be. the a first inserts us into the speakers) space within of in way which gathers together each of us (as community (The Human Condition. can also Heidegger's texts be directed against him. Western democracy. Thiele locates this power of critical which fulcrum in for the way that ger exhibits the disclosive other truth. that is. p. In the proximity community action of this place we receive the guidance to act as members of a and thereby engage in dialogue "word" over the most equitable mode of governing. the between logos and community.

Heidegger take the argues that his exchange philosophers form of Auseinandersetzung to "set apart" (Vom Wesen. "The justly hal lowed right to free speech might be grounded not only in the speaker's preroga tive to utter opinions and person. Thus Heidegger's philosophy free speech how comes conflict with the point where its commitment a to of yields to an ideology was see prominent censorship supporting in Nazi Germany pp. (For discussion and its connection with the persecution of the Jews. thrives within a polis the greatest importance. . is a the voice of the other can resound only because there forum in reserved for it itself at within the polis. democracy can be "Democracy is a to link journey toward freedom that remains ever under way. The arbitrary. but like philosophical dialogue a greater master. but as also on the listener's duty to remain open and to. philosophy flourish only it is . Through his predicated upon clever extrapolations. there is a subtle enigma which remains and politics. Auseinandersetzung Heidegger. politics. but rather is the "openness" beliefs. 60-63). While Yet. the interface between philosophy as the vanguard of Heideg in a philosophy democratic setting: the free exchange. in recalling Sluga's unclarified about ger construes reverse criticisms. Although in his as weak rectoral address can "academic freedom" spirited. censorship. controversial. 5-12. means or "place in on such opposition. it Sluga. Heideg help of a Kantian framework merits serious consideration (Sherover. 292). While philosophical inquiry depends upon Auseinandersetzung. another the Polity. even solicitous of. will which it cannot allow speech to become a self-indulgent expression of is rooted in concealment rather than unconcealment. where freedom of speech assumes Heidegger discounts when Since by its nature the philosophical enterprise and even subversive. the process of unconcealment freedom" itself. But freedom takes shapes within a forum of exchange which safeguards the voice of the other. 128). and "implicate" thereby suggest that his philosophy may the opposite political stance which his own fascist ideology condemns? on In his 1930 lectures with previous human must freedom." According to philosophical exchange thrives controversy to the extent that the invitation in freedom welcoming serves states a of speech: of of conflict reveals what is at stake namely. p. challenge" Disclosive freedom beckons to the democratic ger's thought with (p. the ontological difference these opinions harbor" (p. Literally. . While freedom "letting be" can admit beliefs may discord among its participants. philosophical inquiry is a "work of human (p. 86-100. Thiele shows how the spirit of dwelling in Heidegger's sense. As Heidegger in the Basic Problems of Phenomenology. Thiele's attempt democracy as Charles Sherover does with the pp.) is iconoclastic. the situation is almost the polis sanctions the philosophical enterprise a motif as an enterprise of could provide Is there in Heidegger's thought which the linchpin for such a reversal. and National Socialism 133 participate through which contrary voices can in serving the good of the community as a whole. 16). 167). .Heidegger. inviting not contrariness is contrary response from the other.

