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3. John 10:27

Kierkegaard, Søren Indiana University Press ePub

[ 3 ]

Father in Heaven! Your grace and mercy change not with the changing of the times,1 age not with the course of the years, as if you, like a human being, were more gracious on one day than on another, more gracious on the first day than on the last. Your grace remains unchanged, just as you are unchanged, the same, eternally young, new with every new day—for indeed every day you say “this very day.”2 Oh, but if a person pays attention to this phrase, is moved by it, and with pious resolve says earnestly to himself “this very day”—then for him this means that he precisely desires to be changed on this day, precisely desires that this day might be truly significant for him above other days, significant by renewed strengthening in the good he once chose or perhaps even significant by choosing the good. It is your grace and mercy unchangeably to say every day “this very day,”3 but your mercy and time of grace would be forfeited if a human being so unchangeably were to say from day to day “this very day.” You are surely the one who gives the time of grace “this very day,” but the human being is the one who must seize the time of grace “this very day.” This is the way we talk with you, O God; there is a linguistic difference between us, and yet we strive to understand you and to make ourselves intelligible to you, and you are not ashamed to be called our God.4 What is the eternal expression of your unchanged grace and mercy when you say it, O God, that same phrase is the strongest expression of the deepest change and decision when a human being repeats it rightly understood—yes, as if everything would be lost if the change and decision did not happen this very day. So grant then to those who are assembled here today, those who, without any external summons, therefore all the more inwardly, have resolved even today to seek reconciliation with you in the confession of sin, grant them that this day may be a true blessing for them, that they may have heard the voice of him whom you sent to the world,5 the voice of the Good Shepherd,6 that he may know them and that they may follow him.

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Chapter Nineteen. Klein’s Reactivation of Plato’s Theory of ’Aριθμο Eδητικο

Burt C. Hopkins Indiana University Press ePub

Klein’s interpretation of Plato’s dialectical method is guided by the question he has shown was raised, but not answered, by Greek mathematical thought. It is guided therefore by the question of the mode of being proper to the mathematical objects that such thought, in its theoretical guise, cannot help but encounter, a question that it also cannot help but be unable to answer—“for all time” (83/85)—so long as it remains strictly mathematical. The question here, which concerns both the mode of being proper to the “pure” ριθμο as well as to their εδη, is what guides Klein’s desedimentation and reactivation of Plato’s thought of “[t]he Platonic theory of the ριθμο εδητικο [eidetic definite amounts]” (88/91), a theory that “is known to us . . . only from the Aristotelian polemic against it (cf., above all, Metaphysics M 6–8).” Klein writes:

Only the ριθμο εδητικο make something at all like “definite amount” possible in this our world. They provide the foundation for all counting and reckoning, first in virtue of their particular nature which is responsible for the differences of genus and species in things so that they may be comprehended under a definite amount, and, beyond this, by being responsible for the unlimited variety of things, which comes about through a “distorted” imitation of ontological methexis [participation].69 (GMTOA, 89/92–93)

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7 The Figure of Socrates and the Downfall of Paradoxical Reason

McCombs, Richard Indiana University Press ePub


Unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. (John 12:24–25)


Christ . . . willed his own downfall. (PC, 246)


It is . . . the ultimate passion of the understanding to will the collision . . . that must become its downfall. (PF, 37)


An eternal happiness is specifically rooted in the subjective individual’s diminishing self-esteem acquired through the utmost exertion. (CUP, 55)


He who is by art a tragic poet is also a comic poet. (Socrates in Symposium, 223d)


Virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of it. . . . What should such fellows as I do crawling between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves all. (Shakespeare, Hamlet)

In the drama of Philosophical Fragments Socrates not only climbs the ladder of paradoxical reason, he also falls. We might suspect that his fall is a tragic climbing accident resulting from ill-advised overconfidence in his climacean capacity, or a divine punishment for impious and immoderate ambition. In fact, it is a voluntary self-humbling: Socrates himself wills the downfall of his own understanding.

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7. The Quest for Sovereignty

Marius Timmann Mjaaland Indiana University Press ePub

Toward the end of his life, Luther warned against the danger of a collapse, of speculations, of mystifications, and of political violence inherent to this concept which is hardly a concept at all, the deus absconditus.1 Luther had introduced the term for at least three different reasons: first, in accordance with the mystical theology of Dionysius Areopagita in his Lectures on the Psalms (1513/15); second, as a destruction of speculative theology in the Heidelberg Disputation (1518); and third, with reference to God’s majesty in De servo arbitrio (1525). There are, more precisely, two different notions of divine hiddenness in De servo arbitrio: on the one hand, God’s hiddenness on the cross, which Eberhard Jüngel has called the “precise” hiddenness; on the other hand, less specific, the absolute hiddenness of God’s majesty, the Almighty, whose will is absolutely sovereign and free, but whose ways and reasons are unsearchable.2

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11. How Real is Race?

Stacy Alaimo Indiana University Press ePub

Michael Hames-García

(a) The state shall not classify any individual by race, ethnicity, color or national origin. . . .
(g) Nothing in this section shall prevent law enforcement officers . . . from describing particular persons in otherwise lawful ways. Neither . . . the legislature nor any statewide agency shall require law enforcement officers to maintain records that track individuals on the basis of said classifications . . .

—The Racial Privacy Initiative, submitted to the California Attorney General, September 28, 2001

A quick read of Ward Connolly’s Racial Privacy Initiative (which would have eliminated California’s use of race as a means of classification) reveals much about the contradictions in public discourse about race. Among other things, it explicitly provided for the retention of racial profiling on the part of the police while freeing police departments from having to keep track of the race of the people they arrested or detained. The ballot measure, promoted using liberal, antiracist rhetoric, would have frustrated all attempts to demonstrate discriminatory patterns of surveillance, arrest, or harassment by police. Race clearly matters, and yet throughout its history as a concept, its elaboration has been buttressed by biological fictions that have not held up to scientific scrutiny. In this essay, I explore some of the contradictions between social and biological conceptions of the reality of race and suggest that what is needed now is creative experimentation with racial identities, rather than their abandonment.

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