• For the love of a barking lady: an exploration of mental illness in the light of Max Scheler's "Invisible person"

      Boland, Karen Maureen.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 1984-07-09)
      N/A
    • From being ill in time to love of eternity

      Rosenkranz, Raymond.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 1978-07-09)
      N/A
    • From inference to affordance : the problem of visual depth-perception in the optical writings of Descartes, Berkeley, and Gibson

      Braund, Michael J.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2008-05-21)
      This thesis explores the debate and issues regarding the status of visual ;,iferellces in the optical writings of Rene Descartes, George Berkeley and James 1. Gibson. It gathers arguments from across their works and synthesizes an account of visual depthperception that accurately reflects the larger, metaphysical implications of their philosophical theories. Chapters 1 and 2 address the Cartesian and Berkelean theories of depth-perception, respectively. For Descartes and Berkeley the debate can be put in the following way: How is it possible that we experience objects as appearing outside of us, at various distances, if objects appear inside of us, in the representations of the individual's mind? Thus, the Descartes-Berkeley component of the debate takes place exclusively within a representationalist setting. Representational theories of depthperception are rooted in the scientific discovery that objects project a merely twodimensional patchwork of forms on the retina. I call this the "flat image" problem. This poses the problem of depth in terms of a difference between two- and three-dimensional orders (i.e., a gap to be bridged by one inferential procedure or another). Chapter 3 addresses Gibson's ecological response to the debate. Gibson argues that the perceiver cannot be flattened out into a passive, two-dimensional sensory surface. Perception is possible precisely because the body and the environment already have depth. Accordingly, the problem cannot be reduced to a gap between two- and threedimensional givens, a gap crossed with a projective geometry. The crucial difference is not one of a dimensional degree. Chapter 3 explores this theme and attempts to excavate the empirical and philosophical suppositions that lead Descartes and Berkeley to their respective theories of indirect perception. Gibson argues that the notion of visual inference, which is necessary to substantiate representational theories of indirect perception, is highly problematic. To elucidate this point, the thesis steps into the representationalist tradition, in order to show that problems that arise within it demand a tum toward Gibson's information-based doctrine of ecological specificity (which is to say, the theory of direct perception). Chapter 3 concludes with a careful examination of Gibsonian affordallces as the sole objects of direct perceptual experience. The final section provides an account of affordances that locates the moving, perceiving body at the heart of the experience of depth; an experience which emerges in the dynamical structures that cross the body and the world.
    • Gadamer's transformation of hermeneutics : from Dilthey to Heidegger

      Ford, Martin.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2007-05-21)
      Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to show how Gadamer's hermeneutics synthesizes the insights of both Heidegger and Dilthey in order to introduce a new hermeneutics. Gadamer's hermeneutics is based not only on the priority of ontology, as Heidegger insists, and neither is it only a product of life which can be objectively understood through study and rigorous method, as Dilthey suggests. For Gadamer, hermeneutics is the bringing together of ontology in terms of history. By this synthesis Gadamer not only places himself within the context of a Lebensphilosophie, but also shows that it is within language that Being can be disclosed according to a lived context. Throughout this paper the philosophies ofDilthey and Heidegger are explicated within a historical context as to bring out how, and why, Gadamer sees the need to surpass these philosophies. Through Gadamer's philosophy of play and the game, language, the dialogical model, application, and the fusion of horizons we can see how Gadamer's critique and questioning of these two philosophy leads to his new hermeneutics. Special attention is paid to the role in which these two contrasting philosophies were used to complement each other in the product of Gadamer' s philosophical hermeneutics as it is presented in his major work Truth andMethod. For Gadamer, the task of understanding is never complete. Therefore, his hermeneutics remains a dynamic structure with which we can always question the past and our traditions. This paper seeks to show his philosophical movements within these questions
    • Heidegger on the way of thinking

      Moi, Shawn.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2005-05-21)
      This thesis attempts to clarify what Heidegger meant by the term "thinking" (Denken), where this ^'meanr is submitted in the double sense: firstly, in the sense of what Heidegger intended by the use and exposition of this term that we find in his lecture series. Was Heisst Denken?, where Heidegger quickly makes it clear that this intention is to actually bring thinking on the way, viz. making provision for the leap into thinking, and where this intention was carried out with the employment of a specific guiding phrase. In the second sense, it is an attempt at clarifying the meaning of the term. But this is not to say that we are here simply out to see how Heidegger defines the word '*thinking." It is in fact precisely within such definitive discourse that thought dies out. It is not merely be a case of defining a word, because this enterprise would be just as shallow as much as it would be unworkable. It is for this reason that Heidegger decided to establish for himself the task, not merely of explaining thinking as something to be beheld at a distance, but rather of bringing thinking underway by means of his lecture, proclaiming that, "Only the leap into the river tells us what is swimming. The question 'What is called thinking?' can never be answered by proposing a definition of the concept thinking, and then diligently explaining what is contained in that definition." (WCT, 21) This being Heidegger's intention, in order to understand Heidegger in his treatment of the term thinking, it is clear that we must also undergo an experience with thinking. It is in this spirit that the present work was written so as to collaborate the two senses of what Heidegger meant by "thinking."
    • Heidegger's tragic Greeks : the relation between presence and deinon

