Cover of Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy
Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Displaying: 1-20 of 27 documents


1. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
James Wood Taming the Cosmic Rebel: The Place of the Errant Cause in the Timaeus
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper examines the errant cause in the Timaeus. After eliminating the material elements, matter, chōra, and irrational soul, I show that the source of cosmic disorder lies in the manifestation of difference in genesis. This disorder is a necessary feature of demiurgic formation, which requires generated beings to fall short of their paradigmatic forms and to encounter each other in destabilizing motions. Errancy is thus a threat to generated beings, but it also presents an opportunity and a task to those beings capable of bringing sameness to difference in themselves in imitation of the demiurge and cosmic soul.
2. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
C. T. Ricciardone "We Are the Disease": Truth, Health, and Politics from Plato's Gorgias to Foucault
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Starting from the importance of the figure of the parrhesiastes—the political and therapeutic truth-teller—for Foucault’s understanding of the care of the self, this paper traces the political figuration of the analogy between philosophers and physicians on the one hand, and rhetors and disease on the other in Plato’s Gorgias. I show how rhetoric, in the form of ventriloquism, infects the text itself, and then ask how we account for the effect of the “contaminated” philosophical dialogue on our readerly health. Is the text placebo, vaccine, or virus? All of these options, I argue, complicate Foucault’s prescription for parrhesia, requiring us to think anew the continuing political ramifications of the metaphor of care.
3. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Edward Butler Animal and Paradigm in Plato
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The paradigm according to which the cosmos is ordered by the demiurge is characterized in the Timaeus as ‘Animal Itself,’ while παράδειγμα in the vision of Er from the Republic denotes the patterns of lives chosen by individual humans and other animals. The essay seeks to grasp the animality of the paradigm, as well as the paradigmatic nature of animality, by means of the homology discernible between these usages. This inquiry affirms the value within a Platonic doctrine of principles of persons over reified forms, of modes of unity over substantial natures, and of agency over structure.
4. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Lewis Meek Trelawny-Cassity On the Foundation of Theology in Plato's Laws
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
While recent scholarship often makes the claim that Plato’s theology in the Laws is based upon inferences from observable features about the world, this interpretation runs into difficulties when one considers (1) the continuing importance that the Socratic turn undertaken in the Phaedo has for speculation in the Laws about the order of the cosmos and (2) the actual observations that Plato makes about the sublunar and celestial realms in the Laws. In light of these difficulties, I develop an interpretation of the theology of the Laws that seeks to show the priority of soul to matter by means of an articulation of the fundamental orientation to the world that is manifest in human beings seeking shared understanding through λόγος. This fundamental orientation is characterized by the recognition that νοῦς, not personal ambition, should guide human action and thought, and I argue that this recognition supplies at least partial support for the belief that νοῦς is in control of the cosmos. This interpretation helps makes sense of difficult passages in the Platonic corpus that ground cosmology on piety (Laws 10.898c6, Philebus 28e2, Timaeus 29a4). The relationship of this philosophical piety to the piety required by the laws of Magnesia is, however, problematic, and it could appear that Plato bridges this gap by a prudentialist account of why the laws of the city should be considered divine. I broach this problem in the final section of this paper by way of an examination of the relationship between the second sailing (δεύτερος πλοῦς) of the Phaedo and the δεύτερος πλοῦς of the Statesman and the Laws. I conclude with the observation that both the Phaedo and the Laws make use of an enchantment (ἐπῳδή) that goes beyond the bounds of what λόγος can establish.
5. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Dimitrios Dentsoras The Birth of Supererogation
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The essay investigates the philosophical infancy of the idea that some actions are morally praiseworthy while not being morally obligatory. It focuses on Thomas Aquinas’s distinction between commandments and counsels, the early Christian idea that some acts go beyond nature, and the Stoic notion of circumstantially appropriate actions. I discuss the Christian and Stoic justification of acts of self-denial, such as celibacy, poverty, and martyrdom, and attempt to find a unitary source of goodness and moral obligation that allows for such supererogatory acts. Nature provides such a unitary source in the early Christian theologian Athanasius and the Stoics. I discuss how nature determines one’s duties while also allowing for praiseworthy acts outside the scope of these duties, and in seeming contrast with them.
6. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Andrew T. LaZella De Aventure: Matter, Causal Violence, and the Event Worthy of Its Name
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
That the category of violent causation has passed from the register of “useful” scientific categories is without question. And yet, in a time of ecological crisis, this conceptual atavism reflects not some idyllic pre-modern past, but the present ubiquity of causal violence. Tracing a course through medieval Aristotelianism will show not only that violence cannot be reduced to artificial production, but also that its operation remains phantasmatic insofar as it seeks to exclude the very condition upon which it is founded: possibility. And as the possibility to end all possibility, violence neutralizes “any event worthy of its name.”
7. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Daniel Whistler Purely Practical Reason: Normative Epistemology from Leibniz to Maimon
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this paper, I contend that a crucial historical precedent for contemporary interest in virtue epistemology is to be found in Leibniz-Wolffian rationalism. For philosophers from Wolff to Lessing, epistemology was thoroughly normative; that is, the task of epistemology was not to describe knowledge, but set rules for the amelioration of knowledge. Such a normative stance was transferred into cognate disciplines, such as aesthetics, as well. I further argue that after Kant’s Copernican revolution in philosophy in 1781 strands of this normative epistemology lived on in both Schiller’s aesthetics and Maimon’s reworking of transcendental idealism. Finally, I suggest some provisional reasons for considering Kant’s epistemology a break with this tradition.
8. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Jeffrey Reid The Hobbesian Ethics of Hegel's Sense-Certainty
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this paper, I explore the largely ignored ethical dimension in the first section of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, Sense-certainty, which tends to be understood exclusively as an epistemological critique of sense-data empiricism. I approach the ethical aspect of the chapter through Hegel’s analysis of language, there, as unable to refer to individual things. I then show that the position Hegel analyses is akin to the one presented by Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan, as well as in his De Corpore, and which serves to ground his naturalistic ethics. The linguistic juxtaposition consequently allows me to relate the ethics of sense-certainty to Hobbes, not only to his “shallow” empiricism, as Hegel puts it, but to the ethical vision Hobbes presents in his state of nature.
9. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Amnon Marom Continuity and Discontinuity in Wilhelm Dilthey's Thinking: A New Suggestion for Resolving an Old Controversy
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This study seeks to provide a new resolution to an old controversy regarding the consistency of Wilhelm Dilthey’s thought. This controversy concentrates on the relations between Dilthey’s early psychology and his late hermeneutics. According to my proposed view, Dilthey did intend to replace psychology with hermeneutics; even so, his thought should still be viewed as consistent. Instead of concentrating on the methodological level of his writing, I will concentrate on the object of the two methods. Thus, I will argue that the consistency of Dilthey’s thought is derived from the stable destination he aspired to reach with the help of these different methods.
10. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Brian Seitz The Other Subject of Husserl: A Troubled Double
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Husserl’s “Fifth Meditation” is an effort to establish intersubjectivity, the necessary passage to the Objective world. Two conflicting tendencies govern Husserl’s discourse here: 1) a privileged desire to maintain the primacy of the monadic Ego, which is 2) the origin of a desire to recognize the other and thus to secure intersubjectivity. By focusing on the conflict between these tendencies and on his abrupt introduction of the body into the text in an attempt to resolve them, I try to show through “something like” a deconstruction that Husserl does not resolve the problem of the other but begins and ends this key chapter in an impasse.
11. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Joseph Carter Heidegger's Sein zum Tode as Radicalization of Aristotle's Definition of Kinesis
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
There is evidence in the early Vorlesungen to suggest that in Sein und Zeit Heidegger’s description of Dasein as Bewegung/Bewegtheit relies on his reading of Aristotle’s definition of motion, given specifically in the 1924 Grundbegriffe der aristotelischen Philosophie. According to Heidegger, Aristotle identifies kinêsis with energeia and calls it ‘active potentiality’ (tätige Möglichkeit). In this essay, I show how Heidegger’s interpretation of Aristotle’s definition of motion sheds light on the arguments concerning being-towards-death (Sein zum Tode) in Sein und Zeit. I argue that self-understanding is Dasein’s active potentiality, since this is its authentic being-towards-death. In turn, I assess Heidegger’s philological and philosophical justifications for collapsing the distinction between energeia and kinêsis in Aristotle, showing how Heidegger diverges from Aristotle’s doctrines.
12. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Mathias Warnes Heidegger on Hölderlin's Festival: The Wedding Dance as the Inceptual Event
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
After accounting for the festival as a philosophical theme across Heidegger’s early to later writings, this article summarizes the 1943 “Andenken” essay on Hölderlin’s “wedding festival” and 1959 “Hölderlin’s Earth and Heaven” essay on the “round dance.” It then explores how these motifs of the wedding festival and its round dance are in play in the 1936–1937 Contributions to Philosophy: Of the Event manuscript, especially in its philosophy of attunement, and notion of the “celebration of the last god.”
13. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Rodolphe Gasché "A Certain Walk to Follow": Derrida and the Question of Method
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This essay is an inquiry into Derrida’s elaborations on the concept of method, and the frequent discussions in his work of questions of method, particularly, in the context of the conception of a “science of writing.” The aim of the essay is to clarify what Derrida calls “a discourse of method in general,” that is, the discourse that represents the founda­tion of Descartes’s reflections on method, as well as Heidegger’s retracing of the concept of method back to the problematic of methodos, and hodos, in short, to the problematic of “the way of thinking.” Centering on how this way becomes method, and how method brings about the narrowing of thought deplored by Heidegger, Derrida explores what it is in the way itself that makes such becoming, and hence “perversion” of itself inevitable.
14. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Günter Figal Is There Any Truth in Art?: Aesthetical Considerations
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper discusses the question if there is any truth in art. Initially it poses the question whether artworks are just mere appearances or whether they have a special truth. In critical reflection on Heidegger’s conception of art as the “setting-itself-to-work of truth” this question is then elaborated and answered: The appearance character of artworks cannot be conceived as truth. What true artworks show, namely mere possibilities, is beyond truth, because it does not belong to the real world. Artworks are not true; in their decentered order and their self-showing nature they are beautiful.
15. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Gaetano Chiurazzi Incommensurability and Definition in Plato's Theaetetus
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Unlike most readings of Plato’s Theaetetus, which concentrate on gnoseology, this paper places it in the debate on commensurable and incommensurable magnitudes that distinguished Greek philosophical and mathematical thought at the beginning of the 4th century BC and in which Theaetetus played a leading role. The argumentation of the dialogue shows clearly how this debate was important for Plato, to the point that the entire dialogue can be considered as an attempt to consider seriously how incommensurability, and its ontological correlate, the concept of dynamis, could elaborate a new form of logos.
16. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Jerome Veith Concerned with Oneself as One Person: Self-Knowledge in Phronesis
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper addresses the debate concerning the nature of Aristotelian phronêsis and the objects to which it is directed. After a preparatory distinction from other intellectual virtues, I elucidate phronêsis’s connection to character-virtue and deliberation, highlighting the crucial role of perception. Focusing on moral sensibility serves to underscore the particular nature of the objects of phronêsis, and introduces its aspect of self-knowledge. This determination, finally, helps characterize the project of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics as an indirect education in phronêsis.
17. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Charlotta Weigelt The Hermeneutic Significance of Aristotle's Concept of Chance
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this article I argue that Aristotle’s discussion of chance in the Physics gives an important contribution to the theory of action put forward in the Nicomachean Ethics, in particular as regards its notion that man is himself the origin or ground (archê) of his actions. Whereas the ethical works show a tendency to explain this notion in objective and causal terms, the account of chance as the happening of the unexpected not only points to the essential finitude of all human conduct, but also indicates that the concept of ground in connection with human agency must be understood in subjective terms, or in the direction of sense-giving and responsibility.
18. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Ryan Drake Aristotelian Aisthesis and the Violence of Suprematism
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Kazimir Malevich’s style of Suprematist painting represents the inauguration of nothing less than a new form of culture premised upon a demolition of the Western tradition’s reifying habits of objective thought. In ridding his canvases of all objects and mimetic conventions, Malevich sought to reconfigure human perception in such a way as to open consciousness to alternative modes of organization and signification. In this paper, I argue that Malevich’s revolutionary aesthetic strategy can be illuminated by a return to the very basis of this tradition, namely by a reconsideration of Aristotle’s account in De Anima III.2 of the initial possibility of objective perception as such.
19. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Tyler Tritten A Will Free to Presence . . . or Not: Schelling on the Originality of the Will
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This article presents Schelling’s doctrine of creation, primarily as outlined in his lectures on mythology and revelation. Schelling there presents not a will to power, but a power to will or not to will—the decisiveness of freedom rather than blind willing. Accordingly, Schelling is able to surpass the tradition of the metaphysics of presence through freedom as an unprecognoscible act prior to potency/power. Schelling’s will is not natural but preternatural, capable of bringing forth something original, i.e., that which first becomes possible only once it has already become actual.
20. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Jakob Ziguras Archē as Urphänomen: A Goethean Interpretation of Aristotle's Theory of Scientific Knowledge
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The problems involved in understanding the Aristotelian notion of an ἀρχή arise from the widely accepted view that Aristotle’s theory of knowledge is torn between irreconcilable empiricist and rationalist tendencies. I argue that several puzzling features of the Aristotelian ἀρχή are clarified when it is understood as akin to the Urphänomen, which plays a central role in the scientific thought of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. More broadly, I argue that the apparent conflict in Aristotle’s theory of knowledge is resolved by seeing that Aristotle is neither an empiricist, nor a rationalist, but a “rational empiricist” akin to Goethe.