Cover of Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy
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Displaying: 81-100 of 510 documents

81. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Yancy Hughes Dominick The Image of the Noble Sophist
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In this paper, I begin with an account of the initial distinction between likenesses and appearances, a distinction which may resemble the difference between sophists and philosophers. That distinction first arises immediately after the puzzling appearance of the noble sophist, who seems to occupy an odd space in between sophist and philosopher. In the second section, I look more closely at the noble sophist, and on what that figure might tell us about images and the use of images. I also attempt to use the insights provided by the noble sophist in an investigation of the kind of images that Plato the author produces. This raises the question of the general notion of image as it appears in the Sophist, and especially of the dual nature of all images, which in turn invites reflection on certain features of the examination of being and non-being late in the dialogue. Finally, I return to the deception inherent in images, and I argue that this dialogue does not present the possibility of completely honest images. Nevertheless, I hope to show that some uses of deceptions and images are better than others.
82. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Olof Pettersson The Science of Philosophy: Discourse and Deception in Plato’s Sophist
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At 252e1 to 253c9 in Plato’s Sophist, the Eleatic Visitor explains why philosophy is a science. Like the art of grammar, philosophical knowledge corresponds to a generic structure of discrete kinds and is acquired by systematic analysis of how these kinds intermingle. In the literature, the Visitor’s science is either understood as an expression of a mature and authentic platonic metaphysics, or as a sophisticated illusion staged to illustrate the seductive lure of sophistic deception. By showing how the Visitor’s account of the science of philosophy is just as comprehensive, phantasmatic and self-concealing as the art of sophistry identified at the dialogue’s outset, this paper argues in favor of the latter view.
83. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Mark Sentesy Are Potency and Actuality Compatible in Aristotle?
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The belief that Aristotle opposes potency (dunamis) to actuality (energeia or entelecheia) has gone untested. This essay defines and distinguishes forms of the Opposition Hypothesis—the Actualization, Privation, and Modal—examining the texts and arguments adduced to support them. Using Aristotle’s own account of opposition, the texts appear instead to show that potency and actuality are compatible, while arguments for their opposition produce intractable problems. Notably, Aristotle’s refutation of the Megarian Identity Hypothesis applies with equal or greater force to the Opposition Hypothesis. For Aristotle, then, potency and actuality are compatible.
84. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Jussi Backman Being Itself and the Being of Beings: Reading Aristotle’s Critique of Parmenides (Physics 1.3) after Metaphysics
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The essay studies Aristotle’s critique of Parmenides (Physics 1.3) in the light of the Heideggerian account of Platonic-Aristotelian metaphysics as an approach to being (Sein) in terms of beings (das Seiende). Aristotle’s critique focuses on the presuppositions of the Parmenidean thesis of the unity of being. It is argued that a close study of the presuppositions of Aristotle’s own critique reveals an important difference between the Aristotelian metaphysical framework and the Parmenidean “protometaphysical” approach. The Parmenides fragments indicate being as such in the sense of the pure, undifferentiated “is there” (τὸ ἐόν)—as the intelligible accessibility of meaningful reality to thinking, prior to its articulation into determinate beings. For Aristotle, by contrast, “being itself” (αὐτὸ τὸ ὄν) has no other plausible meaning than “being-something-determinate as such” (τὸ ὅπερ ὄν τι), which itself remains equivocal. In this sense, Aristotle can indeed be said to conceive being in terms of beings, as the being-ness of determinate beings.
85. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
James S. Kintz The Unity of the Knower and the Known: The Phenomenology of Aristotle and the Metaphysics of Husserl
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Aristotle famously asserted that the mind is identical with its object in an act of cognition. This “identity doctrine” has caused much confusion and controversy, with many seeking to avoid a literal interpretation in favor of one that suggests that “identity” refers to a formal isomorphism between the mind and its object. However, in this paper I suggest that Aristotle’s identity doctrine is not an epistemological claim about an isomorphism between a representation of an object and the object itself, but is a phenomenological claim about the character of human cognition and intelligible being. Drawing on texts from Edmund Husserl and Aristotle, I offer a phenomenological interpretation of Aristotle’s identity doctrine. I ultimately argue that, for Aristotle, mind and being are essentially unified, for intelligible being is partially constitutive of the mind.
86. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Ian Alexander Moore The Problem of Ontotheology in Eckhart’s Latin Writings
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This article examines the extent to which two of Meister Eckhart’s Latin writings fall prey to Heidegger’s charge of ontotheology. It argues that the intellectualist, ‘meontological’ approach to God in Eckhart’s First Parisian Question and the analogical, ontological approach in his Opus tripartitum are not as different as may initially appear. Not only do both rest on Eckhart’s peculiar doctrine of analogy; both serve to dismantle the ontotheological architecture. Indeed, rather than an intellectualist alternative to ontotheology, Eckhart’s First Parisian Question presents a meticulously crafted dialectic designed to explode rational distinctions. Rather than a traditional account of God as the highest being, Eckhart’s Opus tripartitum obliterates hierarchies with its appeal to treat all being as God. Still, although both approaches contribute to an appreciation of Eckhart’s principal concern—the basic unity of the ground of the soul and the Godhead in releasement—neither suffices for unfolding its deepest implications. An ontotheological residue remains.
87. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Daniel Whistler How Speak of Eternity?: Rhetoric in Ethics V
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The aim of this essay is to investigate the stylistic idiosyncrasies of Part V of Spinoza’s Ethics by focusing on the experience of the reader encountering this text: what is missed in most accounts, I argue, is the rhetorical effect of Spinoza’s language on a reader approaching the end of the book. The reader experiences hermeneutic anxiety upon encountering a God who loves, rejoices and glories in a relatively traditional manner after the iconoclastic dismantling of the traditional attributes of God in Parts I to IV. I suggest that such anxiety is intentionally provoked, for it engenders a reflective attitude towards the text and its choice of language, and such reflection on language is a means of ‘rhetorical therapy’ that makes the communication of adequate ideas possible. The essay examines, first, the peculiar rhetorical devices at play in Part V, and, secondly, whether there are good philosophical reasons for such peculiarity. I then use such an analysis to think further about Spinoza’s attitude to language in general, concluding that thinking through the implications of the linguistic signs as affect allows one to posit the existence of a rhetorical therapy in Spinoza’s thinking.
88. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Christopher Thomas From Complex Bodies to a Theory of Art: Melancholy, Bodies, and Art in the Philosophy of Spinoza
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Spinoza’s limited words on the subject of art has led many to claim that his philosophy is incompatible and even hostile to a theory of art. Such a critique begins by confusing modern aesthetic standards with Spinoza’s actual words on art and its objects. Beginning with this confusion, this paper will argue that Spinoza’s philosophy naturalises the work of art and conceives of things such as paintings and temples through his theory of complex bodies.Turning to the two places that Spinoza discuss art—IIIP2Schol and IVP45Schol—this paper will argue that Spinoza understood works of art to be particularly complex and hence powerful extended bodies with a use value relative to the striving of the human individual. Accordingly it will be argued that because Spinoza conceived works of art to be external bodies–artistic bodies–, we should therefore begin to study art and its objects through Spinoza’s relational theory of the individual.
89. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Laura J. Mueller Pure Reason’s Autonomy: Sensus Communis in Reason’s Self-Critique
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This article investigates the relation between freedom, the public use of reason, and sensus communis, as discussed throughout Kant’s political writings and critical works. Kant’s discussion of the public use of reason, as put forth in "What Is Enlightenment?" is closely tied to his views on autonomy, most notably in the political sphere. However, Kant’s distinction between the public and private uses of reason relies upon sensus communis as discussed in the Critique of Judgment. The communicability achieved by sensus communis has a relevance not restricted only to Kant’s explicitly political writings; sensus communis is also what we might call “transcendentally significant.” In this article, I argue that the public use of reason—a use of reason achieved by sensus communis—is vital for reason itself to follow its own normative demands. I conclude that sensus communis itself grounds reason’s use for its own critique.
90. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Robert Clewis Kant’s Physical Geography and the Critical Philosophy
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Kant’s geographical theory, which was informed by contemporary travel reports, diaries, and journals, developed before his so-called “critical turn.” There are several reasons to study Kant’s lectures and material on geography. The geography provided Kant with terms, concepts, and metaphors which he employed in order to present or elucidate the critical philosophy. Some of the germs of what would become Kant’s critical philosophy can already be detected in the geography course. Finally, Kant’s geography is also one (though not the only) source of some of the empirical claims in his philosophical works, including the Critique of the Power of Judgment. To give an example of this, I examine his account of the sublime.
91. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
John H. Zammito Kant and the Medical Faculty: One "Conflict of the Faculties"
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The conflict between Kant and the medical faculty was far more complex and substantial than is indicated in the section of his famous Conflict of the Faculties addressing this matter. In this essay I will consider not only what Kant, as a philoso­pher, thought of medicine as a faculty, but what medicine as a faculty thought of Kant as a philosopher.
92. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Karin De Boer Hegel’s Non-Revolutionary Account of the French Revolution in the Phenomenology of Spirit
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Focusing on the section ‘Absolute Freedom and Terror’ of the Phenomenology of Spirit, this article argues that the method Hegel employs in this work does not capture the full significance of the French Revolution. I claim that Hegel’s method is reformist rather than revolutionary: Hegel deliberately restricts his analyses to transformations that occur within the element of thought and presents the changes that occur within this element as logically ensuing from one another. This approach, I argue, is at odds with the very concept of a revolution. Seen in this way, efforts to frame Hegel’s philosophy as revolutionary are misguided.
93. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Dilek Huseyinzadegan Between Necessity and Contingency: A Critical Philosophy of History in the Dialectic of Enlightenment
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In this essay, I argue for a revival of Adorno and Horkheimer’s critical philosophy of history on account of the fact that their construction articulates both the necessity of various aspects of our current socio-political conditions given the past tendencies of rationality and domination, and the contingency of the present miseries by problematizing the continuous historical narratives that justify a certain version of the present. After demonstrating that the accomplishment of critical philosophy of history has to be located in the dialectic of the necessary as well as the contingent elements of historical developments, I turn to the Dialectic of Enlightenment as a particular constellation that exemplifies this accomplishment. I show that in this book we find a critical philosophy of history that narrates a story that both makes fascism the necessary corollary and conclusion of instrumental rationality and shows its contingent entanglement with domination. In this way, the initial question of how reason and rationality can lead to domination is now transformed into one that asks how we can we reinterpret and re-animate them such that they are no longer complicit with domination.
94. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Karen Robertson Heidegger and the Ambivalent Status of Human Interpretation: Art, History, Modernity
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Drawing on Heidegger’s essay “The Origin on the Work of Art,” I argue that works of art reveal human experience to be simultaneously finite and ecstatic and that art is part of the way our experience unfolds. Secondly, I argue that the dynamic of experience that art enables and in which it is implicated is precisely what historical experience is; this historical character of our experience is also always intersubjective and relational. Next, I turn to “Why Poets?” to analyse Heidegger’s critique of Rilke’s work in terms of the idea that works of art are involved in our self-constitution as historical and relational beings. Reading these two essays together, finally, allows me to conclude by characterising the demands of a distinctly modern experience of interpretation and by identifying the need to question what it means to be a “we” as the defining question of modernity.
95. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Pamela Carralero A Holy Aesthetic: Recognizing an Art that is Otherwise than Art in the Work of Emmanuel Levinas
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Despite Emmanuel Levinas’s famous denigration of art in “Reality and Its Shadow” as an egregious evasion of ethical responsibility, discussions of poetic art in his later writings court the ethical rhetoric that lies at the heart of his philosophy. Refuting claims that a more mature Levinas simply changed his attitude towards art, this article argues the existence of a poetic art that equates to a Jewish understanding of Temimut, or holiness, and describes the written word as a “holy aesthetic” born of ethical artistic intentions. Through these claims, this article seeks to add an interdisciplinary dimension to existing Levinas scholarship on ethical aesthetics, which has yet to consider how Levinas’s later discussions of art emerge from Talmudic thought.
96. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Mirela Oliva Hermeneutics and the Meaning of Life
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Hermeneutics approaches the meaning of life quite uniquely: it grasps the intrinsic intelligibility of life by employing a universal concept of meaning, applicable to all phenomena. While other conceptions identify the meaning of life with values or scopes, hermeneutics starts from a grass-roots work on the meanings that are embedded at every level of reality. In this paper, I analyze this approach, especially focusing on Husserl, Heidegger, and Gadamer. First, I outline Husserl’s philosophy of meaning as developed in response to the crisis of meaning. Second, I discuss Heidegger’s concept of meaning and his understanding of life as self-movement. Third, I analyze Gadamer’s concept of common sense (viewed as the grasp of the totality of life) and his idea of hermeneutic mediation that conveys the meaning of life itself.
97. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Nancy Tuana, Charles Scott Guest Editors' Introduction
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98. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Dennis J. Schmidt Letter of Thanks
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99. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Charles Scott Lives of Idioms
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Dennis Schmidt is developing a way of thinking that has at its core his understanding of "idiom," especially in what he calls "original ethics" and "idiomatic truth." This paper engages that understanding, distinguishes linguistic idioms and "event idioms," shows the transformative effects in both his thought and his life that his focus on idioms has had and is having in the present direction of his constructive philosophy, and further shows that this direction has the potential to change considerably major aspects of contemporary continental philosophy.
100. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
John Sallis From Abode to Dissemination
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This essay is a response to Dennis Schmidt’s call for a reanimating of the philosophical imagination and for the inception of an original ethics. In this connection it undertakes an extended examination of the various meanings that the word ἦèïò has in a number of ancient texts. Passages are cited at length (and in translations as close as possible to the Greek) from Homer’s Odyssey, Hesiod’s Works and Days, a fragment by Empedocles, a tragic drama by Aeschylus, Xenophon’s Symposium, and Plato’s Republic, Symposium, Phaedrus, and Laws. Each passage is discussed in detail with specific focus on the meaning that the passage accords to ἦèïò.