In his Education of a Christian Prince Erasmus applies ancient and Christian virtues to the functions of a Christian prince. Slovak humanist writer Ján Milo- chovský , who new Erasmus’s work, expanded in his Ornamentum Magistratus Politici the scope of the ethical and moral functions of a prince, focusing on three fundamental virtues: piety, justice and tolerance.The paper offers an analysis of Erasmus’s political ethics and examines the impact of the latter on the Slovak humanism of the second half of (...) the 17th century, especially in the writings of Ján Milochovský. (shrink)
In this paper we seek to take notice of the evolution and continuity of Jan Patočka’s phenomenology on the topic of the world and human existence’s relationship with it. We believe that this problem underlies and stimulates Patočka’s whole phenomenological research and we think that it is a key element to understand the ensemble of his thought.
In his Education of a Christian Prince (1516) Erasmus applies ancient and Christian virtues to the functions of a Christian prince. Slovak humanist Ján Milochovský (1630 – 1684), who new Erasmus’s work, expanded in his Ornamentum Magistratus Politici (1678) the scope of the ethical and moral functions of a prince, focusing on three fundamental virtues: piety, justice and tolerance. The paper offers an analysis of Erasmus’s political ethics and examines the impact of the latter on the Slovak humanism of the (...) second half of the 17th century, especially in the writings of Ján Milochovský. (shrink)
Jan Patočka became politically active for the first time as a spokesperson of the dissident movement Charter 77. In this capacity he wrote several essays, the first of which, entitled "On the Matters of The Plastic People of the Universe and DG 307", I interpret as the explanation and justification of his turn toward political engagement. The following article is a reading of Patočka's essay that pays particular attention to a peculiar formal feature of the essay – namely that it's (...) presented as a reversal of Dostoevsky's short story "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man". In reversing this story, Patočka shows us the two basic ways of human life and explains his political engagement as an action taken on behalf of the properly human way of life, which he calls "life in truth" or "the responsible life". The purpose of his political engagement thus wasn't defending human rights, but defending life in truth, to which human rights provide suitable conditions. "On the Matters…" also presents Patočka's assessment of the Communist regime with clarity and severity not seen elsewhere in his writings, and shows a shift in his views of youth and youthful rebellion. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 273 - 306 Jan Dullaert was a direct student of John Mair and a teacher of Gaspar Lax, Juan de Celaya, and Juan Luis Vives. His commentary on Aristotle’s _Peri Hermeneias_ addresses the foundations of propositional logic, including a detailed analysis of conditionals and the semantics of logical connectives. Dullaert’s propositional logic is limited to the immediate implications of the semantics of these connectives, i.e., their introduction and elimination rules. In the same context, (...) he discusses several alternative treatments of semantic paradoxes, paying most attention to the approaches derived from Martin Le Maistre and John Mair. (shrink)
This article attempts to bring together the life, situation, and philosophical work of the Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka in order to present his conception of philosophy and sacrifice and to understand his action of dissent and his own sacrifice as spokesman for Charter 77 in light of these concepts. Patočka philosophized despite being barred from teaching under the German occupation and under the communist regime, even after he was forced to retire and banned from publication. He also refused the official (...) philosophical categories of communism and, what is more, criticized the very manner in which its ideology allowed it to function. Against the destruction of moral and political life by communist and liberal regimes alike, he outlined the necessity of a “life in the idea” that would be responsive to the notion of sacrifice. Such a position of distance from the things of the world which remains anchored among them is meant to respond to dissatisfaction with the world as it is found and is the very movement of human freedom. Taken together, these three aspects of his philosophical practice made him a dissident, a role he took on more completely when, as part of the Charter 77 movement, he publicly opposed the state, in a course of action that led to his death. (shrink)
