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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 9, Issue 2, Spring 2005
Special Issue: The Ancient Philosophy Society

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Displaying: 1-12 of 12 documents

1. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Walter Brogan Letter from the Editor
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2. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Klaus Held Wonder, Time, and Idealization: On the Greek Beginning of Philosophy
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Following Heidegger’s lead, I first undertake a description of philosophical wonder. A second task emerges out of this, the task of describing the manner of experiencing time upon which this wonder is based. Here I attend specifically to Plato’s discussion thereof. In the third and final section of my considerations, I illustrate how “idealization” follows from wonder and the accordant experience of time, “idealization” being that mental operation which, according to Husserl, has determined the consequent development of European culture in its scientific character from Plato and Aristotle up to the contemporary crisis.
3. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Gary M. Gurtler, S.J. Plotinus: Matter and Otherness, “On Matter” (II 4[12])
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An examination of Plotinus’s treatise on matter, II 4[12], reveals interesting paradoxes. He seems to use Aristotle’s matter to explain Plato’s receptacle. Attention to the text reveals that both matter and the receptacle are, in fact, recast in terms of the otherness of Plato’s Sophist. By this, Plotinus articulates how matter and the receptacle function as the condition of possibility for the sensible cosmos. His analysis of related terms further supports this rapprochement: privation and substrate exclude quality and quantity as attributes of matter; and the indefinite, the unlimited, size and mass echo the paradoxical language of the Timaeus.
4. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
James Eric Butler Effluvia: Empedocles Studies
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Taking as a guiding theme his claim that “there are effluvia from all things that have come to be,” (DK B89), the author presents a reading of Empedocles that stresses the central role of effluvia in his natural philosophy. In presentations of Empedocles, the tradition has usually emphasized the importance of the elements—earth, air, water, fire, Love, and Strife. But as an alternative to that tradition, the author here argues that one must bring to the forefront the role of the effluvia, which give to Empedocles’ cosmology a fluid, viscous character. The history of western natural science has been dominated by a mechanics of solid bodies following, however indirectly, in the tradition of the atoms and void of early Greek atomism. Empedocles represents a forgotten exception to that history, and the present paper attempts to return to his philosophy, unearth its fluid mechanical foundations, and present a challenging alternative to the dominant physical paradigm.
5. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
P. Christopher Smith Poetry, Socratic Dialectic, and the Desire of the Beautiful in Plato’s Symposium
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I attempt in this paper to argue a thesis that is the opposite of the standard reading of Plato’s Symposium. I maintain that it is not the persuasive speech of thecomic or tragic poets that is criticized and undermined in the dialogue, but Socratic dialectic and dialogical argumentation. This is to say, it is not Aristophanes’ and Agathon’s speeches that are the object of Plato’s critique, but Socrates’ minimalist and rather unpoetic elenchos. My anaysis leads to the conclusion that Diotima’s speech is meant to be recognized as Plato’s own invention in order to highlight the abstraction and utter unmusicality of Socratic dialectic.
6. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Jill Gordon Eros in Plato’s Timaeus
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The Timaeus, a decidedly non-erotic dialogue, provides surprising philosophical insight into the role and importance of eros in human life. Contrary to manytraditional readings of the dialogue, the Timaeus indicates that eros is an original part of the disembodied soul as created by the demiurge, and as such, is part of the noetic or intelligent design of the cosmos. Timaeus reveals, furthermore, that eros is the moving force behind our desire to know first causes and the noetic world, that eros, like the senses and emotions, needs to be trained and guided toward its proper objects, and that eros is distinct from appetitive desires in the mortal soul.
7. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Alejandro A. Vallega The Lightness of Words: On the Translucence of the Philosophical Logos in Plato’s Phaidros
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Through a discussion of “translucence” in Plato’s Phaidros and in Juan Jose Saer’s “On Line,” in this essay I attempt to engage the simultaneous experience of the concrete sense of language and of the appearing of beings in their materiality through language. The discussion ultimately suggests that, when taken in its full force, the philosophical logos figures the elemental translucence of beings in their intelligibility; a formulation meant to resist the separation of language and concreteness. Such an interpretation of the philosophical logos also leads to the understanding of thought as an elemental, interpretative, transformative, and “marginal” experience.
8. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Sara Brill Diagnosis and the Divided Line: Pharmacological Concerns in Plato’s Republic
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From the care Plato takes in describing the excellence of the doctor in book 3 to the characterization of various pathological elements in the regimes he describes in book 8, the Republic teems with references to medical terms and concepts. The following investigates the breadth of the influence of medicine on the Republic. I argue that a medical vocabulary proves indispensable to indicating the relationship between philosophy and politics that the Republic envisages. In order to do so, this paper examines the confluence of medicine and metaphysics revealed by a comparison between the discussion of the divided line and ancient characterizations of diagnosis. I then conclude with a reading of the Glaucus image in book 10 that emphasizes its self-diagnostic character.
9. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Corinne Painter In Defense of Socrates: The Stranger’s Role in Plato’s Sophist
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In this essay I argue that the Stranger’s interest in keeping the philosopher and the sophist distinct is connected, primarily, to his assessment of the charges ofsophistry advanced against Socrates, which compels him to defend Socrates from these unduly advanced accusations. On this basis, I establish that the Stranger’s task in the Sophist, namely to keep philosophy distinct from sophistry, is intimately tied to the project of securing justice and is therefore not merely of theoretical importance but is also—and essentially—of political and ethical significance.
10. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Günter Figal Language Between Voice and Writing: On Philosophy as Deconstruction and Dialectic
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This paper is concerned with the relationship between philosophy and rhetoric. It argues that philosophical claims are bound to language, and yet philosophy’sclaim to objective clarity is meaningless if language is radically perspectival. The paper attempts to show the limitations and possibilities that Platonic dialectics and Derridean deconstruction share in their respective approaches to the analysis of language and the relationship between speech and writing. The paper concludes that language is ambiguous, neither reducible to the relativism of sophistry nor to the essentialism of metaphysics. Against Derrida, the paper argues that without structure, voice is not language; it renders only inarticulate sounds. Yet in speaking, this structural aspect gets taken for granted and passed over. Only when language is established in writing is the possibility of voice first recognized.
11. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Heidi Northwood Disobedient Matter: The Female Contribution in Aristotle’s Embryology
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In his article “Metaphysics in Aristotle’s Embryology” (Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 214 [1988]), John Cooper argues that it is wrong tothink that the movements that come from the female in Aristotle’s version of animal generation play any sort of formal role in the resultant offspring. In this paper I raise some doubts about Cooper’s thesis through a consideration of three key passages from the Generation of Animals (GA IV.1 766b15–16, IV.3 767b22–23, and IV.3 768a12–14) which open a discussion of Aristotle’s views on the distinctions between form and matter, active and passive principles, deficiency, summetria, and, more generally, the importance of being sensitive to the analogous uses of terms.
12. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 2
Friederike Rese Praxis and Logos in Aristotle: On the Meaning of Reason and Speech for Human Life and Action
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This article is a summary of the main results of a more extended study published in German as a book entitled “Praxis und Logos bei Aristoteles” (FriederikeRese, Praxis und Logos bei Aristoteles. Handlung, Vernunft und Rede in ‘Nikomachischer Ethik,’ ‘Rhetorik’ und ‘Politik,’ Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003). My thesis with regard to the relation of praxis and logos in Aristotle is that logos is not only responsible for determining human life and action, but also for their indeterminacy. Taking the forms of reason and speech, logos can determine the life of an individual agent as well as of a community of agents. With regard to individual life, I investigate which moments of the soul determine individual action and how they can be addressed by the speech of others. With regard to public life, I show how public speech and law are relevant to the organization of political life in a community. Finally, I consider the ontological and logical foundations of the determination of human action. Here it will become clear why logos grounds both the determination as well as the indeterminacy of human life and action.