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OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
Robert D. Sacks
The Significance The Book
in Genesis 1-11
Chapters 39-42 65
Socratic Eros in Plato's
Revolution in Burke's Letter to the
Sheriffs of Bristol
the Twofold Presentation of the
Power Doctrine in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke
Frank Schalow Bruce W. Ballard
Hilail Gildin, Dept.
Philosophy, Queens College
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Robert D. Sacks
The Significance The Book
in Genesis 1-11
Socratic Eros in Plato's 65
Revolution in Burke's Letter to the 77
Sheriffs of Bristol Steven
the Twofold Presentation of the Will
to Power Doctrine in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke
Frank Schalow Bruce W. Ballard
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second or at least reasonable those characters. few the pride or hubris desires to compete with. 26. in light the Babel project. herds Nimrod. or even defy. Nimrod. has not yet made among inroads into the human men at a time heart. that of the nomadic Third. in its urge to theory moralize about the lives and motives of the early city-builders. where it is stated that Nimrod ruled over (and possibly built) cities. the city is impious in their intentions: Cain. it makes funda mental interpretive errors. and in Genesis 1 1. was was often sur prisingly antiurban. Vol. The thing I wish to argue excuses.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. No. the Babel-builders. failing to note that in each instance there are redeeming features. from the to be political-theological perspective of the Biblical Finally. Why this? One finds in the traditional commentaries a number of overlapping themes. Fall 1998. 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. the city is associated with improper aspirations toward human greatness or even human divinization. and the which Babel-builders. as a per Nimrod's kingdom of cities understood as a tyranny but fectly when reasonable attempt to establish a political ordering law. It improperly fuses the characters and accomplish life ments of Cain. man. I is wish not to argue that. the city and tower with its top in the heavens. Traditional exegesis of these stories. in Genesis 10. with superfluous and which arts. and it prejudges the motives of the characters in all three cases. the the In this paper I wish to make three arguments. antitechnical. Second. the city is connected with land ownership. and thus opposed to an allegedly purer form of life. the Lord God. the Babel-builders are not evil in condemned For. it is said that Cain (or possibly his son Enoch) built the first city. Jewish and Christian. associated with and antipolitical. of the effort they are making is indeed narrator. interpretation. Finally. although intent. 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. those who are supposed to be First. 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. in which the unified human race attempts to build Babel. 1 . as argue. divine or conventional. not paying enough attention to the different contexts in these characters appear.
Cain. When he sacri Lord (Gen. A. I the inadequacy handling with of the political themes interpreters' traditional remarks the fine details of comparing the the Biblical text. Cain cannot be expected to God's) image. This is why he becomes a murderer and Abel. and establishes among interpreters recorded antiurban. a and Calvin's Commentary on the Pen Commentary on Genesis.3-5). In fus ing (they own. 1. they Eve and the angel of produce much good.3 or. he offers (according to some of the rabbis) the samples of inferior his produce. the first city. I will present the political themes which can gleaned from the discussion of Cain. First. Cain. 4. is not said to have been born after Adam's (hence conclude that he is actually the offspring of death Sammael. often little basis in the text.1 His motives and his spiritual and the spiritual character of with his descendants. I have used tateuch. I will propose my own tentative account of the Bible's moral-political evaluation of the city. . Noting that unlike his Genesis 5 counterpart Seth. legion. if the quality is acceptable. THE CRITIQUE OF THE CITY IN TRADITIONAL EXEGESIS The traditional commentaries on Genesis are only enough to Genesis Rabbah. have all been impugned. Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. Fi by nally.2 kills the son truly in God's image. has had abuse upon by scores of Jewish and interpreters for at least two millennia. and I have consulted Specifically. With this rather unauspicious head start in life. his religious performance is faulty. antipolitical tendencies of commentaries am not the Jewish and Christian traditions. Abravanel's reveal some representative tendencies. Cain's very birth is suspect. heaped who is traditionally him credited with founding Christian character. the refuse. different are all trying to blur the differences and notes). anti- I have constructed kind I of composite account of the technical. Out of antiurban. This negative portrayal of Cain colors the event with he is associated. that is.4 I Interpretation will proceed in the be following manner. according to some of the rabbis. between them properly distinguished in the text tendencies of establish some general but merely trying to which I can set my against interpretation. Nimrod and the will Babel-builders in show some representative premodern commentaries. Augustine's these City of God. Traditional One Hostility with Toward Cain and His Line must begin Cain. antipolitical atmosphere. 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. fices to the most Thus. the an which founding of the city. of the Next.
21). and Lamech are all said vol. Abravanel sheds light on the rabbinic hostility Cain's farming simpler.The he gives City in Genesis 5 paltry amount after finishing most of it off himself (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. says bluntly "Cain. like other hoped to have immortality through a (presumably. that with which originated the earthly city began and ended with is. 17. such as Augustine and Calvin. life into a sophisticated. declares that Cain's other activities (unmentioned in the Biblical text) must have been evil. finding nothing wrong with Cain's sacrifice. but with his hy pocrisy. Jacob.4 The traditional do not commentators are a condemn little lighter on Cain in one respect: they and ground unanimously (4. are supplied by the . was the proto type of all the great prophets and leaders of Israel. Calvin on the other. his son Enoch) which would live forever (Genesis Rabbah.5. another choice. career. however. 153). The names of Irad.5 Cain's desire to settle down more of a shepherd. Cal declares that there was nothing wrong with Cain's grain. (City of God. Augustine sees the city which Cain builds as an allegory of the City of Man. and Cain Lamech Metusael. 2. his city and people. absent from the Biblical text. explaining that "Cain also chose to engage in artful things and ground. Augustine says nothing negative. we fundamental difference I over the worth of settled agricultural life. One became a murderer. XV. Mehujael. Noah. that it in fact can be interpreted as commanded by God in Genesis 1 and and 2 (Calvin. to will return later. 21). Moses. technical to run away which occupation represents the perennial nonluxurious human ten dency from the simple. 192)." therefore became a tiller of the "natural" whereas Abel was satisfied with the Abel. Augustine. 1. "wicked" "house" building of a city. 29). supplement it equally regarding Cain's motives. 8. 5. 1. God intended with us. (without etymological argument) to of mean sexual "rebellion" (Genesis Rabbah. and do not hesitate to invent facts in order to condemn them. vol. that human society which seeks only earthly felicity and denies our supernatural end (City of God. some rabbis say that he. dience for Rabbah see a Contrasting sufficiency and obe Abravanel and the Genesis and life of on one hand Rabbi Eliezer. 256). who were themselves shep herds: Abraham. 255). another a drunkard. p. Cain practised a purely external religion and did not really serve God in his heart. ruthless The commentators are regarding Cain's descendants. Cain's leper" occupa no good came of a (Genesis to Rabbah. p. p. who only a are not nature of vin willing to supplement the Genesis story quite so blatantly regarding the Cain's offerings. The details Lamech's mistreatment of his wives. 8. Augustine. 1. Cain's tion: p. Calvin Cain's choice of occupation as a tiller of the grants that this occupation can be laudable and holy. and them. Those interpreters. Augustine takes great pleasure in repeat About Cain's edly noting that the line murderers. Rabbi Eliezer of allows The Genesis Rabbah. This activ fundamental difference allows room which for a more positive view of Cain's ities and intentions. p. says Abravanel. and David. XV. and Uzziah lusted after the ground.2). Isaac. vol.
) (which. he affirms the vileness of Lamech's polygamy and waxes eloquent about Lamech's cruelty and inhumanity (ibid. In Calvin these "sons of are Augustine virtually and Calvin the Cainite self-conscious that they are the Church (Calvin. the former being. superfluous sin. Naamah. if not being the "sons of God" completely evil. and because of this. Taking posite the Cain line on such grounds. and 159). duced Seth's line into waywardness.).22). thus more ing a way for his ancestor Cain's sister to be perpetrated efficiently (ibid. 237-40). Tubal-Cain's given (about whom absolutely no details as are in Genesis). In sum. went about stark naked. Calvin notes the wickedness of the atmosphere in which the arts arise.22. and gifts from God (Calvin. it can be said that Cain does not have a very good public image. Calvin refuses to condemn 257).6 Interpretation (ibid. Cain's daughters went painted tempting the angels to fall.). Such is the picture which traditional exegesis of Genesis 4 tends to yield. his offering to God was shoddy of farming is judged ambivalently. Cain's line is uniformly contrasted unfavorably with Seth's line. his male descendants increased the level of weapons or lence in the world. with human law making. sang and played in honor of idols (ibid. his taking up an act of city is vainglory of vio defiance of God. Tubal-Cain is mentioned as noted rabbis for his forging of of weapons (which are not provid specifically the metal implements crime Genesis 4. His birth is suspect.). these unions produced the wicked giants who were wiped out in the Flood (pp. however. God" at least more carnal in their interests. 238). the latter who lived more virtuously. with political life) fall under a dark shadow. far as we can tell from Genesis 4. In general. Calvin. either by the introduction by their desire for He and city which wealth. 160). his female descendants seduced the only godly people into his line have few if any redeeming features. the op for him the arts are goods. creating the universal degeneration which lines' being wiped out by the Flood (City of God. Like the rabbis. flagrantly about violated the naked with rules concerning incest (p. like beasts. view. In who se women are the "daughters men" justified both pp. his founding or even of and/or of a insincere. acquisitiveness Cain bequeathed to his descendants (Abravanel. Cain's generation were sinners and rebels who thought p. pp. of p. 217-22). the he founded. 160-62). Nimrod fares only slightly better than Cain in traditional "beginning" He liter actions ally cannot even make a onto the Biblical stage without his . they did not need God (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. violence and In a more analytical vein. Abravanel argues that the were destruction which prevailed which before the Flood directly linked to the p. and all its connections (with the arts. They eyes. Traditional Hostility Toward Nimrod accounts. XV. did not yet exist). 2.
some of the rabbis do say he fooled people into thinking he could cow fierce beasts.The City in Genesis 7 being be a condemned. and hence were actually They mention the people of in not Genesis 4. that is. deriving all wicked things. in later Jewish literature (Neusner tells us) he oppressive power of us that "hunter. who 4. as the-verb "to (halal). it is p. the ancestor of Israel. vol. In this attempt. he a 10. in must company whose as the Cainites and their offspring. of course. 317). to "rebel" in their calling upon the name of the Lord. oppressor. Augustine tells us that Nimrod. such evil to multiply upon the earth and the pre-Flood gi announced with the (ibid. being a mighty hunter.). "beginning" is is verb. Since Nimrod is a slave. XVI. Finally. who. 38). . mighty and thus they can liberally 'rebelled' when he was a one in the earth" (Genesis Rabbah. There is other evidence that Nimrod. was based on a sham (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. pp. who was consigned to slavery by Noah in Genesis 9. ants same Obviously. Nimrod the city-builder evil. be evil. First. here found in the hiphil form. and destroyer of earth-bom creatures (City of God. man. 2." who "begin" upon the name of the Lord. Esau. de Rabbi Eliezer. if it mighty hunter before the mighty hunter "against" seems bad enough for not Nimrod that his even grant hunting is interpreted hunter. tyranny (Calvin." the rabbis feel justified in translate: "Nimrod vol. Second. was miraculously thwarted (Pirke vol. XVI. Another thing which counts against rule Nimrod is his be being a grandson of Ham. p. From the sense "pro fane.26 are said. 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. they supply other examples of wicked people things. he Abraham. being a a beast than a human he was also the originator of more like being. Thus. p. however.4). instead of "beginning" to multiply upon the earth. although it is not mentioned in Scripture.9) means that Nimrod was a rebel (City of God.8 reads: "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to begin" profane" Genesis Rabbah interprets the verb "to mighty one in the (halal). Nimrod is lived until evil the time of because. 2. so negatively. he was the foe of his brother Jacob." earth. he Genesis Rabbah. 420-21." sym bolizes the Rome (Jacob Neusner. which is the normal meaning of the piel form of the same root. is reminiscent of the other hunter in Genesis. Esau. And. which is what persuaded people to let him them. is a deceiver. and. 3). in Genesis Rabbah. Nimrod. 60-61). but mention rather. pp. tried to kill Abraham he was young. as master of the pagan lands out of which when Abraham came. his claim to might. In case anyone should think the rabbis are stretching the meaning too much. to degenerating calling "rebelling. p. and they the evil men of pre-Flood "rebelled" days. 175). is bad for two reasons. like all hunters. "began" 2. 174). p. 260). Genesis 10. was obviously a furious Nimrod. too. against the order of things that he should a king (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. Calvin tells He further argues that the statement that Nimrod was a the Lord (Genesis Lord.
sinfulness of He the cruel godlessness of pride and the pagan empires. Nimrod becomes Babel project due to responsibility for the Babel project. as one might expect. and Jacob. it is said in Genesis 10 that Nimrod founded a city called Babel. There are other flaws in the Babel-builders' motives. for they p. for two reasons.8 Interpretation Nimrod. Isaac. Second. at signifies also that they made an on 261. Traditional Hostility Toward the Babel-Builders explicitly state that Nimrod had anything Genesis 1 1. do. the plain on which Babel was erected was in the land of Shinar. Calvin Calvin. God's people do not rest con move. which is often assumed to chapters are be the city discussed in Genesis 1 1 Thus. The rabbis object that in Genesis 11. In any case. was the area of his king dom. a city. and. the the Ham line. he was often assumed to have been not Although the Biblical text does to do with the Babel project of its initiator. the Lord. p. 3. do" translated into rabbinic. means. heavens. 49-50). and vol. again. 11. "Settling" is moti vol. the purpose of this section is to discuss the faults of the Babel-builders insofar as they can be discerned without reference to Nimrod. the lower part of the world. being settling and building in "settled." "and this they begin to which. which p. There is odious reason to question the connection out between Nimrod and Babel. therefore. p.4. scale Olympus and dethrone Jove in pagan mythology (City of God.4). 51). probably vol. They they being given the earth. with the upper part. The Babel-builders. "this they are rebelling to (Genesis Rabbah. right motives. could hardly him have Urban life. 260). First. pp. tent "settle" in the land of Shinar. as in the case of Cain. needless to say. like Abraham. which. like Nimrod. 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. In p. the Babel-builders are reminiscent ." but are on the 50). 1. for idol They filled the sin of pride.2 they decide to vated by Satan (Genesis Rabbah. His city. ." are "rebels. to displace him. 2. 2. to make a "name" themselves (Gen. and the is condemned because it was the brainchild of Nimrod. 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. vol. takes on a associated with and his kingdom. worldly glory been founded with the set against righteousness. The tradition uniformly condemns the builders at Babel. in an summary. too (Genesis Rabbah. they are not satisfied with want the are are trying to challenge God. is repudiated by much of the tradition because he represents was impious rebel against God and tyrannical over mankind. bad scent. according to Genesis 10. the two intertwined in traditional commentary. vol. as I will point later. 324). (Genesis Rabbah. 2. XVI. want 2. Both their deeds and their motives are entirely wicked.
the human beings who are desire to build is unnecessary. Nimrod being things some part of the Ham line which Noah subjects to Shem and Japheth. Abravanel thus. only God can do these things. sinners. Ruling comes from Nimrod. not rendered suspect by the fact that the first is people to be political cooper to build a better cities life. is ated. are equally stained by association the wrong sort of people. At best it is a necessary evil in a fallen world." us make "let build city"). They story. and is associated with the violence of patriarchs. or rebels against God. in order to establish the stated. which willing to supply motives which are recorded. they God's murderers. heir of a slave. are quite are not Babel-builders is how much not they add to the text. who defined man as a political animal. manages to slip in the moral that the way of Torah is higher than the way of the Greeks. but to conspire against and a God. is inferior to the way of the Politics. Nimrod.3-4 ("let brick. The arts come from the children of vengeful bigamist Lamech. it cannot give one immortal life or even an immortal name. which. at worst it is temptation to idolatry. desire of walking away from God rather than with him. then. without God's help by They purely human means. the art of bringing people together to build a decent civil order. is grounded in folly. political which go with cooperation. says Abravanel. are proud. thinking to build structures which will keep their names alive forever. 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. The the city. The city-builders of Genesis 1-11 all have unsavory are They or are fugitives from God ters. The city cannot provide for security against death. It is their politics as much as their materialism that is at fault. in criticizing the Babel-builders. and tyranny over others. Abravanel argues. apparently picking up on the language a of mutual exhortation in 11. then of Seth. being Esau's way.The of City us in Genesis 9 the godless Cain. idola They wish to build a settled and secure life or even against wishes. 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. Summary of the Traditional Critique of the City associations. God's do not need the political life of the city. They are from the wrong lines. The city. More generally. B. hunting. the arts. 4. and even actions appropriate moral of each This might not be a bad procedure. Cain being rejected in favor first of Abel. and the rule of with human beings by others. rejection of God. if the materials they supplied were .
" but also the idiosyncratic "profaning" equation of with "rebel word Again. The interpreters have already decided that Cain. however. that the real problem of the traditional interpreters deeper. for two First. between the pre-Flood and the Babel-builders' desire for a name. which a plenty of loose connections traditional interpretation can be founded." they ask us to accept too much on faith. demanding us to allow not only the rendering of the hiphil the claims made are simply too far "profane. Among the following: Augustine's claim that Nimrod was a hunter is considered who "against even God" by Calvin. When material this far from the text is allowed to shape the inter limited to the go characters' pretation of motives and actions. 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. if all the etymologies and legendary material were excluded. to the connection between Abraham left the eastern world ruled Nimrod. and the Babel-builders the reasons for the antiurban are evil. to the connection be tween Nimrod Esau the hunters. again might not be bad in itself. believe. even without the extraneous material. and so on. The addition of legendary material and the use of verbal tricks are not interpretation. however. Sec that there is ond. more relevant interest. Cain's line ended with a murderer is also untrue. and other are facts simply do not fit into the antiurban picture. Augustine's most claim that translators. They can point to the parallel between Cain the farmer and and Abel the shepherd. they condemn Nimrod for his paganism and his attempt to murder Abraham. to the fact that by Nimrod. all interpretive control is lost. to justify their They contrast can indeed appeal to a number of textual details. to the between the violence of Cain and Lamech and the rise of urban life and the arts. the but the rabbis stretch it beyond the resemblance may be significant. The rule text can mean whatever the interpreters want it to mean.10 Interpretation role of providing plausible explanations for what is recorded." reasoning that the "name" in the Babel story all mean can only mean or that the names of Cain's lies descendants I "rebellion. since Lamech fathers sons who are . the evil of Cain and the others is axiomatic in the interpretive tradition in to my present which they have been would argue trained. They attribute Cain's birth to the angel They Sammael. For example. they in the Biblical text. There are Nonetheless. the errors the traditional interpretation is inadequate. when they assert without philological "idol. and Babel. Shinar. far beyond this. to Nimrod's connection with and associations upon Ham. point. but some of fetched. and enough reading. philologically unacceptable by found Nimrod unappealing." "begin"-"profane" breaking as the "begin" piel ling. Another mology noticeable feature is the Jewish This interpreters' fascination with ety and other word play. Nimrod. to the fact that Nimrod to the similarity is reminiscent of the evil "mighty "men of men" wiped out name" in the Flood. Some of the claims are errors. they are merely the justifications. and would maintain this even reasons.
The inter Augustine and the rabbis that Nimrod must have been unneces sarily violent and tyrannical. is feeble. Yet the text is that God did nor not gaze unto Cain and imputed to Cain. 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. if God will then. the shepherd who sells his wool and mutton or in spirit to the city than is the hunter trapper who is self-sufficient. Babel but not in the case Cain. these are nity. text with uncharitable motives. that Cain had a says justify God. no evil motive is to be flawed in either intention or Similarly. execution. And settled farmers (like Cain. The hunter is the loner. 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. there is bad reasoning in the traditional pretation of constructions. could we expect Cain to build anything but a "worldly city. The text would seem was suggest that his motive was fear of being killed. If Israel is not wicked . and the later Israelites) kill their cattle. For shepherds (like Abel) kill things. How. Further. In fact. rather. the text says that Cain believes he is hidden from God's face. undertook the Babel project on his own. and God does not contradict Cain on this point. Abravanel. They they are by the farmer. lives away from the city The landed farmer with his rural commu in the marketplace. the rabbis rage against Cain for is. further." Again. because he was a hunter and hunters kill things. too their sheep. The rabbis' claim that Nimrod shares the character Canaan. he infers it in infers. is cursed to in Genesis 9." not help him build "lusting after the laws to a heavenly that ground. or that he ordered the people him. not supplementation that Cain's offering is hypocritical. since not Ham but facts that do not fit. Cain is to to build his city out of vainglory. is his sacrifice said supposed his sacrifice. but he does order to wicked derive this from textual evidence. but say nothing against Moses who one? prescribes govern Israel's settled agricultural life. and Asshur in Genesis 4 and 10. Canaan's brother Cush and Cush's son Nimrod are not slavery included in the curse. the city falling to his arrows. Further. in a parallel manner. the hunter is less violent. His victims enjoy God's before as castrated. Then there are the the slave Ham is untrue. 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. out of the desire for a name. which makes "children men. because he does not keep for its entire life before killing it. tilling it. or out of the wish to build a worldly city without God. and that the city to protect him. The common interpretation that Nimrod to aid all the project. hardly closer the model of the political man. Nimrod. the entire race. Ham's son. Augustine all lifestyle. runs against of the clear sense of the text in that of Genesis 11.The not murderers of City in Genesis 11 but inventors. are not rounded the association who up in pens of the hunter and with is peculiar." The interpretation same such is.
for wanting land exactly
of the what
the pre-Flood men are said to
why is Cain's motive so disreputable? Again, in multiplying upon the earth, but that is
do in Genesis 1.
their attempt at
out at as a rebellion? as motivated
Finally, why is Tubal-Cain's invention by the desire to make swords rather than
Certainly, his father
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
antiurban trend of thought
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
Cain is frightened, slighted,
Nimrod in Genesis 10 displays
no wicked motives or
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
would not reflect upon
work, then, to be done if
to articulate a coherent
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
a much more positive
light than the
tradition sometimes suggests.
body am building
interpretation, but in its
I follow here comes, oddly enough, from the more unorthodox moments. For I
upon the work of
Eugene Combs, Kenneth Post, and Robert Sacks, indebted to Midrashic sources such as the Genesis Rabbah.
In the Midrashic writings,
of a a
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
be brought to light
strive to establish
sees the and
to the problem
God is willing
to work with and, under certain
with classification of
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.
his grain, probably
harder than Abel has
tried to obey God's the
to raise his sheep.
apparent commandments. and
God tell Adam to
to till the garden (Gen. 2)? Did not God tell Adam that
from Eden he
land for his food (Gen. 3)? One
He is, in
more qualified applicant who
the job to the boss's nephew, or perhaps to an affirmative action program. As a
victim of apparent which
follows, but it
so perverse as
make out. another nonmalicious account
that God preferred a sacrifice of an animal over that
that the sacrifice of a human
better (Genesis Rabbah,
248-49)? One does
to presume that Cain killed Abel out of anger or
one might argue that
he killed Abel in
Even if this
wicked. what sin
a misguided attempt to please
is discounted, it is
not so clear that
it is true (4.7), but God does not explain Cain any instructions about how to live. In
Genesis 9. That
nothing to anyone about how to live is, God seems to be waiting to see if
man can rule
race will not
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
that no one else is
is waiting to see what people Lamech's speech in Genesis 4,
any laws before the Flood, suggests that God live like. The violent world presumed by
that God's policy of nonpunishment and
and the utter violence of the pre-Flood genera
described in Genesis 6, has
can grant that
to be the
sorry for it afterward. He engages remaining days in nonviolent ways, wandering, In this
bad deed, but only one, and he seems to be in no more malicious activity and spends his
and procreating. who
his descendant Lamech,
proudly boasts of his killings. Cain says that his sin is too
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
be hidden from God's face, and,
to protect Cain
the assaults of other men,
Perhaps God thinks his
ence, but Cain clearly does
implies his continuing pres God therefore allows Cain to
dwell in the land
mark, is it any
interest to God, and not trusting in God's that Cain builds a city to protect himself? Is the defen
of not a natural course
sive arrangement of a
the state of nature, with no law
the strong to protect them?
Similarly, it is hard
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
Isaac Friedman has
in fact, it has rather the first city is an be
of a new
Jacques Ellul; 11, 49-61). The founding of life, one which may prove to
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
the arts described in Genesis 4. The
can yield weapons
in general; for the text does
not even mention and mu
the other arts which arise at the same time
clearly innocuous. intent here is not to
to have understood God's
his line. Cain clearly did wrong, forgiveness of Cain in the
most perverse possible manner
(i.e., God does
have to do I
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,
though a genuine theme of
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
in Genesis 6. When "all
corrupt upon the
earth, much is said of wickedness and violence, but
nothing is said of cities or because the people of the Seth sense,
city, are condemned along with
not connected with urbanism
who are not associated with
Cain's line. The
absence of political structures and of would seem
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),
to be confirmed
that in Genesis 1 God ordered
Adam to be
the earth. In Genesis 9 Noah takes the place of
fruitful, multiply, and Adam, and is given
must not conclude. The next a region called in Shinar. something is added: God gives the first laws. and since they too are related. The peacefulness of the process reminds one of the separation of Abraham and Lot (Gen." earth becomes peoples of common nations. without Thus. that Nimrod's rule was a One might even argue that. It also helps maintain concord between stay together. the new creation as it were. whenever the tribal or them. those restraining murder and improper diet (9. God's command and In this context of obedience to family solidarity. which echoed Genesis 1 generally. The "king occurring in Genesis for the first time. 13). if we are watching a new creation. The new begin ning. Abimelech in Genesis 20). an a world organized on the world by the new political seems to be improvement before the Flood. Genesis 10 documents this family by family. built by Asshur. Ham. The first cities are or comes to rule. that We may now be able to fathom the Calvin Nimrod was a "mighty hunter. the race of Adam is being given a second chance at life. The familial basis of nations seems to offer the possibility of internal concord within each nation. the city arises. Nimrod is word have begun his "kingdom" in the first in Shinar. The Bible acknowledges that good kings can exist.The similar City in Genesis 15 It is as instructions in language that is very strongly reminiscent of Genesis 1. cities a son of Shem. among Japheth separate violence. If this automatically and a new political ordering suggests ruthless power tyranny to modem ears. suggests in which one will rule over many. There is another interpretation.19). Thus. Since. the migrating offspring of Shem. the "nations. in this overspreading. is. therefore. the goodness. however. and and seems an improvement on the relationship unit.1-7). 9. naming the lands and peoples descending from and Japheth." Asshur." for the Biblical statement and Augustine saw this as indicating was savagery and oppression. which relied too much on we are innate human told. which had no such structure discernible. the between Cain nation. which are life. Abel. Ham. both over Israel and over other nations (cf. Recall that in Genesis 9. In this new creation. for the laws of God (Gen. (9. amicably dividing the world themselves. we must remember and that that such a form of rule was very common in ancient times. sons of Noah are obedient in the way that the sons of Adam were never said to be: they "overspread" the whole earth overspreading. 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. One wicked one. families (mishpahoth) Shem. that populated not merely by individuals but by descent speaking a common tongue and occupy ing a traditional land. people need to have some kind of authority set over a tribal or monarchical nature. either built by or Nimrod in said to dom. will have a legal dimension absent from the old. This time.1-7) to be enforced. in the east. these Nimrod either builds group arises in the east as well. a slight modification to Genesis 1 . the Biblical narrator would not auto matically have assumed such a rule to be evil. they occupy it as they were meant to.
Nimrod. and so did his empire. Nimrod does not boast about himself. Kings may (I Samuel 8). the order of creation. at hunting makes He may not have been him the hunter par example of the new. the text is which teaching at that the rise of Nimrod possibility is new and. One can grant that a king may become a one must also grant that a king can establish the rule of law. basis to nor of an adjective alone. new order higher than the Note Nimrod does also that the text not seek a builders of any motive of vanity to Nimrod. may remind us of the wicked men before the Flood. unlike Lamech's. For these reasons. 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. At God's com the rule of mand are ruled not by kings.9). from the above discussion. Their sins cannot be imputed to him on the strength Thus. God-sanctioned It is true that Nimrod. in fact. as did Cain (4. The new world contains harsh (men killing animals. In this context. The likely to make men hopeless or pre-Flood world. Genesis 9 to him to be person carnivorous. in which other forms of suffering must have been prevalent (starvation after crop failure. note that which the only version of law and order hitherto obtain something tyrant.4). one must conclude that cannot as such. not speak of upon the "dominion" over the animals which are now given "fear and animals. men ruling men). first hunter. we must ing was Lamech's. Nimrod became famous. the first have taken advantage of the new bequest God has "might" given. least some of the nations which legitimately source. kings are one possible source of law.17). which consisted rule in Nimrod's prescribes moderate and measured punishments. but it is less it has possibilities for something desperate. I would suggest. city building. Genesis 1 allows implicitly taught that man was to be vegetarian. of a any more. Finally.4) or the Babel (1 1. I represents a political would argue.23-24). how to be a "hunter. but his literally and hence the most striking excellence. at overspread the earth at least potentially. vulnerability to random killing). but it is perhaps less harsh than the pre-Flood world. and as did Lamech (4. Nimrod does not name any cities after himself or after not attribute as "name" does his son.16 Interpretation God does dread" made. may not be pretty.8) and before the Lord (10. but it is others who note his greatness on the earth (10. that the rule of a hunter may symbolize the over urban civilization improvements elements of the new world over the old. did the mighty men of old (6. but human for up as prey beings. "mighty" being "mighty" a hunter." can one fault Nimrod? He is person said the first in the text said that is. by God's . strained passion. In important respects. but those men were characterized by neither hunting hunting. and that Nimrod's hunting is not in itself a his cities. Nimrod and his city compare favorably with the Cain line and its city and the Babel-builders their city. good. but multiple vengeance driven by unre (mamlakhah) introduces into the world more stable and orderly. condemn be evil. then.
