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81. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Bernard Freydberg John Sallis's Recent Contributions to Continental Aesthetics
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In a sustained and protracted meditation on imagination and art, John Sallis has more than challenged the traditional metaphysical distinction between sensible and intelligible that has governed much of aesthetic discourse. In his Sense of Imagination (Indiana University Press, 2000), he excised that philosophical marker altogether in favor of a language of sense  in which intelligibility occurs as a secondary function—if at all. Praising Hegel’s celebration of color, he disputes the latter’s declaration that “art is dead” in favor of the Nietzschean hearkening to art as the movement toward the future.
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82. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Claudia Baracchi In the Theater of Earth and Sky: On the Work of John Sallis
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Sallis situates himself within the discourse of the “end of metaphysics” that in various idioms traversed the twentieth century. This lineage has variously declared the fulfillment and completion of the epoch of Western philosophy as metaphysics, exposed metaphysics to the discipline of the question, inverted its hierarchical structure with a view to overcoming the privileges of disembodied reason. Yet, even within such a lineage of systematic exhaustion and often spectacular provocations, John Sallis’s work stands out for its radical traits. First and foremost, for the unrelenting interrogation of the things below. His deconstructive (or even dismantling) gesture does not simply rest on textual encounters, but crucially also on the frequentation of the things of sense and the cultivation of intimacy with them. 
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83. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Scott F. Aikin Xenophanes the High Rationalist: The Case of F1:17-8
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Scholarship on Xenophanes’s F1 has had two foci, one on the rules of the symposium and the other on the religious program posed at its close. Thus far, the two areas of focus have been treated as either separate issues or as the religious program proposed in the service of the sympotic objectives. Instead, I will argue that the sympotic norms Xenophanes espouses are in the service of the broader program of rational theology.
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84. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
María del Rosario Acosta López Contributions to Continental Philosophy: John Sallis
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This is an introduction to a special section consisting of articles by Bernard Freydberg, Claudia Baracchi, and Charles Scott on the contributions of John Sallis to Continental Philosophy, followed by Sallis’s response. These papers were all presented as part of the session Contributions to Continental Philosophy: John Sallis at the annual meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy in Eugene, Oregon, in October 2013.
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85. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
S. Montgomery Ewegen 'An Inconsistent Ado About Matters of No Consequence': Comic Turns in Plato's "Euthydemus"
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Scholarship on the Euthydemus has largely focused on the protreptic character of the Euthydemus—that is, the manner by which Socrates attempts to turn the young Cleinias toward philosophy. By focusing on the dramatic structure of the text, and above all its comic tenor, this article argues that it is Crito—he to whom Socrates tells his hilarious story of his encounter with the two sophist-brothers—who is the real object of Socrates’s protreptic speech.
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86. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Golfo Maggini Europe's Janus Head: Jan Patocka’s Notion of “Overcivilization”
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Jan Patocka’s idea of Europe can be viewed as a continuation of Edmund Husserl’s reflections on the issue. Still, the differences are numerous and worthy to be studied, especially in today’s critical times for Europe’s future. Patocka doubts the teleological, rationality-based determination of Europe’s identity, and, following that, the diagnosis of Europe’s current crisis as a deficiency in rationalization, which could be in its turn overcome by a surplus of rationalization. Patocka’s early differentiation from Husserl’s intellectualist account of European humanity will lead to an integral, phenomenology-inspired philosophy of the European civilization. For Patocka, the prevailing of the “hegemonic” against the “universalist” Europe means a fall behind the standards of European humanity, to that of the mere biological level, as specified by today’s preponderant economy-oriented discourse. For him, the seeming victory of the “hegemonic” over the “universalist” Europe is false, because it already contains the seeds of its self-destruction.
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87. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Véronique M. Fóti Revisiting Greek Tragedy in Dialogue with Jacques Taminiaux
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In Le théatre des philosophes, Taminiaux suggests that both German Idealism and Heidegger understand Greek tragedy as ontological in its import. So does Plato who, however, censures it for the inadequacy of its ontological vision, which he seeks to correct by means of the aesthetic education of the guardians of the ideal city. Taminiaux stresses that Aristotle understands tragedy as a mimēsis of action which is pluralistic, willing to engage with appearances, and oriented toward phronēsis. A key question concerns his understanding of the katharsis or purification of powerful passions, treated here as a cognitive clarification requiring the intense passional engagement that Plato censors. In response to Taminiaux’s claim that Hölderlin’s tragic inspiration is Aristotelian, this essay explores his understanding of tragic purification. In separating the hybristic union of god and man, such purification restores the possibility of interlocutory praxis.
