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21. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
John Robert Bagby The Nature of Music in Peripatetic Phenomenological Musicology
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There was a long and lively debate in Ancient Greece on the nature of music, spanning philosophy, cosmology, and psychology. Peripatetic musicology based its understanding of the nature of music on philosophical principles derived from Aristotle’s psychology in order to address debates among their predecessors, primarily to shift the focus away from the physical sounds or their mathematical ratios, towards the investigation of the psyche, which I show was a sort of proto-phenomenology. Music involves a voluntary activity accompanied by a natural joy. This joy grows and intensifies the energeia of the psyche. The nature of music is related directly to the nature, essence, or activity, of the psyche.
22. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Mariska Leunissen Aristotle’s Animalization of Mothers and Motherly Love
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This paper argues that Aristotle’s representation of mothers and motherly love in two separate arguments about friendship in his ethical treatises are not to be read as positive valuations of mothering and its associated traits but rather as perpetuating the common Greek animalization of women. For the deep love and the complex care and practical intelligence human mothers exhibit for their children are according to Aristotle rooted in the biological capacities that they share with non-human animals. Importantly, these capacities are instinctual rather than chosen and grounded primarily in women’s perceptive soul rather than in their rational soul. By emphasizing the naturalness and the affective character of motherly love in his ethics, Aristotle assimilates human mothers to animal ones and depicts their excellence in mothering as a biological virtue rather than a moral one.
23. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Justin Humphreys Logical Priority in Aristotle’s Metaphysics M.2
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In Metaphysics M, Aristotle aims to refute the Platonic view that mathematical objects are substantially prior to sensible things. For Aristotle, mathematical objects are the abstracted attributes of sensible substances required for geometrical analysis and proof. Yet, despite this derivative status of the objects of mathematics, Aristotle insists that they are logically prior to individual substances. This paper examines the distinction between logical and substantial priority, arguing that it underwrites Aristotle’s conception of mathematical necessity and explanation.
24. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Harold Tarrant Unmarried Male Platonists on Death in the Family: How Did Crantor’s Peri Penthous Become a Model?
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In this paper I ask what it is that adds credibility to Crantor (d. 276/5 BC) as an authority on managing one’s grief, especially grief at the loss of children. At first sight the homoerotic ethos of the Academy in his time made it unlikely that high profile members would have concerned themselves with children of their own. The primary source used is Plutarch’s Consolation to Apollonius, where it is clear that immediate suppression of grief and other natural feelings is not intended, nor must rationality always override them. Rather the consolation helps to produce a pause that allows reason to gradually bring such feelings down to a rational level. Texts associated with Crantor already idealize suspension of judgment at times of pressure, even if his partner Arcesilaus took this epokhê further.
25. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Sofia Lombardi Passion as Judgment: The Problem of the Stoic Definition in Zeno and Chrysippus
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Ancient sources present mainly two Stoic definitions of passion: as an irrational and unnatural movement of the soul, and as an excessive impulse. These definitions hold for the Stoics in general, and undoubtedly for Zeno. However, in other sources, passion is seen as a judgment or as what supervenes on judgment. In this case, some sources refer to Zeno, others to Chrysippus, and still others do not refer to any particular Stoic philosopher, so it is unclear whether the idea of judgment was already present in Zeno or is an innovation of his successor. Starting from this problem, I attempt to reconstruct the meaning of Stoic passion, with a particular interest in the definition of passion as judgment. In this way I will try to show that the apparently different positions of Zeno and Chrysippus are in fact the same when viewed within the framework of the Stoic theory of action.
26. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Brian Marrin Socrates’s Laconic Wisdom: Nomos and Physis in the Protagoras
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Plato’s Protagoras is famous for Protagoras’s defense of the public practice of sophistry and his great myth, which contains his account of the origins of political life, as well as for Hippias’s rejection of the tyranny of nomos in the name of the natural kinship of the wise. What is perplexing is that Socrates makes no explicit response to these arguments. This essay argues that Socrates’s indirect response is actually contained in his otherwise unmotivated interpretation of the poem of Simonides, where his description of “laconic philosophy” is in fact an indirect description of his own philosophical practice. While the sophists reject nomos without recognizing their own dependence on its stabilizing force, Socrates argues that genuine philosophers, recognizing at once the necessity as well as the defectiveness of nomos, must “unwillingly praise” convention and only present their criticisms indirectly. Socrates’s interpretation of Simonides, then, points the way to his own understanding of the tension between, but also the interdependence of, nomos and physis.
27. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Michael Davis The Dialectic of Aristotle’s Rhetoric
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Aristotle writes the Art of Rhetoric rhetorically. His actions sometimes speak louder than his words. At first, he presents rhetoric as concerned with a species of logos, but gradually makes clear that all logos is somehow rhetorical. To understand human beings, the animals with logos, one must first understand logos, thinking through its dyadic structure as at once communication and articulation—a structure that guarantees its failure fully to articulate and fully to communicate. Now, persuasion proceeds “by speaking either examples or enthymemes, and besides these nothing.” To understand the enthymeme proves to require an understanding of topos—topic. But topos becomes clear only by way of a long series of examples. Finally, then, it is owing to the example, its strange mixture of the universal and particular, that we understand what Aristotle is doing. The example, itself exemplary of the power logos is the key to understanding human nature.
28. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Plato Tse What Kant Should Have Said About Fichte (But Did Not)
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What philosophical reasons are there that could ground Kant’s Declaration in 1799 against Fichte’s Doctrine of Science? To answer this question, the present paper reconstructs what Kant could have said but did not. The first section traces the possible peer influences on Kant’s stance toward Fichte expressed in the Declaration and derives from it what Kant conceived to be the problems with the Doctrine of Science. The second section establishes three formation conditions for transcendental paralogisms. The third section proposes a Fichtean variant of paralogism and shows how in Fichte’s case the three formation conditions obtain.
29. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Diego Viana On Gilbert Simondon’s Inheritance from Merleau-Ponty
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The article explores the proximity between Simondon’s philosophical project and phenomenology through his relation to Merleau-Ponty. Three concepts that link the two philosophers are examined: genesis, relation, and Simondon’s preindividual, which are shown to constitute an attempt to answer questions Merleau-Ponty was addressing in his later work. The article shows how Simondon’s argument for ontogenesis rather than ontology is related to Merleau-Ponty’s ontological project, which in turn originates in the latter’s reading of Husserl, particularly the interest in genetic phenomenology expressed as early as the Phenomenology of Perception. It then shows that the radical notion of relation employed by Simondon responds to problems Merleau-Ponty had encountered in thinking the corps propre and the chiasm. The paper then discusses the link between Merleau-Ponty’s thinking of the flesh and Simondon’s concept of preindividual. By confronting these two bodies of work, the article suggests that phenomenology is an important starting point for Simondon.
30. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Tobias Keiling, Ian Alexander Moore “Worlds, Worlding”
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Heidegger’s discussion of the concept and the phenomenology of ‘world’ is defined by its dual meaning, referring to both the unity of a single, encompassing whole and a number of different meaning contexts, i.e., ‘worlds’ in the plural. Heidegger’s emphasis on the verbal meaning of world (‘worlding’) and the discussion of problems such as the ‘world entry’ of an entity articulate the tension and dynamic between these two meanings. This contribution develops Heidegger’s account by (i) elucidating Heidegger’s early and late discussion of ‘worlding’; (ii) connecting ‘worlding’ to the discussion of ontological pluralism in recent work by Kris McDaniel; and (iii) delineating a specific notion of a metaphysically neutral ‘phenomenological realism’ compatible with Heidegger’s version of ontological pluralism.
31. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Charles E. Scott Star Gazing With Joe Balay
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32. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Alexander Crist The Drang Zum Wort of Linguisticality: An Account of the ‘Prelinguistic’ as Precondition, Disclosure, and Demand in Gadamer’s Hermeneutics
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Since Truth and Method, Gadamer’s account of language or linguisticality as the medium of hermeneutic experience has prompted an ever-recurring reflection and critical engagement with the interpretive implications of this claim. For Gadamer, there is no subject matter that comes to the fore without linguisticality, that is, without the possibility of the subject matter to come into language in the first place. However, in later essays, he briefly discusses what he calls ‘prelinguistic’ in hermeneutic expe­rience. In this essay, I offer an account of the prelinguistic in Gadamer’s works that still maintains the primacy of language in his hermeneutic project. The prelinguistic marks not only a kind of precondition of linguisticality itself, but it also marks the fundamentally disclosive and demanding character of hermeneutic experience as such. As a precondition, the prelinguistic is not something beyond or outside of language, but is the very impulse or drive towards linguistic expression.
author meets critics
33. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Alexander Crist NASPH Satellite Society Meeting at SPEP: Introductory Remarks
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34. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Carolyn Culbertson Testimonial Justice Beyond Belief: On Van der Heiden’s Philosophy of Testimony
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This article examines the meaningful intervention that Gert-Jan Van der Heiden’s recent book, The Voice of Misery: A Continental Philosophy of Testimony, makes in the developing field of the philosophy of testimony. I argue that this intervention is accomplished through a phenomenological investigation into the nature of the testimonial object and of the demand that it makes upon one who bears witness. In taking such an approach, I argue, Van der Heiden initiates an ontological turn in the field of testimonial theory, shifting the conversation away from a debate about the conditions in which belief in testimony is justified – a debate that has in many ways defined the field for philosophers in the Anglo-American tradition. I suggest that Van der Heiden’s account is helpful in demonstrating that, in many cases, doing justice to a testimonial object requires an epistemic-ethical attitude other than belief. The article concludes by developing a few questions for Van der Heiden based on my interpretation of his project, including to what extent his phenomenology of testimony can account for how often our receptivity to testimony depends on the default trust that we have in others by virtue of our fundamental immersion in social life.
35. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Dennis J. Schmidt On Testimony and Bare Life: Remarks on Gert-Jan van der Heiden’s The Voice of Misery
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Commenting upon van der Heiden’s The Voice of Misery, this paper addresses the peculiar task of witnessing and testimony that reaches beyond the ordinary sense of being a witness that is defined by the sphere of juridical concerns. Here the concern is with testimony that reaches to the point of “bare life”, the point at which a life is stripped down to a point at which the very idea of speech and bonds with others is shed. Understood in this sense, the task of testimony begins a the limits of what we call “the human”. Following from Heidegger, Plato, and Celan the effort is made both to speak about the character of such testimony as well as about the “ethos” of such a relation to life itself.
36. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Gert-Jan van der Heiden Furthering The Voice of Misery: Response to Dennis J. Schmidt and Carolyn Culbertson
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In this essay, the author takes up the responses of Dennis J. Schmidt and Carolyn Culbertson to his monograph The Voice of Misery: A Continental Philosophy of Testimony. It first observes that both respondents have a shared interest in the ethical dimension of the question of testimony, which has much to do with the exceptional subject matter, namely that of bare life, that The Voice of Misery takes as its point of departure to analyze what testimony is. In the first section, the author engages with Schmidt’s account of the importance of Heidegger, Plato’s myth of Er and Celan’s poetry for thinking testimony and shows how exactly these references allow us to think the ethos and the ethics of textimony. In the second section, he discusses the three questions Culbertson raised concerning the practical, more everyday stakes of testimony in relation to the epistemology of testimony and the question of epistemic justice.
37. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Dylan S. Bailey Midwifery and Epistemic Virtue in the Theaetetus
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The Theaetetus’s midwife metaphor contains a puzzling feature, often re­ferred to as the “midwife paradox”: the physical midwives must have first given birth to their own children in order to have the necessary experience to practice their art. Socrates, however, seems to disavow having any children of his own and thus appears to be unqualified to practice philosophical midwifery. In this paper, I aim to dissolve the midwife paradox by arguing that it rests on problematic assumptions, namely, that Socrates never gave birth to a child at all or the child of wisdom in particular, and that he is primarily an intellectual midwife. I offer a new interpretation of Socratic midwifery, arguing that what Socrates may have birthed in the past which qualifies him for midwifery is his virtuous recognition of his ignorance, and that this “epistemic virtue” is also the proximate goal of Socratic midwifery.
38. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Ryan M. Brown The Lovers’ Formation in Plato’s Phaedrus
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This essay argues that the Phaedrus’s Palinode articulates an account of love (erōs) in which the experience of love can morally and intellectually transform both lover and beloved. After situating this account of love within the dialogue’s thematization of soul-leading (psuchagōgia), I show how Socrates’s account of love makes an intervention into typical Greek thought on pederasty and argue against Jessica Moss’s contention that soul-leading love suffers severe limitations in its soul-leading capacity, showing that Moss is wrong to think that love can only efficaciously lead souls that are already well-formed. By contrast, the Palinode portrays the moral and intellectual formation of the lover, who first approaches the beloved in the spirit of rapacity only to be turned by his experience of beauty toward genuine service, ordered to the beloved’s benefit. The beloved likewise undergoes such a transformation as a result of his nascent return-love (anterōs).
39. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Andreea Mihali Descartes’s Ethics: Generosity in the Flesh
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This paper focuses on the emotional make-up of Descartes’s generous person. Described as having complete control over the passions, the generous person is not passion-free; she feels compassion for those in need but unable to bear their misfortunes with fortitude, hates vice, takes satisfaction in her own virtue, etc. To bring to light the coherence of the generous person’s emotional configuration, a compare and contrast analysis with Descartes’s deficient moral type, the abject person, is provided. Real life as well as literary examples (Queen Christina of Sweden, Descartes himself and Kadhy Demba, one of the main characters of Marie NDiaye’s novel Trois Femmes Puissantes) further refine the portrait of Descartes’s generous person and show that generosity is achievable by anyone who uses their will well. Descartes’s position on harmonizing the passions is reconstructed as a developmental trajectory: harmonizing the emotions is possible courtesy of God who put this sphere of created affairs under our jurisdiction; harmonizing the passions is required since the alternative is sub-optimal (souls enslaved and miserable); finally, harmonizing the emotions is satisfying. Since, as the above examples demonstrate, in the process of making their emotional composition coherent, different people take different routes and thus “create for themselves a personal, quite personal ideal,” acquiring Cartesian generosity points the way to Nietzsche’s later notion of self-creation.
40. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Terrence Thomson Kant’s Opus postumum and Schelling’s Naturphilosophie: The Very Idea
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This paper is about Kant’s late unfinished manuscript, Opus postumum (1796–1803) and some of the resonances it has with Schelling’s early Naturphiloso­phie (1797–1800). Most of the secondary literature on Opus postumum investigates its relation to the rest of Kant’s corpus, often framing the drafts as an attempt to fill a so-called “gap” in the Critical philosophy whilst ignoring the relationship it has to the wider landscape of late eighteenth century German philosophy. Whether Opus postumum may provide grounds for reviewing the relationship between Kant and Schelling’s Naturphilosophie, for example, is rarely discussed. Some scholars have remarked upon the striking parallels between Opus postumum and Naturphilosophie, but there has yet to appear a single monograph-length text on the relation. Whilst certainly “Schelling’s Post-Kantian confrontation with nature itself begins with the overthrow of the Copernican revolution” (Grant 2008, 6), what if Kant was himself overthrowing the Copernican revolution? In this paper, I will outline some of the points of contact to start from in support of posing this question.