On Desire and the Good
This book would be indispensable to courses (both undergraduate and graduate) in philosophy, religious studies, and the history of ideas – in interdisciplinary courses in the humanities, generally – that focus on the values that are central, both historically and ontologically, to modernity.
7 Conclusion: In Ending with Philosophy as Beginning with the Good of Desire
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I have undertaken in my study to show that in the beginning is philosophy as the covenantal knowledge of creation or, we may equally say, as the creative knowledge of the covenant. We end, consequently, with philosophy as beginning with the good of desire. I have made central to my book, in arguing that in the beginning philosophy is biblical and the Bible is philosophical, the critical issue of the relationship of desire—will, thinking, love, practice …—and the good—justice, freedom, love, existence. … I thus made use specifically of the demonstration on the part of Spinoza that we do not desire something because it is the good (in itself) but that, on the contrary, what we desire, i.e., desire itself, is the good. In a fundamental sense, then, my study involves an exploration, an essaying, of the extraordinary implications, of the astonishing consequences, both historical and ontological, that emerge from a comprehensive explication of the relationship of desire and the good. In addition to attaining an all-embracing comprehension of the relationship of history and ontology—that to be human is to be historical and that to be historical is to be human—we have seen that the existence of history and the history of existence are, at one and the same time, ethical, hermeneutical, and political, to recall the sequence of chapters that constitute my book.
Spinoza’s demonstration that to seek the good—to desire, to love, to think, to engage, to do the...
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