Interpretation

A JOURNAL
Fall 1998

J.

OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
Number 1

Volume 26

3
21

Cameron Wybrow
Robert D. Sacks

The Significance The Book

of

the

City

in Genesis 1-11

of

Job: Translation

and

Commentary

on

Chapters 39-42 65
Andrew Reece

Drama, Narrative,
Charmides

and

Socratic Eros in Plato's

77

Mark Kremer

Liberty

and

Revolution in Burke's Letter to the

Sheriffs of Bristol

99

Steven

Berg

Interpreting
to

the Twofold Presentation of the

Will

Power Doctrine in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke

Zarathustra

Review Essays

121

Frank Schalow Bruce W. Ballard

Heidegger,

the

Polity,

and

National Socialism

137

Whose Pluralism?

Interpretation
Editor-in-Chief

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Leonard

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Interpretation
Fall 1998
-1-

Volume 26

Number 1

Cameron Wybrow
Robert D. Sacks

The Significance The Book
of

of

the

City

in Genesis 1-11
and

3
on

Job: Translation

Commentary

Chapters 39-42
Andrew Reece

21

Drama, Narrative,
Charmides

and

Socratic Eros in Plato's 65

Mark Kremer

Liberty

and

Revolution in Burke's Letter to the 77

Sheriffs of Bristol Steven

Berg

Interpreting
Zarathustra

the Twofold Presentation of the Will

to Power Doctrine in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke

99

Review Essays

Frank Schalow Bruce W. Ballard

Heidegger,

the

Polity,

and

National Socialism

121
137

Whose Pluralism?

Copyright 1998

-

interpretation

ISSN 0020-9635

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

they Eve and the angel of produce much good. the first city. is not said to have been born after Adam's (hence conclude that he is actually the offspring of death Sammael. often little basis in the text. With this rather unauspicious head start in life. if the quality is acceptable. THE CRITIQUE OF THE CITY IN TRADITIONAL EXEGESIS The traditional commentaries on Genesis are only enough to Genesis Rabbah. 4. the refuse. Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. heaped who is traditionally him credited with founding Christian character. and establishes among interpreters recorded antiurban. Fi by nally. antipolitical atmosphere. In fus ing (they own. have all been impugned. 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. First. between them properly distinguished in the text tendencies of establish some general but merely trying to which I can set my against interpretation. A. I the inadequacy handling with of the political themes interpreters' traditional remarks the fine details of comparing the the Biblical text. of the Next. that is. and I have consulted Specifically. I will propose my own tentative account of the Bible's moral-political evaluation of the city. Cain. different are all trying to blur the differences and notes). This is why he becomes a murderer and Abel. anti- I have constructed kind I of composite account of the technical. Out of antiurban.2 kills the son truly in God's image. the an which founding of the city. according to some of the rabbis. fices to the most Thus. antipolitical tendencies of commentaries am not the Jewish and Christian traditions.1 His motives and his spiritual and the spiritual character of with his descendants. legion. Traditional One Hostility with Toward Cain and His Line must begin Cain. a and Calvin's Commentary on the Pen Commentary on Genesis. has had abuse upon by scores of Jewish and interpreters for at least two millennia. Augustine's these City of God. Nimrod and the will Babel-builders in show some representative premodern commentaries. Noting that unlike his Genesis 5 counterpart Seth. his religious performance is faulty. This negative portrayal of Cain colors the event with he is associated. When he sacri Lord (Gen. . Cain's very birth is suspect. I will present the political themes which can gleaned from the discussion of Cain. Cain. 1.3-5). Cain cannot be expected to God's) image.4 I Interpretation will proceed in the be following manner. I have used tateuch.3 or. Abravanel's reveal some representative tendencies. he offers (according to some of the rabbis) the samples of inferior his produce.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12

Interpretation
of

for wanting land exactly
of the what

its

own

to till,

the pre-Flood men are said to

"rebel"

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

they

were commanded

do in Genesis 1.

Why is

their attempt at

obedience

lashed

out at as a rebellion? as motivated

forge interpreted

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

ploughshares?

Certainly, his father

was

Lamech, but

one cannot

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

One has to say, then, that the
tional

antiurban trend of thought
without textual

interpreters,

though not
a close

clearly justified

by

of the city-builders and

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

among the tradi foundation, is not

is

evidence that

Cain is frightened, slighted,

than evil.

Nimrod in Genesis 10 displays

no wicked motives or

overtly

evil actions.

The

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

a negative

interpretation

of

Babel

would not reflect upon

Nimrod.
theo-

much

work, then, to be done if
about the

we are

to articulate a coherent

logico-political teaching

city

as presented

in Genesis 1-11.

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

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

The

broadly

speaking, human

political

effort, in

a much more positive

light than the

tradition sometimes suggests.

The line

of

interpretation

which

body am building
who

of traditional

interpretation, but in its

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

upon the work of

themselves are

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

In the Midrashic writings,
political

hints here

and

there

of a a

different

account of

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

life,

be brought to light

ideas

further.6

What I

will

strive to establish

is

an

interpretation
rabbis,
of

of

Genesis

which, against

Augustine

and

Calvin

and

many

of the

sees the and

earthly
a

city

as

a

legitimate human

response

to the problem

justice

order,

response which

God is willing
Cain. The

to work with and, under certain

circumstances, is
so well

bless.
I begin
with classification of

Cain

as

a

"bad

guy"

The
established that

City

in Genesis

13

it

seems

impious to
Cain's

question

God's

refusal

to gaze

upon

sacrifice

trary. Cain cannot know why God pays no

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

He has
worked

worked

hard to

produce

his grain, probably
more

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

to raise his sheep.

Further, he,
not

than

Abel,

apparent commandments. and

Did

God tell Adam to

subdue

(Gen. 1),

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

upon expulsion

from Eden he
Cain felt

the

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

can see

slighted.

He is, in

a way,

more qualified applicant who

why loses

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

injustice, his
at

rage

is

natural.

This does

not

justify

the murder

follows, but it
so perverse as

least

explains
and

Cain's

emotional

state,

which

is

not

nearly Cain's

Augustine

Calvin
supply

make out. another nonmalicious account
of

Further,

the

rabbis

themselves

motives.

Cain

saw

that God preferred a sacrifice of an animal over that

of vegetation.
would

Might he

not

have

concluded
vol.

that the sacrifice of a human

being

be

even

better (Genesis Rabbah,

1,

pp.

248-49)? One does

not need

to presume that Cain killed Abel out of anger or

jealousy;
God.

one might argue that

he killed Abel in
Even if this
wicked. what sin

a misguided attempt to please

rabbinic speculation

is discounted, it is

not so clear that

Cain is

God

warns

him

"sin,"

about
ever give

is,

nor

does God

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

fact, God
Cain

says

Genesis 9. That
can rule

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

after

the

Flood, in

man can rule

himself. If

race will not

be

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

God,

and

that no one else is

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

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

and the utter violence of the pre-Flood genera

described in Genesis 6, has
can grant that

suggests

noninstruction

not proved

to be the
a

Man

needs

law.

We

Cain does

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

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

building

a

city,

and procreating. who

Cain

contrasts

favorably
great

with

his descendant Lamech,

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

to be forgiven and expects that everyone

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

he

will

be hidden from God's face, and,

while

God

promises

to protect Cain

from

the assaults of other men,

he

never reassures

Cain

about

his continuing

presence.

Perhaps God thinks his
not

protective sign

ence, but Cain clearly does

take

it that

way.

implies his continuing pres God therefore allows Cain to

14

Interpretation
from his
presence

go out

(4.16)

to

dwell in the land

of

Nod ("wandering").

Believing

that he

is

no

mark, is it any

wonder

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

sive arrangement of a

city

for

men who

believe they

are

in

the state of nature, with no law

but that

of

the strong to protect them?
"Enoch,"

Similarly, it is hard
"inauguration,"

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

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

"Inauguration"

does

not

have

in Hebrew,

as

Isaac Friedman has

shown against

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

good ones

(Friedman,
of a new

n.

1,

pp. of

"inauguration"

way

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

It begins

as

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

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

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

of of

the arts described in Genesis 4. The

forging,

can yield weapons

does

not

in general; for the text does

not even mention and mu

weapons,

and

the other arts which arise at the same time

(tentmaking

sic)

are

My
and

clearly innocuous. intent here is not to
who seems

whitewash

Cain

or

Lamech,

to have understood God's

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

most perverse possible manner

(i.e., God does

killers,

therefore we

have to do I

unto others

omen of the violence to come story. would

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

insist, however,

though a genuine theme of
conclusion remains
narrator

that urban

life, in any

ambiguous as a

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

judges it.
confirmed

This is

in Genesis 6. When "all
This

becomes

corrupt upon the

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

taking

place

in

cities.

makes

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

line,

who are not associated with

Cain's

eastern

Cain's line. The
or political

wickedness
as such.

is

more

general, and

life

In

fact, it

could

be

contended that

absence of political structures and of would seem

laws

which

it is precisely the led to the wickedness. This

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

to be confirmed

by

sis

9. We
recall

that in Genesis 1 God ordered

Adam to be

replenish

the earth. In Genesis 9 Noah takes the place of

fruitful, multiply, and Adam, and is given

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

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

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

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

argue that the evils of 1979). p.The martial City in Genesis 19 valor. the order represented perfect by Nimrod is essential.) Lemer 1978). because Cain is not so commentators make out. Deut. The traditional pious exegesis of Genesis fails to understand that merely human are achieve political orderings. Commentaries on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis. XV.: McMaster University. pp. "Piety and Four" Civilization: An Analysis of the City in Genesis results (Hamilton. Genesis Rabbah. John trans. Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. 12. trans. 242. One separated could use Friedman's (though he does not) to can be from the not require this argument. . Gerald Friedlander (New York: Hermon Press. who in Isaac Friedman's thesis. Commentary on the Pentateuch (selections)." Nimrod's cities are the "inauguration" of something new: a social order in which justice can have a foothold. trans. or not trusting enough in God's promises to obey his wishes.6). trans. Concerning the City of God Against the Pagans. 1847). in the bequest epitome of evil and order of animal flesh in Genesis 9.3. and not always the best. whose claim to leadership might be said to be indirectly authorized by God himself. arts. King (Edinburgh. (Title henceforth: City of 5. Jacob Neusner. as city of Enoch. 44-48. NOTES 1. the world which is being properly populated by the sons of Noah. we find that cities are built by a masterly figure.. 3. law. Augustine. which once achieved will make Israel blessing and a source of wisdom for all the nations of the earth (Gen. in Ralph and Muhsin Mahdi. if one wished to put the city in a better light. pp. Henry Bettenson (Harmondsworth. or for building great towers into the a heavens. but these motives were not wicked. that the city cities were Genesis 1-11 would seem is not evil. 1. 4. 158. (Atlanta: Scholars Press. the only possible means by which the non-Israelite children of Noah can justice upon the earth. and human decency for any length Like Cain's city "Enoch. Nimrod is establish not the rebellion. 1970). it due to knowing God wanted. Eng. 1972). eds. In societies other than Israel. 2 vols. 2. which do not claim the benefit of God's direct rule and teaching. vol. 256. Medieval Political Philosophy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. But I do I do not believe that Genesis wishes us to understand Cain as funda stained mentally evil or ungodly. The city is not bad as some of the rabbis and Christian by its association with Cain. 1985). John Calvin. flawed and susceptible to abuse as they are. Cain was afraid of afraid of what death. If these people strayed.: Penguin. The arguments for this are well summarized for arguing that it was Enoch. Robert Sacks. p. There are grammatical and general grounds built the city. but for purity. to teach. Isaac Abravanel. God. was the Babelers were not being scattered. trans. Rev. it is can only in coexist some kind of political order that the of time. in Genesis 10. 196-98. And in one case. The mo tives of those who built the first mixed.7. Cain's son. 4. then. he is the first to explicitly a political in the new world. Ont. Although the political order is less than in that it requires the exercise of force. 150 51. Cain pp.