The Political Ontology of Martin Heidegger. Wilde William Kluback. Political. Martin Heidegger and European Nihilism. Heidegger and University Press. GA 31. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 1991. University Press. Fred. The Origins of Totalitarianism. In this spirit. Blitz. CA: Stanford University Press. de Beistegui. Karl. "jews." Gary Steiner. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Brainard. Heidegger. and 1995. no. and Gunther Neske. Richard Wolin. 1 (1995): 111-86. Peter Collier. " Lyotard.. Heidegger adelphia: and Nazism. and What Is Philosophy? Trans. "A Philosophical Confrontation with the (1995): 191-204. Heidegger the Trans. in which the fac- eloquently suggest. politics would then a Heideggerian could become possible at which the time freedom be translated into "multivocality" facilitates than we dialogue among diverse traditions. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. "Heidegger and the and and the Political. Dallmayr. 33. New Haven: University Press. .134 Interpretation to the challenge of freedom. "Truth and Power: Martin Heidegger. Perhaps this time think. 35). Marcus (ed. Ithaca. no. Bourdieu. Pierre. no. 1990. Jean T. philosophy can then flourish through the "tradition [which] is a delivering into been" the freedom of discussion (die Freiheit des Gesprdches) with what has of each citizen rooted. Joseph Margolis Tom Rockmore. New York: World Publishing. by re locating ticity itself within the polis and the tradition as a whole. Andre Michel. 15. London: Routledge. reawakened challenge not by accepting the elitism Ironically. Ed. 1975. George. Heidegger's Ithaca: Cornell Being Possibility of Political Philosophy. Trans. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1982. Die Grundprobleme de Phanomenologie. Martin Heidegger and National Socialism. Phil Temple University Press. 'The Essence of and the SelfBailiff. Silence." Time Journal 14. Palo Alto. Trans. 1990." Man and World 29 (1987): 327-34. John. The Human Condition. "On Heidegger's Lowith. 1998." Graduate Faculty Philosophy Fritsche. "On Brinks and Bridges in Journal 18. 1981.' Assertion of the German University. Heidegger Studies 5 (1989): 138-48. Victor. menschlichen Vom Wesen der Yale Freiheit. 1962. Hannah. when such a pp. Heidegger. but." Heidegger Studies 1 1 the Political Dystopias. Lisa Harries. Martin. Trans. 1 (1991): 1-611. The Other Heidegger. Trans.). 1993. 1989. philosophy of its task. on the words responds to this contrary. Pascal. New York: Paragon Press. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann. Emil. Kovacs. Jean-Francois. and Farias. Miguel. will arrive sooner SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Arendt. 1958. 2. NY: Cornell David. Kettering. Mark. Johannes. GA 24. 1958. Truth. is As Heidegger's so (What Is Philosophy?.

ed. Parvis Emad and Dialogues with Martin Heidegger. Christine-Marie Gros. 1992). Bloom University Press. Atlantic High 1 (1993): 72-97. "Heidegger's Truth eds. Chicago: Politics. "A Normal pp. no. and In A. The ana Young Heidegger: University Press. Safranski. Common Good. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. John. no. Alan M. 2 (1995): 137-53. and Danger. Heidegger Jaspers. 1987. NJ: Humanities Press International. New York: Columbia University Press. Trans. and Alan Rosenberg. William J. Richard. The Politics of Being. and National Socialism the 135 Milchman. the Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethics and Politics. A." Scott. Encounters Parvis Emad. 1996. 24. Olson. 1990. "Heidegger's Catholic 69. Time. On ington: Indiana 30-35. Zimmerman. and and Philosophical Forum 25. 1998. no. "Heidegger 27-38. Martin Heidegger Between Good and Evil. 1990. Trans. Trans. Roberts. 1993. Reiner. Dallery. Nazi. C." University of Chicago H. Hugo. Sherover. Albany: SUNY Press. Van Buren.Heidegger. Trans. Frank. Heidegger and lands. Rumor of the Hidden King. "Resoluteness Ambiguity. 2 (1993): 121-39. no. Sheehan. Press. Petzet. 1994. Schurmann. Freedom. and the January 14." 1996.. eds. and Ethics Schalow. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Riidiger. Charles. London: Fontana. Richardson." Holocaust. Bloomington: Indi Wolin. 1994. The New York Review of Books. 4 (1997): 554-62. on Free Speech. the Polity. no. Intro." . Heinrich Wiegand. Albany: SUNY Press. "Revisiting Anarchy: Toward a Critical Appropriation of Schumann's Philosophy Today 41. Thomas. Origins. 1. Blunden. Scott. 11-24. Ewald Osers. no. Socialism." Philosophical Writings. Charles E. Quarterly Ott. Heidegger on Being and Acting: From Principles to Anarchy." American Catholic Philosophical Martin Heidegger: A Political Life. 4 (1989): 340-55. Thought. "The Thorn in Heidegger's Side: The Question of National Philosophical Forum 20. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Pp. 4 (1997): Concerning Heidegger's Involvement in National Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology. 1989." "A Question Socialism. Alan. by and Kenneth Maly. Michael E. 1992.

