Article Title

Episteme Vol. IX


"Against Tense" by Craig P. Bourne

"Is a Subjective Theory of Moral Language Possible?" by Ali R. Shahrukhi

In this paper, the author goes through considerations that come up when analyzing the prospect of a truly subjective theory of moral language. Certain forms of subjectivism are found to be either less than viable, similar to moral realism, or dependent upon psychological matters of debate. Support for this conclusion comes from Hume’s analysis of beliefs and desires; Wittgenstein’s private language argument; the fact that moral discussion is required; Smith’s theory of converging desires and beliefs within his moral realism; and the influence of community and environment. The discussion advocates a union of desires, moral beliefs, and actions, if subjectivism is to make holistic sense. However, the author remains silent on the relative merits of subjectivism in comparison to a realism or idealism.

"Spelunking With Socrates: A Study of Socratic Pedagogy in Plato's Republic" by Ali R. Boutros

The author investigates the two most explicit educational methods and lessons found within Plato’s Republic. One, the allegory of the cave, represents Plato’s genuine thoughts; the other, the remarks on the education of the guardian class, ought to be read ironically. Early on, the paper includes an introduction to irony (conventional and mimetic) and how it relates to the dramatic context of Plato’s intertextuality. Following that, the author provides an analysis of Glaucon’s luxury suggestion, Socrates’ asceticism, and the dog analogy—how they all contribute to the education of the guardians. Later, it is argued that the preface to the allegory of the cave, the hesitant response of Glaucon, and parallels in the progressive nature of paideia—for the student and the teacher—all support a reading of the allegory of the cave as a genuine, straightforward lesson on education. Each method, the ironic and the genuine approach, can be effective educational strategies.

"Lost in the Horizon: Irigaray's Heidegger" by Joanne Molina

Heidegger’s ontology reminds us of our primordial task: to access the question of Being. But, according to Luce Irigaray’s commentary and reaction to Being and Time and Heidegger’s later writings, Heidegger is not able to escape the economy of presence and masculinity that emerges in his discourse. The author here looks closely at Iragaray’s interpretation and counter-arguments before coming to some conclusions about her deconstructive analysis. No doubt, Irigaray offers an interesting analysis of Heidegger using her air metaphor to represent the feminine. But it is odd that she commits herself to there being something essential to air. She ought to utilize a methodology that intends to further deconstruct the identities that are subsumed by what we understand as masculine/feminine and male/female. For her critique to work better, she should avoid using Heidegger’s methodology when formulating an alternative characterization of the complexities of difference.

"The Buddhist Problem of Emptiness" by Ian Varley

Isn’t there is logical disagreement in Buddhism’s dual theses: 1) humans tend toward incorrectly imputing permanence and a positive essence to the world, and 2) humans have no innate qualities at all—they are empty? In this article, the author presents the scope of this problem and then tries to defend Buddhism. Could it be that our physical survival depends on our substantialization? Can we re-work the theories of Gesha Rabten and Keiji Nishitani to support this? Or could it be that our language unfairly makes a word (such as “destiny”) into an object? No; none of these attempted solutions would impress Buddhists who believe that enlightenment overcomes human nature. A closer look at Nishitani shows us that Buddhism actually purports to offer humans the only escape from the “conditioned truth” of substantialization. It becomes clear, then, that “destiny” is not really the right word.