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

Num 3. appeared nor is he turned The first bers 2 and thirty-eight chapters of the translation and and commentary in Volume 24. 1 . she has no fear 17 because God has understanding. he every green thing is his crib? plow to search out. Vol. John's College. No. 15 She has forgotten that hers.The Book Translation of and Job Commentary on Chapters 39 through 42 Robert D. hitch him up with a rope and hold him to the furrow? Will he behind you? 11 Would you rely upon him? Remember. 26. meet armed combat. and who dwells city. 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.10 9 "Would the 10 Can is you wild ox agree to serve you? Would spend the night at your up the valleys great. and she has no share in 18 She just flaps her rider. his you strength Could leave him it into the your toils? 12 Would you trust him to bring in the grain and gather barn?" 13 "An ostrich plumage of a stork. in Volume 25 of Interpretation. 16 She treats her were all children roughly. 3 when to give birth to their young.9 bustling hills as of the hear the drivers 8 but roams the his pasture. Sacks St. 6 whose home I have at the made the wilderness.14 wings as if on high.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. Fall 1998. and thus to end their they couch and split you watched number3 open4 travail? 4 Their her children more. horse'3 her to forget wisdom. and does not and even in the salt lands? 7 He laughs shout. You see. as if they were not even in all vain.5 thrive and flourish in the wild. Her toils caused foot can crush them. interpretation. in his is not strength as he goes out to 22 He laughs fear and dismayed. or that a wild beast might trample them down. 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. and laughs at a passing and its 19 "Did you give to the horse 20 Can you make him leap its strength. 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.

guiltless May my kingdom before the LORD for the blood of Abner the son it whirl down upon the head of Joab. the roars of the hawk16 the trumpet the he cries captains and the shoutings!" 26 "Is it by your wisdom that soars and spreads its wings out to the south? 27 Does the eagle mount at your command." Hos. if we were in Hebrew they have totally different names. 1 1 :6 The bars sword shall "whirl and down" against their cities. 2Sam. it originally meant "to whirl. The and single Hebrew word hul. by the flashing into the spear and the earth. "I and father's house. much understanding of the Book of Job center on our attempt to regain the sense of of this word. consume the of their gates. Oh. eye spots He takes up his lodging on the highest 29 From there he searches out his prey. which have here translated by the phrase of our I have generally translated birth" is "writhing in the dance of "writhe. forever Ner. he is there. although almost as side. Job has entered far into hind what we have come to call the Land of the Jackal. 3:28 are of Afterward. 2. 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. making it his stronghold. His swill it from afar.17 pinnacle. 23 A quiverful of arrows whizzes excitement and agitation. David heard of it. 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. 24 With he gouges pays no homage to trumpet's 'Huzzah' ! He smells the blast. unity that lies within the complexity As far as one can tell. Whenever death defiles. Indeed. building its nest on high? 28 He dwells upon the rock." . he said. 30 and his fledglings down the blood. and See notes to 26. 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. 25 but facing battle from afar."18 Comments 1.22 back Interpretation by He edge of sword." a very will complex word. and upon all his when devour them in their fortresses. javelin.

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

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

since. we can begin to see its own necessities which seems to be see that without such a totally indifferent to our sense of order. 66:7 her Before here from the Book in labor she gave Isaiah: pain came upon she was birth. From the point of view of human justice there is no priori reason a a why birth our should entail so much pain. Here. This. an order for the first time. it would be best to begin by seeing how the is in other Biblical contexts: . But quite even Job. of course. How different things Isa. rhetorical. pain-ridden. are 3. speaks to Job. the separation of birth is that our hard and as final as the separation of death. 7. while he showed a certain amount of compassion. is land? the question to Job: Can he discern number and order in this untrodden 4. 8. and are what they are. going off about their labors of snatching up dawn. To word understand used this passage. did not have the respect that these lines demand: Job 24:5 They are wild asses at in the desert. 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. 5.The Book of Job sage some 25 foundation for the shift we had already begun to feel in the role of the feminine. In using such a harsh word. before her she was delivered of a son. She. The question is. the Voice is beginning to open Job to different kind of order. then. has never known either burden or rein. lets interrelated that they cannot be of distinguished in speech. dancing. the wild ass wild ass unlike donkey and the burro. for the Hebrew word for tempest is see that pain and birthing a tempest that Job joy and birth are so feminine noun. The Voice here as reminds Job that in its own way. The had been for it: wild ass mentioned several times in the text before. the joys of our world could never come to be. and in terms of human justice it a world seems all wrong. a nurturing god rather than a constructing god. fostering in each life to own its signet. 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). Yet we can all world. It is the whirling. 6. perhaps with beyond world. and understanding the of the one may lead us in coming to terms with the other.

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

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

Then I lifted my forward! The of a stork. For Job this have been the fearful to most difficult of the beasts to meet thus far. he will dwell on the heights. and behold. 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. The hawk. had been domesticated. Part irony of this passage ridden is that ostriches. when if only in part. too. insofar as been domesticated. then. ears his looking upon his hands. worlds are met beginning to pull apart and to clash they have for Job as since we first him. at least it is the can most write about. In them the birds build trees. foresaw hibernation? It he warned Job not to leave his warm den of would seem that there are not one. their nests. 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. The first as words ever spoken on the field at questions savage. Does this not mean raising the very passions in Job that Elihu. but two obscure and sometimes inter chinks weaving of the Human and the wall. and eyes and saw. but the significance has greatly changed: Isa. who from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from evil. since the name of this bird means something like of the "piety" "loving by care. 5:9 not the ordinance of the LORD. who despises the gain of stops oppression. 8:7 Even the swallow. the has her home in the fir stork Jer. must 14. silly beast. his place of defense who shakes . 33:15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly. pathways which lure men like Job toward the in the Great Wall Both the highest City and that reveal its problematic character. character that each 17. 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. have been were some tribesmen of the area as they have if they horses. people crane keep the time of their coming. lest they hold a bribe. Who help being totally would charmed by the and foolish antics of this silly. earth and It is probable that the author intended or a double irony. but my know Zech. they had lifted they up the ephah between wings coming like the wings heaven. he must learn to feel and to recognize all sides of the may find its proper place. The first thing to be moving any to be asked. There is an early bas relief from Khorsabad showing a falconer bearing a hawk on his wrist. two women wind was in their wings. and in the heavens knows her times.28 Interpretation Lebanon stork which he planted. 16. 15. The imagery is not uncommon in the Bible. and the turtledove." 13. destruction are said of these verses is that the Hebrew text is Agincourt.

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

22 The lotuses blanket him surround with their shade and the willows of the rage. under and all the beasts of the field play. somewhat more specific than one might at first take it to be. I believe. He has it here at There would have been no need to continue. 20 "The there to mountains yield him produce. or with you to be your eternal his nose. and you will remember war no Comments no answer. He has been numbed as if stung by the Socratic sting fish. 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. 23 Though the burst into his snare?10 river he is unalarmed.8 21 He lies down the lotuses. God's argument is. The sight of the six beasts has 1 Job has . Now ray he neither knows nor believes that he knows.6 of brass. had been what God had wanted. his warning was just.30 * Interpretation Behemoth5 15 "But look now. or his head with fishing his head. and if by court of law. Once Job thought that he knew what justice was. His ducts might tail stiff as a cedar. confident that the Jordan will mouth. and his teaching is not a but an 3. convinced him that Elihu was right. who would plead my case? ." 2. Again it says. 18 His bones iron. 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.9 brook in him. beyond man is no place for a man. He eats fodder just like the cattle. that was always the problem: Job 9:19 If trial be by strength. If Job's this not point. He is the mighty one. here is whom I made along with you. 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. hiding in the reeds and the fen. but he did not. and can you thunder in a voice let Job "telling. "gird up your loins like a man (gebher)". 16 but just look at the is in the muscles of his belly.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. Indeed." His?" such as God seems to base His argument on His power. are The and his thighs are are all knit together. "Have you an arm like God's. but Job had always recognized God's greater power. 17 He can stretch out his sinews of strength in his loins." again "asking. But the Tempest will go.

8:12 . Job 18:3 Job 35:10-11 Why none are we considered beasts and made unclean . clearly are of mythic proportion. created me at the beginning his work. however. he of also thought that he the means to establish that justice. however. Job's search a world for human justice has led him into relevant. I. get beginning insight. We have which means already seen any large domesticated it in Job: Just ask the animal such as a cow or an ox. dwell in prudence. The next two chapters will the question of the administration of that justice. of The LORD acts of old. His praise endures for Prov. and it will take Job a time to see within the implications of that kind of justice as it expresses itself the sphere of human action. These do cosmos. of wisdom Prov. "laugh" or . and I find knowledge of and discretion. behemoth 5. with you . 1:7 The fear wisdom and of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. a good understanding have ever! all those who practice it. The word is the normal plural of the feminine noun behemah. however 6. Appropriately enough. 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. is this: Get wisdom." "His bones are ducts brass. ." in the made masculine singular. being lous nor mythical. means by which justice is established in the learn of 4. . 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. his wisdom. Man is 7.The Book of Job When Job thought that he knew what 31 had justice was. in your eyes? say "Where is God my maker. God is joking. and his limbs like rods of The visible universe is much larger than any man knows and of which he is unaware. Prov. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. are all who teaches us more The verbs. 4:7 The get. fools despise and whatever you instruction. 111:10 contains creatures which man not did not name and the unquestioned center of all that is visible. than the beasts of the earth. In the become clear that Job's understanding beyond the last two chapters. of It is. . not turn out to be the and Job has yet much to the spirit behind the administration of that justice. Compare Ps. Job 12:7 beasts and they will show you. whom I along eats fodder just like the neither miracu It is a normal part of the greater world around us. iron. "Behemoth cattle. the first 8.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

up by a breath between them. quaver. His his mouth comes a flaming from torch as sparks of a stream or like the cracking of dawn. whereas this implies hope might also of or expectation.40 Interpretation CHAPTER FORTY-ONE 1 "Thus. 5 7 But his can unveil his garment. They Out clutch'2 each other and cannot at be parted. 11 fire escape. He sprawls himself out implacable on 23 and makes the pot17 deep will to seethe a like a cauldron. It too. 14 His strength resides his neck. and bronze as rotton wood. 17 "When he sion. or come before his double-folded jaw? 6 surrounded tight9 can open the doors6 of his face his teeth by terror! is the strength of the next. "to or so I believe. lie on him cast as metal and do not 16 His heart is cast hard as stone.13 cast as a nether millstone. He makes the sea his be ointment16 24 and headed. stand. or exploits or the grace of his frame. and terror dances before him. 9 Each closed8 seal. the gods are in dread. and not a his shields7. word mean but along it a sense of dread. Slingstones turn to sound of the javelin. for he was made to dread. which was discussed in carried the note to with Job 39:1. nostrils there comes smoke as boiling 13 His breath in ignites the coals and flames come out of his mouth. 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. men not reel at the sight of is so brutal3 as to rouse him Now. is a near relative of the at hwl or hyl. 12 From his cauldron. tohalto is from the much versed root root yhl (wait in expectation). 19 He Iron he put counts as straw.14 21 and clubs are rated as straw. laughs to the 22 "His the mud15 underparts are jagged leaves shards. eyes are 10 "Lights flash of his sneeze. 15 Festoons of flesh. Even the can see that yhl reader not in Hebrew. nor They spear. wait. fused all together. 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." times.10 8 each touching clings" one to his brother. 25 No without one of the dust shining wake till the abyss seems all hoaryhave dominion over him. 20 No son of the bow can stubble him to flight. shatter and are nor in confu 18 No sword that will reach can javelin. rises up.2 Do up. could. nor lance. that I should wait in expectations? What is my I should prolong my life? . him? 2 No would stand restitution?4 [all] one expectation' is an illusion. He is king over all the sons of pride.'"9 Comments 1.18 26 He sees every towering thing.

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

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

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

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

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

45

Job,

who once said:

Do I have flesh

of

bronze?

For

man

to

be

made of

flesh is to be

able to

feel

pain:

Job 19:22

Why
flesh?

do

you pursue me

like God, taking

satisfaction out of

my

Not to feel
Job 10:4

pain

is

not

to understand pain;

Have You

eyes of

flesh?

For Job, it is through the
notion of which

feeling

of pain that we come

to understand the

importance, by seeing

ourselves

willing to

risk pain and

death for that

is important:
For

Job 13:14

what reason

do I take my flesh between my teeth

and

my life in

my hands?

flower 14.

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

forever in itself.

Nothing

can

be for him

what

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

makes no

difference. "Slingstones turn to
to the world around
neither

stubble."

indifference he
uses

him is

awesome.

The lights

which

flash

at

his

sneeze

to see
see

To

appreciate

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

to read

and yet we are arrested and can see

world of man

for

a world unstifled

by

human

need and

let to be itself. But in

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

learn to let things be.

Only

then could he return with a

fuller understanding

of

human

need. an old

15. Once

Parmenides

asked a

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

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

into

a mud

pie,

or a

brick,

or a

house? And

we all

stand upon the earth with never a thought of

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

being.

"perfume"

Exod. 30:25

.

.

.

and you shall make of these a sacred as

blended

by

the perfumer; a

holy

anointing oil anointing oil it shall be.

.

.

.

46

Interpretation
Whoever
ISam. 8:13 He bakers.
compounds

outsider shall
will

be

cut off

any like it or whoever from his people.

puts

any

of

it

on an

take your daughters to be

perfumers and cooks and

Song

of

Sol. 5:13

His

cheeks are

like beds

of spices,
myrrh.

yielding fragrance. His

lips

are

lilies, distilling

liquid

17.
first it burst

38:8

Who

closed

up the

sea

behind the double door

when

out of

the womb

The sea,
which

long

in

our

tale the measureless realm of chaos and confusion,

had

always threatened to engulf
pleasure.

all, has become a simple utensil,

instru

ment of

his innocent

18. The

word which

I have translated

"dread"

as

is

a

very

obscure

word, and

in fact

appears

in only

one other passage

in the

whole of

Biblical literature.

Ironically,
Gen. 9:2

the passage reads:

on

all

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

Panic

But the Leviathan "was
emerges,
and perhaps

made

to

be

dread."

without correction

Thus, Job 41:25

intentionally

so, as a

to

Genesis 9:2. If the

human

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

19. in

shahas.

The

one other verse

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

not

very

clear.

It only

appears

Job 28:7-9

The

eye of the

falcon has it

never caught sight of

it,

nor

have the

sons of pride ever trampled

over.

The lion

can

bear it

no witness, mountains

but

man

has

put

his hand to the flint

and overturned

its

by

the root.

