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81. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Fabienne Baghdassarian Principe du bien et principe du mal chez Aristote
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This paper deals with Aristotle’s criticism of a metaphysical principle of evil. On several occasions in the Metaphysics, Aristotle notes that some of his predecessors, e.g. Empedocles and Plato at least, have been forced to admit the existence of a principle of evil, for the very same reasons that led them to define the good as a principle. Needless to say Aristotle too admits that the good belongs to the range of principles, but he obviously does not think he is committed to the same position concerning evil. This article tries to determine why it can legitimately be so, i.e. on which grounds Aristotle’s conception of the good as a principle can save him from having to make room for its contrary too among the principles. In the first part of this paper, I define the two main logical rules which, according to Aristotle, led Empedocles and Plato to admit the evil among the principles : the rule of homogeneity between a principle and its effect, and the rule of contrary principles. In the two following parts, I study how Aristotle manages to avoid the undesirable consequences of these logical rules : first, by providing a definition of an absolutely first principle which has no contrary ; second, by providing a new definition of the relation of contrariety itself, thanks to which the hypothesis of a principle of evil turns to be both useless and contradictory.
82. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Izabela Jurasz Ce que les Gnostiques ont fait du Principe du Bien. Le cas de Basilide
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The article examines the metamorphosis of the Platonic Principle of Good in the doctrine of Basilides, the 2nd century Christian gnostic. The Basilidian doctrine represents a radical form of dualism, in which the universe ‑ physical and metaphysical ‑ is born from an encounter between Light (good) and Darkness (evil). In his effort to liberate the Light from all contact with Darkness, Basilide refers to several different mediators (eye, mirror, gleam, desire). Analysing the Basilidian myth in the light of the Platonic writings brings out the paradoxes inherent in any attempts to construct a dualistic metaphysics within the Platonic context.
83. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Laurent Lavaud Y a‑t‑il, selon Plotin, une energeia du Bien ?
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Is there an energeia of the Good according to Plotinus ? The aim of this paper is to shed light on the tension between two conflicting perspectives concerning the Good in the philosophy of Plotinus. According to the first perspective, Plotinus claims that the the first principle completely transcends the energeia, which is strictly limited to the Intellect. According to the second, he ascribes a kind of immanent energeia to the One. I will examine the two series of texts in which these two perspectives are present and advance two hypotheses to explain the divergence between these two viewpoints.Firstly, the meaning of the term energeia is not unequivocal, depending on whether it is strictly limited to the intelligible realm or ascribed to the One. Secondly, the competition between two models of causality in the Enneads can explain why Plotinus has two divergent views on the relation between the Good and the energeia. According to the first model, the Good ≪doesn’t have in itself what it gives≫. In line with this principle, Plotinus claims that the Good stands epekeina energeias. The second model of causality is inherited from the peripatetic school. According to it, the cause already contains eminently in itself that which it gives. This model of causality helps explain the ascription of energeia to the Good and the so‑called ≪double‑energeia theory≫.
84. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Jean‑Claude Picot Penser le Bien et le Mal avec Empédocle
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A ready answer to the question of Empedocles’ thinking about Good and Evil is to be found in Aristotle, who provides us with this simple rule of thumb : Good is associated with Love, and Evil with Hate. Fundamentally obvious as that rule may be (it makes us think in particular of Love’s masterpiece in the cosmic cycle, the Sphairos), we need to go beyond Aristotle’s words. This article investigates several topics : fire, the sun, water, the hoard of divine thought, reincarnation, Empedoclean ethics, and, finally, the Blessed Ones. Complexity rules our quest to determine what belongs to the Good and what belongs to the Bad. There are times when Love takes advantage of Hate’s ability to cause separation. The sun, manifestation par excellence of fire, is loaded with ambivalence in Empedocles – even though the high value placed almost universally on light is a commonplace in Greek thought. Empedocles is torn between his sense of wonder at the works of Aphrodite and his pessimism on recognizing the infernal cycle in which mortals are involved.
85. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Rossella Saetta Cottone Le soleil comme reflet et la question de la connaissance dans la pensée d’Empédocle: aux origines d’une image
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Questo articolo argomenta in favore della tesi di una collaborazione tra sensi e ragione nella gnoseologia di Empedocle. Il primo difensore di questa tesi, Sesto Empirico, distingueva nel pensiero empedocleo due forme di ragione (λόγος), una umana e l’altra divina. Viene sostenuta qui l’identificazione della ragione divina menzionata da Sesto con il dio protagonista del fr. 134DK, a cui il suo citatore, Ammonio, attribuisce il nome di Apollo. L’analisi proposta cerca di mostrare in particolare 1) che il dio menzionato nel fr. 134 e il sole della comologia empedoclea conosciuto grazie alla testimonianza di Aezio (A56) ; 2) che la costituzione fisica di questo dio solare, immagine luminosa proiettata sulla volta dell’etere, ne fa una figura velata della conoscenza, come relazione necessaria di esperienze sensibili e di contenuti intellettivi. La tradizione pitagorica che identificava il sole con Apollo troverebbe un prolungamento nella divinizzazione empedoclea della ragione.
86. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Fernando Rey Puente Simone Weil, Platon et le Bien
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The aim of this article is to provide an overview about Simone Weil’s interpretation of the Good in Plato. The article has two parts. In the first one, we focus on her exegesis of the ancient Greek civilization and of the Pythagorean tradition. We also signalize that her interpretation cannot be confused with the one done in Neoplatonism. After that, we investigate her interpretation of Plato’s philosophy with special emphasis on two dialogues : Republic and Timaeus. In the second part we research two main concepts of Simone Weil’s philosophy, i.e., the notions of value and of lecture and finalize our text with the question of how we should situate her appropriation of the Platonic tradition.
87. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Michel Narcy L’idée du bien chez trois platoniciens modernes: Alain, Pétrement, Weil
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This paper consists in three case studies of modern French philosophers who drew their inspiration from Plato : Emile Chartier (1868‑1951), known under his nom de plume Alain, famous as a teacher in the twenties of the last century, and two of his pupils, Simone Petrement (1907‑1992) and Simone Weil (1909‑1943). Great admirer of Plato, Alain taught the survival of his main thoughts through all the philosophical tradition and their agreement with the rationalistic mood of 19th‑20th century philosophy. This implied that these thoughts were stripped of the allegorical or mythological way in which Plato often expresses them. In particular, Plato’s allegory of the cave, one of his core images, turned out in Alain’s interpretation to be a metaphoric description of the difficult ascent of the mind up to scientific or at least rational knowledge. Consequently in this interpretation it was no longer question of any transcendency of the idea of the Good.Petrement and Weil remained faithful to their teacher and therefore to Platonic inspiration. Nevertheless, both of them, although in different ways, have reacted against this exhaustion of transcendence and come into conflict with modern interpretation of Plato. Petrement, even before specialising in the history of Gnosticism, worked out a dualistic system in which truth is absolutely transcendent because, as universal, it is unattainable for any particular mind inasmuch it is a subject’s mind. Truth, therefore, is unattainable throughout this life. On Weil’s part, the interest in Plato took place after a period of left wing militancy, following her discovery of Christianity and some personal experiences of mysticism. Platonism was for her a means of combining her new faith with a properly philosophical, i.e. rationalistic, way of thinking. Of course in this view transcendency was crucial to the idea of Good as much as to that of God. Whether this transcendency is more a matter of faith than of reason is at least uncertain.
88. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Marilena Vlad Denys l’Aréopagite et le principe donateur de bien
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In this article I discuss the perspective of Dionysius the Areopagite regarding the problem of the absolute Good. I begin with a short outline of the main Neoplatonic ideas concerning the identity between the One and the Good. I then try to show how, in Dionysius’ thinking, the role of the Good changes. The Good appears as the source of all procession and it aquires more and more names, as the procession advances. However, I also try to show the reverting manner in which these names (goodness, light, beauty and love) act.
89. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Sylvain Roux Quel nom pour le Principe ? Un problème chez Plotin et Proclus
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The question to know which name to attribute to the First principle is a difficult question in the Neoplatonic tradition. Indeed, as this one is situated beyond being, no term can apply to him and thus it is only in a negative way that it can be described. But the problem also settles about another aspect because, as first term, it performs a causal function. Thus it is advisable to know if certain terms turn out more appropriate than others to indicate this function. By what name to indicate the First one as being a principle ? We would like to show that this question is approached and answered differently throughout the Neoplatonic tradition. If Plotinus admits the existence of different names, he does not really consider that they indicate different causal functions. For Proclus, in particular in the Platonic Theology, different names refer to different manners in which the principle manifests.
90. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Silvia Fazzo Le manuscrit Laurentianus 87.12 comme le témoin le plus ancien du Commentaire d’Alexandre d’Aphrodise à la Métaphysique d’Aristote
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Prolegomena pour une nouvelle modalite critique d’edition et de reference concernant le temoignage d’Alexandre sur le texte de la Metaphysique d’Aristote. Methode et cas d’etude : ‘Alexandre’ et le ‘telephone sans fil’ des apparats critiques in Metaphysique 1072b2‑3. Quel ‘Commentaire’ d’Alexandre ? Un texte a re‑etablir. Les editions du commentaire d’Alexandre au XIXe siecle (1836, 1847, 1891) : le role du manuscrit Monacensis gr. 81, a. 1550 env. (sigle M). L’edition Hayduck 1888 du commentaire d’Asclepius comme etude de cas parallele et comme source supplementaire. Le commentaire d’Alexandre selon la recensio laurentiana (AlL). L’independance des deux recensiones comme dilemme. La tradition indirecte de la tradition indirecte de la Metaphysique : le commentaire d’Asclepius. L’analyse des parties communes entre Asclepius et la recensio laurentiana sur Δ29 : un cas particulier. Les arguments de Hayduck 1891 pour l’athetese du texte du Laurentianus. L’argument de Hayduck 1891 sur la recensio laurentiana in Arist. 985a18‑20 et ses developpements recents : la suppression des mots d’Aristote concernant la fonction du νοῦς chez Anaxagore. La nouvelle athetese de la recensio laurentiana : arguments pro et contra. Discussions de nos jours sur l’edition d’Alexandre : l’hypothese du Paris. 1878 comme branche β. Tradition d’exegese, souci de legitimation, perte d’information, normalisation du langage. L’hypertexte possible et autres perspectives.
91. Chôra: Volume > 17
Olivier Renaut Le plaisir dans la cite platonicienne
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This article aims at showing that the definition of pleasure in Plato’s dialogues cannot be separated from a political educational program and an anthropology that consider pleasure as the main vehicle towards virtue. The political use of pleasure is as important as its definition, insofar as its manifestation and content are the prerogatives of the legislator. All pleasures are politically meaningful in the Republic and in the Laws, and among them especially the triad hunger, thirst and sex ; in making pleasures a “public” issue, as pleasures are object of surveillance and political control, Plato gives several means in order to shape the way pleasures are felt in the city, and in order to make the community of pleasure and pain a fundamental role in unifying the city under the reason’s commands.
92. Chôra: Volume > 17
Annick Jaulin, Michel Crubellier Présentation
93. Chôra: Volume > 17
Charlotte Murgier Platon et les plaisirs de la vertu
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How does Plato conceive the pleasures attendant on the virtuous life? Does he provide a specific account of them ? By reading through key passages from Laws book 5, Republic book 9 and the Philebus, I try to assess the way Plato endeavours to demonstrate that the virtuous life is also happy and thereby pleasant. I investigate to what extent these texts put forward any specificity of the pleasures of being virtuous, and how far the account they provide harmonizes with Plato’s general views about pleasure.
94. Chôra: Volume > 17
Karine Tordo·Rombaut Protagoras 351b3‑358d4 : le plaisir et rien d’autre
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In Protagoras 351b3‑358d4, Socrates apparently admits the use of pleasure and pain as criteria for distinguishing between good and bad. Focusing on this passage, my paper outlines three problems, raising from : (1) the contradiction between Socrates’ objection to pleasure in other platonic dialogues and his assent here to a hypothesis which identifies good with pleasure ; (2) the petitio principii apparently involved in Socrates’ argument to support the thought that knowledge is more powerful than emotions ; (3) the compatibility of his “ hedonist ” hypothesis with his “intellectualist” thought. My paper undertakes to reconstruct Socrates’ argument, in order to answer problem (2). I contend that this argument makes the humans admit they are deprived of the knowledge both of good and evil and of pleasant and painful, a point sufficient to silence them when they speak of “knowledge being defeated by pleasure”. This contention helps answering problem (1), through a distinction between so‑called pleasures (to which Socrates objects) and real ones (which he might accept). My conclusion answers problem (3), by showing that, held together, both the “hedonist” hypothesis and the “intellectualist” thought lead to not take pleasure for granted, as required to secure a philosophical approach.
95. Chôra: Volume > 17
Michel Crubellier Aristote : poursuivre et fuir
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ARISTOTLE ON PURSUIT AND AVOIDANCE. Pleasure and pain play an essential role in Aristotle’s conception of the goal‑directed activities of animals and human beings, since they trigger the reactions of pursuit or avoidance, and hence the entire behavior. The present paper inquires into Aristotle’s analysis of this phenomenon on the basis of De Anima III , chapter 7 and De Motu Animalium, chapters 6‑7‑8. The crucial move in this analysis is the definition of pleasure and pain given in both treatises : “To feel pleasure or pain is to actualize through the sensitive mean towards what is good or bad, as such”. The paper examines the meaning of this definition and shows how it connects and agrees with the explanation of the principles of the physical motions of animals in the De Motu Animalium.
