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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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interpretation. has not yet made among inroads into the human men at a time heart. Why this? One finds in the traditional commentaries a number of overlapping themes. and it prejudges the motives of the characters in all three cases. Nimrod. I is wish not to argue that. as argue. not paying enough attention to the different contexts in these characters appear. where it is stated that Nimrod ruled over (and possibly built) cities. the city is impious in their intentions: Cain. The thing I wish to argue excuses. 1 . as a per Nimrod's kingdom of cities understood as a tyranny but fectly when reasonable attempt to establish a political ordering law. man. Fall 1998. in Genesis 10. Second. It improperly fuses the characters and accomplish life ments of Cain. and thus opposed to an allegedly purer form of life.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. it makes funda mental interpretive errors. the city and tower with its top in the heavens. divine or conventional. in light the Babel project. it is said that Cain (or possibly his son Enoch) built the first city. failing to note that in each instance there are redeeming features. or even defy. Traditional exegesis of these stories. the city is associated with improper aspirations toward human greatness or even human divinization. antitechnical. 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. the city is connected with land ownership. Finally. 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. herds Nimrod. was was often sur prisingly antiurban. 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 the In this paper I wish to make three arguments. Jewish and Christian. that of the nomadic Third. Vol. second or at least reasonable those characters. the Babel-builders. few the pride or hubris desires to compete with. with superfluous and which arts. No. from the to be political-theological perspective of the Biblical Finally. those who are supposed to be First. in its urge to theory moralize about the lives and motives of the early city-builders. associated with and antipolitical. the Babel-builders are not evil in condemned For. the Lord God. of the effort they are making is indeed narrator. although intent. in which the unified human race attempts to build Babel. and the which Babel-builders. 26. and in Genesis 1 1.
4 I Interpretation will proceed in the be following manner. Cain. they Eve and the angel of produce much good. of the Next. I will present the political themes which can gleaned from the discussion of Cain. a and Calvin's Commentary on the Pen Commentary on Genesis. have all been impugned. his religious performance is faulty. antipolitical tendencies of commentaries am not the Jewish and Christian traditions.2 kills the son truly in God's image. Cain cannot be expected to God's) image. Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. Fi by nally. heaped who is traditionally him credited with founding Christian character. I will propose my own tentative account of the Bible's moral-political evaluation of the city. legion. has had abuse upon by scores of Jewish and interpreters for at least two millennia. Abravanel's reveal some representative tendencies. Cain. Cain's very birth is suspect. if the quality is acceptable. I have used tateuch. fices to the most Thus. When he sacri Lord (Gen. A. is not said to have been born after Adam's (hence conclude that he is actually the offspring of death Sammael. between them properly distinguished in the text tendencies of establish some general but merely trying to which I can set my against interpretation. often little basis in the text. according to some of the rabbis. Augustine's these City of God. different are all trying to blur the differences and notes). Traditional One Hostility with Toward Cain and His Line must begin Cain. I the inadequacy handling with of the political themes interpreters' traditional remarks the fine details of comparing the the Biblical text. he offers (according to some of the rabbis) the samples of inferior his produce. This negative portrayal of Cain colors the event with he is associated. . anti- I have constructed kind I of composite account of the technical. 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. In fus ing (they own. First. and establishes among interpreters recorded antiurban. THE CRITIQUE OF THE CITY IN TRADITIONAL EXEGESIS The traditional commentaries on Genesis are only enough to Genesis Rabbah. the first city. and I have consulted Specifically. This is why he becomes a murderer and Abel. the an which founding of the city.1 His motives and his spiritual and the spiritual character of with his descendants. Noting that unlike his Genesis 5 counterpart Seth. With this rather unauspicious head start in life. 4. Out of antiurban.3-5). the refuse. 1. Nimrod and the will Babel-builders in show some representative premodern commentaries.3 or. that is. antipolitical atmosphere.
supplement it equally regarding Cain's motives. to will return later. Those interpreters. 21). and David. Noah. however. 29). says bluntly "Cain. Moses. One became a murderer. 21). Cain practised a purely external religion and did not really serve God in his heart. God intended with us. but with his hy pocrisy. Jacob. Augustine sees the city which Cain builds as an allegory of the City of Man. p. vol. another a drunkard. This activ fundamental difference allows room which for a more positive view of Cain's ities and intentions. Calvin on the other. Augustine. Rabbi Eliezer of allows The Genesis Rabbah. XV. some rabbis say that he. 1. who were themselves shep herds: Abraham. Augustine takes great pleasure in repeat About Cain's edly noting that the line murderers. that human society which seeks only earthly felicity and denies our supernatural end (City of God. The names of Irad. Isaac. and Lamech are all said vol. such as Augustine and Calvin. 256). his son Enoch) which would live forever (Genesis Rabbah. (without etymological argument) to of mean sexual "rebellion" (Genesis Rabbah. life into a sophisticated. 5.2).5 Cain's desire to settle down more of a shepherd. we fundamental difference I over the worth of settled agricultural life. p. absent from the Biblical text. 1. that with which originated the earthly city began and ended with is. Cal declares that there was nothing wrong with Cain's grain. declares that Cain's other activities (unmentioned in the Biblical text) must have been evil. (City of God. 255). Cain's leper" occupa no good came of a (Genesis to Rabbah.4 The traditional do not commentators are a condemn little lighter on Cain in one respect: they and ground unanimously (4. ruthless The commentators are regarding Cain's descendants. "wicked" "house" building of a city. 2.The he gives City in Genesis 5 paltry amount after finishing most of it off himself (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. are supplied by the . another choice. Augustine. 8. p. Cain's tion: p. Abravanel sheds light on the rabbinic hostility Cain's farming simpler. finding nothing wrong with Cain's sacrifice. dience for Rabbah see a Contrasting sufficiency and obe Abravanel and the Genesis and life of on one hand Rabbi Eliezer. career. 1.5." therefore became a tiller of the "natural" whereas Abel was satisfied with the Abel. The details Lamech's mistreatment of his wives. and Uzziah lusted after the ground. vol. like other hoped to have immortality through a (presumably. XV. Calvin Cain's choice of occupation as a tiller of the grants that this occupation can be laudable and holy. 17. 153). and them. 192). p. and Cain Lamech Metusael. says Abravanel. Mehujael. explaining that "Cain also chose to engage in artful things and ground. his city and people. that it in fact can be interpreted as commanded by God in Genesis 1 and and 2 (Calvin. and do not hesitate to invent facts in order to condemn them. 8. who only a are not nature of vin willing to supplement the Genesis story quite so blatantly regarding the Cain's offerings. was the proto type of all the great prophets and leaders of Israel. Augustine says nothing negative. technical to run away which occupation represents the perennial nonluxurious human ten dency from the simple.
In general. God" at least more carnal in their interests. the op for him the arts are goods. the former being.22). Abravanel argues that the were destruction which prevailed which before the Flood directly linked to the p. the latter who lived more virtuously. Calvin notes the wickedness of the atmosphere in which the arts arise.).). like beasts. Naamah. superfluous sin.22. his offering to God was shoddy of farming is judged ambivalently. 160). Tubal-Cain is mentioned as noted rabbis for his forging of of weapons (which are not provid specifically the metal implements crime Genesis 4. Such is the picture which traditional exegesis of Genesis 4 tends to yield. Like the rabbis. of p. His birth is suspect. Traditional Hostility Toward Nimrod accounts. Cain's daughters went painted tempting the angels to fall. 217-22). either by the introduction by their desire for He and city which wealth. however. pp. and gifts from God (Calvin. Tubal-Cain's given (about whom absolutely no details as are in Genesis).6 Interpretation (ibid. he affirms the vileness of Lamech's polygamy and waxes eloquent about Lamech's cruelty and inhumanity (ibid. They eyes. 160-62). In who se women are the "daughters men" justified both pp. the he founded. acquisitiveness Cain bequeathed to his descendants (Abravanel. violence and In a more analytical vein. went about stark naked. far as we can tell from Genesis 4. Cain's generation were sinners and rebels who thought p. his male descendants increased the level of weapons or lence in the world. with political life) fall under a dark shadow. XV. with human law making. his founding or even of and/or of a insincere. thus more ing a way for his ancestor Cain's sister to be perpetrated efficiently (ibid. 237-40). did not yet exist). and all its connections (with the arts. and because of this. Taking posite the Cain line on such grounds. they did not need God (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. if not being the "sons of God" completely evil. Calvin refuses to condemn 257). Calvin.). these unions produced the wicked giants who were wiped out in the Flood (pp. duced Seth's line into waywardness. and 159). In Calvin these "sons of are Augustine virtually and Calvin the Cainite self-conscious that they are the Church (Calvin. Nimrod fares only slightly better than Cain in traditional "beginning" He liter actions ally cannot even make a onto the Biblical stage without his .) (which. creating the universal degeneration which lines' being wiped out by the Flood (City of God. 2. it can be said that Cain does not have a very good public image. his taking up an act of city is vainglory of vio defiance of God. 238). Cain's line is uniformly contrasted unfavorably with Seth's line. sang and played in honor of idols (ibid. his female descendants seduced the only godly people into his line have few if any redeeming features. flagrantly about violated the naked with rules concerning incest (p. In sum. view.
First. they supply other examples of wicked people things. if it mighty hunter before the mighty hunter "against" seems bad enough for not Nimrod that his even grant hunting is interpreted hunter. he Abraham. which is the normal meaning of the piel form of the same root. which is what persuaded people to let him them. 3). and. "began" 2. against the order of things that he should a king (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. too. in must company whose as the Cainites and their offspring. 2. From the sense "pro fane. . Nimrod. being a mighty hunter.26 are said. oppressor. Calvin tells He further argues that the statement that Nimrod was a the Lord (Genesis Lord. 175). 2.). man. 260). mighty and thus they can liberally 'rebelled' when he was a one in the earth" (Genesis Rabbah. here found in the hiphil form. 174). in later Jewish literature (Neusner tells us) he oppressive power of us that "hunter.4). 38). so negatively. Genesis 10. tyranny (Calvin. in Genesis Rabbah. who was consigned to slavery by Noah in Genesis 9. vol. who 4. p. XVI. de Rabbi Eliezer. Thus. pp. Esau. he was the foe of his brother Jacob. ants same Obviously. p. Nimrod is lived until evil the time of because. Finally." the rabbis feel justified in translate: "Nimrod vol. 60-61). Another thing which counts against rule Nimrod is his be being a grandson of Ham. however. Since Nimrod is a slave. the ancestor of Israel. was miraculously thwarted (Pirke vol. Esau. In this attempt. who. Augustine tells us that Nimrod. instead of "beginning" to multiply upon the earth. deriving all wicked things. was based on a sham (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. to "rebel" in their calling upon the name of the Lord. he Genesis Rabbah. and they the evil men of pre-Flood "rebelled" days. some of the rabbis do say he fooled people into thinking he could cow fierce beasts." earth. tried to kill Abraham he was young. 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. although it is not mentioned in Scripture. he a 10. as the-verb "to (halal). his claim to might. that is. such evil to multiply upon the earth and the pre-Flood gi announced with the (ibid. pp. And. There is other evidence that Nimrod. but mention rather. to degenerating calling "rebelling. and hence were actually They mention the people of in not Genesis 4. 317). be evil. like all hunters. is bad for two reasons. Nimrod the city-builder evil. In case anyone should think the rabbis are stretching the meaning too much. "beginning" is is verb. p. of course.The City in Genesis 7 being be a condemned. XVI.8 reads: "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to begin" profane" Genesis Rabbah interprets the verb "to mighty one in the (halal). is reminiscent of the other hunter in Genesis. as master of the pagan lands out of which when Abraham came." who "begin" upon the name of the Lord. Second. being a a beast than a human he was also the originator of more like being. and destroyer of earth-bom creatures (City of God. was obviously a furious Nimrod." sym bolizes the Rome (Jacob Neusner. p. is a deceiver. it is p. 420-21.9) means that Nimrod was a rebel (City of God.
bad scent. as one might expect. and. 51). like Abraham. again. They they being given the earth. which. needless to say. want 2. vol. as in the case of Cain." but are on the 50). (Genesis Rabbah. being settling and building in "settled. right motives. scale Olympus and dethrone Jove in pagan mythology (City of God. could hardly him have Urban life. the lower part of the world. p. In p. . he was often assumed to have been not Although the Biblical text does to do with the Babel project of its initiator." "and this they begin to which. 324). too (Genesis Rabbah. 260). Second. with the upper part. His city. "Settling" is moti vol. takes on a associated with and his kingdom. and Jacob. to displace him. like Nimrod. therefore. according to Genesis 10. the plain on which Babel was erected was in the land of Shinar. is repudiated by much of the tradition because he represents was impious rebel against God and tyrannical over mankind. in an summary. was the area of his king dom. it is said in Genesis 10 that Nimrod founded a city called Babel. the Lord.4.2 they decide to vated by Satan (Genesis Rabbah. 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. they are not satisfied with want the are are trying to challenge God. The Babel-builders. and the is condemned because it was the brainchild of Nimrod. There is odious reason to question the connection out between Nimrod and Babel. First. Traditional Hostility Toward the Babel-Builders explicitly state that Nimrod had anything Genesis 1 1. means. the the Ham line. There are other flaws in the Babel-builders' motives. The tradition uniformly condemns the builders at Babel. Nimrod becomes Babel project due to responsibility for the Babel project. the Babel-builders are reminiscent . for idol They filled the sin of pride. do. The rabbis object that in Genesis 11. heavens. God's people do not rest con move. Both their deeds and their motives are entirely wicked. p. which is often assumed to chapters are be the city discussed in Genesis 1 1 Thus. Calvin Calvin. 2. pp. which p. to make a "name" themselves (Gen. 11. and vol.8 Interpretation Nimrod. a city. In any case. for they p. XVI.4). 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. 1. Isaac. 49-50). the two intertwined in traditional commentary. do" translated into rabbinic. at signifies also that they made an on 261. probably 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. sinfulness of He the cruel godlessness of pride and the pagan empires. 3. as I will point later. 2. worldly glory been founded with the set against righteousness. vol. tent "settle" in the land of Shinar. for two reasons." are "rebels. 2. "this they are rebelling to (Genesis Rabbah.
idola They wish to build a settled and secure life or even against wishes. heir of a slave. then of Seth. and is associated with the violence of patriarchs. only God can do these things. is inferior to the way of the Politics. 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. but to conspire against and a God. in order to establish the stated. and the rule of with human beings by others. being Esau's way. are proud. then. They story." us make "let build city"). God's do not need the political life of the city. says Abravanel. At best it is a necessary evil in a fallen world. not rendered suspect by the fact that the first is people to be political cooper to build a better cities life. political which go with cooperation.The of City us in Genesis 9 the godless Cain. Nimrod. if the materials they supplied were . sinners. who defined man as a political animal. and even actions appropriate moral of each This might not be a bad procedure. The city-builders of Genesis 1-11 all have unsavory are They or are fugitives from God ters.3-4 ("let brick. It is their politics as much as their materialism that is at fault. rejection of God. is grounded in folly. which. Summary of the Traditional Critique of the City associations. The city cannot provide for security against death. desire of walking away from God rather than with him. 4. at worst it is temptation to idolatry. Abravanel thus. The arts come from the children of vengeful bigamist Lamech. it cannot give one immortal life or even an immortal name. are equally stained by association the wrong sort of people. Nimrod being things some part of the Ham line which Noah subjects to Shem and Japheth. or rebels against God. thinking to build structures which will keep their names alive forever. they God's murderers. The city. without God's help by They purely human means. apparently picking up on the language a of mutual exhortation in 11. hunting. They are from the wrong lines. are quite are not Babel-builders is how much not they add to the text. B. is ated. manages to slip in the moral that the way of Torah is higher than the way of the Greeks. the human beings who are desire to build is unnecessary. Cain being rejected in favor first of Abel. the arts. Ruling comes from Nimrod. in criticizing the Babel-builders. the art of bringing people together to build a decent civil order. More generally. and tyranny over others. Abravanel argues. which willing to supply motives which are recorded. 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.
even without the extraneous material. They can point to the parallel between Cain the farmer and and Abel the shepherd. When material this far from the text is allowed to shape the inter limited to the go characters' pretation of motives and actions." 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. Nimrod. For example. Cain's line ended with a murderer is also untrue. more relevant interest. to the connection be tween Nimrod Esau the hunters. to justify their They contrast can indeed appeal to a number of textual details. and Babel. for two First. They attribute Cain's birth to the angel They Sammael. however. between the pre-Flood and the Babel-builders' desire for a name. The interpreters have already decided that Cain. again might not be bad in itself. but some of fetched. Another mology noticeable feature is the Jewish This interpreters' fascination with ety and other word play. believe. and other are facts simply do not fit into the antiurban picture. to the fact that by Nimrod. however. the errors the traditional interpretation is inadequate. and would maintain this even reasons." "begin"-"profane" breaking as the "begin" piel ling. There are Nonetheless. and so on. to the between the violence of Cain and Lamech and the rise of urban life and the arts. if all the etymologies and legendary material were excluded. to the fact that Nimrod to the similarity is reminiscent of the evil "mighty "men of men" wiped out name" in the Flood." but also the idiosyncratic "profaning" equation of with "rebel word Again. they condemn Nimrod for his paganism and his attempt to murder Abraham. Some of the claims are errors. which a plenty of loose connections traditional interpretation can be founded. The addition of legendary material and the use of verbal tricks are not interpretation. when they assert without philological "idol. point. 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. they in the Biblical text. Shinar. to Nimrod's connection with and associations upon Ham. far beyond this. and the Babel-builders the reasons for the antiurban are evil. the but the rabbis stretch it beyond the resemblance may be significant.10 Interpretation role of providing plausible explanations for what is recorded. The rule text can mean whatever the interpreters want it to mean. all interpretive control is lost." reasoning that the "name" in the Babel story all mean can only mean or that the names of Cain's lies descendants I "rebellion. Among the following: Augustine's claim that Nimrod was a hunter is considered who "against even God" by Calvin. Sec that there is ond. the evil of Cain and the others is axiomatic in the interpretive tradition in to my present which they have been would argue trained. and enough reading. that the real problem of the traditional interpreters deeper. they are merely the justifications. since Lamech fathers sons who are . to the connection between Abraham left the eastern world ruled Nimrod. philologically unacceptable by found Nimrod unappealing. Augustine's most claim that translators.
rather. or that he ordered the people him. but say nothing against Moses who one? prescribes govern Israel's settled agricultural life. could we expect Cain to build anything but a "worldly city. or out of the wish to build a worldly city without God. out of the desire for a name. too their sheep. the city falling to his arrows." Again. Babel but not in the case Cain. no evil motive is to be flawed in either intention or Similarly. and God does not contradict Cain on this point." The interpretation same such is. the rabbis rage against Cain for is. And settled farmers (like Cain. Further. execution. but he does order to wicked derive this from textual evidence. The common interpretation that Nimrod to aid all the project. Further. there is bad reasoning in the traditional pretation of constructions. is cursed to in Genesis 9. and Asshur in Genesis 4 and 10. Yet the text is that God did nor not gaze unto Cain and imputed to Cain. tilling it. in a parallel manner. are not rounded the association who up in pens of the hunter and with is peculiar. since not Ham but facts that do not fit. In fact. text with uncharitable motives. How. and that the city to protect him. runs against of the clear sense of the text in that of Genesis 11. For shepherds (like Abel) kill things. undertook the Babel project on his own. that Cain had a says justify God. The hunter is the loner. The text would seem was suggest that his motive was fear of being killed. is his sacrifice said supposed his sacrifice. further. and the later Israelites) kill their cattle. because he was a hunter and hunters kill things. Canaan's brother Cush and Cush's son Nimrod are not slavery included in the curse. 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. the shepherd who sells his wool and mutton or in spirit to the city than is the hunter trapper who is self-sufficient. the hunter is less violent. these are nity. not supplementation that Cain's offering is hypocritical. because he does not keep for its entire life before killing it. Ham's son. the entire race. which makes "children men. His victims enjoy God's before as castrated. The rabbis' claim that Nimrod shares the character Canaan. If Israel is not wicked . hardly closer the model of the political man. Nimrod." not help him build "lusting after the laws to a heavenly that ground. Cain is to to build his city out of vainglory.The not murderers of City in Genesis 11 but inventors. Augustine all lifestyle. Then there are the the slave Ham is untrue. the text says that Cain believes he is hidden from God's face. 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. The inter Augustine and the rabbis that Nimrod must have been unneces sarily violent and tyrannical. if God will then. is feeble. lives away from the city The landed farmer with his rural commu in the marketplace. Abravanel. They they are by the farmer. equally responsible for the that the sin of the Babel-builders was cannot explain of the cities of essentially the why God took desire drastic of action at superfluity that motivated Cain. he infers it in infers.
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
The Bible acknowledges that good kings can exist. therefore. is. the "nations. 9. It also helps maintain concord between stay together. Abimelech in Genesis 20). built by Asshur. the between Cain nation. the new creation as it were. Since. 13). cities a son of Shem. either built by or Nimrod in said to dom. amicably dividing the world themselves. 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.19). sons of Noah are obedient in the way that the sons of Adam were never said to be: they "overspread" the whole earth overspreading. Ham. which relied too much on we are innate human told. will have a legal dimension absent from the old. whenever the tribal or them.1-7) to be enforced. these Nimrod either builds group arises in the east as well. the goodness. One wicked one. the city arises. Recall that in Genesis 9. This time.1-7). The next a region called in Shinar. Thus. and since they too are related. and and seems an improvement on the relationship unit. The "king occurring in Genesis for the first time. naming the lands and peoples descending from and Japheth. that populated not merely by individuals but by descent speaking a common tongue and occupy ing a traditional land. must not conclude. people need to have some kind of authority set over a tribal or monarchical nature. those restraining murder and improper diet (9. we must remember and that that such a form of rule was very common in ancient times. The familial basis of nations seems to offer the possibility of internal concord within each nation. in the east. In this new creation. an a world organized on the world by the new political seems to be improvement before the Flood. (9." Asshur." for the Biblical statement and Augustine saw this as indicating was savagery and oppression. The first cities are or comes to rule. something is added: God gives the first laws. in this overspreading. suggests in which one will rule over many. There is another interpretation. Genesis 10 documents this family by family. The new begin ning. that Nimrod's rule was a One might even argue that. the Biblical narrator would not auto matically have assumed such a rule to be evil. which echoed Genesis 1 generally." earth becomes peoples of common nations. if we are watching a new creation. a slight modification to Genesis 1 . Abel.The similar City in Genesis 15 It is as instructions in language that is very strongly reminiscent of Genesis 1. among Japheth separate violence. the migrating offspring of Shem. both over Israel and over other nations (cf. If this automatically and a new political ordering suggests ruthless power tyranny to modem ears. Nimrod is word have begun his "kingdom" in the first in Shinar. however. Ham. without Thus. for the laws of God (Gen. that We may now be able to fathom the Calvin Nimrod was a "mighty hunter. which had no such structure discernible. God's command and In this context of obedience to family solidarity. they occupy it as they were meant to. families (mishpahoth) Shem. the race of Adam is being given a second chance at life. which are life. The peacefulness of the process reminds one of the separation of Abraham and Lot (Gen.
men ruling men). of a any more. the order of creation. first hunter.16 Interpretation God does dread" made. in which other forms of suffering must have been prevalent (starvation after crop failure. I represents a political would argue. one must conclude that cannot as such. Nimrod and his city compare favorably with the Cain line and its city and the Babel-builders their city. at hunting makes He may not have been him the hunter par example of the new. least some of the nations which legitimately source. I would suggest. but multiple vengeance driven by unre (mamlakhah) introduces into the world more stable and orderly.4) or the Babel (1 1. "mighty" being "mighty" a hunter.23-24). Nimrod. may not be pretty. For these reasons. but those men were characterized by neither hunting hunting. The likely to make men hopeless or pre-Flood world. Finally. did the mighty men of old (6. but human for up as prey beings. Genesis 9 to him to be person carnivorous. and that Nimrod's hunting is not in itself a his cities. how to be a "hunter. unlike Lamech's. note that which the only version of law and order hitherto obtain something tyrant. but it is less it has possibilities for something desperate. by God's . Genesis 1 allows implicitly taught that man was to be vegetarian. 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. new order higher than the Note Nimrod does also that the text not seek a builders of any motive of vanity to Nimrod.9)." can one fault Nimrod? He is person said the first in the text said that is. One can grant that a king may become a one must also grant that a king can establish the rule of law. vulnerability to random killing). strained passion. at overspread the earth at least potentially.17). good. Nimrod does not boast about himself. may remind us of the wicked men before the Flood. not speak of upon the "dominion" over the animals which are now given "fear and animals. the first have taken advantage of the new bequest God has "might" given. God-sanctioned It is true that Nimrod. which consisted rule in Nimrod's prescribes moderate and measured punishments. In important respects. and as did Lamech (4. In this context. but it is others who note his greatness on the earth (10. kings are one possible source of law. that the rule of a hunter may symbolize the over urban civilization improvements elements of the new world over the old. basis to nor of an adjective alone. At God's com the rule of mand are ruled not by kings. in fact. Their sins cannot be imputed to him on the strength Thus. but it is perhaps less harsh than the pre-Flood world. we must ing was Lamech's. Nimrod does not name any cities after himself or after not attribute as "name" does his son. from the above discussion. but his literally and hence the most striking excellence. city building. as did Cain (4. Nimrod became famous. Kings may (I Samuel 8). condemn be evil. the text is which teaching at that the rise of Nimrod possibility is new and.8) and before the Lord (10.4). The new world contains harsh (men killing animals. then. and so did his empire.
I certain turn to the Babel story. settled on Genesis 9 that they should fill the earth. speaking one language. The "sons ratively) of reproducing and nonviolently occupying the earth. 428). This desire runs counter to God's all and commandments of want Genesis 1 to build upward. that is. too. in a its top in the heavens. of super-city with together. God at the end of purpose. They want live. if it and was a sin." of perhaps educated obey God. but it is not to be so lightly condemned as it the rabbis. united brotherly love. 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. aim spreading master to many spots. close even antiurban exegesis. of willingness to take on the adventure of human life. too. be was afraid of safe. in one place. the language of mutual entreaty. Finally. It "scattered. They one spot. and in what respects their ambitions legitimate.4). it to be a certain un populating. in the Babel there features grant.4). something. Further. to obey God. and enjoying the earth. Rather. then. Regarding this story. turns his prowess toward the ruling of peoples.28). among these Combs and Post point out. The "sons men" Noah. who have not learned the lesson that the Flood. Babel-builders is. They "scattered. seems to have nothing to do seems storming heaven defying God. the descendants of Flood. process. case of Babel is not exactly typical city." therefore are separated and moved over the earth in a more unnatural and violent manner. 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. as of (11. p." is only fitting. and Augustine. the Babel-builders' adventure of mastering. the language of unity and solidarity (Combs and "rules" Post. and he. is perhaps reminiscent Cain's Yet motives. by natural a by (literally or figu the refuse Adam. The their cautiousness. kind people of Babel do to not wish to be "scattered" upon the earth (Gen. 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. wants them to the earth (1. The with sin of the Babel-builders. 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. are there is a a justification for the traditional however. is by Calvin. scattered.The sion a ect City in Genesis 17 mighty hunter. 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. They heavenward (11. is.5). His proj may be ambiguous. God wants them to move outward. their fear of being a inward-looking attitude. He. No one people (which is why I would con- . The 11. I think. like Cain's.
will in the very next story in the Bible promise to make great the name of a certain nation. were tribal and monarchical. the "sons of will founding "nations. 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. They do not wish to God. It is more likely that the Babel- "name" for their project to christen the marvellous urban struc they have created. in if taking into account the desire of the Babel-builders. his people who accepted the limitations of of nationhood. they do not even mention him.7 overthrow "name. wanting as is fact. but he will obtain the reward sought "name" by the Babel-builders will not Genesis 11. the nation sired by Abraham. as it were.18 tend Interpretation Nimrod had nothing to do work with the construction of the Babel which of Genesis imposed con 11). become corrupt. and seem to be peaceful and nonviolent." of that is. but he was not God in naming it after his son. speaking. unified world-state. may be and the ual or become dedicated to bad ends. 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. separate peoples. In Genesis nized 10. The forms of govern men" ment. but that does not necessarily imply rebellion against rebelling against builders want a ture God." which are "kingdoms" connected with essentially families writ large. built. God. be for . and powerful cities. its be to stop the corrupted universal state from retaining all members in thrall for Therefore. they dream. Cain may have been proud of his city. a permanent essence which. 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. Abraham will continue in the tradition of obedience a not Further. however. God cannot allow it to be The Babel-builders. hold them together in Shinar forever. however thinking. The desire to live in overlooks the is risk that the single. This form of social organization is in trast to the forms described in Genesis 10. In Genesis not allow of 11. the world was orga according according to the to "nations. established by the "sons of Noah" of Genesis 10. are not malicious. will and to give it. then. would God. good which so I think is the one correct one. then. having unable promised never destroy the world again with a Flood. In fact. "name" necessarily an improper desire. and themselves. 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. the situation be irreparable. The or reputation earn. It is true that they wish eternity. validated by the consensus of everyone in it. no possibility of the living. unified world-state. and the only people. is that it is not for human beings to be of utterly that there and arising a different ways of peaceful. only language that exists should If the only state. noble it may be." a and that this may indicate worldly pride. they on together as equal partners toward a goal is not them but chosen by themselves.