In Aramaic, the
means

shahsa'

word

means

"a

lion,"

while

in Ethiopian the
elevated,"

root

"to be

insolent."

root comes

the word

In Arabic, the shhis, "a bulky

root means
or

"to be

from

which

man"

"a

rank."

man of

Thus,

there

king
since

over

beasts

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

it is

not so clear

distinction is
that

the Leviathan himself. It

is

not even clear

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

king

indeed he surely is.
grand

This

beast,

above and

beneath

all malice or

ambition, oblivious to all,

The Book of Job
rules all and

47

by

the mere weight of his

being. In him

we recognize our

limitations

hence

see our

definition.

CHAPTER FORTY-TWO

1 Then Job
that no
without
design'

answered
can

the LORD and said: 2 "I know that You

can

do

all and counsel

be

withheld

from You. 3 Who is this I had
wonders2

one that

hides

knowledge? I have

spoken though

not understood.

There is

a

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

have both

contempt and compassion

for4

dust

and

ashes."5

7

And6

it

was

so, that

after

the LORD had spoken these words unto
Temanite,7

Job,
you,

that
and

the LORD said to Eliphaz the
against your two as

"My

anger

fumes

against

friends: for

you

have

not spoken of me the

thing

that

is right,
rams,

has my

servant

Job. 8 Therefore,
and offer

get yourselves seven

bulls

and seven

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

up for

yourselves a

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

thing

that

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

has."

and

Bildad the

Shuhite

and

Zophar

the

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

friends,

and

the LORD returned all that Job
all of

had,

twice over.

11 Then his house
sion

his brothers
with which

sisters'0

and

and all of

his friends
him.12

came over to

supped"

and

him.

They
12

consoled

him

and showed

him

compas

for

all

the evils

the LORD

had brought

upon

Each

one gave a of

Qesitahn

and each a golden ring;

and the

LORD blessed the last days

his 13
the
all

life

even more

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

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

he

also

had

seven sons and three

daughters.'5

14 The first he

called

by

name of

Jamimah,16

the second to be

Keziah,17

and the third

Keren-Hapuch.18

15 In

the land there

could not

daughters,
knew his

and their

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

beautiful'9

than Job's
brothers.20

their

16 And Job lived

another one

forty

years after

these events, and

sons and

his

son's

sons, and

died,

an old man contented with

theirs, four his days.

generations.

17 And

so

Job

Comments 1 It is terribly
how
translate this word. Gener

.

mezimah.

unclear

one should

ally speaking it usually implies

evil or wicked

intent:

48

Interpretation
Job 21:27 Ps. 10:2

Oh, I know
devised In

what you are

thinking, the

machination you

have

against me.

arrogance the wicked

hotly

pursue the poor;

let them be

caught

in

the schemes which

they have devised.
often means

In the Book
cretion":

of

Proverbs, however, it

something

more

like "dis

Prov. 8:12

I,
on

wisdom, dwell

in prudence,

and

I find knowledge

and

discretion.

Jeremiah,
wicked:

the other

hand,

uses

it to describe God's

plans

against

the

Jer. 30:24

The fierce

anger of

the LORD

will not

turn

back

until

he has

executed and accomplished the you will understand this.

intents

of

his

mind.

In the latter days

The
sage

in question, yibhaser, only in the Bible:
verb

occurs

in the

passive

in

one other pas

Gen. 1 1 :6

all one and

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

nothing

that

they

propose to

do

can

be

withheld

from

them."

The verb, then,
sense one

would seem or

to preclude

finds in Proverbs

taking the in Jeremiah, since in
also

word mzmh either

in the

neither case

is anything
Perhaps Job

being

spoken of which one would want to prevent.

This leaves the first meaning, but that is
means,

difficult to

accept.

however,

that that too can

be

accepted as

long

as

it is known to be

without malice or

intent. beyond me,
a world

2. "There is
are]
wonders

a world

full

wonders,"

of

literally, "[There

beyond
'em'

me."

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

and

King
least

James translates: "Wherefore I
The Revised Standard does

abhor

myself, and repent

on

dust

and

ashes."

about the

same,

except that

King

James

at

puts the word

"myself in
ashes."

italics, indicating

that there

is nothing

corre

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

stop

after the second verb rather than the

first

King

James

would require.

ashes."

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

and

already

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

our and all who belong to deliver lives from death. Job 1:4 be a world devoid of all meaningful human action. sisters each one on a different with day. yet his soul. but it is has been replaced not a simple return of to a fairytale world. and the worms cover Job 22:20 Job 31:8 saying. that the moths eaten. Remember Aaron. Job of the wide world is again Job the servant which of the LORD. living in a nutshell. 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 . The world of out to seeing turned has returned. Rahab: my father them. tortuous syntax of the long its obscure The that language is simple. and Joshua 2:13 . "Has consumed not our enemy been destroyed. Again there has been a switch middle in the texture section with of the language. 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. All of by the language ordinary everyday adult human speech. of Another dies in the bitterness goodness. . Gone is the vocabulary. 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. another eat their remains by fire?" then let me sow. 11. never having eaten of together they lie in the dust. 10. 9. but that seeing took place in a foreign land in act. Job's his hands his friends eyes could not have seen. them over. He who has seen the Leviathan will say a prayer for as they bring their bulls and their rams to be sacrificed.50 Interpretation 1. will consume His be away. but . death's first born his members. The nation now word 'aChaL that had so often meant death. that wonderful woman of the night." other Biblical character to use the was phrase "brothers and with all the sense of equality that it implies. It might be worth mentioning that the only sisters. 8. my brothers and sisters. destruction. . and Job His sons used to make feasts in their homes. the tents of skin will bribery eaten are a consuming fire. and save alive and mother. and send word to their three to come and eat and drink them.

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

"day." is a fragrant bark of a tree that can be pow dered like Ps. and used pens of the by women as eye makeup.52 Interpretation the young people. It is from the words It is a new Job. stones. In ancient times it was ground into a powder. and wood and stones wood." are. Then. 4:30 When Jehu her eyes. including the being his 16. sym bolic of feminine corruption: 2Kings 9:30 Jer. came to Jezreel. and marble. "cassia. besides great quantities of onyx colored for setting. and I alone have escaped to tell thee. 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. or all the things that a self. in English. keren happuli1: the first two ful. Job 3:1 Then. all sorts of precious stones. antimony. Your your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. Job opened mouth and spurned 17. They consoled and showed upon him compassion for all the evils which the LORD had brought him. so far for the things as I was able. that you deck yourself with ornaments of gold. also called pukf1. and she painted her head. 18. We remember to his friends: his his day. this name? second word. O desolate one. in the prophets. the iron for the things iron. too." 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. Job himself becomes word yom. 45:8 cinnamon and used in cooking. of Job does not end with a deus ex machina or miracle or resur of death In recognizing the being of itself. and of bronze for the things for the things bronze. The Book rection. that you and adorned enlarge your eyes with paint? . the silver of of my God. of silver. As such it became. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad. means "antimony": for house IChron 29:2 So I have the gold the provided the of for the things of gold. and looked out of the window. Jezebel heard of it. And you. qesi'a. what do you mean that you dress in scarlet. They are dead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

tribe. Tirzah. Although the genuine concern words "Let them marry welfare of whom they think best" clearly own show for the the women. In the case of Zelophehad. 36:1 houses of of the families of the of the sons of fathers' Gilead the the sons Machir. then his inheritance to his brothers. tribe to another. 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. it inheritance. saying. and the Husbands are immediately out to found for from their dowry. so and added to the inheritance of the tribe to they belong. for each of the people of shall cleave to its own inheritance. "The LORD commanded my lord to the land for inheritance by lot to the people of Israel. and of LORD to give the inheritance my lord was commanded by the Zelophehad our brother to his of the people of daughters. tribal the women inheritance is paramount. inheritance turns be little more than a grand . the heads fathers' of the of the people of give Israel. 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. But if they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes Israel then their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance which of our fathers.' " The daughters Zelophehad did as the LORD commanded the Moses. the tribe and their inheritance will be taken from inheritance Israel of fathers. 'Let within them marry whom they think best. Hoglah. The only. they shall marry the family of the tribe of their father. And every daughter who of the people of Israel shall be her father. then you shall cause no his inheritance to you shall give pass to his daughter. came near son of Manasseh. were married to sons of their father's are brothers. however. daughters of Zelophehad. And if he has daughter. And you shall say to the a man people of Israel. 'If dies. This is what the LORD commands concerning the daughters of of Zelophehad. houses houses of and spoke before Moses and before the leaders." of our And Moses commanded the people of according to the word of the LORD. for Mahlah. they said. The heads of the fathers' there was a further complication: Num. 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. son of Joseph. So no of inheritance the tribes shall be transferred from Israel of one tribe to another. then will inheritance be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which the they belong. And their when will be taken away from the lot of our the jubilee of the people of Israel comes.62 Interpretation possession of an the inheritance of their inheritance among their father's brothers and cause father to pass to them. "The tribe of the sons Joseph is right. Milcah. and has no son. and Noah.

This insight. nothing is said dowries. the other cried beginning The was a need "unjust. Human sociality way to plant men work together and it requires means nothing more than that by day in the evening they talk. that that Job has established the right of women to own and hold a property. there would be no bread. The needs of man may better be served being open to the excellence of things as they grow of themselves than by by seeing them as being directed towards those needs. the way to go out on the hunt. led. be and of the ways. This led to a shift in Job's standing of and sensitivity to beauty. They be taught. . the way to bake bread. Without whole. Of what do they speak? Of the com." Without these would must be no life." clashing for human One said while friendship. the notion that things had their own selves apart seal upon them and were what recognition they were in them under from human need. So far In the case of means 63 or about husbands as I can see. The inheritance is outright and absolute." Out of the whirl of the Tempest came the notion of the signets. the and all way to These some bury the dead. "just" by the For Job. the two refused to mesh. there would no way to live as "one of com. however. 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. for clarity that came about when his world began to fall asunder led Job to the need for autonomous understanding. to the emergence of the nurturing and swaddling God as distin guished from the making and constructing God. as we have seen. beauty. men are empty and life is without taste. 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. of his daughters. there and us. and it is the children who must learn them. by the fathers and some by the mothers. in turn.The Book of Job Job's daughters. A small change in a last will and testament was the result. ways must be taught they must be learned. and a need of clarity. and hence to ultimately questions concerning those accounts of "the first The need things.

.

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

and

Socratic Eros in

Plato's Charmides is
the
reader multiple

an evocative and

highly
of

nuanced

dialogue, offering
of possible

to

themes

for

consideration and a

variety

inter

pretative approaches.
open

Three formal factors

Plato's

composition

immediately

an

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

and

his interlocutors
term, in this

attempt

but fail to formulate
("prudence,"

a

satisfactory definition
(first
posed at

of a

"sound-mindedness,"

moral

case sophrosyne

or "self-

control").

By leaving

the question "What is

sophrosyne?"

159a)

unanswered at

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

definitions (as Socrates
ment

does, 175a-c)

and

to scrutinize the processes of argu
aporia.

by

which the

investigation has derailed in
not

Second,

the Charmides

is

a narrated

dialogue, featuring Socrates

only

as a participant

in the discus
on the next

sion
day.1

but In

also as a reporter of

the proceedings to
gives

an unnamed

friend

so

casting his dialogue Plato
the
"friend"

his

readers

the opportunity to as

sume the role of

and to evaluate

Socrates'

own

commentary

on

the

previous

day's

events.

Third,

the obvious care Plato takes to give the dialogue a

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

the definitions of

sophrosyne presented within

the text and the complex and
knowledge"

intriguing
175a). I

introduction

of the concept of a approach

"knowledge

of

(166e-

propose

here to

the dialogue the

by

the second and third routes,

responding to
cratic eros.

Socrates'

narrative and

overall

dramatic frame, in
the

order

to

consider a theme not

usually discussed

with reference to

Charmides, So
Socrates tell the
Charmides'

Plato story
of

prefaces the elenctic core of the

dialogue

by having
Charmides

his introduction to Charmides, Socrates
night

a

story that

has

conspicuous elements of and at

an erotic encounter.

says that when

he

met

cousin

Critias the

before, he had just
his

come

back from battle
grounds

Potidaea

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

and was

happy

to

be

able return to

usual

in Athens. He

subject, he turned the

conversation

toward the latest

happenings in the
interpretation, Fall

philosophical

community, asking

whether there were

any

1998, Vol. 26, No. 1

66

Interpretation
men who

young
their

had

proven themselves exceptional
worth

for

their wisdom or

for
one

beauty

(153a-d). It is
about

breath both
echoi

"what's going

noting that Socrates (peri on in

should

have

asked

in

philosophy"

philosophias

hopos

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

Plato has

already

juxtaposition

of themes

palaistra,

Athenian

males would

setting the Charmides in a be stimulated both physically and intel

by

lectually by
Lysis, in
palaistra

one another's presence.

We

are reminded of the

beginning

of the

which

by

looking
author

ones"

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

Hippothales

and

has

established a

link between eros, the desire for beauty,

and philoso

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

immediately

No

sooner

had he

asked about the

young men,
all of

continues

throng
was

of them

began to fill the room,
Critias'

whom,

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

lovers (erastai)

of

cousin

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

by

common consent the soon

best-looking

in his

age group. of all

Char

mides

himself

entered, to the

present, in
of

cluding Socrates,
this youth:

who confides

to his anonymous

companion

his impression

My friend,

I

am no good at measuring.

I

am

simply
and

a

blank

ruler when me.

it

comes to

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

age seem

beautiful to

But still,

beautiful.

(154b-c)
youngest

arrival

had

a

like

effect on all the men

present, from the
were a

to the oldest, all of whom gazed upon
agalma

him "as if he

statue"

(hosper

154c). Plato's

use of words and

images here is
is

suggestive.

