Things are not the same when, even remaining the same, they are placed on the right or on the left, above or below, in front or behind. In the concrete space of our daily experience, in the space of myths and religions, we are not confronted with a neutral, homogeneous, infinite and isotropic spatiality, indifferent to directions. On the contrary, the possibility of a meaningful movement in space, rooted in my own body and in its praxis (as Kant shows in (...) his pre-critical and critical essays devoted to the space regions and to orientation), is assigned to the three main axes (above/below, right/left, front/behind) and their correspondent differences. The same applies for the space of images and pictures. The present issue of “Aisthesis” aims at exploring how the articulations above/below, right/left, front/behind produce a difference – syntactic, semantic, pragmatic and symbolic – in the iconic domain, and at investigating what theoretical models can be employed in order to understand such difference. (shrink)
In the years following his psychiatric condition, Warburg approaches Ovidio's poetry with the intent to disclose, underneath its graceful levity, the sense of classical tragedy lying at its heart. Surprisingly, in the reflections of these years, this tragical dimension turns out to be rather embodied by Orpheus than by Dionysius. An element of discontinuity between Warburg and Nietzsche thus emerges, which could be consequential for their very concept of "tragic" as well as of "image". This short essay sets out to (...) emphasise such a discontinuity and to explore its wider implications. (shrink)
Refusing the over-refined history of art of his time, young Warburg travels in 1895 to New Mexico, visiting the American Indian pueblos . Here he discovers a dark side of our own culture, where arts turn out to be – as he writes about thirty years later in his notes - a “biological product” and knowledge shows to be deeply conncted to metamorphic behaviour.
With his fight against the sea monster Medusa, Perseus embodies for Warburg the “world-directed energy”. Warburg's “energetic aesthetics” could be interpreted then as nothing but another version of the hypertrophic, despotic subject Ferraris has often written about. We will show it that is not the case by considering the relationship that Warburg draws between Perseus and Hamlet.
In order to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of Benjamin's death, the conference "Dialectic images and sudden constellations: Warburg, Benjamin, Adorno" was held in Florence. The idea, common to the three authors, of a truth content that can only be realised in its concrete and istantaneous configuration, was embodied here in the form of a "philosophical concert", where contributions by philosophers, philologists and historians of arts and architecture succeeded each other.
Some Darwinists keep their Darwinism close to the vest. Others wear it on their sleeves. Massimo Pigliucci has it tattooed on his forehead. Indeed, his "Darwin Day" celebrations at the University of Tennessee have become an annual orgy of self-congratulation before Darwin's idol.
Massimo Renzo has recently offered a theory of legitimacy that attempts to ground the state’s right to rule on the assumption that people in the state of nature pose an unjust threat to each other and can therefore, in self-defense, be forced to enter the state, that is, to become subject to its authority. I argue that depending on how “unjust threat” is interpreted in Renzo’s self-defense argument for the authority of the state, either his premise that “those who (...) pose an unjust threat to others can be justifiably coerced in self-defense, at least when they are morally responsible for posing the threat,” or his premise that “would-be independents pose an unjust threat to those living next to them in the state of nature,” or both of them are wrong. I further argue that his premise that would-be independents pose an unjust threat by refusing to enter the state is also mistaken. Refusing to enter the state, that is, refusing to be subject to the authority of the state, is no threat at all, and hence coercing people into entering the state is no means of self-defense and incapable of enhancing security. Renzo’s deduction of state authority from the right to self-defense fails. (shrink)