The concept of a Mannigfaltigkeit in Husserl has been given various interpretations, due to its shifting role in his works. Many authors have been misled by this term, placing it in the context of Husserl’s early period in Halle, while writing the Philosophy of Arithmetic, as a friend and colleague of Georg Cantor.Yet at the time, Husserl distanced himself explicitly from Cantor’s definition and rather took Bernhard Riemann as example, having studied and lectured extensively on Riemann’s theories of (...) space. Husserl’s Mannigfaltigkeitslehre would then not be a Cantorian set-theory, but come rather closer to topology. Then, in the Prolegomena, Husserl introduces the idea of a pure Mannigfaltigkeitslehre as a meta-theoretical enterprise which studies the relations among theories, e.g. how to derive or found one upon another. When Husserl announces that in fact the best example of such a pure theory of manifolds is what is actually practiced in mathematics, this sounds slightly misleading. The pure theory of theories cannot simply be the mathematics underlying topology, but should rather be considered as a mathesis universalis. Indeed, while this might not have been fully clear yet in 1900/1901, Husserl will explicitly tie together the notions of pure theory of manifolds and mathesis universalis. The mathesis universalis in this sense is formal, a priori and analytic, as theory of theory in general. It is an analysis of the highest categories of meaning and their correlative categories of objects. In my paper I try to understand the development of the notion of Mannigfaltigkeit in Husserl’s thought from its mathematical beginnings to its later central philosophical role, taking into account the mathematical background and context of Husserl’s own development. (shrink)
Presented here is the German translation of Jan Patočka’s fragment Nitro a svět which was written in the 1940s and belongs to the so called „Strahov Papers“. The fragment reflects Patočka’s early attempts towards a thinking of subjectivity and the world. Thereby Patočka’s approach is phenomenological, but also integrates motives of German Idealism. The critical impact of the fragment lies in its orientation against the scientific biologism of its times.
This response to the articles of Luzzati and Broekman (in this issue) addresses principally the character of early rabbinic legal interpretation, as viewed by the Rabbis themselves. It considers, with examples, their concept of "simple meaning'' (peshat), its place within their overall hermeneutic system and its theological presuppositions. The second section responds more briefly to thetheoretical critiques of Luzzati and Broekman, stressing that (my version of) semiotics is descriptive rather than normative; resists the reduction of textual meaning to interpretation; and (...) refuses to equate decision-making with justification. (shrink)
To get distracted, to enclose and to give oneself. The Gesture of Transcendence in Jan Patočka The problem of transcendence can be traced throughout the whole work of Jan Patočka. The appeal to transcend our bonds to mere objectivity is a constant issue of his thought. It finds a new substantiation in the 1960s in his studies focusing on the meaning of the other as human being. The relation to the other person offers a special "occasion" or "place" of transcendence (...) and poses the challenge to transcend one's own particular setting. While in the mid-1960s Patočka maintains his earlier dramatic vocabulary to describe the process of transcendence, in the late 1960s his idiom becomes less vehement. Yet, it is precisely within this more "sober" framework that he symbolizes the process of transcendence with an emphatic turn to a "myth of the divine man" and its key metaphor of resurrection. To transcend means, for Patočka, always to liberate oneself from a state of self-distraction between things. However, in his late lectures, he briefly refers to a deeper layer, suggesting that this self-distraction has its "roots" in a self-enclosure or self-isolation, in the exclusive concentration on our own interests and in the illusion of our self-sufficiency. Transcendence, then, means to overcome this self-enclosure by means of a self-forgetting love. Are these rarely mentioned "roots" perhaps implicitly present in all Patočka's accounts of transcendence? (shrink)
A unifying framework of probabilistic reasoning Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9573-x Authors Jan Sprenger, Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science, Tilburg University, P.O. Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
This paper describes the work of the Polish logician Jan Kalicki (1922?1953). After a biographical introduction, his work on logical matrices and equational logic is appraised. A bibliography of his papers and reviews is also included.
