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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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It improperly fuses the characters and accomplish life ments of Cain. the city is associated with improper aspirations toward human greatness or even human divinization. in Genesis 10. No. the the In this paper I wish to make three arguments. divine or conventional. the Babel-builders are not evil in condemned For. not paying enough attention to the different contexts in these characters appear. Vol. Why this? One finds in the traditional commentaries a number of overlapping themes. 1 . and thus opposed to an allegedly purer form of life. of the effort they are making is indeed narrator. it is said that Cain (or possibly his son Enoch) built the first city. antitechnical. 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. and the which Babel-builders. or even defy. that of the nomadic Third. as a per Nimrod's kingdom of cities understood as a tyranny but fectly when reasonable attempt to establish a political ordering law. and in Genesis 1 1. it makes funda mental interpretive errors. The thing I wish to argue excuses. the Lord God. the city is impious in their intentions: Cain. failing to note that in each instance there are redeeming features. Second. Finally. interpretation.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. was was often sur prisingly antiurban. associated with and antipolitical. those who are supposed to be First. the city is connected with land ownership. with superfluous and which arts. few the pride or hubris desires to compete with. in light the Babel project. from the to be political-theological perspective of the Biblical Finally. in its urge to theory moralize about the lives and motives of the early city-builders. 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. Fall 1998. Traditional exegesis of these stories. 26. 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. man. Jewish and Christian. second or at least reasonable those characters. where it is stated that Nimrod ruled over (and possibly built) cities. the city and tower with its top in the heavens. herds Nimrod. has not yet made among inroads into the human men at a time heart. although intent. I is wish not to argue that. in which the unified human race attempts to build Babel. the Babel-builders. Nimrod. and it prejudges the motives of the characters in all three cases. as argue.
that is. I will propose my own tentative account of the Bible's moral-political evaluation of the city. he offers (according to some of the rabbis) the samples of inferior his produce. THE CRITIQUE OF THE CITY IN TRADITIONAL EXEGESIS The traditional commentaries on Genesis are only enough to Genesis Rabbah. often little basis in the text.2 kills the son truly in God's image. they Eve and the angel of produce much good. When he sacri Lord (Gen. 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. Augustine's these City of God. Abravanel's reveal some representative tendencies. legion. A. a and Calvin's Commentary on the Pen Commentary on Genesis. has had abuse upon by scores of Jewish and interpreters for at least two millennia. Cain. his religious performance is faulty. I the inadequacy handling with of the political themes interpreters' traditional remarks the fine details of comparing the the Biblical text. This is why he becomes a murderer and Abel. and establishes among interpreters recorded antiurban.3-5). the refuse. heaped who is traditionally him credited with founding Christian character. In fus ing (they own.4 I Interpretation will proceed in the be following manner. With this rather unauspicious head start in life. 1. Nimrod and the will Babel-builders in show some representative premodern commentaries. This negative portrayal of Cain colors the event with he is associated. of the Next. the an which founding of the city. 4. anti- I have constructed kind I of composite account of the technical.3 or. Noting that unlike his Genesis 5 counterpart Seth. . antipolitical atmosphere. different are all trying to blur the differences and notes). according to some of the rabbis. First. I will present the political themes which can gleaned from the discussion of Cain. and I have consulted Specifically. is not said to have been born after Adam's (hence conclude that he is actually the offspring of death Sammael. the first city. Cain. between them properly distinguished in the text tendencies of establish some general but merely trying to which I can set my against interpretation. Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. Traditional One Hostility with Toward Cain and His Line must begin Cain.1 His motives and his spiritual and the spiritual character of with his descendants. Cain cannot be expected to God's) image. if the quality is acceptable. I have used tateuch. Out of antiurban. have all been impugned. Fi by nally. antipolitical tendencies of commentaries am not the Jewish and Christian traditions. fices to the most Thus. Cain's very birth is suspect.
Augustine. XV.5. however. Rabbi Eliezer of allows The Genesis Rabbah. 1. some rabbis say that he. This activ fundamental difference allows room which for a more positive view of Cain's ities and intentions. another choice. (without etymological argument) to of mean sexual "rebellion" (Genesis Rabbah.5 Cain's desire to settle down more of a shepherd. 192). but with his hy pocrisy. his city and people. supplement it equally regarding Cain's motives. who were themselves shep herds: Abraham. 1. vol. Cain practised a purely external religion and did not really serve God in his heart. 21).4 The traditional do not commentators are a condemn little lighter on Cain in one respect: they and ground unanimously (4. p. 5. Augustine takes great pleasure in repeat About Cain's edly noting that the line murderers. Cain's tion: p. finding nothing wrong with Cain's sacrifice. life into a sophisticated. 17. 256). Cain's leper" occupa no good came of a (Genesis to Rabbah. Cal declares that there was nothing wrong with Cain's grain. vol. Augustine sees the city which Cain builds as an allegory of the City of Man. says Abravanel. that with which originated the earthly city began and ended with is. declares that Cain's other activities (unmentioned in the Biblical text) must have been evil. Mehujael. Calvin Cain's choice of occupation as a tiller of the grants that this occupation can be laudable and holy. 21). and do not hesitate to invent facts in order to condemn them. and them. One became a murderer.2). we fundamental difference I over the worth of settled agricultural life. ruthless The commentators are regarding Cain's descendants." therefore became a tiller of the "natural" whereas Abel was satisfied with the Abel. are supplied by the . and Cain Lamech Metusael.The he gives City in Genesis 5 paltry amount after finishing most of it off himself (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. "wicked" "house" building of a city. and Uzziah lusted after the ground. 2. Calvin on the other. (City of God. The names of Irad. explaining that "Cain also chose to engage in artful things and ground. 1. p. Jacob. such as Augustine and Calvin. like other hoped to have immortality through a (presumably. dience for Rabbah see a Contrasting sufficiency and obe Abravanel and the Genesis and life of on one hand Rabbi Eliezer. Those interpreters. says bluntly "Cain. that it in fact can be interpreted as commanded by God in Genesis 1 and and 2 (Calvin. p. 29). was the proto type of all the great prophets and leaders of Israel. another a drunkard. 255). Moses. that human society which seeks only earthly felicity and denies our supernatural end (City of God. absent from the Biblical text. Augustine. God intended with us. The details Lamech's mistreatment of his wives. his son Enoch) which would live forever (Genesis Rabbah. who only a are not nature of vin willing to supplement the Genesis story quite so blatantly regarding the Cain's offerings. Noah. Isaac. career. XV. and David. to will return later. 8. and Lamech are all said vol. p. technical to run away which occupation represents the perennial nonluxurious human ten dency from the simple. 153). Abravanel sheds light on the rabbinic hostility Cain's farming simpler. 8. Augustine says nothing negative.
creating the universal degeneration which lines' being wiped out by the Flood (City of God. 238).). flagrantly about violated the naked with rules concerning incest (p. God" at least more carnal in their interests. the former being. 160-62). In Calvin these "sons of are Augustine virtually and Calvin the Cainite self-conscious that they are the Church (Calvin. Taking posite the Cain line on such grounds. Abravanel argues that the were destruction which prevailed which before the Flood directly linked to the p. Cain's daughters went painted tempting the angels to fall. the op for him the arts are goods.6 Interpretation (ibid.) (which. His birth is suspect. Calvin. far as we can tell from Genesis 4. thus more ing a way for his ancestor Cain's sister to be perpetrated efficiently (ibid. with political life) fall under a dark shadow. like beasts. In general. of p. went about stark naked.22. view. Nimrod fares only slightly better than Cain in traditional "beginning" He liter actions ally cannot even make a onto the Biblical stage without his . the he founded.22). violence and In a more analytical vein. 237-40). Cain's line is uniformly contrasted unfavorably with Seth's line. and all its connections (with the arts. did not yet exist). Like the rabbis. his taking up an act of city is vainglory of vio defiance of God. with human law making. Calvin notes the wickedness of the atmosphere in which the arts arise. his male descendants increased the level of weapons or lence in the world. Tubal-Cain's given (about whom absolutely no details as are in Genesis). and because of this. superfluous sin. the latter who lived more virtuously. and gifts from God (Calvin. They eyes. his offering to God was shoddy of farming is judged ambivalently. 2. Cain's generation were sinners and rebels who thought p. his founding or even of and/or of a insincere. duced Seth's line into waywardness. In sum. XV. pp. Traditional Hostility Toward Nimrod accounts. his female descendants seduced the only godly people into his line have few if any redeeming features. it can be said that Cain does not have a very good public image. he affirms the vileness of Lamech's polygamy and waxes eloquent about Lamech's cruelty and inhumanity (ibid. In who se women are the "daughters men" justified both pp. these unions produced the wicked giants who were wiped out in the Flood (pp. acquisitiveness Cain bequeathed to his descendants (Abravanel. however. Such is the picture which traditional exegesis of Genesis 4 tends to yield. either by the introduction by their desire for He and city which wealth. they did not need God (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. sang and played in honor of idols (ibid.). Naamah. 160). if not being the "sons of God" completely evil. and 159). 217-22). Tubal-Cain is mentioned as noted rabbis for his forging of of weapons (which are not provid specifically the metal implements crime Genesis 4.). Calvin refuses to condemn 257).
Nimrod. "began" 2. the ancestor of Israel.26 are said. here found in the hiphil form. being a a beast than a human he was also the originator of more like being. is a deceiver. mighty and thus they can liberally 'rebelled' when he was a one in the earth" (Genesis Rabbah. . 260). p. In case anyone should think the rabbis are stretching the meaning too much. and hence were actually They mention the people of in not Genesis 4. oppressor. Esau. 317). 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. "beginning" is is verb. p. Nimrod the city-builder evil. was obviously a furious Nimrod. Esau. pp. to degenerating calling "rebelling. in later Jewish literature (Neusner tells us) he oppressive power of us that "hunter. p. is bad for two reasons. although it is not mentioned in Scripture. tyranny (Calvin. XVI. he a 10. being a mighty hunter. was based on a sham (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer." the rabbis feel justified in translate: "Nimrod vol. which is what persuaded people to let him them. that is. 2. is reminiscent of the other hunter in Genesis.). ants same Obviously. and they the evil men of pre-Flood "rebelled" days. who. From the sense "pro fane. and. Thus. Calvin tells He further argues that the statement that Nimrod was a the Lord (Genesis Lord. they supply other examples of wicked people things.The City in Genesis 7 being be a condemned. pp. against the order of things that he should a king (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. some of the rabbis do say he fooled people into thinking he could cow fierce beasts. he was the foe of his brother Jacob." earth. Second. 3). of course. In this attempt. 420-21. as the-verb "to (halal). Since Nimrod is a slave. it is p." sym bolizes the Rome (Jacob Neusner. but mention rather. Finally. as master of the pagan lands out of which when Abraham came. like all hunters. First. tried to kill Abraham he was young. who was consigned to slavery by Noah in Genesis 9. Genesis 10. man. however." who "begin" upon the name of the Lord. Augustine tells us that Nimrod. There is other evidence that Nimrod. p. in Genesis Rabbah. too. instead of "beginning" to multiply upon the earth. Another thing which counts against rule Nimrod is his be being a grandson of Ham.4). his claim to might. he Genesis Rabbah. 175).9) means that Nimrod was a rebel (City of God. and destroyer of earth-bom creatures (City of God. which is the normal meaning of the piel form of the same root. so negatively. And. 38). who 4. Nimrod is lived until evil the time of because. deriving all wicked things. XVI. 2. 60-61).8 reads: "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to begin" profane" Genesis Rabbah interprets the verb "to mighty one in the (halal). vol. in must company whose as the Cainites and their offspring. to "rebel" in their calling upon the name of the Lord. he Abraham. was miraculously thwarted (Pirke vol. de Rabbi Eliezer. such evil to multiply upon the earth and the pre-Flood gi announced with the (ibid. 174). be evil. if it mighty hunter before the mighty hunter "against" seems bad enough for not Nimrod that his even grant hunting is interpreted hunter.
takes on a associated with and his kingdom. 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. Nimrod becomes Babel project due to responsibility for the Babel project. Isaac. In p. tent "settle" in the land of Shinar. as one might expect. which. Traditional Hostility Toward the Babel-Builders explicitly state that Nimrod had anything Genesis 1 1. the plain on which Babel was erected was in the land of Shinar. bad scent. do" translated into rabbinic. 2. therefore.4). at signifies also that they made an on 261. he was often assumed to have been not Although the Biblical text does to do with the Babel project of its initiator. could hardly him have Urban life. 324). according to Genesis 10. 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. Second. they are not satisfied with want the are are trying to challenge God. the purpose of this section is to discuss the faults of the Babel-builders insofar as they can be discerned without reference to Nimrod. vol. 49-50). 260). His city. sinfulness of He the cruel godlessness of pride and the pagan empires. too (Genesis Rabbah. means. 2. "Settling" is moti vol. like Abraham. to make a "name" themselves (Gen. and Jacob. was the area of his king dom. God's people do not rest con move. probably vol. heavens.2 they decide to vated by Satan (Genesis Rabbah. needless to say. a city. 2. scale Olympus and dethrone Jove in pagan mythology (City of God. being settling and building in "settled." but are on the 50). like Nimrod. as in the case of Cain. want 2. again. for two reasons. the lower part of the world. in an summary. for idol They filled the sin of pride. and the is condemned because it was the brainchild of Nimrod. XVI. In any case. 3. The rabbis object that in Genesis 11. pp. p. which is often assumed to chapters are be the city discussed in Genesis 1 1 Thus. 1. First. worldly glory been founded with the set against righteousness. the Babel-builders are reminiscent . right motives. Calvin Calvin. 11. the the Ham line. it is said in Genesis 10 that Nimrod founded a city called Babel.4. The Babel-builders. The tradition uniformly condemns the builders at Babel. the Lord. to displace him." "and this they begin to which. is repudiated by much of the tradition because he represents was impious rebel against God and tyrannical over mankind. 51). There is odious reason to question the connection out between Nimrod and Babel. p. vol. as I will point later. with the upper part. which p." are "rebels. .8 Interpretation Nimrod. and vol. for they p. the two intertwined in traditional commentary. (Genesis Rabbah. They they being given the earth. "this they are rebelling to (Genesis Rabbah. do. There are other flaws in the Babel-builders' motives. and. Both their deeds and their motives are entirely wicked.
are proud. 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. Abravanel argues. are quite are not Babel-builders is how much not they add to the text. in order to establish the stated. The the city. heir of a slave. idola They wish to build a settled and secure life or even against wishes.The of City us in Genesis 9 the godless Cain. Nimrod. if the materials they supplied were . Nimrod being things some part of the Ham line which Noah subjects to Shem and Japheth. manages to slip in the moral that the way of Torah is higher than the way of the Greeks. and is associated with the violence of patriarchs. The city. and the rule of with human beings by others. 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. in criticizing the Babel-builders. B. Abravanel thus. The city-builders of Genesis 1-11 all have unsavory are They or are fugitives from God ters. More generally. who defined man as a political animal. without God's help by They purely human means. are equally stained by association the wrong sort of people. It is their politics as much as their materialism that is at fault. at worst it is temptation to idolatry. it cannot give one immortal life or even an immortal name. and tyranny over others. Cain being rejected in favor first of Abel. or rebels against God. The arts come from the children of vengeful bigamist Lamech. rejection of God. the arts." us make "let build city"). Ruling comes from Nimrod. thinking to build structures which will keep their names alive forever. desire of walking away from God rather than with him. 4. which. then. then of Seth. the art of bringing people together to build a decent civil order. which willing to supply motives which are recorded. At best it is a necessary evil in a fallen world. sinners. apparently picking up on the language a of mutual exhortation in 11. being Esau's way. is ated. is grounded in folly. says Abravanel. the human beings who are desire to build is unnecessary. They are from the wrong lines. and even actions appropriate moral of each This might not be a bad procedure. they God's murderers. not rendered suspect by the fact that the first is people to be political cooper to build a better cities life. Summary of the Traditional Critique of the City associations. political which go with cooperation.3-4 ("let brick. The city cannot provide for security against death. only God can do these things. They story. but to conspire against and a God. God's do not need the political life of the city. hunting. is inferior to the way of the Politics.
They attribute Cain's birth to the angel They Sammael. the errors the traditional interpretation is inadequate. and Babel. they in the Biblical text. they condemn Nimrod for his paganism and his attempt to murder Abraham. to the connection be tween Nimrod Esau the hunters. since Lamech fathers sons who are . When material this far from the text is allowed to shape the inter limited to the go characters' pretation of motives and actions. believe. Shinar. The rule text can mean whatever the interpreters want it to mean. and the Babel-builders the reasons for the antiurban are evil. between the pre-Flood and the Babel-builders' desire for a name. and other are facts simply do not fit into the antiurban picture. again might not be bad in itself." they ask us to accept too much on faith. They can point to the parallel between Cain the farmer and and Abel the shepherd. Nimrod." but also the idiosyncratic "profaning" equation of with "rebel word Again. however. For example. to the connection between Abraham left the eastern world ruled Nimrod. Another mology noticeable feature is the Jewish This interpreters' fascination with ety and other word play. Cain's line ended with a murderer is also untrue. and enough reading. point. to the fact that by Nimrod. when they assert without philological "idol. but some of fetched. 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. demanding us to allow not only the rendering of the hiphil the claims made are simply too far "profane. that the real problem of the traditional interpreters deeper. they are merely the justifications. to justify their They contrast can indeed appeal to a number of textual details. Augustine's most claim that translators. Among the following: Augustine's claim that Nimrod was a hunter is considered who "against even God" by Calvin. to the fact that Nimrod to the similarity is reminiscent of the evil "mighty "men of men" wiped out name" in the Flood. and would maintain this even reasons. the evil of Cain and the others is axiomatic in the interpretive tradition in to my present which they have been would argue trained. There are Nonetheless. for two First. to Nimrod's connection with and associations upon Ham. Sec that there is ond. if all the etymologies and legendary material were excluded. Some of the claims are errors. to the between the violence of Cain and Lamech and the rise of urban life and the arts." reasoning that the "name" in the Babel story all mean can only mean or that the names of Cain's lies descendants I "rebellion. philologically unacceptable by found Nimrod unappealing. The addition of legendary material and the use of verbal tricks are not interpretation. which a plenty of loose connections traditional interpretation can be founded." "begin"-"profane" breaking as the "begin" piel ling. The interpreters have already decided that Cain. the but the rabbis stretch it beyond the resemblance may be significant. more relevant interest. even without the extraneous material. all interpretive control is lost. and so on.10 Interpretation role of providing plausible explanations for what is recorded. however. far beyond this.
The hunter is the loner. the entire race. because he does not keep for its entire life before killing it. but he does order to wicked derive this from textual evidence. runs against of the clear sense of the text in that of Genesis 11. 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. They they are by the farmer. is cursed to in Genesis 9. or that he ordered the people him. Ham's son. undertook the Babel project on his own. further. Further. equally responsible for the that the sin of the Babel-builders was cannot explain of the cities of essentially the why God took desire drastic of action at superfluity that motivated Cain. the text says that Cain believes he is hidden from God's face. that Cain had a says justify God." not help him build "lusting after the laws to a heavenly that ground. Canaan's brother Cush and Cush's son Nimrod are not slavery included in the curse. but say nothing against Moses who one? prescribes govern Israel's settled agricultural life. Abravanel. since not Ham but facts that do not fit. hardly closer the model of the political man. The inter Augustine and the rabbis that Nimrod must have been unneces sarily violent and tyrannical.The not murderers of City in Genesis 11 but inventors." The interpretation same such is. text with uncharitable motives. these are nity. because he was a hunter and hunters kill things. execution. In fact. is his sacrifice said supposed his sacrifice. the city falling to his arrows. the rabbis rage against Cain for is. is feeble. Babel but not in the case Cain. and God does not contradict Cain on this point. out of the desire for a name. Cain is to to build his city out of vainglory. and that the city to protect him. Nimrod. For shepherds (like Abel) kill things. the shepherd who sells his wool and mutton or in spirit to the city than is the hunter trapper who is self-sufficient. And settled farmers (like Cain. rather." Again. and Asshur in Genesis 4 and 10. if God will then. which makes "children men. could we expect Cain to build anything but a "worldly city. Then there are the the slave Ham is untrue. he infers it in infers. The rabbis' claim that Nimrod shares the character Canaan. If Israel is not wicked . The common interpretation that Nimrod to aid all the project. Yet the text is that God did nor not gaze unto Cain and imputed to Cain. in a parallel manner. and the later Israelites) kill their cattle. Augustine all lifestyle. too their sheep. no evil motive is to be flawed in either intention or Similarly. How. His victims enjoy God's before as castrated. tilling it. are not rounded the association who up in pens of the hunter and with is peculiar. not supplementation that Cain's offering is hypocritical. The text would seem was suggest that his motive was fear of being killed. or out of the wish to build a worldly city without God. 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. there is bad reasoning in the traditional pretation of constructions. the hunter is less violent. Further. lives away from the city The landed farmer with his rural commu in the marketplace.
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
1-7) to be enforced. in the east. and since they too are related. that populated not merely by individuals but by descent speaking a common tongue and occupy ing a traditional land.The similar City in Genesis 15 It is as instructions in language that is very strongly reminiscent of Genesis 1. Recall that in Genesis 9. among Japheth separate violence. the "nations. Ham. must not conclude. sons of Noah are obedient in the way that the sons of Adam were never said to be: they "overspread" the whole earth overspreading. There is another interpretation. will have a legal dimension absent from the old. Since. however. This time. which relied too much on we are innate human told. if we are watching a new creation. those restraining murder and improper diet (9. they occupy it as they were meant to. Genesis 10 documents this family by family. whenever the tribal or them. 13). Abimelech in Genesis 20). which are life. in this overspreading. The peacefulness of the process reminds one of the separation of Abraham and Lot (Gen. both over Israel and over other nations (cf. Abel. people need to have some kind of authority set over a tribal or monarchical nature. 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. The "king occurring in Genesis for the first time. that We may now be able to fathom the Calvin Nimrod was a "mighty hunter." for the Biblical statement and Augustine saw this as indicating was savagery and oppression. built by Asshur. If this automatically and a new political ordering suggests ruthless power tyranny to modem ears. and and seems an improvement on the relationship unit. the goodness. the new creation as it were. therefore. the race of Adam is being given a second chance at life.1-7). these Nimrod either builds group arises in the east as well. It also helps maintain concord between stay together. a slight modification to Genesis 1 . cities a son of Shem. the Biblical narrator would not auto matically have assumed such a rule to be evil. Nimrod is word have begun his "kingdom" in the first in Shinar. which had no such structure discernible. One wicked one. is. the between Cain nation. 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. either built by or Nimrod in said to dom. The new begin ning. (9. 9. The Bible acknowledges that good kings can exist. which echoed Genesis 1 generally. something is added: God gives the first laws. naming the lands and peoples descending from and Japheth. families (mishpahoth) Shem. The next a region called in Shinar. the city arises. The first cities are or comes to rule." earth becomes peoples of common nations. without Thus. for the laws of God (Gen. that Nimrod's rule was a One might even argue that. Thus. amicably dividing the world themselves. suggests in which one will rule over many." Asshur.19). the migrating offspring of Shem. an a world organized on the world by the new political seems to be improvement before the Flood. In this new creation. Ham. God's command and In this context of obedience to family solidarity.
new order higher than the Note Nimrod does also that the text not seek a builders of any motive of vanity to Nimrod. one must conclude that cannot as such. Nimrod does not boast about himself. as did Cain (4. condemn be evil.8) and before the Lord (10. did the mighty men of old (6. The likely to make men hopeless or pre-Flood world. For these reasons. first hunter. then. we must ing was Lamech's. 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. in fact. may not be pretty. in which other forms of suffering must have been prevalent (starvation after crop failure.17). In important respects. note that which the only version of law and order hitherto obtain something tyrant. Nimrod. unlike Lamech's. but human for up as prey beings. may remind us of the wicked men before the Flood. that the rule of a hunter may symbolize the over urban civilization improvements elements of the new world over the old. At God's com the rule of mand are ruled not by kings. the first have taken advantage of the new bequest God has "might" given. the text is which teaching at that the rise of Nimrod possibility is new and.23-24). not speak of upon the "dominion" over the animals which are now given "fear and animals. Genesis 9 to him to be person carnivorous. In this context. which consisted rule in Nimrod's prescribes moderate and measured punishments.4). vulnerability to random killing). kings are one possible source of law. but it is less it has possibilities for something desperate. Kings may (I Samuel 8). from the above discussion. by God's . One can grant that a king may become a one must also grant that a king can establish the rule of law. good. the order of creation. least some of the nations which legitimately source. of a any more. Nimrod became famous.9). I represents a political would argue. but his literally and hence the most striking excellence. The new world contains harsh (men killing animals. at hunting makes He may not have been him the hunter par example of the new. men ruling men). but it is perhaps less harsh than the pre-Flood world. but it is others who note his greatness on the earth (10. "mighty" being "mighty" a hunter. city building.16 Interpretation God does dread" made. Their sins cannot be imputed to him on the strength Thus. Nimrod and his city compare favorably with the Cain line and its city and the Babel-builders their city. but multiple vengeance driven by unre (mamlakhah) introduces into the world more stable and orderly. I would suggest. basis to nor of an adjective alone. Genesis 1 allows implicitly taught that man was to be vegetarian.4) or the Babel (1 1. Finally. at overspread the earth at least potentially. but those men were characterized by neither hunting hunting. God-sanctioned It is true that Nimrod. and so did his empire. and as did Lamech (4. how to be a "hunter." can one fault Nimrod? He is person said the first in the text said that is. strained passion. Nimrod does not name any cities after himself or after not attribute as "name" does his son. and that Nimrod's hunting is not in itself a his cities.
of willingness to take on the adventure of human life. that is. the language of unity and solidarity (Combs and "rules" Post. wants them to the earth (1. is. is perhaps reminiscent Cain's Yet motives. scattered. as of (11. The their cautiousness. the descendants of Flood. in a its top in the heavens. too. 428). The "sons ratively) of reproducing and nonviolently occupying the earth. The "sons men" Noah. Finally. among these Combs and Post point out. be was afraid of safe. who have not learned the lesson that the Flood. if it and was a sin. God at the end of purpose. They one spot." therefore are separated and moved over the earth in a more unnatural and violent manner. Babel-builders is. the Babel-builders' adventure of mastering. Rather. is by Calvin. They want live.5). too. He. Regarding this story. This desire runs counter to God's all and commandments of want Genesis 1 to build upward. in one place. and Augustine." is only fitting. aim spreading master to many spots. At this and will draw heavily upon the work of Eugene Combs Kenneth Post and attempt to confirm their analysis by the Babel-builders of Genesis 11 with Nimrod and the peoples of comparing Genesis 10. of super-city with together. that the Babel story they are a of There is "scattering" to carry out their true difference between the "overspreading" of Genesis 10 if and the Genesis 11.4). His proj may be ambiguous. united brotherly love. their fear of being a inward-looking attitude. case of Babel is not exactly typical city. and he. I think. No one people (which is why I would con- . They "scattered. speaking one language. seems to have nothing to do seems storming heaven defying God. Further. It "scattered. close even antiurban exegesis. turns his prowess toward the ruling of peoples. I certain turn to the Babel story. by natural a by (literally or figu the refuse Adam. it to be a certain un populating. settled on Genesis 9 that they should fill the earth. the language of mutual entreaty. 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. like Cain's. 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. are there is a a justification for the traditional however.4). God wants them to move outward. but it is not to be so lightly condemned as it the rabbis. The with sin of the Babel-builders.The sion a ect City in Genesis 17 mighty hunter. then. kind people of Babel do to not wish to be "scattered" upon the earth (Gen.28). something. to the motives of the will builders which the traditional exegesis redeeming does not the I my discussion by showing exactly in what respects Babel-builders are are condemned point by I the text. p. in the Babel there features grant. They heavenward (11. The 11. process." of perhaps educated obey God. and enjoying the earth. and in what respects their ambitions legitimate. to obey God.
and themselves. is that it is not for human beings to be of utterly that there and arising a different ways of peaceful. be for . hold them together in Shinar forever. will in the very next story in the Bible promise to make great the name of a certain nation. 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." which are "kingdoms" connected with essentially families writ large. but that does not necessarily imply rebellion against rebelling against builders want a ture God. The desire to live in overlooks the is risk that the single. built. 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. "name" necessarily an improper desire. they do not even mention him. having unable promised never destroy the world again with a Flood. the world was orga according according to the to "nations. however. as it were. In Genesis nized 10. Abraham will continue in the tradition of obedience a not Further. they on together as equal partners toward a goal is not them but chosen by themselves. In Genesis not allow of 11. were tribal and monarchical. unified world-state. separate peoples. no possibility of the living. This form of social organization is in trast to the forms described in Genesis 10. become corrupt. The or reputation earn. his people who accepted the limitations of of nationhood. the nation sired by Abraham. It is true that they wish eternity. speaking. then. It is more likely that the Babel- "name" for their project to christen the marvellous urban struc they have created." a and that this may indicate worldly pride. a permanent essence which. They do not wish to God. wanting as is fact. its be to stop the corrupted universal state from retaining all members in thrall for Therefore. Cain may have been proud of his city. but he was not God in naming it after his son. and powerful cities. they dream. in if taking into account the desire of the Babel-builders. God cannot allow it to be The Babel-builders. In fact. 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. then. unified world-state. noble it may be. established by the "sons of Noah" of Genesis 10.7 overthrow "name. the "sons of will founding "nations. however thinking. and seem to be peaceful and nonviolent. only language that exists should If the only state. the situation be irreparable. would God." of that is. The forms of govern men" ment. will and to give it. are not malicious. and the only people. may be and the ual or become dedicated to bad ends.18 tend Interpretation Nimrod had nothing to do work with the construction of the Babel which of Genesis imposed con 11). good which so I think is the one correct one. but he will obtain the reward sought "name" by the Babel-builders will not Genesis 11. 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. validated by the consensus of everyone in it. God.
law. Rev. 242. The city is not bad as some of the rabbis and Christian by its association with Cain. 1970). 4. Deut. to teach.) Lemer 1978). because Cain is not so commentators make out. and not always the best. 3. Commentaries on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis. eds. but these motives were not wicked. . p. Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. argue that the evils of 1979). If these people strayed. John Calvin. Isaac Abravanel. The traditional pious exegesis of Genesis fails to understand that merely human are achieve political orderings. 44-48. Commentary on the Pentateuch (selections).: McMaster University. in the bequest epitome of evil and order of animal flesh in Genesis 9. vol. (Atlanta: Scholars Press. we find that cities are built by a masterly figure.6). And in one case. and human decency for any length Like Cain's city "Enoch. flawed and susceptible to abuse as they are. 1972). it due to knowing God wanted. trans. it is can only in coexist some kind of political order that the of time. The arguments for this are well summarized for arguing that it was Enoch. 256. Augustine. Concerning the City of God Against the Pagans. Nimrod is establish not the rebellion.7. arts. There are grammatical and general grounds built the city. or for building great towers into the a heavens. Medieval Political Philosophy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. in Genesis 10. King (Edinburgh. 1. as city of Enoch. pp. pp. that the city cities were Genesis 1-11 would seem is not evil. 1985). "Piety and Four" Civilization: An Analysis of the City in Genesis results (Hamilton. trans. (Title henceforth: City of 5. but for purity. in Ralph and Muhsin Mahdi.. if one wished to put the city in a better light. Cain pp. which do not claim the benefit of God's direct rule and teaching. trans. Robert Sacks. One separated could use Friedman's (though he does not) to can be from the not require this argument. Genesis Rabbah. Jacob Neusner. Gerald Friedlander (New York: Hermon Press. or not trusting enough in God's promises to obey his wishes. 4. 196-98. trans. Eng. But I do I do not believe that Genesis wishes us to understand Cain as funda stained mentally evil or ungodly. Although the political order is less than in that it requires the exercise of force. Ont. Henry Bettenson (Harmondsworth. the only possible means by which the non-Israelite children of Noah can justice upon the earth. 158.: Penguin.The martial City in Genesis 19 valor. The mo tives of those who built the first mixed. In societies other than Israel. who in Isaac Friedman's thesis. which once achieved will make Israel blessing and a source of wisdom for all the nations of the earth (Gen. God. then. the order represented perfect by Nimrod is essential. 1847). was the Babelers were not being scattered. he is the first to explicitly a political in the new world. p. the world which is being properly populated by the sons of Noah. whose claim to leadership might be said to be indirectly authorized by God himself. NOTES 1. XV. Cain was afraid of afraid of what death. Cain's son. 2. 2 vols." Nimrod's cities are the "inauguration" of something new: a social order in which justice can have a foothold. 150 51. John trans.3. 12.
