CSJH 2013 Philosophica

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Jan Štěpán
Critique of Pragmatic Reasoning

The contribution expresses the author’s doubts concerning the standard role of meaning in communication. Information, when it finds its agent in communication, evokes an activity by the agent regardless of, for example truth/falsity of the information bearer. Semantic checking is consequently not particularly effective in the pragmatic dimension.

Zuzana Rybáříková
To be the value of a bound variable is to be or sometimes also not to be

The paper focuses on a comparison of Quine’s and Prior’s concepts of the quantification of individuals. The analysis is based on Quine’s celebrated statement: ‘To be is to be the value of a variable.’ Quine defends this but Prior does not agree with him. The ideas of both authors are introduced, and the reasons why they hold them. This paper shows what the diff erence between Quine’s and Prior’s logical systems is, and that there are also a number of similarities between them.

Iva Balavajderová
The Religious Dimension of Jewish Political Thought

This paper discusses the issue of the legitimacy of political power in the Jewish tradition, and the reflection of this traditional concept in the political practice of the State of Israel. In accordance with Orthodox Jewish rite, the concept of God as the sole and sovereign ruler of mankind and of the entire created universe persists in rabbinic Judaism. Therefore, the question of the distribution of political power between secular authorities is complicated and introduces tension into contemporary Israeli politics. On the one hand, there are the ultra-Orthodox, anti-Zionist groups which use theological arguments to justify their rejection of the existence of the modern State of Israel, which they consider to be a heresy. On the other hand, religious arguments are also used by the stream of religious Zionism to justify an expansive political strategy, which is based on the theological concept called the Whole Land of Israel. In Israel there is tension between the principles of liberal democracy, which Israel offi cially claims to follow, and the doctrine of Judaism, which is still an extremely important political factor. The consequences of this tension also have an impact on the course of the Middle East conflict.

Petr Vodešil
The Republican Concept of Liberty in the Context of Locke’s Second Treatise of Government

This article examines the republican concept of liberty and compares the classic liberal vision of liberty expressed, above all, in Locke’s Second Treatise of Government with the republican approach. The most influential republican theorists of liberty, Q. Skinner and P. Pettit, remain close to the negative concept of liberty. Nevertheless, they try to formulate specific conditions that can justify negative liberty better than Berlin’s concept. According to Skinner and Pettit, liberty is not merely the enjoyment of a sphere of non-interference but the enjoyment of certain conditions in which such non-interference is guaranteed. Even though the republican concept of liberty is exceptionally inspiring, it can be subjected to criticism. One question, for instance, is whether their strategy is not too similar to the position of classic liberalism, in particular to the position of John Locke.

Hana Dobiášová
Similarities in the Approaches of J. S. Mill and T. G. Masaryk to a Free Society

In spite of the fact that Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk criticized liberalism, certain similarities can be identifi ed when comparing his thoughts about society with those of John Stuart Mill, the spiritual father of liberalism. These parallels include the criticism of conforming to majority opinion, the importance of individuality to society and the significance of the inner attitude of individuals constituting society. In this article I will focus on the aforementioned three points.

Martin Jabůrek
Death and Philosophy from the pre-Socratics to Heidegger

The text of this study outlines basic philosophical approaches to the question of death. The experience of mortality is often considered one of the starting points for philosophising. In a certain sense the experience of mortality cessation stands at the very beginning of philosophical questioning and answering. The effort of the pre-Socratic thinkers to grasp the beginning of things as something that resists change and cessation can be understood as the rejection of the claims of all-swallowing Hades. The concept of the permanent was brought to perfection by Parmenides. Democritus’ and Leucippus’ atomism gave rise to the Epicurean assurance that we do not need to fear death because it is nothing to us. In contrast in Plato’s Phaedo, death is not perceived as evil but as a mere separation of the soul from the body. Plato’s concept of the immortality of the soul was adopted by Christianity with minor changes and its religious form went on to become the most infl uential interpretation of what death means to an individual. The Christian Middle Ages transformed the philosophical question regarding the nature of death into the theological issue of the immortality of the soul. Renaissance brought a new ideas into thinking about death. Certain half-forgotten ancient concepts find their way back into use, and the Christian “Memento mori” is replaced by “Memento vivere”. Arthur Schopenhauer introduced fundamental contributions to the issue of the death in the nineteenth century. Max Scheler and Martin Heidegger contemplate death in the twentieth century. The ideas of these thinkers are presented in this study.

