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Speculari aude: the platonic path of metaphysics in Dieter Henrich.

HEINE'S IMAGE OF KANT as the all-destroying hammer of the metaphysicians has always been an over-simplification, for it was Kant himself who insisted that the metaphysical quest for unconditioned grounds would remain an undeniable interest of reason, though one to be satisfied by praxis rather than theoria. (1) This, however, leaves us with the question of what form metaphysics can actually take in a contemporary philosophical consciousness that has been decisively transformed by the impact of his critical project. It is a question taken up by Dieter Henrich, one of Kant's greatest living interpreters.

Henrich is justly renowned for his systematic and rigorous reinterpretations of Kantian and German idealist philosophy. My focus in this paper, however, is on a different aspect of his thinking, only now becoming familiar to anglophone readers: his insistence that metaphysical thinking remains indispensable especially in philosophical modernity, precisely because of the element which distinguished it from its Greek and scholastic predecessors: the primacy of self-consciousness.

As we will see, this does not mean that the task of metaphysics is now to make self-consciousness entirely transparent to itself. Such transparency, Henrich will argue, is impossible. Rather, he seeks a thinking that can justify and preserve what he views as modernity's greatest philosophical achievement: its conception of humanity as free and self-determining, striving to understand itself entirely from within itself, rather than by recourse to natural or transcendent sources of normativity. (2)

Despite his own insistence that this modern subjectivity represents a radical break with Platonic-Aristotelian philosophy--"a cut," Henrich writes, "that ... reached down to the roots" (3)--his thinking about the future course of metaphysics reveals certain Platonic affinities on which he himself has remarked.' In this paper, I want to elaborate on those affinities as a critical assessment of Henrich's own work, but also because they reveal a fundamental, and philosophically significant, continuity underlying all comprehensive thinking, even in forms as divergent as those beginning from Plato and Kant.

I open with Henrich's understanding of modernity and its privileging of self-consciousness, followed by his treatment of the primordial and unanalyzable structure of the self. Despite the fact that, for Henrich, all attempts at explaining the self-conscious subject terminate in circularity, subjectivity can be neither explained away reductively nor (pace Habermas) expelled from philosophical consideration. This stubborn fact forms the starting point for his own attempt to delineate a new path in metaphysics, which can do justice to self-consciousness and its distinctive aporiai, as I will show in the third section. For Henrich, Plato is a paradigm for such thinking, provided this paradigm is modernized, that is, reoriented away from the primacy of an intelligible, natural order and toward the new point of departure that Kant had located in the activity of the subject. In the next section, a close inspection of a passage from the Phaedo will reveal that despite their undeniably great differences, Platonic and Kantian thought revolve around a common problematic--the unanalyzable nature of intelligible unity. Indeed, because of this commonality, I conclude by arguing that Henrich's thinking shows where the vitality of metaphysics lies: neither in an overcoming nor a twisting free from Plato, but rather in his reappropriation.


In a 1992 essay, "Themes in Postmetaphysical Thinking," Jurgen Habermas refers to a "New Obscurity" which had come to characterize philosophy in Germany in the years after the collapse of positivism. With amused detachment, he remarks on the "renewal of metaphysics ... whether this be a version of metaphysics asserting itself in the wake of Kant or one that is blatantly scrambling back behind Kant's transcendental dialectic." (5) For Habermas, of course, this renewal is hopeless ab initio since the history of philosophy is a series of irreversible paradigm shifts, from ontological thinking through the paradigm of subjectivity to the present linguistic and intersubjective paradigm. The tectonic plates have shifted away from any expectation that theoretical reason "will rediscover itself in the rationally structured world" and away from any attempt to preserve philosophy's access to first principles by importing the attributes of universality, eternity, and necessity into a transcendental subject. (5) We are living, inescapably, after metaphysics. (7)

In his well-documented debate with Habermas, Henrich denies both of these contentions. There is, he argues, no way to dislodge subjectivity from the center of philosophical concern. (8) We have not, indeed cannot, shift from a subjective to a linguistic paradigm, because subjectivity is not a paradigm at all, that is, not a framework or model for organizing and interpreting data that could conceivably be organized and interpreted differently. It is ingredient in every conscious relation we can have to ourselves and to the world. Henrich is the first to admit that any conceptualization of self-consciousness is beset with irresolvable difficulties, but this is neither here nor there. Truly philosophical problems are not paradigms that can be declared passe whenever "expert knowledge" decides it is time to move on." They are more like the proverbial Nietzschean abyss, which will continue to stare at us even while our backs are turned. Precisely for this reason, Henrich argues, metaphysics is not philosophical nostalgia but inherent in the "basic structure" (Grundstruktur) of modernity.

Henrich derives this basic structure from two elements. First, modern philosophical and political thought liberated the individual's concern for self-preservation from the need to be explained by relation to an order of natural ends or species perfections. In Hobbes, for example, we see a radically altered anthropology based on man's awareness of and interest in his individual power to persevere in existence. Unlike an Aristotelian entelecheia, however, this power of conservatio sui is an activity that never achieves completion in a goal but returns to itself constantly, feeling its own actuality only in the exercise of its power, in its constant striving from goal to goal. Thus it is an activity that can be understood without positing a given, natural terminus, a hou heneka toward which it must be directed. (10)

As Henrich himself notes, however, the full range of possibilities for modernity could not emerge simply from this "trivial" motive urge to remain in existence." A further step was required. Self-preservation had to be joined to another concept that had been shaken loose from its Greek or Christian moorings. In the Stoic doctrine of divine fire as an all-permeating logos, Henrich locates the possibility of a being's relatedness to and familiarity with itself, its oikeidsis, that precedes any relation to other beings (or to an essential species form). (1)" This self-familiarity is the presupposition of individuality and of any concern with self-preservation. Only in early modernity, however, did thinkers fully grasp the revolutionary potential latent in this conception:
   If it should be possible ... to derive reason from
   self-consciousness, it would have been shown therewith that its
   generality is of a wholly different kind than the specific
   difference of a species. The awareness of one's own essence, taken
   purely as this awareness, and as a precondition of
   self-preservation, could have the same generality which is
   attributed to being itself in the ontology of Aristotle.

The joining of self-preservation to self-consciousness, of conservatio sui to sensus sui, in a single matrix--this is the basis for the modern understanding of the subject as an activity of self-assertion and self-preservation undetermined by any given telos.

