The so called «Multifocal Approach», which has been recently theorized by the Macerata school, is worthy of great interest. Its application to some central issues of platonic philosophy, such as the alleged discrepancy between different conceptions of the soul or the supposed evolution of Plato’s political thought turns out to be very fruitful. In the second part of this contribution a few critical remarks are made concerning the notion of «relativism» adopted by the theorists of the Multifocal Approach.
Leopardi and Nietzsche open a dizzy abyss that paradoxically separates and unites the part and the whole. The former considers the connection of all truths to be such that none of these truths can be known if its relationships with all the others are unknown, whereas the latter claims that the connection of each thing with the whole is such that the exclusion of something would result into the exclusion of everything. The paper tries to show how a multifocal approach allows to outline a dialectical reconciliation between order and disorder, absolute and relative.
Plato’s cave and prisoner’s illusory sight of shadows in the Republic are here compared with Tolstoj’s passage from War and peace about Andrej looking to his past as in a magic lantern. A multifocal reading and a Platonic hint about unifying reasoning and storytelling are here applied. Despite obvious differences between the two texts, they allow to discover similar paths, from trompe l’oeil to truthful vision, as a final enlightenment, whose meaning are understanding and compassion.
The first extensive part of the treatise On the Immortality of the Soul has been often regarded as a massive criticism against the Stoics and Aristotle: this criticism would pave the way to Plotinus’ constructive discussion in the latter part of the treatise. In this paper I suggest that at least Plotinus’ polemical argument at IV 7  2, if submitted to multifocal reading, reveals a double target: while it explicitly attacks the Stoics, it implicitly undermines standard Middle Platonists views.
The most common version of naturalism – called «scientific naturalism» – adopts a rigidly monistic view in matters of ontology and epistemology: according to this perspective, the natural sciences have absolute priority in defining what exists and how we can know it. A very different approach is proposed by the advocates of a different form of naturalism, «liberal naturalism», who opt for a pluralistic attitude in both ontology and epistemology. In this article, several reasons are presented in favor of the latter view.
This paper aims to examine how the interpretative paradigm of the Multifocal Approach tries to face the tension between the level of reality – multiform and complex – and the level of knowledge – limited and finite. Throughout a comparison with Merleau-Ponty’s reflection on the difference understood in terms of dislocation (écart), this contribution focuses on the way in which the Multifocal Approach proposes to inhabit and hold the space standing between the human subject and reality.
The paper aims to outline the heuristic fruitfulness of the Multifocal Approach, considered not only as a method for reading and interpreting texts, but also as a theory dealing with the complexity of reality. This approach relies upon the all-part relation (which can be traced back to the ancient topic of the one-to-many relation). On this basis, the article proposes epistemological, ontological, ethical and socio-political reflections and critically highlights some issues that require further investigations. Therefore, Multifocal Approach develops some theoretical refinements to overcome not only the ‘dialectic of enlightenment’ – what it does succeed in – but also any ‘dialectic of differentialism’ and systemic constraint. Indeed, these latter approaches run the risk of missing the richness of the panorama they have to analyze, thereby condemning themselves to inaction.
The historiographical and theoretical project of the Multifocal Approach is based on two assumptions: the complexity of reality and the need to identify different forms of knowledge. Metaphysics, as a question addressed to the totality of things, has thematized complexity by distinguishing the totality of things from the notion of the whole. According to phenomenology, the understanding of meaning is the answer to the problems that the modern age has left unsolved. Hermeneutic multifocality not only captures the multiple aspects of the object, but also a dimension of meaning that reveals itself as a relational transcendental structure that accompanies every way of understanding and interpreting.
The article investigates the theme of desire from the Christian theological perspective, with the conviction of the richness of this tradition in understanding the universal human experience. The first part examines four essential concepts of the biblical anthropological perspective: the human being as nefeš (desire), the story of the manna (Ex 16), which articulates amazement, desire, law; the last of the «ten words», «Do not desire», and a word of Jesus (Mk 8:35) that correlates desire and freedom in a circularity that becomes virtuous or vicious, depending on the decision of the subject. The conclusion, in the form of a thesis, proposes a sort of synthesis of the anthropological model involved in biblical Revelation.