. 6. As I have been deeply engaged with this material for a number of eds. Due to space limitations. 1988). Eugene Combs and Kenneth Post. 1-5. A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (Lewiston.. Craigie (Sheffield. ment of of 405-39) in the work cited. I know of no other philosophical and exegetical treat the Babel story of comparable length and depth. hence. I have only scratched the surface of the Combs-Post account of the Babel story. The Foundations of Political Order in Genesis and the Chandogya Upanisad (Lewiston. which who essay was seminal for them. I add that. NY: Edwin Mellen Press. I add that Combs and Post would probably transfer much credit for their ideas to Sacks. it is no longer possible for me to tell reliably which ideas were originally mine and which theirs. and to Leo Strauss. NY: Edwin Mellen Press. in my necessary simplification the Combs-Post of the Babel story which discussion. But I give here a very firm acknowledgment that many of my specific sug gestions must have come from them. Readers who wish to think about its depths more fully should read the chapter on Genesis 1 1 (pp. In a general way. 1990). 1987). and that my general line of approach is completely theirs. C. I have doubtless been influenced by another very rich interpretation in some respects resembles it. and undoubtedly to the rabbinic tradition of interpretation shows writings of up in Sacks's work.20 Interpretation 6. except when I can clearly recall a specific indebtedness. "Has YHWH cursed the Ground? Perplexity of Interpretation in Genesis in Lyle Eslinger and Glen Taylor. whose "Jerusalem and Strauss. MA: JSOT Press. Robert Sacks. Ascribe to the Lord: Biblical and Other Studies in years. Sacks in turn acknowledges his immense debt to Leo introduced him to Genesis. Eugene Combs. I too have been influenced by the various Strauss on the Bible and wish to acknowledge it fully. I am going to dispense for the most part with notes. S." Memory of Peter C. Lewis's novel That Hideous Strength. whose 1990 work was available to them Athens" in typescript form much earlier. even though Strauss is not cited in this essay because he does not deal with the specific passages I am working on here.
as if they were not even in all vain.10 9 "Would the 10 Can is you wild ox agree to serve you? Would spend the night at your up the valleys great. Num 3. Vol. John's College. and does not and even in the salt lands? 7 He laughs shout. appeared nor is he turned The first bers 2 and thirty-eight chapters of the translation and and commentary in Volume 24. he every green thing is his crib? plow to search out. 3 when to give birth to their young. meet armed combat. 6 whose home I have at the made the wilderness. and who dwells city. she has no fear 17 because God has understanding. 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. Her toils caused foot can crush them.5 thrive and flourish in the wild. in Volume 25 of Interpretation. Fall 1998. 15 She has forgotten that hers. hitch him up with a rope and hold him to the furrow? Will he behind you? 11 Would you rely upon him? Remember.The Book Translation of and Job Commentary on Chapters 39 through 42 Robert D. or that a wild beast might trample them down. You see.14 wings as if on high. 1 .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. and she has no share in 18 She just flaps her rider. and laughs at a passing and its 19 "Did you give to the horse 20 Can you make him leap its strength. 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. horse'3 her to forget wisdom. 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. Sacks St.9 bustling hills as of the hear the drivers 8 but roams the his pasture. in his is not strength as he goes out to 22 He laughs fear and dismayed. 16 She treats her were all children roughly. No. 26. and thus to end their they couch and split you watched number3 open4 travail? 4 Their her children more. 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. interpretation.
he said. 2Sam. 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. 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. "I and father's house. 23 A quiverful of arrows whizzes excitement and agitation."18 Comments 1. if we were in Hebrew they have totally different names. forever Ner." Hos. unity that lies within the complexity As far as one can tell." . by the flashing into the spear and the earth. consume the of their gates.22 back Interpretation by He edge of sword. making it his stronghold. 24 With he gouges pays no homage to trumpet's 'Huzzah' ! He smells the blast. Job has entered far into hind what we have come to call the Land of the Jackal. Whenever death defiles. David heard of it. Oh. 2.17 pinnacle. and upon all his when devour them in their fortresses. guiltless May my kingdom before the LORD for the blood of Abner the son it whirl down upon the head of Joab. 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. javelin. he is there. 30 and his fledglings down the blood. which have here translated by the phrase of our I have generally translated birth" is "writhing in the dance of "writhe. His swill it from afar. 1 1 :6 The bars sword shall "whirl and down" against their cities. it originally meant "to whirl. 25 but facing battle from afar. 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. Indeed." a very will complex word. much understanding of the Book of Job center on our attempt to regain the sense of of this word. 3:28 are of Afterward. although almost as side. building its nest on high? 28 He dwells upon the rock. The and single Hebrew word hul. and See notes to 26. eye spots He takes up his lodging on the highest 29 From there he searches out his prey.
" or "to quake": The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness. 15:20 Then Miriam. we will when fathers or their brothers come to complain did not take say to them. neither did you give them to them. for the Lord's purposes . Exod. ends in fright and of a with such high hopes for self- the clear need of the one thing had hoped to avoid. only to the book Judges. And to us. The Book rule. the prophetess." Sometimes it is and exultation: used in a perfectly wonderful context which can be full of joy Psa. in her hand. Grant them graciously to us. hands anger burned hot. then they went and returned inheritance. And the to their number. the sister of Aaron. 149:3 Let them timbrel and praise his name with dancing. Deut. and watch. 32:19 And as soon as Moses' he came near the dancing. 21:20 wait And they commanded the Benjaminites. Then. too. because we for each man of them his wife in battle. it Psa. the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. and dwelt in them. "Go and lie in in the vineyards. Exod.The Book of Job It can also mean 23 "to dance. anguish who shall hear the report of tremble and be in because of you. they will be in anguish over the Tyre. Benjaminites did so. and rebuilt the towns. 23:5 Jer. 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. her took a timbrel and all the women went out after with timbrels and dancing. king. and go to the land of Benjamin. from the dancers to their and took their wives. and often when first reading the word. according whom they carried off. 29:8 comes to mean "to tremble. 51:29 When the report about report comes to Egypt. making melody to him with lyre! But more often than not things get out of hand. else you would now be guilty. It "anguish" often means and "pain": Isa. saying. Judg. that book which begins see them dashed. if the daughters of Shiloh come out win to dance the dances. the reader can feel a foreboding thought thickening the air. then come out of the vineyards and seize of each man his wife from the daughters their Shiloh. trembles and writhes The land in pain. foot and camp and saw the calf and the he threw the tables out of his and broke them at the of the mountain.
For this reason. out of his sight." and hence "to give Deu. their faces be aflame. and the archers he was badly wounded by the archers. they aghast at looks.24 Interpretation against without Babylon stand. I conceive me. the mean "pain" "anguish" same word that meant and can also "to prosper": Psa. Note the phrase "a whirling word tempest. angry them. 25:23 The north wind and a backbiting tongue. and ISam. They look another. it the storm of the will LORD! Wrath has head gone forth. in visiting the day of birth. 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. 32:18 the You God He were unmindful of who gave you the Rock that begot you. Ps." English-speaking in this also recognize . he We a man can now begin to understand the great admonition: "Gird your loins like is put (gebher)." There is wildness and pain present when the signet to the clay to make a thing of value and worth. But. in and your right as the noonday. 51:5 Behold. 10:5 His ways prosper at all all times. to make the land of Babylon a desolation. pressed upon Saul. was revisiting the day of his own birth. Pangs like a woman will and agony will seize will be in anguish in travail. 13:8 and will one they will be dismayed. or even a mortal injury: The battle hard found him. and sin did my mother Prov. tempest. are on high. inhabitant. thy judgments puffs at them. your vindication as Ps. There is Jer." If the as we words and ideas the were intended pas- by the author to come together as naturally they do for may reader who knows the "whirlwind. brought forth in iniquity. as for his foes. Here there is no indication that the by a curse or the result of having taken a bite of the apple. a whirling burst upon the of the wicked. birth": as in our case. 31:3. and you forgot birth. it can also mean "to be in labor. 37:6 will bring was forth the light. 23:19 one more aspect of Behold. Job. brings forth rain. Isa.
then. To word understand used this passage. the joys of our world could never come to be. perhaps with beyond world. rhetorical. the Voice is beginning to open Job to different kind of order. 6. of course. From the point of view of human justice there is no priori reason a a why birth our should entail so much pain. fostering in each life to own its signet. since. the wild ass wild ass unlike donkey and the burro. has never known either burden or rein. is land? the question to Job: Can he discern number and order in this untrodden 4. we can begin to see its own necessities which seems to be see that without such a totally indifferent to our sense of order. an order for the first time. and in terms of human justice it a world seems all wrong. How different things Isa. The had been for it: wild ass mentioned several times in the text before. But quite even Job. The question is. and understanding the of the one may lead us in coming to terms with the other. pain-ridden. It is the whirling. for the Hebrew word for tempest is see that pain and birthing a tempest that Job joy and birth are so feminine noun. and are what they are. lets interrelated that they cannot be of distinguished in speech. are 3. before her she was delivered of a son. This.The Book of Job sage some 25 foundation for the shift we had already begun to feel in the role of the feminine. speaks to Job. a nurturing god rather than a constructing god. going off about their labors of snatching up dawn. 8. The Voice here as reminds Job that in its own way. 5. 66:7 her Before here from the Book in labor she gave Isaiah: pain came upon she was birth. Here. 7. Yet we can all world. 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). dancing. did not have the respect that these lines demand: Job 24:5 They are wild asses at in the desert. the separation of birth is that our hard and as final as the separation of death. it would be best to begin by seeing how the is in other Biblical contexts: . In using such a harsh word. She. 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. while he showed a certain amount of compassion.
so that no one should enslave a Jew. all are there. female. and the slave is free his lord. that show his concern. I will not male or eye's female. be your slaves. Job 7:2 Like his a slave he yearns for the shadows. brought 9. "servant. sake. gave no answer. eye of my his slave." daughter. the his Surely king this the he has up to will enrich with defy Israel. has served you six years. 15:12 If your brother. "Is not and make his father's house free in choose: Isa. to undo the thongs of the yoke. and like a hireling he waits for wages. "Have come you seen this man who has him kills him. It is true that. did have a slave or servant: Job 19:16 to I called to my servant." since the with language does not distinguish between "slave" and Job. 17:25 go free from men of And the come up? Israel said. Small and great. along many others. go out free. Jer. great riches. to oppressed go free. for nothing. he a shall let the slave go free for the Deut. he shall serve six years. he shall serve you six you. 21:2 When you buy a Hebrew slave. 34:9 and to break every every yoke?" that one should set free his Hebrew slaves. his brother. and destroys it. 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. 58:6 fast that I loose the bonds let the of wickedness. is sold to you. and now must I curry They with were servants or slaves. but they were treated kindness: justly and .26 Interpretation Exod. And there are other passages. and But if the slave plainly says. that was true. and in the seventh year you shall let him ISam. When a man strikes the . 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. ears to me. too. . my wife. male and . to and the man who and will give Israel. "I love my master. years. or a Hebrew woman. and you had set them into subjection to free according to their desire. children. Hebrew man. and in the seventh he shall go out free. but he him for favor. 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.
it will be a long journey. but here is have in abomination what is known: Lev. the . it may seem. and many of them devoted their lives to alleviating that suffering. Job but. are watered bat. and he did "hitch But to "trust them to bring in the up and hold them to the grain" would. To put it other who were deeply by the pain and wise. The trees of the Ps. and them yet he did have ox. "trust. the cedars of . It is through seeing the wild ass as having a life of freedom becomes important to their way its own. the stork. 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. both for moved for others. of course have been out of the question. requires a certain admiration for the wild ass. the way each thing is when prior to either the arts or to tradition. the hoopoe. 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. not certain what bird is meant. There were always some men suffering it caused." answer can do none of these things. that its us. roaming the hills as his pasture. whose foundation is but dust? or Job 15:15 He clean puts no trust sight.The Book of Job Job 31:13-14 If ever 27 man I felt contempt for the cause of one of my servants. The an furrow.. regardless of whether there is pain and suffering involved or not. I do God rose up? 10. 11. as we shall see. in unrecorded Bildad's "first left to itself. has kept itself in bal legitimate claim to be much older than or nature.. 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 osprey. they are an abomination: the eagle. what of those who dwell in house of clay. 104:16 LORD abundantly. the heron according to its kind. 11:13 And these shall not you shall among the birds. It is in noticeable Job 4:18-19 If He with the exception of 39:24. five hundred of them. giving it a The signets. ance The farm. That is not to say that such ideas cannot find world back into the human is No. Human art is only the vaguest image of the world which farm. the vulture. they and be eaten. It is generations. each thing can be be what it is. Even from was within the human sphere. what would or maid when when they brought complaint against me." time." This is the only verse. is 12. it requires something like the concept of a signet. oneself and men could always see that slavery unpleasant.
There is an early bas relief from Khorsabad showing a falconer bearing a hawk on his wrist. when if only in part. who despises the gain of stops oppression. silly beast. he will dwell on the heights. at least it is the can most write about. 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. people crane keep the time of their coming. Who help being totally would charmed by the and foolish antics of this silly.28 Interpretation Lebanon stork which he planted. but the significance has greatly changed: Isa. but two obscure and sometimes inter chinks weaving of the Human and the wall. destruction are said of these verses is that the Hebrew text is Agincourt. foresaw hibernation? It he warned Job not to leave his warm den of would seem that there are not one. two women wind was in their wings. but my know Zech. have been were some tribesmen of the area as they have if they horses. they had lifted they up the ephah between wings coming like the wings heaven. 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. must 14. The first as words ever spoken on the field at questions savage. their nests. For Job this have been the fearful to most difficult of the beasts to meet thus far. 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. 8:7 Even the swallow. 16. had been domesticated. and the turtledove. since the name of this bird means something like of the "piety" "loving by care. then. and behold. Part irony of this passage ridden is that ostriches. Does this not mean raising the very passions in Job that Elihu. too. Then I lifted my forward! The of a stork. lest they hold a bribe. and in the heavens knows her times. The first thing to be moving any to be asked. earth and It is probable that the author intended or a double irony. who from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from evil. 15. In them the birds build trees. insofar as been domesticated. The imagery is not uncommon in the Bible. and eyes and saw. pathways which lure men like Job toward the in the Great Wall Both the highest City and that reveal its problematic character." 13. The hawk. his place of defense who shakes . worlds are met beginning to pull apart and to clash they have for Job as since we first him. 5:9 not the ordinance of the LORD. he must learn to feel and to recognize all sides of the may find its proper place. ears his looking upon his hands. 33:15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly. the has her home in the fir stork Jer. character that each 17.
cause longterm planning that led up to the We do not. 13 Bury them all in the dust. O inhabitants in the Moab! Be nests sides of the mouth of a gorge. bring down to the is Though you soar aloft will like the eagle. Put on glory and 11 Let fly the outbursts of your anger. 14 Then you. The cold and more grotesque. 48:28 Jer. 49:16 Leave the cities. you who your Obad. Look upon every man of him. bring clefts will down from there. deck yourself out in majesty and dignity. 18. twice. thence I bring down. me dwelling set say in heart. his bread will be given him. the you you who dwell in the clefts of the rock. order 8 you shatter be right? my judgment? Would you condemn me in 9 Have you an arm like God's. 5 I have spoken once. to of life life about precisely because he did see that the hawk. 1:3 heart 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. is high."1 loins like Would might a man (gebher)2: I will question you. LORD. however. the ostrich was unable CHAPTER FORTY 1 And the LORD wrangle with swer. The sight of the blood and the gore have numbed carnage made was so him. Though The you make your nest as as the eagle's. Bind their faces in would obscurity. and you must let me know.The Book of Job will will 29 be the fortresses of rocks. has been defeated. and Jer. you though your nest says the among the stars. we shall see next charming as his sister bird the chapter. pride of your whose says the LORD." 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. for your own right have saved . sixth as beast. and can you thunder in that you a voice such as His?3 splendor. but I have no answer.4 even would praise you. is in the not Job. like the dove that The horror dwell in the rock. The ostrich. in returning to flow off into death. his of water be sure. 10 "Go ahead. who hold the height I will of hill. you inspire has deceived you. 12 Look down the I upon everyone of majestic pride and majestic pride and abase bring hand him low and tread guilty. did for its children all that the charm to do. who ground?" live in the "Who of the rock. the hawk. know whether Job or it the horrified be he did a not see. high and the pride of your heart. Elihu's so implicit claim that no man is enough of a man (gebher) to face the world of nature seems to be vindicated. How my hand upon my mouth.
under and all the beasts of the field play. or his head with fishing his head. He has been numbed as if stung by the Socratic sting fish. had been what God had wanted. but Job had always recognized God's greater power. hiding in the reeds and the fen. 17 He can stretch out his sinews of strength in his loins. 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. If Job's this not point. God's argument is. his limbs Maker like rods of 19 He is the first of God's ways. But the Tempest will go. "Have you an arm like God's.8 21 He lies down the lotuses." 2. The sight of the six beasts has 1 Job has . He eats fodder just like the cattle. Once Job thought that he knew what justice was. 23 Though the burst into his snare?10 river he is unalarmed. and can you thunder in a voice let Job "telling. but he did not.7 Only his come can approach him with a sword. His ducts might tail stiff as a cedar." again "asking. are The and his thighs are are all knit together. He is the mighty one. 22 The lotuses blanket him surround with their shade and the willows of the rage. and you will remember war no Comments no answer.9 brook in him. Again it says." His?" such as God seems to base His argument on His power. confident that the Jordan will mouth. his warning was just. 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. He has it here at There would have been no need to continue. that was always the problem: Job 9:19 If trial be by strength. "gird up your loins like a man (gebher)". and if by court of law. 20 "The there to mountains yield him produce. beyond man is no place for a man.6 of brass. here is whom I made along with you. or with you to be your eternal his nose. Indeed. convinced him that Elihu was right. 18 His bones iron.30 * Interpretation Behemoth5 15 "But look now. somewhat more specific than one might at first take it to be. and his teaching is not a but an 3. 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. who would plead my case? . 16 but just look at the is in the muscles of his belly. I believe. Now ray he neither knows nor believes that he knows.
fools despise and whatever you instruction. Job's search a world for human justice has led him into relevant. of The LORD acts of old. . We have which means already seen any large domesticated it in Job: Just ask the animal such as a cow or an ox. Job 18:3 Job 35:10-11 Why none are we considered beasts and made unclean . however." "His bones are ducts brass. 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. . Appropriately enough. the first 8. 4:7 The get. God is joking. behemoth 5. in your eyes? say "Where is God my maker. In the become clear that Job's understanding beyond the last two chapters. means by which justice is established in the learn of 4. not turn out to be the and Job has yet much to the spirit behind the administration of that justice. of wisdom Prov. get beginning insight. 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. a good understanding have ever! all those who practice it. 8:12 . These do cosmos. The word is the normal plural of the feminine noun behemah. however. Prov. 1:7 The fear wisdom and of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. and his limbs like rods of The visible universe is much larger than any man knows and of which he is unaware." in the made masculine singular. . and I find knowledge of and discretion. are all who teaches us more The verbs. is this: Get wisdom. Job 12:7 beasts and they will show you. dwell in prudence. "laugh" or . clearly are of mythic proportion.The Book of Job When Job thought that he knew what 31 had justice was. being lous nor mythical. of It is. Man is 7. iron. however 6. His praise endures for Prov. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. "Behemoth cattle. than the beasts of the earth. I. 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. 111:10 contains creatures which man not did not name and the unquestioned center of all that is visible. whom I along eats fodder just like the neither miracu It is a normal part of the greater world around us. with you . created me at the beginning his work. Compare Ps. The next two chapters will the question of the administration of that justice. his wisdom. he of also thought that he the means to establish that justice.
"Why did Sarah laugh. way limit our mean of seeing that other than "derision. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. a and said to himself. 19:13 Does it contempt seem good to You that You oppress. always implies injustice the gravest Job 10:3 Lev. He is passively ferocious yet actively gentle and seems to rule by laughter. hand? that You have for the toil of your own You hired shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him." I believe that the role subject plays a of in the Book with Job which differs from its in the other the Bible. 17:17 Then Abraham fell "Shall a child who his face laughed." Joy and happiness are another matter. 'Shall I Indeed bear I old?' am Is anything too hard . note on role we must now begin a rather and long and. "O that Ishmael might live in thy God said.32 9. The half-mythic. He finds Thus. Shall be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Sarah. I fear. sight!" And Abraham Sarah's laughter Gen. for the pounding. shall I have pleasure?" grown old. child. half-real fabric reader whom of this account succeeds in leaving the feeling he has room that he shares a never seen. and you shall call his name Isaac. world with a living being at ease of monumental stature of the This grand beast is in the land Jackal. "No. but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son. however. Interpretation 'Ashaq kind. no the possible exception of the Book of Proverbs. Gen. and But had her laughter been goodnatured. "mocking" It must remembered that we are only speaking of "laughter." as It occurs rather frequently in of the Bible and with the exception of this verse only. somewhat boring books foot the subject of of "laughter" "play. "After I have my husband is old. verse inquiry be to the words shq and shq. person The first in the Bible to laugh on was Abraham: and Gen. There is. since words like or I shall by I'g essentially verse. that she had laughed." looking at each usage. tyrannizing river. But from the Gen. 10. is usually translated "oppress. now that and say. 18:13 The LORD said to a she would have felt no need to deny Abraham. bear child?" next verses it becomes clear that it was not a contented laughter: said to God. making it his drinking foun tain. 17:18 is ninety years old. saying. The wages of a servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning. 18:12 came next: So Sarah laughed to herself.
came "See. in the saying. It is hard to have any idea of what Ishmael consequences were disastrous. and offered burnt offerings brought peace offerings. place. playing her Isaac. He said. and the people sat down to eat and drink. "Up. 21:9 to Hagar the Egyptian. he me to has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us. but certainly the betrayed him. his marry his daughters. and I cried out with a loud voice. Foolish Isaac's innocent play Gen. "Go down. Next . have corrupted themselves. Then came the golden calf: Exod. Abimelech Isaac out of a window and saw king of the joking with Rebekah his wife. for she was afraid. he with me. 32:6 and And they rose up early on the morrow. in to me to insult me. "I did laugh. 19:14 went out and said to get out of this his sons-in-law. saying. whom you brought up out of the Moses. up to play. "The Hebrew servant. Gen. and rose your And the LORD said to people. 26:8 also was actually doing. for the LORD is about to sons-in-law to destroy Sarah: Gen. "No. "God has who made a laughingstock of me. but did Then came the taunting laughter So Lot of the sons-in-law of Lot: who were to Gen. The next two occurrences of the word are usually even translated by the word "insult": Gen. not 33 appointed time I will return to you." the But he seemed to be jesting. came have brought among us. 39:14 she called to the men of her household and said to them. And Sarah said. a When he had been there Philistines looked long time. you laugh". for land of Egypt." at Next there came Ishmael: But Sarah saw the son of with Gen. every one hears will laugh me. son whom she had borne Abraham." a But Sarah denied.The Book of Job for the LORD? At the spring. 21:6 city." and Sarah shall have son. 39:17 and she told whom you in to lie him the same story.
"Let the young men arise and play before And Joab said. who chose father." pillars. David his ten Joab and Abner play rough: 2Sam. "Saul thousands. 2:14 And Abner us. by them I shall be held in honor. and mocked them." Then come mocking and scorning couriers went 2Chron. "Let them over and by Then they arose and passed number. Israel. 2Sam. Next came laughter and a tune that led to a revolution: ISam. before the LORD. to appoint me as LORD and I will make merry than this. they said.34 Interpretation Judg. 6:21 And David me above your prince over said to Michal. but by the maids of whom you have spoken. 6:5 And David the LORD and all the house of Israel were with all their might. Therefore that which place was called they fell Helkathhazzurim. and he made sport before them. David. They made him stand between the us. And in his each caught arise." said to Joab. 18:7 And the women sang to and one another as they made merry. I and will make myself yet more contemptible I will be in your eyes. The same might even be said for Michal: 2Sam. And when they came to the and was threshing floor of Nacon. from city to city through the country of and as far as Zebulun. There is laughter no question was but that Uzzah's punishment which stemmed from the next too great. but they laughed them to scorn." twelve of the servants of his opponent by the head. "It was before the LORD. 16:25 And when their hearts were merry. and God smote him there because he ark of put forth his hand to the ark. twelve for Benjamin and Ishbosheth the son of Saul. with songs and making merry before lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God took hold of it. so down together. 30:10 So the Ephraim and Manasseh. that he may make sport for So they called Samson out of the prison. the abased and above all people of the his house." has slain his thousands. is and thrust his sword opponent's side. for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD kindled against Uzzah. . at Gibeon. "Call Samson. and he died there beside the God.
for Eccles. Prov. like a master workman. he will uproot you from the land The righteous shall see. Ecclesiastes also has a rather dim view of laughter.The Book of Job Even the good 35 laughing He at the bad is not the same as goodnatured laughter: Ps. and wine gladdens life. It is like sport to a then I was fool to do wrong. is vanity. . there is no quiet. 8:12 . saying. Selah. thou dost hold Peppered throughout the one quotations from the Book we of Proverbs. at them. Prov. "What use is Eccles. 29:9 If a wise man and an argument with a fool. 37:13 who sits in the heavens laughs. closer to what we finds another strain. wicked. 1:26 Prov. all the him. dwell in prudence. rejoicing before him always. 59:8 But thou. A good wife who can find? She is far are more precious than and she jewels. 26:18 Even in laughter the heart is sad. Jeremiah is not quite the same. as For the crackling of thorns this also made under a pot. arrows. firebrands. and fear. also will laugh at your calamity. of There only do find something find in the Book Job. and death. he will snatch and tear you tent. it?" Eccles. the LORD has them in derision. Like a madman who throws and the end of joy is grief. rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the sons of men. is the man who deceives his has neighbor and says. wisdom. "It is mad. and money answers everything. . Eccles. Prov. and a time dance. Sorrow is better than laughter. I will mock when panic strikes I. Strength and dignity her clothing. I you. 52:5-6 But God will break you down for ever. and I find knowledge and discretion. "I am only joking!" Prov. 31:10 . Prov. 7:3 Eccles." and of pleasure. 10:19 Bread is for laughter. 2:2 I said of laughter. laughs at the time to come. 8:31 Prov. 2:4 Ps. and a time to laugh. but wise conduct is pleasure to a man of understanding. O LORD. 14:13 Prov. 7:6 the by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad. a time to mourn. however. Ps. for he sees that his day is Ps. and shall laugh your from of the at living. and I was daily his delight. He too rejects the "laughter" of his day: . at the but the LORD laughs coming. dost laugh nations in derision. 3:4 to a time to weep. the fool only rages and laughs. so is the laughter of fools. 10:23 beside him.
city be full boys and girls in hand for very age. multiply them. 126:1 A Song of Ascents. a derision horror to all that are round about and feels mocked Jer. shall each with staff of the streets of the streets.36 Interpretation Jer. 8:4 sit tongue with shouts of great joy. I sat because thy hand was upon me. Jer. however. I will heal. They read as Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and bitterness all the precious things that were hers from days of old. There are also such thoughts to be found elsewhere: Ps. 48:26 "Make him drunk. Jer. When her . and I was deceived. Then our mouth was with laughter. I did alone. I will restore the cares!' fortunes the of the tents of Jacob. him and he too shall be held in derision." Thus in the says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women shall again streets of Jerusalem. Out of them shall come songs of will thanksgiving. But he also has another notion of laughter. When who the LORD restored the fortunes filled said of Zion. 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. Was thieves. the we were like those and our dream. And playing in its Outside follows: Lam. because they have called you an outcast: 'It is Zion. every one mocks me. Moab shall wallow not in his vomit. 30:17 the For I will restore health to you. and where city it shall be rebuilt upon its mound. 15:17 not sit in the company of merrymakers. and thou hast prevailed. says LORD. they shall not It is reserved for another time and is not a way of meeting what is before us. thou art than I. "The LORD has done things for them. and have compassion on his dwellings. because he so that magnified himself against the LORD. for whom no one Thus says the LORD: Behold. then they among nations. shall not small. Zech. I have become a laughingstock the day. I will make them honored. 1:7 of the Book of Job there are only a handful left. thou hast deceived me. and your wounds Jer. I and the palace shall stand used to be. and the voices of those who make merry. and they be be few. nor did I rejoice. for thou hadst filled me with indignation. 20:7 stronger all O LORD.
