Fall 1998


Number 1

Volume 26


Cameron Wybrow
Robert D. Sacks

The Significance The Book




in Genesis 1-11


Job: Translation




Chapters 39-42 65
Andrew Reece

Drama, Narrative,


Socratic Eros in Plato's


Mark Kremer



Revolution in Burke's Letter to the

Sheriffs of Bristol





the Twofold Presentation of the


Power Doctrine in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke


Review Essays


Frank Schalow Bruce W. Ballard





National Socialism


Whose Pluralism?


Hilail Gildin, Dept.


Philosophy, Queens College

Executive Editor General Editors


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Fall 1998

Volume 26

Number 1

Cameron Wybrow
Robert D. Sacks

The Significance The Book




in Genesis 1-11


Job: Translation


Chapters 39-42
Andrew Reece


Drama, Narrative,


Socratic Eros in Plato's 65

Mark Kremer



Revolution in Burke's Letter to the 77

Sheriffs of Bristol Steven



the Twofold Presentation of the Will

to Power Doctrine in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke


Review Essays

Frank Schalow Bruce W. Ballard





National Socialism


Whose Pluralism?

Copyright 1998



ISSN 0020-9635

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where it is stated that Nimrod ruled over (and possibly built) cities. I is wish not to argue that. Vol. the city is impious in their intentions: Cain. has not yet made among inroads into the human men at a time heart. and thus opposed to an allegedly purer form of life. and the which Babel-builders. those who are supposed to be First. as argue. in Genesis 10. antitechnical. It improperly fuses the characters and accomplish life ments of Cain. of the effort they are making is indeed narrator. although intent. the Lord God. Nimrod. associated with and antipolitical. few the pride or hubris desires to compete with. No. 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. from the to be political-theological perspective of the Biblical Finally. The thing I wish to argue excuses. Traditional exegesis of these stories. the Babel-builders. as a per Nimrod's kingdom of cities understood as a tyranny but fectly when reasonable attempt to establish a political ordering law. or even defy. was was often sur prisingly antiurban. Jewish and Christian. and it prejudges the motives of the characters in all three cases. 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. failing to note that in each instance there are redeeming features. Second. second or at least reasonable those characters. in light the Babel project. interpretation. and in Genesis 1 1. in its urge to theory moralize about the lives and motives of the early city-builders. 26. man. in which the unified human race attempts to build Babel. that of the nomadic Third. the city is connected with land ownership. 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. not paying enough attention to the different contexts in these characters appear. the city is associated with improper aspirations toward human greatness or even human divinization. Fall 1998. Finally. divine or conventional. 1 . the the In this paper I wish to make three arguments. herds Nimrod. the Babel-builders are not evil in condemned For. Why this? One finds in the traditional commentaries a number of overlapping themes. it is said that Cain (or possibly his son Enoch) built the first city. with superfluous and which arts. the city and tower with its top in the heavens.The Significance of the City in Genesis 1-11 Cameron Wybrow McMaster Divinity College where The city is mentioned in three episodes in Genesis 1-11: in Genesis 4. it makes funda mental interpretive errors.

THE CRITIQUE OF THE CITY IN TRADITIONAL EXEGESIS The traditional commentaries on Genesis are only enough to Genesis Rabbah. With this rather unauspicious head start in life. This is why he becomes a murderer and Abel. .1 His motives and his spiritual and the spiritual character of with his descendants. that is. between them properly distinguished in the text tendencies of establish some general but merely trying to which I can set my against interpretation. Fi by nally. Cain's very birth is suspect. Nimrod and the will Babel-builders in show some representative premodern commentaries.3 or. Abravanel's reveal some representative tendencies. Augustine's these City of God. has had abuse upon by scores of Jewish and interpreters for at least two millennia. antipolitical tendencies of commentaries am not the Jewish and Christian traditions. 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. is not said to have been born after Adam's (hence conclude that he is actually the offspring of death Sammael. Cain cannot be expected to God's) image. they Eve and the angel of produce much good.4 I Interpretation will proceed in the be following manner. Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. the refuse. Noting that unlike his Genesis 5 counterpart Seth. different are all trying to blur the differences and notes). This negative portrayal of Cain colors the event with he is associated. First. according to some of the rabbis. fices to the most Thus. In fus ing (they own. I the inadequacy handling with of the political themes interpreters' traditional remarks the fine details of comparing the the Biblical text. often little basis in the text. Cain. Out of antiurban.3-5). he offers (according to some of the rabbis) the samples of inferior his produce. and I have consulted Specifically. 1. When he sacri Lord (Gen. I have used tateuch. antipolitical atmosphere. a and Calvin's Commentary on the Pen Commentary on Genesis. A. anti- I have constructed kind I of composite account of the technical. have all been impugned. Traditional One Hostility with Toward Cain and His Line must begin Cain. and establishes among interpreters recorded antiurban. heaped who is traditionally him credited with founding Christian character. I will present the political themes which can gleaned from the discussion of Cain. the first city. 4.2 kills the son truly in God's image. if the quality is acceptable. the an which founding of the city. Cain. his religious performance is faulty. of the Next. legion. I will propose my own tentative account of the Bible's moral-political evaluation of the city.

to will return later. p.The he gives City in Genesis 5 paltry amount after finishing most of it off himself (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. 255). dience for Rabbah see a Contrasting sufficiency and obe Abravanel and the Genesis and life of on one hand Rabbi Eliezer. explaining that "Cain also chose to engage in artful things and ground. career.5 Cain's desire to settle down more of a shepherd. Augustine. Cain's leper" occupa no good came of a (Genesis to Rabbah. p. declares that Cain's other activities (unmentioned in the Biblical text) must have been evil. and David. ruthless The commentators are regarding Cain's descendants. This activ fundamental difference allows room which for a more positive view of Cain's ities and intentions.5. One became a murderer. says Abravanel. who were themselves shep herds: Abraham.4 The traditional do not commentators are a condemn little lighter on Cain in one respect: they and ground unanimously (4. his son Enoch) which would live forever (Genesis Rabbah. Augustine. The details Lamech's mistreatment of his wives. Calvin on the other. 1. says bluntly "Cain. (City of God. 29). 8. 192). p. Noah. 1.2). Those interpreters. was the proto type of all the great prophets and leaders of Israel. Abravanel sheds light on the rabbinic hostility Cain's farming simpler. finding nothing wrong with Cain's sacrifice. we fundamental difference I over the worth of settled agricultural life. vol. Rabbi Eliezer of allows The Genesis Rabbah. 8. another a drunkard. 2. 17. Augustine takes great pleasure in repeat About Cain's edly noting that the line murderers. vol. 256). and them. and do not hesitate to invent facts in order to condemn them. "wicked" "house" building of a city. Mehujael. 5. are supplied by the . Moses. (without etymological argument) to of mean sexual "rebellion" (Genesis Rabbah. that with which originated the earthly city began and ended with is. Cain's tion: p. Cal declares that there was nothing wrong with Cain's grain. that human society which seeks only earthly felicity and denies our supernatural end (City of God. Calvin Cain's choice of occupation as a tiller of the grants that this occupation can be laudable and holy. like other hoped to have immortality through a (presumably. XV. life into a sophisticated. but with his hy pocrisy. and Uzziah lusted after the ground. and Cain Lamech Metusael. Augustine says nothing negative." therefore became a tiller of the "natural" whereas Abel was satisfied with the Abel. Jacob. Isaac. some rabbis say that he. and Lamech are all said vol. his city and people. that it in fact can be interpreted as commanded by God in Genesis 1 and and 2 (Calvin. Augustine sees the city which Cain builds as an allegory of the City of Man. p. 21). absent from the Biblical text. another choice. 1. 21). technical to run away which occupation represents the perennial nonluxurious human ten dency from the simple. however. Cain practised a purely external religion and did not really serve God in his heart. supplement it equally regarding Cain's motives. such as Augustine and Calvin. The names of Irad. 153). God intended with us. who only a are not nature of vin willing to supplement the Genesis story quite so blatantly regarding the Cain's offerings. XV.

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

here found in the hiphil form. 3). was based on a sham (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. who. they supply other examples of wicked people things. pp. it is p. 260). and hence were actually They mention the people of in not Genesis 4. Augustine tells us that Nimrod. First.4). p. some of the rabbis do say he fooled people into thinking he could cow fierce beasts. in must company whose as the Cainites and their offspring. Nimrod is lived until evil the time of because.9) means that Nimrod was a rebel (City of God. tyranny (Calvin. the ancestor of Israel. Genesis 10.26 are said. but mention rather. who 4. oppressor." who "begin" upon the name of the Lord. p. as master of the pagan lands out of which when Abraham came. he Genesis Rabbah. he Abraham. Nimrod. Since Nimrod is a slave. deriving all wicked things. is bad for two reasons. be evil.). as the-verb "to (halal). in later Jewish literature (Neusner tells us) he oppressive power of us that "hunter. against the order of things that he should a king (Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. mighty and thus they can liberally 'rebelled' when he was a one in the earth" (Genesis Rabbah. too. p. like all hunters. From the sense "pro fane. his claim to might. In this attempt. which is what persuaded people to let him them. such evil to multiply upon the earth and the pre-Flood gi announced with the (ibid. Finally. Calvin tells He further argues that the statement that Nimrod was a the Lord (Genesis Lord. was miraculously thwarted (Pirke vol. is reminiscent of the other hunter in Genesis. was obviously a furious Nimrod. and they the evil men of pre-Flood "rebelled" days. 38). who was consigned to slavery by Noah in Genesis 9. of course. Second. instead of "beginning" to multiply upon the earth. which is the normal meaning of the piel form of the same root. that is. being a mighty hunter. although it is not mentioned in Scripture. being a a beast than a human he was also the originator of more like being. pp. de Rabbi Eliezer. is a deceiver. however. tried to kill Abraham he was young. to "rebel" in their calling upon the name of the Lord. XVI. so negatively. Esau. 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. Esau." the rabbis feel justified in translate: "Nimrod vol. man. if it mighty hunter before the mighty hunter "against" seems bad enough for not Nimrod that his even grant hunting is interpreted hunter. and destroyer of earth-bom creatures (City of God. he was the foe of his brother Jacob. 174).The City in Genesis 7 being be a condemned. 2. . in Genesis Rabbah. Another thing which counts against rule Nimrod is his be being a grandson of Ham. 317). There is other evidence that Nimrod.8 reads: "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to begin" profane" Genesis Rabbah interprets the verb "to mighty one in the (halal). 175). "beginning" is is verb." earth. 60-61). ants same Obviously. Nimrod the city-builder evil. 2. "began" 2. vol. he a 10. and. In case anyone should think the rabbis are stretching the meaning too much. And." sym bolizes the Rome (Jacob Neusner. 420-21. Thus. XVI. to degenerating calling "rebelling. p.