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. of willingness to take on the adventure of human life. that is. in the Babel there features grant." is only fitting. in one place. something. and Augustine. It "scattered. kind people of Babel do to not wish to be "scattered" upon the earth (Gen. seems to have nothing to do seems storming heaven defying God. if it and was a sin. They heavenward (11. who have not learned the lesson that the Flood. This desire runs counter to God's all and commandments of want Genesis 1 to build upward. and in what respects their ambitions legitimate. is perhaps reminiscent Cain's Yet motives. process.5)." of perhaps educated obey God. The "sons ratively) of reproducing and nonviolently occupying the earth. too. God at the end of purpose.28). I certain turn to the Babel story. in a its top in the heavens. 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. The "sons men" Noah. by natural a by (literally or figu the refuse Adam. wants them to the earth (1. among these Combs and Post point out. I think. speaking one language. He. too." therefore are separated and moved over the earth in a more unnatural and violent manner. to obey God. They want live. close even antiurban exegesis. be was afraid of safe. Regarding this story. of super-city with together. Babel-builders is. the language of mutual entreaty.4). 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. The with sin of the Babel-builders. Finally. but it is not to be so lightly condemned as it the rabbis. 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. 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. is. p. as of (11. 428). case of Babel is not exactly typical city. aim spreading master to many spots. settled on Genesis 9 that they should fill the earth. Further. the descendants of Flood. and enjoying the earth.4). like Cain's. united brotherly love. the language of unity and solidarity (Combs and "rules" Post. scattered. turns his prowess toward the ruling of peoples. it to be a certain un populating. then. their fear of being a inward-looking attitude. are there is a a justification for the traditional however. the Babel-builders' adventure of mastering. No one people (which is why I would con- . They "scattered. The their cautiousness. The 11. is by Calvin.The sion a ect City in Genesis 17 mighty hunter. They one spot. and he. His proj may be ambiguous. Rather. God wants them to move outward.
they on together as equal partners toward a goal is not them but chosen by themselves. hold them together in Shinar forever. Abraham will continue in the tradition of obedience a not Further. in if taking into account the desire of the Babel-builders. 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. and seem to be peaceful and nonviolent. God cannot allow it to be The Babel-builders. built. the world was orga according according to the to "nations.7 overthrow "name. 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. speaking. will and to give it. but he will obtain the reward sought "name" by the Babel-builders will not Genesis 11." which are "kingdoms" connected with essentially families writ large. they dream. established by the "sons of Noah" of Genesis 10. The desire to live in overlooks the is risk that the single. a permanent essence which. only language that exists should If the only state. wanting as is fact. is that it is not for human beings to be of utterly that there and arising a different ways of peaceful. In Genesis not allow of 11. "name" necessarily an improper desire. and themselves. may be and the ual or become dedicated to bad ends. and powerful cities. unified world-state. They do not wish to God. no possibility of the living. The forms of govern men" ment. Cain may have been proud of his city." a and that this may indicate worldly pride. It is true that they wish eternity. In fact. noble it may be. In Genesis nized 10. were tribal and monarchical. validated by the consensus of everyone in it. having unable promised never destroy the world again with a Flood. they do not even mention him. are not malicious. however. the situation be irreparable. would God. the "sons of will founding "nations. but that does not necessarily imply rebellion against rebelling against builders want a ture God. 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. will in the very next story in the Bible promise to make great the name of a certain nation. as it were.18 tend Interpretation Nimrod had nothing to do work with the construction of the Babel which of Genesis imposed con 11). then. however thinking. The or reputation earn. unified world-state. his people who accepted the limitations of of nationhood. and the only people." of that is. good which so I think is the one correct one. its be to stop the corrupted universal state from retaining all members in thrall for Therefore. the nation sired by Abraham. become corrupt. then. This form of social organization is in trast to the forms described in Genesis 10. God. 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. It is more likely that the Babel- "name" for their project to christen the marvellous urban struc they have created. but he was not God in naming it after his son. separate peoples. be for .
242. 2 vols. law. trans. trans. Although the political order is less than in that it requires the exercise of force. 1970). pp. If these people strayed. NOTES 1. but for purity. in the bequest epitome of evil and order of animal flesh in Genesis 9.. was the Babelers were not being scattered.3. Genesis Rabbah. who in Isaac Friedman's thesis. trans. p. "Piety and Four" Civilization: An Analysis of the City in Genesis results (Hamilton. it is can only in coexist some kind of political order that the of time. Commentaries on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis. 256. that the city cities were Genesis 1-11 would seem is not evil. John Calvin. or for building great towers into the a heavens. In societies other than Israel. God. the order represented perfect by Nimrod is essential. arts. 4. One separated could use Friedman's (though he does not) to can be from the not require this argument. Augustine.The martial City in Genesis 19 valor. XV. 196-98. which once achieved will make Israel blessing and a source of wisdom for all the nations of the earth (Gen.: Penguin. because Cain is not so commentators make out. p. Isaac Abravanel. vol. King (Edinburgh. Cain pp. the only possible means by which the non-Israelite children of Noah can justice upon the earth.) Lemer 1978). 1847). and not always the best. we find that cities are built by a masterly figure. But I do I do not believe that Genesis wishes us to understand Cain as funda stained mentally evil or ungodly. eds. Medieval Political Philosophy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. in Ralph and Muhsin Mahdi. Henry Bettenson (Harmondsworth. The arguments for this are well summarized for arguing that it was Enoch. 2. to teach. Jacob Neusner.: McMaster University.6). it due to knowing God wanted. Commentary on the Pentateuch (selections). but these motives were not wicked. Nimrod is establish not the rebellion. The city is not bad as some of the rabbis and Christian by its association with Cain. 12. or not trusting enough in God's promises to obey his wishes. 44-48. Robert Sacks. 1985). There are grammatical and general grounds built the city." Nimrod's cities are the "inauguration" of something new: a social order in which justice can have a foothold. if one wished to put the city in a better light. (Title henceforth: City of 5. whose claim to leadership might be said to be indirectly authorized by God himself. he is the first to explicitly a political in the new world. 4. Rev. pp. 1972). Cain's son. And in one case. Cain was afraid of afraid of what death. 3. Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. John trans. The traditional pious exegesis of Genesis fails to understand that merely human are achieve political orderings. the world which is being properly populated by the sons of Noah. 158. which do not claim the benefit of God's direct rule and teaching. then. Ont. as city of Enoch. argue that the evils of 1979). Concerning the City of God Against the Pagans. 1. (Atlanta: Scholars Press. Gerald Friedlander (New York: Hermon Press. and human decency for any length Like Cain's city "Enoch. Eng. 150 51.7. in Genesis 10. Deut. . trans. The mo tives of those who built the first mixed. flawed and susceptible to abuse as they are.
it is no longer possible for me to tell reliably which ideas were originally mine and which theirs. 1988)." Memory of Peter C. 1-5. MA: JSOT Press. Sacks in turn acknowledges his immense debt to Leo introduced him to Genesis. In a general way. NY: Edwin Mellen Press. A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (Lewiston.. Ascribe to the Lord: Biblical and Other Studies in years. Readers who wish to think about its depths more fully should read the chapter on Genesis 1 1 (pp. whose 1990 work was available to them Athens" in typescript form much earlier. Due to space limitations. "Has YHWH cursed the Ground? Perplexity of Interpretation in Genesis in Lyle Eslinger and Glen Taylor. . whose "Jerusalem and Strauss. I have doubtless been influenced by another very rich interpretation in some respects resembles it. in my necessary simplification the Combs-Post of the Babel story which discussion. which who essay was seminal for them. Craigie (Sheffield. NY: Edwin Mellen Press. I know of no other philosophical and exegetical treat the Babel story of comparable length and depth. But I give here a very firm acknowledgment that many of my specific sug gestions must have come from them. and undoubtedly to the rabbinic tradition of interpretation shows writings of up in Sacks's work. I add that Combs and Post would probably transfer much credit for their ideas to Sacks. S. and to Leo Strauss. 1990). and that my general line of approach is completely theirs. Robert Sacks. 6. As I have been deeply engaged with this material for a number of eds. Eugene Combs. except when I can clearly recall a specific indebtedness. Eugene Combs and Kenneth Post. C. hence. Lewis's novel That Hideous Strength. ment of of 405-39) in the work cited. I too have been influenced by the various Strauss on the Bible and wish to acknowledge it fully. I add that. I am going to dispense for the most part with notes.20 Interpretation 6. I have only scratched the surface of the Combs-Post account of the Babel story. 1987). even though Strauss is not cited in this essay because he does not deal with the specific passages I am working on here. The Foundations of Political Order in Genesis and the Chandogya Upanisad (Lewiston.
and thus to end their they couch and split you watched number3 open4 travail? 4 Their her children more. Num 3. interpretation. in Volume 25 of Interpretation. appeared nor is he turned The first bers 2 and thirty-eight chapters of the translation and and commentary in Volume 24. in his is not strength as he goes out to 22 He laughs fear and dismayed. and she has no share in 18 She just flaps her rider. and who dwells city. Her toils caused foot can crush them.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.10 9 "Would the 10 Can is you wild ox agree to serve you? Would spend the night at your up the valleys great. he every green thing is his crib? plow to search out. John's College.5 thrive and flourish in the wild. 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. 16 She treats her were all children roughly. and laughs at a passing and its 19 "Did you give to the horse 20 Can you make him leap its strength. or that a wild beast might trample them down. 26. she has no fear 17 because God has understanding.9 bustling hills as of the hear the drivers 8 but roams the his pasture. 1 . You see. 6 whose home I have at the made the wilderness. and does not and even in the salt lands? 7 He laughs shout. Sacks St.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. No. meet armed combat. Vol. 3 when to give birth to their young.The Book Translation of and Job Commentary on Chapters 39 through 42 Robert D. 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. horse'3 her to forget wisdom. as if they were not even in all vain. 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. 15 She has forgotten that hers. 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.
eye spots He takes up his lodging on the highest 29 From there he searches out his prey. and See notes to 26. 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.22 back Interpretation by He edge of sword. guiltless May my kingdom before the LORD for the blood of Abner the son it whirl down upon the head of Joab. David heard of it. 25 but facing battle from afar. "I and father's house. Job has entered far into hind what we have come to call the Land of the Jackal. although almost as side. if we were in Hebrew they have totally different names. unity that lies within the complexity As far as one can tell. and upon all his when devour them in their fortresses.17 pinnacle. he said. Whenever death defiles. javelin." a very will complex word. forever Ner. 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. His swill it from afar. making it his stronghold."18 Comments 1." . 23 A quiverful of arrows whizzes excitement and agitation. 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. 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. 3:28 are of Afterward. consume the of their gates. 1 1 :6 The bars sword shall "whirl and down" against their cities. Indeed. by the flashing into the spear and the earth. 2. Oh. it originally meant "to whirl." Hos. which have here translated by the phrase of our I have generally translated birth" is "writhing in the dance of "writhe. 24 With he gouges pays no homage to trumpet's 'Huzzah' ! He smells the blast. 2Sam. much understanding of the Book of Job center on our attempt to regain the sense of of this word. The and single Hebrew word hul. building its nest on high? 28 He dwells upon the rock. 30 and his fledglings down the blood. he is there.
29:8 comes to mean "to tremble. the sister of Aaron. hands anger burned hot. we will when fathers or their brothers come to complain did not take say to them. And to us." Sometimes it is and exultation: used in a perfectly wonderful context which can be full of joy Psa. ends in fright and of a with such high hopes for self- the clear need of the one thing had hoped to avoid. neither did you give them to them. and watch.The Book of Job It can also mean 23 "to dance. 32:19 And as soon as Moses' he came near the dancing. And the to their number. Deut. 51:29 When the report about report comes to Egypt. The Book rule. the reader can feel a foreboding thought thickening the air. from the dancers to their and took their wives. if the daughters of Shiloh come out win to dance the dances." or "to quake": The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness. in her hand. Judg. foot and camp and saw the calf and the he threw the tables out of his and broke them at the of the mountain. Benjaminites did so. 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. "Go and lie in in the vineyards. anguish who shall hear the report of tremble and be in because of you. her took a timbrel and all the women went out after with timbrels and dancing. 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. it Psa. Then. 15:20 Then Miriam. and rebuilt the towns. only to the book Judges. for the Lord's purposes . the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. that book which begins see them dashed. else you would now be guilty. and often when first reading the word. Exod. king. according whom they carried off. too. 23:5 Jer. saying. and go to the land of Benjamin. 149:3 Let them timbrel and praise his name with dancing. trembles and writhes The land in pain. It "anguish" often means and "pain": Isa. and dwelt in them. 21:20 wait And they commanded the Benjaminites. then they went and returned inheritance. Grant them graciously to us. making melody to him with lyre! But more often than not things get out of hand. Exod. the prophetess. because we for each man of them his wife in battle.
32:18 the You God He were unmindful of who gave you the Rock that begot you.24 Interpretation against without Babylon stand. and you forgot birth. it the storm of the will LORD! Wrath has head gone forth. birth": as in our case. 10:5 His ways prosper at all all times. Here there is no indication that the by a curse or the result of having taken a bite of the apple. 51:5 Behold. 31:3. brings forth rain. in and your right as the noonday. Isa. Ps. out of his sight. 37:6 will bring was forth the light. the mean "pain" "anguish" same word that meant and can also "to prosper": Psa. or even a mortal injury: The battle hard found him. their faces be aflame. 23:19 one more aspect of Behold. are on high. and ISam. 25:23 The north wind and a backbiting tongue. was revisiting the day of his own birth. There is Jer. to make the land of Babylon a desolation. and the archers he was badly wounded by the archers. they aghast at looks. it can also mean "to be in labor. your vindication as Ps." There is wildness and pain present when the signet to the clay to make a thing of value and worth. tempest. Note the phrase "a whirling word tempest." 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. pressed upon Saul. thy judgments puffs at them. They look another. For this reason. 13:8 and will one they will be dismayed. I conceive me. and sin did my mother Prov. inhabitant. 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. angry them. Pangs like a woman will and agony will seize will be in anguish in travail. brought forth in iniquity. he We a man can now begin to understand the great admonition: "Gird your loins like is put (gebher). as for his foes. in visiting the day of birth." English-speaking in this also recognize ." and hence "to give Deu. But. a whirling burst upon the of the wicked. Job.
are 3. This. did not have the respect that these lines demand: Job 24:5 They are wild asses at in the desert. Here. going off about their labors of snatching up dawn. Yet we can all world. fostering in each life to own its signet. has never known either burden or rein. 7. How different things Isa. speaks to Job. From the point of view of human justice there is no priori reason a a why birth our should entail so much pain. it would be best to begin by seeing how the is in other Biblical contexts: . But quite even Job. 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). and in terms of human justice it a world seems all wrong. the separation of birth is that our hard and as final as the separation of death. The Voice here as reminds Job that in its own way. In using such a harsh word. of course. She. 8. since. then. The question is. the wild ass wild ass unlike donkey and the burro. To word understand used this passage. perhaps with beyond world. while he showed a certain amount of compassion. the Voice is beginning to open Job to different kind of order. and are what they are. the joys of our world could never come to be. is land? the question to Job: Can he discern number and order in this untrodden 4. 6. and understanding the of the one may lead us in coming to terms with the other. rhetorical. lets interrelated that they cannot be of distinguished in speech. It is the whirling.The Book of Job sage some 25 foundation for the shift we had already begun to feel in the role of the feminine. 5. 66:7 her Before here from the Book in labor she gave Isaiah: pain came upon she was birth. a nurturing god rather than a constructing god. an order for the first time. before her she was delivered of a son. pain-ridden. The had been for it: wild ass mentioned several times in the text before. for the Hebrew word for tempest is see that pain and birthing a tempest that Job joy and birth are so feminine noun. 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. we can begin to see its own necessities which seems to be see that without such a totally indifferent to our sense of order. dancing.
and the slave is free his lord. gave no answer. ears to me. that show his concern. along many others. "servant. 58:6 fast that I loose the bonds let the of wickedness. sake. and like a hireling he waits for wages. Jer. It is true that. female. and now must I curry They with were servants or slaves. years. 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. and But if the slave plainly says. he a shall let the slave go free for the Deut. 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. 34:9 and to break every every yoke?" that one should set free his Hebrew slaves. for nothing. 17:25 go free from men of And the come up? Israel said. he shall serve you six you. "Have come you seen this man who has him kills him. but they were treated kindness: justly and . his brother. go out free. . Hebrew man. so that no one should enslave a Jew. and destroys it. And there are other passages. did have a slave or servant: Job 19:16 to I called to my servant.26 Interpretation Exod. and in the seventh year you shall let him ISam. too. great riches. to and the man who and will give Israel. that was true. 21:2 When you buy a Hebrew slave." daughter. is sold to you. Small and great. I will not male or eye's female. brought 9. to undo the thongs of the yoke. "I love my master. or a Hebrew woman. 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. When a man strikes the . children. "Is not and make his father's house free in choose: Isa. but he him for favor. my wife. has served you six years. to oppressed go free. eye of my his slave. be your slaves. Job 7:2 Like his a slave he yearns for the shadows. male and . and in the seventh he shall go out free. 15:12 If your brother. he shall serve six years. and you had set them into subjection to free according to their desire." since the with language does not distinguish between "slave" and Job. the his Surely king this the he has up to will enrich with defy Israel. all are there.
it may seem. and many of them devoted their lives to alleviating that suffering.. Human art is only the vaguest image of the world which farm. But the discovery of the notion that slavery is wrong as such. the cedars of . they are an abomination: the eagle." answer can do none of these things. oneself and men could always see that slavery unpleasant. the vulture. That is not to say that such ideas cannot find world back into the human is No. giving it a The signets. Job but. it will be a long journey. whose foundation is but dust? or Job 15:15 He clean puts no trust sight. roaming the hills as his pasture. and he did "hitch But to "trust them to bring in the up and hold them to the grain" would. of course have been out of the question. the way each thing is when prior to either the arts or to tradition. It is in noticeable Job 4:18-19 If He with the exception of 39:24. There were always some men suffering it caused.. Even from was within the human sphere. I do God rose up? 10. it requires something like the concept of a signet. requires a certain admiration for the wild ass. It is through seeing the wild ass as having a life of freedom becomes important to their way its own. each thing can be be what it is. It is generations. what would or maid when when they brought complaint against me. the hoopoe. 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. the heron according to its kind. in unrecorded Bildad's "first left to itself. "trust. The trees of the Ps. what of those who dwell in house of clay. 11. the . and them yet he did have ox. five hundred of them. are watered bat. To put it other who were deeply by the pain and wise." time.The Book of Job Job 31:13-14 If ever 27 man I felt contempt for the cause of one of my servants. both for moved for others. not certain what bird is meant." This is the only verse. as we shall see. has kept itself in bal legitimate claim to be much older than or nature. but here is have in abomination what is known: Lev. that its us. Job world sees a world chaotic as which all things are trusted rather than watched. 104:16 LORD abundantly. ance The farm. regardless of whether there is pain and suffering involved or not. they and be eaten. the stork. the osprey. is 12. 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. The an furrow.
" 13. he will dwell on the heights. insofar as been domesticated. 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. and the turtledove. and eyes and saw. ears his looking upon his hands. The first as words ever spoken on the field at questions savage. destruction are said of these verses is that the Hebrew text is Agincourt. 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. must 14. and in the heavens knows her times. then. but my know Zech. his place of defense who shakes . 33:15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly. who from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from evil. and behold. they had lifted they up the ephah between wings coming like the wings heaven. earth and It is probable that the author intended or a double irony. but two obscure and sometimes inter chinks weaving of the Human and the wall. 5:9 not the ordinance of the LORD.28 Interpretation Lebanon stork which he planted. two women wind was in their wings. Then I lifted my forward! The of a stork. 8:7 Even the swallow. at least it is the can most write about. had been domesticated. worlds are met beginning to pull apart and to clash they have for Job as since we first him. have been were some tribesmen of the area as they have if they horses. The imagery is not uncommon in the Bible. silly beast. foresaw hibernation? It he warned Job not to leave his warm den of would seem that there are not one. The hawk. character that each 17. 16. Who help being totally would charmed by the and foolish antics of this silly. In them the birds build trees. The first thing to be moving any to be asked. There is an early bas relief from Khorsabad showing a falconer bearing a hawk on his wrist. Part irony of this passage ridden is that ostriches. 15. too. lest they hold a bribe. he must learn to feel and to recognize all sides of the may find its proper place. who despises the gain of stops oppression. the has her home in the fir stork Jer. For Job this have been the fearful to most difficult of the beasts to meet thus far. when if only in part. their nests. but the significance has greatly changed: Isa. people crane keep the time of their coming. 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. Does this not mean raising the very passions in Job that Elihu. since the name of this bird means something like of the "piety" "loving by care. pathways which lure men like Job toward the in the Great Wall Both the highest City and that reveal its problematic character.
did for its children all that the charm to do. you inspire has deceived you. 49:16 Leave the cities. How my hand upon my mouth. 48:28 Jer. is high. 10 "Go ahead. who hold the height I will of hill. the you you who dwell in the clefts of the rock. cause longterm planning that led up to the We do not. who ground?" live in the "Who of the rock. twice. has been defeated. in returning to flow off into death. and Jer.4 even would praise you. high and the pride of your heart. bring down to the is Though you soar aloft will like the eagle. 1:3 heart has deceived you. The cold and more grotesque. know whether Job or it the horrified be he did a not see. and can you thunder in that you a voice such as His?3 splendor. you though your nest says the among the stars. the ostrich was unable CHAPTER FORTY 1 And the LORD wrangle with swer. 13 Bury them all in the dust. you who your Obad. and you must let me know. LORD. his bread will be given him. pride of your whose says the LORD. bring clefts will down from there."1 loins like Would might a man (gebher)2: I will question you." 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. like the dove that The horror dwell in the rock. thence I bring down. his of water be sure. Though The you make your nest as as the eagle's. for your own right have saved . 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. Put on glory and 11 Let fly the outbursts of your anger. but I have no answer. 18. Look upon every man of him. the hawk. The ostrich. 5 I have spoken once. 14 Then you. 12 Look down the I upon everyone of majestic pride and majestic pride and abase bring hand him low and tread guilty. we shall see next charming as his sister bird the chapter.The Book of Job will will 29 be the fortresses of rocks. 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. sixth as beast. O inhabitants in the Moab! Be nests sides of the mouth of a gorge. Bind their faces in would obscurity. is in the not Job. me dwelling set say in heart. however. deck yourself out in majesty and dignity. Elihu's so implicit claim that no man is enough of a man (gebher) to face the world of nature seems to be vindicated. order 8 you shatter be right? my judgment? Would you condemn me in 9 Have you an arm like God's.
" again "asking. If Job's this not point. 18 His bones iron. 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. but Job had always recognized God's greater power. 22 The lotuses blanket him surround with their shade and the willows of the rage. 20 "The there to mountains yield him produce. that was always the problem: Job 9:19 If trial be by strength. He has been numbed as if stung by the Socratic sting fish. and can you thunder in a voice let Job "telling. here is whom I made along with you. 16 but just look at the is in the muscles of his belly. 23 Though the burst into his snare?10 river he is unalarmed. But the Tempest will go. or with you to be your eternal his nose. or his head with fishing his head. Again it says.9 brook in him. "Have you an arm like God's. He has it here at There would have been no need to continue. under and all the beasts of the field play. 17 He can stretch out his sinews of strength in his loins. God's argument is.7 Only his come can approach him with a sword. confident that the Jordan will mouth. his limbs Maker like rods of 19 He is the first of God's ways.8 21 He lies down the lotuses. He is the mighty one. somewhat more specific than one might at first take it to be. beyond man is no place for a man.30 * Interpretation Behemoth5 15 "But look now. who would plead my case? . The sight of the six beasts has 1 Job has . 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. I believe. His ducts might tail stiff as a cedar." His?" such as God seems to base His argument on His power. but he did not. Once Job thought that he knew what justice was." 2. are The and his thighs are are all knit together. "gird up your loins like a man (gebher)". and you will remember war no Comments no answer. convinced him that Elihu was right. had been what God had wanted. and his teaching is not a but an 3. hiding in the reeds and the fen. 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.6 of brass. Now ray he neither knows nor believes that he knows. his warning was just. He eats fodder just like the cattle. and if by court of law. Indeed.
. Job 18:3 Job 35:10-11 Why none are we considered beasts and made unclean . dwell in prudence. created me at the beginning his work. I. of wisdom Prov. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. in your eyes? say "Where is God my maker. Job's search a world for human justice has led him into relevant. of The LORD acts of old. behemoth 5. however 6. 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.The Book of Job When Job thought that he knew what 31 had justice was. Prov. We have which means already seen any large domesticated it in Job: Just ask the animal such as a cow or an ox. . and I find knowledge of and discretion. than the beasts of the earth. is this: Get wisdom. iron. The word is the normal plural of the feminine noun behemah. Man is 7. he of also thought that he the means to establish 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." in the made masculine singular. however. 4:7 The get. These do cosmos." "His bones are ducts brass. The next two chapters will the question of the administration of that justice. not turn out to be the and Job has yet much to the spirit behind the administration of that justice. his wisdom. Appropriately enough. the first 8. means by which justice is established in the learn of 4. "laugh" or . 1:7 The fear wisdom and of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. of It is. In the become clear that Job's understanding beyond the last two chapters. with you . 8:12 . "Behemoth cattle. however. Compare Ps. His praise endures for Prov. and his limbs like rods of The visible universe is much larger than any man knows and of which he is unaware. being lous nor mythical. whom I along eats fodder just like the neither miracu It is a normal part of the greater world around us. 111:10 contains creatures which man not did not name and the unquestioned center of all that is visible. . get beginning insight. a good understanding have ever! all those who practice it. 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. Job 12:7 beasts and they will show you. fools despise and whatever you instruction. God is joking. are all who teaches us more The verbs. clearly are of mythic proportion.
person The first in the Bible to laugh on was Abraham: and Gen." I believe that the role subject plays a of in the Book with Job which differs from its in the other the Bible. bear child?" next verses it becomes clear that it was not a contented laughter: said to God. 17:18 is ninety years old. since words like or I shall by I'g essentially verse. for the pounding. no the possible exception of the Book of Proverbs. The wages of a servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning. Interpretation 'Ashaq kind. The half-mythic. "O that Ishmael might live in thy God said. "mocking" It must remembered that we are only speaking of "laughter. "Why did Sarah laugh. sight!" And Abraham Sarah's laughter Gen. 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. and you shall call his name Isaac. 10. There is." Joy and happiness are another matter. He finds Thus." looking at each usage. 'Shall I Indeed bear I old?' am Is anything too hard . is usually translated "oppress. note on role we must now begin a rather and long and. shall I have pleasure?" grown old. 18:12 came next: So Sarah laughed to herself. I fear." as It occurs rather frequently in of the Bible and with the exception of this verse only. way limit our mean of seeing that other than "derision. that she had laughed. world with a living being at ease of monumental stature of the This grand beast is in the land Jackal. tyrannizing river. but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son. verse inquiry be to the words shq and shq. however. 17:17 Then Abraham fell "Shall a child who his face laughed. and But had her laughter been goodnatured. always implies injustice the gravest Job 10:3 Lev. 19:13 Does it contempt seem good to You that You oppress. making it his drinking foun tain. half-real fabric reader whom of this account succeeds in leaving the feeling he has room that he shares a never seen. He is passively ferocious yet actively gentle and seems to rule by laughter. saying. now that and say.32 9. But from the Gen. child. "After I have my husband is old. "No. Gen. 18:13 The LORD said to a she would have felt no need to deny Abraham. Shall be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Sarah. hand? that You have for the toil of your own You hired shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. a and said to himself.
not 33 appointed time I will return to you." the But he seemed to be jesting. have corrupted themselves. you laugh". "Go down. 39:17 and she told whom you in to lie him the same story. "I did laugh. for she was afraid. for land of Egypt. The next two occurrences of the word are usually even translated by the word "insult": Gen. 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. "The Hebrew servant. "Up." a But Sarah denied. a When he had been there Philistines looked long time. "God has who made a laughingstock of me. and offered burnt offerings brought peace offerings. 21:9 to Hagar the Egyptian. in to me to insult me.The Book of Job for the LORD? At the spring. He said. and the people sat down to eat and drink. place. 26:8 also was actually doing. 21:6 city." at Next there came Ishmael: But Sarah saw the son of with Gen. "No. 19:14 went out and said to get out of this his sons-in-law. he me to has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us. for the LORD is about to sons-in-law to destroy Sarah: Gen. playing her Isaac. he with me. son whom she had borne Abraham. in the saying. and I cried out with a loud voice. came have brought among us. 39:14 she called to the men of her household and said to them. Gen. every one hears will laugh me. It is hard to have any idea of what Ishmael consequences were disastrous. but certainly the betrayed him. 32:6 and And they rose up early on the morrow. And Sarah said." and Sarah shall have son. his marry his daughters. Then came the golden calf: Exod. whom you brought up out of the Moses. up to play. came "See. but did Then came the taunting laughter So Lot of the sons-in-law of Lot: who were to Gen. saying. Foolish Isaac's innocent play Gen. Next .
but they laughed them to scorn. And when they came to the and was threshing floor of Nacon. at Gibeon. Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God took hold of it. is and thrust his sword opponent's side.34 Interpretation Judg. David. "Saul thousands." twelve of the servants of his opponent by the head. 6:5 And David the LORD and all the house of Israel were with all their might." has slain his thousands. but by the maids of whom you have spoken. by them I shall be held in honor. 30:10 So the Ephraim and Manasseh. Next came laughter and a tune that led to a revolution: ISam. And the anger of the LORD kindled against Uzzah. They made him stand between the us. 16:25 And when their hearts were merry." pillars. "Let them over and by Then they arose and passed number. "Let the young men arise and play before And Joab said. Therefore that which place was called they fell Helkathhazzurim. I and will make myself yet more contemptible I will be in your eyes. 6:21 And David me above your prince over said to Michal. And in his each caught arise. to appoint me as LORD and I will make merry than this. twelve for Benjamin and Ishbosheth the son of Saul. that he may make sport for So they called Samson out of the prison. they said. The same might even be said for Michal: 2Sam. and he died there beside the God. and God smote him there because he ark of put forth his hand to the ark. and he made sport before them. who chose father. for the oxen stumbled. with songs and making merry before lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. Israel. 18:7 And the women sang to and one another as they made merry. before the LORD. "It was before the LORD." said to Joab." Then come mocking and scorning couriers went 2Chron. . There is laughter no question was but that Uzzah's punishment which stemmed from the next too great. from city to city through the country of and as far as Zebulun. "Call Samson. so down together. and mocked them. 2:14 And Abner us. 2Sam. the abased and above all people of the his house. David his ten Joab and Abner play rough: 2Sam.
the fool only rages and laughs. and I was daily his delight. Jeremiah is not quite the same. . he will snatch and tear you tent. "I am only joking!" Prov. Prov. "What use is Eccles. 59:8 But thou. the LORD has them in derision. A good wife who can find? She is far are more precious than and she jewels. firebrands. Ecclesiastes also has a rather dim view of laughter. a time to mourn. and wine gladdens life. and money answers everything. Eccles. 26:18 Even in laughter the heart is sad. Selah. and fear. there is no quiet. 10:23 beside him. 7:6 the by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad. Like a madman who throws and the end of joy is grief. dost laugh nations in derision. Prov. rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the sons of men. so is the laughter of fools. and a time to laugh. but wise conduct is pleasure to a man of understanding. closer to what we finds another strain. and I find knowledge and discretion. 8:12 . 3:4 to a time to weep. for he sees that his day is Ps. .The Book of Job Even the good 35 laughing He at the bad is not the same as goodnatured laughter: Ps. at them. 2:4 Ps. 52:5-6 But God will break you down for ever. 29:9 If a wise man and an argument with a fool. 31:10 . He too rejects the "laughter" of his day: . laughs at the time to come. 7:3 Eccles. 8:31 Prov. O LORD. "It is mad. Prov. he will uproot you from the land The righteous shall see. wisdom. dwell in prudence. wicked. of There only do find something find in the Book Job. for Eccles. thou dost hold Peppered throughout the one quotations from the Book we of Proverbs. Prov. like a master workman. however. it?" Eccles. Sorrow is better than laughter. Strength and dignity her clothing. all the him. and a time dance. 14:13 Prov. It is like sport to a then I was fool to do wrong. saying. rejoicing before him always." and of pleasure. is the man who deceives his has neighbor and says. at the but the LORD laughs coming. as For the crackling of thorns this also made under a pot. and death. I you. I will mock when panic strikes I. Ps. also will laugh at your calamity. 10:19 Bread is for laughter. 2:2 I said of laughter. is vanity. 1:26 Prov. arrows. 37:13 who sits in the heavens laughs. and shall laugh your from of the at living.
and where city it shall be rebuilt upon its mound. I sat because thy hand was upon me. 20:7 stronger all O LORD. Moab shall wallow not in his vomit. And playing in its Outside follows: Lam. 15:17 not sit in the company of merrymakers. They read as Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and bitterness all the precious things that were hers from days of old. shall each with staff of the streets of the streets. nor did I rejoice. Out of them shall come songs of will thanksgiving. Zech. for thou hadst filled me with indignation. I will restore the cares!' fortunes the of the tents of Jacob. then they among nations. and the voices of those who make merry. says LORD. 8:4 sit tongue with shouts of great joy. however. Jer. I did alone. every one mocks me. 48:26 "Make him drunk. Was thieves. and your wounds Jer.36 Interpretation Jer. I will heal. a derision horror to all that are round about and feels mocked Jer. I will make them honored. thou art than I. When who the LORD restored the fortunes filled said of Zion. shall not small. I have become a laughingstock the day. 126:1 A Song of Ascents. There are also such thoughts to be found elsewhere: Ps. multiply them. they shall not It is reserved for another time and is not a way of meeting what is before us." Thus in the says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women shall again streets of Jerusalem. and I was deceived. 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. the we were like those and our dream. because they have called you an outcast: 'It is Zion. But he also has another notion of laughter. because he so that magnified himself against the LORD. "The LORD has done things for them. I and the palace shall stand used to be. Then our mouth was with laughter. him and he too shall be held in derision. 1:7 of the Book of Job there are only a handful left. and have compassion on his dwellings. thou hast deceived me. Jer. city be full boys and girls in hand for very age. When her . and they be be few. 30:17 the For I will restore health to you. for whom no one Thus says the LORD: Behold. and thou hast prevailed.
