Colpevoli piuttosto che impotenti

L’articolo indaga un aspetto, o meglio un’aporia, del rapporto tra azione umana e responsabilità morale. Se, come voleva Kant, quel rapporto è ristretto alla buona fede e alla volontà consapevole di mettere in atto una certa azione (mettendolo così al riparo dalle vicissitudini della fortuna), allora l’agire umano diventerebbe superficiale e fuori dal mondo, in quanto perderebbe tutto il suo potere di incidere sulla realtà. Meglio allora, sostiene il filosofo inglese Bernard Williams (1929-2003), accettare di poter agire sul mondo anche se l’impatto e le conseguenze morali di quello che facciamo sono fuori dal nostro controllo.

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Call for papers 2021: il corpo

Il tema del Call for papers 2021 di Ritiri Filosofici è «Il corpo».

Assistiamo in questi tempi a una recrudescenza dell’idea — avvalorata da buona parte della tradizione filosofica occidentale — per cui il corpo è, sostanzialmente, separato dalla mente. Sulla scorta di questo dualismo sopravvivono concezioni statiche del corpo e della mente, teorie che sottostimano la portata filosofica della corporeità, così come dell’influenza di questa nel processo conoscitivo. Il CFP intende porre un’attenzione particolare sul corpo e sulla sua natura ontologica, epistemologica e relazionale. Lo scopo è quello di redigere la primissima struttura di una rete di riflessioni comuni all’interno della quale si rintracci un ruolo decisivo e non subordinato della corporeità.

Gli articoli, in formato word, dovranno essere inviati all’indirizzo email e avere una lunghezza massima di sedicimila (16.000) caratteri spazi inclusi. Non sono ammesse note a piè di pagina: i riferimenti bibliografici dovranno attenersi allo standard Author-Date Style sia per i richiami nel testo, sia per la compilazione della bibliografia. Lo scritto dovrà essere preceduto da un abstract iniziale senza note non inferiore a 800 e non superiore a 1000 caratteri spazi inclusi. Lo scritto dovrà essere altresì suddiviso in paragrafi. È necessario inviare anche una breve biografia (massimo 500 caratteri) e una foto profilo. Sono ammessi testi in lingua italiana, inglese, tedesca e francese. La scadenza ultima per l’invio dei contributi è il 30 settembre 2021.

Inviando uno scritto per la partecipazione al CFP, l’autore dichiara che il testo non è mai stato pubblicato in precedenza e che non è oggetto di valutazione da parte di alcun’altra rivista.

Il comitato di redazione di Ritiri Filosofici avrà il compito di esaminare gli articoli pervenuti e di selezionare quelli ritenuti meritevoli di pubblicazione sul sito. Nel caso in cui lo scritto venga ritenuto valido per la pubblicazione ma necessiti di una revisione, l’autore verrà contattato per avviare un processo di revisione condiviso. La scelta del titolo e delle foto che accompagneranno la pubblicazione del contributo verranno scelte ad insindacabile giudizio del comitato di redazione di Ritiri Filosofici.

Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

Una finestra al di là delle tenebre

What, exactly, is boredom? It is a deeply unpleasant state of unmet arousal: we are aroused rather than despondent, but, for one or more reasons, our arousal cannot be met or directed. These reasons can be internal – often a lack of imagination, motivation or concentration – or external, such as an absence of environmental stimuli or opportunities. We want to do something engaging, but find ourselves unable to do so and, more than that, are frustrated by the rising awareness of this inability.

Awareness, or consciousness, is key, and might explain why animals, if they do get bored, generally have higher thresholds for boredom. In the words of the British writer Colin Wilson: ‘most animals dislike boredom, but man is tormented by it’. In both man and animal, boredom is induced or exacerbated by a lack of control or freedom, which is why it is so common in children and adolescents, who, in addition to being chaperoned, lack the mind furnishings – the resources, experience and discipline – to mitigate their boredom.

