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International Philosophical Quarterly: Vol. 56, No. 3, June 2016.

The Goodness of Pleasure in Plato's Philebus', JAMES WOOD

This paper takes a nuanced stance against an intellectualist position that is strong in the literature on the Philebus by arguing that pleasure's goodness is inherent but not independent. Pleasure is worth pursuing together with intellectual activity in the mixed life because pleasure is the sensual manifestation, direct or indirect, of growth in goodness. Pleasure as the expression of this growth is the sensual component of the mixture that Socrates in this dialogue defends as the good for human beings. But if pleasure's contribution to the overall goodness of a human life is not to be outweighed by some corresponding badness, it must reflect an accurate assessment of the goodness of our experiences and either proceed directly from the right kind of intellectual or psychic activity or else be subordinated to the rational ordering activity of intellect according to the standards of virtue, moderation, and health.

Explaining Hope in Plato's 'Philebus', JOSEPH FORTE

The aim in this paper is to illustrate the significance of hope (elpis, elpizein) in Plato's Philebus and to indicate topics under this heading that invite further investigation. Even though there is some scholarship treating the issue of hope in the Philebus, there is no study solely devoted to this topic. By providing such a study the author intends to fill this lacuna and to show that examining this topic is valuable because it develops our understanding of the good life. In this essay he maintains that the Philebus defines hope as (1) a pleasure of the soul that (2) anticipates pleasure as certain, (3) may be true or false, (4) may be pure or impure, and (5) involves memory. The author proceeds chronologically through the Philebus's discussions of hope and makes every effort to treat each of the aforementioned components of the definition separately. In so doing he explains why certain topics, such as the relationship between pure intellectual hope and philosophical activity, invite further investigation.

The Coherence of Socrates's Mission, JEREMY BELL

The debate over Socrates' claim in the Apology to have practiced philosophy as a divinely ordained mission is almost as old as this claim itself. Yet scholars remain divided over the issue because of the extraordinary difficulty of understanding how Socrates interpreted the negative proclamation of the oracle as providing a positive prescription for a way of life. Finding this difficultly insurmountable, many authors have denied the coherence of Socrates' account. In this essay, the author argues that the debate can be resolved by revisiting the interpretation of human wisdom offered in the Apology. Demonstrating that Socrates understands human wisdom to be structurally incompatible with the claim to possess it, the author shows that he is thereby prevented from ever simply affirming the truth of the oracle and that this, in turn, establishes his philosophical practice as a lifelong mission.

Kierkegaard on Purity of Heart, STEPHEN R. MUNZER

Kierkegaard holds that purity of heart is to will one thing. But his treatment of despair, double-mindedness, and self-deception runs into difficulties over whether one can choose beliefs about oneself, which theories of the will (if any) could establish its unity, and whether the individual who fails to become pure of heart is blameworthy. Pace Kierkegaard, willing the good does not make immutable the person who so wills, and purity of heart should not be entirely will-based. This essay articulates a broad understanding of purity of heart whose value and importance in moral and religious life are much clearer. This understanding recasts willing in terms of certain higher-order desires, identifies ambivalence as a different phenomenon from double-mindedness, brings in motives and beliefs, emphasizes trusting radically in God, and explicates purity of heart as a moral and religious ideal.

Reason as Acquaintance with Background and the Performative Turn in Phenomenology, TETSUSHI HIRANO

Husserl's notion of "sense" has often been interpreted through a Fregean lens. This article shows that Husserl saw it as an acquaintance with the background or horizon of perceptual objects. He understands reason (Vemunft) as prescribing rules for performance with regard to perceptual objects. Thus Husserl's view has a wider scope of experience than Kant's sense of it as a prereflective acquaintance with one's environment. After Ideas I Husserl develops these notions as part of his theory of the intersubjective world. Heidegger takes over the insights of Husserl and brings out the performative turn inherent in phenomenology by critiquing Husserl's orientation to theoretical perceptual experience. The reference of performative expressions is not determined by the contents but by performance. What is disclosed in the phenomenological notion of sense is the background against which human existence is to be understood.

The Concept of Person" in Keiji Nishitani and Max Scheler, PHILIP BLOSSER

This essay compares Scheler's view of the person in his last ("pantheistic") period with the views of Keiji Nishitani, a Buddhist representative of the Kyoto School of phenomenology. Scheler eschewed a "substantialist" concept of the person, as did Nishitani in view of the Buddhist "non-self' (muga) doctrine. Both had experienced spiritual crises in their lives. Why did Nishitani turn to the Buddhist concept of "absolute nothingness"? Why did Scheler turn from theism to pantheism? Both saw traditional Christianity and its understanding of the person as intellectually inadequate, though for different reasons. Nishitani focuses on the inadequacies of secondary influences (like Cartesianism) in the Western concept of person, while Scheler focuses on problems of theodicy stemming from the problem of evil and of volition (divine and human) as the source of evil. Both abandon the Christian meaning of personhood.
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Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Date:Sep 1, 2016
Previous Article:European Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 24, No. 2, June 2016.
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