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1. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Walter Brogan Letter from the Editor
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2. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Martin Heidegger, Richard Capobianco, Marie Göbel On the Question Concerning the Determination of the Matter for Thinking
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3. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Adriano Bugliani, Rachel Barritt History and the Obvious
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Even if historiography had the aim to be more elevated than history, it never really succeeded in finding more order in the historical events than the order which the point of view of common sense could see in them. In a certain sense historical writing remained obvious, that is, common sense, just like the flowing of the events it narrated. On the contrary, philosophy always claimed to give an account of human reality which was intended to be superior to human reality. That’s the reason why philosophy never holds history in high esteem.
4. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Constantin Antonopoulos Static vs. Dynamic Paradoxes: In the End there Can Be Only One
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There are two antithetical classes of Paradoxes, The Runner and the Stadium, impregnated with infinite divisibility, which show that motion conflicts with the world, and which I call Static. And the Arrow, impregnated with nothing, which shows that motion conflicts with itself, and which I call Dynamic. The Arrow is stationary, because it cannot move at a point; or move, and be at more points than one at the same time, so being where it is not. Despite their contrast, however, both groups can be evaded, if motion is conducted over discrete points: (a) If no two points touch, there will be a step ahead, for there will now be nextness. And (b) if they do not touch, “here” and “there” (=not–here) will no longer be sufficiently proximal to have the body be where it is not. They will be separate. So the body is only where it is. Hence, both groups, despite their contrast, presuppose, each in its own way, the infinite proximity of any point with anynext. But the Dynamic group cannot survive what it needs. Suppose that “here” and “not–here” (i.e., “there”), are not discrete but infinitely proximal. Then Rest also would be self-contradictory. And it gets worse. For it takes two to make a contradiction, in this case, “here,” “not–here,” and their proximity. But, with regard to conditions of infinite proximity, “in the end there can be only one” (point), and hence no contradiction in the first place. The Dynamic paradoxes rest on a premise with which they are inconsistent. They need two of this, of which, in a different but just as equally vital connection, there can be only one. On the force of this remark, the Dynamic paradoxes, initially the stronger of the lot, actually turn out to be the weaker.
5. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
David Webb The Structure of Praxis and the Time of Eudaimonia
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The conception of time presented in Aristotle’s Physics IV has been supremely influential in the philosophical tradition. However, I shall argue that it proves to be inadequate to resolve a question arising from Aristotle’s own ethics; namely, the relation of ethical action to eudaimonia. As one explores this issue, a sense of time begins to emerge that calls for a reconsideration of the concepts of magnitude or dimension (megethos) and continuity (suneches) that determine the account of time found in Physics IV. This paper sets out the case for such a reconsideration and outlines the impact that it may have on the way we understand the temporal characteristics of eudaimonia.
6. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Murray Miles Analytic Method, the Cogito, and Descartes’s Argument for the Innateness of the Idea of God
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The analytic method by which Descartes discovered the first principle of his philosophy—cogito, ergo sum—is a unique cognitive process of direct insight and nonlogical inference. It differs markedly from inductive as well as deductive procedures, but also from older models of the direct noetic apprehension of first principles, notably those of Plato and Aristotle. However, a critical examination of Descartes’s argument for the innateness of the idea of God shows that there are serious obstacles in the way of his employment of the analytic method of discovery to reach this or any other conclusion about ideas that do not fall within the scope of ordinary human experience.
7. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Peter Hanly Strange Lands: Hölderlin, Kant, and the Language of the Beautiful
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A gradual intertwinement of beauty and concept can be seen to determine, in no small measure, the direction of the first half of the Critique of Judgment. This paper considers the decisive influence of this intertwinement on the work of Hölderlin. Links are forged between the productive indeterminacy of the “aesthetic ideas” and the development of Hölderlin’s poetics, particularly in regard to his understanding of the relation between the natural world and its naming. The focus of attention will be on certain passages of the novel Hyperion, and later, too, on the emergence of the figure of Empedocles.
8. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Anthony K. Jensen Nietzsche’s Interpretation of Heraclitus in Its Historical Context
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This paper aims to reexamine Nietzsche’s early interpretation of Heraclitus in an attempt to resolve some longstanding scholarly misconceptions. Rather than articulate similarities or delineate the lines of influence, this study engages Nietzsche’s interpretation itself in its historical setting, for the first time acknowledging the contextual framework in which he was working. This framework necessarily combines Nietzsche’s reading in philology, post-Kantian scientific naturalism, and of the romantic worldviews of Schopenhauer and Wagner. What emerges is not the acceptance of the metaphysical-flux doctrine so much as a natal form of his physiognomic theory ofperspectivism, a naturalistic and anti-teleological conception of flux, and a theory of justice as cosmodicy.
9. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Jeffrey L. Powell The Abyss of Repetition
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This essay concerns various difficulties encountered in the attempt to assess the relation between Heidegger and Nietzsche. More specifically, those difficulties are due to the notion and function of repetition in the texts of both Heidegger and Nietzsche. I attempt to provide an analysis of repetition in the Heidegger of Being and Time and surrounding texts (e.g., Plato’s Sophist and Grundbegriffe der aristotelischen Philosophie). Following this attempt, I then examine the transformed notion of repetition operative in the now famous text written at the time of the Nietzsche lectures, Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis), a repetition that goes by the name of crossing (Übergang). In my presentation of crossing, I attempt to draw Heidegger and Nietzsche together through the repetition of crossing and that of eternal recurrence of the same. Finally, I argue that what draws Heidegger and Nietzsche together is also what prevents us from distinguishing them in any traditional way, a distinction that could then be followed by any number of judgments regarding historical influence. That is, that what draws the two to thinking is what both draws them together, which is abyssal repetition, and problematizes any attempt to distinguish them.
10. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Gavin Rae Marcuse, Aesthetics, and the Logic of Modernity
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Herbert Marcuse is a thinker associated with one of the most radical and totalising critiques of modernity ever produced. Marcuse maintains that contemporary capitalist society is a one-dimensional prison that is capable of perpetuating itself by incorporating any criticism into its logic. Despite this totalisation, Marcuse insists that the realm of aesthetics is capable of escaping the logic of modern capitalism and establishing an alternative society that is grounded in an alternative non-repressive logic. However, it is argued that not only does Marcuse ground this transformation in a specific economic formation thereby ensuring that it is economics not aestheticsthat grounds this social transformation, but his argument is based on a simplistic understanding of the relation between the aesthetic as a means of affecting individual transformation and the aesthetic affecting social transformation.
11. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Michael Kelly A Phenomenological (Husserlian) Defense of Bergson’s “Idealistic Concession”
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When summarizing the findings of his 1896 Matter and Memory, Bergson claims: “That every reality has . . . a relation with consciousness—this is what we concede to idealism.” Yet Bergson’s 1896 text presents the theory of “pure perception,” which, since it accounts for perception according to the brain’s mechanical transmissions, apparently leaves no room for subjective consciousness. Bergson’s theory of pure perception would appear to render his idealistic concession absurd. In this paper, I attempt to defend Bergson’s idealistic concession. I argue that Bergson’s account of cerebral transmissions at the level of pure perception necessarily entails a theory of temporality, an appeal to a theory of time-consciousness that justifies his idealistic concession.
12. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Lauren Swayne Barthold Friendship and the Ethics of Understanding
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In the following essay I explore the hermeneutical significance of Gadamer’s writings on the relational, and thus ethical, components of understanding. First, I look at his discussion in Truth and Method of the significance of the “I-Thou” relation for interpretation. I then turn to his 1985 essay on Aristotle’s notion of friendship, “Friendship and Self-Knowledge: Reflections on the Role of Friendship in Greek Ethics.” My interest is to think about the implications of these writings for his theory of hermeneutics in general. I conclude that both motifs indicate the importance of openness to the other that leads to a deeper realization of our solidarity with the other.
13. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
David J. Kangas Luther and Modernity: Reiner Schürmann’s Topology of the Modern in Broken Hegemonies
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Prevailing philosophical genealogies of modernity trace its origin to Descartes’s metaphysics of representation. This is true of both Hegel and Heidegger. By contrast, Reiner Schürmann’s Broken Hegemonies links modernity to the theological thinking of MartinLuther. I ask what is at stake philosophically in this difference. What Schürmann’s reading shows is that, under the figure of a passive transcendentalism, Luther inaugurates the epoch in which self-consciousness reigns as an ultimate principle. The broader importanceof Schürmann’s reading is to identify a “recessed” and “obedient” side of modernity—a side tragically and covertly linked to its more familiar self-assertive side. Schürmann’s resituating of modernity allows a crucial corrective to many contemporary efforts at a critiqueof the modern. In particular, it suggests that to restrict one’s critique of modernity to the critique of representational or egological consciousness (as happens for example in Heidegger, Levinas and Marion) is to run the risk of a repetition of its obedient, recessed side.
14. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Walter Brogan Letter from the Editor
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15. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Ammon Allred The Divine Logos: Plato, Heraclitus, and Heidegger in the Sophist
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In this paper, I address the way in which Plato’s Sophist rethinks his lifelong dialogue with Heraclitus. Plato uses a concept of logos in this dialogue that is much more Heraclitean than his earlier concept of the logos. I argue that he employs this concept in order to resolve those problems with his earlier theory of ideas that he had brought to light in the Parmenides. I argue that the concept of the dialectic that the Stranger develops rejects, rather than continues, the idea reached at the end of the Theatetus that knowledge has to be grounded in a nous aneu logou (a non-logical, divine intellect) even while the Stranger appropriates the concerns that lead to his conclusion. Ultimately, I suggest that my differentiation of the later Plato’s appropriation of the tradition from Aristotle’s appropriation of that tradition is closely related to the re-thinking of the full sense of logos in the later Heidegger on Heraclitus and on Parmenides. I end by suggesting that the question that Plato and Heraclitus pose to us is to ask what such a divine logos tells about human ways of knowing.
16. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Anthony Kammas Homo Deus and the Dice Throw: Courage and Chaos in Greek Antiquity
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What lessons are there yet to learn from the works of Homer and Hesiod for political life? These ancient texts vividly illustrated an ethic which insisted that one must strive to maintain a consistent character against a chaotic world and one’s own inconstant human nature. This essay, therefore, recovers a long dismissed conception of the world, as well as a notion of virtue that was cultivated to steel one’s self against the tragic turns of radical, ironic chance that are always a possibility in a kosmos sprung from chaos.
17. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Robert Metcalf The Trial of Socrates in Plato’s Symposium
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While many scholarly interpretations of Plato’s Symposium express skepticism toward the content of Alcibiades’ speech, this essay argues Alcibiades’ portrait of Socrates is credible on the whole, is consistent with the portrayal of Socrates elsewhere, and is of great significance for our understanding of philosophical eros as exemplified in Socrates’ philosophical activity. Furthermore, by putting Socrates on trial for hybris, Alcibiades’ speech raises important philosophical questions as to whether the contempt with which he treated Alcibiades is not part and parcel of the wholesale contemning of human particularity implicit in Diotima’s teaching about eros.
18. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Christopher Eagle Right Names: On Heidegger’s Closet Cratylism
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In the Cratylus, Soc rates discusses with Cratylus and Hermogenes the question of whether names are merely arbitrary or in some sense ‘right,’ that is, motivated by the nature of the things they designate. In this article, I examine Heidegger’s controversial project of unearthing archē Greek terms in the specific light of the Cratylus and the tradition of “Cratylisms” which it has fostered. Having demonstrated the underlying Cratylist tendencies behind Heidegger’s conviction in the inherent ‘appropriateness’ of many Greek keywords, I point out some of the problems posed by this closet Cratylism for Heidegger’s conception of primordial language as well as his critique of the correspondence theory of truth.
19. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Ashley Pryor Socrates in Drag: Images of Helen of Troy in Plato’s Phaedrus
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By way of the complex topography of the Phaedrus, Plato raises the question of his authorship and the consequences it has for the reader’s reception of Socrates, by likening Socrates’ changing status in the text to the complex mythological traditions surrounding the rape and abduction of Helen of Troy (amidst a grove of plane trees). As Socrates is likened to the excessive and “duplicitous” Helen and her various “eidolic” apeareances, the question of the dialogue appears to shift from “who is Socrates?” to a more postmodern formulation: which Socrates?
20. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Brian Harding The Virtue of Suicide and the Suicide of Virtue: A Reading of Cicero’s On Ends and Tusculan Disputations
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This paper argues that suicide is very important for Cicero’s articulation and defense of the philosophical life. Happiness, according to Cicero, is dependent upon a willingness to commit suicide. I explain why this is the case through a discussion of On Ends and the Tusculan Disputations. I conclude with some critical remarks about Cicero’s argument, with reference to book XIX of Augustine’s City of God.