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1. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 3
Paul Moyaert No Ethics without Resistance: How Lacan Understands Moral Sensibility
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This article pushes Lacan into the area of moral philosophy. In the posthumously published Conversations of Goethe with Eckermann and Soret, Goethe expresses his perplexity concerning a short passage in the tragedy of Antigone in which the eponymous character gives to Creon a rather extravagant justification of her deadly gesture. This essay contends that Lacan’s reference to Goethe in his Ethics of Psychoanalysis clarifies what is at stake in his dialogues with Aristotle and Kant. Moral sensibility gravitates towards contingencies that hinder a subject from fully participating in the market of exchangeable goods and the realm of social justice (utilitarianism) or the universal demands of a categorical imperative. In the tragedy of Antigone, a contingent blood tie incarnates a symbolic value that accumulates such enormous power that it isolates Antigone from her social context and even from her desire for self-preservation. Moral sensibility circulates around those areas in which an individual is separated from the universal.
2. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 3
Deborah Cook Notes on Individuation in Adorno and Foucault
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The social construction of the individual is a central theme in critical social theory. Theodor W. Adorno and Michel Foucault address this theme throughout their work, offering important insights into individual identity and autonomy in the West. For Adorno, of course, individuation can be fully understood only with the aid of Freudian theory. However, since Foucault often criticized psychoanalysis, the paper will begin by comparing Adorno’s and Foucault’s positions on Freud’s theories of instinct and repression. Following this discussion, I shall examine Adorno’s and Foucault’s distinct views on domination, comparing individuation as an effect of exchange relations in Adorno and of power relations in Foucault. This comparison will issue in a consideration of precisely what is being shaped into an individual. The final section of the paper will draw conclusions about the central features of individuation, while broaching the problem of whether power relations and exchange relations are now so powerful that resistance to them is effectively futile.
3. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 3
Kasper Lysemose Responsiveness and Technology: On Touch and the Ecotechnie--From Aristotle to Jean-Luc Nancy
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The line drawn in this paper is a long one, even far-fetched. It goes all the way from a phenomenology of touch beginning with Aristotle, and from there it will not be finished before it arrives at our present technological condition—a condition for which the French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy has given us the word ecotechnie. The title of this drawing will be ‘responsiveness and technology’ as it connects exactly these two phenomena. Not in such a way, however, that the paper begins with responsiveness and ends with technology. Rather, the line will begin with their intricate and intimate connection and then unfold until this connection is wholly exposed. And so the paper begins with a technical responsiveness to be found in touch; and it ‘ends’ with a worldwide responsive technology—which will in a sense prove to be without end.
4. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 3
Matthew Sharpe How It's Not the Chrisippus You Read: On Cooper, Hadot, Epictetus, and Stoicism as a Way of Life
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This article challenges John M. Cooper’s reading of ancient Stoicism as a way of life, one which sets its back against Pierre Hadot’s notion that Stoicism (or the other ancient schools, excepting Epicureanism) could have philosophically advocated regimens of non-cognitive practices of the kind documented by Hadot. Part 1 examines Arrian’s Discourses, following A. A. Long in seeing in this text Arrian’s portrait of Epictetus as a philosophical persona: one bringing together the different virtues of Socrates, Diogenes, and Zeno. Part 2 then examines Epictetus’s Handbook (Encheiridion), seeing in this text—in contrast to Hadot and Sellars—a distinct set of prescriptions for the kinds of existential practices the Roman Stoics advocated, not in place of philosophical argumentation, but as a means to habituate aspirants’ conduct to ways of thinking, desiring and acting harmonious with their philosophical conclusions.
5. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 3
Ileana Szymanski Iphigenia vs. Abraham: Problematizing the Knight of Faith in Kierkegaard's "Fear and Trembling"
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The story of the binding of Isaac, also known as the akedah (Genesis 22), has been the subject of many important philosophical commentaries and discussions. One of these is Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling, first published in 1843. Comparing Kierkegaard’s characterization of Abraham as the paradigm of the knight of faith with the character of Iphigenia from Euripides’s Iphigenia at Aulis, it becomes apparent that Iphigenia exhibits characteristics that make her fit the same paradigm. In order to account for the behavior of both Abraham and Iphigenia, I use Aristotle’s notion of ἕξις (habit or state) as it appears in Nicomachean Ethics II.5.
6. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 3
Christopher Watkin Ricœur and the Autonomy of Philosophy: A Reappraisal
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Paul Ricoeur repeatedly maintained that his philosophical reflection was autonomous from theological influence. Those who seek to contest this view have hitherto sought to deny the autonomy of philosophy from theology, but this article makes a more radical argument: not that philosophy is not autonomous, but that autonomy is not philosophical. According to Ricoeur’s own understanding of the structure of philosophical systems, the very notion of autonomy to which philosophy makes claim can only be thought as a theological notion. The argument has two parts. First, philosophy is theological in its own structure, and secondly, the relation between philosophy and theology can only be thought theologically.
7. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 3
Abi Doukhan Beyond Intentionality?: Levinas's Concept of Ethical Sinngebung
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In one of the sections of Of God Who Comes to Mind, Levinas expressly mentions the need to go “beyond intentionality” as far as the description of the ethical rapport goes. Such language on the part of Levinas has compelled certain commentators to maintain that Levinas “has gone beyond the notion of intentionality.” This abandonment of phenomenological description brings to the fore, however, a number of problems. Indeed, if the other does not allow herself to be reduced to a phenomenological description, how then are we to account for that other? This essay will attempt to respond to these questions and show that, while Levinas does rework phenomenological conceptuality, he does not abandon phenomenological discourse in his descriptions of the ethical encounter. Our demonstration will focus more precisely on the concept of intentionality which, we shall show, is never abandoned by Levinas. Rather, it is reworked by Levinas in order to account for the other in a way that respects her alterity, thereby allowing for an ethical Sinngebung to take place.
8. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 3
Jordan Glass Theoretical Responsibility: Levinas on Language and the Ethical Status of the Philosophical Question
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This paper is an investigation into the double meaning of “ethics” as both a practical endeavor and an area of theoretical inquiry, two meanings which both necessitate and eclipse one another. This investigation is carried out by way of analysis of the Levinasian claim that ethics ought to precede ontology, and through a detailed analysis of Levinas’s philosophy of language.
9. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 3
Jennifer Rosato Sartre and Levinas as Phenomenologists
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Almost from its origins, phenomenology has been modified in various ways by ‘phenomenologists’ who are inspired by Husserl but who deviate in significant ways from certain details of his approach. Jean-Paul Sartre and Emmanuel Levinas are two prime examples. While each is widely identified as a phenomenologist, each also departs from Husserl, the former by using phenomenology to pursue ontological questions and the latter by describing non-intentional modes of appearing. Here I argue that each is nevertheless rightly called a phenomenologist for at least two reasons. First, each undertakes a careful study of the structure and contents of conscious experience in order to describe the foundations of the subject-object correlation and identify its conditions. Secondly, each accomplishes this by developing the notion of intentionality, focusing on the ways in which the intentional character of consciousness enables its lived encounter with what is transcendent to it.
book reviews
10. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 3
Giovanna Borradori The Markers of Deconstructive Citizenship: A Corrective to the Constructionist Approach to Justice
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11. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 3
Jeffrey Bell Experiments in Thinking: An Assay of Smith's "Essays on Deleuze"
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12. Philosophy Today: Volume > 58 > Issue: 3
Elaine Kelly There's a Promise Hidden in the Ruins of a Pure Ethics: Reviewing Anderson's "Ethics under Erasure"
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