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$16. $24. The Pluralist Game: Pluralism.. On the other hand. versions of pluralism pretend to a Typical liberal fairness. inclusiveness and neutrality liberal versions which they do not. Harvard political scientist Michael Sandel refines and applies his in-depth philosophical critique of liberalism and offers a fullblown republican alternative in his long-awaited interpretation. No. 1997). and reflect their own philosophical historical development. must and do include and exclude according to criteria which commitments.50. xi + Michael the Moral 192 pp.Whose Pluralism? Bruce W. University Press. Thus the is not whether a particular intellectual tradition is exclusive. liberals have no rightly of called for their communitarian chal lengers to offer not only critique their but alternative scenarios. Michael Walzer. + 126 pp. On Toleration (New Haven: Yale xii 417 pp. penetrating and analysis the last few decades of liberal pluralism in the United States in his pluralism collection of essays written between 1963 and 1993. Ballard Stephens College Conscience Francis Canavan. indeed could not. Democracy's Discontent: America in Search 1998. Like other pluralisms. 26. why it excludes. 1996). Fall second book. but what it excludes.95. Sandel. Rawls's Political Liberalism). Vol. The Pluralist Game. others with simply to assert liberalism as an overarching social framework little to supporting justification. MD: Rowman & Littlefield. each author also his of own alternative version of pluralism. This fact is perhaps clearest and most damaging to liberal pluralist claims when we consider question the particular forms of life and thought liberalism excludes.95. Emeritus offers a Professor insightful Political Science of at Fordham University. While some liberals have become more conscious of the partic ularities and continue limits of their tradition (cf. 1 . Democracy's Discontent: America in Search xi of + a Philosophy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. possess.. Public $22. Within sketches larger pictures the good society.. Liberalism and (Lanham. and whether it is transparent to itself about its exclusivity. Francis Canavan. 1995). Three recent works do both. He successfully exhibits important contradictions of American liberal in theory and practice while sketching an alternative vision of politics and morality drawn primarily from classical and religious communitarian sources.

it challenges to would be impossible to sion and cover these topics in this short space. As Canavan clearly perceives. Court decisions on freedom of speech and reli gion. the state "necessarily sets for a whole society. Naturally. His an updated critique of of liberalism as a public philosophy. but or not limited to. surely ranks cluding the best among very contemporary treatments. ex policy unavoidably express Hence. attempts to put communitarian emphases to in support of a larger left liberalism in his On Toleration. and aspects of his version of pluralism are vulnerable to the critiques Sandel Canavan provide. had at least been more intelligible because the majority held a common biblically based faith and mo reflects a The lost unity of moral perspective in the biblical religion which Jews and Christians had rality. Canavan cites a number of Supreme Court decisions last thirty years which support this contention. whether or not they were consciously aware of its func tion. Earlier American pluralism.138 of a Interpretation Public Philosophy. so I thematize the discus two main by focussing its pluralism. the background philosophizing which leads each author to his conclusions about the limits of pluralism varies in cogency and completeness. pluralism and toleration. the state in fact establishes secular individualism as ultimate. and exerts a powerful influence has institutions" (p. creates an environment on social in which everyone has to live. Statecraft is soulcraft whether it appreciates or wills this result or not. separate religion from morality and morality from politics are misleading. 76). His identification and recovery of a republican strand in American history and politics recasts the question of pluralism discussion for public discussion. in Rawls in Political Liberalism. Law society. the the effects of recent Supreme secondary mediating institutions. All three volumes survey a wide range of renewal of issues including. By seeking the lowest common denominator agreeable to the many and making law and policy accordingly. In Canavan's account. the purported neutrality and inclusiveness of the lib eral pluralist state in matters of religion and morality is bogus. the Institute for Advanced work Study in Princeton. In Canavan's account. Those who earlier championed pluralism did so against this biblically informed background. The categories overlap. and the relations between economy and polity. also subverted a consensus which Increased West secularization had circum scribed earlier American pluralism. Since Walzer mented version of still supports an aug liberalism. lost unity of shared. indeed impossi ble. typical liberalist moves to and some view about what is good for cluding the over the outlook of citizens who strongly identify themselves in terms of religious commitments. norms by privileging the autonomous individual. on dimensions: authors' liberalism and how and why ing pluralism as it does. the dissolution of this unity "left millions of other . however conflictual. of Social theorist Michael Walzer. As might each approach ends up defining and limit be expected.

