Sophia: Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy 2012-02-13T17:12:19-08:00 Sean Vriesen Open Journal Systems <p><em>Sophia</em> is the University of Victoria's undergraduate journal of philosophy.</p> Γενέσθω θεοειδής πᾶς: Likeness to God in Plotinus and Plato 2012-02-13T17:08:48-08:00 Bennett Foster ABSTRACT: On his deathbed, Plotinus spoke his last words, “I am striving to give back the Divine in myself to the Divine in the All.” This brief remark encompasses what Plotinus understood to be the principal goal of the Platonic philosophy: the return to God.<br />In the Enneads, this goal manifests as the ethical ideal of Likeness to God (ὁµοίωσις θεῷ). As Plotinus himself would insist, however, his ideas are by no means pure innovation: his reliance on Plato is evident throughout the Enneads. Several Platonic<br />dialogues, including the Theaetetus, Phaedo, Republic, Timaeus, and Symposium, seem to have informed Plotinus’ ethical views and their connection to Likeness to God. While this idea has recently gained some attention in contemporary scholarship as having a legitimate presence in Plato’s dialogues, Plotinus has been given little credit for his comprehensive elucidation of Likeness to God in the First Ennead. This paper is my attempt to promote a richer understanding of Likeness to God by revealing the considerable depth and dimension of Plotinus’ treatment of the doctrine. I will elucidate four aspects of Likeness to God as found in Plotinus’ treatises on virtue, dialectic, happiness, and beauty, and will further connect Plotinus’ views to the Platonic dialogues from which they seem to derive. In this way, I hope to show that Plotinus offers a much greater contribution to an understanding of Likeness to God, the telos of the Platonic<br />philosophy, than is often recognized. ##submission.copyrightStatement## Aristotle, Appropriateness and Appropriation: Getting the Foundations of Virtue Ethics Right 2012-02-13T17:08:48-08:00 Sasha Suarez Amaya <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><span style="color: #000000;">A very common charge against Aristotle’s virtue ethics is that it is selfish or egoistic, and much work is done in contemporary philosophy to ameliorate Aristotle’s theory on this basis. While, </span><span style="color: #000000;"><em>prima facie</em></span><span style="color: #000000;">, the charge of egoism does not seem wholly untrue, upon closer examination these accusations are misplaced for two reasons. Firstly, because they are based on an interpretation of his claims which is isolated from the rest of his thought, and, secondly, because they are based on a modern notion of the self.  Here I specifically challenge Thomas Hurka’s well-known and oft-accepted criticisms of Aristotle and his framing of Aristotle’s ethical theory as egoistic.</span></p> 2011-09-01T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Aquinas on Essence, Existence, and Divine Simplicity - Strange but Consistent 2012-02-13T17:08:48-08:00 Stephen Stich The purpose of this paper is to find an interpretation on which several of Aquinas’ metaphysical commitments are consistent. One commitment is that God is his essence; another is that God is his existence (i.e. his being); and the last is that God is simple. Aquinas concludes from the first two that, in God, essence and existence are identical. The first objection in <em>Summa Theologiae</em> 3.4 in effect leads this conclusion in a pantheistic direction. For, it challenges Aquinas to find a difference between God’s existence and the existence of everything else. If Aquinas cannot find such a difference then, if God’s existence and essence are the same and if God’s existence is the same as the existence of everything else, then it follows that God’s essence is the same as the existence of everything else, which means that everything has God’s essence. This leads to a type of pantheism that Aquinas surely would not embrace.  <p>In this paper I argue that there is <em>exactly</em> one possible way in which God’s existence is different from the existence of everything else: God’s existence is pure actuality whereas the existence of everything else is actuality but not pure actuality. This argument requires me to enumerate several of Aquinas’ metaphysical principles, some found in the <em>Summa Theologiae</em>, others in <em>On Being and Essence</em>, which I do in the first half of the paper. In the second half I show why the difference between these two types of existence can only be in terms of actuality.</p> 2011-09-01T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Aspect Perception and Understanding the Meaning of Words 2012-02-13T17:08:48-08:00 Luke Davies In Part II Section XI of his Philosophical Investigations, Ludwig Wittgenstein<br />asserts that a proper grasp of the concept of aspect perception can elucidate issues<br />surrounding understanding the meaning of words. In this paper I will seek to defend<br />Wittgenstein’s view. I will do this by first briefly explaining the nature of aspect<br />perception. Then, I will explain Wittgenstein’s account of how we understand the<br />meaning of words, and show why aspect perception can further our understanding of this<br />process. Finally, I will address two objections to the view. 2011-09-01T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Kripke on Propositions in Intensional Contexts 2012-02-13T17:08:48-08:00 Steve Tensmeyer This paper considers the problem of intensional contexts that Saul Kripke presents in “A Puzzle about Belief.” In an effort to resolve this seeming paradox, I identify an assumption that underlies most analyses of intensional contexts: that the content of the subject’s belief is simply the proposition, and that statements containing co-referential names must somehow have different propositions. I argue against this assumption and propose a different understanding of the content of the subject’s belief that allows that the propositions of sentences may be the same while maintaining that the content of someone’s belief when these statements are put in intensional contexts may be different. 2011-09-01T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## The Eichmann Aporia: Derrida and Transitional Jurisprudence After Nuremberg 2012-02-13T17:08:48-08:00 Connor Cavanagh This paper offers a postmodernist critique of transitional justice in the post-World War II era. The author describes attempts at transitional justice in the wake of mass atrocity as an ‘aporia’ which encompasses broader debates about morality, power, and the nature of justice. In examining the case of <em>Attorney-General of the Government of Israel v. Adolf Eichmann</em>, the author problematizes the mechanisms through which tribunals mete out ‘justice’, and discusses the potential for alternative models of jurisprudence in the aftermath of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. 2011-09-01T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Scientific Realism: Interview with Anjan Chakravartty 2012-02-13T17:12:19-08:00 Bianca Torchia Interview with the philosopher of science Anjan Chakravartty. 2011-09-01T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##