What I have
a white

translated as "I am

measuring-line."

simply a blank Atechnos leuke stathme
regard to.
. .

ruler"

literally
. .

"I

am

simply

eimi pros

was colloquial

for "I

make no extended make

distinctions in

Presumably

the expression

derived this

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

white chalk could not

so

it is

an appropriate

image here

Socrates is

looking

at a man who seems to

be

an agalma,

perhaps of stone.

Socrates

then says that

his friend

Chaerephon,

who was also

present, remarked upon
was so

Charmides'

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

handsome face

beauty,

whose admirers

temporarily forgot
and a

ual with a

distinctive face
Charmides'

beauty

was

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

Drama, Narrative,
metrically inept
companion

and

Eros in Plato 's Charmides

67

Socrates,
narrative

even while

in the him.
was

that beautiful youths

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

the same to

Socrates
at

indeed

not convinced that

needed to see
cousin
thing,"

body,
noble

least

until

he had

Critias'

assurance that

his

possessed, besides his specifically, "a
soul was

obvious

soul"

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

Charmides'

indeed

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

"undressing"

that part of the young man

prevent
call

Critias,
of

Charmides'

guardian, to

any impression of unseemliness, Charmides over. By making this

Socrates'

example

politesse older man

explicit, Plato

ironically

heightens the

erotic

ambience.

An

in

a palaistra

suspected of sexual motives often

(and it

was

have

paidagogoi attend

their sons

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

possible seduction.

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

At the

same

time,

by having
the

Socrates

bring

up the issue Socrates

of wres

tling-school protocol,

Plato

makes

reader aware

that this meeting does at
and

least have the
were
on

appearance of a seductive approach. enough

Happily

Critias

good

terms that

they

could collaborate

in

a

ruse

to draw

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

They

pretended

that Socrates knew a

cure

charged

scenario

than a removal of the garments

from

Charmides'

soul and

(as

McAvoy 1996,
came.

pp.

83-84,

suggests).

In any event, it worked,
companion

Charmides

Socrates

continues

his narrative, telling his among the
to
make

proach caused a great ruckus man

men

pushing his

neighbor aside opted

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

that

Charmides'

to himself. He eventually
mides'

to sit between Socrates and
a

Critias,

and

Char

sudden nearness threw

Socrates into

dither:

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

knew the cure, he looked

me

right in the

eyes with an

indescribable look

and was on the verge of

asking
I

me a question.

Everyone in the
longer

palaistra gathered round us

in

a

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

friend,
of

that I saw what was

inside his

fire, I

was no

within

myself, and I came to regard Cydias as the

wisest counselor with respect

to matters

love.

Speaking

of a

beautiful boy, he fawn before

gave the a

following
be

advice to someone:

Take
meat.

care not to go as a

lion

and

snatched

up like

a piece of

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

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

Socrates begins to launch into epic (as wolves are he admits he has done. hunting (Dover. 58. 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. of citation of the line from Cydias. of which three come immediately to mind. him to finally renewed reflection. here appetite cite Socrates' having greater of this line urgency than his Cydias Plato appropriates sexual appetite. but did not drink its blood. the aporia has a beneficial element. has not always been recognized as such. First. The usual formulation of prey lighting upon the erastes the part the metaphor comparing an erotic pursuit to a beast its quarry. p. This is a remarkable passage for several reasons. 81-91. Socrates' sexual arousal here leads him to a new awareness of his ceptibility to advice. consists in part in his intellectual Socrates' ability to unpleasant) event into an sophrosyne. 1978. an pp.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. For of example. Such metaphors are similar to the common compari game son of sexual pursuit to p. Halperin 1985. with trust in my strength. This physiological loss in which the dialogue concludes.6 Third. In both cases. "As which he denounces the selfish lovers boys" under the spell of eros. or as a hunter tracking game. Sim sus ilarly.70 be Interpretation reduced to a chunk of meat by a lion. fond of lambs. 241e). Jowett's translation to make it approximate a more conven tional arrangement: . I caught a fawn in my claws. potentially embarrassing (if opportunity for detached introspection indicates that shown in his control of his desire. 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. Socrates. (Cited as an image for erotic capture by Dover 1978. Socrates' (241d). the perception of their own lack knowledge. passion and causes consider the significance of Cydias' The second striking point about the passage not is that turn a disconcerting. right out from under hind. stretches the Charmides text enough For example. The bewilderment greater engendered by the Socratic elenchus ideally spurs the of interlocutors to and self-awareness. in singing. there c-d: seems to be a probable sexual connotation to Theognis 1278 A a lion. just so do lovers love 165). does indeed give of the hunter and the eromenos the part of the hunted. by having Socrates for a metaphor erotic pursuit that would have been familiar to his readers.) his first speech Concluding motives of in the Phaedrus. with who had been observing the behavior of amusement.

" for I felt that I had been by a sort of wild-beast lion. perceiving his craving for Charmides. to speak. 90. and to imagine Socrates as the erastes and Charmides as the eromenos. their attempt to tells Socrates that the two of them should cousin even define sophrosyne. a phenomenon passive eromenos of a sexual in the nominally advances relationship not only enjoys his lover's but even reciprocates. Critias and and plotting that if Charmides is really intent says you" force to make Socrates submit playfully say that they to their will. also interprets the quotation in this sense). If we do. "I with won't resist we continue to follow the erotic subtext of the dialogue we to "see him can view again." you resist me Socrates answers. and slyly Charmides have failed in his suggests that the pursued will become the When Socrates. pursuer.8 and Eros in Plato's Charmides love. a lover might approach his beloved. he must mean us to go along with the game. Charmides thereafter spend every day together in will resort discussion." realization of his desire to be Socrates. and I think the one that most simply accommodates the text.Drama. catch. "So 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. he devoured appetite. If Charmides' either. 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. interprets the inversion his encounter as a simple rever sal of roles." no one will be able to resist him. Narrative. p. Socrates to replies in kind then. 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. p. pursue. lion. when. is aware that he poses some danger to the younger man (Nussbaum 1986. in which Charmides. so that the lion in the poem stands for carnal desire. "don't (176a-d). 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. who. 92." he most likely means Charmides became. perhaps to the point that the two roles are exchanged. and devour (McAvoy 1996. respectively. also reads the text in this way). not for an individual whose beauty incites it. Thus there to me to be use of at least two more likely readings. 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]. I thought how fair youth. When Socrates says. "I myself to have been captured by a beast like that. which as a manifestation of anteros. only if a with the power to momentarily. we will be inclined to expect the metaphor of the lion and fawn to felt refer to Socrates and Charmides. this inverted image is to suppose that One way of understanding he means he has been snared by his lust for Charmides. or . Critias. we can see that dialogue. Another reading.

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

In the Charmides of sophrosyne Socrates. e. keeping good things to one's own work (159b-160d). possibility. From that on on. that he has both of the virtues required of sophrosyne and by a Diotiman lover. "doing one's (to ta heautou prattein). 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. 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. and benefits for individual a polis of a knowledge of knowledge . seeking to evaluate the others on the basis of their goodness and societal benefits. expands his logos nomoi.g. own" every member of a city. see Larson 1951). diakaiosyne in Socrates mate also prompted on Critias to elevate the discussion to the next. showing modesty generally. and goodness (to agathon. 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. like walking and talking with deliberate. however. 457b). the discussion possible Charmides an fixed for the meaning. level again. Phil. he did so with the definition of the virtue as accep of of "knowledge of the other knowledge and of knowledge itself (166c). They consider kalon only in the first of these activities. Now the third concep tion of sophrosyne. (161b-163d). Indeed the Re principle followed by public is a much more extended discussion of nomoi than one's own is the Charmides.g. 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). Narrative. and it may well be that Soc sophrosyne in the Charmides implies his concomi so tant possession of dikaiosyne. as would a so governed. is accepted by Socrates and his interlocutors in the Republic as a definition for justice (433a). and. Rep. Charmides. What Socra present sophrosyne tes says about later in the dialogue could be said perhaps more naturally of dikaiosyne: A house city run in accordance with sophrosyne would certainly be run well. and Critias begin discussion by considering likely manifestations of that virtue quiet circumspection in practice. and so with everything else controlled by sophrosyne. penulti rung (episteme). the element of to doing (163e-164d). 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). (On the similarity in meaning Plato's dialogues. Soc rates argues for the identity of to kalon e. (160d-161b). their investigation still fo 64e) cuses on the quality of admirability in various practices. In other dialogues.Drama. 165b) kind remains and his agreement with Socrates that point must therefore of the be some of episteme (165c). (17 le) Socrates. expanded as a and usefulness (to ophelimon.

For and other Kahn has early dialogues or dialogues in Kahn's terms) partly in order to prepare his readers for the fuller. the arguments of aporetic dia logues like the Charmides.10 By show reading the drama how one and narration of the Charmides "about" with frequent refer ence to other dialogues. 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. ideal youth with whom to give birth to such discourse. here eros. while in the Symposium acted in the guise of an he imagines how the actions of a philosopher- lover might be expressed in theory. Rather. Lysis. He dropped Socra ascent could go no further with him. 1988. and Republic. In the might Charmides he imagines how Socrates erastes. According to Kahn's theory of prolepsis.74 Interpretation and the various epistemai. 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. discussion before the topic of episteme came up. Kahn 1996. any case. especially the Symposium. As an example. 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. 541-49). Phaedo. 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. Sadly for Socrates. If he had I such a necessarily have allowed that Socrates had in Plato did not choose to introduce the theory and. In the Charm can Zalmoxis' ides these logoi Charmides tes' was not an out of the only be the elenchus. as it turned out. 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. 56-70. Laches. pp. vision. pp. to topic. itself In the Symposium Diotima tells Socrates that the consideration of epistemai will allow the lover to see profound manifestation beauty in its of most and coax from him the kaloi logoi (210d). would not had. can reinforce the understanding of that topic we achieve through the other dialogues. ostensibly. 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. 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. The discourse by the contemplation of pose the charm of knowledge here reminds us of the kaloi logoi that com comprise the therapy. he shows that the notion of the knowl- . he as a solution to the question of sophrosyne. 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).

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

lacked sophrosyne in its in its manifestation as a kind of knowledge." South Dialogues and with Plato (Apeiron 29. In T. Sophrosyne: Self-Knowledge and Self-Restraint in Greek Literature. "The Charmides: Socratic Sophrosyne. C. Human Journal of Philosophy 34: 183-99. McAvoy. "Plato's Charmides and the Proleptic Reading of Socratic Journal of Philosophy 85: 541-49. Benitez." and Self-Knowledge: An Interpretation of Plato's Interpretation 6: 141-203. "Carnal Knowledge in the ern Charmides. 1962. Plato and the Socratic Dialogue. MA: Harvard University Press. "self-control. "The Platonic Synonyms dikaiosyne nal sophrosyn and American Jour of Philology 72: 395-414." Classical Antiquity 5: 60-80. trans. Edmonton: Academic Printing Publishing. "Platonic Eros and What Men Call Love. 163-209. Kahn (1996. Cambridge: Cambridge Press. Athens: The Ohio University Press. Ithaca. . Plato. Hamilton H. 1986. 1988. In E. 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. University Larson. Nussbaum. Griswold. It is with Menexenus." REFERENCES Bruell. Ed. 63-103. 1961. Kahn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Saunders. J." Mahoney. 1985. Cairnes. 1996." Dialogues of Plato.. 1996. like Critias a member of the notorious oligarchic regime manifestation as Athens therefore also Peloponnesian war.4). D. Plato: Early Socratic Dialogues. 1951. Greek Homosexuality. T. L. 99-122. C. trans. eds. ed. Eng: Penguin. 1986. Potae Melici Graeci. Pp. "Plato and Erotic Reciprocity. E. Charmides. The Virtue of Philosophy: An Interpretation of Plato's Charmides. Hanmondsworth." 161-204... Journal of Philosophy 85: 550-51. Cambridge. K. 1987." Dover. 1988. M. M. North. Hyland. 1966. D. Sophrosyne. Pp. D. 1981. 1977. 1978. "Socratic Politics Charmides. p. The Collected Dialogues. Page. Watt. C. 1996. H. Oxford: Oxford University Press. "Unifying Ancient Philosophy 5: Halperin. and Jowett. Princeton: Princeton University Press. C.. 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. B. Pp. NY: Cornell University Press." and also reasonable to suppose that intended his to the Charmides ruling and the prejudice that after the Charmides. Charmides. D.76 Interpretation 9. The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy.

