Phainomena XII/43-44, 2003 : The Beginnings

The 43/44 issue of the Phainomena journal concentrates on the hermeneutic aspects of and history of philosophy, which also includes the philosophy's relationship with religion and art. How to find a philosophical approach to wonder, enthusiasm, irony, eros, question, imagination, agora, which begin to see the light of day at the beginning of philosophical tradition and accompany it all along the way? On the other hand, how to step beyond this tradition, standing on its grounds and by transgressing it simultaneously, in order to rediscover philosophy's initial momentum, which embraces both feelings and thoughts, senses as well as disposition? Are we today capable, and in what way, to talk about reason, language, God, art and most of all ourselves on the level of philosophical tradition? Contributions to these issues are looking for answers to these questions


Damir Barbarić: The Place of Philosophy
Peter Trawny: Apollo and the Beginning of Philosophy
Andrina Tonkli-Komel:On the Eccentricity of Philosophy (Enthusiasm and Irony in Plato)
Dean Komel: Hermeneutic Eros
Valentin Kalan (Ljubljana): Soul and Truth: The Soul between Being-in-Error (apatasthai) and Being-in-Truth (aletheuein).
On Aristotle's Theory of Imagination (phantasia)
Tine Hribar: Hermeneuticality and Categoriality
Janko Lozar: Appreciation of Tradition. On the Way to Disposition
Klemen Klun: Philo of Alexandria between the Holy Scripture and Philosophy
Teja Oblak: Berkeley's Alchiphron or the Language of God
Aleš Košar: Friedrich Hölderlin and the Present World Epoch
Stephan Günzel: On the Archaeology of the Earth, Body and Life-world
Jože Horvat: Margins of Visibility
Rok Svetlič: Elaboration of the Conceptual Problem of the Phenomenological Ethics
Boštjan Narat: The Musical Work and Performance – An Analysis of Terms



Damir Barbarić: The Place of Philosophy

The essay is an explanation of the original meaning of Plato's definition of wonder as the beginning of philosophy through critical rejection of its redefinitions by Aristotle, Stoics and finally by Spinoza and Hegel. By doing so we remember the early Greek experience of wonder as thaumazein, where it first and foremost means the basic disposition of the presence of the divine, as well as the human participation in it. It corresponds to the role of "pathetic" in wonder, which is highly stressed in Plato, but is suppressed and forgotten in centuries to come. For Plato, wonder stems from the situation of insurmountable "pathlessness", which already in Aristotle acquires a much narrower meaning of the starting point for methodical certain advancement of philosophical science, which must be categorically abandoned. By explaining Diotima's teaching in Symposium, the essay determines "pathlessness" quite differently as the only suitable "place" of true philosophizing, which should be preserved at any price and kept open as the "midst" for the worldly game of immortals and mortals.

Key words: wonder, Plato, divine, pathlessness, history of philosophy


Peter Trawny: Apollo and the Beginning of Philosophy

Continental philosophy tells the story of its origin as thaumazein, as wonder. But Aristotle set himself against a specific "warning", which gives us mortals the advice not to deal with immortal things. The "warning" comes from Delphic-tragic ethics, which is incarnated in god Apollo. Aristotle contradicts this "warning" because of the restriction of man. He does not contradict the divinness of knowledge, which is defended by Apollo. The founding of continental philosophy, which owns in theory its highest knowledge, is thus aiming immediately at reaching god. An attack on Delphic ethics precedes wonder. In this sense, philosophy does not begin with wonder, but with hubris.

