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special topic: the original version of heidegger's "what is metaphysics?"
1. Philosophy Today: Volume > 62 > Issue: 3
Martin Heidegger, Dieter Thoma, Ian Alexander Moore, Gregory Fried What Is Metaphysics? Original Version / Was ist Metaphysik? Urfassung
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2. Philosophy Today: Volume > 62 > Issue: 3
Dieter Thomä, Ian Alexander Moore, Gregory Fried Venturing to the Brink of Philosophy: Commentary on the Original Version of Martin Heidegger's "What Is Metaphysics?"
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articles
3. Philosophy Today: Volume > 62 > Issue: 3
Iddo Dickmann “Infinite Responsibility” and the Pitfall of Negation: A Deleuzian Critique of Levinas
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I shall show that Levinas’s idea of infinite responsibility draws on Blanchot’s mechanism of “worklessness” which in turn explicitly draws on Gide’s mechanism of retroaction and the mise en abyme—a story that doubles itself within itself—which the latter accounts for. However, a false picture of mise en abyme and worklessness brought Levinas to two interrelated misconceptions. First, of the act of responsibility as inherently futile. Second, of repetition as “mechanical,” comprising instances which are allocated to pre-established loci upon a plenitude: A totalitarianism which fits badly with Levinas’s pursuit of otherness. Deleuze, on the other hand, drawing the correct lesson from mise en abyme, established that an instance of repetition—reconstituting all previous ones—generates the very ground upon which it emerges. Accordingly, in a Deleuzian ethics, the absolute Other has no existence prior to the act of attending his needs. The act is therefore “fated to succeed.”
4. Philosophy Today: Volume > 62 > Issue: 3
François Jaran On the Ontological Origins of Ethics: A Philosophical-Anthropological Approach
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Heidegger’s critique addressed to philosophical anthropology often leads readers to forget the importance of the question of human beings in his writings. The recent publication of the Black Notebooks and some unpublished lectures shed new light on these philosophical problems and help us define more clearly what it would mean to develop the foundation of anthropological knowledge ontologically. This paper argues that while dealing with mythical existence and with the difference between animals and human beings, Heidegger seized the opportunity to speculate on the ontological origins of ethical life. The paper concludes by showing how Sloterdijk’s attempt to “anthropologize” Heidegger fails to follow the demands of fundamental ontology.
5. Philosophy Today: Volume > 62 > Issue: 3
Dries Deweer Ricoeur and Anglo-American Political Philosophy: Liberalism, Communitarianism, and Republicanism
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It is a common conviction that Ricoeur’s main contribution to Anglo-American political philosophy is to be found in the dialogue he tried to establish between liberalism and communitarianism. I argue that the depth of Ricoeur’s political philosophy is better served by situating it not only with regard to liberalism and communitarianism, but especially with regard to republicanism. This article shows how Ricoeur’s political philosophy—with its focus on the so-called “political paradox”—contains the main components of contemporary republicanism, with its stress on active citizenship and mixed constitution as necessary prerequisites for freedom, interpreted as the absence of illegitimate domination. I also argue that there are, however, significant differences between Ricoeur’s theory and the main currents in contemporary republicanism, civic republicanism, and civic humanism, because of his reliance on a positive conception of freedom on the one hand and his emphasis on the fragility of politics on the other hand.
6. Philosophy Today: Volume > 62 > Issue: 3
Facundo Vega “God is Death”: The Oblivion of Esotericism and Stimmungen in Leo Strauss’s Heidegger
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Leo Strauss’s critical engagement with Martin Heidegger’s thought is widely recognized. Central to Strauss’s depiction of Heidegger’s intellectual and political failures is the latter’s disdain for political philosophy. For Strauss, in fact, Heidegger overlooked important inquiry into the good political order insofar as he replaced political philosophy with a belief in Dasein’s finitude as key to attaining a virtuous life. However, Strauss’s unfavorable rendition of Heidegger’s mortalism, the article explains, neglects esoteric maneuvers—imbued with political inflections—advanced by the author of Sein und Zeit. By analyzing Heidegger’s esotericism as well as his search for the permanence of the secret and inscrutable, the article shows how Strauss disregards Heideggerian sigetics (Sigetik) when foregrounding what he views as Heidegger’s disdain for political philosophy. Through the theoretical trajectory proposed by this essay, in sum, we will see that Heidegger’s exceptionalist esotericism is what Strauss ignored.
