Volume 1 - Recovering The Tradition

(Published December 23, 1996. ISSN 1209-0689)

 

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Preface (click to download)

F.L. Jackson, Post-Modernism and the Recovery of the Philosophical Tradition.

Post-modernist thought represents the latest skeptical turn in a revolution going back to the overthrow of speculative thought in and after Hegel's time, whose principal phases are traced from its dogmatic origins in 19c scientism and absolutism, through the 20c. schools of meta-philosophy, to the explicitly post-philosophical positions of Derrida, Rorty and others who would finally abandon or suspend all engagement with the tradition of philosophical reason. The progress toward this denouement has brought with it progressive distortion of the understanding of classical philosophical arguments on their own terms, an understanding which now needs to be recovered from a standpoint that takes account of the legacy of the ultra-philosophical critique but now knows it as itself limited.

Paul Epstein, The Recovery of a Comprehensive View of Greek Tragedy.

This paper argues that Nietzschean and similar views have rendered Greek Tragedy incomprehensible to contemporaries. Only a renewed sense of the human-divine dialectic in Tragedy can make it again understandable. A brief analysis of Antigone illustrates the proposed principles of interpretation. The paper concludes by considering the nature of the deep appeal of Tragedy to contemporaries.

D.K. House, Did Aristotle Understand Plato?

The paper attempts to show that Aristotle's critique of Plato's teachings provides an exemplary model of sound, scientific, philosophical commentary. This view has been vigorously opposed by one of the most brilliant Platonist in our century. J.N. Findlay sharply distinguishes between the Aristotle whom he regards as a faithful recorder of his master's teachings, and the Aristotle whom he condemns as a thoroughly misguided and incompetent Platonic commentator. I join Findlay in giving first authority to Aristotle's evidence against Cherniss and others, but maintain against Findlay that the most philosophically insightful and accurate exposition of Plato's philosophy is to be found in the works of Aristotle. In arguing this thesis I attempt to support J.A. Doull's account of the relation of Aristotle to Plato.

Floy E. Andrews, The Principle of Excluded Middle Then and Now: Aristotle and Principia Mathematica.

The prevailing truth-functional logic of the twentieth century, it is argued, is incapable of expressing the subtlety and richness of Aristotle's Principle of Excluded Middle, and hence cannot but misinterpret it. Furthermore, the manner in which truth-functional logic expresses its own Principle of Excluded Middle is less than satisfactory in its application to mathematics. Finally, there are glimpses of the "realism" which is the metaphysics demanded by twentieth century logic, with the remarkable consequent that Classical logic is a particularly inept instrument to analyze those philosophies which stand opposed to the "realism" it demands.

Angus Johnston, Time as a Psalm in St. Augustine.

This paper argues that in Book XI of the Confessions, a song is not only an image of the divine unity of time on which our own unity of soul is based. Augustine is thinking of creation through the song as divine revelation. Thus through a kind of grace he brings out the unity of time and eternity, of knowledge and image, of thinking with its object, and ultimately of God's creation with the very act of confession. What he is doing and what he is understanding are thus becoming one.

 

 

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