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Ward E. Jones

This is a programmatic paper, calling for the renewal and modernisation of the therapeutic approach to philosophy found in Epicureans, Stoics, and Skeptics; and, in particular, for an application of the therapeutic approach to the life of poverty. The general assumption behind a therapeutic approach to philosophy is that it is possible for someone to be exposed to philosophical work which leads her to an improved understanding of herself and her situation, and for her life to be improved by this understanding. After offering a sketch of how, given the current nature of academic philosophy, such work will be carried out and disseminated, I suggest three areas in which philosophical discourse could have a therapeutic affect on the poor.

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Anthropology and Moral Philosophy

A Symposium on Michael Banner's The Ethics of Everyday Life

Michael Banner, Lesley A. Sharp, Richard Madsen, John H. Evans, J. Derrick Lemons, and Thomas J. Csordas

What Moral Theology (and Moral Philosophy) Needs from Social Anthropology Michael Banner

The Ethics of Suffering in Everyday Life Lesley A. Sharp

Ethical Narrative and Moral Theory Richard Madsen

Specifying the Relationship between Social Anthropology and Moral Theology John H. Evans

The Ethics of Everyday Life: The Next Word J. Derrick Lemons

Reading Michael Banner on Moral Theology and Social Anthropology Thomas J. Csordas

Descriptions, Norms, and the Uses of Ethnography Michael Banner

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Les emprunts de Mauss à la bibliothèque universitaire de Bordeaux

la genèse d’une « imagination sociologique »

Nicolas Sembel

Mauss was a student at Bordeaux between 1890 and 1895, and this discussion of his university library loans directly complements an earlier article on those of Durkheim, who taught there from 1897 to 1902. Mauss worked hand in glove with his uncle, and although the profiles of their library use were quite different, all the material borrowed by Mauss was closely related with material amongst Durkheim’s loans. Archival evidence brings out how Mauss prepared for the agrégation in philosophy in a way that went well beyond the examination itself, indeed, that in effect transcended philosophy, and that included a year at the Sorbonne that was crucial for the future. If Durkheim showed a methodological imagination – drawing on a variety of disciplines, albeit largely through a ‘hidden’ reading of uncited references – in order to elaborate a sociological approach for his time, Mauss showed a sociological imagination in an effort, in parallel with his academic commitments, to develop his uncle’s work straightaway. Their close collaboration with one another during this period is a platform for reconsidering the nature, up to 1914, of the intellectual link between Mauss and Durkheim, as two sociologists who were above all separated by a ‘chronological’ gap, who occupied two different positions that, while helping to explain disagreement, made possible their project of disciplinary ‘conquest’ begun at Bordeaux, and who, lastly, produced the same general sociology based on two related approaches. My conclusion returns to their Bordeaux ‘moment’ and the veritable symbolic blitzkrieg they conducted there.

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Opposing Political Philosophy and Literature

Strauss's Critique of Heidegger and the Fate of the 'Quarrel between Philosophy and Poetry'

Paul O'mahoney

Strauss's critique of Heidegger's philosophy aims at a recovery of political philosophy, which he saw as threatened by Heidegger's radical historicism; for Strauss, philosophy as a whole could not survive without political philosophy, and his return to the classical tradition of political philosophy, while inspired by the work of Heidegger, was directed against what he saw as the nihilism that was its consequence. Here I wish to examine a dimension of Strauss's critique which, though hinted at, remains neglected or unexplored by Strauss: that is, how the critique of Heideggarian historicism should naturally link with Strauss's frequent attention to the issue of the ancient 'quarrel between philosophy and poetry'. It has often been observed by other commentators that through Heidegger's work, philosophy appears liable to be supplanted by contemporary literature, whether poetry or philosophy. As some of Strauss's explicit statements extend his definition of what falls under the category of 'poetry' in the modern age to contemporary novels and poetry, this aspect of Heidegger should have commanded more of his attention. Endurance of the quarrel between philosophy and poetry becomes through the prism of Strauss's work the confrontation of political philosophy with literature, particularly the novel form. It was not so much the rise of modern, non-teleological natural science that threatened the endurance and dignity of philosophy, then, but the rise of modern literature; the critique of historicism, when viewed in the light of the enduring 'quarrel', should lead one to a consideration of a crucial issue which remained oddly neglected, or was only hinted at, by Strauss.

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Tomaz Carlos Flores Jacques

African philosophy, as a negritude, is a moment in the postcolonial critique of European/Western colonialism and the bodies of knowledge that sustained it. Yet a critical analysis of its' original articulations reveals the limits of this critique and more broadly of postcolonial studies, while also pointing towards more radical theoretical possibilities within African philosophy. Jean-Paul Sartre's essay 'Black Orpheus', a philosophical appropriation of negritude poetry, serves as a guide for this reflection, for the text reveals the inspiration and wealth of expressions of negritude, as well as their ambiguity. Sartre's essay however also renders possible a further act of re-appropriation that takes us beyond culture and identity-centred readings of African philosophy and postcolonialism, readings whose conceptual and critical potential is far greater than what has hitherto been explored.

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Tsenay Serequeberhan

The focus of the article is to explore the possibilities of philosophic discourse in the present postcolonial African situation. As indicated in the title, it will begin by exploring and laying out grosso modo, the character of philosophy as a discipline. It will then engage in examining, again broadly, Africa’s present: the situation that has prevailed since the end of formal colonialism. Consequent on the two expositive presentations, the article will then indicate the role that philosophy can and should play in this situation. The aim is to explore the possible beyond the demise of colonialism in the hope of catching sight of a truly postcolonial future. The article is thus a concise articulation of the hermeneutical stance in contemporary African philosophy.

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Esther Seidel

When I heard what the subject chosen for me tonight was, namely, ‘The concept of Jewish philosophy in the sixteenth century’, I was at first not a little worried. Were there any Jewish philosophers in the sixteenth century, and if so, did they produce a Jewish philosophy? I must admit that for me and other historians of Philosophy, the Kabbalah or Jewish Mysticism does not qualify as philosophy and therefore would have to be excluded from my talk.

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Bath Houses

The Shared Space between Athens and Jerusalem

Lev Taylor

Gamliel is a member of the patriarchate family, and so well-read in Greek philosophy. 21 Akko, where they meet, was a Pagan city with a small Jewish minority in Roman Palestine. 22 Lionel Blue in Amsterdam Blue thought about being a monk before reverting

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R. Bruce Douglass

John Rawls is widely thought to have revitalised political philosophy. This paper discusses that claim critically in the light of Rawls' own characterisation of his project as well as a series of objections that have been raised by critics from diverse points of view. It concludes that the criticisms advanced by the authors in question help to clarify what exactly Rawls accomplished. He did revitalise liberal political philosophy, but in a manner that lacks much of the traditional substance of political philosophy. The paper concludes by discussing the significance of this finding and its implications for the future of political philosophy.

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Brian Seitz

The impetus for exploring the relationship between Sartre and Foucault may be informed more by Foucault than by Sartre, as it would seem to be geared toward a Foucauldian determination of the discursive parameters of a particular dimension of modern philosophy; that is, of the history of philosophy, including, by extension, the history of existentialism. But insofar as this determination opens up a significant dimension of the situation of philosophy today - of our situation and of the situation of existentialism - it is also Sartrean in nature, as are the effects of this determination, a determination situated somewhere between Sartre's philosophy of freedom and the freedom afforded to Foucault and to us all by the practice of philosophy, and by its future possibilities, which include the possibility "… that I do not believe a word, not one little word, of all I've just scribbled."