Abstract: In this paper we wish to deal with the comparison between the conceptions about the nature of relations offered by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Francis Herbert Bradley and Bertrand Russell. The basic idea is that Bradley’s thesis that the notion of proposition is self-contradictory is correct, and that Wittgenstein suggests a useful insight to develop an interesting answer to the problem. Our view is that we can distinguish two approaches: 1) if we define the proposition as a dialectical structure, then we need to consider as dialectical and contradictory also the relationship between different subject’s points of view; 2) if we define the proposition in a not dialectical way, we can describe the relationship between different points of view as not intrinsecally contradictory.
Abstract: The main purpose of this essay is to show how Benedetto Croce’s historical method is founded on his conception of dialectics. The so-called “reform” of Hegelian dialectics essentially lies in Croce’s interpretation of the “Phenomenology of the Spirit.” In this paper, I show how Croce’s construction of the historical method is in close relationship with the construction of his philosophical system, namely a “dialectic of the distinct activities of the human spirit.” The Italian philosopher divides mental activity first into the theoretical and the practical, and then into 4 further divisions: Aesthetic (driven by beauty), Logic (subject to truth), Economics (concerned with what is useful), and Ethics (bound to the good). Following the studies of some significant interpreters (Eugenio Garin, Gennaro Sasso, Fulvio Tessitore and Giuseppe Galasso), I conclude that Croce’s dialectics is an essential element to understand his philosophical system and his historical method, which are closely connected. I think that historiography is always (and should be) necessarily connected to a specific philosophical vision.
Abstract: This paper analyzes Giovanni Gentile’s dialectical philosophy, which he called “actualism,” and has been described as “the subjective extreme of the idealist tradition.” According to Gentile, the “pure act” of thinking is foundational to all human experience – it creates the phenomenal world – and involves a process of “reflective awareness.” Gentile’s dialectic is a radicalization of Kant’s transcendental philosophy, and is an absolutisation of subjectivity. Although I recognize the theoretical value of Gentile’s philosophy of mind, I criticize the abstraction and the immanence of this idealistic point of view, expressing the idea “that only the spirit or mind is real.”
Abstract: Make a comparison between Fichte’s and Giovanni Gentile’s philosophy it’s a difficult task, even if through careful analysis of the central themes of the two authors, this comparison can be made, particularly in reference to the theme of the action: this concept leads in both to the consideration of reality as immanent. This vision of reality, together with the strong moral connotation of their philosophy, makes the task we set ourselves less complicated, and it allows me to affirm how in their thought there are moments of great originality, such as to be able to withstand the challenges of contemporary philosophy, rather than being relegated to a marginal position, which considers them as a moment of transition between Kant’s criticism and Hegel’s idealism. The central theme of this paper will be, therefore, the Fichte’s and Gentile’s personal vision of idealism that springs from the concept of action, which maintains a constant tension between different elements, allowing the production of a reality characterized by a radical transcendental vision, therefore immanent. Later, such immanence, in the development of thought from the theoretical to the praxis, assumes meaning and explicability in a sort of transcendence, and this apparent contradiction will be addressed in the second part of my paper: I try to demonstrate how the two authors can still make an important contribution to contemporary philosophy, especially in relation to metaphysical issues, that in our days are often understood as something anachronistic and not very functional to the development of scientific thought.
Abstract: In the Transcendental Dialectic Kant reflects on the faculty of reason and its illusory claim to be able to get to know the thing-in-itself. Through paralogisms, antinomies and ideals Kant shows that the unifying aspiration of reason fails in the search for objective knowledge, but nevertheless plays an indispensable role in human progress, thanks to its regulative value. Jaspers recovers Kantian reflection to fight idealism and scientism and reads Kant in the light of the kierkegaardian and nietzschean enhancement of existence. In Philosophy Jaspers outlines a path in which the limits encountered by man in the search for a foundation lead to a fragmentation of knowledge and the different modes of existence must be kept in constant dialogue through reason, in order to experience the «Umgreifende». Hersch starts from Jaspers to elaborate a kantian ontology in which man’s essence is to make and create his own reality, giving shape to matter through his own grip. Man can not arrive at objective knowledge, but reason nevertheless pushes the subject to constantly overcome himself in free creation, to build that authenticity promised to him by his own nature. At the end of the path a “rational a-logic” is elaborated in which metaphysics is directly linked to praxis and capable of maintaining a dialectical relationship with the irrational.
