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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

The Potency of Negativity in the Age of the Sovereign Exception

Volume 16
Giorgio Agamben

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Displaying: 1-10 of 27 documents


1. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Walter Brogan Letter from the Editor
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2. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Marisa Diaz-Waian, J. Angelo Corlett Kraut and Annas on Plato: Why Mouthpiece Interpreters are Stuck in the Cave
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Mouthpiece interpreters of Plato such as Richard Kraut and Julia Annas believe that Plato had philosophical beliefs, doctrines, and theories that he intended to convey in his dialogues. We argue that some of their primary arguments for this approach to Plato are problematic and that there is a more promising approach to Plato’s dialogues than the mouthpiece interpretation, all things considered.
3. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Eric C. Sanday Challenging the Established Order: Socrates’ Perversion of Callicles’ Position in Plato’s Gorgias
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In this article I argue that Socrates sees one important truth in the position Callicles represents in the Gorgias: it is necessary in the case of extreme philosophical provocation to be able to overthrow completely the received order and to maintain oneself in the face of unimagined possibility. Without this faith in the power of wisdom to overturn and destroy received wisdom, philosophy would not be able to shepherd the good into the world in Socratic fashion. Interpreters are generally correct to view Callicles as a threat to the Socratic ehtical position, but they generally fail to see that Socratic wisdom cannot operate without drawing substantially on the destruction of received order that Callicles promotes to a position of unique value in his competing ethical stance. Thus I read the conversation between Socrates and Callicles as an opportunity for Socrates to stand face to face with that aspect of his own philosophical wisdom that seems at first glance hostile to his own position.
4. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Bradley Jay Strawser Those Frightening Men: A New Interpretation of Plato’s Battle of Gods and Giants
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In Plato’s Sophist (245e–247e) an argument against metaphysical materialism in the “battle of gods and giants” is presented which is oft the cause of consternation, primarily because it appears the characters are unfair to the materialist position. Attempts to explain it usually resort to restructuring the argument while others rearrange the Sophist entirely to rebuild the argument in a more satisfying form. I propose a different account of the argument that does not rely on a disservice to the materialist nor restructuring Plato’s argument. I contend, instead, that the argument is enthymematic in nature, allowing the definitions employed to flow out of the reasoning as originally presented. Moreover, it suggests that Plato’s idealism was so deeply ingrained that modern defenses of materialism were not even live options.
5. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
D. Rita Alfonso On Necessity: A Primer For Interpreting Chora in Plato’s Timaeus
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Since Stalbaum’s 1838 translation revived interest in Plato’s Timaeus, commentators have tended to bracket the discourse on Necessity, reading it as either mythical or mystical. This essay offers an interpretation of Necessity that is also an assertion of its importance for understanding the philosophically important conception of chora-space found therein. Beginning with throwing ourselves back into the Presocratic milieu, I examine what remains of Presocratic notions of kreon and ananke (necessity) in order to move forward a more robust interpretation of the discourse on Necessity and chora-space.
6. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Emma R. Jones The Nature of Place and the Place of Nature in Plato’s Timaeus and Aristotle’s Physics
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I offer a comparison between Plato’s discussion of χώρα in the Timaeus at 48A–53C and Aristotle’s discussion of τόπος in Physics Book IV, arguing that the two accounts have more in common than has been suggested by Continental scholars. Τόπος and χώρα both signal what I call the impasse of place as the question of that which cannot be reduced to either the sensible or the intelligible, and which (un)grounds such categories. Identifying this impasse reveals Plato’s and Aristotle’s accounts of “place” as strikingly dissimilar from the Newtonian category of Absolute Space; and it also suggests new ways of thinking the relationships between bodies, motion, place and nature.
7. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Adriel Trott The Human Animal: The Natural and the Rational in Aristotle’s Anthropology
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I argue that the human being fits squarely within the natural world in Aristotle’s anthropology. Like other natural beings, we strive to fulfill our end from the potential within us to achieve that end. Logos does not make human beings unnatural but makes us responsible for our actualization. As rational, the human can never be reduced to mere living animal but is always already concerned with living well; yet, as natural, she is not separated from the animal world, a dangerous distinction which inevitably leaves some persons reduced to mere animality.
8. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Brian Earl Johnson Ethical Roles in Epictetus
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Epictetus holds that agents can determine what is appropriate relative to their roles in life. There has been only piecemeal work on this subject. Moreover, current scholarship on Epictetus’s role theory often employs Cicero’s narrow and highly schematic role theory as a template for reconstructing Epictetus’s theory. I argue against that approach and show that Epictetus’s theory is more open-ended and is best presented as a set of criteria that agents must reflect upon in order to discover their many roles: their capacities, their social relations, their wishes, and even divine signs.
9. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Annie Hounsokou “Exposing the Rogue in Us”: An Exploration of Laughter in the Critique of Judgment
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Kant’s treatment of laughter in section 54 of the Critique of Judgment is intriguing: he places laughter among the arts, but does not deem it serious enough to be a fine art. According to Kant, laughter is an agreeable art, and ministers only to the senses. But when he describes to us what laughter actually does, it turns out that this bodily phenomenon is actually a moral phenomenon akin to the sublime in that it elevates and humbles us at the same time. This paper revisits Kant’s aesthetic themes, shows the distinctive role of laughter in the third Critique, and explores the possibilities of a true reunification of law and freedom through laughter.
10. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Robert E. Wood Hegel: From Misunderstanding to the Beginning of Understanding
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Misunderstandings of Hegel have several roots: one is the intrinsic difficulty of his highly technical and interrelated conceptual sets, another is ideological opponents who consequently take statements out of context, and a third is following those of high stature who pass on the misunderstandings. Typical misunderstandings concern freedom and necessity, slavery, that status of the individual, God and the State, facts measuring up to concepts, the relation of rationality and actuality, the status of passion, and, above all, the nature of absolute knowing. Resituating these notions within the whole of the System shows the one-sidedness of typical misunderstandings and opens the way toward appropriation.