However, this new emphasis on self-consciousness and the related insistence that any search for truth must now take the "inward path" does not, for Henrich, entail a promethean assertion of subjective will to power. In fact, he criticizes this essentially Heideggerean reading-cum-accusation as over-emphasizing the Baconian/Cartesian roots of modernity while ignoring the way in which self-consciousness, thus defined, is a problem and was known to be a problem by the deepest philosophical minds of modernity, including Leibniz, Kant, Fichte, and Hegel. Modernity had indeed made possible a self-understanding that was no longer dependent on positing a substantive rationality operative in nature, but from this it by no means follows that the modern subject has an immediate and unproblematic presence to itself. Exactly the reverse, as we shall now observe in detail.


Henrich's systematic reflections begin by investigating the irreducible nature of our relationship to ourselves--what he calls the wissende Selbstverhaltnis or epistemic self-relation--which constitutes the experience of self-consciousness. For Henrich, following Kant and Fichte, this self-relation is transcendental qua presupposed in any other conscious relation in which we could possibly stand, a state of affairs that can be shown quite clearly from the use of indexicals like "this," "here," and "now" in even the simplest indicative statement. Such use, Henrich argues,
   presupposes the mastery of the first person singular. It is a
   commonly known fact that "this" does not indicate anything if it is
   unknown from which standpoint the indication occurs. Yet to
   indicate one's standpoint and to designate oneself as the holder of
   a particular standpoint means to employ the ... first person
   singular I. (14)

The same is true in more complex propositional structures. To predicate or assert that something "seems" the case is already to reveal someone who can stand behind this proposition and justify it (or, for that matter, withdraw it when necessary). There must be someone to whom something appears, someone who relates both to that appearance and simultaneously to himself as the one to whom it appears. But this means that the unity of self-consciousness is already in play. (15) Furthermore, this self-consciousness cannot be explained by avoiding all talk of a unified and temporally enduring subject of experience and instead restricting our focus to the embodied individual at a particular point in space and time. To assert and maintain a belief at a particular point in time is to possess, to be defined by, a history of beliefs which are the context from which (and against the background of which) particular judgments can emerge. (16) Self-consciousness, then, will never be explained away or absorbed entirely into a third person perspective. Reference, intention, or ascription cannot happen without self-consciousness; but unlike all other objects, self-consciousness is actualized in the very act of intending or referring. It does not depend upon the act of referring then being "filled" by objective content from elsewhere. Bernard Lonergan puts this quite well: "unlike objects, subjects are present to themselves not by being attended to, but by attending. As the parade of objects marches by, spectators do not have to slip into the parade to be present to themselves." (17)

However, Henrich insists that this immediacy does not translate into immediate conceptual grasp. On the contrary, every attempt to analyze the internal structure of self-consciousness or to explicate it in a noncircular manner is hopeless. It was Fichte's great merit to first make completely explicit the circularity that necessarily infects all "reflection" models of self-consciousness, that is, those models which explain it as a unique kind of object-awareness in which the object is the subject itself. On this model, "the knowing subject, abstracting from all other particular objects, turns back into itself and ... becomes aware of its constant unity with itself." (18) It quickly becomes evident that this is either circular or vitiating.

To see why, let us assume that reflection means that the self qua subject enters into a two-place relation of knowing itself qua object. But what was the subject-self that undertook this reflection? If it is actually a self, it must already be capable of saying "I." That is, it must already know itself in order then to recognize that what it is looking at here is itself, a subject. In this case, we have clearly presupposed what we set out to constitute. Next, let us try to escape the circle by insisting that the subject-self, the "I," is a result, that is, that the subject pole which enters into the reflective relation is not yet self-conscious. But this means that the self-conscious "I" is constituted out of two relata which were other than it. How, then, can it ever achieve that identity of relational poles (1=1) which defines self-consciousness? We seem to have cured the circularity by killing the patient. (19)

Thus, Henrich concludes that "the Self possesses itself as Self" but "to be a Self is to be a unity emerging from a ground that the Self does not control." (20) Stated otherwise, while the self is manifest to itself, it certainly cannot conceptually grasp (to say nothing of producing) the ground of this self-manifestation. On this point, Henrich sees himself as taking a stand firmly on Kant's true intentions: Kant describes the synthetic unity of apperception as the "highest principle in the whole sphere of human knowledge." (21) And yet, as the objective condition of all knowledge (that is, of all employment of categories), this unity cannot itself be known objectively. (22) Therefore, the fact that Kant provides no deductive theory of the unity of the subject is, Henrich insists, not a failure of philosophical nerve (as it was taken to be by Schelling or Hegel, for example). This is reason's critical awareness of its limits. (23)

Consequently, modern subjectivity is always aware of two modes of its being: freedom and dependency. Self-consciousness is prior to, and hence independent of, any other relation to the world (= the element of freedom), but it is not causa sui. It depends for its being on an ungraspable ground (a dependency that is the origin of our concern with self-preservation). (24)


Consequently, even our most basic comportment is shot through with unavoidable obscurity. This basic comportment--what Henrich calls the "basic relation" (Grundverhaltnis)--is the relationship which holds between the epistemic self-relation and our relation to, and description of, the world of finite objects and individuals we encounter "outside" ourselves. (25) We always experience ourselves as individuals in a relational nexus with other individuals and objects, and hence localizable in space and time. At the same time, as subjects we have an internal unity and identity which cannot be derived from any relation to the world. (26) We are both "persons" in the world and "subjects" that can have a world. These two elements are inescapable but also irreducible, especially because, for Henrich, no relation or complex of relations in which we stand "in" the world will ever suffice to explain our self-relation. We have, as it were, dual citizenship in competing ontological realms. (27)

The Kantian doctrine of the "fact of reason" (the facticity of our free responsiveness to the moral law) and Plato's idea of the good are, for Henrich, two additional paths to this same conclusion. For him, the very possibility of a philosophical discussion of ethics requires--prior to all questions of content in a specific moral doctrine--an awareness of the fact that the kind of knowledge embodied in moral insight into the good (Sittlichen Einsicht) has a "special structure," different from theoretical apprehension. (28) Knowledge of something as good is not simply the adequatio of cognition to object. In cognizing the good we also affirm it as good and accept it upon ourselves as normative. (29) The good is thus always present to us as an immediately comprehensible demand, not merely a disinterested matter of fact.

