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Displaying: 101-120 of 485 documents

101. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Alan Pichanick Sôphrosunê, Socratic Therapy, and Platonic Drama in Plato’s Charmides
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Plato’s Charmides suggests that there are really four notions that are deeply connected with one another, and in order to understand sôphrosunê we need to get a proper hold on them and their relation: these four notions are Knowledge of Ignorance, Self-Knowledge, Knowledge of the Good, and Knowledge of the Whole. My aim is to explore these four notions in two stages. First, I will try to explain Socrates’s notion of knowledge of ignorance, so that the nature and coherence of this Socratic idea will come into focus, and shed some light on its connection to self-knowledge and knowledge of the good. Second, I will turn to explain what I call the origin (archê) or even “truth” of Socrates’s conception of sôphrosunê by examining the idea of the physician of the soul in Plato’s Charmides and Plato’s use of the dialogue form, and thereby make a connection to knowledge of the whole. I will show that seeing sôphrosunê as “whole-mindedness,” connects to Socrates’s description of our in-between state as human beings, and that the study of this “in-between-ness,” is the supremely insightful glimpse into Socrates and his philosophical activity (perhaps the very definition of it).
102. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Katharine Loevy Al-Farabi’s Images
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Al-Farabi understands politically useful images to be good imitations of essences, and also effective means of persuasion for geographically and historically situated communities. Such images, moreover, are what constitute the virtuous religions of virtuous cities. At play in al-Farabi’s account of images is thus a relationship between image, religion, truth, and history, and one that brings with it certain implications for how we understand the nature of the human being. We are creatures of truth, of the grasping of essences, and hence of universals, and yet we are differently persuaded by images depending upon our geography and our history. And since historically diverse images can imitate the same universal essences, many different religions can nevertheless be “true,” and hence can function in such a way as to orient geographically and historically specific people toward happiness. Al-Farabi’s account of images is thus at the heart of his political theory of religion, and provides the basis for his affirmation of religious pluralism in relation to the virtuous city. The following essay considers the relationship between images and religious pluralism in al-Farabi’s political writings, and shows as well that it implies a correlating theory of the human being.
103. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
David Kaye Descartes and Nietzsche on the Soul of Man and Life-Everlasting
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In this work I defend, not the content, but, rather, the logical coherence of Descartes’s system by insisting on the ontological priority of substance over attributes in spite of the fact that Descartes seems, on occasion, to suggest otherwise. This, in turn, however, allows us to better grasp the nature of Descartes’ Augustinian conception of the soul, and what it might resemble should it be granted God’s concurrence, and, thus, eternal life. At the same time, I demonstrate, by means of his Thomistic inheritance, the philosophically sound reasons why Descartes leaves these issues somewhat opaque. Finally, these reflections lead us to Nietzsche, and by contrasting the latter’s thoughts on science and freedom to those of Descartes we are led to what, for Nietzsche, would be the ultimate desideratum of such Cartesian longings for the ‘tranquility’ and ‘happiness’ of life-everlasting: a ‘will to nothingness.’
104. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Andre Santos Campos Spinoza on Justice: Understanding the Suum Cuique
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Spinoza studies have paid little attention to the concept of justice for centuries. However, he refers to it quite often in different contexts, especially in his mature texts. More specifically, he defines it as synonymous with suum cuique tribuere, even though he fails to provide a reasonable account of how this traditional legal expression fits into his philosophical system. This article shows that there is a relevant philosophical dimension in Spinoza’s treatment of the suum cuique that emerges out of his notion of equality. The main section identifies the connection between Spinoza’s references on justice as suum cuique and the different conceptions of equality that are inherent in his system (an ontological, a metaphysical, a productive (ethical), a legal, and a political equality). The conclusion tries to answer the question of whether such an understanding of the suum cuique as equality constitutes a theory of justice or not.
105. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Erik Stephenson An Ethical Justification for Political Resistance in Spinoza
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This paper demonstrates that an ethical justification for political resistance can be found in Spinoza’s writings. It establishes that important elements of his ethical analysis of politics entail an ethical imperative to actively resist any attempt on the part of the sovereign to abolish or unduly curtail freedom of thought and expression. It shows that, under such circumstances, active resistance will be in accord with reason: (1) the less it is motivated by any species of hatred; and (2) the more it serves to empower people. Since freedom of thought and expression necessarily involves the freedom to engage in the philosophical critique of prejudices, and the latter can itself function as a form of political resistance, the ethical imperative to preserve libertas philosophandi amounts to an enjoinder to preserve a form of perpetual resistance within the normal functioning of the rationally-ordered state.
106. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Terje Sparby Rudolf Steiner’s Idea of Freedom: As Seen in the Panorama of Hegel’s Dialectic
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Rudolf Steiner’s work contains many different claims about human freedom spread out in over three hundred books. A basic challenge for the research on Steiner is to create an overview of his idea of freedom, but also to consider potential conflicting claims. One of the main tensions in Steiner’s work is the one between his early philosophical and later anthroposophical accounts of freedom. The former focuses on individual freedom while the latter puts the emphasis on the greater whole in which the human being exists. Hegel’s idea of freedom can be used to create a comprehensive and coherent understanding of Steiner’s different perspectives on freedom. In particular, using Hegel’s notion of being-with-oneself in otherness, the freedom that the individual can experience within the whole can be seen as an immanent development of the individual itself.
107. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Michael Marder To Open a Site (with Heidegger): Toward a Phenomenology of Ecological Politics
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Drawing on the texts of Martin Heidegger, at times interpreted against the grain, I tackle the relation between ecology and economy in our era of rampant economism. I begin by outlining the ecological and economic variations on ethics and politics, with the view to the logos and nomos of dwelling (oikos). Thereafter, I consider the rise of a worldless, homeless world from the undue emphasis placed on nomos, which is but the active (actively gathering) dimension of logos. This lopsidedness, I argue, coincides with and is reinforced by the deterioration of ontological rank to valuation and, ultimately, to numeric orderability. Further, I focus on the excesses of a purely economist comportment that, emboldened by the inflation of nomos, devastates “economy” itself from within by converting the elemental fold for dwelling first into a manageable territory and finally into an empire. I conclude with the thesis that things, sharply contrasted to objects, maintain the possibility of an ecological existence, recalling us to the lost dwelling.
108. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Bryan Lueck A Fact, As It Were: Obligation, Indifference, and the Question of Ethics
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According to Immanuel Kant, the objective validity of obligation is given as a fact of reason, which forces itself upon us and which requires no deduction of the kind that he had provided for the categories in the Critique of Pure Reason. This fact grounds a moral philosophy that treats obligation as a good that trumps all others and that presents the moral subject as radically responsible, singled out by an imperatival address. Based on conceptions of indifference and facticity that Charles Scott has articulated in his recent work, I argue that these broadly Kantian commitments are mistaken. More specifically, I argue that the fact of obligation is given along with a dimension of indifference that disrupts the hierarchical relation between moral and non-moral goods and that renders questionable the unconditional character of responsibility.
109. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
María del Rosario Acosta López The Resistance of Beauty: On Schiller’s Kallias Briefe in Response to Kant’s Aesthetics
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In this article I address Schiller’s first response in his Kallias Briefe or Concerning the Beautiful, Letters to Gottfried Körner to Kant’s analysis of the beautiful in the first part of the Critique of Judgment. My main intention in the paper is to investigate Schiller’s emphasis on the notion of resistance (Widerstand) in his reading of Kant’s concept of beauty, and to ask how does this relate to Schiller’s own approach to aesthetics as an ethico-political realm. I am particularly interested in the turn, in Schiller’s case, from Kant’s critique of aesthetics to the idea of aesthetics as critique.
110. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Christopher Moore Spartan Philosophy and Sage Wisdom in Plato's Protagoras
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This paper argues that Socrates’s baffling digression on Spartan philosophy, just before he interprets Simonides’s ode, gives a key to the whole of Plato’s Protagoras. It undermines simple distinctions between competition and cooperation in philosophy, and thus in the discussions throughout the dialogue. It also prepares for Socrates’s interpretation of Simonides’s ode as a questionable critique of Pittacus’s sage wisdom “Hard it is to be good.” This critique stands as a figure for the dialogue’s contrast between Protagoras’s and Socrates’s pedagogical methods. Protagoras advances an emulative view of education against Socrates’s self-knowledge model. The paper concludes with some thoughts on Protagoras’s claim that talking about poetry is as much about virtue as the earlier back-and-forth exchange about virtue’s unity and teachability.
111. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Andrew Benjamin Barring Fear: Philo and the Hermeneutic Project
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The aim of the paper is to investigate the role of allegory in Philo and spe­cifically in his text On the Migration of Abraham. This involves the twofold move of arguing that even though Philo remains a Platonist and that his language is Platonic in orientation what occurs is a transformation of seeing, which is an immediate activity, into reading, which is always mediate. The second elements stems from this insistence on mediation. It results in freeing allegory from the hold of the allegorical/literal op­position. Allegory is transformed as a result in the name of an ineliminable allegoresis.
112. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Joshua M. Hall A Divinely Tolerant Political Ethics: Dancing with Aurelius
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Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations constitutes an important source and subject for Michel Foucault’s 1981 lectures at the Collège de France, translated into English as Hermeneutics of the Subject. One recurring theme in these lectures is the deployment by Hellenistic/Roman philosophers such as Aurelius of the practice and figure of dance. Inspired by this discussion, the present essay offers a close reading of dance in the Meditations, followed by a survey of the secondary literature on this subject. Overall, I will attempt to show that, despite Aurelius’s self-consciously critical comportment toward dance, dance nevertheless performs a critical function in the construction of what I will term his “political ethics.” This political ethics, I will argue, is composed of an ethics of patient tolerance funded by the generosity that flows from the micro-political power generated by cultivating the god (or daemon) that Aurelius identifies within each of us.
113. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Cameron Bassiri Temporality and Alterity in Descartes's Meditations
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In this article I analyze the themes of temporality and alterity as they were developed over the first three of Descartes’s Meditations. I discuss the temporality of the evil deceiver, as well as the implicit theory of time and time-consciousness in the Second Meditation. I show that this theory of time is purely subjective, continuous, pre-numerical, and independent of local motion and the body, thus making it independent of Aristotle’s theory of time. I then explain God’s continuous creation of time and the discontinuous theory of time Descartes develops in the Third Meditation. Moreover, I show that there is an ontological and temporal priority of the Other over the self, and that temporal self-consciousness is necessarily also consciousness of God, his continuous creation of time, time itself, and other finite substances.
114. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Beth Lord The Concept of Equality in Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise
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Spinoza recognizes that in a democracy, ideals of freedom and equality shape our thoughts about ourselves as human beings. This paper examines Spinoza’s concept of equality in the Theological-Political Treatise, and considers its complexi­ties and ambiguities in light of his theories of freedom and democracy there and in the Ethics. Because Spinoza takes human beings to have unequal power, he does not believe we are naturally or intrinsically equal. Nor does he think equality is good in itself. Equality is good to the extent that it promotes human flourishing. The kind of equality Spinoza endorses is economic equality, which encourages human beings to become more powerful, virtuous, and free. I demonstrate this with reference to Spinoza’s discussion of the state of nature, democracy, and the Hebrew state in the Theological-Political Treatise and his remarks on charity, economic exchange, and their associated affects in the Ethics.
115. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
J. Colin McQuillan A Merely Logical Distinction: Kant's Objection to Leibniz and Wolff
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Throughout his career, Immanuel Kant objects that Leibniz and Wolff make the distinction between sensible and intellectual cognition into a “merely logical” distinction. Although it is not clear that anyone in the Leibnizian-Wolffian tradition actually holds this view, Kant’s objection helps to define the “real” distinction between sensible and intellectual cognition that he defends in his inaugural dissertation in 1770. Kant raises the same objection against Leibniz and Wolff in the Critique of Pure Reason, but replaces the “real” distinction he defends in his inaugural dissertation with a new “transcendental” distinction between intuitions and concepts. This paper examines Kant’s objection to Leibniz and Wolff and the different alternatives he proposes, in order to highlight an important element in the development of his critical philosophy.
116. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Patricia I. Vieira Perpetual Peace: Kant’s History of the Future
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This essay discusses Immanuel Kant’s project of perpetual peace. Kant runs into several difficulties in this undertaking, a series of “political antinomies” such as the opposing goals of nature or providence and of individuals, and the competing models of a federation of states or a world state to enforce perpetual peace. I argue that cosmopolitan right is Kant’s answer to the inconsistencies of his political philosophy and of his philosophy of history. Cosmopolitanism brings the individual back into historical development by merging the political rights each person enjoys within a state with the relentless progress of the human race as a whole. Further, it provides a transition from a federation of states to a global political system of rights. I contend that cosmopolitanism can be regarded as the political supplement to the categorical imperative that applies universally to all rational beings.
117. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Jonathan Head Schopenhauer on the Development of the Individual
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This paper formulates Schopenhauer’s account of the development of the individual, with emphasis on the drive towards discerning truth about the essence of the world, be it through philosophy, religion, or the natural sciences, and the concomitant search for consolation in the face of the pessimistic truths about human existence. In this regard, the paper analyses the often largely ignored passages ‘On Man’s Need for Metaphysics’ and ‘On the Different Periods of Life,’ in order to reflect upon how he views the cognitive and therapeutic needs that all individuals feel throughout their lives, and how these can evolve through the different stages of life, from childhood, through maturity, to old age. Such an account can help fill out our understanding not only of various parts of Schopenhauer’s system, but also of the wider therapeutic aims of his philosophy.
118. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Amy L. McKiernan Nietzsche’s Prefaces as Practices of Self-Care
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Although Nietzsche scholars have paid close attention to his aphoristic and rhetorical style, few have focused on his practice of writing prefaces. In this paper, I engage in a close reading of Nietzsche’s prefaces and identify five themes present in his earlier and later prefaces: (1) he speaks directly to his readers, (2) he stresses the necessity of slow and careful reading, (3) he encourages readers to trust themselves, (4) he refers to himself as a herald, and (5) he uses combative and polemical language to describe his work. Given these themes, I conclude that Nietzsche’s preface writing project constitutes a practice of self-care as described by Foucault in “Technologies of the Self” and “The Ethics of the Concern for Self as a Practice of Freedom.”
119. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Richard Capobianco Heidegger on Heraclitus: Kosmos/World as Being Itself
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This essay draws on texts previously untranslated into English, and in particular Heidegger’s brilliant 1943 lecture course on Heraclitus, to show how Heidegger understood kosmos as an early Greek name for Being itself (Sein selbst). The contemporary scholarship has altogether missed the significant role that this Greek Ur-word plays in his later thinking. The “gleaming,” “adorning” kosmos—which the later Heidegger understood to be “world” (Welt) in the fullest and richest sense—is not in the first place any kind of transcendental-phenomenological “projection” of the human being; rather, it is the resplendence of the “ever-living” Being-unfolding-way itself from out of which both the gods and human beings come to pass and pass away. The independence of kosmos/Being itself in relation to the human being is highlighted. An Ode by Pindar and a painting by Andrew Wyeth are also considered.
120. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Duane Armitage Imagination as Groundless Ground: Reconsidering Heidegger's Kantbuch
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This essay attempts to further the Heideggerian reading of the transcendental imagination in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, by substantiating Heidegger’s contested claims, that (1.) the imagination is identical to “original time,” (2.) the imagination generates secondary, successive time, and (3.) therefore categories of the understanding are formal abstractions from a more primordial temporal horizon. I argue that Heidegger’s reading of Kant remains completely tenable based on A 142-143, by first examining Heidegger's thesis, and then defending it by analyzing the above-mentioned section. Finally, I comment on the implications of the Heideggerian reading, in terms of both the role of the transcendental imagination in the Kantian system, as well as the implications of Heidegger’s overall deconstruction of reason itself.