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

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

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

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

and Burke suggests that this pitilessness will become a permanent part of the British character. The punishments serve neither or nor the ends of which are victory. This insolent men as some only reflected in its characterization of American naval pirates. VIII (p. in England for trial those But these trials cannot high treason in America" bring possibly be just.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. corpus The second object of the partial suspension of the who shall commit is "to detain (p. Burke does habeas corpus not hesitate to precedent point out that the partial of the has its justice in King Henry war. manly defiance becomes the only virtue. the absence of justice. they Britain are only hardened by the punishments. object of their own insults. ought to evoke feelings of horror jail. both. 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. far from making the British godlike. but not according to justice. that they will become savage. but also in its description of American soldiers in general. Parliament denies a place for patriotism in the moral order and. but it does produce punished not even the desired effects of punishment. 181-82). therefore. tried ac cording to form. Parliament replaces justice with force and will. therefore. What example can an American in England serve the Americans at home? The unjust pun ishments only pride and execution serve to increase American vigilance. rather than the the crime. the British more insult them order by calling them cowards. makes them of Bristol 81 lower than the By moral qualities of allowing their indignation to dictate the order of crimes. 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. as if In they is have killed British in to prove themselves virtuous. Parliament its proper time and place. . This manliness untempered whether by justifications and fears. and The proper place for the punishments is in America. Not only does the trial of Americans in England corrupt justice. their proper time is cannot give punish after the war. The spirit of just victory is completely lacking habeas in the British. them down and then in the hold tossing them in forma trial. finds itself in god a world where strength and a tyrant in so far as is the only claim to authority. it and expresses of itself in simple or the domina of tion. This attempt to punish the Ameri cans through the law brings the law into disrepute. because it is blinded by its own indignation. After strength not is American should defeats. taking their goods. because the accused cannot possibly forward witnesses to defend himself. tying half dead in England). it acts like both a its actions are not justified by country. of a The mere thought of shackling the to have them arrive ship (only where Americans. Yet the English in will await a pro they have lost all feelings of pity and humanity for their fellow Englishmen in America. it be the imprisonment killing enemies. peace. 180). The accused is. (pp. 180). should the ment English be victorious.

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

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

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

Burke argues that rebellions are provoked rather than encouraged. Just a short time . of Without the affection and strength Englishmen. rather than certain tyranny. 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. because his objections to its policies only increased its obstinacy. 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. the Americans must trust in themselves. Burke has absented himself from Parliament. and Burke shows As things stand. 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. (1774). therewith. by pointing to the arbitrariness of Parliament's American policy. the British must form a strong peace party confidence. both addresses popular and parliamentary. the Americans can place their The way to form and strengthen the peace party is not through parliamentary debate. and be trusted. they must earn that trust. THE ARGUMENT FOR RECONCILIATION The of argument for reconciliation must address itself directly to the accusation treason. he must invoke a truth beyond the source and collective or conventional of wisdom. cynicism. to that to reconcile while of in a position of strength is magnanimous the glory Parliament. The obstacle to almost unanimous support with peace seems. He is cautious in his blame. Burke turns to reason as the foundation his policy. above the voices of many. therefore. 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. Honesty and prudence compel him to take his case to those decent citizens in whom there still exist justice and pity. themselves. he wards ate it slowly by first arguing that the Americans cannot be peace. remains as he stated earlier to Parliament in his Speech on American Taxation and. He is be heard but is rather competing for their ear. to risk with defeat their own arms. the Americans are virtually alone. the power under will be popularly recognized as such. 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. In order to and break this whom circle of hate distrust.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol 85 British. as it is asserted that talk of peace encourages rebellion (p. He directly to the unanimity by which Parliament justifies its by first drawing the distinction between agreement and truth. 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. to be the for the the war in England. This is his moves to first statement about British guilt. 195).

Parliamentary of obedience sovereignty is (p. it may be the mind. by habits argues that abstract Parliament rules for the He does not argue that the have rights. be governed. but it is nothing in the direction of affairs. beg leave to observe. Now. waves of chance and. but that no other given part of only the invidious branch of taxation that legislative rights can be exercised. 205). Burke paints a picture and cowardly in defeat and confident and insolent Parliament lacks the gravity and constancy of reason and character. 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. The argument for reconciliation on an argument about good government. therefore. The people are.86 ago Interpretation Parliament unanimously opposed the war and was willing to negotiate a peace. Burke people not justified by an abstract legal right. 210-11). Due to the strength and the constitution ought to have offices which can variability be appealed to of public opinion. He is thereby domestic politics. The arbitrari can serve as a wedge its policy cannot but induce doubts that the lukewarm from the majority While Burke dares British politicians. Parliament to tax the Americans. that it is not will be resisted. so as to offend the people. Par liament must. 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. to separate not accuse the British nation for the war. even though right of they have no representation. its passions and mind are enslaved to the prevailing fortune it meets. because Parliament has given itself claims the right over to doctrinaire fanaticism. because the British had suffered defeats. 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 turns their traces the cause of the war to bad politicians government. He implies that Parliament is waging the war for its own Burke tries to awaken within the breasts of the British their minds towards jealous love British of liberty. Parliament is unanimously in support of the war. he can accuse aggrandizement. but that their desires should be respected because of their strength. but people. I must attend to public opinion. when public . legislative The not government should exercise its rule with as much reserve as possible. having recently tasted victory. granted social rights (pp. can neither be admired by those who love virtue nor ness of followed by those who worship the promise of success. It rides the of Parliament that is fearful in victory. therefore. 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. (P. rather than oppress it. 207) omnipotence. at best.

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

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

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

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

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

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

not so much because he thought there entailed were no such rights. however. 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. therefore. They competent to judge their grievances by their feelings. 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. If be a nation and is to be more than a band of robbers. they are too strong to oppose. of the people actually threatens the satisfaction of wants. is gentlemen have defending the habits of continuity on interest in property and. The people are the product of the constitution. have dence is to time degree of public spiritedness. Burke con guardian their fear to be a that the of their virtue. The issue of property to that other moderator of takes Burke away from the satisfaction of wants partisanship patriotism. but they do are not possess the character and mind to demagogues. Some have so much authority to the past that Burke must . avarice. from time yet does not require the usurpation of authority Burke preferred unsuspecting confidence to the rights of man. should the people rule. 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. but trust that is called to account and office.14 birth that form own will or consent are not continuity and community. they provide only necessary Burke's attempt to found attachments and authority attachments without status of morality in prescription. 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. an Perhaps most important. natural Burke thought the rulers. therewith.Burke 's Letter to the Sheriffs indignation directed that virtue at of Bristol 93 the government from time to time. 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. it must means justify its borders to itself must to others. 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. there would be no brake on as them (with the exception of a preferred military dictatorship). but. a Unsuspecting blind faith or apathy. 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. just the aristocrats and parlia confi ment must show some concern not for convenience and wants. liberty. in which it depends. This necessity of justice that equality The understood as qualified by country. Burke thus suggests is rare and weak. satisfy those grievances. and a brutality of accepting of political men. rather than connections of its sovereign. Every edge that nation must exist somewhere to the exclusion of other nations. on habits of continuity gains the thought that prescription gives any basis in one's but also ennobling. The as are though people dis must.

brings a degree of the common good. mind. Contending for an imaginary power. but he never allows the idea of impartiality or universality to dominate politics. . Liberty is in danger of being made unpopular to Englishmen. history could that it could be The British constitution defends the equity of the law and recognizes how important it is to the common good. Burke never thought reality. Prescription the constitution is satisfying want. tion or even an proven idea that be conceived greatest independent Prescrip beneficence. Prescription Burke's ideas a matter of of political convenience and political pa process triotism. Provi dence appears godlike in its mysterious dispensation. because he never believed is not Hegel's state. It gives the political body continuity and its citi zens a shared past and a shared providence destiny. The origins are inferior to the end product. rather. for the a leading to is the does for politics what satisfying Adam Smith did for result of variety of needs and desires.94 Interpretation a have been He did traditionalist. it is viewed as an unintelligible and superhuman force. not think that the British constitution was the best form of government origins and because it had divine because it was his own. . we begin to acquire the spirit of domination and to lose the relish of honest equality. 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. To the contrary. 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. The best can constitution is not the product of the of practice. viewed by its beneficiaries as a series of accidents grounded in man's desires.15 The hidden hand is not. History is so far from being rational that it is turned to in order to support attachments that are threat ened by reason. and beneficence. however. But Burke did not equate the ancestral with the good. but the end product does cess not exist independent of the pro by is which it came into being. force. never harmony between natural desire and that history constituted a realm of be real. CONCLUSION The spirit of equitable justice that is corpus offended and dissolved by the partial suspension of the habeas leads to the twin tendencies of tyranny and cynical despair. Burke never lost sight of the conflict between the particular and the universal. all other Those ingenuous feeling minds who are so fortified things. . 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. and so unarmed to whatever approaches in the shape of disgrace. satisfies and its benefits are those habits of virtue and affection that preserve the constitution. He economics. It is something to be Although He respected. Burke believed that rational.

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

1994]) argues that Burke's understanding of change was not informed by conservative opinions. But he did give the any property. and Aesthetics [Thousand Oaks. 10. 9. Edmund Burke. remarkably similar to Aristotle's criticisms of Plato's. 4. 2. In An Appeal from the New Revolution that it pretended to to the 11. therefore guaranteeing a military dictatorship. There are three classes of citizens. 1. Conor Cruise O'Brien (The Great judgement of the French Revolution is Melody [Sinclair: Stevenson. Politics. CT: Greenwood Press. 431-32. Works. 350-52. pp. Furthermore. Nor did Hippodamus know He thought that instead of voting innocent or guilty. vol. Burke's Despite their to define a realm of political existence cannot but remind one of Aristotle. and Aristotle criticizes Plato for trying to make the city a unity. vol. was cited within the text as Reflections. 382-84. but by thoughtful considerations about the protection of liberty. rather than his ideas Hippodamus was ambitious. pp. W. 431. he denied and the artisans arms. Interpretation Paine thought that all hereditary government was ings of Thomas Paine [New York: Citadel Press. 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. 439. p. and wished to be learned in nature as a Hippodamus did his ambitious dress according to the different seasons. p. 533. p. they both ideas. 8. Conniff finds him too cautious for not advocating vol. 358. Burke's criticize the attempt to understand politics through abstract and mathematical criticisms of the legislative science of the revolution are Hippodamus' best regimes. wore by cheap whole. 1994]) argument. 15-16. and warm clothes in both the not winter and the summer. vol. pp. and the 7. 164. ultimate differences. adorned himself with expensive ornaments and long hair. 6. He he thought he was the first person ever to propose died in battle. but I think he emphasizes the aesthetic aspect of Burke's politics at the his political thought. Glorious 1984). sympathize with Burke's ideas of prescription.96 else. reflections on progress see The Works of Edmund Burke (London: Bohn. Burke says that the genius of the of the old regime. pp. Works. although ment. a more participatory form vol. 364) and thus he could not For Burke's vol. 31. 3. Stephen Browne (Edmund Burke Alabama Press. independent farmers of the and that all the classes not (artisans. 1854-89). Hippodamus failed to understand the nature of political order. Old Whigs. remind one of the old man ed. he made the military the farmers by giving the army their own property. 2. 5. This abound psychological account of the many political reasons that in the Reflections. 94. 520. Aristotle draws attention to the importance of Hippo calling him the first political scientist. 1960). page number alone are 3. and by looking at the man. Politics of Progress [Albany: 2. Phaleas'. artisans the military) would be loyal to and the city as a whole. and three kinds of legal suits. was so He knew nothing about the influence of force and interest. portrait. The mind and the disposition of the Sheriffs clearly character Burke writes A Vindication of Natural Society. In from looking to the number three for order. 282-83. 279. vol.: Penguin. jurors and . All references by to the Selected Writings of Edmund Burke. farmers. CA: Sage. 101. and to Burke. Eng. and the 2. be legitimate according to the laws 287-300. in whose 6. attempt 8. James Conniff (The Useful Cobbler: Edmund Burke State University of New York Press. 282-83. he failed to understand the unique nature of on the politics. of govern 3. his regime on the number 12. tyranny (Thomas Paine. vol. Reflections Revolution in France (Harmondsworth. 1992]) argues that Burke's decisively determined by the fact that he was an Irish Burke fails to appreciate Catholic. Jackson Bate (Westport. and Hippodamus for his ambition and simplicity. pp. three sections of the city. The faults of Hippodamus are the most important to both Aristotle damus only. 7. Phaleas for advocating equality of property. 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. Hippodamus models three. many other cities. Hippodamus thought that his and rulers would be popularly elected. p. pp. vol. but according to his fancy. The Complete Writ 1945]. In desire to know nature as a whole.

find a standard of History [Chicago: University legitimacy through providence British constitution. rather than action. Frohnen (Virtue and the Prom ise of Conservatism [Lawrence: University of Kansas Press. 1954). of Chicago Press. a person of actual virtue defend the presumptions against dangerous theory. susceptible of of infinite improvement. Works. and actually increased the harshness of tyranny where it threatened authority but could not Melissa S. vol. as in the French Revolution. takes issue with Providence [Durham: Carolina Academic Press. 15. Canavan. pp. Burke's emphasis on unsuspecting confidence. vol. 151-53) law theorist in the tradition of St. not simply its evident usefulness. 348. Works. In the Spirit of the Laws. 406-7. 1991]. case of the Edmund Burke [Chicago: presumptions University Chicago Press. Nugent (New York: Hafner Press. Burke's one solves problem While Burke is able to anchor the and political only to pose life in general. for men of action are often. trans. he opposed a universal understanding of justice. is taken from Montesquieu. he is vulnerable to the problems connected to his providential god. against abstract doctrine. He failed to and law is undermined by the habit changing it. Strauss claims understanding of prescription undermines the idea of noble defeat. of Chicago Press. 29. Like Burke. Reappraisal. that its authority depends habits of obedience. 470. 1949). He honors for those individual judgement. in Strauss concerning Burke's understanding of providence. and even expected. those presumptions must are Presumptive virtue rests on about justice. NJ: Transaction Publishers. rather than the presumptive. 1. vol. 6. 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. who lives according to the actual. Harvey Mansfield (Statesmanship and Party Government [Chicago: University p. to hope against all odds in the heat of battle. pp. p.9-10). sanship. thus making an who improved the law. Thus. uses his understanding to support men of political prudence and virtue. because understand on he thought the law that the was like the arts. Canavan is for Burke life. 1965]. p." the ruling majority and 14. 2. Mansfield's analysis of the difference between presumptive and actual virtue helps to clar of ify Burke's relation to political life pp. the man of actual virtue. as opposed to natural rights. When questioned. 431. Stanlis (Edmund Burke [New Brunswick. p. because he thought it made prudence impossible. and Canavan (Ed mund argue Burke: Prescription that Burke and is a natural particular. according to their also proposed authoritative verdict impossible. 1. pp. Williams ("Burkean Descriptions and And Political Representation: A Canadian Journal of Political representation can still serve overcome it. According to and Leo Strauss (Natural Right attempt to another. pp. natural right is an indepen dent principle that used as a standard for political 16. . (Harvey Mansfield. 13. Science. 1987]. Montesquieu argues that the opinion of one's own security is the end of the law. Strauss has in mind the realm of thought. Thomas Aquinas. vol. 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. 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. 432. 294-95.237).149-52). 331-33. 77).Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs should of Bristol 97 be able to vote in shades of grey. 1984]. 1993]. pp.

