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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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the Lord God. as argue. herds Nimrod. the city is connected with land ownership. where it is stated that Nimrod ruled over (and possibly built) cities. Second. in Genesis 10. although intent. Traditional exegesis of these stories. No. the city is impious in their intentions: Cain. in light the Babel project. and the which Babel-builders. associated with and antipolitical. divine or conventional. interpretation. as a per Nimrod's kingdom of cities understood as a tyranny but fectly when reasonable attempt to establish a political ordering law. 1 . 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. with superfluous and which arts. The thing I wish to argue excuses. from the to be political-theological perspective of the Biblical Finally. few the pride or hubris desires to compete with. the city and tower with its top in the heavens. and thus opposed to an allegedly purer form of life. has not yet made among inroads into the human men at a time heart. the city is associated with improper aspirations toward human greatness or even human divinization. not paying enough attention to the different contexts in these characters appear. man. the Babel-builders are not evil in condemned For. 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. I is wish not to argue that. Finally. that of the nomadic Third. 26. in its urge to theory moralize about the lives and motives of the early city-builders. failing to note that in each instance there are redeeming features. those who are supposed to be First. was was often sur prisingly antiurban. it is said that Cain (or possibly his son Enoch) built the first city. 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. of the effort they are making is indeed narrator. Fall 1998. the Babel-builders. and in Genesis 1 1. the the In this paper I wish to make three arguments. Jewish and Christian. and it prejudges the motives of the characters in all three cases. or even defy. Why this? One finds in the traditional commentaries a number of overlapping themes.The Significance of the City in Genesis 1-11 Cameron Wybrow McMaster Divinity College where The city is mentioned in three episodes in Genesis 1-11: in Genesis 4. It improperly fuses the characters and accomplish life ments of Cain. Nimrod. antitechnical. second or at least reasonable those characters. Vol. it makes funda mental interpretive errors. in which the unified human race attempts to build Babel.
A. Cain's very birth is suspect. the first city. 1. Traditional One Hostility with Toward Cain and His Line must begin Cain. have all been impugned. they Eve and the angel of produce much good. Abravanel's reveal some representative tendencies. When he sacri Lord (Gen. antipolitical tendencies of commentaries am not the Jewish and Christian traditions. 4. Fi by nally. the an which founding of the city. if the quality is acceptable. Augustine's these City of God. different are all trying to blur the differences and notes). This is why he becomes a murderer and Abel. often little basis in the text. has had abuse upon by scores of Jewish and interpreters for at least two millennia. I have used tateuch. anti- I have constructed kind I of composite account of the technical. between them properly distinguished in the text tendencies of establish some general but merely trying to which I can set my against interpretation. I will present the political themes which can gleaned from the discussion of Cain. Out of antiurban. a and Calvin's Commentary on the Pen Commentary on Genesis. he offers (according to some of the rabbis) the samples of inferior his produce. Cain cannot be expected to God's) image. Noting that unlike his Genesis 5 counterpart Seth.2 kills the son truly in God's image. THE CRITIQUE OF THE CITY IN TRADITIONAL EXEGESIS The traditional commentaries on Genesis are only enough to Genesis Rabbah.1 His motives and his spiritual and the spiritual character of with his descendants. With this rather unauspicious head start in life. legion. heaped who is traditionally him credited with founding Christian character. Nimrod and the will Babel-builders in show some representative premodern commentaries. and I have consulted Specifically. Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. In fus ing (they own. is not said to have been born after Adam's (hence conclude that he is actually the offspring of death Sammael. that is. of the Next. antipolitical atmosphere. . I will propose my own tentative account of the Bible's moral-political evaluation of the city. his religious performance is faulty.3-5).3 or. the refuse. This negative portrayal of Cain colors the event with he is associated. fices to the most Thus. First. 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. Cain.4 I Interpretation will proceed in the be following manner. according to some of the rabbis. and establishes among interpreters recorded antiurban. I the inadequacy handling with of the political themes interpreters' traditional remarks the fine details of comparing the the Biblical text. Cain.
1. ruthless The commentators are regarding Cain's descendants. another a drunkard. Moses. Cain's leper" occupa no good came of a (Genesis to Rabbah. finding nothing wrong with Cain's sacrifice. was the proto type of all the great prophets and leaders of Israel. Cain's tion: p. 1. declares that Cain's other activities (unmentioned in the Biblical text) must have been evil. like other hoped to have immortality through a (presumably. his city and people. another choice. vol. to will return later. absent from the Biblical text. dience for Rabbah see a Contrasting sufficiency and obe Abravanel and the Genesis and life of on one hand Rabbi Eliezer. The details Lamech's mistreatment of his wives. says bluntly "Cain. (City of God. XV. are supplied by the . 1. One became a murderer. that human society which seeks only earthly felicity and denies our supernatural end (City of God. 21). life into a sophisticated. p.2). that it in fact can be interpreted as commanded by God in Genesis 1 and and 2 (Calvin. Rabbi Eliezer of allows The Genesis Rabbah. Jacob. technical to run away which occupation represents the perennial nonluxurious human ten dency from the simple.4 The traditional do not commentators are a condemn little lighter on Cain in one respect: they and ground unanimously (4. his son Enoch) which would live forever (Genesis Rabbah. God intended with us. Noah. p. who were themselves shep herds: Abraham. career. some rabbis say that he. Augustine. and Uzziah lusted after the ground. 2. 192). This activ fundamental difference allows room which for a more positive view of Cain's ities and intentions.The he gives City in Genesis 5 paltry amount after finishing most of it off himself (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. however.5 Cain's desire to settle down more of a shepherd. but with his hy pocrisy. Augustine sees the city which Cain builds as an allegory of the City of Man. (without etymological argument) to of mean sexual "rebellion" (Genesis Rabbah. and them. explaining that "Cain also chose to engage in artful things and ground. Those interpreters. and do not hesitate to invent facts in order to condemn them. such as Augustine and Calvin. Calvin on the other. p. Augustine takes great pleasure in repeat About Cain's edly noting that the line murderers. 255). "wicked" "house" building of a city. says Abravanel. Isaac. The names of Irad. p. 153). Cain practised a purely external religion and did not really serve God in his heart. XV. vol. Cal declares that there was nothing wrong with Cain's grain. and Lamech are all said vol. Augustine says nothing negative. who only a are not nature of vin willing to supplement the Genesis story quite so blatantly regarding the Cain's offerings." therefore became a tiller of the "natural" whereas Abel was satisfied with the Abel. Mehujael. 8. and Cain Lamech Metusael. 21). 8. 256).5. 17. that with which originated the earthly city began and ended with is. we fundamental difference I over the worth of settled agricultural life. Abravanel sheds light on the rabbinic hostility Cain's farming simpler. and David. Calvin Cain's choice of occupation as a tiller of the grants that this occupation can be laudable and holy. 5. Augustine. supplement it equally regarding Cain's motives. 29).
Tubal-Cain's given (about whom absolutely no details as are in Genesis). far as we can tell from Genesis 4. with human law making. His birth is suspect. 237-40). these unions produced the wicked giants who were wiped out in the Flood (pp.). his founding or even of and/or of a insincere. however. the former being. Taking posite the Cain line on such grounds. 160-62).22). 160). he affirms the vileness of Lamech's polygamy and waxes eloquent about Lamech's cruelty and inhumanity (ibid. they did not need God (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. 238). the latter who lived more virtuously. flagrantly about violated the naked with rules concerning incest (p. superfluous sin. like beasts. violence and In a more analytical vein. Abravanel argues that the were destruction which prevailed which before the Flood directly linked to the p. In sum.). In general. and all its connections (with the arts. if not being the "sons of God" completely evil. and because of this. the he founded. his female descendants seduced the only godly people into his line have few if any redeeming features. view. Calvin notes the wickedness of the atmosphere in which the arts arise. Tubal-Cain is mentioned as noted rabbis for his forging of of weapons (which are not provid specifically the metal implements crime Genesis 4. Like the rabbis. Cain's line is uniformly contrasted unfavorably with Seth's line. creating the universal degeneration which lines' being wiped out by the Flood (City of God. 217-22). Cain's generation were sinners and rebels who thought p. God" at least more carnal in their interests. Naamah. 2.22. Cain's daughters went painted tempting the angels to fall. Traditional Hostility Toward Nimrod accounts. either by the introduction by their desire for He and city which wealth. it can be said that Cain does not have a very good public image. did not yet exist). with political life) fall under a dark shadow.) (which. thus more ing a way for his ancestor Cain's sister to be perpetrated efficiently (ibid. pp. the op for him the arts are goods. and 159). XV. Nimrod fares only slightly better than Cain in traditional "beginning" He liter actions ally cannot even make a onto the Biblical stage without his .). In Calvin these "sons of are Augustine virtually and Calvin the Cainite self-conscious that they are the Church (Calvin. acquisitiveness Cain bequeathed to his descendants (Abravanel. and gifts from God (Calvin. sang and played in honor of idols (ibid. Such is the picture which traditional exegesis of Genesis 4 tends to yield. his male descendants increased the level of weapons or lence in the world. duced Seth's line into waywardness. went about stark naked. They eyes. his offering to God was shoddy of farming is judged ambivalently.6 Interpretation (ibid. Calvin refuses to condemn 257). In who se women are the "daughters men" justified both pp. Calvin. of p. his taking up an act of city is vainglory of vio defiance of God.
is a deceiver. 3). 38). as the-verb "to (halal). Nimrod the city-builder evil. de Rabbi Eliezer. 420-21. to "rebel" in their calling upon the name of the Lord. p. 174).8 reads: "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to begin" profane" Genesis Rabbah interprets the verb "to mighty one in the (halal). Augustine tells us that Nimrod. Esau. Second. here found in the hiphil form. but mention rather. of course. who. and hence were actually They mention the people of in not Genesis 4. 317). the ancestor of Israel. tried to kill Abraham he was young. and destroyer of earth-bom creatures (City of God. mighty and thus they can liberally 'rebelled' when he was a one in the earth" (Genesis Rabbah." earth. p. Esau. being a mighty hunter. "began" 2.26 are said. In case anyone should think the rabbis are stretching the meaning too much. if it mighty hunter before the mighty hunter "against" seems bad enough for not Nimrod that his even grant hunting is interpreted hunter. Genesis 10. he a 10. 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. From the sense "pro fane. And. p. who was consigned to slavery by Noah in Genesis 9. 260). to degenerating calling "rebelling. In this attempt. Thus. his claim to might. in later Jewish literature (Neusner tells us) he oppressive power of us that "hunter. was obviously a furious Nimrod. too. 175). 2. tyranny (Calvin." the rabbis feel justified in translate: "Nimrod vol. he was the foe of his brother Jacob. XVI. Another thing which counts against rule Nimrod is his be being a grandson of Ham. Nimrod. deriving all wicked things. some of the rabbis do say he fooled people into thinking he could cow fierce beasts.The City in Genesis 7 being be a condemned. XVI. so negatively. who 4. man. like all hunters." sym bolizes the Rome (Jacob Neusner. . is reminiscent of the other hunter in Genesis. although it is not mentioned in Scripture. be evil. Nimrod is lived until evil the time of because. he Abraham. being a a beast than a human he was also the originator of more like being. in Genesis Rabbah. instead of "beginning" to multiply upon the earth. was miraculously thwarted (Pirke vol. pp. and they the evil men of pre-Flood "rebelled" days. such evil to multiply upon the earth and the pre-Flood gi announced with the (ibid. which is what persuaded people to let him them. and. There is other evidence that Nimrod. is bad for two reasons." who "begin" upon the name of the Lord.9) means that Nimrod was a rebel (City of God.). ants same Obviously. 2. Finally. 60-61). it is p. First. Calvin tells He further argues that the statement that Nimrod was a the Lord (Genesis Lord. as master of the pagan lands out of which when Abraham came. pp. oppressor.4). he Genesis Rabbah. p. however. they supply other examples of wicked people things. Since Nimrod is a slave. was based on a sham (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. that is. in must company whose as the Cainites and their offspring. vol. against the order of things that he should a king (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. which is the normal meaning of the piel form of the same root.
and. is repudiated by much of the tradition because he represents was impious rebel against God and tyrannical over mankind. as I will point later. the Babel-builders are reminiscent . vol.8 Interpretation Nimrod. 2. They they being given the earth. 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." are "rebels. pp. "Settling" is moti vol. 260). he was often assumed to have been not Although the Biblical text does to do with the Babel project of its initiator. as in the case of Cain. sinfulness of He the cruel godlessness of pride and the pagan empires. probably vol. takes on a associated with and his kingdom. and Jacob. tent "settle" in the land of Shinar. 11. (Genesis Rabbah. The tradition uniformly condemns the builders at Babel. Traditional Hostility Toward the Babel-Builders explicitly state that Nimrod had anything Genesis 1 1. means. . like Abraham." but are on the 50). "this they are rebelling to (Genesis Rabbah. God's people do not rest con move. scale Olympus and dethrone Jove in pagan mythology (City of God. at signifies also that they made an on 261. and vol. therefore. which is often assumed to chapters are be the city discussed in Genesis 1 1 Thus. the plain on which Babel was erected was in the land of Shinar. according to Genesis 10. a city. worldly glory been founded with the set against righteousness. want 2. too (Genesis Rabbah. and the is condemned because it was the brainchild of Nimrod. 3. The Babel-builders. right motives. was the area of his king dom. for idol They filled the sin of pride. In p. 51). vol. bad scent. the purpose of this section is to discuss the faults of the Babel-builders insofar as they can be discerned without reference to Nimrod. with the upper part. p.2 they decide to vated by Satan (Genesis Rabbah. 2. Second.4. There is odious reason to question the connection out between Nimrod and Babel. p. could hardly him have Urban life. the Lord. Isaac. 324). as one might expect.4)." "and this they begin to which. 49-50). the the Ham line. In any case. the two intertwined in traditional commentary. do" translated into rabbinic. for two reasons. 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. needless to say. 1. to displace him. XVI. to make a "name" themselves (Gen. which p. like Nimrod. being settling and building in "settled. 2. heavens. in an summary. they are not satisfied with want the are are trying to challenge God. There are other flaws in the Babel-builders' motives. which. First. it is said in Genesis 10 that Nimrod founded a city called Babel. again. Nimrod becomes Babel project due to responsibility for the Babel project. Calvin Calvin. for they p. the lower part of the world. do. The rabbis object that in Genesis 11. Both their deeds and their motives are entirely wicked. His city.
Abravanel argues. who defined man as a political animal. God's do not need the political life of the city. B. Nimrod being things some part of the Ham line which Noah subjects to Shem and Japheth. if the materials they supplied were . then. are quite are not Babel-builders is how much not they add to the text. the arts. Summary of the Traditional Critique of the City associations. are equally stained by association the wrong sort of people. the art of bringing people together to build a decent civil order. Abravanel thus. and tyranny over others. heir of a slave. but to conspire against and a God. The city cannot provide for security against death. is ated. 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. sinners. The city. manages to slip in the moral that the way of Torah is higher than the way of the Greeks. they God's murderers. which willing to supply motives which are recorded. then of Seth. 4. Cain being rejected in favor first of Abel. it cannot give one immortal life or even an immortal name. at worst it is temptation to idolatry. It is their politics as much as their materialism that is at fault.The of City us in Genesis 9 the godless Cain. The city-builders of Genesis 1-11 all have unsavory are They or are fugitives from God ters. political which go with cooperation. 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. Nimrod.3-4 ("let brick. or rebels against God. are proud. being Esau's way. and even actions appropriate moral of each This might not be a bad procedure. is inferior to the way of the Politics." us make "let build city"). and is associated with the violence of patriarchs. The arts come from the children of vengeful bigamist Lamech. They story. in criticizing the Babel-builders. says Abravanel. thinking to build structures which will keep their names alive forever. hunting. More generally. which. Ruling comes from Nimrod. idola They wish to build a settled and secure life or even against wishes. At best it is a necessary evil in a fallen world. desire of walking away from God rather than with him. apparently picking up on the language a of mutual exhortation in 11. The the city. rejection of God. not rendered suspect by the fact that the first is people to be political cooper to build a better cities life. the human beings who are desire to build is unnecessary. They are from the wrong lines. without God's help by They purely human means. only God can do these things. is grounded in folly. in order to establish the stated.
to the between the violence of Cain and Lamech and the rise of urban life and the arts. and the Babel-builders the reasons for the antiurban are evil. they condemn Nimrod for his paganism and his attempt to murder Abraham. when they assert without philological "idol. the errors the traditional interpretation is inadequate. they in the Biblical text. to the connection between Abraham left the eastern world ruled Nimrod. to the connection be tween Nimrod Esau the hunters. the evil of Cain and the others is axiomatic in the interpretive tradition in to my present which they have been would argue trained." but also the idiosyncratic "profaning" equation of with "rebel word Again. since Lamech fathers sons who are . Cain's line ended with a murderer is also untrue. believe. and enough reading. Augustine's most claim that translators. far beyond this. Another mology noticeable feature is the Jewish This interpreters' fascination with ety and other word play. but some of fetched. The rule text can mean whatever the interpreters want it to mean. however. They attribute Cain's birth to the angel They Sammael.10 Interpretation role of providing plausible explanations for what is recorded. they are merely the justifications. the but the rabbis stretch it beyond the resemblance may be significant. between the pre-Flood and the Babel-builders' desire for a name. point. which a plenty of loose connections traditional interpretation can be founded. There are Nonetheless. Nimrod. 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. to the fact that by Nimrod. to the fact that Nimrod to the similarity is reminiscent of the evil "mighty "men of men" wiped out name" in the Flood." they ask us to accept too much on faith. all interpretive control is lost. and Babel. again might not be bad in itself. Some of the claims are errors. and would maintain this even reasons. Sec that there is ond. For example. that the real problem of the traditional interpreters deeper. When material this far from the text is allowed to shape the inter limited to the go characters' pretation of motives and actions. more relevant interest. however. if all the etymologies and legendary material were excluded." reasoning that the "name" in the Babel story all mean can only mean or that the names of Cain's lies descendants I "rebellion. The addition of legendary material and the use of verbal tricks are not interpretation. for two First. demanding us to allow not only the rendering of the hiphil the claims made are simply too far "profane. They can point to the parallel between Cain the farmer and and Abel the shepherd. even without the extraneous material. Shinar. to justify their They contrast can indeed appeal to a number of textual details. and so on. Among the following: Augustine's claim that Nimrod was a hunter is considered who "against even God" by Calvin." "begin"-"profane" breaking as the "begin" piel ling. The interpreters have already decided that Cain. philologically unacceptable by found Nimrod unappealing. to Nimrod's connection with and associations upon Ham. and other are facts simply do not fit into the antiurban picture.
The not murderers of City in Genesis 11 but inventors. hardly closer the model of the political man. rather. could we expect Cain to build anything but a "worldly city. text with uncharitable motives. there is bad reasoning in the traditional pretation of constructions. His victims enjoy God's before as castrated. If Israel is not wicked . the shepherd who sells his wool and mutton or in spirit to the city than is the hunter trapper who is self-sufficient. Abravanel. Nimrod. because he does not keep for its entire life before killing it. 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. Then there are the the slave Ham is untrue. The hunter is the loner. And settled farmers (like Cain. is cursed to in Genesis 9. How. the rabbis rage against Cain for is. and God does not contradict Cain on this point. Further. execution." The interpretation same such is. They they are by the farmer. and the later Israelites) kill their cattle. 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 entire race. he infers it in infers. Babel but not in the case Cain. In fact. the text says that Cain believes he is hidden from God's face. Augustine all lifestyle. Yet the text is that God did nor not gaze unto Cain and imputed to Cain. undertook the Babel project on his own. The text would seem was suggest that his motive was fear of being killed. and that the city to protect him. and Asshur in Genesis 4 and 10. the hunter is less violent. out of the desire for a name. Further. which makes "children men. 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. Canaan's brother Cush and Cush's son Nimrod are not slavery included in the curse. The common interpretation that Nimrod to aid all the project. since not Ham but facts that do not fit." Again. that Cain had a says justify God. these are nity. too their sheep. Cain is to to build his city out of vainglory. Ham's son. in a parallel manner. no evil motive is to be flawed in either intention or Similarly. if God will then. is feeble." not help him build "lusting after the laws to a heavenly that ground. but he does order to wicked derive this from textual evidence. or that he ordered the people him. not supplementation that Cain's offering is hypocritical. are not rounded the association who up in pens of the hunter and with is peculiar. the city falling to his arrows. lives away from the city The landed farmer with his rural commu in the marketplace. The rabbis' claim that Nimrod shares the character Canaan. tilling it. For shepherds (like Abel) kill things. The inter Augustine and the rabbis that Nimrod must have been unneces sarily violent and tyrannical. runs against of the clear sense of the text in that of Genesis 11. or out of the wish to build a worldly city without God. but say nothing against Moses who one? prescribes govern Israel's settled agricultural life. further. because he was a hunter and hunters kill things. is his sacrifice said supposed his sacrifice.
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
" earth becomes peoples of common nations. The next a region called in Shinar. Since. something is added: God gives the first laws. these Nimrod either builds group arises in the east as well. an a world organized on the world by the new political seems to be improvement before the Flood. that We may now be able to fathom the Calvin Nimrod was a "mighty hunter.1-7). people need to have some kind of authority set over a tribal or monarchical nature. 9. Thus. suggests in which one will rule over many. Abel. Nimrod is word have begun his "kingdom" in the first in Shinar. either built by or Nimrod in said to dom.1-7) to be enforced. in this overspreading. the city arises. built by Asshur. we must remember and that that such a form of rule was very common in ancient times. the migrating offspring of Shem. will have a legal dimension absent from the old. The new begin ning. whenever the tribal or them. for the laws of God (Gen. Genesis 10 documents this family by family. 13). This time. (9. In this new creation. however. It also helps maintain concord between stay together. The peacefulness of the process reminds one of the separation of Abraham and Lot (Gen. if we are watching a new creation. the "nations. There is another interpretation. Recall that in Genesis 9. The "king occurring in Genesis for the first time. which are life. naming the lands and peoples descending from and Japheth. the between Cain nation. The Bible acknowledges that good kings can exist. and since they too are related. which had no such structure discernible. in the east. God's command and In this context of obedience to family solidarity. The familial basis of nations seems to offer the possibility of internal concord within each nation. One wicked one. Abimelech in Genesis 20). The first cities are or comes to rule." Asshur. whether of The Bible may be suggesting that kingship arises national structures are felt to be inadequate to enforce the the barest minimum for a decent social reason Noachide laws. the goodness. the race of Adam is being given a second chance at life. both over Israel and over other nations (cf. Ham.19).The similar City in Genesis 15 It is as instructions in language that is very strongly reminiscent of Genesis 1. amicably dividing the world themselves." for the Biblical statement and Augustine saw this as indicating was savagery and oppression. is. Ham. the Biblical narrator would not auto matically have assumed such a rule to be evil. therefore. must not conclude. If this automatically and a new political ordering suggests ruthless power tyranny to modem ears. those restraining murder and improper diet (9. they occupy it as they were meant to. and and seems an improvement on the relationship unit. that Nimrod's rule was a One might even argue that. a slight modification to Genesis 1 . families (mishpahoth) Shem. which echoed Genesis 1 generally. among Japheth separate violence. sons of Noah are obedient in the way that the sons of Adam were never said to be: they "overspread" the whole earth overspreading. without Thus. the new creation as it were. which relied too much on we are innate human told. cities a son of Shem. that populated not merely by individuals but by descent speaking a common tongue and occupy ing a traditional land.
Genesis 9 to him to be person carnivorous. by God's . how to be a "hunter. but it is less it has possibilities for something desperate. unlike Lamech's. one must conclude that cannot as such. from the above discussion. kings are one possible source of law. but human for up as prey beings. and as did Lamech (4. but his literally and hence the most striking excellence. in fact. may remind us of the wicked men before the Flood. Nimrod and his city compare favorably with the Cain line and its city and the Babel-builders their city. did the mighty men of old (6. that the rule of a hunter may symbolize the over urban civilization improvements elements of the new world over the old. in which other forms of suffering must have been prevalent (starvation after crop failure.17). For these reasons. good. but it is others who note his greatness on the earth (10. we must ing was Lamech's. and that Nimrod's hunting is not in itself a his cities. may not be pretty. at overspread the earth at least potentially. One can grant that a king may become a one must also grant that a king can establish the rule of law.23-24). vulnerability to random killing). but those men were characterized by neither hunting hunting. Nimrod became famous.8) and before the Lord (10.9). 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. "mighty" being "mighty" a hunter. which consisted rule in Nimrod's prescribes moderate and measured punishments. and so did his empire. the text is which teaching at that the rise of Nimrod possibility is new and." can one fault Nimrod? He is person said the first in the text said that is. Nimrod does not name any cities after himself or after not attribute as "name" does his son. the order of creation. Their sins cannot be imputed to him on the strength Thus. Genesis 1 allows implicitly taught that man was to be vegetarian. city building. Kings may (I Samuel 8). new order higher than the Note Nimrod does also that the text not seek a builders of any motive of vanity to Nimrod.4). God-sanctioned It is true that Nimrod. Nimrod does not boast about himself. then. least some of the nations which legitimately source. I would suggest. I represents a political would argue. first hunter. but multiple vengeance driven by unre (mamlakhah) introduces into the world more stable and orderly. The likely to make men hopeless or pre-Flood world. men ruling men). Nimrod. In important respects. basis to nor of an adjective alone. condemn be evil. of a any more. Finally.4) or the Babel (1 1. at hunting makes He may not have been him the hunter par example of the new. In this context. The new world contains harsh (men killing animals. not speak of upon the "dominion" over the animals which are now given "fear and animals.16 Interpretation God does dread" made. note that which the only version of law and order hitherto obtain something tyrant. strained passion. but it is perhaps less harsh than the pre-Flood world. as did Cain (4. the first have taken advantage of the new bequest God has "might" given. At God's com the rule of mand are ruled not by kings.
The 11. but it is not to be so lightly condemned as it the rabbis. then. and enjoying the earth. too. speaking one language. united brotherly love.The sion a ect City in Genesis 17 mighty hunter. of super-city with together. by natural a by (literally or figu the refuse Adam. the Babel-builders' adventure of mastering. No one people (which is why I would con- . Regarding this story. wants them to the earth (1. They "scattered. are there is a a justification for the traditional however. among these Combs and Post point out. if it and was a sin. the language of unity and solidarity (Combs and "rules" Post. The "sons men" Noah. case of Babel is not exactly typical city. 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. I think. His proj may be ambiguous. The "sons ratively) of reproducing and nonviolently occupying the earth. The with sin of the Babel-builders. to obey God. I certain turn to the Babel story. scattered. as of (11. 428). Further. turns his prowess toward the ruling of peoples. Babel-builders is. it to be a certain un populating. something. process. They want live. p. the descendants of Flood. who have not learned the lesson that the Flood. God wants them to move outward. too. settled on Genesis 9 that they should fill the earth. that is. of willingness to take on the adventure of human life.4). 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. and he. It "scattered." therefore are separated and moved over the earth in a more unnatural and violent manner.28). seems to have nothing to do seems storming heaven defying God. in one place. their fear of being a inward-looking attitude." of perhaps educated obey God. kind people of Babel do to not wish to be "scattered" upon the earth (Gen. and Augustine. They one spot. is perhaps reminiscent Cain's Yet motives. Finally. 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. be was afraid of safe. is. close even antiurban exegesis. God at the end of purpose. like Cain's.4).5). aim spreading master to many spots. 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. He. Rather. The their cautiousness. and in what respects their ambitions legitimate. 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. This desire runs counter to God's all and commandments of want Genesis 1 to build upward. in the Babel there features grant. is by Calvin. in a its top in the heavens. the language of mutual entreaty. They heavenward (11." is only fitting.
however thinking. This form of social organization is in trast to the forms described in Genesis 10. will in the very next story in the Bible promise to make great the name of a certain nation. they dream. separate peoples. speaking. 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. The or reputation earn. then. but he will obtain the reward sought "name" by the Babel-builders will not Genesis 11. unified world-state. the "sons of will founding "nations. 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. It is true that they wish eternity. would God. They do not wish to God. and the only people." a and that this may indicate worldly pride. and powerful cities." of that is. wanting as is fact. were tribal and monarchical. the situation be irreparable. 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. they on together as equal partners toward a goal is not them but chosen by themselves. built. become corrupt. is that it is not for human beings to be of utterly that there and arising a different ways of peaceful. established by the "sons of Noah" of Genesis 10. In Genesis not allow of 11. no possibility of the living. The forms of govern men" ment. good which so I think is the one correct one. but that does not necessarily imply rebellion against rebelling against builders want a ture God. validated by the consensus of everyone in it. God cannot allow it to be The Babel-builders. may be and the ual or become dedicated to bad ends. be for . will and to give it. a permanent essence which. they do not even mention him. in if taking into account the desire of the Babel-builders. his people who accepted the limitations of of nationhood.7 overthrow "name. In Genesis nized 10. In fact. The desire to live in overlooks the is risk that the single. as it were." which are "kingdoms" connected with essentially families writ large. hold them together in Shinar forever. and themselves. Abraham will continue in the tradition of obedience a not Further. and seem to be peaceful and nonviolent. are not malicious. the nation sired by Abraham. but he was not God in naming it after his son. having unable promised never destroy the world again with a Flood. only language that exists should If the only state. It is more likely that the Babel- "name" for their project to christen the marvellous urban struc they have created.18 tend Interpretation Nimrod had nothing to do work with the construction of the Babel which of Genesis imposed con 11). noble it may be. "name" necessarily an improper desire. God. then. Cain may have been proud of his city. the world was orga according according to the to "nations. its be to stop the corrupted universal state from retaining all members in thrall for Therefore. unified world-state. 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. however.
