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ricoeur dossier
61. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Jérôme de Gramont Paul Ricoeur et le destin de la phénoménologie
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Every reader of Ricoeur knows that hermeneutics endeavors to answer the aporiae of historical phenomenology. Hence arises the need to return to those aporiae and those answers. On the one hand, phenomenology, born with the maxim of going “directly to things themselves,” is confronted with the incessant evasion of the thing itself and with its dreams of presence being thereby shattered. This reversal should not be blamed on the failings of this or that thinker, but attributed to the very destiny of phenomenology itself. On the other hand, Ricoeurian hermeneutics takes note of a gap (the very remoteness of the thing itself), and of a necessary return (to the thing of the text). Thus, there is nothing for thought itself to grieve over with respect to this enterprise. However, while the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty, faced with the same difficulties, orients itself towards political philosophy, the hermeneutics of Ricoeur rather seeks to lead us to a philosophy of religion. This article hypothesizes that, in spite of the formula (inherited from Thévenaz) of a “philosophy without an absolute,” the thought of Ricoeur heads in fair measure towards the Absolute, and that ontology is not the only name of the Promised Land.
62. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Carla Canullo Paul Ricoeur: entre attestation du mal et témoignage de l’espérance
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The aim of this article is to show that the “attestation of evil and testimony of hope” are characterized by the genitive that accompanies them. This places them both, each no less than the other, in two different horizons: while the horizon of attestation is Heideggerian, the horizon of testimony is a legacy of Jean Nabert. Both of these horizons are present in the thought of Ricoeur, and characterize the entire spectrum of his work. However, we are not dealing here with a syncretism resulting from the co-presence of a hermeneutic source and of the philosophy of reflection. On the contrary, I attempt to show that the copresence of attestation and testimony results from the fact that Ricoeur never stopped “walking on two legs,” given what he writes in a conversation published in the Critique and Conviction, and that this presence is rooted in Ricoeur’s formation, which is at the same time philosophical, literary and biblical, as he never renounced either the former one, or the latter ones.
63. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Marek Drwi·ga Who is the Other?: The Levinas–Ricoeur Debate
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This paper deals with the problem of what otherness consists in, and what its foundation is, within the I–Other relation. In this way, the study also explores the limits of ethics and of a quasi-religious attitude, in order to establish what is required to shape interpersonal relations in a non-violent way, when faced with the radical otherness of another human being. Such an investigation also intersects with a broader ethical discussion that aims to take account of glorious or heroic acts, focused on the issue of supererogation. The aim of the present study is to demonstrate the degree to which a neglect of reciprocity and justice in the context of such philosophical research constitutes a risky step. To this end, the main aspects of the debate between Emmanuel Levinas and Paul Ricoeur are introduced. After examining the position of Levinas, and how Ricoeur interprets the I–Other relation in Levinas, an attempt is made to assess whether the latter’s line of criticism is pertinent and helpful for attempts to arrive at the core of the disagreement between the two thinkers.
articles on other subjects
64. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Anna Zhyrkova Leontius of Byzantium and the Concept of Enhypostaton: A Critical Re-evaluation
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The concept of “enhypostaton” was introduced into theological discourse during the sixth-century Christological debates with the aim of justifying the unitary subjectivity of Christ by reclassifying Christ’s human nature as ontically non-independent. The coinage of the term is commonly ascribed to Leontius of Byzantium. Its conceptual content has been recognized by contemporary scholarship as relevant to the core issues of Christology, as well as possessing significance for such philosophical questions as individuation and the nature of individual entityhood. Even so, despite its role in the formation of classical Christological thought, the notion of “enhypostaton” is often regarded as obscure and not clearly defined. This paper aims to shed some light on the meaning of Leontius’ conception of it, in respect of its specifically philosophical import.
65. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Sergey Trostyanskiy St. Basil the Great’s Philosophy of Time: A Historical Perspective
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Basil the Great’s theory of time is a fascinating testimony to the metaphysics and philosophy of nature of the fourth century AD. In his treatises Basil sought to tackle such foundational issues of philosophy as God’s being, its hypostatic instantiations, and God’s creative acts. In order to properly address these issues he had to scrutinize the notion of time, thus turning the discussion of time into one of the key philosophical threads of his treatises. Basil’s works unequivocally exhibited his careful approach to and respect for philosophical tradition, along with his innovative brilliance. Moreover, Basil’s oeuvre clearly indicates that he was well acquainted with the then current philosophical literature on the subject. This article aims to shed light on various aspects of Basil’s theory and its conceptual underpinnings. It endeavors to demonstrate that Basil’s theory, at its highest point, cannot be understood apart from its protological and eschatological premises. It also argues that Basil was not merely an eclectic thinker, in that he used various concepts inherited from the late antique philosophical tradition to arrive at a uniquely Christian theological and eschatological synthesis. It concludes with an affirmation of Basil’s theory of time as a valuable extension to our understanding of the topic.
66. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Reviewers of Articles Submitted for 2017 Issues of Forum Philosophicum
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67. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Note about Forum Philosophicum
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articles
68. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Dariusz Adamek, Józef Bremer The Conscious Brain: Some Views, Concepts, and Remarks from a Neurobiological Perspective
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The goal of this article is to review some aspects of brain anatomy and neurophysiology that are important for consciousness, and which hopefully may be of benefit to philosophers investigating the conscious mind. Taking as an initial point of reference the distinction between “the hard problem” and “the weak problems” of consciousness, we shall concentrate on questions pertaining to the second of these. A putative “consciousness system” in the brain will be presented, paying special attention to diffuse projection systems. The “center of gravity” will be brain connectivity, since consciousness must, critically, be dependent on coherent activity and timing. “Detectors” of synchronicity and coincidence, like NMDA receptors, also necessarily play a role here. To be conscious, we do not need an entire brain. While even large hemispherectomies need not unequivocally affect consciousness, far smaller brain-stem lesions may be devastating in this regard. Even so, the recent discovery by Matthew F. Glasser et al. of 180 separate areas in the human brain cortex is intriguing from a teleological perspective, as it is quite unthinkable that any of them could be “redundant.
69. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Paul Kucharski On the Harm of Genocide
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My aim in this essay is to advance the state of scholarly discussion on the harms of genocide. The most obvious harms inflicted by every genocide are readily evident: the physical harm inflicted upon the victims of genocide and the moral harm that the perpetrators of genocide inflict upon themselves. Instead, I will focus on a kind of harm inflicted upon those who are neither victims nor perpetrators, on those who are outside observers, so to speak. My thesis will be that when a whole community or culture is eliminated, or even deeply wounded, the world loses an avenue for insight into the human condition. My argument is as follows. In order to understand human nature, and that which promotes its flourishing, we must certainly study individual human beings. But since human beings as rational and linguistic animals are in part constituted by the communities in which they live, the study of human nature should also involve the study of communities and cultures—both those that are well ordered and those that are not. No one community or culture has expressed all that can be said about the human way of existing and flourishing. And given that the unity and wholeness of human nature can only be glimpsed in a variety of communities and cultures, then part of the harm of genocide consists in the removal of a valuable avenue for human beings to better understand themselves.
70. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Anna Zhyrkova A Reconstruction of John the Grammarian’s Account of Substance in Terms of Enhypostaton
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The concept of enhypostaton was introduced into theological discourse during the sixth-century Christological debates, and aimed to elucidate the orthodox doctrine of the unity of two natures in the singular hypostasis of Christ. In spite of the fact that the conceptual content of the term is recognized by contemporary scholarship as pertaining to the core of Christology, the notion of enhypostaton is often described as obscure and not clearly defined. The coining of the term is often ascribed to Leontius of Byzantium, whereas in fact he only followed and developed solutions already introduced into Christological discourse by John the Grammarian. The article aims to clarify the notion by offering a philosophical account of the meaning and theoretical origins of “enhypostaton,” as introduced by John the Grammarian in the context of his discussion of substance as en-hypostatical being. Enhypostaton emerges as the proper way of describing the ontological complements of a particular entity. This seems to be a significant development in the philosophical explanation of substance.
71. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Andrzej Wierciński Hegel’s Phenomenology of Unhappy Consciousness: The Dialectic of the Phenomenology of Spirit as the Education of Consciousness
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Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit is a careful description of the progressive unfolding of Spirit. Its dialectic is the education of consciousness. There are three stages of unhappy consciousness: external beyond, changing individual, and achieved reconciliation. Being aware of its own mutability, the self yearns for reconciliation, which can only come from the external beyond, from the unchanging. The quest of unhappy consciousness for reconciliation is characterized by the three stages of devotion, sacramental desire and labour, and self-mortification. The self, constituted by what is other, is never able to achieve lasting satisfaction; it desires the unity of self-consciousness. Through the experience of itself, the self comes to a clearer self-awareness and transgresses its own limits.
72. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Józef Bremer Effect Anticipation and the Experience of Voluntary Action Control
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This paper discusses the issues surrounding voluntary action control in terms of two models that have emerged in empirical research into how our human conscious capabilities govern and control voluntary motor actions. A characterization of two aspects of consciousness, phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness, enables us to ask whether effect anticipations need be accessible to consciousness, or whether they can also have an effect on conscious control at an unconscious stage. A review of empirical studies points to the fact that willed actions are influenced by effect anticipations both when they are conscious and when they remain inaccessible to the conscious mind. This suggests that the effects of conscious voluntary actions—in line with the ideomotor principle proposed by William James—are anticipated during the generation of responses. I propose that the integration of perceptual and motor codes arises during action planning. The features of anticipated effects appear to be optionally connected with the features of the actions selected to bring about these effects in the world.
book reviews
73. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Anna Zhyrkova Matyáš Havrda: The So-Called Eighth Stromateus by Clement of Alexandria
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74. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Note about Forum Philosophicum
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75. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Emmanuel Nartey Omniscience, Free Will, and Religious Belief
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In this paper, I examine a standard foreknowledge argument and some interesting ways of handling it, along with some criticisms. I argue that there are philosophically interesting notions of free will that are compatible with determinism. These are the notions of free will that matter to ordinary life, and I argue that these generate a way for a philosophically interesting understanding of free will to be compatible with belief in God’s infallible foreknowledge. I discuss two key questions—the empirical question and the divine interference question—that are often neglected in the contemporary debate on foreknowledge and free will. Finally, I provide some answers to these questions that I hope can advance the debate.
76. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Carl Humphries Schmalenbach on Standing Alone before God: A Philosophical Case-Study in Ontologico-Historical Understanding
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This article explores the clarificatory potential of a specific way of approaching philosophical problems, centered on the analysis of the ways in which philosophers treat the relationship between ontological and historical forms of commitment. Its distinctive feature is a refusal to begin from any premises that might be considered “ontologistic” or “historicistic.” Instead, the relative status of the two forms of commitment is left open, to emerge in the light of more specific inquiries themselves. In this case the topic in question is furnished by an essay from the early twentieth century German philosopher Herman Schmalenbach, entitled “Der Genealogie der Einsamkeit” (somewhat problematically translated as “On Lonesomeness”). The aim is to show how the import of Schmalenbach’s historicophilosophical treatment of certain features arguably central to the spiritual practices and religious beliefs of Christianity can be more effectively grasped when approached in these terms. The first part provides an overview of the key points of Schmalenbach’s essay, while the second presents some conceptual-analytic considerations as a basis for exploring relations between ontological and historical forms of commitment as these figure in his text. Some possible broader implications for Christianity and its relationship to modern society are then also briefly sketched.
77. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Sergey Trostyanskiy Iamblichus’ Response to Aristotle’s and Pseudo-Archytas’ Theories of Time
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This article aims to shed light on certain aspects of Iamblichus’ theory of time that have not been sufficiently examined to date in the scholarly literature. As of today, there are a mere handful of scholarly works tackling Iamblichus’ solutions to the paradoxes of time in particular, and his contribution to the developments of the Neoplatonic theory of the subject more generally. This article attempts to redress the lack of literature on this topic by examining Iamblichus’ response to Aristotle’s and Pseudo-Archytas’ theories of time. It begins with a brief survey of the philosophical developments that led to and were formative for Iamblichus’ philosophical explorations of the area in question. Then it moves on to provide a detailed account of Iamblichus’ own unique and puzzling theory of time. The author applies the method of comparative analysis, scrutinizing Iamblichus’ solution to the paradoxes of time against the backdrop of Aristotle’s and Pseudo-Archytas’ theories. The author identifies firm scholarly grounds for doing so from within the tradition of Iamblichus studies initiated by the ground-breaking research of Shmuel Sambursky and Salomon Pines and continued, inter alia, in the subtly nuanced analysis of Richard Sorabji and John Dillon. The author concludes that Iamblichus successfully resolved the paradoxes of time and that his conception lent itself to a more effective highlighting of the ordering function of time.
78. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
George J. Seidel The Imagination in Kant and Fichte, and Some Reflections on Heidegger’s Interpretation
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The paper deals with the meaning of the transcendental imagination in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, comparing it with the productive imagination proposed by Fichte in his Wissenschaftslehre of 1794. It also presents Heidegger’s views concerning both Kant and Fichte. Regarding Kant there is also a discussion of the difference between the first and second editions of the First Critique. It may be noted that Heidegger prefers the first edition to the second, since, in his view, the latter leads into German Idealism. In Fichte’s philosophy the imagination plays a considerably larger role than it does in Kant. And Heidegger early on (in 1929) recognizes the importance of Fichte as a philosopher in its own right, and not just, as was customary in the period, a mere transitional figure between Kant and Hegel. The paper concludes with a critique of Heidegger’s views regarding both Fichte and Kant. Though there is an addendum discussing the function of the imagination in the aesthetics of Kant (classicism), in that of Fichte (romanticism), and a brief comparison with Heidegger’s own aesthetics.
79. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Małgorzata Hołda Intersections between Paul Ricoeur’s Conception of Narrative Identity and Mikhail Bakhtin’s Notion of the Polyphony of Speech
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Proposing his conception of narrative identity in Oneself as Another, Paul Ricoeur holds that human life is comprehensible, once the story of a man’s life has actually been told, and it is the narrative of one’s life which constructs one’s identity. Developing his theory of heteroglossia and the polyphony of human speech, explicated chiefly in Speech Genres and The Dialogic Imagination, Mikhail Bakhtin recognizes the intrinsically intertwining character of utterance and response. According to him, utterance is always addressed to someone and antedates an answer. Bakhtin’s “addressivity,” as well as his view of discourse as fundamentally dialogic, are convergent with Ricoeur’s elucidation both of man’s answerability to the Other and of narrative identity. The dynamic character of narrative identity, as construed by Ricoeur, converges with the dynamic nature of language as viewed by Bakhtin. The aim of this article is to study the intersections of Ricoeur’s narrative theory and Bakhtin’s recognition of the polyphonic nature of speech. I view these as inherently interrelated, and as testifying, respectively, to the philosophical and linguistic aspects of one and the same phenomenological vision. That vision accounts for selfhood, understood as vulnerable and contextualized, while also recognizing that it is conveyed by means of language with its essentially dialogic openness.
book reviews
80. Forum Philosophicum: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Carl Humphries Tomasz Mróz: Selected Issues in the History of Polish Philosophy (Erasmus Lectures at Vilnius University)
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