The author very perceptively economic counterpart of ideal liberalism as capitalism and the free market. These institutions. Again for lack commonly and acceptable moral or the tension between ments over liberty equality basis for resolving for specifying their content. Understood in individualist terms. but without developing the point at any length. to public Canavan notes. So liberal pluralism again turns out not to be neutral. Cultural liberalism is even determined by this pursuit that it can no longer judge identifies the the most outrageous wrongs. By increased federal private religious at the appropriation of taxes for public education. Yet of the three volumes. schools. liberalism. their best. sees a drift toward secular state private secular monism over the last three decades in social-welfare regulation and As the increasingly took over various functions. Sandel's alone offers a sustained . but the lack of moral agreement in creasingly typical acceptable American pluralism makes such judgments necessarily un to many. "celebrate" either argu rights We and are nevertheless "diversity. such values quickly reduce to discussions of rights.Whose Pluralism? Americans 65-66). individ liberty. It can only be made on the basis of an antecedent moral of judgment. Canavan With Sandel and Walzer. what shall be left to private choice and judgment is itself a political decision. sustained analysis of the liberalism and capitalism would go a long way toward he affinity between completing Canavan's treatment. Certainly and American liberal pluralism is hardly neutral as capitalism any other model of economy. it displaced institutions. The communitarian vision of pluralism supports also needs fur ther development of an appropriate range of economic arrangements congruent with that vision. with -139 the feeling that they are now strangers in their land" own (pp. had helped to flesh out religious community life. he does rejection of commend cooperatives in passing." equally faced with ever-increasing calls to In Canavan's reading. what areas out of the political realm and as leaving them to individual But again. Given his A would presumably reject capitalism as well. Canavan particular. they have come to define the range of controversy between contemporary liberals and conservatives. pluralism being urged be cause ual it is a condition which supports so liberalism. He does note that argu ments in favor of abortion which treat a mother's womb as private property from which the unborn "tenant" may be evicted at will follow the logic between of capitalist ownership. neutral and Apparently fail to democratic yet values such as liberty and equality also resolve pluralist conflict. This reduction is itself the incessantly of a reiterated in the media and wider popular culture. A main means by which liberal pluralism attempts neutrality is by taking controversial choice. hospi tals and social services were injured. pluralism as a norm is the ultimate value of remain unresolvable. but hostile toward conditions which make for thriving community.