      MacDonald, John.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2002-07-14)
      Martin Heidegger's interpretation of the ancients was born out of something like a crisis in the interpretation of the Greeks, which can be characterized as nothing other than the realization of the idea that the Greek philosophers put a serious question mark over existence. This idea, which had its germination in Prussia with Jakob Burckhart and his teacher, but first came to be seriously cultivated in the Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, was the first in depth investigation into whether the Greeks, on the one hand, questioned existence or, on the other hand, put a question mark over existence. To question existence is rather innocuous, since it amounts to little more, in the end, than a child looking up at the stars and asking what it all means. To put a question mark over existence, however, is another business entirely. For the Greeks, as the life work of Martin Heidegger amply demonstrates, the nature of Greek thinking and the objects towards which it is directed follows so absolutely from the tragic view of the human person that, in a certain sense, philosophy is Greek and could only have developed in Greece. Perhaps stating it a little less categorically, philosophy could have developed elsewhere at least to the extent that something like they way the Greeks understood life was at the forefront: presence, in other words. This thesis deals with the problem ofHeidegger's relation to the Greeks, specifically in terms of his understanding of the Greeks and presence. It is the position of this dissertation that the Greek notion of presence is, as Heidegger understands it, the homeliness of the hearth that radiates through all the things that humans concern themselves with. This is thought by Heidegger, as the Greeks did, specifically in contrast with the uncanninesslunhomeliness of the hqrnan apart from his or her concern with things. Therefore, the thesis is an attempt at exposing the relation between presence and the unhomely by situating it withing Greek existence and the meaning of the Greek Philosopher. In order to support this position, the thesis has been divided into five parts. The first two chapters deal with Heidegger's explanation of the relation between Greek notion of physics (Phusis), metaphysics (specifically in relation to an analysis of time and motion in Greek thought), and what Heidegger calls the fundamental attunement of Dasein (boredom). More exactly, it deals with these issues only so far as they allow us to bring out something like the notion of 'presence' in relation to things and homelessness or restlessness in relation to the human being. The rationale for these two chapters in relation to the central problem of the paper is that in Heidegger's elucidation of physics and metaphysics, he conducts his analysis in such a way that he explicitly uncovers that dimension of human existence that he calls the fundamental attunement of Dasein. This fundamental attunement is, in tum, similar to what the Greeks understood as the deinon, the uncanninesslunhomeliness of the human. The third and fourth chapters take as their explicit themes the problem of the Greek understanding of the assertion and the ways in which the person can comport himlherself toward things, two issues which are not separable. The rationale for these two chapters in relation to the central theme of the paper is that Heidegger's analysis of these two areas in Greek thought brings out precisely why the philosopher and the philosophical way of life is the highest mode of existence for the Greeks and how this is thought specifically in tenns of the uncanniness of humans. The final cijapter gives a complete elucidation of presence as the homeliness of the hearth and shows specifically how this is thought of in contradistinction to the uncanny/unhomely for the Greeks. 1I1 This last chapter also explains Martin Heidegger's reaction to the Greek's interpretation of the highest mode of existence, and what he posited as a counter-thought. The essay as a whole is an attempt to fully concertize an important dimension of Heidegger' s understanding of the Greeks, that is, the relation between presence and the deinon or Greek notion ofunhomely, which, to my la)owledge, has not been offered anywhere in commentaries on Heidegger.
    • The historical game-changes in the philosophy of devotion and caste as used and misused by the Bhagavad-gita

      Chandulal, Thilagavathi; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2012-04-03)
      This thesis considers that the purport of the Bhagavadgita is to prioritize the philosophy of loving devotion to God (bhakti), not the propagation of color-coded-caste (varna system). The distinction between bhakti and caste becomes clear when one sees their effect on human life and on the society. Jnana and karma, two of the other polarities with which the Gita contends, finally support bhakti towards betterment, not deterioration, if done selflessly and with balance. Caste, however, is a totally different tension, which is always detrimental to the well-being of the person and the society. In the Gita, the devotees' mystical or emotional love of, God apprehends their ~ oneness with the Supreme God and with all beings, and transcends the pitiless segregation of the caste system, and opens the path of salvation to all irrespective of race, color, caste, class or gender in life. In spite of much opposition from orthodoxy, the bhakti movement spread allover India, and bhakti itself rose to the level of orthodoxy and has become the faith of millions of people especially of the south, and surprisingly, of even of those of the so called highest caste. And yet, caste still remains as an indelible mark of every Hindu, even after they change their religion. Although caste is less venomous now, it is still openly present in all walks of Indian life and shows up its ugly head at important moments such as marriage, elections for public office, admission to school or employment. True, bhakti is the antidote for. caste; but only real bhakti can remove caste completely, not mere lip-service to it. This thesis claims that bhakti is the deliberate major thrust of the teaching of the Gita while caste seems to be a contradiction of this thrust.
    • Husserl's approach to transcendental intersubjectivity