Let’s look more closely at the anatomy of boredom. Why is it so damned boring to be stuck in a departure lounge while our flight is increasingly delayed? We are in a state of high arousal, anticipating our imminent arrival in a novel and stimulating environment. True, there are plenty of shops, screens and magazines around, but we’re not really interested in them and, by dividing our attention, they serve only to exacerbate our boredom. To make matters worse, the situation is out of our control, unpredictable (the flight could be further delayed, or even cancelled) and inescapable. As we check and re-check the monitor, we become painfully aware of all these factors and more. And so here we are, caught in transit, in a high state of arousal that we can neither engage nor escape.

If we really need to catch our flight, maybe because our livelihood or the love of our life depends on it, we will feel less bored (although more anxious and annoyed) than if it had been a toss-up between travelling and staying at home. In that much, boredom is an inverse function of perceived need or necessity. We might get bored at the funeral of an obscure relative but not at that of a parent or sibling.

So far so good, but why exactly is boredom so unpleasant? The 19th-century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer argued that, if life were intrinsically meaningful or fulfilling, there could be no such thing as boredom. Boredom, then, is evidence of the meaninglessness of life, opening the shutters on some very uncomfortable feelings that we normally block out with a flurry of activity or with the opposite feelings. This is the essence of the manic defence, which consists in preventing feelings of helplessness and despair from entering the conscious mind by occupying it with opposite feelings of euphoria, purposeful activity and omnipotent control – or, failing that, any feelings at all.

In Albert Camus’s novel The Fall (1956), Clamence reflects to a stranger:

I knew a man who gave 20 years of his life to a scatterbrained woman, sacrificing everything to her, his friendships, his work, the very respectability of his life, and who one evening recognised that he had never loved her. He had been bored, that’s all, bored like most people. Hence he had made himself out of whole cloth a life full of complications and drama. Something must happen – and that explains most human commitments. Something must happen, even loveless slavery, even war or death

People who suffer from chronic boredom are at higher risk of developing psychological problems such as depression, overeating, and alcohol and drug misuse. A study found that, when confronted with boredom in an experimental setting, many people chose to give themselves unpleasant electric shocks simply to distract from their own thoughts, or lack thereof. Out in the real world, we expend considerable resources on combatting boredom. The value of the global entertainment and media market is set to reach $2.6 trillion by 2023, and entertainers and athletes are afforded ludicrously high levels of pay and status. The technological advances of recent years have put an eternity of entertainment at our fingertips, but this has made matters only worse – in part, by removing us further from our here and now. Instead of feeling sated and satisfied, we are desensitised and in need of ever more stimulation – ever more war, ever more gore, and ever more hardcore.

The good news is that boredom can also have upsides. Boredom can be our way of telling ourselves that we are not spending our time as well as we could, that we should be doing something more enjoyable, more useful, or more fulfilling. From this point of view, boredom is an agent of change and progress, a driver of ambition, shepherding us out into larger, greener pastures.

But even if we are one of those rare people who feels fulfilled, it is worth cultivating some degree of boredom, insofar as it provides us with the preconditions to delve more deeply into ourselves, reconnect with the rhythms of nature, and begin and complete highly focused, long and difficult work. As the British philosopher Bertrand Russell put it in The Conquest of Happiness (1930):

A generation that cannot endure boredom will be a generation of little men, of men unduly divorced from the slow processes of nature, of men in whom every vital impulse slowly withers as though they were cut flowers in a vase

In 1918, Russell spent four and a half months in Brixton prison for ‘pacifist propaganda’, but found the bare conditions congenial and conducive to creativity:

I found prison in many ways quite agreeable … I had no engagements, no difficult decisions to make, no fear of callers, no interruptions to my work. I read enormously; I wrote a book, Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy … and began the work for Analysis of Mind … One time, when I was reading Strachey’s Eminent Victorians, I laughed so loud that the warder came round to stop me, saying I must remember that prison was a place of punishment.

Of course, not everyone is a Bertrand Russell. How might we, mere mortals, best cope with boredom? If it is, as we have established, an awareness of unmet arousal, we can minimise boredom by: avoiding situations over which we have little control; eliminating distractions; motivating ourselves; expecting less; putting things into their proper perspective (realising how lucky we really are); and so on.

