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Dialogue and Universalism

Alicja Kuczyńska’s Conceptions, Ideas, Views

Volume 28, Issue 1, 2018
Art as a Philosophy

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1. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Małgorzata Czarnocka Art as a Philosophy
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2. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Alicja Kuczyńska Sweet Melancholia: the Melancholic “I”—between Inspiration Source and Ailment
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The paper examines the phenomenon of melancholia, taking into account views on it by Emil Cioran, Joseph Campbell, Jerzy Kosiński, Georg Simmel and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Regardless of its commonly known clinical variant—which is not the subject of the presented reflections—melancholia has no clear philosophical definition, because its status usually resembles a clinging plant affixed to and “fed” by more concise thought constructs. It is demonstrated that the self-disclosure imperative is an essential aspect of melancholia and that a typical and frequent symptom of melancholia is rejection of others and immersion in indifference, desperation, silent apathy and loneliness.
3. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Alicja Kuczyńska Melancholia and Hope: Alternatives or Opposites?
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This is the second part of the investigations of melancholia. Melancholia is examined here in relation to one of its opposition, namely hope. Reflection on melancholia entails reference to conditions commonly regarded as aggravating: sadness, uncertainty, indecision, self-criticism, despair, disenchantment, fear, desperation or bitterness. This content is common both to melancholia and hope; the difference lies in the kind of behaviour it evokes. Not yet either hope or melancholia, it is already conspicuously developing the characteristics of one of the options. This moment is especially important in the process of artistic creation. The tension that appears between both poles enables the experiencing subject to feel indecision about its choice, and hence to ultimately declare itself on one or the other side.
4. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Alicja Kuczyńska Mysterious Energies. The Renaissance Gardens of Philosophers
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In the Renaissance the beauty of a garden was for people a source of energy, it nurtured their inherent love of plant life, enchanted them and gave them a sense of pure aesthetic contentment. This fascination with nature and the values nurtured by the emerging culture of the garden also had broader reasons than just the desire for subjective experience. They can be sought in the belief that the style of an epoch is reflected not only in all the forms of pure art, but also in the sphere of applied art. The aesthetic criteria which determined the early-Renaissance conception of the garden were at least twofold: first, the then-emerging culture of the garden co-formed the identity of the entire era as one of the few enclaves of a rising trend away from the classical tradition. The culture of the garden contested the adulation of the Antique that was common at the time and ruled supremely in art.
5. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Alicja Kuczyńska The Position of Aesthetics in the Early Renaissance and the Philosophy of Marsilio Ficino
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Thee paper presents Marcilio Ficino’s aesthetics which is of a specific kind and differs from what we usually understand under the term. It expresses more than only thoughts on beauty and art, speaks about more than only the varieties of beauty, and deals with more than just the work of art—the object of art—and its relation to beauty. Traditional concepts played an important part in Ficino’s aesthetics, but alongside narrowly understood “proper” aesthetics, he offered another, very broad view of the entire aesthetic sphere, which allows his entire philosophy to be viewed as aesthetically rooted: love and beauty, which are among the driving ideas of his philosophy, are also aesthetic concepts. There are two other important elements in Ficino’s philosophy, God and the world, bound by a special relation based on his concept of the circuitus spiritualis. A cardinal theme in his philosophy, the circuitus spiritualis combines God with the world and is at once beauty, love and the highest degree of happiness.
6. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Alicja Kuczyńska The Faces of Eros
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The paper examines the Renaissance philosophy of love, grasped as a “metaphysics of love.” Alongside its metaphysical interpretation, the phenomenon of Renaissance philosophy of love was subject to two other kinds of analysis: it was viewed either through the prism of its spiritual form, or as a fashionable social game which demanded that “every courtier recognise knowledge about how many and what varieties of love there are as necessary for his trade.” The author of the Renaissance theory of love was the philosopher Marsilio Ficino, an “alter Plato;” so it is his views on love which are examined in this paper.
7. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Alicja Kuczyńska Logos or Imago?