150 51. The traditional pious exegesis of Genesis fails to understand that merely human are achieve political orderings. or not trusting enough in God's promises to obey his wishes. it due to knowing God wanted. The mo tives of those who built the first mixed. King (Edinburgh. Robert Sacks. but for purity. One separated could use Friedman's (though he does not) to can be from the not require this argument. trans. and human decency for any length Like Cain's city "Enoch.7. Genesis Rabbah. Rev. we find that cities are built by a masterly figure.) Lemer 1978). Henry Bettenson (Harmondsworth." Nimrod's cities are the "inauguration" of something new: a social order in which justice can have a foothold. in Genesis 10. pp. Commentary on the Pentateuch (selections). to teach. And in one case. Ont. There are grammatical and general grounds built the city. Commentaries on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis. In societies other than Israel. was the Babelers were not being scattered. whose claim to leadership might be said to be indirectly authorized by God himself. 2. XV. 4.3. 1847). the world which is being properly populated by the sons of Noah. he is the first to explicitly a political in the new world. (Atlanta: Scholars Press. Augustine. that the city cities were Genesis 1-11 would seem is not evil. in the bequest epitome of evil and order of animal flesh in Genesis 9. which once achieved will make Israel blessing and a source of wisdom for all the nations of the earth (Gen. John trans. 1972). eds. it is can only in coexist some kind of political order that the of time. p. Isaac Abravanel. pp. trans.The martial City in Genesis 19 valor. 242. law. Jacob Neusner. trans.. trans. Medieval Political Philosophy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 256. Cain pp. 44-48. and not always the best. Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer.: Penguin. But I do I do not believe that Genesis wishes us to understand Cain as funda stained mentally evil or ungodly. Cain was afraid of afraid of what death. arts. but these motives were not wicked. The city is not bad as some of the rabbis and Christian by its association with Cain. in Ralph and Muhsin Mahdi. God. If these people strayed. the order represented perfect by Nimrod is essential. 158. if one wished to put the city in a better light. 4. Nimrod is establish not the rebellion. 2 vols. (Title henceforth: City of 5. or for building great towers into the a heavens. "Piety and Four" Civilization: An Analysis of the City in Genesis results (Hamilton. Although the political order is less than in that it requires the exercise of force. 196-98. p. then. Deut. argue that the evils of 1979). John Calvin. as city of Enoch. Gerald Friedlander (New York: Hermon Press. who in Isaac Friedman's thesis. 3. Eng. 1970).6). which do not claim the benefit of God's direct rule and teaching. 1985). because Cain is not so commentators make out. vol. 1. The arguments for this are well summarized for arguing that it was Enoch.: McMaster University. Cain's son. the only possible means by which the non-Israelite children of Noah can justice upon the earth. . Concerning the City of God Against the Pagans. flawed and susceptible to abuse as they are. NOTES 1. 12.
Due to space limitations. I am going to dispense for the most part with notes. it is no longer possible for me to tell reliably which ideas were originally mine and which theirs. C." Memory of Peter C. Readers who wish to think about its depths more fully should read the chapter on Genesis 1 1 (pp.. Robert Sacks. and undoubtedly to the rabbinic tradition of interpretation shows writings of up in Sacks's work. As I have been deeply engaged with this material for a number of eds. whose 1990 work was available to them Athens" in typescript form much earlier. The Foundations of Political Order in Genesis and the Chandogya Upanisad (Lewiston. Craigie (Sheffield. NY: Edwin Mellen Press. I add that. But I give here a very firm acknowledgment that many of my specific sug gestions must have come from them. A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (Lewiston. 1990). .20 Interpretation 6. S. and that my general line of approach is completely theirs. Sacks in turn acknowledges his immense debt to Leo introduced him to Genesis. I know of no other philosophical and exegetical treat the Babel story of comparable length and depth. hence. ment of of 405-39) in the work cited. I have doubtless been influenced by another very rich interpretation in some respects resembles it. I add that Combs and Post would probably transfer much credit for their ideas to Sacks. Eugene Combs and Kenneth Post. 1-5. even though Strauss is not cited in this essay because he does not deal with the specific passages I am working on here. 1987). Ascribe to the Lord: Biblical and Other Studies in years. I have only scratched the surface of the Combs-Post account of the Babel story. I too have been influenced by the various Strauss on the Bible and wish to acknowledge it fully. in my necessary simplification the Combs-Post of the Babel story which discussion. In a general way. MA: JSOT Press. Lewis's novel That Hideous Strength. Eugene Combs. 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. 6. and to Leo Strauss. which who essay was seminal for them. 1988). NY: Edwin Mellen Press. whose "Jerusalem and Strauss.
Num 3. and thus to end their they couch and split you watched number3 open4 travail? 4 Their her children more. appeared nor is he turned The first bers 2 and thirty-eight chapters of the translation and and commentary in Volume 24. meet armed combat. 3 when to give birth to their young. 1 . Vol. 15 She has forgotten that hers.The Book Translation of and Job Commentary on Chapters 39 through 42 Robert D.5 thrive and flourish in the wild. 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. 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. 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. No.10 9 "Would the 10 Can is you wild ox agree to serve you? Would spend the night at your up the valleys great. 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. in Volume 25 of Interpretation. in his is not strength as he goes out to 22 He laughs fear and dismayed.14 wings as if on high. and she has no share in 18 She just flaps her rider. Fall 1998.12 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. horse'3 her to forget wisdom. as if they were not even in all vain. 16 She treats her were all children roughly. Her toils caused foot can crush them. interpretation. he every green thing is his crib? plow to search out. or that a wild beast might trample them down.9 bustling hills as of the hear the drivers 8 but roams the his pasture. she has no fear 17 because God has understanding. You see. Sacks St. and who dwells city. and does not and even in the salt lands? 7 He laughs shout. 6 whose home I have at the made the wilderness. hitch him up with a rope and hold him to the furrow? Will he behind you? 11 Would you rely upon him? Remember. and laughs at a passing and its 19 "Did you give to the horse 20 Can you make him leap its strength. John's College. 26.
2. by the flashing into the spear and the earth." Hos. and See notes to 26. eye spots He takes up his lodging on the highest 29 From there he searches out his prey. 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. he is there."18 Comments 1. The and single Hebrew word hul. consume the of their gates. he said. Oh. which have here translated by the phrase of our I have generally translated birth" is "writhing in the dance of "writhe. "I and father's house. although almost as side. 3:28 are of Afterward. 23 A quiverful of arrows whizzes excitement and agitation. if we were in Hebrew they have totally different names. 30 and his fledglings down the blood. 24 With he gouges pays no homage to trumpet's 'Huzzah' ! He smells the blast. and upon all his when devour them in their fortresses. javelin. Whenever death defiles. 25 but facing battle from afar. much understanding of the Book of Job center on our attempt to regain the sense of of this word. guiltless May my kingdom before the LORD for the blood of Abner the son it whirl down upon the head of Joab. building its nest on high? 28 He dwells upon the rock. 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.17 pinnacle. 2Sam." a very will complex word. 1 1 :6 The bars sword shall "whirl and down" against their cities." . His swill it from afar. Indeed. Job has entered far into hind what we have come to call the Land of the Jackal. it originally meant "to whirl. making it his stronghold. forever Ner. 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. There he The The The will meet six sets of wild beasts: rock-goat and wild ass and untamed jenny wild ox ostrich The The horse The hawk None been of and eagle them is mythical.22 back Interpretation by He edge of sword. David heard of it. unity that lies within the complexity As far as one can tell.
the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 23:5 Jer. that book which begins see them dashed. and watch. The Book rule. And to us. only to the book Judges. according whom they carried off. because we for each man of them his wife in battle. it Psa. and rebuilt the towns. too. making melody to him with lyre! But more often than not things get out of hand. then come out of the vineyards and seize of each man his wife from the daughters their Shiloh." Sometimes it is and exultation: used in a perfectly wonderful context which can be full of joy Psa. the sister of Aaron. and often when first reading the word. saying. anguish who shall hear the report of tremble and be in because of you. 32:19 And as soon as Moses' he came near the dancing. hands anger burned hot. Grant them graciously to us. 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. king." or "to quake": The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness. 15:20 Then Miriam. from the dancers to their and took their wives. and go to the land of Benjamin. then they went and returned inheritance. we will when fathers or their brothers come to complain did not take say to them. the reader can feel a foreboding thought thickening the air. Exod. and dwelt in them. Deut. else you would now be guilty. Exod. 21:20 wait And they commanded the Benjaminites. "Go and lie in in the vineyards. Judg. 29:8 comes to mean "to tremble. they will be in anguish over the Tyre.The Book of Job It can also mean 23 "to dance. the prophetess. if the daughters of Shiloh come out win to dance the dances. for the Lord's purposes . 51:29 When the report about report comes to Egypt. ends in fright and of a with such high hopes for self- the clear need of the one thing had hoped to avoid. And the to their number. foot and camp and saw the calf and the he threw the tables out of his and broke them at the of the mountain. her took a timbrel and all the women went out after with timbrels and dancing. trembles and writhes The land in pain. 149:3 Let them timbrel and praise his name with dancing. in her hand. It "anguish" often means and "pain": Isa. neither did you give them to them. Benjaminites did so. Then.
32:18 the You God He were unmindful of who gave you the Rock that begot you. For this reason. he We a man can now begin to understand the great admonition: "Gird your loins like is put (gebher). and the archers he was badly wounded by the archers. it can also mean "to be in labor. in visiting the day of birth. a whirling burst upon the of the wicked. 23:19 one more aspect of Behold. and sin did my mother Prov. your vindication as Ps. 51:5 Behold. But. 13:8 and will one they will be dismayed. brings forth rain. tempest. inhabitant. There is Jer. Note the phrase "a whirling word tempest. in and your right as the noonday. pressed upon Saul. or even a mortal injury: The battle hard found him. their faces be aflame. 31:3. 25:23 The north wind and a backbiting tongue. and ISam. I conceive me. Ps. birth": as in our case. angry them. thy judgments puffs at them." 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. are on high. was revisiting the day of his own birth. 37:6 will bring was forth the light. Isa. as for his foes. to make the land of Babylon a desolation." There is wildness and pain present when the signet to the clay to make a thing of value and worth." and hence "to give Deu. they aghast at looks. Pangs like a woman will and agony will seize will be in anguish in travail. They look another. Job. it the storm of the will LORD! Wrath has head gone forth. the mean "pain" "anguish" same word that meant and can also "to prosper": Psa. and you forgot birth. out of his sight. 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. 10:5 His ways prosper at all all times. Here there is no indication that the by a curse or the result of having taken a bite of the apple.24 Interpretation against without Babylon stand." English-speaking in this also recognize . brought forth in iniquity.
then.The Book of Job sage some 25 foundation for the shift we had already begun to feel in the role of the feminine. To word understand used this passage. 6. 66:7 her Before here from the Book in labor she gave Isaiah: pain came upon she was birth. the wild ass wild ass unlike donkey and the burro. 8. 7. going off about their labors of snatching up dawn. a nurturing god rather than a constructing god. From the point of view of human justice there is no priori reason a a why birth our should entail so much pain. She. of course. The Voice here as reminds Job that in its own way. for the Hebrew word for tempest is see that pain and birthing a tempest that Job joy and birth are so feminine noun. The question is. an order for the first time. It is the whirling. speaks to Job. it would be best to begin by seeing how the is in other Biblical contexts: . lets interrelated that they cannot be of distinguished in speech. pain-ridden. are 3. perhaps with beyond world. 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. This. But quite even Job. Here. is land? the question to Job: Can he discern number and order in this untrodden 4. rhetorical. Job already had Job 6:5 some care Will the bray when there is grass? Eliphaz had Job 11:12 none: Hollow a man man will become thoughtful when the wild ass gives birth to ('adam). and are what they are. the Voice is beginning to open Job to different kind of order. while he showed a certain amount of compassion. The had been for it: wild ass mentioned several times in the text before. and understanding the of the one may lead us in coming to terms with the other. Yet we can all world. 5. In using such a harsh word. since. did not have the respect that these lines demand: Job 24:5 They are wild asses at in the desert. we can begin to see its own necessities which seems to be see that without such a totally indifferent to our sense of order. dancing. the joys of our world could never come to be. and in terms of human justice it a world seems all wrong. How different things Isa. fostering in each life to own its signet. the separation of birth is that our hard and as final as the separation of death. has never known either burden or rein. before her she was delivered of a son.
"Have come you seen this man who has him kills him. Jer. and destroys it. and But if the slave plainly says. "servant." daughter. go out free. but he him for favor. that show his concern. but they were treated kindness: justly and ." since the with language does not distinguish between "slave" and Job. to oppressed go free. and now must I curry They with were servants or slaves. he shall serve six years. for nothing. the his Surely king this the he has up to will enrich with defy Israel. 21:2 When you buy a Hebrew slave. and the slave is free his lord. Job 7:2 Like his a slave he yearns for the shadows. along many others. too. . sake. his brother. to and the man who and will give Israel. so that no one should enslave a Jew. It is true that. 34:9 and to break every every yoke?" that one should set free his Hebrew slaves. brought 9. 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. Small and great. years. and like a hireling he waits for wages. When a man strikes the . "Is not and make his father's house free in choose: Isa.26 Interpretation Exod. gave no answer. that was true. Hebrew man. did have a slave or servant: Job 19:16 to I called to my servant. "I love my master. and in the seventh he shall go out free. or a Hebrew woman. all are there. ears to me. be your slaves. he shall serve you six you. eye of my his slave. 17:25 go free from men of And the come up? Israel said. great riches. 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. is sold to you. And there are other passages. 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. children. to undo the thongs of the yoke. and in the seventh year you shall let him ISam. 58:6 fast that I loose the bonds let the of wickedness. 15:12 If your brother. I will not male or eye's female. and you had set them into subjection to free according to their desire. has served you six years. male and . my wife. female. he a shall let the slave go free for the Deut.
in His Holy Ones and even the heavens are not in His Because trusted to each thing is what it is beyond the in sphere of man. it will be a long journey. 104:16 LORD abundantly." This is the only verse. That is not to say that such ideas cannot find world back into the human is No. the stork. ance The farm. whose foundation is but dust? or Job 15:15 He clean puts no trust sight. is 12. the ." time. There were always some men suffering it caused. Job but. roaming the hills as his pasture. as we shall see. they are an abomination: the eagle. It is generations. in unrecorded Bildad's "first left to itself. Even from was within the human sphere. each thing can be be what it is. 11:13 And these shall not you shall among the birds. "trust. Human art is only the vaguest image of the world which farm. five hundred of them. I do God rose up? 10. what of those who dwell in house of clay. the heron according to its kind.. requires a certain admiration for the wild ass.. The trees of the Ps." answer can do none of these things. but here is have in abomination what is known: Lev. regardless of whether there is pain and suffering involved or not. giving it a The signets. the way each thing is when prior to either the arts or to tradition. 11. has kept itself in bal legitimate claim to be much older than or nature. The an furrow. not certain what bird is meant. It is in noticeable Job 4:18-19 If He with the exception of 39:24. both for moved for others. the vulture. the osprey. and them yet he did have ox. 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. are watered bat. and he did "hitch But to "trust them to bring in the up and hold them to the grain" would. it requires something like the concept of a signet. what would or maid when when they brought complaint against me. Job world sees a world chaotic as which all things are trusted rather than watched. To put it other who were deeply by the pain and wise. But the discovery of the notion that slavery is wrong as such. and many of them devoted their lives to alleviating that suffering. of course have been out of the question.The Book of Job Job 31:13-14 If ever 27 man I felt contempt for the cause of one of my servants. It is through seeing the wild ass as having a life of freedom becomes important to their way its own. oneself and men could always see that slavery unpleasant. they and be eaten. the hoopoe. that its us. the cedars of . it may seem.
he will dwell on the heights. Then I lifted my forward! The of a stork. must 14. at least it is the can most write about. but the significance has greatly changed: Isa. people crane keep the time of their coming. insofar as been domesticated. Part irony of this passage ridden is that ostriches. pathways which lure men like Job toward the in the Great Wall Both the highest City and that reveal its problematic character. his place of defense who shakes . since the name of this bird means something like of the "piety" "loving by care. and eyes and saw. they had lifted they up the ephah between wings coming like the wings heaven. 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. destruction are said of these verses is that the Hebrew text is Agincourt.28 Interpretation Lebanon stork which he planted. and behold. but my know Zech. worlds are met beginning to pull apart and to clash they have for Job as since we first him. 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. There is an early bas relief from Khorsabad showing a falconer bearing a hawk on his wrist. had been domesticated. foresaw hibernation? It he warned Job not to leave his warm den of would seem that there are not one. then. who despises the gain of stops oppression. The first as words ever spoken on the field at questions savage. and in the heavens knows her times. too. 5:9 not the ordinance of the LORD. two women wind was in their wings. In them the birds build trees. 16. their nests. who from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from evil. lest they hold a bribe. Does this not mean raising the very passions in Job that Elihu." 13. character that each 17. and the turtledove. The hawk. The first thing to be moving any to be asked. earth and It is probable that the author intended or a double irony. 33:15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly. he must learn to feel and to recognize all sides of the may find its proper place. For Job this have been the fearful to most difficult of the beasts to meet thus far. have been were some tribesmen of the area as they have if they horses. 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. 15. when if only in part. silly beast. ears his looking upon his hands. The imagery is not uncommon in the Bible. Who help being totally would charmed by the and foolish antics of this silly. but two obscure and sometimes inter chinks weaving of the Human and the wall. the has her home in the fir stork Jer. 8:7 Even the swallow.
order 8 you shatter be right? my judgment? Would you condemn me in 9 Have you an arm like God's. cause longterm planning that led up to the We do not. however. did for its children all that the charm to do. to of life life about precisely because he did see that the hawk. you who your Obad. twice. we shall see next charming as his sister bird the chapter. and Jer. Look upon every man of him. you though your nest says the among the stars. bring down to the is Though you soar aloft will like the eagle. who hold the height I will of hill. Elihu's so implicit claim that no man is enough of a man (gebher) to face the world of nature seems to be vindicated. sixth as beast. has been defeated. The cold and more grotesque. you inspire has deceived you. and can you thunder in that you a voice such as His?3 splendor." 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. 5 I have spoken once. in returning to flow off into death. his bread will be given him. for your own right have saved .The Book of Job will will 29 be the fortresses of rocks. Bind their faces in would obscurity. know whether Job or it the horrified be he did a not see. The sight of the blood and the gore have numbed carnage made was so him. 48:28 Jer. is in the not Job. who ground?" live in the "Who of the rock. Put on glory and 11 Let fly the outbursts of your anger. Though The you make your nest as as the eagle's. his of water be sure. LORD. 12 Look down the I upon everyone of majestic pride and majestic pride and abase bring hand him low and tread guilty. the ostrich was unable CHAPTER FORTY 1 And the LORD wrangle with swer. 1:3 heart has deceived you. me dwelling set say in heart. 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. O inhabitants in the Moab! Be nests sides of the mouth of a gorge. high and the pride of your heart. like the dove that The horror dwell in the rock. thence I bring down. the hawk.4 even would praise you. 13 Bury them all in the dust. the you you who dwell in the clefts of the rock. 49:16 Leave the cities. pride of your whose says the LORD. 10 "Go ahead. and you must let me know. How my hand upon my mouth."1 loins like Would might a man (gebher)2: I will question you. 14 Then you. but I have no answer. bring clefts will down from there. is high. deck yourself out in majesty and dignity. The ostrich. 18.
8 21 He lies down the lotuses. but Job had always recognized God's greater power. He has been numbed as if stung by the Socratic sting fish." 2. 16 but just look at the is in the muscles of his belly. and his teaching is not a but an 3. beyond man is no place for a man. or with you to be your eternal his nose. or his head with fishing his head. He has it here at There would have been no need to continue. 23 Though the burst into his snare?10 river he is unalarmed.30 * Interpretation Behemoth5 15 "But look now. "Have you an arm like God's.7 Only his come can approach him with a sword. his limbs Maker like rods of 19 He is the first of God's ways. who would plead my case? . had been what God had wanted. here is whom I made along with you. 18 His bones iron. God's argument is. his warning was just. and can you thunder in a voice let Job "telling. under and all the beasts of the field play. I believe. are The and his thighs are are all knit together. somewhat more specific than one might at first take it to be. and you will remember war no Comments no answer. Now ray he neither knows nor believes that he knows. or pierce speak to you servant?13 29 "Can ladies?14 play you with him like a bird hold or tie of him on a string for your young 30 Or 31 Can can the dealers get him and trade their shares in the spears? market? fill his hide hand with 32 Merely place your upon harpoons. The 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. 24 Can he be taken by the eyes? or pierced the nose with a 25 jaw "Can" you haul in the Leviathan12 with a fishhook? Can through you press down his his tongue with a with the line? 26 Can you put a barb? 27 Will he always softly? 28 Will he you make a covenant ring be coming to implore you. but he did not. If Job's this not point. and if by court of law. Indeed. He is the mighty one. 22 The lotuses blanket him surround with their shade and the willows of the rage. hiding in the reeds and the fen. 20 "The there to mountains yield him produce. His ducts might tail stiff as a cedar. But the Tempest will go. He eats fodder just like the cattle." again "asking. that was always the problem: Job 9:19 If trial be by strength. confident that the Jordan will mouth. Again it says. "gird up your loins like a man (gebher)". Once Job thought that he knew what justice was. 17 He can stretch out his sinews of strength in his loins." His?" such as God seems to base His argument on His power. The sight of the six beasts has 1 Job has . convinced him that Elihu was right.6 of brass.9 brook in him.
however 6. created me at the beginning his work. 111:10 contains creatures which man not did not name and the unquestioned center of all that is visible. dwell in prudence. Compare Ps. of It is. means by which justice is established in the learn of 4. get beginning insight. I. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. 4:7 The get. . . "Behemoth cattle. Job 18:3 Job 35:10-11 Why none are we considered beasts and made unclean . than the beasts of the earth. 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. Job's search a world for human justice has led him into relevant. the first 8. a good understanding have ever! all those who practice it.The Book of Job When Job thought that he knew what 31 had justice was. with you . behemoth 5. however." in the made masculine singular. is this: Get wisdom. are all who teaches us more The verbs. whom I along eats fodder just like the neither miracu It is a normal part of the greater world around us. clearly are of mythic proportion. Man is 7. . Appropriately enough. of The LORD acts of old. In the become clear that Job's understanding beyond the last two chapters. His praise endures for Prov. "laugh" or . The word is the normal plural of the feminine noun behemah. and I find knowledge of and discretion. The next two chapters will the question of the administration of that justice. he of also thought that he the means to establish that justice. being lous nor mythical. and his limbs like rods of The visible universe is much larger than any man knows and of which he is unaware. in which human action no longer seems Its vast forces are so wide seen and no outburst of his anger ever sweeping that no decking would ever be be felt. not turn out to be the and Job has yet much to the spirit behind the administration of that justice. his wisdom. We have which means already seen any large domesticated it in Job: Just ask the animal such as a cow or an ox. 1:7 The fear wisdom and of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. 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. Prov. Job 12:7 beasts and they will show you. fools despise and whatever you instruction. These do cosmos. God is joking. however. iron." "His bones are ducts brass. in your eyes? say "Where is God my maker. of wisdom Prov. 8:12 .
person The first in the Bible to laugh on was Abraham: and Gen. is usually translated "oppress. but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son." I believe that the role subject plays a of in the Book with Job which differs from its in the other the Bible. shall I have pleasure?" grown old. verse inquiry be to the words shq and shq. 19:13 Does it contempt seem good to You that You oppress. since words like or I shall by I'g essentially verse. for the pounding. saying." Joy and happiness are another matter. tyrannizing river." as It occurs rather frequently in of the Bible and with the exception of this verse only. and you shall call his name Isaac.32 9. "mocking" It must remembered that we are only speaking of "laughter. The wages of a servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning. sight!" And Abraham Sarah's laughter Gen. "Why did Sarah laugh. half-real fabric reader whom of this account succeeds in leaving the feeling he has room that he shares a never seen. Gen. somewhat boring books foot the subject of of "laughter" "play. however. now that and say. note on role we must now begin a rather and long and." looking at each usage. that she had laughed. child. a and said to himself. way limit our mean of seeing that other than "derision. 17:17 Then Abraham fell "Shall a child who his face laughed. "No. always implies injustice the gravest Job 10:3 Lev. I fear. "O that Ishmael might live in thy God said. 'Shall I Indeed bear I old?' am Is anything too hard . But from the Gen. Interpretation 'Ashaq kind. The half-mythic. "After I have my husband is old. bear child?" next verses it becomes clear that it was not a contented laughter: said to God. 18:13 The LORD said to a she would have felt no need to deny Abraham. no the possible exception of the Book of Proverbs. 10. 18:12 came next: So Sarah laughed to herself. He finds Thus. world with a living being at ease of monumental stature of the This grand beast is in the land Jackal. hand? that You have for the toil of your own You hired shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. 17:18 is ninety years old. making it his drinking foun tain. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. There is. He is passively ferocious yet actively gentle and seems to rule by laughter. and But had her laughter been goodnatured. Shall be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Sarah.
son whom she had borne Abraham. Gen. came have brought among us. It is hard to have any idea of what Ishmael consequences were disastrous. "No. "God has who made a laughingstock of me. and I cried out with a loud voice. "I did laugh. 21:6 city. for the LORD is about to sons-in-law to destroy Sarah: Gen. he me to has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us. for she was afraid. saying. "Go down. "The Hebrew servant. every one hears will laugh me. And Sarah said. 32:6 and And they rose up early on the morrow." a But Sarah denied. and the people sat down to eat and drink. 39:17 and she told whom you in to lie him the same story. 21:9 to Hagar the Egyptian. Foolish Isaac's innocent play Gen. but certainly the betrayed him. not 33 appointed time I will return to you. he with me. The next two occurrences of the word are usually even translated by the word "insult": Gen." at Next there came Ishmael: But Sarah saw the son of with Gen. place. Then came the golden calf: Exod. and offered burnt offerings brought peace offerings. his marry his daughters.The Book of Job for the LORD? At the spring." and Sarah shall have son. Next . a When he had been there Philistines looked long time. whom you brought up out of the Moses. 26:8 also was actually doing. "Up. for land of Egypt. 39:14 she called to the men of her household and said to them. have corrupted themselves. in to me to insult me." the But he seemed to be jesting. 19:14 went out and said to get out of this his sons-in-law. you laugh". Abimelech Isaac out of a window and saw king of the joking with Rebekah his wife. playing her Isaac. came "See. in the saying. and rose your And the LORD said to people. up to play. but did Then came the taunting laughter So Lot of the sons-in-law of Lot: who were to Gen. He said.
And the anger of the LORD kindled against Uzzah.34 Interpretation Judg. before the LORD. 16:25 And when their hearts were merry. the abased and above all people of the his house. The same might even be said for Michal: 2Sam. "It was before the LORD. David. And in his each caught arise." twelve of the servants of his opponent by the head. "Let the young men arise and play before And Joab said." said to Joab. from city to city through the country of and as far as Zebulun. so down together. 18:7 And the women sang to and one another as they made merry. 6:5 And David the LORD and all the house of Israel were with all their might. I and will make myself yet more contemptible I will be in your eyes." pillars. and he died there beside the God. . with songs and making merry before lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. twelve for Benjamin and Ishbosheth the son of Saul. "Call Samson. David his ten Joab and Abner play rough: 2Sam. and God smote him there because he ark of put forth his hand to the ark. 30:10 So the Ephraim and Manasseh. they said. but by the maids of whom you have spoken. Israel. 6:21 And David me above your prince over said to Michal. who chose father." Then come mocking and scorning couriers went 2Chron. at Gibeon. Therefore that which place was called they fell Helkathhazzurim. 2:14 And Abner us. They made him stand between the us. for the oxen stumbled. And when they came to the and was threshing floor of Nacon. by them I shall be held in honor. There is laughter no question was but that Uzzah's punishment which stemmed from the next too great. but they laughed them to scorn. Next came laughter and a tune that led to a revolution: ISam. Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God took hold of it. 2Sam. "Saul thousands." has slain his thousands. and he made sport before them. is and thrust his sword opponent's side. that he may make sport for So they called Samson out of the prison. "Let them over and by Then they arose and passed number. to appoint me as LORD and I will make merry than this. and mocked them.
Sorrow is better than laughter. the LORD has them in derision. a time to mourn. Prov. 8:31 Prov. like a master workman. It is like sport to a then I was fool to do wrong. 14:13 Prov. Prov. is vanity. Eccles. and I find knowledge and discretion. it?" Eccles. Prov. there is no quiet. all the him. and money answers everything. so is the laughter of fools. rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the sons of men. dwell in prudence. "What use is Eccles. but wise conduct is pleasure to a man of understanding. at the but the LORD laughs coming. 29:9 If a wise man and an argument with a fool. A good wife who can find? She is far are more precious than and she jewels. and shall laugh your from of the at living. "I am only joking!" Prov. Ps. 3:4 to a time to weep. dost laugh nations in derision. he will snatch and tear you tent. 8:12 . and wine gladdens life. 26:18 Even in laughter the heart is sad. of There only do find something find in the Book Job. I will mock when panic strikes I. and a time to laugh. wicked. laughs at the time to come. for he sees that his day is Ps. at them. saying. however. Strength and dignity her clothing. and a time dance. 10:19 Bread is for laughter. he will uproot you from the land The righteous shall see. O LORD. arrows. firebrands. as For the crackling of thorns this also made under a pot. 31:10 . 2:2 I said of laughter. 10:23 beside him. rejoicing before him always. . Selah. for Eccles. also will laugh at your calamity. closer to what we finds another strain. Ecclesiastes also has a rather dim view of laughter. wisdom. and I was daily his delight. 37:13 who sits in the heavens laughs. Prov. 2:4 Ps. 1:26 Prov.The Book of Job Even the good 35 laughing He at the bad is not the same as goodnatured laughter: Ps. and fear. and death. "It is mad." and of pleasure. He too rejects the "laughter" of his day: . Like a madman who throws and the end of joy is grief. 52:5-6 But God will break you down for ever. 59:8 But thou. is the man who deceives his has neighbor and says. 7:3 Eccles. the fool only rages and laughs. . Jeremiah is not quite the same. I you. 7:6 the by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad. thou dost hold Peppered throughout the one quotations from the Book we of Proverbs.
because he so that magnified himself against the LORD. I will heal. 48:26 "Make him drunk. I will restore the cares!' fortunes the of the tents of Jacob. They read as Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and bitterness all the precious things that were hers from days of old. I did alone. nor did I rejoice. and where city it shall be rebuilt upon its mound." Thus in the says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women shall again streets of Jerusalem. for thou hadst filled me with indignation. Jer. then they among nations. Out of them shall come songs of will thanksgiving. 48:39 shame! Israel a derision to you? that whenever you spoke of you wagged your Was he found among head? How it is broken! How they wail! How Moab has turned his back in and a So Moab has become him. When her . 30:17 the For I will restore health to you. But he also has another notion of laughter. "The LORD has done things for them. thou art than I. they shall not It is reserved for another time and is not a way of meeting what is before us. however. and have compassion on his dwellings. every one mocks me. And playing in its Outside follows: Lam. Was thieves. multiply them. I have become a laughingstock the day. and I was deceived. a derision horror to all that are round about and feels mocked Jer. When who the LORD restored the fortunes filled said of Zion. because they have called you an outcast: 'It is Zion. and they be be few. 15:17 not sit in the company of merrymakers. him and he too shall be held in derision. shall each with staff of the streets of the streets. Jer. There are also such thoughts to be found elsewhere: Ps. Moab shall wallow not in his vomit. thou hast deceived me. and your wounds Jer. 20:7 stronger all O LORD. city be full boys and girls in hand for very age. and thou hast prevailed. I will make them honored. and the voices of those who make merry. says LORD. 126:1 A Song of Ascents. the we were like those and our dream.36 Interpretation Jer. Then our mouth was with laughter. for whom no one Thus says the LORD: Behold. 8:4 sit tongue with shouts of great joy. Zech. shall not small. 1:7 of the Book of Job there are only a handful left. I and the palace shall stand used to be. I sat because thy hand was upon me.
even before his real thought had started: Job 29:24 I joked them them a many quotations given above. the burden of their day says long. and there was her. for it Hab. you shall be laughed at and held in derision. the a side which had always been a part Job and. Have no FEAR in beasts and the earth. a simple. and every green thing is his to search out. But there of was another side of we are laughter. laughter in the Book of 8:53. none to help her. James 4:9). and perhaps even before with bit so that my kindness would not overwhelm because they had no self-confidence. if to judge by different from the others. every fortress. whose it.The Book of Job people 37 fell into the hands gloated over the foe of the foe. Lam. guilty men. Mark 5:40. 25. and of rulers At kings they scoff. 1:10 contains much. a one who would 'Call answer' and now joke. 9:24. 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. . Luke 6:21. innocent joke! those younger than Job 30:1 they have would turned me into the joke. Mat. mocking at her downfall. Job the outcast. The much subject was and bound to come up. They laugh at heap up earth and take on. the beasts of the fields will bring His laughter is rocks and the you peace. 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. for you have a covenant with the rocks the field. and does not even hear the drivers shout. 3:14 Ezek. 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. made him all his trouble. Job 12:4 on also grim side of But God But whose now I have become have him a joke to my friends. FEAR will of violence when you will secure and shall have no it comes. The first to Job 5:21-23 speak of Job is Eliphaz: be When tongues scourge. but hills as his pasture. I fathers I have felt contempt to put with my sheep dogs. 23:32 I have become the joke to songs all all the peoples. but of the at violence and starvation you of laugh. the Lord GOD: "You shall drink your sister's cup and Thus which is deep large. for they like the wind and go they make sport.
of nature. . and laughs at a passing horse and Job 39:22 Job 40:20 He laughs The play. Yet it is Lear shadow". but not to it. bird and all the beasts come there to Job 40:29 Job 41:21 you play with him like ladies? young He laughs to the sound Can a or tie him on a string for your of the javelin. 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. Hamlet. mountains yield him produce. With Job.38 Interpretation Job 39:18 its She just flaps her rider. wings on high. 1 :26 and Then God said. Eliphaz once had he has seen." be more a It is in comedy tragedy that people seem more plastic. after our likeness. as we put have from the ostrich. Imagine Oedipus being mistaken for a long-lost twin than of comedy. who well who she is even while she is being Ganymede playing Rosalind? 11. but at violence and starvation you will laugh. Some English translations 12. At one first. Job has come to learn from nature. "Let us make man in our image. On this question. 3:8 and 13. but it and the beasts of the fields will bring you peace. this relation is seems to Dane. is the importance of freedom understanding of the signets. nor is he turned back by edge of sword. continually changing their clothing. at fear and is not dismayed. Have no FEAR of the beasts of the earth. and over the cattle. was not the right slave?" dream: "Will he make a covenant with you to be your eternal To conquer rather it more succinctly. compare: seen as it follows from an Gen. their iden tity. Job has come. for you have a covenant with the rocks in the field. See note to start Chapter Forty-one at this point. To that extent. and even their sex. and over the birds air. but he has a dream: not come to be the conquerer Job 5:22 ." some connection of between Job's new understanding sees a bit strange. and over all the earth. "It is I. . the brother. 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. he has come to have its ways impressed upon him than impressing his ways upon it. let them have dominion over the fish of the sea. and one of the things he learned. and over every of the . subject of laughter and his Identity really discovery being what the signets. 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.
