Randy Ramal argues that philosophers have a hermeneutical responsibility to the intelligibility of everyday life. Furthermore, they need to go the hard way to fulfill it, which entails overcoming the temptation to turn philosophy into a normative discipline, while also appreciating the need to limit the philosopher's engagement with the world to explicating the coherent sense that everyday life has, and to recovering that sense when life's intelligibility is challenged by unwarranted skepticism. In On Philosophy, Intelligibility, and the Ordinary: Going the Bloody Hard Way, the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead is central to Ramal's endeavor to demonstrate the need to separate the hermeneutical responsibility of philosophy from the normative aspects of responsibility. While showing the futility of labeling Whitehead as a purely disinterested philosopher who abandons the idea that ordinariness is relevant to good philosophical thinking, Ramal frames this discussion within a larger, in-depth engagement with a vast number of thinkers, philosophers, and literary figures whose works touch on the question of the ordinary. The latter include Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the empiricists, Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, J.L. Austin, Anthony Flew, the Ideal-Language philosophers, Jacques Derrida, Richard Rorty, Stanley Cavell, Hilary Putnam, Cora Diamond, Peter Singer, Michel de Certeau, Stanley Rosen, Richard Dawkins, J.M. Coetzee, and David Foster Wallace.
About the Author
Randy Ramal is a visiting researcher at Arizona State University.