Who am I?

Occasionally someone holds up a mirror that gives one a startling view of oneself.  Not that one isn’t getting partial glimpses all the time.  But we need another for self-knowledge, and just today a friend passed on such a startling view.  I pass it on to my readers for an account of what leads me to write that I can’t imagine bettering.  I know it’s flattering to find a holiday snapshot of oneself that one likes, but this, if I may be permitted, is more like a late Rembrandt self-portrait.  I tremble a bit sharing it:

http://ndpr.nd.edu/news/41349-excursions-with-kierkegaard-others-goods-death-and-final-faith/

Does it focus in on my world as for the moment it seems to?

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7 comments on “Who am I?

  1. Dean says:

    Reblogged this on Re(-)petitions and commented:
    Review of Excursions with Kierkegaard: Others, Goods, Death, and Final Faith by Ed Mooney. Both the review and the book are well worth the read.

  2. dmfant says:

    that’s really a remarkable read, certainly your essaying style lend itself to such a re-view but the author really has captured something. I’ve always thought that criticism should offer the reader some sense of what it is like to read the book (see the film, etc) and this does in a nice marriage of content and form that echoes the performative aspect of your writing. One can only hope that this sends sparks out into the drought-ridden fields of academic philosophy…

    • efmooney says:

      Thanks, Dirk — yes, the review is much more than merely appreciative of my writing — it is mimesis as praise and tribute.

      • dmfant says:

        I wonder if one could (in a pragmatist familial resemblance kind of way) sort life/experiences/events into those categories that lend themselves to more exact modeling and those that remain more fuzzy/inchoate/amphibious, perhaps in the spirit (if not the wording) of Gabriel Marcel on problems and mysteries?

  3. efmooney says:

    Often context requires a straightforwardly exact ‘read’ of something: if we are doing a tornado watch for the community, we need to treat the tornado as a something that fits into set boxes: direction, speed, type, distance from human settlement. If we’re poetic-photographic those facets fall into irrelevance and we see the fuzzy incompleteness of a ‘great picture’ come into focus. And the terribleness of the tornado will be measurable at one point (it took out a barn) and immeasurable at another (try giving an exact account of the suffering of a family who have lost family members and all their material possessions). And if the soul is differently aligned, one can hear, as Job did, the divine sing through the storm.

    You could say good philosophy has an ear for when the inexact is being crammed into a box, making havoc with understanding; and when the manageable exact, nicely boxed, is being treated like it is not susceptible of an exact account at all, and left to run foolishly wild; and when, in contrast, the same concept (or ‘thing’) shifts back and forth from the manageable to the wild, from the mysterious to the (merely) problematic, to ‘something’ fit for scientific study, to something unfit for it. Marcel is right to separate problems and mysteries, but the world is too shifty to give us items that fall always in one category or the other, and unambiguously.

    • dmfant says:

      “the world is too shifty to give is items that fall always in one category or the other, and unambiguously”
      yes indeed, part of why I’m a pragmatist and all for thinking in terms of proto-types rather than trying to achieve a Gods-eye-world-view of arche-types, back to the rough ground as someone once said…
      http://openwetware.org/images/7/7a/SB1.0_Rabinow.pdf

  4. Congrats, Ed. Not often that someone writes a book that genuinely reaches into the sensibility of any reader, as yours did your reviewer’s. And good for him for being that available to what is being read.

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