12. The arguments for this are well summarized for arguing that it was Enoch. 44-48. Nimrod is establish not the rebellion. Deut. The mo tives of those who built the first mixed. Isaac Abravanel.The martial City in Genesis 19 valor. vol. There are grammatical and general grounds built the city. eds. pp. law. 1985).3. 4. But I do I do not believe that Genesis wishes us to understand Cain as funda stained mentally evil or ungodly.: McMaster University. if one wished to put the city in a better light. argue that the evils of 1979). (Title henceforth: City of 5. that the city cities were Genesis 1-11 would seem is not evil. then. as city of Enoch. God. which do not claim the benefit of God's direct rule and teaching. 1847). p. One separated could use Friedman's (though he does not) to can be from the not require this argument. "Piety and Four" Civilization: An Analysis of the City in Genesis results (Hamilton.: Penguin. Genesis Rabbah. King (Edinburgh. who in Isaac Friedman's thesis. 1972). flawed and susceptible to abuse as they are. Commentaries on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis. the order represented perfect by Nimrod is essential. In societies other than Israel. Henry Bettenson (Harmondsworth. trans. 150 51. 3. The traditional pious exegesis of Genesis fails to understand that merely human are achieve political orderings.. Although the political order is less than in that it requires the exercise of force. John trans. Augustine. Eng. Robert Sacks. . and not always the best. And in one case. Cain pp. because Cain is not so commentators make out. and human decency for any length Like Cain's city "Enoch. in Ralph and Muhsin Mahdi. the only possible means by which the non-Israelite children of Noah can justice upon the earth. p." Nimrod's cities are the "inauguration" of something new: a social order in which justice can have a foothold. which once achieved will make Israel blessing and a source of wisdom for all the nations of the earth (Gen. 196-98.6). but for purity.) Lemer 1978). NOTES 1. but these motives were not wicked. John Calvin. was the Babelers were not being scattered. in the bequest epitome of evil and order of animal flesh in Genesis 9. arts. 2. whose claim to leadership might be said to be indirectly authorized by God himself. Jacob Neusner. or for building great towers into the a heavens. Medieval Political Philosophy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. or not trusting enough in God's promises to obey his wishes. 242. Cain's son. Concerning the City of God Against the Pagans. the world which is being properly populated by the sons of Noah. 1970). Cain was afraid of afraid of what death. Gerald Friedlander (New York: Hermon Press. 1. pp. 158. If these people strayed. trans. Rev. he is the first to explicitly a political in the new world. trans. 256. Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. XV. it is can only in coexist some kind of political order that the of time. (Atlanta: Scholars Press. in Genesis 10. 2 vols. to teach. 4. we find that cities are built by a masterly figure. Ont. The city is not bad as some of the rabbis and Christian by its association with Cain. it due to knowing God wanted.7. Commentary on the Pentateuch (selections). trans.
I add that." Memory of Peter C. Eugene Combs and Kenneth Post. except when I can clearly recall a specific indebtedness. I know of no other philosophical and exegetical treat the Babel story of comparable length and depth. .20 Interpretation 6. and to Leo Strauss. Eugene Combs. hence. ment of of 405-39) in the work cited. But I give here a very firm acknowledgment that many of my specific sug gestions must have come from them. whose 1990 work was available to them Athens" in typescript form much earlier.. I am going to dispense for the most part with notes. I have doubtless been influenced by another very rich interpretation in some respects resembles it. I add that Combs and Post would probably transfer much credit for their ideas to Sacks. As I have been deeply engaged with this material for a number of eds. even though Strauss is not cited in this essay because he does not deal with the specific passages I am working on here. Sacks in turn acknowledges his immense debt to Leo introduced him to Genesis. MA: JSOT Press. S. 1987). Lewis's novel That Hideous Strength. it is no longer possible for me to tell reliably which ideas were originally mine and which theirs. Craigie (Sheffield. NY: Edwin Mellen Press. In a general way. NY: Edwin Mellen Press. Robert Sacks. "Has YHWH cursed the Ground? Perplexity of Interpretation in Genesis in Lyle Eslinger and Glen Taylor. 6. I have only scratched the surface of the Combs-Post account of the Babel story. I too have been influenced by the various Strauss on the Bible and wish to acknowledge it fully. and that my general line of approach is completely theirs. 1-5. Readers who wish to think about its depths more fully should read the chapter on Genesis 1 1 (pp. The Foundations of Political Order in Genesis and the Chandogya Upanisad (Lewiston. Due to space limitations. whose "Jerusalem and Strauss. Ascribe to the Lord: Biblical and Other Studies in years. 1988). A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (Lewiston. and undoubtedly to the rabbinic tradition of interpretation shows writings of up in Sacks's work. 1990). in my necessary simplification the Combs-Post of the Babel story which discussion. which who essay was seminal for them. C.
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. in his is not strength as he goes out to 22 He laughs fear and dismayed. No. in Volume 25 of Interpretation.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. Sacks St. Num 3. appeared nor is he turned The first bers 2 and thirty-eight chapters of the translation and and commentary in Volume 24. 1 . she has no fear 17 because God has understanding. and laughs at a passing and its 19 "Did you give to the horse 20 Can you make him leap its strength.14 wings as if on high. Vol. hitch him up with a rope and hold him to the furrow? Will he behind you? 11 Would you rely upon him? Remember. or that a wild beast might trample them down. 16 She treats her were all children roughly. and she has no share in 18 She just flaps her rider.10 9 "Would the 10 Can is you wild ox agree to serve you? Would spend the night at your up the valleys great. 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. and does not and even in the salt lands? 7 He laughs shout. You see. John's College. Fall 1998.5 thrive and flourish in the wild. 6 whose home I have at the made the wilderness. interpretation. he every green thing is his crib? plow to search out. and who dwells city. 3 when to give birth to their young. 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. 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. meet armed combat.The Book Translation of and Job Commentary on Chapters 39 through 42 Robert D. Her toils caused foot can crush them. 15 She has forgotten that hers. 26. and thus to end their they couch and split you watched number3 open4 travail? 4 Their her children more.9 bustling hills as of the hear the drivers 8 but roams the his pasture.
and upon all his when devour them in their fortresses. 25 but facing battle from afar. His swill it from afar. eye spots He takes up his lodging on the highest 29 From there he searches out his prey. consume the of their gates. guiltless May my kingdom before the LORD for the blood of Abner the son it whirl down upon the head of Joab. by the flashing into the spear and the earth. The and single Hebrew word hul. although almost as side. 1 1 :6 The bars sword shall "whirl and down" against their cities. javelin. he said.17 pinnacle. 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. 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. making it his stronghold. he is there. if we were in Hebrew they have totally different names. 2. 23 A quiverful of arrows whizzes excitement and agitation. Whenever death defiles. much understanding of the Book of Job center on our attempt to regain the sense of of this word."18 Comments 1. 2Sam. unity that lies within the complexity As far as one can tell. 30 and his fledglings down the blood." a very will complex word. 24 With he gouges pays no homage to trumpet's 'Huzzah' ! He smells the blast. 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.22 back Interpretation by He edge of sword. "I and father's house. forever Ner. Oh. which have here translated by the phrase of our I have generally translated birth" is "writhing in the dance of "writhe. Indeed. 3:28 are of Afterward. it originally meant "to whirl. building its nest on high? 28 He dwells upon the rock. and See notes to 26." ." Hos. David heard of it. 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. Job has entered far into hind what we have come to call the Land of the Jackal.
It "anguish" often means and "pain": Isa. foot and camp and saw the calf and the he threw the tables out of his and broke them at the of the mountain. then they went and returned inheritance. if the daughters of Shiloh come out win to dance the dances. anguish who shall hear the report of tremble and be in because of you. And to us. 32:19 And as soon as Moses' he came near the dancing.The Book of Job It can also mean 23 "to dance. the sister of Aaron. The Book rule. only to the book Judges. and dwelt in them. they will be in anguish over the Tyre. according whom they carried off. the prophetess. and go to the land of Benjamin. And the to their number. else you would now be guilty. Deut." or "to quake": The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness. 29:8 comes to mean "to tremble. Exod. her took a timbrel and all the women went out after with timbrels and dancing. too. it Psa. Grant them graciously to us." Sometimes it is and exultation: used in a perfectly wonderful context which can be full of joy Psa. 23:5 Jer. because we for each man of them his wife in battle. the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 21:20 wait And they commanded the Benjaminites. then come out of the vineyards and seize of each man his wife from the daughters their Shiloh. hands anger burned hot. Then. 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. neither did you give them to them. and watch. 51:29 When the report about report comes to Egypt. 149:3 Let them timbrel and praise his name with dancing. that book which begins see them dashed. and rebuilt the towns. Judg. ends in fright and of a with such high hopes for self- the clear need of the one thing had hoped to avoid. the reader can feel a foreboding thought thickening the air. king. 15:20 Then Miriam. Exod. making melody to him with lyre! But more often than not things get out of hand. and often when first reading the word. from the dancers to their and took their wives. Benjaminites did so. trembles and writhes The land in pain. "Go and lie in in the vineyards. saying. we will when fathers or their brothers come to complain did not take say to them. in her hand. for the Lord's purposes .
31:3. 25:23 The north wind and a backbiting tongue. 23:19 one more aspect of Behold. he We a man can now begin to understand the great admonition: "Gird your loins like is put (gebher)." and hence "to give Deu. Ps. thy judgments puffs at them. Job. or even a mortal injury: The battle hard found him. it can also mean "to be in labor. in and your right as the noonday. Note the phrase "a whirling word tempest. was revisiting the day of his own birth. and the archers he was badly wounded by the archers. angry them. 51:5 Behold. a whirling burst upon the of the wicked. the mean "pain" "anguish" same word that meant and can also "to prosper": Psa. tempest. They look another. inhabitant. For this reason. 10:5 His ways prosper at all all times. their faces be aflame. birth": as in our case. Here there is no indication that the by a curse or the result of having taken a bite of the apple. 37:6 will bring was forth the light. 13:8 and will one they will be dismayed.24 Interpretation against without Babylon stand." There is wildness and pain present when the signet to the clay to make a thing of value and worth. 32:18 the You God He were unmindful of who gave you the Rock that begot you. pressed upon Saul. your vindication as Ps. they aghast at looks. and you forgot birth. Isa. brought forth in iniquity. as for his foes. and sin did my mother Prov." 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. and ISam. 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. But." English-speaking in this also recognize . I conceive me. are on high. it the storm of the will LORD! Wrath has head gone forth. out of his sight. brings forth rain. to make the land of Babylon a desolation. Pangs like a woman will and agony will seize will be in anguish in travail. There is Jer. in visiting the day of birth.
going off about their labors of snatching up dawn. we can begin to see its own necessities which seems to be see that without such a totally indifferent to our sense of order. while he showed a certain amount of compassion. How different things Isa. of course. It is the whirling. But quite even Job. did not have the respect that these lines demand: Job 24:5 They are wild asses at in the desert. 8. fostering in each life to own its signet. The had been for it: wild ass mentioned several times in the text before. is land? the question to Job: Can he discern number and order in this untrodden 4. lets interrelated that they cannot be of distinguished in speech. The Voice here as reminds Job that in its own way. From the point of view of human justice there is no priori reason a a why birth our should entail so much pain. In using such a harsh word. before her she was delivered of a son. and understanding the of the one may lead us in coming to terms with the other. for the Hebrew word for tempest is see that pain and birthing a tempest that Job joy and birth are so feminine noun. 7. since. then. She. and in terms of human justice it a world seems all wrong. the joys of our world could never come to be. dancing. the separation of birth is that our hard and as final as the separation of death. speaks to Job. pain-ridden. it would be best to begin by seeing how the is in other Biblical contexts: . rhetorical. Yet we can all world. 5. 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). 66:7 her Before here from the Book in labor she gave Isaiah: pain came upon she was birth. This. 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. the Voice is beginning to open Job to different kind of order. has never known either burden or rein. an order for the first time. perhaps with beyond world. 6. and are what they are. the wild ass wild ass unlike donkey and the burro. To word understand used this passage.The Book of Job sage some 25 foundation for the shift we had already begun to feel in the role of the feminine. are 3. a nurturing god rather than a constructing god. Here. The question is.
21:2 When you buy a Hebrew slave. my wife. "Is not and make his father's house free in choose: Isa. sake. years. and like a hireling he waits for wages. and in the seventh year you shall let him ISam. 58:6 fast that I loose the bonds let the of wickedness. brought 9. It is true that. And there are other passages. and you had set them into subjection to free according to their desire. female. but he him for favor. but they were treated kindness: justly and . and now must I curry They with were servants or slaves." since the with language does not distinguish between "slave" and Job. and the slave is free his lord. he shall serve six years." daughter. Hebrew man. he a shall let the slave go free for the Deut. or a Hebrew woman. and But if the slave plainly says. and in the seventh he shall go out free. his brother. to and the man who and will give Israel. "Have come you seen this man who has him kills him. too. . male and . "servant. 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. 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. 34:9 and to break every every yoke?" that one should set free his Hebrew slaves. ears to me. to oppressed go free. is sold to you. has served you six years. I will not male or eye's female. 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. that was true.26 Interpretation Exod. go out free. great riches. be your slaves. he shall serve you six you. all are there. 17:25 go free from men of And the come up? Israel said. children. the his Surely king this the he has up to will enrich with defy Israel. and destroys it. so that no one should enslave a Jew. along many others. Small and great. eye of my his slave. 15:12 If your brother. When a man strikes the . "I love my master. did have a slave or servant: Job 19:16 to I called to my servant. that show his concern. to undo the thongs of the yoke. Job 7:2 Like his a slave he yearns for the shadows. gave no answer. Jer. for nothing.
and he did "hitch But to "trust them to bring in the up and hold them to the grain" would." time. the heron according to its kind. There were always some men suffering it caused." answer can do none of these things. the stork. roaming the hills as his pasture. oneself and men could always see that slavery unpleasant. 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. regardless of whether there is pain and suffering involved or not. what of those who dwell in house of clay. whose foundation is but dust? or Job 15:15 He clean puts no trust sight. they are an abomination: the eagle. and them yet he did have ox. Even from was within the human sphere.. 11:13 And these shall not you shall among the birds. not certain what bird is meant. giving it a The signets. in unrecorded Bildad's "first left to itself. are watered bat. what would or maid when when they brought complaint against me. has kept itself in bal legitimate claim to be much older than or nature. each thing can be be what it is. The trees of the Ps. it may seem. That is not to say that such ideas cannot find world back into the human is No. of course have been out of the question. it will be a long journey. It is in noticeable Job 4:18-19 If He with the exception of 39:24. requires a certain admiration for the wild ass. 11.The Book of Job Job 31:13-14 If ever 27 man I felt contempt for the cause of one of my servants. Human art is only the vaguest image of the world which farm." This is the only verse. is 12. and many of them devoted their lives to alleviating that suffering. I do God rose up? 10. it requires something like the concept of a signet. the hoopoe. It is generations. Job world sees a world chaotic as which all things are trusted rather than watched. But the discovery of the notion that slavery is wrong as such. both for moved for others. they and be eaten. the way each thing is when prior to either the arts or to tradition. It is through seeing the wild ass as having a life of freedom becomes important to their way its own. but here is have in abomination what is known: Lev. ance The farm. the . the osprey. 104:16 LORD abundantly. the vulture. "trust. The an furrow. Job but. 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 cedars of . that its us. as we shall see. five hundred of them. To put it other who were deeply by the pain and wise.
15. but my know Zech. Then I lifted my forward! The of a stork. Does this not mean raising the very passions in Job that Elihu. character that each 17. lest they hold a bribe. Who help being totally would charmed by the and foolish antics of this silly. For Job this have been the fearful to most difficult of the beasts to meet thus far. then. foresaw hibernation? It he warned Job not to leave his warm den of would seem that there are not one. the has her home in the fir stork Jer. 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. and behold. but two obscure and sometimes inter chinks weaving of the Human and the wall. pathways which lure men like Job toward the in the Great Wall Both the highest City and that reveal its problematic character. 8:7 Even the swallow. In them the birds build trees. people crane keep the time of their coming. insofar as been domesticated. silly beast. 33:15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly. worlds are met beginning to pull apart and to clash they have for Job as since we first him. and in the heavens knows her times. and the turtledove. The hawk. but the significance has greatly changed: Isa. who from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from evil. The first thing to be moving any to be asked. have been were some tribesmen of the area as they have if they horses. The first as words ever spoken on the field at questions savage. at least it is the can most write about. he must learn to feel and to recognize all sides of the may find its proper place. There is an early bas relief from Khorsabad showing a falconer bearing a hawk on his wrist. ears his looking upon his hands. must 14. destruction are said of these verses is that the Hebrew text is Agincourt. who despises the gain of stops oppression. earth and It is probable that the author intended or a double irony." 13. since the name of this bird means something like of the "piety" "loving by care. when if only in part. they had lifted they up the ephah between wings coming like the wings heaven. 5:9 not the ordinance of the LORD. The imagery is not uncommon in the Bible. their nests. subhuman might own why the human soul should find itself so moved by the of a beast that could mean to it nothing other than its for such a and why the author should wish to arouse in Job an admiration beast. and eyes and saw. 16.28 Interpretation Lebanon stork which he planted. two women wind was in their wings. 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. Part irony of this passage ridden is that ostriches. had been domesticated. his place of defense who shakes . too. he will dwell on the heights.
5 I have spoken once. you who your Obad. in returning to flow off into death. How my hand upon my mouth. for your own right have saved . O inhabitants in the Moab! Be nests sides of the mouth of a gorge. the you you who dwell in the clefts of the rock. bring clefts will down from there." answered Job and said: would 2 "Should convict a man of discipline the Almighty? One who God must give an an 3 Then Job can answered the LORD and said: 4 "I have become so weak. is in the not Job. pride of your whose says the LORD. cause longterm planning that led up to the We do not. who hold the height I will of hill. order 8 you shatter be right? my judgment? Would you condemn me in 9 Have you an arm like God's. who ground?" live in the "Who of the rock. deck yourself out in majesty and dignity. The sight of the blood and the gore have numbed carnage made was so him. LORD. bring down to the is Though you soar aloft will like the eagle. Though The you make your nest as as the eagle's. but I have no answer. Elihu's so implicit claim that no man is enough of a man (gebher) to face the world of nature seems to be vindicated. Put on glory and 11 Let fly the outbursts of your anger. twice. 48:28 Jer. the ostrich was unable CHAPTER FORTY 1 And the LORD wrangle with swer. and can you thunder in that you a voice such as His?3 splendor. 49:16 Leave the cities. 12 Look down the I upon everyone of majestic pride and majestic pride and abase bring hand him low and tread guilty. 1:3 heart has deceived you. The cold and more grotesque. thence I bring down. to of life life about precisely because he did see that the hawk. has been defeated. sixth as beast. his of water be sure. did for its children all that the charm to do."1 loins like Would might a man (gebher)2: I will question you. 14 Then you. know whether Job or it the horrified be he did a not see. and you must let me know. however. Bind their faces in would obscurity. his bread will be given him. high and the pride of your heart. like the dove that The horror dwell in the rock.The Book of Job will will 29 be the fortresses of rocks. 10 "Go ahead. 18. The ostrich. we shall see next charming as his sister bird the chapter. and Jer. the hawk. you inspire has deceived you. 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. Look upon every man of him. me dwelling set say in heart.4 even would praise you. you though your nest says the among the stars. is high. 13 Bury them all in the dust.
18 His bones iron. beyond man is no place for a man. but Job had always recognized God's greater power.7 Only his come can approach him with a sword. His ducts might tail stiff as a cedar. "Have you an arm like God's. his warning was just.6 of brass. 20 "The there to mountains yield him produce. or his head with fishing his head.30 * Interpretation Behemoth5 15 "But look now. He has been numbed as if stung by the Socratic sting fish. 17 He can stretch out his sinews of strength in his loins. are The and his thighs are are all knit together.8 21 He lies down the lotuses. 23 Though the burst into his snare?10 river he is unalarmed. God's argument is. Once Job thought that he knew what justice was. had been what God had wanted. here is whom I made along with you. 22 The lotuses blanket him surround with their shade and the willows of the rage." again "asking. He eats fodder just like the cattle. but he did not. 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. If Job's this not point. under and all the beasts of the field play. 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. that was always the problem: Job 9:19 If trial be by strength. Now ray he neither knows nor believes that he knows. He has it here at There would have been no need to continue. Indeed. who would plead my case? . 16 but just look at the is in the muscles of his belly. and his teaching is not a but an 3. I believe." His?" such as God seems to base His argument on His power." 2.9 brook in him. But the Tempest will go. or with you to be your eternal his nose. confident that the Jordan will mouth. and you will remember war no Comments no answer. convinced him that Elihu was right. hiding in the reeds and the fen. "gird up your loins like a man (gebher)". and can you thunder in a voice let Job "telling. and if by court of law. his limbs Maker like rods of 19 He is the first of God's ways. 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. The sight of the six beasts has 1 Job has . He is the mighty one. somewhat more specific than one might at first take it to be. Again it says.
created me at the beginning his work. Job 12:7 beasts and they will show you. in your eyes? say "Where is God my maker. 4:7 The get. dwell in prudence. of It is. Appropriately enough. however. We have which means already seen any large domesticated it in Job: Just ask the animal such as a cow or an ox. of The LORD acts of old. is this: Get wisdom. behemoth 5. with you . clearly are of mythic proportion. Job 18:3 Job 35:10-11 Why none are we considered beasts and made unclean . fools despise and whatever you instruction. than the beasts of the earth. means by which justice is established in the learn of 4. his wisdom. being lous nor mythical. of wisdom Prov. 1:7 The fear wisdom and of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. I. whom I along eats fodder just like the neither miracu It is a normal part of the greater world around us. however 6. Compare Ps. not turn out to be the and Job has yet much to the spirit behind the administration of that justice. God is joking. and I find knowledge of and discretion. 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." in the made masculine singular. The word is the normal plural of the feminine noun behemah. 8:12 . a good understanding have ever! all those who practice it. Prov. 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. are all who teaches us more The verbs. Job's search a world for human justice has led him into relevant. . His praise endures for Prov." "His bones are ducts brass. however. iron. Man is 7. . "Behemoth cattle. "laugh" or . get beginning insight. the first 8. In the become clear that Job's understanding beyond the last two chapters. he of also thought that he the means to establish that justice. These do cosmos. .The Book of Job When Job thought that he knew what 31 had justice was. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. The next two chapters will the question of the administration of that justice. 111:10 contains creatures which man not did not name and the unquestioned center of all that is visible. and his limbs like rods of The visible universe is much larger than any man knows and of which he is unaware. 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.
18:13 The LORD said to a she would have felt no need to deny Abraham. saying. but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son. I fear." as It occurs rather frequently in of the Bible and with the exception of this verse only. shall I have pleasure?" grown old. for the pounding. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 19:13 Does it contempt seem good to You that You oppress. 'Shall I Indeed bear I old?' am Is anything too hard . somewhat boring books foot the subject of of "laughter" "play. and you shall call his name Isaac. The half-mythic. tyrannizing river. no the possible exception of the Book of Proverbs. But from the Gen. hand? that You have for the toil of your own You hired shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. always implies injustice the gravest Job 10:3 Lev. however. half-real fabric reader whom of this account succeeds in leaving the feeling he has room that he shares a never seen. Gen. that she had laughed. child. and But had her laughter been goodnatured." looking at each usage. "O that Ishmael might live in thy God said. He is passively ferocious yet actively gentle and seems to rule by laughter.32 9. way limit our mean of seeing that other than "derision. 10. "No. 17:17 Then Abraham fell "Shall a child who his face laughed." I believe that the role subject plays a of in the Book with Job which differs from its in the other the Bible. making it his drinking foun tain. "mocking" It must remembered that we are only speaking of "laughter. person The first in the Bible to laugh on was Abraham: and Gen. Shall be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Sarah. verse inquiry be to the words shq and shq. Interpretation 'Ashaq kind. There is. "After I have my husband is old." Joy and happiness are another matter. now that and say. is usually translated "oppress. a and said to himself. 17:18 is ninety years old. sight!" And Abraham Sarah's laughter Gen. note on role we must now begin a rather and long and. "Why did Sarah laugh. bear child?" next verses it becomes clear that it was not a contented laughter: said to God. world with a living being at ease of monumental stature of the This grand beast is in the land Jackal. The wages of a servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning. since words like or I shall by I'g essentially verse. 18:12 came next: So Sarah laughed to herself. He finds Thus.
32:6 and And they rose up early on the morrow. came have brought among us. "Go down. "The Hebrew servant. "God has who made a laughingstock of me. and I cried out with a loud voice. 21:9 to Hagar the Egyptian. 39:14 she called to the men of her household and said to them. place. and the people sat down to eat and drink. for she was afraid. in to me to insult me. Then came the golden calf: Exod. saying. and rose your And the LORD said to people. "Up. whom you brought up out of the Moses.The Book of Job for the LORD? At the spring. and offered burnt offerings brought peace offerings. but certainly the betrayed him. came "See. every one hears will laugh me. for land of Egypt. 21:6 city. for the LORD is about to sons-in-law to destroy Sarah: Gen." and Sarah shall have son. Abimelech Isaac out of a window and saw king of the joking with Rebekah his wife." the But he seemed to be jesting." a But Sarah denied." at Next there came Ishmael: But Sarah saw the son of with Gen. 39:17 and she told whom you in to lie him the same story. not 33 appointed time I will return to you. his marry his daughters. a When he had been there Philistines looked long time. 26:8 also was actually doing. have corrupted themselves. playing her Isaac. He said. up to play. "I did laugh. And Sarah said. son whom she had borne Abraham. in the saying. Gen. he me to has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us. Foolish Isaac's innocent play Gen. he with me. It is hard to have any idea of what Ishmael consequences were disastrous. 19:14 went out and said to get out of this his sons-in-law. Next . you laugh". The next two occurrences of the word are usually even translated by the word "insult": Gen. "No. but did Then came the taunting laughter So Lot of the sons-in-law of Lot: who were to Gen.
6:21 And David me above your prince over said to Michal. 30:10 So the Ephraim and Manasseh. that he may make sport for So they called Samson out of the prison. Next came laughter and a tune that led to a revolution: ISam. who chose father. and mocked them. And the anger of the LORD kindled against Uzzah. by them I shall be held in honor.34 Interpretation Judg. 18:7 And the women sang to and one another as they made merry. is and thrust his sword opponent's side. "It was before the LORD. 16:25 And when their hearts were merry. David his ten Joab and Abner play rough: 2Sam. Therefore that which place was called they fell Helkathhazzurim. "Call Samson. the abased and above all people of the his house. The same might even be said for Michal: 2Sam." has slain his thousands. so down together. "Saul thousands. and he died there beside the God. twelve for Benjamin and Ishbosheth the son of Saul." 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. before the LORD. "Let the young men arise and play before And Joab said. And in his each caught arise." said to Joab. 2Sam. with songs and making merry before lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. to appoint me as LORD and I will make merry than this. I and will make myself yet more contemptible I will be in your eyes. and God smote him there because he ark of put forth his hand to the ark. Israel. but by the maids of whom you have spoken. but they laughed them to scorn. and he made sport before them." pillars. from city to city through the country of and as far as Zebulun. at Gibeon." Then come mocking and scorning couriers went 2Chron. David. They made him stand between the us. they said. 2:14 And Abner us. for the oxen stumbled. Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God took hold of it. "Let them over and by Then they arose and passed number. . And when they came to the and was threshing floor of Nacon. There is laughter no question was but that Uzzah's punishment which stemmed from the next too great.
14:13 Prov. Like a madman who throws and the end of joy is grief. 2:2 I said of laughter. wicked. 52:5-6 But God will break you down for ever. 37:13 who sits in the heavens laughs. of There only do find something find in the Book Job. so is the laughter of fools. A good wife who can find? She is far are more precious than and she jewels. firebrands. 1:26 Prov. and I was daily his delight. . like a master workman. he will snatch and tear you tent. however. 3:4 to a time to weep. . and money answers everything. he will uproot you from the land The righteous shall see. at them. the fool only rages and laughs. is vanity. closer to what we finds another strain." and of pleasure. 8:31 Prov. dost laugh nations in derision. the LORD has them in derision. 59:8 But thou. rejoicing before him always. 31:10 . at the but the LORD laughs coming. Selah. all the him. 7:6 the by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad. and wine gladdens life. as For the crackling of thorns this also made under a pot. "It is mad. there is no quiet. O LORD. also will laugh at your calamity. "What use is Eccles.The Book of Job Even the good 35 laughing He at the bad is not the same as goodnatured laughter: Ps. and fear. Sorrow is better than laughter. 2:4 Ps. arrows. He too rejects the "laughter" of his day: . 8:12 . wisdom. 7:3 Eccles. 26:18 Even in laughter the heart is sad. and death. 10:23 beside him. Prov. thou dost hold Peppered throughout the one quotations from the Book we of Proverbs. Prov. Prov. and a time to laugh. "I am only joking!" Prov. for Eccles. It is like sport to a then I was fool to do wrong. and I find knowledge and discretion. Jeremiah is not quite the same. Eccles. laughs at the time to come. Prov. I will mock when panic strikes I. and a time dance. and shall laugh your from of the at living. saying. for he sees that his day is Ps. Ecclesiastes also has a rather dim view of laughter. rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the sons of men. it?" Eccles. a time to mourn. but wise conduct is pleasure to a man of understanding. Strength and dignity her clothing. Ps. dwell in prudence. 10:19 Bread is for laughter. 29:9 If a wise man and an argument with a fool. I you. is the man who deceives his has neighbor and says.
