Encounters and Reflections
Conversations with Seth Benardete
The first part of the book discloses vignettes about fellow students, colleagues, and acquaintances of Benardete's who later became major figures in the academic and intellectual life of twentieth-century America. We glimpse the student days of Alan Bloom, Stanley Rosen, George Steiner, and we discover the life of the mind as lived by well-known scholars such as David Grene, Jacob Klein, and Benardete's mentor Leo Strauss. We also encounter a number of other learned, devoted, and sometimes eccentric luminaries, including T.S. Eliot, James Baldwin, Werner Jaeger, John Davidson Beazley, and Willard Quine. In the book's second part, Benardete reflects on his own intellectual growth and on his ever-evolving understanding of the texts and ideas he spent a lifetime studying. Revisiting some of his recurrent themes—among them eros and the beautiful, the city and the law, and the gods and the human soul—Benardete shares his views on thinkers such as Plato, Homer, and Heidegger, as well as the relations between philosophy and science and between Christianity and ancient Roman thought.
Engaging and informative, Encounters and Reflections brings Benardete's thought to life to enlighten and inspire a new generation of thinkers.
Part One: Encounters
1. The University of Chicago, 1948-52, 1954-55
2. Athens, Rome, and Florence, 1952-54
3. St. John's, 1955-57
4. Harvard, 1957-60
5. Brandeis, New York University, and the New School, 1960-2001
Part II: Reflections
6. From Pattern to Dynamic
7. The "Indeterminate Dyad"
8. Eros and the City
9. Philosophy and Science
10. Christianity and Roman Writers