Monday, March 03, 2008

John, Jeremiah. "Review of Ido Geiger's THE FOUNDING ACT OF MODERN ETHICAL LIFE." NDPR February 24, 2008.

Geiger, Ido. The Founding Act of Modern Ethical Life: Hegel's Critique of Kant's Moral and Political Philosophy. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2007. It is an indication of the richness of Hegel's philosophy and of the relevance of much English-speaking Hegel scholarship that literature on Hegel's practical philosophy, even after a generation of careful, philosophically rigorous book-length treatments, continues to explore new territory and to show the importance of Hegel's thought to enduring issues in moral and political philosophy. Ido Geiger's The Founding Act of Modern Ethical Life is a fine example of this trend. The Founding Act is also quite striking and unusual, however, on two counts. First, in no more than 158 pages, Geiger's reach spans from Kantian moral philosophy, to Hegel's philosophy of action, philosophy of history, and political philosophy, to the issue of political founding in Plato's Republic. Geiger navigates this territory with ease, also bringing to bear contemporary thinkers such as Lacan, Derrida, Arendt and Stanley Cavell. Second, he cuts against the grain of many standard interpretations of Hegel from the past half-century. Though I find some of his interpretive claims unconvincing, Geiger presents elegant solutions to many tough puzzles in The Founding Act, and caused me to change my opinion on more than one issue in Hegel. . . . Read the rest here:

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