Metabasis N. 18
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Each essay of this journal is reviewed by two anonymous referees and their comments are sent to the authors .

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Reality and representation 2

Reality and representation 2

November 2014 - Year IX - Number 18

Political reflections

Civilization and conflict as forms of representation of reality

Paolo Bellini

DOI: 10.7413/18281567038

Following the publication of the well-known work by Huntington The clash of Civilization, the idea of a clash between civilizations has established itself at a global level, also supported by the recent bloody events that have afflicted the political scene. This brief paper intends to offer an interpretation of the concepts of civilization and conflict as forms of representation of reality.

The elected revocation (Recall) in Anglo-Saxon world: comparison of case studies

Davide Gianluca Bianchi

DOI: 10.7413/18281567039

The term Recall indicates an Anglo-Saxon legal rule which allows the electors to revoke the mandate of an elected official, by means of a popular petition, before the natural expiration of his/her representative mandate. Created firstly in California, at the beginning of the nineteen century, said institution was later extended to other states of the Union. Recently, it became once again the focus of particular attention following the revocation by a Recall Election in 2003 of the democratic governor of California, whose post was later occupied by Arnold Shwarzenneger. On the proposal of Liberal-democrat party, in United Kingdom 2012 saw the beginning of the parliamentary procedure proposing the bill aimed at introducing the revocation of the elected members of Westminster and the European Parliament, and all mayors directly elected by the citizens. Contemporary Recall is a by-product of the changes in political representation, which are giving birth to an unprecedented type of democracy: the “democracy of the public” (B. Manin).

Foundations of social Critics: alternatives Norms and hypothetical Reasoning

Caroline Guibet Lafaye

DOI: 10.7413/18281567045

Better than national statistical surveys, qualitative studies and face-to-face interviews are appropriated to grasp representations of social world and reasonings about the latter. We will refer to the survey Perception des inégalités et sentiments de justice (Perception of Inequalities and feelings of Justice) (2010-2011) to analyze the normative framework used by lay people to express critical judgments about injustices in France. First, we will study an original interpretation of the norm of deserve, i.e. the social utility. Then we will consider the empirical uses of hypothetical reasonings in social critics of the French society and its inequalities. Finally, we will envisage more widely the modalities in which critical reasonings are expressed in these interviews.

Pursuit of pleasure: between collective symptom and capitalist ideology

Cornelia Stefan

DOI: 10.7413/18281567049

Today’s society is permeated by the pursuit of pleasure. What seems at first glance like a natural desire of every human being, shows on closer analysis that it is a psychic symptom of the postmodern society, which does not adequately meet the human needs as well as it perpetuates and stabilizes the ideological structure of the capitalist economic system. This is an attempt to show with psychoanalytic categories how it possibly works.

The disappearance of reality and the agony of power in Jean Baudrillard

Gianluca Vagnarelli

DOI: 10.7413/18281567050

From Baudrillard's thesis of the disappearance of reality, and the author's analysis of the terrorism’s phenomenon, the article explores the concept of the power, particularly the distinction between the concepts of domination and hegemony as central categories to understand the questioning of the traditional power’s paradigm and to re-thinking emancipation.

Philosophical Horizons


Juan Canseco

DOI: 10.7413/18281567041

The phenomenon of metaphor is more prevalent than generally admitted by philosophers, and it raises two main questions: “what is metaphorical meaning”? And how do hearers grasp metaphorical meaning? Theorists have thought that metaphor is a matter of bringing out similarities between things or states of affairs. Davidson argues that the stimulation of comparisons is causal. The Naive Simile Theory says that metaphors abbreviate literal comparisons. For the Figurative Simile Theory, metaphors are short for similes themselves taken figuratively. Searle uses Gricean apparatus to explain metaphorical meaning as speaker meaning. A further theory of metaphor is based on the phenomenon of single words’ analogical differentiation into hosts of distinct but related meanings.

New Realism: a contemporary twist between philosophy and science

Marina Guerrisi

DOI: 10.7413/18281567044

Who's afraid of New Realism? The relationship between reality and representation is generally related to the history of epistemology and analytic philosophy for which reality is what the statement expresses in form of law. The linguistic drift of philosophical realism calls now for alone objects. Anglo-Saxon contemporary philosophy turns this kind of effect on a speculative complexity. New Realism, Object Oriented Ontology, eco-phenomenology: from religious statements to secularism, the question about the relationship between subject and object is how to give birth to a philosophy without the kingdom of philosophy.