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. if to judge by different from the others. for it Hab. 3:14 Ezek. mocking at her downfall. They laugh at heap up earth and take on. 25. But there of was another side of we are laughter. and perhaps even before with bit so that my kindness would not overwhelm because they had no self-confidence. 9:24. every fortress. but hills as his pasture. laughter in the Book of 8:53. Luke 6:21. whose it. the Lord GOD: "You shall drink your sister's cup and Thus which is deep large. made him all his trouble. I fathers I have felt contempt to put with my sheep dogs. you shall be laughed at and held in derision. 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. and every green thing is his to search out. The first to Job 5:21-23 speak of Job is Eliphaz: be When tongues scourge. 23:32 I have become the joke to songs all all the peoples. for you have a covenant with the rocks the field. 1:10 contains much. . the burden of their day says long. Job the outcast. guilty men. FEAR will of violence when you will secure and shall have no it comes. Mat. innocent joke! those younger than Job 30:1 they have would turned me into the joke. Lam. 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. a simple. Job 12:4 on also grim side of But God But whose now I have become have him a joke to my friends. the beasts of the fields will bring His laughter is rocks and the you peace. Have no FEAR in beasts and the earth. James 4:9).The Book of Job people 37 fell into the hands gloated over the foe of the foe. and of rulers At kings they scoff. but of the at violence and starvation you of laugh. The much subject was and bound to come up. even before his real thought had started: Job 29:24 I joked them them a many quotations given above. for they like the wind and go they make sport. the a side which had always been a part Job and. and there was her. Mark 5:40. and does not even hear the drivers shout. none to help her. a one who would 'Call answer' and now joke.
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. after our likeness. Some English translations 12. their iden tity. Have no FEAR of the beasts of the earth. "Let us make man in our image. he has come to have its ways impressed upon him than impressing his ways upon it. 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. 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. Job has come. compare: seen as it follows from an Gen.38 Interpretation Job 39:18 its She just flaps her rider. nor is he turned back by edge of sword. Imagine Oedipus being mistaken for a long-lost twin than of comedy. but it and the beasts of the fields will bring you peace. for you have a covenant with the rocks in the field. but he has a dream: not come to be the conquerer Job 5:22 . was not the right slave?" dream: "Will he make a covenant with you to be your eternal To conquer rather it more succinctly. On this question. Hamlet. 1 :26 and Then God said. 3:8 and 13. this relation is seems to Dane. At one first." some connection of between Job's new understanding sees a bit strange. who well who she is even while she is being Ganymede playing Rosalind? 11. is the importance of freedom understanding of the signets. but not to it. wings on high." be more a It is in comedy tragedy that people seem more plastic. To that extent. but at violence and starvation you will laugh. continually changing their clothing. at fear and is not dismayed. subject of laughter and his Identity really discovery being what the signets. "It is I. and laughs at a passing horse and Job 39:22 Job 40:20 He laughs The play. and even their sex. the brother. and over all the earth. 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. as we put have from the ostrich. See note to start Chapter Forty-one at this point. and over every of the . With Job. and over the birds air. . Yet it is Lear shadow". let them have dominion over the fish of the sea. Job has come to learn from nature. and over the cattle. Eliphaz once had he has seen. mountains yield him produce. of nature. and one of the things he learned. .
male and female he fruitful and multiply. people of sons after you. it is only a in which he learn about play. and God said to them. Jer. But female afterward slaves they turned around and took back the male they had set free. For that ways and that we may walk in his paths. earth. neither shall nation shall not lift up they leam war any more. to slaves of inherit as a them. 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. 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. and they shall into plowshares. The world about use world beyond can man in which man can play." and are quite defi nite and strong: Lev. Josh. the word for also has a sense of completion and final ity. 25:46 You may bequeath them to your possession for ever. He judge between the beat nations. and subdued them as slaves. and shall their swords decide for many peoples. and over the And God blessed them. and have fish of the sea and over the dominion every birds of the air and over living thing that moves upon the earth. let of us go LORD." out up he may teach us his of Zion shall go forth shall to the mountain the law. To see it is to see it as a thing for itself. "subdue" In addition. ways 15. "Be fill the earth and subdue it. and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. is not a world and 14. the and all the nations shall flow to it." 39 So God created man in his created him. but over your one over Israel you shall not take dominion. and and shall be raised above the hills. and their spears into pruning hooks. We cannot divide it up and as we will. but the beyond is not ours. sword against nation. 18:1 Then the whole congregation of the people of Israel assembled at subdued Shiloh." It should be noted that both words. in the image of God he created them. the land lay before them. The charm of the sentence teaches us it innocent jesting. but the he must perform now.The Book of Job creeping thing that creeps upon the own image. many of the peoples shall come. and say: of "Come. . to the house God Jacob. But it is not the same. There is no promise of a great an act day to come one day that Job must wait for in expectation. 34: 1 1 and set up the tent of meeting there. with harshness. In many Isa. not as a thing for us. "subdue" "dominate. you may make brethren the another.
whereas this implies hope might also of or expectation. 20 No son of the bow can stubble him to flight. nor lance. which was discussed in carried the note to with Job 39:1. Even the can see that yhl reader not in Hebrew. His his mouth comes a flaming from torch as sparks of a stream or like the cracking of dawn. Slingstones turn to sound of the javelin. that I should wait in expectations? What is my I should prolong my life? .18 26 He sees every towering thing. He is king over all the sons of pride. and terror dances before him.14 21 and clubs are rated as straw.'"9 Comments 1. He makes the sea his be ointment16 24 and headed. stand. tohalto is from the much versed root root yhl (wait in expectation). 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. 11 fire escape. 19 He Iron he put counts as straw. and not a his shields7. nor They spear. eyes are 10 "Lights flash of his sneeze. is a near relative of the at hwl or hyl. 25 No without one of the dust shining wake till the abyss seems all hoaryhave dominion over him. rises up. wait. He sprawls himself out implacable on 23 and makes the pot17 deep will to seethe a like a cauldron. 14 His strength resides his neck. lie on him cast as metal and do not 16 His heart is cast hard as stone. 12 From his cauldron. could. laughs to the 22 "His the mud15 underparts are jagged leaves shards. 9 Each closed8 seal. word mean but along it a sense of dread.10 8 each touching clings" one to his brother. 15 Festoons of flesh.2 Do up. nostrils there comes smoke as boiling 13 His breath in ignites the coals and flames come out of his mouth. It too. quaver. for he was made to dread.13 cast as a nether millstone." times. 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. "to or so I believe. or exploits or the grace of his frame. the gods are in dread.40 Interpretation CHAPTER FORTY-ONE 1 "Thus. him? 2 No would stand restitution?4 [all] one expectation' is an illusion. up by a breath between them. fused all together. shatter and are nor in confu 18 No sword that will reach can javelin. and bronze as rotton wood. men not reel at the sight of is so brutal3 as to rouse him Now. They Out clutch'2 each other and cannot at be parted. 5 7 But his can unveil his garment. 17 "When he sion. 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.
on a with. loose my his hand and cut me off! . The first has replaced the second. Job 14:14 of If a man (gebher) dies. that God hopes? Would that God were pleased to crush me. that we begin to see our own legitimate being as it is implied in the notion of the hwl. till they had finished speaking. the Ps. None the less I will defend my ways before Him. interplay between hwl and denying us the second. 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. 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. apart from their being for us. falling silent to hear counsel. their in mouths opened wide as if to catch the I hoped for the good spring but there came evil. Job 3:8 who despise the sea. 74:14 the You crushed the as slay the crocodile that is in the sea.The Book of Job Job 13:15 It may be that He will 41 slay will me. need not imply the abandonment of hope QaWah. for something to say. will curse and those who are determined to lay open the Leviathan it. and the Leviathan the crooked serpent: and Ps. insofar as it deals with our the world beyond man. He the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall Leviathan the shall flying serpent. you play ladies? young Can with him like bird or tie him string for your yhl. We have heard those Isa. Men would hear me and wait in expectation. 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. 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 it is by giving up the yhl and recognizing that the world beyond man and its denizens have a legitimate being for themselves. YaChaL. which deals with our relation to the world of man. 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. 27:1 On that punish the expectations: day. head of the Leviathan and gave it to the people of island Those food. I have no higher expectations. but there came only a murk. I rain. That is to say. till they stood longer 2. he come back to life again? All the days Job 29:21 my service I have waited in expectation for my release to come. my Job 29:23 Job 30:26 the They waited for me in expectation as for the rain.
The "brutal" word seems. to mean "to pay [a word comes debt]": . Your hand You You hoist in the me up onto the wind and set me astride to be tossed about wreckage. has fallen The waters and crumbled away. ostriches but the daughter of my people has become brutal. word 'akf'zar.42 Interpretation Job 14:18-22 A mountain place. But to see that "[all] expec tation is illusion." From it Hebrew So for "peace. Back in Verse 21 of that same chapter. You have resigned. Job has nonhuman. 'Mother* call out to the muck 'Sister' Pit to be my home. apart from the needs only lead one to say: "No one is so brutal as to him up. Then the within fifty-two days. One of them reads: give the Lam. and with the might of fact. The comes the root of this word. and he has and sent him off. spirit is eaten Job 17:13-15 If I must take the in darkness. in already begun. shlm. His his sons were was honored but he unaware. and spread 'Thou art my to the maggots. But that knowledge rouse may admire. passed through that veil which separates the human from the of His journey had begun some time ago. Job had said: Job 30:21-22 You have turned brutal persecute me. occurs which I have translated "brutal. then. like the in the wilderness. They with were in disgrace. knew it." 4. But the forces pulling him back into the land of the Jackal had. a rock dislodged from its torrents have worn the have You washed away the dust his face of of away and its the land. 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. means "to be whole or word complete. away. to imply the attempt or desire to be or be come an actor within the realm beyond the human. 6:15 the wall was finished (shlm) on the twenty-fifth day the month Elul. 4:3 Even the jackals breast and suckle their young." as is not a very common and it only twice outside the Book of Job." Neh. where out my couch Father' and call out and then is my hope? 3. and in which he for itself." an is to see a world which man a world as a world can may first leam to recognize of man. You have stones trashed all mortal hope. So. mangled never overpowered man. The word.
from the root mgn. it means that the spoke Leviathan. does have kind He impenetrable be hurt skin the others. however. sell the live on the lift. mean normally In either of means "to shield. then." 7. The I can remainder of this chapter is clearly how the quite dense. one charged with a is punished for what harm he has caused others. In that sense. He closes in on a man and Job 16:1 1 of nothing is ever reopened." debt. In the embodied to Job 31:34 we door. cannot by No one can touch him. 21:36 Or if it is known that the ox has been accustomed to gore shall in the and the past. and I am not sure that be of much assistance either to the reader or to myself. on me and casts me into the hands guilty ." by all to his the scales.The Book of Job 2Kings 4:7 - 43 She and came and told the man of your God. Job's openness as We can in his "open But Leviathan is "to finally closed to man. This is human justice as it is contained in the notion of shlm. If He should pass by and separate or close up. crime goal of this kind of justice is to make those who have suffered whole To the extent that one must speak of punishment. meganim. The again. he pay ox for ox." meaning "to or "to fill in" what one has "lifted This understanding is fundamental to human justice: Exod. 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." importance winnowing kind. 8. and what who can turn back? He tears down can never be rebuilt. dead beast shall be his." insures of a of that there will be grass even note "where no man saw But its justice is the 6." where the word a for debt is related to a word To pay off. If. Satan He cannot be disturbed by others. know him from the Here it is taken outside only." oil rest. it does not strictly make sense to "demand exact 5." mine?" Cosmic justice is larger than and for the Leviathan is. and pay debts and you and your sons can he said. God sets the wicked to close in men. "Go. winnowing is the prime anal ogy of cosmic justice. in the however. then punishment for cosmic crimes can only be punished in terms of the harm man has caused to himself. "Is not everything under the heavens human justice. It might help. case. is to "make whole. defend. of. It leaves always room restitution. unlike Job. Therefore he cannot learn from others and so cannot learn to know himself. and its owner has not kept it in. for it closed not the doors Him Job 1 1:10 Job 12:14 my mother's belly but hid my eyes from toil.
ing What gave anything its being by mak it intelligible to another. But. At best. off. or constrictive: "stick." first came to light when we saw that he had no "skin beneath his This was the vulnerability that let in pain and anguish. pulling in and sky cutting For Job it was the beginning 10. the Leviathan does Job's skin. lie on him cast as metal do not quaver. it restrains speech: Job 29:10 The voice of the nobles was hushed. and the face of the deep Again. for the Leviathan. But it also left him open to feeling and then seeing a world beyond his world. 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. 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. 9. ness. of murk and confusion. in the world beyond man. Job has seen the Leviathan. For the world beyond man. "signet." his completion and perfection." all others. 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. closed entranceway. dabhaq. also consider: Job 38:30 clutches to Water draws itself up. Job 19:20 Job 31:7 My bones stick (dbq) to If my step has wandered my skin and to my flesh. Job 41:9 Job 41:15 one clings of Festoons and (dbq) to his brother. Job leaves himself openness open to what is most other." away from all other beings. from the way. 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. become that which seals it hotam for Job. shameful.44 Interpretation One cannot up. flesh. as stone. "tight. has. and their tongue stuck (dbq) to their palate. are But if they bound in fetters and trapped in cords of affliction. fused (dbq) all together. making it unknown and unintelligible to 11. complete. the list is . For us it is ugly. 12. or a taint stuck (dbq) to my hand. my heart gone after my eyes." sar. but has the Leviathan seen Job? His closedness would seem to say No.
The Book of Job
who once said:
Do I have flesh
flesh is to be
you pursue me
like God, taking
satisfaction out of
Not to feel
to understand pain;
For Job, it is through the
notion of which
of pain that we come
to understand the
importance, by seeing
risk pain and
death for that
do I take my flesh between my teeth
my life in
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.
be for him
it is for itself. Difference for him
difference. "Slingstones turn to
to the world around
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
and yet we are arrested and can see
world of man
a world unstifled
let to be itself. But in
that world only man, the stranger, through his weakness and otherness could
learn to let things be.
then could he return with a
need. an old
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
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
and you shall make of these a sacred as
the perfumer; a
anointing oil anointing oil it shall be.
ISam. 8:13 He bakers.
any like it or whoever from his people.
take your daughters to be
perfumers and cooks and
yielding fragrance. His
first it burst
behind the double door
tale the measureless realm of chaos and confusion,
always threatened to engulf
all, has become a simple utensil,
I have translated
one other passage
the passage reads:
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.
But the Leviathan "was
Thus, Job 41:25
so, as a
Genesis 9:2. If the
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.
one other verse
exact meaning of this word is in the Bible. The context is:
eye of the
falcon has it
never caught sight of
sons of pride ever trampled
no witness, mountains
his hand to the flint
In Aramaic, the
in Ethiopian the
In Arabic, the shhis, "a bulky
is disagreement among translators as to whether the Leviathan is or over men. The ambiguity may not be totally unintentional,
that such a
not so clear
the Leviathan himself. It
not even clear
of any concern whatsoever to he knows that he is king, though
indeed he surely is.
all malice or
ambition, oblivious to all,
The Book of Job
rules all and
the mere weight of his
being. In him
we recognize our
1 Then Job
the LORD and said: 2 "I know that You
all and counsel
from You. 3 Who is this I had
knowledge? I have
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
contempt and compassion
the LORD had spoken these words unto
the LORD said to Eliphaz the
against your two as
not spoken of me the
Job. 8 Therefore,
get yourselves 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
burnt offering; and my his countenance in order not to
not spoken of me the
is right, as my servant Job 9 So Eliphas the Temanite
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
the LORD returned all that Job
11 Then his house
and all of
came over to
one gave a of
and each a golden ring;
LORD blessed the last days
than He had its beginning. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six
thousand camels, one thousand head of cattle, and one thousand she
seven sons and three
14 The first he
the second to be
and the third
the land there
found any woman more father gave them an inheritance alongside
16 And Job lived
these events, and
an old man contented with
theirs, four his days.
Comments 1 It is terribly
translate this word. Gener
ally speaking it usually implies
evil or wicked
Job 21:27 Ps. 10:2
Oh, I know
what you are
arrogance the wicked
pursue the poor;
let them be
the schemes which
they have devised.
In the Book
Proverbs, however, it
I find knowledge
it to describe God's
executed and accomplished the you will understand this.
In the latter days
in question, yibhaser, only in the Bible:
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;
The verb, then,
would seem or
finds in Proverbs
taking the in Jeremiah, since in
word mzmh either
spoken of which one would want to prevent.
This leaves the first meaning, but that is
that that too can
it is known to be
without malice or
intent. beyond me,
2. "There is
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.
James translates: "Wherefore I
The Revised Standard does
myself, and repent
puts the word
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
after the second verb rather than the
The Cambridge Bible translates: "Therefore I melt away; I repent in dust Their reasoning is somewhat complicated. The root m's had
far as I have been able to in English vernacular is by no means as they mean "while sitting tell. This return by an author who knows the names of Eliphaz and Bildad and Zophar is. of course." where it "to It is found in Ps. in itself. "I have comtempt for as 'eth or strange to let the 'al do for both." and is. He is of at home in He a very large world in for more than a hill beans. that dust so clear 'al is exactly the word that one would expect to mean find following for. normally as 'el. and mean or When King James trans on lates "on dust ashes. feel sorrow or compassion for the suffering of anything like "on" does not. Job the homeless is which no man counts at home now. Also see Gen. can establish in the world of the small. there seems "to feel deep compassion. one more reason for believing tion. if one feels sorrow guilt. and repentance. 18:27 the Abraham answered. back to the everyday language of Dick and Jane." one assumes ashes." sorrow or Like the English word. by the way. "upon. we have returned to Chapter One." but. ." 'al.epher we'phar. I who am but dust ashes. means "to despise" "reject." wenihamti. Linguistically speaking. "Dust meaning mankind ashes. As far em' and together as the word 'em' they simply 'em' "I feel compassion one would is concerned. together seem the fact that the It roots mss do mean "to melt. real feeling that God has when people offer Him sacrifices that have no to translate it as "recant. the word normally and so imply does guilt or self-recrimination. 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. He is value. 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." to be behind their understanding of the verse." or is. Job 30:19 It throws me into the mire and I become like dust and ashes. "Behold." "My also skin has become hard and begins to ooze. But to others for something that one has done. the inference which is automatic in Hebrew. "Let them be like the with snail which dissolves into and nms slime. and that the linguistic and flight from back to the mundane was a integral part of the author's inten . as . have expected but it would not be so . one feels remorse. and would something like a "myself to be to be no basis for such an assumption. a common Biblical phrase in all its mortality. The root nhm means understood in the text. that the book was conceived of as a whole. for instance. The the root m 's fundamentally Again.The Book of Job occurred meant -49 in Job 7:5: ooze. require as Greenberg does. 58:8. I have taken upon myself to speak to Lord." These passages. however." meaning to them." and 5.
Remember Aaron. tortuous syntax of the long its obscure The that language is simple. Job of the wide world is again Job the servant which of the LORD.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. . Gone is the vocabulary. 11. Job 1:4 be a world devoid of all meaningful human action. and Job His sons used to make feasts in their homes. the tents of skin will bribery eaten are a consuming fire. All of by the language ordinary everyday adult human speech. 10. . my brothers and sisters. but . never having eaten of together they lie in the dust. It might be worth mentioning that the only sisters. Rahab: my father them. them over. that wonderful woman of the night. and save alive and mother. will consume His be away. Again there has been a switch middle in the texture section with of the language. "Has consumed not our enemy been destroyed. living in a nutshell. 8. Job's his hands his friends eyes could not have seen. The nation now word 'aChaL that had so often meant death. sisters each one on a different with day. but that seeing took place in a foreign land in act. destruction. He who has seen the Leviathan will say a prayer for as they bring their bulls and their rams to be sacrificed. 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 . yet his soul. of Another dies in the bitterness goodness. that the moths eaten. death's first born his members. and send word to their three to come and eat and drink them. 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. another eat their remains by fire?" then let me sow. The world of out to seeing turned has returned. and the worms cover Job 22:20 Job 31:8 saying. and Joshua 2:13 . but it is has been replaced not a simple return of to a fairytale world. 9." other Biblical character to use the was phrase "brothers and with all the sense of equality that it implies. our and all who belong to deliver lives from death.
five hundred she asses and was the head of a very large was the estate. fodder just like the cattle. 33:19 Joshua 24:32 And from the The bones sons of Hamor. here is Behemoth eats I made along with you. We remember: Job 1:18-19 While he was yet talking. Shechem's father. strength in his Now. Gen. when a mighty wind came in from the on wilderness and struck the four corners of the house. not snuffed out the life of its owners. Joseph at which the people of Israel brought up from of Egypt were buried Shechem. 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. whom Job 40:15-16 He But look now. Job 1:3 He head owned seven thousand sheep. were another one came in and said. or even eat a crust of when bread alone. "Your sons and your of daughters eating and drinking wine in the house their oldest brother. His might is in the muscles of his belly. It fell down . but look at the loins. 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. eating joyous unity. in sons of an the portion of ground which Jacob bought from the Hamor the father Shechem for of a hundred Qesitoth. ten thousand of cattle. he bought for land on which a hundred Qesitoth the of piece of he had pitched his tent. 12. 13. at the end of the book. after character and become an act of simple Job's return. it became Joseph. they the from his own place Eliphaz the Temanite.The Book of Job Job 31:12 Job 31:16-17 It would 51 be a fire consuming down to Abaddon. they up claims that I have eaten its produce without payment and eye. He richest man ('ish) in the East 15. inheritance of the descendants 14. What was not possible before has now become actual. Bildad show Shuhite. three thousand camels. The recognition of compassion that Job gained from beyond the human sphere has had its full effect within the human sphere. They him conferred and to with one another and planned to come together to console him compassion. and Zophar the Naamatite. uprooting withhold pleasures all that I have ever accomplished.
In ancient times it was ground into a powder. As such it became. in the prophets. besides great quantities of onyx colored for setting. the iron for the things iron. qesi'a. 4:30 When Jehu her eyes. including the being his 16. Job opened mouth and spurned 17. They consoled and showed upon him compassion for all the evils which the LORD had brought him. Jezebel heard of it. and of bronze for the things for the things bronze. stones. Then. We remember to his friends: his his day. the silver of of my God." are. The Book rection. in English. and she painted her head. that you and adorned enlarge your eyes with paint? . too. and marble. Job 3:1 Then. and wood and stones wood. of silver." is a fragrant bark of a tree that can be pow dered like Ps. and used pens of the by women as eye makeup. of Job does not end with a deus ex machina or miracle or resur of death In recognizing the being of itself. 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. that you deck yourself with ornaments of gold. what do you mean that you dress in scarlet. O desolate one. means "antimony": for house IChron 29:2 So I have the gold the provided the of for the things of gold. this name? second word. came to Jezreel. Your your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.52 Interpretation the young people. keren happuli1: the first two ful. 45:8 cinnamon and used in cooking. antimony. 18. Job himself becomes word yom. or all the things that a self. And you. They are dead. and looked out of the window. all sorts of precious stones. "cassia. "day. sym bolic of feminine corruption: 2Kings 9:30 Jer. so far for the things as I was able. also called pukf1. and I alone have escaped to tell thee. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad. It is from the words It is a new Job." 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.
will give strength his king. the word itself can mean "a ray of light". rays Hab. "How long him from will you grieve over over Saul. 2:1 Hannah horn also prayed and said. And Samuel priest took the rose up. to begin at the beginning. behold. 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn his oil. The homs of an animal are his strength and his defense. and his homs are the of a wild with he shall push the peoples. he anointed. salvation.The Book of Job Now let name "horn. 34:30 the And when Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses." of but qeren much than A horn contained the oil used to anoint the said to kings of Israel: ISam. Then they blew the trumpet. and There Zadok the anointed horn of oil from the Solomon. I will send you Jesse the Bethlehemite. It "horn. such are the ten thousands of Ephraim. His bull has majesty. 16:1 The LORD seeing I have horn with oil." provided for myself a king of among his ISam. have Samuel. qeren. because I ISam. rejected and being king to Israel? Fill your go. against he thunder in heaven. flashed from his hand. 2:10 The them the LORD shall be broken will to pieces. for I sons. to the ends of the earth. The people of Israel saw the face of Moses. he and went and Moses would put the veil upon his face again. They give him greater stature and a formidable look: adversaries of will ISam. and the Spirit of the LORD mightily upon David from that 1 Kings 1:39 day forward. tent. 33:17 ox. My mouth rejoice in thy . "My exalted in the LORD." 53 us look at the first word. and such are the thousands of Manasseh. But the root also means "to shine": Exod. until in to speak with him. 3:4 His brightness there was like the light. said." means means so and together the more means "the Horn Mascara. my derides my enemies. hence. and he veiled his power. that the skin of skin of face shone. all of them. and went to Ramah. and exalt the his And so it comes to mean all these things for a human being: heart exults in the LORD. and they were afraid to come near him. "Long live King Solomon!" and all the people But. The LORD to judge the horn ends of the of earth. and anointed him in the midst of came brothers. Moses' his face shone. firstling them the word means the horn of a living horns animal: Deut.
54 Interpretation Ps. "Do glory boast. and the wall of the people shall go will fall down flat. 22:3 of My God. and made loud music on harps and lyres. 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. because it eas and ily blends "the hom into the language along of with such other phrases as "hom oil" of my salvation": 2Sam. trumpets. praise all his saints. for Israel who are near to him. its horns shall of one piece with and shall it. 75:4 up Ps. my savior. Often the Psalmist Ps. 27:2 be Exod. my me from violence." not and to the wicked. in whom I take refuge. Linguistically. my shield and the horn savest my salvation. 29:12 And you shall make horns for it blood on its four corners. 89:17 I say your to the horn. LORD with ark of the covenant of the and shouting. I have for prepared a Ps. the bull and put it upon the blood you shall horns 1 Kings 2:28 of the altar with your finger. And. 132:17 will bring these meanings together: There I will make a horn to sprout for David. then city all the people shall shout with a great shout. He has raised up a hom for his the people of people. to the sound the hom. Praise the LORD! As I once before had occasion to mention. 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. I have driven my horns into dust. the phrase "hom mascara" of works well." boastful. the hom played a central role in the place of worship: Exod. 15:28 So all up every Israel brought up the of man straight before him. and you shall take part of the of overlay it with bronze. cymbals. of course. as soon as hear the sound of the trumpet. "Do not lift For thou exalted. my rock. Joab and the rest of the pour out at the base of the altar. 148:14 lamp for my anointed. art the of their strength. too. thou . 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 the IChron. stronghold and my refuge.
"Behold. he said to Sarai his behold. there is also good. Although it is wilt thou slay an innocent people? clear that as a young man. And Leah conceived and bore a son. 29:16 Now Laban had two daughters. you are a a dead man. "I will serve you seven years daughter Rachel. But God sister. And when the princes of woman was Pharaoh into her. because of the woman whom you have taken. by conjoining the Its bare word queren ("hom") to the pukh in such a natural and ordinary way. though perhaps somewhat naive man. As is the case in the dialogues of Plato. has a child: Leah knows only Gen. saw Gen. Abram's And ultimately. Gen. and his house because of Sarai. 'This is his wife'. From the The subject first arises with respect beginning we are shown the difficulties involved: When he know that Egyptians me. it is a subject in itself which would understood on own terms. 12:11 was about to enter you are a woman beautiful to Egypt. but Rachel was beautiful and lovely. Rachel. 29:31 gratitude each time she When the LORD but Rachel was saw that Leah was hated. so he said. and said to him. will they will say. we shall have to consider the full list. to Sarai. cluded however." "Lord. her beauty almost led to the death of an innocent. and when . barren. for she is Now Abimelech had not approached her. also complicated The Biblical The view of beauty since is and. man's wife. 20:2 And Abraham Abimelech said of king a of Sarah his wife. Leah's soft. We have not. And the But the LORD afflicted taken Pharaoh's house. "She is my Gerar sent and took Sarah. 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. the author has silently but mention force to fully robbed the word of its sting. and she . in have to be Song its of Songs. so as to not mislead ourselves. Jacob preferred Rachel's beauty to Leah's soft eyes: Gen.The Book of Job To word 55 put the argument simply. he opened her womb. wife. is no longer sufficient conjure up a degrading image of womankind. 19." But it is not clear what the reader is to think. "I the will see you. Jacob loved Rachel." And to came Abimelech in dream by night. they praised her to Pharaoh. for your younger and he said. then they kill but they let you live. the and the name of the younger was name of the older was eyes were Leah. with great plagues Pharaoh wife.
she called his name Benoni." She my affliction. for the way of women is upon So he searched. but did not find them. Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel's saddle. in her hard labor. "May the LORD add to son!" Her demand was met. so she called his name Naphtali. and I die!" shall Then Rachel said. 30:24 and she called me another his name Joseph. and she called Simon. "Fear called not. he has given me this son also". But Rachel always thinks in terms of battle and victory: Gen. (that and she was on the way to Ephrath is. "Because the LORD has heard that I his name am hated. Rachel travailed. and into the tent of the not find them. she reacts not with gratitude. for she said. So Laban point out what went into Jacob's tent. Bethlehem). Then Rachel said. but at a very heavy price: Gen. saying. her Nor is it clear what we are to think of charm: Gen. and said. "With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister. "Because the LORD has looked me. 35:16 Then they journeyed from Bethel. In the presence of our kinsmen not Now Jacob did I have that is yours. And midwife said to as her. And he went out of Leah's tent. When she finally does have another: a son of her own. 30:6 When Rachel sister. and entered Rachel's. surely now my husband will love conceived again and bore a son. and take know that Rachel had stolen them. she envied or her and she said to Jacob. said to me. "God has judged me. but did not find the household gods. for another And her soul was departing his (for name died). So Rachel died. and have prevailed".' and she had hard labor. and two maidservants. "Give children. the have son. when she was now you will she and when they were still some distance from Ephrath. Laban felt . And she her father. voice and given me a has also heard my son". and sat upon all about the tent. 31:32 it. 30:1 Gen. but with a demand for Gen. but he did into Leah's tent. "Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you. therefore she called his name Dan. saw that she bore Jacob me no children. but his father buried Benjamin.56 Interpretation called upon his name Reuben." "Any one with whom you find your gods shall not live." them.
but all that again it led to grave problems. Now he he. 17:42 And the Philistine looked. behold. the [beautification] in it. for when this is ISam. David.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. . Joseph. was Joseph himself beautiful. Now Joseph handsome (beautiful) and good-looking. and desire for her and would take her for yourself as wife. except can for him the land. 21:11 you have but it must be read in the light of Cozbi. him. 39:6 So he left no concern he had in Joseph's charge. totally forget his There relation was also to Bath Shibah. and the name of his wife Abigail. . And after a time his wife cast her eyes upon Joseph. Gen. and said. a youth. he disdained appearance. . for blood be made pollutes the land. David was beautiful: brought him in. "Arise. the . Nonetheless. "Lie with master's me. anoint and was ruddy." Then come the pointless cows: Gen. Deut. beautiful eyes. for it." ISam. Abigail: ISam. which and having him he had was for anything but the food he ate. and up the there came up out of fed in the reed grass. they first seven fat cows. for he He charm was but ruddy beautiful in was charming. and not to allow oneself to fall under the sway of that one cannot is to miss a great deal of the Bible. 41:2 and fat. blood that is by the blood of who shed There is a law: and see among the captives a beautiful woman. and had and was handsome. 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 the LORD said. 16:12 And he sent. 35:33 You shall not thus pollute the land in and no expiation shed which you live. whom we saw at work in the note to Job 6:11. The man was churlish and understanding and beautiful. 25:3 Now the name of the man was woman was of good Nabal. but the ill-behaved. he was a Calebite. and saw and him.