But it is not the same. In many Isa. and subdued them as slaves. but over your one over Israel you shall not take dominion. many of the peoples shall come. is not a world and 14. For that ways and that we may walk in his paths. The charm of the sentence teaches us it innocent jesting. but the beyond is not ours. and say: of "Come. and have fish of the sea and over the dominion every birds of the air and over living thing that moves upon the earth. and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.The Book of Job creeping thing that creeps upon the own image. with harshness. people of sons after you. It house of shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the the LORD shall be established as the highest mountains. the land lay before them. Jer. and shall their swords decide for many peoples. and over the And God blessed them. earth. neither shall nation shall not lift up they leam war any more. "Be fill the earth and subdue it." 39 So God created man in his created him. Josh. in the image of God he created them. 25:46 You may bequeath them to your possession for ever." and are quite defi nite and strong: Lev. 18:1 Then the whole congregation of the people of Israel assembled at subdued Shiloh. you may make brethren the another. let of us go LORD." out up he may teach us his of Zion shall go forth shall to the mountain the law. and their spears into pruning hooks. There is no promise of a great an act day to come one day that Job must wait for in expectation. the and all the nations shall flow to it. not as a thing for us. "subdue" "dominate. and God said to them. to the house God Jacob. and and shall be raised above the hills. To see it is to see it as a thing for itself. But female afterward slaves they turned around and took back the male they had set free. but the he must perform now. We cannot divide it up and as we will. 34: 1 1 and set up the tent of meeting there. the word for also has a sense of completion and final ity. The world about use world beyond can man in which man can play. to slaves of inherit as a them. 2: 1 this verse reminds one of the famous passage from Isaiah: The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah of the and Jerusalem. it is only a in which he learn about play. sword against nation. He judge between the beat nations. ways 15. "subdue" In addition. ." It should be noted that both words. male and female he fruitful and multiply. and they shall into plowshares.
quaver. eyes are 10 "Lights flash of his sneeze. for he was made to dread. that I should wait in expectations? What is my I should prolong my life? . lie on him cast as metal and do not 16 His heart is cast hard as stone.40 Interpretation CHAPTER FORTY-ONE 1 "Thus. He sprawls himself out implacable on 23 and makes the pot17 deep will to seethe a like a cauldron.10 8 each touching clings" one to his brother. and not a his shields7. 14 His strength resides his neck. whereas this implies hope might also of or expectation. 5 7 But his can unveil his garment. word mean but along it a sense of dread. shatter and are nor in confu 18 No sword that will reach can javelin. stand. is a near relative of the at hwl or hyl.2 Do up. They Out clutch'2 each other and cannot at be parted. "to or so I believe. men not reel at the sight of is so brutal3 as to rouse him Now. laughs to the 22 "His the mud15 underparts are jagged leaves shards. His his mouth comes a flaming from torch as sparks of a stream or like the cracking of dawn. tohalto is from the much versed root root yhl (wait in expectation). 9 Each closed8 seal.'"9 Comments 1. nor They spear.13 cast as a nether millstone. could.18 26 He sees every towering thing. It too. Slingstones turn to sound of the javelin.14 21 and clubs are rated as straw. 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. He is king over all the sons of pride. up by a breath between them. him? 2 No would stand restitution?4 [all] one expectation' is an illusion. and terror dances before him. 17 "When he sion. He makes the sea his be ointment16 24 and headed. 11 fire escape. 20 No son of the bow can stubble him to flight. wait. 19 He Iron he put counts as straw. and bronze as rotton wood. 15 Festoons of flesh. which was discussed in carried the note to with Job 39:1. 12 From his cauldron. rises up. 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. 25 No without one of the dust shining wake till the abyss seems all hoaryhave dominion over him. fused all together. Even the can see that yhl reader not in Hebrew. nor lance. the gods are in dread." times. 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. nostrils there comes smoke as boiling 13 His breath in ignites the coals and flames come out of his mouth. or exploits or the grace of his frame.
YaChaL. their in mouths opened wide as if to catch the I hoped for the good spring but there came evil. interplay between hwl and denying us the second. He the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall Leviathan the shall flying serpent. 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. that God hopes? Would that God were pleased to crush me. that we begin to see our own legitimate being as it is implied in the notion of the hwl. loose my his hand and cut me off! . I have no higher expectations.The Book of Job Job 13:15 It may be that He will 41 slay will me. We have heard those Isa. 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 is to say. which deals with our relation to the world of man. waited expectation for Job 32:11 light. The first has replaced the second. 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. 74:14 the You crushed the as slay the crocodile that is in the sea. need not imply the abandonment of hope QaWah. but there came only a murk. you play ladies? young Can with him like bird or tie him string for your yhl. for something to say. Job 3:8 who despise the sea. Job 14:14 of If a man (gebher) dies. on a with. head of the Leviathan and gave it to the people of island Those food. he come back to life again? All the days Job 29:21 my service I have waited in expectation for my release to come. Men would hear me and wait in expectation. I rain. None the less I will defend my ways before Him. that it is by giving up the yhl and recognizing that the world beyond man and its denizens have a legitimate being for themselves. the Ps. till they had finished speaking. and the Leviathan the crooked serpent: and Ps. falling silent to hear counsel. 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. till they stood longer 2. 27:1 On that punish the expectations: day. insofar as it deals with our the world beyond man. my Job 29:23 Job 30:26 the They waited for me in expectation as for the rain. 104:26 Leviathan whom you made They Job 40:29 serve You and You give them their a to play food in due time. will curse and those who are determined to lay open the Leviathan it. apart from their being for us.
Back in Verse 21 of that same chapter. 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. mangled never overpowered man." as is not a very common and it only twice outside the Book of Job. to imply the attempt or desire to be or be come an actor within the realm beyond the human. So. knew it. Job has nonhuman." Neh. ostriches but the daughter of my people has become brutal. 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. Job had said: Job 30:21-22 You have turned brutal persecute me. to mean "to pay [a word comes debt]": . The comes the root of this word." From it Hebrew So for "peace." 4." an is to see a world which man a world as a world can may first leam to recognize of man. and with the might of fact. One of them reads: give the Lam. Then the within fifty-two days. But the forces pulling him back into the land of the Jackal had. apart from the needs only lead one to say: "No one is so brutal as to him up. in already begun. But that knowledge rouse may admire. But to see that "[all] expec tation is illusion. The word. shlm. has fallen The waters and crumbled away. 4:3 Even the jackals breast and suckle their young. away. but he and His body surrounds him pain. passed through that veil which separates the human from the of His journey had begun some time ago. and he has and sent him off. word 'akf'zar. and spread 'Thou art my to the maggots. 6:15 the wall was finished (shlm) on the twenty-fifth day the month Elul. where out my couch Father' and call out and then is my hope? 3. You have stones trashed all mortal hope. and in which he for itself. 'Mother* call out to the muck 'Sister' Pit to be my home. like the in the wilderness. a rock dislodged from its torrents have worn the have You washed away the dust his face of of away and its the land. They with were in disgrace. You have resigned. occurs which I have translated "brutal. spirit is eaten Job 17:13-15 If I must take the in darkness. The "brutal" word seems. then. means "to be whole or word complete.42 Interpretation Job 14:18-22 A mountain place.
dead beast shall be his. The I can remainder of this chapter is clearly how the quite dense. and I am not sure that be of much assistance either to the reader or to myself. winnowing is the prime anal ogy of cosmic justice." mine?" Cosmic justice is larger than and for the Leviathan is. In that sense. This is human justice as it is contained in the notion of shlm. 21:36 Or if it is known that the ox has been accustomed to gore shall in the and the past." meaning "to or "to fill in" what one has "lifted This understanding is fundamental to human justice: Exod. then punishment for cosmic crimes can only be punished in terms of the harm man has caused to himself. one charged with a is punished for what harm he has caused others. it means that the spoke Leviathan. Therefore he cannot learn from others and so cannot learn to know himself. is to "make whole. If He should pass by and separate or close up. mean normally In either of means "to shield. it does not strictly make sense to "demand exact 5." insures of a of that there will be grass even note "where no man saw But its justice is the 6. know him from the Here it is taken outside only. cannot by No one can touch him. and what who can turn back? He tears down can never be rebuilt. defend. Satan He cannot be disturbed by others." debt. "Is not everything under the heavens human justice. and its owner has not kept it in. Job's openness as We can in his "open But Leviathan is "to finally closed to man." oil rest." 7. and pay debts and you and your sons can he said. for it closed not the doors Him Job 1 1:10 Job 12:14 my mother's belly but hid my eyes from toil. case. from the root mgn. "Go.The Book of Job 2Kings 4:7 - 43 She and came and told the man of your God. God sets the wicked to close in men. however. then." by all to his the scales. he pay ox for ox. crime goal of this kind of justice is to make those who have suffered whole To the extent that one must speak of punishment. sell the live on the lift. 8. In the embodied to Job 31:34 we door. It leaves always room restitution." importance winnowing kind. meganim. unlike Job." where the word a for debt is related to a word To pay off. in the however. It might help. He closes in on a man and Job 16:1 1 of nothing is ever reopened. of. 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. on me and casts me into the hands guilty . The again. does have kind He impenetrable be hurt skin the others. If.
in the world beyond man. closed entranceway." sar. lie on him cast as metal do not quaver. the list is . Job 19:20 Job 31:7 My bones stick (dbq) to If my step has wandered my skin and to my flesh. But. 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." all others. tight itself. Job has seen the Leviathan. 12. of murk and confusion. has." his completion and perfection. complete. But it also left him open to feeling and then seeing a world beyond his world. from the way." first came to light when we saw that he had no "skin beneath his This was the vulnerability that let in pain and anguish. it restrains speech: Job 29:10 The voice of the nobles was hushed.44 Interpretation One cannot up. and their tongue stuck (dbq) to their palate. while noticing that the Leviathan finds his strength in Job's strength lay in his willingness to stand in the open help being not. ness. the Leviathan does Job's skin. also consider: Job 38:30 clutches to Water draws itself up. fused (dbq) all together. 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. At best. 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. are But if they bound in fetters and trapped in cords of affliction. making it unknown and unintelligible to 11. pulling in and sky cutting For Job it was the beginning 10. 9. as stone. or constrictive: "stick. my heart gone after my eyes. Job leaves himself openness open to what is most other. ing What gave anything its being by mak it intelligible to another. "signet. flesh." away from all other beings. off. become that which seals it hotam for Job. "tight. shameful. and the face of the deep Again. Job 41:9 Job 41:15 one clings of Festoons and (dbq) to his brother. or a taint stuck (dbq) to my hand. for the Leviathan. but has the Leviathan seen Job? His closedness would seem to say No. dabhaq. For us it is ugly. For the world beyond man.
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
that dust so clear 'al is exactly the word that one would expect to mean find following for. as . normally as 'el." to be behind their understanding of the verse. 18:27 the Abraham answered. if one feels sorrow guilt. Linguistically speaking. "upon. a common Biblical phrase in all its mortality. we have returned to Chapter One." where it "to It is found in Ps. feel sorrow or compassion for the suffering of anything like "on" does not. I have taken upon myself to speak to Lord. The the root m 's fundamentally Again. This return by an author who knows the names of Eliphaz and Bildad and Zophar is." one assumes ashes." but." "My also skin has become hard and begins to ooze. require as Greenberg does. and mean or When King James trans on lates "on dust ashes." These passages. 58:8. one more reason for believing tion. Job 30:19 It throws me into the mire and I become like dust and ashes. the word normally and so imply does guilt or self-recrimination. however. The root nhm means understood in the text. one feels remorse. "Behold. there seems "to feel deep compassion." and 5. in itself. He is of at home in He a very large world in for more than a hill beans.epher we'phar. I who am but dust ashes.The Book of Job occurred meant -49 in Job 7:5: ooze. and that the linguistic and flight from back to the mundane was a integral part of the author's inten . can establish in the world of the small. and would something like a "myself to be to be no basis for such an assumption." or is." meaning to them. 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. for instance. real feeling that God has when people offer Him sacrifices that have no to translate it as "recant. that the book was conceived of as a whole. "Dust meaning mankind ashes. the inference which is automatic in Hebrew." sorrow or Like the English word. But to others for something that one has done. have expected but it would not be so . "I have comtempt for as 'eth or strange to let the 'al do for both. As far em' and together as the word 'em' they simply 'em' "I feel compassion one would is concerned. "Let them be like the with snail which dissolves into and nms slime. Also see Gen. . 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. back to the everyday language of Dick and Jane." and is. He is value. Job the homeless is which no man counts at home now. and repentance." 'al. of course. by the way. means "to despise" "reject. far as I have been able to in English vernacular is by no means as they mean "while sitting tell. together seem the fact that the It roots mss do mean "to melt." wenihamti.
that wonderful woman of the night. and send word to their three to come and eat and drink them. but it is has been replaced not a simple return of to a fairytale world. living in a nutshell. Job's his hands his friends eyes could not have seen. but . of Another dies in the bitterness goodness. tortuous syntax of the long its obscure The that language is simple. He who has seen the Leviathan will say a prayer for as they bring their bulls and their rams to be sacrificed. will consume His be away. . All of by the language ordinary everyday adult human speech. them over.50 Interpretation 1. Gone is the vocabulary. . 10. sisters each one on a different with day. that the moths eaten. and the worms cover Job 22:20 Job 31:8 saying. Job of the wide world is again Job the servant which of the LORD. It might be worth mentioning that the only sisters. "Has consumed not our enemy been destroyed. 8. 11. our and all who belong to deliver lives from death. and Job His sons used to make feasts in their homes. The world of out to seeing turned has returned. Rahab: my father them. Job 20:26 Job 21:25-26 He will be consumed by an unblown fire and all shall go ill with the remnant left in his tent. the tents of skin will bribery eaten are a consuming fire. and save alive and mother. but that seeing took place in a foreign land in act. never having eaten of together they lie in the dust. death's first born his members. Job 1:4 be a world devoid of all meaningful human action. Remember Aaron." other Biblical character to use the was phrase "brothers and with all the sense of equality that it implies. 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. 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 . 9. my brothers and sisters. and Joshua 2:13 . destruction. yet his soul. Again there has been a switch middle in the texture section with of the language. another eat their remains by fire?" then let me sow. The nation now word 'aChaL that had so often meant death.
12. We remember: Job 1:18-19 While he was yet talking. strength in his Now. not snuffed out the life of its owners. and Zophar the Naamatite. they up claims that I have eaten its produce without payment and eye. whom Job 40:15-16 He But look now. or even eat a crust of when bread alone. three thousand camels. "Your sons and your of daughters eating and drinking wine in the house their oldest brother. were another one came in and said. Gen. 13.The Book of Job Job 31:12 Job 31:16-17 It would 51 be a fire consuming down to Abaddon. at the end of the book. They him conferred and to with one another and planned to come together to console him compassion. Joseph at which the people of Israel brought up from of Egypt were buried Shechem. uprooting withhold pleasures all that I have ever accomplished. eating joyous unity. when a mighty wind came in from the on wilderness and struck the four corners of the house. five hundred she asses and was the head of a very large was the estate. 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. inheritance of the descendants 14. ten thousand of cattle. he bought for land on which a hundred Qesitoth the of piece of he had pitched his tent. He richest man ('ish) in the East 15. The recognition of compassion that Job gained from beyond the human sphere has had its full effect within the human sphere. Bildad show Shuhite. fodder just like the cattle. 33:19 Joshua 24:32 And from the The bones sons of Hamor. but look at the loins. it became Joseph. Shechem's father. Job 1:3 He head owned seven thousand sheep. 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. here is Behemoth eats I made along with you. It fell down . they the from his own place Eliphaz the Temanite. His might is in the muscles of his belly. 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. What was not possible before has now become actual.
Job himself becomes word yom. As such it became. means "antimony": for house IChron 29:2 So I have the gold the provided the of for the things of gold. keren happuli1: the first two ful. Job 3:1 Then. sym bolic of feminine corruption: 2Kings 9:30 Jer. qesi'a. stones. that you and adorned enlarge your eyes with paint? . and looked out of the window." are. besides great quantities of onyx colored for setting. also called pukf1. came to Jezreel. or all the things that a self. this name? second word. that you deck yourself with ornaments of gold. Then. It is from the words It is a new Job. Jezebel heard of it. the silver of of my God. The Book rection. And you. O desolate one. and of bronze for the things for the things bronze. and she painted her head. They consoled and showed upon him compassion for all the evils which the LORD had brought him." 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. all sorts of precious stones. antimony. too. the iron for the things iron. of Job does not end with a deus ex machina or miracle or resur of death In recognizing the being of itself. in English. and used pens of the by women as eye makeup. and marble. They are dead. in the prophets. 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. so far for the things as I was able. In ancient times it was ground into a powder. 45:8 cinnamon and used in cooking. of silver." is a fragrant bark of a tree that can be pow dered like Ps. We remember to his friends: his his day. what do you mean that you dress in scarlet. "cassia. Job opened mouth and spurned 17. "day. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad. 4:30 When Jehu her eyes. Your your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. and I alone have escaped to tell thee. and wood and stones wood. 18.52 Interpretation the young people. including the being his 16.
the word itself can mean "a ray of light". all of them. "Long live King Solomon!" and all the people But. His bull has majesty. But the root also means "to shine": Exod. And Samuel priest took the rose up. will give strength his king. I will send you Jesse the Bethlehemite. 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn his oil. "My exalted in the LORD. The LORD to judge the horn ends of the of earth. 33:17 ox. It "horn. "How long him from will you grieve over over Saul. and the Spirit of the LORD mightily upon David from that 1 Kings 1:39 day forward. firstling them the word means the horn of a living horns animal: Deut. that the skin of skin of face shone. They give him greater stature and a formidable look: adversaries of will ISam. behold. hence. until in to speak with him. and exalt the his And so it comes to mean all these things for a human being: heart exults in the LORD. tent. qeren. said. 3:4 His brightness there was like the light. to the ends of the earth. and such are the thousands of Manasseh. and There Zadok the anointed horn of oil from the Solomon. for I sons. flashed from his hand. to begin at the beginning. 2:10 The them the LORD shall be broken will to pieces. because I ISam. 16:1 The LORD seeing I have horn with oil. Then they blew the trumpet. The homs of an animal are his strength and his defense." of but qeren much than A horn contained the oil used to anoint the said to kings of Israel: ISam. have Samuel. and anointed him in the midst of came brothers. and they were afraid to come near him.The Book of Job Now let name "horn. and went to Ramah." provided for myself a king of among his ISam. against he thunder in heaven. and his homs are the of a wild with he shall push the peoples." 53 us look at the first word. My mouth rejoice in thy . rays Hab. and he veiled his power. he anointed. my derides my enemies. salvation. 34:30 the And when Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses. rejected and being king to Israel? Fill your go." means means so and together the more means "the Horn Mascara. 2:1 Hannah horn also prayed and said. The people of Israel saw the face of Moses. he and went and Moses would put the veil upon his face again. such are the ten thousands of Ephraim. Moses' his face shone.
too. the phrase "hom mascara" of works well." not and to the wicked. praise all his saints. thou . stronghold and my refuge. and the wall of the people shall go will fall down flat. 148:14 lamp for my anointed. I have for prepared a Ps. the hom played a central role in the place of worship: Exod. Joab and the rest of the pour out at the base of the altar. trumpets. then city all the people shall shout with a great shout. in whom I take refuge. LORD with ark of the covenant of the and shouting. I have driven my horns into dust. of course. 89:17 I say your to the horn. for Israel who are near to him. Praise the LORD! As I once before had occasion to mention. 132:17 will bring these meanings together: There I will make a horn to sprout for David. Linguistically. the bull and put it upon the blood you shall horns 1 Kings 2:28 of the altar with your finger. because it eas and ily blends "the hom into the language along of with such other phrases as "hom oil" of my salvation": 2Sam. 22:3 of My God. And. and made loud music on harps and lyres. "Do glory boast. and the IChron. to the sound the hom. Often the Psalmist Ps. 75:4 up Ps. my rock. He has raised up a hom for his the people of people. 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. its horns shall of one piece with and shall it. 27:2 be Exod. and you shall take part of the of overlay it with bronze. as soon as hear the sound of the trumpet.54 Interpretation Ps. "Do not lift For thou exalted. my savior. 15:28 So all up every Israel brought up the of man straight before him. art the of their strength." boastful. 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. 29:12 And you shall make horns for it blood on its four corners. cymbals. my me from violence. 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. my shield and the horn savest my salvation.
will they will say. he opened her womb. cluded however. And the But the LORD afflicted taken Pharaoh's house. and she .The Book of Job To word 55 put the argument simply. with great plagues Pharaoh wife. "I will serve you seven years daughter Rachel. Jacob preferred Rachel's beauty to Leah's soft eyes: Gen. but Rachel was beautiful and lovely. man's wife. We have not." And to came Abimelech in dream by night. in have to be Song its of Songs. But God sister. for she is Now Abimelech had not approached her. the author has silently but mention force to fully robbed the word of its sting. there is also good. and said to him. for your younger and he said. 29:16 Now Laban had two daughters. 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. 19. it is a subject in itself which would understood on own terms. "Behold. because of the woman whom you have taken. the and the name of the younger was name of the older was eyes were Leah. saw Gen. 20:2 And Abraham Abimelech said of king a of Sarah his wife." But it is not clear what the reader is to think. they praised her to Pharaoh. From the The subject first arises with respect beginning we are shown the difficulties involved: When he know that Egyptians me. Although it is wilt thou slay an innocent people? clear that as a young man. Leah's soft. is no longer sufficient conjure up a degrading image of womankind. barren. so as to not mislead ourselves. Gen. 12:11 was about to enter you are a woman beautiful to Egypt. wife. has a child: Leah knows only Gen. to Sarai. then they kill but they let you live. "She is my Gerar sent and took Sarah. 'This is his wife'. and when . though perhaps somewhat naive man. Rachel. 29:31 gratitude each time she When the LORD but Rachel was saw that Leah was hated. also complicated The Biblical The view of beauty since is and. by conjoining the Its bare word queren ("hom") to the pukh in such a natural and ordinary way. Abram's And ultimately." "Lord. you are a a dead man. he said to Sarai his behold. As is the case in the dialogues of Plato. we shall have to consider the full list. "I the will see you. her beauty almost led to the death of an innocent. so he said. And Leah conceived and bore a son. Jacob loved Rachel. And when the princes of woman was Pharaoh into her. and his house because of Sarai.
but did not find them.56 Interpretation called upon his name Reuben. when she was now you will she and when they were still some distance from Ephrath. surely now my husband will love conceived again and bore a son. but his father buried Benjamin. So Rachel died. for she said. "May the LORD add to son!" Her demand was met. So Laban point out what went into Jacob's tent. But Rachel always thinks in terms of battle and victory: Gen. saying. she envied or her and she said to Jacob. And he went out of Leah's tent. and entered Rachel's. "Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you. "Give children. voice and given me a has also heard my son". 30:6 When Rachel sister. for the way of women is upon So he searched. and sat upon all about the tent. 30:24 and she called me another his name Joseph. Bethlehem). (that and she was on the way to Ephrath is. When she finally does have another: a son of her own. and she called Simon. in her hard labor. and take know that Rachel had stolen them. In the presence of our kinsmen not Now Jacob did I have that is yours. he has given me this son also". 30:1 Gen. and into the tent of the not find them. but did not find the household gods. "God has judged me. "Fear called not. and said. saw that she bore Jacob me no children. "Because the LORD has heard that I his name am hated. and have prevailed". Rachel travailed. And midwife said to as her. Then Rachel said. but he did into Leah's tent. but with a demand for Gen. so she called his name Naphtali. she reacts not with gratitude. and two maidservants. but at a very heavy price: Gen. "With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister. and I die!" shall Then Rachel said. Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel's saddle. for another And her soul was departing his (for name died). Laban felt . 31:32 it. the have son.' and she had hard labor. And she her father. she called his name Benoni. her Nor is it clear what we are to think of charm: Gen. said to me." them. therefore she called his name Dan. "Because the LORD has looked me." "Any one with whom you find your gods shall not live. 35:16 Then they journeyed from Bethel." She my affliction.
blood that is by the blood of who shed There is a law: and see among the captives a beautiful woman. the [beautification] in it. totally forget his There relation was also to Bath Shibah. "Lie with master's me. And the LORD said. 17:42 And the Philistine looked. but all that again it led to grave problems. Nonetheless. 16:12 And he sent. And after a time his wife cast her eyes upon Joseph. except can for him the land. and said. Joseph. . 35:33 You shall not thus pollute the land in and no expiation shed which you live. Gen. David. and the name of his wife Abigail. the . 21:11 you have but it must be read in the light of Cozbi. Abigail: ISam. behold. "Arise. whom we saw at work in the note to Job 6:11. 39:6 So he left no concern he had in Joseph's charge. and up the there came up out of fed in the reed grass. and not to allow oneself to fall under the sway of that one cannot is to miss a great deal of the Bible.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. Deut. beautiful eyes." Then come the pointless cows: Gen. 41:2 and fat. anoint and was ruddy. and saw and him. a youth. was Joseph himself beautiful. 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. for blood be made pollutes the land. which and having him he had was for anything but the food he ate. for when this is ISam. 25:3 Now the name of the man was woman was of good Nabal. . Now Joseph handsome (beautiful) and good-looking. The man was churlish and understanding and beautiful. and had and was handsome. him. and desire for her and would take her for yourself as wife. for he He charm was but ruddy beautiful in was charming." ISam. Now he he. David was beautiful: brought him in. he disdained appearance. he was a Calebite. they first seven fat cows. for it. but the ill-behaved. .
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. Absalom and struck him. one daughter whose Next came poor Abishag: 1 Kings 1:3 of So they sought for a beautiful maiden throughout all the territory Israel. oak. 14:27 There were name was Tamar. Amnon said to the king." of her. whose name So Tamar. loved her. lie with her. "Come. my than she. . with listen to her. and brought her to the maiden was king. and killed him. "Behold. But he would not he forced her. the and she became the king's not. from the sole of . every And when he the his head (for at the end of cut year he the used to cut of it. Amnon lay down. alive and thrust them into the heart Absalom. and left hanging between heaven earth. On the other Joab. when was heavy meet on him. The very beautiful. his head and fast in the oak. his foot to the ." with And he took three darts in his of hand. and when the king came to see him. 2Sam. that I may eat from her brought them near him to eat. I saw Absalom hand. "I king). nurse and ministered to him. and the mule went under the thick caught branches was of a great oak. but her beauty caused her disaster: 2Sam." treacherously against his life (and there is nothing hidden from Joab said. and lay Her brother was not so wonderful. and found Abishag the Shunammite.58 Interpretation Tamar was a wonderful person. crown of cut there was no blemish in him. For the understand sake of completeness I shall add the rest of the story. while he was still in the surrounded And ten young men. 13:1 Absalom. and pretended to be ill. if I had dealt the will aloof. he took hold sister." hand. and told hanging in an oak. and she was a beautiful woman. 18:10 And a certain man saw it. her. he weighed weight. then you yourself would have stood not waste time like this you. had a beautiful sister. while the mule that was under him went on. David's son. though I do not its importance: 2Sam. "Pray let my sister Tamar come and Now was make a couple of cakes But and said when she in my sight. and being stronger to me. Absalom he riding his mule. born to Absalom three sons. hair his head. two chanced to and upon hundred the shekels by the king's And Absalom was servants of David. David's son. but beauty did him in as well: 2Sam. but king knew her . and after a time Amnon. Joab's armor-bearers. he it).
