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Displaying: 1-10 of 2743 documents


1. Philosophy Today: Volume > 63 > Issue: 1
Rosalyn Diprose Merleau-Ponty’s Ontology of Sound: How Hearing Loss and “Trump Talk” Disable Communication and Intersubjectivity
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This paper develops an ontology of sound from Merleau-Ponty’s accounts of linguistic expression and political communication framed in terms of the instituted-instituting character of the “flesh.” The analysis explores the role of sound and hearing in experiencing and making sense of a world in order to explain two (arguably related) problems: first, the impact of hearing loss on a person’s relations with others and with their environment and, second, the impact of “trump talk” on the fabric of political community. The argument is that hearing loss and “trump talk” weaken or erase what Merleau-Ponty refers to as the “spirit” of communication and intersubjectivity.
2. Philosophy Today: Volume > 63 > Issue: 1
Eugen Fink, Catherine Homan, Zachary Hamm Nietzsche’s Metaphysics of Play (1946)
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This lecture from 1946 presents Eugen Fink’s interpretation of Nietzsche’s metaphysics. Fink’s aim here is twofold: to work against the trend of psychologistic interpretations of Nietzsche’s work and to perform the philosophical interpretation of Nietzsche he finds lacking in his predecessors. Fink contends that play is the central intuition of Nietzsche’s philosophy, specifically in his rejection of Western metaphysics’ insistence on being and presence. Drawing instead from Heraclitus, Nietzsche argues for an ontology of becoming characterized by the Dionysian as the temporalization of time and the Apollonian as temporalized in time. The play of becoming is thus the cosmic coming to be and passing away of appearance. Playing, as the creative projection of such a play-world of appearing and concealing, is central to understanding the Nietzschean theme of the will to power as the revaluation of values.
3. Philosophy Today: Volume > 63 > Issue: 1
Catherine Homan The Play of Being and Nothing: World, Earth, and Cosmos in Eugen Fink
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The question permeating much of Eugen Fink’s work is whether a nonmetaphysical thinking of the world is possible. Fink views metaphysics as understanding the world merely from the side of beings and as a container of things. A nonmetaphysical thinking would be cosmological; it would think the world as a totality, as the origin of being, of beings, of time, and of space. This thinking requires a radical way of thinking that which cannot be thought: the nothing that allows being and beings to come to appearance at all. My analysis aims to articulate more clearly what Fink means by thinking cosmologically by tracing his understanding of world, earth, and cosmos and the interplay of being and nothing at stake in each. I clarify how Fink both inherits and goes beyond the philosophies of Kant, Husserl, and Heidegger to provide a way of thinking through that which resists articulation.
4. Philosophy Today: Volume > 63 > Issue: 1
Dominik Finkelde Lack and Excess / Zero and One: On Concrete Universality in Dialectical Materialism
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How can a set throw itself into itself and remain a set and an element of itself at the same time? This is obviously impossible, as Bertrand Russell has prominently shown. One simply cannot pick a trash can up and throw it into itself. Now, Hegel and Badiou, but also the anti-Hegelian W. Benjamin, take different positions on the subject when they refer time and again to versions of “concrete universality” as an oxymoronic structure that touches ontologically upon their theoretical as well as their practical philosophies. The article tries to show how the philosophers affirm the mentioned paradox as central for the understanding of Dialectical Materialism in its classical (nineteenth-century) as well as in its modern (twentieth-century) and contemporary (twenty-first-century) understanding.
5. Philosophy Today: Volume > 63 > Issue: 1
Kerem Eksen Descartes and Spiritual Exercises: A Critique of Pierre Hadot's Historical Narrative
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The present study is an attempt to contribute to the debates on the relationship between spiritual traditions and Descartes’s Meditations. Taking its point of departure from Pierre Hadot’s inspiring studies, the article aims to describe the nature of the philosophical practice that Meditations embodies and to discuss the ways in which the work can be located in the history of the relations between theory and practice. To this end, Hadot’s suggestion that Meditations should be read as a set of spiritual exercises will be criticized through an analysis of the nature of the “non-argumentative” or “experiential” level that is at work in Descartes’s text. By showing that the transformation intended by Descartes does not reach beyond the level of cognition, it will be argued that even though Descartes makes use of certain key elements of the spiritualist literature, he belongs to the modern age of “philosophy without spirituality.”
