Metabasis N. 19
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

Religion, power and tolerance

Religion, power and tolerance

May 2015 - Year X - Number 19

Political reflections

War, guerrilla warfare and terrorism: notes on the theory and praxis of violence in international politics

Davide Gianluca Bianchi

DOI: 10.7413/18281567052

This paper defines the concept of war, guerrilla warfare and terrorism, starting from the teachings of the classics of political theory and international relations. At the center of the analysis is the notion of inter-state war collocated in an anarchic political context as is the international system, where the security of the individual actors depends on their ability to protect themselves. Guerrilla warfare is “asymmetric” war carried out by irregular troops, who try to compensate the overwhelming forces of a regular army; terrorism can be defined as a striking action whose psychological effects far outweigh the human and material destruction produced. Looking at current events in the light of these concepts, it is reasonable to speculate whether the birth of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) might constitute, on closer inspection, the possibility of a re-turn to what we know as classic warfare. The West may move from this consideration in defining its political-military strategy against the jihadist front, after fifteen years of alternation between asymmetric forms of warfare (regular armies versus guerrillas and/or terrorism). A quantum leap with many unknowns, but one cannot exclude that it may favor the technological superiority of the regular armies of Western countries.

The contemporary political philosophy and its long good-bye. Outlines for a route of reflection

Francesco Giacomantonio

DOI: 10.7413/18281567056

The essay develops a short analysis of the evolution of contemporary political philosophy, pointing out how this field of study has abandoned some important elements of his traditional kind of reflection, in consequence of social and cultural transformations of the contemporary age. Considering the main questions of the political reflection along this period, the aim is to identify some critical basic concepts, useful for further researches.

A total crisis of civilization

David Mosseri

DOI: 10.7413/18281567057

Today we live in a total crisis of civilization. This crisis is not just economic but primarily human, a crisis of political and social values. Ask about this crisis is - we believe - an essential duty of the scholar who can not remain isolated in unproductive metaphysical reflections, it must necessarily «get their hands dirty» to try to understand the causes of this crisis that seems sac because, perhaps, as many believe it this is a crisis of the system, a system - the capitalist - that definitely exceeded more than we should be adapted to contemporary society because it has helped to produce the disorientation of the person, the drugging of consumption that is sweeping.

Religion and communicative rationality. Jürgen Habermas and the “New Political Theology”

Salvatore Muscolino

DOI: 10.7413/18281567058

Jürgen Habermas’ recent work is focused on the relationship between reason and faith in what he suggest that we should name post-secular society. Habermas argues that traditional religions such as Christianity can have semantic contents very useful to uphold a moral motivation in order to contrast the instrumental reason of the globalized markets. I will try to show that these recent developments of Habermas’ theories risk to conflict with some elements of his previous approach. As a consequence, I suggest that we carefully look to the critiques that the catholic theologian J. B. Metz made to Habermas’ previous approach. In fact, I argue that Metz’s proposal of a “New Political Theology”, which is characterized by the concept of anamnestic reason, shows how to overcome, or complete, some limits of the first formulation of the theory of communicative rationality. Nevertheless, Habermas’ recent openness on these topics, even if problematic with his previous approach, stimulates to rethink on the relationship between reason and faith, religion and democracy.

City: our democratic destiny

Emma Palese

DOI: 10.7413/18281567060

This paper suggests looking at the possible future of democracy. In a period in which this concept seems to already be completely eroded, Benjamin Barber submits a convincing solution. From the city and no longer from the state, we could still have a democratic destiny.

From Locke to Houellebecq. Modernity, Antimodernity and Postmodernity between Religion and Politics

Luca Peloso

DOI: 10.7413/18281567061

Recent terrorist attacks in Paris have revived the debate on the connection between religion and politics; but the subject needs a reflection that goes beyond the urgency of current events, since peoples' destiny and cohabitation depend on the mode of this connection. The aim of my paper is to contribute to the rethinking of the matter, by analyzing the concept of tolerance through two modern classics, Locke and Voltaire, then through Guénon's critical analysis of modern thought, and finally through the remorseless portrait of contemporary human condition in Houellebecq's latest novel Submission. By means of these four different “voices” I intend to reflect on religion and politics in the light of current challenges and European tradition of thought, in order to overcome the perspective of the “clash of civilizations” and to retrieve some fundamental acquisitions from Locke's A Letter Concerning Toleration.

Jonas, Saint-Sernin and the mastery of technical systems

Emmanuel Picavet

DOI: 10.7413/18281567062

This article develops a comparison of the perspectives of philosophers Hans Jonas and Bertrand Saint-Sernin on the technical destiny of humanity and the associated moral patterns of responsibility. In the eyes of H. Jonas, the magnitude of technology’s challenge is indicated by our responsibility, which depends on our science-based ever-increasing powers. Responsibility is directly correlated with our power and the two authors explain why the consequences of human technology are hardly understandable in terms of endmean relationships. Inevitably, our use of this power is best studied in the framework of a philosophy of freedom; the latter is articulated by B. Saint-Sernin in connection with the common destiny of beings.