      Peterson, James Lee.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 1978-07-09)
      It is our intention in the course of the development of this thesis to give an account of how intersubjectivity is "eidetically" constituted by means of the application of the phenomenological reduction to our experience in the context of the thought of Edmund Husserl; contrasted with various representative thinkers in what H. Spiegelberg refers to as "the wider scene" of phenomenology. That is to say, we intend to show those structures of both consciousness and the relation which man has to the world which present themselves as the generic conditions for the possibility of overcoming our "radical sol itude" in order that we may gain access to the mental 1 ife of an Other as other human subject. It is clear that in order for us to give expression to these accounts in a coherent manner, along with their relative merits, it will be necessary to develop the common features of any phenomenological theory of consdousness whatever. Therefore, our preliminary inquiry, subordinate to the larger theme, shall be into some of the epistemological results of the application of the phenomenological method used to develop a transcendental theory of consciousness. Inherent in this will be the deliniation of the exigency for making this an lIintentional ll theory. We will then be able to see how itis possible to overcome transcendentally the Other as an object merely given among other merely given objects, and further, how this other is constituted specifically as other ego. The problem of transcendental intersubjectivity and its constitution in experience can be viewed as one of the most compelling, if not the most polemical of issues in phenomenology. To be sure, right from the beginning we are forced to ask a number of questions regarding Husserl's responses to the problem within the context of the methodological genesis of the Cartesian Meditations, and The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. This we do in order to set the stage for amplification. First, we ask, has Husserl lived up to his goal, in this connexion, of an apodictic result? We recall that in his Logos article of 1911 he adminished that previous philosophy does not have at its disposal a merely incomplete and, in particular instances, imperfect doctrinal system; it simply has none whatever. Each and every question is herein controverted, each position is a matter of individual conviction, of the interpretation given byaschool, of a "point of view". 1. Moreover in the same article he writes that his goal is a philosophical system of doctrine that, after the gigantic preparatory work. of generations, really be- . gins from the ground up with a foundation free from doubt and rises up like any skilful construction, wherein stone is set upon store, each as solid as the other, in accord with directive insights. 2. Reflecting upon the fact that he foresaw "preparatory work of generations", we perhaps should not expect that he would claim that his was the last word on the matter of intersubjectivity. Indeed, with 2. 'Edmund Husserl, lIPhilosophy as a Rigorous Science" in Phenomenology and theCrisis6fPhilosophy, trans". with an introduction by Quentin Lauer (New York.: Harper & Row, 1965) pp. 74 .. 5. 2Ibid . pp. 75 .. 6. 3. the relatively small amount of published material by Husserl on the subject we can assume that he himself was not entirely satisfied with his solution. The second question we have is that if the transcendental reduction is to yield the generic and apodictic structures of the relationship of consciousness to its various possible objects, how far can we extend this particular constitutive synthetic function to intersubjectivity where the objects must of necessity always remain delitescent? To be sure, the type of 'object' here to be considered is unlike any other which might appear in the perceptual field. What kind of indubitable evidence will convince us that the characteristic which we label "alter-ego" and which we attribute to an object which appears to resemble another body which we have never, and can never see the whole of (namely, our own bodies), is nothing more than a cleverly contrived automaton? What;s the nature of this peculiar intentional function which enables us to say "you think just as I do"? If phenomenology is to take such great pains to reduce the takenfor- granted, lived, everyday world to an immanent world of pure presentation, we must ask the mode of presentation for transcendent sub .. jectivities. And in the end, we must ask if Husserl's argument is not reducible to a case (however special) of reasoning by analogy, and if so, tf this type of reasoning is not so removed from that from whtch the analogy is made that it would render all transcendental intersubjective understandtng impos'sible? 2. HistoticalandEidetic Priority: The Necessity of Abstraction 4. The problem is not a simple one. What is being sought are the conditions for the poss ibili:ty of experi encing other subjects. More precisely, the question of the possibility of intersubjectivity is the question of the essence of intersubjectivity. What we are seeking is the absolute route from one solitude to another. Inherent in this programme is the ultimate discovery of the meaning of community. That this route needs be lIabstract" requires some explanation. It requires little explanation that we agree with Husserl in the aim of fixing the goal of philosophy on apodictic, unquestionable results. This means that we seek a philosophical approach which is, though, not necessarily free from assumptions, one which examines and makes explicit all assumptions in a thorough manner. It would be helpful at this point to distinguish between lIeidetic ll priority, and JlhistoricallJpriority in order to shed some light on the value, in this context, of an abstraction.3 It is true that intersubjectivity is mundanely an accomplished fact, there havi.ng been so many mi.llions of years for humans to beIt eve in the exi s tence of one another I s abili ty to think as they do. But what we seek is not to study how this proceeded historically, but 3Cf• Maurice Natanson;·TheJburne in 'Self, a Stud in Philoso h and Social Role (Santa Cruz, U. of California Press, 1970 . rather the logical, nay, "psychological" conditions under which this is possible at all. It is therefore irrelevant to the exigesis of this monograph whether or not anyone should shrug his shoulders and mumble IIwhy worry about it, it is always already engaged". By way of an explanation of the value of logical priority, we can find an analogy in the case of language. Certainly the language 5. in a spoken or written form predates the formulation of the appropriate grammar. However, this grammar has a logical priority insofar as it lays out the conditions from which that language exhibits coherence. The act of formulating the grammar is a case of abstraction. The abstraction towards the discovery of the conditions for the poss; bi 1 ity of any experiencing whatever, for which intersubjective experience is a definite case, manifests itself as a sort of "grammar". This "grammar" is like the basic grammar of a language in the sense that these "rulesil are the ~ priori conditions for the possibility of that experience. There is, we shall say, an "eidetic priority", or a generic condition which is the logical antecedent to the taken-forgranted object of experience. In the case of intersubjectivity we readily grant that one may mundanely be aware of fellow-men as fellowmen, but in order to discover how that awareness is possible it is necessary to abstract from the mundane, believed-in experience. This process of abstraction is the paramount issue; the first step, in the search for an apodictic basis for social relations. How then is this abstraction to be accomplished? What is the nature of an abstraction which would permit us an Archimedean point, absolutely grounded, from which we may proceed? The answer can be discovered in an examination of Descartes in the light of Husserl's criticism. 