But rather than fighting a constant battle against boredom, it is easier and much more productive to actually embrace it. If boredom is a window on to the fundamental nature of reality and, by extension, on to the human condition, then fighting boredom amounts to pulling back the curtains. Yes, the night is pitch-black, but the stars shine all the more brightly for it.

For just these reasons, many Eastern traditions encourage boredom, seeing it as the path to a higher consciousness. Here’s one of my favourite Zen jokes:

A Zen student asked how long it would take to gain enlightenment if he joined the temple.
‘Ten years,’ said the Zen master.
‘Well, how about if I work really hard and double my effort?’
‘Twenty years.’

So instead of fighting boredom, go along with it, entertain it, make something out of it. In short, be yourself less boring. Schopenhauer said that boredom is but the reverse side of fascination, since both depend on being outside rather than inside a situation, and one leads to the other.

Next time you find yourself in a boring situation, throw yourself fully into it – instead of doing what we normally do, which is to step further and further back. If this feels like too much of an ask, the Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh advocates simply appending the word ‘meditation’ to whatever activity it is that you find boring, for example, ‘standing-in-line meditation’.

In the words of the 18th-century English writer Samuel Johnson: ‘It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.’Aeon counter – do not remove

Neel Burton

This article was originally published at Aeon and has been republished under Creative Commons.
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Democracy is like fun

The term democracy is used today to denote everything that is wholesome in the social world. Yet there is such a thing as too much democracy. By this I do not mean that democracy needs to be tempered by some autocratic or elitist political ideal. Rather, I mean that we must reserve space in our shared social lives for that which is not political at all. Even in a democracy, politics must be kept in its place.

Keeping democracy in its place is not easy. The very idea of collective self-government tempts us into thinking that citizens must be perpetually fixated on the task of ruling themselves. Accordingly, a central message of most democratic theory has been that our social lives as such should be driven by democratic aims and projects. And this theoretical message has clearly worked its way into practice. Democratic politics has thoroughly infiltrated our social lives. Our daily interactions, from coffee shops and street corners to comment threads and blog posts, are increasingly structured by our political allegiances, and those allegiances ever more frequently supply the content of our casual conversations.

It is no exaggeration to say that in the United States today, your choices about mundane matters – where to buy groceries, what television shows to watch, the sports teams you follow, how to get to work, where you go on vacation, how you spend Sunday mornings – are all deeply tied to your political profile. And this in turn means that your day-to-day interactions with others are limited to those who happen to also shop at those stores, watch that programme, follow that team, take that bus, and walk in that park. Our entire social worlds are shaped by the travails of contemporary politics. To put it dramatically, our social lives are tyrannised by democracy.

The saturation of civic life by democratic politics crowds out the fundamental bases for community and social cooperation that the democratic ethos needs in order to flourish. If we are to work together as a self-governing polity, we must cultivate a kind of civic friendship that enables us to regard each other as fellow citizens and sharers in a common fate. When we interact only on the battlefield of politics, our divisions erode civic friendship. Democracy is thus dismantled.

The tyranny of democracy undermines democracy. This is in no way an anti-democratic thought. It simply applies to democracy a general insight about value, namely that sometimes, in order to realise something of value, one must strive for something else. Certain values are undercut by our single-minded pursuit of them. In such cases, the pursuit of the value in question produces its opposite.

To see how this works, consider a value such as fun. Surely it’s good to have fun? But fun can be had only as a byproduct of participating in activities that have some other objective. We have fun when engaging in pursuits whose point is something other than fun: winning the game, dancing to the song, experiencing the plunge of the rollercoaster, completing the crossword. Accordingly, the persistent boredom of teenagers is the product of their not having anything to pursue but entertainment. When fun itself is the name of the game, everything’s a drag.

Friendship, too, has this general structure. We need friends. Consequently, we ought to form deep friendships. But one of the surest ways to fail at making friends is to try to make them. Friendships emerge from activities other than friend-seeking. One gains friends by sharing experiences, undertaking common projects, and caring about other persons. No matter how good it is to have friends, friendship itself cannot be our pursuit. When we take friendship itself as our goal, we wind up friendless.

