The posthumous publication, in 2018, of Foucault’s Confessions of the Flesh, volume four of The History of Sexuality, defied expectations, both by his choice of the ancient authors he studied and by his broadening of the problems he explored. Based on the archives kept at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, this article formulates, for the first time, a series of hypotheses concerning the stages in which Foucault composed this ‘Christian’ volume over a period of more than six years. The three (...) moments distinguished here correspond to three different ways of approaching the initial problem, formulated in 1975, of the history of the confession of sexuality. Whereas scholars have hitherto assumed that Foucault abandoned his first project during a long period of doubts or hesitations, the archives show, on the contrary, a continuous and coherent work—which does not exclude major evolutions in terms of the corpus, periods, and themes studied. In particular, over the years Foucault’s project appears increasingly torn between two different histories: a history of confession, which was at the heart of the initial project, and a history of moral experience, which, in an analysis of the self, interiorizes the history of sexuality. (shrink)
The understanding of Being in terms of substance has given rise to many philosophical problems, the most obvious and persistent of which is subject/object dualism. Heidegger recognises the problems substance ontology has created and rejects the ontological primacy of the subject. In doing so, he discovers an alternate ontological understanding, one that ultimately constitutes a return to a Neoplatonic ontology in which Being is understood in terms of relation. Heidegger’s ontology is, therefore, a recovery of this Neoplatonic relational ontology.
Aquinas’s Five Ways are often presented as standard cosmological arguments for God’s existence. They tend to be anthologized and presented independently of the metaphysical thought that informs them. Thus, when Aquinas deploys technical metaphysical issues in his articulation of the ways, the contemporary reader may have trouble interpreting them correctly. This is particularly the case when Aquinas uses terminology familiar to a contemporary reader that nevertheless should be understood within the context of Aquinas’s own metaphysical thought. The Third Way is (...) particularly challenging in this respect since it trades on modal notions that are familiar within a post-Leibnizian philosophical context but do not carry the same philosophical connotations. With that in mind, I propose to present a reading of the Third Way that is rooted within Aquinas’s own metaphysical thought and is defensible as an argument for God’s existence. (shrink)
In this article, I seek to review Philip Gonzales’s call for a revitalization of the Catholic analogia entis, both as a fundamental philosophical principle and as a guiding metaphysical vision for the Church today, as explicated in his recent work, Reimagining the Analogia Entis: The Future of Erich Pryzwara’s Christian Vision. I will begin by offering a short synopsis of Erich Przywara’s reappraisal of analogy in relation to the work of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, followed by an exposition of (...) Philip Gonzales’s call for a non-identical repetition of Przywara’s metaphysical vision both in philosophy and the Church at large. In closing, I will seek to offer an evaluation of Gonzales’s proposal from a supportive yet concerned horizon of postmetaphysical mindfulness. (shrink)
The recently published volume Foucault, les Pères, le sexe brings together sixteen papers delivered at a conference held in 2018 to mark the launch of Les aveux de la chair, the posthumous fourth volume of the History of Sexuality. This review essay focuses on the contribution of the Foucault Archives to research on the philosopher’s thought; on critical reactions by patrologists to Foucault’s venture into study of the Church Fathers; and, finally, on the significance of the ‘Christian turn’ in the (...) late Foucault’s lectures and writings. (shrink)
Phenomenology offers the only proper entrée to Heidegger’s work, a fact overlooked by ‘Right Heideggerians’ such as Professor Richard Capobianco, with disastrous results. This essay traces Heidegger’s path through Husserl’s doctrine of categorial intuition to his own question about what makes possible the meaningful presence of things.
Ever since his inaugural lecture as professor in 1959, Joseph Ratzinger has been engaged with the intellectual crisis of our times. Reason, he argues, has been reduced to what can be quantitatively assessed. Such a self-limitation of reason, he contends, has had, and continues to have, serious negative consequences for European civilization and its global outreach. Returning to his former university as Pope Benedict XVI in 2006, he used the occasion to give a lecture on the relationship between faith and (...) reason, and how each needs the other. His main thesis was to demonstrate the indispensable role of theology as an academic discipline on the university: namely, to keep reason open to what is beyond reason and so to ensure that reason and its artifacts—science and technology—remain truly human, serve humanity, and do not destroy it. (shrink)