It was on the Monday after the Paris attacks that I walked into the seminar room to give a class to Philosophy students. We are giving the class together with a colleague of mine and it was his turn, so I sat at one of the student banks and prepared myself for some quality metaphysics time. To my surprise and admiration, contrary to my own and students’ expectation that the class would go as ‘normal’, i.e. as if nothing had happened that had to do with our class room, my colleague opened the seminar with a pair of questions. “What use can we have out of philosophy in the face of the Paris events?”, he asked the students. “Why do we need philosophy?”
Most of us who are engaged with philosophy are probably confronting personally those questions on daily basis. In this issue one could find different answers to the question, various approaches and perspectives. What they have in common is not dealing with the Paris case ad litteram, but a conscious effort by their authors to promote a world of values, where religion is enlightening and not violent, a world that makes sense and is not meaningless.
Oseni Afisi goes into the structure of the society and the limits that liberalism, as in its classical Karl Popper form, imposes on it, as well as possible solutions for those limitations.
Mukaddes Nalbant tells the story of the first Turkish woman, Fatma Aliye, who dealt with philosophy in the beginning of the 10th century, in the turning time of Atatürk.
Katerina Georgieva looks at Harold Pinter and the tension between voice and its absence in his plays, trying to find the meaning of the unspoken.
Vesselin Velchev, in the second part of his detailed study, defends the creationist point of view from the point of view and with the arguments of the science.
Tsvetelin Angelov offers an essay in the long epistolary tradition, from the view point of a theologian discussing with a fellow philosopher who doubts about Christianity and its basic ideas such as Trinity. Angelov compares then the divine trinity with the threefold structure of time (past-present-future) that is nonetheless one phenomenon.
Georgi Kapriev, after decades of studies on Byzantine thought, offers us here his answer to the way we should approach the “riddle” Byzantine philosophy. He sees the key in the relation between history and metaphysics, i.e. between that which is unfolding in the history and its metaphysical background as cause and end. “The history is the epiphany of the metaphysical.”
We have a very detailed article by Dimitar Petrov on the mystical teaching of a very understudied Byzantine monk, Kallistos Kataphygiota.
Simeon Mladenov looks at the human nature from the perspective of Anselm of Canterbury in its tension between right(ful)ness (rectitudo) and the human will with its apparent tendency to evade the right.
Monika Panayotova studies the complex problem of the body and its connection to the immortal soul in Augustine.
Lino Bianco examines in detail the problem of virtues in Plato’s Protagoras, as well as the modern state of the debate. Can we have one virtue without having all the rest? Lino Bianco presents to the reader all the possible interpretations of the question.
The issue, in the end, commemorates the work of one of the great medieval scholars of the 10th century, Jan A. Aertsen, who left us in January 2016.
The Editorial Board wishes you a fruitful time with our new, 11th issue of our free Philosophia journal.
Philosophia 11/2016, pp. 3-4.