Abstract: In this paper is analyzed Ernst Cassirer’s transcendental philosophy and his theoretical foundation of “cultural sciences” (Geisteswissenschaften). His perspective is a transcendental “logic of the cultural sciences” based on the idea that the man is not only a “rational animal,” but also an animal symbolicum. Continuing the methodological approach of Hermann Cohen, Cassirer expands the Kantian vision of the transcendental epistemology to the cultural phenomena, and argues that objective and universal validity can be achieved not only in the natural sciences, but also in practical, cultural, moral, and aesthetic phenomena. He asserts that a type of inter-subjective “objective validity” takes place in the cultural sciences: it is the universal form of symbolic activity. In the paper, particular attention is given to the sources of the Cassirer’s major work: the three volumes of Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, dedicated to the Language (1923), to the Myth (1925), and to the Phenomenology of knowledge (1929). Thus, it has been underlined the fundamental role that it has had for Cassirer the study of the romantic linguistic: particularly, Herder and Wilhelm von Humboldt. Reflecting on these romantic authors Cassirer elaborates a vision of the transcendental as linguistic and historical “form of mind”. In the last part of the paper, are highlighted the ethical aspects of Cassirer’s thought. He affirms that the transcendental production of the symbolic forms is founded on the human freedom, and it is finalized to an increasing emancipation of man.
Abstract: This paper traces a common thread in John Duns Scotus, Immanuel Kant, and Gilles Deleuze: the search for a truly transcendental philosophy. Scotus was the father of transcendental philosophy, Kant transformed the discipline into transcendental idealism, and Deleuze further transformed it into transcendental empiricism. Kant saw previous transcendental philosophy (which he called transcendental realism) as being transcendent, as it purported to give access to things in themselves. In place of this, Kant put forth transcendental idealism, in which we only have access to appearances. Deleuze saw Kant’s transcendental idealism as transcendent, as it dealt with the transcendental on the level of conception, which Deleuze saw as empirical. In place of this, Deleuze put forth transcendental empiricism, in which the transcendental pertains only to the realm of immanence, out of which the empirical arises. All three thinkers share a common tradition, transcendental philosophy. Further, they shared a common goal, that of making the transcendental immanent, even though they expressed this goal differently.
Abstract: This paper explores some aspects of Carnap’s and Popper’s intellectual relationship focusing on Carnap’s appreciation of Popper’s critique of historicism which the Austrian philosopher developed in several contributions. The article also presents Carnap’s questioning about the Popper’s political and economic orientation suggesting that tha latter could implies a critical form of socialist society which firmly distanciate on the one end from radical forms of capitalism on the other and from the religious trust in socialism.
Abstract: Today, Spanish political philosophy provides very interesting keyes to understand some of the contemporary political processes as the decline of the West, Europe’s spiritual crisis, the weakness of liberalism and democracy. This paper will try to describe theoretical themes and literature suggestions about the shadow of history thanks to the original thought of some of 20th century most famous philosophers from Spain. First of all Miguel de Unamuno, the father of “tragic sense of life” who proposes an “agonic” philosophical approach to carry better sufferings and the problems of consciousness; then, we will talk about Ortega y Gasset his vital reason and particular way of liberalism; then, Xavier Zubiri, a very frequently forgotten philosopher who shakes up the ontology and epistemology by a new definition of reality; in closing, we will consider Eugenio Trías input on the philosophical analysis of power.
Abstract: The article explores the broad issue of aspectuality in Wittgestein’s philosophy arguing that Kippbilder, aspect change, perception of aspect, aspect blindness and Bedeutungserlebnis are related to a meditation on specific forms of subjectivity. Analysing different grammatical configurations of ambiguous images in (visual, acustic, sensomotiric) perception, in language and in art he also shows how aspectual structures combine simultaneous perception of two elements (et-et model, for exemple physiognomy and its expression) and mutually exclusive aspect perception (aut-aut model as in the duck-rabbit Kippbild). Wittgenstein seems to believe that this double model somewhat challenges classical rationality and that aspectual experiences should have a more relevant place in our form of life.
Abstract: The intention of this paper is to show how Leo Straussʼ mature writings respond to the twofold necessity of political philosophy: contributing, at the same time, to the good of the city and to the good of the philosophers. In the first place, it will try to prove this point by analyzing in detail the Introduction to On Tyranny (1948), which represents an essential step in order to understand the intention of the author. In the second place, it will tackle the problem of justice, that is, of natural right, by concentrating on the so called “tyrannical teaching”. This teaching is a way to present a truth which the city cannot find acceptable, that is, an unpleasant truth concerning the irresoluble problem of justice and legitimacy. In conclusion, it will point to the tension between philosophy, i.e., search for knowledge, and the city, i.e., the realm of opinion. For the philosopher, as such, has to “corrupt” the young in order to pursue his search for knowledge of the whole, or the nature of all things. Therefore, he weakens the city, since philosophizing implies unbelief in the gods of the city.
Abstract: The present piece, first presented on 19 November 2016 at the Centre Léon Robin (CNRS-Univ. Paris-Sorbonne-ENS Ulm) as part of the “Présocratiques” Seminar, is an investigation of the relationship between Empedocles and Freud. The analysis is divided into three parts: the first section examines the nature of Freud’s engagement with Empedocles; next, consideration is given to the similarities between their doctrines, based on the extant fragments of the Empedoclean corpus; finally, I offer a series of observations about Empedocles’ poetic style, which shares strong affinities with the spoken word in a manner typical of the oral tradition and is freighted with corporeal and emotional significance. It is here that we see the emergence of one of the key concepts of psychoanalysis: the relationship between logos and alogon, between that which can be rationally analysed and that which can be intuited but which eludes the domain of logos.
Abstract: The comparison between Einstein’s relativity and Kant’s transcendental goes on a physical, logical and epistemological point of view. The critique of the transcendental implies a critique of the euclidean and not-euclidean geometry through the interpretation of Gödel and Cassirer. The analysis of special and general relativity is a great contribution to the knowledge.
Abstract: This essay, from John Locke to John Stuart Mill, focuses on the development of the liberal tradition in politics. Much in the history of Liberalism was a set of important challenges to Hobbes’s emphasis on the necessity of an absolute sovereign. John Locke, for instance, argued for a limited sovereignty of which people were the true repository. But, the main problem of liberals was how to protect the right to the unlimited accumulation of private property basing, at the same time, their claims to liberty on the fundamental equality of all individuals. On the other hand, democrats had the problem of how to reach the right of all individuals to determine their lives where all possibilities of material well-being and progress were based on private property. For Mill, Liberalism needed Democracy. First, it needed Democracy for ethical reasons and, secondly, to avoid the total disaffection of the lower classes, the majority. His theory – affected by Bentham’s thought – is not based, like that of Hobbes or Locke, on the idea of certain inherent natural rights of the individual, but upon the doctrines of Utilitarianism. In Bentham’s view the obstacles to good government were the sinister interests of the ruling classes. In a democracy the ruling few could only further the interests of the whole community, because there were different kinds of institutional arrangements that limited the power of the rulers. Bentham thought that the rulers could still further their sinister interest even if there was a separation of powers and the good government was guaranteed only if the rulers followed the will of the people. The balanced constitution was the traditional answer to this problem, but Mill proved, that it would not work: the only way to guarantee good government was to create a system where the people elected their representatives. The chief mechanism for keeping the elected representatives in check was to have a short interval between elections.