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The Twilight of the Doxai: Or, How to Philosophize with a Whac-A-Mole™ Mallet

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Abstract This article evaluates the hermeneutic value of the category of belief from the perspective of a broadly “continental” philosophy of religion. From Socrates’s dismantling of his interlocutors’ doxai to Pseudo-Dionysius’s un-saying of the divine names to Kierkegaard’s noetic divestment to Derrida’s aporetic genealogies, it argues that “belief” is the target, rather than the telos, of philosophic scrutiny. For the authors engaged here, beliefs are phantasms—uninterrogated positions that uphold a kind of routine political, psychological, or theological order—whose unraveling opens the possibility of difference, and thus of thinking itself.

Affiliations: 1: Wesleyan University, Department of Religion 171 Church Street Middletown, CT 06459 USA mrubenstein@wesleyan.edu

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