Transcendence, Genealogy and Reinscription

  • Michael Hodges
Part of the Claremont Studies in the Philosophy of Religion book series (CSPR)


Professor Barabas has argued in a very rich and useful discussion that we cannot understand what it would mean to ‘transcend the human’ in terms of prudence or practical wisdom for, in such terms, the ideal would be simply an unbroken string of satisfactions which would finally be quite boring. She has also argued that if we understand transcendence in terms of the ethical — at least from Kant’s point of view — we will be committed to a ‘hierarchically structured dualism’; but ‘few…would be willing to assert the independence and absolute value of the noumenal domain’ (p. 227). I am in broad agreement with her on these two points.1 In fact, I have argued in some detail that the early Wittgenstein’s own views fall prey to the same sort of argument that she develops in Kant’s case.2


Religious Experience Practical Wisdom Aesthetic Experience Philosophical Investigation Structure Dualism 
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  1. 11.
    Wittgenstein, Notebooks 1914–1916 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1969), p. 83.Google Scholar
  2. 26.
    David Wood (ed.), On Paul Ricoeur: Narrative and Interpretation (New York: Routledge, 1986), p. 5.Google Scholar
  3. 27.
    I am here put in mind of Wittgenstein’s reference to three ‘experiences’ of transcendence in his ‘Lecture on Ethics’, Philosophical Review 75 (1965), pp. 3–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© The Claremont Graduate School 1997

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  • Michael Hodges

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