so Canavan is again on target when self-defeating relativism and he identifies actual contempo rary plurality as a dilemma rather than a cause celebre. One can but be reminded here of other forms of scepticism. again it is Michael Sandel the more detailed philosophical explanation of the nature of the relation tween self-identity and be pic community which would help motivate Canavan's ture. always reflects some moral vision. His treatment analysis of the sort by more in-depth argument and Sandel In Sandel's account. But Canavan's identification of the affinity between liberalism and capitalism development by itself nicely divides so-called economic ism) from the socially moral conservatism supports. public policy his critics have to argue why their moral as But to take precedence over the biblical tradition of to American cultural formation. to make room for such groups in education. and mediating commu intellectual tradi not the state.140 Interpretation of the relationship between economy and community flourishing. both cludes with conservative intellectually reasserting for private and legislatively. The fact that Canavan's treatment of needs supplementation often provides.. If anything. even more desperate for pluralist For the liberal pluralist claiming full equally and neutral inclusiveness has to or groups which admit. that the reject views of individuals the celebration of pluralism are as valuable as their contradicto ries. so vision ought Canavan argues. Groups with spiritual. tions to pass on are the essential and most defining role community. On the other hand. cultural. Thus the not pluralist must also celebrate not celebrating pluralism. That current liberal pluralism is in fact quite intolerant of strongly committed positions (particularly again underlines its own very inconsistent nonneutrality. morality so central volume is a set of papers rather than a systematic a problem poses a different kind of limitation. things look neutrality. Given his very critical assessment of the recent drift of affairs. social services. to flourish. Genuine pluralism for Canavan qua is not primarily protection of the individual individual from group or state. those outside the wider biblical tradition Canavan com mends will likely reject his pluralism. Canavan nities "secondary" or the greatest primacy. Protestants and devout Jews. but a situation in which individuals Here as members of various communities can who provides pursue essential human goods. we might have expected a note of despair in Canavan's conclusion. the state should reduce its direct etc. two main forms of contemporary social anguish demon strate the failure of the liberal project in America: fear that the moral fabric of . creating accords greater social space Of the three authors. but Canavan con "divisive" religious) as by urging orthodox Catholics (Canavan is Catholic). conservatism (economic libertarian the biblical religion congruent with Canavan Taken to its logical terminus. to join in the struggle. mon gious to help stem the tide toward secular monism and by a com reli biblically based morality institutional life. on pain of contradiction.

Liberal ideals of neutrality citizens. Sandel raises the crucial why we should suspend such identity-making aspects of our selves . As Sandel notes. with regard and national and collective control over life is unraveling and fear about lost individual life-goveming forces. with others about what is true any or good. religious duties. as Sandel documents Failure through numerous primary sources. But the self conceived as unencumbered by prior moral definition is an abstraction which of is falsified by liberalism. popular psychology manuals make this promoting a virtual religion of the self in which there is no incentive on their content. this asocial render human good is misleading. and a notion of ends all capacity block the way. rights apart to moral and religious views of from the good. Sandel emphasizes the mislead ing and alienating idea of the self offered above all cording to that theory. Through detailed historical account of American public life from the foun ders to the contemporary scene. we no choose its Choice longer of one's respect ends becomes views a kind of end in itself. As in Liberalism and the Limits of Justice. the self is value resides in its capacity to by contemporary liberal theory. They natu common affairs. to a solution to these problems. motivation for the mutual respect liberalism calls for is also undermined. both conceptually a freedom as the of the individual self to choose its own and practically. community. explicit or use in by deliberating but simply for the fact that sovereign individuals As Sandel notes. of citizens In the liberal conception. by the neutral liberal state to either identify or cultivate the virtues necessary for self-government helps account for the current crisis over lost control. Consequently.Whose Pluralism? 141 family. The minimalist political liberalism Rawls now explicitly calls upon citizens a thick argues to bracket thick and moral and religious selves for the purposes of public question of deliberation decision-making. As identification more alien in the whole decline and citizens become to each other. others' based have chosen them. Ac else a pure individual whose highest own ends. Ancient also had aspired to cultivate virtue goal of been longstanding in its citizens. People are born for citizenship. whole and good of rally desire to govern their own and identification with a larger They find there a fulfillment than is available to isolated individuals. or even citizen obligation. the freedom tive. ing of Again. for Sandel and the republican tradition. even are deprived this sort of active community participa whatever elites their negative freedom is at the mercy of and participation do govern. since these all require description of the self. for instance. Sandel recovers an alternative and republican way of genuine self-government from which liberalism can be seen as a de cline. Kantian versions obliga phenomena of family tions. is seen primarily as nega They need protection from the state and each other in order to pursue their private ends. the politics a neutral ideal of liberalism is not timelessly natural. and this goal has American public policy. cannot everyday do justice to the moral experience. When they tion.