The phenomenon has the flavour of paradox. In order to cultivate certain values, one must aim for something other than their cultivation. Yet to regard something as valuable is to be disposed to seek to produce it. Certain values, it seems, require us to develop an odd form of schizophrenia. We must to some degree turn our backs on the value in order to make it manifest.

As democracy rests on civic friendship, it is perhaps no surprise that in order to practise better democracy, we need to engage with each other on matters that are not political. Our civic lives must be structured around shared activities and common experiences that do not have politics at their core, arenas of social engagement that are not already structured and plagued by political categories. We must seek out activities that will involve us in cooperative endeavours with others who, for all we know, have opposing political views from our own. We must talk with strangers about matters of substance that are not at all political. We must create sites of social involvement in which party affiliation and platform allegiance are simply beside the point. We must ‘tune out’, not from society as such but from society as it is constructed by democratic politics. In short, if we want to do democracy right, we need sometimes to do something else entirely.Aeon counter – do not remove

Robert B Talisse

This article was originally published at Aeon and has been republished under Creative Commons.

Why sexist and racist philosophers might still be admirable

Admiring the great thinkers of the past has become morally hazardous. Praise Immanuel Kant, and you might be reminded that he believed that ‘Humanity is at its greatest perfection in the race of the whites,’ and ‘the yellow Indians do have a meagre talent’. Laud Aristotle, and you’ll have to explain how a genuine sage could have thought that ‘the male is by nature superior and the female inferior, the male ruler and the female subject’. Write a eulogy to David Hume, as I recently did here, and you will be attacked for singing the praises of someone who wrote in 1753-54: ‘I am apt to suspect the Negroes, and in general all other species of men … to be naturally inferior to the whites.’

We seem to be caught in a dilemma. We can’t just dismiss the unacceptable prejudices of the past as unimportant. But if we think that holding morally objectionable views disqualifies anyone from being considered a great thinker or a political leader, then there’s hardly anyone from history left.

The problem does not go away if you exclude dead white establishment males. Racism was common in the women’s suffrage movement on both sides of the Atlantic. The American suffragette Carrie Chapman Catt said that: ‘White supremacy will be strengthened, not weakened, by women’s suffrage.’ Emmeline Pankhurst, her British sister in the struggle, became a vociferous supporter of colonialism, denying that it was ‘something to decry and something to be ashamed of’ and insisting instead that ‘it is a great thing to be the inheritors of an empire like ours’. Both sexism and xenophobia have been common in the trade union movement, all in the name of defending the rights of workers – male, non-immigrant workers that is.

However, the idea that racist, sexist or otherwise bigoted views automatically disqualify a historical figure from admiration is misguided. Anyone who cannot bring themselves to admire such a historical figure betrays a profound lack of understanding about just how socially conditioned all our minds are, even the greatest. Because the prejudice seems so self-evidently wrong, they just cannot imagine how anyone could fail to see this without being depraved.

Their outrage arrogantly supposes that they are so virtuous that they would never be so immoral, even when everyone around them was blind to the injustice. We should know better. The most troubling lesson of the Third Reich is that it was supported largely by ordinary people who would have led blameless lives had they not by chance lived through particular toxic times. Any confidence we might have that we would not have done the same is without foundation as we now know what people then did not know. Going along with Nazism is unimaginable today because we need no imagination to understand just what the consequences were.

Why do so many find it impossible to believe that any so-called genius could fail to see that their prejudices were irrational and immoral? One reason is that our culture has its own deep-seated and mistaken assumption: that the individual is an autonomous human intellect independent from the social environment. Even a passing acquaintance with psychology, sociology or anthropology should squash that comfortable illusion. The enlightenment ideal that we can and should all think for ourselves should not be confused with the hyper-enlightenment fantasy that we can think all by ourselves. Our thinking is shaped by our environment in profound ways that we often aren’t even aware of. Those who refuse to accept that they are as much limited by these forces as anyone else have delusions of intellectual grandeur.