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the truth observation surface. to interpret this drama. 1 . Within their only clue offered to the things are never they seem and yet the discovery of what is is what seems to be. Fall 1998. No. 27) seems to The book that Nietzsche himself have considered his Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The first crests at the end of Song. 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. and that in its composition these aspects are not merely parallel or complementary. In our efforts to do so it is useful to begin with the consideration that a drama is composed of two essential aspects. Beyond Good Evil. but to those whom he "the wisest." In interpretation. It is generally recognized that Zarathustra presents an argument will according to which the essential core of all somewhat things is the to power. 289).Interpreting the Twofold Presentation of the Will to Power Doctrine in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra Steven Berg Loyola University. Vol. 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. it is incoherent. argument and action. . as it stands. presentation of this argument occurs less commonly observed that the in two waves. Zarathustra offers a revised to his teaching regarding calls the power not disciples. In the second. . New Orleans Next to the things themselves the the greatest what writings of the philosophers seem to pose works difficulties for interpretation. The acter of philosophical readers of his books .1 As readers of the book. but are inseparably It is joined. therefore." 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. 5. is a work that dramatizes the attempt of a man to we are called interpret upon the things themselves. A genuinely philosophical book might to the golden bowl of revealed with some plausibility be of whose con compared stitution Henry James's novel." Preface." Part One origin and falls decisively in the "Night to break and the second rises from its the shoals of the Redemption" in "On of Self-Overcoming" with violence upon thought the eternal and return as Riddle" it is developed first in "On and "The Vision wave the and finally in "The Convalescent. "deepest. 26.

Once deconstrucreturn its deeper levels are taken sight of. then the distribution. Zarathustra will relinquish his than superhuman status by going down to ignorant men and distributing man his wisdom to them. however." this account. 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. however. thinks through this revised Zarathustra's The Truth- teaching further ecy" than Zarathustra the essential has himself and reveals to him in a "proph (Weissagung) sayer's mind incoherence still nested at its core. Appealing directly to the multitude. Zarathustra relinquishes his superhuman status may then only ultimately to renew or reconfirm it. he is met with incredulity.4 If Zarathustra is human. e. his first distribute his wisdom to men is an utter failure." But this his means "to be again.3 At the opening of the work it is made clear that Zarathustra not only takes himself to be wise. of Thus when Nietzsche's utterances Zarathustra is through which simply as collection Zarathustrian Nietzsche gives voice to understood his own opinions. much passes for the core of Nietzsche's philosophy. therefore." men in order to distribute his wisdom thereby "become empty is defined dead. It. he and wishes to "go down" to again." 8). If it is primarily the fact that he is wise rather than ignorant that accounts for his superhuman condition. ridicule and hatred. however. like the be merely a superficial or partial aspect of his thought. demon strates the false character of that doctrine Four a as such and. but as a drama in of the which each speech round may be only in the light deeds that sur it and of what its necessary place within a sequential order of presentation. According to one auditor of his speeches he is lucky to have escaped with his life ("Zarathustra's eschews all Prologue." man since more man by his lack of wisdom or ignorance.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. the will to power proves to doctrine. As it is attempt presented in "Zarathustra's Prologue. 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. 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. the superman. of accordingly. It seems that Zarathustra to will somehow attempt to confirm his wisdom through its distribution. insights the articulate the kernel of what comes return.g. but as such to be more than human. one of these version of a man called Truthsayer." however. therefore. no mention is made of it in Parts Three read not and the work.. Overburdened by its superfluity. he is not a god: part of his wisdom is his knowledge that "god is He is. This under persuading live. In the light appeals and of this failure Zarathustra upon a novel strat- prudently further such direct fastens .100 Interpretation to response his invitation to "seriously the test" "wisest.

the people. calls "praiseworthy. 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. acting in the light of its truth. That is to say. the Still.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. therefore." or power over neighbors meaning various creation of all victory "the high. which those speeches are first and foremost concerned to articulate not what is being. the life of the superman ("Zarathustra's Prologue. . Thus whatever allows a and victory or power over itself. in accordance with its law. "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. require that beings who speaks: man the rational animal. Zarathustra proceeds with As the narrative unfolds and his attempt to initiate his disciples into his teaching. he insists. its things." character of his alleged wisdom becomes of possession of a causal own knowledge principle "all including is the the being of his knowing. however." "will to for the first time. the first. "On the is to be interpreted or understood it to as man. Zarathustra does knowledge of not possible to gain an immediate access to since being is through examining the speeches of human beings. speaks to man only being. But being. Jews because all and Germans all speak differently about good speeches and are formed by different laws. 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. law. The understanding and interpretation of interpret the speeches of that one being among speaking believe it being or. the It is the of the creator that brings the law into being and." 9). this activity is directed to sustaining people of which the people to gain legislator or creator expanding the power of the is the founder. agree in articulating an understanding evil as identical to virtue and vice. em but rather what good and evil. Since the of about good and evil are derived from the laws the various political commu nities. activity stands the legislator or. since." Here he that if be made to speak. power" In that speech of Part One in he ploys the term Goals. root cause of all the will to power is the things." holy. 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. despite their variety. as Zarathustra calls him. one Afterworldsmen. in the Aristotelian phrase. Persians. according to Zarathustra's understanding. according to Zara thustra. including his soul and mind. the good for man is understood by the law to be convertible with moral virtue. The first of this wisdom will to power. Behind the creator. all of of good and them. the apparent: he believes that he is in being.

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). 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. 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. is indefinitely being of infinitely malleable and that is simply a reflection of the essential being of all beings. in Zarathustra's own words. man the speaking linked to their root man the political being and that both aspects of man's being is necessarily humanity find the rational an uncontroversial an he calls the will are to power. it were.102 We Interpretation see that. longer disciples. but rather fellow creators. but identity between them. their legislation will also be the first to have been articulated in the . is at one and new teaching in the time the distribu as tion of wisdom and the promulgation of a law. the coming to be of the superman. To create great endeavor. law that is. according in what to Zarathustra. Zarathustra to wish to establish not simply a link. At the close of Part One. first no people" the successful completion of this promulgation. overarching then.5 But then Zarathustra's perspective of own speech about the beings itself transcends the his transcendence that marks wisdom as more any particular law. standing above and ruling a humanity they have helped to fashion. therefore. a law that is. Zarathustra. That the related political and aspects of claim. indicates. perhaps. however. nite laws. insofar as he takes the paradigmatically human speech to be the authoritative speeches of the law. As both the laws of his fellow creators and his own law of laws will be the first to have been constructed on the foundation of a full recognition of the truth of the law as rooted in the creative will or the will to power. is Zarathustra's goal. believes. to a Virtue. however. that he cities of men. It is this than human. divine." nations" among its brotherhood of equals. in his farewell speech to his disciples Zarathustra looks forward to a superlegislation future in which his friends. to creating creators. as it were. as an expression of the indefi Zarathustra human. 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. the to power. 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. that "humanity it plasticity self or in the proper sense does not in fact exist. therefore. human beings seems necessarily is. This new "light to the will itself recognize Zarathustra as the source of its light and. It is with this end in view has descended from his his mountain solitude to offer his the same a That teaching. directed to producing a determinate number of subordinate legislations or.

But the freedom his disciples are obliged to achieve it requires not only that the understanding of they liberate themselves from their former prejudices or good and evil instilled in their minds by the old law. in celebrating the feast of this new epiphany or." 3). It will be a legislation in perfect accord with man nature of and man man's things or. saying that Zarathustra fails in this endeavor. But Zara these thustra identifies the have perfect possession will of wisdom with secured happiness. while bringing humanity first time. this his account of the core of all beings as will to power and as indefinitely since plastic. as it were. 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. by and made of same means his happiness made ("Zarathustra's Prologue. Through it the political animal the rational animal will have been seamlessly joined and the law and made one. reveal himself to a his career. rule of a justice that is identical to a certain form of inequality. Accordingly. the superhuman creator over his human creatures. but teaching as from Zarathustra's speech of command own teaching. the authenticity of his superhuman if he is indeed able to make another like himself or confirm That is to say. humanity being If he is itself into successful for the in his endeavor. 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. The of his knowledge have become of coextensive with the horizon the law. will creators." things. a natural law. as he At the moment of the Great Noon man will no principle of all join longer is the between animal and god. This teaching is is engineered produce within them the freedom of mind and will prerequisite to the activity of comprehensive: creation. 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. "the Great stand Noon. simultaneously confirm the truth of his wis condition. friends and fellow creators ("On the Giving Virtue. 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. Zarathustra will. therefore. but animal gods are and superman. create dom and." 1). 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 ." 3). At this culminating moment hind his veil.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra light of 103 the the truth of being. 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. it and as well. In acknowledging the transcendant superiority kind will at the same time acknowledge the justice of the Zarathustra new law he has laid the legitimate down. It almost goes without fails is the question. 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.

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

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

106 Interpretation be impossible for Zarathustra to create another proves to proves to like himself because it be impossible love. The dominant passion of the preachers of equality.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. self-sufficient a them aware of their own poverty and dependence in relation to He will put them to shame. 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. 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. the punishment or desire for soul. consequently. confesses that this he In no longer knows where he is or how to go forward. Yet that thus be impossible in its of This impossibility law. and his speech is no longer girls" In the song that he sings with "the little god portrays himself as the inept lover of two ladies by the names of Life and Wisdom. Zarathustra's attempt to combine jus perfectly reciprocal tice and love. and the desire for revenge within his soul. As "The Night Song" predicts. 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. ("On the Giving Vir 1). will supplant the for love his the perfection of Zarathustra's giving or creation proves to be at the same its undoing. will produce in his relations to his recalcitrantly inferior disciples the sad passions of envy. he is in useful a state of aporia. with his wisdom. it is his seems to follow that central to the incoherence Zarathustra's wisdom assumption that in its highest expression love is as the former finds its source perfectly in and is ultimately identical to the self-legislating will. my virtue grew it in "The Night Song": "my happiness in giving died in tired of itself in its overflow. 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. spite. As he puts giving. revenge. dancing of a group of "lovely wisdom. but by self-mockery." Through its distribution Zarathustra distribution distribution proves to sought to confirm own terms. rather than confirming his happiness or bliss.7 either to command another to be free or to will a Consequently." By false terized "The Dance Song" of Part Two Zarathustra has become aware of the charac character of his by bombast he to accompany the Cupido. and Having failed in his with effort to unite to freedom with friendship justice love he will succumb desire to punish his disciples for the inferiority longing and incapacity within of which he is Thus time the cause. Through wished to pro- his legislation and the transmission of . wisdom. compatible with the moral law insofar tue." Consequently pedantry.

the word "philoso por phy" nowhere appears within the speeches of Zarathustra. 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 In doing so he considers himself to have stepped beyond the limitations of the political realm. from the perfect possession of speeches that beginning. That is to say. elaborating of the beautiful. 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. and his beautiful as the loving community of the believes to be a new extramoral account what he instead wise." he cannot understand his life to be worth living if he cannot believe himself to be Song" wise. therefore. Accordingly. in which the just is included as false appearance. Thus if in Part . 381). The in wisdom and toward the awareness of self-contradictory nature of Zarathustra's Gay Science. therefore. in "The Grave attempts follow he of to resolve his perplexity by jettisoning both his understanding understanding and the political good. He man as political and man as rational and distinguishes sharply between concludes that the only genuine good is a transpolitical good. to secure the good happiness for his fellows with and himself. 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. the morally or legally determined under and pursuit of wis philosophy. He cannot painful beyond endurance.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra vide a comprehensive solution or 107 to the human problem. and that. since. of the rational good. He that good to be coinci dent the overcoming would of human both the final rational and the political levels: ignorance political orders be replaced by knowledge and all partial and transitory its ruling by one that is comprehensive and and that had as peak the as the rocal loving community of creator-wise men.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. Though in his trayal in a dialogue with his beloved Life of his unsatisfied thirst for and ongoing suit. that false horizon now of the is. and the good. the rule of the creator over his creatures to the advantage of both is impossible. and to have ascended to the naked truth of things. he has identified perfect happiness with the and the two wisdom. all human community established upon the basis of the law. that understood need on is. As he reveals at the close of "The Dance Song. the just as final political order. pursuit of Wisdom Zarathustra comes close of a to the ophy and. or that love is incompatible with the self-legislating freedom of the will. 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. 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. in his his newly won awareness of his the ignorance because he finds perplexity into which he has been thrown he misses the mark.