3. The Impulse for Scientific Philosophy. The Method to which it Gives Rise. 6. Foremost in our inquiry is the discovery of a method appropriate to the discovery of our grounding point. For the purposes of our investigations, i.e., that of attempting to give a phenomenological view of the problem of intersubjectivity, it would appear to be of cardinal importance to trace the attempt of philosophy predating Husserl, particularly in the philosophy of Descartes, at founding a truly IIscientific ll philosophy. Paramount in this connexion would be the impulse in the Modern period, as the result of more or less recent discoveries in the natural sciences, to found philosophy upon scientific and mathematical principles. This impulse was intended to culminate in an all-encompassing knowledge which might extend to every realm of possible thought, viz., the universal science ot IIMathexis Universalis ll •4 This was a central issue for Descartes, whose conception of a universal science would include all the possible sciences of man. This inclination towards a science upon which all other sciences might be based waS not to be belittled by Husserl, who would appropriate 4This term, according to Jacab Klein, was first used by Barocius, the translator of Proclus into Latin, to designate the highest mathematical discipline. . 7. it himself in hopes of establishing, for the very first time, philosophy as a "rigorous science". It bears emphasizing that this in fact was the drive for the hardening of the foundations of philosophy, the link between the philosophical projects of Husserl and those of the philosophers of the modern period. Indeed, Husserl owes Descartes quite a debt for indicating the starting place from which to attempt a radical, presupositionless, and therefore scientific philosophy, in order not to begin philosophy anew, but rather for the first time.5 The aim of philosophy for Husserl is the search for apodictic, radical certitude. However while he attempted to locate in experience the type of necessity which is found in mathematics, he wished this necessity to be a function of our life in the world, as opposed to the definition and postulation of an axiomatic method as might be found in the unexpurgated attempts to found philosophy in Descartes. Beyond the necessity which is involved in experiencing the world, Husserl was searching for the certainty of roots, of the conditi'ons which underl ie experience and render it pOssible. Descartes believed that hi~ MeditatiOns had uncovered an absolute ground for knowledge, one founded upon the ineluctable givenness of thinking which is present even when one doubts thinking. Husserl, in acknowledging this procedure is certainly Cartesian, but moves, despite this debt to Descartes, far beyond Cartesian philosophy i.n his phenomenology (and in many respects, closer to home). 5Cf. Husserl, Philosophy as a Rigorous Science, pp. 74ff. 8 But wherein lies this Cartesian jumping off point by which we may vivify our theme? Descartes, through inner reflection, saw that all of his convictions and beliefs about the world were coloured in one way or another by prejudice: ... at the end I feel constrained to reply that there is nothing in a all that I formerly believed to be true, of which I cannot in some measure doubt, and that not merely through want of thought or through levity, but for reasons which are very powerful and maturely considered; so that henceforth I ought not the less carefully to refrain from giving credence to these opinions than to that which is manifestly false, if I desire to arrive at any certainty (in the sciences). 6 Doubts arise regardless of the nature of belief - one can never completely believe what one believes. Therefore, in order to establish absolutely grounded knowledge, which may serve as the basis fora "universal Science", one must use a method by which one may purge oneself of all doubts and thereby gain some radically indubitable insight into knowledge. Such a method, gescartes found, was that, as indicated above by hi,s own words, of II radical doubt" which "forbids in advance any judgemental use of (previous convictions and) which forbids taking any position with regard to their val idi'ty. ,,7 This is the method of the "sceptical epoche ll , the method of doubting all which had heretofor 6Descartes,Meditations on First Philosophy, first Med., (Libera 1 Arts Press, New York, 1954) trans. by L. LaFl eur. pp. 10. 7Husserl ,CrisiS of Eliroeari SCiences and Trariscendental Phenomenology, (Northwestern U. Press, Evanston, 1 7 ,p. 76. 9. been considered as belonging to the world, including the world itself. What then is left over? Via the process of a thorough and all-inclusive doubting, Descartes discovers that the ego which performs the epoche, or "reduction", is excluded from these things which can be doubted, and, in principle provides something which is beyond doubt. Consequently this ego provides an absolute and apodictic starting point for founding scientific philosophy. By way of this abstention. of bel ief, Desca'rtes managed to reduce the worl d of everyday 1 ife as bel ieved in, to mere 'phenomena', components of the rescogitans:. Thus:, having discovered his Archimedean point, the existence of the ego without question, he proceeds to deduce the 'rest' of the world with the aid of innate ideas and the veracity of God. In both Husserl and Descartes the compelling problem is that of establ ishing a scientific, apodictic phi'losophy based upon presuppos itionless groundwork .. Husserl, in thi.s regard, levels the charge at Descartes that the engagement of his method was not complete, such that hi.S: starting place was not indeed presupositionless, and that the validity of both causality and deductive methods were not called into question i.'n the performance of theepoche. In this way it is easy for an absolute evidence to make sure of the ego as: a first, "absolute, indubitablyexisting tag~end of the worldll , and it is then only a matter of inferring the absolute subs.tance and the other substances which belon.g to the world, along with my own mental substance, using a logically val i d deductive procedure. 8 8Husserl, E.;' Cartesian 'Meditation;, trans. Dorion Cairns (Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 1970), p. 24 ff.
    • Husserlian phenomenology : an understanding of its standpoint and predicament