probably vol. for they p. sinfulness of He the cruel godlessness of pride and the pagan empires." "and this they begin to which. as in the case of Cain. 324). like Abraham. and the is condemned because it was the brainchild of Nimrod. do" translated into rabbinic. His city. needless to say. Traditional Hostility Toward the Babel-Builders explicitly state that Nimrod had anything Genesis 1 1. God's people do not rest con move. They they being given the earth. the plain on which Babel was erected was in the land of Shinar.8 Interpretation Nimrod. Second. scale Olympus and dethrone Jove in pagan mythology (City of God. 49-50). at signifies also that they made an on 261. which. the Lord. 1. the the Ham line. tent "settle" in the land of Shinar. do. worldly glory been founded with the set against righteousness. pp. In p.2 they decide to vated by Satan (Genesis Rabbah. which is often assumed to chapters are be the city discussed in Genesis 1 1 Thus. for idol They filled the sin of pride. vol. Isaac. means. bad scent. XVI. Calvin Calvin. First. was the area of his king dom. 3. The Babel-builders. The rabbis object that in Genesis 11. vol. There are other flaws in the Babel-builders' motives. 260).4.4). want 2. Both their deeds and their motives are entirely wicked. as I will point later. to make a "name" themselves (Gen. 2. as one might expect. therefore. "Settling" is moti vol. too (Genesis Rabbah. to displace him. In any case. 11. 2. like Nimrod. being settling and building in "settled. There is odious reason to question the connection out between Nimrod and Babel. "this they are rebelling to (Genesis Rabbah. 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. he was often assumed to have been not Although the Biblical text does to do with the Babel project of its initiator. 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. p. . they are not satisfied with want the are are trying to challenge God. a city. 2. the purpose of this section is to discuss the faults of the Babel-builders insofar as they can be discerned without reference to Nimrod. and. Nimrod becomes Babel project due to responsibility for the Babel project. the Babel-builders are reminiscent . could hardly him have Urban life." but are on the 50). according to Genesis 10. right motives. which p. (Genesis Rabbah. The tradition uniformly condemns the builders at Babel. again. it is said in Genesis 10 that Nimrod founded a city called Babel. the lower part of the world. in an summary." are "rebels. for two reasons. takes on a associated with and his kingdom. with the upper part. p. and vol. and Jacob. is repudiated by much of the tradition because he represents was impious rebel against God and tyrannical over mankind. heavens. 51). the two intertwined in traditional commentary.

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

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

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



for wanting land exactly
of the what



to till,

the pre-Flood men are said to


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


were commanded

do in Genesis 1.

Why is

their attempt at



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


Certainly, his father


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

antiurban trend of thought
without textual


though not
a close

clearly justified


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


evidence that

Cain is frightened, slighted,

than evil.

Nimrod in Genesis 10 displays

no wicked motives or


evil actions.


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




would not reflect upon



work, then, to be done if
about the

we are

to articulate a coherent

logico-political teaching


as presented

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



speaking, human


effort, in

a much more positive

light than the

tradition sometimes suggests.

The line




body am building

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,

hints here



of a a


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


be brought to light



What I


strive to establish






which, against






of the

sees the and





legitimate human


to the problem



response which

God is willing
Cain. The

to work with and, under certain

circumstances, is
so well

I begin
with classification of






established that


in Genesis




impious to




to gaze



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.

He has


hard to


his grain, probably

harder than Abel has
tried to obey God's the

to raise his sheep.

Further, he,



apparent commandments. and


God tell Adam to


(Gen. 1),

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

upon expulsion

from Eden he
Cain felt


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

can see


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




This does



the murder

follows, but it
so perverse as









nearly Cain's



make out. another nonmalicious account








that God preferred a sacrifice of an animal over that

of vegetation.

Might he




that the sacrifice of a human




better (Genesis Rabbah,



248-49)? One does

not need

to presume that Cain killed Abel out of anger or


one might argue that

he killed Abel in
Even if this
wicked. what sin

a misguided attempt to please

rabbinic speculation

is discounted, it is

not so clear that

Cain is





ever give



does God

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

fact, God


Genesis 9. That
can rule

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



Flood, in

man can rule

himself. If

race will not


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



that no one else is

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

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

and the utter violence of the pre-Flood genera

described in Genesis 6, has
can grant that



not proved

to be the





Cain does

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

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




and procreating. who





his descendant Lamech,

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

to be forgiven and expects that everyone

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



be hidden from God's face, and,




to protect Cain


the assaults of other men,


never reassures



his continuing


Perhaps God thinks his

protective sign

ence, but Cain clearly does


it that


implies his continuing pres God therefore allows Cain to


from his

go out



dwell in the land


Nod ("wandering").


that he



mark, is it any


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

sive arrangement of a



men who

believe they



the state of nature, with no law

but that


the strong to protect them?

Similarly, it is hard

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

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





in Hebrew,


Isaac Friedman has

shown against

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

good ones

of a new



pp. of



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

It begins


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


can yield weapons



in general; for the text does

not even mention and mu



the other arts which arise at the same time





clearly innocuous. intent here is not to
who seems





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


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

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

judges it.

This is

in Genesis 6. When "all


corrupt upon the

earth, much is said of wickedness and violence, but






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


who are not associated with



Cain's line. The
or political

as such.



general, and



fact, it



contended that

absence of political structures and of would seem



it is precisely the led to the wickedness. This

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

to be confirmed



9. We

that in Genesis 1 God ordered

Adam to be


the earth. In Genesis 9 Noah takes the place of

fruitful, multiply, and Adam, and is given

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

in fact. Genesis 9 to him to be person carnivorous. strained passion. but multiple vengeance driven by unre (mamlakhah) introduces into the world more stable and orderly. that the rule of a hunter may symbolize the over urban civilization improvements elements of the new world over the old. "mighty" being "mighty" a hunter. Nimrod became famous. Nimrod. not speak of upon the "dominion" over the animals which are now given "fear and animals. of a any more. may remind us of the wicked men before the Flood.16 Interpretation God does dread" made. by God's . basis to nor of an adjective alone. but human for up as prey beings. men ruling men). from the above discussion. The new world contains harsh (men killing animals. one must conclude that cannot as such. did the mighty men of old (6.23-24).4) or the Babel (1 1. In important respects.4). unlike Lamech's. In this context. Their sins cannot be imputed to him on the strength Thus. as did Cain (4.8) and before the Lord (10. One can grant that a king may become a one must also grant that a king can establish the rule of law. how to be a "hunter. note that which the only version of law and order hitherto obtain something tyrant. we must ing was Lamech's. and so did his empire." can one fault Nimrod? He is person said the first in the text said that is. God-sanctioned It is true that Nimrod. and that Nimrod's hunting is not in itself a his cities. kings are one possible source of law. I would suggest. may not be pretty. At God's com the rule of mand are ruled not by kings. Nimrod and his city compare favorably with the Cain line and its city and the Babel-builders their city. the order of creation. in which other forms of suffering must have been prevalent (starvation after crop failure. Finally. For these reasons. but those men were characterized by neither hunting hunting. Nimrod does not boast about himself. Kings may (I Samuel 8). good. vulnerability to random killing).9).17). least some of the nations which legitimately source. city building. I represents a political would argue. but it is others who note his greatness on the earth (10. which consisted rule in Nimrod's prescribes moderate and measured punishments. condemn be evil. first hunter. at hunting makes He may not have been him the hunter par example of the new. but it is perhaps less harsh than the pre-Flood world. and as did Lamech (4. Nimrod does not name any cities after himself or after not attribute as "name" does his son. but his literally and hence the most striking excellence. The likely to make men hopeless or pre-Flood world. but it is less it has possibilities for something desperate. at overspread the earth at least potentially. 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. Genesis 1 allows implicitly taught that man was to be vegetarian. the first have taken advantage of the new bequest God has "might" given. the text is which teaching at that the rise of Nimrod possibility is new and. new order higher than the Note Nimrod does also that the text not seek a builders of any motive of vanity to Nimrod. then.

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

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

John trans. Eng. but these motives were not wicked. that the city cities were Genesis 1-11 would seem is not evil. pp. Concerning the City of God Against the Pagans. The city is not bad as some of the rabbis and Christian by its association with Cain. trans. The traditional pious exegesis of Genesis fails to understand that merely human are achieve political orderings. law. The arguments for this are well summarized for arguing that it was Enoch. 1970). and not always the best. if one wished to put the city in a better light. in Ralph and Muhsin Mahdi. argue that the evils of 1979). 150 51. Cain was afraid of afraid of what death.) Lemer 1978). The mo tives of those who built the first mixed. 3. flawed and susceptible to abuse as they are. eds. Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer. Jacob Neusner. 44-48. to teach. in the bequest epitome of evil and order of animal flesh in Genesis 9. . 242. then. he is the first to explicitly a political in the new world. whose claim to leadership might be said to be indirectly authorized by God himself. p. was the Babelers were not being scattered. Although the political order is less than in that it requires the exercise of force." Nimrod's cities are the "inauguration" of something new: a social order in which justice can have a foothold. trans. Medieval Political Philosophy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. And in one case. Augustine. But I do I do not believe that Genesis wishes us to understand Cain as funda stained mentally evil or ungodly.: Penguin. the world which is being properly populated by the sons of Noah. trans. because Cain is not so commentators make out. 4. 12. Commentaries on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis. which do not claim the benefit of God's direct rule and teaching. 196-98.The martial City in Genesis 19 valor. John Calvin.7. 158. 2 vols. 1847). Gerald Friedlander (New York: Hermon Press. In societies other than Israel. in Genesis 10. Robert Sacks. 1985). it is can only in coexist some kind of political order that the of time. which once achieved will make Israel blessing and a source of wisdom for all the nations of the earth (Gen.. (Title henceforth: City of 5. pp. "Piety and Four" Civilization: An Analysis of the City in Genesis results (Hamilton. vol. King (Edinburgh. Ont. NOTES 1. Deut.6). or not trusting enough in God's promises to obey his wishes. Nimrod is establish not the rebellion. There are grammatical and general grounds built the city. If these people strayed. as city of Enoch. p. Genesis Rabbah. Rev. the order represented perfect by Nimrod is essential. and human decency for any length Like Cain's city "Enoch. (Atlanta: Scholars Press. 1. 4. we find that cities are built by a masterly figure. arts. it due to knowing God wanted. 2. trans. 1972). who in Isaac Friedman's thesis. Henry Bettenson (Harmondsworth. XV. but for purity. 256.3. the only possible means by which the non-Israelite children of Noah can justice upon the earth. God. Cain's son. Isaac Abravanel. Commentary on the Pentateuch (selections). Cain pp.: McMaster University. One separated could use Friedman's (though he does not) to can be from the not require this argument. or for building great towers into the a heavens.

