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Displaying: 1-10 of 13 documents


1. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Walter Brogan Letter From the Editor
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2. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Daniel Mermet, Gabriel Rockhill No God, No Caesar, No Tribune! . . .: Cornelius Castoriadis Interviewed by Daniel Mermet
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In this interview, Cornelius Castoriadis explains and develops many of the central themes in his later writings on politics and social criticism. In particular, he poignantly articulates his critique of contemporary pseudo-democracy, while advocating a form of democracy founded on collective education and self-government. He also explores how the “insignificance” in the current political arena relates to insignificance in other areas, such as the arts and philosophy, to form the core feature of our Zeitgeist. Finally, he seeks to break through the ideological fog of liberalism and privatization in order to voice a radical appeal for an autonomous, self-limiting society.
3. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
John Kress Pleasure Unlimited: Philebus and the Drama of the Unlimited
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The Philebus is a difficult dialogue, often criticized for treating obscure ontological questions while neglecting the dramatic aspect characteristic of the Platonic dialogue. In this paper, I argue that, while subtle, the dramatic dimension is essential in understanding the ontological inquiries pursued and the dialogue as a whole. I argue that the Philebus should be read as an agon, a dramatic contest, between Socrates, the advocate of nous, and Philebus, the silent advocate of hēdonē. I show that this contest about the nature of the Good must be executed dramatically because, as Plato brings to light, hēdonē belongs to the Unlimited, and as such, always and necessarily resists reduction to logos, which, as dianoia, is necessarily connected with nous and Limit.
4. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Vijay Mascarenhas God and the Good in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics
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By examining the systematic integration of theology, ethics, and teleology in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, I address four key interpretational aporiai: the apparently illogicality of the opening lines, the apparent contradiction between practical virtue and contemplation being the highest good, the “dominant” v. “inclusivist” views of eudaimonia, and the immanence v. transcendence of God. I show how proper attention to the link between Aristotle’s conception of the Good as “that at which all things aim” and God as the prime unmoved mover, as well as an appreciation of the overall “aristocratic” context of Aristotelian philosophy, provides a new way of dealing with these aporiai that renders them less perplexing and problematic, while avoiding un-Aristotelian, anachronistic readings.
5. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
David Roochnik Ronna Burger’s Talmudic Reading of the Nicomachean Ethics
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Ronna Burger’s Aristotle’s Dialogue with Socrates argues that the Nicomachean Ethics is a unified whole. Her reading runs against the tide of most contemporary scholarship. In particular, Book X.7–8, Aristotle’s valorization and near apotheosis of the “contemplative life,” has been taken to be a Platonic intrusion in a work otherwise characterized by a resolute “anthropocentrism,” as Nussbaum puts it. To account for such an apparent fracture commentators have attributed both chronological development and later editorship to the corpus. Burger, by contrast, offers a “Talmudic reading.” She treats the Nicomachean Ethics as a work of integrity that dialectically culminates in, rather than is interrupted by, X.7–8. This essay situates her argument in a larger context that explores the nature of philosophical reading as such.
6. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Benjamin J. Grazzini Understanding the Big Cycles of Change in Aristotle’s Meteorology I.14
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This essay is a reading of Aristotle’s account in Meteorology I.14 of changes in local environmental conditions and its significance for Aristotle’s understanding of nature and change more generally. That account shows how local environments are complex bodies, and so change through habituation: the sedimentation of patterns of activity through repeated activity/change. In turn, this shows how the regularity of what is by nature is a matter of the relative stability of habits in the face of unceasing generation and destruction. Strikingly, Aristotle then turns to the consequences of that account for human beings’ ability to comprehend changes in the environmental conditions of their activities.
7. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Avery Goldman Kant, Heidegger, and the Circularity of Transcendental Inquiry
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While in Being and Time Heidegger criticizes Kant for presupposing the very objects that he then goes on to examine, in his 1935–1936 lecture course What Is a Thing? he argues that the differentiation of subject and object with which Kant begins enables him to point to the temporal nature of thought. In following Kant’s own description of his project, Heidegger deems the presupposition of the objects of experience not detrimental to the inquiry, but determinative of its circular method. In this paper I investigate whether such circularity offers an entrance to Heidegger’s own hermeneutic circle.
8. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Kristi Sweet Kant and the Culture of Discipline: Rethinking the Nature of Nature
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Kant’s notion of culture is typically treated in the context of his philosophy of history. In this paper, however, I explore the importance of culture for Kant’s doctrine of virtue, and argue that culture affords a new way—contra immortality—to think the possibility of attaining virtue. As I show, Kant identifies culture as a site of the self-effacement of nature in its influence on the will. Because of this, we see that for Kant the task of virtue encounters nature not only as obstacle, but also as something that serves, promotes, and advances virtue.
9. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Jeffrey Bernstein From Tragedy to Iconoclasm: The Changing Status of Hölderlin in Adorno’s Conception of History
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This paper explores the transformation which Adorno’s conception of history undergoes from his texts of the 1930s to those of the 1960s. This transformation involves a change in the role played by Hölderlin’s figure of transience. In the texts of the ’30s, Hölderlinian transience (in its Benjaminian interpretation) amounts to a moment of negative content within Adorno’s conception of history. In the texts of the ’60s, such transience becomes the very form of Adornian philosophical history. As such, his thinking of history changes from a tragic conception (emphasizing a “negative absolute”) to an iconoclastic one (emphasizing “absolute negativity”).
10. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Tom Sparrow A Physiology of Encounters: Spinoza, Nietzsche, and Strange Alliances
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The body is central to the philosophies of Spinoza and Nietzsche. Both thinkers are concerned with the composition of the body, its potential relations with other bodies, and the modifications which a body can undergo. Gilles Deleuze has contributed significantly to the relatively sparse literature which draws out the affinities between Spinoza and Nietzsche. Deleuze’s reconceptualization of the field of ethology enables us to bring Spinoza and Nietzsche together as ethologists of the body and to elaborate their common, physiological perspective on ethico-political composition. This is accomplished by reading the concepts of force, power, and affect as they are mobilized in their discussions of corporeity and intercorporeity. What emerges is a metaphysics of bodies that can simultaneously be regarded as a physiology of encounters, one which renders the friend/enemy distinction indiscernible and opens the door for a rethinking of the nature of political alliances. Both Spinoza and Nietzsche are shown to be invaluable resources for helping us imagine the potential of the individual’s body and the body politic.