Now, just as the object is present in a unique way in moral insight, so too is the subject. Theoretical knowledge "can only let be," that is, the self "recedes," as Henrich puts it, before theoretical cognition of the object. The affirmation of something as good and binding, however, is a free act of consent in which the self is always present: "When I know in moral insight what is good, I also know that I understand myself in relation to it." (30)

Henrich also credits Plato and Kant with seeing that because, in moral insight, "the self confirms the reality of the good in approving it," this must have ontological implications. It places "all being under the condition that the good is possible in it," and thus requires a prote philosophia which incorporates both ontology and ethics, as Plato tried to do by making the good both the origin of intelligibility and the goal of all praxis. (31) But Plato and Kant saw correctly that while they are parts of one problem, ethics and ontology remain distinct and irreducible. The good cannot be just one being among others, nor can moral insight be simply another form of theoretical knowledge. (32) In this regard, Henrich sees the Kantian restriction of strict natural causality to phenomena as doing for modernity what Plato's ideas achieved in antiquity: account for the reality of the good without subjecting ethics and ontology to either reduction or radical separation. For both thinkers, these different realms of rationality must be correlated, not derived.

For Henrich, a truly "conscious life" (Bewusstes Leberi)--one that is actually led and not merely "had" (33)--is impossible without the subject being aware of these various obscurities (Dunkelheiten) in its structure and grounds and without trying to integrate that awareness into a comprehensive picture. Hence, conscious life cannot do without a "conceptually articulated understanding of its experience," (34) that is, of the whole and the subject's place within it:
   The question arises for self-consciousness: What grounds its own
   reality in the totality of that which is real, in the twofold
   manner according to which it is both a being in the world and also
   has original certainty regarding its reality? ... [T]he question
   now concerns a conception of all reality into which its own
   self-understanding, including the latter's inner oppositional
   character, could be inserted without reduction. This question
   corresponds to the one that in the Western tradition of explicitly
   philosophical thinking gave rise to ... metaphysics. (35)

In keeping with his Kantian commitments, however, Henrich abjures all talk of metaphysics as a foundational or deductive science of the first principles of being. (36) It has, instead, two main tasks: critique and integration. On the one hand, it must provide that standpoint from which philosophy can expose all forms of self-deception by which the subject tries to eliminate or hide from itself the tensions between the irreconcilable ontologies it inhabits. Hence, for example, it must critique all attempts by conscious life to relieve itself of the burden of its freedom and self-determination by reducing subjectivity to a set of naturalistically explicable drives or by a retreat into heteronomous forms of understanding. (37)

Since, however, any critique of limited or partial worldviews requires a standpoint from which their partiality is visible, such a critique requires a conception of the whole in which its activity is legitimated. In its integrative function, speculative thinking must ascend from the perplexities inherent in the basic relation toward an articulation of "the entire area of thoughts that are possible or even necessary for self-conscious life in the face of the ultimate reality of its nature." Metaphysics must "find and justify the most comprehensive and adequate among those thoughts." (38)

For Henrich, the thinking which can accomplish this proves to be an amalgam of Hegelian and Platonic elements. On the one hand, since the "basic relation" is not entirely intelligible from within itself, we have no choice but to engage in speculative thinking that "radically transcends the conceptual structures available in that relation." (39) This, he argues, is what Hegel aims to accomplish. Hegelian conceptuality holds together what our natural thinking endeavors to keep separate, namely, identity and difference, which are usually treated as static, determinate concepts (in Hegelian terms, we think them "externally" to one another). But the self-conscious subject is that structure which is identical to itself only through its being divided against--and hence different from--itself. The basic structure of the subject, for Hegel, is self-identity through difference. He thus takes the crucial step of insisting that the static concepts of same and other must dialectically interpenetrate as the unity of identity and nonidentity. This, says Henrich, is the "elementary structure of the speculative form" which first makes it possible to describe the absolute as an activity present within every moment of the whole. "Only this ontology," he writes, "can achieve an interpretation of the world that conceptualizes this world as a unity and provides a home for self-conscious beings." (40)

And yet, despite strongly affirming the philosophical significance of Hegel's dialectic, Henrich does not, in the end, accept its claim to completeness. Even in Hegel, he argues, "the real centering of self-consciousness around the first person remains uncaptured." (41) As a result, the reorientation of metaphysical thinking can be achieved not by objective theoretical knowledge but rather by Kantian "ideas" or "thoughts of closure" (Abschlussgedanken), postulates or projections of the final ends of reason as a coherent unity and of a world in which such final ends make sense. Henrich describes them as "thoughts that are valid for all reality and that simultaneously confirm [reason's] most essential goals." (42) These goals are the indispensable conditions of an "emancipated life": freedom and self-understanding, or more specifically, the freedom of modern self-consciousness to interpret and actualize itself. (43) Like Kantian ideas, these thoughts are only "regulative"; that is, they give direction to the process in which conscious life interprets itself and is transformed through its self-interpretation. They do not constitute objects of experience.

Consequently, a metaphysical thinking attuned to these goals must have a form that aims at maximal breadth and coherence without sacrificing the flexibility required to accommodate the tensions in the basic structure of the self and the essentially open horizon in which it must interpret itself. Henrich finds the prime example of this in Plato:
   One can call theories "linear" that are constructed from a set of
   axioms ... organized around a simple basic principle and that are
   meant to be exhaustive for their respective domain. It cannot be
   excluded that a comprehensive philosophical theory of this
   structure might also prove adequate for an understanding of life.
   But that is improbable to the highest degree. ... By contrast, the
   theories designed to save the phenomena and to preserve the space
   for self-conscious life in philosophy were multidimensional. Their
   basic historically effective pattern was designed by Plato and was
   translated by Leibniz and Kant into the philosophical present. (44)

In addition to his multidimensional ability to think ethics and ontology together nonreductively, Henrich sees in Plato a thinker who strives

for knowledge of the whole while fully aware of the finitude that always conditions such striving. (45) Indeed, the very choice of the dialogue form is determined by the need to preserve a continuity between philosophical inquiry, however radical and far-reaching, and the experiences of conscious life from which it emerges, experiences of aporia and inescapable tension, for example, between the demands of theory and practice, or the desiring and intellectual powers of the soul. (46)

What, then, does it mean for this Platonic paradigm to be "translated" into modernity? Why does it need to be? Henrich is not explicit, but his thinking would seem to point in two directions. Of course, in a certain sense all Plato's dialogues are reflections on the soul. Socrates' repeated invocations of Delphic gnothi seauton and his images of the soul's journey to enlightenment should suffice to demonstrate this. Nevertheless, Plato does not thematize the paradoxical structure of self-consciousness beyond a few telegraphic passages. (47) Presumably, then, his multidimensional thinking thought must be reoriented around this new point of departure.

