As recently demonstrated by C. Muratori in Renaissance Vegetarianism. The Philosophical Afterlives of Porphyry’s On Abstinence (2020), the Renaissance debate about the philosophical justification of vegetarianism is often based on Porphyrian sources. In this paper, the attention is dedicated to the question of rationality/irrationality of animals and to the correlative problem whether it is morally acceptable to eat them, with a special focus on Montaigne and Campanella. Montaigne develops the possibility, shown by Porphyry, to win Aristotle, traditionally considered a great opponent to the theories of animal rationality, to the vegetarian side. Campanella, on the contrary, while acknowledging the rationality of animals, ends up juxtaposing Porphyry and Aristotle; in addition, he does not justify – against Porphyry – the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat. The aim of this paper is showing how Aristotle’s legacy in the Renaissance, mediated by Porphyry, leads to a complex game of balance and negotiation.
The compassion (Mitleid), as it is known, is among the fundamental elements of Schopenhauer’s thought that, often harshly, Nietzsche criticised in his works. The present research aims to address the interpretation of this challenging term introduced by Michel Henry in his book Genealogy of Psychoanalysis, in order to highlight the way in which the French philosopher resolves, thanks also to the ‘hermeneutic prism’ of Nietzsche’s philosophy, the difficulties arising from his reinterpretation of Schopenhauer, concluding with some observations on the problematic system of pathos-avec, central axis of Henry’s intellectual construction.
This paper is aimed at taking into consideration an essential aspect of the ‘primal structure’: its desire of infinity. Since the primal structure is a finite expression of the whole – that is to say the structure is contradictory – and since the whole is the total overcoming of the contradictions, we can say that the primal structure’s infinite opening to the whole is also an infinite wish to an infinite good, that is what we call happiness. We’ll try to show that this sort of happiness can be assured only by an absolute order which exhibits an absolute rationality, that is, in our opinion, the capability to save all our experience, all the finite and contradictory things we have to deal with. We’ll try to prove that this rationality can be granted by the theorem of Creation.
Studies on the second part of the Parmenides usually assume that the dialectical exercise concerns exclusively the intelligible realities (Ideas and Principles). On the contrary, some passages of the text imply not only metaphysical or logic references, but also empirical and material ones. We find reflections on geometric shape, on contact and on motion, which hardly appear applicable to ideal realities only; in addition, the topic of place proves that «if it (the One or everything) were nowhere, it would not be at all»; this affirmation has a clear Zenonian origin, which confirms the physical dimension. The dissertation about time must be added: all that is both is in time and flows with time and becoming cannot be attributed to intelligible, immobile and eternal realities. This is confirmed by the enigmatic section concerning the instant (155E4-157B4), which is placed as a reality out of time to justify the change in time that only concerns empirical things.
The Commentarium in primum librum Sententiarum ad mentem Platonis by the Augustinian friar Egidio da Viterbo (1472-1532) occupies a unique position in the context of early sixteenth-century Platonism. The work is characterised by the development of Ficinian themes and the use of a new philosophical and theological language, in which the acquisition of the tools provided by classical myth and Platonic allegory becomes central. In the stylistic and argumentative fabric of the Commentarium – characterised by continuous reference to a universe of pagan images and symbolic forms – metaphors, symbols and allegories linked to vision play a decisive role. Thus, for example, the Cyclops of the myth becomes a figure of ratio, unable to rise to the contemplation of the divine, and the reflected image becomes a figure of the precarious ontological condition of man, who is not only imago Dei in the Augustinian sense, but at the same time being and not being.
This article examines the way in which Pietro Pomponazzi established the nature of man, starting with chapter XIV of De immortalitate animae. The author analyzes in detail Pomponazzi’s doctrine according to which human happiness consists in the perfection of practical intellect, thus excluding theoretical activity, considered as linked to a form of life so exceptional as to be unable to represent the common human condition. Therefore, the author focuses his attention on some difficulties that arise from this perspective, especially those related to the place that philosophy and knowledge would have, in the context of the conservation and promotion of mankind. Finally, the article shows how Pomponazzi, in the last years of his career, did not limit himself to re-proposing the thesis matured in De immortalitate, but he emphasized a precise figure of human excellence: the philosopher of nature.
