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Displaying: 1-10 of 12 documents

1. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Christopher Moore, Spartan Philosophy and Sage Wisdom in Plato's Protagoras
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This paper argues that Socrates’s baffling digression on Spartan philosophy, just before he interprets Simonides’s ode, gives a key to the whole of Plato’s Protagoras. It undermines simple distinctions between competition and cooperation in philosophy, and thus in the discussions throughout the dialogue. It also prepares for Socrates’s interpretation of Simonides’s ode as a questionable critique of Pittacus’s sage wisdom “Hard it is to be good.” This critique stands as a figure for the dialogue’s contrast between Protagoras’s and Socrates’s pedagogical methods. Protagoras advances an emulative view of education against Socrates’s self-knowledge model. The paper concludes with some thoughts on Protagoras’s claim that talking about poetry is as much about virtue as the earlier back-and-forth exchange about virtue’s unity and teachability.
2. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Andrew Benjamin, Barring Fear: Philo and the Hermeneutic Project
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The aim of the paper is to investigate the role of allegory in Philo and spe­cifically in his text On the Migration of Abraham. This involves the twofold move of arguing that even though Philo remains a Platonist and that his language is Platonic in orientation what occurs is a transformation of seeing, which is an immediate activity, into reading, which is always mediate. The second elements stems from this insistence on mediation. It results in freeing allegory from the hold of the allegorical/literal op­position. Allegory is transformed as a result in the name of an ineliminable allegoresis.
3. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Joshua M. Hall, A Divinely Tolerant Political Ethics: Dancing with Aurelius
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Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations constitutes an important source and subject for Michel Foucault’s 1981 lectures at the Collège de France, translated into English as Hermeneutics of the Subject. One recurring theme in these lectures is the deployment by Hellenistic/Roman philosophers such as Aurelius of the practice and figure of dance. Inspired by this discussion, the present essay offers a close reading of dance in the Meditations, followed by a survey of the secondary literature on this subject. Overall, I will attempt to show that, despite Aurelius’s self-consciously critical comportment toward dance, dance nevertheless performs a critical function in the construction of what I will term his “political ethics.” This political ethics, I will argue, is composed of an ethics of patient tolerance funded by the generosity that flows from the micro-political power generated by cultivating the god (or daemon) that Aurelius identifies within each of us.
4. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Cameron Bassiri, Temporality and Alterity in Descartes's Meditations
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In this article I analyze the themes of temporality and alterity as they were developed over the first three of Descartes’s Meditations. I discuss the temporality of the evil deceiver, as well as the implicit theory of time and time-consciousness in the Second Meditation. I show that this theory of time is purely subjective, continuous, pre-numerical, and independent of local motion and the body, thus making it independent of Aristotle’s theory of time. I then explain God’s continuous creation of time and the discontinuous theory of time Descartes develops in the Third Meditation. Moreover, I show that there is an ontological and temporal priority of the Other over the self, and that temporal self-consciousness is necessarily also consciousness of God, his continuous creation of time, time itself, and other finite substances.
5. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Beth Lord, The Concept of Equality in Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise
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Spinoza recognizes that in a democracy, ideals of freedom and equality shape our thoughts about ourselves as human beings. This paper examines Spinoza’s concept of equality in the Theological-Political Treatise, and considers its complexi­ties and ambiguities in light of his theories of freedom and democracy there and in the Ethics. Because Spinoza takes human beings to have unequal power, he does not believe we are naturally or intrinsically equal. Nor does he think equality is good in itself. Equality is good to the extent that it promotes human flourishing. The kind of equality Spinoza endorses is economic equality, which encourages human beings to become more powerful, virtuous, and free. I demonstrate this with reference to Spinoza’s discussion of the state of nature, democracy, and the Hebrew state in the Theological-Political Treatise and his remarks on charity, economic exchange, and their associated affects in the Ethics.
6. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
J. Colin McQuillan, A Merely Logical Distinction: Kant's Objection to Leibniz and Wolff
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Throughout his career, Immanuel Kant objects that Leibniz and Wolff make the distinction between sensible and intellectual cognition into a “merely logical” distinction. Although it is not clear that anyone in the Leibnizian-Wolffian tradition actually holds this view, Kant’s objection helps to define the “real” distinction between sensible and intellectual cognition that he defends in his inaugural dissertation in 1770. Kant raises the same objection against Leibniz and Wolff in the Critique of Pure Reason, but replaces the “real” distinction he defends in his inaugural dissertation with a new “transcendental” distinction between intuitions and concepts. This paper examines Kant’s objection to Leibniz and Wolff and the different alternatives he proposes, in order to highlight an important element in the development of his critical philosophy.
7. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Patricia I. Vieira, Perpetual Peace: Kant’s History of the Future
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This essay discusses Immanuel Kant’s project of perpetual peace. Kant runs into several difficulties in this undertaking, a series of “political antinomies” such as the opposing goals of nature or providence and of individuals, and the competing models of a federation of states or a world state to enforce perpetual peace. I argue that cosmopolitan right is Kant’s answer to the inconsistencies of his political philosophy and of his philosophy of history. Cosmopolitanism brings the individual back into historical development by merging the political rights each person enjoys within a state with the relentless progress of the human race as a whole. Further, it provides a transition from a federation of states to a global political system of rights. I contend that cosmopolitanism can be regarded as the political supplement to the categorical imperative that applies universally to all rational beings.
8. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Jonathan Head, Schopenhauer on the Development of the Individual
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This paper formulates Schopenhauer’s account of the development of the individual, with emphasis on the drive towards discerning truth about the essence of the world, be it through philosophy, religion, or the natural sciences, and the concomitant search for consolation in the face of the pessimistic truths about human existence. In this regard, the paper analyses the often largely ignored passages ‘On Man’s Need for Metaphysics’ and ‘On the Different Periods of Life,’ in order to reflect upon how he views the cognitive and therapeutic needs that all individuals feel throughout their lives, and how these can evolve through the different stages of life, from childhood, through maturity, to old age. Such an account can help fill out our understanding not only of various parts of Schopenhauer’s system, but also of the wider therapeutic aims of his philosophy.
9. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Amy L. McKiernan, Nietzsche’s Prefaces as Practices of Self-Care
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Although Nietzsche scholars have paid close attention to his aphoristic and rhetorical style, few have focused on his practice of writing prefaces. In this paper, I engage in a close reading of Nietzsche’s prefaces and identify five themes present in his earlier and later prefaces: (1) he speaks directly to his readers, (2) he stresses the necessity of slow and careful reading, (3) he encourages readers to trust themselves, (4) he refers to himself as a herald, and (5) he uses combative and polemical language to describe his work. Given these themes, I conclude that Nietzsche’s preface writing project constitutes a practice of self-care as described by Foucault in “Technologies of the Self” and “The Ethics of the Concern for Self as a Practice of Freedom.”
10. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Richard Capobianco, Heidegger on Heraclitus: Kosmos/World as Being Itself
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This essay draws on texts previously untranslated into English, and in particular Heidegger’s brilliant 1943 lecture course on Heraclitus, to show how Heidegger understood kosmos as an early Greek name for Being itself (Sein selbst). The contemporary scholarship has altogether missed the significant role that this Greek Ur-word plays in his later thinking. The “gleaming,” “adorning” kosmos—which the later Heidegger understood to be “world” (Welt) in the fullest and richest sense—is not in the first place any kind of transcendental-phenomenological “projection” of the human being; rather, it is the resplendence of the “ever-living” Being-unfolding-way itself from out of which both the gods and human beings come to pass and pass away. The independence of kosmos/Being itself in relation to the human being is highlighted. An Ode by Pindar and a painting by Andrew Wyeth are also considered.