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

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

"I and father's house. it originally meant "to whirl. and See notes to 26. building its nest on high? 28 He dwells upon the rock.22 back Interpretation by He edge of sword. 1 1 :6 The bars sword shall "whirl and down" against their cities. although almost as side. 25 but facing battle from afar. 30 and his fledglings down the blood. David heard of it. the roars of the hawk16 the trumpet the he cries captains and the shoutings!" 26 "Is it by your wisdom that soars and spreads its wings out to the south? 27 Does the eagle mount at your command. much understanding of the Book of Job center on our attempt to regain the sense of of this word. 24 With he gouges pays no homage to trumpet's 'Huzzah' ! He smells the blast. 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. by the flashing into the spear and the earth. Whenever death defiles." Hos. Indeed. he said. 23 A quiverful of arrows whizzes excitement and agitation. consume the of their gates. if we were in Hebrew they have totally different names. The and single Hebrew word hul. Job has entered far into hind what we have come to call the Land of the Jackal. 2. which have here translated by the phrase of our I have generally translated birth" is "writhing in the dance of "writhe. forever Ner. unity that lies within the complexity As far as one can tell." .17 pinnacle." a very will complex word. 3:28 are of Afterward. he is there. 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. javelin. eye spots He takes up his lodging on the highest 29 From there he searches out his prey. and upon all his when devour them in their fortresses. Oh. guiltless May my kingdom before the LORD for the blood of Abner the son it whirl down upon the head of Joab."18 Comments 1. making it his stronghold. His swill it from afar. 2Sam. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"gird up your loins like a man (gebher)". He has it here at There would have been no need to continue. Once Job thought that he knew what justice was. 17 He can stretch out his sinews of strength in his loins. here is whom I made along with you. Indeed. confident that the Jordan will mouth. who would plead my case? . He eats fodder just like the cattle. and if by court of law. If Job's this not point.30 * Interpretation Behemoth5 15 "But look now.6 of brass. that was always the problem: Job 9:19 If trial be by strength." His?" such as God seems to base His argument on His power. He has been numbed as if stung by the Socratic sting fish. or with you to be your eternal his nose. his limbs Maker like rods of 19 He is the first of God's ways. his warning was just. somewhat more specific than one might at first take it to be. Now ray he neither knows nor believes that he knows. 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. God's argument is. and his teaching is not a but an 3." again "asking.9 brook in him. but he did not. His ducts might tail stiff as a cedar. or his head with fishing his head. 22 The lotuses blanket him surround with their shade and the willows of the rage. had been what God had wanted.8 21 He lies down the lotuses. But the Tempest will go. but Job had always recognized God's greater power. are The and his thighs are are all knit together. 20 "The there to mountains yield him produce. convinced him that Elihu was right. I believe. 23 Though the burst into his snare?10 river he is unalarmed. under and all the beasts of the field play. Again it says. 16 but just look at the is in the muscles of his belly. and can you thunder in a voice let Job "telling. "Have you an arm like God's. beyond man is no place for a man. He is the mighty one." 2. or pierce speak to you servant?13 29 "Can ladies?14 play you with him like a bird hold or tie of him on a string for your young 30 Or 31 Can can the dealers get him and trade their shares in the spears? market? fill his hide hand with 32 Merely place your upon harpoons. The world Job has been converted from the Brother of and that the Jackal to one who would "call out to the muck 'Mother' 'Sister' 'Thou Father' art my right and call out and recantation to the maggots.7 Only his come can approach him with a sword. 18 His bones iron. and you will remember war no Comments no answer. The sight of the six beasts has 1 Job has . hiding in the reeds and the fen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

apart from their being for us. Job 3:8 who despise the sea. that we begin to see our own legitimate being as it is implied in the notion of the hwl. for something to say. 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 God hopes? Would that God were pleased to crush me. need not imply the abandonment of hope QaWah. my Job 29:23 Job 30:26 the They waited for me in expectation as for the rain. 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. The first has replaced the second. 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. 74:14 the You crushed the as slay the crocodile that is in the sea. 27:1 On that punish the expectations: day. That is to say. the Ps. 104:26 Leviathan whom you made They Job 40:29 serve You and You give them their a to play food in due time. None the less I will defend my ways before Him. on a with. I have no higher expectations. I rain. head of the Leviathan and gave it to the people of island Those food. will curse and those who are determined to lay open the Leviathan it.The Book of Job Job 13:15 It may be that He will 41 slay will me. that it is by giving up the yhl and recognizing that the world beyond man and its denizens have a legitimate being for themselves. falling silent to hear counsel. which deals with our relation to the world of man. and the Leviathan the crooked serpent: and Ps. you play ladies? young Can with him like bird or tie him string for your yhl. till they had finished speaking. 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. waited expectation for Job 32:11 light. Men would hear me and wait in expectation. interplay between hwl and denying us the second. till they stood longer 2. He the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall Leviathan the shall flying serpent. YaChaL. loose my his hand and cut me off! . but there came only a murk. their in mouths opened wide as if to catch the I hoped for the good spring but there came evil. Job 14:14 of If a man (gebher) dies. We have heard those Isa. he come back to life again? All the days Job 29:21 my service I have waited in expectation for my release to come. insofar as it deals with our the world beyond man.

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

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

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

The Book of Job
13. Not
Job 6:12



who once said:

Do I have flesh







made of

flesh is to be

able to



Job 19:22



you pursue me

like God, taking

satisfaction out of


Not to feel
Job 10:4




to understand pain;

Have You

eyes of


For Job, it is through the
notion of which


of pain that we come

to understand the

importance, by seeing


willing to

risk pain and

death for that

is important:

Job 13:14

what reason

do I take my flesh between my teeth


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.



be for him


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

makes no

difference. "Slingstones turn to
to the world around


indifference he

him is


The lights






to see



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

to read

and yet we are arrested and can see

world of man


a world unstifled



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.


then could he return with a

fuller understanding



need. an old

15. Once


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


a mud


or a


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



Exod. 30:25




and you shall make of these a sacred as



the perfumer; a


anointing oil anointing oil it shall be.





ISam. 8:13 He bakers.

outsider shall


cut off

any like it or whoever from his people.





on an

take your daughters to be

perfumers and cooks and



Sol. 5:13


cheeks are

like beds

of spices,

yielding fragrance. His



lilies, distilling


first it burst




up the


behind the double door


out of

the womb

The sea,




tale the measureless realm of chaos and confusion,


always threatened to engulf

all, has become a simple utensil,


ment of

his innocent

18. The

word which

I have translated







word, and

in fact


in only

one other passage

in the

whole of

Biblical literature.

Gen. 9:2

the passage reads:



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


But the Leviathan "was
and perhaps





without correction

Thus, Job 41:25


so, as a


Genesis 9:2. If the


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

19. in



one other verse

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




It only


Job 28:7-9


eye of the

falcon has it

never caught sight of



have the

sons of pride ever trampled


The lion


bear it

no witness, mountains





his hand to the flint

and overturned



the root.

In Aramaic, the







in Ethiopian the


"to be


root comes

the word

In Arabic, the shhis, "a bulky

root means

"to be






man of






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

the Leviathan himself. It


not even clear

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


indeed he surely is.



above and


all malice or

ambition, oblivious to all,

The Book of Job
rules all and



the mere weight of his

being. In him

we recognize our



see our



1 Then Job
that no


the LORD and said: 2 "I know that You



all and counsel



from You. 3 Who is this I had

one that


knowledge? I have

spoken though

not understood.

There is


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

have both

contempt and compassion









so, that


the LORD had spoken these words unto



the LORD said to Eliphaz the
against your two as





friends: for



not spoken of me the



is right,

has my


Job. 8 Therefore,
and offer

get yourselves seven


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



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



Bildad 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



the LORD returned all that Job
all of


twice over.

11 Then his house

his brothers
with which



and all of

his friends

came over to







and showed





the evils

the LORD

had brought



one gave a of


and each a golden ring;

and the

LORD blessed the last days

his 13


even more

than He had its beginning. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six

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




seven sons and three


14 The first he



name of


the second to be


and the third


15 In

the land there

could not

knew his

and their

found any woman more father gave them an inheritance alongside


than Job's


16 And Job lived

another one


years after

these events, and

sons and



sons, and


an old man contented with

theirs, four his days.


17 And



Comments 1 It is terribly
translate this word. Gener




one should

ally speaking it usually implies

evil or wicked



Job 21:27 Ps. 10:2

Oh, I know
devised In

what you are

thinking, the

machination you


against me.

arrogance the wicked


pursue the poor;

let them be



the schemes which

they have devised.
often means

In the Book


Proverbs, however, it



like "dis

Prov. 8:12


wisdom, dwell

in prudence,


I find knowledge




the other



it to describe God's




Jer. 30:24

The fierce

anger of

the LORD

will not




he has

executed and accomplished the you will understand this.





In the latter days


in question, yibhaser, only in the Bible:


in the



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;




propose to







The verb, then,
sense one

would seem or

to preclude

finds in Proverbs

taking the in Jeremiah, since in

word mzmh either

in the

neither case

is anything
Perhaps Job


spoken of which one would want to prevent.

This leaves the first meaning, but that is

difficult to



that that too can


accepted as



it is known to be

without malice or

intent. beyond me,
a world

2. "There is

a world




literally, "[There



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



James translates: "Wherefore I
The Revised Standard does


myself, and repent





about the


except that




puts the word

"myself in

italics, indicating

that there

is nothing


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


after the second verb rather than the




would require.