Absalom he riding his mule. Amnon said to the king. David's son. . though I do not its importance: 2Sam.58 Interpretation Tamar was a wonderful person. while the mule that was under him went on. and lay Her brother was not so wonderful. he weighed weight. and the mule went under the thick caught branches was of a great oak. from the sole of ." with And he took three darts in his of hand. but her beauty caused her disaster: 2Sam. I saw Absalom hand. when was heavy meet on him. his foot to the . the and she became the king's not. For the understand sake of completeness I shall add the rest of the story. hair his head. born to Absalom three sons. and after a time Amnon. crown of cut there was no blemish in him." treacherously against his life (and there is nothing hidden from Joab said. and told hanging in an oak. Joab's armor-bearers. and left hanging between heaven earth. her. loved her. he it). whose name So Tamar. oak. but king knew 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. "Pray let my sister Tamar come and Now was make a couple of cakes But and said when she in my sight. 2Sam. his head and fast in the oak. had a beautiful sister. every And when he the his head (for at the end of cut year he the used to cut of it. But he would not he forced her. and being stronger to me. "Behold. one daughter whose Next came poor Abishag: 1 Kings 1:3 of So they sought for a beautiful maiden throughout all the territory Israel. "I king). 13:1 Absalom." of her. 14:27 There were name was Tamar. The very beautiful. nurse and ministered to him. Amnon lay down. alive and thrust them into the heart Absalom. if I had dealt the will aloof. On the other Joab. my than she. and killed him. David's son. that I may eat from her brought them near him to eat. "Come. Absalom and struck him. lie with her. and brought her to the maiden was king. but beauty did him in as well: 2Sam. with listen to her." hand. while he was still in the surrounded And ten young men. and pretended to be ill. and when the king came to see him. 18:10 And a certain man saw it. then you yourself would have stood not waste time like this you. and found Abishag the Shunammite. and she was a beautiful woman. two chanced to and upon hundred the shekels by the king's And Absalom was servants of David. he took hold sister.
scarlet. and instead of a rich robe. is the joy of all the earth. they fasten it with hammer and nails cannot move. when she has done vile . O desolate one. for fair to behold. Men beautify so that gold. yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. her eyelashes. a there will be rottenness. Esther 2:7 uncle. Your eyes will see the king in his beauty. therefore God has blessed for ever. it it and worked with an axe with silver and by the hands of a craftsman. Ps. 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Esther's beauty saved her people. 11:15 What right has my beloved in my house. 3:24 Instead girdle. Mordecai adopted her his own daughter. And you. they will behold a land rope. Jer. Eccles.The Book of Job Vashti's 59 beauty did not help her. 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 girding of sackcloth. in she was order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty. 48:2 the beautiful in elevation. as and when her father and her mother died. that is Esther. Do not desire her beauty in your heart. in let her Prov. for the customs of the peoples are false. grace you poured upon your lips. of perfume Isa. also he has put eternity into man's mind. 10:3 lovers despise you. and instead of well-set that stretches afar. that you enlarge your eyes with paint? In vain you beautify yourself. A tree from the forest is cut down. 4:30 hair. and He had brought up Hadassah. 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. but a woman who fears the praised. 45:2 You are the most beautiful of the sons of men. the city of the great King. 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. 5:18 Behold. the maiden was beautiful lovely. the daughter of his for she had neither father nor mother. 6:25 far north. Jer. 33:17 Jer. and and do not capture you with Prov. and instead Isa. they seek your life. 31:30 Charm is deceitful. Mount Zion. instead of beauty. LORD is to be beauty is vain. baldness. for themselves: is Ps. Eccles. that you what do you mean that you dress in Your beautify yourself with ornaments of gold. shame. for of a this is his lot.
You to regal estate. and played the harlot because of your . renown. cast you to the ground. I have cast it out. they perfect your beauty. 9:15 that thirst. raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre. they shall devour and . he shall surely deal with it as its wickedness deserves. towered proud of Ezek. for they hear young and men shall say. iniquity was found in you. "A green olive beautiful will set Lam. of your your renown exceedingly beautiful. the plane garden of of nothing compared with its branches. "Is beauty. were blameless in your ways from the day you were created. . and your cloth. made they hung Ezek.60 Interpretation deeds? Can vows and sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can tree. and went forth among the nations you because beauty. but with the roar of a great tempest he fire to it. And silk. All who pass along the way clap their hands at you. the joy of all of with gold and this the city which earth?" the beautiful and silver. you then exult? The LORD once called you. I you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. and say to him. I will give it into the hand of a mighty one of the nations. you ate raiment was of fine linen. and multiplying your Your borders are in the heart of the seas. I made it beautiful in the mass and all the trees of its branches. they hiss and wag their heads Ezek. . lo. to perfect your The men of men of Arvad Gamad and Helech were upon your walls round about. but they will not do it. 27:4 any passer-by. for down to abundant waters. high Eden envied it. 28:15 You their shields upon your walls round about. faint for Amos 8:13 Zech. . no tree in the God was like it in beauty. for it upon was perfect through the splendor which I had bestowed your you. to feast their eyes on It was its roots went beautiful in its greatness. your builders beauty. you. full of wisdom and perfect in beauty till . and lavished your harlotries your on any passer-by at the head of every street you yourself built lofty place and prostituted your beauty. Your heart was proud because of your beauty. and were in your towers. 16:13 Thus at the daughter was called the perfection of you were made Jerusalem. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because it and set its top among the clouds. beautiful you you are to them like one who sings love songs with a what voice and plays well on an instrument. 31:7 exposed you before kings. Thus says the Lord GOD: "You were the signet of perfection. and its branches will be consumed." Ezek. says the Lord GOD. offering made harlotry." I Ezek. 33:32 And. nor the fir trees equal its boughs. that were in the garden of God. and grew embroidered fine flour came and honey and oil. and its heart was its height. The cedars in the garden of God trees could not rival were as it. Son of man. 2:15 with goodly fruit". "But trusted in beauty. day the beautiful of virgins and the The LORD hosts will protect them. in the length of its branches.
And are the LORD said to Moses. 27:5 Moses brought their before the LORD. tance only would not The first thing to note is that the daughters of Zelophehad received an inheri because their father had no son. a and they shall drink their blood like wine. at the door of the tent of meeting. It should also be noted that it was Job's own decision to change his will. 27:1 Then drew son of and near the son of son of daughters of Zelophehad the Hepher. he those who gathered of among the company of themselves together against the LORD in the was not own company Korah. Milcah. And they stood before Moses. but died for his sin. 27:4a Why family. of Gilead. The text continues: Num. corners of be full like bowl. 27:4b Give to us a possession alongside our father's brothers. and new wine the maidens. for like the jewels of a Yea. The names of his daughters Mahlah. Hoglah. Machir. 26:33 Now Zelophehad the and the names of the son of oc Hepher had of no sons. and before Eleazar the priest. 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. saying. and he had no sons. Noah. but only a dowry. 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. Had there been a son. you shall give them . and before the leaders and all the congregation. young be! Grain shall make the flourish. drenched like the God will save them crown shall the altar. Thus. Noah. Milcah. On that of day the LORD their for they are the flock his people. given what he had seen in the Tempest: case of Num. Num. son of Manasseh. Our father died in the wilderness. and Tirzah. the daughters have received an inheritance. from the families were: Manasseh the Joseph. were but daughters: daughters Tirzah.The Book of Job tread and 61 down the slingers. "The daughters Zelophelad right. 20. son of Hoglah. how good and how fair it men they shall shine on his land. the next phrase Num. Zelophehad Mahlah. 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. whereas in the Book of Job the inheritance is purely for the the daugh ters.
This is what the LORD commands concerning the daughters of of Zelophehad. saying. So no of inheritance the tribes shall be transferred from Israel of one tribe to another. the heads fathers' of the of the people of give Israel. then will inheritance be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which the they belong.' " The daughters Zelophehad did as the LORD commanded the Moses. Milcah. houses houses of and spoke before Moses and before the leaders. tribe to another. Although the genuine concern words "Let them marry welfare of whom they think best" clearly own show for the the women. daughters of Zelophehad. son of Joseph. they shall marry the family of the tribe of their father. Tirzah. they said. The heads of the fathers' there was a further complication: Num. and the Husbands are immediately out to found for from their dowry. however. tribe. 36:1 houses of of the families of the of the sons of fathers' Gilead the the sons Machir. for Mahlah. And every daughter who of the people of Israel shall be her father. Hoglah. and Noah. the tribe and their inheritance will be taken from inheritance Israel of fathers.62 Interpretation possession of an the inheritance of their inheritance among their father's brothers and cause father to pass to them. "The tribe of the sons Joseph is right. 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. inheritance turns be little more than a grand . And if he has daughter. then his inheritance to his brothers. In the case of Zelophehad. were married to sons of their father's are brothers. then you shall cause no his inheritance to you shall give pass to his daughter." of our And Moses commanded the people of according to the word of the LORD. tribal the women inheritance is paramount. and has no son. and of LORD to give the inheritance my lord was commanded by the Zelophehad our brother to his of the people of daughters. 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. "The LORD commanded my lord to the land for inheritance by lot to the people of Israel. 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. came near son of Manasseh. 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. 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. 'If dies. The only. it inheritance. for each of the people of shall cleave to its own inheritance. so and added to the inheritance of the tribe to they belong.
the way to go out on the hunt. led. and it is the children who must learn them. This led to a shift in Job's standing of and sensitivity to beauty. So far In the case of means 63 or about husbands as I can see. of his daughters." Out of the whirl of the Tempest came the notion of the signets. 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. the two refused to mesh. in turn. the other cried beginning The was a need "unjust. 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. Without whole. The inheritance is outright and absolute. men are empty and life is without taste. beauty. there would be no bread. "just" by the For Job. as we have seen." Without these would must be no life. that that Job has established the right of women to own and hold a property. by the fathers and some by the mothers. and a need of clarity. there would no way to live as "one of com. ways must be taught they must be learned. the notion that things had their own selves apart seal upon them and were what recognition they were in them under from human need. there and us. . 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. however. the and all way to These some bury the dead. Human sociality way to plant men work together and it requires means nothing more than that by day in the evening they talk. A small change in a last will and testament was the result. They be taught. for clarity that came about when his world began to fall asunder led Job to the need for autonomous understanding. be and of the ways. and hence to ultimately questions concerning those accounts of "the first The need things. the way to bake bread." clashing for human One said while friendship. Of what do they speak? Of the com.The Book of Job Job's daughters. nothing is said dowries. This insight. to the emergence of the nurturing and swaddling God as distin guished from the making and constructing God.
Socratic Eros in
Plato's Charmides is
an evocative and
consideration and a
Three formal factors
corresponding points of entry into the work. First, the Charmides is aporetic, definitional dialogue, a dramatized discussion in which Socrates
term, in this
but fail to formulate
the question "What is
the end of the text, Plato encourages us to review the proposed
definitions (as Socrates
to scrutinize the processes of argu
investigation has derailed in
dialogue, featuring Socrates
as a participant
in the discus
on the next
also as a reporter of
the proceedings to
casting his dialogue Plato
the opportunity to as
sume the role of
and to evaluate
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
the definitions of
sophrosyne presented within
the text and the complex and
of the concept of a approach
the dialogue the
the second and third routes,
dramatic frame, in
consider a theme not
with reference to
Socrates tell the
prefaces the elenctic core of the
his introduction to Charmides, Socrates
conspicuous elements of and at
an erotic encounter.
says that when
before, he had just
back from battle
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
able return to
in Athens. He
subject, he turned the
toward the latest
happenings in the
whether there were
1998, Vol. 26, No. 1
proven themselves exceptional
their wisdom or
(153a-d). It is
noting that Socrates (peri on in
ta nun) and about the physical attractiveness of the youths.
setting the Charmides in a be stimulated both physically and intel
one another's presence.
are reminded of the
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
link between eros, the desire for beauty,
phy, the desire for wisdom, though the nature of that link is not
asked about the
began to fill the room,
Socrates, than a Critias told him, were the
that this cousin
Charmides (154a). We learn
young immediate discomfiture
common consent the soon
age group. of all
entered, to the
to his anonymous
am no good at measuring.
ruler when me.
beautiful young men. Nearly all men at that Charmides seemed just then remarkably tall
effect on all the men
present, from the
to the oldest, all of whom gazed upon
him "as if he
use of words and
images here is
What I have
translated as "I am
simply a blank Atechnos leuke stathme
make no extended make
meaning from the fact that a line coated with visible measuring marks on limestone or marble,
white chalk could not
at a man who seems to
perhaps of stone.
then says that
who was also
present, remarked upon
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
ual with a
that they were looking at an individ distinctive identity. The very magnitude of this distinguishing feature to his other admirers, but the
Eros in Plato 's Charmides
in the him.
that beautiful youths
admitting his wonderment, reminds his qua beautiful now seem much
the same to
not convinced that
needed to see
possessed, besides his specifically, "a
stimulating qualities, "one other little (154d-e).4 When Critias had answered that
kalos kai agathos, Socrates suggested by means of a discussion. In order to
that part of the young man
any impression of unseemliness, Charmides over. By making this
politesse older man
suspected of sexual motives often
approaching a youth could easily be partly for this reason that fathers would in such settings, to shield the boys from
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.
up the issue Socrates
that this meeting does at
least have the
appearance of a seductive approach. enough
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.
that Socrates knew a
than a removal of the garments
In any event, it worked,
his narrative, telling his among the
proach caused a great ruckus man
neighbor aside opted
ap sitting in the palaistra, with every room on the bench for Charmides next
to himself. He eventually
to sit between Socrates and
sudden nearness threw
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
right in the
eyes with an
and was on the verge of
me a question.
Everyone in the
palaistra gathered round us
circle, and it was right at that moment, my noble
that I saw what was
myself, and I came to regard Cydias as the
wisest counselor with respect
beautiful boy, he fawn before
gave the a
advice to someone:
care not to go as a
a piece of
has ual not yet the topic of the discussion that takes up most of the mentioned. these virtues were often considered a rare combination. one of Plato's most enhance our understand she has explained to Socrates that is ultimately a longing for immortality through procreation (201c-208e). important texts on the theme of eros. in in the which self-control and exhibits itself in can actions. our Socrates' for Plato's treatment importance I wish of Socratic eros to review what we have learned with in this dialogue. in these small dramatic hints such a explicit: quences way that it poses What is sophrosyne? (159a). citation of Cydias is significant have from the poet. After tality seek marriage and family. if ally exclusive (North 1966. it is easy ability to overcome his immediate lust for Char mides introduces one possible definition of the term dramatically. The second leads us back into Socratic eros. an elenctic investigation begun. with some effort to answer that I did. 507a-c.68 I Interpretation thought that I myself cure had been captured by a beast like that. 97). (155d-e) The Charmides is which is all we only source for this Cydias fragment (Page 1962. We might see from Plato of the unity of virtue. In the Laches Socrates context of Laches agree that one speak easily Though of courage resisting temptation and of the indulgence (191d). 221d). Although Plato makes a connection between courage and sophrosyne in other dialogues (Grg. at Symp.5 Furthermore. but more particularly we have notion geous coexisting and here a suggestion an augmented coura of Socratic sophrosyne. but before elaborating its so far from the time Socrates Charmides. 306b). I managed when he asked me if I knew the for his headache. Still. and perhaps it is surprising that we should find courage and sophrosyne complementing one another in his character." p. audience familiar courage with it certainly springs to the mind of a later the Symposium. not mutu Pit. "oddness. entered the palaistra to his actual meeting Sophrosyne. 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. in which Alcibiades praises Socrates sophrosyne both for and for (219d-220c). But Socrates is a rare creature (Alcibiades not alto remarks on gether his atopia. and it can of that drives a consideration of course. those who are more inclined to leave an intel- . was a enough to see that Socrates' typical understanding of the word's meaning. Charmides. from sex been Since self-control. 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). Diotima's lecture to Socrates in the Symposium is. One question is help the the elenchus of the of fact that Socrates apparently possesses the virtue? The first Charmides. Diotima explains that while those who want to gain a kind of physical immor eros ing theme in the Charmides. particularly restraint indulgence.
Drama. he implies that either at the moment he shortly "Charmides or Charmides universal." he says. like his describes. eternal rates beauty (Symp. just as a fawn . like He this be very much drawn to this combination. was considered the external we might manifestation of that virtue's with sophrosyne. face. certainly will he would never anything ugly. who be taught impregnated with soph It became quickly obvious that Charmides met the first qualification. is. Surely he too [like the hoping to child] to find some specimen of beauty with whom to reproduce. 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. pregnant If this is the case. and and since the greatest kinds "by justice (dikaiosyne) sophrosyne. despite body. Narrative. Since love loves of wisdom both far" beauty are and wisdom (204b). For the second. Like children. and what (209a-c) sorts of Returning the to the Charmides. Indeed. and good. he tual lover when he went out merely acting like Diotima's spiri to the palaistra. at least potentially. the spiritual a man looks for find a suitable wife to bear his goes out to a good match. try to teach the other. distinguished. least if self-control might presence. to quotation of return Cydias. but generally speaking he Socrates' beauty of all men (154b-c). lectual or spiritual and Eros in Plato 's Charmides 69 legacy hope lover to produce who wisdom (phronesis) and excellence (arete) (208e-209a). who had warned the lover that would one could be overtaken and consumed by a beautiful boy. Socrates felt that he needed to speak with Charmides face to rosyne. 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. 210a-212a). 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. the lover will prefer a combination of these qualities. Socrates beyond his infatuation with the young man's individual beauty and begun his when ascent toward universal. palaistra he had sophrosyne in his soul. he about what sort of a man a good man will activities will pursue. 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). Soc men met more or (as the blank ruler) confesses to his friend that he finds all young less equal in beauty. and gifted soul. he the company goodness of a person and will if he should also come upon a beautiful. rather than ugly ones. know that Critias' assurance that his cousin's soul was beautiful. someone who is both kotos and. Therefore he attracted to beget offspring with beautiful bodies for his procreative intentions. In he will be well-supplied with words about (arete). at we observe that Plato has indicated to us through met setting and action that when Socrates his friends in the be He was. hoping to find young men who could were both kalos and wise. inward say.
Sim sus ilarly. the perception of their own lack knowledge. hunting (Dover. stretches the Charmides text enough For example.70 be Interpretation reduced to a chunk of meat by a lion. inversion the expected im age. Jowett's translation to make it approximate a more conven tional arrangement: . "As which he denounces the selfish lovers boys" under the spell of eros. has not always been recognized as such. 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. 241e). The usual formulation of prey lighting upon the erastes the part the metaphor comparing an erotic pursuit to a beast its quarry. passion and causes consider the significance of Cydias' The second striking point about the passage not is that turn a disconcerting. with who had been observing the behavior of amusement. Socrates' sexual arousal here leads him to a new awareness of his ceptibility to advice. 1978. p.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. does indeed give of the hunter and the eromenos the part of the hunted. him to finally renewed reflection. fond of lambs. 58. of citation of the line from Cydias. Socrates. 81-91. This physiological loss in which the dialogue concludes. right out from under hind. Socrates' (241d). In both cases. Such metaphors are similar to the common compari game son of sexual pursuit to p. but did not drink its blood. First. here appetite cite Socrates' having greater of this line urgency than his Cydias Plato appropriates sexual appetite. the aporia has a beneficial element. there c-d: seems to be a probable sexual connotation to Theognis 1278 A a lion. 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). or as a hunter tracking game. (Cited as an image for erotic capture by Dover 1978. an pp. with trust in my strength. of which three come immediately to mind. Halperin 1985. I caught a fawn in my claws. Socrates begins to launch into epic (as wolves are he admits he has done. consists in part in his intellectual Socrates' ability to unpleasant) event into an sophrosyne. This is a remarkable passage for several reasons.) his first speech Concluding motives of in the Phaedrus. in singing. by having Socrates for a metaphor erotic pursuit that would have been familiar to his readers. For of example.6 Third. The bewilderment greater engendered by the Socratic elenchus ideally spurs the of interlocutors to and self-awareness. potentially embarrassing (if opportunity for detached introspection indicates that shown in his control of his desire.
in which Charmides. When Socrates says. is aware that he poses some danger to the younger man (Nussbaum 1986. who. he devoured appetite. perhaps to the point that the two roles are exchanged. so that the lion in the poem stands for carnal desire. or . 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. perceiving his craving for Charmides. p. also reads the text in this way). only if a with the power to momentarily. Critias. 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. 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. to speak. respectively. he must mean us to go along with the game. lion. If we do. interprets the inversion his encounter as a simple rever sal of roles. "I myself to have been captured by a beast like that. and I think the one that most simply accommodates the text." you resist me Socrates answers. 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. pursue. also interprets the quotation in this sense). 92. a phenomenon passive eromenos of a sexual in the nominally advances relationship not only enjoys his lover's but even reciprocates. "So Charmides. Thus there to me to be use of at least two more likely readings. which as a manifestation of anteros. Narrative. and to imagine Socrates as the erastes and Charmides as the eromenos. 90. pursuer. when. Another reading. Socrates to replies in kind then. I thought how fair youth. we will be inclined to expect the metaphor of the lion and fawn to felt refer to Socrates and Charmides." for I felt that I had been by a sort of wild-beast lion. p." he most likely means Charmides became. catch. a lover might approach his beloved. Critias and and plotting that if Charmides is really intent says you" force to make Socrates submit playfully say that they to their will. and devour (McAvoy 1996. this inverted image is to suppose that One way of understanding he means he has been snared by his lust for Charmides. 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]." no one will be able to resist him. "I with won't resist we continue to follow the erotic subtext of the dialogue we to "see him can view again. and slyly Charmides have failed in his suggests that the pursued will become the When Socrates. "don't (176a-d). If Charmides' either.Drama. we can see that dialogue. Charmides thereafter spend every day together in will resort discussion. their attempt to tells Socrates that the two of them should cousin even define sophrosyne. not for an individual whose beauty incites it." realization of his desire to be Socrates.8 and Eros in Plato's Charmides love.
Critias had quickened a his expectation by assuring Socrates moreover. and actually help nurture the Symp. 155e). his story about his meeting he had regained with Charmides and the others. 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. 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. but he does not condemn the desires of either party. 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. 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. but also in Euthydemus and our very Charmides (222a-b). Then [the in a lover] must consider that beauty in souls is worth more than the beauty in his soul. Socrates' Halperin 1986. which cf. or the entire body charm and the soul as well. If is . 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). It was Socrates' version of the charm would Charmides' naturally prove to be an elenchus. someone suitable body. a neat and quotation of Cydias encapsulates this reversal of in Continuing told surprising image. 210a. philosophos (154e-155a). Diotima's ladder lover standing drawn to a so unique after all soul Charmides' (step 3). This cure he Thracian doctor working under the patronage of the god a Zalmoxis. In setting himself up practitioner of Zalmoxian medicine Socrates promised to impart sophrosyne to Charmides by means of kaloi logoi. was composed of A Zalmoxian physician would charm. step. 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). met become should In the Phaedrus Socrates says that in He an ideal relationship eros be by anteros as a matter of course. His focus shifted (not without difficulty) to up. 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).72 Interpretation merged. The Alcibiades anteros not own corresponding only in Alcibiades himself. 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. bringing the soul to a healthy state consequently expediting bodily health (156d-157c). came that Charmides would be willing to have Socrates' discussion of and was. even if he has little to show on the that will be enough: the lover surface. as Diotima defines it: to sophrosyne. which itself he beautiful words (logoi kaloi).). Soc speak. 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.
457b). Charmides. however. as would a so governed. the discussion possible Charmides an fixed for the meaning. their investigation still fo 64e) cuses on the quality of admirability in various practices. 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. penulti rung (episteme). 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.g.g. see Larson 1951). Narrative. Indeed the Re principle followed by public is a much more extended discussion of nomoi than one's own is the Charmides. 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. In the Charmides of sophrosyne Socrates. keeping good things to one's own work (159b-160d). possibility. (160d-161b). the element of to doing (163e-164d). They consider kalon only in the first of these activities. In other dialogues. showing modesty generally. expands his logos nomoi. (On the similarity in meaning Plato's dialogues. diakaiosyne in Socrates mate also prompted on Critias to elevate the discussion to the next. and Critias begin discussion by considering likely manifestations of that virtue quiet circumspection in practice. he did so with the definition of the virtue as accep of of "knowledge of the other knowledge and of knowledge itself (166c). Rep. Phil. level again. 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). 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. and. Now the third concep tion of sophrosyne. Soc rates argues for the identity of to kalon e. expanded as a and usefulness (to ophelimon.Drama. seeking to evaluate the others on the basis of their goodness and societal benefits. and benefits for individual a polis of a knowledge of knowledge . "doing one's (to ta heautou prattein). own" every member of a city. and goodness (to agathon. is accepted by Socrates and his interlocutors in the Republic as a definition for justice (433a). and it may well be that Soc sophrosyne in the Charmides implies his concomi so tant possession of dikaiosyne. (161b-163d). (17 le) Socrates. 165b) kind remains and his agreement with Socrates that point must therefore of the be some of episteme (165c). 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). that he has both of the virtues required of sophrosyne and by a Diotiman lover. and so with everything else controlled by sophrosyne. like walking and talking with deliberate. From that on on. e.
10 By show reading the drama how one and narration of the Charmides "about" with frequent refer ence to other dialogues. Kahn 1996. ideal youth with whom to give birth to such discourse. any case. as it turned out. discussion before the topic of episteme came up. 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. 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. 56-70. 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. my intention has been a certain to dialogue that is not. he shows that the notion of the knowl- . 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. vision.74 Interpretation and the various epistemai. According to Kahn's theory of prolepsis. Lysis. For and other Kahn has early dialogues or dialogues in Kahn's terms) partly in order to prepare his readers for the fuller. 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. As an example. especially the Symposium. He dropped Socra ascent could go no further with him. 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. here eros. to topic. In the might Charmides he imagines how Socrates erastes. Rather. he as a solution to the question of sophrosyne. ostensibly. as well as the philosophoi logoi that Socratic lover's discourse in the Phaedrus (257b). In the Charm can Zalmoxis' ides these logoi Charmides tes' was not an out of the only be the elenchus. and Republic. Phaedo. Laches. The discourse by the contemplation of pose the charm of knowledge here reminds us of the kaloi logoi that com comprise the therapy. pp. pp. can reinforce the understanding of that topic we achieve through the other dialogues. 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). would not had. the arguments of aporetic dia logues like the Charmides. 148291. 1988. Sadly for Socrates. 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. If he had I such a necessarily have allowed that Socrates had in Plato did not choose to introduce the theory and. 541-49). while in the Symposium acted in the guise of an he imagines how the actions of a philosopher- lover might be expressed in theory.
Plutarch." "dates" with conversations. This recently. as here. the effect would have been an even more protracted pause 8. address his remarks to a specific second-person listener. pp. [Cydias] said. 'Take care not to go as a meat. handsome boy.) kind kind of reading I have been pursuing here. 513f)innuendo of "one little see McAvoy 1996. for example. 154). by way of advice to presence of a lion and be snatched as a portion creature. 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. Alcibiades.Drama. since he can speak 4. . 3. while the middle help the reader to a fuller understanding of the earlier works. 1988. 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. (1977. p. If Plato's readers expected even from Cydias the more usual relation lion fawn :: erastes : eromenos. And gave some power his awareness of all his wisdom. in the Laches. by which of fit neatly that there is a Socrates' ac tions and narrative anticipate of Plato's and more expositive. the Symposium. theoretical explorations Socratic eros in the Phaedrus especially in the Symposium. 73 n. p. 82). but in those works he does not. the dialectically for trained philosopher kings of Republic V-VII (Kahn 1996. Although the specific details of his interpretation would perhaps to the 550-51. as in the Protagoras and Euthydemus) are the Lysis and the Republic. well: "Socrates was not simply outside of himself. (For an pp. pp. proposed this activity in the belief that "surely something would come out of also Dover 1978. 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. 27) and. not opposing view. he "[Cydias] for the beast. Jowett 1961." this . that thought the experience. 54-55. pp. see the critique of Kahn 1988 by Griswold 1988. by Mahoney (1996. makes the comment that "a chatterbox [adoleschos] is simply a white it. I to resist what had been an this. 187-88). 102. Cf. McAvoy (1996. thing." observation has been p. I would suggest dramatic prolepsis at work in the Charmides. 179-80) captures the ambiguity of but seems to indicate Charmides as the referent for the lion: "When speaking of a p. NOTES character other dialogues in which Socrates narrates directly (as opposed to narrating to another in the dialogue. The with Socrates included a bit of wrestling. the passage in the reading than the one I propose Plato meant to elicit. 25. possible sexual meaning that the topic of a discussion makes no difference to endlessly on any theme (Mor. more 184). and Kahn (1996. together with his irresistible passion . 7. For the 5. like in advising fawn in front of a lion. 146). principles 542-46). p. edge of good and and Eros in Plato 's Charmides sophrosyne 75 evil. in Kahn's work 203-9. p. though rejected as a definition for courage and in the Charmides of and for the Euthydemus only becomes pp. concern " for p. p. in which Alcibiades tells the assembled guests that one of his early 1. puts 6. 187) It also preserves the ambiguity care the text: a someone on the subject of a provide a meal handsome boy 'to take lest.' seemed to me that I had fallen victim to a wild animal of sort. Donald Watt's translation (1987. he also thought. Bruell was aware of was part of this point of made by North (1966." measuring-line about such a person." someone. he stood himself him how he in relation to Kydias with respect to wisdom. 2. who by this time was entirely smitten See Socrates. so to speak. Narrative.' fawn into the just such a of I felt I'd been of caught by said Kahn (1996. Hyland (1981.