Esther's beauty saved her people. 45:2 You are the most beautiful of the sons of men. 5:18 Behold. 10:3 lovers despise you. her eyelashes. instead of beauty. the city of the great King. also he has put eternity into man's mind. when she has done vile . they will behold a land rope. Eccles. in she was order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty. in let her Prov. and and do not capture you with Prov. grace you poured upon your lips. O desolate one. Eccles. Esther 2:7 uncle. yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. it it and worked with an axe with silver and by the hands of a craftsman. they fasten it with hammer and nails cannot move. 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. And you. as and when her father and her mother died. is the joy of all the earth. baldness. LORD is to be beauty is vain. a girding of sackcloth. 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. the maiden was beautiful lovely. therefore God has blessed for ever. Jer. 3:24 Instead girdle. Mount Zion. shame. and instead of a rich robe. but it is The not clear what rest speak one kind way of a person she or the other has become by the end of the book. a there will be rottenness. and instead Isa. that you what do you mean that you dress in Your beautify yourself with ornaments of gold. and He had brought up Hadassah. and instead of well-set that stretches afar. for of a this is his lot. but a woman who fears the praised. scarlet. 48:2 the beautiful in elevation. the daughter of his for she had neither father nor mother. Men beautify so that gold. A tree from the forest is cut down. Mordecai adopted her his own daughter. Jer. for the customs of the peoples are false.The Book of Job Vashti's 59 beauty did not help her. Ps. of perfume Isa. 6:25 far north. that is Esther. for fair to behold. that you enlarge your eyes with paint? In vain you beautify yourself. they seek your life. 11:15 What right has my beloved in my house. 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. 33:17 Jer. 31:30 Charm is deceitful. 4:30 hair. for themselves: is Ps. Your eyes will see the king in his beauty. Do not desire her beauty in your heart.
I made it beautiful in the mass and all the trees of its branches. renown. You to regal estate. and went forth among the nations you because beauty. and say to him. nor the fir trees equal its boughs. were blameless in your ways from the day you were created. lo. you. they shall devour and . 31:7 exposed you before kings. that were in the garden of God. you then exult? The LORD once called you. day the beautiful of virgins and the The LORD hosts will protect them. . no tree in the God was like it in beauty. high Eden envied it. 27:4 any passer-by. but they will not do it. offering made harlotry. your builders beauty. . says the Lord GOD. . and played the harlot because of your . And silk. for they hear young and men shall say. the joy of all of with gold and this the city which earth?" the beautiful and silver. and its heart was its height. he shall surely deal with it as its wickedness deserves. All who pass along the way clap their hands at you. I will give it into the hand of a mighty one of the nations. and lavished your harlotries your on any passer-by at the head of every street you yourself built lofty place and prostituted your beauty. Thus says the Lord GOD: "You were the signet of perfection. 33:32 And. full of wisdom and perfect in beauty till . "Is beauty.60 Interpretation deeds? Can vows and sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can tree. 16:13 Thus at the daughter was called the perfection of you were made Jerusalem. 28:15 You their shields upon your walls round about. and grew embroidered fine flour came and honey and oil." I Ezek. towered proud of Ezek." Ezek. "But trusted in beauty. they hiss and wag their heads Ezek. "A green olive beautiful will set Lam. 9:15 that thirst. cast you to the ground. you ate raiment was of fine linen. and multiplying your Your borders are in the heart of the seas. and your cloth. made they hung Ezek. Son of man. of your your renown exceedingly beautiful. they perfect your beauty. and its branches will be consumed. Your heart was proud because of your beauty. for it upon was perfect through the splendor which I had bestowed your you. and were in your towers. raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre. I have cast it out. in the length of its branches. to perfect your The men of men of Arvad Gamad and Helech were upon your walls round about. to feast their eyes on It was its roots went beautiful in its greatness. iniquity was found in you. faint for Amos 8:13 Zech. beautiful you you are to them like one who sings love songs with a what voice and plays well on an instrument. for down to abundant waters. 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 with the roar of a great tempest he fire to it. the plane garden of of nothing compared with its branches. 2:15 with goodly fruit". Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because it and set its top among the clouds.
how good and how fair it men they shall shine on his land. Milcah. but died for his sin. On that of day the LORD their for they are the flock his people. The text continues: Num. son of Hoglah. son of Manasseh. 27:4a Why family. 27:1 Then drew son of and near the son of son of daughters of Zelophehad the Hepher. And are the LORD said to Moses. for like the jewels of a Yea. Num. "The daughters Zelophelad right. 20. and Tirzah. Zelophehad Mahlah. so cannot convey the same sense of equality that one feels strongly in the verse Job 42:15b and their father gave them an inheritance alongside their brothers. 27:5 Moses brought their before the LORD. 27:4b Give to us a possession alongside our father's brothers. whereas in the Book of Job the inheritance is purely for the the daugh ters. were but daughters: daughters Tirzah. Had there been a son. the next phrase Num. Noah. Hoglah. Noah. And they stood before Moses. corners of be full like bowl. 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. at the door of the tent of meeting. and before Eleazar the priest. Thus. Machir. of Gilead. tance only would not The first thing to note is that the daughters of Zelophehad received an inheri because their father had no son. drenched like the God will save them crown shall the altar. Milcah. a and they shall drink their blood like wine. should the name of our father be taken away from his The main argument here concerns the preservation of the name of the sake of father. you shall give them . The names of his daughters Mahlah. from the families were: Manasseh the Joseph. young be! Grain shall make the flourish. but only a dowry. 26:33 Now Zelophehad the and the names of the son of oc Hepher had of no sons. given what he had seen in the Tempest: case of Num. Our father died in the wilderness. It should also be noted that it was Job's own decision to change his will. and before the leaders and all the congregation.The Book of Job tread and 61 down the slingers. he those who gathered of among the company of themselves together against the LORD in the was not own company Korah. and new wine the maidens. the daughters have received an inheritance. saying. and he had no sons.
tribe to another. 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. the tribe and their inheritance will be taken from inheritance Israel of fathers. 'Let within them marry whom they think best. The heads of the fathers' there was a further complication: Num. This is what the LORD commands concerning the daughters of of Zelophehad. and has no son. and the Husbands are immediately out to found for from their dowry. son of Joseph. And if he has daughter. they said. And you shall say to the a man people of Israel. then will inheritance be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which the they belong. "The tribe of the sons Joseph is right. daughters of Zelophehad. 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.62 Interpretation possession of an the inheritance of their inheritance among their father's brothers and cause father to pass to them. And their when will be taken away from the lot of our the jubilee of the people of Israel comes. and of LORD to give the inheritance my lord was commanded by the Zelophehad our brother to his of the people of daughters. for Mahlah. however. Milcah. houses houses of and spoke before Moses and before the leaders. came near son of Manasseh. The only. then his inheritance to his brothers. So no of inheritance the tribes shall be transferred from Israel of one tribe to another. 'If dies. tribal the women inheritance is paramount. 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. And every daughter who of the people of Israel shall be her father. 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. for each of the people of shall cleave to its own inheritance." of our And Moses commanded the people of according to the word of the LORD. then you shall cause no his inheritance to you shall give pass to his daughter. "The LORD commanded my lord to the land for inheritance by lot to the people of Israel. it inheritance. Hoglah. they shall marry the family of the tribe of their father. and Noah. tribe.' " The daughters Zelophehad did as the LORD commanded the Moses. 36:1 houses of of the families of the of the sons of fathers' Gilead the the sons Machir. were married to sons of their father's are brothers. the heads fathers' of the of the people of give Israel. saying. inheritance turns be little more than a grand . so and added to the inheritance of the tribe to they belong. Tirzah. In the case of Zelophehad.
This led to a shift in Job's standing of and sensitivity to beauty. nothing is said dowries." Out of the whirl of the Tempest came the notion of the signets. ways must be taught they must be learned." clashing for human One said while friendship. for clarity that came about when his world began to fall asunder led Job to the need for autonomous understanding. 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. This insight. there and us. there would no way to live as "one of com. as we have seen. there would be no bread. Of what do they speak? Of the com. They be taught.The Book of Job Job's daughters. in turn. however. . of his daughters. and it is the children who must learn them. to the emergence of the nurturing and swaddling God as distin guished from the making and constructing God. men are empty and life is without taste. So far In the case of means 63 or about husbands as I can see. be and of the ways. the two refused to mesh. But men are such that the stories that teach these ways cannot be shared unless they touch upon "the first a things" and tell of a world which holds all of our ways together. the way to go out on the hunt. the other cried beginning The was a need "unjust. the notion that things had their own selves apart seal upon them and were what recognition they were in them under from human need. 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. "just" by the For Job. led. by the fathers and some by the mothers. and hence to ultimately questions concerning those accounts of "the first The need things. Without whole. that that Job has established the right of women to own and hold a property. A small change in a last will and testament was the result. The inheritance is outright and absolute. the way to bake bread." Without these would must be no life. Human sociality way to plant men work together and it requires means nothing more than that by day in the evening they talk. the and all way to These some bury the dead. beauty. and a need of clarity.
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
an elenctic investigation begun. 221d). After tality seek marriage and family. and it can of that drives a consideration of course. 306b). it is easy ability to overcome his immediate lust for Char mides introduces one possible definition of the term dramatically. 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. Charmides. these virtues were often considered a rare combination. was a enough to see that Socrates' typical understanding of the word's meaning. I managed when he asked me if I knew the for his headache. at Symp. One question is help the the elenchus of the of fact that Socrates apparently possesses the virtue? The first Charmides. our Socrates' for Plato's treatment importance I wish of Socratic eros to review what we have learned with in this dialogue. 97). and perhaps it is surprising that we should find courage and sophrosyne complementing one another in his character. Still. In the Laches Socrates context of Laches agree that one speak easily Though of courage resisting temptation and of the indulgence (191d). from sex been Since self-control. one of Plato's most enhance our understand she has explained to Socrates that is ultimately a longing for immortality through procreation (201c-208e). particularly restraint indulgence. 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. but more particularly we have notion geous coexisting and here a suggestion an augmented coura of Socratic sophrosyne. audience familiar courage with it certainly springs to the mind of a later the Symposium. Diotima explains that while those who want to gain a kind of physical immor eros ing theme in the Charmides. not mutu Pit. Although Plato makes a connection between courage and sophrosyne in other dialogues (Grg." p. We might see from Plato of the unity of virtue. The second leads us back into Socratic eros. 507a-c. Diotima's lecture to Socrates in the Symposium is. those who are more inclined to leave an intel- . (155d-e) The Charmides is which is all we only source for this Cydias fragment (Page 1962. but before elaborating its so far from the time Socrates Charmides. in these small dramatic hints such a explicit: quences way that it poses What is sophrosyne? (159a). entered the palaistra to his actual meeting Sophrosyne. "oddness. in which Alcibiades praises Socrates sophrosyne both for and for (219d-220c). 714). has ual not yet the topic of the discussion that takes up most of the mentioned.68 I Interpretation thought that I myself cure had been captured by a beast like that.5 Furthermore. citation of Cydias is significant have from the poet. with some effort to answer that I did. in in the which self-control and exhibits itself in can actions. But Socrates is a rare creature (Alcibiades not alto remarks on gether his atopia. if ally exclusive (North 1966. important texts on the theme of eros.
and gifted soul. Indeed. he implies that either at the moment he shortly "Charmides or Charmides universal.Drama. Socrates beyond his infatuation with the young man's individual beauty and begun his when ascent toward universal. he tual lover when he went out merely acting like Diotima's spiri to the palaistra. pregnant If this is the case. inward say. Socrates felt that he needed to speak with Charmides face to rosyne. try to teach the other. despite body. who be taught impregnated with soph It became quickly obvious that Charmides met the first qualification. Like children. who had warned the lover that would one could be overtaken and consumed by a beautiful boy. at we observe that Plato has indicated to us through met setting and action that when Socrates his friends in the be He was. like He this be very much drawn to this combination. like his describes. to quotation of return Cydias. Surely he too [like the hoping to child] to find some specimen of beauty with whom to reproduce. rather than ugly ones. is. was considered the external we might manifestation of that virtue's with sophrosyne. but generally speaking he Socrates' beauty of all men (154b-c). 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. For the second. he the company goodness of a person and will if he should also come upon a beautiful. lectual or spiritual and Eros in Plato 's Charmides 69 legacy hope lover to produce who wisdom (phronesis) and excellence (arete) (208e-209a). 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. least if self-control might presence. 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. the spiritual a man looks for find a suitable wife to bear his goes out to a good match. and what (209a-c) sorts of Returning the to the Charmides. and and since the greatest kinds "by justice (dikaiosyne) sophrosyne. distinguished. the lover will prefer a combination of these qualities. eternal rates beauty (Symp. just as a fawn . dikaios and sophron: If anyone should even be pregnant in his of soul with these virtues when [dikaiosyne and sophrosyne] enough from the time to his youth. at least potentially. certainly will he would never anything ugly. In he will be well-supplied with words about (arete). 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)." he says. and good. 210a-212a). Narrative. someone who is both kotos and. he about what sort of a man a good man will activities will pursue. palaistra he had sophrosyne in his soul. know that Critias' assurance that his cousin's soul was beautiful. Soc men met more or (as the blank ruler) confesses to his friend that he finds all young less equal in beauty. hoping to find young men who could were both kalos and wise. face.
This is a remarkable passage for several reasons. of which three come immediately to mind. has not always been recognized as such. Socrates.) his first speech Concluding motives of in the Phaedrus. there c-d: seems to be a probable sexual connotation to Theognis 1278 A a lion. This physiological loss in which the dialogue concludes. or as a hunter tracking game. hunting (Dover. Socrates' sexual arousal here leads him to a new awareness of his ceptibility to advice. of citation of the line from Cydias. consists in part in his intellectual Socrates' ability to unpleasant) event into an sophrosyne. Socrates' (241d). Such metaphors are similar to the common compari game son of sexual pursuit to p. but did not drink its blood. "As which he denounces the selfish lovers boys" under the spell of eros. an pp. here appetite cite Socrates' having greater of this line urgency than his Cydias Plato appropriates sexual appetite. passion and causes consider the significance of Cydias' The second striking point about the passage not is that turn a disconcerting. just so do lovers love 165). Halperin 1985. Jowett's translation to make it approximate a more conven tional arrangement: . potentially embarrassing (if opportunity for detached introspection indicates that shown in his control of his desire. The bewilderment greater engendered by the Socratic elenchus ideally spurs the of interlocutors to and self-awareness. fond of lambs. 58. In both cases.6 Third. 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. inversion the expected im age. 241e). in singing. stretches the Charmides text enough For example. him to finally renewed reflection. 81-91. For of example. with trust in my strength. the perception of their own lack knowledge. right out from under hind. p. I caught a fawn in my claws.70 be Interpretation reduced to a chunk of meat by a lion. the aporia has a beneficial element. 1978. Sim sus ilarly. First. Socrates begins to launch into epic (as wolves are he admits he has done. The usual formulation of prey lighting upon the erastes the part the metaphor comparing an erotic pursuit to a beast its quarry.7 as the fawn and the object of figures We might expect that the image his desire (the eromenos) would function the other way around. does indeed give of the hunter and the eromenos the part of the hunted. with who had been observing the behavior of amusement. (Cited as an image for erotic capture by Dover 1978. 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. by having Socrates for a metaphor erotic pursuit that would have been familiar to his readers.
not for an individual whose beauty incites it. When Socrates says. If we do. which as a manifestation of anteros. also reads the text in this way). perhaps to the point that the two roles are exchanged. he must mean us to go along with the game. 90. and I think the one that most simply accommodates the text. "don't (176a-d). Thus there to me to be use of at least two more likely readings. 92. Another reading.8 and Eros in Plato's Charmides love. and devour (McAvoy 1996. 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. lion. so that the lion in the poem stands for carnal desire. to speak. who. is aware that he poses some danger to the younger man (Nussbaum 1986. a lover might approach his beloved. interprets the inversion his encounter as a simple rever sal of roles. or . we will be inclined to expect the metaphor of the lion and fawn to felt refer to Socrates and Charmides. and slyly Charmides have failed in his suggests that the pursued will become the When Socrates. when. pursue. If Charmides' either. "I myself to have been captured by a beast like that. in which Charmides." no one will be able to resist him. Narrative. he devoured appetite. Critias and and plotting that if Charmides is really intent says you" force to make Socrates submit playfully say that they to their will. a phenomenon passive eromenos of a sexual in the nominally advances relationship not only enjoys his lover's but even reciprocates." he most likely means Charmides became. Critias. "So Charmides. and to imagine Socrates as the erastes and Charmides as the eromenos." for I felt that I had been by a sort of wild-beast lion. 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]. also interprets the quotation in this sense). catch. p. 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. only if a with the power to momentarily. 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. p. respectively. their attempt to tells Socrates that the two of them should cousin even define sophrosyne. this inverted image is to suppose that One way of understanding he means he has been snared by his lust for Charmides." you resist me Socrates answers. Socrates to replies in kind then. Charmides thereafter spend every day together in will resort discussion. "I with won't resist we continue to follow the erotic subtext of the dialogue we to "see him can view again. pursuer." realization of his desire to be Socrates. perceiving his craving for Charmides. 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. I thought how fair youth. we can see that dialogue.Drama.
). If is . even if he has little to show on the that will be enough: the lover surface. a neat and quotation of Cydias encapsulates this reversal of in Continuing told surprising image. someone suitable body. in the hopes that soul would prove amenable to such a charm that Socrates had agreed to speak with him. Soc speak. 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.72 Interpretation merged. relationship eros of their souls (255a-256e. It was Socrates' version of the charm would Charmides' naturally prove to be an elenchus. Diotima's ladder lover standing drawn to a so unique after all soul Charmides' (step 3). Then [the in a lover] must consider that beauty in souls is worth more than the beauty in his soul. which cf. 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). For Plato's treatment of see and anteros of in the Phaedrus Symposium. His focus shifted (not without difficulty) to up. but also in Euthydemus and our very Charmides (222a-b). on Charmides' description Zalmoxian therapy and from the third rung of He was looking body (step 1) but realized in time that its beauty was not (step 2). and actually help nurture the Symp. as Diotima defines it: to sophrosyne. 155e). In setting himself up practitioner of Zalmoxian medicine Socrates promised to impart sophrosyne to Charmides by means of kaloi logoi. step. 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. but he does not condemn the desires of either party. Critias had quickened a his expectation by assuring Socrates moreover. bringing the soul to a healthy state consequently expediting bodily health (156d-157c). philosophos (154e-155a). met become should In the Phaedrus Socrates says that in He an ideal relationship eros be by anteros as a matter of course. 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. Socrates' Halperin 1986. 210a. which itself he beautiful words (logoi kaloi). This cure he Thracian doctor working under the patronage of the god a Zalmoxis. or the entire body charm and the soul as well. his story about his meeting he had regained with Charmides and the others. came that Charmides would be willing to have Socrates' discussion of and was. The Alcibiades anteros not own corresponding only in Alcibiades himself. 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. was composed of A Zalmoxian physician would charm. 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. 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).
and so with everything else controlled by sophrosyne. Charmides. showing modesty generally. the discussion possible Charmides an fixed for the meaning. he did so with the definition of the virtue as accep of of "knowledge of the other knowledge and of knowledge itself (166c). Soc rates argues for the identity of to kalon e. Now the third concep tion of sophrosyne. 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). (17 le) Socrates. the element of to doing (163e-164d). 165b) kind remains and his agreement with Socrates that point must therefore of the be some of episteme (165c).g. Phil. In the Charmides of sophrosyne Socrates. 457b). (160d-161b). expanded as a and usefulness (to ophelimon. 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). like walking and talking with deliberate. that he has both of the virtues required of sophrosyne and by a Diotiman lover. They consider kalon only in the first of these activities. seeking to evaluate the others on the basis of their goodness and societal benefits. 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. (161b-163d). 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. expands his logos nomoi. Narrative. keeping good things to one's own work (159b-160d).g. and Critias begin discussion by considering likely manifestations of that virtue quiet circumspection in practice. (On the similarity in meaning Plato's dialogues. and. Indeed the Re principle followed by public is a much more extended discussion of nomoi than one's own is the Charmides. possibility. see Larson 1951). and it may well be that Soc sophrosyne in the Charmides implies his concomi so tant possession of dikaiosyne. e. own" every member of a city. 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. level again. 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. is accepted by Socrates and his interlocutors in the Republic as a definition for justice (433a). In other dialogues.Drama. and goodness (to agathon. From that on on. penulti rung (episteme). Rep. "doing one's (to ta heautou prattein). as would a so governed. diakaiosyne in Socrates mate also prompted on Critias to elevate the discussion to the next. however. and benefits for individual a polis of a knowledge of knowledge . their investigation still fo 64e) cuses on the quality of admirability in various practices.
he as a solution to the question of sophrosyne. 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. Phaedo. as it turned out. and Republic. 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. Laches.74 Interpretation and the various epistemai. As an example. 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. ideal youth with whom to give birth to such discourse. 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. Kahn 1996. would not had. 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. Lysis. 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). 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. If he had I such a necessarily have allowed that Socrates had in Plato did not choose to introduce the theory and. In the might Charmides he imagines how Socrates erastes. while in the Symposium acted in the guise of an he imagines how the actions of a philosopher- lover might be expressed in theory. 148291. my intention has been a certain to dialogue that is not. as well as the philosophoi logoi that Socratic lover's discourse in the Phaedrus (257b). 541-49). any case. 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. ostensibly. According to Kahn's theory of prolepsis. the arguments of aporetic dia logues like the Charmides. here eros.10 By show reading the drama how one and narration of the Charmides "about" with frequent refer ence to other dialogues. especially the Symposium. he shows that the notion of the knowl- . Sadly for Socrates. pp. Rather. can reinforce the understanding of that topic we achieve through the other dialogues. 1988. discussion before the topic of episteme came up. The discourse by the contemplation of pose the charm of knowledge here reminds us of the kaloi logoi that com comprise the therapy. to topic. vision. He dropped Socra ascent could go no further with him. In the Charm can Zalmoxis' ides these logoi Charmides tes' was not an out of the only be the elenchus. pp. 56-70.
but in those works he does not. 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. For the 5. p. 187) It also preserves the ambiguity care the text: a someone on the subject of a provide a meal handsome boy 'to take lest." this ." measuring-line about such a person. who by this time was entirely smitten See Socrates. makes the comment that "a chatterbox [adoleschos] is simply a white it. 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. since he can speak 4." "dates" with conversations. 82). 7. together with his irresistible passion . 179-80) captures the ambiguity of but seems to indicate Charmides as the referent for the lion: "When speaking of a p. 187-88). in the Laches. theoretical explorations Socratic eros in the Phaedrus especially in the Symposium. by way of advice to presence of a lion and be snatched as a portion creature. in Kahn's work 203-9. I would suggest dramatic prolepsis at work in the Charmides. Jowett 1961. Plutarch. 513f)innuendo of "one little see McAvoy 1996. while the middle help the reader to a fuller understanding of the earlier works. he also thought. as in the Protagoras and Euthydemus) are the Lysis and the Republic. pp. thing.Drama. that thought the experience. the passage in the reading than the one I propose Plato meant to elicit. 2.) kind kind of reading I have been pursuing here." someone. 102. p. This recently. principles 542-46). 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. though rejected as a definition for courage and in the Charmides of and for the Euthydemus only becomes pp. NOTES character other dialogues in which Socrates narrates directly (as opposed to narrating to another in the dialogue. see the critique of Kahn 1988 by Griswold 1988. The with Socrates included a bit of wrestling. [Cydias] said. Although the specific details of his interpretation would perhaps to the 550-51. and Kahn (1996. proposed this activity in the belief that "surely something would come out of also Dover 1978. like in advising fawn in front of a lion. for example. the effect would have been an even more protracted pause 8. in which Alcibiades tells the assembled guests that one of his early 1. more 184). not opposing view. I to resist what had been an this. edge of good and and Eros in Plato 's Charmides sophrosyne 75 evil. (For an pp. possible sexual meaning that the topic of a discussion makes no difference to endlessly on any theme (Mor. Narrative. 73 n. as here.' seemed to me that I had fallen victim to a wild animal of sort. (1977. pp. puts 6. 1988. And gave some power his awareness of all his wisdom. handsome boy. the Symposium.' fawn into the just such a of I felt I'd been of caught by said Kahn (1996. p. 'Take care not to go as a meat. well: "Socrates was not simply outside of himself. Bruell was aware of was part of this point of made by North (1966. concern " for p. by Mahoney (1996. 25." observation has been p. p. so to speak. 146). 54-55. he "[Cydias] for the beast. Hyland (1981. 154). by which of fit neatly that there is a Socrates' ac tions and narrative anticipate of Plato's and more expositive. . McAvoy (1996. If Plato's readers expected even from Cydias the more usual relation lion fawn :: erastes : eromenos. address his remarks to a specific second-person listener. Alcibiades. Cf. the dialectically for trained philosopher kings of Republic V-VII (Kahn 1996. p. 27) and. he stood himself him how he in relation to Kydias with respect to wisdom. 3. pp. Donald Watt's translation (1987.
Hyland. "Plato's Charmides and the Proleptic Reading of Socratic Journal of Philosophy 85: 541-49." and also reasonable to suppose that intended his to the Charmides ruling and the prejudice that after the Charmides. ed. Ed. C. Saunders. 1996. MA: Harvard University Press. "The Charmides: Socratic Sophrosyne. M. The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy. .. Page. 1986." Mahoney. It is with Menexenus. "Carnal Knowledge in the ern Charmides. Hanmondsworth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sophrosyne: Self-Knowledge and Self-Restraint in Greek Literature. J. E. eds. Watt. "Platonic Eros and What Men Call Love. Potae Melici Graeci." Classical Antiquity 5: 60-80. NY: Cornell University Press. trans. lacked sophrosyne in its in its manifestation as a kind of knowledge. K. North. 1988.4).. Griswold. 1981. 1966. 1985. Kahn. Journal of Philosophy 85: 550-51. 1987. D. Plato. Edmonton: Academic Printing Publishing. Pp. 1961.. 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. Cambridge: Cambridge Press. trans." Dover. "Plato and Erotic Reciprocity. 1996." REFERENCES Bruell. 99-122. In E. Hamilton H." 161-204. C. "Unifying Ancient Philosophy 5: Halperin." South Dialogues and with Plato (Apeiron 29. 1988. like Critias a member of the notorious oligarchic regime manifestation as Athens therefore also Peloponnesian war. Pp. D. Ithaca. 1951. 163-209. Sophrosyne. L. Plato: Early Socratic Dialogues. Charmides. In T. H. "self-control. Athens: The Ohio University Press. University Larson. Plato and the Socratic Dialogue. 1978. "The Platonic Synonyms dikaiosyne nal sophrosyn and American Jour of Philology 72: 395-414. The Virtue of Philosophy: An Interpretation of Plato's Charmides. T. 1962. D. D. 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. Princeton: Princeton University Press.76 Interpretation 9. Cairnes. Nussbaum. Pp. McAvoy. C. The Collected Dialogues. 1996. Human Journal of Philosophy 34: 183-99. B. M. 1977. Charmides. p." Dialogues of Plato.. "Socratic Politics Charmides. Greek Homosexuality. 1986." and Self-Knowledge: An Interpretation of Plato's Interpretation 6: 141-203. Cambridge. Eng: Penguin. 63-103. and Jowett. Benitez. Kahn (1996. C.