Key words: wonder, Apollo, Aristotle, god, finity


Andrina Tonkli-Komel: On the Eccentricity of Philosophy (Enthusiasm and Irony in Plato)

Plato's definition of philosophy as mania (in Phaidros) moves philosophy away from the prudence of the so-called common sense, admitting it resemblance to the eccentricity of poets and visionaries on the one hand and ironic suppression of the other; despite their remoteness from one another, or exactly because of it, they seem to be part of one and the same question: how does the unconcealed reveal itself into the concealed. The erotic enthusiasm of philosophy is a special kind of eccentricity. It is a paradoxical nearness made possible by the remoteness. The nearing of the remote is remembering. Recurring remembering is thus by no means a reproduction of anything whatsoever, but the (loving) thinking about what is always there as understood in advance, disclosedness of beings in a way that they each time get a disguise. But from this, wonder and amazement calls back the unforgettable (of Plato's philosophy, unusual measure of poetry and – our own oblivion).

Key words: irony, enthusiasm, eccentricity, Plato, poetry

Dean Komel: Hermeneutic Eros

The situation today seems to come to a point where the historicity of philosophy as a way of thinking which responds to being can be easily done away with. The "hermeneutic address" reveals primarily the almost unbearable state of being unaddressed which speechifies without interruption. But where from do we take the supposition of a certain hermeneutic address in philosophy, and what makes it possible for us to expect it from the history of philosophy. The question is strangely connected to a reproach which is often addressed to philosophical hermeneutics, namely that its present condition cannot be related to its origin in Greek first philosophy. The hermeneutic problem would therefore comprise only philosophy in its historical lateness, while being absent in its earliness. This first of all means that the critique of the interpretative reason as the characteristic of contemporary philosophical hermeneutics and the skill of interpretation bearing the name Hermeneutics, have nothing in common; and secondly, all endeavors of relating Hermeneutics and hermeneia as a possibility given to us by the very god Hermes.
Although it seems that there is nothing else to be added to the story, let us refocus our attention to the beginning and origin of Hermeneutics, which is usually related to the Greek word "hermeneia" and Greek god of rhetoric, Hermes.

Key words: Eros, Hermes, Hermeneutics, hermeneia, Plato


Tine Hribar: Hermeneuticality and Categoriality

The necessary "acknowledgement of hermeneutic circle does not already imply," says Heidegger in a note From a Conversation on Language, "the original experience of the hermeneutic attitude", because "talking about a certain circle is always superficial"; and in this sense reckless. It gets stuck on the level of phenomenality. Now, however, we are in the province of aphenomenality, in German called das Unscheinbare; but it is a dimension showing itself from its aphenomenality as das Unheimliche: as the mystical, if not even mysterious. This forces us to part from any transcendental position, from any fundamentally ontological habitat, from the superficial-reckless hermeneuticality; in other words, is forces us to leave the interpretative field and move to the area of categoriality.
Of course not to the area of categoriality and/or categoricalness in the logical-logistic sense, nor in the sense of moral law and/or commandment, but in the sense which, beyond all imperativeness, stems from that empty centre named by the Old Greek and probably also the New Greek word agora: the empty public space in the city's centre and therefore the community's centre. What is a clearing in the woods, in the wild, is agora in civilization, in a city as state: a concourse and centre of culture and politics, poetry and philosophy. If we look a bit further back in time, to its Indo-European root, agora means an assembly point, public assembly: agora is the public space in which the whole community aggregates towards the assembly speech.

Key words: category, hermeneutics, phenomenology, Aristotle, Heidegger


Valentin Kalan (Ljubljana): Soul and Truth: The Soul between Being-in-Error (apatasthai) and Being-in-Truth (aletheuein), On Aristotle's Theory of Imagination (phantasia)

Aristotle's treatment of the subject of phantasia in De Anima occurs in connection with the question of truth and error in his theory of perception and thinking. In the architectonics of Aristotle's philosophy, we can still find the ontological concept of phantasia, which denotes the appearing of things and the way of encountering appearances. This concept of phantasia is congruent with the original notion of phainomenon. However, in his theory of the soul, phantasia becomes imagination as psychic or mental faculty of representing ideas - facultas imaginandi: "Imagination is that in virtue of which an image arises for us". Imagination is the first form of thought, noesis, and has the key role both for cognition and action, because all kinds of mental acts refer to the images of imagination.
With the new understanding of phantasia, the appearances are no longer things shown in themselves, phainomena, they are moreover conceived only as objects of perception, on aistheton. Imagination gives form to the autonomy of intellect in its theoretical and practical aspect, and mind becomes the decisive capacity of dealing with truth, dynamis tis peri ten aletheian.

