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September 2017


W. J. MANDER, Idealism, Narrative, and the Mind–Brain Relation

Contra common belief, idealists need to account for the relationship between the mind and the brain every bit as much as do physicalists and dualists. However, they must conceive of that relationship in a very different way to either of their metaphysical rivals. This paper presents an appropriate idiom in which idealists may describe that connection. But the gain is not simply one of language, for it is argued that this idiom rules out understanding mind-brain correlation either a relationship of causation or as one of identity. Exploiting literary parallels, it is further suggested that this lexicon for understanding how mind and brain stand one to another highlights the subsidiary status of physical reality, turning the mind-brain correlation from an apparent refutation of idealism into something that in fact vindicates it.

DANIEL W. GRAHAM, Socrates as a Deontologist

Greek ethics is almost universally taken to be teleological and eudaimonistic.  Socrates is understood to be the founder of Greek ethics and hence the figure who instituted the eudaimonistic teleological model.  The author wishes to argue to the contrary that Socrates is best taken as a duty theorist or deontologist, for whom teleological considerations are irrelevant, or, more precisely, come in only tangentially.  Taking as evidence of Socrates’ position Plato’s Socratic or early dialogues, he examines a moral deliberation Socrates makes in the Crito, showing its commitment to duty over interest; and examine Socrates’ program of moral improvement as expressed in the Apology, in which moral goodness is said to take precedence over personal welfare.  Finally, he undertakes to show how the views expressed in the Crito and Apology might fit into a larger theoretical framework in which virtue and duty have a value independent of happiness.

SILVIA CARLI, Energeia as Being-in-time

Aristotle defines time as “the number of movement (kinēsis) with respect to before and after” (Physics 4.11.219b2). The relation between sublunar substances, which have within themselves a principle of movement and rest, and time, therefore, appears unproblematic. Sensible substances, however, also perform perfect activities (energeiai) and, in the passages in which he most clearly outlines the nature of such activities, the philosopher leaves the issue of their temporality unresolved. As a result, scholars have speculated about different ways of understanding it. This paper argues that the Aristotelian corpus does offer precise indications on this issue. The Physics distinguishes between two modalities of being in time, namely, being-in-time in virtue of one’s nature and being-in-time accidentally. The case is made that energeiai belong to the class of things that are in time accidentally and that this way of understanding their relation to time fits their distinctive nature and is faithful to the phenomena.

TIANYUE WU, Aquinas on the Individuality of Thinking

Aquinas criticizes Averroes’ monopsychism for failing to offer a satisfactory explanation for the obvious fact that “this human being thinks (hic homo intelligit).” However, it also poses great challenges to Aquinas himself to show how an individual person as a material compound can be the subject of thinking, which is supposed to be unmixed with the matter. This essay aims to address these challenges by reconstructing three ontological reasons Aquinas could have offered to demonstrate the compatibility of immateriality and individuality of thinking: the conception of individuality in terms of imparticipability, the complicated status of intelligible species, and the ontological priority of the soul to the body. It argues that the intellective soul as the substantial form of human beings is the ultimate principle of thinking, both for its immateriality and for its individuality.

JACOB HOWLAND, The Explosive Maieutics of Kierkegaard’s Either/Or

This article aims to clarify the ethical and theological importance of the conclusion of Either/Or.  The author argues that the fundamental psychological, philosophical, and theological contradictions and conflicts of the book’s protagonists—an accidental editor, an alienated litterateur, a didactic judge, a solitary pastor—are most radically expressed in the Ultimatum (the concluding sermon and its epistolary frame), and are no less radically resolved therein. The first half of the article concerns the literary structure and existential drama of Either/Or as a whole, and reads Victor Eremita’s editorial explanation of how the papers of A and B came into his hands as a religious allegory that anticipates the possibility of existential rebirth with which the book concludes. The second half examines the Ultimatum (formally a fractal, like Either/Or as a whole), and its attempt to break open souls that have closed themselves off from the terrors and joys of reality.     

Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 August 2017 15:59 )