Ethics and global justice: are these words too strong?

Fabrizio Sciacca

DOI: 10.7413/18281567064

The main rule of production is that it should aim at maximum profit. Hence, a balance should be struck to ensure that producers obtain maximum profit. This is a rational objective called efficiency. What has ethics got to do with economics?

Philosophical Horizons

For an etiology of the contemporary age

Emanuela Civilini

DOI: 10.7413/18281567054

As a matrix of the machine culture and technology, Europe, as we know it today, is the highest form of desire to deny his past. Europe leads to the disappearance the great traditions of our culture that has made us caput mundi and let rise, in place of that, the age of the simulacrum, the “inauthentic”, the virtual, where everything is possible. And yet, “this past is the secret of our present”.

Modern epistemology and common good: from cultural relativism to subsidiary democracy

Paolo Musso

DOI: 10.7413/18281567059

Although this is not usually recognized, modern epistemology, especially in the version of Thomas Kuhn, has provided the conceptual basis of modern cultural relativism. So, an analysis of its paradoxical history can help us to better understand this problem, which is crucial for our democracies, and to find a possible solution, which does not consist in an abstract “dialogue among cultures” aimed to find inexistent “common values”, but in the concrete collaboration among existent people committed to construct social structures in-spired to different values but aimed to contribute to the common good in a subsidiary way.

The imaginary and the communication hypostasis

Ana Taís Martins Portanova Barros

DOI: 10.7413/18281567065

This paper aims to review the definitions and vagueness of the concept of imaginary and symbolic, and to relate its limits and its reach within the research in Communication. The difficulties of the approach in Communication to a notion of course of the sense are addressed. Inherited from the School of Grenoble, this notion underlies the theory of the imaginary. Communication is here considered to be insufficient for the study of the catalysis of imaginaries and the production of symbolic images which are present in communication phenomena. This is due not only to the inadequacy of a process that is described in terms of sender-message-receiver, but especially to the self-evidence of imaginary and symbolic, as expressed in the language, resulting in a reduction of the imaginary to its social symptoms.

Politics between Reality and Representation. Poetical knowledge and Practical Philosophy in Aristotle

Giangiacomo Vale

DOI: 10.7413/18281567066

According to Aristotle, Poetryt is a cognitive activity as it permits an almost philosophical understanding of the human events in their possibility and probability: it expresses human acting and interacting in its universality. Giving poetry a cognitive power and considering it as a knowledge, leads to attribute to the “poetical knowledge” a founder nature, and therefore a role of hermeneutical guide and normative knowledge

Thematic paths

Civitas and architecture of the city. Time, form and image as ‘governors’ of urban planning

Daniela Cardone

DOI: 10.7413/18281567053

It’s possible to think of a connotative and metaphorical relationship between  urban space and power or justice, so that urban planning and law speak languages translatable into their mechanisms of rationality. For each architectural order we have a parallel and institutional order, first of all, but also geometries, dimensions, which are comparable to the idea of citizenship.
Geometry, complexity, contradiction, form and structure are therefore the elements that support the relationship between urbs and civitas, on which they operate  the image and the time,  because both are real and unreal, such as a stage set architecture (the film for example ) that belongs as much to the real and unreal context.

The mythical soul of duende in Federico García Lorca

Luisella Ferrario

DOI: 10.7413/18281567055

In 1933 Federico García Lorca gave a lecture in Buenos Aires, entitled Juego y teoría del duende. What is duende? Duende is the hardest word in Spanish to translate into languages other than Mother tongue. This study aims to investigate the relationships between the etymology of duende and characters of Greek and Roman mythology. We start analyzing the short note of Nebrija emphasized by Corominas in Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico. Then we look at the definition by Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española, written by Sebastián de Covarrubias in 1611. The etymology of a word refers to its origin, historical development and ample symbolic meaning. So we interpret Lorca’s vision of duende through Jungian analytical psychology. Duende comes from inside, is a dark creative force, a physical emotion, an artistic expression. Lorca said that flamenco dancers, gypsy song, bullfight “have duende” because in them death and life live together side by side. In fact Duende is an expression of totality.
All the arts (painting, sculpture, music, dance…), especially in Spain, are listening to the voices of the unconscious. For them death and blood aren’t no problem, contrary to much contemporary Western culture.

The Gratuitous Act in the “Religion of Inquietude” according to Enea Balmas

Carmen Saggiomo

DOI: 10.7413/18281567063

In his analysis of Gide’s opus and its representation of the gratuitous act, Enea Balmas overturns previous, traditional interpretations. According to Balmas, Gide’s novels constitute an actual palinode; a recantation in which Gide admits to having discovered that the essence of the gratuitous act is homicide. In this light, Balmas carries out a rigorous analysis of the idea of freedom in André Gide, along with a re-reading of his philosophical meditations on this same idea. The investigation leads Balmas to detect what he defines as a “religion of inquietude” in Gide.

Metabasis N. 19
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