Rigorism of Truth
"Moses the Egyptian" and Other Writings on Freud and Arendt
Edited by Ahlrich Meyer
Commentaries by Ahlrich Meyer
Afterword by Ahlrich Meyer
Translated by Joe Paul Kroll
Cornell University Press and Cornell University Library | signale|TRANSFER: German Theory in Translation
In "Moses the Egyptian"—the centerpiece of Rigorism of Truth, the German philosopher Hans Blumenberg addresses two defining figures in the intellectual history of the twentieth century: Sigmund Freud and Hannah Arendt. Unpublished during his lifetime, this essay analyzes Freud’s Moses and Monotheism (1939) and Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963), and discovers in both a principled rigidity that turns into recklessness because it is blind to the politics of the unknown.
Offering striking insights into the importance of myth in politics and the extent to which truth can be tolerated in adversity, the essay also provides one of the few instances where Blumenberg reveals his thinking about Judaism and Zionism. Rigorism of Truth also includes commentaries by Ahlrich Meyer that give a fuller understanding of the philosopher’s engagement with Freud, Arendt, and the Eichmann trial, as well as situating these reflections in the broader context of Blumenberg’s life and thought.