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71. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Alexandrine Schniewind Ethics in Late Antiquity: Away from Worldly Solicitations, towards Social Concern
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Taking off from the observation that scholars have for too long maintained that late ancient philosophy has no ethical theory, the purpose of this paper is toshow that there is. indeed an ethics in late antiquity, and even that it is rich and consistent. I make a distinction between an ethical theory (about e.g. happiness and virtue) and its practical foundation in the philosophical curriculum of Neoplatonic schools. I focus on the curriculum, showing that the pedagogical focus of late ancient ethics is twofold: it aims to make people turn away from worldly ties, but nevertheless always retains social concern as a main preoccupation. To this end two different kinds of ethical tasks can be distinguished: (a) the purification of the soul who is starting her philosophical journey and (b) the generous testimony of the soul who has already experienced purification. The Platonic call for divinization of the soul [Theaetetus 176b) turns out to bear interesting parallels with late ancient ethics and, what is more, to provide its general framework.
72. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Marina Bykova The Philosophy of Subjectivity from Descartes to Hegel
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In the modern Continental tradition the word "subjectivity" is used to denote all that refers to a subject, its psychological-physical integrity represented by its mind, all that determines the unique mentality, mental state, and reactions of this subject. Subjectivity in this perspective has become on the Continent the central principle of philosophy.Modern Continental philosophy not only maintains the value of the subject and awakens an interest in genuine subjectivity. It evolves from the subject and subjective self-consciousness as Jundamento inconcusso. Thus modern Continental philosophy should be understood and discussed as a philosophy of subjectivity. This paper deals, on the one hand, with the philosophical-historical reconstruction of modern philosophy of subjectivity from Descartes to Hegel, and, on the other hand, with an analysis and evaluation of Hegel's systematic approach to subjectivity in terms of philosophical tradition, especially from the viewpoint of the realization of the idealistic program of selfconsciousness represented by German idealists.Focusing on the major lines of development of the theory of subjectivity in Continental philosophy from Descartes to Hegel, 1(1) discuss the quandaries of early modern philosophers concerning subject and subjectivity and their attempts to resolve these quandaries by developing the fundamentally new (in contrast to previous tradition) understanding of subjectivity; (2) show that the issue of subjectivity was the basic topic of transcendental idealism; and (3) introduce Hegel's approach to subjectivity and briefly define its novel character.
73. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Marcia Homiak The Continuous Activity of Ordinary Life
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Aristotle is right to argue that the best life is a life of unimpeded activity, but I believe he went wrong in thinking that ordinary human life is, or must be, far removed from the best life. To establish this claim, I offer a historical explanation of what unimpeded activity involves. I use the class of art patrons in Renaissance Florence to show how mathematical skills acquired in everyday life can be applied to widely differing tasks. As patrons extend their mathematical skills, their activities become more self-realizing and hence more continuous in Aristotle's sense. I argue that the activities of the Florentine patron class, to be sustained over time, require many of Aristotle's virtues. Examples like this show, I argue, that reasonably unimpeded activity is an important human good and that it is genuinely desirable to, and within the grasp of, ordinary people, even those who initially claim no interest in virtue.
74. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Daniel Graham The Sun's Light in Early Greek Thought
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In the sixth century BCE Ionian philosophers explained the sun as a mass of fire, sometimes as floating like a leaf or a cloud above the earth. It was thought to be fueled by moist vapors from the earth. In the f i f t h century philosophers typically envisaged the sun as a red-hot stone or a molten mass carried around by the force of a cosmic vortex. The decisive shift in explanations seems to result from the cosmology of Parmenides, who recognized that the moon received its light from the sun, and hence inferred that the heavenly bodies were spherical solid bodies. The new theory required a new account of how the sun came to be hot. The sun was said to be heated either by being in a fiery region or by friction. The discovery of a large meteorite seemed to confirm the fifth-century theory.
75. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Richard Fincham Hölderlin and Novalis: Reappropriating the Reflection Model of Self-Consciousness
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This paper draws upon my research into the posthumously published fragmentary remains of Hölderlin and Novalis's philosophical reflections to describe how their explanations of the possibility of self-consciousness are far more convincing than those provided by their philosophical contemporaries, and still have much to contribute to contemporary debates concerning the nature of 'consciousness' and 'selfhood.' The paper begins by sketching the background to their accounts of self-consciousness, that is, Fichte's critique of Kant's 'reflection model' of self-consciousness and the subsequent critique of Fichte's 'solution' to this problem by more orthodox Kantians (such as F. I . Niethammer). I shall then present an account of how Hölderlin and Novalis may be said to enact a 'synthesis' of the opposed Kantian and Fichtean positions, to formulate an account of self-consciousness that on one hand acknowledges the power of—in Henrich's words—Fichtes ursprüngliche Einsicht into the inadequacy of the Kantian 'reflection model,' whilst, on the other hand, re-appropriating such a 'reflection model.' They thus argue that I am only aware of myself as T by means of a reflective act (in which I in some sense become my own intentional object), whilst at the same time arguing that such awareness nevertheless involves a non-reflective 'dimension.' For Hölderlin and Novalis, therefore, consciousness is always intentionally directed, and yet in being intentionally directed, it is also non-reflectively related to itself or "self-luminous" sea conception of consciousness which has similarities with Sartre's conception of the 'pre-reflective cogito.'
76. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
AÏm Deüelle Lüski Thought from the Middle: The Method of Deleuzian Metaphysics
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My lecture is concerned with a presentation of the method of Deleuzian thought, which - I would like to contend - well represent the change that has taken place in postmodernist thought. Deleuze is unique in calling himself a "classical metaphysicist," i.e. a restorer of classical thought, albeit via the screen - thought which has managed to survive and overcome the obstacle of modernity. The Deleuzian unification of pre-modern thought and modernist critique with Nietzsche's theory of eternal repetition gives rise to a method, whose utter meaning is an attempt to provide thinkers with sharp tools for successfully opposing later capitalism and globalization, something that stands at the very heart of Deleuzian metaphysics. This opposition, which in effect is also a new doctrine of moral aesthetics, lies at the core of this present lecture. I would like to present the special combative nature of Deleuzian thought, and through him to present a different radical angle of the post-modern paradigm.
77. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Altaf Hossain Gadamer's Hermeneutics: Some Critical Comments
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Hermeneutics, in its phenomenological mode, has become one of the dominating issues in contemporary philosophical discours. Hans-Georg Gadamer, the leading exponent of phenomenological hermeneutics, develops his theory in his monumental work Truth and Method1, by regarding hermeneutics as an exploration of both the archaeology of human understanding and constitutive role of language in experience. In this paper, we have presented a brief exposition of Gadamer's views, giving an emphasis on how human understanding of objects inevitably mingles with its traditions or prejudices. Following Gadamer, we also have offered a systematic account of the role of language upon our overall understanding and building of an impersonal criterion of the truth and meaning of experiences. And finally we have critically examined Habermas* critique of Gadamer's failure to see language as a camouflage of domination of stronger experiences and the fact that the history of understanding is systematically distorted by this domination.
78. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Antonio Gallardo Cervantes Nacimiento del sujeto en filosofõa de Emmanuel Levinas
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Levinas pretende liberarse de la esclavitud del subjetivismo moderno. En realidad, de lo que se trata es de salir del ser por una nueva via. Estamos ante una Filosofia de la Liberaciön.
79. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Linda Fisher The Challenges of Diversity
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The issues of difference, diversity, otherness, and the possibility of community have emerged as leading philosophical and socio-political questions in recent times. An increasing theoretical emphasis on issues of difference and alterity, with a corresponding convergence of topics like globalization, have brought into renewed focus not only the question of otherness, but more fundamentally, the question of how the encounter with the Other is to take place. My paper examines the treatment of issues of difference and otherness within a perspective of philosophical hermeneutics. In recent writings, Gadamer has suggested that the principles of his philosophical hermeneutics can prove beneficial in reflections on contemporary social problems of diversity and cultural difference. In examining these claims, I question whether Gadamer acknowledges sufficiently the challenges and resistance of otherness. At the same time, I also question the claims of some theorists who maintain that it is never possible to bridge difference and otherness. In the end I suggest that while the resistance of difference might be underestimated, there are nevertheless promising approaches for thinking difference and diversity to be found in a hermeneutical perspective.
80. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Wanda Torres Gregory "Unintelligibility in Heidegger"
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In his Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) (GA 65), Heidegger claims: "Making itself intelligible is the suicide of philosophy" (435). He defines intelligibility in terms of the modern metaphysical forms of thinking and speaking about beings as objects of representation. Moreover, intelligibility involves a uniform accessibility for the inauthentic. anybody of an age marked by thoughtlessness. Thus, Heidegger upholds and tries to adhere to a principle of unintelligibility for the thinkers in the crossing from the first beginning to the other beginning of philosophy. Thinkers in the crossing are essentially ambiguous and indefinite in their attempt to move through and away metaphysical thinking toward a be-ing-historical thinking. Their only option is to say the metaphysical language of beings as language of be-ing, and this involves a transformation of language and thinking through a "turning around" of the meaning of metaphysical words. Unintelligibility is an essential feature of this transformed and transformative effort to carry out the ultimate task of "the bringing back of beings from the truth of be-ing" (11). If philosophy makes itself intelligible, then it fails to accomplish its mission in the age of the abandonment of be-ing by beings. Unintelligibility in Heidegger, as he defines it and as it occurs in his own writing, suggests the concomitant demand on us, the philosophers of today, to make the effort to interpret the language of beings as language of be-ing.