When a person is so deeply embedded in an immoral system, it becomes problematic to attribute individual responsibility. This is troubling because we are wedded to the idea that the locus of moral responsibility is the perfectly autonomous individual. Were we to take the social conditioning of abhorrent beliefs and practices seriously, the fear is that everyone would be off the hook, and we’d be left with a hopeless moral relativism.

But the worry that we would be unable to condemn what most needs condemnation is baseless. Misogyny and racism are no less repulsive because they are the products of societies as much, if not more, than they are of individuals. To excuse Hume is not to excuse racism; to excuse Aristotle is not to excuse sexism. Racism and sexism were never okay, people simply wrongly believed that they were.

Accepting this does not mean glossing over the prejudices of the past. Becoming aware that even the likes of Kant and Hume were products of their times is a humbling reminder that the greatest minds can still be blind to mistakes and evils, if they are widespread enough. It should also prompt us to question whether the prejudices that rudely erupt to the surface in their most infamous remarks might also be lurking in the background elsewhere in their thinking. A lot of the feminist critique of Dead White Male philosophy is of this kind, arguing that the evident misogyny is just the tip of a much more insidious iceberg. Sometimes that might be true but we should not assume that it is. Many blindspots are remarkably local, leaving the general field of vision perfectly clear.

The classicist Edith Hall’s defence of Aristotle’s misogyny is a paradigm of how to save a philosopher from his worst self. Rather than judge him by today’s standards, she argues that a better test is to ask whether the fundamentals of his way of thinking would lead him to be prejudiced today. Given Aristotle’s openness to evidence and experience, there is no question that today he would need no persuading that women are men’s equals. Hume likewise always deferred to experience, and so would not today be apt to suspect anything derogatory about dark-skinned peoples. In short, we don’t need to look beyond the fundamentals of their philosophy to see what was wrong in how they applied them.

One reason we might be reluctant to excuse thinkers of the past is because we fear that excusing the dead will entail excusing the living. If we can’t blame Hume, Kant or Aristotle for their prejudices, how can we blame the people being called out by the #MeToo movement for acts that they committed in social milieus where they were completely normal? After all, wasn’t Harvey Weinstein all too typical of Hollywood’s ‘casting couch’ culture?

But there is a very important difference between the living and the dead. The living can come to see how their actions were wrong, acknowledge that, and show remorse. When their acts were crimes, they can also face justice. We just cannot afford to be as understanding of present prejudices as we are of past ones. Changing society requires making people see that it is possible to overcome the prejudices they were brought up with. We are not responsible for creating the distorted values that shaped us and our society but we can learn to take responsibility for how we deal with them now.

The dead do not have such an opportunity, and so to waste anger chastising them is pointless. We are right to lament the iniquities of the past, but to blame individuals for things they did in less enlightened times using the standards of today is too harsh.Aeon counter – do not remove

Julian Baggini

This article was originally published at Aeon and has been republished under Creative Commons.

Call for Papers 2020: Praxis

L’argomento del Call for Papers per il 2020 è Praxis, termine riconducibile all’ampio significato di pensiero pratico. Grazie ad esso, secondo quanto suggerito da Aristotele, il pensiero muove e determina i mezzi per raggiungere uno scopo: in esso sono compresi la scelta, il desiderio, la morale e tutto ciò che a che fare con l’agire. Ora, proprio la rottura del nesso tra pensiero teoretico e pensiero pratico, tra contemplazione e azione, tra teoria e prassi, è il segno più evidente del nostro secolo. Il Call for Papers intende indagare i momenti della storia della filosofia in cui si è incrinato quel rapporto e quali sono oggi le grandi riflessioni teoretiche che possono riannodarlo.

Gli articoli, in formato word e in formato pdf, dovranno essere inviati all’indirizzo email e avere una lunghezza massima di sedicimila (16.000) caratteri, spazi e note a piè di pagina inclusi. Lo scritto dovrà essere preceduto da un abstract iniziale senza note a piè di pagina non inferiore a 800 e non superiore a 1000 caratteri (spazi inclusi). Lo scritto dovrà essere altresì suddiviso in paragrafi. Sono ammessi testi in lingua italiana, inglese, tedesca e francese.