They laugh at heap up earth and take on. . 23:32 I have become the joke to songs all all the peoples. mocking at her downfall. Lam. none to help her. and there was her. and every green thing is his to search out. But there of was another side of we are laughter. 9:24. The much subject was and bound to come up. innocent joke! those younger than Job 30:1 they have would turned me into the joke. I fathers I have felt contempt to put with my sheep dogs. Mat. but of the at violence and starvation you of laugh. the beasts of the fields will bring His laughter is rocks and the you peace. every fortress. for you have a covenant with the rocks the field. whose it. a one who would 'Call answer' and now joke. a simple. 3:14 Ezek. for they like the wind and go they make sport. Mark 5:40. 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. 25. and does not even hear the drivers shout. guilty men. 1:10 contains much. laughter in the Book of 8:53. 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. Job 12:4 on also grim side of But God But whose now I have become have him a joke to my friends. you shall be laughed at and held in derision. if to judge by different from the others. the burden of their day says long. and of rulers At kings they scoff. even before his real thought had started: Job 29:24 I joked them them a many quotations given above. James 4:9). FEAR will of violence when you will secure and shall have no it comes. Luke 6:21. the a side which had always been a part Job and.The Book of Job people 37 fell into the hands gloated over the foe of the foe. Job the outcast. and perhaps even before with bit so that my kindness would not overwhelm because they had no self-confidence. 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. Have no FEAR in beasts and the earth. for it Hab. but hills as his pasture. 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. made him all his trouble.
but it and the beasts of the fields will bring you peace. he has come to have its ways impressed upon him than impressing his ways upon it. mountains yield him produce. after our likeness. "Let us make man in our image. this relation is seems to Dane. and over all the earth. and over the cattle." some connection of between Job's new understanding sees a bit strange. 1 :26 and Then God said. On this question. Hamlet. but at violence and starvation you will laugh. and over the birds air. for you have a covenant with the rocks in the field. 3:8 and 13. and laughs at a passing horse and Job 39:22 Job 40:20 He laughs The play. . let them have dominion over the fish of the sea. compare: seen as it follows from an Gen. 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. is the importance of freedom understanding of the signets. wings on high. at fear and is not dismayed. subject of laughter and his Identity really discovery being what the signets. At one first. who well who she is even while she is being Ganymede playing Rosalind? 11. 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.38 Interpretation Job 39:18 its She just flaps her rider. . Imagine Oedipus being mistaken for a long-lost twin than of comedy. nor is he turned back by edge of sword. continually changing their clothing. See note to start Chapter Forty-one at this point. Have no FEAR of the beasts of the earth. of nature. Yet it is Lear shadow". as we put have from the ostrich. With Job. Job has come to learn from nature. To that extent. "It is I. Job has come. but not to it. 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. and over every of the . Some English translations 12. but he has a dream: not come to be the conquerer Job 5:22 . the brother. and even their sex. 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. their iden tity. was not the right slave?" dream: "Will he make a covenant with you to be your eternal To conquer rather it more succinctly." be more a It is in comedy tragedy that people seem more plastic. and one of the things he learned. Eliphaz once had he has seen.
34: 1 1 and set up the tent of meeting there. let of us go LORD. For that ways and that we may walk in his paths. We cannot divide it up and as we will. "Be fill the earth and subdue it. He judge between the beat nations. not as a thing for us. the word for also has a sense of completion and final ity. neither shall nation shall not lift up they leam war any more. 25:46 You may bequeath them to your possession for ever. and God said to them. ways 15. and and shall be raised above the hills. The world about use world beyond can man in which man can play. the land lay before them. Josh. many of the peoples shall come. but the beyond is not ours. and subdued them as slaves. 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. to the house God Jacob. you may make brethren the another. and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. earth. it is only a in which he learn about play. to slaves of inherit as a them." and are quite defi nite and strong: Lev." 39 So God created man in his created him. but over your one over Israel you shall not take dominion. 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. To see it is to see it as a thing for itself. with harshness. male and female he fruitful and multiply." It should be noted that both words. But female afterward slaves they turned around and took back the male they had set free. There is no promise of a great an act day to come one day that Job must wait for in expectation. and say: of "Come. But it is not the same. but the he must perform now. is not a world and 14. and shall their swords decide for many peoples. Jer. and over the And God blessed them. 18:1 Then the whole congregation of the people of Israel assembled at subdued Shiloh. the and all the nations shall flow to it. . and have fish of the sea and over the dominion every birds of the air and over living thing that moves upon the earth. sword against nation. "subdue" In addition. The charm of the sentence teaches us it innocent jesting. in the image of God he created them. and they shall into plowshares." out up he may teach us his of Zion shall go forth shall to the mountain the law. In many Isa. and their spears into pruning hooks. "subdue" "dominate. people of sons after you.The Book of Job creeping thing that creeps upon the own image.
5 7 But his can unveil his garment. 25 No without one of the dust shining wake till the abyss seems all hoaryhave dominion over him. stand. and terror dances before him. His his mouth comes a flaming from torch as sparks of a stream or like the cracking of dawn. rises up. 19 He Iron he put counts as straw.10 8 each touching clings" one to his brother. 17 "When he sion. for he was made to dread.13 cast as a nether millstone. eyes are 10 "Lights flash of his sneeze. fused all together. nor They spear. They Out clutch'2 each other and cannot at be parted. word mean but along it a sense of dread. whereas this implies hope might also of or expectation. "to or so I believe. and bronze as rotton wood. is a near relative of the at hwl or hyl. Slingstones turn to sound of the javelin. quaver. lie on him cast as metal and do not 16 His heart is cast hard as stone. It too. 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. shatter and are nor in confu 18 No sword that will reach can javelin. tohalto is from the much versed root root yhl (wait in expectation).2 Do up. or exploits or the grace of his frame. 15 Festoons of flesh. the gods are in dread. 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. 11 fire escape. He sprawls himself out implacable on 23 and makes the pot17 deep will to seethe a like a cauldron. men not reel at the sight of is so brutal3 as to rouse him Now. up by a breath between them.14 21 and clubs are rated as straw." times. Even the can see that yhl reader not in Hebrew.'"9 Comments 1. 14 His strength resides his neck. which was discussed in carried the note to with Job 39:1. 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. He makes the sea his be ointment16 24 and headed. that I should wait in expectations? What is my I should prolong my life? .18 26 He sees every towering thing. nostrils there comes smoke as boiling 13 His breath in ignites the coals and flames come out of his mouth. 20 No son of the bow can stubble him to flight.40 Interpretation CHAPTER FORTY-ONE 1 "Thus. He is king over all the sons of pride. wait. laughs to the 22 "His the mud15 underparts are jagged leaves shards. him? 2 No would stand restitution?4 [all] one expectation' is an illusion. could. 9 Each closed8 seal. 12 From his cauldron. nor lance. and not a his shields7.
the Ps. The first has replaced the second. that it is by giving up the yhl and recognizing that the world beyond man and its denizens have a legitimate being for themselves. None the less I will defend my ways before Him. 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. that God hopes? Would that God were pleased to crush me. he come back to life again? All the days Job 29:21 my service I have waited in expectation for my release to come. 27:1 On that punish the expectations: day. 74:14 the You crushed the as slay the crocodile that is in the sea. I have no higher expectations. but there came only a murk. which deals with our relation to the world of man. That is to say. you play ladies? young Can with him like bird or tie him string for your yhl. till they had finished speaking. my Job 29:23 Job 30:26 the They waited for me in expectation as for the rain. 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. We have heard those Isa. and the Leviathan the crooked serpent: and Ps. interplay between hwl and denying us the second. head of the Leviathan and gave it to the people of island Those food. loose my his hand and cut me off! .The Book of Job Job 13:15 It may be that He will 41 slay will me. insofar as it deals with our the world beyond man. till they stood longer 2. falling silent to hear counsel. apart from their being for us. on a with. waited expectation for Job 32:11 light. for something to say. need not imply the abandonment of hope QaWah. YaChaL. If abandoning that the "expectation" means day will come the Leviathan will primarily abandoning the expectation be crushed in favor of the alternative account of the Leviathan: There go the ships. 104:26 Leviathan whom you made They Job 40:29 serve You and You give them their a to play food in due time. their in mouths opened wide as if to catch the I hoped for the good spring but there came evil. Job 14:14 of If a man (gebher) dies. 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. I rain. Job 3:8 who despise the sea. that we begin to see our own legitimate being as it is implied in the notion of the hwl. He the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall Leviathan the shall flying serpent. Men would hear me and wait in expectation. will curse and those who are determined to lay open the Leviathan it.
6:15 the wall was finished (shlm) on the twenty-fifth day the month Elul. occurs which I have translated "brutal. like the in the wilderness. But that knowledge rouse may admire. But to see that "[all] expec tation is illusion. means "to be whole or word complete. in already begun. has fallen The waters and crumbled away. then. One of them reads: give the Lam. and in which he for itself. word 'akf'zar. spirit is eaten Job 17:13-15 If I must take the in darkness. 4:3 Even the jackals breast and suckle their young. apart from the needs only lead one to say: "No one is so brutal as to him up. They with were in disgrace. Job had said: Job 30:21-22 You have turned brutal persecute me. passed through that veil which separates the human from the of His journey had begun some time ago. Then the within fifty-two days. 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." From it Hebrew So for "peace. The comes the root of this word. Job has nonhuman." 4. to imply the attempt or desire to be or be come an actor within the realm beyond the human. 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 he and His body surrounds him pain. mangled never overpowered man. Back in Verse 21 of that same chapter. ostriches but the daughter of my people has become brutal. to mean "to pay [a word comes debt]": . and he has and sent him off. You have stones trashed all mortal hope. You have resigned. So. away.42 Interpretation Job 14:18-22 A mountain place. where out my couch Father' and call out and then is my hope? 3." an is to see a world which man a world as a world can may first leam to recognize of man. and spread 'Thou art my to the maggots. knew it. The "brutal" word seems. shlm. 'Mother* call out to the muck 'Sister' Pit to be my home." Neh. and with the might of fact. Your hand You You hoist in the me up onto the wind and set me astride to be tossed about wreckage. His his sons were was honored but he unaware. The word." as is not a very common and it only twice outside the Book of Job. But the forces pulling him back into the land of the Jackal had.
" mine?" Cosmic justice is larger than and for the Leviathan is. 8. mean normally In either of means "to shield. and I am not sure that be of much assistance either to the reader or to myself. case. and its owner has not kept it in. it means that the spoke Leviathan. know him from the Here it is taken outside only." oil rest. however." where the word a for debt is related to a word To pay off. and pay debts and you and your sons can he said. is to "make whole.The Book of Job 2Kings 4:7 - 43 She and came and told the man of your God. The I can remainder of this chapter is clearly how the quite dense. It leaves always room restitution. from the root mgn. If He should pass by and separate or close up. unlike Job. 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. meganim. in the however. it does not strictly make sense to "demand exact 5. he pay ox for ox. and what who can turn back? He tears down can never be rebuilt. then. God sets the wicked to close in men. Job's openness as We can in his "open But Leviathan is "to finally closed to man." importance winnowing kind. "Is not everything under the heavens human justice. sell the live on the lift. The again. dead beast shall be his." by all to his the scales. defend. for it closed not the doors Him Job 1 1:10 Job 12:14 my mother's belly but hid my eyes from toil. then punishment for cosmic crimes can only be punished in terms of the harm man has caused to himself. "Go. winnowing is the prime anal ogy of cosmic justice. He closes in on a man and Job 16:1 1 of nothing is ever reopened. In the embodied to Job 31:34 we door. In that sense. on me and casts me into the hands guilty . cannot by No one can touch him." 7. It might help. of. Satan He cannot be disturbed by others." meaning "to or "to fill in" what one has "lifted This understanding is fundamental to human justice: Exod. crime goal of this kind of justice is to make those who have suffered whole To the extent that one must speak of punishment. This is human justice as it is contained in the notion of shlm. does have kind He impenetrable be hurt skin the others. Therefore he cannot learn from others and so cannot learn to know himself. 21:36 Or if it is known that the ox has been accustomed to gore shall in the and the past." debt. one charged with a is punished for what harm he has caused others. If." insures of a of that there will be grass even note "where no man saw But its justice is the 6.
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." away from all other beings. fused (dbq) all together. making it unknown and unintelligible to 11. flesh. also consider: Job 38:30 clutches to Water draws itself up. while noticing that the Leviathan finds his strength in Job's strength lay in his willingness to stand in the open help being not. But. 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. Job 41:9 Job 41:15 one clings of Festoons and (dbq) to his brother. 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. For the world beyond man. ing What gave anything its being by mak it intelligible to another. or constrictive: "stick. complete. "signet. become that which seals it hotam for Job. it restrains speech: Job 29:10 The voice of the nobles was hushed. "tight. Job has seen the Leviathan. off. But it also left him open to feeling and then seeing a world beyond his world. as stone. Job 19:20 Job 31:7 My bones stick (dbq) to If my step has wandered my skin and to my flesh.44 Interpretation One cannot up. the list is . the Leviathan does Job's skin." first came to light when we saw that he had no "skin beneath his This was the vulnerability that let in pain and anguish. tight itself." sar. of murk and confusion." all others. pulling in and sky cutting For Job it was the beginning 10. my heart gone after my eyes. and their tongue stuck (dbq) to their palate. shameful. 9. are But if they bound in fetters and trapped in cords of affliction. For us it is ugly. from the way. in the world beyond man. for the Leviathan. but has the Leviathan seen Job? His closedness would seem to say No. or a taint stuck (dbq) to my hand. ness. 12. Job leaves himself openness open to what is most other. and the face of the deep Again." his completion and perfection. dabhaq. lie on him cast as metal do not quaver. At best. has. closed entranceway.
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
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. The root nhm means understood in the text. far as I have been able to in English vernacular is by no means as they mean "while sitting tell." to be behind their understanding of the verse. have expected but it would not be so . if one feels sorrow guilt. real feeling that God has when people offer Him sacrifices that have no to translate it as "recant. normally as 'el. and that the linguistic and flight from back to the mundane was a integral part of the author's inten . Job 30:19 It throws me into the mire and I become like dust and ashes. I have taken upon myself to speak to Lord. Also see Gen. however. "Let them be like the with snail which dissolves into and nms slime." one assumes ashes. a common Biblical phrase in all its mortality.The Book of Job occurred meant -49 in Job 7:5: ooze. that the book was conceived of as a whole." where it "to It is found in Ps. means "to despise" "reject. Job the homeless is which no man counts at home now. in itself." sorrow or Like the English word. feel sorrow or compassion for the suffering of anything like "on" does not." "My also skin has become hard and begins to ooze. He also knows that that large woolly world has in it a kind of love and a kind of laughter which only he his fellows 6. the word normally and so imply does guilt or self-recrimination. by the way. back to the everyday language of Dick and Jane. "I have comtempt for as 'eth or strange to let the 'al do for both." and 5." but. "upon. that dust so clear 'al is exactly the word that one would expect to mean find following for. "Behold. and would something like a "myself to be to be no basis for such an assumption." These passages. and mean or When King James trans on lates "on dust ashes. one feels remorse. But to others for something that one has done. The the root m 's fundamentally Again. . and repentance. as . He is value. for instance. This return by an author who knows the names of Eliphaz and Bildad and Zophar is. one more reason for believing tion. "Dust meaning mankind ashes." 'al. together seem the fact that the It roots mss do mean "to melt. As far em' and together as the word 'em' they simply 'em' "I feel compassion one would is concerned. I who am but dust ashes.epher we'phar." meaning to them." wenihamti. 58:8." and is. can establish in the world of the small." or is. He is of at home in He a very large world in for more than a hill beans. the inference which is automatic in Hebrew. Linguistically speaking. there seems "to feel deep compassion. require as Greenberg does. we have returned to Chapter One. 18:27 the Abraham answered. of course.
Again there has been a switch middle in the texture section with of the language. Rahab: my father them. and save alive and mother. another eat their remains by fire?" then let me sow. The nation now word 'aChaL that had so often meant death. 11. them over. sisters each one on a different with day. Job's his hands his friends eyes could not have seen. of Another dies in the bitterness goodness. and Job His sons used to make feasts in their homes. destruction." other Biblical character to use the was phrase "brothers and with all the sense of equality that it implies. that the moths eaten. death's first born his members. that wonderful woman of the night. and Joshua 2:13 . the tents of skin will bribery eaten are a consuming fire. living in a nutshell. my brothers and sisters. "Has consumed not our enemy been destroyed. never having eaten of together they lie in the dust. . Remember Aaron. Job of the wide world is again Job the servant which of the LORD. and send word to their three to come and eat and drink them. All of by the language ordinary everyday adult human speech. 10. 9. yet his soul. 8. 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. our and all who belong to deliver lives from death. and the worms cover Job 22:20 Job 31:8 saying. . Job 1:4 be a world devoid of all meaningful human action. but that seeing took place in a foreign land in act. It might be worth mentioning that the only sisters. tortuous syntax of the long its obscure The that language is simple. will consume His be away.50 Interpretation 1. He who has seen the Leviathan will say a prayer for as they bring their bulls and their rams to be sacrificed. Can egg what white is tasteless be eaten without salt or does the slime of Job 13:28 Job 15:34 Job 18:13 and all have any taste? becomes worn out like have a rotten thing like a piece of clothing . 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. but . 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.
Shechem's father. It fell down . We remember: Job 1:18-19 While he was yet talking. Bildad show Shuhite. he bought for land on which a hundred Qesitoth the of piece of he had pitched his tent. they the from his own place Eliphaz the Temanite. 33:19 Joshua 24:32 And from the The bones sons of Hamor. in sons of an the portion of ground which Jacob bought from the Hamor the father Shechem for of a hundred Qesitoth. after character and become an act of simple Job's return. eating joyous unity. five hundred she asses and was the head of a very large was the estate. three thousand camels. but look at the loins. not snuffed out the life of its owners. fodder just like the cattle. They him conferred and to with one another and planned to come together to console him compassion.The Book of Job Job 31:12 Job 31:16-17 It would 51 be a fire consuming down to Abaddon. were another one came in and said. at the end of the book. inheritance of the descendants 14. Joseph at which the people of Israel brought up from of Egypt were buried Shechem. Job 1:3 He head owned seven thousand sheep. 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. 13. 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. What was not possible before has now become actual. it became Joseph. uprooting withhold pleasures all that I have ever accomplished. or even eat a crust of when bread alone. when a mighty wind came in from the on wilderness and struck the four corners of the house. "Your sons and your of daughters eating and drinking wine in the house their oldest brother. here is Behemoth eats I made along with you. they up claims that I have eaten its produce without payment and eye. Gen. strength in his Now. 12. His might is in the muscles of his belly. The recognition of compassion that Job gained from beyond the human sphere has had its full effect within the human sphere. ten thousand of cattle. He richest man ('ish) in the East 15. and Zophar the Naamatite. whom Job 40:15-16 He But look now.
too. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad." is a fragrant bark of a tree that can be pow dered like Ps. Job himself becomes word yom. or all the things that a self. what do you mean that you dress in scarlet. of silver. 45:8 cinnamon and used in cooking. that you and adorned enlarge your eyes with paint? .52 Interpretation the young people. In ancient times it was ground into a powder. Then. and wood and stones wood. They are dead. Jezebel heard of it. antimony. Your your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. As such it became. And you. the iron for the things iron. keren happuli1: the first two ful. and marble. 18. Job 3:1 Then. and of bronze for the things for the things bronze. in English. "day. Job opened mouth and spurned 17. including the being his 16. also called pukf1. stones. and she painted her head. and I alone have escaped to tell thee. that you deck yourself with ornaments of gold. in the prophets. this name? second word. means "antimony": for house IChron 29:2 So I have the gold the provided the of for the things of gold. of Job does not end with a deus ex machina or miracle or resur of death In recognizing the being of itself. 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. We remember to his friends: his his day. all sorts of precious stones. qesi'a. "cassia. O desolate one. the silver of of my God. They consoled and showed upon him compassion for all the evils which the LORD had brought him." are. 4:30 When Jehu her eyes. It is from the words It is a new Job. and used pens of the by women as eye makeup. and looked out of the window. besides great quantities of onyx colored for setting. so far for the things as I was able. sym bolic of feminine corruption: 2Kings 9:30 Jer. 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. came to Jezreel.
2:10 The them the LORD shall be broken will to pieces. and he veiled his power. It "horn. my derides my enemies. for I sons. 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn his oil. and his homs are the of a wild with he shall push the peoples. 33:17 ox. have Samuel. salvation. such are the ten thousands of Ephraim. against he thunder in heaven. rejected and being king to Israel? Fill your go. 34:30 the And when Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses. 2:1 Hannah horn also prayed and said." means means so and together the more means "the Horn Mascara." 53 us look at the first word. The homs of an animal are his strength and his defense. the word itself can mean "a ray of light". Moses' his face shone. His bull has majesty. behold. and anointed him in the midst of came brothers. rays Hab. "My exalted in the LORD. But the root also means "to shine": Exod. to the ends of the earth. all of them. "Long live King Solomon!" and all the people But.The Book of Job Now let name "horn. My mouth rejoice in thy . and went to Ramah. until in to speak with him. 3:4 His brightness there was like the light. They give him greater stature and a formidable look: adversaries of will ISam. that the skin of skin of face shone. said. and they were afraid to come near him. I will send you Jesse the Bethlehemite." of but qeren much than A horn contained the oil used to anoint the said to kings of Israel: ISam. hence. and the Spirit of the LORD mightily upon David from that 1 Kings 1:39 day forward. will give strength his king. Then they blew the trumpet." provided for myself a king of among his ISam. he anointed. he and went and Moses would put the veil upon his face again. flashed from his hand. and There Zadok the anointed horn of oil from the Solomon. because I ISam. The people of Israel saw the face of Moses. "How long him from will you grieve over over Saul. qeren. The LORD to judge the horn ends of the of earth. and exalt the his And so it comes to mean all these things for a human being: heart exults in the LORD. 16:1 The LORD seeing I have horn with oil. tent. And Samuel priest took the rose up. to begin at the beginning. firstling them the word means the horn of a living horns animal: Deut. and such are the thousands of Manasseh.
my savior. 27:2 be Exod. art the of their strength. its horns shall of one piece with and shall it. and you shall take part of the of overlay it with bronze. as soon as hear the sound of the trumpet. 75:4 up Ps. "Do glory boast. my rock. "Do not lift For thou exalted. thou . 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. Often the Psalmist Ps. Linguistically. and made loud music on harps and lyres." boastful. cymbals. 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. Joab and the rest of the pour out at the base of the altar. I have for prepared a Ps. praise all his saints. for Israel who are near to him.54 Interpretation Ps. 22:3 of My God. 132:17 will bring these meanings together: There I will make a horn to sprout for David. 89:17 I say your to the horn. 148:14 lamp for my anointed. I have driven my horns into dust. stronghold and my refuge. because it eas and ily blends "the hom into the language along of with such other phrases as "hom oil" of my salvation": 2Sam. the phrase "hom mascara" of works well. and the IChron. to the sound the hom. He has raised up a hom for his the people of people. And. 29:12 And you shall make horns for it blood on its four corners. then city all the people shall shout with a great shout. of course. my shield and the horn savest my salvation. LORD with ark of the covenant of the and shouting. by thy favor our horn is This is what Job had in I have the mind when he said: Job 16:15 sewed sackcloth over my skin. too. the hom played a central role in the place of worship: Exod. and the wall of the people shall go will fall down flat. the bull and put it upon the blood you shall horns 1 Kings 2:28 of the altar with your finger. 15:28 So all up every Israel brought up the of man straight before him. trumpets." not and to the wicked. in whom I take refuge. Praise the LORD! As I once before had occasion to mention. my me from violence.
her beauty almost led to the death of an innocent. Leah's soft. he said to Sarai his behold. has a child: Leah knows only Gen. and his house because of Sarai. "She is my Gerar sent and took Sarah. 12:11 was about to enter you are a woman beautiful to Egypt. we shall have to consider the full list. and when . they praised her to Pharaoh.The Book of Job To word 55 put the argument simply. so as to not mislead ourselves. But God sister. Gen. also complicated The Biblical The view of beauty since is and. it is a subject in itself which would understood on own terms." And to came Abimelech in dream by night. And Leah conceived and bore a son." But it is not clear what the reader is to think. the and the name of the younger was name of the older was eyes were Leah. And when the princes of woman was Pharaoh into her. barren. Although it is wilt thou slay an innocent people? clear that as a young man. wife. 19. for she is Now Abimelech had not approached her. Jacob loved Rachel. with great plagues Pharaoh wife. Jacob preferred Rachel's beauty to Leah's soft eyes: Gen. "I the will see you. cluded however. As is the case in the dialogues of Plato. for your younger and he said. Abram's And ultimately. so he said. 'This is his wife'. man's wife." "Lord. then they kill but they let you live. he opened her womb. because of the woman whom you have taken. there is also good. and she . 20:2 And Abraham Abimelech said of king a of Sarah his wife. 29:31 gratitude each time she When the LORD but Rachel was saw that Leah was hated. And the But the LORD afflicted taken Pharaoh's house. "Behold. From the The subject first arises with respect beginning we are shown the difficulties involved: When he know that Egyptians me. to Sarai. and said to him. is no longer sufficient conjure up a degrading image of womankind. by conjoining the Its bare word queren ("hom") to the pukh in such a natural and ordinary way. will they will say. you are a a dead man. Rachel. but Rachel was beautiful and lovely. We have not. though perhaps somewhat naive man. in have to be Song its of Songs. saw Gen. the author has silently but mention force to fully robbed the word of its sting. 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. 29:16 Now Laban had two daughters. "I will serve you seven years daughter Rachel.
so she called his name Naphtali." She my affliction. 31:32 it. for she said. When she finally does have another: a son of her own.' and she had hard labor. but he did into Leah's tent. and entered Rachel's. but did not find them. voice and given me a has also heard my son". Rachel travailed. "Because the LORD has heard that I his name am hated. for the way of women is upon So he searched. And she her father. for another And her soul was departing his (for name died). "Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you. but at a very heavy price: Gen. she envied or her and she said to Jacob. he has given me this son also". "With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister. saying. in her hard labor. So Laban point out what went into Jacob's tent. But Rachel always thinks in terms of battle and victory: Gen. therefore she called his name Dan. when she was now you will she and when they were still some distance from Ephrath. and have prevailed". the have son. and said. and two maidservants. she called his name Benoni. And he went out of Leah's tent. but with a demand for Gen." them. and sat upon all about the tent. 30:1 Gen. surely now my husband will love conceived again and bore a son. "Fear called not. Laban felt . 30:6 When Rachel sister. Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel's saddle. and into the tent of the not find them. but his father buried Benjamin. but did not find the household gods. and take know that Rachel had stolen them. And midwife said to as her. 35:16 Then they journeyed from Bethel. and she called Simon.56 Interpretation called upon his name Reuben." "Any one with whom you find your gods shall not live. "God has judged me. "Give children. 30:24 and she called me another his name Joseph. her Nor is it clear what we are to think of charm: Gen. So Rachel died. saw that she bore Jacob me no children. she reacts not with gratitude. (that and she was on the way to Ephrath is. Bethlehem). and I die!" shall Then Rachel said. "May the LORD add to son!" Her demand was met. said to me. In the presence of our kinsmen not Now Jacob did I have that is yours. Then Rachel said. "Because the LORD has looked me.
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. but all that again it led to grave problems. 39:6 So he left no concern he had in Joseph's charge. behold. they first seven fat cows. "Arise. which and having him he had was for anything but the food he ate. anoint and was ruddy. whom we saw at work in the note to Job 6:11. And after a time his wife cast her eyes upon Joseph. and not to allow oneself to fall under the sway of that one cannot is to miss a great deal of the Bible. he was a Calebite. 16:12 And he sent. And the LORD said. Now Joseph handsome (beautiful) and good-looking. and up the there came up out of fed in the reed grass. The man was churlish and understanding and beautiful. and had and was handsome. Gen. blood that is by the blood of who shed There is a law: and see among the captives a beautiful woman. 41:2 and fat. and the name of his wife Abigail. Joseph. the . and saw and him. Abigail: ISam. for he He charm was but ruddy beautiful in was charming. him." ISam. David. for it. . he disdained appearance. was Joseph himself beautiful. beautiful eyes. and desire for her and would take her for yourself as wife. . but the ill-behaved. 35:33 You shall not thus pollute the land in and no expiation shed which you live. Now he he. 17:42 And the Philistine looked. 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. 25:3 Now the name of the man was woman was of good Nabal. except can for him the land. Deut. for when this is ISam. for blood be made pollutes the land." Then come the pointless cows: Gen. "Lie with master's me. Nonetheless. and said. 21:11 you have but it must be read in the light of Cozbi. a youth. David was beautiful: brought him in. . totally forget his There relation was also to Bath Shibah. the [beautification] in it.
David's son. "Behold. and left hanging between heaven earth." treacherously against his life (and there is nothing hidden from Joab said. every And when he the his head (for at the end of cut year he the used to cut of it. two chanced to and upon hundred the shekels by the king's And Absalom was servants of David. he took hold sister. 13:1 Absalom. he it). alive and thrust them into the heart Absalom. hair his head." hand. the and she became the king's not. 2Sam. crown of cut there was no blemish in him." of her. "Pray let my sister Tamar come and Now was make a couple of cakes But and said when she in my sight. if I had dealt the will aloof. and pretended to be ill. I saw Absalom hand. his head and fast in the oak. though I do not its importance: 2Sam. Amnon lay down. 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. but beauty did him in as well: 2Sam. with listen to her.58 Interpretation Tamar was a wonderful person. that I may eat from her brought them near him to eat. But he would not he forced her. and brought her to the maiden was king. while the mule that was under him went on. from the sole of . "Come. and found Abishag the Shunammite. but king knew her . The very beautiful. 18:10 And a certain man saw it. 14:27 There were name was Tamar. he weighed weight. . On the other Joab. when was heavy meet on him. then you yourself would have stood not waste time like this you. my than she." with And he took three darts in his of hand. and lay Her brother was not so wonderful. her. and after a time Amnon. Joab's armor-bearers. his foot to the . whose name So Tamar. nurse and ministered to him. and being stronger to me. oak. Amnon said to the king. and when the king came to see him. and she was a beautiful woman. had a beautiful sister. one daughter whose Next came poor Abishag: 1 Kings 1:3 of So they sought for a beautiful maiden throughout all the territory Israel. "I king). and the mule went under the thick caught branches was of a great oak. and told hanging in an oak. For the understand sake of completeness I shall add the rest of the story. Absalom and struck him. but her beauty caused her disaster: 2Sam. David's son. lie with her. loved her. born to Absalom three sons. while he was still in the surrounded And ten young men. and killed him. Absalom he riding his mule.
