The Verge of Philosophy
The Verge of Philosophy is both an exploration of the limits of philosophy and a memorial for John Sallis’s longtime friend and interlocutor Jacques Derrida. The centerpiece of the book is an extended examination of three sites in Derrida’s thought: his interpretation of Heidegger regarding the privileging of the question; his account of the Platonic figure of the good; and his interpretation of Plato’s discourse on the crucial notion of the chora, the originating space of the universe.
Sallis’s reflections are given added weight—even poignancy—by his discussion of his many public and private philosophical conversations with Derrida over the decades of their friendship. This volume thus simultaneously serves to mourn and remember a friend and to push forward the deeply searching discussions that lie at the very heart of that friendship.
“All of John Sallis’s work is essential, but [this book] in particular is remarkable. . . . Sallis shows better than anyone I have ever read what it means to practice philosophy on the verge.”—Walter Brogan, Villanova University
“Here is another brilliant book by one of our finest philosophers. The Verge of Philosophy continues Sallis’s thoughtful investigations into the Platonic dialogues, now in more explicit dialogue with Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida. In this profound and elegantly crafted work, Sallis extends lines of thinking developed in earlier writings—and the result bristles with scintillating insights.” —Graham Parkes, University of Hawaii
“All of John Sallis’s work is essential, but The Verge of Philosophy in particular is remarkable. It is beautifully written with a mature clarity that belies its immense subtlety. Philosophy itself and the future of philosophy is the main concern, but this is also a book about the politics of music, about whether it is still possible for philosophy to sing and to hear the song of the gods. Sallis shows better than anyone I have read what it means to practice philosophy on the verge and how this might be possible.”
1. Plato’s Other Beginning
2. The Place of the Good
3. Last Words: Generosity and Reserve
4. The Politics of Music
5. On the Verge