      Ishikawa, Yukinori.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 1976-07-09)
    • The importance of love in the thought of Plotinus

      Senior, Doris.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 1977-07-09)
    • An investigation of the nature and role of historicality in the thought of Dilthey and Heidegger

      Twohig, Andrew K.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 1996-07-09)
      Introduction The question of the meaning, methods and philosophical manifestations of history is currently rife with contention. The problem that I will address in an exposition of the thought of Wilhelm Dilthey and Martin Heidegger, centers around the intersubjectivity of an historical world. Specifically, there are two interconnected issues. First, since all knowledge occurs to a person from within his or her historical age how can any person in any age make truth claims? In order to answer this concern we must understand the essence and role of history. Yet how can we come to an individual understanding ofwhat history is when the meanings that we use are themselves historically enveloped? But can we, we who are well aware of the knowledge that archaeology has dredged up from old texts or even from 'living' monuments of past ages, really neglect to notice these artifacts that exist within and enrich our world? Charges of wilful blindness would arise if any attempt were made to suggest that certain things of our world did not come down to us from the past. Thus it appears more important 2 to determine what this 'past' is and therefore how history operates than to simply derail the possibility for historical understanding. Wilhelm Dilthey, the great German historicist from the 19th century, did not question the existence of historical artifacts as from the past, but in treating knowledge as one such artifact placed the onus on knowledge to show itself as true, or meaningful, in light ofthe fact that other historical periods relied on different facts and generated different truths or meanings. The problem for him was not just determining what the role of history is, but moreover to discover how knowledge could make any claim as true knowledge. As he stated, there is a problem of "historical anarchy"!' Martin Heidegger picked up these two strands of Dilthey's thought and wanted to answer the problem of truth and meaning in order to solve the problem of historicism. This problem underscored, perhaps for the first time, that societal presuppositions about the past and present oftheir era are not immutable. Penetrating to the core of the raison d'etre of the age was an historical reflection about the past which was now conceived as separated both temporally and attitudinally from the present. But further than this, Heidegger's focus on asking the question of the meaning of Being meant that history must be ontologically explicated not merely ontically treated. Heidegger hopes to remove barriers to a genuine ontology by II 1 3 including history into an assessment ofprevious philosophical systems. He does this in order that the question of Being be more fully explicated, which necessarily for him includes the question of the Being of history. One approach to the question ofwhat history is, given the information that we get from historical knowledge, is whether such knowledge can be formalized into a science. Additionally, we can approach the question of what the essence and role of history is by revealing its underlying characteristics, that is, by focussing on historicality. Thus we will begin with an expository look at Dilthey's conception of history and historicality. We will then explore these issues first in Heidegger's Being and Time, then in the third chapter his middle and later works. Finally, we shall examine how Heidegger's conception may reflect a development in the conception of historicality over Dilthey's historicism, and what such a conception means for a contemporary historical understanding. The problem of existing in a common world which is perceived only individually has been philosophically addressed in many forms. Escaping a pure subjectivist interpretation of 'reality' has occupied Western thinkers not only in order to discover metaphysical truths, but also to provide a foundation for politics and ethics. Many thinkers accept a solipsistic view as inevitable and reject attempts at justifying truth in an intersubjective world. The problem ofhistoricality raises similar problems. We 4 -. - - - - exist in a common historical age, presumably, yet are only aware ofthe historicity of the age through our own individual thoughts. Thus the question arises, do we actually exist within a common history or do we merely individually interpret this as communal? What is the reality of history, individual or communal? Dilthey answers this question by asserting a 'reality' to the historical age thus overcoming solipsism by encasing individual human experience within the historical horizon of the age. This however does nothing to address the epistemological concern over the discoverablity of truth. Heidegger, on the other hand, rejects a metaphysical construel of history and seeks to ground history first within the ontology ofDasein, and second, within the so called "sending" of Being. Thus there can be no solipsism for Heidegger because Dasein's Being is necessarily "cohistorical", Being-with-Others, and furthermore, this historical-Being-in-the-worldwith- Others is the horizon of Being over which truth can appear. Heidegger's solution to the problem of solipsism appears to satisfy that the world is not just a subjective idealist creation and also that one need not appeal to any universal measures of truth or presumed eternal verities. Thus in elucidating Heidegger's notion of history I will also confront the issues ofDasein's Being-alongside-things as well as the Being of Dasein as Being-in-the-world so that Dasein's historicality is explicated vis-a-vis the "sending of Being" (die Schicken des S eins).
    • The issue of truth in the thought of Martin Heidegger

      Rundle, Ann A.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 1983-07-09)
    • Kierkegaard : the temporality of becoming a self

      Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 1997-05-21)
      Introduction In Difference and Repetition, Deleuze compares and contrasts Kierkegaard's and Nietzsche's ideas of repetition. He argues that neither of them really give a representation of repetition. Repetition for them is a sort of selective task: the way in which they determine what is ethical and eternal. With Nietzsche, it is a theater of un belie f. ..... Nietzsche's leading idea is to found the repetition in the etemal return at once on the death of God and the dissolution of the self But it is a quite different alliance in the theater of faith: Kierkegaard dreams of alliance between a God and a self rediscovered. I Repetition plays a theatrical role in their thinking. It allows them to dramatically stage the interplay of various personnae. Deleuze does give a positive account ofKierkegaard's "repetition"; however, he does not think that Kierkegaard works out a philosophical model, or a representation of what repetition is. It is true that in the book Repetition, Constantin Constantius does not clearly and fully work out the concept of repetition, but in Sickness Unto Death, Kierkegaard gives a full explanation of the self and its temporality which can be connected with repetition. When Sickness Unto Death is interpreted according to key passages from Repetition and The Concept of Anxiety, a clear philosophical concept of repetition can be established. In my opinion, Kierkegaard's philosophy is about the task of becoming a self, and I will be attempting to show that he does have a model of the temporality of self-becoming. In Sickness Unto Death, Kierkegaard explains his notions of despair with reference to sin, self, self-becoming, faith, and repetition. Despair is a sickness of the spirit, of the self, and accordingly can take three forms: in despair not to be conscious of having a self (not despair in the strict sense); in despair not to will to be oneself; in despair to will to be oneself2 In relation to this definition, he defines a self as "a relation that relates itself to itself and in relating itself to itself relates to another.''3 Thus, a person is a threefold relationship, and any break in that relationship is despair. Despair takes three forms corresponding to the three aspects of a self s relation to itself Kierkegaard says that a selfis like a house with a basement, a first floor, and a second floor.4 This model of the house, and the concept of the stages on life's way that it illustrates, is central to Kierkegaard's philosophy. This thesis will show how he unpacks this model in many of his writings with different concepts being developed in different texts. His method is to work with the same model in different ways throughout his authorship. He assigns many of the texts to different pseudonyms, but in this thesis we will treat the model and the related concepts as being Kierkegaard's and not only the pseudonyms. This is justified as our thesis will show this modelremains the same throughout Kierkegaard's work, though it is treated in different ways by different pseudonyms. According to Kierkegaard, many people live in only the basement for their entire lives, that is, as aesthetes ("in despair not to be conscious of having a self'). They live in despair of not being conscious of having a self They live in a merely horizontal relation. They want to get what they desire. When they go to the first floor, so to speak, they reflect on themselves and only then do they begin to get a self In this stage, one acquires an ideology of the required and overcomes the strict commands of the desired. The ethical is primarily an obedience to the required whereas the aesthetic is an obedience to desire. In his work Fear and Trembling (Copenhagen: 1843), Johannes de Silentio makes several observations concerning this point. In this book, the author several times allows the desired ideality of esthetics to be shipwrecked on the required ideality of ethics, in order through these collisions to bring to light the religious ideality as the ideality that precisely is the ideality of actuality, and therefore just as desirable as that of esthetics and not as impossible as the ideality of ethics. This is accomplished in such a way that the religious ideality breaks forth in the dialectical leap and in the positive mood - "Behold all things have become new" as well as in the negative mood that is the passion of the absurd to which the concept "repetition" corresponds.s Here one begins to become responsible because one seeks the required ideality; however, the required ideality and the desired ideality become inadequate to the ethical individual. Neither of them satisfy him ("in despair not to will to be oneself'). Then he moves up to the second floor: that is, the mystical region, or the sphere of religiousness (A) ("despair to will to be oneself). Kiericegaard's model of a house, which is connected with the above definition ofdespair, shows us how the self arises through these various stages, and shows the stages of despair as well. On the second floor, we become mystics, or Knights of Infinite Resignation. We are still in despair because we despair ofthe basement and the first floor, however, we can be fiill, free persons only ifwe live on all the floors at the same time. This is a sort of paradoxical fourth stage consisting of all three floors; this is the sphere of true religiousness (religiousness (B)). It is distinguished from religiousness (A) because we can go back and live on all the floors. It is not that there are four floors, but in the fourth stage, we live paradoxically on three at once. Kierkegaard uses this house analogy in order to explain how we become a self through these stages, and to show the various stages of despair. Consequently, I will be explaining self-becoming in relation to despair. It will also be necessary to explain it in relation to faith, for faith is precisely the overcoming of despair. After explaining the becoming of the self in relation to despair and faith, I will then explain its temporality and thereby its repetition. What Kierkegaard calls a formula, Deleuze calls a representation. Unfortunately, Deleuze does not acknowledge Kierkegaard's formula for repetition. As we shall see, Kierkegaard clearly gives a formula for despair, faith, and selfbecoming. When viewed properly, these formulae yield a formula for repetition because when one hasfaith, the basement, firstfloor, and secondfloor become new as one becomes oneself The self is not bound in the eternity ofthe first floor (ethical) or the temporality of the basement (aesthete). I shall now examine the two forms of conscious despair in such a way as to point out also a rise in the consciousness of the nature of despair and in the consciousness that one's state is despair, or, what amounts to the same thing and is the salient point, a rise in the consciousness of the self The opposite to being in despair is to have faith. Therefore, the formula set forth above, which describes a state in which there is not despair at all, is entirely correct, and this formula is also the formula for faMi in ^elating itself to itself and in willing to be itself, the self rests transparently in the power that established it.
    • Kierkegaardian intersubjectivity and the question of ethics and responsibility

