Mystery in Philosophy: An Invocation of Pseudo-Dionysius

Mystery in Philosophy: An Invocation of Pseudo-Dionysius

by Michael Craig Rhodes
     
 

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Typically, mystery does not receive much attention in philosophy. Although Heidegger and other key philosophers have made a place for mystery in philosophy, many find such philosophizing suspect and unconvincing. As a general rule, contemporary philosophers have taken a different approach, and, thus, there has been very little discussion of mystery in philosophy.

Overview

Typically, mystery does not receive much attention in philosophy. Although Heidegger and other key philosophers have made a place for mystery in philosophy, many find such philosophizing suspect and unconvincing. As a general rule, contemporary philosophers have taken a different approach, and, thus, there has been very little discussion of mystery in philosophy. As a study of mystery in philosophy, this book is therefore somewhat unique. Moreover, it is also distinctive in the way it approaches the subject, tuning to an unpopular figure—Dionysius the Areopagite (c. 500)—in contemporary philosophy in effort to make connections between that form of thought and various claims and indications of mystery. Thus, the book is unconventional in terms of both its subject matter and its methodology.

Editorial Reviews

David E. Cooper
In this short but ambitious book, Michael Craig Rhodes makes a persuasive case for the philosophical rehabilitation of the neglected notion of an ineffable mystery. Through an original discussion of the great early champion of ‘negative theology’, Pseudo-Dionysius, Rhodes develops a rich and attractive concept of being as an ‘ikon’ of transcendent mystery. The value of this concept is then established by showing how it is presupposed in some of the best modern contributions to the philosophies of mind, matter and language. Theologians and philosophers alike will welcome this challenging book.
Andrew Louth
The last century saw a return of ‘the mystical’, especially in Wittgenstein who spoke of ‘the mystical’, as that of which ‘one cannot speak’, but which also ‘shows itself’. Michael Craig Rhodes in this remarkable book seeks inspiration for the future of philosophy in the vision of the mysterious figure of the early sixth century who wrote under the name of Dionysios (or Denys) the Areopagite. From his starting-point in Wittgenstein, Rhodes leads us to Denys’ understanding of what he calls being-as-ikon, that is, being as disclosing the ultimate, God as unknowable. He makes this theme central to his development of the notion of the mystical, in which he brings philosophers of the analytical tradition—Colin McGinn, David Cooper and Shimon Malin—into dialogue with giants of the continental tradition of hermeneutical philosophy such as Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, and also draws into his discussion scientists and philosophers of science such as Weinberg, Heisenberg and Feyerabend. Descartes emerges as a surprisingly central figure. His argument leads us through reflections on ontology, linguistics, and aesthetics. It is a book that is in many places inspiring and always thought-provoking.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739134344
Publisher:
Lexington Books
Publication date:
08/24/2012
Series:
Mystery in Philosophy Series
Pages:
142
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Michael Craig Rhodes is dialogue lecturer at North Park University.

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