One of the most peculiar features of Spinoza’s philosophy is his radical interpretation of the notion of freedom. Even though it plays a significant role in his metaethics and political philosophy, freedom is, for Spinoza, a deeply metaphysical notion, rooted in the most fundamental features of his ontology. In this paper, I analyze the internal structure that identifies a being as ‘free’ within Spinoza’s metaphysics. I argue that this structure leads to an internal paradox, entailing that the very component that allows a being its freedom – its essence or nature – is itself externally determined. I further proceed to resolve this issue indicating how Spinoza’s metaphysics of freedom can accommodate this paradox. I conclude by presenting possible solutions for both Natura naturans and Natura naturata, attempting to integrate the notion of metaphysical freedom with more familiar images of ethical and epistemological freedom.
The figure of Moses recurs within Spinoza’s Theologico-Political Treatise within the discussions of all the key themes of the work: prophecy, election, law narratives, miracles, and so on. Yet Spinoza’s uses of this figure are not always consistent, and readings of it offered by interpreters can be deeply discordant. Reviewing the places in which Spinoza appeals to Moses as a prophet and as a lawgiver, the present article aims to highlight the tensions that run through this variety of uses both on the epistemological and on the ethical-political level, and to show how these tensions force us to abandon, in reading Spinoza’s work, a rigid assumption of coherence.
In the following Notes, the Author will investigate the relationship between «Potenzen» and «Potenzlosen» in Schelling’s Würzburger System. In particular, he will study the 1) relationship of the Absolute (or God) with the potencies; 2) the phenomenal appearance of the «Potenzlosen»; 3) the possibility of «representing» a «divine Identity», as opposed to a finite one. By analysing these aspects of Schelling’s «Potenzenlehre», the Author will present the idea of a fourfold structure of Reality as a peculiar feature of Schellingian ontology, to which he traces back the metaphysical possibility of an actual multiplicity of distinct, concrete, individual beings.
In examining the letters written by the young Antonio Rosmini (1813-1819), in order to realize the new critical edition of his correspondence, some observations concerning beauty and a notable attention to the fine arts have been identified. A series of Rosminian annotations constitutes a useful element in reconstructing the genesis of some ideas that underlie the Rosminian aesthetic theory. In most of juvenile letters, attention to aesthetic value as such emerges, on this side of its philosophical problematization. Particular attention will be given to the youthful epistolary expressions of Rosmini contained in the letter to Tommaseo (March 1819), which constitute the backbone of subsequent Rosminian aesthetic reflections.
Ètienne Souriau’s exploration of the modes of existence between being and nothingness, and in particular the most fragile and evanescent forms of existence, is analysed by examining the conceptual genealogy that characterises it in its possible phenomenological-ontological ancestry. By attempting to implement the prerogatives of a «philosophical archaeology», the aim is to highlight how the gradual approach of phenomenology to a polymodal being, whose condition the «ontological constitution» of Heideggerian Dasein would primarily reflect, represents the theoretical prodrome of the existential pluralism put forward by Souriau, and thus of an ontology of lesser Existences.
John Duns Scotus left us one of the most rigorous analysis of the concept of individual entity. Nevertheless, Scotus’ theory is not exempted from problems, largely due to his use of Aristotelian categories. In addition to briefly examining the Scotistic principium individuationis, the aim of this article is to argue for an interpretation of Martin Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit as a radicalization of the solution to the individuation problem, defended by Scotus. The phenomenological ontology, developed in Sein und Zeit, entails a new way of conceiving the individual, through which it is possible to avoid – at least partially – the aporias present in Scotus’ philosophical reflection.
Do we acquire knowledge through fiction? To tackle this question, I consider and challenge a recent book by Gregory Currie, Imagining and Knowing, where a skeptical answer is given and defended. My aim is to give a more optimistic answer by the end of my work; going over Currie’s main ideas, I explain where I depart from him and how the differences are essential to the divergent views of fiction and knowledge acquired through it. The main divergencies concern the attitudes we adopt towards fiction, the objects of such attitudes, the verification strategies for knowledge acquisition and the notion of knowledge to be investigated.
This essay discusses the relationship between philosophy and translation starting from two studies: one by Silvana Borutti and Ute Heidmann (La Babele in cui viviamo. Traduzioni, riscritture, culture, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino 2012), the second by Carla Canullo (Il chiasmo della traduzione. Metafora e verità, Mimesis, Milano - Udine 2017). It aims to show that translation is, first of all, a cognitive and communicative act, but also a tension, a way of ‘saying otherwise’ and learning to recognize different truths.
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