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. baldness. Ps. Jer. Your eyes will see the king in his beauty. for of a this is his lot. And you. the daughter of his for she had neither father nor mother. in let her Prov. when she has done vile . 6:25 far north. Do not desire her beauty in your heart. grace you poured upon your lips. 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. 11:15 What right has my beloved in my house. Jer. and instead of well-set that stretches afar. 3:24 Instead girdle. for themselves: is Ps. and instead Isa. 31:30 Charm is deceitful. Esther 2:7 uncle. a girding of sackcloth. LORD is to be beauty is vain. her eyelashes. scarlet. they will behold a land rope. 45:2 You are the most beautiful of the sons of men. in she was order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty. of perfume Isa. they fasten it with hammer and nails cannot move. 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. 10:3 lovers despise you. and He had brought up Hadassah. the maiden was beautiful lovely. a there will be rottenness.The Book of Job Vashti's 59 beauty did not help her. 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. 4:30 hair. the city of the great King. O desolate one. that you enlarge your eyes with paint? In vain you beautify yourself. instead of beauty. is the joy of all the earth. and and do not capture you with Prov. A tree from the forest is cut down. Men beautify so that gold. therefore God has blessed for ever. Eccles. and instead of a rich robe. for the customs of the peoples are false. that is Esther. Mount Zion. 5:18 Behold. 48:2 the beautiful in elevation. Eccles. Mordecai adopted her his own daughter. but a woman who fears the praised. they seek your life. 33:17 Jer. also he has put eternity into man's mind. it it and worked with an axe with silver and by the hands of a craftsman. shame. yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. Esther's beauty saved her people. as and when her father and her mother died. that you what do you mean that you dress in Your beautify yourself with ornaments of gold. for fair to behold.
." I Ezek. in the length of its branches.60 Interpretation deeds? Can vows and sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can tree. offering made harlotry. made they hung Ezek. 33:32 And. day the beautiful of virgins and the The LORD hosts will protect them. I have cast it out. you ate raiment was of fine linen. 28:15 You their shields upon your walls round about. cast you to the ground. the joy of all of with gold and this the city which earth?" the beautiful and silver. 2:15 with goodly fruit". you then exult? The LORD once called you. beautiful you you are to them like one who sings love songs with a what voice and plays well on an instrument. high Eden envied it. faint for Amos 8:13 Zech. And silk. but with the roar of a great tempest he fire to it. says the Lord GOD. the plane garden of of nothing compared with its branches. "Is beauty. but they will not do it. raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because it and set its top among the clouds. and its branches will be consumed. 9:15 that thirst. of your your renown exceedingly beautiful. Thus says the Lord GOD: "You were the signet of perfection. 31:7 exposed you before kings." Ezek. for down to abundant waters. your builders beauty. I you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. The cedars in the garden of God trees could not rival were as it. "But trusted in beauty. they shall devour and . were blameless in your ways from the day you were created. renown. to feast their eyes on It was its roots went beautiful in its greatness. and say to him. for they hear young and men shall say. for it upon was perfect through the splendor which I had bestowed your you. and your cloth. and multiplying your Your borders are in the heart of the seas. and went forth among the nations you because beauty. he shall surely deal with it as its wickedness deserves. 16:13 Thus at the daughter was called the perfection of you were made Jerusalem. "A green olive beautiful will set Lam. and lavished your harlotries your on any passer-by at the head of every street you yourself built lofty place and prostituted your beauty. and grew embroidered fine flour came and honey and oil. . iniquity was found in you. to perfect your The men of men of Arvad Gamad and Helech were upon your walls round about. You to regal estate. they perfect your beauty. no tree in the God was like it in beauty. I made it beautiful in the mass and all the trees of its branches. Son of man. 27:4 any passer-by. lo. full of wisdom and perfect in beauty till . and played the harlot because of your . and its heart was its height. All who pass along the way clap their hands at you. you. towered proud of Ezek. nor the fir trees equal its boughs. that were in the garden of God. . and were in your towers. Your heart was proud because of your beauty. I will give it into the hand of a mighty one of the nations. they hiss and wag their heads Ezek.
from the families were: Manasseh the Joseph. were but daughters: daughters Tirzah. drenched like the God will save them crown shall the altar. he those who gathered of among the company of themselves together against the LORD in the was not own company Korah. Thus. whereas in the Book of Job the inheritance is purely for the the daugh ters. son of Manasseh. at the door of the tent of meeting. Noah. given what he had seen in the Tempest: case of Num. Hoglah. and he had no sons. a and they shall drink their blood like wine. "The daughters Zelophelad right. of Gilead. son of Hoglah. 20. And they stood before Moses. Machir. you shall give them . and Tirzah. Noah. Milcah. Our father died in the wilderness. Num. 27:1 Then drew son of and near the son of son of daughters of Zelophehad the Hepher. the next phrase Num. 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.The Book of Job tread and 61 down the slingers. but died for his sin. Zelophehad Mahlah. 27:4b Give to us a possession alongside our father's brothers. the daughters have received an inheritance. 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. It should also be noted that it was Job's own decision to change his will. but only a dowry. 27:4a Why family. 27:5 Moses brought their before the LORD. for like the jewels of a Yea. tance only would not The first thing to note is that the daughters of Zelophehad received an inheri because their father had no son. 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. The names of his daughters Mahlah. On that of day the LORD their for they are the flock his people. And are the LORD said to Moses. young be! Grain shall make the flourish. corners of be full like bowl. The text continues: Num. how good and how fair it men they shall shine on his land. 26:33 Now Zelophehad the and the names of the son of oc Hepher had of no sons. and before the leaders and all the congregation. Had there been a son. and before Eleazar the priest. and new wine the maidens. Milcah. saying.
Milcah. came near son of Manasseh. then will inheritance be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which the they belong. And every daughter who of the people of Israel shall be her father. and the Husbands are immediately out to found for from their dowry. inheritance turns be little more than a grand . "The tribe of the sons Joseph is right. Tirzah. In the case of Zelophehad. "The LORD commanded my lord to the land for inheritance by lot to the people of Israel. the heads fathers' of the of the people of give Israel. were married to sons of their father's are brothers. 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. however. The heads of the fathers' there was a further complication: Num. tribe. And their when will be taken away from the lot of our the jubilee of the people of Israel comes. for each of the people of shall cleave to its own inheritance. But if they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes Israel then their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance which of our fathers. daughters of Zelophehad. then his inheritance to his brothers. This is what the LORD commands concerning the daughters of of Zelophehad. then you shall cause no his inheritance to you shall give pass to his daughter. it inheritance. Hoglah. And if he has daughter. tribal the women inheritance is paramount. houses houses of and spoke before Moses and before the leaders." of our And Moses commanded the people of according to the word of the LORD. 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. so and added to the inheritance of the tribe to they belong. 'Let within them marry whom they think best. 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. Although the genuine concern words "Let them marry welfare of whom they think best" clearly own show for the the women. they said. And you shall say to the a man people of Israel. So no of inheritance the tribes shall be transferred from Israel of one tribe to another. tribe to another.' " The daughters Zelophehad did as the LORD commanded the Moses. and has no son. and Noah. 'If dies. and of LORD to give the inheritance my lord was commanded by the Zelophehad our brother to his of the people of daughters. 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. they shall marry the family of the tribe of their father. saying. for Mahlah.62 Interpretation possession of an the inheritance of their inheritance among their father's brothers and cause father to pass to them. son of Joseph.
Without whole. led. there and us. of his daughters." Out of the whirl of the Tempest came the notion of the signets. the way to go out on the hunt. The inheritance is outright and absolute. be and of the ways. however. and it is the children who must learn them. This insight. They be taught." clashing for human One said while friendship. to the emergence of the nurturing and swaddling God as distin guished from the making and constructing God. by the fathers and some by the mothers. the way to bake bread. in turn. nothing is said dowries. beauty. "just" by the For Job. 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. for clarity that came about when his world began to fall asunder led Job to the need for autonomous understanding. the and all way to These some bury the dead. as we have seen. there would be no bread. that that Job has established the right of women to own and hold a property. men are empty and life is without taste. there would no way to live as "one of com. So far In the case of means 63 or about husbands as I can see." Without these would must be no life. Of what do they speak? Of the com. and hence to ultimately questions concerning those accounts of "the first The need things. Could this be world part of a legacy that Job has brought back from Job to very large and to a very small world? was prepared The way by the names that gave the slight shift the author gave to our understanding of worlds. The 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.The Book of Job Job's daughters. the two refused to mesh. and a need of clarity. A small change in a last will and testament was the result. the notion that things had their own selves apart seal upon them and were what recognition they were in them under from human need. This led to a shift in Job's standing of and sensitivity to beauty. ways must be taught they must be learned. Human sociality way to plant men work together and it requires means nothing more than that by day in the evening they talk. . the other cried beginning The was a need "unjust.
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
5 Furthermore. After tality seek marriage and family. The second leads us back into Socratic eros. 221d). particularly restraint indulgence. But Socrates is a rare creature (Alcibiades not alto remarks on gether his atopia. "oddness. entered the palaistra to his actual meeting Sophrosyne. an elenctic investigation begun.68 I Interpretation thought that I myself cure had been captured by a beast like that. Diotima explains that while those who want to gain a kind of physical immor eros ing theme in the Charmides. if ally exclusive (North 1966. and it can of that drives a consideration of course. 714). citation of Cydias is significant have from the poet. not mutu Pit. 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. I managed when he asked me if I knew the for his headache. it is easy ability to overcome his immediate lust for Char mides introduces one possible definition of the term dramatically. important texts on the theme of eros. One question is help the the elenchus of the of fact that Socrates apparently possesses the virtue? The first Charmides. in in the which self-control and exhibits itself in can actions. but before elaborating its so far from the time Socrates Charmides. was a enough to see that Socrates' typical understanding of the word's meaning. Charmides. in these small dramatic hints such a explicit: quences way that it poses What is sophrosyne? (159a). our Socrates' for Plato's treatment importance I wish of Socratic eros to review what we have learned with in this dialogue. these virtues were often considered a rare combination. and perhaps it is surprising that we should find courage and sophrosyne complementing one another in his character. 507a-c. at Symp. Although Plato makes a connection between courage and sophrosyne in other dialogues (Grg. audience familiar courage with it certainly springs to the mind of a later the Symposium. but more particularly we have notion geous coexisting and here a suggestion an augmented coura of Socratic sophrosyne. Still. from sex been Since self-control. those who are more inclined to leave an intel- . 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. one of Plato's most enhance our understand she has explained to Socrates that is ultimately a longing for immortality through procreation (201c-208e). In the Laches Socrates context of Laches agree that one speak easily Though of courage resisting temptation and of the indulgence (191d). in which Alcibiades praises Socrates sophrosyne both for and for (219d-220c). (155d-e) The Charmides is which is all we only source for this Cydias fragment (Page 1962." p. has ual not yet the topic of the discussion that takes up most of the mentioned. We might see from Plato of the unity of virtue. with some effort to answer that I did. Diotima's lecture to Socrates in the Symposium is. 97). 306b).
For the second. inward say. hoping to find young men who could were both kalos and wise. despite body. Surely he too [like the hoping to child] to find some specimen of beauty with whom to reproduce. just as a fawn . Soc men met more or (as the blank ruler) confesses to his friend that he finds all young less equal in beauty. Socrates beyond his infatuation with the young man's individual beauty and begun his when ascent toward universal. to quotation of return Cydias. but generally speaking he Socrates' beauty of all men (154b-c). and what (209a-c) sorts of Returning the to the Charmides. pregnant If this is the case. 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. 210a-212a). who be taught impregnated with soph It became quickly obvious that Charmides met the first qualification. is. eternal rates beauty (Symp. In he will be well-supplied with words about (arete). palaistra he had sophrosyne in his soul. Indeed. and and since the greatest kinds "by justice (dikaiosyne) sophrosyne. certainly will he would never anything ugly. distinguished. was considered the external we might manifestation of that virtue's with sophrosyne. 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. he the company goodness of a person and will if he should also come upon a beautiful. he about what sort of a man a good man will activities will pursue. he tual lover when he went out merely acting like Diotima's spiri to the palaistra. Narrative. try to teach the other. least if self-control might presence. lectual or spiritual and Eros in Plato 's Charmides 69 legacy hope lover to produce who wisdom (phronesis) and excellence (arete) (208e-209a). like He this be very much drawn to this combination. Since love loves of wisdom both far" beauty are and wisdom (204b). Therefore he attracted to beget offspring with beautiful bodies for his procreative intentions. rather than ugly ones. he implies that either at the moment he shortly "Charmides or Charmides universal. and good. Socrates felt that he needed to speak with Charmides face to rosyne. someone who is both kotos and. 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). at least potentially. Like children. know that Critias' assurance that his cousin's soul was beautiful. thereafter seemed he had already started the movement to the just then (tote) to be remarkably tall and beauti appreciates the ful to young We me." he says. who had warned the lover that would one could be overtaken and consumed by a beautiful boy. and gifted soul. the lover will prefer a combination of these qualities. like his describes. the spiritual a man looks for find a suitable wife to bear his goes out to a good match.Drama. face. at we observe that Plato has indicated to us through met setting and action that when Socrates his friends in the be He was.
This physiological loss in which the dialogue concludes. has not always been recognized as such. p. 58. an pp. Socrates. stretches the Charmides text enough For example. "As which he denounces the selfish lovers boys" under the spell of eros. with who had been observing the behavior of amusement.70 be Interpretation reduced to a chunk of meat by a lion. 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. but did not drink its blood. with trust in my strength. there c-d: seems to be a probable sexual connotation to Theognis 1278 A a lion. Socrates' (241d). 81-91. 241e). the aporia has a beneficial element. 1978. This is a remarkable passage for several reasons. passion and causes consider the significance of Cydias' The second striking point about the passage not is that turn a disconcerting. inversion the expected im age. For of example. Socrates' sexual arousal here leads him to a new awareness of his ceptibility to advice. of citation of the line from Cydias. Sim sus ilarly.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. of which three come immediately to mind. in singing. or as a hunter tracking game. fond of lambs. just so do lovers love 165). In both cases. First. consists in part in his intellectual Socrates' ability to unpleasant) event into an sophrosyne. 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. by having Socrates for a metaphor erotic pursuit that would have been familiar to his readers. potentially embarrassing (if opportunity for detached introspection indicates that shown in his control of his desire.) his first speech Concluding motives of in the Phaedrus. (Cited as an image for erotic capture by Dover 1978. The usual formulation of prey lighting upon the erastes the part the metaphor comparing an erotic pursuit to a beast its quarry. Socrates begins to launch into epic (as wolves are he admits he has done. Jowett's translation to make it approximate a more conven tional arrangement: . Halperin 1985. 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. Such metaphors are similar to the common compari game son of sexual pursuit to p. The bewilderment greater engendered by the Socratic elenchus ideally spurs the of interlocutors to and self-awareness. him to finally renewed reflection. right out from under hind.6 Third. the perception of their own lack knowledge. hunting (Dover. I caught a fawn in my claws.
"I with won't resist we continue to follow the erotic subtext of the dialogue we to "see him can view again. not for an individual whose beauty incites it. Critias and and plotting that if Charmides is really intent says you" force to make Socrates submit playfully say that they to their will. perhaps to the point that the two roles are exchanged. also interprets the quotation in this sense). respectively. when. 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]. so that the lion in the poem stands for carnal desire. this inverted image is to suppose that One way of understanding he means he has been snared by his lust for Charmides. and I think the one that most simply accommodates the text. Critias." he most likely means Charmides became. and slyly Charmides have failed in his suggests that the pursued will become the When Socrates. their attempt to tells Socrates that the two of them should cousin even define sophrosyne. Narrative." no one will be able to resist him. to speak. pursuer. 92. "So Charmides. perceiving his craving for Charmides. 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. "don't (176a-d). and to imagine Socrates as the erastes and Charmides as the eromenos.8 and Eros in Plato's Charmides love. Another reading. 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. a phenomenon passive eromenos of a sexual in the nominally advances relationship not only enjoys his lover's but even reciprocates. we will be inclined to expect the metaphor of the lion and fawn to felt refer to Socrates and Charmides." you resist me Socrates answers. in which Charmides. he devoured appetite. pursue. a lover might approach his beloved. who. lion.Drama. If we do. "I myself to have been captured by a beast like that. p. he must mean us to go along with the game. only if a with the power to momentarily." for I felt that I had been by a sort of wild-beast lion. Thus there to me to be use of at least two more likely readings. catch." realization of his desire to be Socrates. we can see that dialogue. If Charmides' either. or . I thought how fair youth. 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. also reads the text in this way). When Socrates says. 90. is aware that he poses some danger to the younger man (Nussbaum 1986. interprets the inversion his encounter as a simple rever sal of roles. Socrates to replies in kind then. Charmides thereafter spend every day together in will resort discussion. and devour (McAvoy 1996. which as a manifestation of anteros. p. 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.
Diotima's ladder lover standing drawn to a so unique after all soul Charmides' (step 3). in the hopes that soul would prove amenable to such a charm that Socrates had agreed to speak with him. For Plato's treatment of see and anteros of in the Phaedrus Symposium. 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). Soc speak. This cure he Thracian doctor working under the patronage of the god a Zalmoxis. bringing the soul to a healthy state consequently expediting bodily health (156d-157c). His focus shifted (not without difficulty) to up. his story about his meeting he had regained with Charmides and the others. step. With some confidence in that soul's made a proposal to the young man to next This would have been the Socrates in effect receptivity join him in constructing a kalos logos. on Charmides' description Zalmoxian therapy and from the third rung of He was looking body (step 1) but realized in time that its beauty was not (step 2). and actually help nurture the Symp. which itself he beautiful words (logoi kaloi). It was Socrates' version of the charm would Charmides' naturally prove to be an elenchus. cautions that the sexual desires couple on either side of the relationship should be kept in check so that the may enjoy each other's thoughts and pursue wisdom together. came that Charmides would be willing to have Socrates' discussion of and was. relationship eros of their souls (255a-256e. but he does not condemn the desires of either party. 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. even if he has little to show on the that will be enough: the lover surface. If is .). Then [the in a lover] must consider that beauty in souls is worth more than the beauty in his soul. but also in Euthydemus and our very Charmides (222a-b). In setting himself up practitioner of Zalmoxian medicine Socrates promised to impart sophrosyne to Charmides by means of kaloi logoi. was composed of A Zalmoxian physician would charm. The Alcibiades anteros not own corresponding only in Alcibiades himself. philosophos (154e-155a).72 Interpretation merged. or the entire body charm and the soul as well. Socrates' Halperin 1986. 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). 210a. 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. someone suitable body. met become should In the Phaedrus Socrates says that in He an ideal relationship eros be by anteros as a matter of course. a neat and quotation of Cydias encapsulates this reversal of in Continuing told surprising image. 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. Critias had quickened a his expectation by assuring Socrates moreover. as Diotima defines it: to sophrosyne. which cf. 155e).
Phil. however. the discussion possible Charmides an fixed for the meaning. is accepted by Socrates and his interlocutors in the Republic as a definition for justice (433a). level again. own" every member of a city. They consider kalon only in the first of these activities. 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. Narrative. Rep. see Larson 1951). and goodness (to agathon. that he has both of the virtues required of sophrosyne and by a Diotiman lover. penulti rung (episteme). and Critias begin discussion by considering likely manifestations of that virtue quiet circumspection in practice. (160d-161b). 165b) kind remains and his agreement with Socrates that point must therefore of the be some of episteme (165c). In other dialogues. (161b-163d). diakaiosyne in Socrates mate also prompted on Critias to elevate the discussion to the next. and.Drama. 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).g. seeking to evaluate the others on the basis of their goodness and societal benefits. their investigation still fo 64e) cuses on the quality of admirability in various practices. expanded as a and usefulness (to ophelimon. keeping good things to one's own work (159b-160d). "doing one's (to ta heautou prattein). and it may well be that Soc sophrosyne in the Charmides implies his concomi so tant possession of dikaiosyne. e.g. Soc rates argues for the identity of to kalon e. Charmides. (On the similarity in meaning Plato's dialogues. and so with everything else controlled by sophrosyne. 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. 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. as would a so governed. 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). showing modesty generally. From that on on. like walking and talking with deliberate. 457b). Indeed the Re principle followed by public is a much more extended discussion of nomoi than one's own is the Charmides. 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. expands his logos nomoi. In the Charmides of sophrosyne Socrates. he did so with the definition of the virtue as accep of of "knowledge of the other knowledge and of knowledge itself (166c). the element of to doing (163e-164d). and benefits for individual a polis of a knowledge of knowledge . Now the third concep tion of sophrosyne. possibility. (17 le) Socrates.
Sadly for Socrates. especially the Symposium. 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. 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). my intention has been a certain to dialogue that is not. the arguments of aporetic dia logues like the Charmides. as it turned out. Phaedo. The near as contemplation of the he can come to the vision of beauty beauty of the epistemai philosophy brings the lover as prompted itself. and Republic. he shows that the notion of the knowl- . He dropped Socra ascent could go no further with him. Laches. any case. The discourse by the contemplation of pose the charm of knowledge here reminds us of the kaloi logoi that com comprise the therapy. In the Charm can Zalmoxis' ides these logoi Charmides tes' was not an out of the only be the elenchus. can reinforce the understanding of that topic we achieve through the other dialogues. as well as the philosophoi logoi that Socratic lover's discourse in the Phaedrus (257b). 148291. ideal youth with whom to give birth to such discourse. 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. 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. to topic. As an example. pp. 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. vision. 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.74 Interpretation and the various epistemai. In the might Charmides he imagines how Socrates erastes. ostensibly. If he had I such a necessarily have allowed that Socrates had in Plato did not choose to introduce the theory and. For and other Kahn has early dialogues or dialogues in Kahn's terms) partly in order to prepare his readers for the fuller. I do go not mean imply that Plato intended his original audience to back through the Charmides after kinds of point-to-point comparisons first reading the Symposium to find the I have been making. while in the Symposium acted in the guise of an he imagines how the actions of a philosopher- lover might be expressed in theory. According to Kahn's theory of prolepsis. pp.10 By show reading the drama how one and narration of the Charmides "about" with frequent refer ence to other dialogues. Lysis. 1988. Rather. here eros. would not had. he as a solution to the question of sophrosyne. Kahn 1996. discussion before the topic of episteme came up. 541-49). 56-70.
who by this time was entirely smitten See Socrates. proposed this activity in the belief that "surely something would come out of also Dover 1978.' seemed to me that I had fallen victim to a wild animal of sort. 25. p. The with Socrates included a bit of wrestling. NOTES character other dialogues in which Socrates narrates directly (as opposed to narrating to another in the dialogue. 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. p. p. And gave some power his awareness of all his wisdom. together with his irresistible passion . 7. by Mahoney (1996. 'Take care not to go as a meat. that thought the experience. he "[Cydias] for the beast. he stood himself him how he in relation to Kydias with respect to wisdom. 73 n. 513f)innuendo of "one little see McAvoy 1996. I to resist what had been an this. the Symposium. in Kahn's work 203-9. 54-55. by way of advice to presence of a lion and be snatched as a portion creature. Cf. as in the Protagoras and Euthydemus) are the Lysis and the Republic. in the Laches. Jowett 1961. possible sexual meaning that the topic of a discussion makes no difference to endlessly on any theme (Mor. so to speak. in which Alcibiades tells the assembled guests that one of his early 1. the passage in the reading than the one I propose Plato meant to elicit. Alcibiades. For the 5. see the critique of Kahn 1988 by Griswold 1988." someone. by which of fit neatly that there is a Socrates' ac tions and narrative anticipate of Plato's and more expositive. more 184). 179-80) captures the ambiguity of but seems to indicate Charmides as the referent for the lion: "When speaking of a p. the effect would have been an even more protracted pause 8. 187) It also preserves the ambiguity care the text: a someone on the subject of a provide a meal handsome boy 'to take lest. well: "Socrates was not simply outside of himself. I would suggest dramatic prolepsis at work in the Charmides. If Plato's readers expected even from Cydias the more usual relation lion fawn :: erastes : eromenos. 3.Drama. McAvoy (1996. puts 6. though rejected as a definition for courage and in the Charmides of and for the Euthydemus only becomes pp. Narrative. pp. principles 542-46). p. and Kahn (1996. Although the specific details of his interpretation would perhaps to the 550-51." observation has been p. theoretical explorations Socratic eros in the Phaedrus especially in the Symposium. concern " for p. not opposing view. Donald Watt's translation (1987. makes the comment that "a chatterbox [adoleschos] is simply a white it. for example. . 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. Bruell was aware of was part of this point of made by North (1966. Hyland (1981. p. thing.) kind kind of reading I have been pursuing here. the dialectically for trained philosopher kings of Republic V-VII (Kahn 1996. 27) and. edge of good and and Eros in Plato 's Charmides sophrosyne 75 evil. 187-88). (For an pp." "dates" with conversations. pp. 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. while the middle help the reader to a fuller understanding of the earlier works. like in advising fawn in front of a lion." this . pp." measuring-line about such a person. but in those works he does not. since he can speak 4. as here. 1988. (1977. Plutarch. he also thought.' fawn into the just such a of I felt I'd been of caught by said Kahn (1996. 2. address his remarks to a specific second-person listener. [Cydias] said. This recently. handsome boy. 154). 82). 146). 102.
Charmides. 1986. Nussbaum. 1996. Hyland. Pp. The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy. Greek Homosexuality. Saunders. Watt. M." and Self-Knowledge: An Interpretation of Plato's Interpretation 6: 141-203." Mahoney. D. M.. Oxford: Oxford University Press. "Plato and Erotic Reciprocity. D. . 1987. "The Charmides: Socratic Sophrosyne.. 1988. Athens: The Ohio University Press. Hamilton H. 1981. Griswold. p. C. ed. 1986. Potae Melici Graeci.. Sophrosyne. like Critias a member of the notorious oligarchic regime manifestation as Athens therefore also Peloponnesian war." 161-204. Pp. Kahn. 1996. Human Journal of Philosophy 34: 183-99.4). Hanmondsworth. North. lacked sophrosyne in its in its manifestation as a kind of knowledge. Pp. D. Journal of Philosophy 85: 550-51. D. Cambridge: Cambridge Press. L. and Jowett. In T. Plato and the Socratic Dialogue. 1985. 1951. Benitez. 1977. "self-control. trans. C." South Dialogues and with Plato (Apeiron 29. Edmonton: Academic Printing Publishing. "Socratic Politics Charmides. MA: Harvard University Press. Charmides. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Kahn (1996. "Platonic Eros and What Men Call Love. 1962. 99-122.76 Interpretation 9. 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. E. Page. 1988. University Larson. "Plato's Charmides and the Proleptic Reading of Socratic Journal of Philosophy 85: 541-49. C. trans. Plato: Early Socratic Dialogues. C. Ed. In E. Plato. eds." Classical Antiquity 5: 60-80. Cambridge. "Unifying Ancient Philosophy 5: Halperin. Cairnes. "Carnal Knowledge in the ern Charmides. 163-209. 1978. 1966. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1996. K. 63-103. NY: Cornell University Press. J.. McAvoy." and also reasonable to suppose that intended his to the Charmides ruling and the prejudice that after the Charmides." Dialogues of Plato. Ithaca. T. Sophrosyne: Self-Knowledge and Self-Restraint in Greek Literature. The Collected Dialogues." REFERENCES Bruell. H. "The Platonic Synonyms dikaiosyne nal sophrosyn and American Jour of Philology 72: 395-414. B. Eng: Penguin. 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. 1961." Dover. It is with Menexenus. The Virtue of Philosophy: An Interpretation of Plato's Charmides.
was becoming of a tyranny. He did not support the Amer ican Revolution because it He defended it ent protected the absolute right to freedom and equality. in the pay of the North American colonies at the beginning of the American troubles. Like Marx. Fall 1998. No.'" any essential difference between the two revolu tions. His own Whig party with his condemnation of the French Revolution was inconsistent went so his for the Americans. posed the revolution in France because their doctrine the rights of man was leading ness anarchy and a subsequent military despotism. He op spirited saw the aristo- justified by a legal doctrine sovereignty. Burke's apparent inconsistency was also criticized by Paine. 26. Burke them to threat of tyranny less from the selfishness of the bourgeoisie and from interpretation. because he thought both were part of an historical movement towards not see Marx did freedom. Vol. Marx to as to attribute Burke's of apparent lack of principle his love of lucre. 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. because he thought that both revolutions supported the rights of man. 1 . Paine failed to grasp the consistency of Burke's judgement because he failed to grasp the reasons for Burke's support of the Americans. and one must ex as plain peculiar defense understanding of justice liberty they relate to prudence. and on prudential about grounds.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. Public had decayed in both instances into hatred and revenge. he had played the liberal against the English oligarchy. was an out-and-out bourgeois. He was the American Revolution because their of against Parliament during indignation.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. He them have wrote judgements thought support formed judgements far on extensively on both. and his himself. if one is to make sense of his differ judgements his the American and the French and Revolutions.
the on account of the war being a civil one. there is a strong of as the part of the British. however. in order to persuade his audience about the meaning To events. Burke's defense ciation of and of prudence against principle and theory requires an appre his art. In order to exact wage defeat the Americans.78 Interpretation privilege. The political asso is necessarily a mixture of the general and the particular. absolute and abstract character of cannot theory is a poor guide principle. Yet. must those same citizens must treat as enemies the rebels and foreigners against they fight. A disobeyed be effectual. The political association is constituted by both the on aspect of law and the aspect of patriotism. while partiality to whom one's own country. he also famous for arguing that policy needs to be guided by prudence. equitableness of the because it is threatened a two different and fronts. The law from corrupting one another. He is keep them justice of law consists in its impartiality. the habeas corpus in order to and unenforced law is not a law. 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. and it is no small thought that part of the art of the statesman to they had their limitations. It is the nature of law to and the British have modified theirs to ensure ought not to its bite. It is. fight the to rebels using the an law. yet it must also execute partially American traitors. and foreigners. He did not write a theoretical work on politics. In doing so. as he is for being a defender of constitutional government. love of country is a defense foreign domination. His speeches letters are informed by the immediacy of of events. but punishment. rebels. Burke's rhetoric and reasoning appreciate the broadest questions about justice must and government. he had to reflect on politics as a encompass whole. Parliament must use the form simply suspend to punish of law to war. Justice has two different aspects. On temptation. because it must regulate both the relation between citizens as well as the relation between citi ciation zens. but treasonous criminals. Its force . 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. who are gland. The American The British do rebels are not only thought of as authority enemy. not disobedient want to Parliament and unfaithful to En them. also the nature of law to be just. rather than law.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. The the law is against defense against internal tyranny. The whereas the justice of war consists in treat its citizens equitably. one learn to the universal and permanent problems of political life in his treatment of the political of issues of his time. than from self-righteous cratic authority and self-righteous rebellion fueled by general and abstract ideas. one gains the distance faced philosophy The without abstracting from the concrete political problems by citizens and statesmen.
they pervert even the natural taste and relish for equity and justice. By teaching us to consider our fellow-citizens in us. they are destructive to justice wars strike Civil deepest of all into the manners of the people. and by bringing the partiality of war into law. they both an require a bond of love that is accompanied by a feeling simply negative and destructive. and this is where Burke steps in to make their desire for peace more than just a humane Ameri and pious hope. Their problem is how to restore peace without the sword of justice. they wish for peace (p. of the realm of policy is very disturbing to Burke. well suited to The theme of of Burke's letter is very an its audience. and making a show of face of popular and Parliamentary hostility. It is in this background of Parliament's to use the law as an instrument of war that Burke writes the Letter. He in effect helps to mold and strengthen a peace articulating the issues. The dissolution of a of a common good feeling and idea among the British accompanies the extremes of Burke foresees the savagery as of tyrannical barbarism hate tyranny and servility. of the whole body of our nation affection and new kindred. because and piety. Their cynicism and 177). Britain's combination. devoid of hope. By the of law into the British destroy honest patriotism war. The hatreds bom either civil or of broken love have be a vengefulness that is not excused by war. however. They have lost confidence in justice. proposing a policy. In order to maintain the integrity of law. necessity Although law the common good. The very names become incentives to hatred and rage.5 melancholy are not. The Sheriffs Bristol have grown cynical and are sworn has become melancholy because the law to which they instrument of crime and tyranny. for pursuing peace. He gives to the sheriffs political reasons. they are not gether an the bonds of affection between citizens. 189)4 which were the becomes gradually less dear to bond of charity whilst we agreed. the required is of an extent that goes well beyond the equity required for justice under the realm of law and law. they dissolve alto of the common idea good. Burke thought that civil wars were the worst. They vitiate their politics. realm of war and there needs to as a distinction between the for war the realm of law. and the slavishness of despondency the extreme consequences of Brit ain's corruption of the law. The spirit might partial of murderous hatred dominates in its and in its object and patriotism devotion. bringing generality with hate. 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. (P. and he the foresees attempt grave consequences from it. Of most all wars.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs overreach of Bristol 79 the bounds be of the bounds force of what^can its justice. they corrupt their morals. a hostile light. but they have not lost their humanity. or rather confusion. when the communion of our country is dissolved. any more than its justice ought to overreach be enforced. public spirited reasons. His opposition to the party by courage in the war party is .