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

O desolate one.The Book of Job Vashti's 59 beauty did not help her. also he has put eternity into man's mind. a there will be rottenness. 10:3 lovers despise you. the daughter of his for she had neither father nor mother. yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. for the customs of the peoples are false. that you what do you mean that you dress in Your beautify yourself with ornaments of gold. therefore God has blessed for ever. Esther 2:7 uncle. is the joy of all the earth. baldness. in let her Prov. 33:17 Jer. 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. of perfume Isa. a girding of sackcloth. 11:15 What right has my beloved in my house. Men beautify so that gold. Eccles. for of a this is his lot. scarlet. 3:24 Instead girdle. as and when her father and her mother died. her eyelashes. that is Esther. Jer. when she has done vile . that you enlarge your eyes with paint? In vain you beautify yourself. Jer. it it and worked with an axe with silver and by the hands of a craftsman. 4:30 hair. the city of the great King. instead of beauty. 31:30 Charm is deceitful. 48:2 the beautiful in elevation. Eccles. the maiden was beautiful lovely. and instead of well-set that stretches afar. Esther's beauty saved her people. A tree from the forest is cut down. and instead Isa. and He had brought up Hadassah. 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. and and do not capture you with Prov. 45:2 You are the most beautiful of the sons of men. and instead of a rich robe. Ps. for fair to behold. they will behold a land rope. 5:18 Behold. shame. Do not desire her beauty in your heart. LORD is to be beauty is vain. but a woman who fears the praised. in she was order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty. Your eyes will see the king in his beauty. grace you poured upon your lips. And you. they fasten it with hammer and nails cannot move. Mordecai adopted her his own daughter. 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. 6:25 far north. for themselves: is Ps. they seek your life. Mount Zion. 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.

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

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

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

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


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


Socratic Eros in

Plato's Charmides is
reader multiple

an evocative and



dialogue, offering
of possible




consideration and a



pretative approaches.

Three formal factors





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


his interlocutors
term, in this


but fail to formulate


satisfactory definition
posed at

of a



case sophrosyne

or "self-


By leaving

the question "What is



unanswered at

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

definitions (as Socrates

does, 175a-c)


to scrutinize the processes of argu


which the

investigation has derailed in


the Charmides


a narrated

dialogue, featuring Socrates


as a participant

in the discus
on the next


but In

also as a reporter of

the proceedings to

an unnamed



casting his dialogue Plato



the opportunity to as

sume the role of

and to evaluate










the obvious care Plato takes to give the dialogue a

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

the definitions of

sophrosyne presented within

the text and the complex and

175a). I


of the concept of a approach





here to

the dialogue the


the second and third routes,

responding to
cratic eros.


narrative and


dramatic frame, in



consider a theme not

usually discussed

with reference to

Charmides, So
Socrates tell the

Plato story

prefaces the elenctic core of the


by having

his introduction to Charmides, Socrates


story that


conspicuous elements of and at

an erotic encounter.

says that when




Critias the

before, he had just


back from battle


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

and was




able return to


in Athens. He

subject, he turned the


toward the latest

happenings in the
interpretation, Fall


community, asking

whether there were


1998, Vol. 26, No. 1


men who



proven themselves exceptional


their wisdom or



(153a-d). It is

breath both

"what's going

noting that Socrates (peri on in








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

Plato has



of themes



males would

setting the Charmides in a be stimulated both physically and intel


lectually by
Lysis, in

one another's presence.


are reminded of the


of the





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




established a

link between eros, the desire for beauty,

and philoso

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




had he

asked about the

young men,
all of



of them

began to fill the room,


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

lovers (erastai)



Charmides (154a). We learn
young immediate discomfiture


common consent the soon


in his

age group. of all




entered, to the

present, in

cluding Socrates,
this youth:

who confides

to his anonymous


his impression

My friend,


am no good at measuring.






ruler when me.


comes to

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

age seem

beautiful to

But still,







effect on all the men

present, from the
were a

to the oldest, all of whom gazed upon

him "as if he



154c). Plato's

use of words and

images here is


What I have
a white

translated as "I am


simply a blank Atechnos leuke stathme
regard to.
. .


. .




eimi pros

was colloquial

for "I

make no extended make

distinctions in


the expression

derived this

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

white chalk could not


it is

an appropriate

image here

Socrates is


at a man who seems to


an agalma,

perhaps of stone.


then says that

his friend


who was also

present, remarked upon
was so


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

handsome face


whose admirers

temporarily forgot
and a

ual with a

distinctive face



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


Eros in Plato 's Charmides



even while

in the him.

that beautiful youths

admitting his wonderment, reminds his qua beautiful now seem much

the same to



not convinced that

needed to see




he had


assurance that


possessed, besides his specifically, "a
soul was



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



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


that part of the young man




guardian, to

any impression of unseemliness, Charmides over. By making this



politesse older man

explicit, Plato


heightens the





a palaistra

suspected of sexual motives often

(and it



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

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



by having



up the issue Socrates

of wres

tling-school protocol,



reader aware

that this meeting does at

least have the

appearance of a seductive approach. enough




terms that


could collaborate




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.



that Socrates knew a




than a removal of the garments



soul and


McAvoy 1996,




In any event, it worked,




his narrative, telling his among the

proach caused a great ruckus man


pushing his

neighbor aside opted

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



to himself. He eventually

to sit between Socrates and




sudden nearness threw

Socrates into


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

knew the cure, he looked


right in the

eyes with an

indescribable look

and was on the verge of


me a question.

Everyone in the

palaistra gathered round us



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


that I saw what was

inside his

fire, I

was no


myself, and I came to regard Cydias as the

wisest counselor with respect

to matters



of a

beautiful boy, he fawn before

gave the a


advice to someone:


care not to go as a




up like

a piece of

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

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

reveals to his confidant that the actually foreshadows the sent Charmides' swarm of lovers detached sudden proximity of the youth of composure him reeling into elenctic aporia aporia. but 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. has not always been recognized as such. "As which he denounces the selfish lovers boys" under the spell of eros. consists in part in his intellectual Socrates' ability to unpleasant) event into an sophrosyne. This physiological loss in which the dialogue concludes.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. here appetite cite Socrates' having greater of this line urgency than his Cydias Plato appropriates sexual appetite. Socrates' (241d). inversion the expected im age. Halperin 1985. 58.6 Third. Socrates begins to launch into epic (as wolves are he admits he has done. Sim sus ilarly. Jowett's translation to make it approximate a more conven tional arrangement: . Socrates. Such metaphors are similar to the common compari game son of sexual pursuit to p. in singing.70 be Interpretation reduced to a chunk of meat by a lion. passion and causes consider the significance of Cydias' The second striking point about the passage not is that turn a disconcerting. First. The bewilderment greater engendered by the Socratic elenchus ideally spurs the of interlocutors to and self-awareness. p. stretches the Charmides text enough For example. right out from under hind. In both cases. of which three come immediately to mind. the aporia has a beneficial element. there c-d: seems to be a probable sexual connotation to Theognis 1278 A a lion. the perception of their own lack knowledge.) his first speech Concluding motives of in the Phaedrus. fond of lambs. him to finally renewed reflection. of citation of the line from Cydias. This is a remarkable passage for several reasons. or as a hunter tracking game. with who had been observing the behavior of amusement. hunting (Dover. 1978. by having Socrates for a metaphor erotic pursuit that would have been familiar to his readers. potentially embarrassing (if opportunity for detached introspection indicates that shown in his control of his desire. an pp. (Cited as an image for erotic capture by Dover 1978. just so do lovers love 165). I caught a fawn in my claws. with trust in my strength. The usual formulation of prey lighting upon the erastes the part the metaphor comparing an erotic pursuit to a beast its quarry. 81-91. For of example. 241e). Socrates' sexual arousal here leads him to a new awareness of his ceptibility to advice. but did not drink its blood. does indeed give of the hunter and the eromenos the part of the hunted.

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

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

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

as well as the philosophoi logoi that Socratic lover's discourse in the Phaedrus (257b). the arguments of aporetic dia logues like the Charmides. 541-49). and Republic. as it turned out. 148291. 56-70. discussion before the topic of episteme came up. 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. Sadly for Socrates. 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. According to Kahn's theory of prolepsis. As an example.10 By show reading the drama how one and narration of the Charmides "about" with frequent refer ence to other dialogues. ostensibly. to topic. pp. 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. especially the Symposium. The discourse by the contemplation of pose the charm of knowledge here reminds us of the kaloi logoi that com comprise the therapy. would not had. 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. 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. he shows that the notion of the knowl- . vision. 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). Phaedo. In the Charm can Zalmoxis' ides these logoi Charmides tes' was not an out of the only be the elenchus. 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. pp. He dropped Socra ascent could go no further with him. ideal youth with whom to give birth to such discourse. while in the Symposium acted in the guise of an he imagines how the actions of a philosopher- lover might be expressed in theory. Lysis. Kahn 1996. here eros. my intention has been a certain to dialogue that is not. In the might Charmides he imagines how Socrates erastes. For and other Kahn has early dialogues or dialogues in Kahn's terms) partly in order to prepare his readers for the fuller. Rather. If he had I such a necessarily have allowed that Socrates had in Plato did not choose to introduce the theory and. he as a solution to the question of sophrosyne. Laches.74 Interpretation and the various epistemai. any case. The near as contemplation of the he can come to the vision of beauty beauty of the epistemai philosophy brings the lover as prompted itself. can reinforce the understanding of that topic we achieve through the other dialogues. 1988.

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

Journal of Philosophy 85: 550-51. Sophrosyne." South Dialogues and with Plato (Apeiron 29. In E. Page. Hamilton H. Human Journal of Philosophy 34: 183-99. "Unifying Ancient Philosophy 5: Halperin.. Griswold. 1966.. C. Pp." REFERENCES Bruell." and Self-Knowledge: An Interpretation of Plato's Interpretation 6: 141-203. 1961. 99-122. Ithaca. Potae Melici Graeci. 63-103. Charmides." Dialogues of Plato. 1986. 1977. Charmides. and Jowett. K." Dover. 1981. Eng: Penguin. p. 163-209. "The Charmides: Socratic Sophrosyne. Hanmondsworth. Ed. Cairnes. lacked sophrosyne in its in its manifestation as a kind of knowledge. C. "Socratic Politics Charmides. 1996." and also reasonable to suppose that intended his to the Charmides ruling and the prejudice that after the Charmides. Cambridge. D. 1985.4). Sophrosyne: Self-Knowledge and Self-Restraint in Greek Literature. 1962. Benitez. "Plato and Erotic Reciprocity. Kahn (1996. 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. MA: Harvard University Press. Edmonton: Academic Printing Publishing. Athens: The Ohio University Press. It is with Menexenus. 1951. D. M. McAvoy. University Larson. T. Nussbaum. 1996. "Plato's Charmides and the Proleptic Reading of Socratic Journal of Philosophy 85: 541-49. Pp. Oxford: Oxford University Press. like Critias a member of the notorious oligarchic regime manifestation as Athens therefore also Peloponnesian war. C. 1988. "Platonic Eros and What Men Call Love. 1978.76 Interpretation 9. The Collected Dialogues. "self-control. "Carnal Knowledge in the ern Charmides. North. E. Saunders." 161-204. 1986. Greek Homosexuality. Cambridge: Cambridge Press. L.. eds. ed. M. H. Pp. C.. . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Kahn." Classical Antiquity 5: 60-80. 1987. Hyland. 1988. The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy. D. B. D. NY: Cornell University Press. trans." Mahoney. trans. 270) also has the Symposium and in these men philosophical noticed the connection between the logoi Socrates' shared by the lovers natural described in Socrates' conversations with attractive an interlocutors: "It is flirtatious to recognize with logoi implicit reference to conversations handsome like Meno. Plato and the Socratic Dialogue. J. Plato. Plato: Early Socratic Dialogues. "The Platonic Synonyms dikaiosyne nal sophrosyn and American Jour of Philology 72: 395-414. The Virtue of Philosophy: An Interpretation of Plato's Charmides. In T. Watt. 1996.