He was the American Revolution because their of against Parliament during indignation. 26. and one must ex as plain peculiar defense understanding of justice liberty they relate to prudence.'" any essential difference between the two revolu tions.Liberty and Revolution in Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol Mark Kremer The University of Chicago INTRODUCTION Two of the most noteworthy and seminal events and on during Burke's life were the American French Revolutions. He 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. Marx to as to attribute Burke's of apparent lack of principle his love of lucre. posed the revolution in France because their doctrine the rights of man was leading ness anarchy and a subsequent military despotism. No. and his himself. if one is to make sense of his differ judgements his the American and the French and Revolutions. He op spirited saw the aristo- justified by a legal doctrine sovereignty. he had played the liberal against the English oligarchy. Burke them to threat of tyranny less from the selfishness of the bourgeoisie and from interpretation. was an out-and-out bourgeois. 1 . Vol. was becoming of a tyranny. because he thought both were part of an historical movement towards not see Marx did freedom. Public had decayed in both instances into hatred and revenge. His own Whig party with his condemnation of the French Revolution was inconsistent went so his for the Americans. He them have wrote judgements thought support formed judgements far on extensively on both. 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. because he thought that both revolutions supported the rights of man. Fall 1998. Paine failed to grasp the consistency of Burke's judgement because he failed to grasp the reasons for Burke's support of the Americans. Burke's apparent inconsistency was also criticized by Paine.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. Like Marx. and on prudential about grounds.
because it must regulate both the relation between citizens as well as the relation between citi ciation zens. In order to exact wage defeat the Americans. equitableness of the because it is threatened a two different and fronts. love of country is a defense foreign domination. while partiality to whom one's own country.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. there is a strong of as the part of the British. one gains the distance faced philosophy The without abstracting from the concrete political problems by citizens and statesmen. not disobedient want to Parliament and unfaithful to En them. than from self-righteous cratic authority and self-righteous rebellion fueled by general and abstract ideas. The law from corrupting one another. however. On temptation. who are gland. but punishment. Yet. Its force . rather than law. The the law is against defense against internal tyranny. 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. He is keep them justice of law consists in its impartiality. he also famous for arguing that policy needs to be guided by prudence. and foreigners. absolute and abstract character of cannot theory is a poor guide principle. Justice has two different aspects. The political asso is necessarily a mixture of the general and the particular. yet it must also execute partially American traitors. he had to reflect on politics as a encompass whole. The American The British do rebels are not only thought of as authority enemy. one learn to the universal and permanent problems of political life in his treatment of the political of issues of his time. the habeas corpus in order to and unenforced law is not a law. He did not write a theoretical work on politics. as he is for being a defender of constitutional government. rebels. the on account of the war being a civil one. The whereas the justice of war consists in treat its citizens equitably. In doing so. Burke's rhetoric and reasoning appreciate the broadest questions about justice must and government. see his thought and his peculiar genius. also the nature of law to be just. The political association is constituted by both the on aspect of law and the aspect of patriotism. but treasonous criminals.78 Interpretation privilege. 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. It is the nature of law to and the British have modified theirs to ensure ought not to its bite. and it is no small thought that part of the art of the statesman to they had their limitations. It is. His speeches letters are informed by the immediacy of of events. 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. A disobeyed be effectual. must those same citizens must treat as enemies the rebels and foreigners against they fight. fight the to rebels using the an law. Parliament must use the form simply suspend to punish of law to war.
any more than its justice ought to overreach be enforced. and this is where Burke steps in to make their desire for peace more than just a humane Ameri and pious hope. 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. necessity Although law the common good. however. Their problem is how to restore peace without the sword of justice. of the realm of policy is very disturbing to Burke. and making a show of face of popular and Parliamentary hostility. The Sheriffs Bristol have grown cynical and are sworn has become melancholy because the law to which they instrument of crime and tyranny. bringing generality with hate. they pervert even the natural taste and relish for equity and justice. (P. they both an require a bond of love that is accompanied by a feeling simply negative and destructive. realm of war and there needs to as a distinction between the for war the realm of law. they are not gether an the bonds of affection between citizens. and by bringing the partiality of war into law. 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. because and piety.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs overreach of Bristol 79 the bounds be of the bounds force of what^can its justice. In order to maintain the integrity of law. His opposition to the party by courage in the war party is . they corrupt their morals.5 melancholy are not. but they have not lost their humanity. They vitiate their politics. Burke puts his case for reconciliation with America before the on sheriffs and the public as can he did earlier with Parliament in his Speech Taxation. Their cynicism and 177). The very names become incentives to hatred and rage. of the whole body of our nation affection and new kindred. 189)4 which were the becomes gradually less dear to bond of charity whilst we agreed. well suited to The theme of of Burke's letter is very an its audience. devoid of hope. they dissolve alto of the common idea good. and he the foresees attempt grave consequences from it. He gives to the sheriffs political reasons. He in effect helps to mold and strengthen a peace articulating the issues. 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. for pursuing peace. The spirit might partial of murderous hatred dominates in its and in its object and patriotism devotion. Of most all wars. Burke thought that civil wars were the worst. Britain's combination. public spirited reasons. they wish for peace (p. It is in this background of Parliament's to use the law as an instrument of war that Burke writes the Letter. the required is of an extent that goes well beyond the equity required for justice under the realm of law and law. a hostile light. They have lost confidence in justice. proposing a policy. when the communion of our country is dissolved. or rather confusion. and the slavishness of despondency the extreme consequences of Brit ain's corruption of the law.
because they do the possibility of their own deaths god. . Parliament has taken the tone a criminal of an angry and all powerful but. the British themselves. Their hatred is not entertain accompanied by pitiless- ness and fearlessness. The determination infamous action. The determination tableness of the law of enemy rebels as pirates undermines the by confounding the order of crimes. in fact. 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. Burke argues that the objects of the suspension corrupt the order of crimes. . they take the confiscated cargo. The British will not them the respect owed to a noble love of liberty or to a formidable enemy. 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. to enable administration to confine. to infamy to punishment. than law. 179). Burke says that it under the cloak of naval is the British to be the pirates. therewith. inconsistently. image of death neither softens nor horrifies the British. the distinction itself of American rebels as pirates was made with the add intention allow of insulting them. 179). The determination a it. and. the British the will not even allow them the pity owed to the con demned. and then distribute a war themselves. 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. 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.80 Interpretation defense of expressed as a justice against tyranny. is to detain in England for trial those who shall commit high treason in is pleased to America" (p. the guilty justice in four different ways: first. THE PARTIAL SUSPENSION OF THE HABEAS CORPUS The partial suspension of the habeas corpus has two objects: "The first. is behaving like who appear tyrant. 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. put to death the the cargo amongst American men. but. In fact. those whom that act the act The second purpose of qualify by the name of pirates. Hatred determines the crime. second. defeat. third. proper. by treating innocent citizens inequitably. contrary. Although piracy and their equation treason share the same sentence tween mistaken virtue and (death). 178). rather giving it to treasury (p. blurs the difference be (p. by confusing by be denying the accused a fair trial. as long as it shall think . by treating fourth. traced to the all-consuming anger of Parliament. 178). to the they rejoice at quality of the action.
their proper time is cannot give punish after the war. 181-82). After strength not is American should defeats. The accused is.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs Their wrath. because the legal process appears to be nothing more than a cover for the arbitrary will of Parliament. tying half dead in England). because the accused cannot possibly forward witnesses to defend himself. VIII (p. 180). 180). but not according to justice. Burke does habeas corpus not hesitate to precedent point out that the partial of the has its justice in King Henry war. in England for trial those But these trials cannot high treason in America" bring possibly be just. The spirit of just victory is completely lacking habeas in the British. It is only the perverse hate that of a tyrant will that could cause one to congratulate oneself for an tenfold upon one's suspension be retaliated friends. tried ac cording to form. . object of their own insults. 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. manly defiance becomes the only virtue. This insolent men as some only reflected in its characterization of American naval pirates. therefore. Yet the English in will await a pro they have lost all feelings of pity and humanity for their fellow Englishmen in America. This manliness untempered whether by justifications and fears. rather than the the crime. it and expresses of itself in simple or the domina of tion. (pp. ought to evoke feelings of horror jail. the absence of justice. them down and then in the hold tossing them in forma trial. and Burke suggests that this pitilessness will become a permanent part of the British character. Parliament replaces justice with force and will. they Britain are only hardened by the punishments. Parliament denies a place for patriotism in the moral order and. therefore. because it is blinded by its own indignation. taking their goods. it acts like both a its actions are not justified by country. and The proper place for the punishments is in America. as if In they is have killed British in to prove themselves virtuous. should the ment English be victorious. both. but it does produce punished not even the desired effects of punishment. This attempt to punish the Ameri cans through the law brings the law into disrepute. makes them of Bristol 81 lower than the By moral qualities of allowing their indignation to dictate the order of crimes. but also in its description of American soldiers in general. corpus The second object of the partial suspension of the who shall commit is "to detain (p. peace. Not only does the trial of Americans in England corrupt justice. Parliament its proper time and place. The punishments serve neither or nor the ends of which are victory. it be the imprisonment killing enemies. of a The mere thought of shackling the to have them arrive ship (only where Americans. finds itself in god a world where strength and a tyrant in so far as is the only claim to authority. far from making the British godlike. that they will become savage. the British more insult them order by calling them cowards. 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 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 possibility The partial suspension destroys public spiritedness by destroying the public. the worst aspects of the partial suspension. that it be The partial suspension the distinction between men in the differ ent realms and.82 Interpretation The punitive hate of Parliament even extends to the exchange of prisoners. justice is the as act's can most dangerous is a that. to punish the exchanged prisoners. expediencies of war necessitate the unequal treatment of prisoners. as a life was given in return for a life. 188). but the distinction between men in the realms treats the innocent differently. openly denies some men their rights while protecting those of others (p. The issue liberty is really requires the Liberty a common good equality under the law. en one of it to a greater requires degree (p. respect for justice has Since the much how consistently the innocent an and guilty with are treated. because it between citizens. but its to the corruption of manners. Apathy is the accompanying obverse of legislated hate. This offense to threat to political liberty. innocence and guilt dependent to do with therefore not to pardon the remain upon circumstance. because it leaves no place for decent political attachments. But. belief in What not makes the partial suspension of the habeas corpus truly dangerous is would its corruption of law. like the deter pirates. far from being the opposed to manners. 182). parliament is incapable of such prudence. 186). The The exchanged prisoners were ing prisoners is to make clearly pardoned. therefore. It hardly seems just. 184). the British are intent on punishing as traitors those prisoners who remain mination of American of to the yet reasoning in their hands (p. At the end of the war. because it is The empty prisoners are formality of legal proceedings and the inconsistent treatment of not. however. Burke finds it disturbing that the partial suspension. never mind possible. liberty principle. 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. Burke says general venoms equity. far as he tell. . It shakes the foundation of the nation general. the limiting qualification. corrupts justice because according the action the earlier prisoners should have been punished. accords with them and moves them partial suspension codifies their further in the and same direction (p. But the British punitive. The unequal treatment of American prisoners only treats the guilty unequally. it is more prudent not to make crime and punishment respect issue to prisoners. this action. The hatred affection between the British and the remaining bonds of English in America. by breaking draws the first principle of law. instead of of taking out the sting. It dissolves the nation be citizens without the dissolves by dissolving shared the common good.
He reminds are threatened by their rulers even more than of by the rebels. 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. as they are Burke's letter indifferent to its injustice only because they do not suffer from it. He even wishes that some abuse of the partial suspension would touch them. In obstinate light of the dangers lie ahead. Burke Having specter of British doubt the certainty of victory.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. But the British have lost their honest prejudices which supported their love of liberty. The British must doubt themselves. 189-90). with because they harm to their Burke regards of less it British virtue and glory than doing enemies (pp. Their hatred causes them to live in the pre sent. . dark. attempts to moderate the extremes of hate and apathy by encour and aging the belief in virtue past. of concern But. He wants to awaken in the people the jealous love liberty. public Since British spiritedness has decayed into hatred in order of Americans. the confidence fueling their hatred (recent that victories they have not increased their authority. the attachment to country. In sheriffs that order to give privy biting information concerning the real threat foreign powers posed to Brit in the last year. and moral Burke must appeal to private advantage to moderate the British. He even uses images to induce doubt and 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. They have the shamelessness to celebrate the names of victory of German are mercenaries and to concerned with herald the German generals. British of as individual citizens with individual interests One the ways to make the British think about their welfare is to destroy. British disaffection for their past connected to a lack for their future. Parliament's fury appears both ridiculous and irresponsible. He speaks to the consciences. it blinds them to their own nobility and their own good. He first reminds the British of their noble order to en a representative of the traditionalists. Burke raises the the unknown. and full of perplexed and treacherous (p. in love of country. have with doses of fear. The British have spread devastation but have only the ground they encamp on and no more. He even speaks as courage justice. he tells the he was that the mazes way ahead is intricate. he says unknown a reality. made the reminds them British feel invincible). 191). be can fore they be enlightened. despite American defeats. Burke asks the British to look between the people and their representatives. if only through fear. The specter of foreign powers is meant to re awaken the ties of kinship which and the love of country. Burke can move With the reawakening of his rhetoric from fear to shame.
The British can at best hope to maintain trade monopolies. calling for battles which but his servility to it. Burke must discuss the rewards of war. show little are content to real magnanimity. bloated with pride and he is not to fight. or at money in the form of best the British can hope for is to not receive them. being that crawls on the earth. "no blood pays the forfeit of [their] rashness. and satisfied to be himself mean and miserable. He has been building towards an explicit for reconciliation but tion and greed. They (he British invincibility draw the He but of good fortune. They they would offer themselves promise for battle but fortunes hire German mercenaries. He reminds the British that the goal of the war was to increase their wealth. but they will thing In light of this hopeless prospect. 191) Burke to shatters the upon illusion of Parliament's bear its strength. No desolate widow weeps tears blood over [their] ignorance" (p. 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. By prepared the ground argument reducing British hopes to the salvation of their reputation. Burke suggests his audience to conclusion for themselves) that the British should quit while they are ahead. of uncertain In light victory and certain understood as Burke reinterprets this partaking famous of death. those in favor of peace are acting responsibly. contending to save itself from an object respectable justice cannot oppression. any without civil wisdom or military skill. order to render others contemptible and wretched. dominion in which he cannot exercise. Those in favor of the war. Being godlike authority by bringing reason limited in its strength. far from being manly. actually the hypocritical others. Parliament needs wis dom be and justice. as if they kindred blood pours like from the arms of foreign soldiers. and notable their private and they mortgage exult themselves performed some water exploit. 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. With the awakening of their interests. that it is directed by insolent passion. 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. contending for a violent (P.84 Interpretation It is The and no excuse poorest for presumptuous ignorance. rather than to punish and to subjugate. they their country. 199). when in triumph. states to the . Burke has for his plan. pair facing the Brit ish. Far from man's of being cowards. manliness and cowardice judgement. without a consciousness of other qualification for power arrogance. He also tells them that they will not get one cent from America. the cold doses of fear that Burke throws nal the heated anger of the British prepare a more ratio discussion the war. closest least the to save their reputation not to look weak and foolish in frustration and defeat. the taxes. is in the eyes of God and man. helpless creature. rather than simply force and in light of the real situation must will. pride of a coward.
he wards ate it slowly by first arguing that the Americans cannot be peace. to that to reconcile while of in a position of strength is magnanimous the glory Parliament. Honesty and prudence compel him to take his case to those decent citizens in whom there still exist justice and pity. above the voices of many. (1774). Burke argues that rebellions are provoked rather than encouraged. Just a short time . they must earn that trust. He is be heard but is rather competing for their ear.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol 85 British. he must invoke a truth beyond the source and collective or conventional of wisdom. Burke's not criticisms of disputing their right to trying to make unanimity are not direct criticisms of the people. He is the people doubt Parliament and. of Without the affection and strength Englishmen. by pointing to the arbitrariness of Parliament's American policy. as it is asserted that talk of peace encourages rebellion (p. 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. cynicism. Burke turns to reason as the foundation his policy. the power under will be popularly recognized as such. remains as he stated earlier to Parliament in his Speech on American Taxation and. rather than certain tyranny. 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. the Americans must trust in themselves. 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. the British must form a strong peace party confidence. and Burke shows As things stand. 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. 195). Burke has absented himself from Parliament. He is cautious in his blame. the Americans can place their The way to form and strengthen the peace party is not through parliamentary debate. therewith. THE ARGUMENT FOR RECONCILIATION The of argument for reconciliation must address itself directly to the accusation treason. themselves. the Americans are virtually alone. because his objections to its policies only increased its obstinacy. both addresses popular and parliamentary. to be the for the the war in England. to risk with defeat their own arms. In order to and break this whom circle of hate distrust. The obstacle to almost unanimous support with peace seems. therefore. He directly to the unanimity by which Parliament justifies its by first drawing the distinction between agreement and truth. 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. and be trusted.
because Parliament has given itself claims the right over to doctrinaire fanaticism. but that their desires should be respected because of their strength. waves of chance and. Par liament must. Now.86 ago Interpretation Parliament unanimously opposed the war and was willing to negotiate a peace. Parliament is unanimously in support of the war. because the British had suffered defeats. but it is nothing in the direction of affairs. therefore. therefore. 210-11). Burke people not justified by an abstract legal right. 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. Burke recognizes Parliament's sovereignty only because it its power has exercised for a long time and continues to do so. because Parliament claims to have the sovereignty. when public . but people. Burke paints a picture and cowardly in defeat and confident and insolent Parliament lacks the gravity and constancy of reason and character. He turns their traces the cause of the war to bad politicians government. legislative The not government should exercise its rule with as much reserve as possible. beg leave to observe. so as to offend the people. The argument for reconciliation on an argument about good government. Due to the strength and the constitution ought to have offices which can variability be appealed to of public opinion. to separate not accuse the British nation for the war. The people are. but that no other given part of only the invidious branch of taxation that legislative rights can be exercised. 207) omnipotence. it may be the mind. 205). at best. It rides the of Parliament that is fearful in victory. be governed. that it is not will be resisted. can neither be admired by those who love virtue nor ness of followed by those who worship the promise of success. GOOD GOVERNMENT In the Letter to the and ity of Parliament Sheriffs of Bristol we see Burke attack the ruling author defend the colonists. He is thereby domestic politics. its passions and mind are enslaved to the prevailing fortune it meets. Parliamentary of obedience sovereignty is (p. having recently tasted victory. The arbitrari can serve as a wedge its policy cannot but induce doubts that the lukewarm from the majority While Burke dares British politicians. I must attend to public opinion. He implies that Parliament is waging the war for its own Burke tries to awaken within the breasts of the British their minds towards jealous love British of liberty. granted social rights (pp. Parliament to tax the Americans. even though right of they have no representation. rather than oppress it. he can accuse aggrandizement. by habits argues that abstract Parliament rules for the He does not argue that the have rights. and he able to blame the with sympathies for the hinges war and to encourage a peace party towards the English in America without appearing treasonous. (P.
Reason cannot tolerate an freedom in theory is its death in inconsistent principle. whereas politics tends to blame entire constitu demands gated. . from. doing what one wills. but with the belief that the problem is not with the entire constitution. Burke is quick to point out that. but it which gains might strength through the knowledge that there Since institutions in so public opinion is they important. The this lower world (prudence) is needed to secure the blessing of the lower world (peace). not because of a perverse humor. Thus it is wise not destroy case the convocation of the clergy or any other ceremonial also mentions offices. parliament can no longer legislate religion. The voice of and his friends is are a weak minority. then the responsible should party Parlia to case of the American Revolution god of be prudent enough satisfy complaint. it free would know that the Americans must are averse other than a one. one sees that he flatters hopes to put pressure on and Parliament. but are account thinking in terms of an abstract legal doctrine that fails to for the character of the factions. In light freedom. because of the fixed sentiments and beliefs Burke the people.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs opinion changes. Burke the veto power of with the monarchy. He condemned the French Revolution in no uncertain terms. to be mistaken. religion more the monarchy. the charac understand ter of those over which it governs. ment. is a feeling felt by those who are subjected to the oppression and admits rules Freedom is primarily freedom from to various not degrees paying depending in on the people being ruled (p. They practicing (the god of this lower world). of all becomes such tyranny as and usurpation because freedom is thought The perfection of in an extreme form. but because of a consistent opposition to the influence of ab stract theory on political life. 211). But Parliament is are not attention to public opinion. Compromise If the in the the and reform. It requires compromise. through pressures placed on. If one puts together his discussion of good government of his policy reconciliation. they embody than parlia ment. just in they are needed (p. compromise to the extent that first principles are better left uninvesti By painting the world in extremes. 208). Freedom then be understood as to any government it is understood by the Americans. than the particular men in power or an easily remedied law. Parliament must be heard. freedom others. as a defense of freedom in general. ought not Burke's defense of American freedoms. and it must have the to appropriate offices for the appropriate complaints. and even independence. is of theories of susceptible government to the ex tremes of theory. Freedom is not an abstract principle. which The British make a studying the are not particular circumstances prudence they must decision. any more than is sover of eignty. however. and. rather theory require tions for injustice. of Bristol 87 The government must act as a kind of grievance committee. as it was by the New Whigs. the particular men running the govern people are sane enough responsible to articulate their particular grievance and blame those ment for the problem. Freedom. If Parliament had listened to and had studied the Americans. the clergy and of maybe even veto and its legislation. like authority. politics.
No taxation of a parliament without representation does not deny the legitimacy It is to exist or legitimacy of grievances against one. In abstract theory. made themselves absolute by claiming they denied their opposition the right to resistance. of principles of destruction that sovereignty of parliament are. because the hatreds of civil war difficult to satisfy. One of Burke's rhetorical goals in the Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol and the Reflections on the Revolution in France and encourage murderous cosmic and world fanaticism. and the monarchy the status and rights they for themselves. they affection. as he saw that philosophic replacing hatred by lending fortify historical meaning to killing the enemy. 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. He even considered civil war worse than are more savagery. of man and the absolute hand. rather than acknowledges the hate. because they only extend and exacerbate the evils of civil war. The idea as of no taxation without representation does his criticism. 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. the aristocracy. it implicitly legitimate The rights other possibility of legitimate authority as well as rebellion. not a principle that is destructive of all order and prudence. Moments authority lived. rather than cod ified. they claimed to embody mankind. thus denying claimed the church. The French revolutionaries made their anger absolute by claiming principles of and serve General freedom to tive to speak for the rights of man. General theories passions. on the are bom more from vengeance than an government. because it is a principle of compromise. idea the common good or of legitimate while The former is bom source of the antitheological of a god. collective are bom from disappointed trust. and savage cruelty.6 ire of an atheist. 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.88 thus. do the doctrines of the rights of man and the absolute sovereignty of parliament. These feelings and ideas of significance drown out the feelings of pity and horror that are the humane emotions evoked by slaughter. The British Parliament the authority of a god. bom of sovereignty and rebellion tend to fortify the most extreme of self-righteous of the most extreme circumstances. Abstract ideas . He is critical of favorably the disposed to the former but the latter two. Burke sees fanaticism leading to the practical both anarchy and tyranny. Interpretation one must understand the demands of each faction and what is needed to satisfy them. the latter has its in the wrath sovereignty fortify puni hate because they make authority absolute while denying the opposition the right to exist.
and the tence. he must have an understanding of the ends of government and each of the parts contribute to that end. is helpful for understanding Burke's opposi tion to abstraction. 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. and executions. is contrary to the first and principles of politics. to law by evoking the pity fear accompanying the breaking of it and. the revolutionaries treat country in the way as would a foreign conqueror. He argues that the revolu tionaries slandered. might Some Burke of being fact reductionistic and opportunistic. pocket- anything more by which the merchant class. He looks at the character the revolution and shows how the actions of the and the various groups leading revolution reflect their individual low motives. He defends decent morality accuse and obedience to the law as necessities for a free people. The Reflections. and affection by describing suffering crimes of innocence of the murdered and the stupidity. and placed personal gain was before their ideals. though in theory. confiscations. could and satisfy their books by confiscating church property speculating it. The goodness of the cause and the wisdom of the laws cannot be reduced to mo tives. because the citizens need theoretical principles for knowl edge of their rights and duties. The legislator must whole. guilt. Burke removes the claim to justice with which they excused their faithlessness.8 The incommensurateness of theory and politics comes into focus most clearly in the revolution's activity of legislation. and especially to science. eyes each of the revolution's victims the church. horror. 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. greed. In not fact. in particular. malice. who resented vengeance and on their exclusion from title honor. Burke says that the first law of revolutionary legislation is to their own destroy all that came same before it. order a of how This is especially the case in a philo sophic revolution. the by restoring calm and comfort by demonstrating and that the revolutionary contradicts science of politics is destined to defeat doom because it requirements of life. the aristoc and monarchy. In this. By looking into the actions and motives of the principles of the revolution. 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. They destroy . their persecutors. It is a stage upon which Burke brings before the racy. The Reflections justifies obe dience then. broke faith. just as their crimes are contrary to human and divine law. he never argues that revolutionary idealism than a platform and in effect.7 He gives them human feeling justifies their exis He shows their virtue and beneficence Burke also with which they were painted.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs is to restore simple and of Bristol 89 the and feelings of pity.
90 the Interpretation beliefs and habits that nothing. they from love men too little. of from the declamations astonished and buffooneries satirists. though it may paradoxical. Their them. . ranks. The legislator have of in his soul.9 The critical negativity that stems a love of ridicule is compounded by the detachment These and abstractness of the scientific mind. God.10 Burke's understanding legislator is inextricably connected to his understanding of the nature of politics. that they . because moderation they are defi must in love. they of any interest. . they do the not seek to reform but to build from political science. Burke has two types in he speaks of the thorough- . This defines their task and wisdom of their new Burke struction. but things. The ancient sceptics had no public spir itedness because they thought the law was conventional. nor fanatic visionary. are ready to declare that they for the good they pursue. the modem atheists are revolutionaries that politics politics. It is who are undoubtedly true. Like the of the good seamstress. because they think politics can be made can be made fully rational. united them as a people. He is aware that all rebel lion contains evil. is at their horizon like their horizon. but in general. offices. 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. which if it operated alone would make them more rage are carried away with such headlong race towards every desperate trial. it always flies before 520-21) defects must of Hate cient and abstraction are the legislative soul. . philosophers are fanatics: independent tractable. Your legislators seem to have taken their opinions of all professions. but that does not the conflict between politics and mind when rational. for the work of reformation: because their minds are not come good. which means they have feasted exclusively on satire. 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. who would themselves be if they were held to the letter seem of their own descriptions. almost says that the revolutionary legislators have a disposition towards de that They have the taste of Paris. would sacrifice the whole human to the slightest of their experiments. he teaches limits of both. yet he must not spectacle of injustice that he hopes to bring The legislator is neither about a Utopia through punishment and persecution. those are unqualified habitually and employed in finding and displaying faults. and that the habit of criticizing and good breaking the law tends to must give make human beings completely lawless. he the appearance of continuity to mends and patches. humanity (Pp." Burke denies cause him to despise the By showing theory. Philosophy not place be so him beyond the suffering blinded by indignation at the nor vengeful his fellow human beings. philosopher.
while geometry reduces them to number and shape. the uniqueness of human beings 301). Nothing can come for infinite divisibility. 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. like promises proportion. however. At best. therefore. substance Chemistry and (matter) its own geometry can only recognize the categories of quantity. and he ways on different occasions ridiculous absurdities. in fact. and order to do so it must must division and of labor. chemistry and geometry can produce a association. Legislation is deliberative p. begins with the idea that the end of government is the satisfaction Government is independence not made in virtue of natural rights. Its rebel to be used against them. and exist in much greater clearness. Chemistry reduces human beings to their lowest common element. and Reduction and abstraction are the essence of their sciences. His attempt to restore the political perspective from that of abstract rights and science of wants. and may in and do exist in total degree much greater . however. an un geometry differentiated mass. possibility (Reflections. a mathematical order. 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. whereby chemistry creates and order uses its materialism to oppose groupings authority. which of it. atomism except by a principle of order. and recognize recognize and the peculiarity of the political But chemistry and geometry are material and simple. to have the power of ordering. unique character of Geometry. to show reasoning in many different the Revolution's shocking immorality and In confronting the French Revolution Burke himself was forced to put forward the first principles under which morality and prudence live. rats. its rela tions depend more graphical accidents than upon numerical necessity. because it deals political order upon with number and The is not. 524). they to represent and to secure those interests. decent morality his rhetoric and Burke understood that prudence and used were threatened by the French Revolution.12 chemistry. up France create districts according to for loyalty to a measuring stick. but these are the two categories over which a man has no control. In formative act. The geo boundaries and of political associations are are meant formed by interest rather than symmetry. The number geometricians who are and shape dividing ask and. and reaction of those experiments consist in churches and ammunition the manors of aristocrats and then tearing down the transforming the rubble into ire. cannot recognize the politics. a by numerical from understand the science of the revo lution to have divided itself into these different functions.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs bred metaphysician of Bristol 91 the geometrician and the chemist. creating Burke does. The materialism of the chemists expresses political arena as antitheological and antiaristocratic accompanied itself in the from but it lion is not.
or rather conflicts provisionary mode of principle. then all the political the Americans would never have been un by this point. He begins where other modern theorists but he combines the fundamental good with the old order. give repealing the tax. of Thus he amongst argues that "unsuspecting which all confidence is the true rest" centre gravity mankind. be would someone attempt to change the government if he thought the change would not improve things? There be no pressures placed on the government in order to keep it responsible to the public. Burke therefore He have been virtuous men who cared about the public. such. or to an equal share in government. 215). 222). To the contrary. about the parts are at (p. theory in the name of the satisfaction of wants. but because he wanted to it against abuse satisfied from both authoritative and rebellious pride.92 Interpretation of abstract perfection: a but their abstract perfection is their practical defect. from the funda mental end he derived a new basis for the rule of gentlemen and a new under standing of ancestral authority.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. (P. Burke opposed abstract was against began. Unsuspecting interests confidence assumes that the government will look after public and not their own private interests. of government. inherently Why would corrupt is a servile belief. for America had. not political because he temper ment the idea of right. since the belief in argues that there civic virtue is impossible (p. people can Burke thinks that the live content under the watch of Parliament. to tax in order to restore American trust. do not rise to dissent among the people as naturally as do particular situations which clearly threaten their welfare and their liberty. He also points out the opportunistic reasons that lie behind the opinion that all excuse themselves is selfishness. But the actions of Parliament and the arguments of sophisticates suggest that all men act solely for themselves. The belief that the cause government it is conducive to resignation. By having right to everything they want everything. courtiers and political men would public in or der to enjoy freedom from scrutiny and indignation. 370) Burke did of not a contrivance of derive from this end the equal right of each to be the sole judge oneself. then there must be moral . The doctrine that because moral man is selfish poses a great threat to leveling made destroys trust in government as unsuspecting confidence. Burke hopes freedom and to cure apathy and cynicism with spirited jealousy is of one's own belief in the possibility of civic virtue. 221). developed its own Ideological differences. Government is human wisdom to provide for human wants. If Parlia had the Americans and by differences between the British covered. asks the public to government believe in virtue and to believe that corruption is not innate to like to (p. If there are to be compromise and freedom. Unsuspecting confidence look after is simply trust that the government will not be oppressive and will interests.
They competent to judge their grievances by their feelings. 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.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs indignation directed that virtue at of Bristol 93 the government from time to time. on habits of continuity gains the thought that prescription gives any basis in one's but also ennobling. in which it depends. an Perhaps most important. natural Burke thought the rulers. just the aristocrats and parlia confi ment must show some concern not for convenience and wants. however. Every edge that nation must exist somewhere to the exclusion of other nations. not so much because he thought there entailed were no such rights. The people are the product of the constitution. of the people actually threatens the satisfaction of wants. The as are though people dis must. should the people rule. Burke con guardian their fear to be a that the of their virtue. Some have so much authority to the past that Burke must . but they do are not possess the character and mind to demagogues. from time yet does not require the usurpation of authority Burke preferred unsuspecting confidence to the rights of man. a Unsuspecting blind faith or apathy. satisfy those grievances. The issue of property to that other moderator of takes Burke away from the satisfaction of wants partisanship patriotism. rather than connections of its sovereign. therewith. avarice. who ity and who seek They easily misled by blame everything on the inequality of property and of author to remedy all ills by bringing both under the rule of equality.14 birth that form own will or consent are not continuity and community. 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. but trust that is called to account and office. is gentlemen have defending the habits of continuity on interest in property and. have dence is to time degree of public spiritedness. but. Burke thus suggests is rare and weak. and a brutality of accepting of political men. 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 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. therefore. they are too strong to oppose. He does backs gusted not want but that belief in its possibility better insures the people to become misanthropists who turn their on political life completely because they by the greed. it must means justify its borders to itself must to others. 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. liberty. they provide only necessary Burke's attempt to found attachments and authority attachments without status of morality in prescription. This necessity of justice that equality The understood as qualified by country. there would be no brake on as them (with the exception of a preferred military dictatorship). If be a nation and is to be more than a band of robbers.
all other Those ingenuous feeling minds who are so fortified things. never harmony between natural desire and that history constituted a realm of be real. viewed by its beneficiaries as a series of accidents grounded in man's desires. . . The origins are inferior to the end product. Burke believed that rational. rather. but the end product does cess not exist independent of the pro by is which it came into being. Burke never lost sight of the conflict between the particular and the universal. 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. It is something to be Although He respected. for the a leading to is the does for politics what satisfying Adam Smith did for result of variety of needs and desires. 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. because he never believed is not Hegel's state. Prescription Burke's ideas a matter of of political convenience and political pa process triotism. brings a degree of the common good. tion or even an proven idea that be conceived greatest independent Prescrip beneficence.15 The hidden hand is not. mind. Provi dence appears godlike in its mysterious dispensation. satisfies and its benefits are those habits of virtue and affection that preserve the constitution. It gives the political body continuity and its citi zens a shared past and a shared providence destiny. however.94 Interpretation a have been He did traditionalist. but he never allows the idea of impartiality or universality to dominate politics. History is so far from being rational that it is turned to in order to support attachments that are threat ened by reason. and so unarmed to whatever approaches in the shape of disgrace. it is viewed as an unintelligible and superhuman force. Burke never thought reality. and beneficence. we begin to acquire the spirit of domination and to lose the relish of honest equality. . He economics. 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. 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. Prescription the constitution is satisfying want. Contending for an imaginary power. 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. But Burke did not equate the ancestral with the good. Liberty is in danger of being made unpopular to Englishmen. not think that the British constitution was the best form of government origins and because it had divine because it was his own. To the contrary. The best can constitution is not the product of the of practice. force.