Second, however, the modern subject is, as Henrich argues, "a being whose peculiar nature within the totality of an order with determinate limits is as yet unknown." Lacking a "given" way of life which constitutes its telos, the subject must explore "all possible modes of existence" and revalidate again and again its own being and power. This explains the peculiar dynamism and restlessness of modernity. (48) Since the horizon in which modern subjectivity actualizes itself is essentially open, Bewusstes Leben presumably cannot understand itself in terms of an act of homoiosis, whether directed toward the gods, or the structure of the rational cosmos, such as we see in passage of the Timaeus on the divine purpose behind the faculty of sight:
   in order that, by observing the circuits (periodous) of intellect
   in heaven, we might use them for the orbits of thinking (dianeseos)
   within us, which are akin (sungeneis) to those, the disturbed to
   the undisturbed; and by having thoroughly learned them and partaken
   of the natural correctness in their calculations, thus imitating
   the utterly unwandering circuits of the god, we might stabilize the
   wander-stricken circuits in ourselves. (49)

Modernity, by contrast, must understand itself over against (or perhaps even independent of) a nature which it experiences as "indifferent" or "alien." (50) So much, then, for the differences. But what do they actually amount to? In trying to answer that question, I turn to Plato.


As discussed earlier, for Henrich, the privileged status of self-consciousness by no means implies its unproblematic status. On the contrary, it entails an awareness that the coherence and rationality of experience are partly recalcitrant to reason, because the ground of the unity of experience in self-consciousness is not amenable to analysis. In Kantian terms: the unification of the manifold given in sensuous intuition is an achievement of the unity of apperception, but we cannot gain access to this latter unity without "revolving in a perpetual circle." (51) Hence, while unity is an act of spontaneous subjectivity, it is "factic" from the point of view of our conceptual understanding, a ground which must remain obscure.

Now, in the Republic, Socrates too speaks of episteme as grounded in or dependent on something, namely, upon "what is" (epi toi onti). (52) Clearly, he would not speak of the ousia of each thing as constituted spontaneously by the soul. Instead, the dialogues usually begin from the distinction between many and one, say, between the many examples of virtue and the "some one form" (hen ti eidos) through which these many are all virtues. (53) The oneness of the form is the aitia of the unity (and identity) of the sensuous particular. But how, for Plato, is unity related to our discursive reasoning, our dianoia, and how does this differ from the Kantian situation Henrich describes? To decide, we need to grasp as precisely as possible the question that the Platonic ideas were meant to answer as well as what Plato thought could be legitimately expected from that answer. And Plato does give us a careful depiction of someone asking this question and assessing his answers--in Socrates' autobiographical passage in the Phaedo.

It is crucial to remember that the Platonic ideas represent Socrates' "second sailing" (deuteros pious) in search of cause, (54) on which he embarks only after the failure of his first attempt. What relationship holds between these two sailings? While the general destination might be the same--the safe harbor of a suitable account of cause--it does not follow that the second sailing achieves exactly what the first frustrated one had intended and in the same way. In fact, Socrates' description indicates that between the two there has been a change, a deepening in his understanding of what a cause is, why we seek it, and what we can hope to find. He had begun with the confidence that it would be magnificent to know the aitias hekastou, the causes of the coming to be and the being of each thing. (55) But the particular interests which engaged Socrates' youthful enthusiasm are primarily the processes of coming to be and perishing, not being. He wants to know about the generation and growth of animals, whether thinking has a material substrate, and the "affections pertaining to heaven and earth." (56) In other words, his questions are mainly those of the "pre-Socratic" Socrates lampooned in Aristophanes' Clouds. However, in this largely materialistic or mechanistic inquiry he could not find a satisfactory causal account that would preserve the pretheoretical intelligibility of things. (57)

Socrates now mentions a first change in direction, which occurs as a result of having heard of Anaxagoras's assertion that intellect (nous') is the cause of order and of the whole (the diakosmon te kai panton aitios). (58) In nous, Socrates hoped to find the overarching cause of a teleological nature that exhibits both intelligence and a "good common to all." (59) He returns to this again when he speaks of the "Good and Binding" (to agathon kai deon) that truly holds things together. (60) Had Anaxagoras been able to reveal such a cause, Socrates declares that he "would not yearn" for another. (61)

The location of this Anaxagorean interlude is somewhat puzzling. After having described his disappointment with his first skepsis, (62) Socrates appears to be on the verge of describing his own new way of proceeding, and this would indeed be the natural transition (from first to second sailing). Instead, he interjects his reflections on Anaxagoras almost as an afterthought: "Once though, I heard someone reading from some book of Anaxagoras." (63) The abrupt intrusion of this passage emphasizes, I believe, that the second sailing which follows is not simply the direct reversal of the materialistic physics of the first. In the interim, Socrates has been transformed by his passage through a further stage of teleological reflection, and the Ideas are also the response to the absence of a teleological account, which he could not find in Anaxagoras or anyone else. (64) The hypothesis he is about to describe, then, is meant as an explanation of cause which not only improves on physical ones, but also comes in lieu of the full presence to the soul of a completely noetic, teleological nature." (65)

The second sailing is a turn away from looking into beings "directly" by means of the senses and toward "taking refuge in logoi (eis tons logous kataphugonta) in order to look (skopein) in them for the truth of beings (ton onton ten aletheian)." (66) This does not mean turning to concepts, that is, to representations or images of beings in another semantic medium. Socrates explicitly denies this is the case, (67) but we could also establish its impossibility by independent reflection: If the Ideas were only mental constructions, we would not be looking at the beings at all but at something else. If we try to avoid this conclusion by arguing that Socrates means a representation that "looks just like" the being or a concept that is exactly adequate to it, then we have obviously begged the main question: How is the truth of the being present both in that being and in its concept? In short, the logos to which Socrates looks is not an artifact at all but must somehow be, or exhibit, the community of noein and einai. (68) But what, then, does Socrates mean in the immediate sequel when he says, "I put down as a hypothesis (hupothemenos) whichever logos I judge to be strongest (erromenestaton); and whatever seems to me to be consonant with this, I set down (tithemi) as being true, both about cause and about all the rest; whatever isn't, I set down as not true." (69) When Cebes does not understand, Socrates says that he means "just this" Qiode): "putting down as a hypothesis that there is something Beautiful Itself by Itself and Good and Big and all the rest." (70) What we must try to understand is the connection between "looking into" (skopein) and hypothesizing. How is setting down a hypothesis, say, about the beautiful itself, a "looking into" the truth of beings?