That is love were to say.. In other words. but of itself personified as a malevolent host assembled to oppose and thwart vulgarity him in his endeavors.g. and his revulsion before and the low extinguished his love. Zarathustra's la angry accusation as mentation. 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. and reaffirms the will to power as the first princi Song." 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. a love expressed in (seligen Geister). Nevertheless. in the second half of Part Two he to have liberated himself entirely from the cave of the law and to have for ascended evil what into the light of the sun of a sense. Zarathustra blames his failures position. envy.108 One Interpretation and the first half of Part Two Zarathustra his moral attempted to enclose the sun of knowledge pretends within the cave of law. and however. His creation was supposed to guarantee both "eternity" the perfection and of his love. the conditions of possi bility and his his actual enjoyment of will. control of The failure of be brought completely under the the distribution of Zarathustra's wisdom to to . order to lay a wreath upon the tomb of the lost loves of his In the course of the lamentations he offers loved dead. however. happy. consequently. Zarathustra's primary opponents. 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"). 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"]). e. 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. that is. rabble who are those whom the Tarantulas or preachers of equality serve: the of vulgar or well or the great majority fountain human beings. "enemies" however. 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. fundamental doctrine ple of both his He original and his revised teachings remains the of the will to power. As is his habit. for having corrupted the souls of those he loved best spite. 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." it becomes clear that up behind Zarathustra's days over the silent graves of his "best perfectly love that longing for a mutual love lay a nostalgic desire to in the recapture and perfect a species of of he knew but all too briefly sunnier the playful intercourse of "blissful minds" his youth. and by infecting them with the vulgar or base passions of. the longing for revenge.

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

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

Zarathustra to be ultimately detached It is identical to the self-sufficient knowledge freedom of the will of the wise and solitary creator of values." as he calls it. The reproduction of the good is guaranteed (cf." up As he the men of the present and turns his attention to producing "chil proclaims in "On the Land Education.207a). is now understood by and from the intercourse radically of one human mind with another." He will produce his "children" or reproduce men within men will his own activity in of another through convincing the highest the political community then become the bearers the conditions the truth of his false moral teaching. the beautiful becomes a kind of rase through which the 206a. to the end of reproduc words. Zarathustra himself has done. Symposium reproduction of his own good. in some indefinite future. He will attempt to direct the sense with another human being. the realm of ing the life that is free on and slavery and informed by the of falsehood. his old moral teaching. As we have already observed. It creating on a will fail because each of activity in the person of another Zarathustra's successors can predecessor. These of a new Zarathustrian tradition that will ultimately provide for the coming into the being of a new creator. anew out use the rains he has as Zarathustra. however. He listens carefully to these speeches. this second Zarathustra will penetrate as as riddling surface of the regnant Zarathustrian teaching. he values the admittedly political community. think through. in new doing so. now wishes to the beautiful a means to "procreation" ("On Immaculate Knowledge") or the activity in the person of another. and. of another like himself. as a means not only to realizing the freedom of his will. never given a proper sayer comes but is simply called "the to understand is that Zarathustra's attempt to of Truthsayer. help lower level than his The reason for this . This fellow thinker is name within the work. with caution and of subtlety." 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. therefore." "now I love only my children's land. and create engendered. the undiscovered in the furthest sea: after it I call my sails to seek and to seek. demolish it. Zarathustra of attempts to demolish the tradition he confronts. truth.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.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. its fundamental incoherence. Plato. but ultimately to the generation. 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. comes to understand the implications self. As in the case of sexual intercourse. Zarathustra In other gives dren. 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").

112* Interpretation as decline is sibility perfect of follows."13 It is the low despair point of this necessary future in which those process of decline that the prophecy with of will the Truthsayer predicts: a over the capacity to create the vanity of consequently succumb to the belief that "everything is empty. in his dream Zarathustra sees that. but in terms of knowledge as well. as it were. bursts open. in which "shallow swamps" reins of political rule men. 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." climate in which "the best grow tired of their works" "harvested" after having predominate or the multitude of vulgar "rotten fruit" and. This second Zarathustra will be obliged to seal off the exit from the its false The cre beliefs ation that Zarathustra's account of the best regime had opened up. everything is one. serve as a vehicle for the reproduction of own activity: his own successor. 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.. will exist on a still lower level and not only in terms of creation. 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. 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. the future continues way . everything That is to say. Nevertheless. and regurgitates an odd assort images of resurrected life. therefore.14 have been handed over to the ignorant Zarathustra is laid low lapse he priate by the "prophecy" of the Truthsayer. of Zarathustra's his successor cannot. Thus. 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. the Truthsayer foresees that Zarathustra will engender not a second Zarathustra. 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. the high point of Zarathustra's best moral teaching. just the prophet had predicted. however.. Consequently. therefore. become the "night-watchman death. In his dream Zarathustra has . despite the in some to this region of the dead. but rather a all efforts of creation and was." and grave-watchman on the hill and fortress of guardian of other life that has been "overcome" that lies in as coffins around him. During his draw the col experiences a second nightmare in which he seems to appro lessons from the Truthsayer's He is the prophecy. In words. Zarathustra the Third. 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. If Zarathustra's successor must destroy cannot the Zarathustrian tradition even in order to clear the way for the creation of his own. The implication seems to difficulties that the Truthsayer has foreseen.

Whatever the Truthsayer may have had shared. 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. 1. not to willing all of the past. namely. 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. Dis courses on Livy. This insight is cause. . the peoples must of Yet. if any one necessity fall under one of a among the infinite finite number of kinds regime. however. at least at this point. Nietzsche does not afford us this pleasure. but to willing this willing. 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. then. is the causal principle of number of of those peoples. circular process of the ascent and decline of the will Willing this circular recurrence of is the be "sea" in which Zarathustra be He apparently shares his new insight with the Truthsayer at the dinner party to which he invites him immediately following his recovery. the series of tradi follow in their decline and renewal a necessary and need course. more to Zarathustra's own teaching that "the will is a height from which we creator" ascend to the makes began. to say to Zarathustra at the meal they by the speech of Part Three realize entitled "On the Vision and the Riddle. Zarathustra." Zarathustra has the come to that the apparent salvation of his revised ac count of the will to power as the perdition of creativity. The suggestion that Zarathustra immediately following seems this account that the will must learn to "will in its backwards" to refer. 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. Much as we would like to know how the lieves the difficulties the Truthsayer "drowned. the Machiavelli.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra - 1 13 to hold out the promise of a reprisal or recapitulation of the high point of the activity of the will that Zarathustra's when own creation represents. Zarathustra only will this repetition or recur will as in order to once again secure the self-sufficient activity of the the final cause of the becoming of the political community (cf. From this low point. If. all of them fall under one or infinite the variety of particular peoples may another of a strictly limited number of possible regimes (see note 5). By willing will's his own superior existence as of the inevitable in this way he would reproduce the highest good. recovers he appears to fathom the full significance his that dream. when combined with seems to suggest that a initially encouraging to Zarathustra be his understanding of the will as self-overcoming.2). of therefore." will Truthsayer posed responds to Zarathustra's ostensible solution to the problem he has for him.

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

"foreseeing" longer man. 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 . nothing be profitable. despite the rosy "monster" his into animals paint of "snake" it.16 dominion would the Truthsayer prophesied. but the per recurrence of the bad in the form of the lowest and smallest sort of the rabble. all would be one. the that has crawled his throat. 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 presence of the low not only persists human life."17 In the thought of the eternal return the doctrine of the will to power as necessarily entail self-sufficient and shows.18 does this promulgate "monster" having he is from him. the of the . choked me and crept . . that was my disgust at all creation" existence. as having repudiated He does so far away because he has come to in his attempt understand that the same problem that encountered to trans form his disciples into fellow proves to creators embodied in his attempt to reproduce the autonomous activity of his will: the path to absolute freedom of the will be identical the with the path to or its thoroughgoing "tyrant-madness" self-enslavement. of It is. knowledge would Thus. Zarathustra's and spit advice to the shepherd shepherd is to bite rises off the snake's head is it far away. into my throat.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." That "the man recurs realizes would eternally . 21). . paradoxically. of sickness" therefore. the thought of the eternal recurrence of all things is the or. Thus Zarathustra explains that "the small disgust at man . freedom will at its peak. 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." Moreover. 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. as Zarathustra now describes it. 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. Zarathustra trine and in fact describes himself as it. Though his insist that his never "spit" "destiny" is to become this doc the teacher of the eternal return. When the no does this he up one laughing day?" and "no longer shepherd. that this the first and final cause of all knowing animals and all being is decisively refuted by Zarathustra himself. the result of what he takes to be the highest human activity. the life but is in creative great effect of in." Zarathustra calls this vision a "parable" and a Convalescent" and asks "who it is that must come In "The it is made clear that the shepherd represents Zarathustra himself picture that insofar as he is a ruler and legislator and that. that is.

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

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

The Eternal Recurrence of the Same. The Wisdom of the Ancients. Michael Gillespie Tracy Strong (Chicago: in University with of Press." 1 1. 23. 17. namely. Row. What the preceding argument seems to show is that a solution to this problem of reproduc tion cannot be found on the level of political legislation. to uncover that which is unchanging in the nature of things or fundamental problems": see Beyond Good and and Evil. Unfortunately." "The Truthsayer." 360-425 and Bacon.'' Great Events. reproduces at its peak the contradiction that stands at the center of the traditional morality he had hoped man-god decisively to transcend: is." The Truthsayer has simply drawn these conclusions from Zarathustra's There Zarathustra indicated that although moralistic human beings procreation or may believe amoral secret all willing to be directed to a "a goal" or "something higher. In the words of dictory: I myself am phie myself cause Karl Lowith." steals the of the mob That the Truthsayer's reference to "shallow swamps" is meant to indicate the rule is made clear in "On Old to and New Tablets." renunciation is the negative reflection of Peter's thrice-repeated renunciation of immediately before his death. . As Nietzsche's Zarathustra makes clear. ed. Zarathustra's p. XIII. therefore. turns out to be a necessary precondition for the life that is preeminently free because it is devoted to the pursuit of truth. pp. Homer. David Farrell Krell (San Francisco: Harper and sense See his Nietzsche." 16. what 53-54. where he makes reference to the last aphorism of the original edition of the tragoedia' latter work. his revised wisdom in which mind and the unconditional freedom and self-suffi ciency of the will were to be perfectly combined. 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. 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. 1984). 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." Life's be is self-overcoming weaker steals. 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. it would require "something double. wonders whether in the way of his understanding the thought This renunciation certain other philosophers as well. Vol. lacking . 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. "historicist" offer a not interpretation accordance Nietzsche's "the philosophical intention. "The speech Self-Overcoming. the realm of ignorance and falsehood. or Zarathustra." Thus Spoke Zarathustra represents his attempt at such a solution. 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. Matter. to articulate (Nietzsches Philoso 197). but only on that of philosophical writing. overcoming of need. trans. 13. Cf. 15. 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. he then goes on to Zarathustra concludes from this self-refutation that is pp. 1935]. See "The port of Wanderer' and "On Blessedness Against the This thrice-reiterated Jesus Will. as god. 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." is the im "On Zarathustra's three headshakes before his disciples in Part Two: and see "On the Poets. II. the political between the philosopher's pursuit of the truth must include an examination of the false appearances of the political realm. 14. Nietzsche's "On publication of Truthsayer. 28-31. 1988). 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. any final end the direction of which can just as well down as up: "The into the castle and even the heart of the more powerful and power. The 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. Odyssey. IV. as man. in community with the lowest of the low and submits to suffering the greatest of passions and. "Proteus. It should come as no surprise.118 Interpretation preface parody in the "'Incipit to The Gay Science. . 12.

too too soul had been bitten idea by the moral tarantula Rousseau. 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. To every soul belongs another world. she for that doctrine in abstraction from the contexts of the works in each work squared found and. 264). 3. 1794)": Daybreak. by "convictions" ("Antichrist. 152 and 192. (Speech of 7 June. 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.'' for every is an afterworld. chooses to treat which Nietzsche's are arguments 213-27. 381) that is directed to (a) overtly appealing to while at the same time covertly undermining the dominant prejudices of his time." also Dancing 4. 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." 21. (b) proffering a morality while simultaneously demonstrating that the genuine life of philosophy is in the deepest tension with the moral law. one can legitimately wishes to appear in the guise of a teacher and promoter of why it is that Nietzsche these doctrines. 27. a philosopher free of all attachment to moral asserts the cosmological and that philosophy is. Nietzsche on clearly Truth Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. therefore. 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. Within Thus Spoke Zarathustra the animals of Zarathustra are the spokesmen for the doctrine of the eternal return in that the eagle and the serpent represent pride and Zarathustra's godlike his prudence." and 22. and The Gay Science. Preface. for the smallest just. Unfortunately. Dithyrambs of Dionysus. Song.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra 18." eternal desire longs for "The Other For all desire wants itself: "The Drunken Eternity. comes closer to the truth in her treatment of Nietzsche's differing presentations of the thought of the eternal return (see Clark. "Kant depths felt of to be a concealing surface adopted by the presentation of his thought. however. How lovely it is words and sounds exist: are words and sounds not rainbows and bridges of appearance soul (Schein) between the eternally divided." merely by looking into each other's faces. vertu' 20. Zarathustra Socrates' 3. 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. p. pp. characterizes world following that terms. the Truthsayer proves to be very persistent in alone. 40. 283-85." 54): Clark insists that Nietzsche recognition that there are no good arguments to support teaching of the will to it. She power. "All Song. 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. If both Zarathustra and. on account of his 227). therefore. above all. 289. "Where chattering is there the community in speech and thought in the lies before me like a garden. "Fame and Second Sailing. 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. This leads her to attribute to Nietzsche an attitude that cannot be they with his own definition. 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. Nietzsche himself ultimately will repudiate the doctrines of the to power and the eternal return. despite his commitment to a particular set of moral values or convictions (see Clark. bridge. 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. from the complex motion of the larger argument that in its entirety unfolds. bumped into Zarathustra him: he simply Need. 36 and 87. p. 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. Seth Benardete. the ill-constituted. 'de fonder sur la terre l'empire de la sagesse. 30." Having pears by chance. namely. Sunrise. sceptical in character and so insistence that he is. Robespierre. 1990). In "On the Convalescent" Cf. 29. ." necessity in the form of bodily need: he insists on a meal before indulging in speeches.