Considering both the empirical and the speculative perspectives, desire represent a special form of motivation, typically recognizable in humans, that makes subjects experience a relationship with their inner space and, at the same time, with the space outside. Desire can occur in two different forms: when in presence of a sense of emptiness, it involves an approach towards something; when in presence of a sense of fear or anguish, it involves an avoidance of something. Linking these two dimensions, the inner and the outer ones, desire is the bridge between sensations and actions.
Sociology, among other disciplines, investigates how capitalism is linked to the desire of people in many ways. In this article, the link between capitalism and the desire for self-realization is discussed. If we analyze the international managerial literature, which embodies the culture of current capitalism, after the 2008 crisis the old description of self-realization as individualized performance is abandoned in favor of self-realization in contributing to the realization of the desire of other people. This drives a different way of relating between people and new sustainable business models shared-valued oriented.
The subject of this paper is Desire meant as an engine, as a ‘power’ able to move. In the Aristotelian thought this specific meaning is so important that crosses through the Ethics to explain human acting, but it can be also found both in De anima to explain the living beings’ local movement and in Metaphysics to justify cosmological movement. My analysis develops in the following main points: a presentation of locomotory and appetitive skill inside the fundamental tripartition of soul as it is proposed by Aristotle in De anima; a reconstruction of Aristotle’s way of thinking through which he connects the dynamis of the local movement mainly (but not only) to the appetitive skill; a wide view to metaphysical plane to show which role Desire plays compared to the movement, on this level too.
Most of the agents believe that acting morally entails the possibility of tracing their behavior back to norms, rules, principles. Ethical particularism in Dancy’s version represents a radical challenge to this idea. For the particularist, those who act morally do not need to appeal to principles either to motivate their action ex ante or to explain it ex post. Incidentally, Dancy seems to consider particularism also a criticism of our moral tradition that incorporates Christian ethics. In this article I make some criticisms of Dancy’s position and I argue that particularism does not provide any explanation of phenomena that are important both for morality and for social cooperation, such as trust, predictability, reliability usually attributed to moral agents.
The value of the empirical content of a proposition denotes the amount of empirical content contained in the proposition. The paper presents a calculus system through which the value of empirical content of a compound proposition is computed given values of the empirical content of basic propositions and their conditional propositions. By specifying a minimal unit value for empirical content of basic proposition and a special value for empirical content of universal affirmative proposition, the paper explores the values of the empirical content of categorical propositions. The system is not probability-based. The calculus system as well as specifications provides a new perspective on the comparison of scientific theories.
According to a standard formulation, alethic pluralism holds that there are many properties of truth. The position has been challenged to make sense of the traditional definition of logical validity, understood as a necessary truth preservation. The challenge consists of two problems: one, well known, posed by mixed inferences, and another, new, related to the unity of logical validity. In this paper, I argue that a pluralist semantics for compounded sentences, put forward by Douglas Edwards, can be used to overcome both difficulties.
In the first chapter of the so-called Eighth Stromateus, Clement of Alexandria provides an exegesis of the Gospel verse: «Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you» (Matt. 7,7). The aim of this paper is to show that through his reading of the Gospel verse Clement sketches the main lines of the biblical exegetical method he used in the Stromateis. This would show that the first chapter of the Stromateis VIII is not a part scarcely related to the rest of the book but is instead a useful introduction to understand Clement’s interest in the technical explanation of a theory of demonstration. So, the first chapter plays an important role of trait d’union between the logical chapters of the eighth Book and the rest of the Stromateis, because it explains when and how Greek philosophy must be used.
The Nominalist Theology is relevant to the reading of the concept of nature in Ockham’s work. In this article two main aspects are analyzed: first, the examination of the concept of nature is guided by the understanding of an Omnipotent God who structures a world of contingent singulars organized by virtue of His absolute freedom. Second, the analysis of the term nature, without any ontological necessity, entails the semantic analysis of propositions that denote different states of singulars from its strict logical necessity, fundamental aspect in the configuration of the English Franciscan Physics.
