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51. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Jussi Backman All of a Sudden: Heidegger and Plato’s Parmenides
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The paper will study an unpublished 1930–31 seminar where Heidegger reads Plato’s Parmenides, showing that in spite of his much-criticized habit of dismissing Plato as the progenitor of “idealist” metaphysics, Heidegger was quite aware of the radical potential of his later dialogues. Through a temporal account of the notion of oneness (to hen), the Parmenides attempts to reconcile the plurality of beings with the unity of Being. In Heidegger’s reading, the dialogue culminates in the notion of the “instant” (to exaiphnēs, Augenblick)—a high point in the entire metaphysical tradition—where the temporal plurality of presence and un-presence converges into a unified disclosure.
52. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Aryeh Kosman Ontological Differences: Being and Substance in Book V of the Metaphysics
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Aristotle’s discussions, in Metaphysics Delta 7 and 8, of things designated by the terms we translate ‘being’ and ‘substance’ are revealing in several respects. The discussion in chapter 7 reveals the centrality in his thinking of the distinction between in itself and accidental being, a distinction different from that between substance and the other categories. The discussion in chapter 8 in turn reveals not only two related criteria for calling things substance, but a distinction as well between entities that are called substances and the substance being which is the principle of their being so called.
53. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
P. Christopher Smith Virgil’s Destruktion of the Stoic Rational Agent: Rehearing Aeneid IV after Nietzsche and Heidegger
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This paper uses the exchanges between the lovers Dido and Aeneas in Aeneid IV to undercut the pretensions of Stoic philosophers to lead a dispassionate, imperturbable life under the sole guidance of “reason.” It takes Aeneas as an example of Stoicism’s lawyer-like, falsified rationality—“I will say just a few words in regard to this matter [pro re]” (IV 336)—and Dido as an example of someone who, though under the sway of furor, nevertheless makes honest, reasoned arguments that are continuous with the feelings she is experiencing. The point is not that one is more at fault than the other but the rather more radical thesis that with his Aeneas character Virgil is showing that Stoicism’s ataraxia and apatheia are inevitably dissimulation, inevitably fake.
54. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Huaiyu Wang Mesotēs, Energeia, and Alētheia: Discovering an Ariadne’s Thread through Aristotle’s Moral and Natural Philosophy
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Drawing upon John Burnet’s interpretation of mesotēs, I explore the original meanings of this important Greek word and its inherent relations to the conceptsof formal cause, final cause, and actuality (energeia). My investigation reveals the concept of mesotēs as an Ariadne’s thread running through the whole system ofAristotle’s moral and natural philosophy. It also throws a new light on the implications of Aristotle’s definition of moral virtue and the essential role it plays in the truth of human existence.
55. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
David Farrell Krell “A Double Tale I Shall Tell . . . ”: Empedocles and Hölderlin on Tragic Nature and Tragic Purification
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Countless poets and thinkers over the ages have identified closely with Empedocles of Acragas. Friedrich Hölderlin (1770–1843) is one of these. The threeversions of his mourning-play, The Death of Empedocles, give us an opportunity to conceive of the unity of the Empedoclean project—to confront nature and humanexistence alike as tragic. Central to this tragic view of both On Nature and Purifications, reputedly the two books of Empedocles, is the theme of doubling and duplicity, especially the presence in the (one) sphere of love and strife. Tragic doubling is a unity in perpetual dispersion.
56. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Kevin Aho Gender and Time: Revisiting the Question of Dasein’s Neutrality
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Many critics have attempted to give an account of a gendered incarnation of Dasein in response to Heidegger’s “neutral” or “asexual” interpretation. In this paper,I suggest gendered readings of Dasein are potentially misleading. I argue Dasein is gendered only to the extent that “the Anyone” (das Man)—understood as relational background of social practices, institutions, and languages—constitutes the space or “clearing” (Lichtung) of intelligibility. However, this reading misrepresents the core motivation of Heidegger’s early project, namely to arrive at “temporality” (Zeitlichkeit) as the original source of any intelligibility whatsoever. For Heidegger, Dasein is to be understood in terms of the twofold movement of being “thrown” into the Past (Vergangenheit) and “projecting” into the Future (Zukunft). It is only the basis of the neutral temporal structures of “thrown projection” that beings can emerge-into-presence as such, enabling us to make sense of our Present (Gegenwart) gendered practices in the first place.
57. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
David LaRocca Changing the Subject: The Auto/biographical as the Philosophical in Wittgenstein
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In this essay, I investigate our understanding of what counts as philosophical. Using the life and work of Wittgenstein as a test case, I take a close look at how various Wittgenstein scholars relate to work other than the principal and accepted philosophical texts (such as the Tractatus and the Philosophical Investigations), and suggest that there is an inconsistency in the criteria of what we can and should be taking seriously for philosophical purposes; sometimes there is inconsistency of use (one thing is said, another is done), and sometimes there is inconsistency in the form of occlusion (the scholar simply avoids the chance (or responsibility) to define terms). Guarding against advocacy for essentialism, I argue that philosophers might benefit from a more direct and explicit engagement with the criteria they use when writing about the philosophical significance of material other than dominant texts. That engagement, however, reveals that the pursuit of criteria is at odds with the spirit of Wittgenstein’s philosophy. As a result, we stand in need of an alternative method of discerning what counts. I suggestthat, in the context of Wittgenstein’s work, such a method is a matter of approach, not criteria. Perhaps this method can extend beyond Wittgenstein’s work to a general view of what counts as philosophical.
58. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Sean D. Kirkland On Anti-Parmenidean Temporality in Aristotle’s Physics
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Taking very seriously its anti-Parmenidean character, this essay locates a radically temporalized ontology at the heart of Aristotle’s Physics. We first concentrateon Aristotle’s discussion of kinêsis or ‘change’ as always between opposites, drawing the conclusion that the archai that govern and constitute a change, as opposites, cannot be present in the change itself. Thus, change is what it is by virtue of what is necessarily not present. We then draw the implications of this discussion for chronos or ‘time,’ defined in Book IV of the Physics as “the number of change.” Here, we uncover the ecstatic present moment of natural, changing things, a present constituted by its past and future, which is to say by what is emphatically not present.
59. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Michael Marder Given the Right—of Giving (in Hegel’s Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts)
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This essay approaches the Hegelian problem of giving and givenness through the marginal figures of the animal, the child, and “superstitious humanity,”representing, in one way or another, the unperturbed relationship with immediacy. I argue that, for Hegel, the process of subjectivization supersedes these figures by learning to reject the immediately given and to accept only what is self-given. Yet, interspersed throughout this process are various imbalances and asymmetries, whereby the subject gives itself more than it takes, undialectically suppressing the particular and displacing the marginal.
60. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Christian Lotz Existential Idealism?: Fichte and Heidegger
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In this essay, I shall attempt to shed light on central practical concepts, such as action and decision, in Heidegger’s existentialism and in Fichte’s idealism. BothFichte and Heidegger, though from different philosophical frameworks and with different results, address the practical moment by developing [1] a non-epistemic concept of certainty, in connection with [2] a temporal analysis of the conditions of action, which leads to the primacy of future in their analyses. Both [1] and [2] shed light on their concept of the self, and on the concept of freedom. In addition, my paper offers a further clarification of what was called before Fichte’s “proto-existentialism” (G. Zöller, D. Henrich). The ontological framework of both philosophies and their concept of the practical self, finally, leads to the proposal to merge both perspectives into what I would like to call “existential idealism.” Fichte’s and Heidegger’s practical philosophies can be taken as two sides of the same coin.