Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics


Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics


Article excerpt

Vol. 83, No. 3, July 2000

Temporal Parts And Identity Across Time, PETER VAN INWAGEN

The author examines two pictures of "identity across time" that will seem natural to those who believe that objects that exist at more than one time are composed of "temporal parts." He explains why he finds temporal parts hard to understand; in this connection, the author examines David Lewis's attempt to explain "person-stages." The author displays a picture--literally a picture--of "identity across time" that is designed to appeal to those who reject temporal parts. He considers a variety of philosophical problems raised by this picture.


Vol. 83, No. 4, October 2000

Four Paradigms of Philosophical Politics, MARTHA C. NUSSBAUM

The Self Against and for Itself: Montaigne and Sextus Empiricus on Freedom, Discipline and Resistance, RICHARD FLATHMAN

Society as a Way of Life: Perfectibility, Self-Transformation, and the Origination of Society in Rousseau, STEVEN AFFELDT

The article argues that Rousseau's Social Contract participates in the tradition of moral perfectionism thematized by Stanley Cavell in his Conditions Handsome and Unhandsome; a tradition in which work of individual self-transformation is understood as required for the constitution of authentic social life. The article uses Rousseau's First and Second Discourses and Essay on the Origin of Languages to argue that, for him, a fundamental human propensity toward mere conformity to established laws and institutions produces emptiness of speech and conduct and that this emptiness undermines authentic individual existence and the possibility of authentic society. It then argues that the Social Contract works against this undermining of the authentic existence of individual and society by showing that authentic society must be constituted anew at each moment, that this continuous constitution requires an equally continuous work of self-transformation on the part of each, and by theorizing and exemplifying the specific nature of this continuously required work of individual self-transformation. …

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