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Displaying: 1-10 of 14 documents


1. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
James Wood, Taming the Cosmic Rebel: The Place of the Errant Cause in the Timaeus
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This paper examines the errant cause in the Timaeus. After eliminating the material elements, matter, chōra, and irrational soul, I show that the source of cosmic disorder lies in the manifestation of difference in genesis. This disorder is a necessary feature of demiurgic formation, which requires generated beings to fall short of their paradigmatic forms and to encounter each other in destabilizing motions. Errancy is thus a threat to generated beings, but it also presents an opportunity and a task to those beings capable of bringing sameness to difference in themselves in imitation of the demiurge and cosmic soul.
2. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
C. T. Ricciardone, "We Are the Disease": Truth, Health, and Politics from Plato's Gorgias to Foucault
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Starting from the importance of the figure of the parrhesiastes—the political and therapeutic truth-teller—for Foucault’s understanding of the care of the self, this paper traces the political figuration of the analogy between philosophers and physicians on the one hand, and rhetors and disease on the other in Plato’s Gorgias. I show how rhetoric, in the form of ventriloquism, infects the text itself, and then ask how we account for the effect of the “contaminated” philosophical dialogue on our readerly health. Is the text placebo, vaccine, or virus? All of these options, I argue, complicate Foucault’s prescription for parrhesia, requiring us to think anew the continuing political ramifications of the metaphor of care.
3. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Edward Butler, Animal and Paradigm in Plato
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The paradigm according to which the cosmos is ordered by the demiurge is characterized in the Timaeus as ‘Animal Itself,’ while παράδειγμα in the vision of Er from the Republic denotes the patterns of lives chosen by individual humans and other animals. The essay seeks to grasp the animality of the paradigm, as well as the paradigmatic nature of animality, by means of the homology discernible between these usages. This inquiry affirms the value within a Platonic doctrine of principles of persons over reified forms, of modes of unity over substantial natures, and of agency over structure.
4. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Lewis Meek Trelawny-Cassity, On the Foundation of Theology in Plato's Laws
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While recent scholarship often makes the claim that Plato’s theology in the Laws is based upon inferences from observable features about the world, this interpretation runs into difficulties when one considers (1) the continuing importance that the Socratic turn undertaken in the Phaedo has for speculation in the Laws about the order of the cosmos and (2) the actual observations that Plato makes about the sublunar and celestial realms in the Laws. In light of these difficulties, I develop an interpretation of the theology of the Laws that seeks to show the priority of soul to matter by means of an articulation of the fundamental orientation to the world that is manifest in human beings seeking shared understanding through λόγος. This fundamental orientation is characterized by the recognition that νοῦς, not personal ambition, should guide human action and thought, and I argue that this recognition supplies at least partial support for the belief that νοῦς is in control of the cosmos. This interpretation helps makes sense of difficult passages in the Platonic corpus that ground cosmology on piety (Laws 10.898c6, Philebus 28e2, Timaeus 29a4). The relationship of this philosophical piety to the piety required by the laws of Magnesia is, however, problematic, and it could appear that Plato bridges this gap by a prudentialist account of why the laws of the city should be considered divine. I broach this problem in the final section of this paper by way of an examination of the relationship between the second sailing (δεύτερος πλοῦς) of the Phaedo and the δεύτερος πλοῦς of the Statesman and the Laws. I conclude with the observation that both the Phaedo and the Laws make use of an enchantment (ἐπῳδή) that goes beyond the bounds of what λόγος can establish.
5. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Dimitrios Dentsoras, The Birth of Supererogation
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The essay investigates the philosophical infancy of the idea that some actions are morally praiseworthy while not being morally obligatory. It focuses on Thomas Aquinas’s distinction between commandments and counsels, the early Christian idea that some acts go beyond nature, and the Stoic notion of circumstantially appropriate actions. I discuss the Christian and Stoic justification of acts of self-denial, such as celibacy, poverty, and martyrdom, and attempt to find a unitary source of goodness and moral obligation that allows for such supererogatory acts. Nature provides such a unitary source in the early Christian theologian Athanasius and the Stoics. I discuss how nature determines one’s duties while also allowing for praiseworthy acts outside the scope of these duties, and in seeming contrast with them.
6. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Andrew T. LaZella, De Aventure: Matter, Causal Violence, and the Event Worthy of Its Name
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That the category of violent causation has passed from the register of “useful” scientific categories is without question. And yet, in a time of ecological crisis, this conceptual atavism reflects not some idyllic pre-modern past, but the present ubiquity of causal violence. Tracing a course through medieval Aristotelianism will show not only that violence cannot be reduced to artificial production, but also that its operation remains phantasmatic insofar as it seeks to exclude the very condition upon which it is founded: possibility. And as the possibility to end all possibility, violence neutralizes “any event worthy of its name.”
7. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Daniel Whistler, Purely Practical Reason: Normative Epistemology from Leibniz to Maimon
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In this paper, I contend that a crucial historical precedent for contemporary interest in virtue epistemology is to be found in Leibniz-Wolffian rationalism. For philosophers from Wolff to Lessing, epistemology was thoroughly normative; that is, the task of epistemology was not to describe knowledge, but set rules for the amelioration of knowledge. Such a normative stance was transferred into cognate disciplines, such as aesthetics, as well. I further argue that after Kant’s Copernican revolution in philosophy in 1781 strands of this normative epistemology lived on in both Schiller’s aesthetics and Maimon’s reworking of transcendental idealism. Finally, I suggest some provisional reasons for considering Kant’s epistemology a break with this tradition.
8. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Jeffrey Reid, The Hobbesian Ethics of Hegel's Sense-Certainty
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In this paper, I explore the largely ignored ethical dimension in the first section of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, Sense-certainty, which tends to be understood exclusively as an epistemological critique of sense-data empiricism. I approach the ethical aspect of the chapter through Hegel’s analysis of language, there, as unable to refer to individual things. I then show that the position Hegel analyses is akin to the one presented by Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan, as well as in his De Corpore, and which serves to ground his naturalistic ethics. The linguistic juxtaposition consequently allows me to relate the ethics of sense-certainty to Hobbes, not only to his “shallow” empiricism, as Hegel puts it, but to the ethical vision Hobbes presents in his state of nature.
9. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Amnon Marom, Continuity and Discontinuity in Wilhelm Dilthey's Thinking: A New Suggestion for Resolving an Old Controversy
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This study seeks to provide a new resolution to an old controversy regarding the consistency of Wilhelm Dilthey’s thought. This controversy concentrates on the relations between Dilthey’s early psychology and his late hermeneutics. According to my proposed view, Dilthey did intend to replace psychology with hermeneutics; even so, his thought should still be viewed as consistent. Instead of concentrating on the methodological level of his writing, I will concentrate on the object of the two methods. Thus, I will argue that the consistency of Dilthey’s thought is derived from the stable destination he aspired to reach with the help of these different methods.
10. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Brian Seitz, The Other Subject of Husserl: A Troubled Double
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Husserl’s “Fifth Meditation” is an effort to establish intersubjectivity, the necessary passage to the Objective world. Two conflicting tendencies govern Husserl’s discourse here: 1) a privileged desire to maintain the primacy of the monadic Ego, which is 2) the origin of a desire to recognize the other and thus to secure intersubjectivity. By focusing on the conflict between these tendencies and on his abrupt introduction of the body into the text in an attempt to resolve them, I try to show through “something like” a deconstruction that Husserl does not resolve the problem of the other but begins and ends this key chapter in an impasse.