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61. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
German Melikhov Orcid-ID Ludwig Wittgenstein: Philosophizing as the Gesture of Keeping Silent
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Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophizing is deeply ontological, and can be defined as a reflexive gesture of keeping silent. The silence secured by reflexing is an essential part of a philosophy. A philosopher has to use language, but things that pass over in silence must influence things he or she says. The speech manifests not only in the spoken, but also in the unspoken. How is it possible? Through understanding a reflexive speech as an action or gesture of annihilation of speech. The expressed words in philosophy and expressed philosophical concepts are just means of referring to the ultimate value which should be thrown away immediately because it cannot say anything about the inexpressible. The philosophy as a gesture of keeping silent is an attempt to meaningfully keep silent through the constantly evolving reflexive annihilation of your own speech. The philosophizing which takes into account the importance of silence becomes a minimalistic gesture.
62. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Titus Lateş Reflections on the Nobility of Spirit in Romanian Philosophy
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At the turn of the 17th century, in Romanian philosophy the nobility of spirit is seen as a certain but intermediate value, to be cherished while man waits for his divine reward, which is everlasting life, as presented in Divanul [The Divan] by Dimitrie Cantemir. Two hundred and fifty years later, man is regarded as having evolved from the animal forms of life in Mihai Ralea’s systematic presentation Explicarea omului [An Explanation of Man], and the sole meaning of nobility is the revolutionary one, the heroic one, that is the ethical one. From a totally different point of view, during the interwar period, Constantin Micu Stavilă developed a general theory of man and society thus compellingly arguing against the claims of all ideologists of the natural genesis of human spirituality. In this theory the nobility of spirit was said to come from work and creation. By presenting these examples, my intention is to rediscover this spiritual, moral and socio-cultural ideal in order to find its place, role and profile in designing a new view of human nature, for a more decent human world.
63. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Shuang Zhang The Independent Thinking of Justice: To Begin with the Banality of Evil
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Hannah Arendt’s concept “the banality of evil” was subverted by Bettina Stangneth’s recent research. But with the concept of the banality of evil, the inherent continuity of her “radical evil,” Arendt enriched the discourse of evil which allows us to gain insight into the relationship between evil and ordinary human beings. At the same time, Arendt also raised the question about law, ethics and politics when evil was put to justice. In fact, what she cares about, is justice to everyone; what she wants is to understand the evil and to make her own critical thinking about it.
64. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Muk-Yan Wong The Ideal Love: Platonic or Frommian?
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In this paper, I compare two theories of ideal love, the Platonic and Frommian, and argue that they give opposite advices to lovers in practice. While Plato emphasizes “whom to love” and urges one to continuously look for a better beloved, Erich Fromm emphasizes “how to love” and urges one to grow and change with one’s imperfect lover. Using the movie Her as an example, I explain why an ideal love is extremely difficult to attain under the guidance of the Platonic and Frommian ideals. In an imperfect love, to leave or to stay seems to be a question with no simple answer.
65. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Adriana Neacșu Virtue and Vice in Plotinus’ Enneads
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In Enneads, Plotinus outlines an ethical ideal founded on the similarity between human being and divinity, in which the values of virtue and vice have a central role. Vice is a weakness of the soul that prevents it from performing its functions, so that instead of moving to good, it turns to evil. The soul can exit this state only through virtue, which is a good by which it can dominate matter and become like the supreme God. The ascension to God is achieved through several stages, represented by: the civic virtues, the purifying virtues and the contemplative virtues.
66. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Ana Bazac Aristotle, the Names of Vices and Virtues: What Is the Criterion of Quantitative Evaluation of the Moral Behaviour?
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In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle has given a tableau of the desirable virtues and their infringement through the surpassing of their limits. Thus, every virtue is framed or delimited by vices that represent either its excess or its deficiency. However, this type of defining is related to deep, metaphysical reasons: since every being, especially the living one, has its telos. Man’s telos is to practise and fulfil his human specificity, i.e. reason, and reason is the measure/quality of virtue as such; the excess or deficiency in his behaviour perverts and even stops the realisation of the humanity of man. And this humanity is, in turn, in accordance to the telos of nature, the good in and for the preservation of all things. If, hypothetically, persons would not be virtuous at all, this accordance would not be realised and man would be an accident in the logic of nature: and accidents are removed, sooner or later. The criterion of the “quantitative” moral evaluation is thus qualitative: a quality, the good aimed at by mindfulness applied to the concrete particular moral relations and learned from experience.
67. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Topi Heikkerö On Compassion: The Good beyond Values
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This paper is a dialogue that considers compassion as a grounding for ethics. Its approach is thematic but it draws significantly from Arthur Schopenhauer’s account of compassion (Mitleid). In Schopenhauer’s thought, values (Werthe) are functions of a subject’s willing and therefore inevitably tied to an ego-centric viewpoint. Real ethics needs to find a good beyond subjective valuations. Schopenhauer finds an ethical phenomenon beyond values in Mitleid, “suffering-together,” compassion. Compassion is a pre-reflective benevolent feeling toward another’s suffering. Compassion can occur only if the ego-world duality is overcome at least to some extent. In this way compassion is a metaphysical sentiment.
68. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Indoo Pandey Khanduri Descartes on Generosity as an Ideal Character Virtue: Theoretical Foundations
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This paper humbly attempts to explore Descartes’ conception of generosity as an ideal character virtue which can address the problems of the global world like struggle, intolerance and segregation; and thereby creates healthy routes for universal dialogue. The first part attempts to clarify Descartes’ conception of the foundations of generosity. The second part narrates Descartes’ views on generosity as passions and as a virtue. The third part explores the possibility of generosity as a virtue of the individual as well as social character. It also proposes to take the practice of generosity as a mechanism of developing cooperation, tolerance, and, consequently, universal dialogue and harmony.
69. 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.
70. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Małgorzata Czarnocka Art as a Philosophy
71. 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.
72. 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.
73. 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.
74. 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.
75. 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.
76. 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.
77. 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).
78. 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.
79. 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.
80. 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.