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Philosophical Inquiry

Volume 39, Issue 2, Spring 2015
In Honor of Professor Dionysios Anapolitanos

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Displaying: 1-10 of 11 documents

1. Philosophical Inquiry: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Lorenzo Lazzarini, Why is time "Something of Motion" for Aristotle?
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2. Philosophical Inquiry: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
D.Z. Andriopoulos, Reconstructing and Commenting Polybiu's Philosophy of History
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3. Philosophical Inquiry: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Eleni Gemtou, Philosophical Hermeneutics and its Origins in Xenocrates of Athens
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Xenocrates of Athens (or of Sikyon) was a sculptor and theoretician of the 3rd cen. B.C., whose now lost writings were used as basic sources by Pliny the Elder in his 34th and 35th Books of Natural History, about Sculpture and Painting respectively. It is strongly believed that the progressive model of the development of art in both books has Xenocratian origins: influenced by the tradition of Democritus, Xenocrates had explained the evolution of art as a process of resolution of artistic problems. His narrative was, though, a descriptive one without a theoretical or philosophical background. A similar case had prevailed in the Historiography of Art for many centuries, up to the beginnings of the 20th cen., when the rise of Philosophical Hermeneutics changed the picture. Art Historians began to create theories and methods trying for the first time to explain at a theoretical level the phenomena both of the development of art and of the capability of later perceivers to understand previous artworks and their changes through time. Ernst Gombrich’s theory that combines modern and postmodern ideas is to be understood as influenced both by the Xenocratian idea that there is always an innovative person who first overcomes traditional methods triggering the progress of art’s development and by the Popperian notion of “trial and error” as the main schema for the development of science.
4. Philosophical Inquiry: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Panos Eliopoulos, Seneca on Virtue as Psychological Therapy and the Causes of Passions
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Even though he generally agrees with Chrysippus on the matter of the ontology of passions, Seneca differentiates mainly in his emphasis that passions are the reason why man leads an inauthentic, unhappy and undignified life. Although Seneca is a very orthodox Stoic, in most of the cases where his stoic credibility is challenged, he resorts to a therapy plan that exceeds the usual stoic strictness on the absoluteness of the status of the sage. In this scheme, the Roman philosopher employs practical techniques that refer to the ordinary man, the man who rationally desires to change his merely-being into well-being. This shift of focus is partially explained through the social orientation of the moral context: man is not alone while achieving his perfection of character; there are others who need to be helped, so that the pursuit of wisdom becomes a pananthropic effort, not an act of alienation. Since moral success is connected with the other person in such a manner, it is not a paradox that it needs to start from within, from the nucleus of personhood. The role of individuality is particularly stressed, especially on the premises that man first ought to make this constant and conscious effort to help himself, to cure his own soul, often with the aid of others who share the same path, before he attempts to be engaged in the therapy of the passions of others. Under this prism, the senecan proposal for the therapy of passions leads to a practical culmination where man is not only bound to achieve his ontological excellence but also to relieve his soul from the traumas of passions and to connect himself with the moral and existential safety that the presence of “recta ratio” guarantees.
5. Philosophical Inquiry: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Jasper Doomen, Understanding and Explaining
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The quest to provide a fundamental understanding and explanation of reality is an ambitious one. Perhaps it is too ambitious. The possible restrictions for such an enterprise to be successful must be inquired in order to determine the issue. Section 1 explores one’s understanding in reaching (scientific) conclusions: to what extent does a successful account testify to understanding? Section 2 focuses on the other side of such an account: does it provide an explanation in a more fundamental sense than pointing out causes of phenomena, or is it restricted to such a task? A critical attitude vis-à-vis the (scientific) enterprise of unearthing reality’s structure remains necessary in order not to confuse a consistent and productive theory with one that demonstrates an understanding and explanation in the sense of this article.
6. Philosophical Inquiry: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Brian Jortner, A Critical Analysis of Robert Nozick's Experience Machine
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7. Philosophical Inquiry: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Paolo Stellino, Kant and Nietzsche on Suicide
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This paper aims to develop the antagonism between Kant’s and Nietzsche’s views of suicide by focusing particularly on the relation between moralityand life. Whereas Kant establishes a primacy of morality over life and puts forward one main moral argument against the permissibility of suicide, Nietzsche reverses this hierarchical relation and gives to life a primacy over morality. The first two sections will be thus devoted to a critical examination of both positions, while in the third and last section the attention will be focused on the consequences deriving from such approaches. The paper will be concluded by proposing two essential conditions which in the author’s view should be met in order to begin working on a tenable Nietzschean defence of suicide.
8. Philosophical Inquiry: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Abdullah Onur Aktaş, Nature and Morality in Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments
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9. Philosophical Inquiry: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Piet Strydom, Critical Theory of Justice: On Forst's 'Basic Structure of Justification' from a Cognitive-Sociological Perspective
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This article offers a perspective on the critical theory of justice by presenting a structural and processual reconstruction of Rainer Forst’s intriguing yet somewhatopaque concept of a basic structure of justification which is central to his proposed critique of justificatory relations. It shows from a cognitive-sociological perspective what a cooperative relation between a philosophical theory of justice and a social scientific approach could mean for critical theory. A basic structure of justification is revealed to be a cognitively available reflexive order above the order of substantive social and political relations that allows the identifi cation, explanation and transformative critique of reflexivity deficits induced by hegemonic, ideological, repressive or obfuscating means. Far from being exclusively a theoretical and methodological tool, however, it is in principle accessible to those involved and affected on whose experience, suffering and critique critical theory vitally depends.
book reviews
10. Philosophical Inquiry: Volume > 39 > Issue: 2
Anastasia Marinopoulou, Critical Theory in the Twenty-First Century by Darrow Schecter
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