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1. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
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2. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Andy German Cosmic Mathematics, Human Erōs: A Comparison of Plato’s Timaeus and Symposium
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In her 2014 monograph, Sarah Broadie argues that Timaeus’s cosmology points to a radical Platonic insight: the full rationality of the cosmos requires the existence of individualized, autonomous, and finite beings like us. Only human life makes the cosmos truly complete. But can Timaeus do full justice to the uniquely human way of being and hence to his own insight? My paper argues that he cannot and that Plato means for us to see that he cannot, by showing how Timaeus treats a famous Platonic theme: eros. Timaeus describes human perfection as assimilation to the mathematical proportions of the cosmos, but by comparing Timaeus with the Symposium I show that, given his deeply mathematized conception of reason, Timaeus cannot provide what Diotima can: a phenomenologically satisfactory account of how we come to identify ourselves with this perfection. Such identification is a transformation in our self-understanding explicable only because of the desirous and reflexive character of the soul. Expressing this character, however, requires combining the mathematical with a poetic, or even mantic, register. Only these sensibilities together grant access to Plato’s cosmology in its fullness.
3. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Thomas Feeney Cartesian Circles and the Analytic Method
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The apparently circular arguments in Descartes’s Meditations should be read as analytic arguments, as Descartes himself suggested. This both explains and excuses the appearance of circularity. Analysis “digs out” what is already present in the meditator’s mind but not yet “expressly known” (Letter to Voetius). Once this is achieved, the meditator may take the result of analysis as an epistemic starting point independent of the original argument. That is, analytic arguments may be reversed to yield demonstrative proofs that follow an already worked-out order of ideas. The “Cartesian Circle,” for example, is circular only when Descartes’s original analytic argument is mistaken for the demonstration that it enables. This approach to Cartesian Circles is unlike the standard approach, which attempts to show that Descartes’s original arguments do work as demonstrations after all.
4. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Michael Barker The Right Stuff: Kantian Matter, Organs, and Organisms
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I consider Kant’s theory of matter, examine his distinction between “formal” and “material” purposiveness, review the related secondary literature, and interpret the role of the stuff of which organs consist in his conception of the special characteristics of organisms. As organisms ingest or absorb compounds, they induce chemical changes among those materials to grow and repair organs. Those organs have their functions with respect to each other in part on account of the materials of which they are composed. A Kantian biological law, I argue, is a coordinated system of lower-order chemical and mechanical regularities that an organism instantiates in the relations that its organs have to each other. I interpret Kant’s contention that organisms resist cognition as claiming that a “discursive understanding” can have no conception of why a particular biological law instantiates whichever lower-order mechanical and chemical regularities it does.
5. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Luca Forgione Apperception and Pre-Reflective Self-Consciousness in Kant
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Kant points to two forms of self-consciousness: the inner sense (empirical apperception) grounded in a sensory form of self-awareness and transcendental apperception. The aim of this paper is to show that a sophisticated notion of basic self-consciousness, which contains a pre-reflective self-consciousness as its first level, is provided by the notion of transcendental apperception. The necessity for a pre-reflective self-consciousness has been pointed out in phenomenological literature. According to this account, every self-ascription of any property implies a more fundamental form of self-consciousness, i.e., a kind of immediate familiarity with oneself. This pre-reflective self-consciousness is a non-relational and non-identificational form of self-consciousness and concerns an immediate acquaintance of the subject with itself. In the specific terms of transcendentalism every thought contains an implicit reference to a first-personal “givenness” or a sense of “mineness” that articulates a non-relational and non-identificational form of a pre-reflective model of self-consciousness.
6. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Stathis Livadas Husserl’s Sachhaltigkeit and the Question of the Essence of Individuals
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Phenomenology can be roughly described as the theory of the pure essences of phenomena. Yet the meaning of essence and of concepts traditionally tied to it (such as the concepts of a priori and of essential necessity) are far from settled. This is especially true given the impact modern science has had on established philosophical views and the need for revisiting certain core notions of philosophy. In this paper I intend to review Husserl’s view on thingness-essence and his conception of the essence of individuals, based mainly in his writings from the time of Logical Investigations, Ideas, and later of Experience and Judgment. Taking account of the work of Lothar Eley in Die Krise des Apriori, among others, I will inquire into the ways in which phenomenology may undermine (one could even say fully “destroy”) the view of essences as non-factual, as well as undermine their ontological priority. Doing so may help to shape a conception of material or formal individual essences and generally of essences as concrete objects of experience in virtue of well-defined epistemic ones.
7. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
R. James Lisowski, C.S.C. Gabriel Marcel and Thomas Aquinas: A Dialogue on Self-Knowledge
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This article considers the positions of Gabriel Marcel and Thomas Aquinas on self-knowledge and argues for a synthesis between them. The basis of this Marcelian-Thomistic synthesis is their common understanding of the self as inherently in relation to that which is other (via embodiment) and in the necessity of activation for self-knowledge to occur. The divergence between these thinkers occurs in regard to the process of activation. While Aquinas presents an Aristotelian account of activation rooted in his understanding of cognition, Marcel offers a broader vision of activation that gives pride of place to intersubjectivity. A Marcelian-Thomistic synthesis preserves the Aristotelian systematization of Aquinas, while adding Marcel’s expanded understanding of activation and his prioritization of intersubjectivity. Such a synthesis allows for a treatment of self-knowledge that is metaphysically systematic and true to lived experience.
book reviews
8. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Glenn Statile The Abductive Structure of Scientific Creativity: An Essay on the Ecology of Cognition. By Lorenzo Magnani
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9. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Alice M. Ramos Aquinas and the Metaphysics of Creation. By Gaven Kerr
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10. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Curtis Hancock The Other Pascals: The Philosophy of Jacqueline Pascal, Gilberte Pascal Périer, and Marguerite Périer. By John Conley, S.J.
