The Philosophy Department Post-Kantian European Philosophy working group presents
Yael Gazit, Yale University:
“Appropriating the Mighty Dead.”
This talk reflects on philosophers’ engagement with the history of philosophy. In particular, I focus on the practice of appropriation, by which philosophers portray historical figures as anticipators of their own thinking. To account for this practice, I draw from Robert Brandom’s philosophy and his understanding of Hegel’s notion of Forgiveness. As I show, this view both explains Brandom’s own mode of engagement and provides for a more general thesis. However, it also challenges the idea of dialogue with the past and raises questions about the possibility of criticism, conceptual transformation and change, and consequently, Brandom’s conception of reciprocal recognition. I end with some constructive suggestions and several examples of the fruitfulness of the proposed account.