La nuova scadenza ultima per l’invio dei contributi è il 31 agosto 2020.

Il comitato di redazione di RF avrà il compito di esaminare gli scritti pervenuti riservandosi il diritto di scegliere i titoli e le foto che accompagneranno le pubblicazioni sul sito web di Ritiri Filosofici.

I criteri di valutazione saranno le premesse argomentative, lo sviluppo logico, la congruenza rispetto al tema, le conclusioni, la letteratura critica e la corretta redazione del testo.

Con la partecipazione al Call for Papers l’autore dichiara che il testo non è stato pubblicato in precedenza in nessun’altra sede e che esso non è oggetto di valutazione  da parte di alcun’altra rivista. Con la partecipazione al Call for Papers l’autore conferisce a Ritiri Filosofici il diritto di pubblicazione dell’articolo in ogni forma.



Photo by Ludde Lorentz on Unsplash

Ritorno al fondamento del fondamento

Il ritiro filosofico di quest’anno intende approfondire la questione del fondamento a partire dal rapporto tra pensiero e linguaggio nella filosofia di Emanuele Severino. Per fare ciò ci rivolgeremo in modo sistematico al suo libro fondamentale, la Struttura originaria, in un percorso che,  prendendo le mosse da Anassimandro e Parmenide per giungere fino ad Heidegger, cercherà di verificare (tra le altre cose) la tesi secondo la quale si può solo esprimere che il fondamento non si può veramente esprimere. In altre parole, noi ci collochiamo nell’universo del linguaggio il quale, se è inevitabile, non per questo è l’innegabile, cioè il vero: il vero è ciò che con il linguaggio si intende esprimere, cioè l’assoluto che, se viene espresso, viene anche determinato e cessa di valere come assoluto. Il fondamento quindi non può e non deve entrare in relazione con il fondato ma deve unilateralmente fondarlo: fondare senza essere fondato da altro che da sé stesso. Alla fine, si dovrà riconoscere che si esce dal circolo solo se ogni determinazione (cioè ogni segno) rinvia a quell’unico Significato che costituisce l’autentico e vero fondamento, emergendo così dall’immanentismo per giungere ad una prospettiva di tipo trascendentale. In questo arduo percorso saremo accompagnati da Aldo Stella, docente universitario che su tale questione ha dedicato i suoi studi più recenti.

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Riflessioni a Nocera Umbra tra testo sacro e sacralità del testo

Recuperare la razionalità del sacro contro la follia dell’autoritarismo oggi imperante. Con questa osservazione del prof. Fabrizio Scrivano, docente di Letteratura Italiana all’Università di Perugia, si è concluso l’incontro di dottorato che il Dipartimento di Scienze Umane e Sociali dell’Università per Stranieri di Perugia ha tenuto, lo scorso 3 luglio, nella splendida cornice di Palazzo Camilli, storica dimora del centro storico di Nocera Umbra. La prof.ssa Giovanna Zaganelli, direttrice del corso e organizzatrice dell’incontro, ha sottolineato nel suo intervento la differenza tra testo sacro e sacralità: il primo caratterizzato dal continuo rimando delle interpretazioni, la seconda dimensione potente grazie alla quale afferrare la realtà. Concetto ribadito dal prof. Aldo Stella, anch’egli presente all’incontro e autore di un secondo recente volume critico sulla metafisica originaria di Emanuele Severino, per il quale il testo (textus) è tessitura ordita in vista di questo scopo e, in quanto tale, grande esperienza di sacralità. Del resto, come è stato detto, la forma psicologica del sacro è la forma del mistero: se da una parte può essere affrontata in senso epistemologico, dall’altra essa ha realtà completamente separata. L’incontro è stato presentato dal Sindaco Giovanni Bontempi, che ha voluto ringraziare l’Università per Stranieri per l’attenzione dimostrata nei confronti di Nocera Umbra, e dal parroco, don Ferdinando Cetorelli, il quale ha ribadito la centralità della Biblioteca Piervissani nel progetto di collaborazione con l’Università perugina.
I dottorandi che hanno presentato le proprie linee di ricerca sono stati Pierpaolo Trevisi (Testimonianze esposte lungo la via del sacro), Puma Valentina Scricciolo (Riscrivere la Bibbia. Clara Sereni e il racconto inedito Sara e Hagar) e Chiara Gaiardoni (Note su Leopardi e la figura di devozione). L’intervento più propriamente filosofico, in un dottorato che ospita prevalentemente ricerche di carattere filologico grazie all’indirizzo in Scienza del Libro e della Scrittura, è stato quello di Luca Montanari che ha presentato una relazione sull’ermeneutica del testo sacro in Emmanuel Lévinas che pubblichiamo qui di seguito.