There are also such thoughts to be found elsewhere: Ps. Zech. Was thieves. I will make them honored. because he so that magnified himself against the LORD. and they be be few. nor did I rejoice. because they have called you an outcast: 'It is Zion. then they among nations. "The LORD has done things for them. I did alone. city be full boys and girls in hand for very age. the we were like those and our dream. 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 not small. 8:4 sit tongue with shouts of great joy. Jer. and I was deceived. Moab shall wallow not in his vomit. But he also has another notion of laughter. Jer. and have compassion on his dwellings. they shall not It is reserved for another time and is not a way of meeting what is before us. and thou hast prevailed. a derision horror to all that are round about and feels mocked Jer. I will heal. him and he too shall be held in derision. 48:26 "Make him drunk. I have become a laughingstock the day. I will restore the cares!' fortunes the of the tents of Jacob. 126:1 A Song of Ascents. 30:17 the For I will restore health to you.36 Interpretation Jer. and where city it shall be rebuilt upon its mound. and the voices of those who make merry. I and the palace shall stand used to be. multiply them. however. thou hast deceived me. and your wounds Jer. 1:7 of the Book of Job there are only a handful left. shall each with staff of the streets of the streets. for whom no one Thus says the LORD: Behold. says LORD. 15:17 not sit in the company of merrymakers. 20:7 stronger all O LORD." Thus in the says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women shall again streets of Jerusalem. thou art than I. And playing in its Outside follows: Lam. for thou hadst filled me with indignation. Out of them shall come songs of will thanksgiving. every one mocks me. 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. When who the LORD restored the fortunes filled said of Zion. Then our mouth was with laughter. When her . I sat because thy hand was upon me.
laughter in the Book of 8:53. for they like the wind and go they make sport. whose it. Job 12:4 on also grim side of But God But whose now I have become have him a joke to my friends. . even before his real thought had started: Job 29:24 I joked them them a many quotations given above.The Book of Job people 37 fell into the hands gloated over the foe of the foe. 9:24. James 4:9). 3:14 Ezek. a one who would 'Call answer' and now joke. Mat. a simple. 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. if to judge by different from the others. and does not even hear the drivers shout. and of rulers At kings they scoff. FEAR will of violence when you will secure and shall have no it comes. guilty men. for you have a covenant with the rocks the field. every fortress. and perhaps even before with bit so that my kindness would not overwhelm because they had no self-confidence. They laugh at heap up earth and take on. but hills as his pasture. you shall be laughed at and held in derision. Job the outcast. Have no FEAR in beasts and the earth. Mark 5:40. the a side which had always been a part Job and. mocking at her downfall. Luke 6:21. 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. and every green thing is his to search out. none to help her. 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. 23:32 I have become the joke to songs all all the peoples. 1:10 contains much. innocent joke! those younger than Job 30:1 they have would turned me into the joke. but of the at violence and starvation you of laugh. I fathers I have felt contempt to put with my sheep dogs. 25. the Lord GOD: "You shall drink your sister's cup and Thus which is deep large. The first to Job 5:21-23 speak of Job is Eliphaz: be When tongues scourge. the beasts of the fields will bring His laughter is rocks and the you peace. But there of was another side of we are laughter. the burden of their day says long. and there was her. for it Hab. made him all his trouble. Lam. The much subject was and bound to come up.
subject of laughter and his Identity really discovery being what the signets. At one first. is the importance of freedom understanding of the signets. and laughs at a passing horse and Job 39:22 Job 40:20 He laughs The play." some connection of between Job's new understanding sees a bit strange. Job has come to learn from nature. for you have a covenant with the rocks in the field.38 Interpretation Job 39:18 its She just flaps her rider. . "Let us make man in our image. and over every of the . With Job. the brother. and even their sex. and one of the things he learned. he has come to have its ways impressed upon him than impressing his ways upon it. this relation is seems to Dane. Some English translations 12. of nature. Have no FEAR of the beasts of the earth. 1 :26 and Then God said. 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. mountains yield him produce. at fear and is not dismayed." be more a It is in comedy tragedy that people seem more plastic. continually changing their clothing. Job has come. after our likeness. 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. as we put have from the ostrich. but not to it. To that extent. and over all the earth. and over the birds air. Eliphaz once had he has seen. Yet it is Lear shadow". Hamlet. was not the right slave?" dream: "Will he make a covenant with you to be your eternal To conquer rather it more succinctly. "It is I. let them have dominion over the fish of the sea. who well who she is even while she is being Ganymede playing Rosalind? 11. nor is he turned back by edge of sword. Imagine Oedipus being mistaken for a long-lost twin than of comedy. and over the cattle. compare: seen as it follows from an Gen. 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. wings on high. On this question. but at violence and starvation you will laugh. See note to start Chapter Forty-one at this point. 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. but he has a dream: not come to be the conquerer Job 5:22 . 3:8 and 13. . but it and the beasts of the fields will bring you peace. their iden tity.
but the beyond is not ours." 39 So God created man in his created him. people of sons after you. and have fish of the sea and over the dominion every birds of the air and over living thing that moves upon the earth. There is no promise of a great an act day to come one day that Job must wait for in expectation. earth. Jer. Josh. "Be fill the earth and subdue it. the word for also has a sense of completion and final ity. in the image of God he created them. and they shall into plowshares. sword against nation. and shall their swords decide for many peoples. "subdue" In addition. 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. . For that ways and that we may walk in his paths. and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 18:1 Then the whole congregation of the people of Israel assembled at subdued Shiloh. and their spears into pruning hooks. and subdued them as slaves. He judge between the beat nations. 25:46 You may bequeath them to your possession for ever." out up he may teach us his of Zion shall go forth shall to the mountain the law. but over your one over Israel you shall not take dominion. male and female he fruitful and multiply. 34: 1 1 and set up the tent of meeting there." and are quite defi nite and strong: Lev. with harshness. "subdue" "dominate. but the he must perform now. 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. the and all the nations shall flow to it. and God said to them. many of the peoples shall come. it is only a in which he learn about play. But female afterward slaves they turned around and took back the male they had set free. and over the And God blessed them. to slaves of inherit as a them. the land lay before them. We cannot divide it up and as we will. To see it is to see it as a thing for itself. and say: of "Come. to the house God Jacob. and and shall be raised above the hills. not as a thing for us. The world about use world beyond can man in which man can play." It should be noted that both words. ways 15. neither shall nation shall not lift up they leam war any more. is not a world and 14.The Book of Job creeping thing that creeps upon the own image. But it is not the same. The charm of the sentence teaches us it innocent jesting. you may make brethren the another. let of us go LORD. In many Isa.
40 Interpretation CHAPTER FORTY-ONE 1 "Thus. 9 Each closed8 seal. up by a breath between them. tohalto is from the much versed root root yhl (wait in expectation). 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. him? 2 No would stand restitution?4 [all] one expectation' is an illusion. fused all together. He is king over all the sons of pride. Slingstones turn to sound of the javelin. He sprawls himself out implacable on 23 and makes the pot17 deep will to seethe a like a cauldron.10 8 each touching clings" one to his brother. wait. quaver. 25 No without one of the dust shining wake till the abyss seems all hoaryhave dominion over him. 20 No son of the bow can stubble him to flight. 19 He Iron he put counts as straw. It too.14 21 and clubs are rated as straw." times.13 cast as a nether millstone. shatter and are nor in confu 18 No sword that will reach can javelin.'"9 Comments 1. whereas this implies hope might also of or expectation.18 26 He sees every towering thing. nor lance. Even the can see that yhl reader not in Hebrew.2 Do up. the gods are in dread. eyes are 10 "Lights flash of his sneeze. is a near relative of the at hwl or hyl. word mean but along it a sense of dread. could. men not reel at the sight of is so brutal3 as to rouse him Now. nor They spear. that I should wait in expectations? What is my I should prolong my life? . "to or so I believe. and bronze as rotton wood. 15 Festoons of flesh. lie on him cast as metal and do not 16 His heart is cast hard as stone. for he was made to dread. 5 7 But his can unveil his garment. stand. and terror dances before him. and not a his shields7. 11 fire escape. 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. 17 "When he sion. 12 From his cauldron. He makes the sea his be ointment16 24 and headed. nostrils there comes smoke as boiling 13 His breath in ignites the coals and flames come out of his mouth. His his mouth comes a flaming from torch as sparks of a stream or like the cracking of dawn. laughs to the 22 "His the mud15 underparts are jagged leaves shards. They Out clutch'2 each other and cannot at be parted. rises up. 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. 14 His strength resides his neck. which was discussed in carried the note to with Job 39:1. or exploits or the grace of his frame.
that it is by giving up the yhl and recognizing that the world beyond man and its denizens have a legitimate being for themselves. loose my his hand and cut me off! . 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. 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. 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. Men would hear me and wait in expectation. for something to say. waited expectation for Job 32:11 light. head of the Leviathan and gave it to the people of island Those food. He the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall Leviathan the shall flying serpent. Job 14:14 of If a man (gebher) dies. falling silent to hear counsel.The Book of Job Job 13:15 It may be that He will 41 slay will me. 74:14 the You crushed the as slay the crocodile that is in the sea. on a with. that God hopes? Would that God were pleased to crush me. and the Leviathan the crooked serpent: and Ps. apart from their being for us. insofar as it deals with our the world beyond man. you play ladies? young Can with him like bird or tie him string for your yhl. Job 3:8 who despise the sea. till they stood longer 2. That is to say. that we begin to see our own legitimate being as it is implied in the notion of the hwl. interplay between hwl and denying us the second. my Job 29:23 Job 30:26 the They waited for me in expectation as for the rain. their in mouths opened wide as if to catch the I hoped for the good spring but there came evil. which deals with our relation to the world of man. need not imply the abandonment of hope QaWah. will curse and those who are determined to lay open the Leviathan it. The first has replaced the second. I have no higher expectations. 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. 27:1 On that punish the expectations: day. 104:26 Leviathan whom you made They Job 40:29 serve You and You give them their a to play food in due time. I rain. None the less I will defend my ways before Him. till they had finished speaking. the Ps. but there came only a murk. We have heard those Isa. YaChaL. he come back to life again? All the days Job 29:21 my service I have waited in expectation for my release to come.
where out my couch Father' and call out and then is my hope? 3. in already begun. but he and His body surrounds him pain. But the forces pulling him back into the land of the Jackal had. word 'akf'zar. You have resigned. occurs which I have translated "brutal. Job had said: Job 30:21-22 You have turned brutal persecute me. 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. knew it. One of them reads: give the Lam. then. The word. to imply the attempt or desire to be or be come an actor within the realm beyond the human." From it Hebrew So for "peace.42 Interpretation Job 14:18-22 A mountain place. ostriches but the daughter of my people has become brutal. to mean "to pay [a word comes debt]": ." Neh. and spread 'Thou art my to the maggots. Job has nonhuman. spirit is eaten Job 17:13-15 If I must take the in darkness. The comes the root of this word. Your hand You You hoist in the me up onto the wind and set me astride to be tossed about wreckage. Then the within fifty-two days. You have stones trashed all mortal hope." as is not a very common and it only twice outside the Book of Job. and with the might of fact. like the in the wilderness. means "to be whole or word complete. a rock dislodged from its torrents have worn the have You washed away the dust his face of of away and its the land. But to see that "[all] expec tation is illusion. 6:15 the wall was finished (shlm) on the twenty-fifth day the month Elul. His his sons were was honored but he unaware. The "brutal" word seems. 'Mother* call out to the muck 'Sister' Pit to be my home. They with were in disgrace. 4:3 Even the jackals breast and suckle their young. Back in Verse 21 of that same chapter. has fallen The waters and crumbled away. So. away. apart from the needs only lead one to say: "No one is so brutal as to him up. and he has and sent him off. But that knowledge rouse may admire. mangled never overpowered man. 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. passed through that veil which separates the human from the of His journey had begun some time ago." 4. shlm.
he pay ox for ox. winnowing is the prime anal ogy of cosmic justice. In that sense. 8. "Is not everything under the heavens human justice. 21:36 Or if it is known that the ox has been accustomed to gore shall in the and the past. is to "make whole. from the root mgn. crime goal of this kind of justice is to make those who have suffered whole To the extent that one must speak of punishment. sell the live on the lift. It leaves always room restitution." by all to his the scales.The Book of Job 2Kings 4:7 - 43 She and came and told the man of your God. it does not strictly make sense to "demand exact 5. in the however." importance winnowing kind. and I am not sure that be of much assistance either to the reader or to myself." oil rest. for it closed not the doors Him Job 1 1:10 Job 12:14 my mother's belly but hid my eyes from toil. know him from the Here it is taken outside only. Therefore he cannot learn from others and so cannot learn to know himself. one charged with a is punished for what harm he has caused others. however. The I can remainder of this chapter is clearly how the quite dense. It might help. case. God sets the wicked to close in men. meganim. If He should pass by and separate or close up. of. unlike Job. The again." 7." mine?" Cosmic justice is larger than and for the Leviathan is. mean normally In either of means "to shield. defend. He closes in on a man and Job 16:1 1 of nothing is ever reopened. then. Job's openness as We can in his "open But Leviathan is "to finally closed to man." where the word a for debt is related to a word To pay off." meaning "to or "to fill in" what one has "lifted This understanding is fundamental to human justice: Exod. cannot by No one can touch him. If. and its owner has not kept it in. dead beast shall be his. Satan He cannot be disturbed by others. it means that the spoke Leviathan." debt. and pay debts and you and your sons can he said. "Go. on me and casts me into the hands guilty . does have kind He impenetrable be hurt skin the others. and what who can turn back? He tears down can never be rebuilt. then punishment for cosmic crimes can only be punished in terms of the harm man has caused to himself." insures of a of that there will be grass even note "where no man saw But its justice is the 6. 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. In the embodied to Job 31:34 we door. This is human justice as it is contained in the notion of shlm.
for the Leviathan. the Leviathan does Job's skin. has. and the face of the deep Again. making it unknown and unintelligible to 11. the list is . off. But it also left him open to feeling and then seeing a world beyond his world. "signet." all others. 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." his completion and perfection. ing What gave anything its being by mak it intelligible to another. "tight. 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. 9. in the world beyond man. At best. also consider: Job 38:30 clutches to Water draws itself up. Job 41:9 Job 41:15 one clings of Festoons and (dbq) to his brother. are But if they bound in fetters and trapped in cords of affliction.44 Interpretation One cannot up. Job 19:20 Job 31:7 My bones stick (dbq) to If my step has wandered my skin and to my flesh. 12. from the way. Job has seen the Leviathan. as stone. dabhaq." sar." first came to light when we saw that he had no "skin beneath his This was the vulnerability that let in pain and anguish. complete. pulling in and sky cutting For Job it was the beginning 10. fused (dbq) all together. but has the Leviathan seen Job? His closedness would seem to say No. it restrains speech: Job 29:10 The voice of the nobles was hushed. lie on him cast as metal do not quaver. 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. or constrictive: "stick. For us it is ugly. of murk and confusion. become that which seals it hotam for Job. ness." away from all other beings. For the world beyond man. or a taint stuck (dbq) to my hand. 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. shameful. Job leaves himself openness open to what is most other. But. closed entranceway. flesh. my heart gone after my eyes. and their tongue stuck (dbq) to their palate.
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
if one feels sorrow guilt. . He is value. The root nhm means understood in the text. feel sorrow or compassion for the suffering of anything like "on" does not." where it "to It is found in Ps. As far em' and together as the word 'em' they simply 'em' "I feel compassion one would is concerned. the word normally and so imply does guilt or self-recrimination. 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. a common Biblical phrase in all its mortality. in itself. Linguistically speaking. require as Greenberg does. "Behold. "Let them be like the with snail which dissolves into and nms slime. can establish in the world of the small." These passages. 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. for instance. however. and repentance. we have returned to Chapter One." and 5. the inference which is automatic in Hebrew. 58:8. of course." 'al. He is of at home in He a very large world in for more than a hill beans. one more reason for believing tion. This return by an author who knows the names of Eliphaz and Bildad and Zophar is. there seems "to feel deep compassion. Job 30:19 It throws me into the mire and I become like dust and ashes. I who am but dust ashes. But to others for something that one has done." and is. Job the homeless is which no man counts at home now." wenihamti." meaning to them. by the way. one feels remorse. together seem the fact that the It roots mss do mean "to melt. and would something like a "myself to be to be no basis for such an assumption. far as I have been able to in English vernacular is by no means as they mean "while sitting tell. 18:27 the Abraham answered. back to the everyday language of Dick and Jane. "upon. and mean or When King James trans on lates "on dust ashes. have expected but it would not be so ." to be behind their understanding of the verse. "I have comtempt for as 'eth or strange to let the 'al do for both." but. that the book was conceived of as a whole. and that the linguistic and flight from back to the mundane was a integral part of the author's inten . normally as 'el." one assumes ashes. real feeling that God has when people offer Him sacrifices that have no to translate it as "recant.epher we'phar." "My also skin has become hard and begins to ooze. means "to despise" "reject. The the root m 's fundamentally Again." sorrow or Like the English word. "Dust meaning mankind ashes. as . that dust so clear 'al is exactly the word that one would expect to mean find following for. Also see Gen." or is.The Book of Job occurred meant -49 in Job 7:5: ooze. I have taken upon myself to speak to Lord.
but that seeing took place in a foreign land in act." other Biblical character to use the was phrase "brothers and with all the sense of equality that it implies. Job 1:4 be a world devoid of all meaningful human action. but it is has been replaced not a simple return of to a fairytale world. The world of out to seeing turned has returned. . Gone is the vocabulary. 9. and save alive and mother. He who has seen the Leviathan will say a prayer for as they bring their bulls and their rams to be sacrificed. 10. death's first born his members. Job of the wide world is again Job the servant which of the LORD. tortuous syntax of the long its obscure The that language is simple. and Joshua 2:13 . 11. yet his soul. another eat their remains by fire?" then let me sow. All of by the language ordinary everyday adult human speech. destruction. and the worms cover Job 22:20 Job 31:8 saying. "Has consumed not our enemy been destroyed. that the moths eaten. the tents of skin will bribery eaten are a consuming fire. our and all who belong to deliver lives from death. 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 . sisters each one on a different with day. Remember Aaron. and send word to their three to come and eat and drink them. will consume His be away. them over. 8. 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. never having eaten of together they lie in the dust.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. living in a nutshell. The nation now word 'aChaL that had so often meant death. Rahab: my father them. of Another dies in the bitterness goodness. that wonderful woman of the night. and Job His sons used to make feasts in their homes. Again there has been a switch middle in the texture section with of the language. but . It might be worth mentioning that the only sisters. . my brothers and sisters. Job's his hands his friends eyes could not have seen.
Bildad show Shuhite. it became Joseph. 13. and Zophar the Naamatite. ten thousand of cattle. they up claims that I have eaten its produce without payment and eye. Gen. uprooting withhold pleasures all that I have ever accomplished. What was not possible before has now become actual. They him conferred and to with one another and planned to come together to console him compassion. five hundred she asses and was the head of a very large was the estate. he bought for land on which a hundred Qesitoth the of piece of he had pitched his tent. 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. not snuffed out the life of its owners. Joseph at which the people of Israel brought up from of Egypt were buried Shechem. strength in his Now. "Your sons and your of daughters eating and drinking wine in the house their oldest brother. 12. It fell down . fodder just like the cattle. in sons of an the portion of ground which Jacob bought from the Hamor the father Shechem for of a hundred Qesitoth. were another one came in and said. but look at the loins. We remember: Job 1:18-19 While he was yet talking. three thousand camels. 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. He richest man ('ish) in the East 15. after character and become an act of simple Job's return. inheritance of the descendants 14. here is Behemoth eats I made along with you. whom Job 40:15-16 He But look now. eating joyous unity. His might is in the muscles of his belly. they the from his own place Eliphaz the Temanite. 33:19 Joshua 24:32 And from the The bones sons of Hamor. Job 1:3 He head owned seven thousand sheep. The recognition of compassion that Job gained from beyond the human sphere has had its full effect within the human sphere. when a mighty wind came in from the on wilderness and struck the four corners of the house. or even eat a crust of when bread alone.The Book of Job Job 31:12 Job 31:16-17 It would 51 be a fire consuming down to Abaddon. at the end of the book. Shechem's father.
and used pens of the by women as eye makeup.52 Interpretation the young people. Job opened mouth and spurned 17. the iron for the things iron. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad. They are dead. that you deck yourself with ornaments of gold. and marble. 4:30 When Jehu her eyes. and she painted her head. antimony. Your your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. Job himself becomes word yom. also called pukf1. 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. of Job does not end with a deus ex machina or miracle or resur of death In recognizing the being of itself. We remember to his friends: his his day. and wood and stones wood. or all the things that a self. what do you mean that you dress in scarlet. In ancient times it was ground into a powder. and looked out of the window." is a fragrant bark of a tree that can be pow dered like Ps. stones. Then. qesi'a. that you and adorned enlarge your eyes with paint? . in English. Jezebel heard of it. keren happuli1: the first two ful. in the prophets. They consoled and showed upon him compassion for all the evils which the LORD had brought him. this name? second word. The Book rection." 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. "day. Job 3:1 Then. And you. and of bronze for the things for the things bronze. all sorts of precious stones. 45:8 cinnamon and used in cooking. besides great quantities of onyx colored for setting. "cassia. sym bolic of feminine corruption: 2Kings 9:30 Jer. the silver of of my God. means "antimony": for house IChron 29:2 So I have the gold the provided the of for the things of gold. including the being his 16. As such it became. came to Jezreel. It is from the words It is a new Job. so far for the things as I was able. and I alone have escaped to tell thee. too. 18." are. O desolate one. of silver.
he and went and Moses would put the veil upon his face again. 3:4 His brightness there was like the light. 2:10 The them the LORD shall be broken will to pieces. flashed from his hand. 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn his oil. My mouth rejoice in thy . They give him greater stature and a formidable look: adversaries of will ISam. such are the ten thousands of Ephraim. he anointed.The Book of Job Now let name "horn. firstling them the word means the horn of a living horns animal: Deut. The LORD to judge the horn ends of the of earth. rejected and being king to Israel? Fill your go. and exalt the his And so it comes to mean all these things for a human being: heart exults in the LORD. rays Hab." provided for myself a king of among his ISam. It "horn." of but qeren much than A horn contained the oil used to anoint the said to kings of Israel: ISam. tent. His bull has majesty. against he thunder in heaven. because I ISam. 2:1 Hannah horn also prayed and said. 33:17 ox. The homs of an animal are his strength and his defense. I will send you Jesse the Bethlehemite. "How long him from will you grieve over over Saul. Moses' his face shone. my derides my enemies. "Long live King Solomon!" and all the people But. And Samuel priest took the rose up. to begin at the beginning. will give strength his king. and went to Ramah. behold. and anointed him in the midst of came brothers. qeren. 34:30 the And when Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses. to the ends of the earth. and the Spirit of the LORD mightily upon David from that 1 Kings 1:39 day forward. until in to speak with him. and they were afraid to come near him. said." means means so and together the more means "the Horn Mascara. and such are the thousands of Manasseh. that the skin of skin of face shone. But the root also means "to shine": Exod. and There Zadok the anointed horn of oil from the Solomon. and he veiled his power. 16:1 The LORD seeing I have horn with oil." 53 us look at the first word. the word itself can mean "a ray of light". and his homs are the of a wild with he shall push the peoples. Then they blew the trumpet. salvation. all of them. for I sons. "My exalted in the LORD. have Samuel. The people of Israel saw the face of Moses. hence.
Joab and the rest of the pour out at the base of the altar. 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. "Do not lift For thou exalted. its horns shall of one piece with and shall it. 22:3 of My God. my shield and the horn savest my salvation. thou . cymbals. my savior. Linguistically. 15:28 So all up every Israel brought up the of man straight before him. and the IChron. 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." boastful. 132:17 will bring these meanings together: There I will make a horn to sprout for David. 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. stronghold and my refuge. then city all the people shall shout with a great shout. 148:14 lamp for my anointed. "Do glory boast. 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. the phrase "hom mascara" of works well. praise all his saints. 89:17 I say your to the horn. 29:12 And you shall make horns for it blood on its four corners. my me from violence. in whom I take refuge." not and to the wicked. to the sound the hom. LORD with ark of the covenant of the and shouting. and you shall take part of the of overlay it with bronze. I have driven my horns into dust. 75:4 up Ps. as soon as hear the sound of the trumpet. the hom played a central role in the place of worship: Exod. of course. my rock. for Israel who are near to him. too. Praise the LORD! As I once before had occasion to mention. because it eas and ily blends "the hom into the language along of with such other phrases as "hom oil" of my salvation": 2Sam. art the of their strength. 27:2 be Exod. trumpets. He has raised up a hom for his the people of people. and the wall of the people shall go will fall down flat. And.54 Interpretation Ps. Often the Psalmist Ps.
to Sarai. also complicated The Biblical The view of beauty since is and. Gen. and his house because of Sarai. her beauty almost led to the death of an innocent. 20:2 And Abraham Abimelech said of king a of Sarah his wife. for your younger and he said. "Behold. and said to him. so as to not mislead ourselves. he said to Sarai his behold. 29:31 gratitude each time she When the LORD but Rachel was saw that Leah was hated. "I will serve you seven years daughter Rachel." And to came Abimelech in dream by night. wife. with great plagues Pharaoh wife. We have not." But it is not clear what the reader is to think. because of the woman whom you have taken. 'This is his wife'. the and the name of the younger was name of the older was eyes were Leah. Leah's soft. Jacob preferred Rachel's beauty to Leah's soft eyes: Gen. there is also good. it is a subject in itself which would understood on own terms. Jacob loved Rachel. he opened her womb. 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. then they kill but they let you live. And Leah conceived and bore a son. barren. in have to be Song its of Songs. "I the will see you. but Rachel was beautiful and lovely. you are a a dead man. From the The subject first arises with respect beginning we are shown the difficulties involved: When he know that Egyptians me. 29:16 Now Laban had two daughters. and she . saw Gen. will they will say. Although it is wilt thou slay an innocent people? clear that as a young man. we shall have to consider the full list. And when the princes of woman was Pharaoh into her. is no longer sufficient conjure up a degrading image of womankind. As is the case in the dialogues of Plato." "Lord. 12:11 was about to enter you are a woman beautiful to Egypt. cluded however.The Book of Job To word 55 put the argument simply. the author has silently but mention force to fully robbed the word of its sting. by conjoining the Its bare word queren ("hom") to the pukh in such a natural and ordinary way. for she is Now Abimelech had not approached her. man's wife. Rachel. they praised her to Pharaoh. though perhaps somewhat naive man. 19. has a child: Leah knows only Gen. so he said. Abram's And ultimately. And the But the LORD afflicted taken Pharaoh's house. "She is my Gerar sent and took Sarah. and when . But God sister.
when she was now you will she and when they were still some distance from Ephrath. Then Rachel said. and she called Simon. but did not find them. "May the LORD add to son!" Her demand was met. In the presence of our kinsmen not Now Jacob did I have that is yours. "With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister. so she called his name Naphtali. Rachel travailed. for another And her soul was departing his (for name died). 30:1 Gen. "Give children. "God has judged me. but at a very heavy price: Gen." them. So Rachel died. and entered Rachel's. but his father buried Benjamin. "Because the LORD has heard that I his name am hated. And she her father. and take know that Rachel had stolen them." "Any one with whom you find your gods shall not live. And he went out of Leah's tent. Laban felt . Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel's saddle. and two maidservants. And midwife said to as her. "Because the LORD has looked me. Bethlehem). therefore she called his name Dan. for the way of women is upon So he searched. but he did into Leah's tent." She my affliction. her Nor is it clear what we are to think of charm: Gen. she envied or her and she said to Jacob. voice and given me a has also heard my son". But Rachel always thinks in terms of battle and victory: Gen. saying. said to me. So Laban point out what went into Jacob's tent. "Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you. saw that she bore Jacob me no children. and sat upon all about the tent. and I die!" shall Then Rachel said. the have son.56 Interpretation called upon his name Reuben. (that and she was on the way to Ephrath is. "Fear called not. surely now my husband will love conceived again and bore a son. 30:24 and she called me another his name Joseph. and into the tent of the not find them. and said. she reacts not with gratitude. When she finally does have another: a son of her own. and have prevailed". for she said. in her hard labor. she called his name Benoni.' and she had hard labor. but with a demand for Gen. 30:6 When Rachel sister. he has given me this son also". 35:16 Then they journeyed from Bethel. 31:32 it. but did not find the household gods.
Now he he." ISam. The man was churlish and understanding and beautiful. totally forget his There relation was also to Bath Shibah. Abigail: ISam. 16:12 And he sent. behold. for it. and not to allow oneself to fall under the sway of that one cannot is to miss a great deal of the Bible. and up the there came up out of fed in the reed grass. for blood be made pollutes the land. anoint and was ruddy. whom we saw at work in the note to Job 6:11. Joseph. "Arise. for he He charm was but ruddy beautiful in was charming. And after a time his wife cast her eyes upon Joseph. . David. and saw and him. but the ill-behaved. . Now Joseph handsome (beautiful) and good-looking. him. he disdained appearance. the [beautification] in it. And the LORD said. and had and was handsome. Deut. 17:42 And the Philistine looked. Gen. Nonetheless. and desire for her and would take her for yourself as wife. 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. they first seven fat cows. for when this is ISam. which and having him he had was for anything but the food he ate. . 25:3 Now the name of the man was woman was of good Nabal. except can for him the land. but all that again it led to grave problems. the . David was beautiful: brought him in. and the name of his wife Abigail. 39:6 So he left no concern he had in Joseph's charge. a youth. 41:2 and fat." Then come the pointless cows: Gen. 35:33 You shall not thus pollute the land in and no expiation shed which you live. he was a Calebite. and said.The Book of Job But perhaps most 57 soft- telling of all is the ultimate superiority of Leah's spoken son Judah over that master magician. 21:11 you have but it must be read in the light of Cozbi. was Joseph himself beautiful. beautiful eyes. "Lie with master's me. blood that is by the blood of who shed There is a law: and see among the captives a beautiful woman.
and brought her to the maiden was king. my than she. every And when he the his head (for at the end of cut year he the used to cut of it. 13:1 Absalom. and when the king came to see him. alive and thrust them into the heart Absalom. he weighed weight. whose name So Tamar." of her. from the sole of ." hand. and the mule went under the thick caught branches was of a great oak. he it). Absalom and struck him. The very beautiful. the and she became the king's not. 18:10 And a certain man saw it." with And he took three darts in his of hand. that I may eat from her brought them near him to eat. I saw Absalom hand. For the understand sake of completeness I shall add the rest of the story. born to Absalom three sons. and pretended to be ill. oak. had a beautiful sister. crown of cut there was no blemish in him. 2Sam. while he was still in the surrounded And ten young men. and found Abishag the Shunammite. then you yourself would have stood not waste time like this you. 14:27 There were name was Tamar. while the mule that was under him went on. though I do not its importance: 2Sam. his head and fast in the oak. her. two chanced to and upon hundred the shekels by the king's And Absalom was servants of David. . when was heavy meet on him. Amnon said to the king. with listen to her. and after a time Amnon. But he would not he forced her. and killed him. but her beauty caused her disaster: 2Sam. and told hanging in an oak. and being stronger to me. loved her. his foot to the . if I had dealt the will aloof. but king knew her . On the other Joab. lie with her." treacherously against his life (and there is nothing hidden from Joab said. but beauty did him in as well: 2Sam. David's son. "Come. "Behold. Joab's armor-bearers. "I king). "Pray let my sister Tamar come and Now was make a couple of cakes But and said when she in my sight. and she was a beautiful woman. nurse and ministered to him. one daughter whose Next came poor Abishag: 1 Kings 1:3 of So they sought for a beautiful maiden throughout all the territory Israel. he took hold sister. David's son. and left hanging between heaven earth. 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. Amnon lay down. hair his head. Absalom he riding his mule.58 Interpretation Tamar was a wonderful person. and lay Her brother was not so wonderful.