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In the Renaissance there was a kind of linguistic-pictorial osmosis, in which mythological configurations derived from antique literature, the poetic metaphoric of Neoplatonism, semi-fantastic and semi-realistic visions and a visible penchant for decorative rhetoric intertwined with elements of rational thought, the cult of nature, traditional reference to higher authority and practical as well as theoretical acceptance of pictorial symbolic. This language was employed to explore philosophical, ethical, and even natural categories related to issues like the beginnings of the world and nature, death, transience, vanity (vanitas), temperance, virtue (virtu), harmony, vita activa and contemplativa—categories in which the people of the era strove to describe youth, maturity, old age and death. In this specific language writing about a truth, idea or moral principle primarily involved presenting it as a picture, a concrete, sensually embraceable form, thing or person. Thus, if it was necessary, logos followed imago, which was genetically precedent and most important in the cognitive sense.
8. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Alicja Kuczyńska Symposium
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The paper examines The Endless Column by Mircea Eliade and the main problem of this play, i.e. that of transcendence. It is shown that The Endless Column constitutes a summa of Eliade’s anthropological and philosophical ideas. Besides, the play refers to the indirect genetic determinants of the conception advanced in the play, pointing to its relations with certain currents of philosophical thought, like for example existentialism, structuralism, Indian philosophy or the philosophy of Neoplatonism.
9. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Alicja Kuczyńska Katarzyna Kobro. A Vision of the Open Sculpture
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The paper is on Katarzyna Kobro’s artistic achievements and theoretical writings which present the foreshadowing of a new understanding of the space, articulated later by philosophers. Her and her husband conception of avant-garde sculpture postulates new mechanisms of seeing reality. By eliminating borders between sculpture and space, Kobro initiated a true breakthrough in art. Her achievement should be recognized for its truly pioneering and visionary status. Kobro was one of the first artists who revealed the intimate relation between art and its environment.
10. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Alicja Kuczyńska The Paths of Early Pluralism. Polish Aestheticians between Eras
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Early artistic and aesthetic pluralism is not an accidental phenomenon in Polish aesthetic theories. This article shows its nineteenth and twentieth century origins and various theoretical considerations, and brings to the foreground the philosophical motifs entangled in the historical events of Poland. Cited documentary material focuses on two selected topics. They are: the philosophized version of history, in particular the multicultural history of aesthetics (Władysław Tatarkiewicz) and the extended categorization of the active site of subjectivity (Roman Ingarden).
11. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Alicja Kuczyńska The Status of History and the Subject of Aesthetics
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The paper investigates changes in today aesthetics. It is demonstrated that the ongoing transformation of traditional aesthetics into aisthesis with its broader scope of influence calls for a review of to-date methodology in aesthetical research. Historical doxography, mere accounts of the past—even relating the most coherent and complete developments and events—hardly (if at all) harmonise with the new approach to aesthetics, and could well distort and weaken it. The enlargement of the subject-matter of aesthetics and the clash between aesthetics and the aporias of the modern approach to history allow both fields to experience modernity to a rather broad degree; both refer to aesthetics.
12. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
About Alicja Kuczyńska
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13. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Alicja Kuczyńska—Publications
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14. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Magdalena Borowska The Philosophy of the Not-Quite-Sufficient: On Alicja Kuczyńska’s Path through Aesthetics
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The article explicates the main fields of hermeneutic research activity of Alicja Kuczyńska in which Neoplatonic inspirations, Renaissance models of life, and the values and traditional paradigms for understanding aesthetic categories that are dominant within them—such as image, creation, fiction, and mimesis—are viewed against the background of the phenomena, transformations, and problems that are unique to our own times, thereby providing old frameworks with new forms of philosophical relevance. Kuczyńska’s research topics, i.e. beauty, love, the anthropological dimension of creativity, the role of imagination, and deification of creative personality gain revised interpretations, in which the accent is placed on creative activity and its value-creating dimension consisting in the transcendence of everyday reality. Characteristic of her research attitude is the tendency to consider philosophy and art in the context of transcending the finite dimension of being and undertaking anew and in different ways the effort to reach what is infinite, unconditioned, lost, truly existent in the Platonic sense. Kuczyńska’s research of this tendency takes on the dimension of positive valorisation of the state of “being in between” and exploration of artistic figures of “ascending.”
15. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Bogna J. Gladden-Obidzińska The Labyrinth: Revisited and Reinhabited: Interpreting the Minoan Myth as a Metaphor for Contemporary Culture
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This article reconstructs and interprets the evolution of the Minoan myth’s reception in literature, fine arts, and urban development during the twentieth century. The author’s understanding of this evolution is based on three assumptions: a) myth is a polysemantic symbol of metaphysical and historical origins and function; b) myth reflects the relationship of the cognitive vs. creative mechanisms of human activity; and c) as symbolic, myth’s form must be treated as an image as much as it is a (discursive) narrative. As a motif in literature and the arts, the Minoan myth in particular has displayed all three of these aspects by allowing first its heroic narrative and, more recently, its formal structure (i.e., the tragic maze of moral and intellectual values) and visual setting (i.e., the actual labyrinth) to serve as porte-paroles of ongoing social and civilisational transformations: aestheticisation, deconstruction of cognitive and political hierarchies, technicisation, and intensive urbanisation. The displacement of the narrative and of the figure of the Minotaur is interpreted from the perspectives of psychoanalysis and post-structuralism.
16. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Anna Wolińska The Black Stone of Melancholy: A Whole Lost Once and for All, or Nostalgia for That Which Never Really Was?
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The subject of my analyses is the concept of melancholy developed by Alicja Kuczyńska. I am interested in the connection between the creative aspect of melancholy—understood as a certain kind of philosophical attitude—and the concept of a whole. Taking a whole to be an “ideal model in the evaluation of the world and of things” gives us an insight into the meaning of being provided by the philosophical attitude of melancholy. Kuczyńska believes the application of this model is connected both with the possibility of harmonising the parts of this whole and with the search for what varies within the same whole. As a result, melancholy comes to the fore as a state of suspension between repetition and originality—an essential requirement for creativity.
17. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Beata Frydryczak Hope in the Garden of Melancholy
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Garden and melancholy have been analysed by Alicja Kuczyńska from the standpoint of Renaissance Neoplatonism. I try to work out a common denominator for them, and attempt to compare Renaissance and Romantic melancholy—in the garden space. I see a positive moment in the notions developed by Kuczyńska, namely in that melancholy, as an expectation, acquires a positive dimension, approaching hope.
18. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Irena Wojnar Alicja Kuczyńska’s Social Aesthetics
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The paper examines some rare specific features of Alicja Kuczyńska’s aesthetics. It is demonstrated that Kuczyńska connects the field of aesthetics to the realm of philosophical anthropology and social philosophy. Her interdisciplinary approach is based on postulated bonds between art, society, aesthetics and sociology.
19. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Roman Kubicki The Earthly Boundaries of Eternity
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While there are many stories of man, one moment seems to recur in all of them. This is the belief that we need to be able, and want, to look in the mirror of something that is qualitatively larger than us. This is the intention of the tradition whose philosophic patron is Plato. This need for unreality—the need for another world—presumably manifests itself in every area of human activity. One can therefore talk about a specific need for unreality that every real life satiates itself with. I provide examples of this need: science, religion, love, past and future. In the light of eternal life, we would be continually beset by the values for which we would be obliged to sacrifice our lives. In the light of earthly life, such values are inconceivably less frequent. We learn the difficult art of living in a consumer world where we do not have to die.
20. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Leszek Sosnowski Logos, Justice, Pax Philosophica: Giovanni Pico and the Culture of Peace
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Aristotle’s concept of justice as an areté of logos is pinpointed in his main ideas. It serves as an introduction to the part of Pico’s philosophy. One of the main goals of his activity was to unify the ideas of Plato and Aristotle. The category of pax philosophica can be seen then as a test for the practical realisation of these ideas. Finally there are questions important for today’s man in the context of his present and future life. The most important, however, is the question of justice, which inevitably sends us to the question of logos as it is understood today.