The aim of this paper is to argue that there existed relevant interactions between mechanics and geometry during the first half of the nineteenth century, following a path that goes from Gauss to Riemann through Jacobi. By presenting a rich historical context we hope to throw light on the philosophical change of epistemological categories applied by these authors to the fundamental principles of both disciplines. We intend to show that presentations of the changing status of the principles of mechanics (...) as a mere epiphenomenon of the emergence of non-Euclidean geometries are inaccurate, that the relations between the two disciplines were richer than what is usually considered in the literature. These claims will be based on historical and philosophical arguments, starting from the fact that disciplinary boundaries at the time were not rigid as we are used today. It is widely known that the main figures we target worked in different areas, which is a first piece of evidence for the plausibility of our main thesis. (shrink)
Cet article étudie l’édition des œuvres de mathématiciens au xixe siècle Je me concentre sur une étude de cas : l’édition des œuvres du mathématicien allemand B. Riemann, par R. Dedekind et H. Weber, publiées pour la première fois en 1876, puis republiées en 1892 et en 1902, par Teubner, et partiellement traduites en français en 1898 chez Gauthier-Villars. Pour l’édition des textes de mathématiciens au xixe siècle, les éditeurs ne sont plus historiens ou philologues, mais eux-mêmes des mathématiciens (...) de premier plan. Le mathématicien éditeur devient celui qui à la fois lit et fabrique le texte à publier. Le cas des œuvres de Riemann est particulièrement intéressant, car une large majorité du travail éditorial s’est effectué par lettres. Ces lettres, ainsi que les Nachlässe de Riemann et Dedekind fournissent une documentation exceptionnellement riche. Il est possible d’obtenir une vision détaillée du processus d’édition. Après avoir replacé l’édition des œuvres de Riemann et ses rééditions dans leur contexte, j’étudierai certains choix faits par les éditeurs dans la sélection des textes à publier. Enfin, je considérerai la question des modifications et adaptations des textes de Riemann par les éditeurs. (shrink)
This article proposes to investigate Jan Patočka’s idea of “post-Europe”, in the context of his understanding of European contemporary history. Therefore, I first stress how important it is for Patočka to conceive a “post-European perspective”, i.e. a peculiar insight into historical problems and conflicts that would allow humanity to find a possible path out of the condition that characterizes the twentieth century. Second, I focus on the existential figure that, according to Patočka, is capable of engendering this perspective, and whose (...) fundamental traits are equality, detachment, openness and courage. Thus, I consider Husserl’s idea of Europe, Arendt’s concept of the political and Bergson’s concept of the open soul as fundamental references for Patočka’s reconstruction. I conclude by showing how Patočka’s ethical stance on Europe and post-Europe can also be meaningful in light of the current European economic and political crisis. (shrink)
With Fermat’s Last Theorem finally disposed of by Andrew Wiles in 1994, it’s only natural that popular attention should turn to arguably the most outstanding unsolved problem in mathematics: the Riemann Hypothesis. Unlike Fermat’s Last Theorem, however, the Riemann Hypothesis requires quite a bit of mathematical background to even understand what it says. And of course both require a great deal of background in order to understand their significance. The Riemann Hypothesis was first articulated by Bernhard (...) class='Hi'>Riemann in an address to the Berlin Academy in 1859. The address was called “On the Number of Prime Numbers Less Than a Given Quantity” and among the many interesting results and methods contained in that paper was Riemann’s famous hypothesis: all non-trivial zeros of the zeta function, ζ(s) = ∞ n=1 n−s, have real part 1/2. Although the zeta function as stated and considered as a real-valued function is defined only for s > 1, it can be suitably extended. It can, as a matter of fact, be extended to have as its domain all the complex numbers (numbers of the form x + yi, where x and y √ −1) with the exception of 1 + 0i (at which point are real numbers and i =. (shrink)
