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Postmodern Platos

Nietzsche, Heidegger, Gadamer, Strauss, Derrida

Catherine Zuckert examines the work of five key philosophical figures from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries through the lens of their own decidedly postmodern readings of Plato. She argues that Nietzsche, Heidegger, Gadamer, Strauss, and Derrida, convinced that modern rationalism had exhausted its possibilities, all turned to Plato in order to rediscover the original character of philosophy and to reconceive the Western tradition as a whole. Zuckert’s artful juxtaposition of these seemingly disparate bodies of thought furnishes a synoptic view, not merely of these individual thinkers, but of the broad postmodern landscape as well. The result is a brilliantly conceived work that offers an innovative perspective on the relation between the Western philosophical tradition and the evolving postmodern enterprise.

358 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1996

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

Philosophy: General Philosophy

Table of Contents

Introduction: Postmodern Platos
1: Nietzsche’s Rereadings of Plato
2: Heidegger’s New Beginning
3: Gadamer’s Path: From Heidegger to Plato
4: Strauss’s Way Back to Plato
5: "Primitive Platonism": Strauss’s Response to Radical Historicism
6: Reconceiving the Western Tradition: Strauss’s Studies in Platonic
Political Philosophy
7: Derrida’s Deconstruction of Plato
8: Derrida’s New [Hi]story
9: The Three Paths from Nietzsche and Heidegger
List of Abbreviations

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