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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

The Poststructuralist Broom Of Wallace’S System: A Conversation Between Wittgenstein And Derrida, Vernon W. Cisney Oct 2018

The Poststructuralist Broom Of Wallace’S System: A Conversation Between Wittgenstein And Derrida, Vernon W. Cisney

Philosophy Faculty Publications

David Foster Wallace famously characterized his first novel, The Broom of the System, as ‘a conversation between [Ludwig] Wittgenstein and [Jacques] Derrida.’ This comes as little surprise, given the ubiquity of the question of language in the works of these two thinkers, and given the novel’s constant reflections on the relation between language and world. Broom’s protagonist, Lenore Beadsmen – in search of her eponymous great-grandmother – is preoccupied with the dread that ‘all that really exists of [her] life is what can be said about it,’ that is to say, that reality is entirely coextensive with language. If, as ...


Nietzsche And The Death Of God, Justin Remhof Jan 2018

Nietzsche And The Death Of God, Justin Remhof

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Nietzsche is perhaps most famous for making the striking claim that God is dead. He writes, "God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him!" (GS 125).

What does this mean? Straightforwardly, it seems nonsensical. God is supposed to be eternal, and thus cannot die. Nietzsche’s claim, however, is that "God" is a fiction created by human beings. Thus, God "dies" when there is no good reason to believe that God exists.

This essay will help us understand this claim, his arguments for it, and its potential implications for contemporary religious and ethical thought.


Review Of Tsarnia Doyle, Nietzsche's Metaphysics Of The Will To Power: The Possibility Of Value, Justin Remhof Jan 2018

Review Of Tsarnia Doyle, Nietzsche's Metaphysics Of The Will To Power: The Possibility Of Value, Justin Remhof

Philosophy Faculty Publications

[First paragraph]

Tsarina Doyle's new book is required reading for those interested in Nietzsche's metaphysics, ethics, and metaethics. Doyle argues that for Nietzsche nihilism arises upon the recognition that our values are not objectively valid because they are not instantiated by a mind-independent world. Nietzsche responds to the threat of nihilism, according to Doyle, by developing will to power as a metaphysical view of reality. On this view, the world is constituted by mind-independent causal powers. For Doyle, Nietzsche believes values are metaphysically continuous with will to power because they are causal-dispositional properties of human drives. Will to ...


Naturalism, Causality, And Nietzsche's Conception Of Science, Justin Remhof Jan 2015

Naturalism, Causality, And Nietzsche's Conception Of Science, Justin Remhof

Philosophy Faculty Publications

There is a disagreement over how to understand Nietzsche’s view of science. According to what I call the Negative View, Nietzsche thinks science should be reconceived or superseded by another discourse, such as art, because it is nihilistic. By contrast, what I call the Positive View holds that Nietzsche does not think science is nihilistic, so he denies that it should be reinterpreted or overcome. Interestingly, defenders of each position can appeal to Nietzsche’s understanding of naturalism to support their interpretation. I argue that Nietzsche embraces a social constructivist conception of causality that renders his naturalism incompatible with ...


Nietzsche's Conception Of Truth: Correspondence, Coherence Or Pragmatist?, Justin Remhof Jan 2015

Nietzsche's Conception Of Truth: Correspondence, Coherence Or Pragmatist?, Justin Remhof

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Nearly every common theory of truth has been attributed to Nietzsche, while some commentators have argued that he simply has no theory of truth. This essay argues that Nietzsche’s remarks on truth are better situated within either the coherence or pragmatist theories of truth than the correspondence theory. Nietzsche’s thoughts conflict with the correspondence framework because he believes that the truth conditions of propositions are constitutively dependent on our actions.


Nietzsche On Objects, Justin Remhof Jan 2015

Nietzsche On Objects, Justin Remhof

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Nietzsche was persistently concerned with what an object is and how different views of objects lead to different views of facts, causality, personhood, substance, truth, mathematics and logic, and even nihilism. Yet his treatment of objects is incredibly puzzling. In many passages, he assumes that objects such as trees and leaves, tables and chairs, and dogs and cats are just ordinary entities of experience. In other places, he reports that objects do not exist. Elsewhere he claims that objects exist, but as mere bundles of forces. And sometimes he proposes that we bring all objects into existence. Nietzsche’s writings ...


Mullā Ṣadrā On The Efficacy Of Prayer, Sayeh Meisami Jan 2015

Mullā Ṣadrā On The Efficacy Of Prayer, Sayeh Meisami

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This article presents the manner in which Mullā Ṣadrā explains the influence of prayer (duʿā) on the world, drawing as he does on Ibn ʿArabī’s ideas against the backdrop of his own dynamic metaphysical psychology. Mullā Ṣadrā eventually distances himself from Ibn Sīnā’s position on the passive nature of prayer, and instead opts for Ibn ʿArabī’s reading of the intimate divine–human interplay in prayer itself. In doing so, Mullā Ṣadrā provides a formulation of prayer in which the supplicant plays an active role in eliciting the divine response to her prayer. For Mullā Ṣadrā, prayer therefore ...


Speaking A Word For Nature: Thoreau's Philosophical Saunter, Gary Shapiro Jan 2013

Speaking A Word For Nature: Thoreau's Philosophical Saunter, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Thoreau's extraordinary essay "Walking" is obviously an encomium on what the author calls "the art of Walking" and an exhortation to readers to understand and practice that art. Yes, but we must realize that he speaks of the art of walking in no "pedestrian" sense (if this expression may be excused). Thoreau not only wants us to think the unthought in ordinary walking but to participate in the essay's performance of an allegory or analogue of the practice that he calls sauntering to the Holy Land; it becomes an itinerary through the fields of language that reveals unsuspected ...


