In this original and illuminating work, the reader is invited to approach philosophy as an activity that can instruct, delight, and move. On this view, philosophy can be seen as a key to human education, a mastery of humane letters, and a part of the republic of the liberal arts.
Embracing this approach to philosophy, Verene argues, involves moving beyond modern philosophy’s analytical encounter with experience, one that emphasizes argument and criticism at the expense of the Socratic search for self-knowledge.
Relying on insights from Vico and Hegel, Verene introduces a new sense of reason, one that sees the True as the whole and that connects reason to the ancient sense of speculation.
Reflection and criticism are given their due, but the reorientation of philosophy toward the speculative grasp of the whole of things allows memory, imagination, and dialectical ingenuity to take on philosophical form.
In the end, this work show how speculation, symbolic form, metaphor, poetry, and rhetoric are natural parts of philosophical thinking.
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