H. C. "Plato and Erotic Reciprocity. "Platonic Eros and What Men Call Love. trans. 1951. 1966. Hanmondsworth. ed. It is with Menexenus. B. Griswold." Dover. D. 1987.. Sophrosyne: Self-Knowledge and Self-Restraint in Greek Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 163-209. T. Journal of Philosophy 85: 550-51. 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. lacked sophrosyne in its in its manifestation as a kind of knowledge. Plato. Kahn (1996. Cambridge: Cambridge Press. 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. Plato and the Socratic Dialogue. 99-122. The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy. Edmonton: Academic Printing Publishing. Benitez. Cairnes. Kahn. The Virtue of Philosophy: An Interpretation of Plato's Charmides. Charmides. Sophrosyne. The Collected Dialogues. Watt. eds. In T. L. "Unifying Ancient Philosophy 5: Halperin. "Socratic Politics Charmides. Pp. McAvoy. C. p. E." REFERENCES Bruell. 1986. Nussbaum. J. K.4). Hamilton H. 1985. "The Platonic Synonyms dikaiosyne nal sophrosyn and American Jour of Philology 72: 395-414. "The Charmides: Socratic Sophrosyne." and also reasonable to suppose that intended his to the Charmides ruling and the prejudice that after the Charmides. 63-103. Eng: Penguin. Potae Melici Graeci. 1981. trans.. "Carnal Knowledge in the ern Charmides. Ithaca. C. 1996. 1962. NY: Cornell University Press." 161-204. 1996. like Critias a member of the notorious oligarchic regime manifestation as Athens therefore also Peloponnesian war. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Human Journal of Philosophy 34: 183-99. Ed. Charmides. Plato: Early Socratic Dialogues.76 Interpretation 9." Mahoney. 1978. 1988. Greek Homosexuality. Page. University Larson. 1988. M. In E. M.. Athens: The Ohio University Press." South Dialogues and with Plato (Apeiron 29. 1977. 1996. D. Pp. Cambridge. D. and Jowett. 1961. Pp. D.. North." Dialogues of Plato. "Plato's Charmides and the Proleptic Reading of Socratic Journal of Philosophy 85: 541-49. Hyland. "self-control. C. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press." Classical Antiquity 5: 60-80." and Self-Knowledge: An Interpretation of Plato's Interpretation 6: 141-203. Saunders. . 1986. MA: Harvard University Press.
Paine failed to grasp the consistency of Burke's judgement because he failed to grasp the reasons for Burke's support of the Americans.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. in the pay of the North American colonies at the beginning of the American troubles. was becoming of a tyranny. 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. Vol. Marx to as to attribute Burke's of apparent lack of principle his love of lucre. Fall 1998. was an out-and-out bourgeois. His own Whig party with his condemnation of the French Revolution was inconsistent went so his for the Americans.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. 1 . because he thought that both revolutions supported the rights of man. Burke them to threat of tyranny less from the selfishness of the bourgeoisie and from interpretation. He them have wrote judgements thought support formed judgements far on extensively on both.'" any essential difference between the two revolu tions. No. He did not support the Amer ican Revolution because it He defended it ent protected the absolute right to freedom and equality. and on prudential about grounds. and one must ex as plain peculiar defense understanding of justice liberty they relate to prudence. because he thought both were part of an historical movement towards not see Marx did freedom. He op spirited saw the aristo- justified by a legal doctrine sovereignty. He was the American Revolution because their of against Parliament during indignation. 26. Burke's apparent inconsistency was also criticized by Paine. he had played the liberal against the English oligarchy. Public had decayed in both instances into hatred and revenge. if one is to make sense of his differ judgements his the American and the French and Revolutions. and his himself. posed the revolution in France because their doctrine the rights of man was leading ness anarchy and a subsequent military despotism. Like Marx.
he had to reflect on politics as a encompass whole. The political association is constituted by both the on aspect of law and the aspect of patriotism. Yet. the habeas corpus in order to and unenforced law is not a law. equitableness of the because it is threatened a two different and fronts. than from self-righteous cratic authority and self-righteous rebellion fueled by general and abstract ideas. rather than law. the on account of the war being a civil one. but punishment. Burke's rhetoric and reasoning appreciate the broadest questions about justice must and government.78 Interpretation privilege. love of country is a defense foreign domination. The American The British do rebels are not only thought of as authority enemy. because it must regulate both the relation between citizens as well as the relation between citi ciation zens. must those same citizens must treat as enemies the rebels and foreigners against they fight. however. On temptation. and foreigners. 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. but treasonous criminals. who are gland. absolute and abstract character of cannot theory is a poor guide principle. Its force . yet it must also execute partially American traitors. 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. The whereas the justice of war consists in treat its citizens equitably. The law from corrupting one another. Burke's defense ciation of and of prudence against principle and theory requires an appre his art. He did not write a theoretical work on politics. see his thought and his peculiar genius. He is keep them justice of law consists in its impartiality. The political asso is necessarily a mixture of the general and the particular. rebels. It is the nature of law to and the British have modified theirs to ensure ought not to its bite. in order to persuade his audience about the meaning To events. Parliament must use the form simply suspend to punish of law to war. A disobeyed be effectual. fight the to rebels using the an law. His speeches letters are informed by the immediacy of of events. not disobedient want to Parliament and unfaithful to En them. there is a strong of as the part of the British. In doing so. and it is no small thought that part of the art of the statesman to they had their limitations. while partiality to whom one's own country. also the nature of law to be just. he also famous for arguing that policy needs to be guided by prudence. as he is for being a defender of constitutional government. The the law is against defense against internal tyranny. one learn to the universal and permanent problems of political life in his treatment of the political of issues of his time. It is. In order to exact wage defeat the Americans.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. Justice has two different aspects. one gains the distance faced philosophy The without abstracting from the concrete political problems by citizens and statesmen.
of the whole body of our nation affection and new kindred. The Sheriffs Bristol have grown cynical and are sworn has become melancholy because the law to which they instrument of crime and tyranny. The spirit might partial of murderous hatred dominates in its and in its object and patriotism devotion. In order to maintain the integrity of law. for pursuing peace. 189)4 which were the becomes gradually less dear to bond of charity whilst we agreed. 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 both an require a bond of love that is accompanied by a feeling simply negative and destructive. devoid of hope. because and piety. they are not gether an the bonds of affection between citizens.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs overreach of Bristol 79 the bounds be of the bounds force of what^can its justice. His opposition to the party by courage in the war party is . they dissolve alto of the common idea good. public spirited reasons. Britain's combination. They vitiate their politics. and making a show of face of popular and Parliamentary hostility. The very names become incentives to hatred and rage. proposing a policy. and this is where Burke steps in to make their desire for peace more than just a humane Ameri and pious hope. however.5 melancholy are not. 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. By teaching us to consider our fellow-citizens in us. He gives to the sheriffs political reasons. They have lost confidence in justice. Of most all wars. they are destructive to justice wars strike Civil deepest of all into the manners of the people. but they have not lost their humanity. and by bringing the partiality of war into law. realm of war and there needs to as a distinction between the for war the realm of law. bringing generality with hate. Burke thought that civil wars were the worst. 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. of the realm of policy is very disturbing to Burke. or rather confusion. a hostile light. Their cynicism and 177). The hatreds bom either civil or of broken love have be a vengefulness that is not excused by war. they pervert even the natural taste and relish for equity and justice. (P. they wish for peace (p. He in effect helps to mold and strengthen a peace articulating the issues. By the of law into the British destroy honest patriotism war. any more than its justice ought to overreach be enforced. they corrupt their morals. It is in this background of Parliament's to use the law as an instrument of war that Burke writes the Letter. and he the foresees attempt grave consequences from it. well suited to The theme of of Burke's letter is very an its audience. when the communion of our country is dissolved. necessity Although law the common good. the required is of an extent that goes well beyond the equity required for justice under the realm of law and law.
is to detain in England for trial those who shall commit high treason in is pleased to America" (p. they take the confiscated cargo. and. 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. contrary. third. rather giving it to treasury (p. to infamy to punishment. 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. as long as it shall think . . 178). The determination infamous action. but. because. is behaving like who appear tyrant. inconsistently. The British will not them the respect owed to a noble love of liberty or to a formidable enemy. those whom that act the act The second purpose of qualify by the name of pirates. 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. Although piracy and their equation treason share the same sentence tween mistaken virtue and (death). 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. than law. The determination a it. 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. 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. In fact. by confusing by be denying the accused a fair trial. the British the will not even allow them the pity owed to the con demned. blurs the difference be (p. and then distribute a war themselves. 179). the British themselves. traced to the all-consuming anger of Parliament. Their hatred is not entertain accompanied by pitiless- ness and fearlessness. 178). because they do the possibility of their own deaths god. image of death neither softens nor horrifies the British. defeat. to enable administration to confine. . by treating fourth. put to death the the cargo amongst American men.80 Interpretation defense of expressed as a justice against tyranny. Burke says that it under the cloak of naval is the British to be the pirates. to the they rejoice at quality of the action. 179). in fact. second. therewith. Burke argues that the objects of the suspension corrupt the order of crimes. the guilty justice in four different ways: first. the distinction itself of American rebels as pirates was made with the add intention allow of insulting them. by treating innocent citizens inequitably. Hatred determines the crime. proper. THE PARTIAL SUSPENSION OF THE HABEAS CORPUS The partial suspension of the habeas corpus has two objects: "The first.
The spirit of just victory is completely lacking habeas in the British. 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. This insolent men as some only reflected in its characterization of American naval pirates. 180). 181-82). Parliament replaces justice with force and will. manly defiance becomes the only virtue. Parliament its proper time and place. . therefore. tying half dead in England). This manliness untempered whether by justifications and fears. it be the imprisonment killing enemies. it acts like both a its actions are not justified by country. The accused is. object of their own insults. (pp. them down and then in the hold tossing them in forma trial. therefore. ought to evoke feelings of horror jail. because the legal process appears to be nothing more than a cover for the arbitrary will of Parliament. The punishments serve neither or nor the ends of which are victory. 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. Burke does habeas corpus not hesitate to precedent point out that the partial of the has its justice in King Henry war. as if In they is have killed British in to prove themselves virtuous. in England for trial those But these trials cannot high treason in America" bring possibly be just. far from making the British godlike. it and expresses of itself in simple or the domina of tion. and The proper place for the punishments is in America. the British more insult them order by calling them cowards. but not according to justice. should the ment English be victorious. Yet the English in will await a pro they have lost all feelings of pity and humanity for their fellow Englishmen in America. rather than the the crime. the absence of justice. taking their goods. VIII (p. After strength not is American should defeats. 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. tried ac cording to form. because it is blinded by its own indignation. and Burke suggests that this pitilessness will become a permanent part of the British character. makes them of Bristol 81 lower than the By moral qualities of allowing their indignation to dictate the order of crimes. 180). Not only does the trial of Americans in England corrupt justice. finds itself in god a world where strength and a tyrant in so far as is the only claim to authority. but it does produce punished not even the desired effects of punishment. peace. Parliament denies a place for patriotism in the moral order and. This attempt to punish the Ameri cans through the law brings the law into disrepute. because the accused cannot possibly forward witnesses to defend himself.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs Their wrath. corpus The second object of the partial suspension of the who shall commit is "to detain (p. both. that they will become savage. their proper time is cannot give punish after the war. but also in its description of American soldiers in general. of a The mere thought of shackling the to have them arrive ship (only where Americans. they Britain are only hardened by the punishments.
Apathy is the accompanying obverse of legislated hate. 188). as a life was given in return for a life. instead of of taking out the sting. but its to the corruption of manners. however. At the end of the war. 182). The unequal treatment of American prisoners only treats the guilty unequally. justice possibility The partial suspension destroys public spiritedness by destroying the public. belief in What not makes the partial suspension of the habeas corpus truly dangerous is would its corruption of law.82 Interpretation The punitive hate of Parliament even extends to the exchange of prisoners. because it is The empty prisoners are formality of legal proceedings and the inconsistent treatment of not. 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. 184). The The exchanged prisoners were ing prisoners is to make clearly pardoned. But. the British are intent on punishing as traitors those prisoners who remain mination of American of to the yet reasoning in their hands (p. like the deter pirates. 186). respect for justice has Since the much how consistently the innocent an and guilty with are treated. . it is more prudent not to make crime and punishment respect issue to prisoners. But the British punitive. because it leaves no place for decent political attachments. by breaking draws the first principle of law. to punish the exchanged prisoners. that it be The partial suspension the distinction between men in the differ ent realms and. openly denies some men their rights while protecting those of others (p. parliament is incapable of such prudence. naval men as they were allowed to go free. It dissolves the nation be citizens without the dissolves by dissolving shared the common good. en one of it to a greater requires degree (p. The issue liberty is really requires the Liberty a common good equality under the law. but the distinction between men in the realms treats the innocent differently. innocence and guilt dependent to do with therefore not to pardon the remain upon circumstance. far from being the opposed to manners. Burke says general venoms equity. The hatred affection between the British and the remaining bonds of English in America. the worst aspects of the partial suspension. accords with them and moves them partial suspension codifies their further in the and same direction (p. the limiting qualification. The law be of no effect most if it were opposed feelings and ideas of the people. this action. liberty principle. far as he tell. justice is the as act's can most dangerous is a that. Burke finds it disturbing that the partial suspension. because it between citizens. therefore. corrupts justice because according the action the earlier prisoners should have been punished. It shakes the foundation of the nation general. expediencies of war necessitate the unequal treatment of prisoners. It hardly seems just. never mind possible. This offense to threat to political liberty.
He even wishes that some abuse of the partial suspension would touch them. Parliament's fury appears both ridiculous and irresponsible. the attachment to country. But the British have lost their honest prejudices which supported their love of liberty. The British must doubt themselves. Their hatred causes them to live in the pre sent. They have the shamelessness to celebrate the names of victory of German are mercenaries and to concerned with herald the German generals. He even uses images to induce doubt and fear. have with doses of fear. made the reminds them British feel invincible). in love of country. The specter of foreign powers is meant to re awaken the ties of kinship which and the love of country. British of as individual citizens with individual interests One the ways to make the British think about their welfare is to destroy. 189-90). Burke can move With the reawakening of his rhetoric from fear to shame. the confidence fueling their hatred (recent that victories they have not increased their authority. 191). dark. . In obstinate light of the dangers lie ahead. he tells the he was that the mazes way ahead is intricate. He wants to awaken in the people the jealous love liberty.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. Burke Having specter of British doubt the certainty of victory. with because they harm to their Burke regards of less it British virtue and glory than doing enemies (pp. In sheriffs that order to give privy biting information concerning the real threat foreign powers posed to Brit in the last year. public Since British spiritedness has decayed into hatred in order of Americans. He speaks to the consciences. 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. Burke asks the British to look between the people and their representatives. if only through fear. The British have spread devastation but have only the ground they encamp on and no more. he says unknown a reality. 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. Burke raises the the unknown. He reminds are threatened by their rulers even more than of by the rebels. and full of perplexed and treacherous (p. be can fore they be enlightened. as they are Burke's letter indifferent to its injustice only because they do not suffer from it. it blinds them to their own nobility and their own good. despite American defeats. He first reminds the British of their noble order to en a representative of the traditionalists. British disaffection for their past connected to a lack for their future. He even speaks as courage justice. of concern But. attempts to moderate the extremes of hate and apathy by encour and aging the belief in virtue past. and moral Burke must appeal to private advantage to moderate the British.
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. but they will thing In light of this hopeless prospect.84 Interpretation It is The and no excuse poorest for presumptuous ignorance. Burke suggests his audience to conclusion for themselves) that the British should quit while they are ahead. Far from man's of being cowards. He reminds the British that the goal of the war was to increase their wealth. manliness and cowardice judgement. far from being manly. being that crawls on the earth. they their country. Parliament needs wis dom be and justice. the cold doses of fear that Burke throws nal the heated anger of the British prepare a more ratio discussion the war. of uncertain In light victory and certain understood as Burke reinterprets this partaking famous of death. 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. rather than simply force and in light of the real situation must will. actually the hypocritical others. He has been building towards an explicit for reconciliation but tion and greed. contending to save itself from an object respectable justice cannot oppression. bloated with pride and he is not to fight. Burke must discuss the rewards of war. No desolate widow weeps tears blood over [their] ignorance" (p. They they would offer themselves promise for battle but fortunes hire German mercenaries. 191) Burke to shatters the upon illusion of Parliament's bear its strength. contending for a violent (P. The British can at best hope to maintain trade monopolies. the taxes. By prepared the ground argument reducing British hopes to the salvation of their reputation. is in the eyes of God and man. closest least the to save their reputation not to look weak and foolish in frustration and defeat. With the awakening of their interests. Those in favor of the war. 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. pair facing the Brit ish. that it is directed by insolent passion. show little are content to real magnanimity. states to the . and notable their private and they mortgage exult themselves performed some water exploit. without a consciousness of other qualification for power arrogance. those in favor of peace are acting responsibly. calling for battles which but his servility to it. as if they kindred blood pours like from the arms of foreign soldiers. They (he British invincibility draw the He but of good fortune. or at money in the form of best the British can hope for is to not receive them. when in triumph. "no blood pays the forfeit of [their] rashness. Being godlike authority by bringing reason limited in its strength. He also tells them that they will not get one cent from America. and satisfied to be himself mean and miserable. dominion in which he cannot exercise. rather than to punish and to subjugate. order to render others contemptible and wretched. helpless creature. 199). pride of a coward. Burke has for his plan. any without civil wisdom or military skill.
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. He is be heard but is rather competing for their ear. The obstacle to almost unanimous support with peace seems. they must earn that trust. Burke argues that rebellions are provoked rather than encouraged. he must invoke a truth beyond the source and collective or conventional of wisdom. to risk with defeat their own arms. the Americans must trust in themselves. In order to and break this whom circle of hate distrust. 195). Burke turns to reason as the foundation his policy. He is cautious in his blame. because his objections to its policies only increased its obstinacy. of Without the affection and strength Englishmen. This is his moves to first statement about British guilt. by pointing to the arbitrariness of Parliament's American policy. therewith. the Americans can place their The way to form and strengthen the peace party is not through parliamentary debate. the power under will be popularly recognized as such. 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. 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. he wards ate it slowly by first arguing that the Americans cannot be peace. therefore. rather than certain tyranny. as it is asserted that talk of peace encourages rebellion (p. 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. THE ARGUMENT FOR RECONCILIATION The of argument for reconciliation must address itself directly to the accusation treason. Honesty and prudence compel him to take his case to those decent citizens in whom there still exist justice and pity. the Americans are virtually alone. Burke has absented himself from Parliament. to that to reconcile while of in a position of strength is magnanimous the glory Parliament. Burke's not criticisms of disputing their right to trying to make unanimity are not direct criticisms of the people. to be the for the the war in England. (1774). and Burke shows As things stand. Just a short time . 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. and be trusted.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol 85 British. themselves. cynicism. 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. He is the people doubt Parliament and. above the voices of many. remains as he stated earlier to Parliament in his Speech on American Taxation and. both addresses popular and parliamentary.
207) omnipotence. that it is not will be resisted.86 ago Interpretation Parliament unanimously opposed the war and was willing to negotiate a peace. waves of chance and. therefore. but that their desires should be respected because of their strength. Burke recognizes Parliament's sovereignty only because it its power has exercised for a long time and continues to do so. by habits argues that abstract Parliament rules for the He does not argue that the have rights. The argument for reconciliation on an argument about good government. Burke paints a picture and cowardly in defeat and confident and insolent Parliament lacks the gravity and constancy of reason and character. The arbitrari can serve as a wedge its policy cannot but induce doubts that the lukewarm from the majority While Burke dares British politicians. granted social rights (pp. He turns their traces the cause of the war to bad politicians government. but people. it may be the mind. be governed. at best. Now. but that no other given part of only the invidious branch of taxation that legislative rights can be exercised. Due to the strength and the constitution ought to have offices which can variability be appealed to of public opinion. having recently tasted victory. beg leave to observe. Parliament is unanimously in support of the war. He is thereby domestic politics. 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. GOOD GOVERNMENT In the Letter to the and ity of Parliament Sheriffs of Bristol we see Burke attack the ruling author defend the colonists. (P. 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. he can accuse aggrandizement. legislative The not government should exercise its rule with as much reserve as possible. The people are. can neither be admired by those who love virtue nor ness of followed by those who worship the promise of success. but it is nothing in the direction of affairs. its passions and mind are enslaved to the prevailing fortune it meets. because Parliament has given itself claims the right over to doctrinaire fanaticism. Parliamentary of obedience sovereignty is (p. to separate not accuse the British nation for the war. so as to offend the people. because the British had suffered defeats. because Parliament claims to have the sovereignty. It rides the of Parliament that is fearful in victory. Burke people not justified by an abstract legal right. 205). 210-11). even though right of they have no representation. rather than oppress it. when public . I must attend to public opinion. 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. Parliament to tax the Americans. therefore. Par liament must.
Compromise If the in the the and reform. they embody than parlia ment. Parliament must be heard. but it which gains might strength through the knowledge that there Since institutions in so public opinion is they important. of Bristol 87 The government must act as a kind of grievance committee. as a defense of freedom in general. Thus it is wise not destroy case the convocation of the clergy or any other ceremonial also mentions offices. religion more the monarchy. and. compromise to the extent that first principles are better left uninvesti By painting the world in extremes. He condemned the French Revolution in no uncertain terms. If one puts together his discussion of good government of his policy reconciliation. It requires compromise. is of theories of susceptible government to the ex tremes of theory. than the particular men in power or an easily remedied law. If Parliament had listened to and had studied the Americans. 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. then the responsible should party Parlia to case of the American Revolution god of be prudent enough satisfy complaint. freedom others. politics. ought not Burke's defense of American freedoms. one sees that he flatters hopes to put pressure on and Parliament. 211). 208). not because of a perverse humor. as it was by the New Whigs. Freedom. rather theory require tions for injustice. through pressures placed on. . doing what one wills. Freedom then be understood as to any government it is understood by the Americans. it free would know that the Americans must are averse other than a one. to be mistaken. ment. the charac understand ter of those over which it governs. but with the belief that the problem is not with the entire constitution. Freedom is not an abstract principle. because of the fixed sentiments and beliefs Burke the people. The voice of and his friends is are a weak minority. the clergy and of maybe even veto and its legislation. but are account thinking in terms of an abstract legal doctrine that fails to for the character of the factions. Burke is quick to point out that. from. however. of all becomes such tyranny as and usurpation because freedom is thought The perfection of in an extreme form. In light freedom. Reason cannot tolerate an freedom in theory is its death in inconsistent principle. any more than is sover of eignty. parliament can no longer legislate religion. and even independence. Burke the veto power of with the monarchy. like authority.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs opinion changes. But Parliament is are not attention to public opinion. just in they are needed (p. whereas politics tends to blame entire constitu demands gated. and it must have the to appropriate offices for the appropriate complaints. the particular men running the govern people are sane enough responsible to articulate their particular grievance and blame those ment for the problem. The this lower world (prudence) is needed to secure the blessing of the lower world (peace). but because of a consistent opposition to the influence of ab stract theory on political life. which The British make a studying the are not particular circumstances prudence they must decision. They practicing (the god of this lower world).
and the monarchy the status and rights they for themselves. rather than cod ified. do the doctrines of the rights of man and the absolute sovereignty of parliament. He is critical of favorably the disposed to the former but the latter two. not a principle that is destructive of all order and prudence. because they only extend and exacerbate the evils of civil war. He even considered civil war worse than are more savagery. they affection. because it is a principle of compromise. because the hatreds of civil war difficult to satisfy. These feelings and ideas of significance drown out the feelings of pity and horror that are the humane emotions evoked by slaughter. on the are bom more from vengeance than an government. made themselves absolute by claiming they denied their opposition the right to resistance. of principles of destruction that sovereignty of parliament are. and savage cruelty. the latter has its in the wrath sovereignty fortify puni hate because they make authority absolute while denying the opposition the right to exist. they claimed to embody mankind. Interpretation one must understand the demands of each faction and what is needed to satisfy them. 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. the aristocracy. it implicitly legitimate The rights other possibility of legitimate authority as well as rebellion. General theories passions. The idea as of no taxation without representation does his criticism. The French revolutionaries made their anger absolute by claiming principles of and serve General freedom to tive to speak for the rights of man. 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. rather than acknowledges the hate. thus denying claimed the church. 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.6 ire of an atheist. Abstract ideas . as he saw that philosophic replacing hatred by lending fortify historical meaning to killing the enemy.88 thus. bom of sovereignty and rebellion tend to fortify the most extreme of self-righteous of the most extreme circumstances. Moments authority lived. collective are bom from disappointed trust. of man and the absolute hand. Burke sees fanaticism leading to the practical both anarchy and tyranny. In abstract theory. The British Parliament the authority of a god. idea the common good or of legitimate while The former is bom source of the antitheological of a god. No taxation of a parliament without representation does not deny the legitimacy It is to exist or legitimacy of grievances against one. 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.
to law by evoking the pity fear accompanying the breaking of it and. The Reflections justifies obe dience then. 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. Burke removes the claim to justice with which they excused their faithlessness. malice. eyes each of the revolution's victims the church. and affection by describing suffering crimes of innocence of the murdered and the stupidity. and executions. who resented vengeance and on their exclusion from title honor. The legislator must whole. because the citizens need theoretical principles for knowl edge of their rights and duties. broke faith. though in theory. Burke says that the first law of revolutionary legislation is to their own destroy all that came same before it. It is a stage upon which Burke brings before the racy. greed. is helpful for understanding Burke's opposi tion to abstraction. order a of how This is especially the case in a philo sophic revolution. The goodness of the cause and the wisdom of the laws cannot be reduced to mo tives. confiscations. In this. horror. in particular. By looking into the actions and motives of the principles of the revolution. the aristoc and monarchy. the revolutionaries treat country in the way as would a foreign conqueror. The Reflections.7 He gives them human feeling justifies their exis He shows their virtue and beneficence Burke also with which they were painted. 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. is contrary to the first and principles of politics. guilt.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs is to restore simple and of Bristol 89 the and feelings of pity. In not fact. their persecutors. pocket- anything more by which the merchant class. he never argues that revolutionary idealism than a platform and in effect. might Some Burke of being fact reductionistic and opportunistic. 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. could and satisfy their books by confiscating church property speculating it. 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. just as their crimes are contrary to human and divine law. 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.8 The incommensurateness of theory and politics comes into focus most clearly in the revolution's activity of legislation. They destroy . He argues that the revolu tionaries slandered. He defends decent morality accuse and obedience to the law as necessities for a free people. and especially to science. he must have an understanding of the ends of government and each of the parts contribute to that end. and the tence.
philosophers are fanatics: independent tractable. 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.9 The critical negativity that stems a love of ridicule is compounded by the detachment These and abstractness of the scientific mind. they do the not seek to reform but to build from political science. but things. It is who are undoubtedly true.10 Burke's understanding legislator is inextricably connected to his understanding of the nature of politics." Burke denies cause him to despise the By showing theory. they of any interest. united them as a people. but that does not the conflict between politics and mind when rational. Their them. The legislator have of in his soul. almost says that the revolutionary legislators have a disposition towards de that They have the taste of Paris. they from love men too little. He is aware that all rebel lion contains evil. which means they have feasted exclusively on satire. . would sacrifice the whole human to the slightest of their experiments. that they . God. . he the appearance of continuity to mends and patches. those are unqualified habitually and employed in finding and displaying faults. and that the habit of criticizing and good breaking the law tends to must give make human beings completely lawless. though it may paradoxical. of from the declamations astonished and buffooneries satirists. for the work of reformation: because their minds are not come good. . the modem atheists are revolutionaries that politics politics. who would themselves be if they were held to the letter seem of their own descriptions. The ancient sceptics had no public spir itedness because they thought the law was conventional. are ready to declare that they for the good they pursue. philosopher. yet he must not spectacle of injustice that he hopes to bring The legislator is neither about a Utopia through punishment and persecution. it always flies before 520-21) defects must of Hate cient and abstraction are the legislative soul. he teaches limits of both. Philosophy not place be so him beyond the suffering blinded by indignation at the nor vengeful his fellow human beings. but in general. which if it operated alone would make them more rage are carried away with such headlong race towards every desperate trial. is at their horizon like their horizon. humanity (Pp.90 the Interpretation beliefs and habits that nothing. because they think politics can be made can be made fully rational. Your legislators seem to have taken their opinions of all professions. ranks. because moderation they are defi must in love. nor fanatic visionary. 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. offices. Burke has two types in he speaks of the thorough- . This defines their task and wisdom of their new Burke struction.
and he ways on different occasions ridiculous absurdities. The number geometricians who are and shape dividing ask and. and order to do so it must must division and of labor. like promises proportion. The materialism of the chemists expresses political arena as antitheological and antiaristocratic accompanied itself in the from but it lion is not. the uniqueness of human beings 301). Its rebel to be used against them. and recognize recognize and the peculiarity of the political But chemistry and geometry are material and simple. because it deals political order upon with number and The is not. up France create districts according to for loyalty to a measuring stick. but these are the two categories over which a man has no control. 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. an un geometry differentiated mass. unique character of Geometry. Nothing can come for infinite divisibility. cannot recognize the politics. while geometry reduces them to number and shape. they to represent and to secure those interests. its rela tions depend more graphical accidents than upon numerical necessity. chemistry and geometry can produce a association. In formative act.12 chemistry. which of it. decent morality his rhetoric and Burke understood that prudence and used were threatened by the French Revolution. however. 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. At best. therefore. 524). and may in and do exist in total degree much greater . a by numerical from understand the science of the revo lution to have divided itself into these different functions. begins with the idea that the end of government is the satisfaction Government is independence not made in virtue of natural rights. substance Chemistry and (matter) its own geometry can only recognize the categories of quantity. however. possibility (Reflections. Legislation is deliberative p. rats. to have the power of ordering. and Reduction and abstraction are the essence of their sciences. in fact. a mathematical order. His attempt to restore the political perspective from that of abstract rights and science of wants. and reaction of those experiments consist in churches and ammunition the manors of aristocrats and then tearing down the transforming the rubble into ire. and exist in much greater clearness. 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. creating Burke does. atomism except by a principle of order. Chemistry reduces human beings to their lowest common element. The geo boundaries and of political associations are are meant formed by interest rather than symmetry. whereby chemistry creates and order uses its materialism to oppose groupings authority.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs bred metaphysician of Bristol 91 the geometrician and the chemist.
developed its own Ideological differences. The belief that the cause government it is conducive to resignation. courtiers and political men would public in or der to enjoy freedom from scrutiny and indignation. (P. about the parts are at (p. not political because he temper ment the idea of right. or rather conflicts provisionary mode of principle.92 Interpretation of abstract perfection: a but their abstract perfection is their practical defect. 222). 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. Burke opposed abstract was against began. asks the public to government believe in virtue and to believe that corruption is not innate to like to (p. 215). from the funda mental end he derived a new basis for the rule of gentlemen and a new under standing of ancestral authority. for America had. Government is human wisdom to provide for human wants. do not rise to dissent among the people as naturally as do particular situations which clearly threaten their welfare and their liberty. or to an equal share in government. Burke therefore He have been virtuous men who cared about the public. The doctrine that because moral man is selfish poses a great threat to leveling made destroys trust in government as unsuspecting confidence. inherently Why would corrupt is a servile belief. of government. If there are to be compromise and freedom. By having right to everything they want everything. 221). of Thus he amongst argues that "unsuspecting which all confidence is the true rest" centre gravity mankind. since the belief in argues that there civic virtue is impossible (p. Unsuspecting confidence look after is simply trust that the government will not be oppressive and will interests. such. but because he wanted to it against abuse satisfied from both authoritative and rebellious pride. then there must be moral . If Parlia had the Americans and by differences between the British covered. Unsuspecting interests confidence assumes that the government will look after public and not their own private interests. to tax in order to restore American trust. people can Burke thinks that the live content under the watch of Parliament. then all the political the Americans would never have been un by this point. He also points out the opportunistic reasons that lie behind the opinion that all excuse themselves is selfishness. To the contrary. But the actions of Parliament and the arguments of sophisticates suggest that all men act solely for themselves.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. 370) Burke did of not a contrivance of derive from this end the equal right of each to be the sole judge oneself. give repealing the tax. 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. Burke hopes freedom and to cure apathy and cynicism with spirited jealousy is of one's own belief in the possibility of civic virtue.