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

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

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

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

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. therefore. and The proper place for the punishments is in America. of a The mere thought of shackling the to have them arrive ship (only where Americans. 180). it acts like both a its actions are not justified by country. 181-82). The punishments serve neither or nor the ends of which are victory. the absence of justice. both. and Burke suggests that this pitilessness will become a permanent part of the British character. The spirit of just victory is completely lacking habeas in the British. makes them of Bristol 81 lower than the By moral qualities of allowing their indignation to dictate the order of crimes. tying half dead in England). tried ac cording to form. ought to evoke feelings of horror jail. Yet the English in will await a pro they have lost all feelings of pity and humanity for their fellow Englishmen in America. peace. Parliament its proper time and place. therefore. as if In they is have killed British in to prove themselves virtuous. should the ment English be victorious. Not only does the trial of Americans in England corrupt justice. Burke does habeas corpus not hesitate to precedent point out that the partial of the has its justice in King Henry war. because the legal process appears to be nothing more than a cover for the arbitrary will of Parliament. but it does produce punished not even the desired effects of punishment. far from making the British godlike. It is particularly important to understand that the blurring of the distinction be tween treason and piracy is only possible at the expense of love of country. it and expresses of itself in simple or the domina of tion. in England for trial those But these trials cannot high treason in America" bring possibly be just. taking their goods. 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. because it is blinded by its own indignation. it be the imprisonment killing enemies. (pp. finds itself in god a world where strength and a tyrant in so far as is the only claim to authority.Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs Their wrath. VIII (p. After strength not is American should defeats. rather than the the crime. object of their own insults. This attempt to punish the Ameri cans through the law brings the law into disrepute. manly defiance becomes the only virtue. The accused is. Parliament denies a place for patriotism in the moral order and. This insolent men as some only reflected in its characterization of American naval pirates. corpus The second object of the partial suspension of the who shall commit is "to detain (p. Parliament replaces justice with force and will. because the accused cannot possibly forward witnesses to defend himself. that they will become savage. but not according to justice. . the British more insult them order by calling them cowards. but also in its description of American soldiers in general. them down and then in the hold tossing them in forma trial. This manliness untempered whether by justifications and fears. 180). they Britain are only hardened by the punishments. their proper time is cannot give punish after the war.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

they from love men too little. humanity (Pp. God. . Like the of the good seamstress.90 the Interpretation beliefs and habits that nothing. Philosophy not place be so him beyond the suffering blinded by indignation at the nor vengeful his fellow human beings.9 The critical negativity that stems a love of ridicule is compounded by the detachment These and abstractness of the scientific mind. they do the not seek to reform but to build from political science. and that the habit of criticizing and good breaking the law tends to must give make human beings completely lawless. which means they have feasted exclusively on satire. they of any interest. are ready to declare that they for the good they pursue. The ancient sceptics had no public spir itedness because they thought the law was conventional. philosophers are fanatics: independent tractable. but things. offices. Your legislators seem to have taken their opinions of all professions. because moderation they are defi must in love. ranks. The legislator have of in his soul. the modem atheists are revolutionaries that politics politics. because they think politics can be made can be made fully rational. nor fanatic visionary. for the work of reformation: because their minds are not come good. which if it operated alone would make them more rage are carried away with such headlong race towards every desperate trial. but that does not the conflict between politics and mind when rational. This defines their task and wisdom of their new Burke struction. that they . 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. though it may paradoxical. Burke has two types in he speaks of the thorough- . is at their horizon like their horizon. 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. those are unqualified habitually and employed in finding and displaying faults. . would sacrifice the whole human to the slightest of their experiments." Burke denies cause him to despise the By showing theory. yet he must not spectacle of injustice that he hopes to bring The legislator is neither about a Utopia through punishment and persecution. but in general.10 Burke's understanding legislator is inextricably connected to his understanding of the nature of politics. he teaches limits of both. united them as a people. Their them. He is aware that all rebel lion contains evil. It is who are undoubtedly true. . it always flies before 520-21) defects must of Hate cient and abstraction are the legislative soul. 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. of from the declamations astonished and buffooneries satirists. philosopher. he the appearance of continuity to mends and patches.

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

but because he wanted to it against abuse satisfied from both authoritative and rebellious pride. or rather conflicts provisionary mode of principle. courtiers and political men would public in or der to enjoy freedom from scrutiny and indignation. or to an equal share in government. But the actions of Parliament and the arguments of sophisticates suggest that all men act solely for themselves. then there must be moral . Burke therefore He have been virtuous men who cared about the public. not political because he temper ment the idea of right. inherently Why would corrupt is a servile belief. If Parlia had the Americans and by differences between the British covered. The belief that the cause government it is conducive to resignation. for America had. asks the public to government believe in virtue and to believe that corruption is not innate to like to (p. theory in the name of the satisfaction of wants. Burke hopes freedom and to cure apathy and cynicism with spirited jealousy is of one's own belief in the possibility of civic virtue. 370) Burke did of not a contrivance of derive from this end the equal right of each to be the sole judge oneself.92 Interpretation of abstract perfection: a but their abstract perfection is their practical defect. since the belief in argues that there civic virtue is impossible (p. By having right to everything they want everything. Burke opposed abstract was against began. to tax in order to restore American trust. do not rise to dissent among the people as naturally as do particular situations which clearly threaten their welfare and their liberty. from the funda mental end he derived a new basis for the rule of gentlemen and a new under standing of ancestral authority. 222). Government is human wisdom to provide for human wants. If there are to be compromise and freedom. such. 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. of government. of Thus he amongst argues that "unsuspecting which all confidence is the true rest" centre gravity mankind. people can Burke thinks that the live content under the watch of Parliament. (P. The doctrine that because moral man is selfish poses a great threat to leveling made destroys trust in government as unsuspecting confidence. He begins where other modern theorists but he combines the fundamental good with the old order. developed its own Ideological differences. about the parts are at (p. 221). Unsuspecting confidence look after is simply trust that the government will not be oppressive and will interests. 215). give repealing the tax. To the contrary. then all the political the Americans would never have been un by this point.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. He also points out the opportunistic reasons that lie behind the opinion that all excuse themselves is selfishness. Unsuspecting interests confidence assumes that the government will look after public and not their own private interests.

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

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

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

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

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. Montesquieu argues that the opinion of one's own security is the end of the law. Canavan. Works. Williams ("Burkean Descriptions and And Political Representation: A Canadian Journal of Political representation can still serve overcome it. vol. 1993].Burke's Letter to the Sheriffs should of Bristol 97 be able to vote in shades of grey. takes issue with Providence [Durham: Carolina Academic Press. because understand on he thought the law that the was like the arts. natural right is an indepen dent principle that used as a standard for political 16. 470. pp. susceptible of of infinite improvement. uses his understanding to support men of political prudence and virtue. Thus. for men of action are often. Burke's one solves problem While Burke is able to anchor the and political only to pose life in general. Mansfield's analysis of the difference between presumptive and actual virtue helps to clar of ify Burke's relation to political life pp. pp.237). against abstract doctrine. Like Burke. He honors for those individual judgement. Canavan is for Burke life. Strauss has in mind the realm of thought. rather than the presumptive.9-10). (Harvey Mansfield. thus making an who improved the law. of Chicago Press. and even expected. Science. of Chicago Press. that its authority depends habits of obedience. 432. p. is taken from Montesquieu. 1987]. NJ: Transaction Publishers. vol. Stanlis (Edmund Burke [New Brunswick. 406-7. According to and Leo Strauss (Natural Right attempt to another. 348. 1. p. 1991]. not simply its evident usefulness. 6. because he thought it made prudence impossible. find a standard of History [Chicago: University legitimacy through providence British constitution.149-52). according to their also proposed authoritative verdict impossible. 2. 1984]. March 1996) argues that Burke's understanding of virtual contemporary democracy by establishing confidence or trust between those who have been traditionally excluded from government. he opposed a universal understanding of justice. He failed to and law is undermined by the habit changing it. Harvey Mansfield (Statesmanship and Party Government [Chicago: University p. sanship. case of the Edmund Burke [Chicago: presumptions University Chicago Press. p. 15. Strauss claims understanding of prescription undermines the idea of noble defeat. Works. pp. as opposed to natural rights. in Strauss concerning Burke's understanding of providence. Reappraisal. 294-95. 13. 331-33. who lives according to the actual. Frohnen (Virtue and the Prom ise of Conservatism [Lawrence: University of Kansas Press. 431. 1949). Thomas Aquinas. 1. 1965]. In the Spirit of the Laws. to hope against all odds in the heat of battle. he is vulnerable to the problems connected to his providential god. vol. as in the French Revolution. pp. those presumptions must are Presumptive virtue rests on about justice. 77). pp. vol. Nugent (New York: Hafner Press. rather than action. Burke's emphasis on unsuspecting confidence. 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. When questioned. the man of actual virtue. 151-53) law theorist in the tradition of St. and actually increased the harshness of tyranny where it threatened authority but could not Melissa S." the ruling majority and 14. 29. a person of actual virtue defend the presumptions against dangerous theory. and Canavan (Ed mund argue Burke: Prescription that Burke and is a natural particular. . 1954). trans.


The first crests at the end of Song. 289). Vol." Preface. New Orleans Next to the things themselves the the greatest what writings of the philosophers seem to pose works difficulties for interpretation. Fall 1998. . but are inseparably It is joined.Interpreting the Twofold Presentation of the Will to Power Doctrine in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra Steven Berg Loyola University. 5.1 As readers of the book. Zarathustra offers a revised to his teaching regarding calls the power not disciples. argument and action. It is generally recognized that Zarathustra presents an argument will according to which the essential core of all somewhat things is the to power. . the truth observation surface. 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. No. In our efforts to do so it is useful to begin with the consideration that a drama is composed of two essential aspects. In the second. but to those whom he "the wisest. A genuinely philosophical book might to the golden bowl of revealed with some plausibility be of whose con compared stitution Henry James's novel." In interpretation. therefore. presentation of this argument occurs less commonly observed that the in two waves." 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. as it stands. 27) seems to The book that Nietzsche himself have considered his Thus Spoke Zarathustra. and that in its composition these aspects are not merely parallel or complementary. 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. is a work that dramatizes the attempt of a man to we are called interpret upon the things themselves. to interpret this drama. 1 ." 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. it is incoherent. Within their only clue offered to the things are never they seem and yet the discovery of what is is what seems to be. 26. "deepest. The acter of philosophical readers of his books . Beyond Good Evil.