regarding toleration. then there is for are others' at least one truth which is not relative. and religious leads him to reject forms of pluralism primarily based upon. seeing as one nonprivileged attitude and why would among other possibilities. not their simple capacity to choose something . So Sandel pluralism. The argument for liberalism from is self-defeating. In both cases.142 when Interpretation it comes to questions of cooperation justice." up ing what he terms a "mutual appreciation goods which would affirm peo ple and communities for the distinctive or other. respect not follow. beginning would "bracketed" at conception and their view to accept they in effect advocates are also to "bracket" be countenancing murder. they express. thickly commitments unabashedly by family relations. prochoice their views for public purposes. not we should bracket depends on which relativism is no help either. But even if we substi views need tuted some other version of the relativist claim. and promoting. community. to relative say that we should all respect each other because the truth is If "all truth is relative" is absolutely true. and His alternative version the self. Or we could relativize the value of respect. telling on the of the parallel argument against moral bracketing from Lincoln Douglas heart issue of slavery. virtueless abstract vorce and individualism. Sandel observes that if the Catholics were correct about human life abortion. moral. As Sandel correctly argues. We might just as well say that all views equally worthy of disrespect it How since none is true. judg Using the legal example of abortion. His him to morally advocat seriousness about ethical rationality and truth allows and transparent public policy deliberation decision. In principle. a contradiction. rightly observing respect that a practical interest in social and mutual does not automatically defeat any that "We cannot without other moral interest. Suspending moral name of toleration does not effect a neutral pluralism. but legal abor Sandel cites a provocative and against tion in effect simply grants their position. Sandel advocate ends willingness to curb the pseudopluralism of hegemonic business interests. Sandel limit pluralism differently than liberalism? His of self-fulfillment civic and republican cision about ideal in communal deliberation is and de the social good certainly sets a different of parameter which for the discus constituted sion of pluralism. Sandel gets to the philosophical matter of by emphasizing that whether or competing views is true. question of what of By raising the economy best serve republi shows a can aims of self-government and the virtues which support it. The devastation divorce society supports and and a di law have "choice" wreaked upon our virtue-based way of understanding Sandel's recovery of dealing with family law promoting would role- which brings good to moral accountability form and aims at the family as a for its members and the republic. 20). Sandel toleration is justified in any given in question" He raises the same point whether notes determine moral ment case passing judgment in the on the practice (p.

Sandel needs in morality It could and national republican more elaboration and community defense religion other than noninterference? for "narrowness" "fundamentalism" in in order to save some of his own moral positions and certain examples which also illustrate them. Sandel replies. Sandel is arguing account of moral content that public deliberation can and should take permits are before marching handed out. in the nature of (p. That is. care to subordinate itself to reject public deliberation sup In a those who it? What does such a community lack of criteria which needs plementing by word. 90). Arguably. Indeed. Michael Walzer agrees that liberal pluralism as it does need to resituated to address the increasing fragmentation of both personal and group life in the United States. than his of open-ended republican deliberation ideal explicitly moral agreement upon The hope across a range of public as reaching the sort of policy issues that Sandel substantive calls for may depend stands it. Yet he had acknowledged and of highlighted the importance of ethical rejects truth when it came to the content-neutrality position expression. Presumably. Walzer of toleration and coexistence. program and its associated pluralism make for tall Sandel himself chapter. it could as easily have banned King and his fol lowers.Whose Pluralism? 143 a Altogether. why should the prolife advocate murder? compelling And why and argument recognize a public should the religious decision tantamount to allowing porate goods Sandel enumerates. The difference the cause" consists in the content of the speech. Sandel rationality of recent Supreme Court decisions on free an ordinance could ban the Nazis from marching in Skokie. be Canavan suggests. Sandel may depend more on an substantive positions on fam American consensus of biblical morality recognizes. and partisan way to which ignores of truth rationality. be added Sandel the offers about civil here that. the same could be said about his ily law. Yet the decisions a deliberation questions can be philosophically shallow. in general. Sandel's order. There way would or be no foregone in conclusion about the outcome of of public deliberation one the other. "narrow" in his final further But further rejects the In the arguments Sandel moralism of his closing the fundamentalist without course of qualification. To with a return Sandel's abortion example. To the liberal objection that if the bracketing. notes the insufficiency of appeals problems to rights and abstractly fair procedures alone to address contemporary These problems vary depending upon the histori- . raises and responds to a number of relevant objections questions are possible. the substantive conclusions rights for blacks and protection against harassment of to proceed from a Jews in Skokie do seem biblically older informed moral sensi bility. while Martin Luther King sought civil rights for blacks. "The answer may be simpler than liberal political theory permits: the Nazis promote genocide and hate. and which community which realizes the very cor is convinced of the truth of its "common" beliefs with practices. or even malicious. With Sandel.