      Krumrei, Kevin.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2005-05-21)
      Kierkegaardian Intersubjectivity and the Question of Ethics and Responsibility By Kevin Krumrei. Kierkegaard's contributions to philosophy are generally admitted and recognized as valuable in the history of Western philosophy, both as one of the great anti-Hegelians, as the founder (arguably) of existentialism, and as a religious thinker. However valid this may be, there is similarly a generally admitted critique of Kierkegaard in the Western tradition, that Kierkegaard's philosophy of the development of the self leads the individual into an isolated encounter with God, to the abandonment of the social context. In other words, a Kierkegaardian theory of intersubjectivity is a contradiction in terms. This is voiced eloquently by Emmanuel Levinas, among others. However, Levinas' own intersubjective ethics bears a striking resemblance to Kierkegaard's, with respect to the description and formulation of the basic problem for ethics: the problem of aesthetic egoism. Further, both Kierkegaard and Levinas follow similar paths in responding to the problem, from Kierkegaard's reduplication in Works of Love, to Levinas' notion of substitution in Otherwise than Being. In this comparison, it becomes evident that Levinas' reading of Kierkegaard is mistaken, for Kierkegaard's intersubjective ethics postulates, in fact, the inseparability and necessity of the self s responsible relation to others in the self s relation to God, found in the command, "you shall love your neighbour as yourself."
    • Liberation and Non-Attachment: Arjuna’s Fear in the Bhagavad-Gītā

      Simoes, Stephanie; Department of Philosophy
      This thesis takes liberation to be supreme knowledge of the unity underlying the world of multiplicity. This knowledge is always already attained, so all are eternally liberated, but it is unrecognized in ordinary experience. We will look at the Bhagavad-Gītā to consider why this is so. When Arjuna saw Kṛṣṇa’s imperishable Self, he saw all beings standing as one in Kṛṣṇa; thus, he was confronted by supreme knowledge. But he was overwhelmed with fear and confusion and took refuge in blindness. I argue that Arjuna was not prepared to face recognition because he was unpractised in non-attachment. Attached to his subjectivity, he trembled in the face of unity. The supreme goal is standing firm in recognition while living in the world.
    • Max Horkheimer and Critical Theory

      Schatz, Martin.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 1974-07-09)
    • Memory mixed with desire : a preliminary study of philosophy and literature in the works of Friedrich Nietzsche and Milan Kundera

      Spinelli, Robert.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2006-05-19)
      Memory Mixed with Desire: A preliminary study of Philosophy and Literature in the works of Friedrich Nietzsche and Milan Kundera Robert Spinelli Brock University, Department of Philosophy This thesis studies intertextuality in the works of Friedrich Nietzsche and Milan Kundera through the primary themes of memory and forgetting. The thesis starts with two introductory chapters that delineate memory according to Nietzsche and Kundera respectively. From here, I move into a discussion of Nietzsche's Ubermensch as an example of the type of forgetting that Nietzsche sees as a cure for the overabundance of memory that has led to Christian morality. Next, I explore the Kunderan concept of kitsch as the polar opposite of what Nietzsche has sought in his philosophy, finishing the chapter by tying the two thinkers together in a Kunderan critique of Nietzsche. The thesis ends with a chapter devoted to the Eternal Return beginning with an exegesis of Nietzsche's idea and ending with a similar exegesis of Kundera's treatment of this thought. What I suggest in this chapter is that the Eternal Return might itself be a form of kitsch even in its attempt to revalue existence.
    • The nature of avidyÄ in Buddhism and VedÄ nta

      Sokolow, Alexander.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 1975-07-09)
      This thesis deals with the nature of ignorance as it was interpreted in the Upani~adic tradition, specifically in Advaita Vedanta, and in early and Mahayana Buddhism , e specially in the Madhyamika school of Buddhism. The approach i s a historical and comparative one. It examines the early thoughts of both the upanis.a ds and Buddhism abou t avidya (ignorance), shows how the notion was treated by the more speculative and philosphically oriented schools which base d themselves on the e arly works, and sees how their views differ. The thesis will show that the Vedinta tended to treat avidya as a topic for metaphysical s peculation as t he s chool developed, drifting from its initial e xistential concerns, while the Madhyamika remained in contact with the e xistential concerns evident in the first discourses of the Buddha. The word "notion" has been chosen for use in referring t o avidya, even though it may have non-intellectual and emotional connotations, to avoid more popular a lternatives such as "concept" or "idea". In neither the Upani,ads, Advaita Vedanta, or Buddhism is ignorance merely a concept or an idea. Only in a secondary sense, in texts and speech , does it become one. Avidya has more to do with the lived situation in which man finds himself, with the subjectobject separation in which he f eels he exists, than with i i i intel lect ual constr ucts . Western thought has begun to r ealize the same with concerns such as being in modern ontology, and has chosen to speak about i t i n terms of the question of being . Avidya, however, i s not a 'question' . If q ue stions we r e to be put regarding the nature of a vidya , they would be more of t he sort "What is not avidya?", though e ven here l anguage bestows a status t o i t which avidya does not have. In considering a work of the Eastern tradition, we f ace t he danger of imposing Western concepts on it. Granted t hat avidya is customari ly r endered i n English as ignorance, the ways i n which the East and West view i gno rance di f f er. Pedagogically , the European cultures, grounded in the ancient Greek culture, view ignorance as a l ack or an emptiness. A child is i gnorant o f certain t hings and the purpose o f f ormal education , in f act if not in theory, is to fill him with enough knowledge so that he can cope wit h t he complexities and the e xpectations of s ociety. On another level, we feel t hat study and research will l ead t o the discovery o f solutions, which we now lack , for problems now defying solut i on . The East, on the o t her hand, sees avidya in a d i fferent light.Ignorance isn't a lack, but a presence. Religious and philosophical l iterature directs its efforts not towards acquiring something new, but at removing t.he ideas and opinions that individuals have formed about themselves and the world. When that is fully accomplished, say the sages , t hen Wisdom, which has been obscured by those opinions, will present itself. Nothing new has to be learned, t hough we do have t o 'learn' that much. The growing interest in t he West with Eastern religions and philosophies may, in time, influence our theoretical and practical approaches to education and learning, not only in the established educati onal institutions, but in religious , p sychological, and spiritual activities as well. However, the requirements o f this thesis do no t permit a formulation of revolutionary method or a call to action. It focuses instead on the textual arguments which attempt to convince readers that t he world in which they take themselves to exist is not, in essence, real, on the ways i n which the l imitations of language are disclosed, and on the provisional and limited schemes that are built up to help students see through their ignorance. The metaphysic s are provisional because they act only as spurs and guides. Both the Upanisadic and Buddhist traditions that will be dealt with here stress that language constantly fails to encompass the Real. So even terms s uch as 'the Real', 'Absolute', etc., serve only to lead to a transcendent experience . The sections dealing with the Upanisads and Advaita Vedanta show some of the historical evolution of the notion of avidya, how it was dealt with as maya , and the q uestions that arose as t o its locus. With Gau?apada we see the beginnings of a more abstract treatment of the topic, and , the influence of Buddhism. Though Sankhara' S interest was primarily directed towards constructing a philosophy to help others attain mok~a ( l iberation), he too introduced t echnica l t e rminology not found in the works of his predecessors. His work is impressive , but areas of it are incomplete. Numbers of his followers tried to complete the systematic presentation of his insi ghts . Their work focuses on expl anat i ons of adhyasa (superimposition ) , t he locus and object of ignorance , and the means by which Brahman takes itself to be the jiva and the world. The section on early Buddhism examines avidya in the context o f the four truths, together with dubkha (suffering), the r ole it p l ays in t he chain of dependent c ausation , a nd t he p r oblems that arise with t he doctrine of anatman. With t he doct rines of e arly Buddhism as a base, the Madhyamika elaborated questions that the Buddha had said t e nded not t o edi f ication. One of these had to do with own - being or svabhava. Thi s serves a s a centr e around which a discussion o f i gnorance unfolds, both i ndividual and coll ective ignorance. There follows a treatment of the cessation of ignorance as it is discussed within this school . The final secti on tries to present t he similarities and differences i n the natures o f ignorance i n t he two traditions and discusses the factors responsible for t hem . ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank Dr. Sinha for the time spent II and suggestions made on the section dealing with Sankara and the Advait.a Vedanta oommentators, and Dr. Sprung, who supervised, direoted, corrected and encouraged the thesis as a whole, but especially the section on Madhyamika, and the final comparison.
    • Nietzsche's children : a physiological analysis of the scholar's task

      Ellis, Carolyn; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2011-10-14)
      Throughout Nietzsche's writings we find discussions of the proper relationship of the scholar/scientist to the philosopher, wi th the scholar of ten being presented in a derogatory light. In this thesis, I examine Nietzsche's por t rai t of the scholar through the lens of his physiological or clinical perspective as articulated by Dr. Daniel R. Ahern in his monograph entitled Nietzsche as Cultural Physician. My aim in doing so is to grasp the affirmative, creative aspect of this seemingly destructive polemic against scholars. I begin wi th a detailed discussion of Nietzsche's por t rai t of the scholar in Beyond Good and Evil. This includes an explication of Ahern's position, followed by an application of the diagnostic perspective to Nietzsche's discussion of the objective type, the skeptic, and the critic. I then look at how the characteristics of all three types are present in the Nietzschean 'free spirit.' I also discuss the physiological basis of esotericism in Nietzsche's work, as well as Nietzsche's revaluation of the scholarly vi r tue known as Red/ichkeit (or 'honesty'). I conclude wi th comments on the free spirit's relationship to the future.
    • Nietzsche's eternal recurrence of the same : the effect of logic abridgement, contradictions and inconsistencies