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

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

As both the laws of his fellow creators and his own law of laws will be the first to have been constructed on the foundation of a full recognition of the truth of the law as rooted in the creative will or the will to power. standing above and ruling a humanity they have helped to fashion. however. overarching then. It is with this end in view has descended from his his mountain solitude to offer his the same a That teaching.102 We Interpretation see that. human beings seems necessarily is. to a Virtue. longer disciples. the to power. will have become the founders of a finite number of novel peoples and will themselves form what Zarathustra calls "a new chosen ("On the Giving 2). however. At the close of Part One. perhaps. as it were. law that is. to an key understanding of the and human and taken the of human as the key to an understand ing of being in the light the potentially infinite this number of particular will peoples and laws has plastic or concluded that the human at its core. is Zarathustra's goal. Zarathustra to wish to establish not simply a link. It is this than human. To create great endeavor. divine. but rather fellow creators. according in what to Zarathustra. 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. their legislation will also be the first to have been articulated in the . 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." nations" among its brotherhood of equals. is indefinitely being of infinitely malleable and that is simply a reflection of the essential being of all beings. that he cities of men. believes of peoples and of the possible The indefinite plurality it to produce or create humanity itself on the level of the political transforming his transcendent or superhuman wisdom into a novel and comprehensive moral law. that "humanity it plasticity self or in the proper sense does not in fact exist. directed to producing a determinate number of subordinate legislations or. indicates. the coming to be of the superman. therefore. but identity between them. believes. is at one and new teaching in the time the distribu as tion of wisdom and the promulgation of a law. nite laws. therefore. This new "light to the will itself recognize Zarathustra as the source of its light and. in his farewell speech to his disciples Zarathustra looks forward to a superlegislation future in which his friends. Zarathustra. as an expression of the indefi Zarathustra human. first no people" the successful completion of this promulgation. a law that is. 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. to creating creators. That the related political and aspects of claim. in Zarathustra's own words. it were.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. insofar as he takes the paradigmatically human speech to be the authoritative speeches of the law.

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. rule of a justice that is identical to a certain form of inequality. At this culminating moment hind his veil." 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 . Accordingly. will creators. It almost goes without fails is the question. But Zara these thustra identifies the have perfect possession will of wisdom with secured happiness. saying that Zarathustra fails in this endeavor. the superhuman creator over his human creatures. but animal gods are and superman. therefore. it and as well. while bringing humanity first time. 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.The Will to Power Doctrine in Zarathustra light of 103 the the truth of being. 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. this his account of the core of all beings as will to power and as indefinitely since plastic. The of his knowledge have become of coextensive with the horizon the law." 3). but teaching as from Zarathustra's speech of command own teaching. create dom and. This teaching is is engineered produce within them the freedom of mind and will prerequisite to the activity of comprehensive: creation. It will be a legislation in perfect accord with man nature of and man man's things or. since mankind as a whole will recognize that "all of dead" and that Zarathustra himself living and incarnate truth the novel superhuman ideal ("On the of Giving man Virtue. the authenticity of his superhuman if he is indeed able to make another like himself or confirm That is to say. and the perfection of his wisdom will coincide with its successful trans mission or with the successful legislation have been of of his law of laws. In acknowledging the transcendant superiority kind will at the same time acknowledge the justice of the Zarathustra new law he has laid the legitimate down. friends and fellow creators ("On the Giving Virtue. "the Great stand Noon. Zarathustra will. 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. Through it the political animal the rational animal will have been seamlessly joined and the law and made one. in celebrating the feast of this new epiphany or." 3). simultaneously confirm the truth of his wis condition. reveal himself to a his career. by and made of same means his happiness made ("Zarathustra's Prologue. humanity being If he is itself into successful for the in his endeavor. as he At the moment of the Great Noon man will no principle of all join longer is the between animal and god. a natural law." things. 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 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. This interpretation. however. of course. that the to pave the of teaching he believes to be a path to will instead prove way to enslavement and self-enslavement. however. What this incident another is that Zarathustra's attempt to make at like himself." Zarathustra seems to believe that he has at Consequently. the Zarathustra as "Tarantula" "preacher equality. The venom of the Tarantula is his doctrine justice ity at the center of which. the distribution of his author. but about himself as the the basis of his inadequate understand mountain retreat ing of the dream. 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. as Zarathustra has argued. It is not or while he takes to be the distortions enough then that sufficient his disciples knowledge of reject his teaching in they a distorted form it rather lacking its truth." in other words. By the seventh speech of Part Two ("On the Tarantulas"). What and grotesque of a devil. In "The Child which a child his disciples. they may appropri they may reject it in full awareness of its truth. to be absurd. his venom."6 Zarathustra interprets this dream enemies and ence his teaching has been distorted signifying that have grown ashamed of their his disciples consequently that by his adher to it. which marks the cul mination of a series of engagements with his "enemies. of with the particular enemy claims a he here confronts. of latter. to create his equals in the form of fellow creators. he henceforth they now bids last sufficiently prepared his friends for this rejection." of first half his of Part Two. Nonetheless. Zarathustra and down from his of what to rejoin his disciples practiced upon purify his teaching it by his foes. lies the desire for suggests This doctrine is. Neverthless. must reject in full awareness of what it is they are rejecting. This is the Mirror" opening within of Part in with Zarathustra from a nightmare he sees holds up a mirror there is the "mocking as and asks him to look mask himself it. appears independent inquiries. rushes his teaching. must accomplish pre teaching force them into Song" an all too human bondage to its lover": it "The Night of a expresses an intense desire . has 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. it is precisely what made clear at the awakes at Zarathustra demands Two." victory over he bites him of and infects him as equal revenge." "divinely strive against one At the same or moment. on the basis of their own or ate this truth for themselves. 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. them to become his enemies and suggests that from another. of course.104 Interpretation so ing The that.

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

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. the punishment or desire for soul. revenge. 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." 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. dancing of a group of "lovely wisdom.106 Interpretation be impossible for Zarathustra to create another proves to proves to like himself because it be impossible love. Through wished to pro- his legislation and the transmission of . will produce in his relations to his recalcitrantly inferior disciples the sad passions of envy. As "The Night Song" predicts. As he puts giving." Through its distribution Zarathustra distribution distribution proves to sought to confirm own terms. 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. but by self-mockery. ("On the Giving Vir 1). and Having failed in his with effort to unite to freedom with friendship justice love he will succumb desire to punish his disciples for the inferiority longing and incapacity within of which he is Thus time the cause." Consequently pedantry.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. Zarathustra's attempt to combine jus perfectly reciprocal tice and love. consequently. he is in useful a state of aporia. 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. The dominant passion of the preachers of equality. wisdom. way to an in its turn to a envy of those to whom he distributes such gifts and this envy spiteful desire to afflict them with the pain of the longing that he himself expe unsatisfied Zarathustra's longing to receive the gifts of love will give riences: he will take revenge upon them by withholding his gifts from them and thereby making his superfluity. Yet that thus be impossible in its of This impossibility law. rather than confirming his happiness or bliss. with his wisdom.7 either to command another to be free or to will a Consequently. my virtue grew it in "The Night Song": "my happiness in giving died in tired of itself in its overflow. 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. compatible with the moral law insofar tue. and the desire for revenge within his soul. spite. will supplant the for love his the perfection of Zarathustra's giving or creation proves to be at the same its undoing. self-sufficient a them aware of their own poverty and dependence in relation to He will put them to shame. confesses that this he In no longer knows where he is or how to go forward.

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

control of The failure of be brought completely under the the distribution of Zarathustra's wisdom to to . As is his habit. the conditions of possi bility and his his actual enjoyment of will. That is love were to say. for having corrupted the souls of those he loved best spite. 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. "enemies" however. order to lay a wreath upon the tomb of the lost loves of his In the course of the lamentations he offers loved dead. his difficulties or not upon his own dis longing on the for "purity" "cleanliness" perfection and (Reinheit [see upon "On the Tree Mountainside" and "On the Rabble"]). Nevertheless.. His creation was supposed to guarantee both "eternity" the perfection and of his love. 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. 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. 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").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 by infecting them with the vulgar or base passions of. fundamental doctrine ple of both his He original and his revised teachings remains the of the will to power. and his revulsion before and the low extinguished his love. that is. envy. Zarathustra's primary opponents. however. rabble who are those whom the Tarantulas or preachers of equality serve: the of vulgar or well or the great majority fountain human beings. happy. 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." 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. 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. but of itself personified as a malevolent host assembled to oppose and thwart vulgarity him in his endeavors. In other words." 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.g. and however. Zarathustra's la angry accusation as mentation. e. the longing for revenge. consequently. a love expressed in (seligen Geister). Zarathustra blames his failures position.

