• Henri Bergson. L’evoluzione creatrice e la filosofia della vita / Henri Bergson. Creative Evolution and Philosophy of Life
    Vol. 12 No. 1 (2024)

    The publication of Henri Bergson's L'Évolution créatrice in 1907 marked a pivotal moment in cultural history. The work was an immediate and overwhelming success, transcending the boundaries of academic philosophy and propelling Bergson to widespread fame. The title itself, placing the concepts of 'evolution' and 'creation' side by side, signalled Bergson's departure from both traditional metaphysics – fixated on an abstract and unchanging ideal being – and prevailing evolutionary theories, which emphasised predetermined adaptation. For Bergson, "creation" remains in stark contrast to mere "fabrication". The latter presupposes the existence of pre-constituted data of reality that are subsequently composed on the basis of norms that are also pre-constituted. By contrast, creation implies that nothing is ever already given: not even the possible, if understood – in the manner of Aristotle, Bergson's great polemical target – as something already destined for the act. So much so that, instead of 'possible', Bergson uses the term 'virtual', a term that alludes to a dimension that never exists and yet is the only place from which a real is born, and with it the possible that will be retrospectively assigned to it. L'Évolution créatrice opened up a radically new perspective that we can only fully grasp today with advances such as those achieved by neo-evolutionism. Hence the idea of devoting this issue to this work.

  • Il kairos e le arti / Kairos in ancient arts and techniques
    Vol. 11 No. 2 (2023)

    It is a well-known fact that the concept of kairos encompasses a wide variety of meanings, ranging from “due time”, “critical situation”, “appropriate or decisive moment”, to “correct behaviour” and “skilful action”. All of these meanings point not only to the temporal, spatial and circumstantial characteristics of kairos, but also, and more importantly, to the action that is required in order to seize a favourable opportunity in a given moment. Without such action, and the ability to perform it, the kairos does not yield any advantage, thus remaining unexploited. On the other hand, without kairos no action can be successful, as even the most refined ability is by itself no guarantee for a successful outcome. In the Graeco-Roman world, kairos is therefore always linked with specific skills: in arts such as poetry, rhetoric, medicine, divination, alchemy and in a variety of techniques such as those needed in farming, warfare and sports, the successful outcome depends on the ability to grasp the kairos that is within reach at a given moment.

    This volume examines the different meanings of kairos as reflected in the methodologies commonly applied in the arts and techniques, showing how these help to broaden and deepen our knowledge of kairos. The chapters investigate both aspects of kairos: that relating to its objective conditions, i.e. its manifestation on certain occasions and circumstances; and that relating to its subjective conditions, i.e. the skills needed to grasp the opportune moment in which it should be utilized.

  • The Real and the Known
    Vol. 11 No. 1 (2023)

    The notions of reality and knowledge are among the main topics of philosophical reflection since its Greek inception. It has become a topos in the history of Western philosophy that some sort of crucial change occurred in the early modernity and that this change marked a fundamental shift from ancient and medieval conceptions. This special issue deals with two interrelated questions. First, it addresses some aspects of how early modern thinkers are inspired by ancient sources or distance themselves from ancient conceptions. Second, it provides some insights into how the relation between ontology and epistemology dramatically changed, by giving new impulse to relevant subjects, such as the ontology of relations or of mathematics, innatism, and so forth. In order to provide a conceptual framework to these insights, we define the dynamics between reality and knowledge in terms of cohesion and rupture. A relation of cohesion between reality and knowledge implies that knowing what reality is in itself is a condition for defining knowledge in general. On the contrary, to assume a rupture between reality and knowledge means defining knowledge independently of what reality is in itself. These two stances, we argue, are represented by Plato and Kant, respectively. Thus, the two philosophers provide the boundaries of the present investigation, but our conceptual framework can be applied even beyond Kant in order to provide a guideline in our continuous dialogue with ancient philosophers.

  • Cosmologia filosofica / Philosophical Cosmology
    Vol. 10 No. 2 (2022)

    Cosmology is the science of the origins and structure of the universe. However, it derives from kosmos, which means world, and this term indicates both the universe and the earth, the celestial sphere and the sphere of human history. Cosmology in the philosophical sense must therefore consider both aspects, although it is not easy to understand their connection. Especially today, because the “universe” side is a highly specialised scientific subject, while the “earth” side is dominated by globalisation, which leads to an exclusive focus on human affairs. With globalisation, a kind of worldless wordliness has taken place. The aim of this issue is therefore to bring Weltfrage back to the centre of philosophy, through a sampling of cosmological thinking in a broad sense. Indeed, such a thinking concerns world models, but these models are not only cosmographies and more or less exact astronomical representations. They are also myths, images, metaphors, symbols, which intersect metaphysics and religion no less than ethics and politics. A world is only given within a vision, halfway between reason and imagination, as it is rooted in the primordial layers of experience while pushing towards the most daring speculations on the origin, connection and end of all things. This issue therefore presents some material for exploring the concept of the world and seeing anew the threads that bind, even in a conflicting form, heaven and earth.