and social Where then. but is unwilling to them of taxation fear" relieve would for state education. Walzer fragmentation which have led to the neither Walzer's Americans have is nor need anything in but certain political principles and toleration more like a restatement of the problem than a key to its resolution. Yet his recognition that liberalism is one tradition among others does not lead Walzer to offer a philosophical defense of it. With both Sandel revival of various and Canavan. attempts While Walzer everyone's rejects by groups with moral to "control behavior of in the name of a supposedly common (Judeo-Christian. Canavan. He doubts that liberal politics be sustained were all children to go into private sectarian schools. (p. ought to be barred from running in elections. of and others. life are we of to uncover the resources necessary for a revived political the sort Walzer wants. so he opposes a voucher system. since we are too multi United States In his typology of toleration regimes. 77)." wrong" of orthodox parents that ant of religious and that parents send the public "toler may Walzer responds that. . In the face of contempo ticular political culture of rary critiques like those of Sandel. together with leaves intact the current crisis. common roots of alienation and claim that its strong individualism. so Walzer develops a suggestive regimes cal and political situation of various and useful typology of five tolerance analysis historical examples. as an harbor republican hopes. Walzer acknowledges that liberalism is a substantive and par its own.144 Interpretation societies. Naturally. Walzer here in the secondary associations. so the unity which comes from that richer foundation for citizenship is unavailable to us. of a pluralism which isn't simply cannot fragmentation? We farious a population. . Yet by keeping to the larger liberal pluralist picture. this is an omission which pluralism. Walzer is willing for these orthodox parents to their children to private schools (if they can afford it). and 'family values' or of their own certainties about what (p. This highlights the social abstracting from a variety of dynamics which inevita bly shape the possibilities and problems of toleration acknowledges that the in particular societies. "one hopes that they are justified schools will have exactly the effects that orthodox make their children . seriously many It lends particular judgments the and weakens Walzer's same proposals for American which ad hoc quality agendas be leaguered Just Unjust Wars. for example. Walzer kind of hyperindividualism cele brated in postmodern conceptions of the self is both alienating and corrosive of sees a part of the solution citizenship. 70). according to Walzer. To the fears state-mandated versions of tolerance education error. To his credit. (It would be intriguing to see a published debate between Sandel and Walzer over this question. Maclntyre. is right say) tradition. Walzer largely responds by simply asserting his own secu lar liberal dogmatism. With Sandel. Religious parties.) Nor can we repair to . with early roots in Protestant and English history. Walzer identifies the immigrant society rather than a nation-state with republican foundations like France.

have less to assert reason than ever to relinquish that good." - 145 be of a biblically informed liberal moral consensus. it is difficult to overcome how Walzer's slightly revised liberal pluralism could either the problems Canavan and Sandel elaborate or provide genuine hope for revived public life. . But reading Sandel.Whose Pluralism? what remains "intolerant. Altogether then. rationality in about we do not and after seriously engage questions of truth and we ethics. since that would Within the cannot confines of the position Walzer embraces. and the alternatives for liberalism are either to lack transparency its own particu lar value-structure or see it without philosophical defense.