96. Chôra: Volume > 17
Marguerite Deslauriers Le plaisir et le temps dans le livre X de l’Éthique a Nicomaque
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Aristotle begins the discussion of pleasure in Book X of the Nicomachean Ethics with the claim that pleasure “is thought to be most properly connected with our kind,” (EN X 1, 1172a19‑23). In his positive account of pleasure in X 4, he suggests that we can somehow experience pleasure otherwise than “in time” (1174b2‑10). The aim of this article is to show how the claim that pleasure does not occur ‘in time’ might illuminate the claim that pleasure is most properly connected to our kind. The point, I will argue, is not only that pleasure is complete at every moment – that will be true of many activities – but also that pleasure has the same structure as the best activity available to us, and a structure different from the best activity available to other kinds. Several passages indicate that Aristotle believes that all living things act for the sake of immortality, understood as divine and eternal life, and connect the pursuit of eternal life with the activities that are natural to a species. These offer us a way to understand why the pleasure of contemplation is the best pleasure, and why pleasure is most intimately connected with our kind. I begin in section (ii) with an exploration of the pleasures proper to different activities which are in turn proper to different kinds. In subsequent sections (iii) I take a closer look at contemplation, particularly insofar as it is an activity that does not take place ‘in time’ but rather ‘in a moment’, and consider Aristotle’s reasons for describing such activities as wholes, or indivisible, or without parts ; and (iv) I turn to the relation between the activities and pleasures proper to different kinds and the possibilities available to those different kinds for approximating divine life. In the final section (v) I return to question of pleasure and its intimate connection with our kind.
97. Chôra: Volume > 17
Annick Jaulin Aristote : le plaisir des differences
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Given the necessary connection between pleasure and energeia, the value of an aristotelian pleasure depends on the value of its correlative activity. Since the absolute pleasures the philokalos takes in his virtuous activities might go hand in hand with pains, the definition of absolute pleasure cannot rely on the distinction between mixed pleasure (pleasure with pain) versus pure pleasure (pleasure without pain). So, how can we characterize the pleasures of the temperate man (sophron) ? My thesis is that the right way to define the pleasures of the temperate man is to describe them as pleasures derived from differences. A pleasure derived from differences is involved in the pleasure human beings get from the formal use of their senses. It then belongs to the kind of pleasure they take in knowing. This formal use of the senses helps understanding how the pleasures of the temperate man can be separated from the pleasures enjoyed by children and animals.
98. Chôra: Volume > 17
Pierre Pellegrin Le plaisir animal selon Aristote
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In an evolutionist theory like that of Darwin, animal pleasure has a properly vital function in directing animals toward pleasant behaviors which also happen to be advantageous. The best example of this is probably sexual pleasure which contributes to the survival of species. Aristotelian fixism does not need such an analysis since Nature has provided living beings with an innate tendency to reproduce and pleasure cannot have an adaptative function, because adaptation is given to animals once and for all and cannot improve. The idea that pleasure induces an animal to adopt some useful behavior by trials and errors is unacceptable to Aristotle. Animals, on the other hand, being deprived of the perception of the good and the beautiful because they do not partake in reason, do not get pleasure from things in the world but in a coincidental way : the odor of the hare is pleasant to the dog because it is associated, in the dog’s perception, to the fact that dogs do eat hares. Far from being pleasant by itself, the odor of the hare is not attractive at all for a fed up dog. It remains for pleasure to be the sign of the good functioning of the organism, that is an hymn to the perfection of Nature.
99. Chôra: Volume > 17
William Marx Catharsis et plaisir tragique selon Aristote
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Catharsis and tragic pleasure according to Aristotle. According to Aristotle, tragedies induce three different kinds of pleasures. First, there is the cognitive pleasure of imitation, since it is pleasurable to recognize in the imitation an object one already knows. Second, there is the aesthetic pleasure linked to the material parameters of the tragedy, that is the language, the show, and the performance (verses, singing, acting). Third, there is the “specific” pleasure of tragedy. This specific pleasure is linked to the affects of pity and fear through the process of catharsis. Although pity and fear are two opposite affects depending on the position of the subject relatively to an event, the spectator of the tragedy is bound to experience both of them simultaneously because of the ethical similarity the playwright must keep between him and the tragic hero. But pity and fear are also two opposite affects on the physiological level : pity is a warm affect, fear a cold one. Catharsis is then a physiological balancing of pity by fear, of warmth by cold, and reciprocally, and this continuous suppression of excesses of temperature through the tragic imitation, while bringing a feeling of relief and pleasure, rids the spectator of all excessive affects. Catharsis provides a healthy and hygienic pleasure, and so can Aristotle effectively reply to Plato’s criticism of tragedy.
100. Chôra: Volume > 17
Louise Rodrigue L’ideal ethique selon d’Aristote, ou la ≪belle vie≫
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This study aims at providing a global explanation of the good life or happiness according to Aristotle. By applying the method used in ethics by Aristotle, the specific content of happiness is determined, of which meditation is the essence, together with the practice of moral virtues. The article rests on a relatively new perspective, neither ‘exclusive’ nor ‘inclusive’, considering the results of each type of traditional interpretation, and shedding light upon the richness of all happiness’ dimensions.