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

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

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

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

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. 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. Whatever the Truthsayer may have had shared. Zarathustra. to say to Zarathustra at the meal they by the speech of Part Three realize entitled "On the Vision and the Riddle. however.2)." will Truthsayer posed responds to Zarathustra's ostensible solution to the problem he has for him. recovers he appears to fathom the full significance his that dream. but to willing this willing. Nietzsche does not afford us this pleasure. This insight is cause. then. more to Zarathustra's own teaching that "the will is a height from which we creator" ascend to the makes began. namely. From this low point. 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. If. of therefore. if any one necessity fall under one of a among the infinite finite number of kinds regime. Zarathustra traces this circular at trajectory will as willing the point in the discourse which following teaching in "The of Truthsayer" ("On Redemption") in he speaks of his own the liberator and then follows this with an account of the decline of the will "madness" from this height in it seeks to annul several stages to the nadir of the will's which we or return once itself in willing not-willing. The suggestion that Zarathustra immediately following seems this account that the will must learn to "will in its backwards" to refer. at least at this point. when combined with seems to suggest that a initially encouraging to Zarathustra be his understanding of the will as self-overcoming. the series of tradi follow in their decline and renewal a necessary and need course. Dis courses on Livy. not to willing all of the past. By willing will's his own superior existence as of the inevitable in this way he would reproduce the highest good. 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)." Zarathustra has the come to that the apparent salvation of his revised ac count of the will to power as the perdition of creativity. the peoples must of Yet. is the causal principle of number of of those peoples. highest good has been bought in his at the price of or unlimited of his understanding The latter according to will of the will to power as was grounded infinite in its proposition analysis the political things which the potentially infinite variety of peoples implied the corresponding infinitude of that which to power. 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. 1. 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. .

cosmological whole that appears to By willing the recurrence of all things.' "My day-wisdom mocks all 'infinite worlds. Zarathustra's Riddle" own gloom over this insight is or in "On the Vision heaviness" and the by the voice of the . "dwarf" the "mind of of wisdom! fall!" who mocks You have thrown yourself you stone him. since if he cannot will the past in such a future as his own creation. 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. 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. time itself is sees a Zarathustra. however. In a last-ditch attempt to salvage the freedom of the will that he understands to be the highest good. therefore. 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. must past and Accordingly. the first cause own willing: recurrence of all 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.114- Interpretation his doctrine that at the core of all then Zarathustra must reconsider unlimited power. its to necessity by willing the eternal as it were. regimes implies a circular recurrence on the cosmological scale or that a power at the core of all being must give rise to the . . the dwarf replies with the cos "all circle. eternal return of . In of the whole of things and first cause of it wills its own will or becomes self-caused. but the way eternal recurrence of all as to reproduce it in the or things. . but every stone that is thrown . according the Zarathustra's current understanding. The truth Zarathustra believes himself to undermine his to have discovered. implies the that the recurrence of the past and the future recurrence of the moment in which the eternal return is known and.' 'Where force (Kraft) is. then the creation or represented will can never be first cause and there can be no genuine liberty in this sense. Thus. "O Zarathustra high. That there are problems lurking Zarathustra's apparent solution to the presented by the eternal return of the same is made clear at the end of . being is an Accordingly. the As he says in "On the Three Evils": For my wisdom it has more says: "" force. then he must submit to secondary cause within the nexus of causes being will merely a dependent deter mining the necessity of recurrence. he therefore makes a virtue out of this way the will so the becomes. in which it may be willed. however. saying. 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. namely. he now concludes that the circular recurrence of finite finite same." mological and necessitarian version of the thought of the eternal return: truth is crooked. seems fundamentally teaching first concerning the freedom of the will.

despite the rosy "monster" his into animals paint of "snake" it. 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. knowledge would Thus. the thought of the eternal recurrence of all things is the or. Zarathustra trine and in fact describes himself as it. freedom will at its peak. 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. Though his insist that his never "spit" "destiny" is to become this doc the teacher of the eternal return." 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. paradoxically." Moreover. that this the first and final cause of all knowing animals and all being is decisively refuted by Zarathustra himself. the of the . of It is. nothing be profitable. that is. he that the will's "free of all a things in willing the eternal return or the universal be indistinguishable from of necessity: as and thoroughgoing determinism choke. the will "turning the low passion of revenge that lies behind the incoherent metaphysical superlative and unfulfillable sense" desire for "freedom and in the of (Beyond Good Evil. all would be one. choked me and crept . . that was my disgust at all creation" existence. Zarathustra's and spit advice to the shepherd shepherd is to bite rises off the snake's head is it far away. but the per recurrence of the bad in the form of the lowest and smallest sort of the rabble. the result of what he takes to be the highest human activity.18 does this promulgate "monster" having he is from him. of sickness" therefore. 21).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 . The presence of the low not only persists human life. 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.16 dominion would the Truthsayer prophesied. When the no does this he up one laughing day?" and "no longer shepherd. 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 ."17 In the thought of the eternal return the doctrine of the will to power as necessarily entail self-sufficient and shows. the that has crawled his throat. . as Zarathustra now describes it. into my throat. Thus Zarathustra explains that "the small disgust at man . "foreseeing" longer man. the life but is in creative great effect of in.

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

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

lacking . Zarathustra's p. . XIII. 15. he then goes on to Zarathustra concludes from this self-refutation that is pp. 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. 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." "The Truthsayer. 14. the realm of ignorance and falsehood. It should come as no surprise. Odyssey. his revised wisdom in which mind and the unconditional freedom and self-suffi ciency of the will were to be perfectly combined." Thus Spoke Zarathustra represents his attempt at such a solution. . 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. in community with the lowest of the low and submits to suffering the greatest of passions and. but only on that of philosophical writing." 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. 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. as god. the political between the philosopher's pursuit of the truth must include an examination of the false appearances of the political realm. "Proteus. Nietzsche's "On publication of Truthsayer. wonders whether in the way of his understanding the thought This renunciation certain other philosophers as well. As Nietzsche's Zarathustra makes clear. "historicist" offer a not interpretation accordance Nietzsche's "the philosophical intention. it would require "something double. 12. pp. Unfortunately. to articulate (Nietzsches Philoso 197). 28-31. 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." 16. 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." 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." 360-425 and Bacon." renunciation is the negative reflection of Peter's thrice-repeated renunciation of immediately before his death. turns out to be a necessary precondition for the life that is preeminently free because it is devoted to the pursuit of truth. Matter. Michael Gillespie Tracy Strong (Chicago: in University with of Press. 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. what 53-54.118 Interpretation preface parody in the "'Incipit to The Gay Science. 1935]. 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. IV. overcoming of need. 23. Homer. II. reproduces at its peak the contradiction that stands at the center of the traditional morality he had hoped man-god decisively to transcend: is. 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. or Zarathustra. "The speech Self-Overcoming." 1 1." Life's be is self-overcoming weaker steals. where he makes reference to the last aphorism of the original edition of the tragoedia' latter work. See "The port of Wanderer' and "On Blessedness Against the This thrice-reiterated Jesus Will. as man. Row. The Wisdom of the Ancients. 1984). 13. Vol. 1988). The fundamental problem that the incom of patible combination of freedom necessity in the thought of the eternal return points to is that the relation community and philosophy: the political community. 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. In the words of dictory: I myself am phie myself cause Karl Lowith. 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. therefore. ed." is the im "On Zarathustra's three headshakes before his disciples in Part Two: and see "On the Poets. 17. to uncover that which is unchanging in the nature of things or fundamental problems": see Beyond Good and and Evil. The Eternal Recurrence of the Same.'' Great Events. trans. Cf. namely. David Farrell Krell (San Francisco: Harper and sense See his Nietzsche.

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


Philosophy.95 paper. xi + 382 pp. Indeed. itics (Princeton: Princeton Timely Meditations: Martin Heidegger and Postmodern Pol University Press. NY: Cornell University Press. Demythologizing Heidegger (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Fall 1998. Heidegger.95. x + 285 pp. Zimmerman. $19.. In this essay. Heidegger's Confrontation ogy. and National Socialism Frank Schalow of New Orleans John D. Heidegger's Crisis: Philosophy and Politics in Nazi Germany (Cambridge. Politics. I develop to un- such an approach by examining a wide spectrum of which seek interpretation. 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.50 cloth. $19.. $15. Since Victor Farias published his book detailing Heidegger's involvement in National Socialism (1987).Review Essays Heidegger. MA: Harvard University Press. and Nazism (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni versity Press.95.. $14. 1990). xii + 129 pp. $33. 1995).50 paper. xii + 263 pp. + 306 pp. greater notoriety. even to the point of at "apologetics. $15.95 paper. xi + 234 pp. Vol. Heidegger's Philosophy and Nazism (Berkeley: University of California Press." spawning stimulating new if not as actions least for his perhaps philosophical vision. 1996). $49. a wave of books have appeared which develop this theme. Heidegger's Silence (Ithaca.. 1993).. University the Polity. One might expect that this trend of Heidegger criticism would produce such dark revelations about his fascist tendencies have had the as to dampen all enthusiasm for his thought. this century comes to a close.50 Hans Sluga. No. Yet these works reverse effect of interest in his for his philosophy.. xv + 232 pp. Michael E. 1993).95 paper. Caputo. 26. Berel Lang. Tom Rockmore. 1997). 1992). $49. Art (Bloomington: Indiana with Modernity: Technol xxvii University Press. Leslie Paul Thiele. $47. 1 .. Julian Young.50 cloth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

in con again neglected the "Jewish question" Holocaust the most abominable maintains Rockmore. Lang ger history (pp. of illumination and blindness. 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.128 Interpretation to According dient Rockmore. the public and occasional" the private. 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 course. The "tragic question then becomes. In this clear sense Lang's the is not altogether novel. 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. Ironically. but in thought" ignoring the "Jewish question" continues to "settle for limits to his forces life he (pp. never saw the persecution of the Jews as a philosophical problem say that in its own right. 100-101). 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. 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 . What shared with only German intellectual to align with the dark it about not only Heidegger. the Holocaust may be of such a singular darkness. philosophy assumes such a leadership role as com pensation for a floundering economic and political life characterizing Germany . stitutes plight of Lang points to a double fault by which the Jews during Hitler's uprising. 5-8). 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. freedom and necessity. Sluga illustrates how thought transform the fragmented tradition of the German Volk and its uncertain future into a vision of destiny. Yet Heidegger of was not the was Nazism. unlike the nihilism Nietzsche envisioned. Berel Heidegger ignored the retrospect. In Heidegger's Crisis. insofar as the and then. Sluga tional more reconstructs the historical environment which precipitated the rise of Na and Socialism. the professional and the thesis (p. there which are different interpretations But it is safe to of the degree to he Heidegger was or was not antisemitic. but the intellectual others. He emphasizes less the intricacies took in of Heidegger's thought philosophy does can the unique role which cal action. . In Heidegger's Silence. 5). philosophy While Zimmerman and Rockmore Germany show that as a catalyst of politi not develop a single in a political vacuum. gories of interpreted along these character that the depths of its cannot be fit into the cate Greek tragedy. While the macrocosmic events of the Western crisis can be lines.