Ps. Eccles. 4:30 hair. 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. instead of beauty. Jer. of perfume Isa. her eyelashes. therefore God has blessed for ever. 33:17 Jer. Jer. for fair to behold. is the joy of all the earth. and and do not capture you with Prov. a girding of sackcloth. the city of the great King. scarlet. Mordecai adopted her his own daughter. but a woman who fears the praised. the maiden was beautiful lovely. baldness. 45:2 You are the most beautiful of the sons of men. 11:15 What right has my beloved in my house. the daughter of his for she had neither father nor mother. yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 5:18 Behold. LORD is to be beauty is vain. 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Esther 2:7 uncle. 10:3 lovers despise you. Do not desire her beauty in your heart. And you. also he has put eternity into man's mind. 31:30 Charm is deceitful. they seek your life. Mount Zion. and instead of a rich robe. Eccles. that you enlarge your eyes with paint? In vain you beautify yourself. in let her Prov. O desolate one. for the customs of the peoples are false. they will behold a land rope. 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 there will be rottenness. Your eyes will see the king in his beauty. A tree from the forest is cut down.The Book of Job Vashti's 59 beauty did not help her. for of a this is his lot. when she has done vile . that you what do you mean that you dress in Your beautify yourself with ornaments of gold. shame. 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. Esther's beauty saved her people. and instead Isa. Men beautify so that gold. that is Esther. for themselves: is Ps. grace you poured upon your lips. they fasten it with hammer and nails cannot move. and He had brought up Hadassah. 6:25 far north. 48:2 the beautiful in elevation. as and when her father and her mother died. and instead of well-set that stretches afar. in she was order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty. 3:24 Instead girdle. it it and worked with an axe with silver and by the hands of a craftsman.
you ate raiment was of fine linen. 27:4 any passer-by." I Ezek. lo. All who pass along the way clap their hands at you. Thus says the Lord GOD: "You were the signet of perfection. "Is beauty.60 Interpretation deeds? Can vows and sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can tree. but they will not do it. and lavished your harlotries your on any passer-by at the head of every street you yourself built lofty place and prostituted your beauty. "A green olive beautiful will set Lam. day the beautiful of virgins and the The LORD hosts will protect them. he shall surely deal with it as its wickedness deserves. were blameless in your ways from the day you were created. that were in the garden of God. the plane garden of of nothing compared with its branches. and were in your towers. and multiplying your Your borders are in the heart of the seas. and played the harlot because of your . The cedars in the garden of God trees could not rival were as it. I have cast it out. to feast their eyes on It was its roots went beautiful in its greatness. 31:7 exposed you before kings. You to regal estate. I will give it into the hand of a mighty one of the nations. and your cloth. cast you to the ground. ." Ezek. to perfect your The men of men of Arvad Gamad and Helech were upon your walls round about. renown. you then exult? The LORD once called you. and went forth among the nations you because beauty. iniquity was found in you. nor the fir trees equal its boughs. . I made it beautiful in the mass and all the trees of its branches. for they hear young and men shall say. they perfect your beauty. . of your your renown exceedingly beautiful. "But trusted in beauty. raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre. for down to abundant waters. beautiful you you are to them like one who sings love songs with a what voice and plays well on an instrument. for it upon was perfect through the splendor which I had bestowed your you. offering made harlotry. full of wisdom and perfect in beauty till . 16:13 Thus at the daughter was called the perfection of you were made Jerusalem. your builders beauty. in the length of its branches. 2:15 with goodly fruit". says the Lord GOD. towered proud of Ezek. 33:32 And. made they hung Ezek. Son of man. high Eden envied it. faint for Amos 8:13 Zech. they shall devour and . And silk. I you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because it and set its top among the clouds. and its branches will be consumed. and say to him. 28:15 You their shields upon your walls round about. and grew embroidered fine flour came and honey and oil. you. they hiss and wag their heads Ezek. 9:15 that thirst. the joy of all of with gold and this the city which earth?" the beautiful and silver. but with the roar of a great tempest he fire to it. no tree in the God was like it in beauty. and its heart was its height. Your heart was proud because of your beauty.
tance only would not The first thing to note is that the daughters of Zelophehad received an inheri because their father had no son. 26:33 Now Zelophehad the and the names of the son of oc Hepher had of no sons. whereas in the Book of Job the inheritance is purely for the the daugh ters. And they stood before Moses. Num. how good and how fair it men they shall shine on his land. and new wine the maidens. and Tirzah. of Gilead. he those who gathered of among the company of themselves together against the LORD in the was not own company Korah. at the door of the tent of meeting. Milcah. but died for his sin. son of Hoglah. 27:1 Then drew son of and near the son of son of daughters of Zelophehad the Hepher. Had there been a son. "The daughters Zelophelad right. The names of his daughters Mahlah. a and they shall drink their blood like wine. 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. Milcah. but only a dowry. saying. the next phrase Num. Our father died in the wilderness. Machir. Noah. and he had no sons. 27:4b Give to us a possession alongside our father's brothers. were but daughters: daughters Tirzah. The text continues: Num. Hoglah. 27:5 Moses brought their before the LORD. 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. corners of be full like bowl. 27:4a Why family. And are the LORD said to Moses.The Book of Job tread and 61 down the slingers. son of Manasseh. and before the leaders and all the congregation. from the families were: Manasseh the Joseph. Noah. Thus. 20. It should also be noted that it was Job's own decision to change his will. the daughters have received an inheritance. young be! Grain shall make the flourish. drenched like the God will save them crown shall the altar. for like the jewels of a Yea. Perhaps the best way of understanding the significance of what has curred is to compare it to the case of the daughters of Zelophehad: Num. and before Eleazar the priest. you shall give them . given what he had seen in the Tempest: case of Num. On that of day the LORD their for they are the flock his people.
and has no son. And every daughter who of the people of Israel shall be her father. And you shall say to the a man people of Israel. The heads of the fathers' there was a further complication: Num. houses houses of and spoke before Moses and before the leaders. "The tribe of the sons Joseph is right. Tirzah. then will inheritance be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which the they belong.62 Interpretation possession of an the inheritance of their inheritance among their father's brothers and cause father to pass to them. tribe to another. So no of inheritance the tribes shall be transferred from Israel of one tribe to another. daughters of Zelophehad. and Noah. for each of the people of shall cleave to its own inheritance. 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. were married to sons of their father's are brothers. Hoglah. This is what the LORD commands concerning the daughters of of Zelophehad." of our And Moses commanded the people of according to the word of the LORD. so and added to the inheritance of the tribe to they belong. And if he has daughter. and the Husbands are immediately out to found for from their dowry. 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. In the case of Zelophehad. inheritance turns be little more than a grand . then his inheritance to his brothers. came near son of Manasseh. for Mahlah. the heads fathers' of the of the people of give Israel. however. tribal the women inheritance is paramount. "The LORD commanded my lord to the land for inheritance by lot to the people of Israel. the tribe and their inheritance will be taken from inheritance Israel of fathers. 36:1 houses of of the families of the of the sons of fathers' Gilead the the sons Machir. The only. 'Let within them marry whom they think best. And their when will be taken away from the lot of our the jubilee of the people of Israel comes. tribe. Milcah.' " The daughters Zelophehad did as the LORD commanded the Moses. they said. 'If dies. then you shall cause no his inheritance to you shall give pass to his daughter. it inheritance. they shall marry the family of the tribe of their father. and of LORD to give the inheritance my lord was commanded by the Zelophehad our brother to his of the people of daughters. 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. saying. Although the genuine concern words "Let them marry welfare of whom they think best" clearly own show for the the women. son of Joseph. 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.
by the fathers and some by the mothers. beauty." clashing for human One said while friendship. there would no way to live as "one of com. This led to a shift in Job's standing of and sensitivity to beauty. the notion that things had their own selves apart seal upon them and were what recognition they were in them under from human need. and a need of clarity. the way to go out on the hunt. They be taught. as we have seen. 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. men are empty and life is without taste." Without these would must be no life. however. the two refused to mesh. that that Job has established the right of women to own and hold a property. there would be no bread. Human sociality way to plant men work together and it requires means nothing more than that by day in the evening they talk. So far In the case of means 63 or about husbands as I can see. the and all way to These some bury the dead. the way to bake bread. for clarity that came about when his world began to fall asunder led Job to the need for autonomous understanding. This insight.The Book of Job Job's daughters. A small change in a last will and testament was the result. ways must be taught they must be learned. in turn. be and of the ways. there and us. and hence to ultimately questions concerning those accounts of "the first The need things. of his daughters." Out of the whirl of the Tempest came the notion of the signets. nothing is said dowries. The inheritance is outright and absolute. the other cried beginning The was a need "unjust. to the emergence of the nurturing and swaddling God as distin guished from the making and constructing God. Of what do they speak? Of the com. and it is the children who must learn them. 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. "just" by the For Job. Without whole. 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. . led.
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
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. in in the which self-control and exhibits itself in can actions. But Socrates is a rare creature (Alcibiades not alto remarks on gether his atopia. 306b). 714). Diotima explains that while those who want to gain a kind of physical immor eros ing theme in the Charmides. but more particularly we have notion geous coexisting and here a suggestion an augmented coura of Socratic sophrosyne. it is easy ability to overcome his immediate lust for Char mides introduces one possible definition of the term dramatically. citation of Cydias is significant have from the poet. 221d). entered the palaistra to his actual meeting Sophrosyne. an elenctic investigation begun. but before elaborating its so far from the time Socrates Charmides. Charmides.68 I Interpretation thought that I myself cure had been captured by a beast like that.5 Furthermore. audience familiar courage with it certainly springs to the mind of a later the Symposium. (155d-e) The Charmides is which is all we only source for this Cydias fragment (Page 1962. One question is help the the elenchus of the of fact that Socrates apparently possesses the virtue? The first Charmides. 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. 507a-c. these virtues were often considered a rare combination. Diotima's lecture to Socrates in the Symposium is. at Symp. with some effort to answer that I did. important texts on the theme of eros. After tality seek marriage and family. We might see from Plato of the unity of virtue. has ual not yet the topic of the discussion that takes up most of the mentioned. was a enough to see that Socrates' typical understanding of the word's meaning. Still. one of Plato's most enhance our understand she has explained to Socrates that is ultimately a longing for immortality through procreation (201c-208e). particularly restraint indulgence. not mutu Pit. in these small dramatic hints such a explicit: quences way that it poses What is sophrosyne? (159a). those who are more inclined to leave an intel- . I managed when he asked me if I knew the for his headache. our Socrates' for Plato's treatment importance I wish of Socratic eros to review what we have learned with in this dialogue. in which Alcibiades praises Socrates sophrosyne both for and for (219d-220c). In the Laches Socrates context of Laches agree that one speak easily Though of courage resisting temptation and of the indulgence (191d). from sex been Since self-control." p. and perhaps it is surprising that we should find courage and sophrosyne complementing one another in his character. Although Plato makes a connection between courage and sophrosyne in other dialogues (Grg. and it can of that drives a consideration of course. "oddness. if ally exclusive (North 1966. The second leads us back into Socratic eros. 97).
the spiritual a man looks for find a suitable wife to bear his goes out to a good match. like He this be very much drawn to this combination. and gifted soul. who had warned the lover that would one could be overtaken and consumed by a beautiful boy. distinguished. know that Critias' assurance that his cousin's soul was beautiful. was considered the external we might manifestation of that virtue's with sophrosyne. try to teach the other. rather than ugly ones. Soc men met more or (as the blank ruler) confesses to his friend that he finds all young less equal in beauty. For the second. certainly will he would never anything ugly. have we If the Socrates of the Charmides is a lover like that Diotima even should Charmides have turned out to be an ideal soul mate (the would passed term is hackneyed but strangely appropriate here). Indeed. 210a-212a). palaistra he had sophrosyne in his soul. but generally speaking he Socrates' beauty of all men (154b-c). is. Socrates beyond his infatuation with the young man's individual beauty and begun his when ascent toward universal. he the company goodness of a person and will if he should also come upon a beautiful. eternal rates beauty (Symp. Like children. Narrative. hoping to find young men who could were both kalos and wise. least if self-control might presence. Socrates felt that he needed to speak with Charmides face to rosyne.Drama. 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. who be taught impregnated with soph It became quickly obvious that Charmides met the first qualification. like his describes. he implies that either at the moment he shortly "Charmides or Charmides universal. he about what sort of a man a good man will activities will pursue. In he will be well-supplied with words about (arete)." he says. someone who is both kotos and. at we observe that Plato has indicated to us through met setting and action that when Socrates his friends in the be He was. Surely he too [like the hoping to child] to find some specimen of beauty with whom to reproduce. he tual lover when he went out merely acting like Diotima's spiri to the palaistra. at least potentially. and and since the greatest kinds "by justice (dikaiosyne) sophrosyne. to quotation of return Cydias. pregnant If this is the case. inward say. 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. face. 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. the lover will prefer a combination of these qualities. despite body. and what (209a-c) sorts of Returning the to the Charmides. just as a fawn . and good. lectual or spiritual and Eros in Plato 's Charmides 69 legacy hope lover to produce who wisdom (phronesis) and excellence (arete) (208e-209a). Therefore he attracted to beget offspring with beautiful bodies for his procreative intentions. Since love loves of wisdom both far" beauty are and wisdom (204b).
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. an pp. The bewilderment greater engendered by the Socratic elenchus ideally spurs the of interlocutors to and self-awareness. with trust in my strength. but did not drink its blood. just so do lovers love 165). by having Socrates for a metaphor erotic pursuit that would have been familiar to his readers. in singing. This is a remarkable passage for several reasons.) his first speech Concluding motives of in the Phaedrus. 58. "As which he denounces the selfish lovers boys" under the spell of eros. Jowett's translation to make it approximate a more conven tional arrangement: . Sim sus ilarly. of which three come immediately to mind. (Cited as an image for erotic capture by Dover 1978.7 as the fawn and the object of figures We might expect that the image his desire (the eromenos) would function the other way around. 1978. passion and causes consider the significance of Cydias' The second striking point about the passage not is that turn a disconcerting. In both cases. First. Halperin 1985. For of example.6 Third. 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. has not always been recognized as such. the aporia has a beneficial element.70 be Interpretation reduced to a chunk of meat by a lion. Such metaphors are similar to the common compari game son of sexual pursuit to p. right out from under hind. or as a hunter tracking game. p. of citation of the line from Cydias. Socrates' (241d). potentially embarrassing (if opportunity for detached introspection indicates that shown in his control of his desire. the perception of their own lack knowledge. The usual formulation of prey lighting upon the erastes the part the metaphor comparing an erotic pursuit to a beast its quarry. Socrates' sexual arousal here leads him to a new awareness of his ceptibility to advice. consists in part in his intellectual Socrates' ability to unpleasant) event into an sophrosyne. him to finally renewed reflection. This physiological loss in which the dialogue concludes. fond of lambs. there c-d: seems to be a probable sexual connotation to Theognis 1278 A a lion. here appetite cite Socrates' having greater of this line urgency than his Cydias Plato appropriates sexual appetite. does indeed give of the hunter and the eromenos the part of the hunted. with who had been observing the behavior of amusement. 81-91. hunting (Dover. Socrates begins to launch into epic (as wolves are he admits he has done. 241e). Socrates. inversion the expected im age. stretches the Charmides text enough For example. I caught a fawn in my claws.
Critias and and plotting that if Charmides is really intent says you" force to make Socrates submit playfully say that they to their will. catch.Drama. in which Charmides." realization of his desire to be Socrates. p. Thus there to me to be use of at least two more likely readings. and I think the one that most simply accommodates the text. 90. or . is aware that he poses some danger to the younger man (Nussbaum 1986. 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. respectively. also interprets the quotation in this sense). Socrates to replies in kind then. interprets the inversion his encounter as a simple rever sal of roles. a phenomenon passive eromenos of a sexual in the nominally advances relationship not only enjoys his lover's but even reciprocates. not for an individual whose beauty incites it. Another reading. we will be inclined to expect the metaphor of the lion and fawn to felt refer to Socrates and Charmides. which as a manifestation of anteros. their attempt to tells Socrates that the two of them should cousin even define sophrosyne. we can see that dialogue. perceiving his craving for Charmides. also reads the text in this way). lion. p. and slyly Charmides have failed in his suggests that the pursued will become the When Socrates. a lover might approach his beloved. pursue. to speak. 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. and devour (McAvoy 1996. 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. so that the lion in the poem stands for carnal desire. "I with won't resist we continue to follow the erotic subtext of the dialogue we to "see him can view again. If we do.8 and Eros in Plato's Charmides love. only if a with the power to momentarily. "I myself to have been captured by a beast like that. pursuer. When Socrates says. he devoured appetite. I thought how fair youth. 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]. this inverted image is to suppose that One way of understanding he means he has been snared by his lust for Charmides. and to imagine Socrates as the erastes and Charmides as the eromenos. he must mean us to go along with the game." he most likely means Charmides became. Narrative. Charmides thereafter spend every day together in will resort discussion. "So Charmides." no one will be able to resist him. when. "don't (176a-d). 92." you resist me Socrates answers. If Charmides' either. who. perhaps to the point that the two roles are exchanged. 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." for I felt that I had been by a sort of wild-beast lion. Critias.
in the hopes that soul would prove amenable to such a charm that Socrates had agreed to speak with him. even if he has little to show on the that will be enough: the lover surface. 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). and actually help nurture the Symp. 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. came that Charmides would be willing to have Socrates' discussion of and was. Then [the in a lover] must consider that beauty in souls is worth more than the beauty in his soul. relationship eros of their souls (255a-256e. but he does not condemn the desires of either party. The Alcibiades anteros not own corresponding only in Alcibiades himself. Critias had quickened a his expectation by assuring Socrates moreover. step. someone suitable body. In setting himself up practitioner of Zalmoxian medicine Socrates promised to impart sophrosyne to Charmides by means of kaloi logoi. 210a.). bringing the soul to a healthy state consequently expediting bodily health (156d-157c). 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. 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. which itself he beautiful words (logoi kaloi). but also in Euthydemus and our very Charmides (222a-b). 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). philosophos (154e-155a).72 Interpretation merged. 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. 155e). Soc speak. a neat and quotation of Cydias encapsulates this reversal of in Continuing told surprising image. which cf. This cure he Thracian doctor working under the patronage of the god a Zalmoxis. Diotima's ladder lover standing drawn to a so unique after all soul Charmides' (step 3). Socrates' Halperin 1986. or the entire body charm and the soul as well. For Plato's treatment of see and anteros of in the Phaedrus Symposium. 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. as Diotima defines it: to sophrosyne. 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). met become should In the Phaedrus Socrates says that in He an ideal relationship eros be by anteros as a matter of course. his story about his meeting he had regained with Charmides and the others. If is . It was Socrates' version of the charm would Charmides' naturally prove to be an elenchus. was composed of A Zalmoxian physician would charm. His focus shifted (not without difficulty) to up.
and it may well be that Soc sophrosyne in the Charmides implies his concomi so tant possession of dikaiosyne. penulti rung (episteme). Soc rates argues for the identity of to kalon e. (160d-161b). showing modesty generally. diakaiosyne in Socrates mate also prompted on Critias to elevate the discussion to the next. the discussion possible Charmides an fixed for the meaning. 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. as would a so governed. Indeed the Re principle followed by public is a much more extended discussion of nomoi than one's own is the Charmides. (On the similarity in meaning Plato's dialogues. and benefits for individual a polis of a knowledge of knowledge . and Critias begin discussion by considering likely manifestations of that virtue quiet circumspection in practice. the element of to doing (163e-164d).g. "doing one's (to ta heautou prattein). In the Charmides of sophrosyne Socrates. 165b) kind remains and his agreement with Socrates that point must therefore of the be some of episteme (165c).Drama. 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. 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. keeping good things to one's own work (159b-160d). expands his logos nomoi. own" every member of a city. Charmides. 457b). Now the third concep tion of sophrosyne. In other dialogues. Narrative. he did so with the definition of the virtue as accep of of "knowledge of the other knowledge and of knowledge itself (166c). and so with everything else controlled by sophrosyne. and. (161b-163d). possibility. their investigation still fo 64e) cuses on the quality of admirability in various practices. is accepted by Socrates and his interlocutors in the Republic as a definition for justice (433a). expanded as a and usefulness (to ophelimon. (17 le) Socrates. level again. Phil. however. 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). Rep. e. that he has both of the virtues required of sophrosyne and by a Diotiman lover. see Larson 1951).g. like walking and talking with deliberate. From that on on. 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. seeking to evaluate the others on the basis of their goodness and societal benefits. 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). They consider kalon only in the first of these activities. and goodness (to agathon.
especially the Symposium. 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. pp. As an example. Rather. Laches. would not had. 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. vision. here eros. 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. 1988. Kahn 1996. 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. ideal youth with whom to give birth to such discourse. the arguments of aporetic dia logues like the Charmides. as it turned out. any case. For and other Kahn has early dialogues or dialogues in Kahn's terms) partly in order to prepare his readers for the fuller. 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). The discourse by the contemplation of pose the charm of knowledge here reminds us of the kaloi logoi that com comprise the therapy. discussion before the topic of episteme came up. In the Charm can Zalmoxis' ides these logoi Charmides tes' was not an out of the only be the elenchus.74 Interpretation and the various epistemai. ostensibly. 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. to topic. 541-49). According to Kahn's theory of prolepsis. 56-70. he as a solution to the question of sophrosyne. In the might Charmides he imagines how Socrates erastes. my intention has been a certain to dialogue that is not. 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. Phaedo. pp. He dropped Socra ascent could go no further with him. 148291.10 By show reading the drama how one and narration of the Charmides "about" with frequent refer ence to other dialogues. while in the Symposium acted in the guise of an he imagines how the actions of a philosopher- lover might be expressed in theory. Sadly for Socrates. If he had I such a necessarily have allowed that Socrates had in Plato did not choose to introduce the theory and. 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. can reinforce the understanding of that topic we achieve through the other dialogues. he shows that the notion of the knowl- . as well as the philosophoi logoi that Socratic lover's discourse in the Phaedrus (257b). and Republic. Lysis.
more 184). he "[Cydias] for the beast.Drama. NOTES character other dialogues in which Socrates narrates directly (as opposed to narrating to another in the dialogue. p. Donald Watt's translation (1987. since he can speak 4. edge of good and and Eros in Plato 's Charmides sophrosyne 75 evil. For the 5. but in those works he does not. . p. If Plato's readers expected even from Cydias the more usual relation lion fawn :: erastes : eromenos. 513f)innuendo of "one little see McAvoy 1996. thing.) kind kind of reading I have been pursuing here. and Kahn (1996. Bruell was aware of was part of this point of made by North (1966. 1988. p.' fawn into the just such a of I felt I'd been of caught by said Kahn (1996. Jowett 1961. McAvoy (1996. 'Take care not to go as a meat. together with his irresistible passion . 54-55. (1977. the Symposium. Alcibiades." "dates" with conversations." measuring-line about such a person. theoretical explorations Socratic eros in the Phaedrus especially in the Symposium. well: "Socrates was not simply outside of himself. p. by Mahoney (1996. in the Laches. 27) and. puts 6. 73 n. 82). p. pp." this . though rejected as a definition for courage and in the Charmides of and for the Euthydemus only becomes pp. 3. (For an pp. 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. by which of fit neatly that there is a Socrates' ac tions and narrative anticipate of Plato's and more expositive. The with Socrates included a bit of wrestling. the passage in the reading than the one I propose Plato meant to elicit. 187) It also preserves the ambiguity care the text: a someone on the subject of a provide a meal handsome boy 'to take lest. by way of advice to presence of a lion and be snatched as a portion creature. pp." someone. while the middle help the reader to a fuller understanding of the earlier works. he also thought. Plutarch. 179-80) captures the ambiguity of but seems to indicate Charmides as the referent for the lion: "When speaking of a p. pp. as here. that thought the experience. 187-88). 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. 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. 25. 146). principles 542-46). address his remarks to a specific second-person listener. 2. concern " for p. in Kahn's work 203-9. 102. I would suggest dramatic prolepsis at work in the Charmides. 154). handsome boy. the effect would have been an even more protracted pause 8. so to speak. the dialectically for trained philosopher kings of Republic V-VII (Kahn 1996.' seemed to me that I had fallen victim to a wild animal of sort. he stood himself him how he in relation to Kydias with respect to wisdom. Cf. as in the Protagoras and Euthydemus) are the Lysis and the Republic." observation has been p. see the critique of Kahn 1988 by Griswold 1988. for example. like in advising fawn in front of a lion. And gave some power his awareness of all his wisdom. in which Alcibiades tells the assembled guests that one of his early 1. [Cydias] said. This recently. I to resist what had been an this. proposed this activity in the belief that "surely something would come out of also Dover 1978. 7. Although the specific details of his interpretation would perhaps to the 550-51. who by this time was entirely smitten See Socrates. not opposing view. makes the comment that "a chatterbox [adoleschos] is simply a white it. Hyland (1981. possible sexual meaning that the topic of a discussion makes no difference to endlessly on any theme (Mor. Narrative.
Benitez. Cambridge. Pp." REFERENCES Bruell.. p. "Plato's Charmides and the Proleptic Reading of Socratic Journal of Philosophy 85: 541-49. "Plato and Erotic Reciprocity. Sophrosyne: Self-Knowledge and Self-Restraint in Greek Literature. Kahn. 1987. Cambridge: Cambridge Press. M. B." Mahoney. 1986. C. Kahn (1996. 1986. Hyland. Cairnes. Griswold. Pp. "self-control. Charmides. Hanmondsworth. J. Sophrosyne. "Carnal Knowledge in the ern Charmides. 1996. C. 1996. E. University Larson. lacked sophrosyne in its in its manifestation as a kind of knowledge. 1985. 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. . Journal of Philosophy 85: 550-51. "The Platonic Synonyms dikaiosyne nal sophrosyn and American Jour of Philology 72: 395-414.4). It is with Menexenus. C. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Greek Homosexuality. L. The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy. MA: Harvard University Press. K. "Platonic Eros and What Men Call Love. "Socratic Politics Charmides. Plato. Plato: Early Socratic Dialogues. Potae Melici Graeci. 1951.. The Virtue of Philosophy: An Interpretation of Plato's Charmides.. 1966. 1977. Human Journal of Philosophy 34: 183-99." Classical Antiquity 5: 60-80. Watt. 1988. like Critias a member of the notorious oligarchic regime manifestation as Athens therefore also Peloponnesian war. Princeton: Princeton University Press." and Self-Knowledge: An Interpretation of Plato's Interpretation 6: 141-203. Ed." 161-204." Dover. D." South Dialogues and with Plato (Apeiron 29. D. Charmides. M." Dialogues of Plato. ed. Hamilton H. Athens: The Ohio University Press. 63-103. H. and Jowett. In E. eds. Plato and the Socratic Dialogue. C. Page. 163-209. "Unifying Ancient Philosophy 5: Halperin. "The Charmides: Socratic Sophrosyne. 1961. McAvoy. 1981. 1962. 99-122. Eng: Penguin. 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. T." and also reasonable to suppose that intended his to the Charmides ruling and the prejudice that after the Charmides. D. Saunders.76 Interpretation 9. 1988. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. NY: Cornell University Press. 1978. D.. Ithaca. In T. Edmonton: Academic Printing Publishing. The Collected Dialogues. Nussbaum. 1996. North. trans. trans.