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. avarice. If be a nation and is to be more than a band of robbers.14 birth that form own will or consent are not continuity and community. rather than connections of its sovereign. The people are the product of the constitution. however. and a brutality of accepting of political men. 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. have dence is to time degree of public spiritedness. liberty. This necessity of justice that equality The understood as qualified by country. is gentlemen have defending the habits of continuity on interest in property and. Burke con guardian their fear to be a that the of their virtue. The issue of property to that other moderator of takes Burke away from the satisfaction of wants partisanship patriotism. but they do are not possess the character and mind to demagogues. but trust that is called to account and office. just the aristocrats and parlia confi ment must show some concern not for convenience and wants. from time yet does not require the usurpation of authority Burke preferred unsuspecting confidence to the rights of man. should the people rule. Some have so much authority to the past that Burke must . Burke thus suggests is rare and weak. but. natural Burke thought the rulers. therefore. there would be no brake on as them (with the exception of a preferred military dictatorship). 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. 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. of the people actually threatens the satisfaction of wants. an Perhaps most important. therewith. 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 provide only necessary Burke's attempt to found attachments and authority attachments without status of morality in prescription. 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. in which it depends. 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. Every edge that nation must exist somewhere to the exclusion of other nations. a Unsuspecting blind faith or apathy. on habits of continuity gains the thought that prescription gives any basis in one's but also ennobling. The as are though people dis must. not so much because he thought there entailed were no such rights. satisfy those grievances.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs indignation directed that virtue at of Bristol 93 the government from time to time. They competent to judge their grievances by their feelings.
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. It is something to be Although He respected. 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.94 Interpretation a have been He did traditionalist. . Prescription the constitution is satisfying want. History is so far from being rational that it is turned to in order to support attachments that are threat ened by reason. mind. because he never believed is not Hegel's state. not think that the British constitution was the best form of government origins and because it had divine because it was his own. it is viewed as an unintelligible and superhuman force. He economics. 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. . Liberty is in danger of being made unpopular to Englishmen. To the contrary. The origins are inferior to the end product. all other Those ingenuous feeling minds who are so fortified things. tion or even an proven idea that be conceived greatest independent Prescrip beneficence. force. But Burke did not equate the ancestral with the good. and so unarmed to whatever approaches in the shape of disgrace. but he never allows the idea of impartiality or universality to dominate politics. we begin to acquire the spirit of domination and to lose the relish of honest equality. and beneficence. but the end product does cess not exist independent of the pro by is which it came into being. brings a degree of the common good. . Burke never thought reality. Contending for an imaginary power. however. Prescription Burke's ideas a matter of of political convenience and political pa process triotism. Provi dence appears godlike in its mysterious dispensation.15 The hidden hand is not. Burke never lost sight of the conflict between the particular and the universal. It gives the political body continuity and its citi zens a shared past and a shared providence destiny. 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. satisfies and its benefits are those habits of virtue and affection that preserve the constitution. rather. for the a leading to is the does for politics what satisfying Adam Smith did for result of variety of needs and desires. 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. viewed by its beneficiaries as a series of accidents grounded in man's desires. never harmony between natural desire and that history constituted a realm of be real.
1954) p. Burke constantly encouraged prudence in the governing. but that his portrayal of the problems of politics and much art unless his defense he had its perspective could not perspective. which will retire they considered as sure means of honor. (P. espe cially in the great. country a universal suspension would serve liberty and by awakening the sense of urgency amongst all the citizens. 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. contains its abuses within it. only because they have elected him. Prudence makes the former feasible.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol 95 finding these principles. Karl Marx. the latter necessarily corrupts. So. 1980]) follows Marx in 1. he apathy sought to preserve the perspective and attachments of political life. he and sought indignant fanaticism. He is ment and goes well beyond the presentation not godlike himself as a virtuous representative. but because he loves virtue and country more than himself. Burke offers no greater counter example to the extremes of his time than himself. but rather in his beneficence and wisdom. He age gives an account of himself as a representative in order to encour the belief in virtue and the love of liberty. not leads to tyranny and misanthropy by destroying an idea and a feeling of the common good. a God. on hand. In to preserve prudence and public spiritedness from cynical politics was not that of a suspect particular. disheartened and disgusted. B. but they can trust him. he is in his self-right eous wrath. to be grown in disrepute. as an alternative to the Burke did not citizen and of portray the life of reason the statesman. 223) By fighting prudent a war with with laws and punishments. The partial suspension. although Burke recognizes the power of public opinion and public opinion the need to work with it. Unlike Parliament. and he encouraged the people towards a measured jealousy of their liberty so that they would not become either slavish or ambitious. He does not court power the prevailing opinions of the people. The suspension would outrage the public if it were abused at home. His Yet one cannot of visionary. 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. It would have been much more universal for it simply to only the other while suspend the habeas corpus universally. so or a misanthropist. be executed with seen past that NOTES Wang. In turning to life of the prescription and polemics against theory. Macpherson (Burke [New York: Hill and so far as Macpherson saw in Burke a bourgeois capitalist above all . he also recognizes the need to recognize virtue. in order to guard against their authoritativeness and brutality. 260. Burke himself is be an example of judge of yond the salutary hopes to virtue. C. Capital I (Moscow. to foster the love of Furthermore. the British Parliament has in fected justice hatefulness and expediency.
many other cities. vol. Works. 1960). vol. independent farmers of the and that all the classes not (artisans. p. Reflections Revolution in France (Harmondsworth. Hippodamus failed to understand the nature of political order. Eng. 382-84. The Complete Writ 1945]. and wished to be learned in nature as a Hippodamus did his ambitious dress according to the different seasons. and Aristotle criticizes Plato for trying to make the city a unity. sympathize with Burke's ideas of prescription. and three kinds of legal suits. 5. vol. 279. p. therefore guaranteeing a military dictatorship. Conor Cruise O'Brien (The Great judgement of the French Revolution is Melody [Sinclair: Stevenson. 439. 8. a more participatory form vol. Burke's Despite their to define a realm of political existence cannot but remind one of Aristotle. He he thought he was the first person ever to propose died in battle. 350-52. but I think he emphasizes the aesthetic aspect of Burke's politics at the his political thought. In from looking to the number three for order. but by thoughtful considerations about the protection of liberty. 1994]) argument. 364) and thus he could not For Burke's vol. Hippodamus thought that his and rulers would be popularly elected. be legitimate according to the laws 287-300. he made the military the farmers by giving the army their own property. rather than his ideas Hippodamus was ambitious. and to Burke. Politics. and Aesthetics [Thousand Oaks. and Hippodamus for his ambition and simplicity. 2. 6. 431-32. he denied and the artisans arms. Furthermore. 4. his regime on the number 12. 1994]) argues that Burke's understanding of change was not informed by conservative opinions. and the 7. 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. All references by to the Selected Writings of Edmund Burke. Works. CT: Greenwood Press. 533. Stephen Browne (Edmund Burke Alabama Press. they both ideas. artisans the military) would be loyal to and the city as a whole. pp. The faults of Hippodamus are the most important to both Aristotle damus only. The mind and the disposition of the Sheriffs clearly character Burke writes A Vindication of Natural Society. Aristotle draws attention to the importance of Hippo calling him the first political scientist. CA: Sage. 15-16. farmers. Burke says that the genius of the of the old regime. wore by cheap whole. portrait. 94. 31. 9. p. Jackson Bate (Westport. Interpretation Paine thought that all hereditary government was ings of Thomas Paine [New York: Citadel Press.: Penguin. ultimate differences. tyranny (Thomas Paine. pp. of govern 3. 7. adorned himself with expensive ornaments and long hair. was cited within the text as Reflections. Glorious 1984). vol. vol. Edmund Burke. was so He knew nothing about the influence of force and interest. Nor did Hippodamus know He thought that instead of voting innocent or guilty. 282-83. Old Whigs. Conniff finds him too cautious for not advocating vol. 164. Hippodamus models three. Phaleas'. 1854-89). 10.96 else. pp. jurors and . W. 2. three sections of the city. page number alone are 3. James Conniff (The Useful Cobbler: Edmund Burke State University of New York Press. 1. remind one of the old man ed. attempt 8. he failed to understand the unique nature of on the politics. In desire to know nature as a whole. pp. 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. and warm clothes in both the not winter and the summer. pp. Politics of Progress [Albany: 2. Phaleas for advocating equality of property. 431. This abound psychological account of the many political reasons that in the Reflections. 282-83. but according to his fancy. although ment. 358. remarkably similar to Aristotle's criticisms of Plato's. Burke's criticize the attempt to understand politics through abstract and mathematical criticisms of the legislative science of the revolution are Hippodamus' best regimes. But he did give the any property. There are three classes of citizens. 1992]) argues that Burke's decisively determined by the fact that he was an Irish Burke fails to appreciate Catholic. vol. p. 101. pp. and by looking at the man. reflections on progress see The Works of Edmund Burke (London: Bohn. 520. 3. In An Appeal from the New Revolution that it pretended to to the 11. and the 2. in whose 6.
Works. natural right is an indepen dent principle that used as a standard for political 16.237). . and even expected. 348. rather than action. Mansfield's analysis of the difference between presumptive and actual virtue helps to clar of ify Burke's relation to political life pp. takes issue with Providence [Durham: Carolina Academic Press. uses his understanding to support men of political prudence and virtue. 1.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs should of Bristol 97 be able to vote in shades of grey.9-10). pp. He honors for those individual judgement. as in the French Revolution. not simply its evident usefulness. 1984]. 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. trans. those presumptions must are Presumptive virtue rests on about justice. 331-33. NJ: Transaction Publishers. 6. 15. 1954). rather than the presumptive. pp. because understand on he thought the law that the was like the arts. vol. 406-7. 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. 1993]. of Chicago Press." the ruling majority and 14. (Harvey Mansfield. 2. p. He failed to and law is undermined by the habit changing it. Canavan. the man of actual virtue. thus making an who improved the law. In the Spirit of the Laws. Works. Science. a person of actual virtue defend the presumptions against dangerous theory. Montesquieu argues that the opinion of one's own security is the end of the law. 29. of Chicago Press. When questioned. Strauss has in mind the realm of thought. Williams ("Burkean Descriptions and And Political Representation: A Canadian Journal of Political representation can still serve overcome it. Stanlis (Edmund Burke [New Brunswick. Thus. because he thought it made prudence impossible. p. vol. that its authority depends habits of obedience. 294-95. is taken from Montesquieu. he is vulnerable to the problems connected to his providential god. Nugent (New York: Hafner Press. pp. find a standard of History [Chicago: University legitimacy through providence British constitution. and Canavan (Ed mund argue Burke: Prescription that Burke and is a natural particular. Strauss claims understanding of prescription undermines the idea of noble defeat. Reappraisal. 431. According to and Leo Strauss (Natural Right attempt to another. pp. 1965]. he opposed a universal understanding of justice. according to their also proposed authoritative verdict impossible. 470. Burke's emphasis on unsuspecting confidence. susceptible of of infinite improvement. 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. vol. Like Burke. 1991].149-52). Harvey Mansfield (Statesmanship and Party Government [Chicago: University p. 1987]. vol. in Strauss concerning Burke's understanding of providence. case of the Edmund Burke [Chicago: presumptions University Chicago Press. Frohnen (Virtue and the Prom ise of Conservatism [Lawrence: University of Kansas Press. Burke's one solves problem While Burke is able to anchor the and political only to pose life in general. 77). 13. Thomas Aquinas. sanship. as opposed to natural rights. Canavan is for Burke life. for men of action are often. 151-53) law theorist in the tradition of St. who lives according to the actual. 1. 1949). to hope against all odds in the heat of battle. 432. p. pp. and actually increased the harshness of tyranny where it threatened authority but could not Melissa S. against abstract doctrine.
and that in its composition these aspects are not merely parallel or complementary. presentation of this argument occurs less commonly observed that the in two waves. New Orleans Next to the things themselves the the greatest what writings of the philosophers seem to pose works difficulties for interpretation. 26. Fall 1998. the truth observation surface.Interpreting the Twofold Presentation of the Will to Power Doctrine in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra Steven Berg Loyola University. . therefore. No." Preface. 1 . The acter of philosophical readers of his books . In the second. it is incoherent.1 As readers of the book. Zarathustra offers a revised to his teaching regarding calls the power not disciples. 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. as it stands. It is generally recognized that Zarathustra presents an argument will according to which the essential core of all somewhat things is the to power. 27) seems to The book that Nietzsche himself have considered his Thus Spoke Zarathustra." In interpretation. "deepest. to interpret this drama. 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." 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 a work that dramatizes the attempt of a man to we are called interpret upon the things themselves. Within their only clue offered to the things are never they seem and yet the discovery of what is is what seems to be. argument and action. 5. . but to those whom he "the wisest. A genuinely philosophical book might to the golden bowl of revealed with some plausibility be of whose con compared stitution Henry James's novel. 289). The first crests at the end of Song. Beyond Good Evil. but are inseparably It is joined." 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. In our efforts to do so it is useful to begin with the consideration that a drama is composed of two essential aspects. Vol.
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. however. of Thus when Nietzsche's utterances Zarathustra is through which simply as collection Zarathustrian Nietzsche gives voice to understood his own opinions. Overburdened by its superfluity.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. therefore. According to one auditor of his speeches he is lucky to have escaped with his life ("Zarathustra's eschews all Prologue. one of these version of a man called Truthsayer. then the distribution. he is not a god: part of his wisdom is his knowledge that "god is He is." however. Once deconstrucreturn its deeper levels are taken sight of. 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. however. like the be merely a superficial or partial aspect of his thought. but as such to be more than human. If it is primarily the fact that he is wise rather than ignorant that accounts for his superhuman condition. ridicule and hatred. he is met with incredulity. 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. the will to power proves to doctrine." man since more man by his lack of wisdom or ignorance. of accordingly. As it is attempt presented in "Zarathustra's Prologue.4 If Zarathustra is human. It. This under persuading live. Appealing directly to the multitude." men in order to distribute his wisdom thereby "become empty is defined dead.3 At the opening of the work it is made clear that Zarathustra not only takes himself to be wise. insights the articulate the kernel of what comes return. Zarathustra will relinquish his than superhuman status by going down to ignorant men and distributing man his wisdom to them. e. he and wishes to "go down" to again." 8). however. 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. It seems that Zarathustra to will somehow attempt to confirm his wisdom through its distribution. Zarathustra relinquishes his superhuman status may then only ultimately to renew or reconfirm it." But this his means "to be again. demon strates the false character of that doctrine Four a as such and. no mention is made of it in Parts Three read not and the work.100 Interpretation to response his invitation to "seriously the test" "wisest.g. therefore. In the light appeals and of this failure Zarathustra upon a novel strat- prudently further such direct fastens .. 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. the superman. much passes for the core of Nietzsche's philosophy. his first distribute his wisdom to men is an utter failure." this account.
" holy." Here he that if be made to speak. 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. as Zarathustra calls him. the people. he insists. em but rather what good and evil. since. Behind the creator. despite their variety. 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. require that beings who speaks: man the rational animal. one Afterworldsmen. this activity is directed to sustaining people of which the people to gain legislator or creator expanding the power of the is the founder." "will to for the first time. in accordance with its law. 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. Since the of about good and evil are derived from the laws the various political commu nities. the apparent: he believes that he is in being. power" In that speech of Part One in he ploys the term Goals. the It is the of the creator that brings the law into being and. Persians. The understanding and interpretation of interpret the speeches of that one being among speaking believe it being or. "On the is to be interpreted or understood it to as man. according to Zara thustra. speaks to man only being. therefore. activity stands the legislator or.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 life of the superman ("Zarathustra's Prologue. the Still. Zarathustra proceeds with As the narrative unfolds and his attempt to initiate his disciples into his teaching. root cause of all the will to power is the things. That is to say." or power over neighbors meaning various creation of all victory "the high. including his soul and mind. the good for man is understood by the law to be convertible with moral virtue. But being. which those speeches are first and foremost concerned to articulate not what is being. the first. Thus whatever allows a and victory or power over itself. Jews because all and Germans all speak differently about good speeches and are formed by different laws." 9)." character of his alleged wisdom becomes of possession of a causal own knowledge principle "all including is the the being of his knowing. agree in articulating an understanding evil as identical to virtue and vice. "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. however. all of of good and them. acting in the light of its truth. Zarathustra does knowledge of not possible to gain an immediate access to since being is through examining the speeches of human beings. calls "praiseworthy. The first of this wisdom will to power. in the Aristotelian phrase. . according to Zarathustra's understanding. its things. law.
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. it were. to a Virtue. therefore. however. law that is. That the related political and aspects of claim. first no people" the successful completion of this promulgation. 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.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. their legislation will also be the first to have been articulated in the . 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). 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. divine. in his farewell speech to his disciples Zarathustra looks forward to a superlegislation future in which his friends. is at one and new teaching in the time the distribu as tion of wisdom and the promulgation of a law. but rather fellow creators. in Zarathustra's own words. as it were. To create great endeavor. indicates. that he cities of men. a law that is. but identity between them. is Zarathustra's goal. therefore. Zarathustra. nite laws. to creating creators. 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. perhaps. believes. It is this than human. directed to producing a determinate number of subordinate legislations or. the to power. 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 "humanity it plasticity self or in the proper sense does not in fact exist. the coming to be of the superman. as an expression of the indefi Zarathustra human. insofar as he takes the paradigmatically human speech to be the authoritative speeches of the law. is indefinitely being of infinitely malleable and that is simply a reflection of the essential being of all beings. however. longer disciples. 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. standing above and ruling a humanity they have helped to fashion. Zarathustra to wish to establish not simply a link." nations" among its brotherhood of equals. This new "light to the will itself recognize Zarathustra as the source of its light and. overarching then. human beings seems necessarily is.102 We Interpretation see that. according in what to Zarathustra. At the close of Part One. It is with this end in view has descended from his his mountain solitude to offer his the same a That teaching.
But Zara these thustra identifies the have perfect possession will of wisdom with secured happiness. this his account of the core of all beings as will to power and as indefinitely since plastic. Through it the political animal the rational animal will have been seamlessly joined and the law and made one. rule of a justice that is identical to a certain form of inequality. simultaneously confirm the truth of his wis condition. At this culminating moment hind his veil. therefore. as he At the moment of the Great Noon man will no principle of all join longer is the between animal and god. 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. 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.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra light of 103 the the truth of being. it and as well. 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. humanity being If he is itself into successful for the in his endeavor. It will be a legislation in perfect accord with man nature of and man man's things or. "the Great stand Noon. 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. saying that Zarathustra fails in this endeavor. Accordingly." 1). The of his knowledge have become of coextensive with the horizon the law. will creators. create dom and. as it were." 3). by and made of same means his happiness made ("Zarathustra's Prologue. 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. the superhuman creator over his human creatures. Zarathustra will. but animal gods are and superman. while bringing humanity first time. It almost goes without fails is the question. 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. a natural law. the authenticity of his superhuman if he is indeed able to make another like himself or confirm That is to say. This teaching is is engineered produce within them the freedom of mind and will prerequisite to the activity of comprehensive: creation. 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. in celebrating the feast of this new epiphany or. 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." things. but teaching as from Zarathustra's speech of command own teaching." 3). reveal himself to a his career. 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 . friends and fellow creators ("On the Giving Virtue.
they may appropri they may reject it in full awareness of its truth. on the basis of their own or ate this truth for themselves. What this incident another is that Zarathustra's attempt to make at like himself. lies the desire for suggests This doctrine is." of first half his of Part Two. 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. of with the particular enemy claims a he here confronts. however." Zarathustra seems to believe that he has at Consequently. must reject in full awareness of what it is they are rejecting. which marks the cul mination of a series of engagements with his "enemies. 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. opposed to Zarathustra's own doctrine of justice as inequality. to be absurd. however." "divinely strive against one At the same or moment. the distribution of his author. By the seventh speech of Part Two ("On the Tarantulas"). it is precisely what made clear at the awakes at Zarathustra demands Two." victory over he bites him of and infects him as equal revenge. 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. The venom of the Tarantula is his doctrine justice ity at the center of which. rushes his teaching.104 Interpretation so ing The that. as Zarathustra has argued. his venom." in other words. "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. of latter. the Zarathustra as "Tarantula" "preacher equality. of course. 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. but about himself as the the basis of his inadequate understand mountain retreat ing of the dream. that the to pave the of teaching he believes to be a path to will instead prove way to enslavement and self-enslavement. 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. to create his equals in the form of fellow creators. Neverthless. appears independent inquiries. What and grotesque of a devil. Nonetheless. them to become his enemies and suggests that from another. This interpretation. 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. he henceforth they now bids last sufficiently prepared his friends for this rejection."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. of course. 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 .
has its motive not wisdom and thereby his superhuman simply a desire to confirm his but moreover a longing to share condition. dependent position as disciples and attempt to become in their own autonomous creators right. but infe who will always fall short of his own perfection. requires that they his teaching as an external determination upon their wills. the com incoherent in its own terms. But precisely in such rejection they obey the final command of. fellow creators and wise instead result in one of two remain his disciples may returning equally unsatisfactory situations. be his love nor to offer love to him in return. munity is now apparent to Zarathustra. they may transform themselves able neither to cannot from friends into accept enemies of Zarathustra and. they must liberate above oneself as one's it. to establish a community of and reciprocity. It . dependency disciples' upon or subordinate status to the will of an Thus the truth of Zarathustra's teaching. therefore.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra 105 that (Begierde) ate another to give and receive love effort to with perfect mutuality. 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. as Zarathustra setting up only law ("On the Way of the Creator"). Creation. which reveals Zarathustra to be the legislator of his reject own supposed self-legislation. 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. but by the falsehood of their willful ignorance. On the other hand. and adhere to and fulfill this teaching. therefore. prove incapable either of or even of they may reject their properly receiving the gifts of his love. is under in pursuing the their own independent activity of creation. In order for Zarathustra's disciples to become fellow creators. and this is men. consequently. disciples and. made clear through stands following reflection. On the one hand. And in creating while rejecting the true teaching of creation they are determined not by the truth of the will alone. this condition with another. 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. is perfectly self-sufficient self-legislation or one's own will their wills from any other. therefore. and It thus reveals Zarathustra's distribute his wisdom. that is. In attempting to liberate their wills from subordination so all to the will of another they subordinate themselves to the will of Zarathustra. as through such distribution cre like himself. 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. If they are to become his equals in creation they must reject that teaching in full awareness of its truth. The distribution of his wisdom create not equals capable of rior creatures of his will properly receiving returning his love. that is. Moreover. That his disciples but fail in their his enemies efforts to free themselves from Zarathustra's tutelage by becoming however.
" Consequently pedantry. wisdom. As he puts giving. 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. revenge. compatible with the moral law insofar tue. Zarathustra's attempt to combine jus perfectly reciprocal tice and love." Through its distribution Zarathustra distribution distribution proves to sought to confirm own terms. 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. the punishment or desire for soul. but by self-mockery.7 either to command another to be free or to will a Consequently. my virtue grew it in "The Night Song": "my happiness in giving died in tired of itself in its overflow. with his wisdom. 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. and the desire for revenge within his soul. confesses that this he In no longer knows where he is or how to go forward. The dominant passion of the preachers of equality. rather than confirming his happiness or bliss. 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. he is in useful a state of aporia. As "The Night Song" predicts. will supplant the for love his the perfection of Zarathustra's giving or creation proves to be at the same its undoing. 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.106 Interpretation be impossible for Zarathustra to create another proves to proves to like himself because it be impossible love.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. Through wished to pro- his legislation and the transmission of . dancing of a group of "lovely wisdom. 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. consequently. 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. Yet that thus be impossible in its of This impossibility law." 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. self-sufficient a them aware of their own poverty and dependence in relation to He will put them to shame. spite. ("On the Giving Vir 1). will produce in his relations to his recalcitrantly inferior disciples the sad passions of envy.
Though in his trayal in a dialogue with his beloved Life of his unsatisfied thirst for and ongoing suit. and his beautiful as the loving community of the believes to be a new extramoral account what he instead wise. 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. the morally or legally determined under and pursuit of wis philosophy. Thus if in Part . to secure the good happiness for his fellows with and himself. 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. the In doing so he considers himself to have stepped beyond the limitations of the political realm. that understood need on is. or that love is incompatible with the self-legislating freedom of the will. therefore. and the good. the just as final political order. 381). therefore. As he reveals at the close of "The Dance Song. since. pursuit of Wisdom Zarathustra comes close of a to the ophy and. all human community established upon the basis of the law. That is to say." he cannot understand his life to be worth living if he cannot believe himself to be Song" wise. The in wisdom and toward the awareness of self-contradictory nature of Zarathustra's Gay Science.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. He man as political and man as rational and distinguishes sharply between concludes that the only genuine good is a transpolitical good. in which the just is included as false appearance.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra vide a comprehensive solution or 107 to the human problem. 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. that false horizon now of the is. from the perfect possession of speeches that beginning. 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. in "The Grave attempts follow he of to resolve his perplexity by jettisoning both his understanding understanding and the political good. 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. 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. of the rational good. he has identified perfect happiness with the and the two wisdom. the word "philoso por phy" nowhere appears within the speeches of Zarathustra. in his his newly won awareness of his the ignorance because he finds perplexity into which he has been thrown he misses the mark. elaborating of the beautiful. He cannot painful beyond endurance. Accordingly. 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.
. Zarathustra's la angry accusation as mentation. 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. consequently. 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"]). the longing for revenge. a love expressed in (seligen Geister). order to lay a wreath upon the tomb of the lost loves of his In the course of the lamentations he offers loved dead. however.g. 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. Zarathustra's primary opponents. and his revulsion before and the low extinguished his love. e. that is. His creation was supposed to guarantee both "eternity" the perfection and of his love. control of The failure of be brought completely under the the distribution of Zarathustra's wisdom to to .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. envy. As is his habit. but of itself personified as a malevolent host assembled to oppose and thwart vulgarity him in his endeavors." 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. 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"). happy. 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. rabble who are those whom the Tarantulas or preachers of equality serve: the of vulgar or well or the great majority fountain human beings. 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. Zarathustra blames his failures position." 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. Nevertheless. 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. In other words. for having corrupted the souls of those he loved best spite. fundamental doctrine ple of both his He original and his revised teachings remains the of the will to power. and reaffirms the will to power as the first princi Song. the conditions of possi bility and his his actual enjoyment of will. and by infecting them with the vulgar or base passions of. and however. "enemies" however. That is love were to say.
The greatest good.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. 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. he says is. seems of to be this disgust youthful enemy. manifests itself in an infinite becoming. In the immediately following articulates "The Grave Song" ("On Self-Overcom to power doctrine. but to those whom he calls "you he now embraces precisely the unlimited character of the will and the wisest. It is a protean mon must not that hides its essential indeterminacy in the ceaseless production of false in his and ephemeral appearances. and resurrects the creative activity of the can continue will highest The will to power doctrine. and the of the by the infection of his longing for revenge. and indignation that have led to the premature deaths his loves. 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. must be to the status of a transitory and so false fabrication infinite of the will to power. in expressing its or unlimited character. He adopts a dogmatic skepticism. "whatever I oppose how I love it rooted I have to it and my love: thus my win will have it. but perpetually limitations upon its own activity. Be that it may.10 At the end of this same speech Zarathustra offers his new extramoral ac count of the good. "the good. he also concludes that any particular vice. Zarathustra thus replaces his dogmatic moral wis dom with an amoral skeptical wisdom that nevertheless remains grounded of the will fundamental dogma to power. in the infinite power of the will. spite. he realizes. His cannot skepticism extends to all supposedly final knowledge." again and soon and. therefore. Without himself being aware of it. 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." creative It is identical to the creation of values as an ongoing activity or to the ever-renewed . destroy ster such self-created only perpetually create. In doing so go of rest he lays to as the as his desire for love good. as well as relegated teaching concerning limited and any particular teaching now regarding the character of being." Life." indefinite plurality or virtue and all of its creations that he originally sought to limit. however. ing") Zarathustra his revised version of the will No longer addressing himself to his disciples. As a conse good and evil quence. 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. For the will. 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.
as the highest good. necessarily imprisons the Thus Zarathustra of mind and will those upon whom he imposes his creation. ."" de Zarathustra's of new paradigm of the highest life in the . the possession of wisdom. or itself stands the gloomy seriousness of those ideals. entails moral (true) extramoral understanding He argues that since the greatest good. the false perspective of the moral law. naively (The Gay Science. through the examination of the laws the various peoples. Ecce with all that was Homo." he describes himself depths. 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. necessarily the greatest evil.110 Interpretation of fabrication transitory teachings of good and evil as virtue and vice. 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. good untouchable. "Thus Spake Zarathustra. of course. If the creation of values requires the legislation morality." as a form of artful play. in clinging to his its freedom. must veil itself in the false the appearances of wholeness and com pleteness of the moral ation of beautiful." 2). 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. 382. as a whole through the transmission of Consequently. Gay Science when he speaks "the ideal of a mind who plays divine" hitherto If the called holy. wisdom and will and And. his desire for happiness as he understands it. the self-sufficient freedom at the expense of the enslavement of everyone else. 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. 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. himself to purchasing his its first principle. . ascended from the plurality of accounts of moral virtue morality. It is. But the "values. he . virtue and vice are immiscible Zarathustra originally thought of that he had. the destruction of values. which he has come to identify of a with beautiful. Zarathustra is understanding and a now able to distinguish between a of good and (false) evil. from opposites." self-concealing above cre beautiful moral ideals. Zarathustra describes it "On the Sublime. will's "sublime" character good. for. then Zarathustra must hence his disciples and mankind his wisdom. 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. But the ceaseless creation of values requires the ceaseless precondition. the creation of values. law or or as he it there. destruction of values as its Accordingly." as a "still sea" whose calls riddling surface hides "impenetrable of the The infinite. that moral has compelled him to distinguish the the good from virtue. the false char acter of which is fully recognized by forth renounce any desire to enlighten the minds of its creator.
