Education: Tel Aviv University, B.A., 1989; Yale University, Ph.D., 1995.
Office—Department of Philosophy, Tel Aviv University, Ramat-Aviv 69978, Israel. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer, philosopher, and educator. Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel, senior lecturer in philosophy.
Alon Fellowship, Tel Aviv University.
One Day, Philosophy, Modan Publishing House (Tel Aviv, Israel), 2000.
The Present Personal: Philosophy and the Hidden Face of Language, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor to books, including The Craft of Judgment, edited by Eli Friedlander and Yaron Senderowicz, Tel Aviv University Publishing Project (Tel Aviv, Israel), 1999; Eye and Mind, by Maurice Merleau-Ponty, edited by H. Kenaan, Resling Publishing House (Tel Aviv, Israel), 2004; The Blind Spot, edited by S. Biderman and R. Lazar, Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House (Tel Aviv, Israel), 2005. Contributor of essays and articles to periodicals, including Wolkenkuckucksheim: International Journal of Architectural Theory, Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy, Continental Philosophy Review, Etudes Phenomenologiques: Levinas et la phénomenologie, Artibus et Historiae, and the International Journal of Philosophical Studies.
Hagi Kenaan graduated from Israel's Tel Aviv University in 1989, where he received the prestigious Alon Fellowship. He continued his academic career at Yale University, where he earned his Ph.D in 1995. He specializes in continental philosophy, phenomenology, and aesthetics, and his academic accomplishments include numerous articles, poems, and contributions to publications such as Wolkenkuckucksheim: International Journal of Architectural Theory, Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy, Continental Philosophy Review, Artibus et Historiae, and International Journal of Philosophical Studies. He is a senior lecturer in the department of philosophy at Tel Aviv University.
Kenaan's One Day, Philosophy, published by Modan Publishing House in 2000, is an illustrated children's book written in Hebrew. The text provides examples reinforced with accompanying illustrations in a narrative form that conveys the meaning and essence of philosophy through the relation of a childhood memory. Likewise, Kenaan's 2005 book The Present Personal: Philosophy and the Hidden Face of Language seeks to find the individual's voice in philosophical discourse. He argues that language involves the personal experience of the speaker, and he seeks to include this element in the process of obtaining the true meaning of one's dialogue. The implication of this methodology, according to Review of Metaphysics contributor Ralph D. Ellis, is "a manifestation of the speaker's situated presence—a meaning incomprehensible without hearing the specificity of that presence, in each given case." Meaning, the relation of truth, in speech communication is relative to the situation, or context, of the speaker, and this situational truth then has dynamic rather than static meaning. The "present personal" referred to in the title is the contextualization of the speaker. Kenaan's The Present Personal operates within the arena of binary oppositions, such as connotation/denotation and subjective/objective, in order to find a space where language equals truth. In his use of linguistic principles as well as philosophical methodology, Kenaan draws on the practices of preeminent philosophers Immanuel Kant, J.L. Austin, and Martin Heidegger. Kenaan suggests, as Ellis put it, that "the truth of the speaker is not independent of the subjective intentions of his speech, but neither is it reducible to that," and he exposes the complications of an "abstraction from personal and uniquely situated expression of a person's presence." In addition to the philosophical study of linguistic relation, Kenaan's research also includes an exploration of the aesthetic and the ethical, philosophy and painting, and the works of twentieth-century philosophers Emmanuel Lévinas, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Review of Metaphysics, March, 2006, Ralph D. Ellis, review of The Present Personal: Philosophy and the Hidden Face of Language, p. 651.
Columbia University Press Web site,http://cup.columbia.edu/ (March 12, 2008).
Hagi Kenaan Home Page, http://www.tau.ac.il/~kenaan (March 12, 2008).
Temple University Web site,http://www.temple.edu/ (October 17, 2005).