Franz Rosenzweig and the Systematic Task of Philosophy

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Benjamin Pollock argues that Franz Rosenzweig's The Star of Redemption is devoted to a singularly ambitious philosophical task: grasping 'the All' - the whole of what is - in the form of a system. In asserting Rosenzweig's abiding commitment to a systematic conception of philosophy, this book breaks rank with the assumptions about Rosenzweig's thought that have dominated recent scholarship. Indeed, the Star's importance is often claimed to lie precisely in the way it opposes philosophy's traditional drive for systematic knowledge and upholds instead a 'new thinking' attentive to the existential concerns, the alterity, and even the revelatory dimension of concrete human life. Pollock shows that these very innovations in Rosenzweig's thought are in fact to be understood as part and parcel of the Star's systematic program. But this is only the case, Pollock claims, because Rosenzweig approaches philosophy's traditional task of system in a radically original manner.