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1. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 47
Adriana Veríssimo Serrão, Elisabete M. de Sousa Editorial
2. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 47
Tina Röck The Concept of Nature – From Pre-Socratic Physis to the Natural Κόσμοσ of the Timaeus
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It is a puzzling fact that the Greek term for Nature ‘physis’ could be used to refer to (inter alia) i) reality as a whole, ii) the nature (essence) of something, iii) to individual material beings or materiality and iv) all things that are self-generating. In order to understand and tie together this wide array of possible meanings, I will consider the thesis that ‘physis’ was in fact used as a concept of being, a term naming the fundamental property of all of reality in the early pre-Socratics, poets and scientists before 500 BCE. Investigating ‘physis’ in this way can give us a way of thinking about Nature as a dynamic and creative but material process that goes far beyond the classical understanding of Nature as the sum of things that self-generate or the modern mathematical understanding of Nature born with Galileo, dominant to this day.
3. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 47
Gaetano Albergo I Recenti studi sulla biologia di Aristotele come contributo per una critica all’interpretazione dei Naturphilosophen
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The work realized by Aristotle in his investigations on the natural world, in particular the biological world, has as backdrop two theoretical assumptions: the ability to organize phainomena in such a dialectically well structured, although at the same time open and flexible way, as the living reality that is studied, and the opportunity to offer to the theoretical knowledge, of axiomatic nature, not only information and tools for the understanding of individual species, but also methods, and its logic, which, if properly pursued, will lead to scientific knowledge. This, understood in the sense of causal knowledge, cannot be pursued in a purely formal way. Our aim is to demonstrate why Naturphilosophen did not get the Aristotelian lesson, up to refuse his teleologism because considered metaphysically regressive.
4. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 47
Diana Khamis Abstraction: Death by a Thousand Cuts
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In the Lectures on the Method of Academic Study in 1802, F.W.J. Schelling warned his listeners against the annihilation of nature. The annihilation he had in mind was not ecological in the usual sense of the word, but an annihilation caused by a certain way of looking at nature – a philosophical annihilation. The issue Schelling had in mind was that of understanding nature as mechanical, or as merely a domain of things, and of understanding humans as somehow more than natural. This paper is set to describe and argue for a Schellingian alternative to the “annihilation” of nature, to demonstrate why, on such an understanding of nature, the only thing which could undermine it is abstraction and to see how a philosophy should approach abstract thinking in order to deal with this apparent problem. For that, different ways to apply the “knife” of abstraction will be then discussed – some murderous, some surgical.
5. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 47
Christopher C. Kirby The Live Creature and the Crooked Tree: Thinking Nature in Dewey and Zhuangzi
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This paper will compare the concept of nature as it appears in the philosophies of the American pragmatist John Dewey and the Chinese text known as the Zhuangzi, with an aim towards mapping out a heuristic program which might be used to correct various interpretive difficulties in reading each figure. I shall argue that Dewey and Zhuangzi both held more complex and comprehensive philosophies of nature than for which either is typically credited. Such a view of nature turns on the notion of continuity, particularly that between an experiencing organism [Dewey’s “live creature”] and the conditioning environment [Zhuangzi’s “crooked tree”]. Where Dewey’s and Zhuangzi’s ideas about nature converge, one finds similarities in prescriptions made for human action, and in the few places where they differ, one finds mutually complementary insights.
6. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 47
Tiago Mesquita Carvalho A Natureza na Filosofia da Tecnologia de Albert Borgmann
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In this paper we intend to evaluate the role that nature has in the philosophy of technology of Albert Borgmann. According to the author, contemporary life has been taken by the device paradigm; technology follows a pattern that transforms the rich dimensions of things into devices; these are composed of commodities, easily available and without demanding any effort, and mechanisms, hiding the ways how natural resources are used. This pattern does not make explicit the promoted notion of the good life. The experience of nature shows how something that escapes the device paradigm can endure and flourish beyond our utilitarian purposes; its eloquence can thus take us to propose a reform of technology through the notion of a center; however, this center demands to be cultivated through focal things and practices in order to turn in to a structuring habit of our lives.
7. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 47
Jean-Pierre Llored How Philosophy of Nature Needs Philosophy of Chemistry
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This paper aims to highlight how the philosophy of chemistry could be of help for rethinking Nature today. To do so, we will point out: (1) the co-definition of chemical relations (transformations) and chemical relata (bodies) within chemical activities; (2) the constitutive role of the modes of intervention in the definition, always open and provisional, of “active” chemical bodies; and (3) the mutual dependence of the levels of organization in chemistry. We will insist on the way chemists tailor networks of interdependencies within which chemical bodies and properties are context-sensitive and mutually determined by means of particular chemical operations or transformations. To conclude, we will show how the specific action of bodies upon the Earth at different scales of space and time, and how the relational definition of a chemical body, pave the way for a new understanding of Nature.
8. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 47
Morier Clément, Bruno Pinchard René Thom et la Réhabilitation des Formes Substantielles
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To the issue whether the contemporary formalism could sufficiently provide a dynamical view of natural laws, we propose another way to understand the organizational mechanisms of natural and semiotic phenomena. The breakthrough of René Thom’s topological discoveries allows the renewal of a philosophical path, which examines the benefits of a qualitative knowledge on forms through their deployment. Our study would like to raise the issue of the following questions: in the aftermath of Leibniz’s work, which lessons can we expect to draw from a neo-Aristotelian position in order to objectively analyze the morphological organization of natural phenomena? How to consider dynamical plasticity from metamorphosis episodes, if we only take into account the contemporary development of the Cartesian mechanism? What rehabilitation of substantial forms might help to think about nature today?
9. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 47
Massimiliano Simons The End and Rebirth of Nature?: From Politics of Nature to Synthetic Biology
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In this article, two different claims about nature are discussed. On the one hand, environmental philosophy has forced us to reflect on our position within nature. We are not the masters of nature as was claimed before. On the other hand there are the recent developments within synthetic biology. It claims that, now at last, we can be the masters of nature we have never been before. The question is then raised how these two claims must be related to one another. Rather than stating that they are completely irreconcilable, I will argue for a dialogue aimed to discuss the differences and similarities. The claim is that we should not see it as two successive temporal phases of our relation to nature, but two tendencies that can coexist.
10. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 47
José Nunes Ramalho Croca The Unity of Physis
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A complex global nonlinear physics, eurhythmic physics, promotes not only the epistemic unification of the known branches of physics but also establishes a deep interconnection with complex human sciences.
11. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 47
Fernando Belo Como pensam os chineses sem alfabeto?: 2.ª parte – A diferença dos pensamentos
12. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 46
Teresa M. L. R. Cadete A Perda do Fio Narrativo. Sobre a Insustentabilidade do Trágico na Contemporaneidade
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The present study aims to demonstrate how the analyses by Nietzsche, Simmel and Benjamin of the tragic phenomenon may teach us how to cultivate the tragic fabric and to live with the systemic soil that nourishes it, in order to create abilities to cross over the cores or tragic occurrences and to transform afterwards the respective memories into forms of narrativity, articulated in a sequence thread. The perspective deformations of modernity (functional reason, authoritarianism, anthropocentrism), imposed by the contingency of the present societies, may be in this way critically compensated by the understanding of the tragic fundament that is inherent to human existence.
13. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 46
Carlos João Correia A Luz Branca da Neve: Nietzsche e Thomas Mann
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This essay aims to examine how Thomas Mann reinterprets, in the novel “The Magic Mountain”, Nietzsche’s view of the world expressed in “The Birth of Tragedy”. The Olympic world becomes in the novel of Mann, a sanatorium where the death drive controls everything. Several interpretations for this ironic reading of the magic mountain symbol are offered, in particular the idea that death must not hypnotise us, a major theme of “Snow scene” of the novel.
14. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 46
Dirk Michael Hennrich Tragische Dispositionen der Moderne. Stimmung und Aura im Wandel des Landschaftsbegriffs
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The present text deals with the relation between the consolidation and the development of landscape-painting and the concept of landscape during the 19th century and the catabasis of a certain economy of disposition until our days. The process of the transformation and overcoming of landscape-painting reflects the decadence of an entire epoch, influencing the introduction of the dispositions into philosophy, as well the initiation of a new philosophical discipline, the Philosophy of Landscape.
15. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 46
Francisco Felizol Marques A Tragédia da Liberdade, Ante-Tragédia da Cultura na Filosofia do Dinheiro
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In Philosophy of Money (1900), money is a permanent splitting liberation and fluidification, until it takes any form through equalizing in quantity all qualities it bounds to. This process also happens: in objects, more and more ephemeral and independent from man, leading to an objective culture that gets farther away; and in subjects, exposed to a continuing splitting process, thereby gaining a negative freedom with no properties and purpose. This menaces man’s individuality which is neither an isolated subjectivity nor an agglutinated objectivity. In 1911, Simmel describes human life as a tragedy of culture, an attempt to contain the living matter creating successive forms that, once created, begin to drain its contents. This view was already acknowledged in the Philosophy of Money as the tragedy of freedom. By only using money as a means, acting on positive freedom, we overcome successive resistances (non-freedom forms) and advance to our individual purpose.
16. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 46
Vera Serra Lopes O Trágico na Filosofia do Amor de Georg Simmel
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In this article, we’ll briefly present Simmels Philosophy of Love, based on three texts: On Love (A Fragment), Eros platonic and modern and Fragments and Aphorisms, texts published in 1921/1922. In the final part of the article we will analyze the idea of the tragic in the philosophy of love. In love, as in other movements of the spirit, there is a trend to erase individuality, but love arises only when aroused by it. Modern love is fundamentally individual, and simultaneously it cannot accept the insuperable character of this precise individuality.
17. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 46
Maria João Cantinho A Teia de Penélope e o Anel da Tradição: Cultura e Rememoração na Obra de Walter Benjamin
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It will never be too much to remember that experience is one of the most important concepts on Benjamin’s thought. It underlies his analysis of the history and also supports his critical theory of literature and has many branches, above all in his texts after 1930. His text “The Image of Proust” (Literarische Welt, 1929) develops the concept of involuntary memory, which explains the question of auratic image in the work of Proust, obtained by the process of rememoration and also explained by the contribution of Freud’s studies about the traumatic shock and its consequences on the perception’s conditions of the contemporary man. These conceptions led Benjamin to a deep thought about the way how shock and rememoration can be articulated in order to create a new historical vision, individual and collective. We examine here, in the fields of the arts, literature and history, how this articulation can defines a new conception of experience and the possibility, or not, of the transmission of the culture, in a world where, as Kafka said, “the tradition became sick”. The question is: will rememoration, this Penelope’s web, be able to operate the rescue of the historical tradition? And which tradition are we speaking here about? What does rememoration mean?
18. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 46
Ernani Chaves O “Silêncio Trágico”: Walter Benjamin Entre Franz Rosenzweig e Friedrich Nietzsche
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This article seeks to present, in its most general terms, the question of the tragic silence and its function within the analysis concerning the Greek tragedy in The Origin of German Tragic Drama, which was written by Walter Benjamin. For this purpose, we turn to two sources related to Benjamin’s analysis: The Star of Redemption, by Franz Rosenzweig, and The Birth of Tragedy, by Nietzsche. However, in addition to the two other thinkers, Benjamin thinks about the issue of the “tragic silence” from the confrontation between “ambiguity” and “paradox”, between “myth” and “history”, in such a way that silence is a means of resistance: while expressing the guilt of the hero, what you see is his/her “silent suffering”, and, instead of being found guilty, the gods themselves are the ones who must recognize their guilt.
19. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 46
Noel Boulting ‘Scale Relative Ontology’ and Scientism: Must Every Thing Go?
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Ladyman and Ross’s Every Thing Must Go is a challenging text. In order to ascertain its significance, attention will be focused on their idea of Scale Relative Ontology. To do this their conception of Ontic Structural Realism will require elucidation. Its implications for Scale Relative Ontology will be explored before considering the way Scale Relative Ontology can be cast through three possible dimensions: the cosmological, the ordinary middle-sized, and scientific perspectives. In exploring the latter perspective, and applying insights derived from Peirce’s philosophy, their defence of Scientism will then be considered. In this way three different senses can be distinguished through which this doctrine can be presented, before examining what kind of Scientism they advocate and thereby its adequacy.
20. Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 46
Fernando Belo Como Pensam os Chineses sem Alfabeto?: 1.ª Parte – A Diferença das Escritas