The Halcyon Tone As Birdsong, Gary Shapiro Jan 2004

The Halcyon Tone As Birdsong, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Contained in one of Nietzsche's favorite words is the name of a seabird that flits back and forth across the landscapes and seascapes of Mediterranean reality, classical myth, and Nietzsche's imagination. Lexical authorities credit Nietzsche with reintroducing the word "halcyon [halkyonisch]" into the German language. That word will recall the "halcyon days," part of the metamorphic complex in the story of Alcyone, who lost her husband Ceyx at sea but was transformed along with him into a pair of seabirds, the female having the extraordinary characteristic of building a floating nest, in which she hatched her eggs during ...


Dogs, Domestication, And The Ego, Gary Shapiro Jan 2004

Dogs, Domestication, And The Ego, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In Zarathustra's "On the Vision and the Riddle," three animals-a spider, a snake, and a dog-make significant appearances, as do three human or quasihuman figures-Zarathustra himself, the dwarf known as the Spirit of Gravity, and the shepherd who must bite off the head of the snake. Of these animals, it is the dog who receives the most extended attention. Here, in the passage that along with "The Convalescent" (with its eagle and serpent) is usually and rightly taken to be Nietzsche's most articulate and yet highly veiled approach to explaining the teaching of eternal recurrence, the riddling vision ...


Despair, Liberation, And Everyday Life: Two Bundle Views Of Personal Identity, Kathy Behrendt Jan 2003

Despair, Liberation, And Everyday Life: Two Bundle Views Of Personal Identity, Kathy Behrendt

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This paper, intended for general readership, discusses the real-life effects that personal identity theory either has had or has apparently failed to have upon two philosophers: David Hume and Derek Parfit. Both arrive at similar and quite radical beliefs about personal identity. And both have documented the difficulty of sustaining these beliefs in their day-to-day lives. For those considering embarking upon philosophical study – whether formally or not – this last point may seem discouraging, reinforcing a picture of a discipline that even on the admission of its own practitioners has little impact on everyday life or concerns. I explore these two ...


Debts Due And Overdue: Beginnings Of Philosophy In Nietzsche, Heidegger, And Anaximander, Gary Shapiro Jan 1994

Debts Due And Overdue: Beginnings Of Philosophy In Nietzsche, Heidegger, And Anaximander, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

What sort of text is On the Genealogy of Morals, this work that Nietzsche called the "uncanniest" of all books? Is it only a book about morals, as the title might indicate? Even the superficial reader will see that much more is at stake, since questions concerning politics and aesthetics are prominent. But could we also read more attentively and with an ear to hearing a certain diagnosis of the metaphysical condition and its tradition that are necessarily implicated in the genealogy of morals? Certainly Nietzsche begins to suggest ideas of this sort quite early in the text, as in ...


Nietzsche And The Future Of The University, Gary Shapiro Apr 1991

Nietzsche And The Future Of The University, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Nietzsche's first generation of readers tended to see him as a thinker, philosopher or prophet of the future; he was the teacher of the superman, the transvaluator of all values, the founder of a new philosophy of the will to power. In the many discourses of the early twentieth century that are devoted in various ways to 'Nietzsche and the Future' there are obvious signs of the nineteenth century cult of progress, although interpreted divergently by social Darwinism, socialism or anarchism. Now we are more sophisticated. Those first readers saw Nietzsche as radicalizing and rewriting the modernist metanarrative (substituting ...


To Philosophize Is To Learn To Die, Gary Shapiro Jan 1989

To Philosophize Is To Learn To Die, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

As the quintessential man of letters, Roland Barthes had the genial gift of being able to sympathize with an endless variety of discourses, texts, myths, and semiotic systems. The profusion of apparent subjects-Japan, Brecht, Balzac, photography, "mythologies," classical writing, the theater-is perhaps calculated to provoke the purist who insists on the values of thoroughness and well-grounded inquiry. At the same time, one would have to be obtuse to fail to recognize the critical projects that animate the many books, essays, and studies; these are explorations that put into question the often closed and crabbed commitment of the scholar or critic ...


Nietzsche's Graffito: A Reading Of The Antichrist, Gary Shapiro Apr 1981

Nietzsche's Graffito: A Reading Of The Antichrist, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Even those writers who have good things to say about Nietzsche usually do not have good things to say abut his penultimate book, The Antichrist. Like Ecce Homo it is often described as at least prefiguring Nietzsche's madness if not (as is sometimes the case) said to be part of that desperate glide itself. Those inclined to reject the book may be encouraged in this view by Nietzsche's statement to Brandes, in November 1888, that The Antichrist is the whole of The Transvaluation of All Values (originally announced as a series of four books) and that Ecce Homo ...


Habit And Meaning In Peirce's Pragmatism, Gary Shapiro Jan 1973

Habit And Meaning In Peirce's Pragmatism, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

The pragmatic movement has often been misunderstood; the most frequent misconceptions, which assimilated the philosophies of Peirce and James in particular to forms of positivism, reductionism, or crude voluntarism seem to be on the wane. Peirce's scholastic realism, his doctrine of signs, and his conception of truth as the unique and destined goal of inquiry now tend to receive the attention that was formerly reserved for his empiricism and pragmatism. A similar change in the estimation of James seems to be taking place insofar as his theory of truth is seen as much less simplistic than was formerly supposed ...


The Origin Of Living Things, By Julius Seiler, Translated By Gerard Farley, Gerard Farley Jan 1959

The Origin Of Living Things, By Julius Seiler, Translated By Gerard Farley, Gerard Farley

Philosophy Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.