By Damián Bravo Zamora
Any engagement with the history of philosophy that is worth the philosopher’s while is irremediably philosophical. The spirit with which the philosopher approaches the history of his or her own activity is an incorrigibly Socratic one. Any discourse that smacks of an arbitrary appeal to authority, of an act of hiding behind the shield of unclarified concepts, or of a plotless chronology of authors, appears to the eyes of the philosopher not only as superfluous and insubstantial, but also, and above all, as intolerably boring. It is to Guido Kreis’s great credit to have delivered a truly philosophical history, and even the story, of a philosophical problem. His book Negative Dialektik des Unendlichen: Kant, Hegel, Cantor is an ambitious and at the same time accomplished work, which squarely takes on a fundamental metaphysical and logico-mathematical problem by unhesitatingly dealing with the ideas at issue in an argumentative and unitary manner, reaching far beyond any specific exegetical concerns, of interest only to the specialist in the philosophical system of this or that thinker, and far beyond any specific technical difficulties appertaining to this or that area of contemporary philosophy.