260. although Burke recognizes the power of public opinion and public opinion the need to work with it. The partial suspension. (P. he and sought indignant fanaticism. Unlike Parliament. but they can trust him. 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. as an alternative to the Burke did not citizen and of portray the life of reason the statesman. C. The greatest fault of the partial suspension of the habeas corpus is that it He is not one of the people. a God. His Yet one cannot of visionary. Prudence makes the former feasible. The suspension would outrage the public if it were abused at home. which will retire they considered as sure means of honor. the British Parliament has in fected justice hatefulness and expediency. he apathy sought to preserve the perspective and attachments of political life. on hand. in order to guard against their authoritativeness and brutality. espe cially in the great. Karl Marx. It would have been much more universal for it simply to only the other while suspend the habeas corpus universally. but that his portrayal of the problems of politics and much art unless his defense he had its perspective could not perspective. not leads to tyranny and misanthropy by destroying an idea and a feeling of the common good. contains its abuses within it. he also recognizes the need to recognize virtue.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol 95 finding these principles. He age gives an account of himself as a representative in order to encour the belief in virtue and the love of liberty. but because he loves virtue and country more than himself. He is ment and goes well beyond the presentation not godlike himself as a virtuous representative. country a universal suspension would serve liberty and by awakening the sense of urgency amongst all the citizens. so or a misanthropist. In turning to life of the prescription and polemics against theory. be executed with seen past that NOTES Wang. He does not court power the prevailing opinions of the people. only because they have elected him. Burke offers no greater counter example to the extremes of his time than himself. So. and he encouraged the people towards a measured jealousy of their liberty so that they would not become either slavish or ambitious. the latter necessarily corrupts. but rather in his beneficence and wisdom. Macpherson (Burke [New York: Hill and so far as Macpherson saw in Burke a bourgeois capitalist above all . Capital I (Moscow. to foster the love of Furthermore. which which he lends credence. Burke constantly encouraged prudence in the governing. he is in his self-right eous wrath. disheartened and disgusted. 223) By fighting prudent a war with with laws and punishments. Burke himself is be an example of judge of yond the salutary hopes to virtue. to be grown in disrepute. In to preserve prudence and public spiritedness from cynical politics was not that of a suspect particular. 1980]) follows Marx in 1. B. 1954) p.
96 else. Stephen Browne (Edmund Burke Alabama Press. and the 7. Hippodamus thought that his and rulers would be popularly elected. 533. 164. The mind and the disposition of the Sheriffs clearly character Burke writes A Vindication of Natural Society. he failed to understand the unique nature of on the politics. 1960). reflections on progress see The Works of Edmund Burke (London: Bohn. 1854-89). In desire to know nature as a whole. Phaleas for advocating equality of property. 4. Phaleas'. Jackson Bate (Westport. jurors and . The faults of Hippodamus are the most important to both Aristotle damus only. 3. 2. 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. 5. 2. But he did give the any property. wore by cheap whole. pp. pp. Furthermore. Old Whigs. 10. 279. but by thoughtful considerations about the protection of liberty. three sections of the city. and by looking at the man. pp. p. Burke says that the genius of the of the old regime. 520. remind one of the old man ed. but according to his fancy. Burke's criticize the attempt to understand politics through abstract and mathematical criticisms of the legislative science of the revolution are Hippodamus' best regimes. 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. CA: Sage. There are three classes of citizens. 101. p. CT: Greenwood Press. 94. 1. and Hippodamus for his ambition and simplicity. p. sympathize with Burke's ideas of prescription. The Complete Writ 1945]. He he thought he was the first person ever to propose died in battle. attempt 8. Works. vol. vol. 8. and Aristotle criticizes Plato for trying to make the city a unity. Reflections Revolution in France (Harmondsworth. was so He knew nothing about the influence of force and interest. 382-84. Conor Cruise O'Brien (The Great judgement of the French Revolution is Melody [Sinclair: Stevenson. ultimate differences. Politics of Progress [Albany: 2. 431. they both ideas. and wished to be learned in nature as a Hippodamus did his ambitious dress according to the different seasons. Hippodamus models three. Burke's Despite their to define a realm of political existence cannot but remind one of Aristotle. farmers. Glorious 1984). he denied and the artisans arms. therefore guaranteeing a military dictatorship. of govern 3. portrait. Conniff finds him too cautious for not advocating vol. but I think he emphasizes the aesthetic aspect of Burke's politics at the his political thought. rather than his ideas Hippodamus was ambitious. Politics. and to Burke. his regime on the number 12. 15-16. 350-52. a more participatory form vol. Edmund Burke. independent farmers of the and that all the classes not (artisans. he made the military the farmers by giving the army their own property. 431-32. 282-83. 31. Hippodamus failed to understand the nature of political order. In from looking to the number three for order. 9. vol. Works. Aristotle draws attention to the importance of Hippo calling him the first political scientist. 1994]) argues that Burke's understanding of change was not informed by conservative opinions. pp. artisans the military) would be loyal to and the city as a whole. adorned himself with expensive ornaments and long hair. pp. 282-83. was cited within the text as Reflections. Nor did Hippodamus know He thought that instead of voting innocent or guilty. 7. although ment. in whose 6. 6.: Penguin. p. tyranny (Thomas Paine. 1992]) argues that Burke's decisively determined by the fact that he was an Irish Burke fails to appreciate Catholic. Eng. 358. be legitimate according to the laws 287-300. vol. vol. All references by to the Selected Writings of Edmund Burke. remarkably similar to Aristotle's criticisms of Plato's. and Aesthetics [Thousand Oaks. and warm clothes in both the not winter and the summer. 1994]) argument. James Conniff (The Useful Cobbler: Edmund Burke State University of New York Press. W. pp. vol. In An Appeal from the New Revolution that it pretended to to the 11. This abound psychological account of the many political reasons that in the Reflections. page number alone are 3. 364) and thus he could not For Burke's vol. and three kinds of legal suits. 439. many other cities. and the 2. Interpretation Paine thought that all hereditary government was ings of Thomas Paine [New York: Citadel Press.
trans. as in the French Revolution. he is vulnerable to the problems connected to his providential god. Burke's one solves problem While Burke is able to anchor the and political only to pose life in general. Works. Burke's emphasis on unsuspecting confidence. 1993]. and actually increased the harshness of tyranny where it threatened authority but could not Melissa S. In the Spirit of the Laws. Canavan. 13. 15. of Chicago Press. According to and Leo Strauss (Natural Right attempt to another. rather than action. uses his understanding to support men of political prudence and virtue. He failed to and law is undermined by the habit changing it. and even expected. . those presumptions must are Presumptive virtue rests on about justice.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs should of Bristol 97 be able to vote in shades of grey. natural right is an indepen dent principle that used as a standard for political 16. Frohnen (Virtue and the Prom ise of Conservatism [Lawrence: University of Kansas Press. 1. 1984]. 431. against abstract doctrine. of Chicago Press. vol.237). thus making an who improved the law. (Harvey Mansfield. 151-53) law theorist in the tradition of St. because he thought it made prudence impossible. because understand on he thought the law that the was like the arts. takes issue with Providence [Durham: Carolina Academic Press. susceptible of of infinite improvement. a person of actual virtue defend the presumptions against dangerous theory. 1954). Thus. 2. 331-33. who lives according to the actual. is taken from Montesquieu. Mansfield's analysis of the difference between presumptive and actual virtue helps to clar of ify Burke's relation to political life pp. 77). 29. 1965]. Stanlis (Edmund Burke [New Brunswick. Strauss claims understanding of prescription undermines the idea of noble defeat. not simply its evident usefulness. Works. 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. rather than the presumptive. p. sanship. he opposed a universal understanding of justice. Nugent (New York: Hafner Press. p. 470. 1949). 294-95. to hope against all odds in the heat of battle. 348. Montesquieu argues that the opinion of one's own security is the end of the law. that its authority depends habits of obedience. p. vol. vol. NJ: Transaction Publishers. pp. find a standard of History [Chicago: University legitimacy through providence British constitution. 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. Like Burke. pp. Reappraisal. Harvey Mansfield (Statesmanship and Party Government [Chicago: University p.149-52). pp. for men of action are often. and Canavan (Ed mund argue Burke: Prescription that Burke and is a natural particular. Williams ("Burkean Descriptions and And Political Representation: A Canadian Journal of Political representation can still serve overcome it. according to their also proposed authoritative verdict impossible. the man of actual virtue. Canavan is for Burke life. as opposed to natural rights. pp. Science. pp. 432. 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. 1987]. When questioned. Thomas Aquinas. in Strauss concerning Burke's understanding of providence. case of the Edmund Burke [Chicago: presumptions University Chicago Press. Strauss has in mind the realm of thought. 6.9-10). 1. vol. 1991]." the ruling majority and 14. He honors for those individual judgement. 406-7.
" 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. 26. 27) seems to The book that Nietzsche himself have considered his Thus Spoke Zarathustra. "deepest. is a work that dramatizes the attempt of a man to we are called interpret upon the things themselves. it is incoherent. 5.1 As readers of the book. 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. Vol. 289). argument and action. 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 the second. presentation of this argument occurs less commonly observed that the in two waves. to interpret this drama. Fall 1998. 1 . A genuinely philosophical book might to the golden bowl of revealed with some plausibility be of whose con compared stitution Henry James's novel. therefore. No. and that in its composition these aspects are not merely parallel or complementary. Beyond Good Evil. It is generally recognized that Zarathustra presents an argument will according to which the essential core of all somewhat things is the to power. the truth observation surface. The acter of philosophical readers of his books . but are inseparably It is joined.Interpreting the Twofold Presentation of the Will to Power Doctrine in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra Steven Berg Loyola University." 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." In interpretation. . as it stands. The first crests at the end of Song. ." Preface. New Orleans Next to the things themselves the the greatest what writings of the philosophers seem to pose works difficulties for interpretation. but to those whom he "the wisest. In our efforts to do so it is useful to begin with the consideration that a drama is composed of two essential aspects. 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.
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. he and wishes to "go down" to again. Zarathustra will relinquish his than superhuman status by going down to ignorant men and distributing man his wisdom to them. Overburdened by its superfluity. demon strates the false character of that doctrine Four a as such and. of Thus when Nietzsche's utterances Zarathustra is through which simply as collection Zarathustrian Nietzsche gives voice to understood his own opinions. According to one auditor of his speeches he is lucky to have escaped with his life ("Zarathustra's eschews all Prologue. In the light appeals and of this failure Zarathustra upon a novel strat- prudently further such direct fastens . however. therefore. he is met with incredulity. Zarathustra relinquishes his superhuman status may then only ultimately to renew or reconfirm it. is directed to to go so that the superman renewal of this condition would have to find its source in the confirmation of his wisdom. however. one of these version of a man called Truthsayer. he is not a god: part of his wisdom is his knowledge that "god is He is. Appealing directly to the multitude.4 If Zarathustra is human. 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. therefore. As it is attempt presented in "Zarathustra's Prologue. e. no mention is made of it in Parts Three read not and the work." men in order to distribute his wisdom thereby "become empty is defined dead." this account. but as such to be more than human. 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." But this his means "to be again." however. Once deconstrucreturn its deeper levels are taken sight of. 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. insights the articulate the kernel of what comes return. much passes for the core of Nietzsche's philosophy. 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." man since more man by his lack of wisdom or ignorance. ridicule and hatred. however. of accordingly. his first distribute his wisdom to men is an utter failure. It. then the distribution. the superman.100 Interpretation to response his invitation to "seriously the test" "wisest.. like the be merely a superficial or partial aspect of his thought. the will to power proves to doctrine. This under persuading live. If it is primarily the fact that he is wise rather than ignorant that accounts for his superhuman condition.3 At the opening of the work it is made clear that Zarathustra not only takes himself to be wise." 8). It seems that Zarathustra to will somehow attempt to confirm his wisdom through its distribution.g.
speaks to man only being. power" In that speech of Part One in he ploys the term Goals. the good for man is understood by the law to be convertible with moral virtue. the It is the of the creator that brings the law into being and." or power over neighbors meaning various creation of all victory "the high. Zarathustra does knowledge of not possible to gain an immediate access to since being is through examining the speeches of human beings. despite their variety. "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. activity stands the legislator or. root cause of all the will to power is the things." 9). according to Zara thustra. "On the is to be interpreted or understood it to as man. 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 proceeds with As the narrative unfolds and his attempt to initiate his disciples into his teaching.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra egy: -101 he will make a new beginning by transmitting his wisdom to a cadre of handpicked disciples who. the first. calls "praiseworthy. . require that beings who speaks: man the rational animal." Here he that if be made to speak. its things. according to Zarathustra's understanding. law. in accordance with its law. Thus whatever allows a and victory or power over itself." "will to for the first time. Behind the creator. including his soul and mind." holy. That is to say. The understanding and interpretation of interpret the speeches of that one being among speaking believe it being or. 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 apparent: he believes that he is in being. the life of the superman ("Zarathustra's Prologue. agree in articulating an understanding evil as identical to virtue and vice. Since the of about good and evil are derived from the laws the various political commu nities. which those speeches are first and foremost concerned to articulate not what is being. 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. The first of this wisdom will to power. 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. Persians. the Still. acting in the light of its truth." character of his alleged wisdom becomes of possession of a causal own knowledge principle "all including is the the being of his knowing. But being. as Zarathustra calls him. Jews because all and Germans all speak differently about good speeches and are formed by different laws. however. in the Aristotelian phrase. all of of good and them. he insists. the people. em but rather what good and evil. since. one Afterworldsmen. therefore.
in Zarathustra's own words. is indefinitely being of infinitely malleable and that is simply a reflection of the essential being of all beings. according in what to Zarathustra. but rather fellow creators. however. perhaps. At the close of Part One. To create great endeavor. That the related political and aspects of claim." nations" among its brotherhood of equals. 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. as it were. first no people" the successful completion of this promulgation. their legislation will also be the first to have been articulated in the . longer disciples. nite laws. indicates. This new "light to the will itself recognize Zarathustra as the source of its light and. law that is. 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). therefore.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. in his farewell speech to his disciples Zarathustra looks forward to a superlegislation future in which his friends. 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. Zarathustra to wish to establish not simply a link. is Zarathustra's goal. that he cities of men. but identity between them. it were. to creating creators. a law that is. insofar as he takes the paradigmatically human speech to be the authoritative speeches of the law. overarching then. the to power. The indefinite or through plurality of peoples can be given definition if Zarathustra how impose a finitude upon this plurality and then bind this finite unlimited peoples together can some number of into a genuine whole by directing each and every one of them to a single humanity itself. Zarathustra. directed to producing a determinate number of subordinate legislations or. 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. standing above and ruling a humanity they have helped to fashion. divine. the coming to be of the superman. It is this than human. It is with this end in view has descended from his his mountain solitude to offer his the same a That teaching. 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. believes.102 We Interpretation see that. that "humanity it plasticity self or in the proper sense does not in fact exist. is at one and new teaching in the time the distribu as tion of wisdom and the promulgation of a law. therefore. 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. however. as an expression of the indefi Zarathustra human. human beings seems necessarily is. to a Virtue.
will creators. Zarathustra will. therefore. 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. as he At the moment of the Great Noon man will no principle of all join longer is the between animal and god. Through it the political animal the rational animal will have been seamlessly joined and the law and made one. At this culminating moment hind his veil. it and as well. It almost goes without fails is the question. but teaching as from Zarathustra's speech of command own teaching. rule of a justice that is identical to a certain form of inequality. "the Great stand Noon. by and made of same means his happiness made ("Zarathustra's Prologue.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra light of 103 the the truth of being. Accordingly. reveal himself to a his career. This teaching is is engineered produce within them the freedom of mind and will prerequisite to the activity of comprehensive: creation. create dom and. but animal gods are and superman. But Zara these thustra identifies the have perfect possession will of wisdom with secured happiness. saying that Zarathustra fails in this endeavor. 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. this his account of the core of all beings as will to power and as indefinitely since plastic. in celebrating the feast of this new epiphany or. simultaneously confirm the truth of his wis condition. 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. It will be a legislation in perfect accord with man nature of and man man's things or. 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." 3). a natural law. humanity being If he is itself into successful for the in his endeavor. in of that the final a Part One Zarathustra to his disciples to offers as the last injunction themselves" teaching that reject "find in order they may ultimately become his equals. the authenticity of his superhuman if he is indeed able to make another like himself or confirm That is to say. The of his knowledge have become of coextensive with the horizon the law. while bringing humanity first time. as it were. 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. 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 . 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." things." 3)." 1). friends and fellow creators ("On the Giving Virtue. the superhuman creator over his human creatures. 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.
to create his equals in the form of fellow creators. "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. that the to pave the of teaching he believes to be a path to will instead prove way to enslavement and self-enslavement. What and grotesque of a devil. Neverthless. to be absurd. he henceforth they now bids last sufficiently prepared his friends for this rejection. them to become his enemies and suggests that from another. The venom of the Tarantula is his doctrine justice ity at the center of which. however. of with the particular enemy claims a he here confronts." "divinely strive against one At the same or moment. 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 latter. Zarathustra and down from his of what to rejoin his disciples practiced upon purify his teaching it by his foes. they may appropri they may reject it in full awareness of its truth. however. of course." in other words. his venom. which marks the cul mination of a series of engagements with his "enemies. rushes his teaching. In "The Child which a child his disciples. lies the desire for suggests This doctrine is. the distribution of his author." Zarathustra seems to believe that he has at Consequently. Nonetheless. 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 .104 Interpretation so ing The that. By the seventh speech of Part Two ("On the Tarantulas"). of course. but about himself as the the basis of his inadequate understand mountain retreat ing of the dream. What this incident another is that Zarathustra's attempt to make at like himself. That Zarathustra is himself aware the implications of his encounter with the Tarantula is made clear in the first three songs which punctuate the close of the Song. opposed to Zarathustra's own doctrine of justice as inequality. as Zarathustra has argued. It is not or while he takes to be the distortions enough then that sufficient his disciples knowledge of reject his teaching in they a distorted form it rather lacking its truth. the Zarathustra as "Tarantula" "preacher equality. 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." of first half his of Part Two. appears independent inquiries. it is precisely what made clear at the awakes at Zarathustra demands Two. must reject in full awareness of what it is they are rejecting. 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. on the basis of their own or ate this truth for themselves. This interpretation."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." victory over he bites him of and infects him as equal revenge.
Moreover. If they are to become his equals in creation they must reject that teaching in full awareness of its truth. is perfectly self-sufficient self-legislation or one's own will their wills from any other. On the one hand. In attempting to liberate their wills from subordination so all to the will of another they subordinate themselves to the will of Zarathustra. fellow creators and wise instead result in one of two remain his disciples may returning equally unsatisfactory situations. that is. therefore. which reveals Zarathustra to be the legislator of his reject own supposed self-legislation. and It thus reveals Zarathustra's distribute his wisdom. 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. they may transform themselves able neither to cannot from friends into accept enemies of Zarathustra and. has its motive not wisdom and thereby his superhuman simply a desire to confirm his but moreover a longing to share condition. therefore. 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. that is. requires that they his teaching as an external determination upon their wills. this condition with another. as Zarathustra setting up only law ("On the Way of the Creator"). as through such distribution cre like himself. dependency disciples' upon or subordinate status to the will of an Thus the truth of Zarathustra's teaching. dependent position as disciples and attempt to become in their own autonomous creators right. It . 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. is under in pursuing the their own independent activity of creation. munity is now apparent to Zarathustra. and adhere to and fulfill this teaching. to establish a community of and reciprocity. prove incapable either of or even of they may reject their properly receiving the gifts of his love. they must liberate above oneself as one's it. be his love nor to offer love to him in return. That his disciples but fail in their his enemies efforts to free themselves from Zarathustra's tutelage by becoming however. And in creating while rejecting the true teaching of creation they are determined not by the truth of the will alone. But precisely in such rejection they obey the final command of. the com incoherent in its own terms. made clear through stands following reflection. therefore. but infe who will always fall short of his own perfection. disciples and.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra 105 that (Begierde) ate another to give and receive love effort to with perfect mutuality. 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. consequently. In order for Zarathustra's disciples to become fellow creators. On the other hand. but by the falsehood of their willful ignorance. Creation. and this is men. The distribution of his wisdom create not equals capable of rior creatures of his will properly receiving returning his love.
8 ignorance what after by In this song he makes manifest his knowledge of his own describing how he falls into perplexity when trying to fathom "thirsts" he takes to be Life's boundless depths and. compatible with the moral law insofar tue. with his wisdom. As he puts giving. review order to articulate the structure of this aporia it is to the progress of Zarathustra's thought in the his wisdom following Zarathustra terms. 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. confesses that this he In no longer knows where he is or how to go forward. 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. he is in useful a state of aporia." Through its distribution Zarathustra distribution distribution proves to sought to confirm own terms. 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. Yet that thus be impossible in its of This impossibility law. 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. spite. 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. self-sufficient a them aware of their own poverty and dependence in relation to He will put them to shame. Zarathustra's attempt to combine jus perfectly reciprocal tice and love.7 either to command another to be free or to will a Consequently. revenge. but by self-mockery." Consequently pedantry. my virtue grew it in "The Night Song": "my happiness in giving died in tired of itself in its overflow. will produce in his relations to his recalcitrantly inferior disciples the sad passions of envy. will supplant the for love his the perfection of Zarathustra's giving or creation proves to be at the same its undoing." 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 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. consequently. dancing of a group of "lovely wisdom. The dominant passion of the preachers of equality. rather than confirming his happiness or bliss. Through wished to pro- his legislation and the transmission of . ("On the Giving Vir 1).106 Interpretation be impossible for Zarathustra to create another proves to proves to like himself because it be impossible love. As "The Night Song" predicts. the punishment or desire for soul. wisdom. and the desire for revenge within his soul.
therefore. 381). the just as final political order.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. in his his newly won awareness of his the ignorance because he finds perplexity into which he has been thrown he misses the mark. of the rational good. Though in his trayal in a dialogue with his beloved Life of his unsatisfied thirst for and ongoing suit. As he reveals at the close of "The Dance Song. to secure the good happiness for his fellows with and himself. 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. 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. all human community established upon the basis of the law. 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. and his beautiful as the loving community of the believes to be a new extramoral account what he instead wise. 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. elaborating of the beautiful. in "The Grave attempts follow he of to resolve his perplexity by jettisoning both his understanding understanding and the political good. Accordingly. the In doing so he considers himself to have stepped beyond the limitations of the political realm. pursuit of Wisdom Zarathustra comes close of a to the ophy and. since. He cannot painful beyond endurance. that false horizon now of the is." he cannot understand his life to be worth living if he cannot believe himself to be Song" wise. 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.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra vide a comprehensive solution or 107 to the human problem. and to have ascended to the naked truth of things. he has identified perfect happiness with the and the two wisdom. from the perfect possession of speeches that beginning. that understood need on is. and that. or that love is incompatible with the self-legislating freedom of the will. and the good. Thus if in Part . the morally or legally determined under and pursuit of wis philosophy. therefore. 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. the rule of the creator over his creatures to the advantage of both is impossible. That is to say. 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. the word "philoso por phy" nowhere appears within the speeches of Zarathustra. The in wisdom and toward the awareness of self-contradictory nature of Zarathustra's Gay Science.
however. envy. consequently. e. His creation was supposed to guarantee both "eternity" the perfection and of his love. That is love were to say. 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. 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.g. and by infecting them with the vulgar or base passions of. but of itself personified as a malevolent host assembled to oppose and thwart vulgarity him in his endeavors. Zarathustra's la angry accusation as mentation." 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. and reaffirms the will to power as the first princi Song. fundamental doctrine ple of both his He original and his revised teachings remains the of the will to power.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.. 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"])." 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. "enemies" however. 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. 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. happy. that is. control of The failure of be brought completely under the the distribution of Zarathustra's wisdom to to . for having corrupted the souls of those he loved best spite. As is his habit. the longing for revenge. a love expressed in (seligen Geister). In other words. Nevertheless. and his revulsion before and the low extinguished his love. rabble who are those whom the Tarantulas or preachers of equality serve: the of vulgar or well or the great majority fountain human beings. Zarathustra blames his failures position. order to lay a wreath upon the tomb of the lost loves of his In the course of the lamentations he offers loved dead. 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. and however. Zarathustra's primary opponents. 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.
Be that it may.10 At the end of this same speech Zarathustra offers his new extramoral ac count of the good. The greatest good. he realizes. Without himself being aware of it. seems of to be this disgust youthful enemy. in expressing its or unlimited character. In doing so go of rest he lays to as the as his desire for love good. "the good. His cannot skepticism extends to all supposedly final knowledge. destroy ster such self-created only perpetually create." creative It is identical to the creation of values as an ongoing activity or to the ever-renewed . but to those whom he calls "you he now embraces precisely the unlimited character of the will and the wisest. He adopts a dogmatic skepticism. manifests itself in an infinite becoming. spite. It is a protean mon must not that hides its essential indeterminacy in the ceaseless production of false in his and ephemeral appearances. Zarathustra thus replaces his dogmatic moral wis dom with an amoral skeptical wisdom that nevertheless remains grounded of the will fundamental dogma to power. but perpetually limitations upon its own activity.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. As a conse good and evil quence. as well as relegated teaching concerning limited and any particular teaching now regarding the character of being. therefore. must be to the status of a transitory and so false fabrication infinite of the will to power. 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. For 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. and resurrects the creative activity of the can continue will highest The will to power doctrine. and indignation that have led to the premature deaths his loves. he says is. 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. "whatever I oppose how I love it rooted I have to it and my love: thus my win will have it. and the of the by the infection of his longing for revenge." again and soon and. however." indefinite plurality or virtue and all of its creations that he originally sought to limit. ing") Zarathustra his revised version of the will No longer addressing himself to his disciples. 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. 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. In the immediately following articulates "The Grave Song" ("On Self-Overcom to power doctrine." Life. he also concludes that any particular vice. in the infinite power of the will.
he no longer considers honesty to be the best policy and turns to concealment and prudential irony in the presentation of his thought: at the opening of his speech "On the Sublime. as a whole through the transmission of Consequently. in clinging to his its freedom."" de Zarathustra's of new paradigm of the highest life in the ." he describes himself depths. Ecce with all that was Homo. from opposites. . But the ceaseless creation of values requires the ceaseless precondition. If the creation of values requires the legislation morality. 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. naively (The Gay Science. . the false perspective of the moral law. the possession of wisdom. ascended from the plurality of accounts of moral virtue morality. himself to purchasing his its first principle. then Zarathustra must hence his disciples and mankind his wisdom. entails moral (true) extramoral understanding He argues that since the greatest good. 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. 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. that moral has compelled him to distinguish the the good from virtue. Zarathustra is understanding and a now able to distinguish between a of good and (false) evil. necessarily imprisons the Thus Zarathustra of mind and will those upon whom he imposes his creation. the false char acter of which is fully recognized by forth renounce any desire to enlighten the minds of its creator. which he has come to identify of a with beautiful. as the highest good. will's "sublime" character good. 382. 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. he . the creation of values. through the examination of the laws the various peoples." 2)." as a "still sea" whose calls riddling surface hides "impenetrable of the The infinite. law or or as he it there. of course. destruction of values as its Accordingly. for. must veil itself in the false the appearances of wholeness and com pleteness of the moral ation of beautiful. Gay Science when he speaks "the ideal of a mind who plays divine" hitherto If the called holy.110 Interpretation of fabrication transitory teachings of good and evil as virtue and vice. virtue and vice are immiscible Zarathustra originally thought of that he had. 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 form of artful play. It is. the destruction of values. Zarathustra describes it "On the Sublime. good untouchable." self-concealing above cre beautiful moral ideals. or itself stands the gloomy seriousness of those ideals. necessarily the greatest evil. his desire for happiness as he understands it. wisdom and will and And. "Thus Spake Zarathustra. the self-sufficient freedom at the expense of the enslavement of everyone else. But the "values.
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. truth. As we have already observed. He will attempt to direct the sense with another human being. in new doing so. Zarathustra In other gives dren. comes to understand the implications self. to the end of reproduc words. Zarathustra of attempts to demolish the tradition he confronts. think through. its fundamental incoherence. and. this second Zarathustra will penetrate as as riddling surface of the regnant Zarathustrian teaching. The reproduction of the good is guaranteed (cf. therefore." "now I love only my children's land. however. Plato. This fellow thinker is name within the work. with caution and of subtlety. Symposium reproduction of his own good. It creating on a will fail because each of activity in the person of another Zarathustra's successors can predecessor.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra renounces -111 his longing for love such or for genuine community are a with another like himself and denies that love and happiness.207a). in some indefinite future. his old moral teaching. never given a proper sayer comes but is simply called "the to understand is that Zarathustra's attempt to of Truthsayer. Zarathustra himself has done. and create engendered. help lower level than his The reason for this .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. anew out use the rains he has as Zarathustra." up As he the men of the present and turns his attention to producing "chil proclaims in "On the Land Education." 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." 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. the realm of ing the life that is free on and slavery and informed by the of falsehood. He listens carefully to these speeches. As in the case of sexual intercourse. demolish it. the beautiful becomes a kind of rase through which the 206a. of another like himself. is now understood by and from the intercourse radically of one human mind with another. as a means not only to realizing the freedom of his will. one fers his revised account of the will to of the "wisest" to whom Zarathustra of power responds to his invitation to "seri his ously interprets them test" "word. These of a new Zarathustrian tradition that will ultimately provide for the coming into the being of a new creator. 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"). but ultimately to the generation. he values the admittedly political community." as he calls it. now wishes to the beautiful a means to "procreation" ("On Immaculate Knowledge") or the activity in the person of another. the undiscovered in the furthest sea: after it I call my sails to seek and to seek.
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. 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. will exist on a still lower level and not only in terms of creation.. however. therefore. Nevertheless. In his dream Zarathustra has . as it were. everything That is to say.112* Interpretation as decline is sibility perfect of follows. If Zarathustra's successor must destroy cannot the Zarathustrian tradition even in order to clear the way for the creation of his own. become the "night-watchman death." climate in which "the best grow tired of their works" "harvested" after having predominate or the multitude of vulgar "rotten fruit" and. 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. 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. despite the in some to this region of the dead. just the prophet had predicted. the future continues way . and regurgitates an odd assort images of resurrected life. bursts open. everything is one. of Zarathustra's his successor cannot. but in terms of knowledge as well. The implication seems to difficulties that the Truthsayer has foreseen. in his dream Zarathustra sees that. the high point of Zarathustra's best moral teaching. 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. Consequently. but rather a all efforts of creation and was. Zarathustra the Third.."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 words. 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.14 have been handed over to the ignorant Zarathustra is laid low lapse he priate by the "prophecy" of the Truthsayer. the Truthsayer foresees that Zarathustra will engender not a second Zarathustra. therefore. in which "shallow swamps" reins of political rule men. 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. During his draw the col experiences a second nightmare in which he seems to appro lessons from the Truthsayer's He is the prophecy." and grave-watchman on the hill and fortress of guardian of other life that has been "overcome" that lies in as coffins around him. serve as a vehicle for the reproduction of own activity: his own successor. 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. Thus.