The British will not them the respect owed to a noble love of liberty or to a formidable enemy. In fact. rather giving it to treasury (p. as long as it shall think . is behaving like who appear tyrant. and then distribute a war themselves. THE PARTIAL SUSPENSION OF THE HABEAS CORPUS The partial suspension of the habeas corpus has two objects: "The first. 178). and. 179). 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. The determination tableness of the law of enemy rebels as pirates undermines the by confounding the order of crimes. put to death the the cargo amongst American men. than law. traced to the all-consuming anger of Parliament. the guilty justice in four different ways: first. by treating fourth. by confusing by be denying the accused a fair trial. is to detain in England for trial those who shall commit high treason in is pleased to America" (p. to enable administration to confine. 179). the British themselves. Burke says that it under the cloak of naval is the British to be the pirates. 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. 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. Parliament has taken the tone a criminal of an angry and all powerful but. Hatred determines the crime. second. but. the distinction itself of American rebels as pirates was made with the add intention allow of insulting them. . because. and All four corruptions can The partial suspension determines as pirates those American commanders and mariners of private ships and vessels of war which fall into British hands equi- (p. 178). to infamy to punishment. proper. because they do the possibility of their own deaths god. inconsistently.80 Interpretation defense of expressed as a justice against tyranny. those whom that act the act The second purpose of qualify by the name of pirates. they take the confiscated cargo. to the they rejoice at quality of the action. Burke argues that the objects of the suspension corrupt the order of crimes. The determination infamous action. third. contrary. . Although piracy and their equation treason share the same sentence tween mistaken virtue and (death). by treating innocent citizens inequitably. 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. image of death neither softens nor horrifies the British. the British the will not even allow them the pity owed to the con demned. blurs the difference be (p. therewith. Their hatred is not entertain accompanied by pitiless- ness and fearlessness. The determination a it. defeat. in fact.
makes them of Bristol 81 lower than the By moral qualities of allowing their indignation to dictate the order of crimes. of a The mere thought of shackling the to have them arrive ship (only where Americans. Not only does the trial of Americans in England corrupt justice. because the accused cannot possibly forward witnesses to defend himself. finds itself in god a world where strength and a tyrant in so far as is the only claim to authority. Parliament replaces justice with force and will. This attempt to punish the Ameri cans through the law brings the law into disrepute.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs Their wrath. Yet the English in will await a pro they have lost all feelings of pity and humanity for their fellow Englishmen in America. and The proper place for the punishments is in America. therefore. them down and then in the hold tossing them in forma trial. The spirit of just victory is completely lacking habeas in the British. peace. (pp. it and expresses of itself in simple or the domina of tion. ought to evoke feelings of horror jail. 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. it be the imprisonment killing enemies. they Britain are only hardened by the punishments. the British more insult them order by calling them cowards. tying half dead in England). 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. object of their own insults. 180). but not according to justice. both. 181-82). Parliament its proper time and place. This insolent men as some only reflected in its characterization of American naval pirates. corpus The second object of the partial suspension of the who shall commit is "to detain (p. After strength not is American should defeats. in England for trial those But these trials cannot high treason in America" bring possibly be just. The punishments serve neither or nor the ends of which are victory. tried ac cording to form. therefore. manly defiance becomes the only virtue. 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. the absence of justice. but it does produce punished not even the desired effects of punishment. and Burke suggests that this pitilessness will become a permanent part of the British character. This manliness untempered whether by justifications and fears. because it is blinded by its own indignation. but also in its description of American soldiers in general. Burke does habeas corpus not hesitate to precedent point out that the partial of the has its justice in King Henry war. rather than the the crime. The accused is. . taking their goods. as if In they is have killed British in to prove themselves virtuous. it acts like both a its actions are not justified by country. that they will become savage. far from making the British godlike. VIII (p. their proper time is cannot give punish after the war. should the ment English be victorious. 180). because the legal process appears to be nothing more than a cover for the arbitrary will of Parliament. Parliament denies a place for patriotism in the moral order and.
82 Interpretation The punitive hate of Parliament even extends to the exchange of prisoners. respect for justice has Since the much how consistently the innocent an and guilty with are treated. It shakes the foundation of the nation general. the British are intent on punishing as traitors those prisoners who remain mination of American of to the yet reasoning in their hands (p. but its to the corruption of manners. far from being the opposed to manners. far as he tell. belief in What not makes the partial suspension of the habeas corpus truly dangerous is would its corruption of law. because it leaves no place for decent political attachments. The law be of no effect most if it were opposed feelings and ideas of the people. naval men as they were allowed to go free. justice is the as act's can most dangerous is a that. Burke says general venoms equity. . corrupts justice because according the action the earlier prisoners should have been punished. The The exchanged prisoners were ing prisoners is to make clearly pardoned. to punish the exchanged prisoners. the limiting qualification. It hardly seems just. en one of it to a greater requires degree (p. 188). But the British punitive. by breaking draws the first principle of law. as a life was given in return for a life. 184). justice possibility The partial suspension destroys public spiritedness by destroying the public. At the end of the war. Burke finds it disturbing that the partial suspension. It dissolves the nation be citizens without the dissolves by dissolving shared the common good. This offense to threat to political liberty. liberty principle. The issue liberty is really requires the Liberty a common good equality under the law. The unequal treatment of American prisoners only treats the guilty unequally. because it is The empty prisoners are formality of legal proceedings and the inconsistent treatment of not. 182). but the distinction between men in the realms treats the innocent differently. The hatred affection between the British and the remaining bonds of English in America. that it be The partial suspension the distinction between men in the differ ent realms and. never mind possible. like the deter pirates. expediencies of war necessitate the unequal treatment of prisoners. however. 186). 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. accords with them and moves them partial suspension codifies their further in the and same direction (p. because it between citizens. parliament is incapable of such prudence. innocence and guilt dependent to do with therefore not to pardon the remain upon circumstance. openly denies some men their rights while protecting those of others (p. Apathy is the accompanying obverse of legislated hate. this action. instead of of taking out the sting. it is more prudent not to make crime and punishment respect issue to prisoners. But. therefore. the worst aspects of the partial suspension.
and moral Burke must appeal to private advantage to moderate the British. Burke Having specter of British doubt the certainty of victory. public Since British spiritedness has decayed into hatred in order of Americans. if only through fear. 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. despite American defeats. with because they harm to their Burke regards of less it British virtue and glory than doing enemies (pp. attempts to moderate the extremes of hate and apathy by encour and aging the belief in virtue past. Their hatred causes them to live in the pre sent. In sheriffs that order to give privy biting information concerning the real threat foreign powers posed to Brit in the last year. He reminds are threatened by their rulers even more than of by the rebels. The British must doubt themselves. in love of country. have with doses of fear. In obstinate light of the dangers lie ahead. Burke raises the the unknown. 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. He even speaks as courage justice. They have the shamelessness to celebrate the names of victory of German are mercenaries and to concerned with herald the German generals.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. 191). British of as individual citizens with individual interests One the ways to make the British think about their welfare is to destroy. He even uses images to induce doubt and fear. he tells the he was that the mazes way ahead is intricate. The British have spread devastation but have only the ground they encamp on and no more. the attachment to country. 189-90). He wants to awaken in the people the jealous love liberty. But the British have lost their honest prejudices which supported their love of liberty. Burke can move With the reawakening of his rhetoric from fear to shame. British disaffection for their past connected to a lack for their future. the confidence fueling their hatred (recent that victories they have not increased their authority. He even wishes that some abuse of the partial suspension would touch them. He first reminds the British of their noble order to en a representative of the traditionalists. he says unknown a reality. Parliament's fury appears both ridiculous and irresponsible. . as they are Burke's letter indifferent to its injustice only because they do not suffer from it. made the reminds them British feel invincible). He speaks to the consciences. it blinds them to their own nobility and their own good. of concern But. Burke asks the British to look between the people and their representatives. The specter of foreign powers is meant to re awaken the ties of kinship which and the love of country. be can fore they be enlightened. and full of perplexed and treacherous (p. dark.
pride of a coward.84 Interpretation It is The and no excuse poorest for presumptuous ignorance. the cold doses of fear that Burke throws nal the heated anger of the British prepare a more ratio discussion the war. actually the hypocritical others. being that crawls on the earth. 199). By prepared the ground argument reducing British hopes to the salvation of their reputation. "no blood pays the forfeit of [their] rashness. He has been building towards an explicit for reconciliation but tion and greed. They (he British invincibility draw the He but of good fortune. The British can at best hope to maintain trade monopolies. that it is directed by insolent passion. is in the eyes of God and man. 191) Burke to shatters the upon illusion of Parliament's bear its strength. far from being manly. Burke has for his plan. they their country. any without civil wisdom or military skill. Burke suggests his audience to conclusion for themselves) that the British should quit while they are ahead. Burke must discuss the rewards of war. as if they kindred blood pours like from the arms of foreign soldiers. rather than to punish and to subjugate. calling for battles which but his servility to it. of uncertain In light victory and certain understood as Burke reinterprets this partaking famous of death. Those in favor of the war. when in triumph. They they would offer themselves promise for battle but fortunes hire German mercenaries. Being godlike authority by bringing reason limited in its strength. No desolate widow weeps tears blood over [their] ignorance" (p. and notable their private and they mortgage exult themselves performed some water exploit. show little are content to real magnanimity. helpless creature. contending for a violent (P. He reminds the British that the goal of the war was to increase their wealth. 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. those in favor of peace are acting responsibly. dominion in which he cannot exercise. without a consciousness of other qualification for power arrogance. With the awakening of their interests. but they will thing In light of this hopeless prospect. order to render others contemptible and wretched. or at money in the form of best the British can hope for is to not receive them. states to the . contending to save itself from an object respectable justice cannot oppression. 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. Parliament needs wis dom be and justice. 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. pair facing the Brit ish. Far from man's of being cowards. and satisfied to be himself mean and miserable. 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. He also tells them that they will not get one cent from America. manliness and cowardice judgement. rather than simply force and in light of the real situation must will.
rather than certain tyranny. 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. Burke has absented himself from Parliament. Burke turns to reason as the foundation his policy. and be trusted. The obstacle to almost unanimous support with peace seems. to be the for the the war in England. THE ARGUMENT FOR RECONCILIATION The of argument for reconciliation must address itself directly to the accusation treason. He is be heard but is rather competing for their ear. to that to reconcile while of in a position of strength is magnanimous the glory Parliament. Just a short time . remains as he stated earlier to Parliament in his Speech on American Taxation and. 195). (1774). they must earn that trust. Burke argues that rebellions are provoked rather than encouraged. because his objections to its policies only increased its obstinacy. In order to and break this whom circle of hate distrust. the power under will be popularly recognized as such. therefore. by pointing to the arbitrariness of Parliament's American policy. He is cautious in his blame. Burke's not criticisms of disputing their right to trying to make unanimity are not direct criticisms of the people.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol 85 British. the Americans are virtually alone. Honesty and prudence compel him to take his case to those decent citizens in whom there still exist justice and pity. both addresses popular and parliamentary. therewith. to risk with defeat their own arms. he wards ate it slowly by first arguing that the Americans cannot be peace. he must invoke a truth beyond the source and collective or conventional of wisdom. 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. of Without the affection and strength Englishmen. as it is asserted that talk of peace encourages rebellion (p. cynicism. He directly to the unanimity by which Parliament justifies its by first drawing the distinction between agreement and truth. and Burke shows As things stand. themselves. a division that has lost its tension due to widespread hate and The English in America their fellow will only put their confidence in a peace party that contains the popular support of the people. Burke 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. He is the people doubt Parliament and. the Americans must trust in themselves. the British must form a strong peace party confidence. the Americans can place their The way to form and strengthen the peace party is not through parliamentary debate. above the voices of many. This is his moves to first statement about British guilt. 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.
by habits argues that abstract Parliament rules for the He does not argue that the have rights. can neither be admired by those who love virtue nor ness of followed by those who worship the promise of success. The argument for reconciliation on an argument about good government. GOOD GOVERNMENT In the Letter to the and ity of Parliament Sheriffs of Bristol we see Burke attack the ruling author defend the colonists. Parliament to tax the Americans. Par liament must. but that no other given part of only the invidious branch of taxation that legislative rights can be exercised. Burke recognizes Parliament's sovereignty only because it its power has exercised for a long time and continues to do so. its passions and mind are enslaved to the prevailing fortune it meets. The people are. It rides the of Parliament that is fearful in victory. but it is nothing in the direction of affairs. granted social rights (pp. 205). to separate not accuse the British nation for the war. at best. Parliamentary of obedience sovereignty is (p. The arbitrari can serve as a wedge its policy cannot but induce doubts that the lukewarm from the majority While Burke dares British politicians. so as to offend the people. but that their desires should be respected because of their strength. therefore. beg leave to observe. 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. Due to the strength and the constitution ought to have offices which can variability be appealed to of public opinion. be governed. he can accuse aggrandizement. 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. He is thereby domestic politics. and he able to blame the with sympathies for the hinges war and to encourage a peace party towards the English in America without appearing treasonous. because Parliament has given itself claims the right over to doctrinaire fanaticism. Burke people not justified by an abstract legal right. when public . I must attend to public opinion. 210-11). (P. 207) omnipotence. therefore. legislative The not government should exercise its rule with as much reserve as possible. it may be the mind. having recently tasted victory. Now. because the British had suffered defeats. even though right of they have no representation.86 ago Interpretation Parliament unanimously opposed the war and was willing to negotiate a peace. that it is not will be resisted. but people. Parliament is unanimously in support of the war. He turns their traces the cause of the war to bad politicians government. because Parliament claims to have the sovereignty. rather than oppress it. Burke paints a picture and cowardly in defeat and confident and insolent Parliament lacks the gravity and constancy of reason and character. waves of chance and.
but it which gains might strength through the knowledge that there Since institutions in so public opinion is they important. Compromise If the in the the and reform. doing what one wills. however. Reason cannot tolerate an freedom in theory is its death in inconsistent principle. they embody than parlia ment. and even independence. Freedom then be understood as to any government it is understood by the Americans. . any more than is sover of eignty. than the particular men in power or an easily remedied law. The voice of and his friends is are a weak minority. like authority. and. rather theory require tions for injustice. ment. of Bristol 87 The government must act as a kind of grievance committee. The this lower world (prudence) is needed to secure the blessing of the lower world (peace). and it must have the to appropriate offices for the appropriate complaints. But Parliament is are not attention to public opinion. from. one sees that he flatters hopes to put pressure on and Parliament. If one puts together his discussion of good government of his policy reconciliation. religion more the monarchy. is of theories of susceptible government to the ex tremes of theory. the clergy and of maybe even veto and its legislation. it free would know that the Americans must are averse other than a one. In light freedom. but with the belief that the problem is not with the entire constitution. Burke is quick to point out that. Parliament must be heard. but are account thinking in terms of an abstract legal doctrine that fails to for the character of the factions. whereas politics tends to blame entire constitu demands gated.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs opinion changes. Freedom is not an abstract principle. freedom others. because of the fixed sentiments and beliefs Burke the people. Freedom. of all becomes such tyranny as and usurpation because freedom is thought The perfection of in an extreme form. parliament can no longer legislate religion. 208). as a defense of freedom in general. It requires compromise. as it was by the New Whigs. ought not Burke's defense of American freedoms. They practicing (the god of this lower world). just in they are needed (p. politics. through pressures placed on. 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. 211). then the responsible should party Parlia to case of the American Revolution god of be prudent enough satisfy complaint. Thus it is wise not destroy case the convocation of the clergy or any other ceremonial also mentions offices. Burke the veto power of with the monarchy. but because of a consistent opposition to the influence of ab stract theory on political life. If Parliament had listened to and had studied the Americans. the charac understand ter of those over which it governs. compromise to the extent that first principles are better left uninvesti By painting the world in extremes. which The British make a studying the are not particular circumstances prudence they must decision. not because of a perverse humor. He condemned the French Revolution in no uncertain terms. the particular men running the govern people are sane enough responsible to articulate their particular grievance and blame those ment for the problem. to be mistaken.
rather than acknowledges the hate. thus denying claimed the church. because it is a principle of compromise. The British Parliament the authority of a god. of man and the absolute hand. the aristocracy. as he saw that philosophic replacing hatred by lending fortify historical meaning to killing the enemy. Interpretation one must understand the demands of each faction and what is needed to satisfy them. because the hatreds of civil war difficult to satisfy. bom of sovereignty and rebellion tend to fortify the most extreme of self-righteous of the most extreme circumstances. One of Burke's rhetorical goals in the Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol and the Reflections on the Revolution in France and encourage murderous cosmic and world fanaticism. collective are bom from disappointed trust. they affection. No taxation of a parliament without representation does not deny the legitimacy It is to exist or legitimacy of grievances against one.88 thus. they claimed to embody mankind. and the monarchy the status and rights they for themselves. 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. and savage cruelty. because they only extend and exacerbate the evils of civil war. General theories passions. made themselves absolute by claiming they denied their opposition the right to resistance. Abstract ideas . The idea as of no taxation without representation does his criticism.6 ire of an atheist. idea the common good or of legitimate while The former is bom source of the antitheological of a god. In abstract theory. Burke sees fanaticism leading to the practical both anarchy and tyranny. it implicitly legitimate The rights other possibility of legitimate authority as well as rebellion. on the are bom more from vengeance than an government. 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. not a principle that is destructive of all order and prudence. 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. of principles of destruction that sovereignty of parliament are. He is critical of favorably the disposed to the former but the latter two. Moments authority lived. 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. These feelings and ideas of significance drown out the feelings of pity and horror that are the humane emotions evoked by slaughter. do the doctrines of the rights of man and the absolute sovereignty of parliament. rather than cod ified. the latter has its in the wrath sovereignty fortify puni hate because they make authority absolute while denying the opposition the right to exist.
their persecutors. and affection by describing suffering crimes of innocence of the murdered and the stupidity. is contrary to the first and principles of politics. in particular. 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. to law by evoking the pity fear accompanying the breaking of it and. just as their crimes are contrary to human and divine law. 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. malice. could and satisfy their books by confiscating church property speculating it. In not fact. might Some Burke of being fact reductionistic and opportunistic. The goodness of the cause and the wisdom of the laws cannot be reduced to mo tives. confiscations. The Reflections. and the tence. is helpful for understanding Burke's opposi tion to abstraction. Burke removes the claim to justice with which they excused their faithlessness. eyes each of the revolution's victims the church. and executions. 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. 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. order a of how This is especially the case in a philo sophic revolution. broke faith. 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. horror. He argues that the revolu tionaries slandered. pocket- anything more by which the merchant class. because the citizens need theoretical principles for knowl edge of their rights and duties.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs is to restore simple and of Bristol 89 the and feelings of pity. It is a stage upon which Burke brings before the racy. he must have an understanding of the ends of government and each of the parts contribute to that end. he never argues that revolutionary idealism than a platform and in effect. guilt. the aristoc and monarchy. In this. and placed personal gain was before their ideals. though in theory. greed.8 The incommensurateness of theory and politics comes into focus most clearly in the revolution's activity of legislation. Burke says that the first law of revolutionary legislation is to their own destroy all that came same before it. and especially to science. He defends decent morality accuse and obedience to the law as necessities for a free people. The Reflections justifies obe dience then.7 He gives them human feeling justifies their exis He shows their virtue and beneficence Burke also with which they were painted. the revolutionaries treat country in the way as would a foreign conqueror. The legislator must whole. They destroy . By looking into the actions and motives of the principles of the revolution. who resented vengeance and on their exclusion from title honor.
philosophers are fanatics: independent tractable. ranks. which means they have feasted exclusively on satire. he the appearance of continuity to mends and patches. because they think politics can be made can be made fully rational. He is aware that all rebel lion contains evil. who would themselves be if they were held to the letter seem of their own descriptions. they of any interest. offices. for the work of reformation: because their minds are not come good. It is who are undoubtedly true. . Their them. united them as a people. because moderation they are defi must in love. but things. nor fanatic visionary. they from love men too little. 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. and that the habit of criticizing and good breaking the law tends to must give make human beings completely lawless. philosopher. they do the not seek to reform but to build from political science. the modem atheists are revolutionaries that politics politics.90 the Interpretation beliefs and habits that nothing. though it may paradoxical. 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. .10 Burke's understanding legislator is inextricably connected to his understanding of the nature of politics. . he teaches limits of both. Philosophy not place be so him beyond the suffering blinded by indignation at the nor vengeful his fellow human beings. This defines their task and wisdom of their new Burke struction. which if it operated alone would make them more rage are carried away with such headlong race towards every desperate trial. of from the declamations astonished and buffooneries satirists. God. Burke has two types in he speaks of the thorough- . The legislator have of in his soul. The ancient sceptics had no public spir itedness because they thought the law was conventional. Like the of the good seamstress. Your legislators seem to have taken their opinions of all professions. but that does not the conflict between politics and mind when rational. are ready to declare that they for the good they pursue." Burke denies cause him to despise the By showing theory.9 The critical negativity that stems a love of ridicule is compounded by the detachment These and abstractness of the scientific mind. it always flies before 520-21) defects must of Hate cient and abstraction are the legislative soul. is at their horizon like their horizon. those are unqualified habitually and employed in finding and displaying faults. humanity (Pp. but in general. yet he must not spectacle of injustice that he hopes to bring The legislator is neither about a Utopia through punishment and persecution. that they . would sacrifice the whole human to the slightest of their experiments. almost says that the revolutionary legislators have a disposition towards de that They have the taste of Paris.
cannot recognize the politics. a mathematical order. while geometry reduces them to number and shape. however. but these are the two categories over which a man has no control. in fact. 524). because it deals political order upon with number and The is not.12 chemistry. 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 order to do so it must must division and of labor. 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. 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. rats. and exist in much greater clearness. substance Chemistry and (matter) its own geometry can only recognize the categories of quantity. and may in and do exist in total degree much greater . chemistry and geometry can produce a association. atomism except by a principle of order. Its rebel to be used against them. Nothing can come for infinite divisibility. and reaction of those experiments consist in churches and ammunition the manors of aristocrats and then tearing down the transforming the rubble into ire. Chemistry reduces human beings to their lowest common element. whereby chemistry creates and order uses its materialism to oppose groupings authority. begins with the idea that the end of government is the satisfaction Government is independence not made in virtue of natural rights. and Reduction and abstraction are the essence of their sciences. an un geometry differentiated mass. the uniqueness of human beings 301). The number geometricians who are and shape dividing ask and. and recognize recognize and the peculiarity of the political But chemistry and geometry are material and simple. In formative act. its rela tions depend more graphical accidents than upon numerical necessity. they to represent and to secure those interests. a by numerical from understand the science of the revo lution to have divided itself into these different functions. therefore. unique character of Geometry. The geo boundaries and of political associations are are meant formed by interest rather than symmetry. The materialism of the chemists expresses political arena as antitheological and antiaristocratic accompanied itself in the from but it lion is not. like promises proportion. however. which of it. creating Burke does. up France create districts according to for loyalty to a measuring stick. His attempt to restore the political perspective from that of abstract rights and science of wants. and he ways on different occasions ridiculous absurdities. possibility (Reflections. decent morality his rhetoric and Burke understood that prudence and used were threatened by the French Revolution. At best. to have the power of ordering. Legislation is deliberative p.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs bred metaphysician of Bristol 91 the geometrician and the chemist.
since the belief in argues that there civic virtue is impossible (p. asks the public to government believe in virtue and to believe that corruption is not innate to like to (p. or to an equal share in government. of government. people can Burke thinks that the live content under the watch of Parliament. He begins where other modern theorists but he combines the fundamental good with the old order. about the parts are at (p. 370) Burke did of not a contrivance of derive from this end the equal right of each to be the sole judge oneself. Unsuspecting interests confidence assumes that the government will look after public and not their own private interests.92 Interpretation of abstract perfection: a but their abstract perfection is their practical defect. He also points out the opportunistic reasons that lie behind the opinion that all excuse themselves is selfishness. then all the political the Americans would never have been un by this point. then there must be moral . 215). By having right to everything they want everything.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. from the funda mental end he derived a new basis for the rule of gentlemen and a new under standing of ancestral authority. Burke opposed abstract was against began. Burke therefore He have been virtuous men who cared about the public. Burke hopes freedom and to cure apathy and cynicism with spirited jealousy is of one's own belief in the possibility of civic virtue. The doctrine that because moral man is selfish poses a great threat to leveling made destroys trust in government as unsuspecting confidence. inherently Why would corrupt is a servile belief. The belief that the cause government it is conducive to resignation. do not rise to dissent among the people as naturally as do particular situations which clearly threaten their welfare and their liberty. not political because he temper ment the idea of right. to tax in order to restore American trust. But the actions of Parliament and the arguments of sophisticates suggest that all men act solely for themselves. theory in the name of the satisfaction of wants. but because he wanted to it against abuse satisfied from both authoritative and rebellious pride. give repealing the tax. If there are to be compromise and freedom. developed its own Ideological differences. 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. courtiers and political men would public in or der to enjoy freedom from scrutiny and indignation. for America had. or rather conflicts provisionary mode of principle. of Thus he amongst argues that "unsuspecting which all confidence is the true rest" centre gravity mankind. (P. Government is human wisdom to provide for human wants. 222). If Parlia had the Americans and by differences between the British covered. To the contrary. such. 221). Unsuspecting confidence look after is simply trust that the government will not be oppressive and will interests.
not so much because he thought there entailed were no such rights. 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. 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. 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. 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. and a brutality of accepting of political men.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs indignation directed that virtue at of Bristol 93 the government from time to time. it must means justify its borders to itself must to others. they are too strong to oppose. satisfy those grievances. natural Burke thought the rulers. therewith. there would be no brake on as them (with the exception of a preferred military dictatorship). in which it depends. They competent to judge their grievances by their feelings. should the people rule. rather than connections of its sovereign. 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. The as are though people dis must. however. If be a nation and is to be more than a band of robbers. This necessity of justice that equality The understood as qualified by country. therefore. of the people actually threatens the satisfaction of wants. they provide only necessary Burke's attempt to found attachments and authority attachments without status of morality in prescription. liberty. is gentlemen have defending the habits of continuity on interest in property and. but. from time yet does not require the usurpation of authority Burke preferred unsuspecting confidence to the rights of man. Every edge that nation must exist somewhere to the exclusion of other nations. 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 issue of property to that other moderator of takes Burke away from the satisfaction of wants partisanship patriotism. The people are the product of the constitution. but they do are not possess the character and mind to demagogues. but trust that is called to account and office.14 birth that form own will or consent are not continuity and community. have dence is to time degree of public spiritedness. Some have so much authority to the past that Burke must . a Unsuspecting blind faith or apathy. an Perhaps most important. just the aristocrats and parlia confi ment must show some concern not for convenience and wants. Burke con guardian their fear to be a that the of their virtue. Burke thus suggests is rare and weak. on habits of continuity gains the thought that prescription gives any basis in one's but also ennobling. avarice. 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.
because he never believed is not Hegel's state. It is something to be Although He respected. History is so far from being rational that it is turned to in order to support attachments that are threat ened by reason. Contending for an imaginary power. mind. The origins are inferior to the end product. Provi dence appears godlike in its mysterious dispensation. not think that the British constitution was the best form of government origins and because it had divine because it was his own. Burke never lost sight of the conflict between the particular and the universal. we begin to acquire the spirit of domination and to lose the relish of honest equality. . viewed by its beneficiaries as a series of accidents grounded in man's desires. Liberty is in danger of being made unpopular to Englishmen. and beneficence. 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. for the a leading to is the does for politics what satisfying Adam Smith did for result of variety of needs and desires. but he never allows the idea of impartiality or universality to dominate politics. but the end product does cess not exist independent of the pro by is which it came into being. Prescription Burke's ideas a matter of of political convenience and political pa process triotism. and so unarmed to whatever approaches in the shape of disgrace. brings a degree of the common good. It gives the political body continuity and its citi zens a shared past and a shared providence destiny. he thought it was the best form of government precisely because it came into being through a series of accidents over a long period of time. It is impossible that we should remain long in a situation which breeds such notions and dispositions and without some great alteration in the against national character. satisfies and its benefits are those habits of virtue and affection that preserve the constitution. Burke believed that rational. however.94 Interpretation a have been He did traditionalist. rather. But Burke did not equate the ancestral with the good. . The best can constitution is not the product of the of practice. Prescription the constitution is satisfying want. To the contrary. Burke never thought reality. . 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. He economics. tion or even an proven idea that be conceived greatest independent Prescrip beneficence. never harmony between natural desire and that history constituted a realm of be real. force. it is viewed as an unintelligible and superhuman force.15 The hidden hand is not. 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. all other Those ingenuous feeling minds who are so fortified things.