We would do well to begin by remembering how deeply rooted the Ideas are in practical concerns, in accounting for our ability to act based on distinctions between better and worse or noble and base. That such concerns are very much on Socrates' mind is clear from his critique of the worthlessness of purely material causes, which cannot even explain his sitting in prison. Socrates is there not because his bones occupy a certain point in space and time, but because of the confluence of two opinions: the Athenians' doxa about what is better (that Socrates die) and Socrates' doxa that it is better (or "more just and beautiful") to endure the penalty rather than flee to Megara. (71) Not for nothing does the beautiful play a central role in explaining the Ideas to Cebes. (72)

The setting down "in each case" of a logos that is strongest, that is, the logos of Platonic Ideas, is best seen as a conclusion drawn from reflection on (from "looking into") ourselves as agents moved by considerations of nobility and baseness. We simply could not be such agents if the beings among which we act and choose did not present an at least somewhat unified, stable, and identifiable look. This look is what Socrates is searching for in turning to the logos: the mode of being which makes visible the unity, stability, and identity upon which even our ordinary experience as knowers and agents depends. (73) The ideas are the safest (asphalestaton) ground on which to stand in trying to "save the phenomena and preserve the space for self-conscious life," as Henrich puts it. (74)

However, Ideas are not the good and binding cause Socrates had sought from Anaxagoras and others. They are not the cause which holds all things together, because they cannot explain the whole. To take only one problem, the Ideas are the intelligible look of beings to which the soul has access, but they do not explain the soul itself, since the soul does not have a stable unity or graspable structure. For this reason the Ideas are only one element, albeit crucial, in a complete explanation. The complete explanation would require an account of how soul is open to or knows the Ideas, but Plato studiously avoids such an account in favor of mythical or allegorical portrayals of this openness in the language of vision or recollection.

Furthermore, while Ideas are the causes of intelligibility, they themselves are not amenable to explanation in a further, more fundamental account. To be intelligible, any such account would have to assume the unity, identity, and stability of the very elements which it weaves together into an explanation, but this means it is already assuming the presence of the Ideas. (75) Socrates, we note, does not try to prove or deduce the Ideas for Cebes. He simply asks him to "grant" (sunchoreis) that they are in order to proceed from there to prove the soul's immortality. (76) Nor does Socrates go into any detail about how the ideas serve as a cause, for example, of the presence of beauty in the beautiful thing. They do so, he says, by "parousia or koinonia or however and in whatever way." Socrates does not insist on precision, but only on the assertion that it is "by the Beautiful that all beautiful things are beautiful." (77) Indeed, as is fitting for a method that Socrates claims he "threw together" himself, (78) he seems to shy away from directly identifying ideas with the "true causes" (tas hos alethos aitias) mentioned in his critique of materialism, 1 even though that is clearly the gist of the argument. Instead, the emphasis throughout is on the "safety" or "strength" of this hypothesis as opposed to all others (which are, by implication, weaker). (80) But weakness is not the same as falsehood, and strength or safety does not imply that the more "secure" hypothesis is susceptible of definitive proof, but only of one that Socrates calls sufficient (hikanon)--that is, sufficient to preserve our sense of the rationality of our lives. (81)

By emphasizing Socrates' provisional language here, I by no means wish to imply a denial of the seriousness of his hypothesis or even the existence of Ideas. On the contrary, and without ignoring the great perplexities that surround the identification of essential being with form, I am convinced that the history of philosophy since Plato has not shown us how we can explain determinacy and intelligibility without something like it. I mean only to note that the ideas are hypothesized in fully reflective awareness of their primordiality, and hence of the incompleteness of any account of them. They are a cause of intelligibility within a whole only partially transparent to the intellect. (82)

But does this not mean that despite their radically different points of departure, Platonic and post-Kantian thought meet on the fundamental point? In both cases, a recognizably human life, a life of deliberate choice and action, depends on the presence of intelligibility in the world to at least some degree. Intelligibility, however, depends on unity and stability of the elements of experience. (83) In Kant (and, by extension, Henrich) unity is an apperceptive achievement which "precedes a priori all concepts of combination." (84) For Plato, eidos grounds intelligibility as that one within manyness that is open to noesis. In neither case can the principle of unity itself, whether apperceptive or eidetic, be further deduced or analyzed. The shift from understanding intelligibility as a property of the rational order of nature to seeing it as an achievement of the transcendental ego is, doubtless, a great transformation in the history of philosophy. Nevertheless, it is false to describe this as a shift from a naive, precritical assumption of the simple availability of intelligibility to a critical awareness that objectivity depends on prior conditions for its possibility. Both Plato and Kant are perfectly aware that unity is given to discursive reason.


The question now becomes how to relate to these unanalyzable elements within rationality. Earlier, we had discussed Henrich's reading of the idea of the good as Plato's realization that any correlation of theoretical and practical reason which preserves their distinctness requires an ontology with the good at its apex. There is, however, another significance to Plato's identification of the highest principle with the good, which, while I cannot fully develop it here, is nevertheless relevant to an assessment of Henrich's own road map for any future metaphysics.

At Republic 508e1-509a4, Socrates explains to Glaucon that the good is the aitia of episteme and aletheia, though it itself is neither knowledge nor truth. There follows a cryptic addition: episteme and aletheia, while not the good, are nevertheless agathoeide, they are like, or have the form or look of, the good. (85) Now, what could this mean? It would seem that, for Plato, the fact that unity and identity are given to thinking at all signals that there is a commonality of look or structure, broadly understood, between the activity of intelligence and the ground of the intelligibility of things. At a minimum, I understand this to imply that for Plato it is not possible for reason to justify itself if its relationship to nature is one of total alienation; there must be commonality. This commonality is certainly only an approximation, since the good is then said to have a "hexis" still greater in honor than either episteme or aletheia. (86) Apparently, however, justifying our prephilosophical sense that living rationally is superior to its alternative is possible only if reason can recognize itself and its interests in the nature of things.

We might expect matters to stand differently for Henrich's modern project, which begins from subjectivity, not nature, but it is not clear to me that they do. Henrich insists that self-consciousness "expects a reason, an intelligibility of its own essence" and must find "a basis for its own possibility, a footing which no longer appears to it alien and indifferent, as does that aspect of nature against which it must direct its energy of self-preservation." (87) But where is such a reason or basis to be found? On the one hand, since a philosophy of subjectivity must take the "inward path" (or at least cannot attain to knowledge without it), such a footing cannot be simply external to subjectivity. On the other hand, Henrich is not interested in merely subjective constructions. This explains the significance, for him, of Hegel's articulation of an absolute in which subjectivity, "having become free of external authority, is legitimatized in its origin, within a whole homogenous with itself." (88) However, the achievement of such a whole stands or falls with the completeness of Hegel's logic, that is, his success in deriving the concrete content of the whole from out the interrelation of identity and difference without remainder. And about this Henrich has his doubts, as we have seen.