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. more to Zarathustra's own teaching that "the will is a height from which we creator" ascend to the makes began. If. of therefore. Whatever the Truthsayer may have had shared. 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. then. .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. the series of tradi follow in their decline and renewal a necessary and need course. when combined with seems to suggest that a initially encouraging to Zarathustra be his understanding of the will as self-overcoming. highest good has been bought in his at the price of or unlimited of his understanding The latter according to will of the will to power as was grounded infinite in its proposition analysis the political things which the potentially infinite variety of peoples implied the corresponding infinitude of that which to power. the peoples must of Yet. The suggestion that Zarathustra immediately following seems this account that the will must learn to "will in its backwards" to refer. Dis courses on Livy. however. at least at this 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). but to willing this willing. 1. Much as we would like to know how the lieves the difficulties the Truthsayer "drowned. This insight is cause. 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. to say to Zarathustra at the meal they by the speech of Part Three realize entitled "On the Vision and the Riddle. namely. if any one necessity fall under one of a among the infinite finite number of kinds regime. not to willing all of the past. From this low point. 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.2). By willing will's his own superior existence as of the inevitable in this way he would reproduce the highest good. is the causal principle of number of of those peoples. Nietzsche does not afford us this pleasure. recovers he appears to fathom the full significance his that dream." Zarathustra has the come to that the apparent salvation of his revised ac count of the will to power as the perdition of creativity." will Truthsayer posed responds to Zarathustra's ostensible solution to the problem he has for him. Zarathustra. the Machiavelli. 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.
however. implies the that the recurrence of the past and the future recurrence of the moment in which the eternal return is known and. then he must submit to secondary cause within the nexus of causes being will merely a dependent deter mining the necessity of recurrence. 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. saying. "O Zarathustra high.' 'Where force (Kraft) is. cosmological whole that appears to By willing the recurrence of all things. but every stone that is thrown . 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. 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. therefore. but the way eternal recurrence of all as to reproduce it in the or things. Thus. must past and Accordingly. "dwarf" the "mind of of wisdom! fall!" who mocks You have thrown yourself you stone him. time itself is sees a Zarathustra. however. since if he cannot will the past in such a future as his own creation. The truth Zarathustra believes himself to undermine his to have discovered. in which it may be willed. 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 . he therefore makes a virtue out of this way the will so the becomes." mological and necessitarian version of the thought of the eternal return: truth is crooked. . In a last-ditch attempt to salvage the freedom of the will that he understands to be the highest good. namely. seems fundamentally teaching first concerning the freedom of the will.114- Interpretation his doctrine that at the core of all then Zarathustra must reconsider unlimited power. he now concludes that the circular recurrence of finite finite same. the As he says in "On the Three Evils": For my wisdom it has more says: "" force. regimes implies a circular recurrence on the cosmological scale or that a power at the core of all being must give rise to the . . its to necessity by willing the eternal as it were. . 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. 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. the first cause own willing: recurrence of all things. according the Zarathustra's current understanding. the dwarf replies with the cos "all circle. Zarathustra's Riddle" own gloom over this insight is or in "On the Vision heaviness" and the by the voice of the . eternal return of . being is an Accordingly. In of the whole of things and first cause of it wills its own will or becomes self-caused.' "My day-wisdom mocks all 'infinite worlds. then the creation or represented will can never be first cause and there can be no genuine liberty in this sense.
the of the . Though his insist that his never "spit" "destiny" is to become this doc the teacher of the eternal return. 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 . that is. The presence of the low not only persists human life. the result of what he takes to be the highest human activity. Zarathustra trine and in fact describes himself as it. despite the rosy "monster" his into animals paint of "snake" it. that was my disgust at all creation" existence. that this the first and final cause of all knowing animals and all being is decisively refuted by Zarathustra himself."17 In the thought of the eternal return the doctrine of the will to power as necessarily entail self-sufficient and shows. the thought of the will eternal return elaborates precisely the what would be required for the to attain to a pure and perfectly would activity impure community of the highest with the lowest and the complete passivity of the will in submitting to a blind and inalterable "fate. freedom will at its peak. nothing be profitable. "foreseeing" longer man. Zarathustra's and spit advice to the shepherd shepherd is to bite rises off the snake's head is it far away. paradoxically. 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. 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. of It is. the life but is in creative great effect of in. as Zarathustra now describes it." 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. . he that the will's "free of all a things in willing the eternal return or the universal be indistinguishable from of necessity: as and thoroughgoing determinism choke. the 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. choked me and crept . all would be one.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra "On the Vision choking upon a -115 and the Riddle" where Zarathustra sees a vision of a shepherd "heavy black snake" that has crawled into his throat and there bit itself fast. 21).16 dominion would the Truthsayer prophesied. Thus Zarathustra explains that "the small disgust at man . When the no does this he up one laughing day?" and "no longer shepherd. . of sickness" therefore. the that has crawled his throat. the thought of the eternal recurrence of all things is the or.18 does this promulgate "monster" having he is from him. but the per recurrence of the bad in the form of the lowest and smallest sort of the rabble." That "the man recurs realizes would eternally ." Moreover. into my throat. knowledge would Thus.
of a of parts of Zarathustra as it was published under Nietzsche's attempts to author ity may be characterized as follows. namely. In figure political presentation of the life of philosophy in the his Zarathustra is ultimately directed to showing that the principle of the political realm. In doing so he offers a teleological the beautiful and the good are wherein becoming in which fundamentally is distinct. Zarathustra's revised version of the will an expression of the most to power doctrine passion. of "justice" "freedom.20 freedom his of mind are incompatible his "wisdom. he discovers that the presence within philosophy in the midst of things is a good that cannot be made to fit . a good that lies beyond the justice of its moral law. and that genu knowing will. Far from having escaped the its justice.e. In other desire (Lust) for eternity words. 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.. Therefore it shows both that which a complete causal account could cosmological order. of not be given. the char acter of which he takes to be essentially indeterminate or fluid." the core of what it is to be a human Nietzsche's demonstration of the incoherent foundations of "German and Idealism" is in and the service of a philosophy in its original other words. Finally. the will and its desire for and i. In Part One Zarathustra found a political order that principle of all is truly just by structuring it in accordance with the true being. love and. which this The self-contradictory is the image of a cosmos in double causality of the will. its law and sway of the rabble. in Part Three. is in accord with reason.21 need. Nietzsche's primary Platonic recovery of Socratic sense. "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 unfolds an account of being or an ontol ogy in which the highest good and the beautiful are one and the same. In Part Two he attempts to employ the becoming of the political community. but. character of grounded the thought of the eternal return. that the will is the primary phenomenon and its freedom being. but is ine rather a projection of and the political onto the natural realm. on the one hand. however. the thought of the eternal return developed. 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." revenge.116 to Interpretation all things under the bring political realm." 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. of as on the awareness of the goodness of need and the the other hand. is in the deepest tension with the principle of the life of philosophy. however. shows such a cosmos to be impos a "rational" sible. as a means through which to realize the the political community and account of highest good.
p." 5. Writing"). 202. Preface. It points to the Seth Benardete. belatedly offers the most fundamental kinds of regime: rule of the one and rule of ("despotism").The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra a -117 beautiful to the whole of justly ordered parts. ful man that Zarathustra has chanced that he has to a friend. stands of claim to have fathomed Life's depths as the in stark contrast and to the portrait he himself in "The Dance ignorant lover Life Wisdom. in that irrational. 8.'' something like an analysis of rule of the few ("nobility") and the many ("mob-rule"): "On Old and New "devil" 11. also see Ecce Homo. but the mutual pursuit of wisdom. of this In the original dogmatic and and legislative version parody may be Zarathustra's characterized as follows. 9. 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. 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. The Truthsayer is obviously neither a disciple of Zarathustra's teaching nor a creature of his will. Zarathustra. 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. That the made clear of speeches of the Truthsayer June 21. after having covered quite a bit of ground in his thinking." Nietzsche philosophical version writing its artful completeness or finitude. Through the twofold parody twofold presentation of Zarathustra's "wisdom" Nietzsche of philosophy. Tablets. Behind the 6. In Part Three. and therefore of being." turns out to be Cupido or Eros. 153. 7. are behind Zarathustra's thought of the eternal return is in "On the Convalescent. As such he is the closest thing NOTES 1. 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. See "On Cf." 3. He is simply the most thought Truthsayer. it also points to the partial obstruction that the political community and its justice pose to the acquisition of that good. Zarathustra has aspect of the political community that is recalcitrantly his understanding of man. appears to offer a 11. if the refutation of Zarathustra's claim to wisdom points to philosophy as the human good. Of course.22 upon in his wanderings. 4. He explicitly Zarathustra as a . See Letter to Karl Knortz 2. 10. however. but that nevertheless conveys a good ness totality is of things which would made possible not be absent from such a perfect whole. Zarathustra's to command his disciples to Jesus' free themselves from their belief in his his disciples to love one another teaching is and the negative reflection of on the attempt to command belief in his teaching and his divinity. Zarathustra later specifies the ignorance of human beings Virtue" as believing they and know New what is they do not. is "the attempt revenge" mind of ("On Redemption"). but by only by his community in Zarathustra's the speech and thought with community based not upon the mutual possession. good and evil when the Chairs of and "On the Old Tables. Zarathustra's painted of Socrates' Second Sailing Song" (Chicago: distinction between the necessary and the good. Cf. parodies "wisdom. 23). examination of This discovery human the or political a things. Zarathustra's mind of is the "mind heaviness" of ("On Reading heaviness. 1888. Beyond Good and Evil. 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. rooted In neglecting to perform an analysis of regimes. On the simplest level. 4. University of Chicago Press).
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. Nietzsche's "On publication of Truthsayer. 23. pp. reproduces at its peak the contradiction that stands at the center of the traditional morality he had hoped man-god decisively to transcend: is. 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. 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. Odyssey." renunciation is the negative reflection of Peter's thrice-repeated renunciation of immediately before his death." Thus Spoke Zarathustra represents his attempt at such a solution. "The speech Self-Overcoming. but only on that of philosophical writing. The fundamental problem that the incom of patible combination of freedom necessity in the thought of the eternal return points to is that the relation community and philosophy: the political community. The Eternal Recurrence of the Same. his revised wisdom in which mind and the unconditional freedom and self-suffi ciency of the will were to be perfectly combined. 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. lacking ." "The Truthsayer. Zarathustra limited in seems discover that the protean transformations of the will to power are number or that they fall within a determinate number of kinds. As Nietzsche's Zarathustra makes clear. trans. 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.'' Great Events. IV." 360-425 and Bacon. 13. 12. where he makes reference to the last aphorism of the original edition of the tragoedia' latter work. Matter. Unfortunately. Vol. It should come as no surprise. 1935]. in community with the lowest of the low and submits to suffering the greatest of passions and. Michael Gillespie Tracy Strong (Chicago: in University with of Press. "historicist" offer a not interpretation accordance Nietzsche's "the philosophical intention. the realm of ignorance and falsehood." 16. Zarathustra's p. David Farrell Krell (San Francisco: Harper and sense See his Nietzsche. wonders whether in the way of his understanding the thought This renunciation certain other philosophers as well. he then goes on to Zarathustra concludes from this self-refutation that is pp. 1984). as man. as god. to articulate (Nietzsches Philoso 197). Homer. 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. namely. therefore. . XIII. 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. turns out to be a necessary precondition for the life that is preeminently free because it is devoted to the pursuit of truth. Row. it would require "something double. 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. "Proteus." Life's be is self-overcoming weaker steals. to uncover that which is unchanging in the nature of things or fundamental problems": see Beyond Good and and Evil. 15.118 Interpretation preface parody in the "'Incipit to The Gay Science." is the im "On Zarathustra's three headshakes before his disciples in Part Two: and see "On the Poets. the political between the philosopher's pursuit of the truth must include an examination of the false appearances of the political realm. 14." 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 the words of dictory: I myself am phie myself cause Karl Lowith. what 53-54. 1988). . See "The port of Wanderer' and "On Blessedness Against the This thrice-reiterated Jesus Will. ed. II." 1 1. 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. Cf. overcoming of need. or Zarathustra. 28-31. 17. 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." 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 Wisdom of the Ancients.
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. Seth Benardete. How lovely it is words and sounds exist: are words and sounds not rainbows and bridges of appearance soul (Schein) between the eternally divided. namely." also Dancing 4. she for that doctrine in abstraction from the contexts of the works in each work squared found and. 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. Nietzsche himself ultimately will repudiate the doctrines of the to power and the eternal return." 54): Clark insists that Nietzsche recognition that there are no good arguments to support teaching of the will to it. She power. therefore. Song. comes closer to the truth in her treatment of Nietzsche's differing presentations of the thought of the eternal return (see Clark. and The Gay Science. Sunrise. sceptical in character and so insistence that he is. 1990). a philosopher free of all attachment to moral asserts the cosmological and that philosophy is. "Fame and Second Sailing. 40. This closeness is confirmed Zarathustra declares to the Truthsayer that "whatever in my cave belongs to me also belongs where he reminds Zarathustra of We last hear from the Truthsayer in "The Last Supper. To every soul belongs another world. one can legitimately wishes to appear in the guise of a teacher and promoter of why it is that Nietzsche these doctrines. for the smallest just. from the complex motion of the larger argument that in its entirety unfolds. 289. 27." and 22. "Where chattering is there the community in speech and thought in the lies before me like a garden. 'de fonder sur la terre l'empire de la sagesse. Nietzsche on clearly Truth Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. chooses to treat which Nietzsche's are arguments 213-27. 264)." Having pears by chance." eternal desire longs for "The Other For all desire wants itself: "The Drunken Eternity.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra 18. 3. 1794)": Daybreak. Dithyrambs of Dionysus. "Kant depths felt of to be a concealing surface adopted by the presentation of his thought. characterizes world following that terms. on account of his 227). . Within Thus Spoke Zarathustra the animals of Zarathustra are the spokesmen for the doctrine of the eternal return in that the eagle and the serpent represent pride and Zarathustra's godlike his prudence. and the 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. 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. 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. pp. Zarathustra Socrates' 3. Unfortunately. If both Zarathustra and. 381) that is directed to (a) overtly appealing to while at the same time covertly undermining the dominant prejudices of his time." necessity in the form of bodily need: he insists on a meal before indulging in speeches. despite his commitment to a particular set of moral values or convictions (see Clark. 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. above all. Robespierre. the ill-constituted. bridge. therefore. vertu' 20. "All Song. bumped into Zarathustra him: he simply Need. p. by "convictions" ("Antichrist. 283-85. 29. 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. 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. Preface. 36 and 87. too too soul had been bitten idea by the moral tarantula Rousseau. 152 and 192. 30. (b) proffering a morality while simultaneously demonstrating that the genuine life of philosophy is in the deepest tension with the moral law. the Truthsayer proves to be very persistent in alone.'' for every is an afterworld. In "On the Convalescent" Cf." 21. This leads her to attribute to Nietzsche an attitude that cannot be they with his own definition." merely by looking into each other's faces. 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. p. (Speech of 7 June. however.
NY: Cornell University Press. University the Polity. Tom Rockmore. the greatest thinker of his time has never received Precisely for has never this reason the need for balanced books criticism of will Heidegger's thought been more urgent. + 306 pp. I develop to un- such an approach by examining a wide spectrum of which seek interpretation. Michael E.. 1992). MA: Harvard University Press. Art (Bloomington: Indiana with Modernity: Technol xxvii University Press. Berel Lang. $15. itics (Princeton: Princeton Timely Meditations: Martin Heidegger and Postmodern Pol University Press. Heidegger's Crisis: Philosophy and Politics in Nazi Germany (Cambridge. 1997).95 paper.50 cloth.. $19. xi + 234 pp. $19. $14. Heidegger. Heidegger's Silence (Ithaca. Leslie Paul Thiele. a wave of books have appeared which develop this theme. Vol. $15. 1990).95 paper. 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. In this essay. Fall 1998. and Nazism (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni versity Press. No.. 1993).Review Essays Heidegger..50 Hans Sluga. Politics. Heidegger's Confrontation ogy. Since Victor Farias published his book detailing Heidegger's involvement in National Socialism (1987). this century comes to a close. 1996). even to the point of at "apologetics. 1 . Zimmerman. Philosophy. xii + 129 pp. Heidegger's Philosophy and Nazism (Berkeley: University of California Press. x + 285 pp.50 paper. Yet these works reverse effect of interest in his for his philosophy.50 cloth.95. $33. greater notoriety. $47. xii + 263 pp. and National Socialism Frank Schalow of New Orleans John D.95 paper. xi + 382 pp.. $49. 1993). Caputo. xv + 232 pp." spawning stimulating new if not as actions least for his perhaps philosophical vision. Demythologizing Heidegger (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. $49. Julian Young.95. 26.. 1995). Indeed..
they a conclusion often subordinate their explication of his concept of freedom to already the drawn about his politics. politics. Rockmore implements criticism." in Heidegger's Crisis. which is exemplified in John Caputo's Demythologizing Heidegger. of One such is Michael Zimmerman's Heidegger's Confrontation "immanent" with Modernity. Although Farias champions this position. several books paint the Heideggerian Among these books is Richard Wolin's The Politics of Being. for example. I will point cover the truth about to a theme which remains dormant throughout the majority of those analyses. including Berel Lang's Heidegger's Silence.122 Interpretation his fascist ties. As bridge between reject discover. which also exemplifies historical. Wherever the terpret criticism of Heidegger becomes which most severe. that he exhibited antisemitic provides silence about the ual allegiance evaluate horrors of Auschwitz tendencies. Caputo's forms an important those scholars who sit on the Heideggerian fence and those who his philosophy because of his politics. Unlike Zimmerman. we will to expose Heidegger's thought to the criticisms of work those traditions which his brand excludes.g. In order to discern this tendency. namely. e. world comes a more recent example within the English-speaking and from Tom Rockmore's Heidegger's a method of Philosophy Hans Sluga Nazism. We can appreciate a thinker's politics only even when by lary treatment of freedom. "Teutonic-Hellenism" including Ju- Levinas. attempts to rein vision his thought in such ways more compatible with our democratic become Julian inevitable. that Heidegger recanted National Socialism its ideology. One point example. In the process. that may be described This fact-gathering enterprise is crucial in order to embraced as "sociologicalsupport the con and never clusions. the scope considering his or her corol of that freedom remains un clear.. we can making inferences from Heidegger the man-politician and vice versa. When scholars analyze Heidegger's philosophy. Given this historical archaeology. Caputo develops "deconamination structive" strategies as practiced by the luminaries of postmodernity. Lyotard. is . daeo-Christianity. we must examine different interpretive the polity ger's sion strategies which scholars employ to outline the place of in Heidegger's and thought. which follows on the heels of to re-examine Heidegger's involvement in National Socialism. the interconnection between Heidegger's concept of freedom and the example of his politics. Farias' attempt ontology and his reactionary outstanding example. of to Heidegger the intellectual-thinker darkest implications Not surprisingly. we must consider those which explore the ten between his innovative development political views. along with the literature detail ing the atrocities of the Holocaust. implements his an "analytic" method to refute by point the damning evidence critics gather against him. Among first the various books addressing Heideg Nazism politics. however. of and Derrida. implicit evidence and that of his his contin to National ways of different Socialism. From this a more radical spirit of an of criticism of Heidegger arises ex his presuppositions.
This work. he this correlation may have been slow in ontological inquiry only by participat in being's disclosure. If the inquiry into being is to have its root in the historical situation of human beings. inquiry. 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. 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. 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.Heidegger. Being and Time (1927). already the publication of his magnum opus. sanctuary for truth apart from its exemplification in the realm As Herbert Marcuse argues in a famous letter to his teacher: . Philosophy. As poignant as revelations were. then any such investigation must speak to those ethical dilemmas which distinguish perhaps the most turbu lent period in world history. ethics. 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. must help to shape the landscape of ontological inquiry. and Charles Scott began Heidegger's to recognize in the 1980's. As Zimmerman. Nazism. The Farias' effect of revelations. philosophy originates from the concrete situa ing tion in which the inquirer places him.or herself in question and owns up to his emphasizes that a thinker can engage or her unique existence as a finite it self. of ethics and politics. then practical concerns. e. however. While in capturing the interest of many importance been etched in Heidegger's thought with its had scholars. Even been prior to Farias' book. he If concrete praxis orients the question of being. which shift in the emphasis on provides the climate Heidegger scholarship not only parallels for hearing the troubling allegations Farias' but. 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. raises.. Given this reciprocity hypocritical to suggest that philoso phy of human can secure a action. hence. The thinker's commitment to authentic existence fosters the openness of philosophical appears between thought and existence.g. and National Socialism also 123 Young's Heidegger. We Thiele's Timely Meditations. 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. In this work. thereby creating a buffer between the brilliance of his ontological insights and whatever myopia he may have shown in his political judgment. Caputo. indeed. the Polity. II.
" nature. but instead how with such a why what destructive ideology. is "the question concerning all domination over exerts control and technology technology. the our need to day. 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.124 '. as the political movement which sum hence turned to National Socialism epochal challenge. 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. us most basic global consideration of all remains the problem Because of its solicits from equally radical responses destructive power. technology in social organization in order that we can combat ger saw and this potential both Western capitalism and communism as for destruction. xxiii-ix) Jews.' bloody In Heidegger's Confrontation with Modernity.' he did not mean rational calculation. and turned everything that ever was and truth into its opposite. That is. pp. and the end of metaphysics. spearhead ing violence and mass destruction themselves. Thus the question he asks is not simply whether his thinking became juxtaposed Heidegger had Nazi ties. Michael Zimmerman and em braces this statement as the leitmotif for his discussion. granting humanity the power to impose its will on the diver sity of being's manifestation. we cannot make the distinction between the he philosopher and the human be being be were Martin Heidegger it contradicts your own philosophy. is of political which things. A philosopher can mistaken about politics then will openly admit his error. One can debate the sociological factors ment which surround Heidegger's involve in National Socialism. but the of technology. As Zimmerman emphasizes. were the set of variables which shaped Heidegger's interest in National Social ism and seduced press him into the misunderstanding that Nazi ideology could ex the political implications of his thought? To answer this question. The audacity of the politi decision became the corollary to the philosopher's attempt at original thinking. let alone the turmoil of including develop a new politics Germany in the 1930's." up to the its darkness and horror to face the crisis of not far fetched. the which unique forgetting of being. . As Zimmerman states: . "Heidegger claimed that only authentic thinking and poetry could mons cians' human beings to face this save Germany in its hour of crisis. Heideg instruments of technology. of "enframing. Interpretation .. By 'thinking.e. 84). Yet could Heidegger verted went astray by underestimating how leaders be sub by the powers of technology they seek to harness. The inquiry by he can address all of these configuration. On the surface. i. but instead the mode of comportment which opened one awesome and dreadful presencing (p." the process of aspects of issues simultaneously and distinguish their As course.
harmony from strife. . a new opportunity Heidegger's short fall as an occasion to re-examine the perennial problem of the relation and between theory praxis.Heidegger. . As reactionary modernists. it becomes forefront of increasingly evident that the question of politics lies any future appropriation of his philosophy. 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. man born in a manger in Holderlin's beloved Swabian countryside knew that he was destined to change the course of history! (P. that is. Zimmerman pinpoints the dissonance between Heidegger's grasp of the Westem crisis and the prospect of action. what the Polity. conflict and resolution. Holderlin. the and National Socialism 'dark' 125 the Nazis meant by 'unrestrained' and was not the of being of entities. a the greatest chal the lenge is to possibility Heidegger's thought through dialogue which examines of politics in the contemporary world. frenzy and violence. But the question becomes whether the artist's way of begetting creativity from chaos. domination humanity and nature. his we must still ask where a rift emerges why Heidegger found National Socialism to be at these revelations leave us as scholars. 84) In the end. to seek in the strife of the present the possibility of transmitting one's heri tage to future generations. philosophy and politics. The self-mythifying Heidegger believed that he had been destined to proclaim the saving vision of his hero. the Nazis united instinct with technology in a way which led to unparalleled devastation. 132) The heroic leader must exhibit the creative power to transform tradition. (P. 127). tion can provide even the barest recipe for politics. elements of must Art becomes the vehicle incompatible harmony revered and strife. According thing to accuse a to Zimmerman. For those who still espouse Heideg gerian at the themes. Heidegger's hero sense of combines a nostalgia for the Greek origins with a grandiose "destiny" (Geschick) as reflected in Schelling's thought. [emphasis on] the The grandson of the linking him with Holderlin. Yet hubris and quite another to trace origin. and that he himself was thus the worldhistorical figure who would transform the 'destiny' fate of the West. Consider Heidegger's . Not surprisingly. translating that insight into guidelines of political arises to take On the other hand. but instead blood and instinct. Unfortunately. p. for joining these apparently The ar tist's ex-centricity convention and be in contrast to the complacency of bourgeois the self-serving politics of the modem enlightenment. On the one hand. Once and destiny from destruc having understood tractive. Sacrifice the rather than comfort provides key to motivate individuals to place their trust in a new political regime. 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. recast Going forward.
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. truth. "he the flesh in the biblical narratives (p. all of which stem from Hellenic the Holocaust. . Caputo concurs teacher Karl Lowith. . 72). The first involves the emergence of the political question and the revelations of ment Heidegger's involve in National Socialism. . thinker. . who rebuked for his "self-stylization into p. the scandalous comparison culture . there have been two major breakthroughs which dramatically changed the face of Heidegger studies.126 Interpretation past Within the have decade. Heidegger abandoned his early theological ori entation to have been much of a in favor of Holderlin's to express mythic-poetic of other vision of the gods. To open Heidegger's thought to the ralistic "piety" traditions. "His parallels his to specific volitional categories of strength. 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." which speaks contrast to the suffering "truth" of the of individual. The second pertains to the discovery of Heideg ger's thought uncovers an and in the early 1920's. love otherwise absent facticity. the categories of tenderness. 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). 73). and heroism. Caputo. and sayer of Heideggerian thought of this tendency does it purging to cultivate another ethos whose roots spring from the Judaeo- Christian heritage. in his stark concept of Dasein. Despite the deaf to the religious orientation of solicitousness about Heidegger's early thought. As Caputo indicates. baffling silence about of the gas chambers real to modem agri pain these are all scandalously suffering" insensitive to 'factical' and concrete human (p. we must cultivate a plu forum in which various criticisms of his philosophy: the need to heed the the and disenfranchised (Levinas). and temporality. the German seem people's Christian heritage does not deterrent in preventing the atrocities of National Socialism. Only by possible a shepherd. (Lowith. become 68). 207). . In his 'being' " advancing this criticism. Heidegger's turn to National Socialism thought.g. charity. Ironically. love. including care. the dissident (Derrida). in must emerge "singular. According to Caputo. Thus Caputo distinguishes the two dislocations in Heidegger's thought from which a new According commitment to topography of questioning can emerge. e. to the radically to the generic being's claim upon Dasein (p. in his youthful "hermeneutics of he ethos which includes motifs from primordial Christianity. In a De- mythologizing which plays against Heidegger. a new voice of the persecuted "justice" (Lyotard)." community. self-affirmation. 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.
National or no important. "What I call the 'official' view students. and National Socialism 127 Heidegger's most vehement critics converge in a single attempt to counter the wholesale attempt ment by "Heideggerians" to whitewash their mentor's involve and in National Socialism. 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. however. these have is no bearing on our assessment of Heidegger may have exhibited as his thought. propagated not view only by Heidegger but by some of his closest It is the between Heidegger's political" philosophical position and that. construes the term sense to mean the implementation of a kind of ideol rather ogy aligned with Heidegger's thought. Because Rockmore way. 74). as Nazism. than a reflection upon the princi ples of the polity. he couches the Heideggerian problem of this polis in this which supposedly hold be National Socialism. namely. 54).. the self's exercise of resolve and sion of political decision and the of 1933. 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." story" detective story assessing his As Rockmore states. for Rockmore "hero. III. link (p. Socialism" Rockmore's overarching thesis is that Heidegger's thought is "intrinsically (p. Philosophy. 54)." Heidegger's philosophy (e. stance. . the Polity." maintains that the key motifs of "conscience. maintaining the its contamination by his behavior from 1933 Interview" a narrower in 1966. 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. This distinction becomes important. Rockmore schol exemplifies this critical does Sluga in Heidegger's Crisis. being's transmis its destiny most to a chosen intellectual German people's emergence as a vanguard of world history. 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. roughly speaking. In Heidegger. Rockmore. despite a whatever personal shortcomings man. and that. Thus Rock philosophy" "resoluteness.g. 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. Both in Heidegger's texts and more as ars proceed less as disciples in steeped histo "guilt" rians. and cial their strategy is to uncover unusual facts about Heidegger the person and then weave them together "innocence. 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. Yet even given the plausibility of these connec tions.Heidegger. there is no.
What shared with only German intellectual to align with the dark it about not only Heidegger. 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. In Heidegger's Silence. 100-101). Yet Heidegger of was not the was Nazism. 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. . freedom and necessity. of illumination and blindness. in con again neglected the "Jewish question" Holocaust the most abominable maintains Rockmore. He emphasizes less the intricacies took in of Heidegger's thought philosophy does can the unique role which cal action. Ironically. there which are different interpretations But it is safe to of the degree to he Heidegger was or was not antisemitic. never saw the persecution of the Jews as a philosophical problem say that in its own right. Lang ger history (pp. philosophy assumes such a leadership role as com pensation for a floundering economic and political life characterizing Germany . 5-8). insofar as the and then. 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. In Heidegger's Crisis. unlike the nihilism Nietzsche envisioned. 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 . 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. Of course. The "tragic question then becomes. gories of interpreted along these character that the depths of its cannot be fit into the cate Greek tragedy. the Holocaust may be of such a singular darkness. While the macrocosmic events of the Western crisis can be lines. Berel Heidegger ignored the retrospect. but in thought" ignoring the "Jewish question" continues to "settle for limits to his forces life he (pp. the professional and the thesis (p. 5). In this clear sense Lang's the is not altogether novel. stitutes plight of Lang points to a double fault by which the Jews during Hitler's uprising.128 Interpretation to According dient Rockmore. Sluga tional more reconstructs the historical environment which precipitated the rise of Na and Socialism. 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. but the intellectual others. 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. Sluga illustrates how thought transform the fragmented tradition of the German Volk and its uncertain future into a vision of destiny.