Public had decayed in both instances into hatred and revenge. because he thought both were part of an historical movement towards not see Marx did freedom. Fall 1998. was an out-and-out bourgeois. and one must ex as plain peculiar defense understanding of justice liberty they relate to prudence. He did not support the Amer ican Revolution because it He defended it ent protected the absolute right to freedom and equality. 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.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. and on prudential about grounds. posed the revolution in France because their doctrine the rights of man was leading ness anarchy and a subsequent military despotism.'" any essential difference between the two revolu tions. was becoming of a tyranny. and his himself. Marx to as to attribute Burke's of apparent lack of principle his love of lucre. He was the American Revolution because their of against Parliament during indignation. 1 . His own Whig party with his condemnation of the French Revolution was inconsistent went so his for the Americans. Paine failed to grasp the consistency of Burke's judgement because he failed to grasp the reasons for Burke's support of the Americans. in the pay of the North American colonies at the beginning of the American troubles. Burke them to threat of tyranny less from the selfishness of the bourgeoisie and from interpretation. if one is to make sense of his differ judgements his the American and the French and Revolutions. because he thought that both revolutions supported the rights of man. Vol. He op spirited saw the aristo- justified by a legal doctrine sovereignty. Burke's apparent inconsistency was also criticized by Paine. Like Marx.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. He them have wrote judgements thought support formed judgements far on extensively on both. he had played the liberal against the English oligarchy. 26. No.
however. while partiality to whom one's own country. but punishment. because it must regulate both the relation between citizens as well as the relation between citi ciation zens. On temptation. In doing so. one gains the distance faced philosophy The without abstracting from the concrete political problems by citizens and statesmen. absolute and abstract character of cannot theory is a poor guide principle. but treasonous criminals. The political association is constituted by both the on aspect of law and the aspect of patriotism. not disobedient want to Parliament and unfaithful to En them. He did not write a theoretical work on politics. fight the to rebels using the an law. in order to persuade his audience about the meaning To events. Its force . the habeas corpus in order to and unenforced law is not a law. The political asso is necessarily a mixture of the general and the particular. who are gland. as he is for being a defender of constitutional government.78 Interpretation privilege. The whereas the justice of war consists in treat its citizens equitably. Justice has two different aspects. The the law is against defense against internal tyranny. must those same citizens must treat as enemies the rebels and foreigners against they fight. and it is no small thought that part of the art of the statesman to they had their limitations. and foreigners. In order to exact wage defeat the Americans. Burke's defense ciation of and of prudence against principle and theory requires an appre his art. The American The British do rebels are not only thought of as authority enemy. He is keep them justice of law consists in its impartiality. His speeches letters are informed by the immediacy of of events. yet it must also execute partially American traitors. than from self-righteous cratic authority and self-righteous rebellion fueled by general and abstract ideas. he had to reflect on politics as a encompass whole. equitableness of the because it is threatened a two different and fronts. there is a strong of as the part of the British. Parliament must use the form simply suspend to punish of law to war. The law from corrupting one another. A disobeyed be effectual. also the nature of law to be just. the on account of the war being a civil one. Burke's rhetoric and reasoning appreciate the broadest questions about justice must and government. love of country is a defense foreign domination. Yet. 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.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. he also famous for arguing that policy needs to be guided by prudence. see his thought and his peculiar genius. 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. one learn to the universal and permanent problems of political life in his treatment of the political of issues of his time. rather than law. rebels. It is. It is the nature of law to and the British have modified theirs to ensure ought not to its bite.
they are not gether an the bonds of affection between citizens. They have lost confidence in justice. they wish for peace (p. devoid of hope. public spirited reasons. and this is where Burke steps in to make their desire for peace more than just a humane Ameri and pious hope. They vitiate their politics. 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. necessity Although law the common good. and by bringing the partiality of war into law. Burke thought that civil wars were the worst. they dissolve alto of the common idea good. By teaching us to consider our fellow-citizens in us. a hostile light. of the whole body of our nation affection and new kindred. realm of war and there needs to as a distinction between the for war the realm of law. they pervert even the natural taste and relish for equity and justice. they both an require a bond of love that is accompanied by a feeling simply negative and destructive. because and piety. but they have not lost their humanity. when the communion of our country is dissolved. or rather confusion. His opposition to the party by courage in the war party is . It is in this background of Parliament's to use the law as an instrument of war that Burke writes the Letter. of the realm of policy is very disturbing to Burke. He in effect helps to mold and strengthen a peace articulating the issues. the required is of an extent that goes well beyond the equity required for justice under the realm of law and law. 189)4 which were the becomes gradually less dear to bond of charity whilst we agreed. and he the foresees attempt grave consequences from it.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs overreach of Bristol 79 the bounds be of the bounds force of what^can its justice. 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. proposing a policy.5 melancholy are not. Of most all wars. any more than its justice ought to overreach be enforced. In order to maintain the integrity of law. for pursuing peace. they corrupt their morals. however. Their cynicism and 177). well suited to The theme of of Burke's letter is very an its audience. He gives to the sheriffs political reasons. By the of law into the British destroy honest patriotism war. Their problem is how to restore peace without the sword of justice. Britain's combination. The spirit might partial of murderous hatred dominates in its and in its object and patriotism devotion. and the slavishness of despondency the extreme consequences of Brit ain's corruption of the law. The Sheriffs Bristol have grown cynical and are sworn has become melancholy because the law to which they instrument of crime and tyranny. The very names become incentives to hatred and rage. and making a show of face of popular and Parliamentary hostility. (P. The hatreds bom either civil or of broken love have be a vengefulness that is not excused by war. bringing generality with hate. they are destructive to justice wars strike Civil deepest of all into the manners of the people.
to the they rejoice at quality of the action. 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. rather giving it to treasury (p. defeat. by treating fourth. The determination tableness of the law of enemy rebels as pirates undermines the by confounding the order of crimes.80 Interpretation defense of expressed as a justice against tyranny. image of death neither softens nor horrifies the British. because they do the possibility of their own deaths god. The determination infamous action. blurs the difference be (p. and then distribute a war themselves. Hatred determines the crime. proper. and. 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. in fact. 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. but. THE PARTIAL SUSPENSION OF THE HABEAS CORPUS The partial suspension of the habeas corpus has two objects: "The first. The determination a it. Although piracy and their equation treason share the same sentence tween mistaken virtue and (death). Burke argues that the objects of the suspension corrupt the order of crimes. by treating innocent citizens inequitably. third. 178). Parliament has taken the tone a criminal of an angry and all powerful but. is behaving like who appear tyrant. to infamy to punishment. 178). 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. traced to the all-consuming anger of Parliament. the British the will not even allow them the pity owed to the con demned. those whom that act the act The second purpose of qualify by the name of pirates. contrary. Burke says that it under the cloak of naval is the British to be the pirates. the guilty justice in four different ways: first. In fact. to enable administration to confine. 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. they take the confiscated cargo. as long as it shall think . the British themselves. therewith. inconsistently. Their hatred is not entertain accompanied by pitiless- ness and fearlessness. the distinction itself of American rebels as pirates was made with the add intention allow of insulting them. 179). because. is to detain in England for trial those who shall commit high treason in is pleased to America" (p. put to death the the cargo amongst American men. second. . The British will not them the respect owed to a noble love of liberty or to a formidable enemy. than law. by confusing by be denying the accused a fair trial. 179). .
the absence of justice. they Britain are only hardened by the punishments. The spirit of just victory is completely lacking habeas in the British. Not only does the trial of Americans in England corrupt justice. but also in its description of American soldiers in general. but not according to justice. 180). Parliament replaces justice with force and will. 180). tried ac cording to form. tying half dead in England). therefore. Parliament denies a place for patriotism in the moral order and. 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.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs Their wrath. the British more insult them order by calling them cowards. The accused is. of a The mere thought of shackling the to have them arrive ship (only where Americans. peace. and Burke suggests that this pitilessness will become a permanent part of the British character. ought to evoke feelings of horror jail. should the ment English be victorious. 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. but it does produce punished not even the desired effects of punishment. makes them of Bristol 81 lower than the By moral qualities of allowing their indignation to dictate the order of crimes. object of their own insults. Yet the English in will await a pro they have lost all feelings of pity and humanity for their fellow Englishmen in America. that they will become savage. Burke does habeas corpus not hesitate to precedent point out that the partial of the has its justice in King Henry war. and The proper place for the punishments is in America. as if In they is have killed British in to prove themselves virtuous. it be the imprisonment killing enemies. because the legal process appears to be nothing more than a cover for the arbitrary will of Parliament. because it is blinded by its own indignation. far from making the British godlike. their proper time is cannot give punish after the war. (pp. finds itself in god a world where strength and a tyrant in so far as is the only claim to authority. The punishments serve neither or nor the ends of which are victory. because the accused cannot possibly forward witnesses to defend himself. in England for trial those But these trials cannot high treason in America" bring possibly be just. This insolent men as some only reflected in its characterization of American naval pirates. therefore. them down and then in the hold tossing them in forma trial. After strength not is American should defeats. taking their goods. it and expresses of itself in simple or the domina of tion. it acts like both a its actions are not justified by country. VIII (p. 181-82). This attempt to punish the Ameri cans through the law brings the law into disrepute. rather than the the crime. . corpus The second object of the partial suspension of the who shall commit is "to detain (p. Parliament its proper time and place. This manliness untempered whether by justifications and fears. manly defiance becomes the only virtue. 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. both.
The The exchanged prisoners were ing prisoners is to make clearly pardoned. Burke finds it disturbing that the partial suspension. 188). The issue liberty is really requires the Liberty a common good equality under the law. liberty principle. corrupts justice because according the action the earlier prisoners should have been punished. 182). to punish the exchanged prisoners. At the end of the war. but the distinction between men in the realms treats the innocent differently. by breaking draws the first principle of law. It shakes the foundation of the nation general. It dissolves the nation be citizens without the dissolves by dissolving shared the common good. belief in What not makes the partial suspension of the habeas corpus truly dangerous is would its corruption of law. But the British punitive. The unequal treatment of American prisoners only treats the guilty unequally. because it between citizens. parliament is incapable of such prudence. because it is The empty prisoners are formality of legal proceedings and the inconsistent treatment of not. The hatred affection between the British and the remaining bonds of English in America. therefore. but its to the corruption of manners. justice possibility The partial suspension destroys public spiritedness by destroying the public. however. the limiting qualification. like the deter pirates. Apathy is the accompanying obverse of legislated hate. Burke says general venoms equity. far as he tell. the worst aspects of the partial suspension.82 Interpretation The punitive hate of Parliament even extends to the exchange of prisoners. justice is the as act's can most dangerous is a that. respect for justice has Since the much how consistently the innocent an and guilty with are treated. instead of of taking out the sting. expediencies of war necessitate the unequal treatment of prisoners. the British are intent on punishing as traitors those prisoners who remain mination of American of to the yet reasoning in their hands (p. The law be of no effect most if it were opposed feelings and ideas of the people. en one of it to a greater requires degree (p. far from being the opposed to manners. This offense to threat to political liberty. 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. . as a life was given in return for a life. 186). accords with them and moves them partial suspension codifies their further in the and same direction (p. innocence and guilt dependent to do with therefore not to pardon the remain upon circumstance. naval men as they were allowed to go free. it is more prudent not to make crime and punishment respect issue to prisoners. openly denies some men their rights while protecting those of others (p. because it leaves no place for decent political attachments. It hardly seems just. 184). that it be The partial suspension the distinction between men in the differ ent realms and. But. never mind possible. this action.
it blinds them to their own nobility and their own good. of concern But. with because they harm to their Burke regards of less it British virtue and glory than doing enemies (pp. 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 Having specter of British doubt the certainty of victory. the confidence fueling their hatred (recent that victories they have not increased their authority. 189-90). if only through fear. he tells the he was that the mazes way ahead is intricate. The specter of foreign powers is meant to re awaken the ties of kinship which and the love of country. he says unknown a reality. as they are Burke's letter indifferent to its injustice only because they do not suffer from it. He speaks to the consciences. They have the shamelessness to celebrate the names of victory of German are mercenaries and to concerned with herald the German generals. and full of perplexed and treacherous (p. The British have spread devastation but have only the ground they encamp on and no more. He first reminds the British of their noble order to en a representative of the traditionalists. Burke asks the British to look between the people and their representatives. Burke raises the the unknown. He even speaks as courage justice. Their hatred causes them to live in the pre sent. dark. despite American defeats. Parliament's fury appears both ridiculous and irresponsible. British of as individual citizens with individual interests One the ways to make the British think about their welfare is to destroy. and moral Burke must appeal to private advantage to moderate the British.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. public Since British spiritedness has decayed into hatred in order of Americans. the attachment to country. In obstinate light of the dangers lie ahead. But the British have lost their honest prejudices which supported their love of liberty. Burke can move With the reawakening of his rhetoric from fear to shame. . be can fore they be enlightened. He even wishes that some abuse of the partial suspension would touch them. 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. 191). He wants to awaken in the people the jealous love liberty. The British must doubt themselves. have with doses of fear. made the reminds them British feel invincible). attempts to moderate the extremes of hate and apathy by encour and aging the belief in virtue past. He reminds are threatened by their rulers even more than of by the rebels. He even uses images to induce doubt and fear. British disaffection for their past connected to a lack for their future. in love of country. In sheriffs that order to give privy biting information concerning the real threat foreign powers posed to Brit in the last year.
They (he British invincibility draw the He but of good fortune. being that crawls on the earth. Being godlike authority by bringing reason limited in its strength. The British can at best hope to maintain trade monopolies. as if they kindred blood pours like from the arms of foreign soldiers. show little are content to real magnanimity. states to the . rather than to punish and to subjugate. He has been building towards an explicit for reconciliation but tion and greed. is in the eyes of God and man. No desolate widow weeps tears blood over [their] ignorance" (p. they their country. 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. pride of a coward. but they will thing In light of this hopeless prospect. bloated with pride and he is not to fight. closest least the to save their reputation not to look weak and foolish in frustration and defeat. the taxes. He also tells them that they will not get one cent from America. dominion in which he cannot exercise. far from being manly. He reminds the British that the goal of the war was to increase their wealth. and satisfied to be himself mean and miserable. "no blood pays the forfeit of [their] rashness. 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. and notable their private and they mortgage exult themselves performed some water exploit. manliness and cowardice judgement. pair facing the Brit ish.84 Interpretation It is The and no excuse poorest for presumptuous ignorance. actually the hypocritical others. of uncertain In light victory and certain understood as Burke reinterprets this partaking famous of death. calling for battles which but his servility to it. Those in favor of the war. With the awakening of their interests. those in favor of peace are acting responsibly. 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. without a consciousness of other qualification for power arrogance. that it is directed by insolent passion. Burke has for his plan. contending for a violent (P. when in triumph. Burke suggests his audience to conclusion for themselves) that the British should quit while they are ahead. contending to save itself from an object respectable justice cannot oppression. 199). Burke must discuss the rewards of war. order to render others contemptible and wretched. 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. By prepared the ground argument reducing British hopes to the salvation of their reputation. or at money in the form of best the British can hope for is to not receive them. helpless creature. Far from man's of being cowards. 191) Burke to shatters the upon illusion of Parliament's bear its strength. any without civil wisdom or military skill. rather than simply force and in light of the real situation must will. They they would offer themselves promise for battle but fortunes hire German mercenaries.
Burke turns to reason as the foundation his policy. the British must form a strong peace party confidence. and Burke shows As things stand. Burke's not criticisms of disputing their right to trying to make unanimity are not direct criticisms of the people. a division that has lost its tension due to widespread hate and The English in America their fellow will only put their confidence in a peace party that contains the popular support of the people. themselves. This is his moves to first statement about British guilt. The obstacle to almost unanimous support with peace seems. In order to and break this whom circle of hate distrust. Burke has absented himself from Parliament. therefore. and be trusted. rather than certain tyranny. 195). to be the for the the war in England. he must invoke a truth beyond the source and collective or conventional of wisdom. remains as he stated earlier to Parliament in his Speech on American Taxation and. He is the people doubt Parliament and. above the voices of many. 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. both addresses popular and parliamentary. He is cautious in his blame. he wards ate it slowly by first arguing that the Americans cannot be peace. 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 ARGUMENT FOR RECONCILIATION The of argument for reconciliation must address itself directly to the accusation treason. the Americans are virtually alone. Burke argues that rebellions are provoked rather than encouraged. (1774). 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 Americans can place their The way to form and strengthen the peace party is not through parliamentary debate. Just a short time . because his objections to its policies only increased its obstinacy. of Without the affection and strength Englishmen. by pointing to the arbitrariness of Parliament's American policy. the power under will be popularly recognized as such. 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. to that to reconcile while of in a position of strength is magnanimous the glory Parliament. therewith. Honesty and prudence compel him to take his case to those decent citizens in whom there still exist justice and pity. the Americans must trust in themselves. He is be heard but is rather competing for their ear. 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. to risk with defeat their own arms. they must earn that trust. cynicism.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol 85 British.
Now. Parliament to tax the Americans. The arbitrari can serve as a wedge its policy cannot but induce doubts that the lukewarm from the majority While Burke dares British politicians. 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 turns their traces the cause of the war to bad politicians government. The argument for reconciliation on an argument about good government. Par liament must. legislative The not government should exercise its rule with as much reserve as possible. Burke paints a picture and cowardly in defeat and confident and insolent Parliament lacks the gravity and constancy of reason and character. by habits argues that abstract Parliament rules for the He does not argue that the have rights. 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. waves of chance and. to separate not accuse the British nation for the war. He is thereby domestic politics. at best. can neither be admired by those who love virtue nor ness of followed by those who worship the promise of success. Burke recognizes Parliament's sovereignty only because it its power has exercised for a long time and continues to do so. but people. but it is nothing in the direction of affairs. he can accuse aggrandizement. that it is not will be resisted. therefore. 205). 207) omnipotence. rather than oppress it.86 ago Interpretation Parliament unanimously opposed the war and was willing to negotiate a peace. GOOD GOVERNMENT In the Letter to the and ity of Parliament Sheriffs of Bristol we see Burke attack the ruling author defend the colonists. having recently tasted victory. its passions and mind are enslaved to the prevailing fortune it meets. beg leave to observe. (P. it may be the mind. because Parliament has given itself claims the right over to doctrinaire fanaticism. It rides the of Parliament that is fearful in victory. Burke people not justified by an abstract legal right. granted social rights (pp. even though right of they have no representation. 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 is unanimously in support of the war. so as to offend the people. because the British had suffered defeats. be governed. when public . Due to the strength and the constitution ought to have offices which can variability be appealed to of public opinion. because Parliament claims to have the sovereignty. but that no other given part of only the invidious branch of taxation that legislative rights can be exercised. I must attend to public opinion. but that their desires should be respected because of their strength. therefore. Parliamentary of obedience sovereignty is (p. The people are. 210-11).
then the responsible should party Parlia to case of the American Revolution god of be prudent enough satisfy complaint. but it which gains might strength through the knowledge that there Since institutions in so public opinion is they important. Thus it is wise not destroy case the convocation of the clergy or any other ceremonial also mentions offices. Parliament must be heard. from. the clergy and of maybe even veto and its legislation. it free would know that the Americans must are averse other than a one. Burke is quick to point out that.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs opinion changes. but with the belief that the problem is not with the entire constitution. Burke the veto power of with the monarchy. Compromise If the in the the and reform. compromise to the extent that first principles are better left uninvesti By painting the world in extremes. because of the fixed sentiments and beliefs Burke the people. whereas politics tends to blame entire constitu demands gated. 211). They practicing (the god of this lower world). It requires compromise. any more than is sover of eignty. . to be mistaken. than the particular men in power or an easily remedied law. as it was by the New Whigs. but because of a consistent opposition to the influence of ab stract theory on political life. one sees that he flatters hopes to put pressure on and Parliament. rather theory require tions for injustice. Freedom is not an abstract principle. which The British make a studying the are not particular circumstances prudence they must decision. Freedom. of all becomes such tyranny as and usurpation because freedom is thought The perfection of in an extreme form. not because of a perverse humor. the charac understand ter of those over which it governs. In light freedom. doing what one wills. as a defense of freedom in general. just in they are needed (p. Freedom then be understood as to any government it is understood by the Americans. The voice of and his friends is are a weak minority. But Parliament is are not attention to public opinion. but are account thinking in terms of an abstract legal doctrine that fails to for the character of the factions. politics. 208). The this lower world (prudence) is needed to secure the blessing of the lower world (peace). the particular men running the govern people are sane enough responsible to articulate their particular grievance and blame those ment for the problem. ought not Burke's defense of American freedoms. ment. like authority. Reason cannot tolerate an freedom in theory is its death in inconsistent principle. If one puts together his discussion of good government of his policy reconciliation. If Parliament had listened to and had studied the Americans. they embody than parlia ment. 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. freedom others. parliament can no longer legislate religion. religion more the monarchy. through pressures placed on. and it must have the to appropriate offices for the appropriate complaints. of Bristol 87 The government must act as a kind of grievance committee. however. is of theories of susceptible government to the ex tremes of theory. and. He condemned the French Revolution in no uncertain terms. and even independence.
as he saw that philosophic replacing hatred by lending fortify historical meaning to killing the enemy. In abstract theory. thus denying claimed the church. 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. of man and the absolute hand. Interpretation one must understand the demands of each faction and what is needed to satisfy them. do the doctrines of the rights of man and the absolute sovereignty of parliament. 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. idea the common good or of legitimate while The former is bom source of the antitheological of a god. The British Parliament the authority of a god. 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. and the monarchy the status and rights they for themselves. Abstract ideas . they affection. not a principle that is destructive of all order and prudence. rather than acknowledges the hate. He is critical of favorably the disposed to the former but the latter two. General theories passions. because the hatreds of civil war difficult to satisfy.88 thus. No taxation of a parliament without representation does not deny the legitimacy It is to exist or legitimacy of grievances against one. The idea as of no taxation without representation does his criticism. These feelings and ideas of significance drown out the feelings of pity and horror that are the humane emotions evoked by slaughter. Burke sees fanaticism leading to the practical both anarchy and tyranny. because it is a principle of compromise. and savage cruelty. 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. they claimed to embody mankind.6 ire of an atheist. collective are bom from disappointed trust. He even considered civil war worse than are more savagery. The French revolutionaries made their anger absolute by claiming principles of and serve General freedom to tive to speak for the rights of man. made themselves absolute by claiming they denied their opposition the right to resistance. of principles of destruction that sovereignty of parliament are. because they only extend and exacerbate the evils of civil war. Moments authority lived. bom of sovereignty and rebellion tend to fortify the most extreme of self-righteous of the most extreme circumstances. the latter has its in the wrath sovereignty fortify puni hate because they make authority absolute while denying the opposition the right to exist. it implicitly legitimate The rights other possibility of legitimate authority as well as rebellion. the aristocracy. rather than cod ified. on the are bom more from vengeance than an government.
The Reflections. and executions. malice. he never argues that revolutionary idealism than a platform and in effect.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs is to restore simple and of Bristol 89 the and feelings of pity. He argues that the revolu tionaries slandered. and especially to science. their persecutors. In not fact. is contrary to the first and principles of politics. confiscations. 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. and the tence. order a of how This is especially the case in a philo sophic revolution. and affection by describing suffering crimes of innocence of the murdered and the stupidity. By looking into the actions and motives of the principles of the revolution. Burke removes the claim to justice with which they excused their faithlessness. He defends decent morality accuse and obedience to the law as necessities for a free people. is helpful for understanding Burke's opposi tion to abstraction. The legislator must whole. could and satisfy their books by confiscating church property speculating it. the revolutionaries treat country in the way as would a foreign conqueror.7 He gives them human feeling justifies their exis He shows their virtue and beneficence Burke also with which they were painted. just as their crimes are contrary to human and divine law. eyes each of the revolution's victims the church. the aristoc and monarchy. It is a stage upon which Burke brings before the racy.8 The incommensurateness of theory and politics comes into focus most clearly in the revolution's activity of legislation. The Reflections justifies obe dience then. because the citizens need theoretical principles for knowl edge of their rights and duties. broke faith. In this. greed. to law by evoking the pity fear accompanying the breaking of it and. though in theory. he must have an understanding of the ends of government and each of the parts contribute to that end. guilt. The goodness of the cause and the wisdom of the laws cannot be reduced to mo tives. Burke says that the first law of revolutionary legislation is to their own destroy all that came same before it. pocket- anything more by which the merchant class. 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. They destroy . might Some Burke of being fact reductionistic and opportunistic. in particular. horror. and placed personal gain was before their ideals. thereby lightens the blackness diverts the imagination away from and all the grandiose claims of the revolution to about universal of righting wrong and to bringing freedom and the brotherhood of man. He looks at the character the revolution and shows how the actions of the and the various groups leading revolution reflect their individual low motives. who resented vengeance and on their exclusion from title honor. 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.
humanity (Pp. united them as a people. . almost says that the revolutionary legislators have a disposition towards de that They have the taste of Paris. . they of any interest. it always flies before 520-21) defects must of Hate cient and abstraction are the legislative soul. is at their horizon like their horizon. which if it operated alone would make them more rage are carried away with such headlong race towards every desperate trial. which means they have feasted exclusively on satire. that they . yet he must not spectacle of injustice that he hopes to bring The legislator is neither about a Utopia through punishment and persecution. the modem atheists are revolutionaries that politics politics. It is who are undoubtedly true. nor fanatic visionary. Philosophy not place be so him beyond the suffering blinded by indignation at the nor vengeful his fellow human beings. those are unqualified habitually and employed in finding and displaying faults.10 Burke's understanding legislator is inextricably connected to his understanding of the nature of politics. . God. for the work of reformation: because their minds are not come good. of from the declamations astonished and buffooneries satirists.9 The critical negativity that stems a love of ridicule is compounded by the detachment These and abstractness of the scientific mind.90 the Interpretation beliefs and habits that nothing. Burke has two types in he speaks of the thorough- . they from love men too little. they do the not seek to reform but to build from political science. who would themselves be if they were held to the letter seem of their own descriptions. but in general. Their them. because they think politics can be made can be made fully rational. offices. The ancient sceptics had no public spir itedness because they thought the law was conventional. ranks. philosophers are fanatics: independent tractable. because moderation they are defi must in love. The legislator have of in his soul. philosopher. Your legislators seem to have taken their opinions of all professions. 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. are ready to declare that they for the good they pursue. though it may paradoxical. Like the of the good seamstress. but things. but that does not the conflict between politics and mind when rational. This defines their task and wisdom of their new Burke struction. 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." Burke denies cause him to despise the By showing theory. would sacrifice the whole human to the slightest of their experiments. He is aware that all rebel lion contains evil. he teaches limits of both. he the appearance of continuity to mends and patches. and that the habit of criticizing and good breaking the law tends to must give make human beings completely lawless.
therefore. begins with the idea that the end of government is the satisfaction Government is independence not made in virtue of natural rights. The materialism of the chemists expresses political arena as antitheological and antiaristocratic accompanied itself in the from but it lion is not. substance Chemistry and (matter) its own geometry can only recognize the categories of quantity. and he ways on different occasions ridiculous absurdities. In formative act. because it deals political order upon with number and The is not. possibility (Reflections. in fact. a by numerical from understand the science of the revo lution to have divided itself into these different functions. while geometry reduces them to number and shape. and order to do so it must must division and of labor. unique character of Geometry. 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. and recognize recognize and the peculiarity of the political But chemistry and geometry are material and simple. whereby chemistry creates and order uses its materialism to oppose groupings authority. however. The number geometricians who are and shape dividing ask and. 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. and exist in much greater clearness. and reaction of those experiments consist in churches and ammunition the manors of aristocrats and then tearing down the transforming the rubble into ire. Legislation is deliberative p. creating Burke does.12 chemistry. which of it. His attempt to restore the political perspective from that of abstract rights and science of wants. a mathematical order. 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. its rela tions depend more graphical accidents than upon numerical necessity. At best. and Reduction and abstraction are the essence of their sciences. cannot recognize the politics. and may in and do exist in total degree much greater . like promises proportion. to have the power of ordering.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs bred metaphysician of Bristol 91 the geometrician and the chemist. 524). decent morality his rhetoric and Burke understood that prudence and used were threatened by the French Revolution. but these are the two categories over which a man has no control. Chemistry reduces human beings to their lowest common element. Nothing can come for infinite divisibility. atomism except by a principle of order. chemistry and geometry can produce a association. an un geometry differentiated mass. the uniqueness of human beings 301). rats. up France create districts according to for loyalty to a measuring stick. they to represent and to secure those interests. Its rebel to be used against them. The geo boundaries and of political associations are are meant formed by interest rather than symmetry.
such. do not rise to dissent among the people as naturally as do particular situations which clearly threaten their welfare and their liberty. If there are to be compromise and freedom. Unsuspecting confidence look after is simply trust that the government will not be oppressive and will interests. 370) Burke did of not a contrivance of derive from this end the equal right of each to be the sole judge oneself. theory in the name of the satisfaction of wants. The doctrine that because moral man is selfish poses a great threat to leveling made destroys trust in government as unsuspecting confidence. 221). inherently Why would corrupt is a servile belief. He also points out the opportunistic reasons that lie behind the opinion that all excuse themselves is selfishness. 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. not political because he temper ment the idea of right. 222). He begins where other modern theorists but he combines the fundamental good with the old order. of government. since the belief in argues that there civic virtue is impossible (p. By having right to everything they want everything. to tax in order to restore American trust.92 Interpretation of abstract perfection: a but their abstract perfection is their practical defect. but because he wanted to it against abuse satisfied from both authoritative and rebellious pride. then all the political the Americans would never have been un by this point. Burke hopes freedom and to cure apathy and cynicism with spirited jealousy is of one's own belief in the possibility of civic virtue. If Parlia had the Americans and by differences between the British covered. But the actions of Parliament and the arguments of sophisticates suggest that all men act solely for themselves. Unsuspecting interests confidence assumes that the government will look after public and not their own private interests. about the parts are at (p. give repealing the tax. Burke therefore He have been virtuous men who cared about the public. (P. asks the public to government believe in virtue and to believe that corruption is not innate to like to (p. Burke opposed abstract was against began. people can Burke thinks that the live content under the watch of Parliament. then there must be moral . or rather conflicts provisionary mode of principle.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. To the contrary. from the funda mental end he derived a new basis for the rule of gentlemen and a new under standing of ancestral authority. The belief that the cause government it is conducive to resignation. for America had. or to an equal share in government. courtiers and political men would public in or der to enjoy freedom from scrutiny and indignation. 215). Government is human wisdom to provide for human wants. developed its own Ideological differences. of Thus he amongst argues that "unsuspecting which all confidence is the true rest" centre gravity mankind.
If be a nation and is to be more than a band of robbers. from time yet does not require the usurpation of authority Burke preferred unsuspecting confidence to the rights of man. on habits of continuity gains the thought that prescription gives any basis in one's but also ennobling. of the people actually threatens the satisfaction of wants. an Perhaps most important. it must means justify its borders to itself must to others. they provide only necessary Burke's attempt to found attachments and authority attachments without status of morality in prescription. rather than connections of its sovereign. This necessity of justice that equality The understood as qualified by country. 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. they are too strong to oppose. but trust that is called to account and office. however.14 birth that form own will or consent are not continuity and community. therefore. The people are the product of the constitution. 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. just the aristocrats and parlia confi ment must show some concern not for convenience and wants. should the people rule. satisfy those grievances. Burke thus suggests is rare and weak. liberty. a Unsuspecting blind faith or apathy.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs indignation directed that virtue at of Bristol 93 the government from time to time. but they do are not possess the character and mind to demagogues. Some have so much authority to the past that Burke must . there would be no brake on as them (with the exception of a preferred military dictatorship). but. 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. and a brutality of accepting of political men. not so much because he thought there entailed were no such rights. 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. is gentlemen have defending the habits of continuity on interest in property and. The issue of property to that other moderator of takes Burke away from the satisfaction of wants partisanship patriotism. Burke con guardian their fear to be a that the of their virtue. have dence is to time degree of public spiritedness. in which it depends. 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. 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. The as are though people dis must. 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. natural Burke thought the rulers. They competent to judge their grievances by their feelings. therewith.
To the contrary. because he never believed is not Hegel's state. He economics. But Burke did not equate the ancestral with the good. It is something to be Although He respected. for the a leading to is the does for politics what satisfying Adam Smith did for result of variety of needs and desires. 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. 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. .15 The hidden hand is not. It gives the political body continuity and its citi zens a shared past and a shared providence destiny. Burke never thought reality. but he never allows the idea of impartiality or universality to dominate politics. not think that the British constitution was the best form of government origins and because it had divine because it was his own. Prescription the constitution is satisfying want. The origins are inferior to the end product. brings a degree of the common good. we begin to acquire the spirit of domination and to lose the relish of honest equality. all other Those ingenuous feeling minds who are so fortified things. . The best can constitution is not the product of the of practice. Burke never lost sight of the conflict between the particular and the universal. but the end product does cess not exist independent of the pro by is which it came into being. Liberty is in danger of being made unpopular to Englishmen. Burke believed that rational. Provi dence appears godlike in its mysterious dispensation. never harmony between natural desire and that history constituted a realm of be real. 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. mind. force. History is so far from being rational that it is turned to in order to support attachments that are threat ened by reason. and so unarmed to whatever approaches in the shape of disgrace. . it is viewed as an unintelligible and superhuman force. satisfies and its benefits are those habits of virtue and affection that preserve the constitution.94 Interpretation a have been He did traditionalist. and beneficence. 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. tion or even an proven idea that be conceived greatest independent Prescrip beneficence. 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. rather. Prescription Burke's ideas a matter of of political convenience and political pa process triotism. however. Contending for an imaginary power. viewed by its beneficiaries as a series of accidents grounded in man's desires.
Capital I (Moscow. (P. he is in his self-right eous wrath. country a universal suspension would serve liberty and by awakening the sense of urgency amongst all the citizens. which will retire they considered as sure means of honor. In to preserve prudence and public spiritedness from cynical politics was not that of a suspect particular. So. The partial suspension. Burke offers no greater counter example to the extremes of his time than himself. contains its abuses within it. he and sought indignant fanaticism.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol 95 finding these principles. the latter necessarily corrupts. a God. Macpherson (Burke [New York: Hill and so far as Macpherson saw in Burke a bourgeois capitalist above all . he apathy sought to preserve the perspective and attachments of political life. Unlike Parliament. 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. although Burke recognizes the power of public opinion and public opinion the need to work with it. The suspension would outrage the public if it were abused at home. 260. in order to guard against their authoritativeness and brutality. on hand. In turning to life of the prescription and polemics against theory. 223) By fighting prudent a war with with laws and punishments. 1980]) follows Marx in 1. He does not court power the prevailing opinions of the people. He age gives an account of himself as a representative in order to encour the belief in virtue and the love of liberty. but rather in his beneficence and wisdom. to foster the love of Furthermore. only because they have elected him. which which he lends credence. be executed with seen past that NOTES Wang. B. but that his portrayal of the problems of politics and much art unless his defense he had its perspective could not perspective. espe cially in the great. Prudence makes the former feasible. not leads to tyranny and misanthropy by destroying an idea and a feeling of the common good. the British Parliament has in fected justice hatefulness and expediency. as an alternative to the Burke did not citizen and of portray the life of reason the statesman. Burke constantly encouraged prudence in the governing. and he encouraged the people towards a measured jealousy of their liberty so that they would not become either slavish or ambitious. Karl Marx. 1954) p. to be grown in disrepute. C. but they can trust him. so or a misanthropist. It would have been much more universal for it simply to only the other while suspend the habeas corpus universally. but because he loves virtue and country more than himself. disheartened and disgusted. he also recognizes the need to recognize virtue. He is ment and goes well beyond the presentation not godlike himself as a virtuous representative. 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. Burke himself is be an example of judge of yond the salutary hopes to virtue.