By his critical reflections on the crisis of modern civilization, Jan Patočka, phenomenologist of the Other Europe, incarnates the critical consciousness of the phenomenological movement. He was in fact one of the first European philosophers to have emphasized the necessity of abandoning the hitherto Eurocentric propositions of solution to the crisis when he explicitly raised the problems of a “Post-European humanity”. In advocating an understanding of the history of European humanity different from those of Husserl and Heidegger, Patočka directs his (...) philosophical reflections back to sketch a more profound phenomenology of the natural world insufficiently thematized in Husserl and absent in Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit. By virtue of its emphasis on the structural characteristics of movement, of praxis, and of the disclosure of the abyssal nature of human existence and of the original nothingness as the (non-)foundation of the phenomenal world, Patočka’s phenomenology of the natural world constitutes an opening towards the reception of Others and other cultures, in particular that of Chinese Taoist philosophy. (shrink)
In recent years, the ideas of the mathematician Bernhard Riemann have come to the fore as one of Deleuze's principal sources of inspiration in regard to his engagements with mathematics, and the history of mathematics. Nevertheless, some relevant aspects and implications of Deleuze's philosophical reception and appropriation of Riemann's thought remain unexplored. In the first part of the paper I will begin by reconsidering the first explicit mention of Riemann in Deleuze's work, namely, in the second chapter (...) of Bergsonism. In this context, as I intend to show first, Deleuze's synthesis of some key features of the Riemannian theory of multiplicities is entirely dependent, both textually and conceptually, on his reading of another prominent figure in the history of mathematics: Hermann Weyl. This aspect has been largely underestimated, if not entirely neglected. However, as I attempt to bring out in the second part of the paper, reframing the understanding of Deleuze's philosophical engagement with Riemann's mathematics through the Riemann–Weyl conjunction can allow us to disclose some unexplored aspects of Deleuze's further elaboration of his theory of multiplicities and profound confrontation with contemporary science. This finally permits delineation of a correlation between Deleuze's plane of immanence and the contemporary physico-mathematical space of fundamental interactions. (shrink)
The First World War was both an historical and a philosophical event. Philosophers engaged in what Kurt Flasch aptly called "the spiritual mobilization" of philosophy. Max Scheler was particularly important among these "war philosophers", given that he was the one who penned some of the most influential philosophical writings of the First World War, among them Der Genius des Krieges und der Deutsche Krieg. As I aim to show, Max Scheler's war writings were crucial for Jan Patočka's interpretation of the (...) First World War in the sixth of his Heretical Essays. However, the importance of Scheler's war writings goes far beyond the First World War for Patočka, since they offer Patočka a far-reaching interpretation of the 'excessive' character of the 20 th century. As I will show through the example of Max Scheler, the German war philosophers succumbed to a dangerously romantic conception of "force" – and it is this ominous force, which Patočka takes to lie at the root of the increasingly excessive character of the 20 th and 21 st centuries. (shrink)
In this article the author attempts to establish whether we can find a “theory of appearance” in the philosophy of Jan Patočka. The “appearance” for Patočka is basically composed of two elements. First there is a “primeval movement” which accounts for an infinite possibility of phenomena. The second element is the relation of this movement with an “addressee”, the subjectivity. If we begin to analyse the unity of these two elements we fundamentally come across three problems: what is it that (...) appears, when appearance presupposes a certain totality of appearance; how does this total appearance come forth; and, finally, is this whole “structure of appearance” taken as a free movement, kept once and for all within the boundaries of phenomenology, which is founded on a precise and positive term of “appearance” — or do we have to stipulate a special “experience” as the starting point of a phenomenology, which accepts the abyssal impossibility to control its frame? (shrink)