" 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. Zarathustra of attempts to demolish the tradition he confronts. comes to understand the implications self. anew out use the rains he has as Zarathustra. and. Zarathustra In other gives dren." 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. now wishes to the beautiful a means to "procreation" ("On Immaculate Knowledge") or the activity in the person of another. truth." up As he the men of the present and turns his attention to producing "chil proclaims in "On the Land Education. he values the admittedly political community. Zarathustra himself has done. therefore. As we have already observed.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.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. think through. The reproduction of the good is guaranteed (cf. the beautiful becomes a kind of rase through which the 206a. the undiscovered in the furthest sea: after it I call my sails to seek and to seek. Symposium reproduction of his own good. to the end of reproduc words. never given a proper sayer comes but is simply called "the to understand is that Zarathustra's attempt to of Truthsayer. his old moral teaching. as a means not only to realizing the freedom of his will. 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. however. It creating on a will fail because each of activity in the person of another Zarathustra's successors can predecessor. He will attempt to direct the sense with another human being." as he calls it. in new doing so. help lower level than his The reason for this . and create engendered. He listens carefully to these speeches. This fellow thinker is name within the work." "now I love only my children's land. These of a new Zarathustrian tradition that will ultimately provide for the coming into the being of a new creator. 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. its fundamental incoherence. the realm of ing the life that is free on and slavery and informed by the of falsehood.207a). 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"). in some indefinite future. but ultimately to the generation. demolish it. As in the case of sexual intercourse. this second Zarathustra will penetrate as as riddling surface of the regnant Zarathustrian teaching. Plato. with caution and of subtlety. is now understood by and from the intercourse radically of one human mind with another.
everything That is to say. 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. 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.. In his dream Zarathustra has . the Truthsayer foresees that Zarathustra will engender not a second Zarathustra. therefore. 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. but in terms of knowledge as well. will exist on a still lower level and not only in terms of creation. The implication seems to difficulties that the Truthsayer has foreseen. and regurgitates an odd assort images of resurrected life. 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. therefore. despite the in some to this region of the dead. in his dream Zarathustra sees that. 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. 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. In words. Zarathustra the Third. just the prophet had predicted. in which "shallow swamps" reins of political rule men." climate in which "the best grow tired of their works" "harvested" after having predominate or the multitude of vulgar "rotten fruit" and. Thus."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. Nevertheless. the future continues way . of Zarathustra's his successor cannot. become the "night-watchman death.14 have been handed over to the ignorant Zarathustra is laid low lapse he priate by the "prophecy" of the Truthsayer. During his draw the col experiences a second nightmare in which he seems to appro lessons from the Truthsayer's He is the prophecy. but rather a all efforts of creation and was. the high point of Zarathustra's best moral teaching. 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.112* Interpretation as decline is sibility perfect of follows.. however." and grave-watchman on the hill and fortress of guardian of other life that has been "overcome" that lies in as coffins around him. If Zarathustra's successor must destroy cannot the Zarathustrian tradition even in order to clear the way for the creation of his own. everything is one. 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. serve as a vehicle for the reproduction of own activity: his own successor. bursts open. Consequently. as it were.
of therefore. 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. Nietzsche does not afford us this pleasure. 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). the Machiavelli. Much as we would like to know how the lieves the difficulties the Truthsayer "drowned. If. 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. The suggestion that Zarathustra immediately following seems this account that the will must learn to "will in its backwards" to refer. 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. From this low point. 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." Zarathustra has the come to that the apparent salvation of his revised ac count of the will to power as the perdition of creativity. . at least at this point.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. By willing will's his own superior existence as of the inevitable in this way he would reproduce the highest good. to say to Zarathustra at the meal they by the speech of Part Three realize entitled "On the Vision and the Riddle. namely. 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. but to willing this willing. not to willing all of the past. This insight is cause. 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." will Truthsayer posed responds to Zarathustra's ostensible solution to the problem he has for him.2). Whatever the Truthsayer may have had shared. when combined with seems to suggest that a initially encouraging to Zarathustra be his understanding of the will as self-overcoming. is the causal principle of number of of those peoples. the series of tradi follow in their decline and renewal a necessary and need course. 1. Dis courses on Livy. then. if any one necessity fall under one of a among the infinite finite number of kinds regime. the peoples must of Yet. more to Zarathustra's own teaching that "the will is a height from which we creator" ascend to the makes began. Zarathustra. recovers he appears to fathom the full significance his that dream. however.
he now concludes that the circular recurrence of finite finite same. saying. eternal return of . 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. however. 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. the first cause own willing: recurrence of all things. 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. but the way eternal recurrence of all as to reproduce it in the or things. . Zarathustra's Riddle" own gloom over this insight is or in "On the Vision heaviness" and the by the voice of the . however. implies the that the recurrence of the past and the future recurrence of the moment in which the eternal return is known and. time itself is sees a Zarathustra. The truth Zarathustra believes himself to undermine his to have discovered. in which it may be willed. but every stone that is thrown . regimes implies a circular recurrence on the cosmological scale or that a power at the core of all being must give rise to the .' 'Where force (Kraft) is. . 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. then the creation or represented will can never be first cause and there can be no genuine liberty in this sense. therefore. seems fundamentally teaching first concerning the freedom of the will. "O Zarathustra high. then he must submit to secondary cause within the nexus of causes being will merely a dependent deter mining the necessity of recurrence. . must past and Accordingly.' "My day-wisdom mocks all 'infinite worlds. "dwarf" the "mind of of wisdom! fall!" who mocks You have thrown yourself you stone him. 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. Thus. the dwarf replies with the cos "all circle.114- Interpretation his doctrine that at the core of all then Zarathustra must reconsider unlimited power. its to necessity by willing the eternal as it were. the As he says in "On the Three Evils": For my wisdom it has more says: "" force. namely. In of the whole of things and first cause of it wills its own will or becomes self-caused. according the Zarathustra's current understanding. In a last-ditch attempt to salvage the freedom of the will that he understands to be the highest good. he therefore makes a virtue out of this way the will so the becomes. since if he cannot will the past in such a future as his own creation." mological and necessitarian version of the thought of the eternal return: truth is crooked. being is an Accordingly. cosmological whole that appears to By willing the recurrence of all things. 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 .
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 . into my throat. as Zarathustra now describes it. Zarathustra's and spit advice to the shepherd shepherd is to bite rises off the snake's head is it far away. Zarathustra trine and in fact describes himself as it. knowledge would Thus. of sickness" therefore. but the per recurrence of the bad in the form of the lowest and smallest sort of the rabble. despite the rosy "monster" his into animals paint of "snake" it. the thought of the eternal recurrence of all things is the or.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.16 dominion would the Truthsayer prophesied. that is. all would be one. the life but is in creative great effect of in. "foreseeing" longer man. that was my disgust at all creation" existence. 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." Moreover. that this the first and final cause of all knowing animals and all being is decisively refuted by Zarathustra himself." 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. 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. 21). paradoxically. . choked me and crept . The presence of the low not only persists human life. Thus Zarathustra explains that "the small disgust at man . the of the . the result of what he takes to be the highest human activity.18 does this promulgate "monster" having he is from him." That "the man recurs realizes would eternally ."17 In the thought of the eternal return the doctrine of the will to power as necessarily entail self-sufficient and shows. the that has crawled his throat. of It is. 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. 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. 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. 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. freedom will at its peak. . nothing be profitable.
In doing so he offers a teleological the beautiful and the good are wherein becoming in which fundamentally is distinct. but is ine rather a projection of and the political onto the natural realm. and that genu knowing will. character of grounded the thought of the eternal return. Therefore it shows both that which a complete causal account could cosmological order. the will and its desire for and i. 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." 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. "purification" That the drama philosophy The three can Zarathustra is ultimately devoted to such be seen by reviewing its overall trajectory. of as on the awareness of the goodness of need and the the other hand. is in the deepest tension with the principle of the life of philosophy." revenge. which this The self-contradictory is the image of a cosmos in double causality of the will. is in accord with reason.116 to Interpretation all things under the bring political realm. Finally. its law and sway of the rabble.e. the char acter of which he takes to be essentially indeterminate or fluid." 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. on the one hand. he discovers that the presence within philosophy in the midst of things is a good that cannot be made to fit . that the will is the primary phenomenon and its freedom being. In Part One Zarathustra found a political order that principle of all is truly just by structuring it in accordance with the true being. the thought of the eternal return developed. of "justice" "freedom.20 freedom his of mind are incompatible his "wisdom. of not be given. 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. Zarathustra's revised version of the will an expression of the most to power doctrine passion. a good that lies beyond the justice of its moral law. Far from having escaped the its justice. Nietzsche's primary Platonic recovery of Socratic sense. 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. however.. love and. as a means through which to realize the the political community and account of highest good. but. of a of parts of Zarathustra as it was published under Nietzsche's attempts to author ity may be characterized as follows. In other desire (Lust) for eternity words. in Part Three.21 need. In Part Two he attempts to employ the becoming of the political community. 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. however. namely. shows such a cosmos to be impos a "rational" sible.
'' something like an analysis of rule of the few ("nobility") and the many ("mob-rule"): "On Old and New "devil" 11. good and evil when the Chairs of and "On the Old Tables. 153. Zarathustra's painted of Socrates' Second Sailing Song" (Chicago: distinction between the necessary and the good. also see Ecce Homo. Writing"). 202. 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. Cf. of this In the original dogmatic and and legislative version parody may be Zarathustra's characterized as follows. On the simplest level. See Letter to Karl Knortz 2. in that irrational.22 upon in his wanderings. is "the attempt revenge" mind of ("On Redemption")." 3. 4. He is simply the most thought Truthsayer." turns out to be Cupido or Eros. 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. it also points to the partial obstruction that the political community and its justice pose to the acquisition of that good. but by only by his community in Zarathustra's the speech and thought with community based not upon the mutual possession. University of Chicago Press). p. 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. 23). 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. As such he is the closest thing NOTES 1. if the refutation of Zarathustra's claim to wisdom points to philosophy as the human good. however." 5. rooted In neglecting to perform an analysis of regimes. That the made clear of speeches of the Truthsayer June 21. 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. Beyond Good and Evil. 10. 7. It points to the Seth Benardete. He explicitly Zarathustra as a . 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. Zarathustra. 4. Zarathustra's mind of is the "mind heaviness" of ("On Reading heaviness. 8. See "On Cf. are behind Zarathustra's thought of the eternal return is in "On the Convalescent. The Truthsayer is obviously neither a disciple of Zarathustra's teaching nor a creature of his will. belatedly offers the most fundamental kinds of regime: rule of the one and rule of ("despotism"). 1888." Nietzsche philosophical version writing its artful completeness or finitude. but that nevertheless conveys a good ness totality is of things which would made possible not be absent from such a perfect whole. Through the twofold parody twofold presentation of Zarathustra's "wisdom" Nietzsche of philosophy. but the mutual pursuit of wisdom. after having covered quite a bit of ground in his thinking. ful man that Zarathustra has chanced that he has to a friend. Tablets. 9. Of course. parodies "wisdom. appears to offer a 11. examination of This discovery human the or political a things. 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. Zarathustra has aspect of the political community that is recalcitrantly his understanding of man. Behind the 6. and therefore of being. Preface. In Part Three. Zarathustra later specifies the ignorance of human beings Virtue" as believing they and know New what is they do not.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra a -117 beautiful to the whole of justly ordered parts.
to uncover that which is unchanging in the nature of things or fundamental problems": see Beyond Good and and Evil. the realm of ignorance and falsehood." 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. to articulate (Nietzsches Philoso 197)." 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. turns out to be a necessary precondition for the life that is preeminently free because it is devoted to the pursuit of truth. . Nietzsche's "On publication of Truthsayer. Homer. The Wisdom of the Ancients. IV. See "The port of Wanderer' and "On Blessedness Against the This thrice-reiterated Jesus Will.118 Interpretation preface parody in the "'Incipit to The Gay Science. his revised wisdom in which mind and the unconditional freedom and self-suffi ciency of the will were to be perfectly combined. it would require "something double. In the words of dictory: I myself am phie myself cause Karl Lowith." 16. 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." 360-425 and Bacon." 1 1. 23. "The speech Self-Overcoming. 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. 17. ed. namely. where he makes reference to the last aphorism of the original edition of the tragoedia' latter work." renunciation is the negative reflection of Peter's thrice-repeated renunciation of immediately before his death. as god. 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." Life's be is self-overcoming weaker steals. 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. lacking . as man. the political between the philosopher's pursuit of the truth must include an examination of the false appearances of the political realm. in community with the lowest of the low and submits to suffering the greatest of passions and. Row. 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. 1988). 13. "historicist" offer a not interpretation accordance Nietzsche's "the philosophical intention. 15." is the im "On Zarathustra's three headshakes before his disciples in Part Two: and see "On the Poets. but only on that of philosophical writing. 1935]. David Farrell Krell (San Francisco: Harper and sense See his Nietzsche. As Nietzsche's Zarathustra makes clear. Matter." Thus Spoke Zarathustra represents his attempt at such a solution. he then goes on to Zarathustra concludes from this self-refutation that is pp. Michael Gillespie Tracy Strong (Chicago: in University with of Press. pp. or Zarathustra. overcoming of need. trans. II.'' Great Events. . therefore. 14. 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. It should come as no surprise. 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. 12. Zarathustra's p. 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. what 53-54. Cf. 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. wonders whether in the way of his understanding the thought This renunciation certain other philosophers as well. The Eternal Recurrence of the Same. 1984). 28-31. 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. "Proteus. Unfortunately. 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. Vol. XIII. 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." "The Truthsayer. Odyssey. reproduces at its peak the contradiction that stands at the center of the traditional morality he had hoped man-god decisively to transcend: is.
1990). 1794)": Daybreak. "Fame and Second Sailing. despite his commitment to a particular set of moral values or convictions (see Clark." necessity in the form of bodily need: he insists on a meal before indulging in speeches. 40. In "On the Convalescent" Cf. 29. "All Song. How lovely it is words and sounds exist: are words and sounds not rainbows and bridges of appearance soul (Schein) between the eternally divided. 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. comes closer to the truth in her treatment of Nietzsche's differing presentations of the thought of the eternal return (see Clark. therefore. Nietzsche on clearly Truth Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press." also Dancing 4." eternal desire longs for "The Other For all desire wants itself: "The Drunken Eternity. characterizes world following that terms." merely by looking into each other's faces. 'de fonder sur la terre l'empire de la sagesse. from the complex motion of the larger argument that in its entirety unfolds. Unfortunately." 21." Having pears by chance. 264). 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. 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. p. 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. above all. (b) proffering a morality while simultaneously demonstrating that the genuine life of philosophy is in the deepest tension with the moral law. Sunrise. Dithyrambs of Dionysus. Robespierre. the Truthsayer proves to be very persistent in alone. she for that doctrine in abstraction from the contexts of the works in each work squared found and. the ill-constituted. 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. 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. Nietzsche himself ultimately will repudiate the doctrines of the to power and the eternal return. To every soul belongs another world. on account of his 227). If both Zarathustra and.'' for every is an afterworld. 3. 30. 36 and 87.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra 18. too too soul had been bitten idea by the moral tarantula Rousseau. 283-85. bumped into Zarathustra him: he simply Need. 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. 381) that is directed to (a) overtly appealing to while at the same time covertly undermining the dominant prejudices of his time. by "convictions" ("Antichrist. "Kant depths felt of to be a concealing surface adopted by the presentation of his thought." 54): Clark insists that Nietzsche recognition that there are no good arguments to support teaching of the will to it. a philosopher free of all attachment to moral asserts the cosmological and that philosophy is. bridge. 152 and 192. 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. and The Gay Science. Seth Benardete. Preface. 289. for the smallest just. Song. however. This leads her to attribute to Nietzsche an attitude that cannot be they with his own definition." and 22. namely. 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. She power. vertu' 20. 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. one can legitimately wishes to appear in the guise of a teacher and promoter of why it is that Nietzsche these doctrines. therefore. . Zarathustra Socrates' 3. chooses to treat which Nietzsche's are arguments 213-27. "Where chattering is there the community in speech and thought in the lies before me like a garden. 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. sceptical in character and so insistence that he is. pp. p. (Speech of 7 June. 27.
Julian Young. + 306 pp. In this essay. $15. $15. Heidegger's Philosophy and Nazism (Berkeley: University of California Press." spawning stimulating new if not as actions least for his perhaps philosophical vision. greater notoriety. 26. MA: Harvard University Press. Heidegger's Confrontation ogy. Heidegger. xv + 232 pp. Since Victor Farias published his book detailing Heidegger's involvement in National Socialism (1987). Heidegger's Crisis: Philosophy and Politics in Nazi Germany (Cambridge. NY: Cornell University Press. $14.50 paper.95 paper. 1997). Indeed. Politics.95.50 cloth. itics (Princeton: Princeton Timely Meditations: Martin Heidegger and Postmodern Pol University Press.. Demythologizing Heidegger (Bloomington: Indiana University Press.95 paper... Zimmerman. Yet these works reverse effect of interest in his for his philosophy. xi + 382 pp. Philosophy. 1996). 1993). xi + 234 pp. x + 285 pp. No. 1990). $19. $19.. and National Socialism Frank Schalow of New Orleans John D. University the Polity. 1995). and Nazism (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni versity Press. 1 . $49.50 cloth. 1993). Berel Lang.50 Hans Sluga. I develop to un- such an approach by examining a wide spectrum of which seek interpretation. Vol.. Heidegger's Silence (Ithaca.95 paper. xii + 129 pp.95. Fall 1998. 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. a wave of books have appeared which develop this theme. 1992). this century comes to a close. Leslie Paul Thiele. Tom Rockmore.Review Essays Heidegger. $49. $47. Caputo. $33.. xii + 263 pp. even to the point of at "apologetics. 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. Art (Bloomington: Indiana with Modernity: Technol xxvii University Press. Michael E..
Farias' attempt ontology and his reactionary outstanding example. of and Derrida. that Heidegger recanted National Socialism its ideology. Rockmore implements criticism. Given this historical archaeology. implicit evidence and that of his his contin to National ways of different Socialism. When scholars analyze Heidegger's philosophy. however. We can appreciate a thinker's politics only even when by lary treatment of freedom. Among first the various books addressing Heideg Nazism politics. One point example. world comes a more recent example within the English-speaking and from Tom Rockmore's Heidegger's a method of Philosophy Hans Sluga Nazism.122 Interpretation his fascist ties. politics. of to Heidegger the intellectual-thinker darkest implications Not surprisingly. we will to expose Heidegger's thought to the criticisms of work those traditions which his brand excludes. which follows on the heels of to re-examine Heidegger's involvement in National Socialism. we can making inferences from Heidegger the man-politician and vice versa. I will point cover the truth about to a theme which remains dormant throughout the majority of those analyses. e. that he exhibited antisemitic provides silence about the ual allegiance evaluate horrors of Auschwitz tendencies. From this a more radical spirit of an of criticism of Heidegger arises ex his presuppositions.g.." in Heidegger's Crisis. of One such is Michael Zimmerman's Heidegger's Confrontation "immanent" with Modernity. several books paint the Heideggerian Among these books is Richard Wolin's The Politics of Being. As bridge between reject discover. is . the scope considering his or her corol of that freedom remains un clear. Caputo's forms an important those scholars who sit on the Heideggerian fence and those who his philosophy because of his politics. attempts to rein vision his thought in such ways more compatible with our democratic become Julian inevitable. we must consider those which explore the ten between his innovative development political views. daeo-Christianity. for example. along with the literature detail ing the atrocities of the Holocaust. In the process. Unlike Zimmerman. which also exemplifies historical. Wherever the terpret criticism of Heidegger becomes which most severe. Although Farias champions this position. including Berel Lang's Heidegger's Silence. the interconnection between Heidegger's concept of freedom and the example of his politics. implements his an "analytic" method to refute by point the damning evidence critics gather against him. In order to discern this tendency. "Teutonic-Hellenism" including Ju- Levinas. we must examine different interpretive the polity ger's sion strategies which scholars employ to outline the place of in Heidegger's and thought. namely. Caputo develops "deconamination structive" strategies as practiced by the luminaries of postmodernity. that may be described This fact-gathering enterprise is crucial in order to embraced as "sociologicalsupport the con and never clusions. which is exemplified in John Caputo's Demythologizing Heidegger. they a conclusion often subordinate their explication of his concept of freedom to already the drawn about his politics. Lyotard.
then practical concerns. The thinker's commitment to authentic existence fosters the openness of philosophical appears between thought and existence. Being and Time (1927). We Thiele's Timely Meditations. ethics. however. which shift in the emphasis on provides the climate Heidegger scholarship not only parallels for hearing the troubling allegations Farias' but. While in capturing the interest of many importance been etched in Heidegger's thought with its had scholars. he this correlation may have been slow in ontological inquiry only by participat in being's disclosure. and National Socialism also 123 Young's 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. Even been prior to Farias' book. indeed.or herself in question and owns up to his emphasizes that a thinker can engage or her unique existence as a finite it self. the Polity. 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. As Zimmerman. 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.Heidegger. 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. then any such investigation must speak to those ethical dilemmas which distinguish perhaps the most turbu lent period in world history. This work. thereby creating a buffer between the brilliance of his ontological insights and whatever myopia he may have shown in his political judgment. inquiry. raises. Given this reciprocity hypocritical to suggest that philoso phy of human can secure a action. 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. e. In this work. As poignant as revelations were. and Charles Scott began Heidegger's to recognize in the 1980's. he If concrete praxis orients the question of being. sanctuary for truth apart from its exemplification in the realm As Herbert Marcuse argues in a famous letter to his teacher: . Philosophy. Caputo.g. must help to shape the landscape of ontological inquiry. 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. already the publication of his magnum opus.. of ethics and politics. II. If the inquiry into being is to have its root in the historical situation of human beings. Nazism. hence. philosophy originates from the concrete situa ing tion in which the inquirer places him. The Farias' effect of revelations.
the which unique forgetting of being. As Zimmerman emphasizes. is "the question concerning all domination over exerts control and technology technology. On the surface.. i. 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. of "enframing.e. The audacity of the politi decision became the corollary to the philosopher's attempt at original thinking. Interpretation . Yet could Heidegger verted went astray by underestimating how leaders be sub by the powers of technology they seek to harness." up to the its darkness and horror to face the crisis of not far fetched." nature.' he did not mean rational calculation. is of political which things. but instead the mode of comportment which opened one awesome and dreadful presencing (p. 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. Heideg instruments of technology.' bloody In Heidegger's Confrontation with Modernity. . spearhead ing violence and mass destruction themselves. but the of technology. technology in social organization in order that we can combat ger saw and this potential both Western capitalism and communism as for destruction. the our need to day. Thus the question he asks is not simply whether his thinking became juxtaposed Heidegger had Nazi ties. pp. granting humanity the power to impose its will on the diver sity of being's manifestation. The inquiry by he can address all of these configuration. Michael Zimmerman and em braces this statement as the leitmotif for his discussion.124 '. let alone the turmoil of including develop a new politics Germany in the 1930's. and turned everything that ever was and truth into its opposite. us most basic global consideration of all remains the problem Because of its solicits from equally radical responses destructive power. 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. One can debate the sociological factors ment which surround Heidegger's involve in National Socialism. "Heidegger claimed that only authentic thinking and poetry could mons cians' human beings to face this save Germany in its hour of crisis. we cannot make the distinction between the he philosopher and the human be being be were Martin Heidegger it contradicts your own philosophy. xxiii-ix) Jews. By 'thinking. and the end of metaphysics. as the political movement which sum hence turned to National Socialism epochal challenge. As Zimmerman states: . 84)." the process of aspects of issues simultaneously and distinguish their As course. That is. A philosopher can mistaken about politics then will openly admit his error. but instead how with such a why what destructive ideology.
recast Going forward. 127). a new opportunity Heidegger's short fall as an occasion to re-examine the perennial problem of the relation and between theory praxis. 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. 84) In the end. As reactionary modernists. Heidegger's hero sense of combines a nostalgia for the Greek origins with a grandiose "destiny" (Geschick) as reflected in Schelling's thought. 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. frenzy and violence. On the one hand. 132) The heroic leader must exhibit the creative power to transform tradition. Not surprisingly. 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. the and National Socialism 'dark' 125 the Nazis meant by 'unrestrained' and was not the of being of entities. [emphasis on] the The grandson of the linking him with Holderlin. . p. Zimmerman pinpoints the dissonance between Heidegger's grasp of the Westem crisis and the prospect of action. conflict and resolution. For those who still espouse Heideg gerian at the themes. (P. his we must still ask where a rift emerges why Heidegger found National Socialism to be at these revelations leave us as scholars. but instead blood and instinct. Once and destiny from destruc having understood tractive. what the Polity. elements of must Art becomes the vehicle incompatible harmony revered and strife. a the greatest chal the lenge is to possibility Heidegger's thought through dialogue which examines of politics in the contemporary world. But the question becomes whether the artist's way of begetting creativity from chaos. that is. Consider Heidegger's . and that he himself was thus the worldhistorical figure who would transform the 'destiny' fate of the West. . it becomes forefront of increasingly evident that the question of politics lies any future appropriation of his philosophy. to seek in the strife of the present the possibility of transmitting one's heri tage to future generations.Heidegger. translating that insight into guidelines of political arises to take On the other hand. philosophy and politics. Yet hubris and quite another to trace origin. harmony from strife. man born in a manger in Holderlin's beloved Swabian countryside knew that he was destined to change the course of history! (P. Sacrifice the rather than comfort provides key to motivate individuals to place their trust in a new political regime. tion can provide even the barest recipe for politics. Unfortunately. the Nazis united instinct with technology in a way which led to unparalleled devastation. The self-mythifying Heidegger believed that he had been destined to proclaim the saving vision of his hero. According thing to accuse a to Zimmerman. Holderlin. domination humanity and nature.
" which speaks contrast to the suffering "truth" of the of individual. Caputo. become 68). and sayer of Heideggerian thought of this tendency does it purging to cultivate another ethos whose roots spring from the Judaeo- Christian heritage. . The second pertains to the discovery of Heideg ger's thought uncovers an and in the early 1920's. e. truth. the scandalous comparison culture . . all of which stem from Hellenic the Holocaust. In a De- mythologizing which plays against Heidegger. Thus Caputo distinguishes the two dislocations in Heidegger's thought from which a new According commitment to topography of questioning can emerge. love. love otherwise absent facticity." community. there have been two major breakthroughs which dramatically changed the face of Heidegger studies. and temporality. 73). the dissident (Derrida). 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 German seem people's Christian heritage does not deterrent in preventing the atrocities of National Socialism. Despite the deaf to the religious orientation of solicitousness about Heidegger's early thought. 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. charity. . Ironically. we must cultivate a plu forum in which various criticisms of his philosophy: the need to heed the the and disenfranchised (Levinas). in must emerge "singular. to the radically to the generic being's claim upon Dasein (p. "His parallels his to specific volitional categories of strength. Only by possible a shepherd. Heidegger's turn to National Socialism thought. To open Heidegger's thought to the ralistic "piety" traditions. Caputo concurs teacher Karl Lowith. in his stark concept of Dasein. As Caputo indicates. 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. 72). who rebuked for his "self-stylization into p. baffling silence about of the gas chambers real to modem agri pain these are all scandalously suffering" insensitive to 'factical' and concrete human (p.126 Interpretation past Within the have decade. (Lowith. 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. 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. in his youthful "hermeneutics of he ethos which includes motifs from primordial Christianity. . In his 'being' " advancing this criticism. "he the flesh in the biblical narratives (p.g. including care. a new voice of the persecuted "justice" (Lyotard). According to Caputo. The first involves the emergence of the political question and the revelations of ment Heidegger's involve in National Socialism. self-affirmation. and heroism. the categories of tenderness. thinker.
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. for Rockmore "hero. Rockmore schol exemplifies this critical does Sluga in Heidegger's Crisis. there is no. stance. 74). "What I call the 'official' view students. 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. roughly speaking." maintains that the key motifs of "conscience. 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. and cial their strategy is to uncover unusual facts about Heidegger the person and then weave them together "innocence.Heidegger. namely. 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. Because Rockmore way." Heidegger's philosophy (e. link (p. and that." story" detective story assessing his As Rockmore states. as Nazism. however. being's transmis its destiny most to a chosen intellectual German people's emergence as a vanguard of world history. In Heidegger. National or no important. these have is no bearing on our assessment of Heidegger may have exhibited as his thought. the Polity. 54). Rockmore. 54). than a reflection upon the princi ples of the polity. he couches the Heideggerian problem of this polis in this which supposedly hold be National Socialism. construes the term sense to mean the implementation of a kind of ideol rather ogy aligned with Heidegger's thought. III. This distinction becomes important. maintaining the its contamination by his behavior from 1933 Interview" a narrower in 1966. Both in Heidegger's texts and more as ars proceed less as disciples in steeped histo "guilt" rians. Philosophy.g. propagated not view only by Heidegger but by some of his closest It is the between Heidegger's political" philosophical position and that. Yet even given the plausibility of these connec tions. the "destiny") are adaptable to Nazism and only Nazism. the self's exercise of resolve and sion of political decision and the of 1933. 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." more makes a stronger claim than most Nazism was based in his in suggesting that Heidegger's "turn to (p.. . Thus Rock philosophy" "resoluteness. 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. despite a whatever personal shortcomings man. Socialism" Rockmore's overarching thesis is that Heidegger's thought is "intrinsically (p.
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. While the macrocosmic events of the Western crisis can be lines. 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. . 100-101). the Holocaust may be of such a singular darkness. gories of interpreted along these character that the depths of its cannot be fit into the cate Greek tragedy. 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. What shared with only German intellectual to align with the dark it about not only Heidegger. in con again neglected the "Jewish question" Holocaust the most abominable maintains Rockmore. stitutes plight of Lang points to a double fault by which the Jews during Hitler's uprising. Of course. insofar as the and then. 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. philosophy assumes such a leadership role as com pensation for a floundering economic and political life characterizing Germany . Sluga tional more reconstructs the historical environment which precipitated the rise of Na and Socialism. the professional and the thesis (p. of illumination and blindness. freedom and necessity. In this clear sense Lang's the is not altogether novel. Lang ger history (pp. but the intellectual others. He emphasizes less the intricacies took in of Heidegger's thought philosophy does can the unique role which cal action. the public and occasional" the private. The "tragic question then becomes. Berel Heidegger ignored the retrospect.128 Interpretation to According dient Rockmore. 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 . 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. In Heidegger's Silence. Ironically. 5-8). 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. Yet Heidegger of was not the was Nazism. In Heidegger's Crisis. never saw the persecution of the Jews as a philosophical problem say that in its own right. but in thought" ignoring the "Jewish question" continues to "settle for limits to his forces life he (pp. unlike the nihilism Nietzsche envisioned. 5). Sluga illustrates how thought transform the fragmented tradition of the German Volk and its uncertain future into a vision of destiny.
But despite Heidegger's Nazi ties. Arendt that he quali Marcuse. a voluntaristic sense of prevails. IV. ontology some of the basic components integral to any freedom. a process occurs. 245-48). 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. be translated into any specific may For example. To preserve the question of to extract totalitarian elements to from to be one of the greatest strengths of Sluga's careful analysis. 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. it may be possible which conflict with the specific politics proves Heideg develop other inferences about the polity ideology of fascism. link between which proclaims a new destiny and the rhetoric of a totalitarian the resurgence of becomes more than accidental. Given this philosophy politics the Polity. which unfolds within the historical compass of being's mani festation. Mill and Kant. In outlining this Gestalt addressing to political. for most critics construe these . dient in In a According an overall where to Sluga. community. 19). setting institutions the decline. 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." forged through the will. in the 1930's.g. it is "political" not obvious fies as one of these of thinkers. the brand of Nazi politics to the Germans ultimately suc a While Heidegger may have embraced Nazi ideology. And ger's while one may try vision. he nevertheless upheld Greek view of politics as involving the determination of the polis as a "site" (topos). it is uncovers especially provocative to claim that polis: contrary to the his e. this sense of the polis formed one important ingre Gestalt of politics which are on took shape in National Socialism. 22). which philosophy prefigures cumbed. Heidegger understood the not Greek polis as a site that combines the human concern for the good with an occasion to act. and National Socialism the 129 a condition of social instability.. but what extent a political crises of of the political. There are many different philosophers to whom we might turn to provide insight into and the nature of the polis Plato and Hegel. And because the determination this ancestry involves both establishing a as hierarchy among its members as well excluding those who do not belong. Indeed. "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. and the possibility of law. Sluga takes an thinker's thought arises through a important step in dialogue with the "reduced" his or her time. an opportunism "timely.Heidegger. action. not Because fascism is so tenets Western democracy.
it would a type of action irrecon (p. it holds only if we accept the deconstructive paradox that governance arises from overturning pre-existing models of political rule. Thus Wolin concept of resolve. e. 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. Yet his opposed to the Fiihrerprinzip. 35 ff. The analogue abruptness Heidegger's political decision 1933 has its in his concept of most ob resoluteness (Entschlossenheit). resolve is of such a indeterminate any prescription of the good within that decision (pp.130 Interpretation formal which concepts whose motifs as stances meaning can in Heidegger first articulated circum only be derived from the them. his commitment to National Socialism. 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). As our discussion of the previous . factic plane. alien to all reduction to the uniform..g. Ac singular character as to render cording to Wolin. and while the addresses the dan involved in totalitarianism. offers steps toward Anarchic be praxis "will be di ametrically cilably 14). The indeterminacy port of Heidegger's concept of authentic selfhood implies that one could exhibit the steadfastness of resolve and yet do terrible things. Richard Wolin is hyperbolic Wolin prospect one such critic we must address before entertaining the of a "Heideggerian politics. vious. Heidegger believed that tological concepts must be developed out of the ontic stream of concrete. An "anarchic praxis" the forefront that of a new epochal relation between being thought. however. he Nazism nor an apologetic makes neither an encounter with Heideg for it primary. Schurmann problem stands alone as a scholar who tackles a tenacious a solution. anyone sympathetic the lack of ethical content pinpoints in Heidegger's which Wolin a problem to the prospect of on developing experience. We must recall that Schurmann Farias' published his book in French five former years before the gers ger's publication of book. 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. a Heideggerian politics must confront." paints a grim picture of what happens when a philosopher In The Politics of Being. While this most problematic. it is perhaps the is among the For Heidegger. In many respects. in order that one to the dilemma in question. action hostile to the standard" solution operates on a plane of generality. sup emphasizes the inhumane ideology of National Socialism. resolve is correlation a way of bringing oneself can develop those in concert with what the situation possibilities which speak demands.). Reiner Schurmann this problem by of explicating the insights suggesting that praxis constitutes the domain for Heidegger's thought. in way thinking and be informed by action and not simply the other way around.