Ivan Blecha
Figuren, Orte und die Segmentierung des Kontinuums

Der vorliegende Aufsatz widmet sich einer möglichen Konfrontation der Phänomenologie Husserl’s mit der Konzeption der figurativen Erfahrung von Pierre Francastel. Francastel kann sehr gut Husserls Theorie der Intersubjektivität ergänzen und die Phänomenologie kann dagegen Francastels Analysen basaler Wahrnehmungsformen bereichern. Ausserdem können diese Untersuchungen zur interessanten Diskussion über sog. „vorsprachlichen Charakter“ der Realität beiträgen.

Marek Petrů
Sommes-nous libres de nous changer?

Are we free to transform ourselves? Free will is a condition of moral conduct. This phenomenon is one of the key features of humanity. A well-founded belief in free will is also a condition which makes the functioning of democratic society and legal state possible. If we are really free, there are an endless range of possibilities which we can essentially achieve. We are free to postulate ideals and try to fulfil them. We are aware, however, of the fact that human beings are sometimes cruelly limited in the terms of their desires. Nature often limits and restrains humans. Philosophers have concluded that man is only free in thought. In the 21st century we are finally beginning to realize that we can do much more than merely think correctly. Science with its biotechnologies provides us a powerful weapon against erstwhile necessity. We do not have to succumb to such an extent to the oftentimes inhuman laws of nature. We can work at changing them … and perhaps even change ourselves. Should one, however, do everything we can?

Giannis Stamatellos
Eternity in Plotinus

In Ennead III.7 Plotinus defines eternity (aiōn) as the life of the Intellect, contrasted with time (chronos) as the life of the Soul. The aim of this paper is to highlight the philosophical importance of the notion of eternity in Plotinus and explore its philosophical background. It is argued that the association of aiōn with the notion of life in Ennead III.7 is significant for the history of ancient Greek philosophy.

Maria Protopapas-Marneli
La Notion de Luxe (polyteleia) selon les Cyniques et les Stoïciens : Le Personnage d´Héraclès

Par son étymologie, le mot « luxe » renvoie à son origine latine, lux-lucis, qui signifie lumière. Dans un premier point de cet exposé, nous allons moutrer pourquoi les Grecs avaient nommé le dieu du Soleil, Apollon, aussi Lykeios, « lumineux », qui, du point de vue étymologique, renvoie aussi au loup. Apollon, selon Cléanthe, deuxième scholarque de l’École stoïcienne, doit son appellation de Lykeios, au fait que le soleil, «ravit», en quelque sorte, l’humanité avec ses rayons comme le loup (lykos) «ravit» les troupeaux. Aussi, dans un deuxiéme point, nous mettrons l’accent sur le personnage d’Héraclès, revu par les philosophies hellénistiques surtout les Cyniques, privé qu´il est de toute qualité de luxe et promoteur de la simplicité et de l’endurance. Dans la suite, nous traiterons de la notion de luxe comme facteur organisateur de la nature ainsi que de son influence sur la vie et sur le comportement de l’homme selon la philosophie stoïcienne. Enfin dans un troisième et dernier point, nous allons mettre l’accent sur la rencontre de l’harmonie universelle (luxe dans la nature) avec l’harmonie individuelle (luxe dans l´âme) qui, en définitive, constituent un ensemble divin de luxe (polyteleia), de beauté et de perfection, selon les philosophies traitées dans cette étude.

Valery Petroff
Bede’s Eschatology and the Natural Philosophy of His Time

The article treats eschatological views of the Venerable Bede that bear a distinct shade of natural philosophical theories originated in Antiquity. These views are shown to be consistent with the spirit of Augustine’s De Genesi ad litteram and the Irish anonymous treatise De ordine creaturarum which focus on the four elements and their explanatory role in the theories concerning the nature of the world and the soul. The theory of “aerial purgatory fire” is under consideration. The fact itself that the discussion of the Last Judgment is placed by Bede in the final chapter of natural philosophical treatise De temporum ratione confirms the suggestion that the eschatological events were considered by him within the framework of the teachings on the nature of the world, its origin and its end.

Gabriela Kurylewicz
In Search of the Unity of Contemplative and Active Life: Thomas Aquinas’ Theory of Music

The text below was originally a paper which I gave at the SIEPM International Conference in Palermo in 2007. It was meant to be published afterwards but arrived one day too late and missed its chance. Then it travelled for a time from hand to hand and would have eventually found its life harbour in the drawer of my desk if Dr. Jozef Matula had not asked me for a “nice” text for the Philosophica. If it is of any value, please judge for yourself. My intention was to demonstrate the Platonism of the metaphysical aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas with the particular problem of the combined life of a human individual intellect and will. According to Aquinas, human intellectual work is either contemplative and active at the same time, and therefore infi nite, or completely absent, irrelevant and closed.