Key words: imagination, perception, soul, truth, Aristotle


Janko Lozar: Appreciation of Tradition. On the Way to Disposition

The essay tries to tackle the crisis of modern metaphysics from the perspective of Husserl, Nietzsche and Heidegger, looking for those issues in their thought which introduce a new and different approach to tradition and a different attitude towards history. The key aspect of their project is a positive attitude toward tradition, which is handed over in spurious opinions, beliefs and truths. This is a clear sign of a breakup with the tradition of metaphysics, which considered these opinions, beliefs and truths to be but obstackles on the way of acquiring true knowledge. The right way of knowledge is therefore that from the known and self-evident as the sedimented tradition to the unknown and non-self-evident within that which is known.
The second part of the essay concentrates on the phenomenon of disposition, which is readily believed to be something known and self-evident, while an even slightly detailed analysis proves the opposite.

Key words: tradition, history, nihilism, being, disposition


Klemen Klun: Philo of Alexandria between the Holy Scripture and Philosophy

Although the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria (20 BC – 50 AD) is not the first author who wrote about the Holy Scripture in a Greek way, it is for certain that both his comprehensive opera and Alexandrian hermeneutics 'translated' the Israelite tradition, which was until then sealed off from the rest of the world - into the universal philosophical language, announcing the Biblical religion to the entire oekoumene. It is in Philo's opera that the Biblical tradition is for the first time systematically intertwined with Platonism and other Hellenistic streams, and the Covenant between Yahweh and Israel ('he who sees God') is transformed into a universal God-man relationship, where you no longer find either a Jew or a Greek. The article stresses the importance of Philo's philosophy and his allegorical exegesis of the Bible, and also reveals the background and the reason for his reading and understanding of the Hebrew Scripture. It has been proved that Philo's exegesis exerted a great influence on Early Christian hermeneutics and theology.

Key words: Philo of Alexandria, Judaism, Hellenism, Holy Scriptures, religion, hermeneutics, allegory


Teja Oblak: Berkeley's Alchiphron or the Language of God

The author of the article presents Berkeley's theory of emotive language as seen in his book Alchiphron or the Minute Philosophy. Through the presentation of Berkeley's book the author tries to present her own interpretation of the emotive language theory and thus descend from the strict metaphysical framework to the grounds of linguistics and religion. By connecting the fields that seem extremely separate from each other, the author endeavours for a sort of re-actualization of the Berkeleyan theory of language. Her approach in this experiment is very interesting, for she begins with the description of general Berkeleyan metaphysical notions and finally moves to the presentation of a modern example of emotive language, which she recognizes in a movie. Thus the author expands the borders of Berkeleyan language of God and in this way gives a conceptual redefinition of it.

Key words: metaphysics, emotive language, religion, Berkeley


Aleš Košar: Friedrich Holderlin and the Present World Epoch

The essay deals with two established approaches to poetry: the philological approach and philosophical approach in the broader sense of the word; it detects their structural similarity and tries to shed light on it by discussing the reception of Hölderlin's apocryphal fragment In the Lovely Azure. It proved a hard nut to crack for "Germanic Studies" or literary science as such, because it had to both accept it and reject it in view of its inherited principle of exactitude and verification, both constituting its scientific nature. This immediately raises the question of its fore-conception and of the way it attains its knowledge, whereby hermeneutic phenomenology is taken as a primary reference point.

