Cover of Journal of Philosophical Research
Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Browse by:

Displaying: 21-40 of 79 documents

philosophy and public life
21. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Hans Lenk The Public: Its Concept and New Effects in the Internet and Multimedia Societies
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper begins with an overview of the origins and development of ancient direct participatory “democracy” and a related concept of the “public.” Through the Roman “res publica” and the “homo publicus” and much later the Magna Carta and the English tradition of participatory rights, as well as the French “division of powers” and the French Revolution and Kant’s “public usage of reason,” a rather modern concept of the “public” in representative modern democracies developed in the Enlightenment and materialized in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In social and political philosophy there was a noticeable impact of “the public” and “public life” in debates, formal constitutions and their philosophical and pragmatic foundations. Dewey’s lectures on “The Public and its Problems” already emphasized the impact and the growth of communication technologies for “the public,” publicity, political and social life. Habermas diagnosed a “Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere” from a pragmatic social philosophical point of view, although he did not really take up Dewey’s diagnoses and predictions of the role of media and communication technologies. The same is true for Gerhardt’s study The Public: The Political Form of Consciousness (2012). With the pervasive impact of digital communication and media technologies there has occurred another structural transformation of the public sphere and the concept of the public. Instant global multimedia communication certainly has largely positive effects, fostering social as well as individal freedom and even revolutionary changes. But there are also the widespread experiences of individual and group mobbing, “shitstorms,” cyber-crimes, electronic spying and data-mining, etc. The structure (the concept and reality) of the public has lately been and is currently rapidly changing again—due to the electronic information revolution.
the relevance of ancient greek philosophy today
22. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Enrico Berti The Relevance of Aristotle’s Philosophy Today
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The relevance of Aristotle’s philosophy today is the survival of many Aristotelian concepts, definitions, distinctions, in the culture of many countries. In some cases, e. g. in the fields of logic and of metaphysics, the Aristotelian concepts survive as useful instruments for reasoning, like the concepts of category, contrariety, contradiction, or the distinctions between matter and form and between potency and act. But in other fields, like biology and psychology, some Aristotelian doctrines serve equally as examples of conceptual innovations, as was recognised by the biologist Max Delbrück about the discovery of DNA and by Anthony Kenny about the discussion of the “Mind-Body Problem.” Even in the fields of ethics and of politics, the revival of the practical philosophy of Aristotle has been an occasion for developing new models of social life and organisation of society, as is shown by philosophers like Alasdair MacIntyre and Martha C. Nussbaum, and by economists like Amartya Sen.
23. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40
Christophe Rouard MacIntyre’s Rationalities of Traditions and Gadamer’s Hermeneutics
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This article explores the ties existing between the philosophies of Alasdair MacIntyre and Hans-Georg Gadamer. A comparison between these two contemporary authors shows that they diverge fundamentally as to the role accorded to language in their thinking. For Gadamer, language occupies the place royale. MacIntyre doesn’t accord it the same role and, in so doing, intends to restore metaphysics to its place of honor. Gadamer is felt to have masked the roles of both theoria and metaphysics in Aristotle’s philosophy. That said, the convergences between the two philosophers are quite numerous. This article studies them in detail. Essentially, they have to do with the central role of ethos for both of them. The comparison concludes with a particular focus on one last divergence. If they are very close to one another in measuring the influence of ethos on all human inquiry, they ultimately diverge as to the telos of that inquiry, a sign of their different understandings of language.
the relevance of ancient greek philosophy today
24. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Dorothea Frede Aristotle on the Importance of Rules, Laws, and Institutions in Ethics
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In recent years rule-scepticism has been dominant among experts concerning Aristotle’s ethics. The present paper addresses three points that speak for this sceptical attitude: (i) Aristotle’s caveat against precision in ethics; (ii) the emphasis on the particular conditions of actions and on experience; (iii) the fact that moral education relies on habituation rather than teaching. At a closer look it emerges that all these considerations presuppose universal rules, laws, and institutions rather than exclude them, for they concern the adjustment of universal principles to particular cases. Knowledge of these principles may not be necessary in routine cases, but the emphasis on a master-science that provides the laws necessary for every well-functioning community and the appropriate education of the citizens shows that these principles are the indispensable foundation of both ethics and politics. It is Aristotle’s aim to provide the groundwork of such a master science that is the common concern of his ethics and politics.
25. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Kostas Kalimtzis Aristotle on Scholê and Nous as a Way of Life
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
My paper is an inquiry into the political significance of Aristotle’s concept of scholê, a word usually translated as ‘leisure.’ The words ‘school’ and ‘scholar’ are derived from scholê, which indicates a richness of meanings that go far beyond anything suggested by the word “leisure.”Perhaps taking up the subject as a political issue seems untimely during this troubled period of economic crisis. And yet, if seen from the perspective in which it was first raised, that is as a response to the question put forth by Socrates—‘what type of life is worth living?’—then inquiry into its nature may help us entertain the possibility that our economic and social ills have arisen from wrong answers that we have given to the Socratic question.Before examining Aristotle’s thoughts on leisure, I will first briefly turn to Plato’s concept of scholê so as to economically bring to the fore the difficulties involved when leisure is projected unto an entire republic as an overarching aim of public life.
26. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40
A. Minh Nguyen What Good is Self-Knowledge?
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper provides a detailed account of the normal importance of self-knowledge. I critique two previous accounts, one developed by Bilgrami (1998; 1999; 2006) and the other inspired by Putnam (1981). It is argued that the former conflates self-beliefs with the intentional states that these higher-order beliefs are about, whereas the latter shows only that true beliefs of certain kinds—as opposed to true self-beliefs simpliciter—improve our chances of survival. Self-knowledge is valuable for four reasons. First, it improves our chances of survival because it enables us to assess our intentional states and adjust our behavior. Second, it plays a critical role in effecting cooperation because the efficient pursuit of common goals requires that one communicate to others information about one’s beliefs and desires. Third, it provides protection against psychopathologies such as anxiety and narcissism because it enables the agent to assume responsibility for his thoughts and actions. Fourth, it enhances the agent’s self-confidence and happiness because the less he doubts that his successes are the result of his acting on his attitudes and abilities, the more self-confident and happier he is. I conclude with a discussion of the disadvantages of self-knowledge and the advantages of self-ignorance and self-error.
the relevance of ancient greek philosophy today
27. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Noburu Notomi The Platonic Idea of Ideal and its Reception in East Asia
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In the history of philosophy, Plato’s theory of Forms has enchanted many philosophers, but it has faced more adversaries than proponents. Although it is unusual for contemporary philosophers to believe in the Platonic Forms, I confront Plato seriously and try to defend his thought by reflecting on its reception in modern Japan. For this purpose, the Japanese word “risō” (理想), which was originally a translation of the Platonic “Idea” or “Form,” will give us valuable hints.I discuss Aristotle, Friedrich Nietzsche and Karl Popper, each of whom raised fundamental questions about the Forms as transcendent entities. First, Aristotle ignores one fundamental factor of the Forms, i.e., Eros: we aspire for the perfect or ideal state in our life with reference to the Forms. Next, Popper misses the important difference between the Form and the Ideal: i.e., the ultimate reality and its expressed form in words. Aspiring for the latter does not necessarily lead us to totalitarianism. Then, I argue that Nietzsche shares the same framework with Plato in considering the notion of “ideal.” We have to face his radical question of whether we should hold an “ideal” in everyday life.Finally, I introduce a brief history of how philosophers confronted reality by learning Plato in modern Japan. Michitaro Tanaka, in particular, cast critical eyes on the pre- and post-war society by studying Plato’s philosophy. To consider and discuss the Forms changes views and meanings of the world and of life. Plato thereby invites us to this common search through his dialogues, and leads us to the ideal (risō).
28. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Simon Critchley Philosophical Eros
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper, originally read on the site of Plato’s dialogue Phaedrus, attempts to show how the two seemingly distinct themes of this dialogue, eros and rhetoric, are really one. Socrates there employs rhetoric, in which his decent but somewhat dull interlocutor, Phaedrus, takes great pleasure, in order to persuade the latter to assume philosophical eros, inclining his soul to truth. This aim contrasts vividly with the nihilistic one pursued by the greatest of the Sophist rhetoricians, Gorgias. Ultimately, philosophical eros conduces to intimations of immortality. This could be demonstrated, if more time were available, by exploring certain works of contemporary literature and philosophy; for example, in his Totality and Infinity, Emmanuel Levinas cites the Phaedrus more frequently than any other text.
29. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40
Nuno Venturinha The Epistemic Value of Holding for True
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper explores the epistemological problem of holding something to be true while building on Wittgenstein’s later philosophy. I claim that it was Frege’s criticism of psychologism in logic that gave a boost to Wittgenstein’s reflections on this issue, an issue that already occupies a central place in Kant’s theory of knowledge. I shall endeavour to show that Wittgenstein’s considerations on rule-following and the systematic character of belief not only make evident the shortcomings of Frege’s explanation of how the mind works but also take a step forward in overcoming the flaws of Kantian epistemology. The later Wittgenstein, I argue, goes further than Kant in the recognition that truth cannot attain more objectivity than the expression of our holding for true, but this does not mean endorsing any subjectivism.
30. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Myrto Dragona-Monachou Eros: An Unexpected God of the Stoic Cosmopolis
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this paper, I discuss the Stoic views on eros in general and “Eros as a god of the Stoic cosmopolis” in particular. In the first part I present the works on Eros written by the Early Stoics; I discuss the fragmentary evidence about their views focusing on Zeno, the founder of the Stoic School. I point out how puzzling most Stoic views appeared to the opposing schools whose members did not hesitate to ascribe many scandalous and shameful views to them, though the Stoic view on eros is not very different from the pedagogical one defended by Socrates as presented in the works of Plato, Xenophon, Aeschines of Sphettus and others. In the second part I focus on a single piece of information attested by Athenaeus, according to which Zeno in his Republic, a work written as an answer to Plato’s Republic, took “Eros who brings about friendship, freedom, and concord, to be the god of the city” (SVF I 263). This statement has been interpreted in various ways by eminent scholars, some of whose views I present in brief. In the third and last part, based on the testimony that the Stoics wanted to be called “Socratics,” I argue that Zeno proved himself a genuine Socratic, taking into account not only the Platonic Socrates’s view of eros, but also that of Xenophon, to whom Zeno’s philosophical education can be traced back. I also tend to believe that Zeno’s Republic is not a case of a conventional city, but that of the famous Stoic cosmopolis governed by the law of nature in a spirit of friendship, concord and freedom.
31. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40
Hagit Benbaji Two Uses of the Analogy Between Colors and Values
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper distinguishes two different uses of the analogy between colors and values, the projectivist and the objectivist. The projectivist use of the analogy has a long history, which goes back to Hume. The objectivist use of the analogy is a fairly recent addition. The core contention of this paper is that the projectivist’s use fails, and that only the objectivist offers a genuine use for the analogy between colors and values.
32. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Jonathan Lear Ironic Eros: Notes on a Fantastic Pregnancy
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper is an investigation of Plato’s thought that the disruptive force of Eros can lead us in a good direction. It takes seriously Diotima’s teaching to Socrates that the erotic encounter with the beautiful beloved stimulates a pregnancy in the lover. This paper argues that Plato did not, and we should not, think of this pregnancy merely as a metaphor or an allegory. The paper also argues that we misread Diotoma’s account of erotic ascent if we think of the lover as coming to disdain his first loves, the beautiful body or the beautiful individual. What he comes to disdain is the thought that this could be the ultimate telos of his quest. But the beloved, or the memory of the beloved, in all his or her corporeality remains of crucial importance throughout the lover’s life. Giving birth in the beautiful—however creative the act—occurs in the aura of the beloved. The paper then takes these Platonic ideas and investigates them in relation to a fantasy-pregnancy that was long suppressed in the history of psychoanalysis: that of the patient known as Anna O. giving birth to her doctor’s baby. The paper argues that this should be understood as a pregnancy of soul—one that played a significant role in giving birth to psychoanalysis itself.
33. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40
Anne Meylan The Legitimacy of Intellectual Praise and Blame
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
We frequently praise or blame people for what they believe or fail to believe as a result of their having investigated some matter thoroughly, or, in the case of blame, for having failed to investigate it, or for carelessly or insufficiently investigating. For instance, physicists who, after years of toil, uncover some unknown fact about our universe are praised for what they come to know. Sometimes, in contrast, we blame and may even despise our friends for being ignorant of certain ecological facts as a result of their refusing to countenance the evidence. The purpose of this paper is to explore what underlies the legitimacy of this practice—the praise or blame of people for what they know or fail to know as a result of investigation or otherwise—namely, the ability to exercise control over one’s doxastic states, and, in particular, as I will argue, one’s ability to exercise indirect generic control over one’s doxastic states.
philosophy and religions
34. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Jean Ferrari Philosophie et Religions
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
La problématique générale de ce symposium est celle de la confrontation de la philosophie, considérée dans son unicité comme une démarche critique à laquelle rien de ce qui est humain n’est étranger et les religions dans leur diversité à travers l’espace et le temps. Il en résulte des types de rapports très divers, selon que la philosophie emprunte aux religions certains thèmes de sa réflexion ou que, par ses concepts, elle contribue à la théorisation dogmatique de celles-ci. La question essentielle demeure aujourd’hui celle des rapports entre la raison philosophique et les croyances religieuses, que l’on en fasse l’histoire ou qu’en fonction des évolutions de l’une et des autres dans le monde contemporain, l’on tente d’en inventer des formes nouvelles.
35. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Suwanna Satha-Anand Silencing Metaphysics: Reflections on the Silence of the Buddha on Questions of Metaphysics
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Past discussions on the silence of the Buddha have focused on speculations on the “reasons” of the Buddha’s silence. Most scholars offer an analysis of the Buddha’s pragmatic considerations or his argument on human epistemic limits, that is, either that the metaphysical questions are irrelevant to the cessation of suffering or that the metaphysical contents cannot be known. This paper argues that the silence of the Buddha can be seen as a “speech act” whose absence of words actually achieves two purposes, first, the silence expresses the Buddha’s refusal to participate in these debates, and second, the silence creates a “space” which guides the interlocutors to re-direct the focus of their religious understanding. It will be illustrated that this silence of the Buddha is a point of both distinction and connectivity between philosophy as pure speculation on the one hand, and religion as a problem-solving practice on the other.
36. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Seizō Sekine Philosophical Inquiries into Religions: A Japanese Old Testament Scholar’s Perspective
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Philosophy, which is limitless but abstract, and religions, which are concrete but unable to shed the limitations of their symbols, must construct a complementary relationship that draws on the strengths of both. Through developing philosophical insights into religious truth and values, we can shine new light on our modern maladies and urgent problems, such as the tendency to pursue facts but not truth in scholarly research (section 1), religious conflicts (section 2), and the rivalry between religion and ethics (section 3). The author demonstrates ways this is possible from the perspectives of Old Testament studies, ethics, and modern Japanese Philosophy.
37. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40
Brendan Murday Fictional Realism and Indeterminate Identity
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Fictional realists hold that fictional characters are real entities. However, Anthony Everett (2005) notes that some fictions leave it indeterminate whether character A is identical to character B, while other fictions depict A as simultaneously identical and distinct from B. Everett argues that these fictions commit the realist to indeterminate and impossible identity relations among actual entities, and that as such realism is untenable. This paper defends fictional realism: for fictions depicting non-classical identity between A and B, the realist should hold that there are two salient fragments, one with a single character (named both ‘A’ and ‘B’) and the other with two (named ‘A’ and ‘B’, respectively). Truth according to the fiction depicting indeterminate identity is determined by supervaluating over truth according to those salient fragments. For fictions depicting impossible identity, truth is determined by subvaluating over truth according to those two salient fragments.
philosophy and religions
38. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Michael von Brück Wisdom and Responsibility: Towards a Relationship of Knowing and Acting in Mahayana-Buddhism
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
art and cultures
39. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Jos de Mul Athens, or the Fate of Europe
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In his essay ‘The Idea of Europe’ George Steiner claims that European culture derives from “a primordial duality, the twofold inheritance of Athens and Jerusalem.” For Steiner, the relationship between Greek rationalism and Jewish religion, which is at once conflictual and syncretic, has engaged the entire history of European philosophy, morality, and politics. However, given this definition, at present the United States of America seem to be more European than ‘the old Europe’ itself. Against Steiner, it will be argued that in order to fathom the distinctive characteristic of European culture, we have to take a third European tradition into account, which is inextricably bound up with Athens: the tradition of Greek tragedy. If we may call Europe a tragic continent, it is not only because its history is characterised by an abundance of real political tragedies, but also because it embodies, as an idea and an ideal, a tragic awareness of the fragility of human life. Instead of reducing the ‘idea of Europe’ to a financial and economic issue, Europe should remain faithful to this idea and ideal.
40. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40
Kenneth Hochstetter Stages Can’t Act
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Stage Theory is the view that ordinary objects are instantaneous things. Nevertheless, an object O can have counterparts, which are instantaneous objects appropriately related to O. O “persists” by way of its counterparts. In this paper, I argue that stage theory implies that persons cannot do temporally extended acts, since in order to do such an act, one must do each part of the act, and no instantaneous person can do each part of a temporally extended act. Thus, since it is obvious that persons do temporally extended acts, we should reject stage theory.