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Book details
  • Genre:PHILOSOPHY
  • SubGenre:Essays
  • Language:English
  • Pages:130
  • eBook ISBN:9780982656433

At the Impasse

by David Schenck

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Overview
In this volume, I have made an effort to push further the practice of assembling philosophical fictions or, if you prefer, literary philosophy. These efforts are driven by conviction that, in so many ways, what were once assumed to be clear boundaries and lines of demarcation between literature and philosophy are not only no longer obvious but, in fact, may well be hindering the development of philosophy or, better, some new form of writing in a fuller sense, beyond the genre demarcations we currently still (mostly) inhabit.
Description
In this volume, I have made an effort to push further the practice of assembling philosophical fictions or, if you prefer, literary philosophy. These efforts are driven by conviction that, in so many ways, what were once assumed to be clear boundaries and lines of demarcation between literature and philosophy are not only no longer obvious but, in fact, may well be hindering the development of philosophy or, better, some new form of writing in a fuller sense, beyond the genre demarcations we currently still (mostly) inhabit. To that end (among many others): In each of the three pieces in At the Impasse, there is found the exploration of what in the first piece, “Empedocles in Vienna,” is called the “unconscious of a sentence.” (And there also the claim that every sentence has one, as every person is understood to.) Or as envisioned in “A Figure, to Suspend a Poetics” that the sentence we look at, expressed by norms of ordinary grammar, is the focal point, but that lying all about it is the field that provides the context that gives the focal point meaning. And so the broken-open sentence as a way of exploring that field and not just its focus. One keeps the focal point, because without that there is no field—only the infinity of language and that infinite world it brings with itself. Nonsense thus explores the field that “surrounds” the object, what William James called “fringe consciousness.”
About the author
David Schenck is a Research Assistant Professor with the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Following a twenty-year career as a professor of philosophy and religion, Schenck served as the executive director of a free medical clinic, a counselor and advocate for the homeless, and a consultant to nonprofits in the Southeast. He has volunteered with, and worked for, a variety of hospices over the last twenty years. He is currently doing research on ethics and medicine as complementary sets of healing skills. Schenck completed his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and earned his master’s and doctorate in religious studies at Duke University. He grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. Additional titles by David Schenck include: Zchenk Among Demons, SunZero Earth, and Mythographer of the Sun.
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