Reality and representation in Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale

Luca Peloso

DOI: 10.7413/18281567048

This paper tries to show that Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale can be seen as the artistic development of a philosophical problem: the relation between reality and representation. By reading the text, we will try to demonstrate that this hypothesis leads us to discover a precise idea of reality, and of the instruments whereby Shakespeare displays it, although not as a thinker but as an artist. In this interpretation, the key role is played by imagination.

Thematic paths

Crossroads Arts Journey (UBA, 2013). Bioy Casares and The Invention of Morel - Brief notes for its reading

Hugo Francisco Bauzá

DOI: 10.7413/18281567037

According to Jorge Luis Borges The Invention of Morel was a masterpiece of plotting. Set on a mysterious island, Bioy’s novella is a story of suspense and exploration, as well as a wonderfully unlikely romance, in which every detail is at once crystal clear and deeply mysterious. The Invention of Morel should probably be classed as speculative science fiction, and there is definite allusion to H.G. Wells' The Island of Doctor Moreau in Bioy Casares' title, that tells the story of a lovestruck, bewildered man.

The “window-paradigm” musical dissolution in the John Cage’s work

Francesco Caddeo

DOI: 10.7413/18281567040

This article explores the radical anti-academism of the John Cage’s musical research and its consequences. Actually, his revolutionary experiments dissolve the theater-form as it was built during the Modern era. According to Jean-François Lyotard suggestions, on our point of view we can talk outside the figurative arts about the expiry of the “window-paradigm”, which marks a turning point in the performing arts. Now, following the American composer, together with the traditional musical concert-form’s crisis, we open also an interesting page of the contemporary music, concerning the turns of some typical musical aspects: the prestige represented by the composer, the distinction between noises and sounds, the role assigns to spontaneity inside the composition.

How to quote, to see the other, Giovanni boccaccio and the arabic-muslim world

Meriem Dhouib

DOI: 10.7413/18281567042

This article will briefly review some aspects of the Arab-Islamic culture in some texts of Boccaccio. The analysis will focus on the negative and positive points trying to bring out what is real in the medieval fantasy world of the author.

The antifunctional object and the design of human gesture

Clara Fiorillo

DOI: 10.7413/18281567043

The article discusses the problem of the “anti-functionality” of many objects and furniture produced by modern industry and shows some extreme examples of Kitsch objects. The reason for the aesthetical and functional deformation of the objects can be attributed to an abstract conception of the human body and to an idea of  its “closing”. The author analyzes this phenomenon by referring to the thought of Rudofsky, Bachtin, Formaggio and Le Corbusier. Finally, she traces a possible solution to this problem by appealing to the “intelligence of body” (the ancient metis mentioned by Formaggio) and to the ability to designing the human gesture (as Simmel wanted) in order to become able to recognizing the subject in the object (such as Bachelard wanted).

Apocalypse Beyond the West: Realities and Representations of the End in Japan

Stella Marega

DOI: 10.7413/18281567046

Apocalypse is a fundamental category in the interpretation of crisis of post-modern society. On the one hand, it is known the universal character of the apocalyptic symbol, on the other its origin deeply rooted in the Western culture. At the same time, there are few words evoking “the end of the world", as the Japanese names of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - or even Fukushima - scenes of apocalyptic disasters whose memory awakens the darkest nightmares worldwide. Japan has also developed a large number of beliefs and pop-culture products with an apocalyptic background, which does not directly result from an eschatological vision of the world. This paper aims to chart a path through the catastrophic realities and representations of ancient and modern Japan, highlighting the key points in the development of a particular imagination of the end.

Theory and practice of human rights: transsexuals and EU law

Franca Menichetti

DOI: 10.7413/18281567047

The philosophy of law cannot only refer to the interpretation of the rule and the interpretation of the relationship, which exists between the rule and the fact from time to time. It must also refer to the judgments of the courts of justice, especially to those supra-national courts whose legitimacy is rooted in Treaties or Covenants and whose decisions are binding for member States as well as for individuals. The judgments I analyze in this paper are not just prophecies: they are mainly an undeniable and unconditional recognition of the rights, which belong to transsexuals as human rights. Without human rights, the philosophy of law is likely to remain in a maze.

’Doing gender’ with words: the term escort in mediatic Italian context

Elisa Virgili

DOI: 10.7413/18281567051

The scope of this article is to understand the relationship between reality and representation in the field of gender. Starting from a post-structuralist perspective, according to which gender is a result of a construction, I will show how this construction actualizes through language. To do this I will refer to Judith Butler's performativity theory and to empirical data from transcriptions of interviews which contain the word escort, to show how, when used in a different context, it performs the construction of different gender identities.

Metabasis N. 18
digital edition

peer review

Each essay of this journal is reviewed by two anonymous referees and their comments are sent to the authors .

Evaluation Form