This article analyses the role played by the Cartesian theory of eternal truths in Malebranche’s thought. It aims both to underline the reasons that led Malebranche to criticize Descartes’ doctrin and to analyze how this opposition played a key role in the development of his own reflection. Malebranche denied the assumptions of Descartes’ theory to avoid those that he believed were the epistemological consequences of the doctrine, namely, the contingence and fragility of human knowledge and the impossibility of establishing a stable relation between God and man. Besides, Malebranche’s approach is required to lay the groundwork for his theodicy: the indifference of Cartesian God, in fact, would never let Malebranche investigate God’s reasons in order to justify his actions. Thus, the article shows that the refusal of Cartesian theory represents one of the conditions of possibility of Malebranche’s reflection.
In the attempts to establish a distinction between truths of faith and truths of reason, in the mid-seventeenth century Lodovico Antonio Muratori stands as an authoritative interpreter of both the autonomy and the compatibility of the two domains. Muratori identifies an avenue of inquiry based on the ideas of harmony and reasonableness and which recovers Galileo Galilei’s belief in the separation of religion and science. Yet, he revives this belief through a strenuous dialogue with Protestant literature. Muratori’s philosophical inquiry results in a clear distinction between different positions on Scriptures and dogma, and sacred and secular sciences. It also shapes an idea of Christianity that is profoundly renewed by the enlightening action of reason and is free from superstitions, fanaticism, wrong beliefs, and errors.
In this paper, I aim to show why Peirce refuses the nominalists’ commitment to the view that the cognitive content of a knowledge claim is exhausted by some set of claims about individuals and their particular traits. Firstly, I introduce the phenomenological premises of Peirce’s anti-nominalism. Secondly, I argue that Peirce frames his dispute with the nominalists over the analysis of the concept of continuity as a disagreement in set theory. Thirdly, I present an argument about the theoretical connection between generality, continuity, and the pragmatic maxim. Finally, I argue that the nominalist’s construal of general concepts fails to provide an adequate understanding of the concept of continuity; on Peirce’s view, every general concept defines a continuum and thus the failure of nominalism to explain continuity signals its failure as an account of general concepts.
This paper has a twofold objective. The historical goal is to provide the first exploration of the thought of Maximilian Beck, a forgotten figure of the early Munich circle of phenomenology, with a special focus on his theory of intentionality and consciousness and based on his unpublished legacy preserved at the Bavarian State Library. More systematically, we will strive to show to what extent Beck proposes a rehabilitation of realism on the basis of what he calls realistic perspectivism (which he understands also as a re- interpretation of the Husserlian concept of adumbration).
Alois Dempf (1891-1982) was professor of philosophy at the University of Vienna and at the University of Munich. In 1938 the National-Socialist regime in Austria banned him from eaching as a political opponent. Dempf followed the values of the democratic catholicism and as a student in Bonn was active in a cultural group in the area of the Zentrumspartei. In his studies, he highlighted the main philosophical and political characteristics of the spiritual movements of the Church in the Middle Ages. He claimed that a rebirth of a spiritual Church in his contemporary could provided a criterion for the orientation of the political catholicism according to a democratic perspective, creating also a barrier against to the nationalisms. From his point of view, the Church first had to address the problem of her understanding of the modernity. This paper presents also the Dempf’s historiographical idea on the philosophical and political role of the Church in Europe.
The essay traces Luigi Negri’s research path, from his studies on Thomas Campanella and Thomas Hobbes to his confrontation with Romano Guardini and the problem of modern thought. It outlines the search for a fruitful contact between theology and philosophy, the need for a «conversion» of intelligence that questions human being as such, and the leitmotiv of a reason that can regain itself.
What is the relation between reality and what do we assert and think about it? Is it possible to understand reality not as the goal toward which meanings are oriented, but as the ground from which they arise and which they shape? Benoist’s book invites us to a deep reflection on an ancient theme, in a heated analysis that goes deep into many of the themes of contemporary debate, without ever losing sight of its subject.
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