Indeed. Mill and Kant. IV. in the 1930's. but what extent a political crises of of the political. he nevertheless upheld Greek view of politics as involving the determination of the polis as a "site" (topos). To preserve the question of to extract totalitarian elements to from to be one of the greatest strengths of Sluga's careful analysis.. 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. community. In outlining this Gestalt addressing to political. 19). Given this philosophy politics the Polity. this sense of the polis formed one important ingre Gestalt of politics which are on took shape in National Socialism. for most critics construe these . and National Socialism the 129 a condition of social instability.g. dient in In a According an overall where to Sluga. which philosophy prefigures cumbed. But despite Heidegger's Nazi ties. setting institutions the decline. 22). And because the determination this ancestry involves both establishing a as hierarchy among its members as well excluding those who do not belong. the brand of Nazi politics to the Germans ultimately suc a While Heidegger may have embraced Nazi ideology. a process occurs. it is "political" not obvious fies as one of these of thinkers. link between which proclaims a new destiny and the rhetoric of a totalitarian the resurgence of becomes more than accidental. not Because fascism is so tenets Western democracy. Heidegger understood the not Greek polis as a site that combines the human concern for the good with an occasion to act. and the possibility of law.Heidegger. ontology some of the basic components integral to any freedom. a voluntaristic sense of prevails. "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. which unfolds within the historical compass of being's mani festation. it may be possible which conflict with the specific politics proves Heideg develop other inferences about the polity ideology of fascism. And ger's while one may try vision. it is uncovers especially provocative to claim that polis: contrary to the his e. action. an opportunism "timely. 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. Sluga takes an thinker's thought arises through a important step in dialogue with the "reduced" his or her time. 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. 245-48). Arendt that he quali Marcuse." forged through the will. be translated into any specific may For example. There are many different philosophers to whom we might turn to provide insight into and the nature of the polis Plato and Hegel.
it is perhaps the is among the For Heidegger. While this most problematic. alien to all reduction to the uniform. in way thinking and be informed by action and not simply the other way around. 35 ff. it would a type of action irrecon (p. e. vious. a Heideggerian politics must confront. Ac singular character as to render cording to Wolin. 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). 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. factic plane. The indeterminacy port of Heidegger's concept of authentic selfhood implies that one could exhibit the steadfastness of resolve and yet do terrible things. his commitment to National Socialism. As our discussion of the previous . resolve is of such a indeterminate any prescription of the good within that decision (pp. in order that one to the dilemma in question. Richard Wolin is hyperbolic Wolin prospect one such critic we must address before entertaining the of a "Heideggerian politics. 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. Yet his opposed to the Fiihrerprinzip. action hostile to the standard" solution operates on a plane of generality. Thus Wolin concept of resolve. however.130 Interpretation formal which concepts whose motifs as stances meaning can in Heidegger first articulated circum only be derived from the them. offers steps toward Anarchic be praxis "will be di ametrically cilably 14). Heidegger believed that tological concepts must be developed out of the ontic stream of concrete. he Nazism nor an apologetic makes neither an encounter with Heideg for it primary.g. it holds only if we accept the deconstructive paradox that governance arises from overturning pre-existing models of political rule. Schurmann problem stands alone as a scholar who tackles a tenacious a solution. The analogue abruptness Heidegger's political decision 1933 has its in his concept of most ob resoluteness (Entschlossenheit). and while the addresses the dan involved in totalitarianism. We must recall that Schurmann Farias' published his book in French five former years before the gers ger's publication of book. sup emphasizes the inhumane ideology of National Socialism. An "anarchic praxis" the forefront that of a new epochal relation between being thought. Reiner Schurmann this problem by of explicating the insights suggesting that praxis constitutes the domain for Heidegger's thought. In many respects.. how But once having a developed concepts on an ontological can their scope be readjusted to include the diverse variables of ontic concern of truth and the on so that action becomes locus language and of thought provides a sanctuary addresses of freedom? In Heidegger Being Acting. anyone sympathetic the lack of ethical content pinpoints in Heidegger's which Wolin a problem to the prospect of on developing experience.).
provides According to Dallmayr. Young argues that Heideg for the other. Against Rockmore was by point Wolin. Against that Heidegger was Hugo Ott. Philosophy. Heidegger logical categories such as "inferior" was skeptical of any attempt to apply bio "superior" "blood-line" to designate a people as or (p. it tion and a allegiances than attempts at academics defending every a political his thought. in regime. philosopher Young refutation claims proceeds of like "analytic" an to provide a point and Heidegger's opponents. Because in is not movement pushes philosophy to its surprising that the pendulum would swing in the other direc defense of Heidegger would emerge. at least exposes some of their one-sidedness. 41). Moreover. 104). 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. In Heidegger. and Nazism Julian as well Young counters the criticisms of the scholars mentioned above.Heidegger. Rockmore. 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. When joined Young's solicitude. as those of a wide spectrum of European thinkers from Levinas to to Lyotard. Heidegger had been percolating in Germany and for reactionary form of politics two decades (p. a way which condemns the exploitation of people and under a fascist for Young in a concludes missed that Being Time harbors an ethic of respect critics" persons way by Heidegger's " 'decisionist' (p. Young. but Wolin. Dallmayr's appeal to "letting be" holds promise as a either case a key for developing our political obligations toward others. Young maintains of not antisemitic rather exhibited concern toward many his Jewish students (pp. Lacoue-Labarthe Derrida. 38-41). instead. for his or ger's concept of solicitude promotes a concern her own integrity. 79). But in further exploration of the parameters of human freedom may be . Heidegger's of injustice sights into the nature ironic way of re-examining his texts to discover in of justice. Young a sudden and that Heidegger's turn to National Socialism adopted a almost far from momentous which decision. if it does their objections. 125). books the Polity. Fred ger" Dallmayr crystallizes a perspective that there Along with is "another Heideg example beyond the Nazi ideologue. 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. 50). which claims In ogy. On the first promoting selfhood as by failing front. Young appeals a sense of epitomized to provide grounds for its rejection" to Heidegger's concept of authentic which responsibility in totalitarianism. and National Socialism - 131 indicates. on the ensuing decade would produce more caustic criticisms of Heidegger's Nazi based extreme. not answer Young all of makes a case against Heidegger's critics which. By drawing upon Heidegger's eclectic interests an in Anaximander stood anew as a and Schelling. Farias. is contrary to the demand toward conformity On the second front.
in Such an approach refrained to articulate the democratic precepts we uphold. of light the opera Thus. language." rather abstract unless it can develop a critical edge to match liberal thinkers' criticism of Heidegger's language political views. "tolerance" namely. that moral emphasis on can (pp. the nexus of politics. 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. Free speech is asserts his her self-interest over against . e. As Thiele emphasizes. then tional concepts ontology implemented in our democratic an original freedom" must be able to cast practices. If an our democratic system on is its assumptions. language and dwell By tracing synergy Thiele develops a "postmodern Yet this perspective remains ing. although in a way which can assumptions about of to the naive contemporary democracy. 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. simul taneously allows for the cultivation of individuality with a communal setting. In this way a community develops. facets as as Thiele indi cates. In words. is that the power which permits political participation." Correlatively. the self's unique way of dwelling with others. Heidegger develops understanding may freedom "letting be.. Heideg is synonymous with freedom. if government as fully we articulated. A still more unorthodox approach must motifs within a political context order transpose Heideggerian presumably to them.132 Interpretation in order to required rectify the Heideggerian Gelassenheit lacks As much as omission which Lang identifies. including "right" as a constitutional resetting the parameters of free speech which we accept (pp. harbors a concession which most of Heidegger's critics have from making. the key to devel oping a democracy lies in safeguarding maximum participation among its mem bers. 198). Leslie Paul Thiele follows this lead. Of in all the scholars who appropriate Heidegger's insights into politics a positive way. As Arendt suggests. 81-83). Language is not simply an instrument of verbal expression. 48-49). Western democracy. they yield nuances to enhance our reflections on the polis. the a first inserts us into the speakers) space within of in way which gathers together each of us (as community (The Human Condition. reorient phi speak In Timely Meditations. p. namely. 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. Thiele locates this power of critical which fulcrum in for the way that ger exhibits the disclosive other truth. however. What Heidegger recognizes. that democracy includes its own presupposi tions which. can also Heidegger's texts be directed against him. the between logos and community. we this "disclosive evoke other of the liberties assume. Thiele raises the question which would losophy within a practical context. that is. namely.g. but calls each of us to submit to it as a place of dwelling. may exhibit shortcomings in our system of know it.
means or "place in on such opposition. Through his predicated upon clever extrapolations. politics. . As Heidegger in the Basic Problems of Phenomenology. While Yet. 16). and National Socialism 133 participate through which contrary voices can in serving the good of the community as a whole. Although in his as weak rectoral address can "academic freedom" spirited. Thiele's attempt democracy as Charles Sherover does with the pp. democracy can be "Democracy is a to link journey toward freedom that remains ever under way. in recalling Sluga's unclarified about ger construes reverse criticisms. 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. is a the voice of the other can resound only because there forum in reserved for it itself at within the polis. The arbitrary. thrives within a polis the greatest importance.) is iconoclastic. (For discussion and its connection with the persecution of the Jews. even solicitous of. the process of unconcealment freedom" itself. the interface between philosophy as the vanguard of Heideg in a philosophy democratic setting: the free exchange. there is a subtle enigma which remains and politics. but rather is the "openness" beliefs. 5-12. another the Polity. 292). 60-63). Heideg help of a Kantian framework merits serious consideration (Sherover. but like philosophical dialogue a greater master. But freedom takes shapes within a forum of exchange which safeguards the voice of the other." 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. 167). philosophy flourish only it is . Heidegger take the argues that his exchange philosophers form of Auseinandersetzung to "set apart" (Vom Wesen. it Sluga. . will which it cannot allow speech to become a self-indulgent expression of is rooted in concealment rather than unconcealment. Thiele shows how the spirit of dwelling in Heidegger's sense. controversial. . While freedom "letting be" can admit beliefs may discord among its participants. Auseinandersetzung Heidegger.Heidegger. but as also on the listener's duty to remain open and to. inviting not contrariness is contrary response from the other. 128). challenge" Disclosive freedom beckons to the democratic ger's thought with (p. 86-100. the ontological difference these opinions harbor" (p. 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. philosophical inquiry is a "work of human (p. While philosophical inquiry depends upon Auseinandersetzung. where freedom of speech assumes Heidegger discounts when Since by its nature the philosophical enterprise and even subversive. 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. censorship. "The justly hal lowed right to free speech might be grounded not only in the speaker's preroga tive to utter opinions and person. p. Literally.
Heidegger adelphia: and Nazism. GA 24. Pierre. " Lyotard. philosophy of its task. Kettering. Heidegger and University Press. Ed." Gary Steiner. Jean-Francois. In this spirit. Victor. Martin Heidegger and National Socialism. 33." Graduate Faculty Philosophy Fritsche. Phil Temple University Press. Martin Heidegger and European Nihilism. when such a pp. "Heidegger and the and and the Political. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Brainard. 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. Heidegger's Ithaca: Cornell Being Possibility of Political Philosophy. London: Routledge. Wilde William Kluback. 1981. Heidegger the Trans. Trans. Jean T. Ithaca. "Truth and Power: Martin Heidegger. 1958. The Other Heidegger. . Marcus (ed. menschlichen Vom Wesen der Yale Freiheit. 'The Essence of and the SelfBailiff. Karl. on the words responds to this contrary. "A Philosophical Confrontation with the (1995): 191-204. GA 31. Fred. and Gunther Neske. Heidegger. 1990. "jews. "On Brinks and Bridges in Journal 18." Time Journal 14. The Political Ontology of Martin Heidegger.' Assertion of the German University. New York: Paragon Press. Truth. Palo Alto. Trans. 1 (1995): 111-86. reawakened challenge not by accepting the elitism Ironically. de Beistegui. New York: World Publishing. The Human Condition. 2. Political. CA: Stanford University Press. Miguel. is As Heidegger's so (What Is Philosophy?. Silence. in which the fac- eloquently suggest. 1975. 1998. Martin.134 Interpretation to the challenge of freedom. politics would then a Heideggerian could become possible at which the time freedom be translated into "multivocality" facilitates than we dialogue among diverse traditions. 1993. Die Grundprobleme de Phanomenologie. will arrive sooner SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Arendt. Blitz. Emil. Joseph Margolis Tom Rockmore. no. 35). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Hannah. 15. no. Trans. Trans. Heidegger Studies 5 (1989): 138-48. New Haven: University Press. and What Is Philosophy? Trans. Perhaps this time think. and Farias. 1962.. 1982. Andre Michel. 1991. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Bourdieu. John. Johannes. and 1995. University Press. 1990. George. Peter Collier. Mark. Pascal." Man and World 29 (1987): 327-34. by re locating ticity itself within the polis and the tradition as a whole. Richard Wolin. Kovacs.). The Origins of Totalitarianism. 1989. but. 1958. no. Lisa Harries. "On Heidegger's Lowith. Heidegger. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press." Heidegger Studies 1 1 the Political Dystopias. 1 (1991): 1-611. NY: Cornell David. Dallmayr.
no.Heidegger. Ewald Osers. Sherover. Heinrich Wiegand. 24." 1996. Martin Heidegger Between Good and Evil. Time. Quarterly Ott. Petzet. 1992)." Holocaust. The Politics of Being. Heidegger on Being and Acting: From Principles to Anarchy. 11-24. Charles E. 2 (1995): 137-53. Richardson. Blunden. no. A. no. Frank. the Polity. Heidegger Jaspers. Richard. 2 (1993): 121-39. C. Pp. Heidegger and lands. London: Fontana. Alan. Michael E. Trans. on Free Speech. Press. Alan M. and the January 14. 1994. "The Thorn in Heidegger's Side: The Question of National Philosophical Forum 20. Zimmerman. and and Philosophical Forum 25. "Heidegger's Truth eds. 4 (1997): Concerning Heidegger's Involvement in National Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology.. 4 (1997): 554-62. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. New York: Columbia University Press." Philosophical Writings. Nazi." "A Question Socialism. Albany: SUNY Press. "Heidegger 27-38. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Freedom. Charles. "A Normal pp. Thomas. Albany: SUNY Press. Van Buren. Schurmann. John. William J. 1996. Christine-Marie Gros. Roberts. the Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethics and Politics. and Ethics Schalow. no. Rumor of the Hidden King. 1993. Chicago: Politics. Reiner. ed. and Alan Rosenberg. Hugo. NJ: Humanities Press International. Common Good. no. Encounters Parvis Emad. and Danger. Dallery." Scott. Atlantic High 1 (1993): 72-97. Socialism. and National Socialism the 135 Milchman. and In A. Riidiger. Safranski." University of Chicago H. 1. by and Kenneth Maly. "Resoluteness Ambiguity. 1990. The ana Young Heidegger: University Press. "Revisiting Anarchy: Toward a Critical Appropriation of Schumann's Philosophy Today 41. 4 (1989): 340-55. Trans. 1994. Origins. 1992. Scott." . eds. 1990." American Catholic Philosophical Martin Heidegger: A Political Life. "Heidegger's Catholic 69. 1989. Olson. Trans. Trans. Bloom University Press. Intro. The New York Review of Books. On ington: Indiana 30-35. Bloomington: Indi Wolin. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Thought. Parvis Emad and Dialogues with Martin Heidegger. Sheehan. 1998. 1987. no.
1 . 1997). The Pluralist Game: Pluralism. Sandel. University Press. xi + Michael the Moral 192 pp. 26. 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. The Pluralist Game. inclusiveness and neutrality liberal versions which they do not. Democracy's Discontent: America in Search xi of + a Philosophy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. On Toleration (New Haven: Yale xii 417 pp. indeed could not. Three recent works do both. + 126 pp.. Emeritus offers a Professor insightful Political Science of at Fordham University. 1996). each author also his of own alternative version of pluralism. Fall second book. and whether it is transparent to itself about its exclusivity. Liberalism and (Lanham. Like other pluralisms.50. Rawls's Political Liberalism). versions of pluralism pretend to a Typical liberal fairness. $24. 1995). Francis Canavan. must and do include and exclude according to criteria which commitments. $16. 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. While some liberals have become more conscious of the partic ularities and continue limits of their tradition (cf. Within sketches larger pictures the good society.. On the other hand. Ballard Stephens College Conscience Francis Canavan. why it excludes.Whose Pluralism? Bruce W. Public $22. No.95. and reflect their own philosophical historical development. Thus the is not whether a particular intellectual tradition is exclusive.. Democracy's Discontent: America in Search 1998. 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. 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. others with simply to assert liberalism as an overarching social framework little to supporting justification.95. but what it excludes. Michael Walzer. liberals have no rightly of called for their communitarian chal lengers to offer not only critique their but alternative scenarios. possess. MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Vol.
In Canavan's account.138 of a Interpretation Public Philosophy. the purported neutrality and inclusiveness of the lib eral pluralist state in matters of religion and morality is bogus. Law society. also subverted a consensus which Increased West secularization had circum scribed earlier American pluralism. In Canavan's account. and the relations between economy and polity. 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. separate religion from morality and morality from politics are misleading. His identification and recovery of a republican strand in American history and politics recasts the question of pluralism discussion for public discussion. and exerts a powerful influence has institutions" (p. the dissolution of this unity "left millions of other . the the effects of recent Supreme secondary mediating institutions. so I thematize the discus two main by focussing its pluralism. ex policy unavoidably express Hence. Since Walzer mented version of still supports an aug liberalism. pluralism and toleration. the background philosophizing which leads each author to his conclusions about the limits of pluralism varies in cogency and completeness. whether or not they were consciously aware of its func tion. Court decisions on freedom of speech and reli gion. attempts to put communitarian emphases to in support of a larger left liberalism in his On Toleration. 76). however conflictual. the state "necessarily sets for a whole society. 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. As might each approach ends up defining and limit be expected. indeed impossi ble. but or not limited to. the Institute for Advanced work Study in Princeton. Earlier American pluralism. Statecraft is soulcraft whether it appreciates or wills this result or not. norms by privileging the autonomous individual. Canavan cites a number of Supreme Court decisions last thirty years which support this contention. His an updated critique of of liberalism as a public philosophy. of Social theorist Michael Walzer. Those who earlier championed pluralism did so against this biblically informed background. As Canavan clearly perceives. the state in fact establishes secular individualism as ultimate. creates an environment on social in which everyone has to live. it challenges to would be impossible to sion and cover these topics in this short space. The categories overlap. surely ranks cluding the best among very contemporary treatments. All three volumes survey a wide range of renewal of issues including. By seeking the lowest common denominator agreeable to the many and making law and policy accordingly. Naturally. and aspects of his version of pluralism are vulnerable to the critiques Sandel Canavan provide. lost unity of shared. in Rawls in Political Liberalism. on dimensions: authors' liberalism and how and why ing pluralism as it does.
with -139 the feeling that they are now strangers in their land" own (pp. So liberal pluralism again turns out not to be neutral. their best. These institutions. they have come to define the range of controversy between contemporary liberals and conservatives. Given his A would presumably reject capitalism as well. schools. Sandel's alone offers a sustained . liberalism. This reduction is itself the incessantly of a reiterated in the media and wider popular culture. The communitarian vision of pluralism supports also needs fur ther development of an appropriate range of economic arrangements congruent with that vision. individ liberty. By increased federal private religious at the appropriation of taxes for public education. but hostile toward conditions which make for thriving community. pluralism as a norm is the ultimate value of remain unresolvable. what areas out of the political realm and as leaving them to individual But again. Canavan particular. A main means by which liberal pluralism attempts neutrality is by taking controversial choice. what shall be left to private choice and judgment is itself a political decision. pluralism being urged be cause ual it is a condition which supports so liberalism. "celebrate" either argu rights We and are nevertheless "diversity. Certainly and American liberal pluralism is hardly neutral as capitalism any other model of economy. hospi tals and social services were injured. neutral and Apparently fail to democratic yet values such as liberty and equality also resolve pluralist conflict. Understood in individualist terms. 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. such values quickly reduce to discussions of rights. but the lack of moral agreement in creasingly typical acceptable American pluralism makes such judgments necessarily un to many. The author very perceptively economic counterpart of ideal liberalism as capitalism and the free market. It can only be made on the basis of an antecedent moral of judgment.Whose Pluralism? Americans 65-66). to public Canavan notes." equally faced with ever-increasing calls to In Canavan's reading. Canavan With Sandel and Walzer. 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. it displaced institutions. Yet of the three volumes. Cultural liberalism is even determined by this pursuit that it can no longer judge identifies the the most outrageous wrongs. but without developing the point at any length. he does rejection of commend cooperatives in passing. sustained analysis of the liberalism and capitalism would go a long way toward he affinity between completing Canavan's treatment. had helped to flesh out religious community life. Again for lack commonly and acceptable moral or the tension between ments over liberty equality basis for resolving for specifying their content.
creating accords greater social space Of the three authors. on pain of contradiction. His treatment analysis of the sort by more in-depth argument and Sandel In Sandel's account.. to make room for such groups in education. Genuine pluralism for Canavan qua is not primarily protection of the individual individual from group or state. both cludes with conservative intellectually reasserting for private and legislatively. to flourish. 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. those outside the wider biblical tradition Canavan com mends will likely reject his pluralism. things look neutrality. On the other hand. Canavan nities "secondary" or the greatest primacy. to join in the struggle. Groups with spiritual. cultural. conservatism (economic libertarian the biblical religion congruent with Canavan Taken to its logical terminus. public policy his critics have to argue why their moral as But to take precedence over the biblical tradition of to American cultural formation. morality so central volume is a set of papers rather than a systematic a problem poses a different kind of limitation. but Canavan con "divisive" religious) as by urging orthodox Catholics (Canavan is Catholic). One can but be reminded here of other forms of scepticism. If anything. 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. The fact that Canavan's treatment of needs supplementation often provides. always reflects some moral vision. we might have expected a note of despair in Canavan's conclusion. Given his very critical assessment of the recent drift of affairs. even more desperate for pluralist For the liberal pluralist claiming full equally and neutral inclusiveness has to or groups which admit. Protestants and devout Jews. That current liberal pluralism is in fact quite intolerant of strongly committed positions (particularly again underlines its own very inconsistent nonneutrality. and mediating commu intellectual tradi not the state. mon gious to help stem the tide toward secular monism and by a com reli biblically based morality institutional life. two main forms of contemporary social anguish demon strate the failure of the liberal project in America: fear that the moral fabric of . but a situation in which individuals Here as members of various communities can who provides pursue essential human goods. 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. tions to pass on are the essential and most defining role community.140 Interpretation of the relationship between economy and community flourishing. 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. the state should reduce its direct etc. social services.
Whose Pluralism? 141 family. since these all require description of the self. with others about what is true any or good. But the self conceived as unencumbered by prior moral definition is an abstraction which of is falsified by liberalism. others' based have chosen them. When they tion. ing of Again. even are deprived this sort of active community participa whatever elites their negative freedom is at the mercy of and participation do govern. As identification more alien in the whole decline and citizens become to each other. 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. Ancient also had aspired to cultivate virtue goal of been longstanding in its citizens. with regard and national and collective control over life is unraveling and fear about lost individual life-goveming forces. 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. and a notion of ends all capacity block the way. People are born for citizenship. the self is value resides in its capacity to by contemporary liberal theory. as Sandel documents Failure through numerous primary sources. or even citizen obligation. of citizens In the liberal conception. cannot everyday do justice to the moral experience. the freedom tive. community. popular psychology manuals make this promoting a virtual religion of the self in which there is no incentive on their content. both conceptually a freedom as the of the individual self to choose its own and practically. Sandel emphasizes the mislead ing and alienating idea of the self offered above all cording to that theory. 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. the politics a neutral ideal of liberalism is not timelessly natural. we no choose its Choice longer of one's respect ends becomes views a kind of end in itself. to a solution to these problems. As Sandel notes. They natu common affairs. Ac else a pure individual whose highest own ends. rights apart to moral and religious views of from the good. motivation for the mutual respect liberalism calls for is also undermined. Sandel raises the crucial why we should suspend such identity-making aspects of our selves . this asocial render human good is misleading. Sandel recovers an alternative and republican way of genuine self-government from which liberalism can be seen as a de cline. Kantian versions obliga phenomena of family tions. Liberal ideals of neutrality citizens. for Sandel and the republican tradition. religious duties. for instance. Through detailed historical account of American public life from the foun ders to the contemporary scene. As in Liberalism and the Limits of Justice. Consequently. explicit or use in by deliberating but simply for the fact that sovereign individuals As Sandel notes. and this goal has American public policy.
Or we could relativize the value of respect. seeing as one nonprivileged attitude and why would among other possibilities. then there is for are others' at least one truth which is not relative. judg Using the legal example of abortion. beginning would "bracketed" at conception and their view to accept they in effect advocates are also to "bracket" be countenancing murder. question of what of By raising the economy best serve republi shows a can aims of self-government and the virtues which support it. In both cases. virtueless abstract vorce and individualism. His him to morally advocat seriousness about ethical rationality and truth allows and transparent public policy deliberation decision. We might just as well say that all views equally worthy of disrespect it How since none is true. rightly observing respect that a practical interest in social and mutual does not automatically defeat any that "We cannot without other moral interest. not we should bracket depends on which relativism is no help either. As Sandel correctly argues. 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. moral. to relative say that we should all respect each other because the truth is If "all truth is relative" is absolutely true. In principle. they express. But even if we substi views need tuted some other version of the relativist claim. regarding toleration. So Sandel pluralism. not their simple capacity to choose something . Sandel observes that if the Catholics were correct about human life abortion. Sandel advocate ends willingness to curb the pseudopluralism of hegemonic business interests. 20). Sandel gets to the philosophical matter of by emphasizing that whether or competing views is true. and promoting. and His alternative version the self. respect not follow. Sandel toleration is justified in any given in question" He raises the same point whether notes determine moral ment case passing judgment in the on the practice (p. Sandel 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. 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. and religious leads him to reject forms of pluralism primarily based upon. telling on the of the parallel argument against moral bracketing from Lincoln Douglas heart issue of slavery. The argument for liberalism from is self-defeating.142 when Interpretation it comes to questions of cooperation justice. prochoice their views for public purposes. but legal abor Sandel cites a provocative and against tion in effect simply grants their position. community. Suspending moral name of toleration does not effect a neutral pluralism. a contradiction.
With Sandel. 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. Arguably. Sandel may depend more on an substantive positions on fam American consensus of biblical morality recognizes. it could as easily have banned King and his fol lowers. and which community which realizes the very cor is convinced of the truth of its "common" beliefs with practices. That is. in general. 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.Whose Pluralism? 143 a Altogether. 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. The difference the cause" consists in the content of the speech. 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. care to subordinate itself to reject public deliberation sup In a those who it? What does such a community lack of criteria which needs plementing by word. while Martin Luther King sought civil rights for blacks. the same could be said about his ily law. Sandel is arguing account of moral content that public deliberation can and should take permits are before marching handed out. Yet he had acknowledged and of highlighted the importance of ethical rejects truth when it came to the content-neutrality position expression. or even malicious. Yet the decisions a deliberation questions can be philosophically shallow. There way would or be no foregone in conclusion about the outcome of of public deliberation one the other. raises and responds to a number of relevant objections questions are possible. "narrow" in his final further But further rejects the In the arguments Sandel moralism of his closing the fundamentalist without course of qualification. "The answer may be simpler than liberal political theory permits: the Nazis promote genocide and hate. Sandel replies. To with a return Sandel's abortion example. program and its associated pluralism make for tall Sandel himself chapter. in the nature of (p. Presumably. To the liberal objection that if the bracketing. notes the insufficiency of appeals problems to rights and abstractly fair procedures alone to address contemporary These problems vary depending upon the histori- . and partisan way to which ignores of truth rationality. be Canavan suggests. 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. Walzer of toleration and coexistence. Sandel's order. Sandel rationality of recent Supreme Court decisions on free an ordinance could ban the Nazis from marching in Skokie. 90). be added Sandel the offers about civil here that. Indeed.
as an harbor republican hopes. Walzer identifies the immigrant society rather than a nation-state with republican foundations like France. Walzer here in the secondary associations. and 'family values' or of their own certainties about what (p. attempts While Walzer everyone's rejects by groups with moral to "control behavior of in the name of a supposedly common (Judeo-Christian. Walzer acknowledges that liberalism is a substantive and par its own. 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. life are we of to uncover the resources necessary for a revived political the sort Walzer wants. but is unwilling to them of taxation fear" relieve would for state education. . To the fears state-mandated versions of tolerance education error. Naturally. (p. 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. together with leaves intact the current crisis. With Sandel.) Nor can we repair to . so he opposes a voucher system. He doubts that liberal politics be sustained were all children to go into private sectarian schools. since we are too multi United States In his typology of toleration regimes. With both Sandel revival of various and Canavan. this is an omission which pluralism. according to Walzer. 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. with early roots in Protestant and English history. Religious parties. for example. In the face of contempo ticular political culture of rary critiques like those of Sandel. ought to be barred from running in elections. 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. Canavan. is right say) tradition. of and others. 77). To his credit. Walzer is willing for these orthodox parents to their children to private schools (if they can afford it). 70). Maclntyre. (It would be intriguing to see a published debate between Sandel and Walzer over this question. Walzer largely responds by simply asserting his own secu lar liberal dogmatism. of a pluralism which isn't simply cannot fragmentation? We farious a population. and social Where then. Yet his recognition that liberalism is one tradition among others does not lead Walzer to offer a philosophical defense of it. Yet by keeping to the larger liberal pluralist picture. "one hopes that they are justified schools will have exactly the effects that orthodox make their children .144 Interpretation societies. common roots of alienation and claim that its strong individualism. so the unity which comes from that richer foundation for citizenship is unavailable to us.
Altogether then. 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. .Whose Pluralism? what remains "intolerant. since that would Within the cannot confines of the position Walzer embraces. rationality in about we do not and after seriously engage questions of truth and we ethics." - 145 be of a biblically informed liberal moral consensus. have less to assert reason than ever to relinquish that good. 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.
. numerous previously Karl unknown letters from his philosophical correspondence with Klein.. Volume 1: Die Religionskritik Spinozas 1996. among Wissenschaft writings. Tendency Eine Ort der Vorsehungslehre and der Ansicht Das Political Teaching (1937). 434 pp. and Lowith. und Volume 2: Philosophie 1997. Jacobis (1929).i VERLAG J. The from Strauss's personal copies of these writings are published here for the first time. Gershom Scholem. cloth with English) many important. be indispensable for all serious und zugehorige Schriften Analyse der Bibel- dust jacket. Gesetz - Friihe Schriften - 635 pp.-). DM 90 critical editions of (subscription: DM 78. 1921 to Contains the 29 et essays from the years 1937. Schriften 1936 Konspektivismus and more. The Religiose Lage der Gegenwart (1932). remarques sur nach la science politique de Mai'monide de Farabi Maimunis (1937). H. marginalia from Strauss's personal copies of these writings are published here for the first time. 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. Cohens Wissenschaft Spinozas Das (1924). It study of Strauss's philosophy in the future. (1921). XXXIV.. Testament Spinozas (1932). DM 90 Die Zur - (subscription price: DM 78. Bibelwissenschaft Spinozas marginalia und seiner Vorlaufer (1926). and others published here for the first time. 1933-1935). Abravanel's Philosophical (1936). 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. B. previously unknown writings and letters. cloth with dust jacket. Der Erinnerung an Lessing (1937). French. in the original languages (German English). Gerhard Kriiger.-). XIV. politische other Volume 3: Hobbes' Wissenschaft und zugehorige - Briefe politische Contains. Erkenntnisproblem in der philosophischen Lehre Fr. Contains the critical editions of Religionskritik Spinozas (1930). Jacob In addition. more than a quarter of which Quelques are published here for the first 0n time: Philosophie und Gesetz Der (1935).
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S.A. Inc. -a o PC fo a -a o CO 2 o 3 "I 3 o 3 O < CO a r 21 rra *> o m c3 CO . 11367-1597 U.ISSN 0020-9635 Interpretation.Y. Queens College Rushing N.