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31. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Michael Naas Lifelines
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“Prière à desceller d’une ligne de vie”: This is Jacques Derrida’s shortest published work—a one-line poem published back in 1986. In this essay I attempt to read this one-line poem through several texts of Derrida from the same period, including “Shibboleth” and “How to Avoid Speaking: Denials.” The essay is an attempt to bear witness to the extraordinary life and work of Derrida through a reading of this single line about life and work, living speech and the dead letter, life and living on, the destiny inscribed in a lifeline and the future of a lifeline in prayer.
32. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Dennis J. Schmidt Anything But a Series of Footnotes: Some Comments on John Sallis’s Platonic Legacies
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Whitehead’s widely cited and accepted remark that the history of philosophy is but a series of footnotes to Plato has implications for how both Plato and the history of philosophy is to be understood. Such an understanding does an injustice to both Plato and the history of philosophy. A recent book by John Sallis, Platonic Legacies, presents us with a counterview, one that offers a more exciting view of both Plato and the meaning of his legacy for the history of philosophy. The chief purpose of this article is to unpack some of Sallis’s contributions in this regard.
33. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Phil Hopkins Zeno’s Boêtheia Tôi Logôi: Thought Problems about Problems for Thought
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This essay addresses two central issues that continue to trouble interpretation of Zeno’s paradoxes: 1) their solution, and 2) their place in the history of philosophy. I offer an account of Zeno’s work as pointing to an inevitable paradox generated by our ways of thinking and speaking about things, especially about things as existing in the continua of space and time. In so doing, I connect Zeno’s arguments to Parmenides’ critique of “naming” in Fragment 8, an approach that I believe adds considerably to our understanding of both Zeno’s puzzles and this enigmatic aspect of Parmenides’ thought.
34. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Ayon Roy In seinem Anderen bei sich selbst zu sein: Toward a Recuperation of Hegel’s Metaphysics of Agency
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This essay argues for a distinctly post-Kantian understanding of Hegel’s definition of freedom as “being at home with oneself in one’s other.” I first briefly isolate the inadequacies of some dominant interpretations of Hegelian freedom and proceed to develop a more adequate theoretical frame by turning to Theodor Adorno. Then I interpret Hegel’s notion of the freedom of the will in the Philosophy of Right in terms of his speculative metaphysics. Finally, I briefly examine Hegel’s treatment of agency in the Phenomenology of Spirit in order to establish important continuities between the early and late Hegel.
35. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Cynthia D. Coe Contesting the Human: Levinas, the Body, and Racism
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In his 1934 essay “Some Thoughts on the Philosophy of Hitlerism,”Levinas identified two major movements within contemporary culture:liberalism and Hitlerism. At one level, these two movements are in strictopposition, but Levinas’s later work explores the way in which liberalismis implicated in the “hatred of the other” that pervades Hitlerism. In thispaper, I argue that Cartesian dualism underlies two sorts of anxieties, bothof which are expressed as racism. Levinas’s reconception of the body as ethicallysignificant overcomes this dualism, and thus seems to hold promise asa method for undoing contemporary manifestations of racism.
36. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Walter Brogan Letter from the Editor
37. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
William Franke Praising the Unsayable: An Apophatic Defense of Metaphysics on the Basis of the Neoplatonic Parmenides Commentaries
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This essay represents a contribution to rewriting the history metaphysics in terms of what philosophy never said, nor could say. It works from the Neoplatonic commentary tradition on Plato’s Parmenides as the matrix for a distinctively apophatic thinking that takes the truth of metaphysical doctrines as something other than anything that can be logically articulated. The hymn is taken to epitomize the kind of discourse that arises in the wake of apophatic negation and witnesses to what the Logos cannot say. The essay contends that metaphysics as a discourse of the unspeakable may prove more viable than any purely logical system could.
38. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Gordon Hull Hobbes’s Radical Nominalism
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This paper analyzes Hobbes’s understanding of signification, the process whereby words come to have meaning. Most generally, Hobbes develops and extends the nominalist critique of universals as it is found in Ockham and subsequently carried forward by early moderns such as Descartes. Hobbes’s radicality emerges in comparison with Ockham and Descartes, as, unlike them, Hobbes also reduces the intellectual faculty entirely to imagination. According to Hobbes, we have nothing in which a stabilizing, pre-discursive mental language could inhere. Hobbes thus concludes that all thinking is affective and semiotic, and depends on the regulation of conventionally established regimes of signs. Establishing this regulation is one of the central functions of the Hobbesian commonwealth.
39. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Emanuela Bianchi Material Vicissitudes and Technical Wonders: The Ambiguous Figure of Automaton in Aristotle’s Metaphysics of Sexual Difference
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In Aristotle’s physics and biology, matter’s capacity for spontaneous, opaque, chance deviation is named by automaton and marked with a feminine sign, while at the same time these mysterious motions are articulated, rendered knowable and predictable via the figure of ta automata, the automatic puppets. This paper traces how automaton functions in the Aristotelian text as a symptomatic crossing-point, an uncanny and chiasmatic figure in which materiality and logos, phusis, and technē, death and life, masculine and feminine, are intertwined and articulated. Automaton permits a mastery of generative materiality for teleological metaphysics, but also works to unsettle teleology’s systematic and unifying aspirations.
40. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Russell Winslow On the Nature of Epagôgê
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This essay pursues an interpretation of epagôgê in Aristotle in order to challenge the current claims in the scholarship that Aristotle’s method of discovery is, on the one hand, empirical or, on the other hand, a priori. In contrast to these claims, this essay offers a reading of the Analytica in conjunction with the Physics in order to propose the following: if we are to think through Aristotle’s method of discovery, we must first unhinge ourselves from the oppositional paradigm of empirical contra conceptual. Through the example of Aristotle’s inquiry into nature, it is shown that Aristotle’s method of discovery is, at once, one intimately betrothed to “conceptual” (or, more properly, “dialogical”) resources, while also subtended by a comportment itself wakeful and perceptive of the being undergoing inquiry.