7. Philosophy Today: Volume > 62 > Issue: 3
Anya Daly Merleau-Ponty’s Aesthetic Interworld: From Primordial Percipience to Wild Logos
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The overall aim of this paper is to defend the value of the arts as uniquely instructive regarding philosophical questions. Specifically, I aim to achieve two things: firstly, to show that through the phenomenological challenge to dualist and monist ontologies the key debate in aesthetics regarding subjective response and objective judgment is reconfigured and resolved. I argue that Merleau-Ponty’s analyses complement and complete Kant’s project. Secondly, I propose that through Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological interrogations of the creative process the broader issue of the viability of his relational nondualist ontology is defended against accusations that it has not gone beyond dualism or that it has collapsed into a monism.
8. Philosophy Today: Volume > 62 > Issue: 3
A. Özgür Gürsoy The Limits of Experience: Idealist Moments in Foucault’s Conception of Critical Reflection
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In Foucault’s theoretical writings, the problem of experience occurs in two shapes: his (earlier) discussions of “limit-experience” and his (later) definition of “experience.” In this article, I propose an interpretation of the concept of “limit-experience” in Foucault’s historiography according to which experience is already limit-experience, and not its static and confining other. I claim that Foucault’s concept of experience involves spatially and temporally indexed, rule-governed practices and that his interrogation of experience becomes critical not by referring to some other of reason but by rendering visible the flip side of the limits of our own space of reasons. The argument in support of my interpretation of Foucault develops in two parts: 1) Foucault’s “methodology” should be seen not as historicizing the transcendental, but as giving it up. 2) This renunciation of the transcendental is nonetheless only intelligible and motivated against the background of the problematic of (the limits of) experience in Kant and Hegel. It thereby becomes possible to provide not a foundation but a justification for a Foucaultian critique of the limits of experience.
9. Philosophy Today: Volume > 62 > Issue: 3
Philippe Van Haute Why Kant Never Mentioned Paedophilia: A Foucaultian Hypothesis
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Why does Kant, who extensively wrote on sexual life in all its diversity, never mention paedophilia? I elaborate a hypothesis on the basis of the work of Foucault and Hacking: paedophilia as a “possibility of personhood” (Hacking) only came into being at the end of the nineteenth century. This “possibility” is linked to the introduction of a “deployment of sexuality” over and against a “deployment of alliance.” It is only at the very moment that sexuality starts being conceived in terms of feelings, fantasies, and capacities that can be different in adults and children that propositions on paedophilia become intelligible. This was not yet the case in Kant’s day. I illustrate the distinction between these two “deployments” further through analysis of the approach of the Hungarian psychoanalyst Sándor Ferenczi. Finally, I state that this debate should not be reduced to epistemology and that Foucault’s “deployments” or Hacking’s “possibilities of personhood” are rooted in the material conditions of our existence.
10. Philosophy Today: Volume > 62 > Issue: 3
Mariana Alessandri Interpreting Unamuno’s Quixotism as a Religion
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Scholars interested in Miguel de Unamuno’s obsession with Don Quixote usually refer to his Quixotism as a philosophy or “way of life” that Unamuno eventually outgrew. Unamuno himself called Quixotism a philosophy and an ethics, but he also called it a religion. This is the most accurate characterization of Quixotism, given how it functioned in both his works and his life. Unamuno’s Quixotism incorporates many typical religious features like a god figure, followers, worship, an idea of faith, an eschatology, and a sacred text. This essay: 1) paints Quixotism as a religion and shows how it functioned throughout Unamuno’s works, and 2) argues that Quixotism was not a phase for Unamuno. Unamuno created and practiced the religion of Quixotism throughout his life, even as he was wrestling with Christianity, so that a comprehensive understanding of Unamuno’s struggle with faith must include the study of his Quixotism.