6. Philosophy Today: Volume > 63 > Issue: 1
James Griffith A Cartesian Rereading of Badiou’s Political Subjectivity
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This article traces the consequences for Badiou’s political subjectivity if his understanding of the Cartesian subject is incorrect. For Badiou, the faithful subject, political and otherwise, is formed through fidelity to the appearance of an event of truth, and the process of this fidelity creates a world. These truths are immanent to the worlds in which they appear. An obscure subject, however, is faithful to a negation, while a reactive subject denies the appearance of a truth’s event. Badiou’s subject radicalizes Lacan’s radicalization of the Cartesian subject, but for him both Descartes and Lacan consider the subject stable since they are caused by truth rather than by the event of a truth. However, immanent to Descartes’s philosophy is an unstable subject, thanks to the role of the imagination in the discovery of the cogito. Fidelity to this immanent Cartesian subject shows Lacan as an obscure subject and Badiou as reactive.
7. Philosophy Today: Volume > 63 > Issue: 1
Justin L. Harmon Excessive Materialism and the Metaphysical Basis of an Object-Oriented Ethics
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The aims of this paper are twofold: (1) to critique Graham Harman’s avowedly nonrelational object-oriented ontology from the shared relational vantage of ethics, social philosophy, and feminist new materialism; and (2) to articulate the metaphysical basis for a materialist ontology that serves at once as a posthumanist metaethic, or, as I call it, proto-ethic. The nascent movements of speculative realism and object-oriented ontology suggest some fruitful strategies for challenging the anthropocentrism of the post-Kantian philosophical landscape. They do so, however, by simultaneously foreclosing the possibility of thinking with these strategies to address moral and political problems, insofar as they characterize the real as fundamentally nonrelational. I argue that Harman’s adopted noumenalism is ultimately self-undermining, and offer as an alternative a materialist account of reality as intrinsically phenomenal, where phenomenality is unpacked as the excessive, ongoing source of proto-ethical norms to which every human ethical system implicitly appeals.
8. Philosophy Today: Volume > 63 > Issue: 1
James Osborn On the Difference Between Being and Object
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If philosophy in the wake of Kant’s transcendental revolution tends to orient itself around a subjective principle, namely the human subject, then recently various schools of thought have proposed a counterrevolution in which philosophy is given an objective, nonhuman starting point. In this historical context, “object-oriented ontology” has sought to gain the status of first philosophy by identifying being in general with the object as such—that is, by systematically converting beings to objects. By tracing the provenance of this system to a key moment of late eighteenth-century German philosophy, this paper develops the idea of the difference between being and object in order to demonstrate that object-oriented thinking, contrary to its anti-Kantian claims, adheres to the central axiom of transcendental idealism, that this axiom contains an unsolvable paradox, and that Kant and Novalis give us the resources for a transformative philosophical project that meets the challenge of the cultural and theoretical turn to objects.
9. Philosophy Today: Volume > 63 > Issue: 1
Michiel Meijer Ontological Gaps: Retrieving Charles Taylor’s Realism
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This essay pursues the development of Charles Taylor’s ontological thought by comparing his—insightful yet neglected—early paper “Ontology” (1959) with his little-known essay “Ethics and Ontology” (2003) and his most matured ontological position in Retrieving Realism (2015). It also puts a spotlight on Taylor’s unusual “interwoven” mode of argumentation in between ethics, phenomenology, and ontology. In so doing, I aim, first, to show Taylor’s remarkable consistency; second, to unravel his hybrid position in between ethics, phenomenology, and ontology; third, to argue for a tension between Taylor’s phenomenological approach to ethics and his claims about ontology; and, fourth, to highlight his ongoing hesitation with regard to ontological inquiry in general and issues of moral realism in particular.
10. Philosophy Today: Volume > 63 > Issue: 1
Mauro Senatore Teleotheology: Derrida and the Aristotelian Foundations of Structuralism
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This article explores the hypothesis formulated by Derrida in his early work that structuralism is Aristotelian in foundation. To this end, it traces Derrida’s engagement with Aristotle’s Physics between the seminal essays “Force and Signification” (1963) and “Ousia and Grammē” (1968). On the one hand, it demonstrates that Derrida reads Aristotle’s concept of time as the presupposition of what he designates as structuralism, that is, the teleological understanding of movement from its achieved structure and thus from a theological simultaneity. On the other hand, it shows that Derrida finds in the very text of Physics the index (grammē) for understanding movement otherwise: as the irreducible articulation of space and time, namely, the trace, inscribed in a non-simultaneous volume.