Tuesday, December 28, 2004

In All Fairness to Paul Edwards

As most know by now, Paul Edwards has passed away at the age of 81. See here. I honored him yesterday by taking his critique of Heidegger seriously enough to refute it -- or part of it. My tone was harsh in places, but no harsher than the tone he adopted with his opponents. The guy allowed himself to be blinded by his Heidegger-hatred, so much so that, when I sent him a long paper in the early 1990's patiently defending Heidegger against his simple-minded criticisms, all he could muster by way of reply was the accusation that I was a "semi-shepherd," a species of varmint that he disliked just as much as the full-fledged "shepherd of Being," which was his derisive term for a Heideggerian. How's that for philosophical refutation?

Nevertheless, I will now honor Edwards further by pointing out the great service he rendered by editing the eight-volumed Encyclopedia of Philosophy. I have had it on my shelves for the last 31 years and have consulted it countless times. I bought the four-volumed edition from the Book of the Month Club for the paltry sum of $20.00 in the Fall of 1973 as I was beginning graduate studies. It was the best book deal I ever got.