Abstract
The aim of the present work is to face Heidegger’s claim that philosophy has ended. Facing this claim for us has not taken the form of creating a new method or positing a new question but that of a search for anomalies in what Heidegger decrees as finished, which is philosophy as metaphysics. In his historical confrontation with the history of thought Heidegger seems to have left out, dismissed or forgotten those authors who do not fit into his definition of metaphysics. We have chosen Giordano Bruno and Baruch Spinoza, metaphysical thinkers who have undertaken a philosophical practice that does not intend to demolish subjectivity but actually begins without any need for it. The birth of the subject as grounding reality finds its affirmation with Descartes and inaugurates modernity that, according to Heidegger, exhausts philosophy and leads it into the arms of modern science and technology. Bruno and Spinoza respectively precede and follow the birth of modernity and of modern science, which they look at with an eye that is not that of the modern subject. Following their different approaches to philosophy, we shall also explore their relation to Renaissance Humanism, dismissed by Heidegger as a historical reiteration of the Roman world, perceived as a perversion of the Greek origin of thought. We shall show how hasty such a dismissal is. Our goal is to show not merely that Heidegger is wrong but that if Western thinking contains the seeds of its own end, it also contains the ones of a different understanding of the Western world and its achievements. The three authors will engage on the grounds of ontology, gnosiology and ethics and yet we have defined the whole enterprise of this work as an ethics overall. An ethics of thinking is a practice of thought that wishes to envisage the possibility for Western man of inhabiting his own world by understanding himself not as an isolated subject and master of nature but as the place where the unity and multiplicity of nature come to be thought at the same time
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