Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

International Philosophical Quarterly: Vol. 57, No. 3, September 2017

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

International Philosophical Quarterly: Vol. 57, No. 3, September 2017

Article excerpt

Alterity, Similarity. and Dialectic: Methodological Reflections on the Turn to the Other, BRIAN BAJZEK

This paper builds upon John Dadosky's recent writings advocating a "turn to the Other" in Lonergan studies. Using a Levinas/Lonergan dialogue on intersubjectivity as a test case, the author addresses potential difficulties accompanying an exchange between Lonergan and philosophers who emphasize alterity. It is his contention that despite various differences regarding relationality, their projects are surprisingly complementary. Lonergan accentuates interconnectedness while Levinas emphasizes the encounter with radical otherness. In order to arrive at this conclusion, he argues for a reassessment of the relationship between alterity and similarity by dialectically refraining them as linked but opposed principles held in creative tension. Lastly, he suggests ways in which this approach might offer a foundation for further forays into the fourth stage of meaning.

Human-Related, Not Human-Controlled: Charles Taylor on Ethics and Ontology, MICHIEL MEIJER

This essay critically discusses Charles Taylor's distinctive mode of argumentation regarding ethics, phenomenology, and ontology. It also examines the meaning of Taylor's ontological claims by putting a spotlight on the underappreciated significance of Heidegger and Murdoch for Taylor's ontology. The author argues that Taylor's hybrid position is best understood as a phenomenological attempt to connect Heideggerian ontology and Murdochean ethics. The paper is divided in five sections: (1) Taylor's engagement with Murdoch and his tendency toward nonanthropocentrisnr in ethics; (2) his unusual interwoven mode of thought; (3) his debt to Heidegger; (4) his hesitant interpretations of Heidegger and Murdoch; and (5) how these hesitations affect Taylor's ethical view in general and its underlying ontology in particular.

Individuation of Finite Modes in Spinoza's Ethics, VLADIMIR DUKIC

Spinoza's rejection of Aristotelian final causation seems to create a difficulty for his account of individuation. If causation is indeed blind, how do finite modes come to assume complex, differentiated forms? And why do we find in nature a great regularity of such forms? Several recent commentators have proposed that Spinoza maintains something of the Aristotelian conception of causation where the formal essences of individuals guide the process of individuation toward certain desirable outcomes. But this sort of approach introduces other difficulties that threaten to undermine Spinoza's naturalistic framework and his ontology of immanence. This paper outlines a mechanistic and probabilistic account of individuation whereby modes are individuated by entering into relations that increase their mutual power of enduring. Together with conatus as the principle of individuation, this mechanistic account suffices to explain the individuation of finite bodies without introducing additional kinds of causation into Spinoza's philosophy. …

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