Heidegger had been percolating in Germany and for reactionary form of politics two decades (p. Moreover. but Wolin. for his or ger's concept of solicitude promotes a concern her own integrity. 79). Against Rockmore was by point Wolin. On the first promoting selfhood as by failing front. 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. Because in is not movement pushes philosophy to its surprising that the pendulum would swing in the other direc defense of Heidegger would emerge. is contrary to the demand toward conformity On the second front. Young appeals a sense of epitomized to provide grounds for its rejection" to Heidegger's concept of authentic which responsibility in totalitarianism. it tion and a allegiances than attempts at academics defending every a political his thought. In Heidegger. 50). But in further exploration of the parameters of human freedom may be . 41). Young maintains of not antisemitic rather exhibited concern toward many his Jewish students (pp. When joined Young's solicitude. 125). 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. 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. Heidegger logical categories such as "inferior" was skeptical of any attempt to apply bio "superior" "blood-line" to designate a people as or (p. at least exposes some of their one-sidedness. not answer Young all of makes a case against Heidegger's critics which. 104). Dallmayr's appeal to "letting be" holds promise as a either case a key for developing our political obligations toward others. 38-41). on the ensuing decade would produce more caustic criticisms of Heidegger's Nazi based extreme. which claims In ogy. Farias.Heidegger. philosopher Young refutation claims proceeds of like "analytic" an to provide a point and Heidegger's opponents. Heidegger's of injustice sights into the nature ironic way of re-examining his texts to discover in of justice. Lacoue-Labarthe Derrida. and Nazism Julian as well Young counters the criticisms of the scholars mentioned above. 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. Young argues that Heideg for the other. Against that Heidegger was Hugo Ott. By drawing upon Heidegger's eclectic interests an in Anaximander stood anew as a and Schelling. books the Polity. Young. provides According to Dallmayr. instead. if it does their objections. Rockmore. as those of a wide spectrum of European thinkers from Levinas to to Lyotard. and National Socialism - 131 indicates. Fred ger" Dallmayr crystallizes a perspective that there Along with is "another Heideg example beyond the Nazi ideologue. in regime. Young a sudden and that Heidegger's turn to National Socialism adopted a almost far from momentous which decision. Philosophy.
of light the opera Thus. reorient phi speak In Timely Meditations. then tional concepts ontology implemented in our democratic an original freedom" must be able to cast practices. the between logos and community. in Such an approach refrained to articulate the democratic precepts we uphold. harbors a concession which most of Heidegger's critics have from making. Of in all the scholars who appropriate Heidegger's insights into politics a positive way.132 Interpretation in order to required rectify the Heideggerian Gelassenheit lacks As much as omission which Lang identifies. 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. Thiele raises the question which would losophy within a practical context. Western democracy. Thiele locates this power of critical which fulcrum in for the way that ger exhibits the disclosive other truth. we this "disclosive evoke other of the liberties assume. they yield nuances to enhance our reflections on the polis. 198). but calls each of us to submit to it as a place of dwelling. In words. 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." rather abstract unless it can develop a critical edge to match liberal thinkers' criticism of Heidegger's language political views. Heideg is synonymous with freedom. 48-49). "tolerance" namely. the self's unique way of dwelling with others." Correlatively. If an our democratic system on is its assumptions. language. language and dwell By tracing synergy Thiele develops a "postmodern Yet this perspective remains ing. As Thiele emphasizes. namely.g. As Arendt suggests. is that the power which permits political participation. facets as as Thiele indi cates. simul taneously allows for the cultivation of individuality with a communal setting. p. the nexus of politics. may exhibit shortcomings in our system of know it. What Heidegger recognizes. that democracy includes its own presupposi tions which. if government as fully we articulated. Heidegger develops understanding may freedom "letting be. In this way a community develops. the key to devel oping a democracy lies in safeguarding maximum participation among its mem bers. namely. that moral emphasis on can (pp. 81-83).. Language is not simply an instrument of verbal expression. can also Heidegger's texts be directed against him. A still more unorthodox approach must motifs within a political context order transpose Heideggerian presumably to them. Free speech is asserts his her self-interest over against . that is. 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. however. including "right" as a constitutional resetting the parameters of free speech which we accept (pp. although in a way which can assumptions about of to the naive contemporary democracy. the a first inserts us into the speakers) space within of in way which gathers together each of us (as community (The Human Condition. Leslie Paul Thiele follows this lead.
Through his predicated upon clever extrapolations. 5-12. 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. 86-100. even solicitous of. Thiele shows how the spirit of dwelling in Heidegger's sense. there is a subtle enigma which remains and politics." 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. 292). . means or "place in on such opposition. it Sluga. 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. (For discussion and its connection with the persecution of the Jews. philosophy flourish only it is . . in recalling Sluga's unclarified about ger construes reverse criticisms. But freedom takes shapes within a forum of exchange which safeguards the voice of the other. but as also on the listener's duty to remain open and to. While Yet. the ontological difference these opinions harbor" (p. Thiele's attempt democracy as Charles Sherover does with the pp. the interface between philosophy as the vanguard of Heideg in a philosophy democratic setting: the free exchange.Heidegger. The arbitrary. "The justly hal lowed right to free speech might be grounded not only in the speaker's preroga tive to utter opinions and person. where freedom of speech assumes Heidegger discounts when Since by its nature the philosophical enterprise and even subversive. controversial. thrives within a polis the greatest importance. and National Socialism 133 participate through which contrary voices can in serving the good of the community as a whole. Literally. 60-63). but like philosophical dialogue a greater master. While philosophical inquiry depends upon Auseinandersetzung. but rather is the "openness" beliefs. another the Polity. 167). is a the voice of the other can resound only because there forum in reserved for it itself at within the polis. philosophical inquiry is a "work of human (p. challenge" Disclosive freedom beckons to the democratic ger's thought with (p. 128). Auseinandersetzung Heidegger.) is iconoclastic. the process of unconcealment freedom" itself. p. As Heidegger in the Basic Problems of Phenomenology. censorship. . Although in his as weak rectoral address can "academic freedom" spirited. will which it cannot allow speech to become a self-indulgent expression of is rooted in concealment rather than unconcealment. democracy can be "Democracy is a to link journey toward freedom that remains ever under way. Heidegger take the argues that his exchange philosophers form of Auseinandersetzung to "set apart" (Vom Wesen. politics. 16). inviting not contrariness is contrary response from the other. 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. Heideg help of a Kantian framework merits serious consideration (Sherover. While freedom "letting be" can admit beliefs may discord among its participants.
Pascal. 1958. 1989." Heidegger Studies 1 1 the Political Dystopias. George. is As Heidegger's so (What Is Philosophy?. menschlichen Vom Wesen der Yale Freiheit." Man and World 29 (1987): 327-34. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. New Haven: University Press. Heidegger. Victor. "Truth and Power: Martin Heidegger. no. Silence. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Kovacs. " Lyotard. New York: Paragon Press. The Other Heidegger. Trans. and 1995. 1982. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Heidegger's Ithaca: Cornell Being Possibility of Political Philosophy.. Karl. Heidegger the Trans. GA 24. 1962." Graduate Faculty Philosophy Fritsche. Trans. Kettering. Trans. . 1 (1991): 1-611. Perhaps this time think. and What Is Philosophy? Trans. Phil Temple University Press. Lisa Harries. University Press. Andre Michel. Emil.' Assertion of the German University. 33. CA: Stanford University Press. and Gunther Neske. no. Heidegger adelphia: and Nazism. 1993. GA 31. "On Heidegger's Lowith. Blitz. Peter Collier. Mark. NY: Cornell David. Heidegger and University Press. Ed. Bourdieu. philosophy of its task. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Brainard. Pierre. 1990. in which the fac- eloquently suggest. The Political Ontology of Martin Heidegger. Wilde William Kluback. 1975. Johannes. and Farias. Marcus (ed. Jean T. Joseph Margolis Tom Rockmore.). "jews." Time Journal 14. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann. John. 1990. Heidegger. "On Brinks and Bridges in Journal 18. New York: World Publishing. Truth. 1 (1995): 111-86. politics would then a Heideggerian could become possible at which the time freedom be translated into "multivocality" facilitates than we dialogue among diverse traditions. Martin Heidegger and European Nihilism. The Origins of Totalitarianism. Miguel. Richard Wolin. Martin. Hannah. 2. Heidegger Studies 5 (1989): 138-48. by re locating ticity itself within the polis and the tradition as a whole. Ithaca. "A Philosophical Confrontation with the (1995): 191-204. Fred. 15." Gary Steiner. Jean-Francois.134 Interpretation to the challenge of freedom. de Beistegui. Die Grundprobleme de Phanomenologie. will arrive sooner SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Arendt. 1991. In this spirit. 1958. 1998. Trans. 1981. Martin Heidegger and National Socialism. no. The Human Condition. when such a pp. Political. London: Routledge. but. on the words responds to this contrary. 35). Dallmayr. 'The Essence of and the SelfBailiff. 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. Palo Alto. reawakened challenge not by accepting the elitism Ironically. "Heidegger and the and and the Political.
"A Normal pp. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. and Alan Rosenberg. John. Intro. 1993. A. 1990. 4 (1997): Concerning Heidegger's Involvement in National Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology. Charles E. Ewald Osers. Dallery. Trans. Alan M.Heidegger. 1990. Roberts. on Free Speech. 2 (1995): 137-53. Quarterly Ott. 1994. On ington: Indiana 30-35. no." . and National Socialism the 135 Milchman. and In A. Thomas. Riidiger. Albany: SUNY Press. Heidegger and lands. 1987. Reiner. 1996. Time. "Heidegger's Catholic 69. Heinrich Wiegand. The Politics of Being. no. Atlantic High 1 (1993): 72-97. Heidegger on Being and Acting: From Principles to Anarchy." "A Question Socialism. Frank. and Ethics Schalow. Bloom University Press. ed." American Catholic Philosophical Martin Heidegger: A Political Life. The New York Review of Books. Michael E. eds. Encounters Parvis Emad. 4 (1989): 340-55. Trans. 1. Press. Parvis Emad and Dialogues with Martin Heidegger. Richardson. Trans. Olson. no. Pp. Safranski. 4 (1997): 554-62. the Polity. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1998. 1992). Nazi." Holocaust. no." University of Chicago H. "Resoluteness Ambiguity. Petzet. no. Bloomington: Indi Wolin. 1994. Martin Heidegger Between Good and Evil. NJ: Humanities Press International. by and Kenneth Maly. Thought. New York: Columbia University Press. "Heidegger 27-38. 1989. Chicago: Politics. Trans. Rumor of the Hidden King. Socialism. The ana Young Heidegger: University Press. Albany: SUNY Press. Zimmerman. C. 1992. Schurmann. no. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Scott. Charles. Freedom. and and Philosophical Forum 25. Origins. and the January 14. and Danger. Sheehan. Common Good. William J. London: Fontana. Van Buren. 2 (1993): 121-39. Christine-Marie Gros. Hugo. 11-24. Blunden. 24." Scott. "Heidegger's Truth eds. Alan." Philosophical Writings. "The Thorn in Heidegger's Side: The Question of National Philosophical Forum 20.. Heidegger Jaspers. the Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethics and Politics. "Revisiting Anarchy: Toward a Critical Appropriation of Schumann's Philosophy Today 41." 1996. Richard. Sherover.
Emeritus offers a Professor insightful Political Science of at Fordham University.Whose Pluralism? Bruce W. 1995). Thus the is not whether a particular intellectual tradition is exclusive. versions of pluralism pretend to a Typical liberal fairness. The Pluralist Game. 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. + 126 pp. Sandel. Michael Walzer. indeed could not. and whether it is transparent to itself about its exclusivity.95.50. 26. University Press. $16. others with simply to assert liberalism as an overarching social framework little to supporting justification. Within sketches larger pictures the good society.. Democracy's Discontent: America in Search 1998. 1 . Rawls's Political Liberalism). Democracy's Discontent: America in Search xi of + a Philosophy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. liberals have no rightly of called for their communitarian chal lengers to offer not only critique their but alternative scenarios. While some liberals have become more conscious of the partic ularities and continue limits of their tradition (cf. Ballard Stephens College Conscience Francis Canavan. but what it excludes. why it excludes. MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Like other pluralisms. 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. possess. 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. 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. $24.. The Pluralist Game: Pluralism. and reflect their own philosophical historical development. 1996). Vol. On Toleration (New Haven: Yale xii 417 pp. Public $22. Three recent works do both. Liberalism and (Lanham. Francis Canavan.. inclusiveness and neutrality liberal versions which they do not. must and do include and exclude according to criteria which commitments. 1997). No. each author also his of own alternative version of pluralism. Fall second book. xi + Michael the Moral 192 pp. On the other hand.95.
separate religion from morality and morality from politics are misleading. In Canavan's account. the state "necessarily sets for a whole society. indeed impossi ble. As might each approach ends up defining and limit be expected. the background philosophizing which leads each author to his conclusions about the limits of pluralism varies in cogency and completeness. attempts to put communitarian emphases to in support of a larger left liberalism in his On Toleration. it challenges to would be impossible to sion and cover these topics in this short space. norms by privileging the autonomous individual. By seeking the lowest common denominator agreeable to the many and making law and policy accordingly. whether or not they were consciously aware of its func tion. the purported neutrality and inclusiveness of the lib eral pluralist state in matters of religion and morality is bogus. on dimensions: authors' liberalism and how and why ing pluralism as it does. but or not limited to. Naturally. pluralism and toleration. the state in fact establishes secular individualism as ultimate. All three volumes survey a wide range of renewal of issues including. Statecraft is soulcraft whether it appreciates or wills this result or not. also subverted a consensus which Increased West secularization had circum scribed earlier American pluralism. 76). Canavan cites a number of Supreme Court decisions last thirty years which support this contention. 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. and exerts a powerful influence has institutions" (p. the dissolution of this unity "left millions of other . Law society. 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. Those who earlier championed pluralism did so against this biblically informed background. His an updated critique of of liberalism as a public philosophy. Since Walzer mented version of still supports an aug liberalism. of Social theorist Michael Walzer. lost unity of shared. The categories overlap. in Rawls in Political Liberalism. ex policy unavoidably express Hence. and the relations between economy and polity. surely ranks cluding the best among very contemporary treatments.138 of a Interpretation Public Philosophy. so I thematize the discus two main by focussing its pluralism. and aspects of his version of pluralism are vulnerable to the critiques Sandel Canavan provide. the the effects of recent Supreme secondary mediating institutions. the Institute for Advanced work Study in Princeton. Earlier American pluralism. however conflictual. In Canavan's account. creates an environment on social in which everyone has to live. Court decisions on freedom of speech and reli gion. As Canavan clearly perceives. His identification and recovery of a republican strand in American history and politics recasts the question of pluralism discussion for public discussion.
A main means by which liberal pluralism attempts neutrality is by taking controversial choice. what areas out of the political realm and as leaving them to individual But again. individ liberty. pluralism as a norm is the ultimate value of remain unresolvable. Sandel's alone offers a sustained . Understood in individualist terms. It can only be made on the basis of an antecedent moral of judgment. Again for lack commonly and acceptable moral or the tension between ments over liberty equality basis for resolving for specifying their content." equally faced with ever-increasing calls to In Canavan's reading. they have come to define the range of controversy between contemporary liberals and conservatives. it displaced institutions. hospi tals and social services were injured. Canavan particular. 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. Certainly and American liberal pluralism is hardly neutral as capitalism any other model of economy. Cultural liberalism is even determined by this pursuit that it can no longer judge identifies the the most outrageous wrongs. So liberal pluralism again turns out not to be neutral. Yet of the three volumes. schools. Canavan With Sandel and Walzer. 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. their best. to public Canavan notes. what shall be left to private choice and judgment is itself a political decision. By increased federal private religious at the appropriation of taxes for public education. had helped to flesh out religious community life. Given his A would presumably reject capitalism as well. but the lack of moral agreement in creasingly typical acceptable American pluralism makes such judgments necessarily un to many. These institutions. "celebrate" either argu rights We and are nevertheless "diversity. 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. sustained analysis of the liberalism and capitalism would go a long way toward he affinity between completing Canavan's treatment. liberalism. such values quickly reduce to discussions of rights. he does rejection of commend cooperatives in passing. but without developing the point at any length. pluralism being urged be cause ual it is a condition which supports so liberalism.Whose Pluralism? Americans 65-66). The author very perceptively economic counterpart of ideal liberalism as capitalism and the free market. with -139 the feeling that they are now strangers in their land" own (pp. but hostile toward conditions which make for thriving community. The communitarian vision of pluralism supports also needs fur ther development of an appropriate range of economic arrangements congruent with that vision.
The fact that Canavan's treatment of needs supplementation often provides. public policy his critics have to argue why their moral as But to take precedence over the biblical tradition of to American cultural formation. conservatism (economic libertarian the biblical religion congruent with Canavan Taken to its logical terminus. 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. Groups with spiritual. so vision ought Canavan argues. mon gious to help stem the tide toward secular monism and by a com reli biblically based morality institutional life.. two main forms of contemporary social anguish demon strate the failure of the liberal project in America: fear that the moral fabric of . Thus the not pluralist must also celebrate not celebrating pluralism. On the other hand. to flourish. Given his very critical assessment of the recent drift of affairs. morality so central volume is a set of papers rather than a systematic a problem poses a different kind of limitation. That current liberal pluralism is in fact quite intolerant of strongly committed positions (particularly again underlines its own very inconsistent nonneutrality. both cludes with conservative intellectually reasserting for private and legislatively. tions to pass on are the essential and most defining role community. cultural. and mediating commu intellectual tradi not the state. even more desperate for pluralist For the liberal pluralist claiming full equally and neutral inclusiveness has to or groups which admit. we might have expected a note of despair in Canavan's conclusion. but Canavan con "divisive" religious) as by urging orthodox Catholics (Canavan is Catholic).140 Interpretation of the relationship between economy and community flourishing. Canavan nities "secondary" or the greatest primacy. to make room for such groups in education. 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. on pain of contradiction. If anything. One can but be reminded here of other forms of scepticism. the state should reduce its direct etc. but a situation in which individuals Here as members of various communities can who provides pursue essential human goods. to join in the struggle. creating accords greater social space Of the three authors. social services. 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. things look neutrality. those outside the wider biblical tradition Canavan com mends will likely reject his pluralism. that the reject views of individuals the celebration of pluralism are as valuable as their contradicto ries. Genuine pluralism for Canavan qua is not primarily protection of the individual individual from group or state. Protestants and devout Jews. His treatment analysis of the sort by more in-depth argument and Sandel In Sandel's account.
Through detailed historical account of American public life from the foun ders to the contemporary scene. and this goal has American public policy. cannot everyday do justice to the moral experience. and a notion of ends all capacity block the way. As in Liberalism and the Limits of Justice. Sandel raises the crucial why we should suspend such identity-making aspects of our selves . motivation for the mutual respect liberalism calls for is also undermined. 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. ing of Again. community. Consequently. rights apart to moral and religious views of from the good. 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. Ancient also had aspired to cultivate virtue goal of been longstanding in its citizens. Kantian versions obliga phenomena of family tions. As Sandel notes. Sandel emphasizes the mislead ing and alienating idea of the self offered above all cording to that theory. for Sandel and the republican tradition. both conceptually a freedom as the of the individual self to choose its own and practically. to a solution to these problems. When they tion. Ac else a pure individual whose highest own ends. for instance. with regard and national and collective control over life is unraveling and fear about lost individual life-goveming forces. the self is value resides in its capacity to by contemporary liberal theory. Liberal ideals of neutrality citizens. with others about what is true any or good. the freedom tive. the politics a neutral ideal of liberalism is not timelessly natural. or even citizen obligation. this asocial render human good is misleading. explicit or use in by deliberating but simply for the fact that sovereign individuals As Sandel notes. religious duties. 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. As identification more alien in the whole decline and citizens become to each other. People are born for citizenship. is seen primarily as nega They need protection from the state and each other in order to pursue their private ends. But the self conceived as unencumbered by prior moral definition is an abstraction which of is falsified by liberalism. Sandel recovers an alternative and republican way of genuine self-government from which liberalism can be seen as a de cline. popular psychology manuals make this promoting a virtual religion of the self in which there is no incentive on their content. since these all require description of the self. of citizens In the liberal conception. They natu common affairs. others' based have chosen them. as Sandel documents Failure through numerous primary sources. we no choose its Choice longer of one's respect ends becomes views a kind of end in itself.Whose Pluralism? 141 family. even are deprived this sort of active community participa whatever elites their negative freedom is at the mercy of and participation do govern.
not their simple capacity to choose something . 20). In both cases. telling on the of the parallel argument against moral bracketing from Lincoln Douglas heart issue of slavery. Sandel advocate ends willingness to curb the pseudopluralism of hegemonic business interests. prochoice their views for public purposes. Sandel gets to the philosophical matter of by emphasizing that whether or competing views is true. So Sandel pluralism. moral." up ing what he terms a "mutual appreciation goods which would affirm peo ple and communities for the distinctive or other. 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. We might just as well say that all views equally worthy of disrespect it How since none is true. virtueless abstract vorce and individualism. Or we could relativize the value of respect. beginning would "bracketed" at conception and their view to accept they in effect advocates are also to "bracket" be countenancing murder. and promoting. seeing as one nonprivileged attitude and why would among other possibilities. a contradiction. respect not follow. rightly observing respect that a practical interest in social and mutual does not automatically defeat any that "We cannot without other moral interest. community. As Sandel correctly argues. 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. but legal abor Sandel cites a provocative and against tion in effect simply grants their position. regarding toleration. But even if we substi views need tuted some other version of the relativist claim. The argument for liberalism from is self-defeating. they express. thickly commitments unabashedly by family relations. Sandel observes that if the Catholics were correct about human life abortion. 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. Suspending moral name of toleration does not effect a neutral pluralism. question of what of By raising the economy best serve republi shows a can aims of self-government and the virtues which support it.142 when Interpretation it comes to questions of cooperation justice. then there is for are others' at least one truth which is not relative. and His alternative version the self. His him to morally advocat seriousness about ethical rationality and truth allows and transparent public policy deliberation decision. judg Using the legal example of abortion. not we should bracket depends on which relativism is no help either. In principle. to relative say that we should all respect each other because the truth is If "all truth is relative" is absolutely true. and religious leads him to reject forms of pluralism primarily based upon.
Arguably. Sandel's order. be Canavan suggests. or even malicious. notes the insufficiency of appeals problems to rights and abstractly fair procedures alone to address contemporary These problems vary depending upon the histori- . the same could be said about his ily law. it could as easily have banned King and his fol lowers. and partisan way to which ignores of truth rationality. 90). Sandel replies. raises and responds to a number of relevant objections questions are possible.Whose Pluralism? 143 a Altogether. 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. be added Sandel the offers about civil here that. To the liberal objection that if the bracketing. Presumably. There way would or be no foregone in conclusion about the outcome of of public deliberation one the other. while Martin Luther King sought civil rights for blacks. With Sandel. 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. 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. Walzer of toleration and coexistence. The difference the cause" consists in the content of the speech. To with a return Sandel's abortion example. Indeed. Sandel is arguing account of moral content that public deliberation can and should take permits are before marching handed out. Sandel may depend more on an substantive positions on fam American consensus of biblical morality recognizes. 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. and which community which realizes the very cor is convinced of the truth of its "common" beliefs with practices. in general. "narrow" in his final further But further rejects the In the arguments Sandel moralism of his closing the fundamentalist without course of qualification. Yet he had acknowledged and of highlighted the importance of ethical rejects truth when it came to the content-neutrality position expression. "The answer may be simpler than liberal political theory permits: the Nazis promote genocide and hate. That is. Yet the decisions a deliberation questions can be philosophically shallow. in the nature of (p. Sandel rationality of recent Supreme Court decisions on free an ordinance could ban the Nazis from marching in Skokie. program and its associated pluralism make for tall Sandel himself chapter. 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. 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.
Canavan. of a pluralism which isn't simply cannot fragmentation? We farious a population. ought to be barred from running in elections. 77). so he opposes a voucher system. In the face of contempo ticular political culture of rary critiques like those of Sandel.) Nor can we repair to . and social Where then. so the unity which comes from that richer foundation for citizenship is unavailable to us. according to Walzer. With both Sandel revival of various and Canavan. . since we are too multi United States In his typology of toleration regimes. is right say) tradition. and 'family values' or of their own certainties about what (p. life are we of to uncover the resources necessary for a revived political the sort Walzer wants. (It would be intriguing to see a published debate between Sandel and Walzer over this question. Maclntyre. 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. To the fears state-mandated versions of tolerance education error. together with leaves intact the current crisis. Yet his recognition that liberalism is one tradition among others does not lead Walzer to offer a philosophical defense of it. as an harbor republican hopes. 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.144 Interpretation societies. 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. common roots of alienation and claim that its strong individualism. of and others. Walzer here in the secondary associations. Walzer largely responds by simply asserting his own secu lar liberal dogmatism. attempts While Walzer everyone's rejects by groups with moral to "control behavior of in the name of a supposedly common (Judeo-Christian. Walzer identifies the immigrant society rather than a nation-state with republican foundations like France. Religious parties. this is an omission which pluralism. Walzer is willing for these orthodox parents to their children to private schools (if they can afford it). He doubts that liberal politics be sustained were all children to go into private sectarian schools. with early roots in Protestant and English history. so Walzer develops a suggestive regimes cal and political situation of various and useful typology of five tolerance analysis historical examples. To his credit. Yet by keeping to the larger liberal pluralist picture. 70). for example." wrong" of orthodox parents that ant of religious and that parents send the public "toler may Walzer responds that. "one hopes that they are justified schools will have exactly the effects that orthodox make their children . 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. With Sandel. Naturally. (p. Walzer acknowledges that liberalism is a substantive and par its own. but is unwilling to them of taxation fear" relieve would for state education. .
But reading Sandel. Altogether then.Whose Pluralism? what remains "intolerant. since that would Within the cannot confines of the position Walzer embraces. 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. have less to assert reason than ever to relinquish that good. ." - 145 be of a biblically informed liberal moral consensus. rationality in about we do not and after seriously engage questions of truth and we ethics. and the alternatives for liberalism are either to lack transparency its own particu lar value-structure or see it without philosophical defense.
Jacobis (1929). 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. be indispensable for all serious und zugehorige Schriften Analyse der Bibel- dust jacket. Gerhard Kriiger. and Lowith. Der Erinnerung an Lessing (1937). XIV. H.-). Abravanel's Philosophical (1936). . 434 pp. Cohens Wissenschaft Spinozas Das (1924). Bibelwissenschaft Spinozas marginalia und seiner Vorlaufer (1926). XXXIV.. (1921). among Wissenschaft writings. DM 90 critical editions of (subscription: DM 78. und Volume 2: Philosophie 1997. 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.-). French. 1933-1935). DM 90 Die Zur - (subscription price: DM 78.. Jacob In addition. 1921 to Contains the 29 et essays from the years 1937. Schriften 1936 Konspektivismus and more. Gesetz - Friihe Schriften - 635 pp. previously unknown writings and letters. marginalia from Strauss's personal copies of these writings are published here for the first time. cloth with English) many important. and others published here for the first time. politische other Volume 3: Hobbes' Wissenschaft und zugehorige - Briefe politische Contains. Volume 1: Die Religionskritik Spinozas 1996. Testament Spinozas (1932). Contains the critical editions of Religionskritik Spinozas (1930). numerous previously Karl unknown letters from his philosophical correspondence with Klein. remarques sur nach la science politique de Mai'monide de Farabi Maimunis (1937). cloth with dust jacket.i VERLAG J. in the original languages (German English). The Religiose Lage der Gegenwart (1932). Erkenntnisproblem in der philosophischen Lehre Fr. Tendency Eine Ort der Vorsehungslehre and der Ansicht Das Political Teaching (1937). The from Strauss's personal copies of these writings are published here for the first time. It study of Strauss's philosophy in the future. Gershom Scholem. more than a quarter of which Quelques are published here for the first 0n time: Philosophie und Gesetz Der (1935). B.
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Leonard Barkan. problems created by scarcity 1: Everyday Life: Food life as a major 4: Food not as Symbol or Sign: Food is as component of only what we eat but figures Kirshenblatt-Gimblett. Theodore Zeldin. Marion Nestle. (21 2) 229-2488 socres@newschool. John Hollander (Moderator) 6: Abundance and 3: Key Note Addresses Scarcity: equal Sustainable Agriculture: Ismail Serageldin Food and Access to food is far from Culture: Margaret Visser Richard Goldman. Keep checking for a link at . the fear famine makers with deprivation forum all are occasions reflections on the human condition. or e-mail For more information and reservations. Barbara Examining the Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (Moderator) 5: Food in Art/ Food as Art: Food is both an object of art and a medium in which migrated.edu/socres/food. been assimilated is an of understanding our histories William McNeill.newschool. the ceremonies surrounding mythic and symbolic and it. Sidney Mintz. 1998 What and we eat. at editor of Social Research. Aristide Zolberg (Moderator) 2: Case Histories: ways Barbara a symbol in most religions and as a marker of identity and difference Maurice Bloch. Anne Murcott. its of importance. Raymond Sokolov. Paul Rozin.NATURE AND CULTURE A Social Research Conference November 5-7.edu Further details coming to the World Wide Web soon! http://www. All conference sessions will please call be held The New School. Robert Herdt (Moderator) 7: The Future: Prospects for the global availability of food and ways to increase it Gordon Conway. how food for marks our sameness differences. Robert Adams (Moderator) for artistic expression Betty Fussell. Steven Heller. Kenneth Prewitt (Moderator) This conference is organized by Arien Mack. Wendy Doniger. of diet and food to and security the history. This conference a brings together scholars and scientists as well as about policy in linking discourse the significant hunger. David Pimental. Marc Shell. Per Pinstrup- Andersen. and important way foods have emerged. the joy of plenty. culture and political economy food in an effort elicit new perspectives on abundance.
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