The Dutch microbiologist/biochemist Albert Jan Kluyver was an early proponent of the idea of biochemical unity, and how that concept might be demonstrated through the careful study of microbial life. The fundamental relatedness of living systems is an obvious correlate of the theory of evolution, and modern attempts to construct phylogenetic schemes support this relatedness through comparison of genomes. The approach of Kluyver and his scientific descendants predated the tools of modern molecular biology by decades. Kluyver himself is poorly recognized (...) today, yet his influence at the time was profound. Through lens of today however, it has been argued that the focus by Kluyver and others to create taxonomic and phylogenetic schemes using morphology and biochemistry distorted and hindered progress of the discipline of microbiology, because of a perception that the older approaches focused too much on a reductionist worldview. This essay argues that in contrast the careful characterization of fundamental microbial metabolism and physiology by Kluyver made many of the advances of the latter part of the twentieth century possible, by offering a framework which in many respects anticipated our current view of phylogeny, and by directly and indirectly training a generation of scientists who became leaders in the explosive growth of biotechnology. (shrink)
As regular readers of The Pluralist are aware, there appeared in 2008 an issue devoted to Jan Olof Bengtsson's The Worldview of Personalism.1 The issue included five articles, each concerned with a different aspect of the book; and after each article, there was a "Reply" by Bengtsson. In what follows, I shall say something about Bengtsson's reply to my own contribution, "Absolute and Personal Idealism." However, first let me briefly describe that article's argument.In "Absolute and Personal Idealism," I examined the (...) personalist attack on absolutism as formulated by Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison in two works: Hegelianism and Personality and The Idea of God in the Light of Recent Philosophy. In the first section of .. (shrink)
El presente trabajo se centra en las directrices fundamentales que guían la reflexión del fenomenólogo checo Jan Patočka a la hora de abordar la cuestión de la corporalidad, con el fin de situarlas en relación con el problema de la alteridad de los otros. Se trata, pues, en último término, de examinar en qué términos es posible una fenomenología de la intersubjetividad en la cual el cuerpo propio y el de los otros juega un decisivo papel, y de mostrar, a (...) la vez, las limitaciones ligadas a tal punto de vista. Limitaciones referidas fundamentalmente a la excesiva relevancia concedida por Patočka al “cuerpo-objeto” en el marco de la alteridad intersubjetiva. (shrink)
The main theme of this article is the phenomenality. Jan Patočka’s asubjective phenomenology distinguishes itself by the description of the plan of phenomenality, where beings can appear and that is independent from everything which appears in it. Only by an universalization of the phenomenological epoché, it is possible to turn our eyes towards the phenomenality itself and to understand its independence. To put the theme of the world and the consciousness between brackets means to discover the structure of the phenomenality, (...) which is constituted by what appears, to which something appears and the way of appearance. The world is the transcendental field of appearance. Everything appears in the world. It is the whole, always given and opened to the human being. The subjectivity is a moment of phenomenality that presupposes the relation with the world. It has a role that makes it an “existence”. It is that to which something appears. Finally the way of appearance: the characters of the phenomenality are “objective mediators”. Mediators because they show the strings that build up the field of appearance, objective because wordly. What they show, even if in the darkness of the absence, is the relation with the world. (shrink)
Jan Albert van Laar and Erik Krabbe’s paper “Splitting a difference of opinion” studies an important type of dialogue shift, namely that from a deliberation dialogue over action or policy options where critical and persuasive argumentation is exchanged about the rational acceptability of the policy options proposed by various parties, to a negotiation dialogue where agreement is reached by a series of compromises, or trade-offs, on the part of each side in the disagreement.
