Issue 7: June 2019
— Arden Cadallo-Dent
This essay explores the philosophical methods known as the Delphic and the Socratic; and the ways in which each method should be implemented when seeking a more philosophical lifestyle. The ultimate purpose of the essay is to demonstrate that, although often perceived as opposites, the Delphic and Socratic methods are most effective when used in conjunction with one other to pursue philosophy as a way of life.
One poetic reflection, Mind’s Eye Racing Through a Grove, on philosophical curiosity; and the other, Two Soaring Towers of Parallel Stone, on the nature of perception.
— Jordan Ross
This essay looks closely at Luce Irigaray’s theory of sexual difference, and how its initial essentialist standpoint can be broadened to encompass queer perspectives. Sexual difference, as it is defined in Irigaray’s book I Love to You, permeates not only our conception of ourselves but also underpins our relationships, no matter if heterosexual/cisgender or queer.
— Sam Adams
This essay isn’t concerned with what is right or wrong, but rather with what is actually happening when someone makes a moral statement. It examines the viewpoints of several philosophers regarding the meta-ethical question of whether moral statements are themselves truth-apt statements, and, if they aren’t truth-apt, whether they are still useful in day to day life.
— Bradley Van Cooten
This essay compares Heidegger’s notion of ‘modern technology’ with Foucault’s idea of ‘bio-power.’ Bio-power, a disciplinary force which works through power relations to create normative, culturally intelligible subjects, can be read as an extension of the ‘Enframing’ by technological thinking which discloses things to us as ‘resources for use.’ The ubiquity of power relations accounts in part for why Foucault calls for perpetual contestation of norms, while Heidegger on the other hand advocates the cultivation of a general ‘releasement towards things.’
— Owen Morawitz
This essay interrogates the following question: How do we know that scientific descriptions of the real world are in fact, real? Using an analysis of philosophical arguments both for and against the positions of scientific realism and anti-realism respectively, I conclude that neither argument presents a sufficiently convincing position for the support or rejection of scientific realism, and that a different position—pragmatism—is required. To support this claim, I focus on the work of Richard Rorty and Hilary Putnam, who advocated for a pragmatic blend of fallibilism and anti-scepticism, where truth is a normative notion that cannot be naturalised or relativised to any specific culture or scientific practice.
— Samuel Brabham
In this paper I utilise the philosophy of Martin Buber to address the primary concern of the public as identified by John Dewey. I discuss Dewey’s analysis of traditional liberalism’s inadequacies when describing the limitations of individual freedoms. I outline Dewey’s belief that individual freedoms are restricted by groups, not individuals, and that issues must be addressed democratically through public dialogue; this is the primary concern of the public. As Dewey offers no practical movement toward achieving this dialogue, I explore Buber’s work on the I-Thou relation. Through identifying the similarities in their work, I gesture toward how Buber’s I-Thou relation can help resolve Dewey’s primary concern of the public.
— Tristan Sluce
As Althusser wrote in 1971, “Ideology represents the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence.” This essay will explore the way in which Althusser conceptualised ideology, through following primarily the Spinozist (rather than the Marxist) trajectory of his work. It will thus demonstrate how the ideological structure is synonymous with society itself; making it hard to subvert and even harder for the relations of production to be concretely challenged. Herein, two main points will be explored: first, the necessity for a scientific practice to determine the real essences of the conditions of existence; and secondly, the inherent limitation of this scientific practice in assisting with class struggle and its potential to be revisionist rather than revolutionary.
— Tia Wolf
In this essay, I explore Lyotard’s works on the implications of silence and the silenced in the context of redefining a political praxis. I believe his ideas still have a sense of urgency, even in our contemporary context—particularly for the implications on woman as differend and the importance of a feeling-philosophy.
— Brooke Jordan
In this essay I analyse modern liberal democracy’s relation to epistemic injustice; in particular, how such injustices are exacerbated by a distinct lack of correctiveness. This lack corresponds to a systemic foundational problem within modern liberal democracy, which thus necessitates an entirely alternative system of democracy. I argue the best alternative in providing foundational correctiveness and lessening epistemic injustice to be a Pericean deliberative democracy.
— Drew Pavlou
In this essay I argue that contemporary universities in the Western world can be best understood as ideological state apparatuses (ISAs). Firstly, I outline Althusser’s writings on ISAs in order to establish their function within bourgeois society. I then discuss the ways in which contemporary Western universities function as ISAs, perpetuating the cultural values and beliefs of the capitalist ruling class. Finally, I conclude that modern educational institutions deny the subjectivity of individuals by attempting to tame and discipline their consciousness in conformance with neoliberal orthodoxy.
— Codie Distratis
An important ingredient for the cultivation of women’s subjectivity is sexual desire. However, as Luce Irigaray’s ‘woman as commodity’ signals, the concept of desire needs urgent revision. In the early 1970s, a project for women’s sexual liberation was led by Movement de Libération des Femmes (MLF) in response to the apparent sexism within social movements coming out of May 1968. Many militants failed to connect the injustices of capitalism with the patriarchy, while the MLF primarily emerged due to this failing. I argue that Luce Irigaray similarly approaches woman’s lack of sexual autonomy through an exploration of how patriarchy and capitalism are intertwined. Irigaray’s analysis of woman as a mother, virgin and prostitute expose the significance of woman’s desire, which can be acknowledged in her ethical relations with others.
— Ryan Morgan-Kleinman
In this essay, I explore not only the legitimacy of ‘Being’ as a topic of philosophical enquiry in Being and Time and Heidegger’s other works, but also his success in breaking away from Descartes’ established dualism of the ‘subject’ and the ‘object’. I conclude that despite the prescience and importance of Heidegger’s investigation, he ultimately owes his establishment of ‘Dasein’ to a more radically subjective and temporal reading of the Kantian transcendentally-ideal subject.
— Louis Altena
Instinctively pragmatic and idealistic approaches to philosophy would seem to be at odds with one another; the former focusing on practical and realistic concerns, instead of the idealised and more abstract nature of idealism. This understanding of the relationship between pragmatism and idealism as philosophies could not be further from the truth, however, and as this essay examines, pragmatic philosophy owes a great deal to the doctrines of idealism. More specifically, this essay will examine the link between the pragmatic philosophy of John Dewey and the absolute idealism of Georg Hegel through an analysis of the presence of Hegel in Dewey’s mature thought, with the goal of unifying these perspectives wherever such unity is possible.
Featured image by Markus Spiske via flickr