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Pete Wolfendale
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Pete Wolfendale is an independent scholar based in the north-east of England (though he prefers the term ‘dialectical insurgent’ as it sounds less like ‘unemployed philosopher’). He is at one and the same time a heretical Platonist, an unorthodox Kantian, and a minimalist Hegelian, but he can simply be identified as a rationalist. He is best known for his Deontologistics blog (http://deontologistics.wordpress.com) – distinctive for its extended debates and detailed technical discussions – and the way it has enabled his thought to develop both in public and online.
Wolfendale’s philosophical education took place entirely at the University of Warwick. His PhD thesis offered a re-examination of the Heideggerian Seinsfrage, arguing that Heideggerian scholarship has failed to fully do justice to its philosophical significance, and supplementing the shortcomings in Heidegger’s thought about Being with an alternative formulation of the question. On the way to this new formulation, he introduces the problematic that still orients his thought today: a renewed and unitary understanding of the classical project of metaphysics obtained through an inferentialist analysis of the normative structures of discourse.
Wolfendale’s signal achievement is his strategic mobilization and rational reconstruction of concepts from major figures from the continental tradition (above all, Heidegger, Deleuze and Foucault) which, re-shaped by his nuanced commitment to the Brandomian projects of inferentialist semantics and logical expressivism, are put in the service of an ambitious and revival of rationalism in philosophy and politics, unapologetically proposing contemporary reformulations of classical concepts like Truth, Beauty and Freedom. Wolfendale’s synoptic thought seamlessly extends over the philosophical, political, scientific, and artistic domains, re-injecting a yearning for the construction of large-scale systems in the contemporary philosophical scene, culpable, in his appraisal, of having prematurely abandoned any such systematic ambition in favour of localized, and ineffective, research niches.

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Pete Wolfendale
by Fabio Gironi