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Displaying: 101-120 of 576 documents

101. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 2
William Konchak Gadamer’s “Practice” of Theoria
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This paper explores the Greek conception of theoria, Gadamer’s interpretation of it, and how he applies it to his own hermeneutics. In particular, the transition that Gadamer makes from traditional metaphysical perspectives of theoria in ancient thought towards the activity of theoria within human life is explored, and the role that his aesthetics plays in this process. The importance of the intertwining of theory and practice for Gadamer is considered and what the practice of theoria may consist in. It is suggested that Gadamer’s approach, which emphasizes heightened experiences of interconnection to promote self-transformation, is a productive transformation of theoria relevant to contemporary points of view.
102. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 2
Marc Crépon, D. J. S. Cross, Tyler M. Williams The Invention of Singularity in School
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This essay situates “singularity” at the heart of the power dynamics operative in contemporary pedagogy and the system supporting it. More than merely academic learning, indeed, “school” here denotes not only the range of disciplinary authorities at work within the classroom and the educational system at large but also discursive obedience to knowledge. Supported by close readings of Arendt and Derrida, this paper thus argues that nothing less than the formation of identity is at stake in “school.” What are the boundaries, limits, and conditions of possibility for a student’s invention of his or her own singularity within an institution and curriculum that, at the same time, demands obedience to authority? This paradoxical formation of identity within the constrictive demands of authority constitutes the primary task of thinking the “invention of singularity” at the heart of schooling in conjunction with democracy, language, vocation, and ideology.
103. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Santiago Ramos Plato and Kant on Beauty and Desire
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This article attempts to find common ground between Plato and Kant on the topic of beauty and aesthetic contemplation. The Kantian notion of “liking devoid of interest” is interpreted in such a way that it can be brought into harmony with two Platonic accounts of beauty found in the Symposium and the Hippias Major. I argue that both thinkers do justice to the relationship between desire and beauty, while also both asserting that the proper appreciation of beauty per se—whether in an object or as an essence—requires a disinterested stance.
104. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Christopher Turner Cynic Philosophical Humor as Exposure of Incongruity
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I examine several recent interpretations of Cynic philosophy. Next, I offer my own reading, which draws on Schopenhauer’s Incongruity Theory of Humor, Aristotle’s account of the emotions in the Rhetoric, and the work of Theodor Adorno. I argue that Cynic humor is the deliberate exposure of incongruities between what a thing or state of affairs is supposed to be (either by nature or according to tradition) and what it in fact is, as evidenced by its present manifestation to our sense-perception and thought. Finally, I interpret the significance of this new reading: the exposure of incongruity aims to elicit a response of righteous indignation at the failure of phenomena to live up to our reasonable expectations. Cynic humor redeems the value of ‘wrong life’ by rendering its wrongness palpable and thus intolerable, by availing itself of reason’s inability to withstand flagrant contradictions.
105. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
J. Colin McQuillan The Remarriage of Reason and Experience in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason
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This article argues that Immanuel Kant recreates in his critical philosophy one of the most distinctive features of Christian Wolff’s rationalism—the marriage of reason and experience (connubium rationis et experientiae). The article begins with an overview of Wolff’s connubium and then surveys the reasons some of his contemporaries opposed the marriage of reason and experience, paying special attention to the distinctions between phenomena and noumena, sensible and intellectual cognition, and empirical and pure cognition that Kant employs in his inaugural dissertation On the Form and Principles of the Sensible and the Intelligible World (1770). The final section of the article argues that, in the Critique of Pure Reason (1781/1787), Kant rejects the anticonnubialist positions he defended in his inaugural dissertation and introduces a new account of the relation between reason and experience that recreates Wolff’s connubium within the context of his critical philosophy.
106. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Khafiz Kerimov The Time of the Beautiful in Kant’s Critique of Judgment
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The present article considers the problem of the preservation of pleasure in Kant’s Critique of Judgment. The problem stems from the fact that the Critique of Judgment contains not one but two distinct definitions of pleasure. In the definition of pleasure in §10 of the Analytic of the Beautiful Kant emphasizes that all pleasure is characterized by the tendency to preserve itself. On the other hand, in the definition of §VII of the unpublished Introduction Kant makes a sharp distinction between interested and disinterested pleasures, whereby only the former kind is defined by the tendency for self-preservation. Yet, how can the disinterested pleasure of the beautiful preserve itself, given that insofar as it is disinterested it can be based on neither desire for its own preservation nor continued existence of the object? In addressing this issue, most commentators erroneously reintroduce desire (whether explicitly or surreptitiously) in the pleasure of aesthetic reflection. By contrast, I propose to resolve this issue by turning to Kant’s account of lingering in §12 of the Analytic of the Beautiful and, more importantly, §§43-53 of the Deduction, where Kant affords his conception of aesthetic ideas.
107. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Samuel A. Stoner Kant on the Philosopher’s Proper Activity: From Legislation to Admiration
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This essay investigates Kant’s understanding of the philosopher’s proper activity. It begins by examining Kant’s well-known claim in the Critique of Pure Reason that the philosopher is the legislator of human reason. Subsequently, it explicates Kant’s oft-overlooked description of the transcendental philosopher as an admirer of nature’s logical purposiveness, in the ‘First Introduction’ to the Critique of the Power of Judgment. These two accounts suggest very different ways of thinking about the philosopher’s character and concerns. For, while Kant’s philosopher-legislator pursues the practical, world-transformative task of furthering reason’s moral vocation, the transcendental philosopher’s admiration of nature’s purposiveness is a form of a contemplative openness to the contingent but wonderful orderliness of things. I conclude that Kant ultimately recognizes that the tension between legislation and admiration is characteristic of the philosopher and that it is the heart of philosophy’s vitality.
108. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Paolo Diego Bubbio Hegel: From the I to the Spirit
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The author argues that one of the “circles” that constitute Hegel’s philosophical system, as it is displayed in the Encyclopedia, is the circle between the I and the spirit (Geist). Specifically, the author focuses on the emergence of spirit as a self and an I (from self-feeling up to universal self-consciousness and the free mind), and on the encounter of the I with nature. The author also argues that absolute spirit maintains fundamental intersubjective and perspectival features that are proper to the I, and that grasping the circular movement between the I and the spirit in the context of Hegel’s discussion of absolute Geist is also relevant to appreciating how normative categories of social thought can be challenged and altered through Geist’s ability to achieve critical distance by overcoming subject/object distinctions.
109. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Ethan Stoneman Everyone Is at Liberty to Be a Fool: Schopenhauer’s Philosophical Critique of the Art of Persuasion
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Retrieved from unpublished manuscript remains, Arthur Schopenhauer’s Eristic Dialectics (1830–1831) has been largely ignored both by philosophers and rhetoricians. The work is highly enigmatic in that its intended meaning vacillates between playful irony and Machiavellian seriousness. Adopting an esoteric perspective, this article argues that the tract can be read as simultaneously operating on two levels: an exoteric, cynical one, according to which Schopenhauer accepts that people are going to argue irrespective of the truth and as a result provides tools for defeating one’s opponents, and a deeper, esoteric level, which functions not cynically but, in Peter Sloterdijk’s language, kynically, as a satirical unmasking of the cynical impulses animating the study and practice of argumentation, especially as evinced in the rhetorical-humanist tradition. Such an interpretation reveals that, while a minor work, Eristic Dialectics offers a sophisticated philosophical critique of “the art of persuasion.”
110. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Steven Burgess Nietzsche on Language and Logic
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Recent commentators on Nietzsche’s philosophy have paid careful attention to his reflections on truth. While this issue has generated significant dispute, one prominent school of thought is in tacit agreement about the view of language that underlies Nietzschean truth. This view holds that certain linguistic entities can capture precise, distinct units of propositional content and static, rigidly designated conceptual meanings. A closer look at Nietzsche’s various analyses of language and logic reveals not only that he does not subscribe to such a position, but that he offers a sustained critique against the possibility of any form of atomism of language. It was only in the 1880s, after Nietzsche overcame his dualistic commitments to Kant and Schopenhauer and embraced a philosophy of becoming, that the full power of his critique is made manifest.
111. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Tupac Cruz Remnant Volition: Walter Benjamin's Theory of Fortune
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This study of Walter Benjamin’s ‘theory of fortune,’ understood as a contribution to the ‘theory of events,’ focuses on a detailed reading of a notebook entry from 1932, published under the title ‘Practice.’ In that note Benjamin cites one ordinary example of a ‘fortunate event’: you lose an object, look for it, fail to find it, forget about it; later on, you look for a second object and find the first one. Benjamin describes this event, the finding of an object that you are no longer looking for, as an event that can be attributed to your hand. The concept of a “remnant volition” determines the singular sense in which, in this example, you still wanted to find the first object, although the volition to do so was not active when you were looking for the second object. A volition can be remnant, generally speaking, when it is disjoined from the agent’s anticipation of its fulfillment. Thus, a fortunate event is the fulfillment of a remnant volition by an agent’s body, and practice is a form of activity that makes this possible, for it allows an agent’s will to “abdicate in favor of the body.” In my reading of this notebook entry I contrast Benjamin’s account of practice to Aristotle’s; I argue (by way of Benveniste) for a reactivation of the concept of ‘lucre’; and I determine the relevance of this account to Benjamin’s (and our) understanding of Proust’s theory of ‘aesthetic commitment.’ I also consider some implications of this odd conceptual construction for the philosophy of action.
112. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Shannon Hayes Merleau-Ponty’s Melancholy: On Phantom Limbs and Involuntary Memory
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I offer a re-evaluation of Freudian melancholy by reading it in-conjunction with Merleau-Ponty’s analysis of phantom limbs and Marcel Proust’s involuntary memories. As an affective response to loss, melancholy bears a strange, belated temporality (Nachträglichkeit). Through Merleau-Ponty’s analysis of the phantom limb, I emphasize that the melancholic subject remains affectively bound to a past world. While this can be read as problematic insofar as the subject is attuned to both the possibilities that belong to the present and the impossibilities that belong to the past world, I turn to Proust whose writings on involuntary memory indicate a way of taking up these futural (im)possibilities. I focus the discussion on the narrator’s involuntary memory of his grandmother after her death to highlight the creative transformation of his melancholy.
113. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
David Liakos Another Beginning?: Heidegger, Gadamer, and Postmodernity
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Martin Heidegger’s critique of modernity, and his vision of what may come after it, constitutes a sustained argument across the arc of his career. Does Hans-Georg Gadamer follow Heidegger’s path of making possible “another beginning” after the modern age? In this article, I show that, in contrast to Heidegger, Gadamer cultivates modernity’s hidden resources. We can gain insight into Gadamer’s difference from Heidegger on this fundamental point with reference to his ambivalence toward and departure from two of Heidegger’s touchstones for postmodernity, namely, Friedrich Nietzsche and Friedrich Hölderlin. We can appreciate and motivate Gadamer’s proposal to rehabilitate modernity by juxtaposing his rootedness in Wilhelm Dilthey and Rainer Maria Rilke with Heidegger’s corresponding interest in Nietzsche and Hölderlin. This difference in influences and conceptual starting points demonstrates Heidegger and Gadamer’s competing approaches to the modern age, a contrast that I concretize through a close reading of Gadamer’s choice of a poem by Rilke as the epigraph to Truth and Method
114. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Rodrigo Therezo Doublings: The Concept of Reading in Derrida's Geschlecht III
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This article attempts to read the very concept of reading as articulated and problematized by Derrida’s newly discovered Geschlecht III. I argue that Derrida enacts a reading of Heidegger in Geschlecht III in ways that help us understand the strong sense Derrida gives this word. In the article’s first part, I dwell on Derrida’s—and Heidegger’s—(quasi)methodological precautions that problematize the traditional concept of reading so as to open the way for a reading of Heidegger that does not bank on the metaphysical presuppositions the very same Heidegger warns us against time and again. In the second part, I turn to Derrida’s topotypological examples that show us what traditional methodology problematically presupposes when “reading” Heidegger. The article ends by turning to the Derridean notion of “overprinting”—and the uncanny effects of doubling it implies—as a way to think about what it means to read and countersign Heidegger’s text.
115. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Matthew Paul Schunke Marion, Nihilism, and the Gifted
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The reformulation of the subject as the gifted allows Jean-Luc Marion to incorporate saturated phenomena into his phenomenology but also introduces a serious problem to his project. Specifically, when confronted with the choice between absolute, unconditioned phenomena and the active role of the gifted, Marion chooses the unconditioned phenomena, and as a result, his project loses the ability to maintain meaning. In response to this issue, I advocate for a more active role for the gifted by turning to Iain Thomson’s recent work on Heidegger. I conclude by affirming the validity of a more active role for the gifted by turning to Heidegger’s early lectures on the phenomenology of religion. My aim will be to show that this more active role still allows the gifted to be affected by the phenomenon and can avoid the problems of objectivity and ontotheology, while better preserving the account of meaning.
116. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Jessica Elbert Decker How to Speak Kata Phusin: Magico-Religious Speech in Heraclitus
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Heraclitus has often been read through Aristotelian and Stoic paradigms that do not contextualize his text in the poetic tradition with which his fragments engage. This paper is a close study of Heraclitus’s DK 1 as a demonstration of his poetic methods, and argues that Heraclitus’s text is an example of what Marcel Detienne calls magico-religious speech. Heraclitus’s logos is a living thing, not only words but ‘works,’ as Heraclitus refers to his logos in DK 1, using the Homeric formula “words and works.” Heraclitus’s teaching is experiential, and depends on memory as the antidote to oblivion and forgetting, often associated with sleeping and death. In reading DK 1 and following the paths that it traces to other fragments, Heraclitus’s teaching as a method of escaping the private world (idion kosmos) is revealed.
117. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Justin Habash Heraclitus and the Riddle of Nature
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In a world of expanding epistemological horizons, the Early Greek thinkers known as the Presocratics wrestled with questions concerning the nature (φύσις) of things. But this idea of φύσις as a way to say what things really are was a relatively new one and meant that these thinkers often articulated very different ideas about how to properly under this philosophical concept. In this paper I sketch Heraclitus’s understanding of φύσις as a riddle that demands a particular method of inquiry. Linking many of his fragments, I show that φύσις is a paradoxical harmonia, or “fitting-together,” of opposites that serves as the pattern which underlies all things. Understood in this way, Heraclitus’s frequently mysterious fragments serve as a training ground for building wisdom by testing the listener’s ability to navigate ambiguity and complexity to find hidden meaning. Ultimately for Heraclitus, successfully navigating the riddle of φύσις moves us beyond simply saying “what things are” and unlocks our access to λόγος, or the principle according to which all things are steered or guided.
118. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Arlene W. Saxonhouse Who Speaks: Reflections on Voice and Logos in Sophocles’s Ajax, Aristotle and Plato
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I consider Sophocles’s tragedy the Ajax against the backdrop of Pericles’s invocation of silence about and from women, Pericles’s citizenship law of 451BCE and Aristotle’s understanding of the human being as a political animal possessing logos. I argue that in the actions and speeches of the play there is a questioning of the exclusion of women and bastards from political deliberation. A study of the language of the play reveals that Tecmessa, Ajax’s concubine, and Teucer, his bastard half-brother, exercise logos while the Homeric hero Ajax consistently resorts to the sort of sounds used by animals that give voice (phonê) to pain. The dismissal of the speech of women and those from the lower ranks of society proves detrimental to the lives of those who choose to silence them.
119. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Andy German ΠΑΛΙΝ ἘΞ ἈΡΧΗΣ: Resumption and Recollection in Plato
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I argue that Plato’s deployment of the resumptive phrase πάλιν ἐξ ἀρχῆς illuminates the philosophical significance of his art of transition in Socratic dialogues. These explicit calls for a new beginning often appear when a conversation fails to account for two particular elements of ordinary experience: assumptions about whole-part relations and about the interlocutor’s self-conception as a being responsive to basic rational and normative distinctions. Returning to the archē is a form of ἀνάμνησις, reminding us that these assumptions constitute true, but inarticulate, opinions of a fundamental kind. They are the preconditions for discourse that philosophical διαλέγεσθαι must preserve and ground.
120. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Etienne Helmer The Political Border Inside: On Institutional Slavery in Plato’s Laws
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The academic debate on institutional slavery in Plato’s has been limited so far to the question of whether or not it is present in his paradigmatic just cities. The answer is clearly affirmative for the city of Magnesia in the Laws, but things are not so clear with respect to the Kallipolis of the Republic: some believe that it contains slaves, while others deny it or at least report that it cannot be assessed with certainty. As legitimate as it may be, this debate remains very limited. My claim is that a close scrutiny of a specific passage from the Laws reveals that slavery is not present in Plato’s political thought (at least in the Laws) as a mere cultural element of economic origin: it rather fulfills the function of what I call an “inner political border” on which the civic space must be built if it is to have a true theoretical and practical autonomy, that the citizens embody and enforce.