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88. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Christophe Perrin From Metaphysics to the Juridical: Heidegger and the Question of Law
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Philosophy of Law sometimes refers to Heidegger, yet Heidegger does not explicitly tackle this area of philosophy. In this paper, I will argue that it is actually possible to bring to light a theory of law in Heidegger’s writings. Such a theory would help juridical thought by tracing it back to its metaphysical presuppositions.
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89. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Charles Scott Elemental
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This discussion of John Sallis’s thought on “the elemental” begins with an engagement of Terrance Malick’s film The Tree of Life. In this engagement the emphasis falls on mere cosmic force, the formation of life on earth, and the development of human bodies with the elemental inevitability of cruelty and violence that is simultaneous with nurturing care, tenderness, and love. Does Sallis give adequate consideration to cosmic force and human kinship with mere force? The next section expands Sallis’s understanding of “elemental” to include such integral aspects of human lives as institutions, languages, cultural identities: To include all the defining (elemental) aspects intrinsic in human lives. This section calls for a re-thinking of “elemental” and its restricted use in connection with “nature.” The third section engages parts of the chapter, “Elemental Cosmology,” in Logic of Imagination. Although Sallis often appears to give priority to vision, in this chapter he turns to the invisible in his encounter with “the” elemental. In this process he develops within the context of a broadly conceived phenomenological tradition a new conception of objectivity and a new conception of logic. A final section summarizes Sallis’s and my encounter and leads to an incident the telling of which shows a deep compatibility in Sallis’s and my thought in spite of significant differences.
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90. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Theodore George Letter from the Editor
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91. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
John Sallis To Behold the Light of the Sun: Response to Bernard Freydberg, Claudia Baracchi, and Charles Scott
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This response addresses a series of themes from my writings on imagination, on art, and on ancient philosophy.
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92. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Jeffrey D. Gower The Sovereign and the Exile: Archytas and Aristotle on the Living Law
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This essay explores the historical roots of biopolitics by investigating the structural homology between the supremely virtuous king discussed in Aristotle’s Politics and the sovereign living law advanced in On Law and Justice, accepted here as authored by Archytas of Tarentum. Archytas’s sovereign incarnates a divine law in order to ground the written law of the city and to constitute the way of life proper to the citizenry. The identity of life and law in his person exempts this sovereign from the written laws he grounds just as Aristotle’s king cannot be subjected to law because he is a law unto himself. Despite this homology, Archytas’s sovereign exemplifies a highly determinate way of life fully constituted by law while an analysis of Aristotle’s king reveals a double determination of the virtuous exemplar as both sovereign and exile. This double determination both exhibits and complicates the logic of exclusion that, for Agamben, makes Western politics biopolitical from its inception.
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93. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Jessica Elbert Decker Everliving Fire: The Synaptic Motion of Life in Heraclitus
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This paper explores Heraclitus’s linguistic method as a structural expression of his cosmological philosophy. Through an analysis of the various kinds of motion that Heraclitus describes, including the crucial motion between opposites, this essay delineates the meaning of ‘everliving fire’ as emblematic of his cosmos. The image of the synapse frames this analysis as it is simultaneously a motion and an expression uniting two poles; ‘syn’ also invokes Heraclitus’s notion of ‘shared logos’ as xynon, contrasted with human incomprehension as axynetoi. The divine principle of Zeus and his thunderbolt serve as a source of motion; these motions of fire govern not only the cosmos, but human perception and thought.
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94. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Lawrence J. Hatab A Story of Unrequited Love: The Tragic Character of Aristotle’s Philosophy
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Aristotle’s Poetics defends the value of tragic poetry, presumably to counter Plato’s critique in the Republic. Can this defense resonate with something larger and rather surprising, that Aristotle’s overall philosophy displays a tragic character? I define the tragic as pertaining to indigenous and inescapable limits on life, knowledge, control, achievement, and agency. I explore how such limits figure in Aristotle’s physics, metaphysics, and biological works. Accordingly I want to disturb the common account of Aristotle’s thought as a neat system of ontological order and metaphysical closure—not to exclude such elements but to place them within a world-view that includes certain limits at the edges of being.
