Tragedy of Finitude

Jos de Mul , professor of Philosophical Anthropology at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam , has produced a fascinating book on Wilhelm Dilthey , just released from Yale. The title The Tragedy of Finitude captures the essence of the work. He traces Dilthey’s work back to the transcendentalism of Kant, showing how Dilthey historicized the human subject. And he shows, on the other end, how Dilthey’s work was itself “radicalized” in Heidegger and Derrida. Fundamentally, this entire line of modern philosophy goes off the beam with a faulty doctrine of creation. Instead of affirming that creation, with all its mutability and transience, is GOOD, finitude, temporality, and historicity are consistently seen as features of a world designed to frustrate humanity. The translation by Tony Burrett is superb, and the explanations of some very dense thinkers are lucid and insightful. A rich book, and one to ponder.

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