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Episteme Vol. XVI


"Affirming the Absurd: Philosophy and Fiction" by Leila Clare El-Qawas

Contrary to some popular opinion, Camus is a serious philosopher who turns to the medium of the novel because only its format permits him to fully explore what it is to live. This paper examines the general themes of Camus’s work in relation to how the creative artist “lives” doubly, and how the novelist is in the best position of all—able to use negative thought to revolt against her or his situation. Furthermore, the author argues that absurd fiction opens up possibilities for the absurd reader in presenting a perspective that can affect the reader’s general sensibilities, including thoughts on ethics and chaos. In addition, the author draws parallels with phenomenology and uses ideas from Sartre, Ricœur, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Wiggins, and Wittgenstein to illuminate Camus’ considerable value.

"Integration in Greek Philosophy: Hellenistic Thought as a Case Study for Emerging Philosophic Methodology" by Rebecca Knapp

What is offered here is a comparative study between two Hellenistic schools of philosophy: Epicureanism and Stoicism. The author explores the similarities and differences between them, emphasizing their shared sense of an overriding integrated system of philosophical thought—which they owe to Plato. Despite their divergent appeals to pragmatism and idealism, both philosophies urge followers to strive to imitate their gods, thereby demonstrating a strong logical connection between metaphysical and ethical ideas. To make her case, the author cites from various Greek philosophers and prominent commentators.

"The One, The Many, and Plato: A Critical Analysis of Plato's Theory of Forms" by Emann Allebban

The author succinctly determines that Plato does not escape the One/Many problem nor adequately establishes the relationship between the form and the particular. This paper divides its time between a short overview of the theory of Forms and the argument that there are problems with the theory identified in Plato’s own Parmenides. Two objections plague Plato’s metaphysics: the logical absurdity of the concept of participation and the question: How can materialness be derived from immaterialness?

"Acquitting Nietzsche: An Alternative View of his Infamous Misogyny" by Susan Parillo

Nietzsche has an appreciation for women’s naturalness and instinctual femininity; he desires to help emancipate them. A closer look at Beyond Good and Evil exonerates Nietzsche of the charge that finds him to be a supreme misogynist. The author begins her paper by rectifying the misunderstandings concerning his style, which makes wide use of confusion-causing linguistic tools. She then supports Maudemarie Clark’s attention to the distinction between “women as such” and “women.” The author argues that Nietzsche attacks the socio-psychological construction of womanness and the typically unhelpful role women play in perpetuating it. In the late 19th century, the women’s movement dangerously asks women to join the herd and to imitate foolish men; instead, Nietzsche wants women to be concerned with increasing their will to power.

"The Ethical Ramifications of Recent Advances in Ovarian Transplantation" by Govind Persad

The author examines the ethical questions and issues that come with the new advances in autologous transplantation and heterologous transplantation, specifically regarding ovaries. He argues in strong favor of each’s continued advancement and thinks that jewish concerns align more in-line with non-IVF advancements and the procedure of allografting. Throughout, his paper includes comparisons with embryo freezing, oocyte freezing, sperm banking, organ transplantation, and gamete donation. The author is frequently in dialogue with John A. Robertson’s views on many of the matters, and comments on Alison McCarty’s analysis of the double effect when considering how to classify ovarian donation. Finally, genetics are not favored when answering the interesting questions: Whose ovary is it? Whose child is the product? The ovary (and its possible output) belongs to the woman who has received the transplant.

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