His Yet one cannot of visionary. to be grown in disrepute. on hand. but because he loves virtue and country more than himself. he is in his self-right eous wrath. Karl Marx. B. to foster the love of Furthermore. country a universal suspension would serve liberty and by awakening the sense of urgency amongst all the citizens. Prudence makes the former feasible. In to preserve prudence and public spiritedness from cynical politics was not that of a suspect particular. espe cially in the great. 1954) p. only because they have elected him. He does not court power the prevailing opinions of the people. he also recognizes the need to recognize virtue. 1980]) follows Marx in 1. disheartened and disgusted. Unlike Parliament. Capital I (Moscow. He is ment and goes well beyond the presentation not godlike himself as a virtuous representative. The suspension would outrage the public if it were abused at home. It would have been much more universal for it simply to only the other while suspend the habeas corpus universally. In turning to life of the prescription and polemics against theory. in order to guard against their authoritativeness and brutality. C. as an alternative to the Burke did not citizen and of portray the life of reason the statesman. a God. Macpherson (Burke [New York: Hill and so far as Macpherson saw in Burke a bourgeois capitalist above all . So. but they can trust him. The greatest fault of the partial suspension of the habeas corpus is that it He is not one of the people. he will not sacrifice by flattering ment his judge to the majority and even feels that it is for what he owes them as a represen tative. He 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. which will retire they considered as sure means of honor. contains its abuses within it. which which he lends credence. 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. he apathy sought to preserve the perspective and attachments of political life. not leads to tyranny and misanthropy by destroying an idea and a feeling of the common good. (P. the British Parliament has in fected justice hatefulness and expediency. although Burke recognizes the power of public opinion and public opinion the need to work with it. he and sought indignant fanaticism. be executed with seen past that NOTES Wang. so or a misanthropist. Burke himself is be an example of judge of yond the salutary hopes to virtue. but that his portrayal of the problems of politics and much art unless his defense he had its perspective could not perspective.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol 95 finding these principles. the latter necessarily corrupts. 223) By fighting prudent a war with with laws and punishments. The partial suspension. 260. Burke offers no greater counter example to the extremes of his time than himself.
jurors and . Stephen Browne (Edmund Burke Alabama Press. Nor did Hippodamus know He thought that instead of voting innocent or guilty. and Aesthetics [Thousand Oaks. Hippodamus thought that his and rulers would be popularly elected. 431-32.96 else. p. Conniff finds him too cautious for not advocating vol. Politics. was cited within the text as Reflections. 520. Hippodamus failed to understand the nature of political order. 1993]) argues that one must read Discourse of Vmue [Tuscaloosa: University of Burke as one would read a drama or look at a makes a similar expense of Stephen White (Modernity. vol. Reflections Revolution in France (Harmondsworth. 358. pp. 10. 431. 533. vol. wore by cheap whole. and the 2. Hippodamus models three. vol. portrait. 15-16. Burke says that the genius of the of the old regime. Works. and wished to be learned in nature as a Hippodamus did his ambitious dress according to the different seasons. he failed to understand the unique nature of on the politics. CA: Sage. 279. 1960). 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. 3. vol. in whose 6. Jackson Bate (Westport. vol. There are three classes of citizens.: Penguin. remarkably similar to Aristotle's criticisms of Plato's. 364) and thus he could not For Burke's vol. 1854-89). Phaleas for advocating equality of property. In An Appeal from the New Revolution that it pretended to to the 11. 282-83. many other cities. 439. Conor Cruise O'Brien (The Great judgement of the French Revolution is Melody [Sinclair: Stevenson. In from looking to the number three for order. 164. and to Burke. All references by to the Selected Writings of Edmund Burke. p. 5. 350-52. and by looking at the man. pp. Aristotle draws attention to the importance of Hippo calling him the first political scientist. p. Burke's criticize the attempt to understand politics through abstract and mathematical criticisms of the legislative science of the revolution are Hippodamus' best regimes. Politics of Progress [Albany: 2. he made the military the farmers by giving the army their own property. Eng. but according to his fancy. ultimate differences. This abound psychological account of the many political reasons that in the Reflections. Furthermore. p. The mind and the disposition of the Sheriffs clearly character Burke writes A Vindication of Natural Society. vol. rather than his ideas Hippodamus was ambitious. remind one of the old man ed. tyranny (Thomas Paine. but I think he emphasizes the aesthetic aspect of Burke's politics at the his political thought. Burke's Despite their to define a realm of political existence cannot but remind one of Aristotle. and the 7. 1994]) argues that Burke's understanding of change was not informed by conservative opinions. 1992]) argues that Burke's decisively determined by the fact that he was an Irish Burke fails to appreciate Catholic. But he did give the any property. Interpretation Paine thought that all hereditary government was ings of Thomas Paine [New York: Citadel Press. he denied and the artisans arms. farmers. pp. 8. Edmund Burke. they both ideas. and Hippodamus for his ambition and simplicity. adorned himself with expensive ornaments and long hair. and Aristotle criticizes Plato for trying to make the city a unity. 382-84. Old Whigs. 2. Works. reflections on progress see The Works of Edmund Burke (London: Bohn. attempt 8. sympathize with Burke's ideas of prescription. and warm clothes in both the not winter and the summer. W. pp. independent farmers of the and that all the classes not (artisans. and three kinds of legal suits. 101. 1994]) argument. 2. page number alone are 3. pp. 31. 4. be legitimate according to the laws 287-300. He he thought he was the first person ever to propose died in battle. In desire to know nature as a whole. Phaleas'. although ment. James Conniff (The Useful Cobbler: Edmund Burke State University of New York Press. of govern 3. therefore guaranteeing a military dictatorship. three sections of the city. artisans the military) would be loyal to and the city as a whole. his regime on the number 12. 9. 94. The faults of Hippodamus are the most important to both Aristotle damus only. a more participatory form vol. Glorious 1984). The Complete Writ 1945]. 1. was so He knew nothing about the influence of force and interest. CT: Greenwood Press. but by thoughtful considerations about the protection of liberty. pp. 7. 282-83. 6.
rather than action. pp. In the Spirit of the Laws. 151-53) law theorist in the tradition of St. Burke's emphasis on unsuspecting confidence. 431. p. 432. and Canavan (Ed mund argue Burke: Prescription that Burke and is a natural particular. He failed to and law is undermined by the habit changing it. Strauss claims understanding of prescription undermines the idea of noble defeat. trans. pp. natural right is an indepen dent principle that used as a standard for political 16. Science. 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. According to and Leo Strauss (Natural Right attempt to another. according to their also proposed authoritative verdict impossible. to hope against all odds in the heat of battle. Works. and even expected. Canavan. the man of actual virtue. 294-95. those presumptions must are Presumptive virtue rests on about justice. who lives according to the actual.9-10). pp. vol.149-52). find a standard of History [Chicago: University legitimacy through providence British constitution. Canavan is for Burke life.237). 348. Like Burke. 1949). 1991]. Montesquieu argues that the opinion of one's own security is the end of the law. and actually increased the harshness of tyranny where it threatened authority but could not Melissa S. as in the French Revolution. 331-33. Stanlis (Edmund Burke [New Brunswick. pp. he opposed a universal understanding of justice. 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. . Reappraisal. 470. 1993]. 6. Mansfield's analysis of the difference between presumptive and actual virtue helps to clar of ify Burke's relation to political life pp. 2. 13. pp. 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. Burke's one solves problem While Burke is able to anchor the and political only to pose life in general. Thus. that its authority depends habits of obedience. 15. 1. Frohnen (Virtue and the Prom ise of Conservatism [Lawrence: University of Kansas Press. takes issue with Providence [Durham: Carolina Academic Press. susceptible of of infinite improvement. Harvey Mansfield (Statesmanship and Party Government [Chicago: University p. Works. he is vulnerable to the problems connected to his providential god. a person of actual virtue defend the presumptions against dangerous theory. vol. rather than the presumptive. not simply its evident usefulness. uses his understanding to support men of political prudence and virtue. When questioned. NJ: Transaction Publishers. for men of action are often. p. 1965]. vol. vol. p." the ruling majority and 14. Strauss has in mind the realm of thought. 1954). Nugent (New York: Hafner Press. 1987]. 77). sanship. of Chicago Press. Williams ("Burkean Descriptions and And Political Representation: A Canadian Journal of Political representation can still serve overcome it. because understand on he thought the law that the was like the arts. 29.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs should of Bristol 97 be able to vote in shades of grey. (Harvey Mansfield. of Chicago Press. thus making an who improved the law. case of the Edmund Burke [Chicago: presumptions University Chicago Press. 406-7. against abstract doctrine. as opposed to natural rights. because he thought it made prudence impossible. He honors for those individual judgement. 1. 1984]. Thomas Aquinas. in Strauss concerning Burke's understanding of providence. is taken from Montesquieu.
. Fall 1998. argument and action. to interpret this drama. "deepest. 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. The acter of philosophical readers of his books ." 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. Zarathustra offers a revised to his teaching regarding calls the power not disciples. 1 . presentation of this argument occurs less commonly observed that the in two waves. . is a work that dramatizes the attempt of a man to we are called interpret upon the things themselves." Preface. New Orleans Next to the things themselves the the greatest what writings of the philosophers seem to pose works difficulties for interpretation. the truth observation surface.1 As readers of the book. 289). it is incoherent. In the second. The first crests at the end of Song. but to those whom he "the wisest. 5. 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. A genuinely philosophical book might to the golden bowl of revealed with some plausibility be of whose con compared stitution Henry James's novel. but are inseparably It is joined. Within their only clue offered to the things are never they seem and yet the discovery of what is is what seems to be. In our efforts to do so it is useful to begin with the consideration that a drama is composed of two essential aspects. as it stands. 27) seems to The book that Nietzsche himself have considered his Thus Spoke Zarathustra. No." 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.Interpreting the Twofold Presentation of the Will to Power Doctrine in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra Steven Berg Loyola University. and that in its composition these aspects are not merely parallel or complementary. Beyond Good Evil. Vol. It is generally recognized that Zarathustra presents an argument will according to which the essential core of all somewhat things is the to power. 26.
he is not a god: part of his wisdom is his knowledge that "god is He is. Nietzsche's philosophy looks less "post-modern" precursor of Heideggerian existentialism or tionism and more like an attempt in the wake of German Idealism to philosophy to its portrait of a genuine core: Socratic or Platonic thought. one of these version of a man called Truthsayer. of accordingly. no mention is made of it in Parts Three read not and the work. therefore." however. Appealing directly to the multitude. much passes for the core of Nietzsche's philosophy. According to one auditor of his speeches he is lucky to have escaped with his life ("Zarathustra's eschews all Prologue. his first distribute his wisdom to men is an utter failure." men in order to distribute his wisdom thereby "become empty is defined dead..3 At the opening of the work it is made clear that Zarathustra not only takes himself to be wise. he and wishes to "go down" to again. Once deconstrucreturn its deeper levels are taken sight of. This under persuading live. It. If it is primarily the fact that he is wise rather than ignorant that accounts for his superhuman condition. however. 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. he is met with incredulity. Zarathustra relinquishes his superhuman status may then only ultimately to renew or reconfirm it. 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. insights the articulate the kernel of what comes return. In the light appeals and of this failure Zarathustra upon a novel strat- prudently further such direct fastens .4 If Zarathustra is human. like the be merely a superficial or partial aspect of his thought. therefore. ridicule and hatred. Overburdened by its superfluity." man since more man by his lack of wisdom or ignorance. the will to power proves to doctrine.g." 8). but as such to be more than human.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. 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. demon strates the false character of that doctrine Four a as such and. however. of Thus when Nietzsche's utterances Zarathustra is through which simply as collection Zarathustrian Nietzsche gives voice to understood his own opinions. then the distribution. however. e. It seems that Zarathustra to will somehow attempt to confirm his wisdom through its distribution. 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. Zarathustra will relinquish his than superhuman status by going down to ignorant men and distributing man his wisdom to them. the superman." this account.100 Interpretation to response his invitation to "seriously the test" "wisest. As it is attempt presented in "Zarathustra's Prologue." But this his means "to be again.
" or power over neighbors meaning various creation of all victory "the high. law. root cause of all the will to power is the things. But being." 9).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. "On the is to be interpreted or understood it to as man. according to Zara thustra. the good for man is understood by the law to be convertible with moral virtue. That is to say. Zarathustra proceeds with As the narrative unfolds and his attempt to initiate his disciples into his teaching. speaks to man only being. the life of the superman ("Zarathustra's Prologue. Persians. however. power" In that speech of Part One in he ploys the term Goals. in accordance with its law." "will to for the first time. The understanding and interpretation of interpret the speeches of that one being among speaking believe it being or." holy. despite their variety. according to Zarathustra's understanding. require that beings who speaks: man the rational animal. its things. Behind the creator." Here he that if be made to speak. Jews because all and Germans all speak differently about good speeches and are formed by different laws. this activity is directed to sustaining people of which the people to gain legislator or creator expanding the power of the is the founder. 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. 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. the It is the of the creator that brings the law into being and. as Zarathustra calls him. the Still. Zarathustra does knowledge of not possible to gain an immediate access to since being is through examining the speeches of human beings. he insists. The first of this wisdom will to power. one Afterworldsmen. Since the of about good and evil are derived from the laws the various political commu nities. all of of good and them. activity stands the legislator or. the first. 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." character of his alleged wisdom becomes of possession of a causal own knowledge principle "all including is the the being of his knowing. since. agree in articulating an understanding evil as identical to virtue and vice. in the Aristotelian phrase. the people. the apparent: he believes that he is in being. including his soul and mind. acting in the light of its truth. em but rather what good and evil. therefore. calls "praiseworthy. 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. . Thus whatever allows a and victory or power over itself.
Zarathustra to wish to establish not simply a link. At the close of Part One. therefore. overarching then. their legislation will also be the first to have been articulated in the . that "humanity it plasticity self or in the proper sense does not in fact exist. is Zarathustra's goal. according in what to Zarathustra. It is this than human. 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). however. is indefinitely being of infinitely malleable and that is simply a reflection of the essential being of all beings. Zarathustra." nations" among its brotherhood of equals. as it were. however. but identity between them. believes. It is with this end in view has descended from his his mountain solitude to offer his the same a That teaching. in Zarathustra's own words. it were. human beings seems necessarily is. indicates. That the related political and aspects of claim. divine. perhaps. 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. nite laws. to a Virtue. a law that is. is at one and new teaching in the time the distribu as tion of wisdom and the promulgation of a law. 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. longer disciples. 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. standing above and ruling a humanity they have helped to fashion. in his farewell speech to his disciples Zarathustra looks forward to a superlegislation future in which his friends. therefore. To create great endeavor.102 We Interpretation see that. the to power. to creating creators. first no people" the successful completion of this promulgation. directed to producing a determinate number of subordinate legislations or. 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. 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. but rather fellow creators. the coming to be of the superman.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. 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. insofar as he takes the paradigmatically human speech to be the authoritative speeches of the law. that he cities of men. as an expression of the indefi Zarathustra human. law that is. This new "light to the will itself recognize Zarathustra as the source of its light and.
in of that the final a Part One Zarathustra to his disciples to offers as the last injunction themselves" teaching that reject "find in order they may ultimately become his equals. it and as well. 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. by and made of same means his happiness made ("Zarathustra's Prologue. humanity being If he is itself into successful for the in his endeavor. but animal gods are and superman. It almost goes without fails is the question. rule of a justice that is identical to a certain form of inequality. therefore. saying that Zarathustra fails in this endeavor. 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 . will creators. The of his knowledge have become of coextensive with the horizon the law. Through it the political animal the rational animal will have been seamlessly joined and the law and made one. while bringing humanity first time. But Zara these thustra identifies the have perfect possession will of wisdom with secured happiness. Zarathustra will. the superhuman creator over his human creatures. At this culminating moment hind his veil. This teaching is is engineered produce within them the freedom of mind and will prerequisite to the activity of comprehensive: creation." 1). Accordingly. 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. create dom and.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra light of 103 the the truth of being. reveal himself to a his career. the authenticity of his superhuman if he is indeed able to make another like himself or confirm That is to say. simultaneously confirm the truth of his wis condition. 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. friends and fellow creators ("On the Giving Virtue." things. It will be a legislation in perfect accord with man nature of and man man's things or. in celebrating the feast of this new epiphany or. as it were. "the Great stand Noon. a He will his knowledge is being perfectly legal a himself blissful horizon divinity of who at the same time will philosopher-king will kings. a natural law. but teaching as from Zarathustra's speech of command own teaching. 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 he At the moment of the Great Noon man will no principle of all join longer is the between animal and god. 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. 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. this his account of the core of all beings as will to power and as indefinitely since plastic." 3).
he henceforth they now bids last sufficiently prepared his friends for this rejection." "divinely strive against one At the same or moment. to be absurd. This interpretation. has itself in its the core the same vengeful passion that Zarathustra identifies manifests as the source of what teaching of the preachers of sickness" calls "the turning and equality and that "the tyrant liberation he madness." of first half his of Part Two. Neverthless. the Zarathustra as "Tarantula" "preacher equality. Nonetheless. however. must accomplish pre teaching force them into Song" an all too human bondage to its lover": it "The Night of a expresses an intense desire . which marks the cul mination of a series of engagements with his "enemies. of course. 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. however." in other words. What and grotesque of a devil. his venom. the distribution of his author. must reject in full awareness of what it is they are rejecting. them to become his enemies and suggests that from another. of course. appears independent inquiries. on the basis of their own or ate this truth for themselves. that the to pave the of teaching he believes to be a path to will instead prove way to enslavement and self-enslavement. 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. 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.104 Interpretation so ing The that. to create his equals in the form of fellow creators. but about himself as the the basis of his inadequate understand mountain retreat ing of the dream. 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. it is precisely what made clear at the awakes at Zarathustra demands Two. they may appropri they may reject it in full awareness of its truth."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. The venom of the Tarantula is his doctrine justice ity at the center of which. lies the desire for suggests This doctrine is. as Zarathustra has argued. opposed to Zarathustra's own doctrine of justice as inequality. rushes his teaching. In "The Child which a child his disciples." victory over he bites him of and infects him as equal revenge. of latter. 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." Zarathustra seems to believe that he has at Consequently. "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. By the seventh speech of Part Two ("On the Tarantulas"). What this incident another is that Zarathustra's attempt to make at like himself.
If they are to become his equals in creation they must reject that teaching in full awareness of its truth. this condition with another. that is. It . and adhere to and fulfill this teaching. is perfectly self-sufficient self-legislation or one's own will their wills from any other. And in creating while rejecting the true teaching of creation they are determined not by the truth of the will alone. made clear through stands following reflection. fellow creators and wise instead result in one of two remain his disciples may returning equally unsatisfactory situations. they must liberate above oneself as one's it. therefore. dependency disciples' upon or subordinate status to the will of an Thus the truth of Zarathustra's teaching. but infe who will always fall short of his own perfection. That his disciples but fail in their his enemies efforts to free themselves from Zarathustra's tutelage by becoming however. but by the falsehood of their willful ignorance. therefore. that is. consequently. In attempting to liberate their wills from subordination so all to the will of another they subordinate themselves to the will of Zarathustra. they may transform themselves able neither to cannot from friends into accept enemies of Zarathustra and. Moreover. is under in pursuing the their own independent activity of creation. In order for Zarathustra's disciples to become fellow creators. 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"). to establish a community of and reciprocity. On the other hand. disciples and. therefore. be his love nor to offer love to him in return. Creation. and It thus reveals Zarathustra's distribute his wisdom. the com incoherent in its own terms. has its motive not wisdom and thereby his superhuman simply a desire to confirm his but moreover a longing to share condition. 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. and this is men. which reveals Zarathustra to be the legislator of his reject own supposed self-legislation. But precisely in such rejection they obey the final command of. dependent position as disciples and attempt to become in their own autonomous creators right. The distribution of his wisdom create not equals capable of rior creatures of his will properly receiving returning his love. munity is now apparent to Zarathustra. for he has come to perceive that the teaching he took to be the proper means to establish this perfectly reciprocal love must sity violate of its fundamental principle. requires that they his teaching as an external determination upon their wills. 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.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra 105 that (Begierde) ate another to give and receive love effort to with perfect mutuality. as through such distribution cre like himself. prove incapable either of or even of they may reject their properly receiving the gifts of his love. On the one hand.
Through wished to pro- his legislation and the transmission of . dancing of a group of "lovely wisdom. my virtue grew it in "The Night Song": "my happiness in giving died in tired of itself in its overflow. 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. Zarathustra's attempt to combine jus perfectly reciprocal tice and love. revenge. ("On the Giving Vir 1). confesses that this he In no longer knows where he is or how to go forward. self-sufficient a them aware of their own poverty and dependence in relation to He will put them to shame. 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. will supplant the for love his the perfection of Zarathustra's giving or creation proves to be at the same its undoing. review order to articulate the structure of this aporia it is to the progress of Zarathustra's thought in the his wisdom following Zarathustra terms. As he puts giving. 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. how he the seductive and veiled figure of Lady Wisdom who persistently In an extended series of questions at the end of eludes speech his he gaze and grasp. the punishment or desire for soul. consequently.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. spite. he is in useful a state of aporia. with his wisdom. Yet that thus be impossible in its of This impossibility law. The dominant passion of the preachers of equality. but by self-mockery. As "The Night Song" predicts. compatible with the moral law insofar tue. and the desire for revenge within his soul." Through its distribution Zarathustra distribution distribution proves to sought to confirm own terms. wisdom." By false terized "The Dance Song" of Part Two Zarathustra has become aware of the charac character of his by bombast he to accompany the Cupido. and Having failed in his with effort to unite to freedom with friendship justice love he will succumb desire to punish his disciples for the inferiority longing and incapacity within of which he is Thus time the cause." Consequently pedantry. will produce in his relations to his recalcitrantly inferior disciples the sad passions of envy. 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. 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.7 either to command another to be free or to will a Consequently.
therefore. 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 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. of the rational good. all human community established upon the basis of the law. that understood need on is. since. He cannot painful beyond endurance. Though in his trayal in a dialogue with his beloved Life of his unsatisfied thirst for and ongoing suit. he has identified perfect happiness with the and the two wisdom. from the perfect possession of speeches that beginning. 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.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra vide a comprehensive solution or 107 to the human problem. in which the just is included as false appearance. He man as political and man as rational and distinguishes sharply between concludes that the only genuine good is a transpolitical good. elaborating of the beautiful. the rule of the creator over his creatures to the advantage of both is impossible. 381). and his beautiful as the loving community of the believes to be a new extramoral account what he instead wise.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. and that. therefore. the morally or legally determined under and pursuit of wis philosophy. in "The Grave attempts follow he of to resolve his perplexity by jettisoning both his understanding understanding and the political good. to secure the good happiness for his fellows with and himself. the word "philoso por phy" nowhere appears within the speeches of Zarathustra. or that love is incompatible with the self-legislating freedom of the will. That is to say. the In doing so he considers himself to have stepped beyond the limitations of the political realm. 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. As he reveals at the close of "The Dance Song. the just as final political order. Accordingly. and to have ascended to the naked truth of things. and the good. The in wisdom and toward the awareness of self-contradictory nature of Zarathustra's Gay Science. Thus if in Part . pursuit of Wisdom Zarathustra comes close of a to the ophy and. 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. What Nietzsche suggests in "The Dance is that the inco Song" herence human need as of Zarathustra's wisdom points of need away from an understanding of the good as the knowledge overcoming of ignorance (cf. in his his newly won awareness of his the ignorance because he finds perplexity into which he has been thrown he misses the mark." he cannot understand his life to be worth living if he cannot believe himself to be Song" wise. that false horizon now of the is.
order to lay a wreath upon the tomb of the lost loves of his In the course of the lamentations he offers loved dead. rabble who are those whom the Tarantulas or preachers of equality serve: the of vulgar or well or the great majority fountain human beings. however. control of The failure of be brought completely under the the distribution of Zarathustra's wisdom to to . consequently. 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. 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"]). Nevertheless. but of itself personified as a malevolent host assembled to oppose and thwart vulgarity him in his endeavors. "enemies" however. that is. envy. happy. Zarathustra's primary opponents. and his revulsion before and the low extinguished his love. In other words. That is love were to say. for having corrupted the souls of those he loved best spite. His creation was supposed to guarantee both "eternity" the perfection and of his love. e." 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.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. Zarathustra blames his failures position. fundamental doctrine ple of both his He original and his revised teachings remains the of the will to power.g. and however. 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"). the conditions of possi bility and his his actual enjoyment of will. 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. a love expressed in (seligen Geister)." 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. As is his habit. in the second half of Part Two he to have liberated himself entirely from the cave of the law and to have for ascended evil what into the light of the sun of a sense.. Zarathustra's la angry accusation as mentation. 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. and reaffirms the will to power as the first princi Song. 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. the longing for revenge. and by infecting them with the vulgar or base passions of.
in the infinite power of the will. His own others disgust and indignation before the traces be low that he detects in In fact it thus itself appear to an expression of this same vulgarity. His cannot skepticism extends to all supposedly final knowledge. he realizes.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. but to those whom he calls "you he now embraces precisely the unlimited character of the will and the wisest. ing") Zarathustra his revised version of the will No longer addressing himself to his disciples. He adopts a dogmatic skepticism. and indignation that have led to the premature deaths his loves. Without himself being aware of it. 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.10 At the end of this same speech Zarathustra offers his new extramoral ac count of the good." Life. he says is." indefinite plurality or virtue and all of its creations that he originally sought to limit. 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. as well as relegated teaching concerning limited and any particular teaching now regarding the character of being. Zarathustra thus replaces his dogmatic moral wis dom with an amoral skeptical wisdom that nevertheless remains grounded of the will fundamental dogma to power. In the immediately following articulates "The Grave Song" ("On Self-Overcom to power doctrine. manifests itself in an infinite becoming." creative It is identical to the creation of values as an ongoing activity or to the ever-renewed . and resurrects the creative activity of the can continue will highest The will to power doctrine. For the will. It is a protean mon must not that hides its essential indeterminacy in the ceaseless production of false in his and ephemeral appearances. he also concludes that any particular vice. must be to the status of a transitory and so false fabrication infinite of the will to power. "whatever I oppose how I love it rooted I have to it and my love: thus my win will have it. however. therefore. in expressing its or unlimited character. 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. destroy ster such self-created only perpetually create. but perpetually limitations upon its own activity. Be that it may. 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. As a conse good and evil quence." again and soon and. spite. The greatest good. and the of the by the infection of his longing for revenge. seems of to be this disgust youthful enemy. In doing so go of rest he lays to as the as his desire for love good. "the good.
" as a "still sea" whose calls riddling surface hides "impenetrable of the The infinite. "Thus Spake Zarathustra. 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. But the "values. 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. the false char acter of which is fully recognized by forth renounce any desire to enlighten the minds of its creator. naively (The Gay Science. which he has come to identify of a with beautiful. But the ceaseless creation of values requires the ceaseless precondition. the creation of values. virtue and vice are immiscible Zarathustra originally thought of that he had. the false perspective of the moral law. as the highest good. from opposites."" de Zarathustra's of new paradigm of the highest life in the . the destruction of values. 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. through the examination of the laws the various peoples. it follows that the genuine of the good as understanding moral inseparable from evil is incompatible virtue and with the understanding of good and evil as identical to vice. the possession of wisdom. destruction of values as its Accordingly." as a form of artful play. 382. Ecce with all that was Homo. 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. as a whole through the transmission of Consequently. or itself stands the gloomy seriousness of those ideals. ascended from the plurality of accounts of moral virtue morality. his desire for happiness as he understands it." 2). of course. that moral has compelled him to distinguish the the good from virtue. Zarathustra describes it "On the Sublime. . . wisdom and will and And. himself to purchasing his its first principle. law or or as he it there. the self-sufficient freedom at the expense of the enslavement of everyone else." self-concealing above cre beautiful moral ideals. necessarily the greatest evil. must veil itself in the false the appearances of wholeness and com pleteness of the moral ation of beautiful.110 Interpretation of fabrication transitory teachings of good and evil as virtue and vice. If the creation of values requires the legislation morality. then Zarathustra must hence his disciples and mankind his wisdom. good untouchable. 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. Gay Science when he speaks "the ideal of a mind who plays divine" hitherto If the called holy. he . necessarily imprisons the Thus Zarathustra of mind and will those upon whom he imposes his creation. in clinging to his its freedom. entails moral (true) extramoral understanding He argues that since the greatest good. for. It is. Zarathustra is understanding and a now able to distinguish between a of good and (false) evil. will's "sublime" character good." he describes himself depths.
" 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. 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").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. he values the admittedly political community. this second Zarathustra will penetrate as as riddling surface of the regnant Zarathustrian teaching. 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. the undiscovered in the furthest sea: after it I call my sails to seek and to seek. is now understood by and from the intercourse radically of one human mind with another. The reproduction of the good is guaranteed (cf. think through. Zarathustra himself has done. help lower level than his The reason for this . but ultimately to the generation. demolish it. Plato. truth. and. therefore.207a). with caution and of subtlety. now wishes to the beautiful a means to "procreation" ("On Immaculate Knowledge") or the activity in the person of another. the beautiful becomes a kind of rase through which the 206a. Zarathustra of attempts to demolish the tradition he confronts. however.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra renounces -111 his longing for love such or for genuine community are a with another like himself and denies that love and happiness. comes to understand the implications self. in some indefinite future. to the end of reproduc words. Symposium reproduction of his own good. This fellow thinker is name within the work. He listens carefully to these speeches. of another like himself. his old moral teaching. Zarathustra In other gives dren. as a means not only to realizing the freedom of his will. anew out use the rains he has as Zarathustra. It creating on a will fail because each of activity in the person of another Zarathustra's successors can predecessor. never given a proper sayer comes but is simply called "the to understand is that Zarathustra's attempt to of Truthsayer. 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. As we have already observed." up As he the men of the present and turns his attention to producing "chil proclaims in "On the Land Education. in new doing so. These of a new Zarathustrian tradition that will ultimately provide for the coming into the being of a new creator. He will attempt to direct the sense with another human being. the realm of ing the life that is free on and slavery and informed by the of falsehood." What the Truth his initial transcend understanding must of not the just political order by reducing the political realm to a mere means to the reproduction of his own necessity fail. As in the case of sexual intercourse." "now I love only my children's land. and create engendered." as he calls it. its fundamental incoherence.
