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Displaying: 1-10 of 431 documents


1. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Alex Priou, Parmenides on Reason and Revelation
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In this paper, the author argues that the revelatory form Parmenides gives his poem poses considerable problems for the account of being contained therein. The poem moves through a series of problems, each building on the last: the problem of particularity, the cause of human wandering that the goddess would have us ascend beyond (B1); the problem of speech, whose heterogeneity evinces its tie to experience’s particularity (B2-B7); the problem of justice, which motivates man’s ascent from his “insecure” place in being, only ultimately to undermine it (B8.1-49); and finally the question of the good, the necessary consequence of man’s place in being as being out-of-place in being (B8.50-B19). What emerges is a Socratic reading of Parmenides’s poem, a view that Plato appears to have shared by using Parmenides and his Eleatic stranger to frame the bulk of Socrates’s philosophic activity.
2. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Yancy Hughes Dominick, The Image of the Noble Sophist
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In this paper, I begin with an account of the initial distinction between likenesses and appearances, a distinction which may resemble the difference between sophists and philosophers. That distinction first arises immediately after the puzzling appearance of the noble sophist, who seems to occupy an odd space in between sophist and philosopher. In the second section, I look more closely at the noble sophist, and on what that figure might tell us about images and the use of images. I also attempt to use the insights provided by the noble sophist in an investigation of the kind of images that Plato the author produces. This raises the question of the general notion of image as it appears in the Sophist, and especially of the dual nature of all images, which in turn invites reflection on certain features of the examination of being and non-being late in the dialogue. Finally, I return to the deception inherent in images, and I argue that this dialogue does not present the possibility of completely honest images. Nevertheless, I hope to show that some uses of deceptions and images are better than others.
3. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Olof Pettersson, The Science of Philosophy: Discourse and Deception in Plato’s Sophist
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At 252e1 to 253c9 in Plato’s Sophist, the Eleatic Visitor explains why philosophy is a science. Like the art of grammar, philosophical knowledge corresponds to a generic structure of discrete kinds and is acquired by systematic analysis of how these kinds intermingle. In the literature, the Visitor’s science is either understood as an expression of a mature and authentic platonic metaphysics, or as a sophisticated illusion staged to illustrate the seductive lure of sophistic deception. By showing how the Visitor’s account of the science of philosophy is just as comprehensive, phantasmatic and self-concealing as the art of sophistry identified at the dialogue’s outset, this paper argues in favor of the latter view.
4. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Mark Sentesy, Are Potency and Actuality Compatible in Aristotle?
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The belief that Aristotle opposes potency (dunamis) to actuality (energeia or entelecheia) has gone untested. This essay defines and distinguishes forms of the Opposition Hypothesis—the Actualization, Privation, and Modal—examining the texts and arguments adduced to support them. Using Aristotle’s own account of opposition, the texts appear instead to show that potency and actuality are compatible, while arguments for their opposition produce intractable problems. Notably, Aristotle’s refutation of the Megarian Identity Hypothesis applies with equal or greater force to the Opposition Hypothesis. For Aristotle, then, potency and actuality are compatible.
5. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Jussi Backman, Being Itself and the Being of Beings: Reading Aristotle’s Critique of Parmenides (Physics 1.3) after Metaphysics
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The essay studies Aristotle’s critique of Parmenides (Physics 1.3) in the light of the Heideggerian account of Platonic-Aristotelian metaphysics as an approach to being (Sein) in terms of beings (das Seiende). Aristotle’s critique focuses on the presuppositions of the Parmenidean thesis of the unity of being. It is argued that a close study of the presuppositions of Aristotle’s own critique reveals an important difference between the Aristotelian metaphysical framework and the Parmenidean “protometaphysical” approach. The Parmenides fragments indicate being as such in the sense of the pure, undifferentiated “is there” (τὸ ἐόν)—as the intelligible accessibility of meaningful reality to thinking, prior to its articulation into determinate beings. For Aristotle, by contrast, “being itself” (αὐτὸ τὸ ὄν) has no other plausible meaning than “being-something-determinate as such” (τὸ ὅπερ ὄν τι), which itself remains equivocal. In this sense, Aristotle can indeed be said to conceive being in terms of beings, as the being-ness of determinate beings.
6. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
James S. Kintz, The Unity of the Knower and the Known: The Phenomenology of Aristotle and the Metaphysics of Husserl
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Aristotle famously asserted that the mind is identical with its object in an act of cognition. This “identity doctrine” has caused much confusion and controversy, with many seeking to avoid a literal interpretation in favor of one that suggests that “identity” refers to a formal isomorphism between the mind and its object. However, in this paper I suggest that Aristotle’s identity doctrine is not an epistemological claim about an isomorphism between a representation of an object and the object itself, but is a phenomenological claim about the character of human cognition and intelligible being. Drawing on texts from Edmund Husserl and Aristotle, I offer a phenomenological interpretation of Aristotle’s identity doctrine. I ultimately argue that, for Aristotle, mind and being are essentially unified, for intelligible being is partially constitutive of the mind.
7. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Ian Alexander Moore, The Problem of Ontotheology in Eckhart’s Latin Writings
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This article examines the extent to which two of Meister Eckhart’s Latin writings fall prey to Heidegger’s charge of ontotheology. It argues that the intellectualist, ‘meontological’ approach to God in Eckhart’s First Parisian Question and the analogical, ontological approach in his Opus tripartitum are not as different as may initially appear. Not only do both rest on Eckhart’s peculiar doctrine of analogy; both serve to dismantle the ontotheological architecture. Indeed, rather than an intellectualist alternative to ontotheology, Eckhart’s First Parisian Question presents a meticulously crafted dialectic designed to explode rational distinctions. Rather than a traditional account of God as the highest being, Eckhart’s Opus tripartitum obliterates hierarchies with its appeal to treat all being as God. Still, although both approaches contribute to an appreciation of Eckhart’s principal concern—the basic unity of the ground of the soul and the Godhead in releasement—neither suffices for unfolding its deepest implications. An ontotheological residue remains.
8. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Daniel Whistler, How Speak of Eternity?: Rhetoric in Ethics V
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The aim of this essay is to investigate the stylistic idiosyncrasies of Part V of Spinoza’s Ethics by focusing on the experience of the reader encountering this text: what is missed in most accounts, I argue, is the rhetorical effect of Spinoza’s language on a reader approaching the end of the book. The reader experiences hermeneutic anxiety upon encountering a God who loves, rejoices and glories in a relatively traditional manner after the iconoclastic dismantling of the traditional attributes of God in Parts I to IV. I suggest that such anxiety is intentionally provoked, for it engenders a reflective attitude towards the text and its choice of language, and such reflection on language is a means of ‘rhetorical therapy’ that makes the communication of adequate ideas possible. The essay examines, first, the peculiar rhetorical devices at play in Part V, and, secondly, whether there are good philosophical reasons for such peculiarity. I then use such an analysis to think further about Spinoza’s attitude to language in general, concluding that thinking through the implications of the linguistic signs as affect allows one to posit the existence of a rhetorical therapy in Spinoza’s thinking.
9. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Christopher Thomas, From Complex Bodies to a Theory of Art: Melancholy, Bodies, and Art in the Philosophy of Spinoza
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Spinoza’s limited words on the subject of art has led many to claim that his philosophy is incompatible and even hostile to a theory of art. Such a critique begins by confusing modern aesthetic standards with Spinoza’s actual words on art and its objects. Beginning with this confusion, this paper will argue that Spinoza’s philosophy naturalises the work of art and conceives of things such as paintings and temples through his theory of complex bodies.Turning to the two places that Spinoza discuss art—IIIP2Schol and IVP45Schol—this paper will argue that Spinoza understood works of art to be particularly complex and hence powerful extended bodies with a use value relative to the striving of the human individual. Accordingly it will be argued that because Spinoza conceived works of art to be external bodies–artistic bodies–, we should therefore begin to study art and its objects through Spinoza’s relational theory of the individual.
10. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Laura J. Mueller, Pure Reason’s Autonomy: Sensus Communis in Reason’s Self-Critique
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This article investigates the relation between freedom, the public use of reason, and sensus communis, as discussed throughout Kant’s political writings and critical works. Kant’s discussion of the public use of reason, as put forth in "What Is Enlightenment?" is closely tied to his views on autonomy, most notably in the political sphere. However, Kant’s distinction between the public and private uses of reason relies upon sensus communis as discussed in the Critique of Judgment. The communicability achieved by sensus communis has a relevance not restricted only to Kant’s explicitly political writings; sensus communis is also what we might call “transcendentally significant.” In this article, I argue that the public use of reason—a use of reason achieved by sensus communis—is vital for reason itself to follow its own normative demands. I conclude that sensus communis itself grounds reason’s use for its own critique.