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March 2019


GERALD P. BOERSMA, The Egoism of Eros: The Challenge of Love in Diotima’s Speech

This article is an analysis of the Socratic account of love presented by Diotima in Symposium 210a–212a. The author explores and responds to two philosophic objections to this account of love: first, that it is self-absorbed and, second, that it is incapable of loving a particular person. He argues that this criticism misses the mark. Diotima’s account of eros is not so much egotistical as ordered to an objective good. Further, in the final analysis, eros is not grasping and acquisitive but generous and diffusive. Finally, the author argues that the Socratic account of love is, in fact, especially well equipped to love the particular.

ALEX PRIOU, The Socratic Arc of Aristotle’s Metaphysics 3

Scholars have typically viewed book 3 of Aristotle’s Metaphysics as an unsystematic array of different metaphysical problems. In this article, the author argues that Aristotle organizes them with great care. The principle behind his ordering of the problems stems from Aristotle’s concern with impressing upon his audience the difficulty of becoming thoroughly perplexed. This principle is found to make sense of the discrepancies between Aristotle’s list of the problems in 3.1 and his discussion of them in 3.2–6. In short, Aristotle’s primary concern in Metaphysics 3 is to temper the ambitions of his audience of enterprising physicists, a concern that takes him from the aim of metaphysics to the tension between theology and philosophy. Borrowed as this concern is from the Platonic Socrates, the author shows that the arc of Metaphysics 3 is Socratic, and how it is Socratic.

PAUL T. WILFORD, The Theological Dimension of Agency: Forgiveness, Recognition, and Responsibility in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit

At the heart of the drama of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit is the realization of the concept of self-consciousness.  The self-conscious agent strives to know herself through being known by another, and after repeated failures comes eventually to learn what is required for one to know and to be known.  Hegel’s famous account of a life and death struggle for recognition between two self-conscious agents marks the beginning of a long development toward the realization of the multifaceted conditions for the possibility of genuine intersubjective recognition and therewith for truly responsible agency.  This development is concomitantly the actualization of the concept of spirit, for true agency requires the appearance of absolute spirit in a community of self-conscious individuals.  This paper explores why forgiveness is so central to this process.  According to Hegel’s argument, we only fully realize our nature as self-conscious beings when we acknowledge our need for forgiveness. 

IAN ALEXANDER MOORE, Science, Thinking, and the Nothing as Such: On the Newly Discovered Original Version of Heidegger’s “What Is Metaphysics?”

The author contends that the differences between the original and published versions of Heidegger's "What Is Metaphysics?" lie in how they understand the Nothing. Whereas the published version conflates the Nothing with Being as no thing, or simply sees the Nothing as a characteristic of Being’s finitude, the original version examines the Nothing on its own terms. Being, even if finite, still maintains continuity with beings as the Being of those beings. The Nothing itself, in contrast, marks a break with beings and their Being. The way in which it is interrogated must therefore also differ from the approach of the sciences and from ontology. If ontology, as a scientific account of Being, still bears a resemblance to the sciences generally, Heidegger’s study of the Nothing as such in the original version leads him beyond not just the notion of philosophy as a rigorous science, but even the possibility of rational argumentation.

NANCY FRANKENBERRY, Consenting to Contingency after Rorty and Nagarjuna

Last Updated ( Thursday, 28 February 2019 17:31 )