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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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