This paper presents a short biography of Jan Patočka, as well as biographical data of the author in connection to the life and work of Jan Patočka. The paper describes Patočka’s academic activity at Charles University between 1968 and 1972, how he continued by giving private underground seminars in the dark years of 1972 to 1976, and how his engagement culminated in the dissident movement Charter 77. The author explains how the unofficial underground Patočka Archive was established on the very (...) day of Patočka’s death, even before the terrible events around his funeral. Before the official Patočka Archive was founded on the 1st of January, 1990, many volumes of his works were edited secretly during the period of 1977 to 1989. This made it possible to continue successfully publishing the series of the Complete Works of Jan Patočka after 1990. (shrink)
Resumen: En este estudio nos proponemos abordar la cuestión de la esencia de la relación entre sujeto y mundo, entre Ser y subjetividad, en el marco de la “fenomenología asubjetiva” elaborada por el filósofo checo Jan Patočka. Para ello, examinamos algunas de las nociones de “mundo” presentes en diferentes lugares de la fragmentaria obra de Patočka con objeto de confrontarlas con su concepción de la subjetividad como aquello que se retira para permitir la manifestación efectiva de todo lo demás. La (...) conclusión es que el pensamiento de Patočka pertenece plenamente a un tipo de fenomenología “objetivista” opuesta a la perspectiva fenomenológica “inmanentista” o “intersubjetiva” adoptada por pensadores como Henry o Levinas.: The purpose of this study is to broach the question about the essence of the relation between subject and world, between Being and subjectivity, in the context of the “asubjective phenomenology” developed by the Czech philosopher Jan Patočka. To do so, we examine some of the concepts of “world” that can be found in different spots of Patočka´s fragmentary work in order to contrast them with his conception of subjectivity. Subjectivity understood as what withdraws to allow for the effective manifestation of everything else. Our conclusion is that Patočka´s thought entirely belongs to an “objectivist” kind of phenomenology opposed to the “immanentist” or “intersubjective” phenomenological outlook adopted by thinkers such as Henry or Levinas. (shrink)
This essay explores connections between bacteriology and the disciplinary evolution of biochemistry in this country during the 1930s. Many features of intermediary metabolism, a central component of biochemistry, originated as attempts to answer fundamental bacteriological questions. Thus, many bacteriologists altered their research programs to answer these questions. In so doing they changed their disciplinary focus from bacteriology to biochemistry. Chester Hamlin Werkman's (1893-1962) Iowa State career illustrates the research perspective that many bacteriologists adopted. As a junior faculty member in the (...) Bacteriology Department in the late 1920s, Werkman faced a powerful professional dilemma: establishing a research identity that distinguished him from his colleagues with flourishing national and international reputations. His solution was to radically alter his research program from traditional bacteriology to a biochemistry program, which reflected the influence of the Dutch microbiologist/biochemist, Albert Jan Kluyver (1888-1956). Werkman was extremely successful in this career change. His laboratory made significant contributions to biochemistry, and Werkman achieved a notable degree of personal success. His career began in the shadow of his departmental bacteriological colleagues; within a decade he became the department's dominant research figure, as a biochemist. Werkman's personal success, however, had profound consequences for the disciplinary future of bacteriology at Iowa State. (shrink)
The political engagement of scientists is not necessarily left-wing, and even when it is, it can take widely varying forms. This is illustrated by the specific character of Dutch scientific activism in the 1930s and 40s, which took shape in a society where ‘pillarized’ social divisions were more important than horizontal class structure. This paper examines how, within this context, the Delft physicist Jan Burgers developed a version of scientific politics, built on a philosophy of value-laden science.
This paper attempts to show how the logical empiricists’ interpretation of the relation between geometry and reality emerges from a “collision” of mathematical traditions. Considering Riemann’s work as the initiator of a 19th century geometrical tradition, whose main protagonists were Helmholtz and Poincaré, the logical empiricists neglected the fact that Riemann’s revolutionary insight flourished instead in a non-geometrical tradition dominated by the works of Christoffel and Ricci-Curbastro roughly in the same years. I will argue that, in the attempt (...) to interpret general relativity as the last link of the chain Riemann–Helmholtz–Poincaré–Einstein, logical empiricists were led to argue that Einstein’s theory of gravitation mainly raised a problem of mathematical under-determination, i.e. the discovery that there are physical differences that cannot be expressed in the relevant mathematical structure of the theory. However, a historical reconstruction of the alternative Riemann–Christoffel–Ricci–Einstein line of evolution shows on the contrary that the main philosophical issue raised by Einstein’s theory was instead that of mathematical over-determination, i.e. the recognition of the presence of redundant mathematical differences that do not have any correspondence in physical reality. (shrink)