  • Kairos e Apparenza / Kairos and Appearance
    Vol. 10 No. 1 (2022)

    Kairos and appearance are two rich notions, both from a linguistic and a conceptual point of view: unavoidable in philosophical reflection, they also represent fundamental crossroads of every human life, given that the “flourishing” of human life depends on grasping the opportune moment that requires to be expected but also realized.

    These two notions are called upon to work as a pair, as the contributions contained in this volume show from various points of view.

    Moreover, the same kairos is what stands in time, but it is also what has a spatial manifestation, and therefore “appears”, revealing itself, together, as “right time” and as “right space”, as shown by the Latin term occasio, which indicates what falls in front of us in an unexpected way and which therefore represents a visible manifestation of the kairos.

  • Helmuth Plessner. Philosophy and Life
    Vol. 9 No. 2 (2021)

    Helmuth Plessner’s thought is widely known in Italy, where today most of his work is translated and analysed by many experts, who underline the depth and novelty of his positions. This monographic issue dedicated to him gathers original contributions articulated along different paths, mainly focusing on Plessner’s effort to coordinate philosophical and scientific research on the nature of the human being in a multiform form.

  • Eudaimonia socratica e cura dell’altro | Socratic Eudaimonia and Care for Others
    Vol. 9 No. 1 (2021)

    Despite the appearances given by certain texts, the moral psychology of Socrates needs not imply selfishness. On the contrary, a close look at passages in Plato and Xenophon (see Plato, Meno 77-78; Protagoras 358; Gorgias 466-468; Euthydemus 278; Lysis 219; Xenophon, Memorabilia III 9, 4-5) suggests that the “egoist”’s welfare depends upon the welfare of others (i.e. family, friends or the whole city). Since the welfare of his family, friends and city is part of his own eudaimonìa, the “egoist” (phìlautos) has a direct and intrinsic motive to promote the welfare of these others.

    This multilingual issue explores the role that other peoples’ welfare plays in Socratic ethics. Special attention is paid to test-cases in which the principle that moral action is always good only for the agent seems to have no validity. I.e., under which circumstances is the self-sacrifice for the sake of others (such as the soldier’s self-sacrifice on the battlefield) good for the agent (as in Alcibiades I 115a-116d)? Essays deal with contradictions or tensions of this sort, and relate them to more general views on eudaimonìa held within Socratic literature. Comparison between different Socratic authors is used as a means to identify the distinctive features of Socratic eudaimonìa if compared to other Greek theories of happiness, such as the Aristotelian theory of philautìa (NE IX, 1166a-1166b; 1168a-1169b).

  • Morphology, Plasticity, and Transformation between Philosophy and Biology
    Vol. 8 (2020)

    In biology, interest in form was the prerogative of developmental biology, while it was practically neglected by evolutionary biology. This situation has changed a lot in recent decades and has led to a reinterpretation of the concept of evolution and evolutionism focusing more on the problem of form and morphology. In Italy, especially Alessandro Minelli, one of the editors of this issue, has dedicated his studies to the need to communicate form to structure, to reconnect morphology and evolution. This theme is a highly relevant one for philosophy, inasmuch as the question of form and morphology, since the days of Goethe and Bergson, has always been considered as the starting point for a philosophy of the living being endowed with its own categories that cannot be reduced to those of physics.

  • Psychopathology and Philosophy in Relation to the Existence of Human Being Part II
    Vol. 7 (2019)

    This monographic issue of Thaumàzein is the second part of a research that aims to investigate the possible relationship between specific psychopathological symptoms and a series of crucial questions of philosophy, such as: Anthropogenesis and Phenomenology of Emotions; Intersubjectivity and Direct Perception of Expressivity of the Other; Phenomenology of Embodiment; Minimal Self and Plasticity of the Process of Human Formation (Bildung); Value-ception (Wertnehmung), Order of Feeling, Philosophy of Person; Atypical Social Cognition and Common Sense.

  • Etica e Passioni
    Vol. 2 (2014)