Friday, September 05, 2008
Sokolowski, Robert. "Review of Santiago Zabala's THE HERMENEUTIC NATURE OF ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY." NDPR (August 2008).
Zabala, Santiago. The Hermeneutic Nature of Analytic Philosophy: a Study of Ernst Tugendhat. Trans. Michael Haskell and Santiago Zabala. New York: Columbia UP, 2008. This book is a translation of an Italian study that appeared in 2004. Its purpose is to introduce English readers to the work of Ernst Tugendhat, who has been an important figure in European philosophy for the past half-century. Tugendhat was born in 1930 in Brno, Czechoslovakia, into a Jewish family. His family moved to Switzerland in 1938 and then to Venezuela. He did his undergraduate studies in classics at Stanford. After the war, he returned to Germany and did doctoral work at Freiburg, where he was much influenced by Heidegger. His dissertation on Aristotle's theory of being and predication was published in 1958 under the title Ti kata tinos: Eine Untersuchung zu Struktur und Ursprung Aristotelischer Grundbegriffe. His Habilitationsschrift, also earned at Freiburg, was published in 1967 as Der Wahrheitsbegriff bei Husserl und Heidegger. Tugendhat was invited for a semester in 1965 to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he came into contact with analytical philosophy. He found the approach congenial and his next major work was Traditional and Analytical Philosophy: Lectures on the Philosophy of Language. It appeared in German in 1976 and in English in 1982. The book was the outcome of a course given at Heidelberg in 1970. In it Tugendhat asserts the importance of focusing on actual speech and sentences and thus gives his reading of Heidegger and phenomenology something of a "linguistic turn," but he also tries to give a hermeneutic reading of linguistic analysis. Another major work, Self-Consciousness and Self-Determination, appeared in German in 1979 and in English in 1986. Since that time, Tugendhat has concentrated on issues concerning human rights, ethics, and mysticism. He taught at Heidelberg from the conclusion of his graduate studies until the mid 1970s, when he left Germany for Chile. He has since lived in both Germany and South America, has held research positions in Starnberg and Berlin, and has commented on current social, political, and international topics. Some observers have contrasted Tugendhat with Gadamer, both of whom were indebted to Heidegger at the beginning of their intellectual careers: Gadamer developed Heidegger's thought in a "hermeneutic" direction, and Tugendhat is said to have developed it along "linguistic" or "semantic" lines. . . . Read the rest here: http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=14025.