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11. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Joseph W. Koterski, S.J. The Cambridge Companion to Natural Law Ethics. Edited by Tom Angier
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12. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Books Received
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13. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Index for Volume 60
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14. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 3
About Our Contributors
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15. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 3
Fiorella Tomassini Kant and the Notion of a Juridical Duty to Oneself
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In the Doctrine of Right Kant holds that the classical Ulpian command honeste vive is a juridical duty that has the particular feature (in contrast to the other juridical duties) of being internal. In this paper I explore the reasons why Kant denies that the duty to be an honorable human being comprises an ethical obligation (as, for example, Pufendorf and Achenwall thought) and conceives it as a juridical duty to oneself. I will argue that, despite the conceptual problems that the systematical incorporation of this type of duty into the doctrine of morals might entail, these reasons are coherent. The fulfillment of the duty honeste vive involves a coercion to the self but at the same time does not necessarily imply the adoption of a moral end.
16. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 3
Winnie Sung Xin: Being Trustworthy
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This essay analyses the Confucian conception of xin, an attribute that broadly resembles what we would ordinarily call trustworthiness. More specifically, it provides an analysis of the psychology of someone who is xin and highlights a feature of the Confucian conception of trustworthiness: the trustworthy person has to ensure that there is a match between her self-presentation and the way she is. My goal is not to argue against any of the existing accounts of trustworthiness but to draw on Confucian insights so as to shed light on features of trustworthiness that are overlooked in current discussions. I hope to show that the Confucian conception of trustworthiness puts more emphasis on the way a trustworthy person actively tries to make sure another’s dependency on her is not unwarranted than on how the trustworthy person responds to the one who gives trust.
17. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 3
Josef Novák Abstract Painting: Some Remarks on its Affiliation with Phenomenology
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Since the beginning of the twentieth century, abstract art has formed a central stream of modern art. To attain purely aesthetic goals, many avant-garde artists turned painting in particular into a pursuit of breaking off the relations with natural forms. Instead of copying them, they have merely relied on their inner visions. When externalizing these visions directly on the canvas or sheets of paper, the practitioners of abstract art have inadvertently used the phenomenological method and its epoché. In this essay I argue that the philosophies of Kupka and Husserl are largely compatible. This is not because the two use the same terminology, but because they virtually mean and do the same thing in their respective fields. Even where there are significant differences between them, these are not as great as it might at first seem. In the essay’s conclusion I sum up some of the most significant implications their compatible theories have for the philosophy of art and for various theories of art today.
18. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 3
K. Lauriston Smith Entering the World: Perception in Merleau-Ponty and Critical Realism
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There is a significant lack of clarity among critical realists in the language they use to discuss perception. In this paper I illustrate this lack of clarity and then argue that a critical realist view of perception is best understood as conceiving of perception as an active process in direct contact with the world. I connect this view with the thought of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s views of perception and embodiment and argue that seeing this point has implications for our understanding of perception by offering a path through the direct/indirect debate. It suggests challenges both to the definition of knowledge as justified true belief and to the reduction of knowledge to effectiveness. It bears on the question of truth insofar as it challenges the view that truth can be reduced to propositions.
19. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 3
Travis Dumsday Thomist vs. Scotist Perspectives on Ontic Structural Realism
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Structural realism has re-emerged as part of the debate between scientific realism and antirealism. Since then it has branched into several different versions, notably epistemic structural realism and ontic structural realism. The latter theory (which itself has now divided into competing formulations) is still an important perspective in the realism/antirealism dialectic; however, its significance has expanded well beyond that debate. Today ontic structural realism is also an important player in the metaphysics of science literature, engaging with a variety of ontological questions. One of these pertains to the basic categories of ontology, with the proponents of ontic structural realism typically advocating a radical rethinking of how to view substance and relation while calling into question the (allegedly) traditional privileging of the former over and against the latter. In this paper I assess ontic structural realism from the perspective of two major systems: Thomism and Scotism. I argue that the basic commitments of Thomism allow for some surprising convergences with ontic structural realism, while Scotism does not.
20. International Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 60 > Issue: 3
George J. Aulisio The Deontological Foundation of Neo-Confucian Virtue Ethics
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I show that Neo-Confucianism is practiced in two ways: (1) deontologically and (2) as a virtue ethical theory. When fully appreciated, Neo-Confucianism is a virtue ethical theory, but to set out on the path of the sage and behave like a junzi, Neo-Confucianism must first be practiced deontologically. I show this by examining the importance of Neo-Confucian metaphysics to ethical practice and by drawing out the major practical differences between “lesser learning” and “higher learning.” In my view, Neo-Confucianism can be practiced deontologically because some adherents may never move to practicing Neo-Confucianism as a virtue theory.