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181. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Ladelle McWhorter Whatever Is Hardest: Charles Scott's Practice of Thinking
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Charles Scott has always encouraged his students to take up the questions they find most troubling, difficult, and even possibly unanswerable. For him, philosophy is about movements of thinking themselves rather than arrival at reasonable conclu­sions. In tribute to Scott as a teacher, this paper takes up a troubling and perhaps unanswerable question: How might we teach our students today so as to prepare them for life in a world of ecological instability beyond what any member of our species has ever experienced? It looks at the question of ethics in the midst of pollution, peak oil, and climate change.
182. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Nancy Tuana Preface
183. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
David Farrell Krell Narrative as Trauma and Resilience: Charles Scott's "Living with Indifference"
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After listing a series of topics in Scott’s Living with Indifference that I would have wanted to address but, if only for reasons of space, could not, I focus on the uses of narrative or fiction in Scott’s book. I am particularly interested in the relation of fiction to trauma. It is the resilience of fiction that perhaps enables it to speak—or to write—so eloquently about traumatic occurrences. As a writer of fiction, I am gripped by the proximity and even intimacy of fiction and trauma in Scott’s thinking.
184. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
John Sallis Once Again: What's the Matter with "Nature"?
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This paper resumes my discussion with Charles Scott concerning the concept of nature. The discussion stems from Scott’s book The Lives of Things, and this paper is prompted by a short text (appended to this paper) in which Scott elaborates and clarifies certain significant points. The focus of the discussion is on the double sense of nature, that the word can designate, at once, both natural things in their singular happening and the eidetic double, the essence, of such things. The key issue is the way in which the second, eidetic sense folds back over the first, singular sense so as to conceal it.
185. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
James Risser On Freedom in Another Sense
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This paper assesses the philosophical project of Charles Scott, beginning with his first book, Boundaries in Mind, and including his most recent work on “Bor­dered Americans.” The interpretive focus for the assessment concentrates on what Scott early on characterizes as boundary awareness: the appearing of difference in appearance. In this context, it is argued that what is fundamentally at issue in Scott’s philosophy is a sense of freedom other than that which is associated with subjectivity and its presumed autonomy.
186. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Walter Brogan The Middle Voice of Charles Scott: The Intimacy of Attentiveness and the Life of Wonder
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My essay attempts humbly to honor and celebrate the voice of Charles Scott by thematizing one of the major insights of his body of work, namely the significance of the middle voice. I attempt in various ways to show the significance of the middle voice in the work of Charles Scott and to offer some commentary on what is meant by the middle voice. Finally, I ask about the implications of a middle-voiced philosophy for an understanding of the self of human beings and for an understanding of the theme of indifference in relation to the lives of things that Scott addresses in his later work.
187. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
John Lysaker Finding My Way through Moral Space: A Whim-Wham for Charles Scott
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The ongoing task of self-discovery, which I figure as self-finding, following Emerson, is integral to the human condition. While its results are always fragmentary, self-finding also conducts the currents of life in ways that establish conditions for our lives and those of others. This activity is mistakenly constrained by Charles Taylor, who argues that it remains tied to moral space. Charles Scott’s work shows how moral space can be found in a manner that suspends the necessity of moral space and generates new possibilities.
188. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Alejandro A. Vallega Improper Borders: On the Openings and Convergences of Continental Philosophy with Non-Western Thought in Charles Scott’s Lectures on Cultural Borders
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In 2010, Charles Scott gave a course at the Collegium Phaenomenologicum in Italy titled “Bordered Americans.” The course followed his concern with understanding philosophical thought given our concrete cultural dynamics today. The lectures addressed the question of the limits and delimitations of borders as dynamic transformative events, which occur in encroachments between distinct and ever moving and shifting cultural configurations and borders. Scott emphasized the possibilities of thinking in such spaces, and ultimately situated Continental American philosophy in such disclosure. This essay is the fruit of long conversations with Scott about these issues; in it I aim to add a Latin American voice to his incisive analysis.
189. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Charles Scott Freedom and Oppression in North America
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This article is organized by issues of cruelty and mercy in connection with freedom and oppression in the formation of an exceptional North American cultural diversity. The two leading questions are: How might we address such issues as we live together in our profound and frequently mis-attuned differences with other people? Are there ways to mitigate the multiple cruelties of oppression in the amalgamation and clash of cultures in a country of borderlands? There are four major sections: “How Might We Think of Cultural Boarders and Questions of Freedom and Oppression?,” “How Should We Respond to Practices and Values that Are Abhorrent to Us?,” “How Might We Evaluate the Choices Like Those I Have Highlighted?,” and “Borderland Experiences.”
190. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Daniela Vallega-Neu Bodily Being and Indifference: An Encounter with Charles Scott's "Living with Indifference"
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This essay engages Scott’s Living with Indifference by inquiring how we may understand experiences of indifference as occurring in our bodily being. It brings together Heidegger’s notion of being-there (Da-sein) and Merleau-Ponty’s accounts of world and body as flesh. With respect to Merleau-Ponty, the discussion highlights his thought of a “dehiscence” of body and world, which opens the idea of a hollow in the flesh that “echoes” indifferent dimensions accompanying the happening of things and events. The essay concludes with the insight that we can be attuned to indifference because we carry indifference with us in our bodies.
191. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Dennis J. Schmidt The Idiom of the Ethical
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The purpose of this paper is to raise the question of ethical life independently of the framework of metaphysical assumptions, above all, independently of the language and idiom of conceptual reason. In order to carry out this project, which is akin to what Heidegger described as the project of formulating an “original ethics,” I take up several works by Charles Scott that I find offering especially productive openings for that project.
192. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Robert Bernasconi My Travels in Scott-land
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Charles Scott’s relation to the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas is complex because he is sometimes highly critical, rejecting many of the words Levinas employed, while nevertheless at other times being faithful to some of Levinas’s most original insights. Employing a word often used by Scott himself, I understand his reading of Levinas as an “interruption.” It is a word that also comes to mind when I think of our own discussions about the meaning of ethics from 1981 to 1990, discussions which seem to have brought us to a point of proximity. The essay is intended as a description and celebration of the experience of thinking in the company of a powerful thinker such as Charles Scott is.
193. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
John J. Stuhr Indifference, Description, Difference
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This essay explores four questions: Is there an indifferent dimension to our lives?; what is the relation of indifference to our everyday differentiated meanings, interpretations, preferences, and values?; is it possible to develop an attunement to an indifferent dimension of life and, if so, how?; and, is a life marked by or attuned to indifference better than a life without it? In response, through a concrete example and analysis of a novel and a poem, I characterize indifference as both negation and as a kind of power, engaging the views developed by Charles Scott. I conclude by linking indifference to a project of description, and show the limits to this project, whether it is labeled phenomenological or pragmatic.
194. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Michael A. Deere Gappiness in Dimensional Accounts
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The work of Charles Scott bears a lightness that enlivens his thinking and writing. In the spirit of such lightness, I argue for gappiness and dimensionality as ways of thinking indifference and liveliness in Scott’s accounts of things. Through a close reading of Starlight in the Face of the Other, I show that gappiness happens with indifference in senses of galactic space and exceeds the philosophical and historical lineages of alterity. Through the functions of recoil and the subjunctive mood in Scott’s work, I show that dimensionality characterizes the liveliness of thinking in attunement to indifference. I conclude with an indifferent and dimensional account of the space of disclosure in thinking.
195. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Ömer Orhan Aygün On Bees and Humans: Phenomenological Explorations of Hearing Sounds, Voices, and Speech in Aristotle
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This paper proposes a solution to the apparent contradiction between Aristotle’s positions concerning the bees’ ability to hear in the Metaphysics and in the History of Animals. It does so not by appealing to external (chronological or philological) emendations, but by disambiguating the Ancient Greek verb akouein into three meanings: hearing of sound (psophos), of voice (phônê) and of speech (logos). Such a differentiation shows that, according to Aristotle, bees do hear other bees’ intermittent buzzes as meaningful and interested calls for cooperation. This differentiation also hints toward the specificity of human communication and community.
196. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Nickolas Pappas The Impiety of the Republic's Imitator
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The Republic rarely speaks of piety; yet religious concerns inform more of its treatment of poetry than readers acknowledge. A pair of tripartite rankings in Book 10 has puzzled interpreters: first the triad Form-couch-painting, then the ostensibly equivalent triad of a flute’s or bridle’s user-maker-imitator. The tripartitions work better together if one recognizes the divinity at work behind Athena’s gifts the flute and bridle. This mythic reading reveals the imitator to stand, yet again, in opposition to the gods; but it also points toward an ambiguity about knowledge that Plato has forcibly excluded from his discussion.
197. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Serge Mouraviev Editing Heraclitus (1999-2012): Ten Volumes Plus One
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I shall tell you the story, propose an overview, and show the structure, goal, and peculiarities of this monstrous edition that I undertook forty-four years ago: the Heraclitea, of which ten volumes have appeared since 1999. One volume was published in November 2011 and a few others are still in preparation. While telling you this story, I shall strive to show the radical differences between my approaches and the standard ones taught worldwide in the departments of classics and ancient philosophy in universities.
198. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Michael M. Shaw The Problem of Motion in Plato's Phaedo
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This paper examines the relationship between participation and motion with respect to the natural philosophy of the Phaedo. Aristotle’s criticism of participation and its failure to account for motion shows the relevance of the dialogue to this problem. Challenging Aristotle’s critique, I interpret the Phaedo as offering a possible solution to the question of how forms cause motion in material beings. The verb ὀρέγεσθαι at 65c8, 75a2, and 75b1, together with the active ὀρέγειν at 117b2, ground an account of ontological striving as a solution to the difficulties inherent in participation within the literary context of the dialogue.
199. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Enrique Hülsz Piccone Heraclitus on Фύσις
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Presocratic philosophy as a historical category was defined by Aristotle as physics, or physical philosophy, because φύσις (understood as a single genus of being, among others) was its object of study, its practitioners being since tagged accordingly as φυσικοί or φυσιόλογοι. The central part of the paper deals briefly with the four pioneering Heraclitean uses of the word φύσις (frs. DK B106, B1, B112, and B123), in which the sense of the only Homeric use of the term seems to be deepened and continued. Φύσις in Heraclitus has an ontological sense (covering the rationale of genuine and unitary being), and appears always in epistemic contexts, as the object of search, criterion of knowledge, basis for action and language, susceptible of show­ing and concealing. Contrasting with Aristotle’s outlook, Plato’s Phaedo 95e ff. sheds a different light on φύσις, suggesting Plato’s acknowledgement of a wider metaphysical reach of Presocratic thought, and stressing historical continuity of the philosophical project as such. In particular, the meaning of the word φύσις in Plato and Heraclitus isn’t natural or physical reality, but reality tout court, or the nature of things (their essential being: the what, how and why of things that are).
200. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
James Risser On the Threefold Sense of Mimesis in Plato's Republic
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The traditional reading of Plato’s criticism of the poets and painters in Book 10 of the Republic is that they merely imitate. In light of Plato’s own image-making, the critique of imitation requires a more careful examination, especially in regards to painting. This paper argues that it is insufficient to view Plato’s critique of image-making by the painter solely in terms of the image replication that does not consider the eidos. In view of the context of Plato’s argument within Book 10 and elsewhere, other considerations, such as the ideas of measure and proportion, which pertain to the notion of the beautiful, are required for a complete understanding of the argument against the painter. In light of these further considerations I argue for a threefold distinction between mimesis as replication, mimesis as false resemblance, and mimesis as true resemblance. With respect to the third kind of mimesis, which directly pertains to Plato’s own image-making, one can see in Plato a different configuration of the relation between image and original portrayed in the image.