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61. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1/2
Benjamin Christensen The Place of Truth: With Heidegger and Schelling Toward a Poetics of Truth
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In this essay, I argue for a poetics of truth locatable in the thinking of Heidegger and Schelling. Truth is taken to be an event; the poetics of truth then developed is offered as a way of realizing a rethinking of truth which takes a phenomenological point of departure. Truth, as an event, takes place; this taking place opens a space to take place in and the work of art is offered as an example of just that. The overall argument for a poetics of truth follows Schelling in his assertion that the highest purpose of science is to return to the ocean of poetry; this return, I argue, can be routed through Heidegger’s philosophy of dwelling.
62. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1/2
Brent Kalar The Ethical Significance of Kant's Sensus Communis: From Aesthetic to Ethical Community
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The paper defends an interpretation of Kant’s notion of the sensus communis as the normative ideal of a universal aesthetic community. It further proposes that this understanding is the key to illuminating his account of our moral interest in cultivating taste. A sensus communis is morally necessary because it is an essential means to the creation of the kingdom of ends, which it promotes through its sustaining of a shared symbolic network for the sake of ethical community. The moral advancement of any historical ethical community depends upon an artistic culture that promotes social communication and unity, and mitigates the vices to which the extreme ends of the class hierarchy are vulnerable. In pursuit of the cosmopolitan ideal, agents should attempt to widen their immediate artistic culture in the service of a world culture and eventual universal ethical community.
63. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1/2
Liesbet De Kock Being and the Body: Embodiment in J. G. Fichte’s Transcendental Analysis of Consciousness
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The aim of this paper is to present an in-depth inquiry into one of the most disregarded dimensions of Fichte’s philosophy, i.e., the systematic place of embodiment in his transcendental epistemology. Highlighting the necessarily embodied nature of the constitution of the notion of thinghood or being in Fichte’s philosophy could not only help pave the way for a more elegant understanding of the relation between idealism’s and phenomenology’s subject views, it likewise enables a more comprehensive insight into Fichte’s much debated theory of subjectivity. Furthermore, Fichte’s transcendental account of the body provides one with a new vantage point from which to consider some classical interpretive issues, most notably those pertaining to Fichte’s peculiar methodology, his Ideal-Realism, and his take on the problem of explanatory circularity in trying to tackle the problem of the genesis of (bodily) self-consciousness.
64. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1/2
Velimir Stojkovski Making Sense of "Needs" in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right
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This paper unpacks the often made but rarely fleshed out distinction between a ‘need’ and a ‘want.’ The usual conception of a need is that it is something that is teleologically necessary for the achievement of a certain end, with the end being somehow essential to human wellbeing. A want, on the other hand, is understood to be an arbitrary desire, and, as such, without the moral weight of a need. However, both concepts have at least a weak sense of teleology embedded in them, because everything we want fulfills at least some minimal purpose. In order to clear up the confusion between a want and a need this paper turns to the ‘System of Needs’ section in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right.
65. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1/2
John V. Garner Thinking Beyond Identity: Numbers and the Identity of Indiscernibles in Plato and Proclus
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In his Euclid commentary, Proclus states that mathematical objects have a status in between Platonic forms and sensible things. Proclus uses geometrical examples liberally to illustrate his theory but says little about arithmetic. However, by examining Proclus’s scattered statements on number and the traditional sources that influenced him (esp. the Philebus), I argue that he maintains an analogy between geometry and arithmetic such that the arithmetical thinker projects a “field of units” to serve as the bearers of number forms. I argue that this conception of a “multitude,” wherein each unit differs in no way from the others, implies that Platonists need not recognize unqualifiedly what would become the principle of the identity of indiscernibles. I argue that Cratylus 432c in particular provides support for a reading of Plato as consistently thinking beyond the principle of identity. I conclude by drawing out an important epistemological and ethical lesson from this reading.
66. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1/2
Dustin N. Atlas Mendelssohn’s Aesthetics of Critical Tolerance: Against Unity and Political Theology
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This paper revisits Moses Mendelssohn’s political theology through his early aesthetic writings, and in conjunction with his later writing on politics and religion, unearths a model of religious toleration that can respond to many contemporary critiques of tolerance, especially those which draw from Jacobi and Schmitt’s decisionist political theology.
67. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 1/2
Tom Giesbers Pierre Klossowski’s Hamann: The Transition from Epistemology to Speech in Twentieth-Century French Philosophy
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This paper elucidates Pierre Klossowski’s relationship to the post-Kantian tradition, specifically as a part of the shift in twentieth-century French philosophy from a neo-Kantian epistemological approach to the emphasis on the primacy of language in the human subject and his place in society. In response to a variety of events (the reception of Hegelianism through the lenses of Kojève and Wahl, the Marxist critique of capitalism and the rise of European fascism) Klossowski develops a peculiar interest in the works of Johann Georg Hamann, who can be considered to be either the first post-Kantian or the direct antecedent of post-Kantianism (given the fact that he influenced both Kant and many post-Kantians). As this paper argues, Klossowski published a collection of texts by Hamann as a direct response to the philosophical deadlock between conceptuality and immediate life that the French reception of Hegel emphasized.
68. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
Nicholas Rescher The Idealistic Metaphysics of Abstract Objects
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It is maintained that abstract objects are literally entia rationis: their being lies in being conceived and their nature is inextricably entangled with the operation of minds.
69. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
Martin Donougho Hegel’s Bathetic Sublime
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Little attention has been paid to Hegel’s version of the sublime. I argue that the sublime plays a very marginal role in the Berlin lectures on aesthetics and on religion; in particular, Hegel ignores the “Romantic” sublime popular among his contemporaries. The sublime he locates in Persian poetry and more properly in Biblical Psalmody. After surveying his various articulations of the sublime, I turn to Hegel’s careful analysis of how the Psalms achieve their peculiar effects and note his focus on the “individual.” Paradoxically, while close to Romantic “subreption” (Kant’s term for subjective projection on objective world or word), their complex play with voice—and Hegel’s explication—both keep a safe distance, I contend. Turning finally to the question of anachronism and the sublime as a historical category, I suggest in a brief postscript how effects analogous to the Psalms’ rhetoric may nevertheless be detected in Terry Malick films.
70. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
Kelly M. S. Swope Education as "Absolute Transition" in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right
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G. W. F. Hegel’s Elements of Philosophy of Right analogizes the unfolding of a people’s political self-consciousness to the unfolding of an education. Yet Hegel is somewhat unsystematic in accounting for how the process of political education unfolds in its differentiated moments. This paper pieces together a more systematic account of political education from Hegel’s scattered remarks on the subject in Philosophy of Right. I argue that, once we understand how political education fits into the holistic picture of Hegel’s Rechtsphilosophie, we see that it exercises both a fortifying and a threatening influence on the state: fortifying the state insofar as it habituates individuality to universality in the form of ethical dispositions such as patriotism, threatening the state insofar as it represents a destabilizing tendency toward democratic judgment in the emergence of public opinion. I conclude by raising the possibility that political education poses an entropic, “democratic” threat to the modern state.
71. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
Antón Barba-Kay The Aesthetics of Agency in Kant and Schiller
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One of the lasting influences of German Idealism has been the transformation of aesthetics into a central philosophical concern. My aim here is to show how and why Kant’s and Schiller’s formulations of the problems of moral agency, in particular, constitute an important episode of this development. I argue, first, that it is in the context of Kant’s view of moral agency that aesthetics gains larger purchase than it formerly had (as a response to the problem of the identification of an agent with his external action); second, that Schiller expands the role of aesthetics (in response to Kant’s formulation of it) by intensifying a demand for aesthetic abandon in the agent as a bulwark against the threat of its possible “theatricalization.” It is these heightened demands on the first-personal content of agency that thus began the process of transforming the question of moral agency into an aesthetic one.
72. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
Tsarina Doyle Reconciling the Phenomenology and Metaphysics of Value
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This paper aims to reconcile the phenomenology and metaphysics of value by proposing a cognitivist and metaphysically committed account of evaluation and value inspired, in part, by the phenomenological arguments of J. N. Findlay in relation to value. By the phenomenology of value I mean the affective—commendatory—character of evaluations such as when I describe something as good or bad, worthwhile or not worthwhile. Whilst this—subjective—aspect of evaluation is largely uncontested, there is much disagreement about the cognitive and metaphysical status of our evaluations. The disagreement centers round two problems, which I call the intentionality problem and the metaphysical problem, respectively. These problems address whether evaluative feelings refer beyond themselves to objects and, if they do, about the character of the object to which they are directed. By drawing on and reconstructing an argument by Findlay, I argue that the affective character of evaluative experience has an intentional structure that takes the form of a judgement that is merited, or not, by its object. However, unlike Findlay, I offer a metaphysically-laden account of the distinction between evaluation and value by arguing that value properties are mind-independent dispositions that are realized in human cognitively-structured affectivity.
73. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
Karen E. Davis Playing with Others: A Gadamerian Ethics of Non-Differentiation
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Scholars of hermeneutics have recently taken up the task of elucidating Gadamer’s ethics by studying his work on the structure of understanding and human experience. This article seeks to contribute to that scholarship through an examination of Gadamer’s aesthetics. I suggest that Gadamer’s notions of play and aesthetic non-differentiation provide further resources for understanding Gadamer’s hermeneutic ethics as an ethics of non-differentiation, i.e., a unification of theory and practice (understanding and application). For Gadamer, an understanding of the good is its enactment in the context of the dialogical play we find ourselves engaged in with others. Furthermore, Gadamer’s identification of aesthetic non-differentiation with play reveals that his ethics aims not only to unify theory and practice but also to unite participants in the ethical play as intersubjective elements of a shared experience. Retrieving the ethical import of Gadamer’s aesthetics also helps to unfold Gadamer’s suggestion that hermeneutics itself is an ethical enterprise.
74. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
Sami J. Pihlström Death and the Transcendental Subject
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This paper discusses the philosophy of death and mortality from a transcendental perspective. I first criticize the metaphysically realistic background assumptions of mainstream analytic approaches to the philosophy of death. Secondly, I defend a transcendentally idealistic approach, drawing attention to how the topic of death can be illuminated by means of the notion of the transcendental subject. Thirdly, I identify a problem in this approach: the transcendental subject needs to recognize its own mortality. Fourthly, I propose a pragmatist way out of this problem. This, however, is no way out of the general issue that mortality as a structural element of the human condition provides us with. Rather, pragmatism (joining forces with transcendental philosophy) can show us a way of living with this condition.
75. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
Volume 46 Index
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76. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
Igor Hanzel McDowell and Hegel: A Comparison
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I shall compare John McDowell’s Mind and World with Hegel’s later philosophy in the Science of Logic and the Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences in Outline. I begin by presenting McDowell’s epistemology. I then delineate the most important aspects of Hegel’s epistemology and, because McDowell claims that he draws on Kant’s views on the relation between receptivity and spontaneity, their relation to Kant’s epistemology. Here, I suggest that even if Hegel’s epistemology displays idealistic features which determine the construction of the category-clusters in the Science of Logic and Encyclopedia, these clusters can make a valuable contribution to epistemology once subjected to a realistic reinterpretation. Next I compare Hegel’s epistemology with that of McDowell and show that under this reinterpretation Hegel’s epistemology can be used to overcome the limitations of the epistemology presented by McDowell. Finally I propose a return to the reconstruction of categories as the direction towards which the future development of epistemology should go.
77. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
Jennifer Marra The Phenomenological Function of Humor
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In this paper, I seek to explore the increasing popular claim that the performance of philosophy and the performance of humor share similar features. I argue that the explanation lies in the function of humor—a function which can be a catalyst for philosophy. Following Ernst Cassirer’s philosophy of symbolic forms and utilizing insights from various philosophical and scientific perspectives on the nature and origins of humor, I argue that the function of humor is to reveal faulty belief or error in judgment. Once such errors are revealed the mind demands resolution, and this is the work of philosophy. But philosophy cannot solve a problem unless it recognizes that there is a problem to solve. That is, the move from ignorance to philosophy requires a mediating step. Humor can act as that step, and, as such, humor can serve as a catalyst for philosophy while being necessarily distinct from it.
78. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
Richard McDonough A Gestalt-Model of Zettel 608
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Most scholars understand para. 608 of Zettel (Z608) to suggest that language and thought might arise from chaos at the neural centre. However, this contradicts Wittgenstein’s signature view that the philosopher must not advance theories. The paper proposes an alternative model of Z608 based on the Austrian Gestalt-movement that influenced Wittgenstein. Z608 does not suggest that language and thought might arise from chaos in the brain but that they may arise in a different non-causal sense from the “chaos” of activities in forms of human life on analogy with the way a Gestalt-image “arises” from a “chaos” of perceptions. The concepts of chaos and the centre in Z608 are not neurophysiological concepts but refer to aspects of forms of human life. The Gestalt-interpretation also clarifies why Wittgenstein’s later philosophy is quite different from “ordinary language philosophy.” Finally, the Gestalt-interpretation clarifies why Wittgenstein is not, as is often believed, making an attack on legitimate empirical psychological investigations.
79. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
Seung-Ug Park Mathematical Conception of Husserl’s Phenomenology
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In this paper, I have attempted to make the role of mathematical thinking clear in Husserl’s theory of sciences. Husserl believed that phenomenology could afford to provide a safe foundation for individual sciences. Hence, the first task of the project was reorganizing the system of sciences and to show the possibility of apodictic knowledge regarding the world. Husserl was inspired by the progress of mathematics at that time because mathematics is the most logical discipline and deals with abstract objects. It was the most suitable model for Husserl’s project. In fact, we can find structural similarities between his project and F. Klein’s Erlangen Program; further, the procedure of the essence intuition can be explained by a mathematical induction. Mathematics is certainly a new path for understanding Husserl’s phenomenology. In order to clarify the relation between Husserl’s theory of sciences and mathematics, this study focused on the problem of classification. Lastly, another implication of Husserl’s phenomenology as a theory of sciences is that his work is still meaningful for today’s dynamic reality of sciences.
80. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
Nahum Brown Aristotle and Heidegger: Potentiality in Excess of Actuality
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Aristotle claims in book 9 of the Metaphysics that potentiality is distinct from actuality yet also that potentiality exists only for the sake of actuality. This essay presents the relationship between potentiality’s existence and actuality’s priority as an aporia, where potentiality remains distinct from and exists in excess of actuality, even though it exists only as actuality. I claim that this aporia helps the early Heidegger of Being and Time to conclude, contrary to Aristotle, that potentiality stands higher than actuality.