Philosophy Today

Volume 67, Issue 3, Summer 2023

Special Topic: Hermann Levin Goldschmidt’s Contradiction Set Free

André Flicker
Pages 577-594

Tracing the Singular of Contradiction in Contradiction(s) Set Free

Goldschmidt’s Contradiction Set Free confronts us with a variety of topics, political and philosophical topoi, in which he traces contradictions of thought and action. This article focuses on Goldschmidt’s omission of the sphere of language as a site of contradiction in Contradiction Set Free. I argue that it is a deliberate choice on the part of Goldschmidt to not project a metalanguage of contradiction, but to probe philosophy’s involvement in the practice of language and thus present a critique of philosophy through the contradictory impulse of language. First, I discuss the status Goldschmidt ascribes to the work of language for philosophy. From here, I engage in a discussion of the meaning of Ergriffenheit (awe) in Contradiction Set Free. Finally, I analyze two of Goldschmidt’s uses of parables and conclude with a reference to a parable by Franz Kafka.