6. portrait. 164. 2. Works. and the 2. 5. pp. James Conniff (The Useful Cobbler: Edmund Burke State University of New York Press. was so He knew nothing about the influence of force and interest. page number alone are 3. vol. he made the military the farmers by giving the army their own property. rather than his ideas Hippodamus was ambitious. The faults of Hippodamus are the most important to both Aristotle damus only. but by thoughtful considerations about the protection of liberty. but I think he emphasizes the aesthetic aspect of Burke's politics at the his political thought. in whose 6. Burke's criticize the attempt to understand politics through abstract and mathematical criticisms of the legislative science of the revolution are Hippodamus' best regimes. 3. Glorious 1984). 431-32. This abound psychological account of the many political reasons that in the Reflections. therefore guaranteeing a military dictatorship. pp. 94. pp. and Aristotle criticizes Plato for trying to make the city a unity. 1960). The Complete Writ 1945]. Old Whigs. p. There are three classes of citizens. remarkably similar to Aristotle's criticisms of Plato's. Jackson Bate (Westport. and Aesthetics [Thousand Oaks. Burke says that the genius of the of the old regime. The mind and the disposition of the Sheriffs clearly character Burke writes A Vindication of Natural Society. Conniff finds him too cautious for not advocating vol. 350-52. Aristotle draws attention to the importance of Hippo calling him the first political scientist. vol. 431. Works. they both ideas. 533. he denied and the artisans arms. vol. but according to his fancy. and Hippodamus for his ambition and simplicity. W. vol. 279. Burke's Despite their to define a realm of political existence cannot but remind one of Aristotle. attempt 8. farmers. 282-83. p. pp. 9. 2. tyranny (Thomas Paine. In An Appeal from the New Revolution that it pretended to to the 11. three sections of the city. 364) and thus he could not For Burke's vol. He he thought he was the first person ever to propose died in battle. Reflections Revolution in France (Harmondsworth. Interpretation Paine thought that all hereditary government was ings of Thomas Paine [New York: Citadel Press. 520. reflections on progress see The Works of Edmund Burke (London: Bohn. be legitimate according to the laws 287-300. p. Politics of Progress [Albany: 2. his regime on the number 12. 10. 31. artisans the military) would be loyal to and the city as a whole. of govern 3. many other cities. 1994]) argument. and to Burke. he failed to understand the unique nature of on the politics. and the 7. and warm clothes in both the not winter and the summer. Conor Cruise O'Brien (The Great judgement of the French Revolution is Melody [Sinclair: Stevenson.: Penguin. sympathize with Burke's ideas of prescription. although ment. Politics. remind one of the old man ed. 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. wore by cheap whole. Furthermore. and three kinds of legal suits. vol. p. Hippodamus models three. 101. adorned himself with expensive ornaments and long hair. All references by to the Selected Writings of Edmund Burke. 1854-89). 1992]) argues that Burke's decisively determined by the fact that he was an Irish Burke fails to appreciate Catholic. 7. and wished to be learned in nature as a Hippodamus did his ambitious dress according to the different seasons. Hippodamus thought that his and rulers would be popularly elected. Phaleas for advocating equality of property. CA: Sage. was cited within the text as Reflections. ultimate differences. vol. 4. pp. Nor did Hippodamus know He thought that instead of voting innocent or guilty.96 else. and by looking at the man. 282-83. CT: Greenwood Press. independent farmers of the and that all the classes not (artisans. 15-16. jurors and . 382-84. Eng. pp. 1994]) argues that Burke's understanding of change was not informed by conservative opinions. In from looking to the number three for order. 358. In desire to know nature as a whole. 1. 439. Hippodamus failed to understand the nature of political order. Edmund Burke. a more participatory form vol. But he did give the any property. 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. 8. Stephen Browne (Edmund Burke Alabama Press. Phaleas'.
Reappraisal. pp. susceptible of of infinite improvement. 1987]. in Strauss concerning Burke's understanding of providence. Strauss has in mind the realm of thought. 431. 1954). Science. 1991]. according to their also proposed authoritative verdict impossible. 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. Stanlis (Edmund Burke [New Brunswick. pp. 1. 77). vol. 6.9-10). find a standard of History [Chicago: University legitimacy through providence British constitution. NJ: Transaction Publishers. because understand on he thought the law that the was like the arts. and Canavan (Ed mund argue Burke: Prescription that Burke and is a natural particular. Burke's one solves problem While Burke is able to anchor the and political only to pose life in general. p. and actually increased the harshness of tyranny where it threatened authority but could not Melissa S. (Harvey Mansfield. as opposed to natural rights. for men of action are often. Thus. 348. 29. 1984]. 1. he is vulnerable to the problems connected to his providential god. 294-95.149-52). 13. 432. the man of actual virtue. pp. He failed to and law is undermined by the habit changing it. Harvey Mansfield (Statesmanship and Party Government [Chicago: University p. Canavan is for Burke life. rather than the presumptive. thus making an who improved the law. vol. pp. 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. that its authority depends habits of obedience. a person of actual virtue defend the presumptions against dangerous theory. When questioned. Strauss claims understanding of prescription undermines the idea of noble defeat. Canavan. 2. pp. to hope against all odds in the heat of battle. because he thought it made prudence impossible. sanship. Williams ("Burkean Descriptions and And Political Representation: A Canadian Journal of Political representation can still serve overcome it. Works. . Frohnen (Virtue and the Prom ise of Conservatism [Lawrence: University of Kansas Press. The problem is that Burke's idea of fate could lead to or encourage philistinism outside of the that Burke's because it sanctions vulgar success and argues that deprives the law or natural mind of a standard dominant. against abstract doctrine. 1949). In the Spirit of the Laws. Burke's emphasis on unsuspecting confidence. those presumptions must are Presumptive virtue rests on about justice. of Chicago Press. and even expected. Montesquieu argues that the opinion of one's own security is the end of the law. uses his understanding to support men of political prudence and virtue.237). takes issue with Providence [Durham: Carolina Academic Press. is taken from Montesquieu. not simply its evident usefulness. vol. 151-53) law theorist in the tradition of St. According to and Leo Strauss (Natural Right attempt to another. 1993]. He honors for those individual judgement. p. 470. 331-33. Nugent (New York: Hafner Press. Mansfield's analysis of the difference between presumptive and actual virtue helps to clar of ify Burke's relation to political life pp. Works. Thomas Aquinas. rather than action. who lives according to the actual. Like Burke." the ruling majority and 14. 1965]. he opposed a universal understanding of justice. natural right is an indepen dent principle that used as a standard for political 16. trans. 15. 406-7. as in the French Revolution. of Chicago Press. case of the Edmund Burke [Chicago: presumptions University Chicago Press. p.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs should of Bristol 97 be able to vote in shades of grey. vol.
to interpret this drama. argument and action. therefore. 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. 1 . but are inseparably It is joined.Interpreting the Twofold Presentation of the Will to Power Doctrine in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra Steven Berg Loyola University. the truth observation surface." Preface. presentation of this argument occurs less commonly observed that the in two waves. as it stands. New Orleans Next to the things themselves the the greatest what writings of the philosophers seem to pose works difficulties for interpretation. it is incoherent. and that in its composition these aspects are not merely parallel or complementary. 289). 26. 5." 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. Within their only clue offered to the things are never they seem and yet the discovery of what is is what seems to be. The acter of philosophical readers of his books . is fissure in what appears to only to those whose be a flawless on is keen enough to spot the of It is through the disruption the continuity of the apparent enter the level of the apparent that we are invited to new and strange and and into a deeper world that is that would otherwise be peculiar char sealed to us with seven seals (Beyond Good Evil. ." In interpretation. In the second. It is generally recognized that Zarathustra presents an argument will according to which the essential core of all somewhat things is the to power. Beyond Good Evil. No. Vol." 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. "deepest. 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. Zarathustra offers a revised to his teaching regarding calls the power not disciples.1 As readers of the book. 27) seems to The book that Nietzsche himself have considered his Thus Spoke Zarathustra. is a work that dramatizes the attempt of a man to we are called interpret upon the things themselves. Fall 1998. In our efforts to do so it is useful to begin with the consideration that a drama is composed of two essential aspects. . The first crests at the end of Song.
" however. 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. then the distribution. Overburdened by its superfluity. It. the superman. no mention is made of it in Parts Three read not and the work. According to one auditor of his speeches he is lucky to have escaped with his life ("Zarathustra's eschews all Prologue. Once deconstrucreturn its deeper levels are taken sight of. 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.3 At the opening of the work it is made clear that Zarathustra not only takes himself to be wise. however. 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. insights the articulate the kernel of what comes return." men in order to distribute his wisdom thereby "become empty is defined dead. one of these version of a man called Truthsayer.4 If Zarathustra is human. however. It seems that Zarathustra to will somehow attempt to confirm his wisdom through its distribution. In the light appeals and of this failure Zarathustra upon a novel strat- prudently further such direct fastens . he is not a god: part of his wisdom is his knowledge that "god is He is. Appealing directly to the multitude. Zarathustra relinquishes his superhuman status may then only ultimately to renew or reconfirm it." this account. ridicule and hatred.. like the be merely a superficial or partial aspect of his thought. 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.g. of Thus when Nietzsche's utterances Zarathustra is through which simply as collection Zarathustrian Nietzsche gives voice to understood his own opinions. e. he is met with incredulity. Zarathustra will relinquish his than superhuman status by going down to ignorant men and distributing man his wisdom to them." But this his means "to be again." 8). therefore. therefore.100 Interpretation to response his invitation to "seriously the test" "wisest. of accordingly.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. but as such to be more than human. This under persuading live. As it is attempt presented in "Zarathustra's Prologue. his first distribute his wisdom to men is an utter failure. however. demon strates the false character of that doctrine Four a as such and. he and wishes to "go down" to again. the will to power proves to doctrine. If it is primarily the fact that he is wise rather than ignorant that accounts for his superhuman condition. much passes for the core of Nietzsche's philosophy." man since more man by his lack of wisdom or ignorance. 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.
according to Zara thustra. require that beings who speaks: man the rational animal. That is to say. Persians. its things.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. activity stands the legislator or." "will to for the first time. Jews because all and Germans all speak differently about good speeches and are formed by different laws. But being. he insists. Thus whatever allows a and victory or power over itself." holy. the first. however. since. calls "praiseworthy." or power over neighbors meaning various creation of all victory "the high. speaks to man only being. Zarathustra proceeds with As the narrative unfolds and his attempt to initiate his disciples into his teaching. agree in articulating an understanding evil as identical to virtue and vice. one Afterworldsmen. the people. em but rather what good and evil. the It is the of the creator that brings the law into being and. this activity is directed to sustaining people of which the people to gain legislator or creator expanding the power of the is the founder. acting in the light of its truth. The first of this wisdom will to power. The understanding and interpretation of interpret the speeches of that one being among speaking believe it being or." 9). despite their variety. which those speeches are first and foremost concerned to articulate not what is being. "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." character of his alleged wisdom becomes of possession of a causal own knowledge principle "all including is the the being of his knowing. law. in the Aristotelian phrase. the apparent: he believes that he is in being. in accordance with its law. Zarathustra does knowledge of not possible to gain an immediate access to since being is through examining the speeches of human beings." Here he that if be made to speak. the measure and the What Zarathustra believes he has discovered through his good and and whatever allows it to gain it calls examination of the speeches of the legislators or creators as embodied in their laws is that is the will at the origin and the end of the activity of legislation or to power. "On the is to be interpreted or understood it to as man. the good for man is understood by the law to be convertible with moral virtue. the Still. power" In that speech of Part One in he ploys the term Goals. the life of the superman ("Zarathustra's Prologue. 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. 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. therefore. all of of good and them. . root cause of all the will to power is the things. as Zarathustra calls him. including his soul and mind. according to Zarathustra's understanding. Since the of about good and evil are derived from the laws the various political commu nities. Behind the creator.
as it were. human beings seems necessarily is. 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. 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. It is with this end in view has descended from his his mountain solitude to offer his the same a That teaching. insofar as he takes the paradigmatically human speech to be the authoritative speeches of the law. the coming to be of the superman. therefore. Zarathustra. their legislation will also be the first to have been articulated in the . longer disciples. is indefinitely being of infinitely malleable and that is simply a reflection of the essential being of all beings. but rather fellow creators. That the related political and aspects of claim.102 We Interpretation see that. to creating creators. At the close of Part One.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. standing above and ruling a humanity they have helped to fashion. that "humanity it plasticity self or in the proper sense does not in fact exist. 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. The indefinite or through plurality of peoples can be given definition if Zarathustra how impose a finitude upon this plurality and then bind this finite unlimited peoples together can some number of into a genuine whole by directing each and every one of them to a single humanity itself. as an expression of the indefi Zarathustra human. indicates. however. according in what to Zarathustra. overarching then. in his farewell speech to his disciples Zarathustra looks forward to a superlegislation future in which his friends. but identity between them. in Zarathustra's own words." nations" among its brotherhood of equals. Zarathustra to wish to establish not simply a link. is at one and new teaching in the time the distribu as tion of wisdom and the promulgation of a law. law that is. divine. to a Virtue. It is this than human. nite laws. 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. the to power. it were. To create great endeavor. first no people" the successful completion of this promulgation. This new "light to the will itself recognize Zarathustra as the source of its light and. directed to producing a determinate number of subordinate legislations or. that he cities of men. therefore. believes. is Zarathustra's goal. a law that is. perhaps. 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. however. 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).
Zarathustra for his first step from be true and mankind prepared advent as the divinity with calls or the highest embodiment of the his fellow creators it. it and as well." 3). as he At the moment of the Great Noon man will no principle of all join longer is the between animal and god. but teaching as from Zarathustra's speech of command own teaching. a natural law. will creators. 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. and the perfection of his wisdom will coincide with its successful trans mission or with the successful legislation have been of of his law of laws. a He will his knowledge is being perfectly legal a himself blissful horizon divinity of who at the same time will philosopher-king will kings. therefore. friends and fellow creators ("On the Giving Virtue. simultaneously confirm the truth of his wis condition. "the Great stand Noon. At this culminating moment hind his veil. the superhuman creator over his human creatures." 1). It almost goes without fails is the question.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra light of 103 the the truth of being. by and made of same means his happiness made ("Zarathustra's Prologue. 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 . 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 authenticity of his superhuman if he is indeed able to make another like himself or confirm That is to say. rule of a justice that is identical to a certain form of inequality. Accordingly. this his account of the core of all beings as will to power and as indefinitely since plastic. The of his knowledge have become of coextensive with the horizon the law. create dom and. while bringing humanity first time. Zarathustra will. humanity being If he is itself into successful for the in his endeavor. 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. But Zara these thustra identifies the have perfect possession will of wisdom with secured happiness. but animal gods are and superman. This teaching is is engineered produce within them the freedom of mind and will prerequisite to the activity of comprehensive: creation. 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." 3). as it were. reveal himself to a his career. Through it the political animal the rational animal will have been seamlessly joined and the law and made one." things. But the freedom his disciples are obliged to achieve it requires not only that the understanding of they liberate themselves from their former prejudices or good and evil instilled in their minds by the old law. in celebrating the feast of this new epiphany or. saying that Zarathustra fails in this endeavor. It will be a legislation in perfect accord with man nature of and man man's things or.
What this incident another is that Zarathustra's attempt to make at like himself. to be absurd. 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."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. which marks the cul mination of a series of engagements with his "enemies. the Zarathustra as "Tarantula" "preacher equality. What and grotesque of a devil. wholly not abstracts from the fact that the wishes child of reveal the dream expressly asks Zarathustra to look at himself: he to to Zarathustra something about on author of that teaching. he henceforth they now bids last sufficiently prepared his friends for this rejection. 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. of latter. of course. however. his venom." victory over he bites him of and infects him as equal revenge. they may appropri they may reject it in full awareness of its truth. must reject in full awareness of what it is they are rejecting. By the seventh speech of Part Two ("On the Tarantulas"). 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.104 Interpretation so ing The that. to create his equals in the form of fellow creators. it is precisely what made clear at the awakes at Zarathustra demands Two. them to become his enemies and suggests that from another." "divinely strive against one At the same or moment. 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. The venom of the Tarantula is his doctrine justice ity at the center of which." of first half his of Part Two. of course. This interpretation. of with the particular enemy claims a he here confronts. Zarathustra and down from his of what to rejoin his disciples practiced upon purify his teaching it by his foes. the distribution of his author. on the basis of their own or ate this truth for themselves. rushes his teaching." in other words. has itself in its the core the same vengeful passion that Zarathustra identifies manifests as the source of what teaching of the preachers of sickness" calls "the turning and equality and that "the tyrant liberation he madness. appears independent inquiries. Nonetheless. In "The Child which a child his disciples. lies the desire for suggests This doctrine is. "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. as Zarathustra has argued. Neverthless. however." Zarathustra seems to believe that he has at Consequently. 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 . opposed to Zarathustra's own doctrine of justice as inequality.
and this is men. the com incoherent in its own terms. The distribution of his wisdom create not equals capable of rior creatures of his will properly receiving returning his love. On the other hand. has its motive not wisdom and thereby his superhuman simply a desire to confirm his but moreover a longing to share condition. And in creating while rejecting the true teaching of creation they are determined not by the truth of the will alone. to establish a community of and reciprocity. But precisely in such rejection they obey the final command of.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra 105 that (Begierde) ate another to give and receive love effort to with perfect mutuality. that is. 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. this condition with another. made clear through stands following reflection. therefore. which reveals Zarathustra to be the legislator of his reject own supposed self-legislation. is under in pursuing the their own independent activity of creation. be his love nor to offer love to him in return. munity is now apparent to Zarathustra. dependency disciples' upon or subordinate status to the will of an Thus the truth of Zarathustra's teaching. That his disciples but fail in their his enemies efforts to free themselves from Zarathustra's tutelage by becoming however. and It thus reveals Zarathustra's distribute his wisdom. 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. as Zarathustra setting up only law ("On the Way of the Creator"). consequently. that is. fellow creators and wise instead result in one of two remain his disciples may returning equally unsatisfactory situations. therefore. they may transform themselves able neither to cannot from friends into accept enemies of Zarathustra and. dependent position as disciples and attempt to become in their own autonomous creators right. they must liberate above oneself as one's it. Creation. therefore. In order for Zarathustra's disciples to become fellow creators. It . but by the falsehood of their willful ignorance. On the one hand. In attempting to liberate their wills from subordination so all to the will of another they subordinate themselves to the will of Zarathustra. is perfectly self-sufficient self-legislation or one's own will their wills from any other. 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. but infe who will always fall short of his own perfection. prove incapable either of or even of they may reject their properly receiving the gifts of his love. as through such distribution cre like himself. Moreover. and adhere to and fulfill this teaching. If they are to become his equals in creation they must reject that teaching in full awareness of its truth. 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. requires that they his teaching as an external determination upon their wills. disciples and.
and the desire for revenge within his soul. Through wished to pro- his legislation and the transmission of . ("On the Giving Vir 1). 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. self-sufficient a them aware of their own poverty and dependence in relation to He will put them to shame. As he puts giving. will supplant the for love his the perfection of Zarathustra's giving or creation proves to be at the same its undoing. will produce in his relations to his recalcitrantly inferior disciples the sad passions of envy. The dominant passion of the preachers of equality. 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. Zarathustra's attempt to combine jus perfectly reciprocal tice and love. spite. rather than confirming his happiness or bliss.106 Interpretation be impossible for Zarathustra to create another proves to proves to like himself because it be impossible love. the punishment or desire for soul. dancing of a group of "lovely wisdom.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. my virtue grew it in "The Night Song": "my happiness in giving died in tired of itself in its overflow. but by self-mockery. with his 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." Through its distribution Zarathustra distribution distribution proves to sought to confirm own terms." Consequently pedantry. consequently. 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. confesses that this he In no longer knows where he is or how to go forward. wisdom. compatible with the moral law insofar tue. Yet that thus be impossible in its of This impossibility law. 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. he is in useful a state of aporia.7 either to command another to be free or to will a Consequently." By false terized "The Dance Song" of Part Two Zarathustra has become aware of the charac character of his by bombast he to accompany the Cupido. 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. revenge. As "The Night Song" predicts. 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.
and that. 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. pursuit of Wisdom Zarathustra comes close of a to the ophy and. in which the just is included as false appearance. the just as final political order.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra vide a comprehensive solution or 107 to the human problem. from the perfect possession of speeches that beginning. That is to say. 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." he cannot understand his life to be worth living if he cannot believe himself to be Song" wise. the word "philoso por phy" nowhere appears within the speeches of Zarathustra. Though in his trayal in a dialogue with his beloved Life of his unsatisfied thirst for and ongoing suit. elaborating of the beautiful. 381). 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. all human community established upon the basis of the law. that false horizon now of the is.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. 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. Thus if in Part . in "The Grave attempts follow he of to resolve his perplexity by jettisoning both his understanding understanding and the political good. therefore. to secure the good happiness for his fellows with and himself. since. 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. 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. the morally or legally determined under and pursuit of wis philosophy. and to have ascended to the naked truth of things. the In doing so he considers himself to have stepped beyond the limitations of the political realm. he has identified perfect happiness with the and the two wisdom. of the rational good. therefore. The in wisdom and toward the awareness of self-contradictory nature of Zarathustra's Gay Science. and the good. He cannot painful beyond endurance. He man as political and man as rational and distinguishes sharply between concludes that the only genuine good is a transpolitical good. and his beautiful as the loving community of the believes to be a new extramoral account what he instead wise. that understood need on is. or that love is incompatible with the self-legislating freedom of the will. Accordingly. in his his newly won awareness of his the ignorance because he finds perplexity into which he has been thrown he misses the mark. the rule of the creator over his creatures to the advantage of both is impossible. As he reveals at the close of "The Dance Song.
That is love were to say. 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. fundamental doctrine ple of both his He original and his revised teachings remains the of the will to power. 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. Zarathustra's la angry accusation as mentation. 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"]). and however. control of The failure of be brought completely under the the distribution of Zarathustra's wisdom to to . e. In other words. "enemies" however. the longing for revenge.. however. the conditions of possi bility and his his actual enjoyment of will. consequently. order to lay a wreath upon the tomb of the lost loves of his In the course of the lamentations he offers loved dead. in the second half of Part Two he to have liberated himself entirely from the cave of the law and to have for ascended evil what into the light of the sun of a sense. that is. a love expressed in (seligen Geister). for having corrupted the souls of those he loved best spite. As is his habit. 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. His creation was supposed to guarantee both "eternity" the perfection and of his love. 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. Zarathustra blames his failures position. 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.108 One Interpretation and the first half of Part Two Zarathustra his moral attempted to enclose the sun of knowledge pretends within the cave of law. and his revulsion before and the low extinguished his love." 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. and reaffirms the will to power as the first princi Song. Nevertheless.g. envy. 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. and by infecting them with the vulgar or base passions of. Zarathustra's primary opponents. rabble who are those whom the Tarantulas or preachers of equality serve: the of vulgar or well or the great majority fountain human beings.
" creative It is identical to the creation of values as an ongoing activity or to the ever-renewed . he realizes. 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. manifests itself in an infinite becoming. spite." indefinite plurality or virtue and all of its creations that he originally sought to limit. "the good. His cannot skepticism extends to all supposedly final knowledge. "whatever I oppose how I love it rooted I have to it and my love: thus my win will have it." Life. but to those whom he calls "you he now embraces precisely the unlimited character of the will and the wisest. in expressing its or unlimited character. Zarathustra thus replaces his dogmatic moral wis dom with an amoral skeptical wisdom that nevertheless remains grounded of the will fundamental dogma to power. He adopts a dogmatic skepticism. and resurrects the creative activity of the can continue will highest The will to power doctrine. It is a protean mon must not that hides its essential indeterminacy in the ceaseless production of false in his and ephemeral appearances. For the will. 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." again and soon and. must be to the status of a transitory and so false fabrication infinite of the will to power. but perpetually limitations upon its own activity. as well as relegated teaching concerning limited and any particular teaching now regarding the character of being. 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. The greatest good. however. Without himself being aware of it. As a conse good and evil quence. and the of the by the infection of his longing for revenge. ing") Zarathustra his revised version of the will No longer addressing himself to his disciples. 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. In the immediately following articulates "The Grave Song" ("On Self-Overcom to power doctrine. in the infinite power of the will. he also concludes that any particular vice. he says is. In doing so go of rest he lays to as the as his desire for love 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. Be that it may.10 At the end of this same speech Zarathustra offers his new extramoral ac count of the good. 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. therefore. seems of to be this disgust youthful enemy. destroy ster such self-created only perpetually create. and indignation that have led to the premature deaths his loves.
" as a "still sea" whose calls riddling surface hides "impenetrable of the The infinite. the self-sufficient freedom at the expense of the enslavement of everyone else. destruction of values as its Accordingly. the false char acter of which is fully recognized by forth renounce any desire to enlighten the minds of its creator." he describes himself depths. virtue and vice are immiscible Zarathustra originally thought of that he had." 2). Gay Science when he speaks "the ideal of a mind who plays divine" hitherto If the called holy. . 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. wisdom and will and And. in clinging to his its freedom. he . Zarathustra describes it "On the Sublime. that moral has compelled him to distinguish the the good from virtue. But the "values. naively (The Gay Science. Zarathustra is understanding and a now able to distinguish between a of good and (false) evil. "Thus Spake Zarathustra."" de Zarathustra's of new paradigm of the highest life in the . 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 imprisons the Thus Zarathustra of mind and will those upon whom he imposes his creation. as a whole through the transmission of Consequently. But the ceaseless creation of values requires the ceaseless precondition. the possession of wisdom. through the examination of the laws the various peoples. which he has come to identify of a with beautiful. the creation of values.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. 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. for. It is. 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. himself to purchasing his its first principle. good untouchable. ascended from the plurality of accounts of moral virtue morality. his desire for happiness as he understands it. law or or as he it there. 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. 382." as a form of artful play. of course. then Zarathustra must hence his disciples and mankind his wisdom." self-concealing above cre beautiful moral ideals. from opposites. . will's "sublime" character good. Ecce with all that was Homo. If the creation of values requires the legislation morality. the destruction of values. or itself stands the gloomy seriousness of those ideals. necessarily the greatest evil. the false perspective of the moral law. entails moral (true) extramoral understanding He argues that since the greatest good. must veil itself in the false the appearances of wholeness and com pleteness of the moral ation of beautiful. as the highest good.
now wishes to the beautiful a means to "procreation" ("On Immaculate Knowledge") or the activity in the person of another. and." "now I love only my children's land. demolish it. Zarathustra of attempts to demolish the tradition he confronts. and create engendered. 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"). truth. its fundamental incoherence." 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. think through. He listens carefully to these speeches. as a means not only to realizing the freedom of his will. the undiscovered in the furthest sea: after it I call my sails to seek and to seek. Symposium reproduction of his own good." 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." up As he the men of the present and turns his attention to producing "chil proclaims in "On the Land Education." as he calls it. These of a new Zarathustrian tradition that will ultimately provide for the coming into the being of a new creator. It creating on a will fail because each of activity in the person of another Zarathustra's successors can predecessor.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. however. his old moral teaching. of another like himself. to the end of reproduc words. with caution and of subtlety. comes to understand the implications self.207a). the beautiful becomes a kind of rase through which the 206a. but ultimately to the generation. 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. is now understood by and from the intercourse radically of one human mind with another. 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. He will attempt to direct the sense with another human being. This fellow thinker is name within the work. As we have already observed. As in the case of sexual intercourse. in some indefinite future. this second Zarathustra will penetrate as as riddling surface of the regnant Zarathustrian teaching. therefore. in new doing so. anew out use the rains he has as Zarathustra. Zarathustra himself has done. the realm of ing the life that is free on and slavery and informed by the of falsehood. never given a proper sayer comes but is simply called "the to understand is that Zarathustra's attempt to of Truthsayer. Zarathustra In other gives dren. Plato. help lower level than his The reason for this . he values the admittedly political community. The reproduction of the good is guaranteed (cf.
