Friday, November 26, 2004

Neglected Philosophers

I have added to my sidebar a Neglected Philosophers category. It is unfortunate that a philosopher like Heidegger receives a vast amount of attention, and indeed more than he deserves, while a philosopher such as Wolfgang Cramer is scarcely read at all. I have German correspondents who have first heard of Cramer from me, an American. I admit to being part of the problem: I have half a dozen published articles on Heidegger, but not one on Cramer, or on Blondel, or on Brunner, or on Blanshard.

Derrida is another philosopher who has received an excess of attention. Why read him when you can read Blondel or Blanshard? Just because he has made a big splash and people are talking about him? Form your own opinion. Try this. Set a volume of Derrida side by side with a volume of Blanshard. Read a few pages back and forth. Then ask who you are more likely to learn something from.

Since the philosophers listed are neglected, it should come as no surprise that the websites recommended are not of the highest quality. You can’t blame me for that, or my wife either; you can blame it on the insularity and narrowmindendess of ‘institutionalized’ philosophers who run with the pack, hang with the herd, and are oh so concerned about being ‘respectable.’