If so, modern metaphysical thinking, starting from its own premises, seems fated to retread a Platonic path in at least two senses. First, if the structure of the "I" cannot be completely transparent to discursive reason, rationality will have to justify itself in a philosophy that knowingly disavows a presuppositionless, systematic structure in favor of the correlation of related but distinct realms of rational activity. In Henrich's interpretation, this was in fact the goal of Kant's critical project, one in which he was influenced by Plato. (89)

The second sense is more complex and has to do with Henrich's defense of metaphysics as an interpretative activity that constitutes the highest expression of our freedom. Here, for example, is a passage from his essay "Philosophy and the Conflict among Tendencies of Life":
   Revisionary metaphysics is interpretation of conscious life on the
   part of conscious life. It is by no means the disclosure of a
   supramundane realm ... into which we have to transform ourselves.
   What undergoes transformation is our understanding of ourselves and
   our condition. Thus the very world in which we live appears in a
   new light once it has become subject to a new description. By
   virtue of that description, the constitution of self-conscious life
   and its course become encompassed within a unitary conception of
   what there is which is made possible by means of a restructured
   ontology. (90)

But what would such a "unitary conception" be? And how does it transform what the world looks like? At the very least, a world-description that can encompass the subject's self-interpretative activity must describe a world in which such activity is not ultimately hopeless and absurd. Moreover, it must provide some guidance in choosing among the interpretations, lest the process of self-transformation degenerate into a Hegelian spurious infinity--simply one interpretation after another. If our self-interpretation is absurd or simply the factic result of the point we happen to occupy on an open-ended, temporal continuum of interpretations, in what sense can this be freedom? And in what sense is it highest?

Accordingly, in some of his essays, Henrich takes a different path, seeking to reestablish the connection between the freedom and happiness that characterized classical Greek theoria, not via the satisfactions of a complete logos but rather through a concept of "contemplative gratitude" (Kontemplativen Dank), a thanks which goes beyond the reciprocal gratitude familiar within the horizon of moral life. (91) Kontemplativen Dank is not addressed to a personal deity, nor is it thanks for the transparent intelligibility of the world. It is, rather, the philosopher's gratitude for a world in which philosophy is possible at all, gratitude offered in full recognition of the fact that the world is characterized by intractable aporiai. In fact, the philosopher gives thanks precisely for these aporiai.

Perhaps this concept of gratitude is to be understood as follows: the Platonic Socrates shows us that to recognize an aporia as such is already to philosophize, because even to be in aporia means to have an implicit sense of what a satisfactory logos might be like and to have the psychic motive force, the eros, to seek that logos. These together constitute the arche philosophias. (92) So, too, understanding why certain problems are fundamental to the structure of things can be seen as the most complete satisfaction of philosophical activity, because in this understanding we come to see how the obscurities in our self-constitution recall or mirror or partake in the aporetic structure of the whole.

It is not clear that we can make sense of this mirroring or partaking (or whatever we name it) without finding our way to a concrete reappropriation of the Socratic insight that reason is like the good and somehow shares in the eidos of the ton panton arche. That is, it seems to me that philosophical "thanks" for a whole in which philosophy is possible is already a confession that, in a decisive sense, reason does recognize itself and its highest interests in nature. There are reasons to suspect that Henrich might not want to go as far as this conclusion. That, however, is less important for now than the result of thinking along with him: a uniquely powerful demonstration that, whatever position one takes on this question, the fact that we are still asking it is not symptomatic of any "scramble" behind Kant. On the contrary, we will get there just as well by starting from eminently Kantian premises.

In this way, Henrich reveals a continuity in the Western tradition, one very different from Heidegger's and ultimately, I believe, more vital. (93)

Ben Gurion University

(1) "For these questions are so interwoven in the nature of reason that no one can be free of them. Even all the despisers of metaphysics, who wish to appear to have clearer heads--even Voltaire--have their own metaphysics. For everyone will think in some way about his soul." The quote comes from Mrongovius's transcriptions of Kant's lectures on metaphysics in Immanuel Kant, Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 29.2 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1983), 765. See also Kant's letter to Mendelssohn (8 April 1766), in Briefwechsel, ed. Rudolf Malter and Otto Schondorffer (Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 1986), 50-55, and Kritik der Reinen Vernunft (hereafter, KRV), ed. Raymund Schmidt (Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 1956), A396/B362, A307/B364, and B672-76.

(2) Dieter Henrich, "The Basic Structure of Modern Philosophy," Cultural Hermeneutics 2 (1974): 14; and Dieter Henrich, "Self-Consciousness and Speculative Thinking," in Figuring the Self: Subject, Absolute and Others in Classical German Philosophy, ed. David E. Klemm and Gunther Zoller (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997), 119.

(3) Henrich, "The Basic Structure of Modern Philosophy," 9.

(4) To date, the only commentator on Henrich who has really seen the significance of these Platonic affinities is Richard Velkley. See his superb introduction, "Unity of Reason as Aporetic Ideal," in Dieter lien rich, The Unity of Reason: Essays on Kant's Philosophy, ed. Richard Velkley (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1994), 1-15.

(5) Jurgen Habermas, "Themes in Post Metaphysical Thinking," in Philosophical Intewentions in the Unfinished Project of Enlightenment, ed. Axel Honneth, Thomas McCarthy, Klaus Offe, and Albrecht Wellmer (Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 1992), 28-29.

(6) Ibid, 40.

(7) Ibid, 48 and 50.

(8) See for example Jurgen Habermas, "Ruckkehr zur Metaphysik--Eine Tendenz in der deutschen Philosophie," Merkur 439/440 (1985): 898-905. Dieter Henrich, "Was ist Metaphysik? Was Modeme? Zwolf Thesen gegen Jurgen Habermas," in Konzepte: Essays zur Philosophie in der Zeit (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1987), 11-43. For a thorough account of this debate see Dieter Freundlieb, Dieter Henrich and Contemporary Philosophy: The Return to Subjectivity (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), esp. 125-65, and Peter Dews, The Limits of Disenchantment: Essays on Contemporary European Philosophy (London: Verso, 1995), 151-93.

