Written over a decade ago, Eva T. H. Brann's enlightening analysis of American education places the recent debate on the means and ends of a liberal education in new perspective. She goes beyond discussion of courses and particular books to claim that philosophical inquiry is far more important to the improvement of education than curricular and administrative schemes. She provides both a broad philosophical and historical analysis of education in any republic and specific, practical suggestions for achieving the education that (...) will serve as the best preparation for life in our own republic. (shrink)
To no one will it be news that Socrates is a philosophos, a philosophical man, in the preprofessional sense, when the word was still fully felt as a modifying adjective and was not yet a noun denoting a member of an occupational category, such that philosophia, the love of wisdom, could pass into a dead metaphor. “Dead” metaphors are figures of speech whose figurativeness has been sedimented, covered over by the sands of time, so that their metaphorical force is no (...) longer visualized or felt in passing speech. Their desedimentation and revitalization can be a source of wicked fun; here’s an example: “A truck rear-ended him,” a case of usage-worn metonymy, a part-for-whole figure in which the passenger is said to be .. (shrink)
I present two of Jacob Klein’s chief discoveries from a perspective of peculiar fascination to me: the enchanting (to me) contemporaneous significance, the astounding prescience, and hence longevity, of his insights. The first insight takes off from an understanding of the lowest segment of the so-called DividedLine in Plato’s Republic. In this lowest segment are located the deficient beings called reflections, shadows, and images, and a type of apprehension associatedwith them called by Klein “image-recognition” (εἰκασία). The second discovery involves a (...) great complex of notions from which I will extract one main element:the analysis of what it means to be a number and what makes possible this kind of being, and, it turns out, all Being. (shrink)
The essays are grouped into four parts, dealing respectively with these topics: The concept of time in Western thought, offering both a historical and conceptual overview. An analysis and rethinking of Kant on time in critical and practical respects. An ontological treatment of time, including an overview of Sherover’s own metaphysics of temporality. The political philosophy that issues from Sherover’s ontology of time. The collection is perspicaciously arranged and helpfully prefaced with a summary of each essay by Gregory R. Johnson.
By way of preface: on the title -- Passion itself: poetry -- Eros, spirit, pleasure: Plato's beginning -- The passions as extremes: Aristotle as the founder of passion studies -- The pathology and therapy of the passions: stoicism through Cicero -- The passions sited: Thomas Aquinas and the soul in sum -- The passions of the soul as actions of the body: Descartes and the obscurity of clear and distinct ideas -- Human affect as our body's vitality: Spinoza and the (...) price we pay for resolving all oppositions -- The passions as reflective impressions: Hume and the price we pay for scepticism -- Mood as news from nothing: Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and the age of anxiety -- Our times: theorizing -- By way of conclusion: on the questions. (shrink)
This collection of aphorisms and thoughts gathers 30 years of observations about the external world and on the nature of our internal selves. Compiled from scraps of paper dating from the early 1970s, these bits of wisdom include notes about the world around us that are often thought, but not often said; sightings of internal vistas and omens; and observations on music, the passage of time, America, the body, domesticity, and intimacy.
This is an English translation of one of Plato’s great dialogues of Socrates talking about death, dying, and the soul due to his impending execution. Included is an introduction and glossary of key terms. Focus Philosophical Library translations are close to and are non-interpretative of the original text, with the notes and a glossary intending to provide the reader with some sense of the terms and the concepts as they were understood by Plato’s immediate audience.
This is the second of a projected trilogy of dialogues, in which an unnamed stranger sets out to satisfy Socrates' desire for an account of sophist, statesman, and philosopher. Focus Philosohpical Library’s _Statesman _includes a faithful, clear, and consistent translation to English, with notes. It also includes an exploratory essay, glossary of crucial Greek terms, supplemental diagrams illustrating diairesis, and an appendix on the paradigm of weaving.
