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June 2015


Aristotle on the Intelligibility of Perception, EVE RABINOFF

This article addresses the question of how, by Aristotle’s lights, we apprehend concrete individuals, the objects of incidental perception. The author argues (a) that the incidental perceptible is indeed perceived and not interpreted, and (b) that what is perceived incidentally is an object as it bears significance to the projects and aims of the perceiver, rather than what the object is in itself (as it is commonly taken to be).  Finally, the author argues (c) that this new way of understanding what the incidental object of perception is provides a unified account of incidental perception that accommodates both animal and human incidental perception, while at the same time allowing that human perception is significantly different from that of nonrational animals. The article maintains that human perception is conditioned, but not interpreted, by intellect, and offers an account of the relationship between the two faculties that supports this interpretation of incidental perception.

St. Thomas on the Incorruptibility of the Human Soul, EIKE-HENNER KLUGE

St. Thomas’s argument for the immortality of the human soul in question 75, article 6 of his Summa Theologica has historically been rejected, most famously perhaps by Duns Scotus, who said that it was inconclusive at best and question begging at worst. This article argues that Scotus’s critique may be unfair because it rests on a mistaken understanding of what St. Thomas means by the phrase “natural desire,” and that if one unpacks the ontological assumptions that underlie St. Thomas’s reasoning about the difference between sensible and intellective awareness, an argument emerges that does not suffer from the shortcomings that Scotus alleges.

Dante on the Nature and Use of Language, ANNE M. WILES

This paper suggests that Dante’s writings on language provide elements for the construction of a philosophy of language. The main emphasis is on the theoretical treatment of language in De Vulgari Eloquentia, but it also considers La Vita Nouva and Il Convivio, earlier works providing insights into the development of Dante’s views on the nature and use of language. De Vulgari Eloquentia is an extended justification for the use of a vernacular language capable of treating the worthiest topics in a manner appropriate to them. Two main purposes of language are to instruct and delight. Dante shows that others must be addressed in a language they understand, but if it is to lift them, it must have a beauty and power beyond them.

The Therapeutic Skepticism of Michel de Montaigne, CHRISTOPHER EDELMAN

Montaigne is widely appreciated as an important figure in the history of skepticism, but the precise nature of his skepticism remains unclear. While most treatments of Montaigne’s skepticism focus on the “Apology for Raymond Sebond,” there is reason to believe that the “Apology” does not contain his last word on the subject, and that—as many scholars have pointed out—whatever endorsement he gives there to ancient Pyrrhonism must be qualified in light of the fact that he does maintain beliefs, not only about appearances, but also about reality itself. This essay argues that by the end of the Essais, Montaigne has developed a skepticism that is, as he would say, “all his own,” one that is best understood as a therapeutic practice meant to treat what Montaigne calls our “natural and original malady.”

Truth as a Phenomenon, GRAEME NICHOLSON

Heidegger’s phenomenology is not focused on concepts but on the self-showing of phenomena. In Being and Time, section 44, it is not only everyday objects that show themselves – a true statement about a room lets the room show itself, but in addition the event of truth is an uncovering, Entdecken, that also shows itself. Truth is a phenomenon for the phenomenologist. Thus this article replies to Tugendhat and other critics who claim that Heidegger has not measured up to the standards imposed by their concept of truth. It also supports replies made to Tugendhat by Dahlstrom and others. Later sections of the paper show why Heidegger was right to broaden the discussion beyond statements, to encompass the truth of conduct, of things, of the world and of Dasein.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 May 2015 16:30 )