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Displaying: 101-120 of 524 documents

101. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Daniel Whistler How Speak of Eternity?: Rhetoric in Ethics V
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The aim of this essay is to investigate the stylistic idiosyncrasies of Part V of Spinoza’s Ethics by focusing on the experience of the reader encountering this text: what is missed in most accounts, I argue, is the rhetorical effect of Spinoza’s language on a reader approaching the end of the book. The reader experiences hermeneutic anxiety upon encountering a God who loves, rejoices and glories in a relatively traditional manner after the iconoclastic dismantling of the traditional attributes of God in Parts I to IV. I suggest that such anxiety is intentionally provoked, for it engenders a reflective attitude towards the text and its choice of language, and such reflection on language is a means of ‘rhetorical therapy’ that makes the communication of adequate ideas possible. The essay examines, first, the peculiar rhetorical devices at play in Part V, and, secondly, whether there are good philosophical reasons for such peculiarity. I then use such an analysis to think further about Spinoza’s attitude to language in general, concluding that thinking through the implications of the linguistic signs as affect allows one to posit the existence of a rhetorical therapy in Spinoza’s thinking.
102. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Christopher Thomas From Complex Bodies to a Theory of Art: Melancholy, Bodies, and Art in the Philosophy of Spinoza
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Spinoza’s limited words on the subject of art has led many to claim that his philosophy is incompatible and even hostile to a theory of art. Such a critique begins by confusing modern aesthetic standards with Spinoza’s actual words on art and its objects. Beginning with this confusion, this paper will argue that Spinoza’s philosophy naturalises the work of art and conceives of things such as paintings and temples through his theory of complex bodies.Turning to the two places that Spinoza discuss art—IIIP2Schol and IVP45Schol—this paper will argue that Spinoza understood works of art to be particularly complex and hence powerful extended bodies with a use value relative to the striving of the human individual. Accordingly it will be argued that because Spinoza conceived works of art to be external bodies–artistic bodies–, we should therefore begin to study art and its objects through Spinoza’s relational theory of the individual.
103. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Laura J. Mueller Pure Reason’s Autonomy: Sensus Communis in Reason’s Self-Critique
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This article investigates the relation between freedom, the public use of reason, and sensus communis, as discussed throughout Kant’s political writings and critical works. Kant’s discussion of the public use of reason, as put forth in "What Is Enlightenment?" is closely tied to his views on autonomy, most notably in the political sphere. However, Kant’s distinction between the public and private uses of reason relies upon sensus communis as discussed in the Critique of Judgment. The communicability achieved by sensus communis has a relevance not restricted only to Kant’s explicitly political writings; sensus communis is also what we might call “transcendentally significant.” In this article, I argue that the public use of reason—a use of reason achieved by sensus communis—is vital for reason itself to follow its own normative demands. I conclude that sensus communis itself grounds reason’s use for its own critique.
104. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Robert Clewis Kant’s Physical Geography and the Critical Philosophy
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Kant’s geographical theory, which was informed by contemporary travel reports, diaries, and journals, developed before his so-called “critical turn.” There are several reasons to study Kant’s lectures and material on geography. The geography provided Kant with terms, concepts, and metaphors which he employed in order to present or elucidate the critical philosophy. Some of the germs of what would become Kant’s critical philosophy can already be detected in the geography course. Finally, Kant’s geography is also one (though not the only) source of some of the empirical claims in his philosophical works, including the Critique of the Power of Judgment. To give an example of this, I examine his account of the sublime.
105. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
John H. Zammito Kant and the Medical Faculty: One "Conflict of the Faculties"
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The conflict between Kant and the medical faculty was far more complex and substantial than is indicated in the section of his famous Conflict of the Faculties addressing this matter. In this essay I will consider not only what Kant, as a philoso­pher, thought of medicine as a faculty, but what medicine as a faculty thought of Kant as a philosopher.
106. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Karin De Boer Hegel’s Non-Revolutionary Account of the French Revolution in the Phenomenology of Spirit
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Focusing on the section ‘Absolute Freedom and Terror’ of the Phenomenology of Spirit, this article argues that the method Hegel employs in this work does not capture the full significance of the French Revolution. I claim that Hegel’s method is reformist rather than revolutionary: Hegel deliberately restricts his analyses to transformations that occur within the element of thought and presents the changes that occur within this element as logically ensuing from one another. This approach, I argue, is at odds with the very concept of a revolution. Seen in this way, efforts to frame Hegel’s philosophy as revolutionary are misguided.
107. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Dilek Huseyinzadegan Between Necessity and Contingency: A Critical Philosophy of History in the Dialectic of Enlightenment
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In this essay, I argue for a revival of Adorno and Horkheimer’s critical philosophy of history on account of the fact that their construction articulates both the necessity of various aspects of our current socio-political conditions given the past tendencies of rationality and domination, and the contingency of the present miseries by problematizing the continuous historical narratives that justify a certain version of the present. After demonstrating that the accomplishment of critical philosophy of history has to be located in the dialectic of the necessary as well as the contingent elements of historical developments, I turn to the Dialectic of Enlightenment as a particular constellation that exemplifies this accomplishment. I show that in this book we find a critical philosophy of history that narrates a story that both makes fascism the necessary corollary and conclusion of instrumental rationality and shows its contingent entanglement with domination. In this way, the initial question of how reason and rationality can lead to domination is now transformed into one that asks how we can we reinterpret and re-animate them such that they are no longer complicit with domination.
108. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Karen Robertson Heidegger and the Ambivalent Status of Human Interpretation: Art, History, Modernity
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Drawing on Heidegger’s essay “The Origin on the Work of Art,” I argue that works of art reveal human experience to be simultaneously finite and ecstatic and that art is part of the way our experience unfolds. Secondly, I argue that the dynamic of experience that art enables and in which it is implicated is precisely what historical experience is; this historical character of our experience is also always intersubjective and relational. Next, I turn to “Why Poets?” to analyse Heidegger’s critique of Rilke’s work in terms of the idea that works of art are involved in our self-constitution as historical and relational beings. Reading these two essays together, finally, allows me to conclude by characterising the demands of a distinctly modern experience of interpretation and by identifying the need to question what it means to be a “we” as the defining question of modernity.
109. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Pamela Carralero A Holy Aesthetic: Recognizing an Art that is Otherwise than Art in the Work of Emmanuel Levinas
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Despite Emmanuel Levinas’s famous denigration of art in “Reality and Its Shadow” as an egregious evasion of ethical responsibility, discussions of poetic art in his later writings court the ethical rhetoric that lies at the heart of his philosophy. Refuting claims that a more mature Levinas simply changed his attitude towards art, this article argues the existence of a poetic art that equates to a Jewish understanding of Temimut, or holiness, and describes the written word as a “holy aesthetic” born of ethical artistic intentions. Through these claims, this article seeks to add an interdisciplinary dimension to existing Levinas scholarship on ethical aesthetics, which has yet to consider how Levinas’s later discussions of art emerge from Talmudic thought.
110. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Mirela Oliva Hermeneutics and the Meaning of Life
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Hermeneutics approaches the meaning of life quite uniquely: it grasps the intrinsic intelligibility of life by employing a universal concept of meaning, applicable to all phenomena. While other conceptions identify the meaning of life with values or scopes, hermeneutics starts from a grass-roots work on the meanings that are embedded at every level of reality. In this paper, I analyze this approach, especially focusing on Husserl, Heidegger, and Gadamer. First, I outline Husserl’s philosophy of meaning as developed in response to the crisis of meaning. Second, I discuss Heidegger’s concept of meaning and his understanding of life as self-movement. Third, I analyze Gadamer’s concept of common sense (viewed as the grasp of the totality of life) and his idea of hermeneutic mediation that conveys the meaning of life itself.
111. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Nancy Tuana, Charles Scott Guest Editors' Introduction
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112. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Dennis J. Schmidt Letter of Thanks
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113. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Charles Scott Lives of Idioms
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Dennis Schmidt is developing a way of thinking that has at its core his understanding of "idiom," especially in what he calls "original ethics" and "idiomatic truth." This paper engages that understanding, distinguishes linguistic idioms and "event idioms," shows the transformative effects in both his thought and his life that his focus on idioms has had and is having in the present direction of his constructive philosophy, and further shows that this direction has the potential to change considerably major aspects of contemporary continental philosophy.
114. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
John Sallis From Abode to Dissemination
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This essay is a response to Dennis Schmidt’s call for a reanimating of the philosophical imagination and for the inception of an original ethics. In this connection it undertakes an extended examination of the various meanings that the word ἦèïò has in a number of ancient texts. Passages are cited at length (and in translations as close as possible to the Greek) from Homer’s Odyssey, Hesiod’s Works and Days, a fragment by Empedocles, a tragic drama by Aeschylus, Xenophon’s Symposium, and Plato’s Republic, Symposium, Phaedrus, and Laws. Each passage is discussed in detail with specific focus on the meaning that the passage accords to ἦèïò.
115. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Walter Brogan Greek Tragedy and the Ethopoietic Event
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In this essay, I attempt to explore Dennis Schmidt’s pervasive claim throughout his work of a deep affinity between aesthetic experience and ethical life. In a discussion of what Schmidt calls the intensification of life, the essay shows how for Schmidt birth and death are moments that have a peculiar capacity to reveal what he calls the idiom of the ethical. At the end of the essay, I turn to Schmidt’s discussion of Greek tragedy as an exemplary site for his unique sense of original ethics.
116. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Theodore George In a World Fraught and Tender: On Dennis Schmidt’s Contribution to an Original Ethics
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In this essay, the author argues that Dennis Schmidt’s considerations of ethical life, when taken together, comprise a prescient and distinctive response to Heidegger’s call to pursue an ‘original ethics.’ In this, Schmidt disavows discourses within the discipline of ethics that seek to establish an ethical theory or position, arguing instead that the demands of ethical life require us to focus on the incalculable singularity of the factical situations in which we find ourselves. The author suggests that Schmidt’s contributions to such an original ethical turns on Schmidt’s claims that the context of ethical life is fraught because bound up with radical finitude—though, for that very reason, also tender because marked by the need to care for one another in our vulnerability and fragileness.
117. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Peg Birmingham Dennis Schmidt and the Origin of the Ethical Life: The Law of the Idiom
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This essay explores Dennis Schmidt’s notion of an “original ethics,” asking how language, freedom and history are at work in this original ethics. The essay first examines Schmidt’s claim that philosophy has traditionally understood ethical and political life as rooted in a subject ruled entirely by what he calls “the law of the common.” The essay specifically looks at how Plato and Hobbes embrace the law of the common, expelling thereby the law of the idiom from their respective ethical and political thought. The essay then turns to an examination of Schmidt’s “original ethics” which he claims offers a way out from the law of the common and the logic of Machenschaft that animates this law. In conclusion, the essay expresses a concern on whether Schmidt can move as seamlessly as he seems to claim from an original ethics to political being in common, asking of the role of judgment in Schmidt’s original ethics.
118. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Andrew Benjamin The Predicament of Life: Dennis Schmidt and the Ethical Subject
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Of the many elements within Schmidt’s work that warrant discussion the attempt to differentiate the ethical from the conceptual is one of the most significant. That it is in part grounded in a reading of Kant makes it even more important. The aim of this essay is to question the way this differentiation is established and then justified. Part of the argument is to show the limits within Schmidt’s way of addressing what is central to any philosophical anthropology namely a concern with the being of being human.
119. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
James Risser Ethical Hermeneutics, or How the Ubiquity of the Finite Casts the Human in the Shadow of the Dark Side of the Moon
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This paper attempts to define Dennis J. Schmidt’s distinctive contribution to philosophy and to contemporary hermeneutics in particular under the heading of an ethical hermeneutics. The idea of an ethical hermeneutics is considered in relation to four aspects: 1) the element of practice as the constitutive element of ethical hermeneutics; 2) the force of practice: finitude; 3) the idiom as the place of finitude; 4) ethical hermeneutics and the domain of the common. The fourth aspect constitutes the critical engagement with the idea of an ethical hermeneutics, arguing that the notion of the common, which is underdeveloped in Schmidt’s writings, serves as a practical “concept” that takes the place of the theoretical concept in an ethical hermeneutics.
120. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
María del Rosario Acosta López On the Style of Philosophizing: Dennis Schmidt’s Hermeneutics of Writing
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In this article I address the question of writing and philosophical style as it is reflected on, and staged, by Dennis Schmidt’s work. I emphasize the relationship between Schmidt’s insistence on preserving a conception of beauty as productive for our current philosophical insights, and the way in which this is related to the call for, and implementation of, a “beautiful” style of philosophizing. In order to exemplify what I mean by this, I support some of my arguments with Friedrich Schiller’s reflections on philosophical style and his controversy around this issue with J. Gottlieb Fichte.