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 sees that.. just the prophet had predicted. Nevertheless. In his dream Zarathustra has . the future continues way . therefore. Consequently. Thus. the high point of Zarathustra's best moral teaching. and regurgitates an odd assort images of resurrected life. 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."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. become the "night-watchman death. however. During his draw the col experiences a second nightmare in which he seems to appro lessons from the Truthsayer's He is the prophecy. the Truthsayer foresees that Zarathustra will engender not a second Zarathustra. 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. despite the in some to this region of the dead. Zarathustra the Third. 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.14 have been handed over to the ignorant Zarathustra is laid low lapse he priate by the "prophecy" of the Truthsayer. of Zarathustra's his successor cannot. will exist on a still lower level and not only in terms of creation. In words. 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. 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." and grave-watchman on the hill and fortress of guardian of other life that has been "overcome" that lies in as coffins around him. but in terms of knowledge as well. The implication seems to difficulties that the Truthsayer has foreseen.. 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. 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. therefore.112* Interpretation as decline is sibility perfect of follows. 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. serve as a vehicle for the reproduction of own activity: his own successor." climate in which "the best grow tired of their works" "harvested" after having predominate or the multitude of vulgar "rotten fruit" and. bursts open. as it were. in which "shallow swamps" reins of political rule men. but rather a all efforts of creation and was.
is the causal principle of number of of those peoples. the Machiavelli. . 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. to say to Zarathustra at the meal they by the speech of Part Three realize entitled "On the Vision and the Riddle. not to willing all of the past." Zarathustra has the come to that the apparent salvation of his revised ac count of the will to power as the perdition of creativity. the peoples must of Yet. 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. however. The suggestion that Zarathustra immediately following seems this account that the will must learn to "will in its backwards" to refer. if any one necessity fall under one of a among the infinite finite number of kinds regime. If. This insight is cause. Much as we would like to know how the lieves the difficulties the Truthsayer "drowned. Whatever the Truthsayer may have had shared. 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). namely. Nietzsche does not afford us this pleasure.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. Zarathustra. that the finite process of decline in the creations of the will the Truthsayer predicts cal regimes or implies a similar finitude in regard to the kinds of politi that no matter how be. recovers he appears to fathom the full significance his that dream. Dis courses on Livy. 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. at least at this point. From this low point. when combined with seems to suggest that a initially encouraging to Zarathustra be his understanding of the will as self-overcoming. 1.2). 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. of therefore. more to Zarathustra's own teaching that "the will is a height from which we creator" ascend to the makes began. but to willing this willing." will Truthsayer posed responds to Zarathustra's ostensible solution to the problem he has for him. 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. the series of tradi follow in their decline and renewal a necessary and need course. then.
seems fundamentally teaching first concerning the freedom of the will. must past and Accordingly. the first cause own willing: recurrence of all things. . according the Zarathustra's current understanding. Zarathustra's Riddle" own gloom over this insight is or in "On the Vision heaviness" and the by the voice of the . being is an Accordingly.' "My day-wisdom mocks all 'infinite worlds. 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.' 'Where force (Kraft) is. cosmological whole that appears to By willing the recurrence of all things. but every stone that is thrown . then the creation or represented will can never be first cause and there can be no genuine liberty in this sense. In of the whole of things and first cause of it wills its own will or becomes self-caused. its to necessity by willing the eternal as it were. since if he cannot will the past in such a future as his own creation. however. 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. namely. The truth Zarathustra believes himself to undermine his to have discovered. the dwarf replies with the cos "all circle. . 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 .114- Interpretation his doctrine that at the core of all then Zarathustra must reconsider unlimited power. 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. saying. eternal return of . In a last-ditch attempt to salvage the freedom of the will that he understands to be the highest good. the As he says in "On the Three Evils": For my wisdom it has more says: "" force. 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. regimes implies a circular recurrence on the cosmological scale or that a power at the core of all being must give rise to the . he now concludes that the circular recurrence of finite finite same. "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. implies the that the recurrence of the past and the future recurrence of the moment in which the eternal return is known and. then he must submit to secondary cause within the nexus of causes being will merely a dependent deter mining the necessity of recurrence. in which it may be willed. however. "O Zarathustra high. but the way eternal recurrence of all as to reproduce it in the or things. therefore. Thus. . he therefore makes a virtue out of this way the will so the becomes. time itself is sees a Zarathustra." mological and necessitarian version of the thought of the eternal return: truth is crooked.
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. 21). choked me and crept . nothing be profitable. Zarathustra's and spit advice to the shepherd shepherd is to bite rises off the snake's head is it far away. Thus Zarathustra explains that "the small disgust at man . The presence of the low not only persists human life. 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." That "the man recurs realizes would eternally . but the per recurrence of the bad in the form of the lowest and smallest sort of the rabble."17 In the thought of the eternal return the doctrine of the will to power as necessarily entail self-sufficient and shows.16 dominion would the Truthsayer prophesied." Zarathustra calls this vision a "parable" and a Convalescent" and asks "who it is that must come In "The it is made clear that the shepherd represents Zarathustra himself picture that insofar as he is a ruler and legislator and that. the 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. . Zarathustra trine and in fact describes himself as it. of It is. the result of what he takes to be the highest human activity. "foreseeing" longer man. the life but is in creative great effect of in. all would be one. that this the first and final cause of all knowing animals and all being is decisively refuted by Zarathustra himself. the thought of the eternal recurrence of all things is the or." Moreover. 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 . When the no does this he up one laughing day?" and "no longer shepherd. into my throat. knowledge would Thus. as Zarathustra now describes it. that was my disgust at all creation" existence.18 does this promulgate "monster" having he is from him. the of the . paradoxically. Though his insist that his never "spit" "destiny" is to become this doc the teacher of the eternal return. freedom will at its peak. that is. the that has crawled his throat. 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. despite the rosy "monster" his into animals paint of "snake" it. . 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. of sickness" therefore.
116 to Interpretation all things under the bring political realm. Zarathustra's revised version of the will an expression of the most to power doctrine passion. that the will is the primary phenomenon and its freedom being. Finally.20 freedom his of mind are incompatible his "wisdom. the thought of the eternal return developed. Nietzsche's primary Platonic recovery of Socratic sense. but is ine rather a projection of and the political onto the natural realm. 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. on the one hand." revenge. which this The self-contradictory is the image of a cosmos in double causality of the will. of a of parts of Zarathustra as it was published under Nietzsche's attempts to author ity may be characterized as follows. however." 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. In other desire (Lust) for eternity words. love and. its law and sway of the rabble. the char acter of which he takes to be essentially indeterminate or fluid. 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. is in accord with reason. 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.. of "justice" "freedom. Far from having escaped the its justice." 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. the will and its desire for and i.21 need. of not be given. in Part Three. and that genu knowing will. In doing so he offers a teleological the beautiful and the good are wherein becoming in which fundamentally is distinct. 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. namely. character of grounded the thought of the eternal return. In Part One Zarathustra found a political order that principle of all is truly just by structuring it in accordance with the true being. of as on the awareness of the goodness of need and the the other hand. Therefore it shows both that which a complete causal account could cosmological order. shows such a cosmos to be impos a "rational" sible. a good that lies beyond the justice of its moral law.e. but. however. he discovers that the presence within philosophy in the midst of things is a good that cannot be made to fit . "purification" That the drama philosophy The three can Zarathustra is ultimately devoted to such be seen by reviewing its overall trajectory. as a means through which to realize the the political community and account of highest good. is in the deepest tension with the principle of the life of philosophy. In Part Two he attempts to employ the becoming of the political community.
but that nevertheless conveys a good ness totality is of things which would made possible not be absent from such a perfect whole. 4. It points to the Seth Benardete. but the mutual pursuit of wisdom. of this In the original dogmatic and and legislative version parody may be Zarathustra's characterized as follows.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra a -117 beautiful to the whole of justly ordered parts. He is simply the most thought Truthsayer. p. See "On Cf. 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 later specifies the ignorance of human beings Virtue" as believing they and know New what is they do not. In Part Three. On the simplest level. Zarathustra. is "the attempt revenge" mind of ("On Redemption"). examination of This discovery human the or political a things. Zarathustra's painted of Socrates' Second Sailing Song" (Chicago: distinction between the necessary and the good. are behind Zarathustra's thought of the eternal return is in "On the Convalescent. 8. ful man that Zarathustra has chanced that he has to a friend. Preface. Zarathustra's mind of is the "mind heaviness" of ("On Reading heaviness. Cf. Behind the 6. after having covered quite a bit of ground in his thinking. Of course. 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." 5. 9. in that irrational. Zarathustra has aspect of the political community that is recalcitrantly his understanding of man. parodies "wisdom.22 upon in his wanderings. Writing"). Tablets. 153. also see Ecce Homo. 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. if the refutation of Zarathustra's claim to wisdom points to philosophy as the human good. Through the twofold parody twofold presentation of Zarathustra's "wisdom" Nietzsche of philosophy. 23). He explicitly Zarathustra as a . belatedly offers the most fundamental kinds of regime: rule of the one and rule of ("despotism"). 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. 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.'' something like an analysis of rule of the few ("nobility") and the many ("mob-rule"): "On Old and New "devil" 11. appears to offer a 11. University of Chicago Press). 1888. 4. See Letter to Karl Knortz 2." turns out to be Cupido or Eros. Beyond Good and Evil. good and evil when the Chairs of and "On the Old Tables. 7. That the made clear of speeches of the Truthsayer June 21." 3. As such he is the closest thing NOTES 1. 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. however. The Truthsayer is obviously neither a disciple of Zarathustra's teaching nor a creature of his will. 202. but by only by his community in Zarathustra's the speech and thought with community based not upon the mutual possession. 10. it also points to the partial obstruction that the political community and its justice pose to the acquisition of that good. rooted In neglecting to perform an analysis of regimes." Nietzsche philosophical version writing its artful completeness or finitude. and therefore of being. 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.
where he makes reference to the last aphorism of the original edition of the tragoedia' latter work. . 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. 15. The Wisdom of the Ancients. 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. 1984). pp. reproduces at its peak the contradiction that stands at the center of the traditional morality he had hoped man-god decisively to transcend: is. namely. Vol. ed. II. the realm of ignorance and falsehood. Michael Gillespie Tracy Strong (Chicago: in University with of Press. See "The port of Wanderer' and "On Blessedness Against the This thrice-reiterated Jesus Will. XIII. 28-31.118 Interpretation preface parody in the "'Incipit to The Gay Science. overcoming of need. "Proteus. but only on that of philosophical writing." 360-425 and Bacon. 1935]. 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. As Nietzsche's Zarathustra makes clear. 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. Row. . "historicist" offer a not interpretation accordance Nietzsche's "the philosophical intention. his revised wisdom in which mind and the unconditional freedom and self-suffi ciency of the will were to be perfectly combined. Nietzsche's "On publication of Truthsayer." Life's be is self-overcoming weaker steals. Unfortunately. 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. what 53-54. Odyssey. 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. Homer. to uncover that which is unchanging in the nature of things or fundamental problems": see Beyond Good and and Evil. 23." 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. Cf." 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." renunciation is the negative reflection of Peter's thrice-repeated renunciation of immediately before his death. wonders whether in the way of his understanding the thought This renunciation certain other philosophers as well. he then goes on to Zarathustra concludes from this self-refutation that is pp. 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. it would require "something double. In the words of dictory: I myself am phie myself cause Karl Lowith. Matter. lacking . therefore. as man. in community with the lowest of the low and submits to suffering the greatest of passions and. 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. the political between the philosopher's pursuit of the truth must include an examination of the false appearances of the political realm.'' Great Events. 1988). 13." Thus Spoke Zarathustra represents his attempt at such a solution. 12. The Eternal Recurrence of the Same. "The speech Self-Overcoming." 1 1. 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. to articulate (Nietzsches Philoso 197). Zarathustra's p. Zarathustra limited in seems discover that the protean transformations of the will to power are number or that they fall within a determinate number of kinds. as god." is the im "On Zarathustra's three headshakes before his disciples in Part Two: and see "On the Poets." 16. IV. 14. It should come as no surprise. turns out to be a necessary precondition for the life that is preeminently free because it is devoted to the pursuit of truth. 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. trans. 17." "The Truthsayer. or Zarathustra. 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. David Farrell Krell (San Francisco: Harper and sense See his Nietzsche.
bumped into Zarathustra him: he simply Need." merely by looking into each other's faces. 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. therefore. "Fame and Second Sailing. 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. Zarathustra Socrates' 3. "Where chattering is there the community in speech and thought in the lies before me like a garden. 381) that is directed to (a) overtly appealing to while at the same time covertly undermining the dominant prejudices of his time. How lovely it is words and sounds exist: are words and sounds not rainbows and bridges of appearance soul (Schein) between the eternally divided. "All Song. . despite his commitment to a particular set of moral values or convictions (see Clark. she for that doctrine in abstraction from the contexts of the works in each work squared found and. In "On the Convalescent" Cf. 264). 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. p. too too soul had been bitten idea by the moral tarantula Rousseau. Nietzsche on clearly Truth Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. This leads her to attribute to Nietzsche an attitude that cannot be they with his own definition. 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. Unfortunately. Nietzsche himself ultimately will repudiate the doctrines of the to power and the eternal return. Robespierre. comes closer to the truth in her treatment of Nietzsche's differing presentations of the thought of the eternal return (see Clark. Sunrise. however. therefore." necessity in the form of bodily need: he insists on a meal before indulging in speeches. Preface.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra 18." Having pears by chance. characterizes world following that terms. the Truthsayer proves to be very persistent in alone. Dithyrambs of Dionysus. 1990). Song. pp. 36 and 87." also Dancing 4." 54): Clark insists that Nietzsche recognition that there are no good arguments to support teaching of the will to it. 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. 29. from the complex motion of the larger argument that in its entirety unfolds. chooses to treat which Nietzsche's are arguments 213-27. and The Gay Science. sceptical in character and so insistence that he is. vertu' 20. 1794)": Daybreak. 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. (Speech of 7 June." eternal desire longs for "The Other For all desire wants itself: "The Drunken Eternity. 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. 30. a philosopher free of all attachment to moral asserts the cosmological and that philosophy is. 3. 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. by "convictions" ("Antichrist. 283-85. bridge. one can legitimately wishes to appear in the guise of a teacher and promoter of why it is that Nietzsche these doctrines. (b) proffering a morality while simultaneously demonstrating that the genuine life of philosophy is in the deepest tension with the moral law. 40. 'de fonder sur la terre l'empire de la sagesse. the ill-constituted. 152 and 192. 27. Seth Benardete. "Kant depths felt of to be a concealing surface adopted by the presentation of his thought." 21.'' for every is an afterworld. namely. 289. To every soul belongs another world. 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. for the smallest just. p. above all. on account of his 227). She power. 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. 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 22. If both Zarathustra and.
Heidegger's Philosophy and Nazism (Berkeley: University of California Press.Review Essays Heidegger. xv + 232 pp. Yet these works reverse effect of interest in his for his philosophy. Heidegger's Confrontation ogy. $15. 1990).. a wave of books have appeared which develop this theme. Vol.. Indeed.95. xi + 382 pp. $14. 1995). even to the point of at "apologetics. $47. 1992).. Caputo..50 cloth. $19. xi + 234 pp. In this essay. No. xii + 129 pp. itics (Princeton: Princeton Timely Meditations: Martin Heidegger and Postmodern Pol University Press. xii + 263 pp. this century comes to a close. Heidegger. I develop to un- such an approach by examining a wide spectrum of which seek interpretation. 1997). Heidegger's Crisis: Philosophy and Politics in Nazi Germany (Cambridge. Philosophy.. MA: Harvard University Press. Heidegger's Silence (Ithaca. Demythologizing Heidegger (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1 . and Nazism (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni versity Press. $15.95 paper. 1993)." spawning stimulating new if not as actions least for his perhaps philosophical vision. Art (Bloomington: Indiana with Modernity: Technol xxvii University Press.50 Hans Sluga. Berel Lang.95. Tom Rockmore. Leslie Paul Thiele. x + 285 pp. Politics.50 paper.95 paper. NY: Cornell University Press. greater notoriety. Julian Young. 1996). Zimmerman. $49. Michael E.. $19. University the Polity. 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. $49. 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. Since Victor Farias published his book detailing Heidegger's involvement in National Socialism (1987). 1993).95 paper.50 cloth. 26.. + 306 pp. and National Socialism Frank Schalow of New Orleans John D. $33.
Lyotard. Given this historical archaeology. implements his an "analytic" method to refute by point the damning evidence critics gather against him. of to Heidegger the intellectual-thinker darkest implications Not surprisingly. for example. that he exhibited antisemitic provides silence about the ual allegiance evaluate horrors of Auschwitz tendencies. Among first the various books addressing Heideg Nazism politics. which is exemplified in John Caputo's Demythologizing Heidegger. As bridge between reject discover. which also exemplifies historical. Caputo develops "deconamination structive" strategies as practiced by the luminaries of postmodernity. namely. politics. In the process. When scholars analyze Heidegger's philosophy. of and Derrida.. Farias' attempt ontology and his reactionary outstanding example. we can making inferences from Heidegger the man-politician and vice versa. One point example. we must examine different interpretive the polity ger's sion strategies which scholars employ to outline the place of in Heidegger's and thought. In order to discern this tendency. that Heidegger recanted National Socialism its ideology. they a conclusion often subordinate their explication of his concept of freedom to already the drawn about his politics. e. "Teutonic-Hellenism" including Ju- Levinas. which follows on the heels of to re-examine Heidegger's involvement in National Socialism.122 Interpretation his fascist ties. several books paint the Heideggerian Among these books is Richard Wolin's The Politics of Being. We can appreciate a thinker's politics only even when by lary treatment of freedom. Although Farias champions this position. Unlike Zimmerman. 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. including Berel Lang's Heidegger's Silence. we must consider those which explore the ten between his innovative development political views. implicit evidence and that of his his contin to National ways of different Socialism. I will point cover the truth about to a theme which remains dormant throughout the majority of those analyses.g. of One such is Michael Zimmerman's Heidegger's Confrontation "immanent" with Modernity. daeo-Christianity. world comes a more recent example within the English-speaking and from Tom Rockmore's Heidegger's a method of Philosophy Hans Sluga Nazism. that may be described This fact-gathering enterprise is crucial in order to embraced as "sociologicalsupport the con and never clusions. Wherever the terpret criticism of Heidegger becomes which most severe. attempts to rein vision his thought in such ways more compatible with our democratic become Julian inevitable. From this a more radical spirit of an of criticism of Heidegger arises ex his presuppositions. we will to expose Heidegger's thought to the criticisms of work those traditions which his brand excludes. the interconnection between Heidegger's concept of freedom and the example of his politics. along with the literature detail ing the atrocities of the Holocaust. Rockmore implements criticism. is ." in Heidegger's Crisis. however.
then any such investigation must speak to those ethical dilemmas which distinguish perhaps the most turbu lent period in world history. Even been prior to Farias' book. Philosophy. As poignant as revelations were.or herself in question and owns up to his emphasizes that a thinker can engage or her unique existence as a finite it self. sanctuary for truth apart from its exemplification in the realm As Herbert Marcuse argues in a famous letter to his teacher: . Being and Time (1927). e. 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. however. As Zimmerman. 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 practical concerns. thereby creating a buffer between the brilliance of his ontological insights and whatever myopia he may have shown in his political judgment.g. The Farias' effect of revelations. hence. philosophy originates from the concrete situa ing tion in which the inquirer places him. II. ethics.Heidegger. which shift in the emphasis on provides the climate Heidegger scholarship not only parallels for hearing the troubling allegations Farias' but. The thinker's commitment to authentic existence fosters the openness of philosophical appears between thought and existence. already the publication of his magnum opus. 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. 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. 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. While in capturing the interest of many importance been etched in Heidegger's thought with its had scholars. If the inquiry into being is to have its root in the historical situation of human beings. of ethics and politics. he If concrete praxis orients the question of being. Caputo. This work. inquiry. Nazism. the Polity. In this work. Given this reciprocity hypocritical to suggest that philoso phy of human can secure a action.. raises. We Thiele's Timely Meditations. 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. indeed. must help to shape the landscape of ontological inquiry. 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. and Charles Scott began Heidegger's to recognize in the 1980's.
84). but the of technology. as the political movement which sum hence turned to National Socialism epochal challenge. of "enframing. "Heidegger claimed that only authentic thinking and poetry could mons cians' human beings to face this save Germany in its hour of crisis. As Zimmerman states: . On the surface. but instead how with such a why what destructive ideology. and the end of metaphysics. Michael Zimmerman and em braces this statement as the leitmotif for his discussion. we cannot make the distinction between the he philosopher and the human be being be were Martin Heidegger it contradicts your own philosophy. 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. xxiii-ix) Jews. let alone the turmoil of including develop a new politics Germany in the 1930's. The inquiry by he can address all of these configuration. is "the question concerning all domination over exerts control and technology technology. is of political which things. By 'thinking. but instead the mode of comportment which opened one awesome and dreadful presencing (p.' he did not mean rational calculation. spearhead ing violence and mass destruction themselves." up to the its darkness and horror to face the crisis of not far fetched." nature.' bloody In Heidegger's Confrontation with Modernity. 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. Thus the question he asks is not simply whether his thinking became juxtaposed Heidegger had Nazi ties. . 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." the process of aspects of issues simultaneously and distinguish their As course. The audacity of the politi decision became the corollary to the philosopher's attempt at original thinking. Heideg instruments of technology. i. 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. A philosopher can mistaken about politics then will openly admit his error.124 '.. Interpretation .e. As Zimmerman emphasizes. granting humanity the power to impose its will on the diver sity of being's manifestation. One can debate the sociological factors ment which surround Heidegger's involve in National Socialism. technology in social organization in order that we can combat ger saw and this potential both Western capitalism and communism as for destruction. pp. the which unique forgetting of being. the our need to day. Yet could Heidegger verted went astray by underestimating how leaders be sub by the powers of technology they seek to harness. That is.
Zimmerman pinpoints the dissonance between Heidegger's grasp of the Westem crisis and the prospect of action. Consider Heidegger's . harmony from strife. that is. 132) The heroic leader must exhibit the creative power to transform tradition. Yet hubris and quite another to trace origin. domination humanity and nature. . Holderlin. 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. what the Polity. For those who still espouse Heideg gerian at the themes. As reactionary modernists. conflict and resolution. Sacrifice the rather than comfort provides key to motivate individuals to place their trust in a new political regime. According thing to accuse a to Zimmerman. a new opportunity Heidegger's short fall as an occasion to re-examine the perennial problem of the relation and between theory praxis. translating that insight into guidelines of political arises to take On the other hand. Unfortunately. p. Once and destiny from destruc having understood tractive. and that he himself was thus the worldhistorical figure who would transform the 'destiny' fate of the West. to seek in the strife of the present the possibility of transmitting one's heri tage to future generations. the Nazis united instinct with technology in a way which led to unparalleled devastation. it becomes forefront of increasingly evident that the question of politics lies any future appropriation of his philosophy. 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. 127). his we must still ask where a rift emerges why Heidegger found National Socialism to be at these revelations leave us as scholars. frenzy and violence. . philosophy and politics. [emphasis on] the The grandson of the linking him with Holderlin. the and National Socialism 'dark' 125 the Nazis meant by 'unrestrained' and was not the of being of entities. 84) In the end.Heidegger. The self-mythifying Heidegger believed that he had been destined to proclaim the saving vision of his hero. recast Going forward. tion can provide even the barest recipe for politics. but instead blood and instinct. Not surprisingly. On the one hand. man born in a manger in Holderlin's beloved Swabian countryside knew that he was destined to change the course of history! (P. Heidegger's hero sense of combines a nostalgia for the Greek origins with a grandiose "destiny" (Geschick) as reflected in Schelling's thought. a the greatest chal the lenge is to possibility Heidegger's thought through dialogue which examines of politics in the contemporary world. elements of must Art becomes the vehicle incompatible harmony revered and strife. (P. 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. But the question becomes whether the artist's way of begetting creativity from chaos.
According to Caputo. "His parallels his to specific volitional categories of strength. love otherwise absent facticity." which speaks contrast to the suffering "truth" of the of individual. in his youthful "hermeneutics of he ethos which includes motifs from primordial Christianity. self-affirmation. e. (Lowith. and temporality. Thus Caputo distinguishes the two dislocations in Heidegger's thought from which a new According commitment to topography of questioning can emerge. Caputo. The first involves the emergence of the political question and the revelations of ment Heidegger's involve in National Socialism. the scandalous comparison culture . . In his 'being' " advancing this criticism. baffling silence about of the gas chambers real to modem agri pain these are all scandalously suffering" insensitive to 'factical' and concrete human (p. Heidegger's turn to National Socialism thought. Only by possible a shepherd. .126 Interpretation past Within the have decade. Ironically. charity. become 68).g. all of which stem from Hellenic the Holocaust. . in his stark concept of Dasein. 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. truth. Caputo concurs teacher Karl Lowith. As Caputo indicates. in must emerge "singular. 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). love. Despite the deaf to the religious orientation of solicitousness about Heidegger's early thought. and sayer of Heideggerian thought of this tendency does it purging to cultivate another ethos whose roots spring from the Judaeo- Christian heritage. the German seem people's Christian heritage does not deterrent in preventing the atrocities of National Socialism. . In a De- mythologizing which plays against Heidegger. a new voice of the persecuted "justice" (Lyotard). . "he the flesh in the biblical narratives (p. to the radically to the generic being's claim upon Dasein (p. 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). 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. there have been two major breakthroughs which dramatically changed the face of Heidegger studies. thinker. To open Heidegger's thought to the ralistic "piety" traditions. including care. the dissident (Derrida). 73). The second pertains to the discovery of Heideg ger's thought uncovers an and in the early 1920's. who rebuked for his "self-stylization into p. 207). and heroism. we must cultivate a plu forum in which various criticisms of his philosophy: the need to heed the the and disenfranchised (Levinas). the categories of tenderness. 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." community.
and that.. National or no important. there is no. and cial their strategy is to uncover unusual facts about Heidegger the person and then weave them together "innocence." more makes a stronger claim than most Nazism was based in his in suggesting that Heidegger's "turn to (p.g. 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. propagated not view only by Heidegger but by some of his closest It is the between Heidegger's political" philosophical position and that. Rockmore schol exemplifies this critical does Sluga in Heidegger's Crisis. ties the element compelling question which Rockmore poses is whether some in Heidegger's philosophy prohibited him from recognizing the atroci the banner of National perpetuated under Socialism. This distinction becomes important. 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. Yet even given the plausibility of these connec tions." story" detective story assessing his As Rockmore states. Because Rockmore way. the Polity. maintaining the its contamination by his behavior from 1933 Interview" a narrower in 1966. namely. link (p. as Nazism. Thus Rock philosophy" "resoluteness." maintains that the key motifs of "conscience. . despite a whatever personal shortcomings man." Heidegger's philosophy (e. roughly speaking. 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. these have is no bearing on our assessment of Heidegger may have exhibited as his thought. the "destiny") are adaptable to Nazism and only Nazism. Both in Heidegger's texts and more as ars proceed less as disciples in steeped histo "guilt" rians. Philosophy. In Heidegger. being's transmis its destiny most to a chosen intellectual German people's emergence as a vanguard of world history. however. 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. Socialism" Rockmore's overarching thesis is that Heidegger's thought is "intrinsically (p. he couches the Heideggerian problem of this polis in this which supposedly hold be National Socialism. stance. III. for Rockmore "hero. 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. construes the term sense to mean the implementation of a kind of ideol rather ogy aligned with Heidegger's thought. Rockmore. 54). 74).Heidegger. "What I call the 'official' view students. the self's exercise of resolve and sion of political decision and the of 1933. than a reflection upon the princi ples of the polity. 54).
of illumination and blindness. but the intellectual others. What shared with only German intellectual to align with the dark it about not only Heidegger. there which are different interpretations But it is safe to of the degree to he Heidegger was or was not antisemitic. Ironically. 5). stitutes plight of Lang points to a double fault by which the Jews during Hitler's uprising. In Heidegger's Crisis. 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. Sluga tional more reconstructs the historical environment which precipitated the rise of Na and Socialism. never saw the persecution of the Jews as a philosophical problem say that in its own right. 5-8). In Heidegger's Silence. . 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. Sluga illustrates how thought transform the fragmented tradition of the German Volk and its uncertain future into a vision of destiny. 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. the professional and the thesis (p. The "tragic question then becomes. 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 . unlike the nihilism Nietzsche envisioned. In this clear sense Lang's the is not altogether novel. 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. 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. gories of interpreted along these character that the depths of its cannot be fit into the cate Greek tragedy. freedom and necessity. Of course. While the macrocosmic events of the Western crisis can be lines. but in thought" ignoring the "Jewish question" continues to "settle for limits to his forces life he (pp. philosophy assumes such a leadership role as com pensation for a floundering economic and political life characterizing Germany . philosophy While Zimmerman and Rockmore Germany show that as a catalyst of politi not develop a single in a political vacuum. insofar as the and then.128 Interpretation to According dient Rockmore. the Holocaust may be of such a singular darkness. in con again neglected the "Jewish question" Holocaust the most abominable maintains Rockmore. 100-101). Lang ger history (pp. Berel Heidegger ignored the retrospect. 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.
and the possibility of law. 245-48). be translated into any specific may For example. and National Socialism the 129 a condition of social instability. an opportunism "timely. Mill and Kant. 19). it may be possible which conflict with the specific politics proves Heideg develop other inferences about the polity ideology of fascism. which philosophy prefigures cumbed. 22). but what extent a political crises of of the political.Heidegger. 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)." forged through the will. To preserve the question of to extract totalitarian elements to from to be one of the greatest strengths of Sluga's careful analysis. a voluntaristic sense of prevails. in the 1930's. link between which proclaims a new destiny and the rhetoric of a totalitarian the resurgence of becomes more than accidental. not Because fascism is so tenets Western democracy. ontology some of the basic components integral to any freedom. for most critics construe these . setting institutions the decline. Indeed. IV.. 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. Sluga takes an thinker's thought arises through a important step in dialogue with the "reduced" his or her time. it is uncovers especially provocative to claim that polis: contrary to the his e. Heidegger understood the not Greek polis as a site that combines the human concern for the good with an occasion to act. But despite Heidegger's Nazi ties. And because the determination this ancestry involves both establishing a as hierarchy among its members as well excluding those who do not belong.g. In outlining this Gestalt addressing to political. a process occurs. dient in In a According an overall where to Sluga. There are many different philosophers to whom we might turn to provide insight into and the nature of the polis Plato and Hegel. community. this sense of the polis formed one important ingre Gestalt of politics which are on took shape in National Socialism. 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 is "political" not obvious fies as one of these of thinkers. Given this philosophy politics the Polity. action. which unfolds within the historical compass of being's mani festation. "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. Arendt that he quali Marcuse. 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. the brand of Nazi politics to the Germans ultimately suc a While Heidegger may have embraced Nazi ideology.
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. sup emphasizes the inhumane ideology of 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). e. While this most problematic. 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. In many respects. We must recall that Schurmann Farias' published his book in French five former years before the gers ger's publication of book." paints a grim picture of what happens when a philosopher In The Politics of Being. in way thinking and be informed by action and not simply the other way around. factic plane. he Nazism nor an apologetic makes neither an encounter with Heideg for it primary. As our discussion of the previous .g. action hostile to the standard" solution operates on a plane of generality. and while the addresses the dan involved in totalitarianism. The indeterminacy port of Heidegger's concept of authentic selfhood implies that one could exhibit the steadfastness of resolve and yet do terrible things. resolve is of such a indeterminate any prescription of the good within that decision (pp. Heidegger believed that tological concepts must be developed out of the ontic stream of concrete. it is perhaps the is among the For Heidegger. a Heideggerian politics must confront. The analogue abruptness Heidegger's political decision 1933 has its in his concept of most ob resoluteness (Entschlossenheit). Yet his opposed to the Fiihrerprinzip. his commitment to National Socialism. however. it would a type of action irrecon (p. 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.130 Interpretation formal which concepts whose motifs as stances meaning can in Heidegger first articulated circum only be derived from the them. alien to all reduction to the uniform. it holds only if we accept the deconstructive paradox that governance arises from overturning pre-existing models of political rule. in order that one to the dilemma in question. offers steps toward Anarchic be praxis "will be di ametrically cilably 14). Ac singular character as to render cording to Wolin.). Schurmann problem stands alone as a scholar who tackles a tenacious a solution. 35 ff.. Richard Wolin is hyperbolic Wolin prospect one such critic we must address before entertaining the of a "Heideggerian politics. An "anarchic praxis" the forefront that of a new epochal relation between being thought. anyone sympathetic the lack of ethical content pinpoints in Heidegger's which Wolin a problem to the prospect of on developing experience. vious. Thus Wolin concept of resolve.