To dwell in finitude. The first movement of human existence as residential settlement in Jan Pato?ka’s phenomenological thought Resumen: El presente estudio se centra en la interpretación del primero de los tres movimientos de la existencia humana postulados por el fenomenólogo checo Jan Patocka, como un procedimiento orientado a ocultar la originaria alteridad del Ser y, consecuentemente, a favorecer el habitar humano en el mundo. La propia estructura de nuestra percepción y nuestra relación original con los otros formarían parte de (...) ese mecanismo de inserción residencial que caracteriza al movimiento de “anclaje” o “enraizamiento”. Palabras clave: Patocka, habitar, movimiento de la existencia, enraizamiento.: The present work focuses on the interpretation of the first of the three movements of human existence postulated by the Czech phenomenologist Jan Patocka, as a procedure tending towards the concealing of the original alterity of Being and, in consequence, to favour human dwelling in the world. The structure of our perception itself and our original relation with the others would form part of that residential insertion that characterizes the movement of “anchorage” or “rooting”. Keywords: Patocka, dwelling, movement of existence, rooting. (shrink)
An introduction to an English translation of Jan Mukařovský´s lecture The Semiology of Art. In this lecture Mukařovský, a Czech aesthetician, literary historian, theorist, and leading proponent of Czech structuralism, develops his interpretation of the semiotics of art from a detailed explanation of the basic functions of the artistic sign. He emphasizes the role of the aesthetic function, which is dominant but latently and potentially contained in all the other functions of the linguistic and the artistic sign. He then defines (...) the artistic sign as the dialectical negation of the communicative sign. (shrink)
Jan Patočka is usually connected with Czech dissidence, a political movement which stood up against the communist government. We want to defend the hypothesis that the notion of dissidence is not originally a political one but, above all, a phenomenological one. Dissidence is a movement of distancing which implies a rootedness, and this movement of distancing is peculiar to human beings. Patočka calls “movement of human existence” this paradoxical rootedness which is an extramundane and mundane position. Thus, we have to (...) review the theory of the three movements of human existence. While it is tempting to separate the third movement, as a movement of transcendence, and to describe it as a political dissidence, we would like to show that the three movements, have to be understood as Dissidence. (shrink)
This essay had its beginnings in my desire to reexamine the Arnolfini portrait from the perspective of Giovanna Cenami, the demure young woman who stands beside the cloaked and hated man on the fifteenth-century panel in London. Even though she shares the formal prominence with the man in Jan van Eyck’s unprecedented composition, she has been paid scant attention in the literature on the painting. I anticipated, as I began my work that inspection of the female subject of the panel (...) would, of necessity, amend the authoritative count of the Arnolfini portrait that Panofsky first published in 1934. That narrative, which focused on the event portrayed, had been recited to me by my teachers as an example of interpretive truth; I had committed it to memory as a model of our discipline’s search for meaning. I never dreamed back then that it might be “wrong.” Yet, the material I encountered as I pursued my inquiry into Giovanna’s life contradicted Panofsky’s assumptions on several key points; amendment alone would not do. It seemed necessary for me to challenge the venerable interpretation others were starting to question,4 even though two generations of students, including my own, had learned from it all they thought there was to know about “Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait.” 4. See, for example, Peter H. Schabacker, “De Matrimonio ad Morganaticam Conracto: Jan van Eyck’s ‘Arnolfini’ Portrait Reconsidered,” Art Quarterly 35 : 375-98, hereafter abbreviated “DM”; Lucy Freeman Sandler, “The Handclasp in the Arnolfini Wedding: A Manuscript Precedent,” Art Bulletin 66 : 488-91, hereafter abbreviated “H”; and Jan Baptist Bedaux, “The Reality of Symbols: The Question of Disguised Symbolism in Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait,” Simiolus 16 : 5-28, hereafter abbreviated “RS.” Linda Seidel, associate professor in the department of art at the University of Chicago, is the author of Songs of Glory , a study of twelfth-century French architectural sculpture. She is currently completing a work on medieval doorway design as an art of entry and pursuing a collaborative project with Michael Camille and Robert Nelson, Medieval Art and Its Audiences. (shrink)