(9) Ibid. Henrich refers to Habermas's theory of communicative rationality as the "wastage of comprehensive philosophical orientation," in "Bewusstes Leben und Metaphysik," in Bewusstes Leben (Stuttgart: Reclam, 1999), 213; and see Dieter Henrich, "Origins of the Theory of the Subject," in Philosophical Interventions in the Unfinished Project of Enlightenment, 31, where Henrich discusses the danger of an infinite regress of paradigm shifts, "inundating" all efforts at understanding.

(10) Henrich, "The Basic Structure of Modern Philosophy," 1-3.

(11) Ibid., 5.

(12) On the sensus sui see, for example, Cicero, De Finibus, III, 16.

(13) Henrich, "The Basic Structure of Modern Philosophy," 8.

(14) Henrich, "Self-Consciousness and Speculative Thought," in Figuring the Self: Subject, Absolute and Others in Classical German Philosophy, ed. David E. Klemm and Gunther Zoller (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997), 106. Compare with P. F. Strawson's substantial agreement on this point, despite their other significant differences, in P. F. Strawson, Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics (London: Methuen, 1959), and also Bounds of Sense: An Essay on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (London: Methuen, 1966), 117: "any course of experience of which we can form a coherent conception must be, potentially, the experience of a self-conscious subject."

(15) Ibid.

(16) Ibid, 107: "For no being is to be addressed as a person who does not have a history of belief.... We refer to ourselves as subjects insofar as we know that our state of belief is in each case related to other such states and insofar as we view, in the unifying connection of such states, the addressee of the pronoun 'me', through which each proposition of the form 'it seems' is constituted."

(17) Bernard Lonergan, Collection: Papers by Bernard Lonergan, ed. Frederick Crowe (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993), 210. Compare Henrich, "Self-Consciousness and Speculative Thought," 116: "This peculiarity of self-consciousness--that in the act of intending the real it is already established as something real--distinguishes it radically from all other truth claims, which cannot guarantee their reality through their occurrence."

(18) See Dieter Henrich, "Fichte's Original Insight," in Contemporary German Philosophy, vol. 1, ed. D. E. Christensen et al. (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University, 1982), 19.

(19) See Henrich's essay "Fichtes Ich," in Selbstverhaltnisse: Gedanken und Auslegungen zu den Grundlagen der klassischen deutschen Philosophie (Stuttgart: Reclam, 1982), 63: "Die Relexionstheorie des Selbstbewusstseins steht also vor folgender ruinoser Alternative: Entweder setzt sie das Phanomen voraus, ohne sie explizieren zu konnen, oder sie zerstort es." Compare also "Fichte's Original Insight," 20-21.

(20) Henrich, "Fichte's Original Insight," 42.

(21) KRV, B135. At B134 n. apperception is not only "the highest point (hochste Punkt) to which we must ascribe all employment of the understanding"; it is "the understanding itself' (ja dieses Vermogen ist der Verstand selbst).

(22) KRV, 138. In the Paralogisms of Pure Reason (KRV, A346/B404), Kant mentions, albeit only in passing, that any attempt to go beyond the "completely empty representation I"--a "bare consciousness" (bloses Bewusstsein)--and seek a concept of the 'I' will send us revolving "in a perpetual circle, since any judgment upon it has always already made use of its representation" (emphasis mine).

(23) Kant, writes Henrich, "actually believed it was impossible to substantially elucidate the actual grounds of our knowledge--what underlies and gives rise to knowledge--any further than the account already given in the Critique." The reflection characteristic of the Critique does not lead, and was never meant to lead, to a "self-sufficient first science enjoying a sort of pure object domain made up of self-contained, transparent grounds." Henrich, "Origins of the Theory of the Subject," 29-87; see esp. 48-56.

(24) Henrich, "The Basic Structure of Modern Philosophy," 8-9.

(25) On Henrich's analysis of the Grundverhaltnis, see Dieter Henrich, "Selbstbewusstsein und seine Selbstdeutungen," in Fluchtlinien (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1982), 99-124, esp. 104-13.

(26) Henrich, "Self-Consciousness and Speculative Thought," 107: "We understand ourselves equally originally as one among others and as the one over and against the entire world." And compare also "Bewusstes Leben und Metaphysik," 199.

(27) See Freundlieb, Dieter Henrich and Contemporary Philosophy, 73. Our awareness that we inhabit "irreconcilable ontologies" is an achievement of rationality.

(28) Henrich, "The Concept of Moral Insight and Kant's Doctrine of the Fact of Reason," in The Unity of Reason, 56.

(29) Ibid, 61. "What is correct makes sense, what is good is originally affirmed." In other words, Henrich does not deny but rather insists upon what J. L. Mackie considers the Achilles heel of all accounts of goodness as "objective," namely, the fact that these would be "entities or qualities or relations of a very strange sort, utterly different from anything else in the universe" because they are "intrinsically prescriptive." J. L. Mackie, Ethics, Inventing Right and Wrong (New York: Hammondsworth, 1977), 38-40.

(30) Henrich, "The Concept of Moral Insight and Kant's Doctrine of the Fact of Reason," 63. And compare ibid., 64: "Without a complete self, the special traits that differentiate moral insight from theoretical knowledge would be impossible. Therefore, knowledge of the good cannot be isolated from the reality of the self.... Without approval, motivational force and the conviction that it is possible for me to be adequate to the good, I cannot recognize the good as good, and I deal only with empty, incomprehensible formulae when I employ the basic concepts of ethics." See Velkley, The Unity of Reason, 11, and Freundlieb, Dieter Henrich and Contemporary Philosophy, 56.

(31) Henrich, "The Concept of Moral Insight and Kant's Doctrine of the Fact of Reason," 66.

(32) Ibid.

(33) Henrich, "Was ist Metaphysik? Was Modeme?" 14.

(34) Henrich, "The Basic Structure of Modern Philosophy," 17: "For it is a part of the essence of consciousness itself not to be able to exist freely without a concept of itself."

(35) Henrich, "Self-Consciousness and Speculative Thought," 120. And see "Bewusstes Leben und Metaphysik," 197, on the connection between autobiographical reflection and the thinking of the whole. For Henrich, this holds true even for an assertively pragmatic thinking, such as Habermas's, that wishes to focus exclusively on the uses of reason within a purely intersubjective Lebenswelt while maintaining a strict Kantian silence on all objective claims about nature. See Henrich, "Was ist Metaphysik? Was Modeme?" 22-30. Peter Dews's analysis of this problem is especially clear. See Dews, Limits of Disenchantment, 160-66, and 186: "Indeed, on closer inspection it becomes apparent that his [Habermas's] thought has left metaphysics behind only in the pragmatic sense ... namely, by avoiding or ruling out of court the metaphysical issues which its own internal structure raises" (my emphasis).

