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Aesthetic and Ethical Transformations
Editor: Lucilla Guidi
This volume explores and expands a Wittgensteinian account of philosophy as an ongoing practice and exercise. It investigates the simultaneously aesthetic and ethical dimension of philosophical exercises, so as to uncover their transformative potential for and within ordinary practice, conceived of as a weave of trained, embodied habits. For this purpose, the volume focuses on three intertwined aspects:
1. It examines the aesthetic form of Wittgenstein’s texts, so as to consider the use of pictures, comparisons, and instructions as exercises to be enacted by readers, and further analyzes the transformative effects – both aesthetic and ethical – that such exercises bring out.
2. It draws a number of connections between Wittgenstein’s philosophical exercises and particular aesthetic practices.
3. It sheds light on continuities and discontinuities between Wittgenstein’s account of philosophy and the ancient conception of philosophy as an exercise and a way of life.
This essay develops a theory of improvisation as practice of aesthetic sense-making. While considering all arts, references are made to many concrete cases. A topic in vogue since the XX. century, as evidenced by the great philosophers who were interested in it (Ryle, Derrida, Eco among others), improvisation, a felicitous mixture of habit and creativity, norm and freedom, is constitutive of human action. Human practices – including very well-regulated activities such as playing chess, piloting airplanes, or medicine – permit and often require it to varying degrees.
Improvisation is also the true source of artistic experience. Consequently, the aesthetics of improvisation result in a philosophy of art: Art was born as improvisation. Yet improvisation has its own aesthetic dimension: that of a "grammar of contingency" in which notions such as emergence, presence, curiosity and authenticity explain the pleasures of joyful adventure and empathic involvement elicited by improvisation.
Prolegomena to Ecological Thinking in Heidegger
Author: James Fontini
"Nature as Limit" provides an account of Nature in terms of the collapse of the subject-object binary, presenting Heidegger’s work as a series of prolegomena toward a prospective ecological thinking. This begins with a critical re-evaluation of the homology Heidegger discovers between the essence of technology and the trajectory of western metaphysics, with special attention paid to his return to Aristotle’s physics in 1939. Reimagining technics and our understanding of Nature as 'technical image', the book examines Nature as the occurrence of (de)limitation. An uncapturable immanence in the field of total phenomena, Nature is the incompletedness of any naturalism, an understanding that raises strange and compelling questions about space, time, and history. "Nature as Limit" confronts Heidegger’s use of language on its own terms, exploring the full breadth of its intention and offering a demystification of that language, a reappraisal that offers a new lexicon for future readers.
Approaches to Eric Voegelin’s Political Philosophy
The first volume of this new yearbook focuses on Eric Voegelin’s 1952 paper “New Science of Politics”, its significance and enduring relevance.
Eric Voegelin’s “New Science of Politics” is today considered a classic of recent political philosophy, albeit a controversial one. As soon as it was published, the book caused a sensation, especially because of its relatively sharp criticism of the normative foundations of Western modernity. In doing so, Voegelin places the question of the ambiguity of the concept of representation and its claim to truth at the center of his reflections. The contributions to this volume aim to shed light on how fruitful and topical this perspective still is today from various perspectives. The contributions come from authors of different disciplines, including political science, philosophy, and sociology. In addition to a classification of the “New Science of Politics” in Voegelin’s oeuvre as a whole, the volume primarily inquires into the systematically interesting points of contact, which are also of interest beyond Voegelin’s reception.