Peer Reviewed Articles
The Play of Being and Nothing: World, Earth, and Cosmos in Eugen Fink” in Philosophy Today, Vol. 63., No. 1, 2019.
The question permeating much of Eugen Fink’s work is whether a nonmetaphysical thinking of the world is possible. Fink views metaphysics as understanding the world merely from the side of beings and as a container of things. A nonmetaphysical thinking would be cosmological; it would think the world as a totality, as the origin of being, of beings, of time, and of space. This thinking requires a radical way of thinking that which cannot be thought: the nothing that allows being and beings to come to appearance at all. My analysis aims to articulate more clearly what Fink means by thinking cosmologically by tracing his understanding of world, earth, and cosmos and the interplay of being and nothing at stake in each. I clarify how Fink both inherits and goes beyond the philosophies of Kant, Husserl, and Heidegger to provide a way of thinking through that which resists articulation.
Concepción, David W., Melinda Messineo, Sarah Wieten, and Catherine Homan, “The State of Teaching Training in Philosophy” in Teaching Philosophy, 2016. Online First: dx.doi.org/10.5840/teachphil201621942
This paper explores the state of teacher training in philosophy graduate programs in the English-speaking world. Do philosophy graduate programs offer training regarding teaching? If so, what is the nature of the training that is offered? Who offers it? How valuable is it? We conclude that philosophers want more and better teacher training, and that collectively we know how to deliver and support it.
“The Play of Ethics in Eugen Fink,” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, Vol. 27, No. 3 2013, 287-96.
Central to Eugen Fink’s distinctive understanding of the context of ethical engagement is his way of thinking about being in the world. For Fink, ethics is fundamentally situated, communal, and playful rather than merely rational. I suggest that by emphasizing play, Fink allows for a more complex picture of the ethical self as characterized by playful openness and so accounts for her being in the world and with others. Not only is there something ethical that belongs to playful behavior, but there is also a playful dimension to ethics that deserves greater attention.
Eugen Fink, “Nietzsche’s Metaphysics of Play” in Philosophy Today, Vol. 63. No. 1, 2019.
This lecture from 1946 presents Eugen Fink’s interpretation of Nietzsche’s metaphysics. Fink’s aim here is twofold: to work against the trend of psychologistic interpretations of Nietzsche’s work and to perform the philosophical interpretation of Nietzsche he finds lacking in his predecessors. Fink contends that play is the central intuition of Nietzsche’s philosophy, specifically in his rejection of Western metaphysics’ insistence on being and presence. Drawing instead from Heraclitus, Nietzsche argues for an ontology of becoming characterized by the Dionysian as the temporalization of time and the Apollonian as temporalized in time. The play of becoming is thus the cosmic coming to be and passing away of appearance. Playing, as the creative projection of such a play-world of appearing and concealing, is central to understanding the Nietzschean theme of the will to power as the revaluation of values.
“Whoever Cannot Give, also Cannot Receive: Nietzsche’s Playful Spectator,” The Philosophy of Play, ed. Emily Ryall, Wendy Russell, and Malcolm MacLean (London: Routledge), 98-108, 2013.
Friedrich Nietzsche argues that to be an artist is not merely to create a work of art, but also to lead one’s life in an artistic way characterized by creativity, independence, and play. However, he says very little about how spectators as non-artists relate to art and whether they, too, can have artistic lives. Drawing on the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer, I argue that by looking specifically at the role of play in artistic creation and artistic life, we can see that the spectator is not passive, but an active, playful participant who stands, like the artist, in an essential relationship to art and life.
Manuscripts in Preparation
The Play of Life and Poetic Education
This book is an argument for an account of education rooted in poetry and play. Drawing on the tradition of aesthetic education in 19th and 20th century philosophy, I develop an original account of poetic education that conceives of education not as self-mastery or the development of reason, but as the cultivation of an attunement to the self as finite and in relation to others and what exceeds us. Poetry and play both afford ways of articulating and responding to what is incalculable or otherwise inarticulable, thus affording resources for responding to alterity in meaningful ways that resist totalization. Although philosophy makes education one of its primary inquiries, few authors have focused on this relationship between play, in its own right, poetry, and education. This book addresses this gap by offering an account of play that seeks to make evident the ways in which play has been conceived throughout the history of philosophy, especially in phenomenology and hermeneutics, and how treatment of play in philosophy could contribute to larger conversations regarding the nature of education. This analysis leads us to an education that is a learning to hear and an ethics of conversation.