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Editor: Dragos Calma
Reading Proclus and the Book of Causes, published in three volumes, is a fresh, comprehensive understanding of the history of Neoplatonism from the 9th to the 16th century. The impact of the Elements of Theology and the Book of Causes is reconsidered on the basis of newly discovered manuscripts and evidences. This second volume revises widely accepted hypotheses about the reception of the Proclus’ text in Byzantium and the Caucasus, and about the context that made possible the composition of the Book of Causes and its translations into Latin and Hebrew. The contributions offer a unique, comparative perspective on the various ways a pagan author was acculturated to the Abrahamic traditions.
Author: Blake D. Dutton

Abstract

In The Quantity of the Soul, Augustine puts forward the view that the soul is immaterial and that its quantity (quantitas) must be understood in terms of power rather than spatial extension. Against this view, his friend and interlocutor Evodius raises an important objection, The Objection from Touch, which argues that the soul’s exercise of tactile sensation requires that it be extended through the parts of the body. This paper examines Evodius’s objection and Augustine’s response to it. Particular attention is given to certain features of Augustine’s theory of sensation that this exchange reveals, especially his view that the eyes undergo passion-at-a-distance or are acted on at a place where they are not present.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis

Abstract

We argue that prevailing definitions of Berkeley’s idealism fail to rule out a nearby Spinozist rival view that we call ‘mind-body identity panpsychism.’ Since Berkeley certainly does not agree with Spinoza on this issue, we call for more care in defining Berkeley’s view. After we propose our own definition of Berkeley’s idealism, we survey two Berkeleyan strategies to block the mind-body identity panpsychist and establish his idealism. We argue that Berkeley should follow Leibniz and further develop his account of the mind’s unity. Unity—not activity—is the best way for Berkeley to establish his view at the expense of his panpsychist competitors.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
In Plato's Timaeus and the Missing Fourth Guest, Donna M. Altimari Adler proposes a new Timaeus scale structure. She finds the harmonic cosmos, mathematically, at 35 A-36 D, regarding the text as a number generator. Plato's primary number sequence, she argues, yields a matrix defining a sophisticated harmony of the spheres. She stresses the Decad as the pattern governing both human perception and the generation of all things, in the Timaeus, including the World Soul and musical scale symbolizing it. She precisely identifies Plato's "fabric" and its locus of severance and solves other thorny problems of textual interpretation.

In Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, one can find a number of remarks that could be seen as antithetical to classic philosophical analysis. There are passages seemingly rejecting the ideas of concept decomposition, regression to first principles, and semantic substitution. The criticism, I argue, is aimed not at analysis in particular, but rather at some idealizations that pervade a certain picture of philosophy. This picture can be contrasted with Wittgenstein’s pragmatist view of explanations of meaning which, I believe, can inform a different attitude towards philosophical method that aligns well with a vision of philosophy as conversation. If we think of philosophy as engaging in the development and exchange of explanations of meaning, we can see how various methods can coexist insofar as they are useful, and as long as the urge to sublimate them beyond our practices can be avoided.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis

What does the way we clarify and revise concepts reveal about the nature of concepts? This paper investigates the ontological commitments of conceptual analysis and explication regarding their supposed subject matter – concepts. It demonstrates the benefits of a cognitivist account of concepts, according to which they are not items on which the subject operates cognitively, but rather ways in which the subject operates. The proposed view helps to handle alternating references to ‘concepts’ and ‘terms’ in instructions on analysis and explication. Furthermore, its virtue lies not in the capacity to render concepts ‘shareable’ but in its ontological parsimony.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
Author: Moritz Cordes

Pseudoproblems, pseudoquestions, pseudosentences (etc.) constitute an iridescent group of concepts which were prominently used by the Vienna Circle (including Wittgenstein). In the course of an explication this paper presents a compilation of the many different meanings that were given to these expressions. This includes the more prominent Viennese approaches as well as a more recent one by Roy Sorensen. A novel proposal concerning the use of the term is made, suggesting that nothing is just a pseudoproblem, but only relative to a certain state of discourse. While the paper follows an explicative methodology, several uses of ‘pseudoproblem’, including the explicated one, relate pseudoproblemhood to other kinds of analysis.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis

Conceptual analysis has been typically recognized as a traditional methodology within analytic philosophy, but many philosophers have heavily criticized it. In contrast, the methodology of Carnapian explication has been undergoing a revival as a methodological alternative due to its revisionary aim. I will make explicit the shared structural properties and goals of Carnapian explication and the kind of conceptual analysis advanced by the advocates of the Canberra Plan. Also, I will argue that although their goal to make philosophy more scientific is desirable, they cannot achieve their goal of clearly distinguishing philosophy from science. Moreover, since traditional conceptual analysis is an element of both revisionary methodologies, it is also unable to mark a clear distinction between them. The comparison throws some light on the relationship between traditional conceptual analysis and the two revisionary methodologies, their implicit theoretical commitments and deficiencies.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis