• 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.
    • Nietzsche's will-to-power ontology : an interpretation of Beyond Good and Evil

      Minuk, Mark.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2008-05-21)
      Abstract: Nietzsche's Will-to-Power Ontology: An Interpretation of Beyond Good and Evil § 36 By: Mark Minuk Will-to-power is the central component of Nietzsche's philosophy, and passage 36 of Beyond Good and Evil is essential to coming to an understanding of it. 1 argue for and defend the thesis that will-to-power constitutes Nietzsche's ontology, and offer a new understanding of what that means. Nietzsche's ontology can be talked about as though it were a traditional substance ontology (i.e., a world made up of forces; a duality of conflicting forces described as 'towards which' and 'away from which'). However, 1 argue that what defines this ontology is an understanding of valuation as ontologically fundamental—^the basis of interpretation, and from which a substance ontology emerges. In the second chapter, I explain Nietzsche's ontology, as reflected in this passage, through a discussion of Heidegger's two ontological categories in Being and Time (readiness-to-hand, and present-at-hand). In a nutshell, it means that the world of our desires and passions (the most basic of which is for power) is ontologically more fundamental than the material world, or any other interpretation, which is to say, the material world emerges out of a world of our desires and passions. In the first chapter, I address the problematic form of the passage reflected in the first sentence. The passage is in a hypothetical style makes no claim to positive knowledge or truth, and, superficially, looks like Schopenhaurian position for the metaphysics of the will, which Nietzsche rejects. 1 argue that the hypothetical form of the passage is a matter of style, namely, the style of a free-spirit for whom the question of truth is reframed as a question of values. In the third and final chapter, 1 address the charge that Nietzsche's interpretation is a conscious anthropomorphic projection. 1 suggest that the charge rests on a distinction (between nature and man) that Nietzsche rejects. I also address the problem of the causality of the will for Nietzsche, by suggesting that an alternative, perspectival form of causality is possible.
    • On affirmation and becoming : a Deleuzian reading of Nietzsche's critique of nihilism

      Bolaños, Paolo A.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2005-05-21)
      The main thrust of this thesis is the re-exploration of Friedrich Nietzsche's "critique of nihilism" through the lenses of Gilles Deleuze. A Deleuzian reading of Nietzsche is motivated by a post-deconstrnctive style of interpretation, inasmuch as Deleuze goes beyond, or in between, henneneutics and deconstrnction. Deleuze's post-deconstrnctive reading of Nietzsche is, however, only secondary to the main aim of this thesis. The primary thrust of this study is the critique of a way of thinking characterized by Nietzsche as nihilistic. Therefore, it should be noted that this study is not about Deleuze's reading per se; rather, it is an appraisal of Nietzsche's "critique of nihilism" using Deleuze's experimental reading. We will accrue Nietzsche's critique and Deleuze's post-deconstrnctive reading in order to appraise Nietzsche's critique itself. Insofar as we have underscored Deleuze's purported experimentation of Nietzschean themes, this study is also an experiment in itself. Through this experimentation, we will find out whether it is possible to partly gloss Nietzsche's critique of nihilism through Deleuzian phraseology. Far from presenting a mere exposition of Nietzsche's text, we are, rather, re-reading, that is, re-evaluating Nietzsche's critique of nihilism through Deleuze's experimentation. This is our way of thinking with Nietzsche. Nihilism is the central problem upon which Nietzsche's philosophical musings are directed; he deems nihilism as a cultural experience and, as such, a phenomenon to be reckoned with. In our reconstruction of Nietzsche's critique of nihilism, we locate two related elements which constitute the structure of the prescription of a cure, Le., the ethics of affirmation and the ontology of becoming. Appraising Nietzsche's ethics and ontology amounts to clarifying what Deleuze thinks as the movement from the "dogmatic image of thought" to the "new image of thought." Through this new image of thought, Deleuze makes sense of a Nietzschean counterculture which is a perspective that resists traditional or representational metaphysics. Deleuze takes the reversal of Platonism or the transmutation of values to be the point of departure. We have to, according to Deleuze, abandon our old image of the world in order to free ourselves from the obscurantism of foundationalist or essentialist thinking. It is only through the transmutation of values that we can make sense of Nietzsche's ethics of affirmation and ontology of becoming. We have to think of Nietzsche's ethics as an "ethics" and not a moral philosophy, and we have to think of his ontology as 1/ ontology" and not as metaphysics. Through Deleuze, we are able to avoid reading Nietzsche as a moral philosopher and metaphysician. Rather, we are able to read Nietzsche as one espousing an ethical imperative through the thought of the eternal return and one advocating a theory of existence based on an immanent, as opposed to transcendent, image of the world.
    • Ontological constructivism : Negri and the philosophical foundations of a future communism

      Andrews, Chad.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2009-02-16)
      As we find in Empire and Multitude, Antonio Negri's political project IS a thoroughly Marxist analysis and critique of global or late capitalism. By modifying and updating Marx's conceptual tools, he is able to provide a clear account of capitalism's processes, its expanding reach, and the revolutionary potential that functions as its motor. By turning to Negri's philosophical works, however, we find that this political analysis is founded on a series of concepts and theoretical positions. This paper attempts to clarify this theoretical foundation, highlighting in particular what I term "ontological constructivism" - Negri's radical reworking of traditional ontology. Opposing the long history of transcendence in epistemology and metaphysics (one that stretches from Plato to Kant), this reworked ontological perspective positions individuals - not god or some other transcendent source - as the primary agents responsible for molding the ontological landscape. Combined with his understanding of kairos (subjective, immeasurable time), ontological constructivism lays the groundwork for opposing transcendence and rethinking contemporary politics.
    • Out of the darkness and into the light : a study of inauthentic and authentic speech

      McKernan, Donna.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 1976-07-09)
      Introduction Man can be described as the being who shows himself in speech, and from birth to death is continually speaking. Communication is so close to us, so woven into our very being, that we have little understanding of the way it is constituted; for it is as hard to obtain distance from communication as it is to obtain distance from ourselves. All communication is not alike. There are two basic modesl of communication, the inauthentic and the authentic, between which there occurs a constant tension. It is in the inauthentic mode, points out Heidegger, that we find ourselves "proximately and for the most part"; 1. Being and Time, pg. 68 Dasein decides as to the way it will comport itself in taking up its task of having being as an issue for it. " •.• it~, in its very being 'choose' itself and win itself; it can also lose itself and never win itself or only "seem" to do so. But only in so far as it is essentially something which can be authentic--that is, something of its own--can it have lost itself and not yet won itself." 2. therefore Heidegger also terms it "everydayness".2 Caught up in the world of everydayness, our speaking covers over and conceals3 our rootedness in being, leaving us in the darkness of untruth. The image of darkness may be inferred from Heidegger's use of the image of "clearing,,4 to depict being as 2. ibid. pg. 69 "Dasein's average everydayness, however, is not to be taken as a mere 'aspect'. Here too, and even in the mode of inauthenticity, the structure of existentiality lies ~ priori and here too Dasein's being is an issue for it in a definite way; and Dasein comports itself towards it the mode of average everydayness, even if this is only the mode of fleeing in the face of it and forgetfulness thereof." 3. ibid. pg. 59 "covering over" and "concealing" are 1;yays Dasein tries to flee its task of having being as an issue for itself. " ••• This being can be covered up so extensively that it becomes forgotten and no question arises about it or its meaning ••• n How everyday speaking accomplishes this will be taken up in detail in the second chapter which explores Dasein's everyday speech. 4. ibid, pg. 171 lI ••• we have in mind nothing other than the Existential - ontological structure of this entity (Dasein), that it is in such a way as to be its 'there'. To say that it is -' illuminated' [tlerleuchtet"] means that as Being-in-theworld it is cleared [gelichtetJ in itself7 not through any other entity, but in such a way that it is itself the clearing. Only for an entity which is eXistentially cleared in this way does what is present-at-hand become accessible in the light or hidden in the dark •••• " 3 dis-coveredness and truth. Our first task will be to explore the nature of communication in general and then to explore each of the modes manifested in turn. The structure of the inauthentic mode of communication can be explored by asking the following questions: What is this speaking about? Who is it that is speaking and who is spoken to? Does this speaking show man in his speech? The authentic mode is distinguished by the rarity with which we encounter it; as the inauthentic conceals, so the authentic reveals our rootedness in being. Yet this rarity makes it difficult to delineate its elusive structure clearly. Its constituent elements can be brought into focus by asking the same questions of this mode that we previously asked of the inauthentic mode. Our initial response to the disclosure of the authentic mode is to attempt to abandon the inauthentic mode and leave the darkness behind dwelling only in the "lighted place". All through the ages, some men pushing this to extreme, have, upon uncovering their relatedness to being, experienced a deep longing to dwell in such a "place" of pure truth and oft times denigrated or attempted to exclude the everyday world. Such 4. flight is twice mistaken: first it atbempts to fix truth as unchanging and static and secondly, it opposes this to untruth which it seeks to abolish. This is both the wrong view of truth and the wrong view of untruth as Heidegger points out in The Origin of The-Work of Art: The Way-to-be of truth, i.e., of discoveredness, is under the sway of refusal. But this refusal is no lack or privation, as if truth could be simply discoveredness rid of all covers. If it could be that, it would no longer be itself . ••• Truth in its way-to-be is untruth.5 Pure light is not the nature of Being nor is pure unconcealedness possible for man. Failure to remember this is the failure to realize that communication destroys itself in such flight because it no longer maintains the contingency of its task, i.e., the dis-closedness of being. We are reminded of the strong attraction this flight from darkness held for Plato. Light, truth and Being are all beyond the darkness and have nothing to do with it. In Book VII of the R~public, Socrates' explanation of the Allegory of the Cave to Glaucon points to a decided preference men have for the "lighted place". 5. The Origin Of The Work Of Art, pg. 42 5. Come then, I said, and join me in this further thought, and do not be surprised that those who attained to this height are not willing to occupy themselves with the affairs of men, but their souls ever feel the upward urge and yearning for that sojourn above. For this, I take it, is likely if in this point too the likeliness of our image holds. 6 Despite the attraction to pure truth, human communication is more complex than putting down one mode of communication and picking up another. Due to the fact that we are always on the way, the title of my thesis will have to be amended: OUT OF THE DARKNESS AND INTO THE LIGHT--AGAIN AND AGAIN. It must be this way because this is what it means to be human. This is the point made by Mephisto to Faust in pointing out that man, standing between God and the devil, needs both darkness and light: Er findet sich in einem ewigen Gl~t Uns hat er in die Finsternis gebracht, Und euch taugt einzig Tag und Nacht. 7 6. Republic z (517 c & d) It should be noted however, that while the philosopherking must be compelled to return to the cave for purely political reasons, once he has taken adequate view of the "brightest region of being" he has the full truth and his return to darkness adds nothing to the truth. 7. Faust, pg. 188 6. This thesis proposes to examine the grounds that give rise to communication, uncovering the structure of its inauthentic and authentic modes and paying close attention to tpeir interrelationship and to their relationship to language as "the house of Being": language that both covers and opens up man's rootedness in Being, transforming him as he moves along his way, taking up his "ownmost task" of becoming who he is. roots. He is the being who shows himself inn that reflects his forgetfulness or remembrance of his rootedness in being. Man comes into an already existent world and is addressedl through things in the world which are c
    • A phenomenological account of Merleau-Ponty's notion of style : from embodiment to flesh

      Landry, Christinia Ryan.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2005-05-21)
      Abstract This thesis is an investigation of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's notion of style via the individual, artwork, and the world. It aims to show that subject-object, self-other, and perceiver-perceived are not contrary, but are reverses of one another each requiring the other for meaningful experience. In experience, these cognitive contraries are engaged in relationships of communication and communion that render styles of interaction by which we have/are a world. A phenomenological investigation of Merleau-Ponty's notion of style via existential meaningfulness, corporeal and worldly understanding, stylistic nuances (with respect to the individual, the artwork, and the world), and the existential temporal dynamic provide the foundation for understanding our primordial connection with the world. This phenomenological unpacking follows Merleau-Ponty's thought from Phenomenology of Perception to "Cezanne's Doubt" and "Eye and Mind" through The Visible and the Invisible.
    • Philosophy of death in Vedanta and Plotinus

      Mandoki, Monika Judith.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2005-05-21)
    • The physiology of inscription : Foucault's genealogy as curative science

      Johnston, Sean.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2007-05-21)
      In ''Nietzsche, Genealogy, History," Foucault suggests that genealogy is a sort of "curative science." The genealogist must be a physiologist and a pathologist as well as an historian, for his task is to decipher the marks that power relations and historical events leave on the subjugated body; "he must be able to diagnose the illnesses of the body, its conditions of weakness and strength, its breakdowns and resistances, to be in a position to judge philosophical discourse." But this claim seems to be incongruent with another major task of genealogy. After all, genealogy is supposed to show us that the things we take to be absolute are in fact discontinuous and historically situated: "Nothing in man-not even his body-is sufficiently stable to serve as the basis for self-recognition or for understanding other men." If this is true, then the subjugated body can never be restored to a healthy state because it has no essential or original nature. There are no universal standards by which we can even distinguish between healthy and unhealthy bodies. So in what sense is genealogy to be a "curative science"? In my thesis, I try to elucidate the complex relationship between genealogy and the body. I argue that genealogy can be a curative science even while it "multiplies our body and sets it against itself." Ifwe place a special emphasis on the role that transgression plays in Foucault's genealogical works, then the healthy body is precisely the body that resists universal standards and classifications. If genealogy is to be a curative science, then it must restore to the subjugated body an "identity" that transgresses its own limits and that constitutes itself, paradoxically, in the very effacement of identity. In the first chapter of my thesis, I examine the body's role as "surface of the inscription of events." Power relations inscribe on and around the body an identity or subjectivity that appears to be unified and universal, but which is in fact disparate and historically situated. The "subjected" body is the sick and pathologically weak body. In Chapters 2 and 3, I describe how it is possible for the unhealthy body to become healthy by resisting the subjectivity that has been inscribed upon it. Chapter 4 explains how Foucault's later works fit into this characterization of genealogy
    • Plato and Levinas : the problem of justice

      Hamblet, Wendy.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 1997-05-21)
      N/A
    • (Re)Thinking bodies : Deleuze and Guattari's becoming- woman

      Dawson, Nicole.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2008-02-16)
      Abstract (Re)thinking Bodies: Deleuze and Guattari 's becoming-woman seeks to explore the notion of becoming-woman, as put forth by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in their collaborative 1982 text, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, and as received by such prominent feminist theorists as Rosi Braidotti and Elizabeth Grosz. Arguing that the fairly decisive repudiation of this concept by some feminist theorists has been based on a critical misunderstanding, this project endeavors to clarify becomingwoman by exploring various conceptions of the body put forth by Baruch de Spinoza, Friedrich Nietzsche and Simone de Beauvoir. These conceptions of the body are indispensible to an appreciation of Deleuze and Guattari's notion of a body lived on both an immanent and transcendent plane, which, in turn, is indispensable to an appreciation of the concept of becoming (and, in particular, the concept of becoming-woman) as intended by Deleuze and Guattari.
    • The seasons of Zarathustra and their correspondence to the metamorphoses of the spirit

      Puszczalowski, Philip.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2007-05-21)
      Nietzsche employed metaphors frequently throughout his works. This is especially true in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Although this is often aesthetically pleasing, it can be very difficult for the reader to understand the nuances and interconnections with the various metaphors. This is generally considered one of the main drawbacks of Thus Spoke Zarathustra. While it is beautifully written in a style that is incomparable today, much of what it is attempting to communicate is lost on the reader. This thesis explores the connection between the metamorphoses of the spirit and the seasons in Thus'Spoke Zarathustra, with the camel spirit corresponding to autumn, the lion spirit with winter, the child spirit with spring, and finally the Overman with summer. Although the Overman is not included among the three metamorphoses of the spirit, it will be argued that the Overman is a separate metamorphosis and must not be conflated with the child spirit despite their similarities. While Thus Spoke Zarathustra will be the primary text used, Nietzsche's other works will be employed to demonstrate that this connection between the metamorphoses of the spirit and the seasons runs through much of his thought. By demonstrating how the seasons are used in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, a deeper understanding of the work will be revealed. Further, this thesis will demonstrate that it is an intentional connection, and not merely coincidental or something that has been constructed and imposed upon the work. Bringing this correspondence between the metamorphoses of the spirit and the seasons to light will result in the need to rethink particular notions of Nietzsche's philosophy. The most apparent involves the Overman and the process of overcoming. Although the Overman has often been viewed as "the end" in the cycle of metamorphoses, it will be argued that this is not the case. The typical interpretation of the metamorphoses of the spirit regard it as a linear progression; however, it will be shown that the metamorphoses of the spirit is cyclical with the camel, lion, and child spirits endlessly repeating, much like the seasons.
    • Singing Nature, Dancing Buddha: Zen, Language, and the Groundlessness of Silence

      Clarke, Erik; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2013-04-01)
      This thesis presents Zen experience as aesthetic in nature. This is done through an analysis of language, a central concern for Zen Buddhism. The thesis develops two modes of language at work in Zen: representational and indexical. What these modes of language entail, the kind of relations that are developed through their use, are explored with recourse to a variety of Zen platforms: poetry, the koan, zazen, music, and suizen. In doing so, a primacy of listening is found in Zen - a listening without a listener. Given this primacy of listening, silence comes to the forefront of the investigation. An analysis of John Cage's 4'33" provides this thesis with justification of the groundlessness of silence, and the groundlessness of subjectivity. Listening allows for the abyssal subject to emerges, which in tum allows for reality to present itself outside of the constitutive function of language.
    • Temporality and the dis-positional abyss in Heidegger

      Heron, Peter.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 1999-05-21)
      N/A
    • This infinite, unanimous dissonance : a study in mathematical existentialism through the work of Jean-Paul Sartre and Alain Badiou

      Fraser, Zachary Luke.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 2008-05-21)
      This thesis seeks to elucidate a motif common to the work both of Jean-Paul Sartre and Alain Badiou (with special attention being given to Being and Nothingness and Being and Event respectively): the thesis that the subject 's existence precedes and determines its essence. To this end, the author aims to explicate the structural invariances, common to both philosophies, that allow this thesis to take shape. Their explication requires the construction of an overarching conceptual framework within which it may be possible to embed both the phenomenological ontology elaborated in Being and Event and the mathematical ontology outlined in Being and Event. Within this framework, whose axial concept is that of multiplicity, the precedence of essence by existence becomes intelligible in terms of a priority of extensional over intensional determination. A series of familiar existentialist concepts are reconstructed on this basis, such as lack and value, and these are set to work in the task of fleshing out the more or less skeletal theory of the subject presented in Being and Event.
    • Toward an encounter with technics (a pathway in Martin Heidegger's thought)

      Thornbloom, Gary.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 1975-07-09)
    • Transcendental phenomenology : a response to psychologism

      Newton, Margaret.; Department of Philosophy (Brock University, 1978-07-09)