Abstract: The study focuses both from a linguistic and philosophical point of view on the peculiar adjective system that characterizes Eduardo Mendoza’s novel El último trayecto de Horacio Dos. This combination consists of a series of scalar qualifying structures which, despite the clarity of data, opens the discussion about dialectics and comparison in evaluation systems.
Abstract: The paper indicates a close theoretical connection between the political totalitarianism and the philosophical mindset of idealism. According to the Hegelian model, idealism tends to an intellectual comprehension of totality (das Ganze); in a similar way to idealism, the twentieth century totalitarianism meant not only knowing but dominating the whole, even with violence. Thus, the paper underlines the idealistic origin of the totalitarian political project. Following the historiographical investigations of Ernst Nolte and the anthropological research of René Girard, this paper analyzes the dialectical relationship that there was between Bolshevism and Nazism: Nazism developed as a response to Bolshevism and was its mimetic copy. However, it is an “interrupted dialectic,” a dialectic without synthesis (Aufhebung): from the ashes of twentieth century totalitarianism Western society has developed an openly democratic, liberal and anti-totalitarian “way of life.”
Abstract: The main aim of this paper is to outline a detailed picture of conceptual elements that brought Axel Honneth to formulate his theory of recognition. The starting point of the Honnethian philosophy is a renewal of the Frankfurt critical theory, by means of comparison with Marx and Habermas. Questioning about the categories of social work and communicative act, Honneth came to the paradigm of identification: it is considered as a moral struggle, which is fought for the mutual respect among individuals. In this new schema introduced by Honneth, struggle and progress are two positive elements used as motor for a social emancipation on dialectic basis. The outcome is the new course of the historical materialism based on a theory of the intersubjectivity, which is developed from the normative struggle.
Abstract: This paper analyses the interpretation of the Marxist dialectic proposed by three important French philosophers of the twentieth century: Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961), Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) and Raymond Aron (1905-1983). Starting from different theoretical and political points of view, they criticize the historical determinism of the Marxist dialectic and propose three different “philosophies of freedom.” In the Adventures of the Dialectic (1955), Merleau-Ponty criticizes a theory of human history based only on economic structure, and denounces the violence of the Soviet communism. He also accuses his friend Sartre – who had a more favourable attitude towards Soviet communism – of “ultrabolshevism.” Merleau-Ponty was subsequently active in the French non-communist Left. The existentialist philosopher Sartre always sympathized with the Left, and supported the French Communist Party (PCF) until the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary. In his Critique of Dialectical Reason (1960), Sartre also underlined the failure of the Soviet revolution, and criticized the violence of Marxist revolutionary thought. The last part of this paper deals with the philosopher and political sociologist Raymond Aron, who had a lifelong, sometimes fractious, friendship with Sartre. He always defended a “skeptical and anti-ideological” liberal position. In his best known book The Opium of the Intellectuals (1955), Aron argues that in post-war France, Marxism was the opium of the intellectuals. In this book, Aron chastised French intellectuals for what he described as their harsh criticism of capitalism and democracy and their simultaneous defense of Marxist oppression, atrocities, and intolerance. In opposition to the dialectical ideology of Marxism, Aron proposes an antitotalitarian philosophical and political theory based on the development of individual liberties.
Abstract: This article describes the main figures of Mao Zedong’s dialectics, tackling it from a theoretical point of view and not political. However, since this is a philosophy of practice explicitly proposed as such, these figures must be framed both in their context and in some application moments. Therefore we also briefly discuss the relationship between Mao and Russian Marxism-Leninism and provide some examples of how Mao intended to apply its conceptions to political and personal events.