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95. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Jeremy R. Bell ἡ δημεραστία: Plato’s Contest between Care and ἡ νομοθετική
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This article analyzes the relationship between ethics and politics in Plato’s dialogues. I argue that Plato set forth the care of the self as the organizing principle of ethics and as the idealized form of politics, both of which are conceived of as practices of care insofar as they are directed toward the attainment of the good. I conclude by demonstrating that, while the idealized form of politics is conceived of as a practice of care, such care turns against and resists real world politics insofar as the latter falls short of this ideal; thus, the ethics of the care of the self emerges as a form of political critique.
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96. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Michael Wiitala Non-Being and the Structure of Privative Forms in Plato’s Sophist
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In Plato’s Statesman, the Eleatic Stranger explains that the division of all human beings into Greek and barbarian is mistaken in that it fails to divide reality into genuine classes or forms (eide). The division fails because “barbarian” names a privative form, that is, a form properly indicated via negation: non-Greek. This paper examines how the Stranger characterizes privative forms in the Sophist. I argue that although the Stranger is careful to define privative forms as fully determinate, he nevertheless characterizes them as having a structure unlike that of their non-privative counterparts. A privative form, in contrast to a non-privative form, is indifferent to the specificity of its members.
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97. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Eve Rabinoff Rational and Non-rational Perception in Aristotle's De Anima
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The bulk of the account of perception that Aristotle offers in De Anima focuses on analyzing the operation of the five senses and the reception of their respective objects. On Aristotle’s own terms, this analysis is an incomplete account of perception, for it does not explain how perception operates in the life of an animal, with the aim of supporting a certain kind of life. This paper aims to supplement the account of the five senses by considering perception in the context of human life. I argue that human perception, i.e., rational perception, differs from non-rational perception insofar as the latter is perspectival—that is, the non-rational animal perceives objects only in light of its needs and desires—whereas the former is non-perspectival—that is, a person perceives objects as independent of and exceeding her desires.
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98. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Jean De Groot Why Epistemology Is Not Ancient: From Device and Drama into Philosophy
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This paper traces the significance of first principles (archai) in Greek philosophy to cognitive developments in colonial Greek Italy in the late fifth century BC. Conviction concerning principles comes from the power to make something true by action. Pairing and opposition, the forerunners of metonymy, are shown to structure disparate cultural phenomena—the making of figured numbers, the sundial, and the production, with the aid of device, of fear or panic in the spectators of Greek tragedy. From these starting points, the function of the gnômôn in knowledge is explored.
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99. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
G. R. F. Ferrari Plato the Writer
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In this talk I consider a body of my more recent work in order to isolate the shared approach that it takes to reading Platonic dialogue, an approach which had been absent from my writing on Plato up to that point and is largely absent from any of the traditions that influence how most of us read Plato. Its key feature is a refusal to treat the character Socrates as operating as if he were Plato’s secret agent within the dialogue—as if one should attribute to Socrates all of the cunning and the control with which one might credit instead the author who scripted Socrates’s habitual triumphs. The focus of this new approach is rather on Plato’s “writerly” philosophizing: on how Plato exploits the distinction between what he and his character Socrates are up to as philosophers in order to guide our sense of his own activity and aims as a philosophic writer.
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100. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Sarah Jansen Audience Psychology and Censorship in Plato’s Republic: The Problem of the Irrational Part
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In Republic X, the “problem of the irrational part” is this: Greek tragedy interacts with non-reasoning elements of the soul, affecting audiences in ways that undermine their reasoned views about virtue and value. I suggest that the common construal of Socrates’s critique of Greek tragedy is inadequate, in that it belies key elements of Plato’s audience psychology; specifically, (1) the crucial role of the spirited part and (2) the audience’s cognitive contribution to spectatorship. I argue that Socrates’s emphasis on the audience’s cognitive contribution to spectatorship allows him to anticipate a non-authoritarian solution to the problem of the irrational part.
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