John Sallis is the Frederick J. Adelmann Professor of Philosophy at Boston College. He is the author of many books, including, most recently, Transfigurements: On the True Sense of Art, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
In this brief yet highly engaging book, Sallis (philosophy, Boston Coll.; Topographies) examines the limits and purpose of philosophy through the writings of Plato, Martin Heidegger, and longtime friend and interlocutor Jacques Derrida. Sallis explains that philosophy is a dynamic process whereby, like the escaped prisoner in Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" (The Republic), the philosopher is transformed by his or her knowledge. This knowledge brings philosophy to its limits, a point at which discourse and understanding become difficult and must be looked at through the philosophy that led it there; for Sallis, this philosophy is Platonism. He explains that in Plato's works, philosophy began to develop a distinction between the "intelligible" and the "sensible," which in turn provided the foundation for all succeeding philosophy. Sallis discusses the return to what he refers to as a new Platonism, which contains much of Plato's original thought but has also been brought to a new verge through Heidegger's and Derrida's writings on the philosopher. All told, Sallis has written a unique work that combines philosophical analysis with a heartfelt reflection on his friendship with Derrida.-Scott Duimstra, Capital Area Dist. Lib., Lansing, MI Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"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 "Sallis has written a unique work that combines philosophical analysis with a heartfelt reflection on his friendship with Derrida." - Library Journal"