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1. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Walter Brogan Letter from the Editor
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2. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
David Farrell Krell “A Double Tale I Shall Tell . . . ”: Empedocles and Hölderlin on Tragic Nature and Tragic Purification
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Countless poets and thinkers over the ages have identified closely with Empedocles of Acragas. Friedrich Hölderlin (1770–1843) is one of these. The threeversions of his mourning-play, The Death of Empedocles, give us an opportunity to conceive of the unity of the Empedoclean project—to confront nature and humanexistence alike as tragic. Central to this tragic view of both On Nature and Purifications, reputedly the two books of Empedocles, is the theme of doubling and duplicity, especially the presence in the (one) sphere of love and strife. Tragic doubling is a unity in perpetual dispersion.
3. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Eric C. Sanday Philosophy as the Practice of Musical Inheritance: Book II of Plato’s Republic
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Philosophy is often taken at its core to be an argumentative appeal to our own native capacity to judge the truth without bias. I claim in this paper that the very notion of unbiased truth represents a particular interest, viz., the interests of the political as such: the city. My thesis is that Socrates’ city in speech in Book II of the Republic exposes the injustice concealed at the core of demonstrative philosophy, and on this basis he goes on to offer an account of philosophical education based on a notion of musical inheritance.
4. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Lawrence J. Hatab Writing Knowledge in the Soul: Orality, Literacy, and Plato’s Critique of Poetry
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In this essay I take up Plato’s critique of poetry, which has little to do with epistemology and representational imitation, but rather the powerful effects that poeticperformances can have on audiences, enthralling them with vivid image-worlds and blocking the powers of critical reflection. By focusing on the perceived psychological dangers of poetry in performance and reception, I want to suggest that Plato’s critique was caught up in the larger story of momentous shifts in the Greek world, turning on the rise of literacy and its far-reaching effects in modifying the original and persisting oral character of Greek culture. The story of Plato’s Republic in certain ways suggests something essential for comprehending the development of philosophy in Greece (and in any culture, I would add): that philosophy, as we understand it, would not have been possible apart from the skills and mental transformations stemming from education in reading and writing; and that primary features of oral language and practice were a significant barrier to the development of philosophical rationality (and also a worthy competitor for cultural status and authority). Accordingly, I go on to argue that the critique of writing in the Phaedrus is neither a defense or orality per se, nor a dismissal of writing, but rather a defense of a literate soul over against orality and the indiscriminate exposure of written texts to unworthy readers.
5. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Jena G. Jolissaint Sacred Doorways: Tracing the Body in Plato’s Timaeus
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This paper develops a structural parallel between the maternal/feminine body in Greek mythology and the figure of the body in Plato’s Timaeus. HistoricallyPlato is often portrayed as a thinker who is concerned with the corporeal only insofar as philosophy is engaged in transcending bodily limitations. Yet the Timaeus is not engaged in producing a dualistic opposition between the intelligible and the sensible, nor is Platonic philosophy a rejection of life in favor of the perfect wisdom that comes with death. The following work will suggest that the Timaeus is a dialogue deeply concerned with the question of birth and corporeality and that this concern is disclosed (and not repressed) in and through Timaeus’s evocation of the body.
6. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Omar Rivera The Comedy of Patricide (or: A Passing Sense of Manliness): Socrates’ Overcoming of Andreia
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This paper is an investigation of the role of comedy in philosophical thinking, particularly of how comedy reveals the erotic dimension of philosophical thinking.In the first half of the paper, I show that the relation between comedy and Eros is a powerful means to understand in what way philosophy is not technē. Philosophy in its erotic and comedic character is, rather, engaged with an appearing of things as ‘birthed’ or ‘living.’ In the second part of the paper, I focus on the role of comedy in the Laches. There I study the complex relationship between philosophy as erotic thinking and andreia or ‘manliness.’ I show that philosophy as erotic must distinguish itself from manliness and that the enactment of this differentiation is the core of the Laches. At the same time, manliness is not simply something that philosophy should not concern itself with. Philosophy must ask the question ‘what is manliness?’ as a way of enacting manliness and overcoming it, in an overcoming through which philosophy comes to its own erotic core.
7. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Francisco J. Gonzalez Dialogue Discontinued: Heidegger on a Few Pages of Plato’s Theaetetus
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According to Heidegger’s own testimony, his 1940 essay, “Plato’s Doctrine of Truth,” is derived from a course he first delivered in 1931/32. Yet, while an interpretation of the Theaetetus is central to the argument in 1931/32, this dialogue is not so much as mentioned in the 1940 essay. The reason is that Heidegger’s own careful and insightful reading of the Theaetetus simply does not support his thesis regarding Plato’s “doctrine of truth.” But then the real interest of this reading is that it affords the opportunity for pursuing a genuine dialogue between Heidegger and Plato that was too abruptly discontinued
8. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Jussi Backman All of a Sudden: Heidegger and Plato’s Parmenides
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The paper will study an unpublished 1930–31 seminar where Heidegger reads Plato’s Parmenides, showing that in spite of his much-criticized habit of dismissing Plato as the progenitor of “idealist” metaphysics, Heidegger was quite aware of the radical potential of his later dialogues. Through a temporal account of the notion of oneness (to hen), the Parmenides attempts to reconcile the plurality of beings with the unity of Being. In Heidegger’s reading, the dialogue culminates in the notion of the “instant” (to exaiphnēs, Augenblick)—a high point in the entire metaphysical tradition—where the temporal plurality of presence and un-presence converges into a unified disclosure.
9. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Huaiyu Wang Mesotēs, Energeia, and Alētheia: Discovering an Ariadne’s Thread through Aristotle’s Moral and Natural Philosophy
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Drawing upon John Burnet’s interpretation of mesotēs, I explore the original meanings of this important Greek word and its inherent relations to the conceptsof formal cause, final cause, and actuality (energeia). My investigation reveals the concept of mesotēs as an Ariadne’s thread running through the whole system ofAristotle’s moral and natural philosophy. It also throws a new light on the implications of Aristotle’s definition of moral virtue and the essential role it plays in the truth of human existence.
10. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Aryeh Kosman Ontological Differences: Being and Substance in Book V of the Metaphysics
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Aristotle’s discussions, in Metaphysics Delta 7 and 8, of things designated by the terms we translate ‘being’ and ‘substance’ are revealing in several respects. The discussion in chapter 7 reveals the centrality in his thinking of the distinction between in itself and accidental being, a distinction different from that between substance and the other categories. The discussion in chapter 8 in turn reveals not only two related criteria for calling things substance, but a distinction as well between entities that are called substances and the substance being which is the principle of their being so called.