This interesting book has a double project: One is to show that Kant’s third Critique, the Critique of Judgment, contains the solution to a deep difficulty apparently posed by the previous Critiques: how can the self-sufficient, autonomous Kantian subject have any relation to an Other, that is, transcend itself? The second project is to show that several twentieth-century philosophers and psychoanalysts, Freud as well as more recent continental and American writers, fall within the “explanatory range” of the third Critique, that (...) Kant is their precursor. This second project, set out in the introduction, suffers a little from the brevity of the exposition, since a reader not familiar with the psychoanalytic literature must rely on summary references to “work of mourning,” “mimetic identification,” “mouthwork,” and such to follow what is probably an excellent way to display the pervasive importance of Kantian thought. (shrink)
This highly regarded volume features a modern translation of all ten books of The Republic along with a synoptic table of contents, a prefatory essay, and an appendix on The Spindle of Necessity by the translator and editor, Raymond Larson. Also included are an introduction by Eva T. H. Brann, a list of principal dates in the life of Plato, and a bibliography.
No, that diminutive but independent vocable, begins its great role early in human life and never loses it. For not only can it head a negative sentence, announcing its judgement, or answer a question, implying its negated content, it can, and mostly does, in the beginning of speech, express an assertion of the resistant will—sometimes just that and nothing more. Eva Brann explores nothingness in the third book of her trilogy, which has treated imagination, time and now naysaying.
'What is time?' Well-known philosopher and intellectual historian, Eva Brann mounts an inquiry into a subject universally agreed to be among the most familiar and the most strange of human experiences. Brann approaches questions of time through the study of ten famous texts by such thinkers as Plato, Augustine, Kant, Husserl, and Heidegger, showing how they bring to light the perennial issues regarding time. She also offers her independent reflections.
To what extent can philosophy speak to and write about what is most fundamental to itself? This essay sorts through aspects of the problem of Plato's alleged "unwritten doctrine." The essay begins by moving back to Plato's teacher and the non-doctrinal investigations of Socrates, which are grounded in the positing of hypotheses and dialogic questioning. Following this move, the essay turns forward to Plotinus's later, more systematic presentations where the use of terms like “the one” and “the good” are not (...) only beyond being but “are” non-objects, unable to be intuited by the intellect. These terms serve as pointers to “what” can only be realized through the soul's blissful union with its non-objective source and ground. (shrink)
I present two of Jacob Klein’s chief discoveries from a perspective of peculiar fascination to me: the enchanting contemporaneous significance, the astounding prescience, and hence longevity, of his insights. The first insight takes off from an understanding of the lowest segment of the so-called DividedLine in Plato’s Republic. In this lowest segment are located the deficient beings called reflections, shadows, and images, and a type of apprehension associatedwith them called by Klein “image-recognition”. The second discovery involves a great complex of (...) notions from which I will extract one main element:the analysis of what it means to be a number and what makes possible this kind of being, and, it turns out, all Being. (shrink)
“This book is a philosophical interpretation of Macbeth,” the preface states. It is not a theoretical reading, that is, an application of literary theory to uncover implications in the text that the author may not have consciously put there. The hypothesis of Jan Blits’s philosophical interpretation is that we are only to find out what Shakespeare has put in with infinitely conscious art and that theory is not to be imposed on, but philosophy is to be discerned in, the play. (...) “Philosophy” here means the reflective content of each line, not necessarily understood by the speaker, but intended by Shakespeare to serve the reader in thinking about humanity and its circumstances, natural and divine. (shrink)
This is the second edition of an influential book that first appeared in 1982. No significant changes have been made in the text, but a substantial Preface and a briefer Postscript have been added. They contain close considerations of important work on Kant’s theory of mind that appeared after the first edition as well as a review, in the Preface, of the bearing that sets of Kant’s lecture notes, discovered too late to be absorbed into the original book, have on (...) its main thesis. The thesis is that Kant’s theory of mind is closer to traditional metaphysics than most interpreters have allowed, and in particular that he is, in a way to be very carefully circumscribed but not trivialized, an immaterialist. The lecture notes add additional weight to the claim that Kant was fully in command of and partly adapted a full complex of doctrines of rational psychology and that his criticism of these over the two editions of the Critique of Pure Reason cannot represent a total but only a partial and complicated reversal. The reader of the quotations from the lecture notes will be startled; it is as if one were reading the paralogisms positively signed. However, reflection shows that this cannot be and that Ameriks’s less abrupt transition, too “fine-grained” for ready summary, is more defensible. (shrink)