Laterza (2014)

Achille C. Varzi
Columbia University
Claudio Calosi
Université de Genève
A scholarly annotated epic poem on the pitfalls and tribulations of “good philosophizing”. Divided into twenty-eight cantos (in medieval Italian hendecasyllabic terza rima), the poem tells of an allegorical journey through the downward spiral of the philosophers’ hell, where all sorts of thinkers are punished for their faults and mistakes, in the endeavor to reach a way out of the condition of intellectual impasse in which the narrator has found himself. The affinities with Dante’s Inferno are apparent. Whereas Dante’s poem is about human sins and moral felonies, this one is about philosophical errors and fallacies; whereas Virgil takes Dante through the gluttons, the wrathful, the violent, the traitors to parties and countries, etc., here Socrates takes us through the realists, the skeptics, the dualists, the nichilists, the worshipers of language and easy mythos, etc. And yet this is not just a philosophical counterpart of Dante’s masterpiece, even less a parody. We can’t say exactly when, how, and why it was written, but this is an authentic piece of philosophy, a poem of love, a passionate testimony of militant metaphysics. It is the inspired and inspiring journey of someone, anyone, who is truly moved by the Love for Wisdom and by the grueling purification of the intellect that it demands.
Keywords Philosophical errors  Quinean simplicity
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ISBN(s)   8858110897
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