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Eraclito nel pensiero di Colli e Heidegger

Ripubblichiamo un articolo di Andrea Cimarelli, uscito nel marzo del 2017 qui su RF, su Eraclito fra Colli e Heidegger.

Quando si affronta il labirinto del pensiero di Eraclito, ci si ritrova sempre a ragionare sul celeberrimo panta rei, sulla coincidentia oppositorum e su di un linguaggio dalle molteplici sfaccettature che rende ancora più complesso avvicinarsi davvero alla radice di un pensiero che è sfuggente per antonomasia. Non a caso Giorgio Colli lo annovera fra quei “filosofi sovrumani” che hanno vissuto sulla propria pelle la tragedia di un sapere tanto profondo da varcare le soglie del pensiero per addentrarsi fin dentro la carne viva del reale. L’intento del presente articolo perciò, sarà quello di provare a mostrare non solo il legame indissolubile che unisce tanto i due nuclei speculativi quanto la forma linguistica tramite cui ci vengono comunicati, ma anche e soprattutto quale sia il sostrato di tale legame. L’impresa è titanica, per questo ci varremo del supporto di due fra le menti filosofiche più brillanti del Novecento: Martin Heidegger e il già citato Giorgio Colli. Perché ricorrere a due letture tanto differenti? Il motivo è molto semplice: perché è straordinario notare come due vie tanto distanti finiscano fatalmente per convergere verso il medesimo argomento di fondo; e ciò ad esclusivo beneficio della ricerca della verità. D’altronde quale altro approccio metodologico avrebbe potuto rendere maggior giustizia al filosofo della multivocità?

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Intervista ad Emanuele Severino

«Gli eterni si manifestano secondo un ordine che non sarebbe potuto essere diverso da quello che è».

26 febbraio 2019

Emanuele Severino compie oggi 90 anni.
Il 1° febbraio del 2014 ci accolse nel suo salotto per parlare di filosofia. Passammo oltre due ore nella casa bresciana di Severino. Da quella chiacchierata uscì fuori questa insolita intervista.
Insolita perché, innanzitutto, era stata fatta al cospetto di un gigante della filosofia occidentale; in secondo luogo perché fu quasi rapsodica e così eterogenea da sembrarci paradossale, una volta usciti da lì. Forse, complice l’ingenuità e una certa forma di stupore, le nostre domande appaiono anche adesso slegate o troppo particolari. Forse però, stavolta complice la mente acuta di Severino, è possibile comunque intravedere un filo rosso in ciò che è riportato nelle righe che seguono. Il filo rosso che s’intravede è l’essenziale struttura della filosofia di Severino, quella imponente e grandiosa metafisica che il filosofo bresciano ha — a partire dal suo primo scritto, La struttura originaria del 1958, fino al recentissimo Testimoniando il destino — puntellato e interrogato continuamente.
A distanza di cinque anni dalla pubblicazione, quindi, vi riproponiamo il colloquio che RF ha avuto con Emanuele Severino: una semplice e modestissima traccia, all’interno di un solco ben più profondo rintracciabile sul campo di battaglia comunemente chiamato filosofia, e impresso da una delle voci più raffinate del Novecento.

Intervista di Andrea Cimarelli e Saverio Mariani

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