(1921). Der Erinnerung an Lessing (1937). DM 90 critical editions of (subscription: DM 78. Jacobis (1929). Tendency Eine Ort der Vorsehungslehre and der Ansicht Das Political Teaching (1937). METZLER LEO STRAUSS COLLECTED WRITINGS IN SIX VOLUMES Edited by Heinrich Meier ISBN 3-476-01222-0 This the critical edition will include all of Strauss's and will publications and through 1937 in original languages (German. Abravanel's Philosophical (1936). be indispensable for all serious und zugehorige Schriften Analyse der Bibel- dust jacket. . The Religiose Lage der Gegenwart (1932). Erkenntnisproblem in der philosophischen Lehre Fr. numerous previously Karl unknown letters from his philosophical correspondence with Klein. Contains the critical editions of Religionskritik Spinozas (1930). The from Strauss's personal copies of these writings are published here for the first time. marginalia from Strauss's personal copies of these writings are published here for the first time.-). previously unknown writings and letters. and others published here for the first time. It study of Strauss's philosophy in the future. und Volume 2: Philosophie 1997. Schriften 1936 Konspektivismus and more. DM 90 Die Zur - (subscription price: DM 78. XXXIV. 434 pp. cloth with English) many important. Volume 1: Die Religionskritik Spinozas 1996. Testament Spinozas (1932). politische other Volume 3: Hobbes' Wissenschaft und zugehorige - Briefe politische Contains. remarques sur nach la science politique de Mai'monide de Farabi Maimunis (1937). Bibelwissenschaft Spinozas marginalia und seiner Vorlaufer (1926). cloth with dust jacket. B. Gershom Scholem.. XIV. Gerhard Kriiger.. Jacob In addition. 1921 to Contains the 29 et essays from the years 1937. in the original languages (German English). H. among Wissenschaft writings. French. and Lowith. with critical editions of the German manuscript of of (1935) along Die the variants of the English translation as well as the book- length manuscript Religionskritik des Hobbes (ca. Gesetz - Friihe Schriften - 635 pp.-). Cohens Wissenschaft Spinozas Das (1924). more than a quarter of which Quelques are published here for the first 0n time: Philosophie und Gesetz Der (1935). 1933-1935).i VERLAG J.

Dept. current list price. Gesammelte Schriften and in sechs Banden at the reduced subsequent price. ? I would like to to the entire edition of the Leo should Strauss. Metzler Postbox 10 32 41 D-70028 Stuttgart Fax +49711/2194-249 Internet: http://www.. $46. Volume 6: Gedanken Uber Machiavelli Each volume contains a foreword by the editor of the Gesammelte composition of each Schriften which introduces the reader to the circumstances surrounding the text as well as its central concerns. published here for the first time in its entirety in this form. Address Phone/Fax VerlagJ. 66 pp.de . . (approx. DM 16.B. The appendix the most comprehensive bibliography yet to be presented of Strauss's writings. The price of volumes 1 subsequent volumes has yet to be determined. the be sent as they appear. edition are approx.80 (ISBN 3-476-01504-1). ? Volume 2: DM ? Heinrich Meier: Die Denkbewegung von Leo Strauss: DM 16.Volume 4: Politische Philosophie Contains the first publication with various - Studien zum theologisch-politischen Problem of the essay The Living Issues of German Post-War Philosophy along German translations. Volumes 1 and 2 be sent immediately along with Die Denkbewegung von 2 is DM 78- Leo Strauss. The essay is the result of a long and intensive involvement contains Strauss's philosophy. The prices of the 2. The prices for subscribers to the entire 15% less than the volumes. Choosing the subscription price obliges one to purchase all six Subscribers receive the following at no extra charge: Heinrich Meier Die Denkbewegung von Leo Strauss und Die Geschichte der Philosophie die Intention des Philosophen with 1996. Each volume may be purchased separately. Volume 5: Uber Tyrannis Contains the German translation along with the correspondence between Leo Strauss and Alexandre Kojeve (1932-1965) in the original languages (German and English).metzler.00 each). $5300).00). volumes should (approx. ? I would like to order the following volumes U Volume 1: DM 9090- at the individual prices: (approx.80 (approx. subscribe by your university 1. your order with your purchased Please use this ad or a copy of it when placing book dealer or when or college recommending that the books be library. Name .00). $10. $53.

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-a o PC fo a -a o CO 2 o 3 "I 3 o 3 O < CO a r 21 rra *> o m c3 CO . Queens College Rushing N.A. Inc.ISSN 0020-9635 Interpretation. 11367-1597 U.S.Y.

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