Young maintains of not antisemitic rather exhibited concern toward many his Jewish students (pp. Heidegger had been percolating in Germany and for reactionary form of politics two decades (p. 41). provides According to Dallmayr. philosopher Young refutation claims proceeds of like "analytic" an to provide a point and Heidegger's opponents. which claims In ogy. 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. Moreover. not answer Young all of makes a case against Heidegger's critics which. Farias. instead. if it does their objections. Young. at least exposes some of their one-sidedness. as those of a wide spectrum of European thinkers from Levinas to to Lyotard. Heidegger's of injustice sights into the nature ironic way of re-examining his texts to discover in of justice. 104). and Nazism Julian as well Young counters the criticisms of the scholars mentioned above. Fred ger" Dallmayr crystallizes a perspective that there Along with is "another Heideg example beyond the Nazi ideologue. Philosophy. Young a sudden and that Heidegger's turn to National Socialism adopted a almost far from momentous which decision. Heidegger logical categories such as "inferior" was skeptical of any attempt to apply bio "superior" "blood-line" to designate a people as or (p. on the ensuing decade would produce more caustic criticisms of Heidegger's Nazi based extreme. On the first promoting selfhood as by failing front. 38-41). for his or ger's concept of solicitude promotes a concern her own integrity. but Wolin. 79). Because in is not movement pushes philosophy to its surprising that the pendulum would swing in the other direc defense of Heidegger would emerge. Young appeals a sense of epitomized to provide grounds for its rejection" to Heidegger's concept of authentic which responsibility in totalitarianism. Against that Heidegger was Hugo Ott. books the Polity. and National Socialism - 131 indicates. in regime. 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. Rockmore. is contrary to the demand toward conformity On the second front. In Heidegger. Lacoue-Labarthe Derrida. 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. Against Rockmore was by point Wolin. But in further exploration of the parameters of human freedom may be . it tion and a allegiances than attempts at academics defending every a political his thought. Dallmayr's appeal to "letting be" holds promise as a either case a key for developing our political obligations toward others. Young argues that Heideg for the other. When joined Young's solicitude. The fallacy fallacy works inferring a con itself out on two fronts that either Heidegger's philosophy harbors concepts which "positively Nazism National Socialism or his thought "negatively implicates (p.Heidegger. 125). By drawing upon Heidegger's eclectic interests an in Anaximander stood anew as a and Schelling. 50).
that is. If an our democratic system on is its assumptions. namely. facets as as Thiele indi cates. reorient phi speak In Timely Meditations. In this way a community develops. "tolerance" namely. language. 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. if government as fully we articulated. Free speech is asserts his her self-interest over against .132 Interpretation in order to required rectify the Heideggerian Gelassenheit lacks As much as omission which Lang identifies.. simul taneously allows for the cultivation of individuality with a communal setting. harbors a concession which most of Heidegger's critics have from making. the a first inserts us into the speakers) space within of in way which gathers together each of us (as community (The Human Condition. 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. In words. of light the opera Thus." rather abstract unless it can develop a critical edge to match liberal thinkers' criticism of Heidegger's language political views. Thiele raises the question which would losophy within a practical context. 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. language and dwell By tracing synergy Thiele develops a "postmodern Yet this perspective remains ing. A still more unorthodox approach must motifs within a political context order transpose Heideggerian presumably to them. Language is not simply an instrument of verbal expression. Heidegger develops understanding may freedom "letting be. the self's unique way of dwelling with others. can also Heidegger's texts be directed against him. is that the power which permits political participation. that democracy includes its own presupposi tions which. the nexus of politics. in Such an approach refrained to articulate the democratic precepts we uphold. Heideg is synonymous with freedom. although in a way which can assumptions about of to the naive contemporary democracy.g. we this "disclosive evoke other of the liberties assume. 198)." Correlatively. then tional concepts ontology implemented in our democratic an original freedom" must be able to cast practices. including "right" as a constitutional resetting the parameters of free speech which we accept (pp. As Arendt suggests. What Heidegger recognizes. namely. Western democracy. 48-49). e. but calls each of us to submit to it as a place of dwelling. Of in all the scholars who appropriate Heidegger's insights into politics a positive way. Leslie Paul Thiele follows this lead. p. they yield nuances to enhance our reflections on the polis. Thiele locates this power of critical which fulcrum in for the way that ger exhibits the disclosive other truth. the key to devel oping a democracy lies in safeguarding maximum participation among its mem bers. however. As Thiele emphasizes. that moral emphasis on can (pp. 81-83). may exhibit shortcomings in our system of know it. the between logos and community.
. While Yet. means or "place in on such opposition. As Heidegger in the Basic Problems of Phenomenology. Although in his as weak rectoral address can "academic freedom" spirited. Thiele shows how the spirit of dwelling in Heidegger's sense. 292). controversial.Heidegger. Auseinandersetzung Heidegger. thrives within a polis the greatest importance. . the interface between philosophy as the vanguard of Heideg in a philosophy democratic setting: the free exchange. in recalling Sluga's unclarified about ger construes reverse criticisms. but like philosophical dialogue a greater master. it Sluga. While freedom "letting be" can admit beliefs may discord among its participants. Thiele's attempt democracy as Charles Sherover does with the pp. ." 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. politics. the ontological difference these opinions harbor" (p. censorship. inviting not contrariness is contrary response from the other. Literally. 167). and National Socialism 133 participate through which contrary voices can in serving the good of the community as a whole. Heideg help of a Kantian framework merits serious consideration (Sherover. 16). will which it cannot allow speech to become a self-indulgent expression of is rooted in concealment rather than unconcealment. 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. another the Polity. even solicitous of. 86-100.) is iconoclastic. 5-12. While philosophical inquiry depends upon Auseinandersetzung. philosophical inquiry is a "work of human (p. (For discussion and its connection with the persecution of the Jews. the process of unconcealment freedom" itself. 60-63). is a the voice of the other can resound only because there forum in reserved for it itself at within the polis. 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. 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. p. But freedom takes shapes within a forum of exchange which safeguards the voice of the other. Through his predicated upon clever extrapolations. there is a subtle enigma which remains and politics. 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. philosophy flourish only it is . Heidegger take the argues that his exchange philosophers form of Auseinandersetzung to "set apart" (Vom Wesen. 128). challenge" Disclosive freedom beckons to the democratic ger's thought with (p. but as also on the listener's duty to remain open and to. democracy can be "Democracy is a to link journey toward freedom that remains ever under way. but rather is the "openness" beliefs.
Kettering. 1982. 1975. The Other Heidegger. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 1958." Heidegger Studies 1 1 the Political Dystopias." Graduate Faculty Philosophy Fritsche. "Heidegger and the and and the Political. "On Brinks and Bridges in Journal 18. 2. Die Grundprobleme de Phanomenologie. 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. Richard Wolin. and Gunther Neske. 1991. on the words responds to this contrary. 1958. 1981.). is As Heidegger's so (What Is Philosophy?. New York: Paragon Press. Hannah. no. de Beistegui. no. Trans. Bourdieu. Kovacs. by re locating ticity itself within the polis and the tradition as a whole. 35).. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann. Dallmayr. Martin. no. New Haven: University Press. University Press. Silence. reawakened challenge not by accepting the elitism Ironically. Heidegger Studies 5 (1989): 138-48. when such a pp. Pascal. "Truth and Power: Martin Heidegger. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Mark. Heidegger and University Press. politics would then a Heideggerian could become possible at which the time freedom be translated into "multivocality" facilitates than we dialogue among diverse traditions. Palo Alto. Heidegger's Ithaca: Cornell Being Possibility of Political Philosophy. 1990. Lisa Harries. Johannes. Miguel. will arrive sooner SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Arendt. Marcus (ed. Trans. Heidegger. and 1995. 1993. 1998. Martin Heidegger and European Nihilism. in which the fac- eloquently suggest. Emil. Fred. Blitz. "jews. but. Wilde William Kluback. "On Heidegger's Lowith. CA: Stanford University Press. and Farias. George. . Heidegger the Trans. 33." Gary Steiner. GA 24. Jean-Francois. London: Routledge. 'The Essence of and the SelfBailiff. In this spirit. Karl. Truth. Heidegger. 1989. Phil Temple University Press. NY: Cornell David. Joseph Margolis Tom Rockmore. 1 (1991): 1-611. New York: World Publishing. Trans. Trans. Political. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Perhaps this time think. The Human Condition. Ithaca. Victor. Heidegger adelphia: and Nazism. 1 (1995): 111-86. menschlichen Vom Wesen der Yale Freiheit. " Lyotard. The Political Ontology of Martin Heidegger. Peter Collier. Martin Heidegger and National Socialism. 1962." Man and World 29 (1987): 327-34. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Brainard. 1990. and What Is Philosophy? Trans." Time Journal 14. "A Philosophical Confrontation with the (1995): 191-204. philosophy of its task. Andre Michel.' Assertion of the German University. Ed. John. 15.134 Interpretation to the challenge of freedom. Jean T. Pierre. GA 31. The Origins of Totalitarianism.
Bloomington: Indi Wolin. Dallery. The ana Young Heidegger: University Press. Frank. Heinrich Wiegand. Roberts. ed. Alan M." University of Chicago H. and Ethics Schalow. London: Fontana." Philosophical Writings. 1994. no. the Polity." . 1994. Martin Heidegger Between Good and Evil. New York: Columbia University Press. On ington: Indiana 30-35. and Alan Rosenberg. Bloom University Press. Heidegger and lands. Trans. Charles E. Petzet. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Origins. Chicago: Politics. Freedom. 1990. Trans. Richardson. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Blunden. C. Safranski. "The Thorn in Heidegger's Side: The Question of National Philosophical Forum 20." Holocaust. Heidegger Jaspers. Socialism. 4 (1997): Concerning Heidegger's Involvement in National Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology. "Heidegger's Truth eds. the Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethics and Politics. and National Socialism the 135 Milchman. 1990. on Free Speech. 2 (1993): 121-39. A. Intro. Michael E. Press. William J. Olson. no. Albany: SUNY Press. Time. Zimmerman. and Danger. Common Good. no. Encounters Parvis Emad. Riidiger. 1987. "Resoluteness Ambiguity. Van Buren.Heidegger. Sherover. NJ: Humanities Press International." Scott. Rumor of the Hidden King. no. eds. and In A. "Revisiting Anarchy: Toward a Critical Appropriation of Schumann's Philosophy Today 41. Trans. "Heidegger's Catholic 69. no. 24. 1993. by and Kenneth Maly. 11-24. 1989. and and Philosophical Forum 25. 1992. 4 (1989): 340-55.. Quarterly Ott. Richard. 1992). Scott. 1998. The Politics of Being. Parvis Emad and Dialogues with Martin Heidegger. Albany: SUNY Press. Schurmann. 1. Nazi." "A Question Socialism. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Heidegger on Being and Acting: From Principles to Anarchy." 1996. no. Pp. Hugo. and the January 14. Ewald Osers. Trans." American Catholic Philosophical Martin Heidegger: A Political Life. 2 (1995): 137-53. The New York Review of Books. Sheehan. Thought. Charles. John. 4 (1997): 554-62. Thomas. "Heidegger 27-38. "A Normal pp. Atlantic High 1 (1993): 72-97. Reiner. Alan. 1996. Christine-Marie Gros.
Michael Walzer. xi + Michael the Moral 192 pp. 1996). must and do include and exclude according to criteria which commitments. Vol. MD: Rowman & Littlefield. 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. versions of pluralism pretend to a Typical liberal fairness. Francis Canavan. Fall second book. each author also his of own alternative version of pluralism. 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. $24.. Sandel. $16. and reflect their own philosophical historical development. indeed could not. Emeritus offers a Professor insightful Political Science of at Fordham University. Democracy's Discontent: America in Search 1998. 26. While some liberals have become more conscious of the partic ularities and continue limits of their tradition (cf.95.50. The Pluralist Game. No. Within sketches larger pictures the good society. why it excludes. Rawls's Political Liberalism). Democracy's Discontent: America in Search xi of + a Philosophy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press.95. possess. Public $22. The Pluralist Game: Pluralism. Liberalism and (Lanham. 1 . Three recent works do both. Thus the is not whether a particular intellectual tradition is exclusive... but what it excludes. liberals have no rightly of called for their communitarian chal lengers to offer not only critique their but alternative scenarios. On the other hand. Like other pluralisms. + 126 pp. inclusiveness and neutrality liberal versions which they do not. 1997). 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. On Toleration (New Haven: Yale xii 417 pp. others with simply to assert liberalism as an overarching social framework little to supporting justification. University Press.Whose Pluralism? Bruce W. 1995). 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. and whether it is transparent to itself about its exclusivity. Ballard Stephens College Conscience Francis Canavan.
Law society. Canavan cites a number of Supreme Court decisions last thirty years which support this contention. ex policy unavoidably express Hence. whether or not they were consciously aware of its func tion. Naturally. creates an environment on social in which everyone has to live. norms by privileging the autonomous individual. 76). of Social theorist Michael Walzer. on dimensions: authors' liberalism and how and why ing pluralism as it does. the state "necessarily sets for a whole society. the dissolution of this unity "left millions of other . 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. the state in fact establishes secular individualism as ultimate. Those who earlier championed pluralism did so against this biblically informed background. the purported neutrality and inclusiveness of the lib eral pluralist state in matters of religion and morality is bogus. surely ranks cluding the best among very contemporary treatments. lost unity of shared. it challenges to would be impossible to sion and cover these topics in this short space. the the effects of recent Supreme secondary mediating institutions. the background philosophizing which leads each author to his conclusions about the limits of pluralism varies in cogency and completeness. Court decisions on freedom of speech and reli gion. By seeking the lowest common denominator agreeable to the many and making law and policy accordingly.138 of a Interpretation Public Philosophy. and exerts a powerful influence has institutions" (p. All three volumes survey a wide range of renewal of issues including. 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. the Institute for Advanced work Study in Princeton. attempts to put communitarian emphases to in support of a larger left liberalism in his On Toleration. 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. indeed impossi ble. however conflictual. and aspects of his version of pluralism are vulnerable to the critiques Sandel Canavan provide. The categories overlap. Earlier American pluralism. also subverted a consensus which Increased West secularization had circum scribed earlier American pluralism. In Canavan's account. As might each approach ends up defining and limit be expected. pluralism and toleration. His an updated critique of of liberalism as a public philosophy. in Rawls in Political Liberalism. but or not limited to. separate religion from morality and morality from politics are misleading. Statecraft is soulcraft whether it appreciates or wills this result or not. and the relations between economy and polity. so I thematize the discus two main by focussing its pluralism. In Canavan's account. Since Walzer mented version of still supports an aug liberalism.
had helped to flesh out religious community life. "celebrate" either argu rights We and are nevertheless "diversity. but without developing the point at any length. Certainly and American liberal pluralism is hardly neutral as capitalism any other model of economy. it displaced institutions. Again for lack commonly and acceptable moral or the tension between ments over liberty equality basis for resolving for specifying their content. It can only be made on the basis of an antecedent moral of judgment. 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. but hostile toward conditions which make for thriving community. pluralism as a norm is the ultimate value of remain unresolvable. Yet of the three volumes. Sandel's alone offers a sustained . 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. This reduction is itself the incessantly of a reiterated in the media and wider popular culture. Canavan particular. 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. A main means by which liberal pluralism attempts neutrality is by taking controversial choice." equally faced with ever-increasing calls to In Canavan's reading. with -139 the feeling that they are now strangers in their land" own (pp. sustained analysis of the liberalism and capitalism would go a long way toward he affinity between completing Canavan's treatment. individ liberty. Cultural liberalism is even determined by this pursuit that it can no longer judge identifies the the most outrageous wrongs. what areas out of the political realm and as leaving them to individual But again.Whose Pluralism? Americans 65-66). schools. what shall be left to private choice and judgment is itself a political decision. Canavan With Sandel and Walzer. to public Canavan notes. The communitarian vision of pluralism supports also needs fur ther development of an appropriate range of economic arrangements congruent with that vision. they have come to define the range of controversy between contemporary liberals and conservatives. neutral and Apparently fail to democratic yet values such as liberty and equality also resolve pluralist conflict. So liberal pluralism again turns out not to be neutral. he does rejection of commend cooperatives in passing. hospi tals and social services were injured. pluralism being urged be cause ual it is a condition which supports so liberalism. liberalism. such values quickly reduce to discussions of rights. The author very perceptively economic counterpart of ideal liberalism as capitalism and the free market. These institutions. By increased federal private religious at the appropriation of taxes for public education. Understood in individualist terms. their best.
two main forms of contemporary social anguish demon strate the failure of the liberal project in America: fear that the moral fabric of .. so vision ought Canavan argues. 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. 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. on pain of contradiction.140 Interpretation of the relationship between economy and community flourishing. One can but be reminded here of other forms of scepticism. Thus the not pluralist must also celebrate not celebrating pluralism. 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. things look neutrality. public policy his critics have to argue why their moral as But to take precedence over the biblical tradition of to American cultural formation. Genuine pluralism for Canavan qua is not primarily protection of the individual individual from group or state. The fact that Canavan's treatment of needs supplementation often provides. Groups with spiritual. Protestants and devout Jews. those outside the wider biblical tradition Canavan com mends will likely reject his pluralism. the state should reduce its direct etc. to flourish. social services. On the other hand. but a situation in which individuals Here as members of various communities can who provides pursue essential human goods. mon gious to help stem the tide toward secular monism and by a com reli biblically based morality institutional life. both cludes with conservative intellectually reasserting for private and legislatively. creating accords greater social space Of the three authors. conservatism (economic libertarian the biblical religion congruent with Canavan Taken to its logical terminus. and mediating commu intellectual tradi not the state. Given his very critical assessment of the recent drift of affairs. to join in the struggle. tions to pass on are the essential and most defining role community. If anything. that the reject views of individuals the celebration of pluralism are as valuable as their contradicto ries. we might have expected a note of despair in Canavan's conclusion. morality so central volume is a set of papers rather than a systematic a problem poses a different kind of limitation. but Canavan con "divisive" religious) as by urging orthodox Catholics (Canavan is Catholic). cultural. His treatment analysis of the sort by more in-depth argument and Sandel In Sandel's account. That current liberal pluralism is in fact quite intolerant of strongly committed positions (particularly again underlines its own very inconsistent nonneutrality. Canavan nities "secondary" or the greatest primacy. always reflects some moral vision. to make room for such groups in education. even more desperate for pluralist For the liberal pluralist claiming full equally and neutral inclusiveness has to or groups which admit.
even are deprived this sort of active community participa whatever elites their negative freedom is at the mercy of and participation do govern. Ancient also had aspired to cultivate virtue goal of been longstanding in its citizens. 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. 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. cannot everyday do justice to the moral experience. rights apart to moral and religious views of from the good. with others about what is true any or good. Ac else a pure individual whose highest own ends. People are born for citizenship. for Sandel and the republican tradition. religious duties. the self is value resides in its capacity to by contemporary liberal theory. Consequently. of citizens In the liberal conception. the freedom tive. or even citizen obligation. the politics a neutral ideal of liberalism is not timelessly natural. with regard and national and collective control over life is unraveling and fear about lost individual life-goveming forces. ing of Again. As Sandel notes.Whose Pluralism? 141 family. Through detailed historical account of American public life from the foun ders to the contemporary scene. Sandel emphasizes the mislead ing and alienating idea of the self offered above all cording to that theory. for instance. is seen primarily as nega They need protection from the state and each other in order to pursue their private ends. others' based have chosen them. and a notion of ends all capacity block the way. Sandel recovers an alternative and republican way of genuine self-government from which liberalism can be seen as a de cline. 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. Liberal ideals of neutrality citizens. explicit or use in by deliberating but simply for the fact that sovereign individuals As Sandel notes. as Sandel documents Failure through numerous primary sources. As in Liberalism and the Limits of Justice. to a solution to these problems. motivation for the mutual respect liberalism calls for is also undermined. Sandel raises the crucial why we should suspend such identity-making aspects of our selves . and this goal has American public policy. When they tion. 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. But the self conceived as unencumbered by prior moral definition is an abstraction which of is falsified by liberalism. As identification more alien in the whole decline and citizens become to each other. community. this asocial render human good is misleading. we no choose its Choice longer of one's respect ends becomes views a kind of end in itself. Kantian versions obliga phenomena of family tions. both conceptually a freedom as the of the individual self to choose its own and practically. They natu common affairs.
judg Using the legal example of abortion. virtueless abstract vorce and individualism. 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. community. Sandel gets to the philosophical matter of by emphasizing that whether or competing views is true. As Sandel correctly argues. We might just as well say that all views equally worthy of disrespect it How since none is true. 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. regarding toleration. 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. not we should bracket depends on which relativism is no help either. The argument for liberalism from is self-defeating. and His alternative version the self. moral. they express. Sandel observes that if the Catholics were correct about human life abortion. not their simple capacity to choose something . question of what of By raising the economy best serve republi shows a can aims of self-government and the virtues which support it. a contradiction. thickly commitments unabashedly by family relations. Or we could relativize the value of respect.142 when Interpretation it comes to questions of cooperation justice. Sandel advocate ends willingness to curb the pseudopluralism of hegemonic business interests. to relative say that we should all respect each other because the truth is If "all truth is relative" is absolutely true. In both cases. telling on the of the parallel argument against moral bracketing from Lincoln Douglas heart issue of slavery. His him to morally advocat seriousness about ethical rationality and truth allows and transparent public policy deliberation decision. rightly observing respect that a practical interest in social and mutual does not automatically defeat any that "We cannot without other moral interest. then there is for are others' at least one truth which is not relative. respect not follow. In principle. prochoice their views for public purposes." up ing what he terms a "mutual appreciation goods which would affirm peo ple and communities for the distinctive or other. and promoting. but legal abor Sandel cites a provocative and against tion in effect simply grants their position. beginning would "bracketed" at conception and their view to accept they in effect advocates are also to "bracket" be countenancing murder. and religious leads him to reject forms of pluralism primarily based upon. 20). Suspending moral name of toleration does not effect a neutral pluralism. seeing as one nonprivileged attitude and why would among other possibilities. So Sandel pluralism. But even if we substi views need tuted some other version of the relativist claim.
the same could be said about his ily law. be Canavan suggests. Arguably. Yet he had acknowledged and of highlighted the importance of ethical rejects truth when it came to the content-neutrality position expression. 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. 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. 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. 90). That is. Sandel is arguing account of moral content that public deliberation can and should take permits are before marching handed out. 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.Whose Pluralism? 143 a Altogether. "narrow" in his final further But further rejects the In the arguments Sandel moralism of his closing the fundamentalist without course of qualification. To with a return Sandel's abortion example. With Sandel. Sandel rationality of recent Supreme Court decisions on free an ordinance could ban the Nazis from marching in Skokie. it could as easily have banned King and his fol lowers. Presumably. "The answer may be simpler than liberal political theory permits: the Nazis promote genocide and hate. Indeed. 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. notes the insufficiency of appeals problems to rights and abstractly fair procedures alone to address contemporary These problems vary depending upon the histori- . The difference the cause" consists in the content of the speech. in general. There way would or be no foregone in conclusion about the outcome of of public deliberation one the other. raises and responds to a number of relevant objections questions are possible. be added Sandel the offers about civil here that. program and its associated pluralism make for tall Sandel himself chapter. Sandel's order. or even malicious. 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. while Martin Luther King sought civil rights for blacks. Sandel replies. and partisan way to which ignores of truth rationality. and which community which realizes the very cor is convinced of the truth of its "common" beliefs with practices. To the liberal objection that if the bracketing. Sandel may depend more on an substantive positions on fam American consensus of biblical morality recognizes. Yet the decisions a deliberation questions can be philosophically shallow. in the nature of (p.
and 'family values' or of their own certainties about what (p. . as an harbor republican hopes. Yet by keeping to the larger liberal pluralist picture. common roots of alienation and claim that its strong individualism. according to Walzer.144 Interpretation societies. of a pluralism which isn't simply cannot fragmentation? We farious a population. Yet his recognition that liberalism is one tradition among others does not lead Walzer to offer a philosophical defense of it. To the fears state-mandated versions of tolerance education error. Walzer acknowledges that liberalism is a substantive and par its own.) Nor can we repair to . Canavan. 70). He doubts that liberal politics be sustained were all children to go into private sectarian schools. is right say) tradition. 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. (It would be intriguing to see a published debate between Sandel and Walzer over this question. (p. Naturally. Walzer here in the secondary associations. 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. since we are too multi United States In his typology of toleration regimes. so he opposes a voucher system. and social Where then. life are we of to uncover the resources necessary for a revived political the sort Walzer wants. attempts While Walzer everyone's rejects by groups with moral to "control behavior of in the name of a supposedly common (Judeo-Christian. Walzer largely responds by simply asserting his own secu lar liberal dogmatism. with early roots in Protestant and English history. ought to be barred from running in elections." wrong" of orthodox parents that ant of religious and that parents send the public "toler may Walzer responds that. so the unity which comes from that richer foundation for citizenship is unavailable to us. 77). 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. Walzer identifies the immigrant society rather than a nation-state with republican foundations like France. so Walzer develops a suggestive regimes cal and political situation of various and useful typology of five tolerance analysis historical examples. this is an omission which pluralism. "one hopes that they are justified schools will have exactly the effects that orthodox make their children . With both Sandel revival of various and Canavan. of and others. but is unwilling to them of taxation fear" relieve would for state education. Religious parties. To his credit. With Sandel. Walzer is willing for these orthodox parents to their children to private schools (if they can afford it). In the face of contempo ticular political culture of rary critiques like those of Sandel. 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. for example. Maclntyre. together with leaves intact the current crisis. .
But reading Sandel. 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. since that would Within the cannot confines of the position Walzer embraces. have less to assert reason than ever to relinquish that good.Whose Pluralism? what remains "intolerant." - 145 be of a biblically informed liberal moral consensus. and the alternatives for liberalism are either to lack transparency its own particu lar value-structure or see it without philosophical defense. rationality in about we do not and after seriously engage questions of truth and we ethics. Altogether then. .
French. Testament Spinozas (1932). XIV. The Religiose Lage der Gegenwart (1932). 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. and Lowith. cloth with dust jacket.. Erkenntnisproblem in der philosophischen Lehre Fr. Volume 1: Die Religionskritik Spinozas 1996. Gershom Scholem. H.-). . numerous previously Karl unknown letters from his philosophical correspondence with Klein.. 434 pp. XXXIV. (1921). in the original languages (German English). Schriften 1936 Konspektivismus and more. Gesetz - Friihe Schriften - 635 pp. previously unknown writings and letters. more than a quarter of which Quelques are published here for the first 0n time: Philosophie und Gesetz Der (1935). Cohens Wissenschaft Spinozas Das (1924). Gerhard Kriiger. B. cloth with English) many important. 1921 to Contains the 29 et essays from the years 1937. Bibelwissenschaft Spinozas marginalia und seiner Vorlaufer (1926). remarques sur nach la science politique de Mai'monide de Farabi Maimunis (1937). Jacob In addition. DM 90 Die Zur - (subscription price: DM 78. Contains the critical editions of Religionskritik Spinozas (1930). It study of Strauss's philosophy in the future.-).i VERLAG J. and others published here for the first time. among Wissenschaft writings. politische other Volume 3: Hobbes' Wissenschaft und zugehorige - Briefe politische Contains. Abravanel's Philosophical (1936). Jacobis (1929). Der Erinnerung an Lessing (1937). The from Strauss's personal copies of these writings are published here for the first time. marginalia from Strauss's personal copies of these writings are published here for the first time. 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. 1933-1935). Tendency Eine Ort der Vorsehungslehre and der Ansicht Das Political Teaching (1937). DM 90 critical editions of (subscription: DM 78. und Volume 2: Philosophie 1997. be indispensable for all serious und zugehorige Schriften Analyse der Bibel- dust jacket.
? I would like to to the entire edition of the Leo should Strauss. Choosing the subscription price obliges one to purchase all six Subscribers receive the following at no extra charge: Heinrich Meier Die Denkbewegung von Leo Strauss und Die Geschichte der Philosophie die Intention des Philosophen with 1996.metzler. current list price. published here for the first time in its entirety in this form. The prices for subscribers to the entire 15% less than the volumes. Name .00).B. $10. $46. . 66 pp.80 (approx. The price of volumes 1 subsequent volumes has yet to be determined. Dept. ? Volume 2: DM ? Heinrich Meier: Die Denkbewegung von Leo Strauss: DM 16.. subscribe by your university 1. $53.Volume 4: Politische Philosophie Contains the first publication with various - Studien zum theologisch-politischen Problem of the essay The Living Issues of German Post-War Philosophy along German translations. Volume 6: Gedanken Uber Machiavelli Each volume contains a foreword by the editor of the Gesammelte composition of each Schriften which introduces the reader to the circumstances surrounding the text as well as its central concerns. the be sent as they appear. The appendix the most comprehensive bibliography yet to be presented of Strauss's writings.80 (ISBN 3-476-01504-1). The prices of the 2. volumes should (approx. Address Phone/Fax VerlagJ. Volumes 1 and 2 be sent immediately along with Die Denkbewegung von 2 is DM 78- Leo Strauss.00 each). edition are approx. Metzler Postbox 10 32 41 D-70028 Stuttgart Fax +49711/2194-249 Internet: http://www.00). Gesammelte Schriften and in sechs Banden at the reduced subsequent price. $5300). ? I would like to order the following volumes U Volume 1: DM 9090- at the individual prices: (approx.de . Each volume may be purchased separately. (approx. your order with your purchased Please use this ad or a copy of it when placing book dealer or when or college recommending that the books be library. Volume 5: Uber Tyrannis Contains the German translation along with the correspondence between Leo Strauss and Alexandre Kojeve (1932-1965) in the original languages (German and English). The essay is the result of a long and intensive involvement contains Strauss's philosophy. DM 16.
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11367-1597 U. Queens College Rushing N.S.Y. -a o PC fo a -a o CO 2 o 3 "I 3 o 3 O < CO a r 21 rra *> o m c3 CO . Inc.A.ISSN 0020-9635 Interpretation.
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