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

anyone sympathetic the lack of ethical content pinpoints in Heidegger's which Wolin a problem to the prospect of on developing experience. his commitment to National Socialism. Ac singular character as to render cording to Wolin. resolve is of such a indeterminate any prescription of the good within that decision (pp. While this most problematic.). Richard Wolin is hyperbolic Wolin prospect one such critic we must address before entertaining the of a "Heideggerian politics. 35 ff. offers steps toward Anarchic be praxis "will be di ametrically cilably 14). he Nazism nor an apologetic makes neither an encounter with Heideg for it primary. 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. As our discussion of the previous . a Heideggerian politics must confront. Thus Wolin concept of resolve. it is perhaps the is among the For Heidegger. 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.130 Interpretation formal which concepts whose motifs as stances meaning can in Heidegger first articulated circum only be derived from the them. however. e. sup emphasizes the inhumane ideology of National Socialism. 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. resolve is correlation a way of bringing oneself can develop those in concert with what the situation possibilities which speak demands. The indeterminacy port of Heidegger's concept of authentic selfhood implies that one could exhibit the steadfastness of resolve and yet do terrible things. factic plane. Yet his opposed to the Fiihrerprinzip. in order that one to the dilemma in question. action hostile to the standard" solution operates on a plane of generality.g. We must recall that Schurmann Farias' published his book in French five former years before the gers ger's publication of book." paints a grim picture of what happens when a philosopher In The Politics of Being. Heidegger believed that tological concepts must be developed out of the ontic stream of concrete. An "anarchic praxis" the forefront that of a new epochal relation between being thought. Schurmann problem stands alone as a scholar who tackles a tenacious a solution. In many respects. it would a type of action irrecon (p. it holds only if we accept the deconstructive paradox that governance arises from overturning pre-existing models of political rule. The analogue abruptness Heidegger's political decision 1933 has its in his concept of most ob resoluteness (Entschlossenheit). vious. and while the addresses the dan involved in totalitarianism. 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).. alien to all reduction to the uniform.

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

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

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

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1997). Fall second book. Michael Walzer. why it excludes. versions of pluralism pretend to a Typical liberal fairness. 1996). inclusiveness and neutrality liberal versions which they do not. Vol. Sandel.95. Francis Canavan. The Pluralist Game: Pluralism.Whose Pluralism? Bruce W. indeed could not. Ballard Stephens College Conscience Francis Canavan. Democracy's Discontent: America in Search xi of + a Philosophy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1 . $16. liberals have no rightly of called for their communitarian chal lengers to offer not only critique their but alternative scenarios.. 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. must and do include and exclude according to criteria which commitments. Liberalism and (Lanham. possess. Emeritus offers a Professor insightful Political Science of at Fordham University... On Toleration (New Haven: Yale xii 417 pp. On the other hand. While some liberals have become more conscious of the partic ularities and continue limits of their tradition (cf. and whether it is transparent to itself about its exclusivity. others with simply to assert liberalism as an overarching social framework little to supporting justification. Thus the is not whether a particular intellectual tradition is exclusive. and reflect their own philosophical historical development. 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. 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. + 126 pp. University Press. No. 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. Within sketches larger pictures the good society. Three recent works do both. each author also his of own alternative version of pluralism. xi + Michael the Moral 192 pp. MD: Rowman & Littlefield.50. Democracy's Discontent: America in Search 1998. $24. 26. Public $22. The Pluralist Game. 1995). Like other pluralisms. but what it excludes.95. Rawls's Political Liberalism).

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

to public Canavan notes. It can only be made on the basis of an antecedent moral of judgment." equally faced with ever-increasing calls to In Canavan's reading. Yet of the three volumes. Certainly and American liberal pluralism is hardly neutral as capitalism any other model of economy. Given his A would presumably reject capitalism as well. Cultural liberalism is even determined by this pursuit that it can no longer judge identifies the the most outrageous wrongs. Canavan With Sandel and Walzer. pluralism as a norm is the ultimate value of remain unresolvable. Again for lack commonly and acceptable moral or the tension between ments over liberty equality basis for resolving for specifying their content. their best. what areas out of the political realm and as leaving them to individual But again. he does rejection of commend cooperatives in passing. "celebrate" either argu rights We and are nevertheless "diversity. 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. but the lack of moral agreement in creasingly typical acceptable American pluralism makes such judgments necessarily un to many. These institutions. Understood in individualist terms. with -139 the feeling that they are now strangers in their land" own (pp. had helped to flesh out religious community life. schools. This reduction is itself the incessantly of a reiterated in the media and wider popular culture. Sandel's alone offers a sustained . they have come to define the range of controversy between contemporary liberals and conservatives. sustained analysis of the liberalism and capitalism would go a long way toward he affinity between completing Canavan's treatment. Canavan particular. but hostile toward conditions which make for thriving community. but without developing the point at any length. individ liberty.Whose Pluralism? Americans 65-66). A main means by which liberal pluralism attempts neutrality is by taking controversial choice. such values quickly reduce to discussions of rights. pluralism being urged be cause ual it is a condition which supports so liberalism. 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. it displaced institutions. 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. liberalism. The author very perceptively economic counterpart of ideal liberalism as capitalism and the free market. what shall be left to private choice and judgment is itself a political decision. By increased federal private religious at the appropriation of taxes for public education. neutral and Apparently fail to democratic yet values such as liberty and equality also resolve pluralist conflict. hospi tals and social services were injured.

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

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

Suspending moral name of toleration does not effect a neutral pluralism. virtueless abstract vorce and individualism. a contradiction. As Sandel correctly argues. prochoice their views for public purposes. His him to morally advocat seriousness about ethical rationality and truth allows and transparent public policy deliberation decision. to relative say that we should all respect each other because the truth is If "all truth is relative" is absolutely true. they express. seeing as one nonprivileged attitude and why would among other possibilities. In both cases. not we should bracket depends on which relativism is no help either. Sandel gets to the philosophical matter of by emphasizing that whether or competing views is true. The argument for liberalism from is self-defeating. We might just as well say that all views equally worthy of disrespect it How since none is true. and His alternative version the self. and religious leads him to reject forms of pluralism primarily based upon. Sandel observes that if the Catholics were correct about human life abortion. judg Using the legal example of abortion. So Sandel pluralism. beginning would "bracketed" at conception and their view to accept they in effect advocates are also to "bracket" be countenancing murder. 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. but legal abor Sandel cites a provocative and against tion in effect simply grants their position. 20). thickly commitments unabashedly by family relations. telling on the of the parallel argument against moral bracketing from Lincoln Douglas heart issue of slavery. then there is for are others' at least one truth which is not relative." up ing what he terms a "mutual appreciation goods which would affirm peo ple and communities for the distinctive or other. question of what of By raising the economy best serve republi shows a can aims of self-government and the virtues which support it. rightly observing respect that a practical interest in social and mutual does not automatically defeat any that "We cannot without other moral interest. But even if we substi views need tuted some other version of the relativist claim. Sandel advocate ends willingness to curb the pseudopluralism of hegemonic business interests. 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. 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 . respect not follow. and promoting. In principle.142 when Interpretation it comes to questions of cooperation justice. community. Or we could relativize the value of respect. regarding toleration. moral.

Arguably. Sandel is arguing account of moral content that public deliberation can and should take permits are before marching handed out. in the nature of (p. or even malicious. the same could be said about his ily law. To the liberal objection that if the bracketing. Sandel's order. notes the insufficiency of appeals problems to rights and abstractly fair procedures alone to address contemporary These problems vary depending upon the histori- . "narrow" in his final further But further rejects the In the arguments Sandel moralism of his closing the fundamentalist without course of qualification. Michael Walzer agrees that liberal pluralism as it does need to resituated to address the increasing fragmentation of both personal and group life in the United States. Walzer of toleration and coexistence. Sandel rationality of recent Supreme Court decisions on free an ordinance could ban the Nazis from marching in Skokie. in general. "The answer may be simpler than liberal political theory permits: the Nazis promote genocide and hate. while Martin Luther King sought civil rights for blacks. There way would or be no foregone in conclusion about the outcome of of public deliberation one the other. be Canavan suggests. program and its associated pluralism make for tall Sandel himself chapter. and partisan way to which ignores of truth rationality. and which community which realizes the very cor is convinced of the truth of its "common" beliefs with practices. To with a return Sandel's abortion example. raises and responds to a number of relevant objections questions are possible. Sandel replies. The difference the cause" consists in the content of the speech. 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. Yet he had acknowledged and of highlighted the importance of ethical rejects truth when it came to the content-neutrality position expression. 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. That is.Whose Pluralism? 143 a Altogether. With Sandel. 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. 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. it could as easily have banned King and his fol lowers. 90). 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. Presumably. Sandel may depend more on an substantive positions on fam American consensus of biblical morality recognizes. be added Sandel the offers about civil here that. Yet the decisions a deliberation questions can be philosophically shallow. Indeed.

Walzer fragmentation which have led to the neither Walzer's Americans have is nor need anything in but certain political principles and toleration more like a restatement of the problem than a key to its resolution. With Sandel. since we are too multi United States In his typology of toleration regimes. Walzer acknowledges that liberalism is a substantive and par its own. so he opposes a voucher system. as an harbor republican hopes. To his credit. together with leaves intact the current crisis. 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. 77). common roots of alienation and claim that its strong individualism. (It would be intriguing to see a published debate between Sandel and Walzer over this question. Walzer here in the secondary associations. "one hopes that they are justified schools will have exactly the effects that orthodox make their children . He doubts that liberal politics be sustained were all children to go into private sectarian schools." wrong" of orthodox parents that ant of religious and that parents send the public "toler may Walzer responds that. 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. ought to be barred from running in elections. so Walzer develops a suggestive regimes cal and political situation of various and useful typology of five tolerance analysis historical examples. Yet his recognition that liberalism is one tradition among others does not lead Walzer to offer a philosophical defense of it. Religious parties. and social Where then. attempts While Walzer everyone's rejects by groups with moral to "control behavior of in the name of a supposedly common (Judeo-Christian. 70).144 Interpretation societies. Maclntyre. In the face of contempo ticular political culture of rary critiques like those of Sandel. To the fears state-mandated versions of tolerance education error. of a pluralism which isn't simply cannot fragmentation? We farious a population. With both Sandel revival of various and Canavan. for example. . Canavan. Naturally. Walzer identifies the immigrant society rather than a nation-state with republican foundations like France. life are we of to uncover the resources necessary for a revived political the sort Walzer wants. this is an omission which pluralism. Walzer largely responds by simply asserting his own secu lar liberal dogmatism. Walzer is willing for these orthodox parents to their children to private schools (if they can afford it). Yet by keeping to the larger liberal pluralist picture. with early roots in Protestant and English history. (p. so the unity which comes from that richer foundation for citizenship is unavailable to us.) Nor can we repair to . 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. but is unwilling to them of taxation fear" relieve would for state education. is right say) tradition. and 'family values' or of their own certainties about what (p. . of and others.

rationality in about we do not and after seriously engage questions of truth and we ethics. have less to assert reason than ever to relinquish that good. Altogether then." - 145 be of a biblically informed liberal moral consensus.Whose Pluralism? what remains "intolerant. 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. and the alternatives for liberalism are either to lack transparency its own particu lar value-structure or see it without philosophical defense. since that would Within the cannot confines of the position Walzer embraces.

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

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