Aims and Scopes

With this journal we wish to provide an international forum for articles deploying the resources of modern logical analysis in dealing with historical philosophical texts. The topics discussed may encompass all areas and periods from the history of philosophy. Some volumes will, however, have a thematic focus. The historical orientation of the articles and the use of logical resources (albeit not necessarily highly formal ones) as an interpretative method are central aspects of our project. We expect that the journal shed new light on classical texts, making them more fruitful in discussing the problems of contemporary philosophy. The works of the history of philosophy should thus not only be honoured as historical documents, but first and foremost be taken seriously from a philosophical point of view.

 

Taking classical texts seriously as contributions to philosophy primarily implies investigating the truth behind the claims made, or at least enabling the reader to embark on such an investigation. Precisely this is quite often neglected in traditional interpretations, which, however, comes as no surprise: Many historians of philosophy hold that, for the sake of a correct interpretation, questions concerning truth should not be posed, since any interest concerning the truth (or falsehood) of a given classical philosophical text inevitably prevents us from understanding it, i.e. from understanding what was meant by the author. In contrast, we hold that the goal of systematic philosophy of uncovering and substantiating philosophical truths should not be neglected even when investigating the history of philosophy, especially considering that the authors wrote their works with this goal in mind, i.e. out of an interest in the truth. For this reason we should read these texts as potential conveyers of truths, and if (despite benevolent interpretation) this proves to be unfeasible, then as conveyers of falsehoods. In other words, we should view traditional philosophical texts from the outset with an eye to their truth or falsehood, and be prepared to take a stand on this issue. Only in this manner can a lively dialogue with our philosophical past be initiated, and only thus can we properly pay tribute to it.

 

Admittedly, the said philosophical dialogue with the past can only take place within our present-day perspective. This perspective opens up the past to us, but by the same token, we must note, it inevitably keeps the past closed to us to a certain degree. We have no alternative but to stick to this perspective, but by using logical analysis and logical reconstruction in the best way presently available to us, we can transform it into a hermeneutically prolific one. This is a reasonable expectation, because logic has had a central role in "doing philosophy" from the very beginning, and because its initial form still stands in essential continuity with our modern understanding of it.