Consequently. 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. in his dream Zarathustra sees that. of Zarathustra's his successor cannot. will exist on a still lower level and not only in terms of creation. but rather a all efforts of creation and was. everything That is to say." climate in which "the best grow tired of their works" "harvested" after having predominate or the multitude of vulgar "rotten fruit" and. 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. become the "night-watchman death.."13 It is the low despair point of this necessary future in which those process of decline that the prophecy with of will the Truthsayer predicts: a over the capacity to create the vanity of consequently succumb to the belief that "everything is empty. in which "shallow swamps" reins of political rule men. everything is one. During his draw the col experiences a second nightmare in which he seems to appro lessons from the Truthsayer's He is the prophecy.. Zarathustra the Third. 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. Thus. his own efforts at through the transmission of a enervation and paralysis of reproducing the life of the creator Zarathustrian tradition must finally result in an the will. therefore. despite the in some to this region of the dead. 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. as it were. 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. 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. In words. just the prophet had predicted. If Zarathustra's successor must destroy cannot the Zarathustrian tradition even in order to clear the way for the creation of his own." and grave-watchman on the hill and fortress of guardian of other life that has been "overcome" that lies in as coffins around him.112* Interpretation as decline is sibility perfect of follows. The implication seems to difficulties that the Truthsayer has foreseen. the high point of Zarathustra's best moral teaching. however. the Truthsayer foresees that Zarathustra will engender not a second Zarathustra. the future continues way . but in terms of knowledge as well.14 have been handed over to the ignorant Zarathustra is laid low lapse he priate by the "prophecy" of the Truthsayer. and regurgitates an odd assort images of resurrected life. In his dream Zarathustra has . 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. serve as a vehicle for the reproduction of own activity: his own successor. bursts open. Nevertheless.
Nietzsche does not afford us this pleasure. By willing will's his own superior existence as of the inevitable in this way he would reproduce the highest good. 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." will Truthsayer posed responds to Zarathustra's ostensible solution to the problem he has for him. 1. From this low point. 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). to say to Zarathustra at the meal they by the speech of Part Three realize entitled "On the Vision and the Riddle. more to Zarathustra's own teaching that "the will is a height from which we creator" ascend to the makes began. Much as we would like to know how the lieves the difficulties the Truthsayer "drowned. the series of tradi follow in their decline and renewal a necessary and need course. 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. 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. not to willing all of the past. recovers he appears to fathom the full significance his that dream. If. is the causal principle of number of of those peoples. 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. This insight is cause. at least at this point. if any one necessity fall under one of a among the infinite finite number of kinds regime.2)." Zarathustra has the come to that the apparent salvation of his revised ac count of the will to power as the perdition of creativity. but to willing this willing. when combined with seems to suggest that a initially encouraging to Zarathustra be his understanding of the will as self-overcoming. Zarathustra traces this circular at trajectory will as willing the point in the discourse which following teaching in "The of Truthsayer" ("On Redemption") in he speaks of his own the liberator and then follows this with an account of the decline of the will "madness" from this height in it seeks to annul several stages to the nadir of the will's which we or return once itself in willing not-willing.The 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. 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. . the peoples must of Yet. however. The suggestion that Zarathustra immediately following seems this account that the will must learn to "will in its backwards" to refer. Whatever the Truthsayer may have had shared. of therefore. the Machiavelli. Dis courses on Livy. Zarathustra. then. namely.
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. "O Zarathustra high. must past and Accordingly. That there are problems lurking Zarathustra's apparent solution to the presented by the eternal return of the same is made clear at the end of . being is an Accordingly. 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. regimes implies a circular recurrence on the cosmological scale or that a power at the core of all being must give rise to the . since if he cannot will the past in such a future as his own creation.' "My day-wisdom mocks all 'infinite worlds. Zarathustra's Riddle" own gloom over this insight is or in "On the Vision heaviness" and the by the voice of the . then the creation or represented will can never be first cause and there can be no genuine liberty in this sense. . but the way eternal recurrence of all as to reproduce it in the or things. but every stone that is thrown . Thus. eternal return of . 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.114- Interpretation his doctrine that at the core of all then Zarathustra must reconsider unlimited power. according the Zarathustra's current understanding. therefore. In of the whole of things and first cause of it wills its own will or becomes self-caused." mological and necessitarian version of the thought of the eternal return: truth is crooked.' 'Where force (Kraft) is. implies the that the recurrence of the past and the future recurrence of the moment in which the eternal return is known and. 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. he now concludes that the circular recurrence of finite finite same. time itself is sees a Zarathustra. saying. "dwarf" the "mind of of wisdom! fall!" who mocks You have thrown yourself you stone him. . In a last-ditch attempt to salvage the freedom of the will that he understands to be the highest good. cosmological whole that appears to By willing the recurrence of all things. the dwarf replies with the cos "all circle. its to necessity by willing the eternal as it were. in which it may be willed. however. namely. then he must submit to secondary cause within the nexus of causes being will merely a dependent deter mining the necessity of recurrence. . he therefore makes a virtue out of this way the will so the becomes. the first cause own willing: recurrence of all things. The truth Zarathustra believes himself to undermine his to have discovered. the As he says in "On the Three Evils": For my wisdom it has more says: "" force. seems fundamentally teaching first concerning the freedom of the will. 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. however.
that was my disgust at all creation" existence. 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. 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.16 dominion would the Truthsayer prophesied. . all would be one. but the per recurrence of the bad in the form of the lowest and smallest sort of the rabble. into my throat. 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. "foreseeing" longer man."17 In the thought of the eternal return the doctrine of the will to power as necessarily entail self-sufficient and shows." That "the man recurs realizes would eternally . the life but is in creative great effect of in. despite the rosy "monster" his into animals paint of "snake" it. the of the . knowledge would Thus. 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. that is. . the thought of the eternal recurrence of all things is the or. the that has crawled his throat. choked me and crept . paradoxically.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. 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. 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 . of sickness" therefore. of It is. 21). Though his insist that his never "spit" "destiny" is to become this doc the teacher of the eternal return." Moreover. nothing be profitable. When the no does this he up one laughing day?" and "no longer shepherd. as Zarathustra now describes it. the result of what he takes to be the highest human activity. 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 . Zarathustra trine and in fact describes himself as it. freedom will at its peak. The presence of the low not only persists human life.18 does this promulgate "monster" having he is from him." 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. that this the first and final cause of all knowing animals and all being is decisively refuted by Zarathustra himself.
love and. a good that lies beyond the justice of its moral law." revenge. he discovers that the presence within philosophy in the midst of things is a good that cannot be made to fit . but. In other desire (Lust) for eternity words. its law and sway of the rabble.20 freedom his of mind are incompatible his "wisdom. however.e. and that genu knowing will. of "justice" "freedom. the will and its desire for and i. Therefore it shows both that which a complete causal account could cosmological order." 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. 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. which this The self-contradictory is the image of a cosmos in double causality of the will. Nietzsche's primary Platonic recovery of Socratic sense. Far from having escaped the its justice. Zarathustra's revised version of the will an expression of the most to power doctrine passion.21 need. 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. Finally.116 to Interpretation all things under the bring political 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. as a means through which to realize the the political community and account of highest good. of a of parts of Zarathustra as it was published under Nietzsche's attempts to author ity may be characterized as follows. character of grounded the thought of the eternal return. the char acter of which he takes to be essentially indeterminate or fluid. 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 as on the awareness of the goodness of need and the the other hand. the thought of the eternal return developed. in Part Three. of not be given. but is ine rather a projection of and the political onto the natural realm. "purification" That the drama philosophy The three can Zarathustra is ultimately devoted to such be seen by reviewing its overall trajectory. In doing so he offers a teleological the beautiful and the good are wherein becoming in which fundamentally is distinct." 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 Part One Zarathustra found a political order that principle of all is truly just by structuring it in accordance with the true being.. that the will is the primary phenomenon and its freedom being. is in the deepest tension with the principle of the life of philosophy. on the one hand. however. In Part Two he attempts to employ the becoming of the political community. shows such a cosmos to be impos a "rational" sible. namely. is in accord with reason.
The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra a -117 beautiful to the whole of justly ordered parts. 4. Through the twofold parody twofold presentation of Zarathustra's "wisdom" Nietzsche of philosophy. rooted In neglecting to perform an analysis of regimes. 153. 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. That the made clear of speeches of the Truthsayer June 21. 7. See Letter to Karl Knortz 2. 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. 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. In Part Three. See "On Cf." turns out to be Cupido or Eros. also see Ecce Homo. Writing"). Beyond Good and Evil. Of course. but the mutual pursuit of wisdom. Cf. Tablets. Zarathustra's painted of Socrates' Second Sailing Song" (Chicago: distinction between the necessary and the good. Zarathustra's to command his disciples to Jesus' free themselves from their belief in his his disciples to love one another teaching is and the negative reflection of on the attempt to command belief in his teaching and his divinity. 202. 1888.22 upon in his wanderings. examination of This discovery human the or political a things. 8. 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. p." Nietzsche philosophical version writing its artful completeness or finitude. are behind Zarathustra's thought of the eternal return is in "On the Convalescent. Zarathustra later specifies the ignorance of human beings Virtue" as believing they and know New what is they do not. appears to offer a 11. It points to the Seth Benardete. it also points to the partial obstruction that the political community and its justice pose to the acquisition of that good. 10. but by only by his community in Zarathustra's the speech and thought with community based not upon the mutual possession. but that nevertheless conveys a good ness totality is of things which would made possible not be absent from such a perfect whole." 5. however. ful man that Zarathustra has chanced that he has to a friend. belatedly offers the most fundamental kinds of regime: rule of the one and rule of ("despotism"). As such he is the closest thing NOTES 1. after having covered quite a bit of ground in his thinking. parodies "wisdom. if the refutation of Zarathustra's claim to wisdom points to philosophy as the human good. Zarathustra's mind of is the "mind heaviness" of ("On Reading heaviness. On the simplest level. He explicitly Zarathustra as a . 23). 9." 3. 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. 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. Zarathustra has aspect of the political community that is recalcitrantly his understanding of man. of this In the original dogmatic and and legislative version parody may be Zarathustra's characterized as follows. Behind the 6. and therefore of being. University of Chicago Press). in that irrational. is "the attempt revenge" mind of ("On Redemption"). good and evil when the Chairs of and "On the Old Tables.'' something like an analysis of rule of the few ("nobility") and the many ("mob-rule"): "On Old and New "devil" 11. 4. Zarathustra. He is simply the most thought Truthsayer. Preface. The Truthsayer is obviously neither a disciple of Zarathustra's teaching nor a creature of his will.
David Farrell Krell (San Francisco: Harper and sense See his Nietzsche. IV. Michael Gillespie Tracy Strong (Chicago: in University with of Press. but only on that of philosophical writing. See "The port of Wanderer' and "On Blessedness Against the This thrice-reiterated Jesus Will." Thus Spoke Zarathustra represents his attempt at such a solution. as god. ed.'' Great Events." 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. the political between the philosopher's pursuit of the truth must include an examination of the false appearances of the political realm. The Wisdom of the Ancients. namely." 16. 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." renunciation is the negative reflection of Peter's thrice-repeated renunciation of immediately before his death. Homer. Row. 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. The Eternal Recurrence of the Same. 1988). 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. 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. Vol. . 12. as man." Life's be is self-overcoming weaker steals. 28-31. Odyssey." 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. in community with the lowest of the low and submits to suffering the greatest of passions and. lacking . 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. . 1935]. Nietzsche's "On publication of Truthsayer. his revised wisdom in which mind and the unconditional freedom and self-suffi ciency of the will were to be perfectly combined. "Proteus. where he makes reference to the last aphorism of the original edition of the tragoedia' latter work. 17. 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. therefore. II." 1 1.118 Interpretation preface parody in the "'Incipit to The Gay Science. overcoming of need. wonders whether in the way of his understanding the thought This renunciation certain other philosophers as well. 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. Cf. it would require "something double. In the words of dictory: I myself am phie myself cause Karl Lowith. divided and self-contra for all eternity the fatality of all existence and its eternal return and: I world" only one conditioned fatality in all the circling of the natural der Ewigen Wiederkunft des Gleichen [Berlin: Kohlhammer." 360-425 and Bacon. "The speech Self-Overcoming. Matter. Zarathustra's p. or Zarathustra. what 53-54. he then goes on to Zarathustra concludes from this self-refutation that is pp. It should come as no surprise. 13. As Nietzsche's Zarathustra makes clear. 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. to uncover that which is unchanging in the nature of things or fundamental problems": see Beyond Good and and Evil. trans. to articulate (Nietzsches Philoso 197). the realm of ignorance and falsehood. turns out to be a necessary precondition for the life that is preeminently free because it is devoted to the pursuit of truth. Unfortunately. 15. reproduces at its peak the contradiction that stands at the center of the traditional morality he had hoped man-god decisively to transcend: is." is the im "On Zarathustra's three headshakes before his disciples in Part Two: and see "On the Poets. 14." "The Truthsayer. 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. 1984). "historicist" offer a not interpretation accordance Nietzsche's "the philosophical intention. 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. 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. 23. pp. XIII.
283-85. 30. 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. she for that doctrine in abstraction from the contexts of the works in each work squared found and. characterizes world following that terms. 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. despite his commitment to a particular set of moral values or convictions (see Clark. one can legitimately wishes to appear in the guise of a teacher and promoter of why it is that Nietzsche these doctrines. If both Zarathustra and. above all. therefore. a philosopher free of all attachment to moral asserts the cosmological and that philosophy is. and The Gay Science. 1990). 152 and 192. Robespierre. 289. Zarathustra Socrates' 3." 54): Clark insists that Nietzsche recognition that there are no good arguments to support teaching of the will to it. 264). however. Nietzsche on clearly Truth Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. the Truthsayer proves to be very persistent in alone." also Dancing 4. 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. therefore. Sunrise. 40. 36 and 87. 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." Having pears by chance.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra 18. "Where chattering is there the community in speech and thought in the lies before me like a garden. 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. 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. Preface. 27. . bridge. 3. Song. To every soul belongs another world. p." 21. on account of his 227). (Speech of 7 June. bumped into Zarathustra him: he simply Need. This leads her to attribute to Nietzsche an attitude that cannot be they with his own definition. for the smallest just. the ill-constituted. chooses to treat which Nietzsche's are arguments 213-27. In "On the Convalescent" Cf. 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. She power. 29. sceptical in character and so insistence that he is.'' for every is an afterworld. "Fame and Second Sailing. Seth Benardete. Dithyrambs of Dionysus. 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. Unfortunately. Nietzsche himself ultimately will repudiate the doctrines of the to power and the eternal return. comes closer to the truth in her treatment of Nietzsche's differing presentations of the thought of the eternal return (see Clark. namely. too too soul had been bitten idea by the moral tarantula Rousseau. pp. vertu' 20. 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." and 22. "Kant depths felt of to be a concealing surface adopted by the presentation of his thought. 'de fonder sur la terre l'empire de la sagesse. p. 381) that is directed to (a) overtly appealing to while at the same time covertly undermining the dominant prejudices of his time. (b) proffering a morality while simultaneously demonstrating that the genuine life of philosophy is in the deepest tension with the moral law." necessity in the form of bodily need: he insists on a meal before indulging in speeches." eternal desire longs for "The Other For all desire wants itself: "The Drunken Eternity. 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. from the complex motion of the larger argument that in its entirety unfolds. 1794)": Daybreak. How lovely it is words and sounds exist: are words and sounds not rainbows and bridges of appearance soul (Schein) between the eternally divided. by "convictions" ("Antichrist. "All Song." merely by looking into each other's faces. 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.
95 paper.. $19. and National Socialism Frank Schalow of New Orleans John D. 1993).. $14. and Nazism (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni versity Press..95. Heidegger. Vol.. $49. Fall 1998. Berel Lang. Heidegger's Confrontation ogy.Review Essays Heidegger. Caputo.50 cloth.95. $15. Tom Rockmore. 1995). NY: Cornell University Press. Philosophy. this century comes to a close. University the Polity. 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. 1990). Julian Young. even to the point of at "apologetics. I develop to un- such an approach by examining a wide spectrum of which seek interpretation. Yet these works reverse effect of interest in his for his philosophy. Politics. No. 1992). xi + 382 pp. itics (Princeton: Princeton Timely Meditations: Martin Heidegger and Postmodern Pol University Press.. Heidegger's Silence (Ithaca. 1993).50 paper. Demythologizing Heidegger (Bloomington: Indiana University Press.95 paper." spawning stimulating new if not as actions least for his perhaps philosophical vision. 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.. xii + 263 pp. xi + 234 pp. Heidegger's Crisis: Philosophy and Politics in Nazi Germany (Cambridge. a wave of books have appeared which develop this theme. x + 285 pp. MA: Harvard University Press. + 306 pp. 1 .50 cloth. Zimmerman. Leslie Paul Thiele. $49. $33. greater notoriety. Since Victor Farias published his book detailing Heidegger's involvement in National Socialism (1987). xii + 129 pp. xv + 232 pp. Art (Bloomington: Indiana with Modernity: Technol xxvii University Press.50 Hans Sluga. 1997). 26.. $15.95 paper. $47. Indeed. Heidegger's Philosophy and Nazism (Berkeley: University of California Press. $19. Michael E. 1996). In this essay.
politics. we can making inferences from Heidegger the man-politician and vice versa. Farias' attempt ontology and his reactionary outstanding example. daeo-Christianity. Caputo's forms an important those scholars who sit on the Heideggerian fence and those who his philosophy because of his politics. the scope considering his or her corol of that freedom remains un clear. world comes a more recent example within the English-speaking and from Tom Rockmore's Heidegger's a method of Philosophy Hans Sluga Nazism. When scholars analyze Heidegger's philosophy." in Heidegger's Crisis. namely.g. that he exhibited antisemitic provides silence about the ual allegiance evaluate horrors of Auschwitz tendencies. Wherever the terpret criticism of Heidegger becomes which most severe. that Heidegger recanted National Socialism its ideology. implicit evidence and that of his his contin to National ways of different Socialism. Lyotard. is . of and Derrida. I will point cover the truth about to a theme which remains dormant throughout the majority of those analyses. In the process. we must consider those which explore the ten between his innovative development political views. which follows on the heels of to re-examine Heidegger's involvement in National Socialism. implements his an "analytic" method to refute by point the damning evidence critics gather against him. however. As bridge between reject discover. In order to discern this tendency. along with the literature detail ing the atrocities of the Holocaust. the interconnection between Heidegger's concept of freedom and the example of his politics. Given this historical archaeology. Although Farias champions this position. we must examine different interpretive the polity ger's sion strategies which scholars employ to outline the place of in Heidegger's and thought. "Teutonic-Hellenism" including Ju- Levinas. We can appreciate a thinker's politics only even when by lary treatment of freedom. of to Heidegger the intellectual-thinker darkest implications Not surprisingly. One point example.. Caputo develops "deconamination structive" strategies as practiced by the luminaries of postmodernity. several books paint the Heideggerian Among these books is Richard Wolin's The Politics of Being. including Berel Lang's Heidegger's Silence. Rockmore implements criticism. we will to expose Heidegger's thought to the criticisms of work those traditions which his brand excludes. Among first the various books addressing Heideg Nazism politics. e. they a conclusion often subordinate their explication of his concept of freedom to already the drawn about his politics.122 Interpretation his fascist ties. attempts to rein vision his thought in such ways more compatible with our democratic become Julian inevitable. for example. Unlike Zimmerman. which also exemplifies historical. that may be described This fact-gathering enterprise is crucial in order to embraced as "sociologicalsupport the con and never clusions. From this a more radical spirit of an of criticism of Heidegger arises ex his presuppositions. which is exemplified in John Caputo's Demythologizing Heidegger. of One such is Michael Zimmerman's Heidegger's Confrontation "immanent" with Modernity.
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. The thinker's commitment to authentic existence fosters the openness of philosophical appears between thought and existence. ethics. Caputo. and National Socialism also 123 Young's Heidegger. We Thiele's Timely Meditations. hence. If the inquiry into being is to have its root in the historical situation of human beings. sanctuary for truth apart from its exemplification in the realm As Herbert Marcuse argues in a famous letter to his teacher: . 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. he If concrete praxis orients the question of being.Heidegger. and Charles Scott began Heidegger's to recognize in the 1980's. Nazism. of ethics and politics. 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. must help to shape the landscape of ontological inquiry. 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. Being and Time (1927). As poignant as revelations were. the Polity.. then any such investigation must speak to those ethical dilemmas which distinguish perhaps the most turbu lent period in world history. e. The Farias' effect of revelations. already the publication of his magnum opus. indeed. which shift in the emphasis on provides the climate Heidegger scholarship not only parallels for hearing the troubling allegations Farias' but. While in capturing the interest of many importance been etched in Heidegger's thought with its had scholars. 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. however. 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. In this work. raises. philosophy originates from the concrete situa ing tion in which the inquirer places him. As Zimmerman. II. thereby creating a buffer between the brilliance of his ontological insights and whatever myopia he may have shown in his political judgment. Even been prior to Farias' book. then practical concerns. Given this reciprocity hypocritical to suggest that philoso phy of human can secure a action. Philosophy. inquiry.g.or herself in question and owns up to his emphasizes that a thinker can engage or her unique existence as a finite it self. This work. he this correlation may have been slow in ontological inquiry only by participat in being's disclosure.
Thus the question he asks is not simply whether his thinking became juxtaposed Heidegger had Nazi ties. the our need to day. we cannot make the distinction between the he philosopher and the human be being be were Martin Heidegger it contradicts your own philosophy. spearhead ing violence and mass destruction themselves. Yet could Heidegger verted went astray by underestimating how leaders be sub by the powers of technology they seek to harness. The audacity of the politi decision became the corollary to the philosopher's attempt at original thinking. granting humanity the power to impose its will on the diver sity of being's manifestation. As Zimmerman emphasizes. 84). By 'thinking. That is. Heideg instruments of technology." up to the its darkness and horror to face the crisis of not far fetched. technology in social organization in order that we can combat ger saw and this potential both Western capitalism and communism as for destruction.124 '. and turned everything that ever was and truth into its opposite. As Zimmerman states: . Michael Zimmerman and em braces this statement as the leitmotif for his discussion. Interpretation . 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." nature. i. 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.' he did not mean rational calculation. 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. "Heidegger claimed that only authentic thinking and poetry could mons cians' human beings to face this save Germany in its hour of crisis. us most basic global consideration of all remains the problem Because of its solicits from equally radical responses destructive power. let alone the turmoil of including develop a new politics Germany in the 1930's. and the end of metaphysics. the which unique forgetting of being. On the surface. but instead the mode of comportment which opened one awesome and dreadful presencing (p. but instead how with such a why what destructive ideology. is of political which things. A philosopher can mistaken about politics then will openly admit his error. but the of technology.e.. ." the process of aspects of issues simultaneously and distinguish their As course. One can debate the sociological factors ment which surround Heidegger's involve in National Socialism. is "the question concerning all domination over exerts control and technology technology. pp. The inquiry by he can address all of these configuration. as the political movement which sum hence turned to National Socialism epochal challenge.' bloody In Heidegger's Confrontation with Modernity. of "enframing.
As reactionary modernists. . and that he himself was thus the worldhistorical figure who would transform the 'destiny' fate of the West. Unfortunately. 132) The heroic leader must exhibit the creative power to transform tradition.Heidegger. translating that insight into guidelines of political arises to take On the other hand. Not surprisingly. that is. elements of must Art becomes the vehicle incompatible harmony revered and strife. frenzy and violence. harmony from strife. Heidegger's hero sense of combines a nostalgia for the Greek origins with a grandiose "destiny" (Geschick) as reflected in Schelling's thought. Holderlin. Heidegger may flawed realm of politics could cal vision person of succumb to a ever yield a kind of hubris in it is one believing that the leader its with the kind of world-histori to match technology's global reach. But the question becomes whether the artist's way of begetting creativity from chaos. tion can provide even the barest recipe for politics. p. According thing to accuse a to Zimmerman. but instead blood and instinct. his we must still ask where a rift emerges why Heidegger found National Socialism to be at these revelations leave us as scholars. 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. Zimmerman pinpoints the dissonance between Heidegger's grasp of the Westem crisis and the prospect of action. (P. to seek in the strife of the present the possibility of transmitting one's heri tage to future generations. domination humanity and nature. . recast Going forward. a new opportunity Heidegger's short fall as an occasion to re-examine the perennial problem of the relation and between theory praxis. the and National Socialism 'dark' 125 the Nazis meant by 'unrestrained' and was not the of being of entities. [emphasis on] the The grandson of the linking him with Holderlin. 84) In the end. philosophy and politics. For those who still espouse Heideg gerian at the themes. Yet hubris and quite another to trace origin. Consider Heidegger's . the Nazis united instinct with technology in a way which led to unparalleled devastation. 127). The self-mythifying Heidegger believed that he had been destined to proclaim the saving vision of his hero. Once and destiny from destruc having understood tractive. a the greatest chal the lenge is to possibility Heidegger's thought through dialogue which examines of politics in the contemporary world. Sacrifice the rather than comfort provides key to motivate individuals to place their trust in a new political regime. it becomes forefront of increasingly evident that the question of politics lies any future appropriation of his philosophy. man born in a manger in Holderlin's beloved Swabian countryside knew that he was destined to change the course of history! (P. conflict and resolution. On the one hand. 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.
who rebuked for his "self-stylization into p. and temporality. truth. 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. in his youthful "hermeneutics of he ethos which includes motifs from primordial Christianity. love. e." which speaks contrast to the suffering "truth" of the of individual.126 Interpretation past Within the have decade. Caputo concurs teacher Karl Lowith. love otherwise absent facticity. we must cultivate a plu forum in which various criticisms of his philosophy: the need to heed the the and disenfranchised (Levinas). and heroism. The first involves the emergence of the political question and the revelations of ment Heidegger's involve in National Socialism. to the radically to the generic being's claim upon Dasein (p. charity. . 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. 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). . thinker. self-affirmation. a new voice of the persecuted "justice" (Lyotard).g. . Caputo. "His parallels his to specific volitional categories of strength. there have been two major breakthroughs which dramatically changed the face of Heidegger studies. the categories of tenderness. Heidegger's turn to National Socialism thought. baffling silence about of the gas chambers real to modem agri pain these are all scandalously suffering" insensitive to 'factical' and concrete human (p. The second pertains to the discovery of Heideg ger's thought uncovers an and in the early 1920's. "he the flesh in the biblical narratives (p. 73). 72). . To open Heidegger's thought to the ralistic "piety" traditions." community. Thus Caputo distinguishes the two dislocations in Heidegger's thought from which a new According commitment to topography of questioning can emerge. become 68). Only by possible a shepherd. In a De- mythologizing which plays against Heidegger. the dissident (Derrida). in his stark concept of Dasein. all of which stem from Hellenic the Holocaust. 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. As Caputo indicates. Ironically. In his 'being' " advancing this criticism. in must emerge "singular. 207). 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. the scandalous comparison culture . the German seem people's Christian heritage does not deterrent in preventing the atrocities of National Socialism. and sayer of Heideggerian thought of this tendency does it purging to cultivate another ethos whose roots spring from the Judaeo- Christian heritage. According to Caputo. including care. . (Lowith. Despite the deaf to the religious orientation of solicitousness about Heidegger's early thought.
National or no important. link (p. Rockmore. 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. 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. the self's exercise of resolve and sion of political decision and the of 1933. In Heidegger. 74).g. construes the term sense to mean the implementation of a kind of ideol rather ogy aligned with Heidegger's thought. 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. stance. Rockmore thereby closes the loophole by which Heidegger's seek an escape of defenders purity to his "Spiegel "political" his thought in over against from confronting his Nazism. and that. as Nazism. III. 54). . Rockmore schol exemplifies this critical does Sluga in Heidegger's Crisis. 54). maintaining the its contamination by his behavior from 1933 Interview" a narrower in 1966. these have is no bearing on our assessment of Heidegger may have exhibited as his thought. the Polity. however.. 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. Socialism" Rockmore's overarching thesis is that Heidegger's thought is "intrinsically (p." Heidegger's philosophy (e. Both in Heidegger's texts and more as ars proceed less as disciples in steeped histo "guilt" rians. propagated not view only by Heidegger but by some of his closest It is the between Heidegger's political" philosophical position and that. Because Rockmore way." story" detective story assessing his As Rockmore states. "What I call the 'official' view students.Heidegger. roughly speaking. Yet even given the plausibility of these connec tions. and cial their strategy is to uncover unusual facts about Heidegger the person and then weave them together "innocence. for Rockmore "hero. namely. he couches the Heideggerian problem of this polis in this which supposedly hold be National Socialism. than a reflection upon the princi ples of the polity. This distinction becomes important. 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. the "destiny") are adaptable to Nazism and only Nazism." more makes a stronger claim than most Nazism was based in his in suggesting that Heidegger's "turn to (p. Philosophy. there is no. despite a whatever personal shortcomings man. being's transmis its destiny most to a chosen intellectual German people's emergence as a vanguard of world history. Thus Rock philosophy" "resoluteness." maintains that the key motifs of "conscience.
He emphasizes less the intricacies took in of Heidegger's thought philosophy does can the unique role which cal action. . In Heidegger's Crisis. What shared with only German intellectual to align with the dark it about not only Heidegger.128 Interpretation to According dient Rockmore. In this clear sense Lang's the is not altogether novel. In Heidegger's Silence. but the intellectual others. but in thought" ignoring the "Jewish question" continues to "settle for limits to his forces life he (pp. the professional and the thesis (p. 100-101). Berel Heidegger ignored the retrospect. in con again neglected the "Jewish question" Holocaust the most abominable maintains Rockmore. 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. of illumination and blindness. there which are different interpretations But it is safe to of the degree to he Heidegger was or was not antisemitic. 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 . philosophy assumes such a leadership role as com pensation for a floundering economic and political life characterizing Germany . unlike the nihilism Nietzsche envisioned. the Holocaust may be of such a singular darkness. Of course. The "tragic question then becomes. Lang ger history (pp. Ironically. 5-8). freedom and necessity. While the macrocosmic events of the Western crisis can be lines. stitutes plight of Lang points to a double fault by which the Jews during Hitler's uprising. 5). the public and occasional" the private. philosophy While Zimmerman and Rockmore Germany show that as a catalyst of politi not develop a single in a political vacuum. never saw the persecution of the Jews as a philosophical problem say that in its own right. 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. Yet Heidegger of was not the was Nazism. insofar as the and then. 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. 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. Sluga illustrates how thought transform the fragmented tradition of the German Volk and its uncertain future into a vision of destiny. Sluga tional more reconstructs the historical environment which precipitated the rise of Na and Socialism. gories of interpreted along these character that the depths of its cannot be fit into the cate Greek tragedy.