      Murray, Gordon.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 1998-05-21)
      I will argue that the doctrine of eternal recurrence of the same no better interprets cosmology than pink elephants interpret zoology. I will also argue that the eternal-reiurn-of-the-same doctrine as what Magnus calls "existential imperative" is without possibility of application and thus futile. To facilitate those arguments, the validity of the doctrine of the eternal recurrence of the same will be tested under distinct rubrics. Although each rubric will stand alone, one per chapter, as an evaluation of some specific aspect of eternal recurrence, the rubric sequence has been selected to accommodate the identification of what I shall be calling logic abridgments. The conclusions to be extracted from each rubric are grouped under the heading CONCLUSION and appear immediately following rubric ten. Then, or if, at the end of a rubric a reader is inclined to wonder which rubric or topic is next, and why, the answer can be found at the top of the following page. The question is usually answered in the very first sentence, but always answered in the first paragraph. The first rubric has been placed in order by chronological entitlement in that it deals with the evolution of the idea of eternal recurrence from the time of the ancient Greeks to Nietzsche's August, 1881 inspiration. This much-recommended technique is also known as starting at the beginning. Rubric 1 also deals with 20th. Century philosophers' assessments of the relationship between Nietzsche and ancient Greek thought. The only experience of E-R, Zarathustra's mountain vision, is second only because it sets the scene alluded to in following rubrics. The third rubric explores .ii?.ih T jc,i -I'w Nietzsche's evaluation of rationality so that his thought processes will be understood appropriately. The actual mechanism of E-R is tested in rubric four...The scientific proof Nietzsche assembled in support of E-R is assessed by contemporary philosophers in rubric five. E-R's function as an ethical imperative is debated in rubrics six and seven.. .The extent to which E-R fulfills its purpose in overcoming nihilism is measured against the comfort assured by major world religions in rubric eight. Whether E-R also serves as a redemption for revenge is questioned in rubric nine. Rubric ten assures that E-R refers to return of the identically same and not merely the similar. In addition to assemblage and evaluation of all ten rubrics, at the end of each rubric a brief recapitulation of its principal points concludes the chapter. In this essay I will assess the theoretical conditions under which the doctrine cannot be applicable and will show what contradictions and inconsistencies follow if the doctrine is taken to be operable. Harold Alderman in his book Nietzsche's Gift wrote, the "doctrine of eternal recurrence gives us a problem not in Platonic cosmology, but in Socratic selfreflection." ^ I will illustrate that the recurrence doctrine's cosmogony is unworkable and that if it were workable, it would negate self-reflection on the grounds that selfreflection cannot find its cause in eternal recurrence of the same. Thus, when the cosmology is shown to be impossible, any expected ensuing results or benefits will be rendered also impossible. The so-called "heaviest burden" will be exposed as complex, engrossing "what if speculations deserving no linkings to reality. To identify ^Alderman p. 84 abridgments of logic, contradictions and inconsistencies in Nietzsche's doctrine of eternal recurrence of the same, I. will examine the subject under the following schedule. In Chapter 1 the ancient origins of recurrence theories will be introduced. ..This chapter is intended to establish the boundaries within which the subsequent chapters, except Chapter 10, will be confined. Chapter 2, Zarathustra's vision of E-R, assesses the sections of Thus Spoke Zarathustra in which the phenomenon of recurrence of the same is reported. ..Nihilism as a psychological difficulty is introduced in this rubric, but that subject will be studied in detail in Chapter 8. In Chapter 2 the symbols of eternal recurrence of the same will be considered. Whether the recurrence image should be of a closed ring or as a coil will be of significance in many sections of my essay. I will argue that neither symbolic configuration can accommodate Nietzsche's supposed intention. Chapter 3 defends the description of E-R given by Zarathustra. Chapter 4, the cosmological mechanics of E-R, speculates on the seriousness with which Nietzsche might have intended the doctrine of eternal recurrence to be taken. My essay reports, and then assesses, the argument of those who suppose the doctrine to have been merely exploratory musings by Nietzsche on cosmological hypotheses...The cosmogony of E-R is examined. In Chapter 5, cosmological proofs tested, the proofs for Nietzsche's doctrine of return of the same are evaluated. This chapter features the position taken by Martin ' Heidegger. My essay suggests that while Heidegger's argument that recurrence of the same is a genuine cosmic agenda is admirable, it is not at all persuasive. Chapter 6, E-R is an ethical imperative, is in essence the reporting of a debate between two scholars regarding the possibility of an imperative in the doctrine of recurrence. Their debate polarizes the arguments I intend to develop. Chapter 7, does E-R of the same preclude alteration of attitudes, is a continuation of the debate presented in Chapter 6 with the focus shifted to the psychological from the cosmological aspects of eternal recurrence of the same. Chapter 8, Can E-R Overcome Nihilism?, is divided into two parts. In the first, nihilism as it applies to Nietzsche's theory is discussed. ..In part 2, the broader consequences, sources and definitions of nihilism are outlined. My essay argues that Nietzsche's doctrine is more nihilistic than are the world's major religions. Chapter 9, Is E-R a redemption for revenge?, examines the suggestion extracted from Thus Spoke Zarathustra that the doctrine of eternal recurrence is intended, among other purposes, as a redemption for mankind from the destructiveness of revenge. Chapter 10, E-R of the similar refuted, analyses a position that an element of chance can influence the doctrine of recurrence. This view appears to allow, not for recurrence of the same, but recurrence of the similar. A summary will recount briefly the various significant logic abridgments, contradictions, and inconsistencies associated with Nietzsche's doctrine of eternal recurrence of the same. In the 'conclusion' section of my essay my own opinions and observations will be assembled from the body of the essay.