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50 cloth.50 paper. $49. Leslie Paul Thiele.. Julian Young.Review Essays Heidegger. Caputo. $15. $47. 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. xv + 232 pp. xii + 129 pp. MA: Harvard University Press. a wave of books have appeared which develop this theme. and National Socialism Frank Schalow of New Orleans John D.95. 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. Yet these works reverse effect of interest in his for his philosophy. NY: Cornell University Press. Since Victor Farias published his book detailing Heidegger's involvement in National Socialism (1987).. Heidegger. + 306 pp. Fall 1998. 26. xi + 234 pp. and Nazism (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni versity Press. Vol. No. Demythologizing Heidegger (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1 ." spawning stimulating new if not as actions least for his perhaps philosophical vision.. 1995). Politics. 1997). Michael E. even to the point of at "apologetics. $14. greater notoriety. 1990). University the Polity. 1993). I develop to un- such an approach by examining a wide spectrum of which seek interpretation. Berel Lang.50 Hans Sluga.95 paper. Zimmerman.50 cloth. Heidegger's Silence (Ithaca. Philosophy. xii + 263 pp. x + 285 pp. Heidegger's Crisis: Philosophy and Politics in Nazi Germany (Cambridge.. In this essay. 1996). Heidegger's Philosophy and Nazism (Berkeley: University of California Press.. $19..95 paper. $49. Tom Rockmore.95 paper.95. 1992). 1993). xi + 382 pp. Heidegger's Confrontation ogy. $15. Art (Bloomington: Indiana with Modernity: Technol xxvii University Press. this century comes to a close.. Indeed. $33. itics (Princeton: Princeton Timely Meditations: Martin Heidegger and Postmodern Pol University Press. $19.

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

We Thiele's Timely Meditations. however. must help to shape the landscape of ontological inquiry. In this work. II. indeed. ethics. already the publication of his magnum opus. and National Socialism also 123 Young's Heidegger. This work stands motifs of must apart include Leslie Paul by reinterpreting the which undercuts key the Heidegger's thought in he order to outline a politics Nazi ideology initially embraces. 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. Nazism. then practical concerns. raises. Being and Time (1927). inquiry. philosophy originates from the concrete situa ing tion in which the inquirer places him. As Zimmerman. 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. Even been prior to Farias' book.g. and Charles Scott began Heidegger's to recognize in the 1980's. While in capturing the interest of many importance been etched in Heidegger's thought with its had scholars.. Given this reciprocity hypocritical to suggest that philoso phy of human can secure a action. he If concrete praxis orients the question of being. The thinker's commitment to authentic existence fosters the openness of philosophical appears between thought and existence. 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. then any such investigation must speak to those ethical dilemmas which distinguish perhaps the most turbu lent period in world history. This work. of ethics and politics. sanctuary for truth apart from its exemplification in the realm As Herbert Marcuse argues in a famous letter to his teacher: . he this correlation may have been slow in ontological inquiry only by participat in being's disclosure. e. the Polity. If the inquiry into being is to have its root in the historical situation of human beings. 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. Caputo.Heidegger.or herself in question and owns up to his emphasizes that a thinker can engage or her unique existence as a finite it self. hence. thereby creating a buffer between the brilliance of his ontological insights and whatever myopia he may have shown in his political judgment. The Farias' effect of revelations. 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. which shift in the emphasis on provides the climate Heidegger scholarship not only parallels for hearing the troubling allegations Farias' but. Philosophy. As poignant as revelations were.

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

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

charity." which speaks contrast to the suffering "truth" of the of individual. the scandalous comparison culture . "he the flesh in the biblical narratives (p. Despite the deaf to the religious orientation of solicitousness about Heidegger's early thought. Caputo. Only by possible a shepherd. and heroism. . 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. Caputo concurs teacher Karl Lowith. baffling silence about of the gas chambers real to modem agri pain these are all scandalously suffering" insensitive to 'factical' and concrete human (p. According to Caputo. the German seem people's Christian heritage does not deterrent in preventing the atrocities of National Socialism. . 207). The second pertains to the discovery of Heideg ger's thought uncovers an and in the early 1920's. e. and sayer of Heideggerian thought of this tendency does it purging to cultivate another ethos whose roots spring from the Judaeo- Christian heritage. all of which stem from Hellenic the Holocaust. in must emerge "singular." community. truth. self-affirmation. As Caputo indicates. 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. Thus Caputo distinguishes the two dislocations in Heidegger's thought from which a new According commitment to topography of questioning can emerge. in his stark concept of Dasein. . 72). become 68). 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. love otherwise absent facticity. To open Heidegger's thought to the ralistic "piety" traditions.g. there have been two major breakthroughs which dramatically changed the face of Heidegger studies. to the radically to the generic being's claim upon Dasein (p. a new voice of the persecuted "justice" (Lyotard). the dissident (Derrida). the categories of tenderness. "His parallels his to specific volitional categories of strength. Heidegger's turn to National Socialism thought. including care. and temporality. thinker.126 Interpretation past Within the have decade. we must cultivate a plu forum in which various criticisms of his philosophy: the need to heed the the and disenfranchised (Levinas). who rebuked for his "self-stylization into p. in his youthful "hermeneutics of he ethos which includes motifs from primordial Christianity. love. . Ironically. In his 'being' " advancing this criticism. 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). . (Lowith. 73). The deconstruction unfold of Heidegger's thought requires an alternative axis to the key motifs of But an appropriation of "myth" Greco-Germanic arises and his ontology. In a De- mythologizing which plays against Heidegger. The first involves the emergence of the political question and the revelations of ment Heidegger's involve in National Socialism.

" more makes a stronger claim than most Nazism was based in his in suggesting that Heidegger's "turn to (p. This distinction becomes important." Heidegger's philosophy (e. Rockmore schol exemplifies this critical does Sluga in Heidegger's Crisis. roughly speaking. 74). stance. 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. as Nazism. despite a whatever personal shortcomings man. than a reflection upon the princi ples of the polity.g. 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. Because Rockmore way. being's transmis its destiny most to a chosen intellectual German people's emergence as a vanguard of world history. 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.Heidegger. 54).. Rockmore thereby closes the loophole by which Heidegger's seek an escape of defenders purity to his "Spiegel "political" his thought in over against from confronting his Nazism. Thus Rock philosophy" "resoluteness. there is no. Both in Heidegger's texts and more as ars proceed less as disciples in steeped histo "guilt" rians. however. the self's exercise of resolve and sion of political decision and the of 1933. for Rockmore "hero. maintaining the its contamination by his behavior from 1933 Interview" a narrower in 1966. and that. 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. 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. these have is no bearing on our assessment of Heidegger may have exhibited as his thought. National or no important. . Philosophy. link (p. the "destiny") are adaptable to Nazism and only Nazism. he couches the Heideggerian problem of this polis in this which supposedly hold be National Socialism. Socialism" Rockmore's overarching thesis is that Heidegger's thought is "intrinsically (p. propagated not view only by Heidegger but by some of his closest It is the between Heidegger's political" philosophical position and that. Yet even given the plausibility of these connec tions. namely. and cial their strategy is to uncover unusual facts about Heidegger the person and then weave them together "innocence. the Polity." maintains that the key motifs of "conscience. Rockmore. III." story" detective story assessing his As Rockmore states. construes the term sense to mean the implementation of a kind of ideol rather ogy aligned with Heidegger's thought. In Heidegger. 54). "What I call the 'official' view students.

philosophy While Zimmerman and Rockmore Germany show that as a catalyst of politi not develop a single in a political vacuum. insofar as the and then. the public and occasional" the private. Sluga illustrates how thought transform the fragmented tradition of the German Volk and its uncertain future into a vision of destiny. 5-8). stitutes plight of Lang points to a double fault by which the Jews during Hitler's uprising. 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 . While the macrocosmic events of the Western crisis can be lines. Why does be that Heidegger's Greek sense nance occur? And a one possible answer might dimension" destiny includes in the purest of of strife and reconciliation. Ironically. In Heidegger's Silence. The "tragic question then becomes. there which are different interpretations But it is safe to of the degree to he Heidegger was or was not antisemitic. philosophy assumes such a leadership role as com pensation for a floundering economic and political life characterizing Germany . He emphasizes less the intricacies took in of Heidegger's thought philosophy does can the unique role which cal action. 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. of illumination and blindness. Berel Heidegger ignored the retrospect. never saw the persecution of the Jews as a philosophical problem say that in its own right. 100-101).128 Interpretation to According dient Rockmore. 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. 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. 5). in con again neglected the "Jewish question" Holocaust the most abominable maintains Rockmore. unlike the nihilism Nietzsche envisioned. In this clear sense Lang's the is not altogether novel. freedom and necessity. but in thought" ignoring the "Jewish question" continues to "settle for limits to his forces life he (pp. In Heidegger's Crisis. the professional and the thesis (p. Lang ger history (pp. but the intellectual others. Yet Heidegger of was not the was Nazism. 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. Of course. 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. .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Pluralist Game: Pluralism. and whether it is transparent to itself about its exclusivity. On Toleration (New Haven: Yale xii 417 pp. 1995). versions of pluralism pretend to a Typical liberal fairness. but what it excludes. Michael Walzer. 1 . Democracy's Discontent: America in Search 1998. Democracy's Discontent: America in Search xi of + a Philosophy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Within sketches larger pictures the good society.. Francis Canavan. 1997). 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. The Pluralist Game.. Fall second book. 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. Liberalism and (Lanham. $16. Public $22. $24.50. and reflect their own philosophical historical development.Whose Pluralism? Bruce W. others with simply to assert liberalism as an overarching social framework little to supporting justification. why it excludes. University Press. Sandel. inclusiveness and neutrality liberal versions which they do not. Vol. liberals have no rightly of called for their communitarian chal lengers to offer not only critique their but alternative scenarios.95. 26.95. 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. On the other hand. each author also his of own alternative version of pluralism. must and do include and exclude according to criteria which commitments. While some liberals have become more conscious of the partic ularities and continue limits of their tradition (cf. Ballard Stephens College Conscience Francis Canavan. possess. No. 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. + 126 pp. Three recent works do both. Like other pluralisms. Rawls's Political Liberalism). MD: Rowman & Littlefield.. xi + Michael the Moral 192 pp. Thus the is not whether a particular intellectual tradition is exclusive. Emeritus offers a Professor insightful Political Science of at Fordham University. indeed could not. 1996).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. To his credit." wrong" of orthodox parents that ant of religious and that parents send the public "toler may Walzer responds that. With both Sandel revival of various and Canavan. of a pluralism which isn't simply cannot fragmentation? We farious a population. With Sandel. Yet by keeping to the larger liberal pluralist picture. To the fears state-mandated versions of tolerance education error. as an harbor republican hopes. 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. with early roots in Protestant and English history. 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. but is unwilling to them of taxation fear" relieve would for state education. of and others. 70). . In the face of contempo ticular political culture of rary critiques like those of Sandel. since we are too multi United States In his typology of toleration regimes. Maclntyre. and social Where then. "one hopes that they are justified schools will have exactly the effects that orthodox make their children . Religious parties. so he opposes a voucher system. (p. Canavan.) Nor can we repair to . He doubts that liberal politics be sustained were all children to go into private sectarian schools. 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. and 'family values' or of their own certainties about what (p. Walzer is willing for these orthodox parents to their children to private schools (if they can afford it). common roots of alienation and claim that its strong individualism. life are we of to uncover the resources necessary for a revived political the sort Walzer wants. Naturally. is right say) tradition. attempts While Walzer everyone's rejects by groups with moral to "control behavior of in the name of a supposedly common (Judeo-Christian. Walzer here in the secondary associations.144 Interpretation societies. Yet his recognition that liberalism is one tradition among others does not lead Walzer to offer a philosophical defense of it. this is an omission which pluralism. Walzer acknowledges that liberalism is a substantive and par its own. ought to be barred from running in elections. so the unity which comes from that richer foundation for citizenship is unavailable to us. (It would be intriguing to see a published debate between Sandel and Walzer over this question. for example. 77). together with leaves intact the current crisis. Walzer identifies the immigrant society rather than a nation-state with republican foundations like France. . Walzer largely responds by simply asserting his own secu lar liberal dogmatism. so Walzer develops a suggestive regimes cal and political situation of various and useful typology of five tolerance analysis historical examples.

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

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

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

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