There are many different philosophers to whom we might turn to provide insight into and the nature of the polis Plato and Hegel." forged through the will. link between which proclaims a new destiny and the rhetoric of a totalitarian the resurgence of becomes more than accidental. 245-48). in the 1930's. he nevertheless upheld Greek view of politics as involving the determination of the polis as a "site" (topos). it is "political" not obvious fies as one of these of thinkers. be translated into any specific may For example. Indeed. To preserve the question of to extract totalitarian elements to from to be one of the greatest strengths of Sluga's careful analysis. In outlining this Gestalt addressing to political. And ger's while one may try vision. a process occurs. Heidegger understood the not Greek polis as a site that combines the human concern for the good with an occasion to act. Mill and Kant. but what extent a political crises of of the political. Arendt that he quali Marcuse. "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. an opportunism "timely. ontology some of the basic components integral to any freedom.Heidegger. and National Socialism the 129 a condition of social instability. action. But despite Heidegger's Nazi ties. Given this philosophy politics the Polity. 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. and the possibility of law. 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. this sense of the polis formed one important ingre Gestalt of politics which are on took shape in National Socialism. And because the determination this ancestry involves both establishing a as hierarchy among its members as well excluding those who do not belong. a voluntaristic sense of prevails. the brand of Nazi politics to the Germans ultimately suc a While Heidegger may have embraced Nazi ideology. it may be possible which conflict with the specific politics proves Heideg develop other inferences about the polity ideology of fascism. 22). not Because fascism is so tenets Western democracy. 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. setting institutions the decline. IV. 19). it is uncovers especially provocative to claim that polis: contrary to the his e. which unfolds within the historical compass of being's mani festation.g. dient in In a According an overall where to Sluga. community. for most critics construe these . Sluga takes an thinker's thought arises through a important step in dialogue with the "reduced" his or her time. which philosophy prefigures cumbed..
). e. 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). he Nazism nor an apologetic makes neither an encounter with Heideg for it primary. in order that one to the dilemma in question. however. 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. Reiner Schurmann this problem by of explicating the insights suggesting that praxis constitutes the domain for Heidegger's thought. it would a type of action irrecon (p. anyone sympathetic the lack of ethical content pinpoints in Heidegger's which Wolin a problem to the prospect of on developing experience. sup emphasizes the inhumane ideology of National Socialism. it is perhaps the is among the For Heidegger. Richard Wolin is hyperbolic Wolin prospect one such critic we must address before entertaining the of a "Heideggerian politics. Ac singular character as to render cording to Wolin. hence only praxis can illustrate the mode of governance which thought seeks principles in divesting and itself of all rational unfolds at such a (arche) must and models of presence. Yet his opposed to the Fiihrerprinzip. alien to all reduction to the uniform. In many respects. Thus Wolin concept of resolve. a Heideggerian politics must confront. factic plane. it holds only if we accept the deconstructive paradox that governance arises from overturning pre-existing models of political rule. resolve is correlation a way of bringing oneself can develop those in concert with what the situation possibilities which speak demands." paints a grim picture of what happens when a philosopher In The Politics of Being. 35 ff. offers steps toward Anarchic be praxis "will be di ametrically cilably 14). As our discussion of the previous . Schurmann problem stands alone as a scholar who tackles a tenacious a solution.g. The analogue abruptness Heidegger's political decision 1933 has its in his concept of most ob resoluteness (Entschlossenheit).130 Interpretation formal which concepts whose motifs as stances meaning can in Heidegger first articulated circum only be derived from the them. in way thinking and be informed by action and not simply the other way around. Heidegger believed that tological concepts must be developed out of the ontic stream of concrete. and while the addresses the dan involved in totalitarianism. While this most problematic.. The indeterminacy port of Heidegger's concept of authentic selfhood implies that one could exhibit the steadfastness of resolve and yet do terrible things. We must recall that Schurmann Farias' published his book in French five former years before the gers ger's publication of book. his commitment to National Socialism. vious. resolve is of such a indeterminate any prescription of the good within that decision (pp. action hostile to the standard" solution operates on a plane of generality. An "anarchic praxis" the forefront that of a new epochal relation between being thought.
not answer Young all of makes a case against Heidegger's critics which. is contrary to the demand toward conformity On the second front. Against Rockmore was by point Wolin. 104). 50). as those of a wide spectrum of European thinkers from Levinas to to Lyotard. 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. which claims In ogy. but Wolin. on the ensuing decade would produce more caustic criticisms of Heidegger's Nazi based extreme. Because in is not movement pushes philosophy to its surprising that the pendulum would swing in the other direc defense of Heidegger would emerge.Heidegger. in regime. Heidegger logical categories such as "inferior" was skeptical of any attempt to apply bio "superior" "blood-line" to designate a people as or (p. In Heidegger. On the first promoting selfhood as by failing front. Philosophy. 125). provides According to Dallmayr. When joined Young's solicitude. 38-41). By drawing upon Heidegger's eclectic interests an in Anaximander stood anew as a and Schelling. Lacoue-Labarthe Derrida. Moreover. books the Polity. 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. Heidegger had been percolating in Germany and for reactionary form of politics two decades (p. and National Socialism - 131 indicates. Heidegger's of injustice sights into the nature ironic way of re-examining his texts to discover in of justice. 79). Young maintains of not antisemitic rather exhibited concern toward many his Jewish students (pp. 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. Fred ger" Dallmayr crystallizes a perspective that there Along with is "another Heideg example beyond the Nazi ideologue. Farias. and Nazism Julian as well Young counters the criticisms of the scholars mentioned above. Rockmore. Young argues that Heideg for the other. Young a sudden and that Heidegger's turn to National Socialism adopted a almost far from momentous which decision. 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. philosopher Young refutation claims proceeds of like "analytic" an to provide a point and Heidegger's opponents. 41). Young. But in further exploration of the parameters of human freedom may be . for his or ger's concept of solicitude promotes a concern her own integrity. instead. at least exposes some of their one-sidedness. 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. it tion and a allegiances than attempts at academics defending every a political his thought. if it does their objections. Dallmayr's appeal to "letting be" holds promise as a either case a key for developing our political obligations toward others.
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. Heidegger develops understanding may freedom "letting be. the self's unique way of dwelling with others. namely. simul taneously allows for the cultivation of individuality with a communal setting. although in a way which can assumptions about of to the naive contemporary democracy. p. harbors a concession which most of Heidegger's critics have from making. that is. reorient phi speak In Timely Meditations.. the nexus of politics. then tional concepts ontology implemented in our democratic an original freedom" must be able to cast practices. Thiele locates this power of critical which fulcrum in for the way that ger exhibits the disclosive other truth. Western democracy. 48-49). may exhibit shortcomings in our system of know it. In words. Of in all the scholars who appropriate Heidegger's insights into politics a positive way. of light the opera Thus. in Such an approach refrained to articulate the democratic precepts we uphold. that moral emphasis on can (pp. 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. A still more unorthodox approach must motifs within a political context order transpose Heideggerian presumably to them. that democracy includes its own presupposi tions which. language and dwell By tracing synergy Thiele develops a "postmodern Yet this perspective remains ing. Thiele raises the question which would losophy within a practical context. can also Heidegger's texts be directed against him. is that the power which permits political participation. e. 198).g." Correlatively. 81-83). but calls each of us to submit to it as a place of dwelling. we this "disclosive evoke other of the liberties assume. In the proximity community action of this place we receive the guidance to act as members of a and thereby engage in dialogue "word" over the most equitable mode of governing. the a first inserts us into the speakers) space within of in way which gathers together each of us (as community (The Human Condition. Free speech is asserts his her self-interest over against . language. namely. Language is not simply an instrument of verbal expression. however. facets as as Thiele indi cates. the between logos and community." rather abstract unless it can develop a critical edge to match liberal thinkers' criticism of Heidegger's language political views. What Heidegger recognizes. they yield nuances to enhance our reflections on the polis.132 Interpretation in order to required rectify the Heideggerian Gelassenheit lacks As much as omission which Lang identifies. Heideg is synonymous with freedom. In this way a community develops. the key to devel oping a democracy lies in safeguarding maximum participation among its mem bers. "tolerance" namely. if government as fully we articulated. As Arendt suggests. including "right" as a constitutional resetting the parameters of free speech which we accept (pp. If an our democratic system on is its assumptions. As Thiele emphasizes. Leslie Paul Thiele follows this lead.
thrives within a polis the greatest importance." 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. While freedom "letting be" can admit beliefs may discord among its participants. there is a subtle enigma which remains and politics. and National Socialism 133 participate through which contrary voices can in serving the good of the community as a whole. inviting not contrariness is contrary response from the other. While Yet. 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. . it Sluga. . controversial. (For discussion and its connection with the persecution of the Jews. Heideg help of a Kantian framework merits serious consideration (Sherover. will which it cannot allow speech to become a self-indulgent expression of is rooted in concealment rather than unconcealment. While philosophical inquiry depends upon Auseinandersetzung. but rather is the "openness" beliefs. "The justly hal lowed right to free speech might be grounded not only in the speaker's preroga tive to utter opinions and person. 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. The arbitrary. Through his predicated upon clever extrapolations. . another the Polity. 167). 16). 128). censorship. Although in his as weak rectoral address can "academic freedom" spirited. democracy can be "Democracy is a to link journey toward freedom that remains ever under way. philosophical inquiry is a "work of human (p. But freedom takes shapes within a forum of exchange which safeguards the voice of the other. but as also on the listener's duty to remain open and to. Heidegger take the argues that his exchange philosophers form of Auseinandersetzung to "set apart" (Vom Wesen. where freedom of speech assumes Heidegger discounts when Since by its nature the philosophical enterprise and even subversive. 292). 60-63). Thiele's attempt democracy as Charles Sherover does with the pp. the ontological difference these opinions harbor" (p. philosophy flourish only it is . 5-12. Literally. 86-100. even solicitous of. is a the voice of the other can resound only because there forum in reserved for it itself at within the polis.) is iconoclastic. Auseinandersetzung Heidegger. 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.Heidegger. means or "place in on such opposition. challenge" Disclosive freedom beckons to the democratic ger's thought with (p. but like philosophical dialogue a greater master. the interface between philosophy as the vanguard of Heideg in a philosophy democratic setting: the free exchange. As Heidegger in the Basic Problems of Phenomenology. p. Thiele shows how the spirit of dwelling in Heidegger's sense. politics. the process of unconcealment freedom" itself. in recalling Sluga's unclarified about ger construes reverse criticisms.
Marcus (ed. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann. no. "Heidegger and the and and the Political. and Gunther Neske. GA 24. Phil Temple University Press. New Haven: University Press. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 35). University Press. The Political Ontology of Martin Heidegger. Miguel. when such a pp. Bourdieu. by re locating ticity itself within the polis and the tradition as a whole. " Lyotard." Man and World 29 (1987): 327-34. will arrive sooner SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Arendt. Jean T. philosophy can then flourish through the "tradition [which] is a delivering into been" the freedom of discussion (die Freiheit des Gesprdches) with what has of each citizen rooted. Fred. Heidegger. Trans. Silence. The Origins of Totalitarianism. London: Routledge. Martin Heidegger and European Nihilism." Gary Steiner. 15. Hannah. Trans. Emil. The Other Heidegger. New York: Paragon Press." Time Journal 14. no. reawakened challenge not by accepting the elitism Ironically. 1975. Johannes. Karl. "A Philosophical Confrontation with the (1995): 191-204. George. Richard Wolin. 33. Andre Michel. CA: Stanford University Press. 'The Essence of and the SelfBailiff. Heidegger's Ithaca: Cornell Being Possibility of Political Philosophy. 1 (1995): 111-86. "On Brinks and Bridges in Journal 18. is As Heidegger's so (What Is Philosophy?. 1993. Joseph Margolis Tom Rockmore. menschlichen Vom Wesen der Yale Freiheit. Heidegger adelphia: and Nazism. Dallmayr. Heidegger the Trans. Perhaps this time think. 1962. Heidegger. In this spirit. Blitz. on the words responds to this contrary.134 Interpretation to the challenge of freedom. Truth. 1982. "jews. Martin Heidegger and National Socialism. Trans. but. Lisa Harries. philosophy of its task. Pascal.. Palo Alto. politics would then a Heideggerian could become possible at which the time freedom be translated into "multivocality" facilitates than we dialogue among diverse traditions. Martin. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1998. Political. Trans. and What Is Philosophy? Trans. Ithaca. 1991." Heidegger Studies 1 1 the Political Dystopias. 1 (1991): 1-611. 1958.' Assertion of the German University. 2. Kovacs. in which the fac- eloquently suggest. 1989. no. "On Heidegger's Lowith. 1981. Die Grundprobleme de Phanomenologie. "Truth and Power: Martin Heidegger. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Brainard. Jean-Francois. de Beistegui. 1958.). Wilde William Kluback. Heidegger Studies 5 (1989): 138-48. Victor. New York: World Publishing." Graduate Faculty Philosophy Fritsche. Ed. John. Mark. . and 1995. 1990. Kettering. Pierre. The Human Condition. Heidegger and University Press. NY: Cornell David. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 1990. and Farias. GA 31. Peter Collier.
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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.. 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. versions of pluralism pretend to a Typical liberal fairness. liberals have no rightly of called for their communitarian chal lengers to offer not only critique their but alternative scenarios. 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. Michael Walzer. 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. Ballard Stephens College Conscience Francis Canavan. Like other pluralisms. and whether it is transparent to itself about its exclusivity. The Pluralist Game: Pluralism. 1996). No. 1 . $24. and reflect their own philosophical historical development. inclusiveness and neutrality liberal versions which they do not. Emeritus offers a Professor insightful Political Science of at Fordham University. + 126 pp. but what it excludes. Sandel.. MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Liberalism and (Lanham. Three recent works do both. On the other hand. Vol. Thus the is not whether a particular intellectual tradition is exclusive. 1995). indeed could not. The Pluralist Game. 1997).95. While some liberals have become more conscious of the partic ularities and continue limits of their tradition (cf. 26. each author also his of own alternative version of pluralism.Whose Pluralism? Bruce W. xi + Michael the Moral 192 pp. $16.50. University Press. Democracy's Discontent: America in Search 1998. Within sketches larger pictures the good society. why it excludes. Francis Canavan. must and do include and exclude according to criteria which commitments. Rawls's Political Liberalism).95. Public $22. Fall second book. others with simply to assert liberalism as an overarching social framework little to supporting justification. Democracy's Discontent: America in Search xi of + a Philosophy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. possess.
the dissolution of this unity "left millions of other . so I thematize the discus two main by focussing its pluralism. attempts to put communitarian emphases to in support of a larger left liberalism in his On Toleration. and exerts a powerful influence has institutions" (p. indeed impossi ble. Those who earlier championed pluralism did so against this biblically informed background. and the relations between economy and polity. 76). Canavan cites a number of Supreme Court decisions last thirty years which support this contention. the Institute for Advanced work Study in Princeton. lost unity of shared. Since Walzer mented version of still supports an aug liberalism. the the effects of recent Supreme secondary mediating institutions. Earlier American pluralism. and aspects of his version of pluralism are vulnerable to the critiques Sandel Canavan provide. separate religion from morality and morality from politics are misleading. 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. the background philosophizing which leads each author to his conclusions about the limits of pluralism varies in cogency and completeness. His an updated critique of of liberalism as a public philosophy. Court decisions on freedom of speech and reli gion. it challenges to would be impossible to sion and cover these topics in this short space. All three volumes survey a wide range of renewal of issues including. the purported neutrality and inclusiveness of the lib eral pluralist state in matters of religion and morality is bogus. creates an environment on social in which everyone has to live. norms by privileging the autonomous individual. pluralism and toleration. but or not limited to. however conflictual.138 of a Interpretation Public Philosophy. ex policy unavoidably express Hence. 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. surely ranks cluding the best among very contemporary treatments. Statecraft is soulcraft whether it appreciates or wills this result or not. By seeking the lowest common denominator agreeable to the many and making law and policy accordingly. the state "necessarily sets for a whole society. also subverted a consensus which Increased West secularization had circum scribed earlier American pluralism. on dimensions: authors' liberalism and how and why ing pluralism as it does. His identification and recovery of a republican strand in American history and politics recasts the question of pluralism discussion for public discussion. of Social theorist Michael Walzer. In Canavan's account. the state in fact establishes secular individualism as ultimate. whether or not they were consciously aware of its func tion. in Rawls in Political Liberalism. Law society. As Canavan clearly perceives. The categories overlap. In Canavan's account. Naturally. As might each approach ends up defining and limit be expected.
Certainly and American liberal pluralism is hardly neutral as capitalism any other model of economy. their best. The communitarian vision of pluralism supports also needs fur ther development of an appropriate range of economic arrangements congruent with that vision. Canavan With Sandel and Walzer. Yet of the three volumes. such values quickly reduce to discussions of rights. what areas out of the political realm and as leaving them to individual But again. 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. This reduction is itself the incessantly of a reiterated in the media and wider popular culture. but without developing the point at any length. but hostile toward conditions which make for thriving community. These institutions. 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. but the lack of moral agreement in creasingly typical acceptable American pluralism makes such judgments necessarily un to many. Cultural liberalism is even determined by this pursuit that it can no longer judge identifies the the most outrageous wrongs. schools. liberalism. hospi tals and social services were injured. to public Canavan notes. neutral and Apparently fail to democratic yet values such as liberty and equality also resolve pluralist conflict. they have come to define the range of controversy between contemporary liberals and conservatives. It can only be made on the basis of an antecedent moral of judgment. with -139 the feeling that they are now strangers in their land" own (pp. pluralism being urged be cause ual it is a condition which supports so liberalism. So liberal pluralism again turns out not to be neutral. what shall be left to private choice and judgment is itself a political decision. Again for lack commonly and acceptable moral or the tension between ments over liberty equality basis for resolving for specifying their content. The author very perceptively economic counterpart of ideal liberalism as capitalism and the free market." equally faced with ever-increasing calls to In Canavan's reading. By increased federal private religious at the appropriation of taxes for public education.Whose Pluralism? Americans 65-66). pluralism as a norm is the ultimate value of remain unresolvable. Sandel's alone offers a sustained . Understood in individualist terms. it displaced institutions. "celebrate" either argu rights We and are nevertheless "diversity. sustained analysis of the liberalism and capitalism would go a long way toward he affinity between completing Canavan's treatment. individ liberty. he does rejection of commend cooperatives in passing. Given his A would presumably reject capitalism as well. Canavan particular. A main means by which liberal pluralism attempts neutrality is by taking controversial choice. had helped to flesh out religious community life.
social services. Genuine pluralism for Canavan qua is not primarily protection of the individual individual from group or state. always reflects some moral vision. that the reject views of individuals the celebration of pluralism are as valuable as their contradicto ries. Thus the not pluralist must also celebrate not celebrating pluralism. but Canavan con "divisive" religious) as by urging orthodox Catholics (Canavan is Catholic). even more desperate for pluralist For the liberal pluralist claiming full equally and neutral inclusiveness has to or groups which admit. but a situation in which individuals Here as members of various communities can who provides pursue essential human goods. things look neutrality. Canavan nities "secondary" or the greatest primacy. the state should reduce its direct etc. we might have expected a note of despair in Canavan's conclusion. to flourish. morality so central volume is a set of papers rather than a systematic a problem poses a different kind of limitation.140 Interpretation of the relationship between economy and community flourishing. 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. creating accords greater social space Of the three authors. Protestants and devout Jews. public policy his critics have to argue why their moral as But to take precedence over the biblical tradition of to American cultural formation. mon gious to help stem the tide toward secular monism and by a com reli biblically based morality institutional life. 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. cultural. and mediating commu intellectual tradi not the state. tions to pass on are the essential and most defining role community. On the other hand. those outside the wider biblical tradition Canavan com mends will likely reject his pluralism. That current liberal pluralism is in fact quite intolerant of strongly committed positions (particularly again underlines its own very inconsistent nonneutrality. to make room for such groups in education.. 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. both cludes with conservative intellectually reasserting for private and legislatively. His treatment analysis of the sort by more in-depth argument and Sandel In Sandel's account. Given his very critical assessment of the recent drift of affairs. on pain of contradiction. two main forms of contemporary social anguish demon strate the failure of the liberal project in America: fear that the moral fabric of . Groups with spiritual. conservatism (economic libertarian the biblical religion congruent with Canavan Taken to its logical terminus. to join in the struggle. One can but be reminded here of other forms of scepticism. The fact that Canavan's treatment of needs supplementation often provides. If anything.
and this goal has American public policy. As Sandel notes. 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. is seen primarily as nega They need protection from the state and each other in order to pursue their private ends. Sandel raises the crucial why we should suspend such identity-making aspects of our selves . with regard and national and collective control over life is unraveling and fear about lost individual life-goveming forces. even are deprived this sort of active community participa whatever elites their negative freedom is at the mercy of and participation do govern. for Sandel and the republican tradition. the self is value resides in its capacity to by contemporary liberal theory. this asocial render human good is misleading. popular psychology manuals make this promoting a virtual religion of the self in which there is no incentive on their content. rights apart to moral and religious views of from the good. Liberal ideals of neutrality citizens. People are born for citizenship. for instance. ing of Again. But the self conceived as unencumbered by prior moral definition is an abstraction which of is falsified by liberalism. explicit or use in by deliberating but simply for the fact that sovereign individuals As Sandel notes. 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. motivation for the mutual respect liberalism calls for is also undermined. the freedom tive. Ac else a pure individual whose highest own ends. As identification more alien in the whole decline and citizens become to each other. of citizens In the liberal conception. Ancient also had aspired to cultivate virtue goal of been longstanding in its citizens. others' based have chosen them. both conceptually a freedom as the of the individual self to choose its own and practically. or even citizen obligation. As in Liberalism and the Limits of Justice. Consequently. as Sandel documents Failure through numerous primary sources. to a solution to these problems. When they tion. community. Through detailed historical account of American public life from the foun ders to the contemporary scene. religious duties. whole and good of rally desire to govern their own and identification with a larger They find there a fulfillment than is available to isolated individuals.Whose Pluralism? 141 family. Sandel emphasizes the mislead ing and alienating idea of the self offered above all cording to that theory. and a notion of ends all capacity block the way. They natu common affairs. Kantian versions obliga phenomena of family tions. with others about what is true any or good. cannot everyday do justice to the moral experience. the politics a neutral ideal of liberalism is not timelessly natural. since these all require description of the self. we no choose its Choice longer of one's respect ends becomes views a kind of end in itself.
The argument for liberalism from is self-defeating. moral. rightly observing respect that a practical interest in social and mutual does not automatically defeat any that "We cannot without other moral interest. community. As Sandel correctly argues. In principle. 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. not we should bracket depends on which relativism is no help either. beginning would "bracketed" at conception and their view to accept they in effect advocates are also to "bracket" be countenancing murder. Sandel advocate ends willingness to curb the pseudopluralism of hegemonic business interests. and His alternative version the self. We might just as well say that all views equally worthy of disrespect it How since none is true. seeing as one nonprivileged attitude and why would among other possibilities. 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. In both cases. prochoice their views for public purposes. Sandel observes that if the Catholics were correct about human life abortion. a contradiction. Suspending moral name of toleration does not effect a neutral pluralism. regarding toleration. judg Using the legal example of abortion. they express. thickly commitments unabashedly by family relations." up ing what he terms a "mutual appreciation goods which would affirm peo ple and communities for the distinctive or other. 20). not their simple capacity to choose something . then there is for are others' at least one truth which is not relative. Sandel gets to the philosophical matter of by emphasizing that whether or competing views is true. and religious leads him to reject forms of pluralism primarily based upon. His him to morally advocat seriousness about ethical rationality and truth allows and transparent public policy deliberation decision. 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. question of what of By raising the economy best serve republi shows a can aims of self-government and the virtues which support it. So Sandel pluralism. telling on the of the parallel argument against moral bracketing from Lincoln Douglas heart issue of slavery. and promoting.142 when Interpretation it comes to questions of cooperation justice. virtueless abstract vorce and individualism. Or we could relativize the value of respect. respect not follow. but legal abor Sandel cites a provocative and against tion in effect simply grants their position. to relative say that we should all respect each other because the truth is If "all truth is relative" is absolutely true. But even if we substi views need tuted some other version of the relativist claim.
The difference the cause" consists in the content of the speech. 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. To the liberal objection that if the bracketing. Presumably. or even malicious. Sandel's order. and which community which realizes the very cor is convinced of the truth of its "common" beliefs with practices. Sandel replies. To with a return Sandel's abortion example. 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. Yet he had acknowledged and of highlighted the importance of ethical rejects truth when it came to the content-neutrality position expression. in the nature of (p. be Canavan suggests. "The answer may be simpler than liberal political theory permits: the Nazis promote genocide and hate. With Sandel. it could as easily have banned King and his fol lowers. in general. 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. Indeed. notes the insufficiency of appeals problems to rights and abstractly fair procedures alone to address contemporary These problems vary depending upon the histori- . while Martin Luther King sought civil rights for blacks. Yet the decisions a deliberation questions can be philosophically shallow. be added Sandel the offers about civil here that. Sandel is arguing account of moral content that public deliberation can and should take permits are before marching handed out. Arguably. "narrow" in his final further But further rejects the In the arguments Sandel moralism of his closing the fundamentalist without course of qualification. There way would or be no foregone in conclusion about the outcome of of public deliberation one the other. the same could be said about his ily law. 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. Sandel rationality of recent Supreme Court decisions on free an ordinance could ban the Nazis from marching in Skokie. and partisan way to which ignores of truth rationality.Whose Pluralism? 143 a Altogether. That is. raises and responds to a number of relevant objections questions are possible. Sandel may depend more on an substantive positions on fam American consensus of biblical morality recognizes. 90). Walzer of toleration and coexistence. 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. program and its associated pluralism make for tall Sandel himself chapter.
Naturally. with early roots in Protestant and English history. of and others. 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." wrong" of orthodox parents that ant of religious and that parents send the public "toler may Walzer responds that. ought to be barred from running in elections. 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. To his credit. . 77). To the fears state-mandated versions of tolerance education error. Walzer identifies the immigrant society rather than a nation-state with republican foundations like France. Walzer is willing for these orthodox parents to their children to private schools (if they can afford it). Religious parties. 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. so Walzer develops a suggestive regimes cal and political situation of various and useful typology of five tolerance analysis historical examples. but is unwilling to them of taxation fear" relieve would for state education. Yet his recognition that liberalism is one tradition among others does not lead Walzer to offer a philosophical defense of it. (It would be intriguing to see a published debate between Sandel and Walzer over this question. With both Sandel revival of various and Canavan. as an harbor republican hopes. Canavan. Yet by keeping to the larger liberal pluralist picture. according to Walzer. In the face of contempo ticular political culture of rary critiques like those of Sandel. of a pluralism which isn't simply cannot fragmentation? We farious a population. 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. since we are too multi United States In his typology of toleration regimes. With Sandel. 70). . Maclntyre. "one hopes that they are justified schools will have exactly the effects that orthodox make their children . He doubts that liberal politics be sustained were all children to go into private sectarian schools. life are we of to uncover the resources necessary for a revived political the sort Walzer wants.144 Interpretation societies. and social Where then. (p. so the unity which comes from that richer foundation for citizenship is unavailable to us. 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. this is an omission which pluralism. together with leaves intact the current crisis. and 'family values' or of their own certainties about what (p. for example. Walzer here in the secondary associations. common roots of alienation and claim that its strong individualism. Walzer acknowledges that liberalism is a substantive and par its own. is right say) tradition.) Nor can we repair to . so he opposes a voucher system.
. 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. 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. and the alternatives for liberalism are either to lack transparency its own particu lar value-structure or see it without philosophical defense. But reading Sandel. rationality in about we do not and after seriously engage questions of truth and we ethics. since that would Within the cannot confines of the position Walzer embraces. Altogether then.
DM 90 critical editions of (subscription: DM 78. Gesetz - Friihe Schriften - 635 pp. Gerhard Kriiger. H. 434 pp. politische other Volume 3: Hobbes' Wissenschaft und zugehorige - Briefe politische Contains. (1921). und Volume 2: Philosophie 1997. cloth with dust jacket. Jacob In addition... marginalia from Strauss's personal copies of these writings are published here for the first time. be indispensable for all serious und zugehorige Schriften Analyse der Bibel- dust jacket. B. Cohens Wissenschaft Spinozas Das (1924). remarques sur nach la science politique de Mai'monide de Farabi Maimunis (1937).i VERLAG J. 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. XIV. Erkenntnisproblem in der philosophischen Lehre Fr. XXXIV. more than a quarter of which Quelques are published here for the first 0n time: Philosophie und Gesetz Der (1935). Bibelwissenschaft Spinozas marginalia und seiner Vorlaufer (1926). among Wissenschaft writings. The Religiose Lage der Gegenwart (1932). Gershom Scholem. 1921 to Contains the 29 et essays from the years 1937. It study of Strauss's philosophy in the future. Abravanel's Philosophical (1936). Jacobis (1929). Der Erinnerung an Lessing (1937). .-).-). Schriften 1936 Konspektivismus and more. Testament Spinozas (1932). DM 90 Die Zur - (subscription price: DM 78. cloth with English) many important. 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. Tendency Eine Ort der Vorsehungslehre and der Ansicht Das Political Teaching (1937). French. Volume 1: Die Religionskritik Spinozas 1996. previously unknown writings and letters. The from Strauss's personal copies of these writings are published here for the first time. and Lowith. and others published here for the first time. Contains the critical editions of Religionskritik Spinozas (1930). in the original languages (German English). numerous previously Karl unknown letters from his philosophical correspondence with Klein. 1933-1935).
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All conference sessions will please call be held The New School. how food for marks our sameness differences. at editor of Social Research. Marc Shell. David Pimental. or e-mail For more information and reservations. Steven Heller. and important way foods have emerged. its of importance. the joy of plenty. Robert Herdt (Moderator) 7: The Future: Prospects for the global availability of food and ways to increase it Gordon Conway. Marion Nestle. 1998 What and we eat.NATURE AND CULTURE A Social Research Conference November 5-7. This conference a brings together scholars and scientists as well as about policy in linking discourse the significant hunger.newschool. Leonard Barkan. been assimilated is an of understanding our histories William McNeill. (21 2) 229-2488 socres@newschool. John Hollander (Moderator) 6: Abundance and 3: Key Note Addresses Scarcity: equal Sustainable Agriculture: Ismail Serageldin Food and Access to food is far from Culture: Margaret Visser Richard Goldman. the ceremonies surrounding mythic and symbolic and it. Kenneth Prewitt (Moderator) This conference is organized by Arien Mack. Raymond Sokolov.edu/socres/food. Wendy Doniger. Robert Adams (Moderator) for artistic expression Betty Fussell. problems created by scarcity 1: Everyday Life: Food life as a major 4: Food not as Symbol or Sign: Food is as component of only what we eat but figures Kirshenblatt-Gimblett.edu Further details coming to the World Wide Web soon! http://www. Aristide Zolberg (Moderator) 2: Case Histories: ways Barbara a symbol in most religions and as a marker of identity and difference Maurice Bloch. Anne Murcott. Paul Rozin. of diet and food to and security the history. Theodore Zeldin. the fear famine makers with deprivation forum all are occasions reflections on the human condition. Sidney Mintz. Per Pinstrup- Andersen. Barbara Examining the Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (Moderator) 5: Food in Art/ Food as Art: Food is both an object of art and a medium in which migrated. culture and political economy food in an effort elicit new perspectives on abundance. Keep checking for a link at .
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