Key words: philology, philosophy, poetry, thinking, Hölderlin


Stephan Günzel: On the Archaeology of the Earth, Body and Life-world

It is well known that archaeological and geological metaphors designate what lies at the heart of Nietzsche's analysis: The genealogy of the present (moral) status, the origin (Herkunft) of which was constituted in the past by a contingent event and in this way structured behaviour and thinking in ways of a binary logic. It has yet hardly been recognized that Nietzsche's method runs parallel to the scientific ways of analysing the ground of the Earth. In both respects Nietzsche's philosophy matches the aim of Phenomenology according to Husserl and Merleau-Ponty: Decades before Foucault realized the potential of Archaeology as writing a meta-history of epistemological configurations, the phenomenological method of reduction (Reduktion) traced back the given, intentional perceptions to the layers of different historical and regional life-world contexts lying underneath. The paper not only pays attention to the continuity of that critical topic from Nietzsche to Phenomenology, but also discusses Husserl's and Merleau-Ponty's explicit references to Nietzsche.

Key words: the Earth, Phenomenology, Merleau-Ponty, Husserl, Nietzsche


Jože Horvat: Margins of visibility

It is always difficult to speak of raw being, because in doing so there is always risk present that we also domesticate it. Perhaps the only possible way of doing this is offered in poetry, which is understood by Heidegger as an access to the origin.
In view of its polymorphism and shapelessness, Merleau-Ponty's raw being is always unwholesome, that is to say opened to infinite number of horizons. Perhaps we could even say that the raw being is some kind of openness itself. It is also difficult to localize it due to its promiscuity and polymorphism. We are fumbling after it in the region of pre-reflection, where there is but dimness and shapelessness. Every shape is always already a result of the preceding institutionalization, which is socially and historically determined. It is a kind of framework or an institution of visibility determined by the actual society. It is only in this sphere that every object becomes visible. Accordingly, every shape or form is arbitrary, accidental and coincidental. Beyond this framework, it has no reasonableness.
To reach the raw being, which is actually out of reach, would mean to go beyond all the frameworks and margins and barriers set up by culture. As if we were placed in that Artaud's moment, when we were not yet born, when the world itself was not yet born and no thing was made or meaning of life found.

Key Words: Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, raw being, margins, visibility.


Rok Svetlič: Elaboration of the Conceptual Problem of the Phenomenological Ethics

The contribution is an attempt to elaborate the conceptual problem of phenomenological ethics on the basis of starting points of Martin Heidegger's philosophy. His viewpoint on ethics is well known, as well as the fact that he wrote no texts which would bear even the slightest resemblance to traditional ethics. This contribution will try to compensate Heideggers's taciturnness regarding the issues of Practical Philosophy by referring to those parts of texts where he explores other issues from the history of philosophy. As for example, Leibniz's sentence of sufficient reason or the interpretation of contemporary technology, where Heidegger pinpoints the aspect from which these issues become understandable.
We shall refer to these parts by way of analogy, because the findings of Heidegger's critique of e.g. technology have the same bearing on contemporary attempts from the field of Practical Philosophy. The conclusion of the contribution is an account of the concept the ethics of critical permissiveness, which can be reached by confronting the calculative and meditative thinking. The essay is divided into three chapters: the first and the second one pay attention to Heidegger's ambivalent attitude to traditional ethics, and the third one brings forward the conceptual problem of phenomenological ethics.

Key words: M. Heidegger, Phenomenology, Practical Philosophy, Ethics, contemporary philosophy


Boštjan Narat: The Musical Work and Performance – An Analysis of Terms

The text is primarily an analysis of Roman Ingarden's terms musical work and performance; the basic goal of this analysis is to find a tool, with which it would be possible to face the phenomenon of musical. To face means to enter, to approach. ťWhat is that in music, which makes us recognize the certain sound as musical?Ť is the basic question of this text, but the preliminary condition for a legitimate asking of this question is to rethink the understanding of music as formation of sound. This kind of understanding is common, not scientific or theoretical. The theoretical analysis shows its faultiness and at the same time renders Ingardens's terms deficient.

Key words: musical work, composition, performance, formation of sound