(36) Henrich, "Self-Consciousness and Speculative Thought," 126-27, and see also Dieter Henrich, "Grund und Gang Spekulativen Denkens," in Bewusstes Lebaij 85-138.

(37) In an interesting reversal of Heidegger, then, it is metaphysical thinking, properly understood, which can summon man into the truth of his "Situation." Compare Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit (Tubingen: Niemeyer Verlag, 1967), 300.

(38) Henrich, "Self-Consciousness and Speculative Thought," 116.

(39) Ibid., 126-29.

(40) Henrich, "Kant und Hegel: Versuch zur Vereinigung ihrer Grundgedanken," in Selbstverhdltnisse, 207.

(41) Henrich, "Self-Consciousness and Speculative Thought," 131-32 (my emphasis). Compare also "Der Grund im Bewusstsein," in Dieter Henrich, Untersuchunqen zu Holderlins Denken (1794-1795) (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1992), 604-05.

(42) Henrich, "Self-Consciousness and Speculative Thought," 121.

(43) Henrich, "The Basic Structure of Modern Philosophy," 16-17.

(44) Henrich, "Self-Consciousness and Speculative Thought," 101.

(45) Ibid., 104.

(46) Ibid., 102. Henrich speaks of "conflicting tendencies of life and positions of consciousness."

(47) See, for example, Charmides 167a9-169c3 and Alcibiades I, 132c9-133c6.

(48) Hence, Hobbes's definition of felicitas which denies the existence of a summurn bonum. See Leviathan, 1, 6, 58 and 9, 1. Compare Henrich, "The Basic Structure of Modern Philosophy," 14-15.

(49) Timaeus 47b5-c4. The translation is Peter Kalkavage's (Newburyport, Mass.: Focus Publishing, 2001). Compare Republic 500c 1-7.

(50) Henrich, "The Basic Structure of Modern Philosophy," 13.

(51) KRV, B131 and B137: Without unity, combination is impossible and "without such combination nothing can be thought or known.... Consequently, it is the unity of consciousness that alone constitutes the relation of representations to an object, and therefore their objective validity and the fact that they are modes of knowledge; and upon it therefore rests the very possibility of the understanding."

(52) Republic 477a9.

(53) Meno 72c7-8. Compare Republic 475c9, 478e7-479a5, and 507b2-7.

(54) Phaedo 99c9. The Greek edition by Burnet is used here and translations are my own. Plato, Opera, 5 vols., ed. John Burnet (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1900-07).

(55) Phaedo 96a6-10.

(56) Phaedo 96bl-cl.

(57) Phaedo 97b4-7: "nor do I persuade myself any longer that I know through what a one comes to be nor, in a word, anything else comes to be, or perishes, or is."

(58) Phaedo 97b8-c2.

(59) Phaedo 98b2-3.

(60) Phaedo 99c5-6.

(61) Phaedo 98al-2.

(62) Phaedo 97b7.

(63) Phaedo 97b8. Few readers of the dialogue have noted this. One who does is Ronna Burger, The Phaedo: A Platonic Labyrinth (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1984), 139.

(64) Phaedo 99c8-d2.

(65) Appropriately, "second sailing" is a nautical term for taking up the oars when the natural motive force of the vessel, the wind, has failed. See C. J. Rowe's commentary on 99c9-d2, in Plato: Phaedo (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 238-39.

(66) Phaedo 99e1-6.

(67) Phaedo 100a1-2.

(68) Stanley Rosen, The Question of Being: A Reversal of Heidegger (South Bend, Ind.: St. Augustine's Press, 2002), 67-80, and see esp. 68: "Logos means here something that is common to being and to speech. To retain the visual metaphor, what we see in the logos must be the same as what we would see if we were able to look directly at the beings without blinding the soul. This same look ... is the Idea."

(69) Phaedo 100a3-7.

(70) Phaedo 100b6-7.

(71) Phaedo 98el-99a4.

(72) Phaedo 100c3-e3.

(73) This is another reason why "taking refuge in logoi" cannot mean fleeing into conceptual constructions of the good, the beautiful, or the just. Such constructions cannot explain how we distinguish between better and worse unless they themselves embody a prior vision of what is good, beautiful, and just.

(74) Henrich, "Self-Consciousness and Speculative Thought," 101, and compare Phaedo 99a5.

(75) On the link between intelligibility and stability, see Cratylus 386d8-e4.

(76) Phaedo 100b7.

(77) Phaedo 100d6-8.

(78) Phaedo 97b6-7. The verb I render as "throw together" is phurein, which can also carry the sense of to confuse or confound.

(79) Phaedo 98e1.

(80) Phaedo 100d8-10 and 101d2.

(81) Phaedo 101d6-e1.

(82) Compare with Timaeus 52b6, in which the chora is accessible to us only via a "bastard reasoning."

(83) One commentator who has seen with perfect clarity that the problem of unity is crucial to understanding the relationship between the first and second sailing is Michael Davis, "Socrates' Pre-Socratism: Some Remarks on the Structure of Plato's Phaedo," The Review of Metaphysics 33 (1980): 559-77.

(84) KRV, B131.

(85) Republic 509a3.

(86) Republic 509a4-5.

(87) Henrich, "The Basic Structure of Modern Philosophy," 13.

(88) Ibid., 15. The emphasis is mine, and I have slightly modified the translation.

(89) Henrich, "The Concept of Moral Insight and Kant's Doctrine of the Fact of Reason," 60.

(90) Henrich, "Philosophy and the Conflict among Tendencies of Life," in Konzepte: Essays zur Philosophie in der Zeit, 122, quoted in Freundlieb, Dieter Henrich and Contemporary Philosophy, 107.

(91) See for example, Henrich, "Gedanken zur Dankbarkeit," in Bewusstes Leben, 152-93.

(92) Theaetetus 155d1-7.

(93) A version of this paper was presented at the 2015 meeting of the Metaphysical Society of America and was much improved by the penetrating comments and questions I fielded there. To all who thought through these issues with me on that occasion--gratitude.

Correspondence to: Andy German, Department of Philosophy, P. O. Box 653, Ben Gurion University, Diller Bldg., Rm. 349, Be'er Sheva, 84105, Israel.
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