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101. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
John Sallis In the Open of the Question
102. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Walter Brogan Generosity and Reserve: The Choric Space of the Good in Plato’s Philosophy
103. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Anthony Kammas Homo Deus and the Dice Throw: Courage and Chaos in Greek Antiquity
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What lessons are there yet to learn from the works of Homer and Hesiod for political life? These ancient texts vividly illustrated an ethic which insisted that one must strive to maintain a consistent character against a chaotic world and one’s own inconstant human nature. This essay, therefore, recovers a long dismissed conception of the world, as well as a notion of virtue that was cultivated to steel one’s self against the tragic turns of radical, ironic chance that are always a possibility in a kosmos sprung from chaos.
104. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
William S. Wilkerson In the World but Not Of the World: The Relation of Freedom to Time in Kant and Sartre
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Kant’s and Sartre’s theories of freedom are both famous and controversial. Kant requires the subject to be both in time and not in time in order to be fully free, while Sartre seemingly requires that the subject continually reinvent itself each moment. I argue that these peculiarities stem from the similar way each thinker conceives of the relationship between freedom and time. A full and meaningful account of human freedom requires both continuity and rupture in the flow of time, and the paradoxes in both philosophers’ theories of freedom originate in their attempt to satisfy both of these temporal requirements.
105. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Robert Metcalf The Trial of Socrates in Plato’s Symposium
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While many scholarly interpretations of Plato’s Symposium express skepticism toward the content of Alcibiades’ speech, this essay argues Alcibiades’ portrait of Socrates is credible on the whole, is consistent with the portrayal of Socrates elsewhere, and is of great significance for our understanding of philosophical eros as exemplified in Socrates’ philosophical activity. Furthermore, by putting Socrates on trial for hybris, Alcibiades’ speech raises important philosophical questions as to whether the contempt with which he treated Alcibiades is not part and parcel of the wholesale contemning of human particularity implicit in Diotima’s teaching about eros.
106. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Brian Harding The Virtue of Suicide and the Suicide of Virtue: A Reading of Cicero’s On Ends and Tusculan Disputations
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This paper argues that suicide is very important for Cicero’s articulation and defense of the philosophical life. Happiness, according to Cicero, is dependent upon a willingness to commit suicide. I explain why this is the case through a discussion of On Ends and the Tusculan Disputations. I conclude with some critical remarks about Cicero’s argument, with reference to book XIX of Augustine’s City of God.
107. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Juan Manuel Garrido Jean-Luc Nancy’s Concept of Body
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This article carries out a systematic exposition of the concept of the body in Jean-Luc Nancy, with all the risks of reduction that such an exposition entails. First it is necessary to return to Western philosophy’s founding text on living corporality, that is, Aristotle’s treatise on the soul. The oppositions that can be established between the Greek thinker’s psyche (soul) and Nancy’s dead Psyche are not so radical as may at first be thought: In both it is a question of thinking the soul as the difference, the retreat or departure in which the exposition of bodies consists. The article continues with an analysis of touch and the self and concludes with an elaboration of the idea of the body within the general program of the deconstruction of Christianity.
108. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Ashley Pryor Socrates in Drag: Images of Helen of Troy in Plato’s Phaedrus
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By way of the complex topography of the Phaedrus, Plato raises the question of his authorship and the consequences it has for the reader’s reception of Socrates, by likening Socrates’ changing status in the text to the complex mythological traditions surrounding the rape and abduction of Helen of Troy (amidst a grove of plane trees). As Socrates is likened to the excessive and “duplicitous” Helen and her various “eidolic” apeareances, the question of the dialogue appears to shift from “who is Socrates?” to a more postmodern formulation: which Socrates?
109. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Christopher Eagle Right Names: On Heidegger’s Closet Cratylism
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In the Cratylus, Soc rates discusses with Cratylus and Hermogenes the question of whether names are merely arbitrary or in some sense ‘right,’ that is, motivated by the nature of the things they designate. In this article, I examine Heidegger’s controversial project of unearthing archē Greek terms in the specific light of the Cratylus and the tradition of “Cratylisms” which it has fostered. Having demonstrated the underlying Cratylist tendencies behind Heidegger’s conviction in the inherent ‘appropriateness’ of many Greek keywords, I point out some of the problems posed by this closet Cratylism for Heidegger’s conception of primordial language as well as his critique of the correspondence theory of truth.
110. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Andrea Rehberg The World and the Work of Art
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One of the central notions running through Heidegger’s oeuvre, early and late, is that of ‘world.’ By examining some issues and problems surrounding Heidegger’s statements relating to ‘world’ in his essay “The Origin of the Work of Art,” both aspects of Heidegger's broader trajectory of thought, as well as the workings of the artwork essay itself are thereby illuminated. Several, partially competing senses of ‘world’ are discovered in “The Origin of the Work of Art,” and their provenance traced to specific concerns of Heidegger. In a hermeneutic strategy of immanent critique, the artwork essay is shown to harbour the resources for its own deconstruction, and to do so precisely at certain aporetic textual points centred around the concept ‘world.’
111. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Lisa Guenther “Nameless Singularity”: Levinas on Individuation and Ethical Singularity
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Marion has criticized Levinas for failing to account for the individuation of the Other, thus leaving the face of the Other abstract, neutral and anonymous. I defend Levinas against this critique by distinguishing between the individuation of the subject through hypostasis and the singularization of self and Other through ethical response. An analysis of the instant in Levinas’s early and late work shows that it is possible to speak of a “nameless singularity” which does not collapse into neutrality or abstraction, but rather explains the sense in which anyone is responsible for any Other who happens to come along.
112. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Walter Brogan Letter from the Editor
113. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Ammon Allred The Divine Logos: Plato, Heraclitus, and Heidegger in the Sophist
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In this paper, I address the way in which Plato’s Sophist rethinks his lifelong dialogue with Heraclitus. Plato uses a concept of logos in this dialogue that is much more Heraclitean than his earlier concept of the logos. I argue that he employs this concept in order to resolve those problems with his earlier theory of ideas that he had brought to light in the Parmenides. I argue that the concept of the dialectic that the Stranger develops rejects, rather than continues, the idea reached at the end of the Theatetus that knowledge has to be grounded in a nous aneu logou (a non-logical, divine intellect) even while the Stranger appropriates the concerns that lead to his conclusion. Ultimately, I suggest that my differentiation of the later Plato’s appropriation of the tradition from Aristotle’s appropriation of that tradition is closely related to the re-thinking of the full sense of logos in the later Heidegger on Heraclitus and on Parmenides. I end by suggesting that the question that Plato and Heraclitus pose to us is to ask what such a divine logos tells about human ways of knowing.
114. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Alejandro A. Vallega Thought’s Obsessive Vigilance: At the Limit of Derrida’s Reading of Antonin Arnaud
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Although not often recognized as a major concern in his fecund writings, as Derrida himself indicates, Antonin Artaud accompanies his thought throughout his career. This essay explores that relationship by marking the various places where it appears, and by focusing on Derrida’s early discussions of Artaud. In them, Derrida traces the obsessive character of metaphysics as figured by Artaud’s word, a word that occurs as a speaking-writing-drawing. While Derrida’s discussions expose us to the physicality of Artaud’s word and with them to a saying exterior to the metaphysical tradition. Derrida’s own obsession with the transcendental voice keeps him at a distance from engaging in the physicality and play of language one finds in Artaud’s words.
115. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
James Wood Contra Heidegger: A Defense of Plato’s “Productionist Metaphysics”
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This paper confronts Heidegger’s critique of Platonism and defends Plato as a productionist metaphysician. Heidegger misunderstands and abuses Platonic metaphysics. Rather than initiating the reification of being (Sein) in beings (das Seiende) and the subordination of nature to human control, as Heidegger accuses, Plato offers us a non-dogmatic metaphysics of human possibility oriented by and subordinated to being, conceived equally as the good and the beautiful. The relevant production constitutes the ethical counterpart of Platonic metaphysics: it is the responsible bringing of ourselves to “presence” in accordance with the measures given in nature, a process that is erotic, progressive, and always on-the-way.
116. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Tom Sparrow A Physiology of Encounters: Spinoza, Nietzsche, and Strange Alliances
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The body is central to the philosophies of Spinoza and Nietzsche. Both thinkers are concerned with the composition of the body, its potential relations with other bodies, and the modifications which a body can undergo. Gilles Deleuze has contributed significantly to the relatively sparse literature which draws out the affinities between Spinoza and Nietzsche. Deleuze’s reconceptualization of the field of ethology enables us to bring Spinoza and Nietzsche together as ethologists of the body and to elaborate their common, physiological perspective on ethico-political composition. This is accomplished by reading the concepts of force, power, and affect as they are mobilized in their discussions of corporeity and intercorporeity. What emerges is a metaphysics of bodies that can simultaneously be regarded as a physiology of encounters, one which renders the friend/enemy distinction indiscernible and opens the door for a rethinking of the nature of political alliances. Both Spinoza and Nietzsche are shown to be invaluable resources for helping us imagine the potential of the individual’s body and the body politic.
117. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Nathan Ross The Debt of Philosophical Hermeneutics to Schiller’s Letters on Aesthetic Education
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This paper examines the relation of Schiller’s Letters on Aesthetic Education to Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics, particularly by examining the connection between the concepts of “play” and “appearance” in Schiller’s thought. The paper points out parallels between the two thinkers which remain unacknowledged in Gadamer’s critique of Schiller. The first main section of the paper examines the notion of play in Schiller, pointing out that Schiller conceives of play in a medial voice, much as Gadamer does. The second section directly takes on Gadamer’s claim that Schiller’s notion of aesthetic appearance sunders art from truth, by arguing that Schiller conceives of appearance as a mode of truth.
118. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
David Roochnik Ronna Burger’s Talmudic Reading of the Nicomachean Ethics
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Ronna Burger’s Aristotle’s Dialogue with Socrates argues that the Nicomachean Ethics is a unified whole. Her reading runs against the tide of most contemporary scholarship. In particular, Book X.7–8, Aristotle’s valorization and near apotheosis of the “contemplative life,” has been taken to be a Platonic intrusion in a work otherwise characterized by a resolute “anthropocentrism,” as Nussbaum puts it. To account for such an apparent fracture commentators have attributed both chronological development and later editorship to the corpus. Burger, by contrast, offers a “Talmudic reading.” She treats the Nicomachean Ethics as a work of integrity that dialectically culminates in, rather than is interrupted by, X.7–8. This essay situates her argument in a larger context that explores the nature of philosophical reading as such.
119. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Avery Goldman Kant, Heidegger, and the Circularity of Transcendental Inquiry
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While in Being and Time Heidegger criticizes Kant for presupposing the very objects that he then goes on to examine, in his 1935–1936 lecture course What Is a Thing? he argues that the differentiation of subject and object with which Kant begins enables him to point to the temporal nature of thought. In following Kant’s own description of his project, Heidegger deems the presupposition of the objects of experience not detrimental to the inquiry, but determinative of its circular method. In this paper I investigate whether such circularity offers an entrance to Heidegger’s own hermeneutic circle.
120. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Jeffrey Bernstein From Tragedy to Iconoclasm: The Changing Status of Hölderlin in Adorno’s Conception of History
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This paper explores the transformation which Adorno’s conception of history undergoes from his texts of the 1930s to those of the 1960s. This transformation involves a change in the role played by Hölderlin’s figure of transience. In the texts of the ’30s, Hölderlinian transience (in its Benjaminian interpretation) amounts to a moment of negative content within Adorno’s conception of history. In the texts of the ’60s, such transience becomes the very form of Adornian philosophical history. As such, his thinking of history changes from a tragic conception (emphasizing a “negative absolute”) to an iconoclastic one (emphasizing “absolute negativity”).